21 Best Things to Do in Dallas This Week

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Tue 11/1

Unelectable You is billed as “a traveling, election-themed live political comedy show.” Yeah, we know. We don’t even need to say it. We just pity the poor comedians who have to create a parody of this election cycle, but if anyone can pull it off, it’s the funny minds of Chicago’s famed improv troupe The Second City along with contributors to the news website Slate. See them attempt the impossible — finding something to laugh about in democracy’s dumpster fire. Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., 8 p.m., $32.50 to $129, 214-880-0202, attpac.org. — Patrick Williams

Look, if your only reason for buying a ticket to see Rumer Willis perform at the Granada is to catch a glimpse of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore’s kid up close, we can’t fault you. That’s probably true for a lot of people. But you may walk away with more than you bargained for, since you probably don’t know that Willis began studying opera at a music conservatory at the age of 12, has continued her classical music training ever since, and The New York Times has praised her singing, calling her a natural at delivering emotional material. She’s already impressed you once by winning Dancing With the Stars, and now Willis will attempt to do so again when she brings her “Post-Modern Cabaret Show” to the Granada Theater Tuesday. Local songstress Sarah Sellers will support. Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 9 p.m., $35 to $58, 214-824-9933, granadatheater.com. — Caroline North

Wed 11/2

Forget for a moment that actor Cary Elwes is a Green Bay Packers fan; we here in Cowboys country can do that for Westley the Farm Boy and Man In Black, can’t we? After all, thanks to him we get a screening of beloved film The Princess Bride on Wednesday in the Dallas Museum of Art, and a discussion to follow that promises to include revelations about how Elwes’ adventures in Florin and Guilder, time on the Dread Pirate Roberts ship and battles with R.O.U.S.s were brought to life on the silver screen. Side note: It probably wasn’t the intent of Arts & Letters Live for us to find out what Fred Savage was like back then when we had him on the cover of our Tiger Beat, but maybe Elwes has a juicy nugget if they even shared the set for a day. Let’s not forget, this event is predicated on a wonderful extension of the iconic film: Elwes’ book, As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of The Princess Bride. And yes, he will sign copies after the film and discussion. Now we just have to debate on telling him that he ruined the chances of every boyfriend we had before the age of 25 who didn’t violently fall down a hill screaming those three little words Westley yelled to Buttercup. Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St., 5:30 p.m., $40 to $115, 214-922-1200, dma.ticketleap.com. (Update: The only remaining tickets available are simulcast tickets. The simulcast will take place in the DMA Cafe and ticketholders will still get to meet Elwes afterward. Visit the DMA's site for more.) — Merritt Martin

There are plenty of artists you’d assume would be pretty interesting in a lecture. Understanding process, inspiration and a person’s worldview give you a new perspective into how and why they do what they do. But if you’ve ever seen the complex, intricate and mind-blowing installations by Sarah Sze, you’re going to want to make time for her appearance at the Patsy R. and Raymond D. Nasher Lecture Series. Her tangled configurations are a web for the viewer to reckon with, and her insight into her arrangements and installations will be revelatory for her fans and anyone who’s ever reckoned with the surprising significance of contemporary art in cultural commentary. Nasher Sculpture Center, 2001 Flora St., 7 p.m., free (RSVPs are required), 214-242-5100, nashersculpturecenter.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

We wonder if there will be a time when Nick Offerman gets tired of being the poster boy for modern masculinity. Hope not, because we just can't be tired of someone who is funny, intelligent, good with his hands and feminist. Offerman, widely known for being Ron Swanson on Parks & Recreation, is fortunately so much more. Aside from his roles in fabulous indie films, his musical collaborations with his wife Megan Mullally, his work as an author who can incite full-on chortles, Offerman is a rock star woodworker. When he performs a show — like Full Bush, coming to the Majestic on Wednesday, which features both spoken jokes and songs — and perchance pulls out a ukulele, it's impressive to think Offerman could've touched on every single aspect of that performance, right down to the instrument. It's rightful, but all too rare these days. Renaissance seems like too small an adjective. Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., 8 p.m., $39 to $55, 214-880-0137, axs.com. — Merritt Martin

