Night and Day: Thursday, February 25, 2004

Most weddings feel like interactive theater anyway, but Tony ’n’ Tina’s Wedding is that way by design. The long-running, partly improvised Off-Broadway hit allows audiences to participate in a high-spirited Italian-American wedding, from the ceremony through the receiving line to the champagne toast, the Italian Buffet of Love, and the wedding cake, all to the tunes of a snappy DJ. The wedding bells ring at 7pm Wed-Sun and 1pm Sat-Sun at Van Cliburn Rehearsal Hall, 330 E 4th St, FW. Tickets are $50-75. Call 817-212-4280.

Independence Day

Visit the Alamo today and you might well wonder how John Wayne was able to fit inside such a tiny structure. But the mythos surrounding William B. Travis, Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett, and the rest remains larger than life. To the folks at Fort Worth’s Cowtown Opry, a nonprofit group dedicated to the preservation of Texas heritage music, this upcoming 168th Texas Independence Day seems like a perfect time to throw a fund-raising party.

The event kicks off with happy hour on the steps of the Stockyards’ Livestock Exchange Building, the group’s home for the last decade. J.R. Jack Edmondson, playing General Sam Houston, will read Travis’ letter requesting reinforcements, written just a week before the Alamo fell. A cannon salute and singalong will be followed by a hayride to the River Ranch party barn for a chuckwagon steak dinner with music by the Cowtown Opry Buckaroos, a group made up of kids under 17.

After dinner, the evening’s entertainment consists of a concert and old-timey medicine show. The concert, “An Interpretation of the History of Gov. “Pappy” Lee O’Daniel’s Music,” is the Opry’s tribute to the former Texas governor and western swing bandleader, immortalized in O Brother, Where Art Thou. O’Daniel’s invitation to all Texans to attend his inaugural dinner in 1941 resulted in the governor’s mansion being inundated with 20,000 celebrants. (His descendant, Michael O’Daniel, is the event’s honorary chairman.) The medicine show, “An Exposition of the Miraculous Benefits of Dr. O. Lee Pettiflower’s Balsongic Elixir,” is a theatrical production by the Cowtown Opry Medicine Show Players, in which Texas Music is proposed as a remedy for all manner of “malodorous and malicious symptoms of malaise.” A silent auction will take place throughout the evening.

The Cowtown Opry’s Texas Independence Day celebration starts at 5pm Tue at the Livestock Exchange Bldg, 131 E Exchange Av, FW. Tickets are $50, and reservations are required. Call 817-366-9675.

With 14 albums, three Grammy nominations, and a hit one-man show (Isn’t It Romantic) to his credit, pop song interpreter Michael Feinstein has picked up the torch that Bobby Short laid down. This week, he joins the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra for the latest installment of their pops series, performing classic American works by the Gershwin brothers, Johnny Mercer, Duke Ellington, and others. The concerts begin at 8pm Thu-Sat and 2pm Sun at the Bass Performance Hall, 555 Commerce St, FW. Tickets are $23-72. Call 817-665-6500.

File this under “Now I’ve seen everything.” Fort Worth has played host to horse shows, car shows, gun shows, and guitar shows. Now, with the GE Profile Style Marries Innovation Tour, area homeowners and metrosexuals can check out an appliance show. There’ll be appliance demonstrations and free copies of magazines such as Women’s Day, Elle Décor, and Metropolitan Home. Things get churning from 11am-7pm Fri-Sat at Texas Appliance, 3401 W Pioneer Pkwy, Pantego. Admission is free. Call 817-469-6644.

Even more virulent than the rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma is the one between New York and L.A. And yet, and yet. In TCU faculty member T.J. Walsh’s new romantic comedy Melrose Stories, a peripatetic New Yorker finds meaning and lurrrve with a native Angelena in a bookstore he inherits on L.A.’s trendy Melrose Avenue. Performances are at 7:30pm Wed-Sat and 2:30pm Sat-Sun in the Hays Theatre at TCU’s Walsh Center for the Performing Arts, corner of University and Cantey, FW. Tickets are $10, $5 for students and seniors. Call 817-257-5770.

After having E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web read to me, I stopped killing spiders — a big deal for a 7-year-old. Now Theatre Arlington is mounting an all-youth production of the classic children’s tale, with youngsters ages 8 to17 playing the roles of the girl Fern and her friends Templeton the rat, Wilbur the pig, and Charlotte the spider. The production also includes various forms of puppetry, assisted by members of the Dallas Puppet Theater. The curtain rises at 7:30pm Fri-Sat and 2pm Sat-Sun through Mar 14 at 305 W Main St, Arlington. Tickets are $10. Call 817-275-7661.

In March, the Fort Worth Community Arts Center reprises its 39 Hour Show, a month-long event — for last year’s inaugural running, the work of 550 local artists was exhibited. Today is the last day for artists to drop off submissions. Works should not exceed three feet in height, width, or depth and should be ready to hang or place on the floor. Artwork will be accepted from 10am-7pm Thu-Fri, 10am-5pm Sat and Mon, and noon-5pm Sun at 1300 Gendy St, FW. The $5 participation fee is also admission to the Gallery Night Afterparty on Mar 27. Call 817-738-1930, ext 30.

Nothing exceeds like excess, a fact no one knows better than Bollywood director Manoj Kumar, whose 1965 film Gumnaam was billed as “India’s first horror thriller.” This adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians is relatively faithful to its source material, although Kumar — a ’60s pop singer who also plays one of the guests on the mysterious island — did see fit to add a beach party and a go-go dance number, “Joan Pehechaan Ho” (which, incidentally, later turned up during the opening credits of 2001’s Ghost World). The film screens at 7pm Tue in Rm 184 of the UNT Performing Arts Bldg, west of Welch and Chestnut sts, Denton. Admission is free. Call 940-565-2537.

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