21 Best Things to Do in Dallas: February 14-20

Cirque du Soleil's latest is the steampunk-inspired Kurios.
Cirque du Soleil's latest is the steampunk-inspired Kurios.
Martin Girard shootstudio.ca
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Tue 2/14
Famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson tells some pretty corny dad jokes, and it only adds to his charm. But aside from the adorable cosmic neck ties and one-liners, Tyson's extensive knowledge in astrophysics and understanding of the universe has cemented him as one of the leading heads in the world of science. He studies the structure of our galaxy to help other scientists better understand star formations and even assist in space exploration research. The former NOVA Science Now and Cosmos host attributes his interest and success to the late scientist extraordinaire Carl Sagan and is currently the fifth head of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. If you're one of the lucky ones who snagged a ticket for his lecture, "The Cosmic Perspective," before it sold out, then head to Winspear Opera House Tuesday. Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., 7:30 p.m., sold out, attpac.org. — Diamond Victoria

Juicy J
’s tireless work ethic should be the case study of any rapper who thinks he’s entering the twilight of his career. Starting as a founding member of the legendary Triple 6 Mafia in 1991, later known as Three 6 Mafia, Juicy has remained a star in hip-hop for a quarter century off the strength of his OG credentials and ear for young talent. Since breaking away from the Mafia, the Trippy Mane rapper has worked with every big name artist from Lil Wayne to Kanye West to Wiz Khalifa to The Weeknd and co-signed artists such as Mac Miller, Big Sean, Gucci Mane and French Montana early in their careers. And let’s not forget he infamously introduced the world to twerking Miley Cyrus. With that, he’s assembled a hit list of tracks to perform on his busy touring schedule. With longtime collaborator Project Pat on this tour it’s safe to expect a thorough mix of old and new songs from Juicy’s deep-running catalog that should appease his ever-growing fan base. House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 7 p.m., $35 to $206, livenation.com. — Mikel Galicia

Wed 2/15
Kitchens and couture generally keep a safe distance from each other. But when it benefits the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation, Texas Prostart and the Dallas ISD Culinary Career Program, we’ll happily mingle food and frocks for a night. Food in Fashion challenges 10 designers to craft garments using at least 10 percent of their materials from the kitchens of partner restaurants, resulting in a Project Runway-style showdown and a truly delicious fashion show. From 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, you’ll enjoy the fruits of this sartorial labor, plus appetizers and a silent auction. 3015 at Trinity Groves, 2015 Gulden Lane, 6 to 8 p.m., $25 to $50, foodinfashion.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Instead of discouraging your children from their musical dreams because you don’t have the scratch to buy them instruments, why not start them small with something just lying around the house like a matchbox, a garbage can or even a push broom? Take them to an upcoming performance of the Broadway dance and music show Stomp during the Dallas Summer Musicals season, in which a group of dancers and music makers turns everyday objects into instruments of musical rhythm. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, Feb. 14 to 19, with an additional 1:30 p.m. show on Sunday. Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 1st Ave., 7:30 p.m., $15 to $90, ticketmaster.com. — Danny Gallagher

Gorgeous and challenging, Zoë Keating’s music lives in liminal spaces. Computer-engineered electronic music, classically measured cello and jazz all have a home in Keating’s compositions, which find a center between academic seriousness and a jaunty sense of play. Keating started classical training in cello at age 8 but ultimately found her way to a heady, improvisatory style all her own by way of crippling stage fright. After receding from classical performance, Keating began experimenting with electronic production, using a laptop to loop and layer her original cello play into lush soundscapes. Having dabbled in everything from synth pop and rock, to avant-garde and turntabalism, Keating’s variegated approach to songwriting is as compelling as it is inquisitive — and consistently interesting. Kessler Theatre, 1230 W. Davis. St., 8 p.m., $20, thekessler.org. — Jonathan Patrick

Devendra Banhart made a name for himself during the early-mid 2000s Freak Folk explosion. With a leading man countenance and a quirky yet confident demeanor, it took Banhart little time to also become somewhat of a crossover celebrity, as well. His whimsical songs often grace film and television soundtracks, his name features prominently on festival posters, and he sports some A-list fans and acquaintances, such as Beck, James Murphy and Natalie Portman. Out on the road in support of his latest release, Ape in Pink Marble, Banhart has been preaching love, hope and unity, three ideals that have been pushed to the backburner over the past few weeks of political turmoil. Expect a few challenges to be offered forth from the Granada Theater stage on Wednesday night, but also expect inspiration. We can all do better, but Banhart will work his best to ensure that there is still room in the world for art, music and free expression. Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 8 p.m., $30 to $49, granadatheater.com. — Jeff Strowe

