21 Things To Do in Dallas This Week, Feb. 17 – 23

Melissa Villaseñor comes to the Addison Improv this week.
Melissa Villaseñor comes to the Addison Improv this week. Joel Mandelkorn / Creative Commons

Monday, February 17

Jeffrey Siegel's Keyboard Conversations: Mistresses and Masterpieces

Behind every grand piano arrangement is a grand woman — we think the saying goes. A new program at the Eisemann Center focuses on the music by classic composers like Chopin, Schumann, Liszt and Mendelssohn, inspired by the women in their lives. Chopin’s Waltz in A-flat major, Op. 69, No. 1, for instance, is commonly referred to as “Valse de l’adieu,” as he wrote it as a farewell to his former fiancée Maria. Jeffrey Siegel plays famous pieces and explains the heartache behind the chords at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17, at 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson. Tickets are $36-$42 at eisemanncenter.com. Eva Raggio

Paul Slavens & Friends
This Monday, the spontaneous song generator, DJ and Ten Hands frontman Paul Slavens will take the stage at Dan’s Silverleaf. Slavens writes and performs songs on the spot, improvising about whatever comes to mind. Song title suggestions get thrown at him from the crowd and he just runs with them. Attendees might hear songs about escaping the spiraling vortex of IKEA, robot children or whatever else they can think of. If this isn’t part of your weekly music routine by now, it should be. The free show starts at 9 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17, at Dan's Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St., Denton. Jacob Vaughn

Tuesday, February 18

12th Annual Prom Closet
If teen comedies have taught us anything, it’s that there is no bigger event in the life of a high schooler than prom night, and that’s the way it should be. Kids today have added their own traditions, like inviting each other to the event through elaborate “promposals,” but for those young women who can’t afford the extravagant expense of a ball gown, St. Andrew Methodist Church is acting as Fairy Godmother and collecting prom attire and accessories. More than 3,500 dresses in a variety of sizes are available at no cost for those who need them. The shopping spree is at 4-8 p.m. Feb. 18, 19, 20 and 22 and 9 a.m.-noon Sunday, Feb. 23, at 5801 W. Plano Parkway, Plano. For more information, visit standrewumc.org. Eva Raggio

The Free Loaders
If a movie was made about The Free Man, a Deep Ellum Cajun restaurant and live music venue, the soundtrack would consist of songs by one band: The Free Loaders. Luckily, a three-piece variation of the band plays at the venue every Tuesday, so there, you don’t have to wait for the movie to come out to hear its killer soundtrack. Just hop over to The Free Man on a Tuesday evening, order a po' boy and listen to frontman and venue owner John Jay Myers slam on his drums and bark into the microphone with keys and stand-up bass behind him. The free show starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, at The Free Man Cajun Cafe & Lounge, 2626-2630 Commerce St. Jacob Vaughn

Wednesday, February 19

Mlima’s Tale
Second Thought Theatre presents Mlima’s Tale, a play about the ghost of an ancient African elephant by Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage. The story follows Mlima’s tusks as they travel through the black market across different continents. The result isn’t just a cautionary tale about illegal hunting and the ivory trade, but a social criticism on consumerism, greed and tradition. It runs Feb. 19 through March 14. Wednesday's performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 at secondthoughttheatre.com. Eva Raggio

Shelley Carrol and Brad Leali
Every Wednesday, a couple of the baddest jazz musicians in the business take over Revelers Hall when Shelley Carrol and Brad Leali take the stage. Carrol comes from a Houston family of gospel singers and musicians. At a young age, he found himself in the famous Boys Choir of Houston. Later, Carrol picked up the saxophone and began learning from the likes of Arnett Cobb and Don Wilkerson from The Texas Tenors. For college, Carrol attended the University of North Texas and landed a spot in the Grammy-nominated One O’Clock Lab Band ... and the rest is history. Leali is just as decorated. The Colorado native began mixing gospel, jazz and R&B into his playing from a very early age. The New York Times wrote that Leali is an exciting and soulful saxophonist. You won't want to miss these two. It starts at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, at Revelers Hall, 412 N. Bishop Ave. Tickets are $5 at the venue. Jacob Vaughn

Thursday, February 20

Melissa Villaseñor

Comedian Melissa Villaseñor is one of Saturday Night Live's latest breakout stars thanks largely to her impressive ability to impersonate so many people. She has an amazing creative range and the kind of cheerful spirit you don't see as much in this age of angry comedy. She made a song about hobbies hilarious. That alone is worth some kind of award. You'll be able to see her live at the Addison Improv, 4980 Belt Line Road, at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20; 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21; and 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22. Tickets are $25-$35 and can be purchased at improvtx.com. Danny Gallagher

Funny, You Don't Act Like a Negro
Funny, You Don't Act Like a Negro, the first play by Dallas-Fort Worth cabaret singer and actor Denise Lee, previews at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, then officially opens at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Theatre Three, 2800 Routh St., followed by a reception. Lee says she's worked on the play for more than a decade and was encouraged to complete the work by Theatre Three's artistic director Jeffrey Schmidt. The play, spotlighting three family vignettes, examines the racial biases people pass along to their children and neighbors. And there's time allotted for audience-sharing. The play's director is Christie Vela. For show times this weekend through March 15, call 214-871-3300 or go to Theatre3dallas.com. Tickets are $25-$35. Reba Liner

