21 Best Things to Do in Dallas This Week: December 6-12

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Tue 12/6
Have you seen the weird cable movie about the once-PR-maven-turned-Christmas-angel who helps the guy with his sorta-failing restaurant to earn her way into heaven, but then she falls in love with him? No? Then don’t even try. Instead, head to the Magnolia Theatre for the Big Movie series to revisit Wim Wender’s acclaimed and repeatedly imitated Wings of Desire for a worthy angel story. Two guardian angels follow the thoughts and needs of mortal humans, becoming emotionally connected to them, and reconsidering their own needs and existence. The 1987 film — an artful love song to appreciating the details of life, and also to Berlin — is partially subtitled, stars Bruno Ganz, Solveig Domartin and Peter Falk, and features performances by a Tender Prey-era Nick Cave. Magnolia Theatre, 3699 McKinney Ave., 7:30 and 10 p.m., $11, landmarktheatres.com. — Merritt Martin

Not being familiar with his work since he left the Tonight Show — or while he was on the Tonight Show, to be honest — we had to search for a sample of Jay Leno's work, which we found online at Parade magazine, which apparently still exists. Here you go: “The crime problem in New York is getting really serious. The other day the Statue of Liberty had both hands up.” Um, yeah. Look, there's still a Parade, someone still reads Reader's Digest and someone must watch all those NCIS shows on CBS. Perhaps you know one of those people. Give them a treat and take them out to the Winspear Opera House on Tuesday to see Leno perform. Be a sport, though, and valet park. You wouldn't want your guest to have to take a long walk to the theater. Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., 8 p.m., $28 to $88, tickets.attpac.org. — Patrick Williams

Oh, this is timely. Author and presidential historian David Greenberg has published a book detailing the rise of the White House marketing machine entitled Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency. Even in a political vacuum, that’s a pretty interesting read: It details how press conferences, polls, photo ops and sound bites have shaped perceptions and even the policies of modern U.S. presidents. Greenberg takes a deep dive into the sadly subtle nuances that divide manipulation and engagement, and seriously — we’re betting he has some interesting insights into and opinions about our incoming administration and their messaging. Hear him out during a discussion sponsored by the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. 2719 Routh St., 7 p.m., free (you must register for tickets online), dallasinstitute.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

There will be a tinge of awkwardness on Tuesday as the annual holiday show for 102.1 the Edge will be a few weeks after the station went off the air. Now replaced by adult contemporary Christmas music on the 102.1 frequency, the sound of what's left of the Edge has been sandwiched between hard rock and metal found on 97.1 the Eagle. Though there is word How the Edge Stole Christmas will continue next year as a concert, it will be in name only. Weezer, still a titanic act for those who love the first two albums and tolerate the other ones, co-headlines with electronically-tinged AWOLNATION. This won't be a solemn affair, though. If anything, this show will be a remembrance of what the Edge tried to do in its final years: bridge traditional pop, alternative and emerging artists. Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie, 5 p.m., $25 and up, axs.com. — Eric Grubbs

Every Tuesday night, the Lemmon Avenue location of Buzzbrews hosts a unique open mic experience with fewer predictably whiny singer-songwriters and more surprisingly talented opera singers, cellists and pianists. On Tuesday, you can join the good folks from Open Classical for an open mic night specifically catered to those who love to play (or love to hear) classical music. You’ll see an eclectic range of instruments, talent levels and musical styles — from a riveting string quartet playing Schubert to a tap dancer who improvises her movements to the accompaniment of a Mozart sonata. If you want to participate, you’ll need to sign up on the event’s Facebook page (just search for “classical open mic” in your Facebook search box), but sitting back and enjoying the show with some coffee or a beer requires no commitment and is always entertaining. The music runs until around 11:30 p.m. Buzzbrews, 4334 Lemmon Ave., 8 p.m., free, openclassical.org. — Katie Womack

Wed 12/7
Music is everywhere, all around us. Holiday music is especially ubiquitous. And yes, even in the animal shelter. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra wind section is popping up at Operation Kindness for a festive little concert complete with hot cocoa and cookies. The concert is only 30 minutes, and features oboist Erin Hannigan, who is also an Operation Kindness volunteer. Get into the holiday season with some tunes, and your potential new furry family member. Operation Kindness, 3201 Earhart Dr. in Carrollton, 3 p.m., free, facebook.com. — Merritt Martin

Things that are not funny right now: political fallout, parking at NorthPark, your checking account balance. Comic relief, therefore, is pretty necessary — especially given that none of these things promise to get any better over the next few weeks. And Wednesday at the Verizon Theatre comic relief comes in Spades… and Sandlers, Schneiders and Swardsons, too. The Here Comes the Funny Tour rolls into town, full of belly laughs courtesy of SNL breakouts Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider and David Spade, plus Reno 911! star Nick Swardson. Expect a night of content aimed at mature audiences (thankfully) and high endorphin levels courtesy of the giggles. Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie, 7:30 p.m., $39.75 to $225, verizontheatre.com. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