Neil deGrasse Tyson will give ticket-holders to his sold out lecture at the Winspear on Valentine's Day some "cosmic perspective."EXPAND
Neil deGrasse Tyson will give ticket-holders to his sold out lecture at the Winspear on Valentine's Day some "cosmic perspective."
©2013 AMNH, Photo by Roderick Mickens

Thu 2/16 Never doubt the power of documentary film. The medium has been a catalyst for change, a powerful force in drawing attention to injustices and inhumanities, and has captured atrocities for eternal human reflection. The films shot throughout World War II by filmmakers John Ford, Samuel Fuller and George Stevens do all of those things and more. They filmed the realities of war, and in particular, the liberation and aftermath of Nazi concentration camps. The images they captured — of starving survivors and of corpses being buried — were important pieces of evidence in the Nuremburg Trials, which prosecuted key members of the Nazi party beginning in 1945. Those contributions to the pursuit of justice for Holocaust victims, as well as the careers of the men behind the cameras, will be highlighted at the Dallas Holocaust Museum (211 N. Record St.) as they present their new exhibit “Filming the Camps: John Ford, Samuel Fuller, George Stevens: From Hollywood to Nuremberg.” The opening reception is at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16. Admission is free though registration is encouraged at eventbrite.com. The exhibit continues through Thursday, Aug. 3. Dallas Holocaust Museum, 211 N. Record St., 5:30 p.m., free, eventbrite.com. – Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Pretty much anytime Scottish actor and comedian Craig Ferguson has tackled a new medium, whether it’s standup, late night or movies, he has found a way to make it his own. He first took on standup in his native Scotland as an angry, wild-eyed character named Bing Hitler. He turned CBS’s The Late Late Show into a grownup Pee-Wee’s Playhouse with weird, hilarious characters that spoke their own language and developed their own games with the audience and viewers at home. He even made game shows purposely hilarious with his three-season stint on the syndicated show Celebrity Name Game. He’s bound to do something equally groundbreaking with his current standup tour, The New Deal, which stops at the Winspear Opera House on Thursday. Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., 8 p.m., $37.50 to $82.50, attpac.org. — Danny Gallagher

Adia Victoria makes funereal blues steeped in the cultural and social weight of Southern politics and the anxiety that engenders in people of color. Her creaking, haunted ballads are slow to unravel but quick to get under your skin, animated as much by emotional scar tissue as heady cynicism. Inside her dusty, shadowy narratives, religion, alcohol, mourning and emotional intelligence mix, producing something akin to old world storytelling with a distinctly millennial bent. There’s no sulking in Victoria’s music; instead there’s a celebratory, if fatalistic, spirit that drives her songwriting, an optimism made explicit in her flinty voice and bouncy rhythm sections. Music like this has a way of bridging generations — wrestling with fundamental human suffering never goes out of style. Three Links, 2704 Elm St., 8 p.m., $12, threelinksdeepellum.com. — Jonathan Patrick

Fri 2/17
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about circuses in the past couple of years, it’s that it’s no longer enough to trot out some clowns or launch a human cannonball or two and expect the ticket sales to flood in. People don’t want to see mistreated animals and tired routines. Cirque du Soleil helped to move the dial on this quite a bit; they’ve been pushing the circus envelope since the mid-’80s, starting with elaborate productions and very bendable humans, then making their way up to narrative spectacles. Their latest, Kurios, is an exotic steampunk affair, complete with their usual mix of precision acrobatics and contortionists, and topped off with an exhilaratingly macabre selection of novelty acts including an invisible circus and a surreal dinner party/balancing act. Take it all in at Lone Star Park (1000 Lone Star Parkway, Grand Prairie) opening at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, with ongoing shows through March 26. Lone Star Park, 1000 Lone Star Parkway, Grand Prairie, 8 p.m., $25 to $250, cirquedusoleil.com.— Jennifer Davis-Lamm

