If you're not listening to the hit podcast Serial, chances are you know someone who is and won't shut up about it. If you're a friend of mine, I'm probably the fanatic in your life who monologues about what exactly happened in Woodlawn, Maryland -- the sleepy suburb of Baltimore. It's likely you've asked me to please stop telling you whether or not I think Adnan killed his high school girlfriend 15 years ago. Or if -- as it's occasionally implied in the show -- his friend Jay set him up. Whether speculating on the guilt of these people is fair (one was acquitted and the other sent to prison for life) is a question I've recently begun to wrestle with, but that doesn't squelch my addiction. I need to know where the series will go. And I need to find more people as obsessed with Serial as I am. Which is why I'll be on the rooftop of Sundown at the Granada (3520 Greenville Ave.) for the free Serial Listening Party at 7 p.m. Thursday. They'll switch on the heaters, and serve up some warm drinks. More information at granadatheater.com.
Thursday, December 4 Holiday Presence Gift your loved ones art this year. Kettle Art Gallery opens its 10th annual holiday show, where all the art is cash (or credit) and carry. Stop by the opening reception from 7-10 p.m. Thursday to peruse and soak up a little holiday cheer.
A Far Thing Come Closer Tonight at CentralTrak, they're showing videos and hosting a panel discussion about post-Christian America . Before you yawn this off, consider that the artists showing videos are some of Dallas' best: Richard Bailey, Paul Bryan, Colette Copeland and Michael A. Morris exploring heady topics about the disconnect between the discarding of religion in our culture, but retaining the artifacts of belief. You'll likely walk away with a lot to consider. 7 p.m. Thursday.
Funniest Comic in Texas Our money's on little Saffy Herndon for the Funniest Comic in Texas showdown that happens tonight at the Addison Improv. Tickets are $10 to see her kick some of the more experienced stand up comedians butts. Show starts at 8 p.m. Oh, and she's the only one allowed in the theater under 21. She's 9.
The Polar Express It took me a few years to get around to seeing this holiday film. Which other than the frustratingly catchy Hot Chocolate song, and the creepy animation of the Tom Hanks character is a special little holiday treat. Grab your kiddos and a tumbler of hot chocolate and head to Fair Park for a free screening at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Roller Derby World Cup All weekend you can watch women on wheels battle it out. This ain't no figure skating.
Friday, December 5
Crappity Elves The holidays engulfed us quickly. Everything is red and green, and Santa is suddenly everywhere. Doesn't it feel like it was just October? If you're looking for something a bit more offbeat but still festive, RO2 Art presents artist Brian Keith Jones and his Crappity Elves, a playful series of Santa's helpers at their worst. Oh, this solo show won't be in the gallery space (where you can currently see the group show, On Paper). Nope, you'll have to excuse yourself to the little girl's room to see this series of works. The opening reception is from 8-11 p.m. Friday.
The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical Whatever you do, don't take your 4th graders to The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical. It's a bit too raunchy for them, but if you're looking for a more adult holiday show on the list, give this one a whirl. Based on the The Great American Trailer Park Musical, the kooky residents of Armadillo Acres are described as being filled with "warmth and beer." If you don't have enough white trash in your family, take a gander at these turkey eaters. Although they're probably a bit more entertaining than the ones you call your own. Show runs December 4 - January 5. Tickets at WaterTowerTheatre.org.
Blue Yule This annual holiday fundraiser for the McKinney Avenue Contemporary is an artistic way to trim your tree. All of the space's member artists make ornaments for your buying pleasure, while the infamous blue punch flows through the room. Tickets are $25.
Denton's Holiday Tree Lighting If you're a Denton person or want an excuse to head north, the tree lighting will take place outside the courthouse on the square around dusk Friday. Plus, there's something called Wassail fest.
Festivus Follies If George Costanza knew there was a burlesque in Dallas showed named after his family's fake holiday, he might like it a little bit more. Viva Dallas Burlesque's holiday show hits the Lakewood Theater at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets start at $10.
The Santaland Diaries It's deja vu all over again in WaterTower Theatre's black box. The charming actor Garrett Storms who delighted audiences as the angry elf in David Sedaris' one-man-show based on his short story, The Santaland Diaries, returns to the stage in the same peppermint stockings. This gut-bustingly funny story of a struggling actor who begrudingly takes a job working as a Christmas elf at a Macy's department store encapsulates the frustrations of the holidays with a sprinkle of well-meaning bitterness. See the show at 8 p.m. Friday or through December 28. Tickets start at $15 and are available at WaterTowerTheatre.org.
Legends Never Die If those Rhythmic Souls have anything to say about it, tap dance is on the rise in Dallas. They're back at the Kessler Theatre this weekend for some toe tapping fun. 7 p.m. Friday. Tickets start at $20.
Yes, Virginia Woolf There is a Santa Claus A mash-up Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and dear old St. Nick. Yep, you guessed it: Fun House is back with another black comedy staring the most talented teenagers in town. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday., with 2:30 shows on Saturdays and Sunday through December 13. Tickets are $8; visit funhousetheatreandfilm.com.
