Cirque du Soleil's Varekai opens in Frisco Wednesday.EXPAND
Cirque du Soleil's Varekai opens in Frisco Wednesday.
courtesy Endicott & Company

21 Things to Do in Dallas This Week

Thu 12/14
It’s the night before Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and the anticipation is brutal. Who is the titular Jedi? What words of wisdom will Luke impart? What misdeeds is the villainous dark side crew up to? You’ll get those answers and more in just a few hours. In the meantime, keep yourself merrily occupied at Second Thursdays with a Twist: In a Galaxy Far, Far Away from 5-9 p.m. Thursday at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St. View the museum’s collection and engage in activities with a Star Wars twist — like painting C3PO, Yoda or R2-D2 on Christmas ornaments, or using the ancient art of origami to make paper At-Ats. Use the force to complete a scavenger hunt or join a tour focused on artists who were total rebels. Brush up on all the going-ons in everyone’s favorite galactic empire with a screening of The Force Awakens at 6:30 p.m. in the Horchow Auditorium or enjoy a parody of the blockbuster film franchise from Gepetto’s Marionette Theater at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5; visit for more information. Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St., 5-9 p.m., $5, — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

It’d be easy to write off Midwestern singer-songwriter Pokey LaFarge as an archetypal hipster, a one-man Mumford & Sons, complete with banjo, fedora and bow tie. But nothing could be further from the truth. LaFarge combines elements of modern Americana music with ragtime, early jazz, folk, blues, Vaudeville and rockabilly. His latest release, Manic Revelations, is true to its title, populated with tracks such as “Silent Movie” and “Riot in the Streets,” which offer critiques on modern living. LaFarge was a busking drifter as a teen; his whole life seems to have been pulled from the past. He makes American music for its own sake without pandering to anyone. The Kessler, 1230 W. Davis St., 7 p.m., $22, — Nicholas Bostick

All painting involves the application of pigments to a foundation, but with encaustic painting, it’s not about acrylics, watercolors or oil paints; it’s about dripping tinted hot wax onto the surface for an untamable result. Haley-Henman Gallery at Open Studio 516, 516 Fabrication St. in Trinity Groves, presents Caryl Gordon’s Free Speech through Dec. 30. Gordon presents her products of unpredictability in a way she says is bold and honest and allows her to “organize the disorganized.” A reception with Gordon takes place from 7-9 p.m. Thursday, and the artist will offer a conversation at 3 p.m. Saturday. Attendees will have the opportunity to schedule visits to Gordon’s Plano studio. Admission is free. Regular viewing hours are by appointment Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Call 214-532-3225 or visit Haley-Henman Gallery, 516 Fabrication St., 7-9 p.m. Thursday and 3 p.m. Sunday, free, — Merritt Martin

Nonbinaries, ladies and gentlemen, I won’t sugarcoat the situation. The Christians are winning the war on Christmas. The president has spat the phrase “Merry Christmas” with such vile frequency and such unsubtle weaponized malice against us that our valiant anti-Nativity crusade has suffered some terrible defeats. We are going to have to fight dirty and use subterfuge to secretly sabotage the holiday from within by outwardly adopting the Christians’ crass commercialism. Rather than going along with their death cult’s traditional telling of its fairy tale origin story and its joyless gift shopping, we’ll celebrate in ways that will shock and offend them while luring a few in their ranks to join the resistance. Some of our LGBTQIA allies have drawn up the perfect battle plan, — A Drag Queen Christmas: The Naughty Tour, hosted by Trinity Taylor, a secret agent who has infiltrated the pro-Christmas side. The show starts at 8 p.m. Thursday at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St. Remaining tickets range from $37.50 to $52.50, or pay $150 for a VIP meet-and-greet package. Visit for more detailed battle plans, and never forget our mission: to make “Merry Christmas” as socially unacceptable to say as any other hate speech. Happy holidays! House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 8 p.m., $37.50-$150, see Facebook. — Jesse Hughey

Gary Numan is an electronic music pioneer and survivor. Although he’s best known for his early career singles “Cars,” “Down in the Park” and “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” he’s carved out a long trail of albums and tours ever since. Mixing synthesizers with dance beats and minor keys, he’s inspi red plenty of artists, from Foo Fighters to Fear Factory to Marilyn Manson. He’s touring off his latest, a concept LP called Savage (Songs from a Broken World). Trees’ sound system should be perfect for the cacophonous waves of energy Numan puts out there. Trees, 2709 Elm St., 8:30 p.m., $25, sold out. — Eric Grubbs

