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John Lamb, Published July 31 2013

Weekend Watch: Dixie Chicks duo come to Fargo as the Court Yard Hounds

FARGO – The lead singer is the front person in a band and, as such, often becomes the face of the act.

Such is the case with the Dixie Chicks. Despite founding the group in 1989, sisters Martie Maguire and Emily Robison were often overshadowed by Natalie Maines’ powerful voice and equally strong persona.

(It was, after all, Maines who blasted Toby Keith and President George W. Bush a decade ago, leading to a backlash against the Chicks.)

Maguire and Robison have always been the core of the act, writing more songs than Maines.

With the Dixie Chicks on hiatus, the singing sisters showcase their other act, Court Yard Hounds, tonight at the Fargo Theatre.

The lowly name is deceiving. The sisters still harmonize beautifully on the new disc, “Amelita,” which came out last month.

Maguire not only gets to show off her chops as the lead vocalist but continues to impress with her picking, both on banjo and guitar. Sister Emily may remain a backing vocalist, but her fiddle playing adds bright touches on tunes like the bright first single, “Sunshine.”

Maguire and Robison step up, with a hand writing most of the songs, but even Maines pitched in on “Phoebe.”

With the Chicks’ future up in the air (Maines released a solo album in May), those fans still bummed that the trio canceled their last scheduled Fargodome show in 2006 will want to check out how this duo does on their own.

The show is part of Bud Light’s 50/50/1, which presents a show in each state on the same day.

If you go

What: Court Yard Hounds with Caitlyn Smith

When: Doors at 7 tonight, music at 8

Where: Fargo Theatre, 314 Broadway

Info: Tickets for this ID-only, reserved seat show are $20, though additional fees may apply. (866) 300-8300.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

John Lamb at (701) 241-5533

‘Chicago’ and ‘Bare’

Tonight – Sunday

As today is the first of August, the clock is ticking on summer and particularly summer theater productions. Two notable runs kick off tonight. At West Fargo High School, 801 9th St. E., students in Summer Arts Intensive take their swing at the John Kander and Fred Ebb crime classic, “Chicago.” The look at how the media and society tends to treat criminals as celebrities seems to be more timeless each year. The musical delivered staples like “All That Jazz,” “Mr. Cellophane” and “Razzle Dazzle.” Performances are at 7:30 tonight, Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and $10 for students. (701) 499-1971. At The Stage at Island Park, 333 4th Street S., Fargo, another social issue gets played out by a young troupe. The cast and crew of Act Up address teen sexuality, gays and religion, coming out and suicide among homosexuals in “Bare.” The pop opera is particularly timely as today Minnesota allows same-sex weddings. Talk-back sessions will allow for dialogue on issues raised after certain performances. The musical starts at 7:30 tonight through Sunday and again Wednesday through Aug. 10. Tickets are $16 for adults, $12 for students and $6 for kids. (701) 235-6778.

Cruisin’ Broadway

Tonight

Set for the first Thursday of every month, Cruisin’ Broadway hit a speed bump last month when it was on a crash course with the Fourth of July, and the event was scrapped for the month. Hot rod revelers will be back on Broadway tonight as classic cars line up to be shown off starting at 5 p.m.

Gigantour

Sunday

With hockey having the season off, it’s been awhile since Scheels Arena, 5225 31st Ave. S., Fargo, has seen some heavy hits. That will be remedied this Sunday when Megadeth brings the Gigantour to space. Mega-man Dave Mustaine picked the lineup and it’s a rogues gallery of grinders, with Black Label Society, Device, Hellyeah, Newsted and Death Division rounding out the bashers’ bill. It’ll be interesting to see how active MegaDave is a year after a headbanging-induced neck injury forced him into surgery and threatened his career. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. with music starting at 4. Tickets for the all-ages show are $45 for general assignment on the floor and $39.50 for reserved seats. (800) 745-3000.