Saturday, December 6
Celebrate the Holidays at Klyde Warren Park Klyde Warren Park, that lovely little downtown green space lights up this weekend in Christmas colors (Full disclosure, I once ran the Facebook page for K-Dubbs). The highly photographable tree will be lit by Santa himself at the culmination of the daytime, family evet, Celebrate the Holidays at Klyde Warren Park. Snap a shot with Mr. Claus, feed a live reindeer a carrot stick, or participate in one of the other crafts or activities happening throughout the park from 1- 6 p.m. Free for the whole family. The Klyde Warren Park (2012 Woodall Rodgers Fwy) tree will be lit at 5:45 p.m. After the celebration at K-Dubbs, head over to the performing arts center for the Reliant Lights Your Holidays event (2403 Flora St.). More information at klydewarrenpark.org.
Gingerbread House Contest at Reliant Lights Your Holidays event Shameless plug: the DO's new copy editor and longtime Mixmaster writer, Caroline North and myself will be competing in a Gingerbread House making competition for charity at the AT&T Performing Arts Center this weekend. Come vote for us, so that we can donate the winnings to Genesis Women's Shelter, which is the charity we've picked to compete for. Voting will take place from 3:30-6 p.m. Saturday at the Information Center in the Arts District.
Holiday Parade As a child nothing was more exciting on Thanksgiving morning than to rush to the television and watch the floats and balloons march through the streets of New York City. Plus, who didn't love the Broadway dance breaks? My mom would make hot chocolate and breakfast, and I'd rummage through the newspaper advertisements mapping out my Christmas list. Now that I'm an adult, I'm not sure I understand the appeal of holiday parades. That being said, maybe I'll give the one in downtown Dallas a whirl this year. At 10 a.m. Saturday, the streets will be lined with holiday enthusiasts as the Children's Health Holiday Parade winds through town. Consider my RSVP a wavering maybe. It's likely I'll hit snooze too many times to be there in time. Bleacher seating costs $27.75, which is absurd. Just head to Commerce Street early and find a spot on the street. More information at dallaschildrensparade.com.
Santa Rampage This one's simple. Dress up like Santa. Get drunk. Be at Mockingbird Station at 4 p.m.
El Mercado Lest we forget, galleries exist to sell art. Is the art often well-curated and the artists hand selected? Yes, of course. But they are shops, none the less. And in the spirit of the shopping season, and inspired by concept spaces like Collette in Paris and Dover Street Market which has locations in London and New York, Erin Cluley Gallery (414 Fabrication St.) presents El Mercado. It will combine both the market and the art exhibition experience with art, design, music and artistic food. The nine participating atists include Dallas-based Zeke Williams and Rob Wilson. Stop by the opening from 1-8 p.m. Saturday, or through December 27. More information at erincluley.com.
co|action In most walks of life having a mentor makes things easier. They're there with advice when you ask for it, criticism when you're ready for it, and a kick in the pants when you need it most. The relationship between mentor/mentee is one of support and inspiration, especially in the art world. It's this special bond that will be on display in 500 X (500 Exposition Ave.) in the newest exhitbiion, co| action. In it, you will see the work of five pairs of mentor/mentees, including Darryl Lauster/Jeff Gibbons, and Margaret Meehan/Devon Nowlin. Concurrently in the upstairs spaces will be the exhibitions: Soft Space by Michelle Thomas and a collabroation between Kate Colin and Lauren Kirchner. The opening reception will be from 7-10 p.m. Saturday. More information at 500x.com.
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Zoot Suit In 1942, 17 Mexican -American teenagers were put on trial for the murder of Jose Gallardo Diaz. They were held in prison, without bail for months and nine of them were convicted of second-degree murder. Two years later, the convictions were reversed on appeal, but not before they served to incite the Zoot Suit Riots of 1943. It was that trial, and those riots that served as the inspiration for Zoot Suit, Luis Valdez's 1979 play. It's a fictionalized account of the story, with incidental music, and its production at Cara Mia Theatre marks the company's first musical. Directed by Rodney Garza and Ariana Cook, the play will be onstage at the Latino Cultural Center (2600 Live Oak) December 6 - 21. Tickets are $12 + up. More information at caramiatheatre.org.
Pops Christmas at the Meyerson Christmas songs with the Dallas Symphony. 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Kai Peter Martin, Oblivion Moves Cohn Drennan Contemporary presents a solo exhibition of Kai Peter Martin, whose work combines drawing and painting in a compelling study of people and their surroundings. His pieces contain narratives and landscapes in dreamlike display. See the work from 6-9 p.m. Saturday or through January 10.
Sunday, December 7 Food for the Soul If you think art gallery exhibitions are snooty affairs, challenge your preconceptions this weekend. The Stewpot Art Program presents its annual exhibition, Food for the Soul, which features the work of homeless Dallas artists. In its opening reception from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, you can see the work and visit with the artists. And what is perhaps the best part of this exhibition is that 90% of the proceeds goes to the artists (the other 10% goes to the Stewpot Art Program). See the work at the Downtown Dallas Public Library's Bradshaw Gallery (1515 Young St. 4th Floor). More information at thestewpot.org.