Chastity Belt

Hailing from the great city of Walla Walla, Washington, Chastity Belt has been in the business of blending pop, indie and noise rock with a no-fucks-given approach to tongue-in-cheek hooks for over a decade. Touring in support of their self-titled September release, their third on Hardly Art Records, Chastity Belt will headline the night with support from alt-rockers Nanami Ozone and the Melbourne indie-pop of Hugh F. While their latest effort forgoes the crudeness of their early releases, Chastity Belt still lays heavy on stories about hanging out with friends. This time, however, the apathy that they had once used to fend off life's obstacles is replaced with more earnest questioning and searching. Perhaps it was simply the passage of time or perhaps it was lead vocalist Julia Shapiro's brush with a possibly cancerous portion of her thyroid — whatever the case may be, this is a more grown-up Chastity Belt, ready for a good time, but with just a bit more on their mind. It starts at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20, at Deep Ellum Art Co., 3200 Commerce St. Tickets are $15 at eventbrite.com. David Fletcher

Friday, February 21

Bruce Wood: Cowboy Songs
There’s probably a vision you conjure up when someone uses the term “contemporary dance,” and we’re guessing western/cowboy dance doesn’t figure in too highly. But why not? Dallas contemporary envelope-pushers Bruce Wood Dance makes the case that the exuberance and rhythm that set your toes to tappin’ anytime you hear a good cowboy-country song can drive an uplifting, modern and beautifully choreographed dance performance in their 10th anniversary Gala Cowboy Songs at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, and Saturday, Feb. 22. Wood’s western dances are revived onstage at Bruce Wood Dance Gallery, 103 Howell St., by artistic director Joy Bollinger and producer Larry Lane, with help from composer Joseph Thalken, country crooner Sonny Franks and local western swing standout Ginny Mac. Dancers trade their boots for ballet shoes without missing a step. Corral your tickets, starting at $300, by emailing [email protected]. Jennifer Davis-Lamm

The House on Mango Street

For Latina women of a certain age, the name Esperanza Cordero is a weighty one. The heroine of Sandra Cisneros’ beautiful coming-of-age book The House on Mango Street speaks to the Mexican American experience in a way that gives its adolescent readers a culturally relevant touchstone for their transition into adulthood: like Judy Blume, but more lyrical and diverse. The story of Esperanza’s search for her identity and place in the world is sometimes traumatic but always hopeful, and Cara Mía Theatre’s adaptation of the beloved book transforms the story that has informed the perspective of a generation of women into a three-dimensional and emotional series of vignettes. The bilingual production is suggested for ages 13 and up and begins its run at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, at the Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak, with performances at 7:30 Thursdays through Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. Sundays through March 8. Tickets are $13 to $18 at caramiatheatre.org. Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Catch Me If You Can
Pocket Sandwich Theatre’s latest production, Catch Me If You Can, is not to be confused with the identically named autobiography of conman Frank Abagnale Jr. or its Leo DiCaprio-starring film adaptation, though they share in common a central character who may not be who they claim to be. Promising “Murder, Mayhem, Misdirection, Mirth,” it’s the comedic whodunnit that gave the popcorn-tossing, melodrama-loving dinner theater — celebrating its 40th anniversary this year — its Moose Booth in 1982. Catch Catch Me If You Can if you can at 8 p.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday or 7 p.m. Sunday at Pocket Sandwich Theatre, 5400 E. Mockingbird Lane, Suite 119. The show runs through March 21. Tickets are typically $21.50 on Fridays, $27.50 Saturdays, $16.50 Sundays and $12.50 Thursdays with $2 discounts for children and seniors. Tickets and more information are at 214-821-1860 or pocketsandwich.com. Jesse Hughey

Saturday, February 22

Mardi Paws
If there’s something New Orleans does well, it’s a parade. Naturally, in addition to stuffing themselves with king cake, those celebrating Mardi Gras outside of NOLA must find a way to don the gold, green and purple and get their march on — even better if it’s for a good cause and features four-legged fashion plates instead of floats. The Texas Lottery Plaza of Toyota Music Factory, 316 W. Las Colinas Blvd. in Irving, invites human and canine revelers alike at noon Saturday for Mardi Paws. Terence Bradford and Congo Square provide live entertainment, the DFW Humane Society and Irving Animal Shelter will host an adopt-a-thon, and of course, there’s the carnival costume parade for prizes. Registration for the parade is $10 and benefits the DFW Humane Society, but parking and admission to Mardi Paws are free. Merritt Martin