It's almost that time, folks. Celebrate early with the DMA's $5 themed event on Thursday.EXPAND
It's almost that time, folks. Celebrate early with the DMA's $5 themed event on Thursday.
Photo by Kathy Tran

Fri 12/15
My fellow anti-Christmas warriors, the drag queen holiday event isn’t the only battle plan we’ve drawn up for this week. Nearly Naked Nutcracker is a ballet-inspired burlesque performance sure to tempt otherwise upstanding Christian dads and their sexually repressed adult sons while stirring the unacknowledged same-sex lusts of the wives and daughters toiling in the lower ranks. Not only will the lovely Vivi Valens, Sabra Johnsin, Felix Elixir and Leggy Lass Greenleaf act as honey traps, but the event’s hunky guy performers, Matt Finish, JD Hickock and Alexander the Great, may spark impure adulterous desires in those ladies’ hearts and hopefully even drive some ostensibly straight Christian men to take a furtive trip out of the closet. The show starts at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with doors opening at 8, at Viva’s Lounge, 1350 Manufacturing St., Suite 120. Remaining tickets, $22, and more information are at Viva's Lounge, 1350 Manufacturing St., Suite 120, 9 p.m., $22, — Jesse Hughey

In celebration of the Danielle Georgiou Dance Group’s yearlong residency at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young St., the company will present Things Missing/Missed, an original movement (key word — movement) play by Justin Locklear and Houston playwrights Melissa Flower and Philip Hays. It’s based on the real story of a hermit who hid in the woods outside of North Pond, Maine, for 30 years. Dallas Observer named DGDG the best dance troupe of 2017. Free shows are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free parking is available at the library’s Wood Street entrance. For information, visit J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young St., 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday, free, — Reba Liner

Helen Kelter Skelter is quite a mouthful. And the band's music plays appropriately along. From Norman, Oklahoma, this psych rock outfit has all the grooves to bring you a very vivid experience. If you can't catch it tonight at Double-Wide, check back in January; the group will return after the Jan. 19 release of its upcoming album, Melter. Double-Wide, 3510 Commerce St., 10 p.m., $8, — Diamond Victoria

Holiday productions of any sort, from music to theater to dance, tend to really lay on the cheese. Locked in well-worn patterns of tradition, there’s usually little inspiration left to squeeze from these performances. When it comes to Bishop Arts Theatre Center’s Black Nativity, however, that could not be further from the truth. In its 14th year, Black Nativity is a touching medley of gospel, poetry, folk spirituals, dance, song and every stop in between. Forget the local reruns of A Christmas Carol and all those remix performances of classic holiday tunes; this is where the spirit of the holidays retains its soulful charge. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Bishop Arts Theatre Center, 215 S. Tyler St. Tickets start at $18.50. For more information, visit Bishop Arts Theatre Center, 215 S. Tyler St., 7:30 p.m., $18.50 and up, — Jonathan Patrick

You may fancy yourself a connoisseur of comedy because you’ve seen Doug Stanhope perform in a dive club or burned every DVD Jeff Dunham has ever produced. You can’t call yourself a true connoisseur, however, if you’ve never seen Jerry Seinfeld live. Just because he’s one of the most famous and highest-paid comedians on the road doesn’t mean he’s no longer funny as hell. After all, this is a comic who stepped away from the sweetest deal in sitcom history so he could go back on the road and do standup comedy. He performs at 9 p.m. Friday (doors opens at 7:30 p.m.) at the WinStar World Casino and Resort, 777 Casino Ave. in Thackerville, Oklahoma. Tickets are $85 to $250 and can be purchased at WinStar World Casino and Resort, 777 Casino Ave., 9 p.m., $85-$250, — Danny Gallagher

We hope you bought your ticket to see Gary Numan early. His Thursday night gig at Trees is sold out.
We hope you bought your ticket to see Gary Numan early. His Thursday night gig at Trees is sold out.
courtesy the artist

