Al Pitrelli of Trans Siberian Orchestra, playing American Airlines Center Friday
Al Pitrelli of Trans Siberian Orchestra, playing American Airlines Center Friday

Best Things to Do in Dallas This Weekend

Fri 12/22
If you want a traditional Christmas music experience, you can sing some carols with your family, Mom on piano and Dad on eggnog-spiking duty. Or go to church and try to stay awake during verse four of “Joy to the World.” But if orchestral prog-rock majesty with about a thousand musicians onstage and every note punctuated with pyrotechnics, lasers and synchronized lights is more your speed, you already know the score. Dun dunna dun, dun dunna dun, DUN dunna dun, DUN DUNNA DUN. Now we’re talking. Trans-Siberian Orchestra, undeterred by founder Paul O’Neill’s April death, brings The Ghosts of Christmas Eve: The Best of TSO and More to the American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., for shows at t 3:30 and the other at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $58.50 to $78.50. Only solo seats were available last we checked, but that’s probably for the best because you’ll want to focus all your attention on the face-melting spectacle that awaits you. Visit American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 3:30 and 8 p.m., $58.50-$78.50, — Jesse Hughey

Lyfe Jennings’ signature gritty falsetto earned him a place in the R&B world, but his legal troubles have stymied his career. The multi-instrumentalist had hit singles in “Must Be Nice,” and “S.E.X.,” released top 10 albums through major record labels Columbia and Warner Brothers, and graced the pages of high-profile magazines, but in 2010 he announced his retirement because he was preparing to serve a three-year prison sentence for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and attempting to elude an officer. Jennings returned to the music world with his 2013 album, Lucid, and has since been trying to re-establish himself in R&B. As always, Jennings' vocals, acoustic guitar and socially conscious lyrics carry his music. R&B singer PJ Morton, who plays keyboard in Maroon 5, opens the show. House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 7:30 p.m., $25-$49.50, — Mikel Galicia

The Yuletide season brings extended family and in-laws together and stokes the fires of both familial love and familial conflict. For theatergoers tired of the same old holiday classics, Nouveau 47 Theatre presents A Very Nouveau Holiday, a collection of new holiday plays exploring themes of joy and sadness. This is the fifth year Nouveau 47 has staged an assortment of new, holiday-inspired short plays, and this year’s eight pieces range from quirky and comical to thoughtful and pensive. While some shorts will leave you thinking, Ben Schroth’s “Holiday PSA” is sure to evoke laughs and the clutching of pearls as the Virgin Mary, Abe Lincoln and Santa Claus shed light on the origins of the holidays. See A Very Nouveau Holiday at The Margo Jones Theatre, 1121 First Ave. Tickets for Friday’s 8:15 p.m. performance cost $18, and tickets for Saturday’s 2 p.m. matinee are $12. The event is BYOB. For tickets or more information, visit Margo Jones Theatre, 121 First Ave., 8:15, $18, — Daniel Rodrigue

Every year, tuba players the world over come together in various cities to celebrate the holidays through traditional Christmas music. This year, the Dallas chapter of the event known as TubaChristmas marks its 40th anniversary at noon Friday at Thanks-Giving Square, 1627 Pacific Ave. More than 200 tubas will be in concert, set against a backdrop of food trucks, hot chocolate and families wrapped in cozy blankets. The event is free, and listeners are encouraged to arrive early and bring lawn chairs and blankets. Trucks will be serving food from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Find more information at Thanks-Giving Square, 1627 Pacific Ave., 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., free,  — Jonathan Patrick

Back for the third year, Nick Whitener, aka Raw Elementz, presents a night of local talent on one stage. Power4TheLocals3 will feature some of the area's best rappers and embrace the season with its Christmas/Star Wars theme. A Raw Elementz pop-up shop will also be in tow, along with food trucks and the chance to snap a few photos with Santa. The show will be streamed live via Stream Music TV on Facebook, but we recommend a firsthand experience. Trees, 2709 Elm St., 7 p.m., $16, — Diamond Victoria

Forget eggnog, screw the punch and pour your wassail down the drain. Beer is the best drink for getting in the Christmas spirit because Christmas is the most wonderful time for a beer. It’s when breweries share the big, thick, rich winter seasonals. It’s also when Community Beer Co. throws its annual holiday party, Holiday Cheer and Community Beer, offering small-batch beers, experimental brews and barrel-aged goodies. Some of the highlights include Legion Russian Imperial Stout, 2017 Rum Barrel-Aged Legion, 2016 Macallan Barrel-Aged Legion, 2015 Inspiration Belgian Dark Strong Ale and Community’s seasonal winter ale, Snickerdoodle. PINT Services will offer custom Community ugly-sweater tees to partygoers and the Tacos, Bites & Beats food truck will be slinging grub. The party, free to the public, is from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday at the taproom, 1530 Inspiration Drive, Suite 200. Visit for more information. Community Beer Co., 1530 Inspiration Drive, Suite 200, 5-10 p.m., free, — Jesse Hughey

