On one end of the country-music spectrum, there's the glossy sheen of Nashville's Music Row, the scene that gave Garth Brooks a headset and allowed Faith Hill to become a Stepford wife. On the other end, there's the dusty, rough-around-the-edges grit of the Texas country movement. These guys have shunned the pretty-boy stylings of Music City, and their recordings include such titles as "Beer, Bait & Ammo," "Drink Your Whiskey Down," "My Give a Damn is Broken" and "Raise Hell Drink Beer." They're more clean-cut than the outlaw country artists of the 1970s, but at least their boots get dirty every once in a while. And blessed are these Texas singer-songwriters, for they shall inherit the streets of Sundance Square on Memorial Day weekend when 99.5 The Wolf presents WolfDance 2004. The station's all-day music festival comprises two stages and 10 acts, and the Lone Star-studded lineup includes poet cowboy Robert Earl Keen, "Life of the Party" Charlie Robison and Dallas boys Jack Ingram and Eleven Hundred Springs, to name just a few. It's a country event in every sense of the word. If you've ever sipped iced tea from a Mason jar, swept a layer of beer cans from the bed of your pickup or two-stepped to the tunes of a truck radio, there's a good chance you'll find something you like at WolfDance. And if not, well, we hear Nashville's nice this time of year. WolfDance 2004 is Sunday beginning at noon in Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth. Tickets can be purchased in advance at local Kroger stores for $15 or at the gate for $20. Call 214-526-2400 or go to www.995thewolf.com. --Rhonda Reinhart
On the Deep End
Picture the stage at the Majestic Theater teeming with the powerful, bronze bodies of dancers defining three horizontal planes. One soloist works the boards closest to the audience from curtain-to-curtain, a duet dances behind and another pair spreads out at the back. Choreographer Jessica Lang crafted "Layers," one piece in the Dallas Black Dance Theater's season finale, May 28 and May 29 at 7:30 p.m. She says, "The first dancer is clear, and the deeper they go, the more vague they get. An individual is not flat, but layered with deeper emotions." Performing with DBDT will be Bruce Wood Dance Company in "Polyester Dream." Tickets are $15 and $30. Call 214-871-2390. --Annabelle Massey Helber
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Considering that the WaterTower Theatre is opening a three-week run of Stephen Sondheim's Tony-winning musical Company, you can imagine our rascally excitement about cooking up a topical, informative and irreverent song parody for these very pages. Then we realized that musical spoofs, especially in print, are perhaps the lamest things ever. So anyway, Company follows the ins-and-outs of relationships through the eyes of a thirtysomething bachelor named Robert, features some of Sondheim's best-known compositions and is considered to be the first "nonlinear" comedy of the medium. See the WaterTower Theatre cast and crew give the romance song and dance new life at The Addison Theatre Centre, located at 15650 Addison Road. Call 972-450-6232. --Matt Hursh
If those guys at Grapevine Mills could write my first name on a grain of rice, I can summarize the plot of Victor Hugo's 800-page Les Miserables on a matchbook cover. Since the musical version is coming to Casa Mañana's Bass Hall, here goes: Man does bad thing, cops chase man, man meets ho, ho has baby, ho dies, man raises baby, man gets rich, obsessive cop finds man, confrontation ensues. Get the whole story with Tony-winning songs at Fort Worth's Bass Hall from June 1 through June 4 at 8 p.m., June 5 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and June 6 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Get ticket info at 817-332-2272 or www.casamanana.org. --Annabelle Massey Helber