Thu 11/3

Back in the 19th century, if you wanted to know about the hottest new lip color, you couldn't just pull up Kylie Jenner's Instagram. No, for the latest in beauty and fashion you'd have to turn to hand-colored illustrations called fashion plates. The drawings were produced by tailors, dressmakers and shops to spread the word about all of the latest trends they were offering, and fashion historian April Calahan compiled 200 of them for a book on the subject, Fashion Plates: 150 Years of Style. The book documents the evolution of style from the court of Louis XVI through the Jazz Age, and Calahan will share some of the highlights during a talk and book signing. Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St., 7:30 p.m., $10, dma.org. — Caroline North

You didn’t know that the Meadows Museum, tucked away on the SMU campus, is one of the foremost repositories of modern Spanish art? Then, please — let us introduce you. Because really, what the Meadows brings to the arts table locally is so very rich, from both a historical and cultural perspective, that it shouldn’t be dwarfed by the shadow of more publicized Arts District locales. For example, their latest exhibit, Modern Spanish Art from the Asociación Colección Arte Contemporáneo is billed as the most comprehensive collection of Spanish art to hit the United States since the 1960s. Artists widely renowned (like Julio González and Antoni Tápies), largely influential (Rafael Barradas) and lesser-known but highly regarded (see Alfonso Olivares) are featured in the exhibition, which will be on display through Jan. 29, 2017. Meadows Museum, 5900 Bishop Blvd., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays, $4 to $12 (free on Thursdays), 214-768-2516, meadowsmuseumdallas.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Ever wonder what it’s like to have DNA largely composed of saltwater? Alexandra Cousteau has your answers. When your grandfather is the legendary Jacques Cousteau, it’s probably hard not to have an affinity for the ocean — and Alexandra has more than embraced those frothy waves as an environmental activist, filmmaker and general thalassophile. She’ll be featured at University of Texas at Arlington as part of their Maverick Speaker Series on Thursday, presenting a lecture entitled “This Blue Planet: Preserving and Sustaining a Healthy Earth.” The program will be followed by an audience Q&A. Texas Hall, 701 West Nedderman Drive, 7:30 p.m., $35, 817-272-9595, uta.edu/maverickspeakers/2016-17/alexandra-cousteau. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Give the organizers of TechWeek credit. For a weeklong conference of technology professionals — typically, half of them are management and senior staff professionals, most are men and a third of them earn $100k+ — they put together a pretty good soundtrack. Matt and Kim, Rubblebucket and Wild Child perform starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, capping a day that starts at 9 a.m. and includes networking out the wazoo, an entrepreneur expo, startup launch competition and loads of speeches from tech leaders. Among them is Alexis Ohanian, a co-founder of Reddit, who delivers the week's keynote address at 9 a.m. Friday. Regular tickets start at $100, and events continue through Friday with more music, speakers and a hiring fair. The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 7 p.m., $100 and up, techweek.com. — Patrick Williams

Somehow, we never associated downward dog with Donna Summer. Thanks to the Dallas Fitness Ambassadors celebrating its year anniversary, we now can: The organization is hosting a pop-up in West Village called Silent Disco Yoga. Bring your mat, water and your ID so you can check out noise-canceling headphones that will pipe those shiny dance beats into your ears while instructor MJ guides attendees of all levels through the flow. Secure tickets on Eventbrite, then head to the top level of the parking lot behind Max's Wine Dive to rock your best poses. West Village, 3699 McKinney Ave., 6:30 p.m., $15, eventbrite.com. — Merritt Martin

It’s gigantic and overwhelming, while at the same time being overwhelmed itself. It’s toy-like, but entirely too large to be any human’s plaything. It carries a sweetness, but also an air of mystery. It seems soft and inflated, while being solid and strong. It’s a cartoon, but not quite Mickey Mouse or Michelin Man. The “it” is the sculpture “Companion (Passing Through)” by Brooklyn artist KAWS, and from Thursday through Jan. 22, it will live outside the Modern, as part of the KAWS: Where the End Starts exhibition. It’s not all giant figures (although after seeing “Companion” float through the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV, it’s certainly a huge draw — pun fully intended); the show also features paintings, drawings, sculptures and even toys from the artist’s prolific last two decades spent making statements on society and pop culture. Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., $10, themodern.org. — Merritt Martin