It seems like writer/director Paul Verhoeven’s entire film career is dedicated to escaping from the long shadow of Showgirls. The psychological thriller Elle may be the movie that may finally help him shake Showgirls from his legendary career. The dark story behind this critically acclaimed French film tells the story of a ruthless business woman who’s attacked in her home and tracks down her assailant in the kind of cat and mouse game that put the “thrill” in “thrillers.” See the film at one of three screenings at the Texas Theatre (231 W. Jefferson Blvd.) at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17; 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19; or 9:15 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23. Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., 8:30 p.m., $10, thetexastheatre.com.— Danny Gallagher

It happens every year around Oscar time. You’ve seen every major movie that’s on the ballot at a theater near you. You’ve read every review from every major critic. You get all the way through the nominations and for once, you think you’re going to dominate the betting pool, until the evening gets to the shorts category. But this year, you’ve got an ace up your sleeves. The Magnolia at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (3200 Darnell St., Fort Worth) will screen all of the Oscar-nominated short films in both the live and animated category. Screenings are scheduled at 6 and 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17; 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18; and 12, 2 and 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 19. Tickets ($9 per person, $7 for museum members and $6 for “Reel People” members) go on sale at the box office two hours before each scheduled screening. Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St., 6 and 8 p.m., $6 to $9, themodern.org. Danny Gallagher

Portland, Oregon-based pop folk outfit Blind Pilot have come a long way over the past decade. Originally conceived and nurtured as a duo by lead singer Israel Nebeker and drummer Ryan Dobrowski, the band has expanded to a six-piece and moved from playing hastily arranged, self-promoted gigs to headlining celebrated music halls like the Kessler. Much of this notoriety stems from the success garnered by 2011's We Are The Tide, an often rollicking, yet at times hushed affair that conjured the disparate elements of artists like Gillian Welch, the Avett Brothers and the Decemberists. The band's latest release, And Then Like Lions, is a lushly reflective meditation on the swift and uncompromising passage of time. With lyrics that are at times heady and ruminative, the contrasting musical arrangements flow along with ambling grace and charm. The Kessler, 1230 W. Davis St., 8 p.m., sold out, thekessler.org. — Jeff Strowe

Cellist Zoë Keating visits the Kessler on Wednesday.EXPAND
Cellist Zoë Keating visits the Kessler on Wednesday.
Chase Jarvis/courtesy the artist

Sat 2/18
Few blaxploitation-genre films have been as influential as 1974’s Foxy Brown, starring Pam Grier as the film genre’s quintessential female archetype. Grier plays Foxy as a badass, sexy and street-smart woman with a “black belt in barstools” who poses as a prostitute to infiltrate a drug syndicate in an attempt to avenge her murdered boyfriend. Then the plot turns against Foxy like a Quentin Tarantino film, which fittingly pairs with Tarantino’s ’97 classic Jackie Brown. Texas Theatre (231 W. Jefferson Blvd.) presents both films in 35mm at a “Pam Grier Fan Club” double-feature screening Stick around after for a free Soul Train Dance Party with DJs Gabriel Mendoza and Travis Box dropping funk, R&B and electro jams. Foxy Brown screens at 6:30 p.m., and Jackie Brown rolls at 8:30 p.m. Tickets to each film are $10.75. Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., $10.75, thetexastheatre.com. — Daniel Rodrigue

Contemporary art is, in its simplest form, art which is made presently. However, the real meaning has been a topic of conversation for years and has been differentiated from realism or impressionism because of its lack of any single objective. Laura Rathe Fine Art (1130 Dragon St.), one of the leaders in contemporary art in Dallas, hosts its four year anniversary celebration with an array of prismatic contemporary art pieces from artists near and far as part of its exhibit Vanguard. The gallery, located in the heart of the design district, displays several leading modern artists’ work, of varying media, through March 25. At 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, LRFA will host the opening reception for the exhibit, which includes three new artists to the gallery’s roster: German artist Michael Laube, South African Artist Gavin Rain, and Chinese Artist Zhuang Hong Yi. Admission is free. Laura Rathe Fine Art, 1130 Dragon St., 5 to 8 p.m., free, laurarathe.com. — Diamond Victoria