Chuckie is one of the leading lights of the "dirty house" DJ scene. His ambitious work typically features high-pitched lead synths drifting and looping over a chorus of Latin-infused beats. Piercing lights sync up with the music, and fun stage props enhance the party vibe. In the studio, Chuckie has remixed for folks such as David Guetta and produced for 50 Cent and Kesha. If you need a break from the holiday family cheer, Stereo Live is the place to be Friday night. Stereo Live, 2711 Storey Lane, 10 p.m., $10, — Jeff Strowe

A Matzoh Ball comes to Dallas on Christmas Eve. But not this kind.
A Matzoh Ball comes to Dallas on Christmas Eve. But not this kind.

Sat 12/23
Pub trivia is fun, but it’s not the most athletic activity. Exercise your brain and your body with a truly interactive puzzle that requires brainpower and leg power with MetroDemic, a walking tour game developed by KurioCity Games. Teams must save the city from an epidemic by finding locations using their mobile devices and answering challenging questions to advance to the next stage. The tour starts and ends in Klyde Warren Park, 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, and takes teams on a 90-minute walking tour to places such as the Nasher Sculpture Center, Belo Mansion and Crow Collection of Asian Art. The game costs $35 for a team of up to four people and can be played at any time. Mobile devices are required to participate in the tour. Klyde Warren Park, 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, $35,  — Danny Gallagher

The last few precious days before Christmas are so hectic yet so satisfying. You’ve made it through the school programs, most of the shopping is done, and you’re about to enter a days-long stretch of festive drinks, piled-high plates and warm holiday hugs. It’s time to kick your Christmas cheer into high gear at the Vocal Majority Chorus’ North Side Story in the Eisemann Center’s Hill Performance Hall, 2351 Performance Drive in Richardson. The talented local men’s chorus sings and dances its way through a yuletide-themed interpretation of the Broadway classic West Side Story, adjusting the compass to the north for an epic sing-off that pits Santa’s elves against upstart penguins from more southerly climes. A second act focuses on pure Christmas joy as the choir launches into classic carols and beloved holiday standards. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday. Tickets are $16 to $54 at Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive, 2 p.m., $16-$54, — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Los Texmaniacs are the long-running project of San Antonio's Max Baca. Since 1997, they've mixed conjunto Tejano with a variety of styles, including rock and jazz. They’re promoting a 2017 release, Carta Jugada, with Flaco Jimenez. The Kessler’s acoustics will suit the acoustic guitars and accordion, which feature prominently in their oeuvre. The Kessler, 1230 W. Davis St., 8 p.m., $32-$48, — Eric Grubbs

Sometimes you need a good stiff drink or 12 to help you survive the holidays. Noble Rey Brewing Co., 2636 Farrington St., is hosting a special Holiday Markets preview of local vendors from noon to 4 p.m. every Saturday in December. The vendors will offer decadent treats, including desserts from Perfect Bite Culinary Services, jewelry from Gammy’s Glimmer and Shimmer, and makeup and skin care products from SeneGence International. The event is free. Visit for more information. Noble Rey Brewing Co., 2636 Farrington St., noon-4 p.m., free, see Facebook. — Danny Gallagher

Sun 12/24
B. J. Cleveland, a popular DFW performer in roles ranging from Liza Minnelli to Scrooge, is starring in An Act of God at Stage West, 831 W. Vickery Blvd. in Fort Worth. Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 31. When a cellphone rang during a recent performance, Cleveland, staying true to his God character, snapped at the audience member, “You’re going to hell!” Converse with the Almighty after the show Sunday, but leave the phone on silent. After the Dec. 31 show, get your questions ready for director Harry Parker. Tickets are $17 to $50. Call 817-784-9378 or visit Stage West, 831 W. Vickery Blvd., 3 p.m., $17-$50, —  Reba Liner

It’s Christmas Eve. Most Dallasites are sitting around the tree and singing carols with loved ones wearing matching footie pajamas. That’s what you assume, anyway, because you’re on the couch eating Chinese food and listening to Adam Sandler’s “The Hanukkah Song” on repeat. You sure do feel like the only kid in town without a Christmas tree, but you’re not. The Jewish Community Center of Dallas is hosting its 38th annual Matzoh Ball, offering a live DJ, photo booth and cash bar, from 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Theory Uptown, 2912 McKinney Ave. Tickets are $25 in advance at or $30 at the door. Theory Uptown, 2912 McKinney Ave., 9:30 p.m.-2 a.m., $25-$30, — Emily Goldstein


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