If you could live your life like Jay Gatsby, wouldn't you? The suits, the women, the music, the cars, the parties. Of course, F. Scott Fitzgerald's greatest character didn't live happily ever after, but that was then. This is now. There's no reason you can't dress up, pack a picnic, dance the Charleston and celebrate the end of the war. At the Dallas Heritage Village (1515 S. Harwood St.), the Jazz Age Sunday Social offers an afternoon of picnics, swing dance, ice cream and big band music at a Roaring '20s lawn party, complete with music from The Singapore Slingers. The party lasts from noon to 4 p.m. and tickets are $10. Attendees are encouraged to pack picnics and tuck flasks in their garters. Prohibition, baby.
Thursday, March 27 Forbidden Broadway This is the one show that brings together Broadway lovers and Broadway haters. The long-running roast of The Great White Way, talented performers and comedians (often Broadway starts themselves) take to task everyone from Bernadette Peters to little orphan Annie with parodies of the song, the dance and the schmaltz. The show changes over the years, but the schtick stays the same. It swings through the Bass Hall at 7 p.m. Thursday for a one-night-only performance. Tickets start at $33.
Brahms & Chopin Most of us were probably still trying to figure out what our majors were going to be and how to hold our liquor when we were 19. Jan Lisiecki, who turned 19 just this week, is already a professional concert pianist with a successful recording and touring career. You can hear this adorable, blond-haired wunderkind perform Chopin's gloriously romantic "Piano Concerto No. 2" with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St. Chopin himself was only 20 years old when he composed this piece, and it is filled with youthful energy, passion and demanding virtuosic feats. Guest conductor Jakub Hrusa leads the orchestra in a program that also includes the music of Brahms, Dvorák and Janàcek. Single tickets range from $38-$264 and are available at dallassymphony.com or by calling the box office at 214-692-0203. By Katie Womack
Friday, March 28
The Barber of Seville If you've ever heard someone imitate a vibrato, singing, "Figaro, Figarooo, Figarooooo," they were singing The Barber of Seville.The Dallas Opera brings back Rossini's classic opera this weekend to run in repertory with Die tote Stadt. You should go, because you need more culture in your life. Tickets range $29 to $219.
Chelsea Handler She's funny, she's crass and notably, she's a she. In a world dominated by men, Handler earned a coveted late night spot on E! with her wit and willingness to sink her pearly whites into Hollywood's celebrity culture. We caught up with her last month in anticipation of the show. Her latest tour stops at the Verizon Theatre at 8 p.m. Friday to support her new book Uganda be Kidding Me, a travel journal of sorts that follows Handler's vodka-soaked trips to Africa, the Bahamas and more. Tickets start at $29.50.
Texas Pinball Festival I remember the night I discovered the pinball machines at Reno's. I'm not exactly the bar's average customer, but I became a loyal one thanks to those three machines. Seriously, why aren't there more pinball machines in Dallas? This weekend, the Texas Pinball Festival takes over the Embassy Suites in Frisco with more than 350 machines. If you've got two thumbs and want to break a world record, show up at 5 p.m. Friday when fest organizers hope to shatter the world record for most people playing pinball simultaneously. More info at texaspinball.com.
Balanchine & Beyond Ballet as we know it today we owe to George Balanchine. The classic pose of one armed raised as if blocking the dancer's eyes from the sun? His. Texas Ballet Theater pays tribute to the grandfather of American ballet in a three part performance, featuring Tchaikovsky's gorgeous Serenade for Strings in C as the score for what George Balanchine called "a dance in the moonlight." It will be followed by a piece from TBT's Ben Stevenson and a world premiere of a piece by company member Carl Coomer. Performances take place 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the City Performance Hall. Tickets start at $20.
Brony Fest "Um, it's for my niece," was the excuse I was given when I caught a dude looking at My Little Pony dolls in Target. I smiled and shrugged. That was before I learned about the phenomenon known as "Bronies." I hesitate to call the attendees of the Animation Celebration festival in Lewisville this weekend adults, because let's be honest. Would an adult really use a little purple brush to comb the hot pink mane of a doll pony? No. Absolutely they would not. But we're sending photographers and a journalist this weekend, because we want to document the strange human-like creatures known as Bronies. It happens Friday - Sunday at the Hilton Garden Inn and Lewisville Convention Center, 785 Highway 121 Bypass, Lewisville.