It’s easy to slip into resting Grinch face, considering the beating of an election we just went through and the onslaught of exhortations to switch into holiday mode. It might feel like a tough transition, but there’s still joy to be uncovered out there — and the Dallas Theater Center’s production of A Christmas Carol just might help you locate it. Their musical adaptation of the timeless Dickens tale speaks to the potential for rebirth and redemption in all of us, a message we could probably all use right about now, and it includes more than a few surprises in the reimagined classic. And luckily, it’ll be a happy constant at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre for the next month. Turn that Grinchy grimace upside down. The show runs Tuesdays through Sundays until Wednesday, Dec. 28. Wyly Theatre, 2400 Flora St., 7:30 p.m., $20 to $104, attpac.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

On his website msieben.com, Austin-based designer and illustrator Michael Sieben includes a 2014 photo of a mural he painted on a small building on Singleton Boulevard. Commissioned by Dallas Contemporary, the heavily lined image of two human-like bird figures facing one another was "to remain on view until the building falls apart or the apocalypse occurs. Although there’s a distinct possibility that those two events could coincide," the website says. Sadly, the mural was across the street from Trinity Groves, sitting in the path of gentrification. So score one for the artist's prescience. Luckily, the skatepunk-inspired Sieben is back in Dallas with a new collection of works in an exhibition titled The Thing Within at {neighborhood}. The show opens Dec. 3 and continues until Jan. 1 or the apocalypse. Given the way things are going you might want to hurry by. {neighborhood}, 411 N. Bishop Ave., 11 a.m. daily except Mondays, free, neighborhood-store.com. — Patrick Williams

Thu 12/8
Texas may not have left as big of a mark on the art of comedy as places like the Borscht Belt scene in the Catskills or Chicago’s storied Second City theater, but at least we’re trying. And for once we’re not referring to the fact that Rick Perry gave Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show some of its best material since Dick Cheney mistook lawyers for quail. What we’re talking about is our beloved Dallas Comedy House, which has come up with its own unique way to deliver comedy with its weekly Ewing Show, in which some of the club’s stellar performers create a fully improvised scene based on audience suggestions. See it Thursday nights. Dallas Comedy House, 2645 Commerce St., 9:30 p.m., $10, dallascomedyhouse.com. — Danny Gallagher

Way, way, way before Dallas became a mecca of coffee shops, department stores and highways, it was a lush landscape silhouetted by flying, jumping and crawling dinosaurs. North Texas played host to several of these ancient animals millions of years ago, and DinoLabs offers a unique glimpse into the world of these dinosaurs with artifacts, fossils and DNA used to reconstruct what they, and the earth, were like 200 millions years ago. Check out Dallas' former residents at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, 1600 Gendy St., 10 a.m., $15 to $21, fwmuseum.org. — Diamond Victoria

The businesses located on Main Street in Deep Ellum open their doors every third Thursday evening for Wine Walk. It’s the perfect event for the art lover whose resveratrol levels could use a little pick-me-up. For $5 you get a specially designed wine glass which will be topped off as you meander through the neighborhood’s stores and galleries. Make Kettle Art Gallery your first stop at 5 p.m. Thursday. For more information and a list of participating shops, visit Deep Ellum’s Facebook page. Kettle Art Gallery, 2650 Main St., 5 p.m., $5. — Kathryn DeBruler

Fri 12/9
New artists are producing new, refreshing works inspired by all sorts of subjects. ArtLoveMagic will present some new works inspired by hip-hop music and figures in a free, public exhibition called The Mixtape at the SouthSide on Lamar. Guests will not only view these works but will also enjoy live music by several artists, including a view performance by Grey Matter. SouthSide on Lamar, 1409 S. Lamar St., 7 to 11 p.m., free, Facebook.com. — Danny Gallagher

Leonard Cohen marked the latest great tragedy in the music industry this year when he died early last month. The singer-songwriter, novelist, painter and poet’s career spanned 60 years and earned him numerous accolades. Hits like “I’m Your Man” and “Hallelujah” are staples in the world of modern music, and Texas Theatre wants you to join them during a two-day tribute to remember the Bard of the Boudoir. The theater will screen the documentary I’m Your Man at 6:45 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9. Two films will be screened Dec. 10; McCabe and Mrs. Miller on 35 mm at 7 p.m., and One of Us Cannot Be Wrong at 9:30 p.m. The first film of that evening includes a soundtrack by Cohen and the second is a behind-the-screen show with local musicians Jacob Metcalf, Cameron Ray and Garrett Owen in tow. Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., 6:45 p.m., $10 to $14, thetexastheatre.com. — Diamond Victoria

Few books have sparked a following quite like J.K. Rowling’s most famous fantasy novel series turned major motion pictures. The story of Harry Potter, boy wizard, and his two friends fighting the evil Lord Voldemort has all the ingredients for worldwide success, and Friday, Dec. 9, participating area Barnes and Noble stores are hosting a Harry Potter Magical Holiday Ball. It’s inspired by the Triwizard Tournament tradition, the Yule Ball, from the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire installment, and includes themed activities, crafts, poster giveaways and the chance to dress to the nines. Check barnesandnoble.com for participating locations, 7 p.m., tickets are free with a $25 membership with Barnes and Noble. — Diamond Victoria

