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5 Things to Do, September 19-23

It doesn’t get better than a great book, except maybe discussing it with the author. There’s also great comedy on TV, but oh, seeing it live just amps it up. There are great art shows, but there’s something about being there the night they open. Oh, and Halloween came early. Go ahead and put a crown on this week’s head after you scope out our suggestions:

Authors Live!: Colson Whitehead
7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19
Highland Park United Methodist Church
3300 Mockingbird Lane
Free, with registration
Colson Whitehead hit big on the literary scene in 1999 with his debut The Intuitionist, snatching up coveted “one to watch” accolades right and left. He rode that success into the 2002 MacArthur Fellowship and cranked out a couple more novels that weave his surreal metaphorical style with social and racial allegory. Following that, he penned the mostly autobiographical Sag Harbor and an essay-turned-book about high-stakes poker tournaments. But now that his latest book, The Underground Railroad, which revisits his signature metaphorical style, has been singled out by Oprah Winfrey, Whitehead is enjoying a renaissance of sorts. Hear his take on the racial issues that his new novel takes on, his newfound Oprah-bestowed fame and his love of language arts as he talks at Highland Park United Methodist Church, as part of their Authors Live! Series from 7 until 8 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19. The event is free with registration at hpumc.org. An author’s reception precedes the event at 6 p.m. and is $30; call 214-523-2240 to make a reservation. —Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Adam Conover
8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20
South Side Music Hall
1135 S. Lamar St.
$32.50
You know that guy who “debunks” current hot topics and corrects the off-hand things people say at dinner parties, but somehow you still find him charming enough to keep inviting around? That’s Adam Conover. He can tell you why you’re an asshole for carting around a bottle of water 24/7, ruin your trip to the pool by telling you why it really smells so strongly of chemicals, and how donating cans instead of money during a food drive is the shittier way to go. Actually, you don’t even need to invite him to dinner since Adam Ruins Everything is a series on TruTV. But in case you really wanted him to eff up your “main course,” have some appetizers and head to his tour stop 8 p.m. Tuesday at South Side Music Hall. Shell out the $32.50 a ticket, and grab some Conover knowledge on voting and other super relevant but totally, uh, noncontroversial topics. Visit trutv.com/adamruinseverything for tickets and more on the show.

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ReImagine Crowdus: Halloween
6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21
Crowdus Street
Between Indiana and Commerce streets
Free
The idea that a public gathering space is essential to a thriving neighborhood community was the catalyst to starting the Reimagine Crowdus experiment, which has kicked into gear this month. On Crowdus Street, between Indiana and Commerce streets, the street is pedestrian only and will play host to free events like Alamo Drafthouse outdoor screenings, workouts with CrossFit Deep and City Surf Fitness, and live performances. But don’t think they won’t throw down on some themes: Because the Reimagine Crowdus experiment is a monthlong one with a long-term vision, September events include celebrations of major holidays from St. Pat’s (Sept. 19) to New Year’s Eve (Sept. 24). Halloween, presented by Dragons Ball and Deep Ellum Community Association, takes place 6 p.m. Wednesday and features a spooky Wonderland complete with Alice and her cohorts. Fortunately, stores are already stocked with costumes and such for this early trick-or-treat. Tunes from the weekly Electric Picnic event with Off the Record will keep the party hopping. Visit reimaginecrowdus.com for more on the community experiment.

2wo Hundred – Opening Weekend
7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22
Kettle Art
2650 Main St.
Free
Kettle Art is, at its core, a community art gallery. Community in that it draws from its Deep Ellum neighborhood and surrounding areas. Community in that it nurtures new artists and reinvigorates established ones. Community in that there is always a conversation going on (often about art, but just as easily about the city). For nearly 11 years, Kettle and its owner, we’ll call him a patriarch on the front lines, Frank Campagna, has been a destination for artists. Now the gallery is celebrating its 200th exhibition with the aptly titled 2two Hundred, opening with great excitement 7 p.m. Thursday. The show includes pieces by Kettle favorites Tyson Summers, Cathey Miller, Hatziel Flores, Clay Stinnett, Richard Ross and so many more, and in the Kettle tradition, introduces two fresh talents: Erin Curry and Izzy Sanders. Visit kettleart.com or facebook.com/kettle.art.

Oddball Comedy Festival
5:15 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23
Gexa Energy Pavilion
3839 S. Fitzhugh Ave.
$29.95 to $59.95
So Sebastian Mansicalco and Dane Cook are headlining the Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival coming to Gexa 5:15 p.m. Friday. That’s cool. What’s cooler? Jermaine Fowler is on the lineup. Watch any of his late night appearance clips for a taste: Fowler is a fantastic storyteller. He riffs on his childhood, his family, being the twin not named after his father with a delivery that builds laughs and has the potential to turn them into that weird thing where your face cramps in a weird expression and you just start keening like a car horn. Now, Fowler is a little low on the line-up, which may mean he’s closer to the start of the show than the close, but convenient, because you won’t have had too much to drink and won’t be at risk of peeing your pants from laughing too hard. Ali Wong is back after her recent Improv appearance, to dirty things up a bit, and Separation Anxiety host Iliza Shlesinger will surely have a comment about the weather and vaginas, but will not likely award the audience any money since this isn’t her game show. In a shocking turn of events, Jeff Ross hosts/roasts the evening. Tickets start at $29.95. Visit oddballfest.com.

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