Sat 12/16
Christmas in the Park at Fair Park
, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in the Automobile Building, 1010 1st Ave., marks the 19th annual giveaway of clothing, food and toys to less fortunate folks in Dallas. A spokesperson for the event said that after those who signed up are served, nonregistered individuals and families will be accepted. The event, staged by the S. M. Wright Foundation, honors the memory of S. M. Wright, former civic leader and pastor of People’s Missionary Baptist Church. For information, call 214-741-4990 or visit Automobile Building at Fair Park, 1010 1st Ave., 8 a.m.-3 p.m., free, — Reba Liner

This year needs a shot of whimsy, and there’s not much time. Someone’s gonna have to bring in the clowns. The Circus Freaks, luckily, are on it. The local collective of circus clowns, acrobats and improv masters hits all the right buttons on the silliness meter during its holiday revue, No Tinsel Required, at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Margo Jones Theatre, 1121 First Ave. Expect all the ballyhoo you can handle, including bendy acrobats, comical performances and appropriately overenthusiastic clowns. You’ll leave with a smile on your face and probably some glitter in your hair, which is the happy ending we all deserve. Tickets are $15 at Margo Jones Theatre, 1121 First Ave., 5 p.m., $15, — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

It’s not Christmastime in Dallas without a shopping trip to NorthPark Center, 8687 N. Central Expressway. You think we’re being sarcastic, but we’re very serious about our yuletide must-dos, and a NorthPark visit for the Treats of Christmas Benefiting the North Texas Food Bank is at the top of that list. Head to Level 1 near Macy’s or Level 2 between Nordstrom and Macy’s on Saturday and try to maintain any semblance of willpower. Local chefs pile the tables high with cakes, pies, cookies, and all manner of special breads and buns, so snag some sweet gifts for your mouth while you shop down your list. From buche de noel to gingerbread, the treats are ready to take home or munch on while you stand in line for photos with Santa. For more information, visit To donate to the North Texas Food Bank (which you can also do at Treats of Christmas), visit NorthPark Center, 8687 N. Central Expressway, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., free, — Merritt Martin

Ace Frehley, the legendary rock ’n’ roll icon and co-founding member of Kiss, headlines a jam-packed throwback to the glorious days of hair metal and glam rock. Eddie Trunk of VH1’s That Metal Show will host the festival-like affair with a stacked bill. Dokken, L.A. Guns, Enuff Z’nuff, Dangerous Toys, Graham Bonnet and Supernova Remnant are enough to satiate even the most dedicated headbanger. Frehley’s seminal work is with Kiss, but his solo career has been fruitful and cemented his status as one of the most influential guitarists in rock ’n’ roll history. His most recent release, 2016’s covers album, Origins, Vol. 1, saw success on Billboard charts and featured a reunion with Paul Stanley. Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 5 p.m., $29.50-$96.50, — Mikel Galicia

Every Christmas special says that the holidays are about celebrating the human spirit of generosity and making your loved ones feel happy and appreciated. Another part of the holiday is about making yourself feel good so you can do all of those other things. So before you play Santa on Christmas day, why not dress up like Santa and fill your belly with all of the delicious adult beverages it can hold? Vodka Trot’s annual Dallas Santa Crawl kicks off at 7 p.m. Saturday in West End. Participants are encouraged to dress in their best Santa Claus getup as the crowd trots from bar to bar to enjoy special holiday drinks. The pub crawl includes a costume contest for sexiest male Santa and sexiest female Santa, a vodka tasting area and a commemorative cup at the finish. The Dallas Santa Crawl will run until 11 p.m. Tickets are $20 or $15 for designated drivers and can be purchased online at Participants must be 21 or older. West End, 7 p.m., $15-$20, — Danny Gallagher

As guitarists go, there are few who match the style and technique of Tommy Emmanuel. A developer of a complex and unique finger-picking style, he began his career as an in-demand session player before branching out to record and tour on his own. The accolades have rolled in. Chet Atkins called him “fearless” while awarding him the esteemed honor of “Certified Guitar Player.” Emmanuel’s playing has also bestowed upon him the dual high honors of being a certified Kentucky Colonel and a Member of the Order of Australia in his native land. Dig through his intensive YouTube page and get familiar with how he turns standards and traditional tunes into something original and complex. He’s playing a lot of Christmas tunes Saturday at the Majestic, so the research will be a good precursor to the night ahead. The Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., 7:30 p.m., $27-$47, — Jeff Strowe

