The music of George and Ira Gershwin — whose collaborations make up a big part of the Great American Songbook — comes to Annapolis Thursday with the opening of “Crazy For You” at the Classic Theatre of Maryland.

The funny thing is, the Gershwins didn’t actually write this play. Instead, playwright Ken Ludwig reused songs from some of the brothers’ 1930s musicals as well as some unpublished works. Ludwig’s “new Gershwin musical” was a hit on Broadway in the early 1990s, with critics saying it stripped away decades of modern interpretations and returned their music to its original style.

The story is classic, zany rich-boy-meets-hometown-girl romantic comedy, but it’s the music that matters here. The Annapolis production stars Neal Bechman as banker Bobby Child and Delaney Jackson as spunky Polly Baker. They will perform songs that include “I Got Rhythm,” “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” and perhaps the Gershwins’ greatest collaboration, “Someone to Watch Over Me.”

The show fits perfectly with Classic Theatre’s strengths. The resident company offers monthly cabaret nights with this genre of music, 20th century jazz standards, popular songs and show tunes. The June cabaret runs Monday and Tuesday, featuring songs from the 1980s in “Another Night in Paradise.”

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“Crazy For You” runs through June 16. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, with weekend matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are $55-$75, plus fees.

Here are some other great things to do in the next seven days.

On Maryland Avenue

4-7 p.m. Thursday

Every year, the Maryland Federation of Art brings dozens of artists into town for Paint Annapolis, a competition among talented painters for a series of prizes. One of the most casual events is Art on the Avenue, when artists get a chance to enjoy an evening with residents and fans.

Maryland Avenue is shut down for food, performances and a display of works being judged for juried and people’s choice awards. Shops are open late for the event. Free.

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The local guys

9 p.m. to midnight Friday

Garrett Park Guitars owner Rick Houge formed Rick & the Revolving Doors in 2009, and over the years the band has gone through a bunch of different incarnations. He teamed up with bassist Gary Hewitt during COVID when they decided it was time to get on stage together. Now, they’ve got a dozen gigs through December.

It’s a similar story for One Night Only, friends who got together because they enjoy playing music at bars and restaurants even though the band isn’t their day jobs.

You can catch two groups of local guys who perform for fun in a free performance at Club Vibe.

A closer look

Noon-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

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Because most historic houses in downtown Annapolis are private homes, you really can’t see much beyond the front.

The 25th Secret Garden Tour by the Hammond Harwood House Museum gives you a chance to see what lies behind the houses, from formal gardens to secluded retreats and quiet oases off busy streets.

Tickets are $40 until Friday and $45 on Saturday and Sunday. The tours are self-guided.

Buckin’ the bull

7 p.m. Saturday

You can catch bull riding, barrel races and other popular events at the Anne Arundel County Fair Rodeo.

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Gates at the Crownsville fairgrounds open at 5 p.m. General admission tickets are $20, with discounts for active and retired military with an ID and children under 12. Kids 5 and under get in for free.

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Be a biathlete

6:30-8 p.m. Monday

Capital SUP is launching a weekly Quiet Waters Park run and paddle. Participants run a 2-mile out-and-back course from the boathouse, followed by a post-run paddle on a stand-up paddleboard or kayak on Harness Creek. Happy hour follows at Annapolis Smokehouse just outside the park. $15.

A storyteller returns

7:30 p.m. Tuesday

At 71, singer-songwriter John Hiatt is one of America’s great musical storytellers, providing a blues-and-rock guitar and raspy voice in hits including “Have a Little Faith,” “Thing Called Love,” and “Walk On.” His songs have been covered by Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, B.B. King, Willie Nelson and Bonnie Raitt.

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He’s also a regular at Rams Head on Stage. This year, Hiatt performed in May with Jeff LeBlanc. The show sold out quickly and Rams Head announced in April that he would be back in June for a second show with Clarence Bucaro.

Tickets were still available on Thursday; $105 to $120, plus fees.

Rick Hutzell is the Annapolis columnist for The Baltimore Banner. He writes about what's happening today, how we got here and where we're going next. The former editor of Capital Gazette, he led the newspaper to a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the 2018 mass shooting in its newsroom.

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