21 Best Things to Do in Dallas: March 21-27
Ashley Emerson and Oliver Nathanielsz in The Turn of the Screw at the Dallas Opera.
Paul Watson has an epic story to tell. If you haven’t pre-ordered the Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s novel Ice Ghosts, here’s your chance to take the bait: Watson will be discussing his book about the lost Franklin Expedition of 1845 at 7:30 p.m. on its release date, Tuesday, March 21, at the Dallas Museum of Art. Watson’s book explores the history of two missing ships and the crew of 130 people which had ventured to the Arctic in search of a Northwest passage, and details a frigid search involving divers, scientists and the Inuit natives in the area. The discovery of the wreckage in 2014, with Watson aboard the icebreaker that led the expedition, was a historical triumph — which Watson will detail as part of his appearance in the DMA’s Arts and Letters Live series. Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St., 7:30 p.m., $20-$40, dma.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm
For trivia buffs who self-identify as a bibliophile or who regularly browse the shelves of area book stores or libraries, a pub trivia night hosted by one of Dallas’ coolest independent booksellers provides literary know-it-alls a chance to impress other bookworms with the depth of their literary knowledge. Deep Vellum Books hosts a Literary Trivia Night at Craft and Growler. Folks can order a growler or a flight of craft beer while participants compete in seven rounds of literary trivia, covering topics such as "Literary Scandals," "Lost in Translation" and "Lightning Round." In addition to bragging rights for winning, prizes will be awarded to the winners of each round. Teams can be groups of up to five well-read competitors with a $10 entry fee per person. All proceeds go to support Deep Vellum Publishing, a 501(c)3 literary publisher located in the heart of Deep Ellum. Craft and Growler, 3601 Parry Ave., 7-10 p.m., $10, deepvellum.com. — Daniel Rodrigue
This year marks 35 years since the release of "Rio," Duran Duran's smash Top 10 hit. Though the video is a dated reminder of 1980s excess, the song itself holds up surprisingly well in comparison with many of its peers. It still consistently graces the airwaves of satellite and terrestrial radio and serves as an appropriate track to cut during a karaoke session or late-night party singalong. The band, too, have aged fairly well. Roger Taylor, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor and lead singer Simon Le Bon still resemble their younger selves, remaining true to their roles as heartthrob material, now more so for the baby-boomer set that has been loyally following Duran Duran over the course of their career. Though the hits — including other New Wave-pop staples such as "Hungry Like the Wolf" and "Girls on Film" — will always draw the largest cheers, Duran Duran have a new album of material to tour behind and are embarking on a lengthy tour that will keep them out on the road for much of 2017. They're certainly more than a mere nostalgia act and are intent on remaining a viable force in the pop music landscape. Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 1st Ave., 8 p.m., $55-$295, liveatthemusichall.com. — Jeff Strowe
Have you ever had a photograph that just stuck with you? An image you saw with your eyes and then kept seeing in your mind? Former senior editor and columnist of D Magazine, Jeff Bowden, had such an experience. While in Dubrovnik, Croatia, in 2007, Bowden visited War Photo Limited, a gallery, and saw a photo of a young boy that changed his life. He never stopped thinking of the dramatically mature young boy, and after being gifted the photograph years later, Bowden decided to go on a mission to find out what had happened to the boy. The 2015 documentary A Single Frame is the story of Bowden’s journey to find the boy, as well as that of photojournalist Alexandra Boulat, who took the photo. Movie Nights at DCP (with co-sponsor Texas Photographic Society) presents the Dallas premiere at the Dallas Center for Photography at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, with Bowden on hand for a Q&A following the screening. Dallas Center for Photography, 4756 Algiers St., 7 p.m., $8, 214-630-44909 or dallascenterforphotography.com. — Merritt Martin
Based on Henry James’ eerie novella of the same name, The Turn of the Screw is an off-putting yet clever opera, poignant on account of its drama, surreal on account of its playful vision of death and dying. Haunting is not quite strong enough a word to describe The Turn of the Screw — its implications are large and reaching, its morals universal, its narrative heart-wrenching and severely human. Benjamin Britten’s subtly disorienting, often atonal music is right on cue, setting the atmosphere for a story concerned with ghosts, mortality and the complexity of familial relations. Its left-turn conclusion will leave you shaken. Lyrics are sung in English with English supertitles. Nicole Paiement conducts. Performances take place at the Winspear Opera House at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday, March 22 and 25. Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., 7:30 p.m., $19 and up, dallasopera.org. — Jonathan Patrick
Louie Anderson performs at Granada Theater on Thursday.