Timeless musical The King and I visits the Winspear Opera House beginning this week.EXPAND
Timeless musical The King and I visits the Winspear Opera House beginning this week.
Matthew Murphy

Sun 12/17
Had enough of children’s choirs this holiday season? They’re cute and all, but it’s nice to listen to professionals every once in a while. That’s where Colors of Christmas comes in. This show, which brings together some of the country’s best singers to perform holiday songs such as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” against a winter wonderland backdrop, has been touring major cities across America for 25 years. The Christmas tradition visits Dallas’ Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.This year’s lineup comprises award-winning soul and R&B artists Peabo Bryson, Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis Jr., Ruben Studdard and Jody Watley. Tickets are $49 to $129 at Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., 7:30 p.m., $49-$129, — Caroline North

Mon 12/18
It re-emerges every year at Christmas time, so you’d be forgiven for thinking Handel’s Messiah is a holiday-specific composition. In reality, it’s one of the most enduring masterpieces in the history of classical music, a work that’s been immensely popular since its first performance in 1742. Few pieces can spear you through the heart like the Messiah. Its emotional power is second to none. Its scale is as large as its subject matter. Not one moment in its two-plus hours running time hangs. Alto Kathryn Overturf, soprano Ava Pine and tenor Derek Chester will join in for the Dallas Bach Society’s annual performance at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St. Tickets start at $25. For more information, visit Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St., 7:30 p.m., $25, — Jonathan Patrick

Tue 12/19
It seems impossible in today’s political climate: Two people from different cultures maintain their values yet learn to understand and respect each other. But that’s the case in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I, set in a Bangkok palace in 1862 when the king of Siam hires British schoolteacher Anna Leonowens to teach his wives and children. The AT&T Performing Arts Center presents the Lincoln Center Theater production, winner of the 2015 Tony Award for best musical revival, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. Tickets start at $29, and shows continue through Dec. 31. Prepare to have “Getting to Know You” stuck in your head into the new year. For tickets and more information, visit Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., 7:30 p.m., $29, — Emily Goldstein

Wed 12/20
Cirque du Soleil’s touring show Varekai is, according to all-knowing Wikipedia, the story of what happened to Icarus after he flew too close to the sun and fell from the sky. One might imagine that would make for a pretty short show. “Oh, merde! Oh, merde! Oh, merde!” SPLAT! “Bon soir, mesdames et monsieurs.” Luckily for fans of the French Canadian nontraditional circus troupe, Cirque du Soleil has way more imagination than that. Varekai plops Icarus in an enchanted forest filled with wondrous creatures in some of the coolest leotards ever to stretch over well-toned, extremely bendy bodies that fly, flip, dance and perform acrobatic wonders. What does it all mean? Beats us. We pretty much shot our wad with the French language with “merde.” But even if you don’t speak French, the show promises to entertain. It’s been touring for well more than a decade and has been seen by more than 6 million people worldwide. Become one of them as Varekai makes a stop at Dr Pepper Arena, 2601 Avenue of the Stars in Frisco, with seven performances from Wednesday through Dec. 23. Tickets start at $49 and are available at Dr Pepper Arena, 2601 Avenue of the Stars, Frisco, through Dec. 23, $49 and up, — Patrick Williams

The inaugural 2017 DXL Frisco Bowl at Toyota Stadium is one of only five bowl games this year matching up former members of the same conference. Southern Methodist University and Louisiana Tech were both members of the Western Athletic Conference in the early 2000s, so the last time the Mustangs, now in the American Athletic Conference, and the Bulldogs, now Conference USA, squared off was in 2004, when Louisiana Tech won 41-10. The Frisco Bowl will be the fifth faceoff between the two colleges. The Bulldogs wrapped this season at 6-6, becoming bowl eligible a fourth straight season, and SMU finished 7-5, landing a bowl game for the first time since the Mustangs’ Hawaii Bowl win against Fresno State in 2012. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Toyota Stadium, 9200 World Cup Way in Frisco. Tickets are $49 to $65. The game will air live on ESPN and ESPN Radio. For tickets or more information, visit Toyota Stadium, 9200 World Cup Way, Frisco, 7 p.m., $49-$65, — Daniel Rodrigue


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