Fri 11/4

Tony Kushner’s iconic play, Angels in America, has been adapted for film (or, TV miniseries, rather, but it’s still a screen) and opera; both to great acclaim. But something is most magical about the New York-in-the-1980s-set story as a play, this time opening Friday in the Kalita Humphreys Theater by the Uptown Players and showing through Nov. 20. In Angels In America Part One: Millennium Approaches (the original play is a two-parter, but they are often presented separately), two couples, nearing certain split, live intertwining existences involving not only an AIDS diagnosis, but also closeted sexuality, religious denial, bigotry and betrayal. Along the way, however, there are beautiful characters and divine apparitions, who deliver some of the most powerful messages. Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd., 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays (no show Nov. 6), $30 to $45, 214-219-2718, uptownplayers.org. —Merritt Martin

A 206,000-word 19th century novel about life aboard a whaling ship and one mad captain's hunt for a great white whale was turned into an opera that premiered in Dallas in 2010. And look, let's be honest. That description of Moby-Dick, which returns to the Dallas Opera this week, either sounds like a snooze-a-palooza or a fascinating artistic rendering of one of America's greatest works of literature, which many of us totally failed to read in school. Dallas Opera hails it as a critical favorite that has played to acclaim around the world. So, that's a big draw for opera aficionados, but is it something to entice someone looking to dip a toe into the art form for the first time? Well, at least it's sung in English. ... Friday's performance is at 7:30 p.m., with additional evening performances Nov. 9, 12 and 20 and 2 p.m. matinees on Nov. 6 and 20. Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., 7:30 p.m., $19 and up, 214-443-1043, dallasopera.org. — Patrick Williams

Have you ever gone back and really looked at all the pictures you took at the concerts you go to? If you’re lucky, you get an ant-sized lead singer framed by the backs of rows 1 through 8’s heads. There’s an art to concert photography that’s complicated by motion, lighting and audience members — and when you see a great photo of a band onstage, it’s safe to assume that whoever captured it has serious skills. Caught in the Act celebrates that talent with a display of photographs that capture the essence of Texas music and live performance. The exhibit at Kettle Art showcases work from Mike Brooks, Erin Rambo, Jason Janik, Rico DeLeon, Allison V. Smith and Joel Winburne. The exhibit is up through Nov. 5. For more information, find the event on Facebook. Kettle Art Gallery, 2650 Main St., 7 to 10 p.m, free, 214-834-6964, kettleart.com.— Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Sat 11/5

In the world of benefits and charity endeavors, you either need to have a killer event or a heart-rending cause. And if you can manage to do both? Well, that’s what Rock Your HeART Out aspires to — an art and music show that would be a draw on its own, paired with a benefit for the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas. From 7 until 11 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5, Salim Nourallah, Cantina, Ronnie Fauss and Xuan play the songs while artists and photographers like Kelly Clemmons, Dylan Hollingsworth, Christopher Bingham and Richard Ross display and auction off original pieces. Programs that will receive funds from the evening’s fundraisers include legal and support services for victims of human rights abuses, both foreign and domestic. Life in Deep Ellum, 2802 Taylor, 7 p.m., $35 (general) to $100 (VIP), rockyourheartout.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Any culture can appreciate a celebration of good over evil, but this year in particular the Hindu festival of lights known as Diwali seems especially exciting. See, it’s not just about good over evil, but ultimately about all sorts of examples of light beating out darkness, our favorites being knowledge besting ignorance, joy defeating sadness and all-around celebration of friendship. At Saturday’s Dallas Fort Worth Diwali Mela, attendees of all walks will be welcomed to partake in fresh food, entertainment ranging from magic shows, a Bollywood stage featuring Kanika Kapoor, 50 performances from local organizations, two fireworks shows and more. Cotton Bowl, 3750 The Midway, 4 p.m. to midnight, $10, dfwdiwalimela.com. — Merritt Martin