Courtesy of Louie Anderson
Does your family do things that annoy you on a daily basis? Do you find your parents’ familiar voices narrating every movement of your waking day? You’re either suffering from some kind of obsessive psychosis or you’re completely normal. Either way, you’re the perfect audience for comedian Louie Anderson. This seasoned comedian has built a career out of turning his unique Minnesota childhood and family life into fodder for his comedy and a television career that included the Saturday morning cartoon series Life With Louie and his role as the matriarch of the Baskets family on FX’s Baskets. Anderson’s been performing stand-up for almost 40 years, and he’s still got plenty of things to say about his folks. Learn all about the unique ways of the Anderson family at Anderson’s show at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 23 at the Granada Theater. Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 8 p.m., $42, granadatheater.com. — Danny Gallagher
One of the best ways to try to describe Dallas to an outsider is to bring up the Turtle Creek Chorale. It’s the pinnacle of bombast and style but backed up with plenty of substance — and the inclusive group of guy singers do things their own way. Their newest performance is no different. In “Topsy Turvy: Songs You Thought You Knew,” the heralded Dallas chorale takes on contemporary pop, rock and folk, running the gamut from Britney Spears to Mumford & Sons. They’ll give it the full Turtle Creek treatment: soaring harmonies, tear-jerking vocals and plenty of surprises. Get ready to cross an item off your Dallas bucket list with this performance at Dallas City Performance Hall at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 23. There’ll be additional shows at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 24, and Saturday, March 25. Dallas City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St., 7:30 p.m., $25-$65, turtlecreekchorale.com. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm
Infamous and well-loved local rapper -topic is leaving town — but not before throwing a barn burner of a farewell party with some of Dallas’ best musicians in tow. “This is my cherry-on-top-of-the-sundae, this is everything I have left for you,” -topic has said of the event, which sees renowned Dallas rapper Blue, The Misfit join forces alongside Booty Fade’s Picnictyme; Kool Quise; Medicine Man’s Traveling Revival; art punk outfit Sealion; funky, sweet-and-sour pop-rockers Trai Bo; and more. This will be one of the very best $13 concerts you’ll ever see. Rumor has it, Erykah Badu might even pop in to say her goodbyes. -Topic, we’ll miss you! Trees, 2709 Elm St., 8 p.m., $13, treesdallas.com. — Jonathan Patrick
If you’re over a certain age, there’s a good chance that every Friday night, a few seconds of rapid snare drum were your cue to grab mom her smokes and clear out. It was Dallas time. The iconic TV series still informs every ridiculous stereotype about our city almost 40 years after it premiered and a little over a quarter century since it ended. It was a prime-time soap that was silly as they came, but we tuned in every week for all the goings-on at Southfork Ranch. Revisit that paean to opulence, big hair and serial drama as The Dallas Morning News’ Robert Wilonsky moderates a discussion with Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy, otherwise known as Sue Ellen and Bobby Ewing, at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 23. During "A Dallas Retrospective: J.R. Ewing Bourbon Presents Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy" at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, expect insights into the legendary show and the careers of its stars. Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., 8 p.m., $29-$49, attpac.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm
Ranked in the top 50 films of all time by the American Film Institute, The Maltese Falcon stands as a crackling, gritty masterwork of the silver screen. Based on Dashiell Hammett’s 1929 detective novel of the same name, the 1941 film adaptation was directed and written for the screen by John Huston. The plot twists and turns around a handful of high-living lowlifes all on the hunt for a rare, exceptionally valuable jewel-encrusted statue of a falcon, and the story is told through a hardboiled private detective by the name of Sam Spade, played flawlessly by Humphrey Bogart. Mary Astor plays the role of double-crossing dame, setting a high bar as the quintessential film noir femme fatale to match wits with Bogie’s archetypal private dick. See a late-night showing of the classic film noir at Inwood Theatre as a part of the theater’s Midnight Madness series. The screening begins at 11:59 p.m. Friday. Inwood Theatre, 5458 W. Lovers Lane, 11:59 p.m., $10.50, landmarktheatres.com.