There’s enough bland rhyming in the Christmas music you hear in every shop on the street. There are earworms, and “bell” rhymed with “bell,” and various other word crimes. We can’t even talk about “The Christmas Shoes.” Deep Vellum Books is offering an alternative celebration with some very different — and we’re talking topic and style — words when Pandora’s Box poetry showcase presents A Hard Candy Christmas. Check out Darius Ajai Frasure (known to the poetry newbies from his Oral Fixation appearance), Gayle Reaves, Paul Koniecki and many others. Deep Vellum Books, 3000 Commerce St., 7:30 to 11:30 p.m., free, deepvellum.com. — Merritt Martin

Sat 12/10
In your school days there was one day that was way better than any pre-designated holiday: the snow day. More often than not, you went to bed hoping like hell that a little sleet would turn into a snow day, only to wake up to a plain old wet road. It was the overnight surprise resulting in a true day off that was the real gem. Snow Day Events pays homage to that freedom with the Snow Day Bar Crawl Dallas from 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday. For $20-plus (ticket prices increase as the date nears), get a snow day cup and drink specials from Kung Fu Saloon (registration and pick up location), British Beverage Company and Renfield’s Corner. Tickets are available in advance online or at the door, but make sure your homework’s done first. Kung Fu Saloon, 2911 Routh St., 2 p.m., $20 and up, snowdaybarcrawl.com. — Merritt Martin

Now that the weather is starting to turn to a crisp chilliness, it’s time to stop putting off that New Year’s resolution you made before the turn of last year and start getting some exercise. Don’t deny that you haven’t gotten around to it. That exercise bike you bought yourself for Christmas is now a dirty clothes rack in your bedroom and the gym membership card in your wallet is the least used one in there just behind your Blockbuster Video rental card. Maybe what you need to help get the ball rolling is just a good run. Fort Worth is hosting just such a run on Saturday, Dec. 10. The Super Run that starts at Trinity Park will feature a massive costume-clad crowd ready to hit the streets with their running shoes starting at 8 a.m. Guests are encouraged to wear their favorite superhero or supervillain costume as they embark on this challenging 5K event. Participants will receive a special medal for their efforts and can win other prizes in a series of games and giveaways. Proceeds from the run will go to several local and worthy charities. Individual participants can register before the day of the event for $40 or $45 on the day of the race. Teams can pay $29 per person before the day of the event or $45 on race day. Trinity Park, 2401 University Drive in Fort Worth, 8 a.m., TheSuperRun.com. — Danny Gallagher

Ah, the '70s. Don't you sometimes wish that we could just turn back the clock? I mean, minus the polyester leisure suits, religious cults and Richard Nixon. No, we're thinking of lava lamps, shag carpets, platform shoes and, best of all, the roller disco parties. If you have the same fantasy, you can make do without the time machine from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday when there's a roller disco at Forum Roller World in Grand Prairie. The music — provided by DJs SOLD (Chicago), heady (Houston) and Dallas' own Gina G and P2P — will be a bit more contemporary, but the spirit will be just the same. Tickets are $15.75 and include roller skate or rollerblade rental. To buy yours, search the event on Facebook. It's BYOB, and no glass containers are allowed. Forum Roller World, 1900 S. Great Southwest Parkway in Grand Prairie, 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., $15.75, forumrollerworld.com. — Caroline North

Sun 12/11
The ugly Christmas sweater has risen from its lowly station on the clearance racks of Dillard’s and is now a bona fide holiday tradition, defying its roots in irony to become the norm. Proof? You’re now supposed to wear them to yoga. And brunch. And yoga brunches. On Sunday, Dec. 11, you can don your most hideous holiday knitwear for the Ugly Christmas Sweater Yoga and Brunch on the rooftop of HG Sply. Hosted by Dallasites 101, Outdoor Voices and Esther Penn, this charity event raises funds for Interfaith Dallas and lets you stretch things out before you stuff yourself at an all-you-can-eat buffet with mimosas. Following that, you can exercise your good taste at holiday pop-up shops onsite. HG Sply, 2008 Greenville Ave., 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., $35, eventbrite.com. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Mon 12/12

'Tis the season for Christmas movies. We’re not too discriminating when it comes to the jingly feel-goods, but there’s one type of Christmas movie we inexplicably adore: Christmas horror. Fortunately for us, Texas Horror Cult presents the screenings of its Merry Scary Christmas 48 Hour Film Race entries from earlier in this month, along with a mixer with the crazy filmmakers who wrote, produced and edited their films (after being prompted with a required prop, character and line of dialogue) in just 48 hours. Support their efforts, and get inspired to create your own film next time. Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., 7 p.m., $5, texashorrorcult.com. — Merritt Martin

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