Saturday, March 29
Great Trinity Forest Event If a tree falls in the forest and no one's there to hear it, maybe it's because no one knows the forest exists. It might come as a surprise to Dallas residents that the Great Trinity Forest is in their backyard. Well, maybe not your backyard. Yep, those are just weeds. Just eight miles south of downtown, the Trinity River Audubon Center, 6500 Great Trinity Forest Blvd., is the city's hidden treasure, located in a 7,000-acre forest. Saturday, the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, the Trinity Trust and the Audubon Center host an outdoor event, The Mystery and Magic of the Great Trinity Forest, with early morning family yoga, tours of the forest, tree planting and a picnic lunch. Yoga starts at 9 a.m. and lunch is served at noon. Tickets for children are $15, $20 for members and $30 for non-members. Visit dallasinstitute.org for more info. Graffiti Tour For some artists, the city streets are a canvas. Buildings with blank brick walls beg for the bright colors of a brand new mural. Graffiti artists have been painting Deep Ellum for decades, bringing to life storefronts and back alleys. Jerod DTOX Davies is one such painter, or muralist, as he likes to be called. And he wants to take you on a walking tour of his gallery. He guides you through the streets of Deep Ellum, pointing out the important murals and dishing on the other "crews." Plus, at the end of the tour, he teaches you how to make a personal tag. The tour starts at 1 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $40 through sidetour.com.
Opera Shots Drink along with the Fort Worth Opera's popular series Opera Shots. This Saturday at 7 p.m. beautiful arias become the backdrop for an evening on the patio at The Foundry in Oak Cliff, 2303 Pittman St. Young stars bring beloved and unfamiliar songs for a glorious evening under the stars. Order up a Velvet Hammer and maybe some food from Chicken Scratch and enjoy yourself. The music is free, the beer's $6.
FWADA Spring Gallery Night Here at Mixmaster, we tend to focus on the arts scene in Dallas, but the arts are thriving over in Fort Worth as well. There are 36 participating art venues in the Fort Worth Art Dealears Association Spring Gallery Night on Saturday, which takes place throughout the city from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. For the full program, which includes specific times for each location, visit fwada.com.
Deep Ellum Windows One of the most intriguing ventures in the Dallas arts world is Deep Ellum Windows, a project by Apophenia Underground. They reclaim vacant space throughout Deep Ellum (former night clubs, restaurants, whatever they can find) and invite artists to mount installations. This weekend five artists take over five spaces for one large art opening. You can see Jesse Morgan Barnett's exhibition Turbomeca at 2604 Main St., then wander down to Kayla Escobedo's Kayla: Now and Then, Now and Again and so on, until you've seen them all. More details.
Dallas Design District Market The Dallas Design District Market happens a few times a year and are always worth a visit. They bring in local bands, a few cool vendors, and did I mention this one takes place in the Community Beer Co. parking lot? Grab a beer, peruse some goods and enjoy what's promising to be a beautiful day in Dallas. It takes place at 1530 Inspiration Drive, from 12-6pm Saturday.
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Two Bronze Doors Exhibition Reception In a short period of time, we've become fans of Two Bronze Doors. This weekend there's a reception for the work of Kyle Confehr, an artist who works with spray paint and acrylic marker to create wild and somewhat whimsical pieces. Swing by the space just off of Lower Greenville, 5732 Richmond Ave. at 7 p.m. Saturday for the show.
Sunday, March 30
Nur at Dallas Museum of Art First on view in Seville, Spain, the only U.S. stop of Nur: Light in Art and Science from the Islamic World. will be at the Dallas Museum of Art beginning Sunday. As Peter Simek pointed out on FrontRow, a display of Islamic art at the DMA is a long time coming. The collection of more than 150 rarely seen objects chronicles the understanding and use of light in Islamic art and science that contributed to enlightenment. It will be on view through June 29. Special exhibition tickets are $8.