When tribute bands do it right, it's like magic. A few bands in town know how to strike the right chord among superfans of all types of music, including three that take audiences back to the glory days of grunge — Pearl Gem, Nervana and Stone Temple Posers. I'll let you figure out who is who. Go back to those angsty days of your youth Friday night and check them out at House of Blues. House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 7 p.m., $12-$20, houseofblues.com. — Diamond Victoria
There aren't many things that would inspire us to rent a hotel room in Frisco, but here's one: the three-day Texas Pinball Festival. It returns to the Frisco Conference Center this Friday through Sunday with more than 400 machines spanning the history of pinball. You'll even get a first look at brand new machines such as the much-hyped Big Lebowski. Staying near the conference center gives you the best chance of maximizing your weekend pass and playing all 400. It will also give you more face time with the festival's celebrity guests, including Sam J. Jones, who played Flash Gordon; and Cassandra Peterson, better known as Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. Both had pinball machines designed after their characters and will be on hand for a discussion and Q&A with the machines' designers. Festival hours are 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Frisco Conference Center, 7600 John Q Hammons Drive, $10-$65, texaspinball.com. — Caroline North
The 21st annual Toyota Texas Music Revolution in Plano is slated to be the answer to all of our red dirt and Americana dreams. Presented by KHYI 95.3 the Range, this two-day event boasts a lineup that includes Kacey Musgraves, Paul Cauthen, Josh Ritter and Kiefer Sutherland as well as a solid selection of new, up-and-coming artists. Fort Worth's Austin Allsup, from NBC's The Voice, will perform, plus local favorites the O's and the Vandoliers. The shindig will carry on rain or shine inside the Oak Point Amphitheatre. Oak Point Amphitheatre, 2801 E. Spring Creek Parkway, Plano, $15-$37.50. — Molly Mollotova
The Texas Theatre presents an evening celebrating the life and music of legendary jazz saxophonist, bandleader and arranger Vince Giordano. The night kicks off with the Texas debut of There’s a Future in the Past, a critically acclaimed documentary that centers on the work and personality of Giordano, and depicts both the beauty and struggle of practicing the musical stylings of early 20th century jazz in the midst of the 21st century. But the real treat takes place shortly after, when Giordano himself graces the Texas Theatre stage alongside local revivalist act the Singapore Slingers — an orchestra that shares Giordano’s affinity for American music of the ’20s and ’30s. A Q&A follows the screening. Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., 8 p.m., $15, thetexastheatre.com. — Jonathan Patrick
MTV may have long exited our daily rotation, but the cultural juggernaut continues to hold sway over so many aspects of our collective taste and consumption that it will always be a thing. The MTV Re:Define series at the Dallas Contemporary shows that MTV still has its finger on the pulse with a contemporary art show that manages to bring together specially commissioned works, a tribute to the dearly departed George Michael, a performance from the legendary Chaka Khan and a heck of a cause: the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, which promotes HIV awareness and prevention. Neville Wakefield curates a diverse exhibition of visual art on view at 7 p.m. Friday, March 24, followed by an after-party at 10 p.m. Tickets for the main event are $1,500; for the rest of us, the after-party tickets run $125. Dallas Contemporary, 161 Glass St., $125-$1,500, eventbrite.com. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm
Pub crawls are basically walkathons that allow drinking. You start in one bar. You drink a bunch of drinks. You walk to another bar. You drink more. You walk to another bar. Repeat the process until you run out of bars or kiss the pavement. Pub crawls could use more pizzazz. The folks at the local animated comedy powerhouse known as Cyanide & Happiness have taken the concept of a simple pub crawl to an insane new level with their annual Banana Bar Crawl, now in its seventh year. It’s quite simple. To participate, you must “be a banana,” according to the guidelines on their Facebook event page. That can mean wearing a banana costume, dressing in the same color as a banana or entering a metaphysical state where your mind’s eye makes you believe that human life has been replaced by bananas. You also have to be at least 21 years old. Show up at Braindead Brewing at 2625 Main St. in Deep Ellum at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 25 and start following the banana collective as they go from bar to bar. This event is free and open to the public. Braindead Brewing, 2625 Main St., 8:30 p.m., free, see Facebook. — Danny Gallagher