In her decade-long project Through Darkness to Light - Seeking Freedom on the Underground Railroad , Jeanine Michna-Bales captures the landscapes freedom-seekers traveling north through the Underground Railroad had to endure in 1840. Her photographic journey tells of the roughly 100,000 slaves' fight for a better life. Under a veil of darkness, men, women and children found direction by learning star formations and noticing how moss grew on trees. Michna-Bales highlights the rough terrains and raging rivers through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and Ontario, Canada. The exhibit is on view at Photographs Do Not Bend through April 15. Photographs Do Not Bend, 154 Glass St., No. 104, 5 p.m., free, pdnbgallery.com. — Diamond Victoria

Sun 2/19
Can bad things stop happening to good people now? We’d like that. But in the interim, we’d be satisfied if enough good people did enough good things to overwhelm the bad. And therein lies the potential for the Matthew Posey Benefit Concert, kicking off at noon Sunday, Feb. 19, at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St. The concert will raise funds for Posey, the prolific playwright, actor, director and progenitor of the Ochre House Theater in Expo Park, who was shot on Jan. 30. Posey had initially — and characteristically — asked for all donations to go straight to his theater, but now dental bills to repair the damage done by the gunshots are mounting. The lineup is yet to be announced, but expect an outpouring of music, art and love. Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., noon, $10 donation requested, dadadallas.com. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Part of a two-night event celebrating the music of Neil Young (the first night is Saturday in Austin), Neil Fest hosts a stacked lineup — Norah Jones, Boz Scaggs, the Flatlanders, Jonathan Tyler and members of the Kills, Heartless Bastards, Midlake, White Denim and more are all set to appear. Having previously thrown critically acclaimed festivals honoring the likes of Bob Dylan, the Flaming Lips and Brian Wilson, the Best Fest production company is well versed in staging grand spectaculars like this. Through his politically charged, folk-tinged ballads, Young sharpened a generation’s capacity for critical thought, showing that art and culture can be just as much a vehicle for social change as any protest or rally. Join in that sentiment on an evening that promises thoughtful and beautiful music. Proceeds benefit the Refuge Foundation for the Arts. Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 8 p.m., $50, thebestfest.com. — Jonathan Patrick

After playing their 10th studio album Dreams live on stage for the first time ever, the progressive rock maters of Yes will bring the show to Dallas in celebration of their upcoming induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band, which has been playing together for nearly half a century, will relive one of Yes’ biggest musical shifts with tracks like “Machine Messiah” and “Into the Lens,” as well as assorted greatest hits and tracks of off 1973’s Tales from Topographic Oceans. Released in 1980, Dreams gave listeners a more aggressive sound, emulating ’80s pop while sticking to their high-pitch prog rock style. Featuring the combined talents of longtime Yes members Steve Howe and Alan White, this show will be a welcome tribute to the legacy of one of the U.K.’s greatest progressive rock bands before their big trip to Cleveland later this April. Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., 8 p.m., $35 to $99.75, axs.com. — Nicholas Bostick

Mon 2/20
Thanks to comedy master Brian Regan, we’ve had comedy punchlines that have run through our heads for decades — notably since his first Late Show with David Letterman appearance in 1995. We still give responses to people’s comments and questions that make no sense to our audience, unless they saw his standup or listened to a live album years ago … or are grown enough to get the relatable brand of Regan comedy. Pro tip: Comments about playing a whole game and getting a whole snow cone versus playing a half game and still getting a whole snow cone fall flat on a 10-year-old after a basketball game where there are no snow cones. But to hell with the kids, it’s freaking funny in our heads. And on a sunny day, we still yell, “I got 6 at the sun stare!” to no one in particular. Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 1st Ave., 8 p.m., $47 to $67, ticketmaster.com. — Merritt Martin

We actually look forward to Mondays now, thanks to the work of Stefan Gonzalez. The lineup he curates on that day every week at RBC is one of the best places in the city to discover new music. Outward Bound Mixtape began a few years ago at Crown and Harp on Lower Greenville before it moved to Deep Ellum, but in its new home it offers the same opportunity for local and touring acts to try out something new in front of an enthusiastic and open-minded crowd of regulars, whether that means a first show, brand new songs or a sound that defies genre labels. If you ask the act du jour in Dallas noise, punk, goth or free jazz where they played some of their first shows, you'll likely be told Outward Bound, so attend Mondays and stay ahead of the curve. RBC, 2617 Commerce St., 10 p.m., free, rbcdeepellum.com. — Caroline North

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.