Max Amini

Comedian and actor Max Amini is a master of improvisation who incorporates audience participation into his acts, so be prepared for him to call you out or — even better — call your spouse on the phone to inquire as to his or her whereabouts. Amini has more than gags in his bag; the second-generation Iranian has a unique storytelling brand of comedy that has made him a worldwide hit with over 10 million views on YouTube alone. The show starts at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson. Tickets are $35-$110 at eisemanncenter.com. Eva Raggio
click to enlarge Confetti Eddie gets silly. - RODERICK PULLUM
Confetti Eddie gets silly.
Roderick Pullum
Silly Magic: Tricks and Giggles
Confetti Eddie's Magic Parlor is a vaudevillian haven for those who need to escape the drudgery of the sensical everyday. The magician is pulling all the screwball tricks out of the box with Silly Magic: Tricks and Giggles, a 90-minute show inspired by Mad Magazine's Mad Books of Magic by artist Al Jaffee, whose lampooning illustrations depicted magicians as wacky showmen. Silly Magic is an all-ages show with magicians, comedians and variety performers. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m., at Confetti Eddie's Magic Parlor, 823 Exposition Ave. Tickets are $15-$20 at prekindle.com. Eva Raggio

Erykah Badu
The "First Lady of Neo-Soul" and local legend Erykah Badu will take the stage at The Bomb Factory because it's time for another Badu Birthday. The annual event is almost always sold out and features celebrity appearances from the likes of comedian Dave Chappelle and Houston rapper Tobe Nwigwe. Badu's birthday event is perfectly timed this year, taking place just two days after the release of her new line of incense, “Badu Pussy." So, grab some incense and head out to The Bomb Factory. It starts at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St. Tickets are $55 at axs.com. Jacob Vaughn
click to enlarge A royal affair. Queen of neo-soul Erykah Badu will celebrate her birthday at The Bomb Factory on Saturday. - MIKE BROOKS
A royal affair. Queen of neo-soul Erykah Badu will celebrate her birthday at The Bomb Factory on Saturday.
Mike Brooks


Post-hardcore band Thrice is on a national tour celebrating the 15th anniversary of their fourth studio album, Vheissu. When Thrice first came onto the scene in 1998, they were known for their fast-paced rhythms and heavily distorted guitar riffs, before incorporating a more experimental and electronic approach in later albums. The album peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard 200 chart and birthed the charting single "Image of the Invisible," which made its way to No. 24 on the publication's Mainstream Rock chart. Doors open at the House of Blues at 6 p.m. for the band's set. You won't want to be late. 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St. Tickets are $29-$49.50 at livenation.com. Diamond Rodrigue

Old 97’s
You'll have to head to Fort Worth for this show, but it'll be worth it because you'll be seeing Old 97's live in action. The band has been a staple of the North Texas music scene since the '90s and has cranked out album after album after album over the years. Most recently, the band put out Love The Holidays in 2018 and coupled the release with an Old 97's holiday hoopla show. They'll be tearing it up at Billy Bob's Texas this weekend. It starts at 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth. Tickets are $30 at billybobstexas.com. Jacob Vaughn

click to enlarge Rhett Miller and his band Old 97's will be tearing up Billy Bob's this week. - MIKE BROOKS
Rhett Miller and his band Old 97's will be tearing up Billy Bob's this week.
Mike Brooks

Sunday, February 23

Judy Moody & Stink
Judy Moody & Stink is a family-friendly play based on the immensely popular book series Judy Moody, which chronicles the escapades of a bubbly (and messy) third-grader. When Judy embarks on a quest for fame with her brother Stink — don’t ask — she ends up learning there are things far more satisfying. It starts at 2.30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, at the Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson. Tickets are $12-$22 at eisemanncenter.com. Eva Raggio

Mary Gauthier

Despite not writing her own songs until she was in her early 30s, Louisiana-born Mary Gauthier (pronounced Goh-shay) has become one of the leading Americana songwriters. With an honestly fearless style, she's tackled subjects like addiction, true crime and sexuality with a raw and unrelenting style that has earned her many accolades. Among those is a recent Grammy nomination for her latest album, Rifles & Rosary Beads, which was up for both Best Folk Album and Album of the Year by the Americana Music Association. It's a collection co-written with veterans and their families as part of SongwritingWith:Soldiers, a nonprofit program that facilitates retreats bringing together professional songwriters like Gauthier with wounded veterans and active military. In addition to these tunes, expect her to dust off some older gems, including maybe a rendition of "Mercy Now," a song named as one of the "saddest country songs of all time" by Rolling Stone Country. It starts at 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, at Medical City Lewisville Grand Theater, 100 N. Charles St., Lewisville. Tickets are $15 at mclgrand.tix.com. Jeff Strowe

Earthgang with Mick Jenkins
Atlanta hip-hop duo Earthgang will take over South Side Ballroom with rapper Mick Jenkins this weekend. The two artists who make up Earthgang, Olu (aka Johnny Venus) and WowGr8 (aka Doctur Dot), are also responsible for groups such as 6LACK, Mereba and others. But in 2008, the duo formed Earthgang and began working on what would be their debut EP, The Better Party, released two years later. Their latest album, Mirrorland, released last year, marked the group's major-label debut. Be sure to catch them and Jenkins as they pass through Dallas this weekend. It starts at 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, at South Side Ballroom, 1135 S. Lamar St. Tickets are $35-$55 at ticketmaster.com. Jacob Vaughn
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