The United Kingdom’s DJ extraordinaire, Mark Night, will be hitting one of Dallas’ most overlooked clubs and boy will the Brits be jealous, or at least glad they moved to the States. For more than 10 years, Knight has been a champion to the scene, as one of the leaders of the UK’s largest independent music labels, Toolroom. This Grammy-nominated DJ/producer is one of Europe’s most respected beat masters and having him live in person here in Dallas is more than a treat. He found mainstream recognition with tracks like “Man With the Red Face” and “Second Story,” the latter of which was dubbed an “essential new tune” by BBC’s Pete Tong. Mark Knight is a pillar of the modern hardcore EDM elite. It'll Do, 4322 Elm St, 10 p.m., $15-$25. — Nicholas Bostick
The fight against breast cancer has inspired nothing if not hope: The disease has gone from virtual death sentence in the early to mid-1900s to a more manageable diagnosis today. That’s largely thanks to advances in the early identification and treatment of the disease, much of which has been made possible by the work of organizations like the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The NBCF does many things, including providing free breast cancer screenings across the country and offering support services to women, and their 2017 Art of Hope Gala will directly benefit these programs. Former first lady Laura Bush is the featured speaker at the gala, held Saturday at the Dallas Museum of Art. Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St., 7 p.m., $250, nbcfgala.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm
The annual Jazz Age Sunday Social at Dallas Heritage Village will take you back to the '20s.
It’s 2017 and although we’re comfortably over-equipped with pocket-sized electronics that can play the Beatles’ entire discography at the push of a button, navigate us across the country or speak to us in complete sentences, it’s safe to say some of us daydream of a simpler time. The 1920s were perhaps one of the most iconic decades of the 20th century with the invention of radio and television transmission, the instant film camera and the spread of jazz music throughout the country. Hell, even the gangsters were cool. And from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 26, old souls everywhere can experience a taste of the ’20s at the Jazz Age Sunday Social at the Dallas Heritage Village. The celebration of the age of jazz includes music by the Singapore Slingers and Dave Washburn’s Three Quarters Fast Jazz Band, as well as games, a photo booth, vintage vendors, ice cream, antique cars, a costume contest and more. Tickets are $10 at dallasheritagevillage.org. Dallas Heritage Village, 1515 S. Harwood St., noon-5 p.m., $10, dallasheritagevillage.org. — Diamond Victoria
Flowers are much more than something you send your mom on her birthday or give your significant other on a romantic holiday. They are a medium for floral designers to create masterful works of art. These fragrant and colorful blooms are what give us beautiful landscapes as well as exciting centerpieces for the dinner table. And some perennial enthusiasts could learn a thing or two about floral design, especially when it’s from a renowned European floral designer. René van Rems will be the featured speaker at Art in Bloom: Seasons of Love, hosted by the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St. The annual floral symposium and luncheon, which take place Monday, March 27, celebrate all things posy and display local floral designers as well as European masterpieces. The Monday event is sold out, but van Rems will be conducting a masterclass from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 26. Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St., 2-4 p.m., $250, dma.org. — Diamond Victoria
Fantastical, hilarious and artful, the Shakespeare in the Bar series reimagines the legendary playwright’s works as fourth-wall-breaking, bar-ready celebrations. Next up: The Merry Wives of Windsor, William Shakespeare’s comedy about greed, deception and the pursuit of married women. Drinks, good cheer and a warm sense of community make these events an exciting new way to engage with Shakespeare’s art — on lighter, looser and drunker terms. Tickets are just $7 plus fees, with proceeds going toward charity and to cover production costs. The first performance takes place at 7 p.m. Monday, March 27, at The Ginger Man in Uptown; a second show happens at 7 p.m. Monday, April 3, at Wild Detectives in Oak Cliff. 2718 Boll St., 7 p.m., $7, see Facebook. — Merritt Martin
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