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Festive Firearms 

Rockets' red glare and a concert

Don't feel like dealing with the hustle and bustle of the Fair at Laclede's Landing this year? Pine for the genteel comforts of those lazy summertime evenings of yesteryear? Pack some consumables, and bring a book, the kids, a Frisbee and a dog -- or just a lawn chair -- to hear the Compton Heights Concert Band of St. Louis (314-776-2227 or www.chband.org) perform in the open air. St. Louis' premier ambassadors of Sousa also light into Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" with actual firing cannons in the climax (the kids will talk about it all summer); plus, favorite featured baritone Robert Ellison sings patriotic all the way. This free concert is presented twice for your convenience: Sunday, July 3, in Francis Park (Eichelberger Street and Donovan Avenue) and Monday, July 4, in Tower Grove Park (4256 Magnolia Avenue); both shows commence at 7:30 p.m. The price is right, so why not go twice? -- Jedidiah Ayres

Highland Sing
Lucia di Lammermoor

So, what do you get when an Italian composer translates Sir Walter Scott's Gothic novel The Bride of Lammermoor into opera? You get feuding Scottish families singing about their pain and love in beautiful Italian, that's what. Gaetano Donizetti is one of the acknowledged masters of the bel canto style of opera, which means that his Lucia di Lammermoor truly tests and showcases the human voice. The Union Avenue Opera Theatre presents Lucia di Lammermoor in the original Italian at 8 p.m. at the Union Avenue Christian Church (733 North Union Boulevard; 314-361-2881) on Friday and Saturday (July 1 and 2). And yes, Scots speaking Italian may seem tricky to follow, but it's an opera. There's love, there's deception, and there's death. If you lose your way in the plot, just give in to the wonders of the voices and you'll do fine. Tickets are $22 to $50. -- Paul Friswold

Gun Play

You can't get a man with a gun? Ha! Lara Croft, Trinity and Sydney Bristow would tell Annie Oakley to get off her high horse and start wielding that true icon of femininity: her Winchester. See the original sharp-shooting seductress in Annie Get Your Gun at the Muny in Forest Park at 8:15 p.m. nightly starting Monday, July 4, and continuing through July 10. Will Annie win the heart of Frank Butler and stay the star of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show? You'll need a ticket ($8 to $58) to find out; call MetroTix (314-534-1111) or the Muny box office (314-361-1900) to make a purchase. For more information visit www.muny.com. -- Amy Helms

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