Anytime somebody adapts a book into a movie or play, there are going to be complaints that the final product wasn’t faithful to the original piece. You know — the one exchange that gets left out, the protagonist who is whittled down to a shell of their previous incarnation, the new ending that gets tacked on. But that wasn’t the case with Tchaikovsky’s operatic interpretation of Eugene Onegin. Alexander Pushkin’s classic Russian novel-in-verse was more or less ripe for the picking, easily transferred from the page with an overlay of dramatic music to underscore its episodes. It’s said that the famous composer laid out the scenes for the opera in just one night, picking highlights of Pushkin’s work about a playboy who coldly blows off the affections of a young woman, only to become obsessed with her later in life. See this faithful and renowned commentary on missed opportunity and social conventions as it kicks off the Dallas Opera’s 2016-2017 season. Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., 7:30 p.m., $25 to $109, tickets.dallasopera.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Sun 11/6

Life as a 6-foot, 2-inch tall pageant winner seems like it might be pretty glamorous, but Jeanne Robertson took her winnings — scholarships — and went to school, then taught physical education for nearly a decade. Safe to say planning syllabuses and dealing with sweaty children are at the other end of the spectrum from glam. But then things went viral. Robertson was always a public speaker — it's sort of a thing that happens to people after they win the 1963 Miss North Carolina title or Miss Congeniality from the 1964 Miss America pageant — but videos of her takes on life started making the rounds. Now she's a fixture in the comedy rotations of SiriusXM and her YouTubes continue to boom. Robertson, however, has said she prefers to be called a humorist as opposed to a comic. Whether she's joking about her family, she has affectionately referred to her husband as "Left Brain," or dishing on Southern traditions, the towering septuagenarian is as down-to-earth as she is funny. Bass Performance Hall, 330 E. 4th St. in Fort Worth, 6:30 p.m., $28 and up, 817-212-4280, basshall.com. — Merritt Martin

Dallas doesn't always do a great job of preserving its history. Many buildings and homes designed by famous architects are being torn down to make way for new construction. That's why it's important that we enjoy the historic districts that we have successfully established. The largest and most recent is Junius Heights, which was on the eastern edge of the city at the time that it was created in 1906. The neighborhood contains over 800 homes in the Craftsman, Prairie and Tudor styles, and you can get a peek inside six of them, plus Woodrow Wilson High School, during the home tour from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. To purchase your tickets in advance for $15, visit the Lakewood Whole Foods (2118 Abrams Road). Tickets will be available at any of the six homes the day of the tour for $20. The homes will be announced on the Junius Heights website. Junius Heights Historic Neighborhood, East Dallas, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., $15 to $20, juniusheights.org. — Caroline North

Mon 11/7

Sagas of honor, patriotism and friendship have been playing out for months now on Facebook. And while those can get plenty dramatic, a squabble over memes by fellow countrymen has nothing on the Roman Empire — where political disputes sometimes ended in actual, literal backstabbing. Shakespeare in the Bar is back to give us some much needed perspective on our current political situation, plus a few libation-induced laughs, with their production of Julius Ceasar. On the eve of our national election, Monday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m., a group of slightly intoxicated actors and actresses take on Shakespeare’s most treacherous tragedy at The Wild Detectives. It’s maybe not the most noble production, but hey, it’s what’s in their hearts that matters. Right, Brutus? Tickets for “Shakespeare in the Bar: Julius Ceasar” are sold out online, but 50 seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at 5 p.m. on the night of the show. The Wild Detectives, 314 West Eighth, 7 p.m., $7, facebook.com/events/1596703073964948. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

In terms of women making headway in the testosterone-laden industry of pop music, Joni Mitchell is a queen. As smoothly as she sang the notes (or as others like Judy Collins charted with her notes), she transcended genre with jazz collaborations and world music influence. Her snappy, honest and oh-so-personal brand of folk made her an icon of the 1970s whose reach extends well into current years, thanks to her seemingly eternal relevance. Think of the “Both Sides Now” scene in Love Actually. A great many singer-songwriters and jazz artists gather to celebrate Joni Mitchell’s birthday Monday at the Kessler. Mitchell fans get adoring performances by Elizabeth Wills, Betty Soo, Damon K. Clark, Yells at Eels, Paul Slavens, Nina Katrina, Paul Averitt and many others. Bar opens at 6 p.m. The Kessler, 1230 W. Davis St., 8 p.m., $15 to $25, 214-272-8346, thekessler.org and prekindle.com. — Merritt Martin

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