The 22 Best Things To Do in Dallas This Week, Jan. 27 – Feb. 2

The new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum offers the history lessons we desperately need.
The new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum offers the history lessons we desperately need. McGuire Boles

Monday, January 27

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire at The VOID
We know what you’re thinking: “Jesus Christ, another Star Wars movie?” And you’d be right to be such a Negative Nancy, except this isn’t just another young-Anakin-and-Jar-Jar-Binks money grab. This one was made specifically for virtual reality theater The VOID, which means you get to enter a galaxy far, far away, geek out hard and participate in the action. Maybe one day you’ll get to order a drink at the cantina or wear Leia’s gold bikini yourself, but for now you can pose as a stormtrooper and see if the force is really with you as you complete your mission while fighting monsters and completing puzzles. The 20-minute film is for ages 10 and up, with a minimum height requirement of 48 inches. Showtimes are at 15-minute intervals between 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. at Cinemark West Plano, 3800 Dallas Parkway. Tickets are $29.95 at Eva Raggio

Raphael Saadiq
Coming off an eight-year break from releasing new music, the musician/producer Raphael Saadiq, aka Charles Ray Wiggins, is touring off his 2019 album Jimmy Lee. Just a couple of years before, the Tony! Toni! Toné! co-founder earned an Oscar nomination for the song he wrote with Mary J. Blige, "Mighty River," for the movie Mudbound. Saadiq embarked on a 27-date 2020 tour, kicking it off in San Diego just a few days ago. You won't want to miss him at 7 p.m. Monday at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St. Tickets are $15 at Jacob Vaughn

Tuesday, January 28

Texas Hemp Convention
We were wondering why what organizers call "the largest gathering of hemp and CBD business professionals in the country" chose Texas as home. Let's be honest: Pigs will literally — yes, literally — fly before Texas joins civilization and legalizes marijuana. Then we saw the Texas Hemp Convention's hash (heh) tag: #THC2020. Yeah, OK, that sort of wordplay, no stoner could resist. And of course, legal hemp, cannabis' boring, no-fun brother, is now legal to grow, which is great for farmers and the nation's fleet of tall-masted sailing ships. For the rest of us? Well, if you're interested in farming or making and selling CBD products, the three-day convention offers more than 150 sessions and 175 speakers who provide tons of information about hemp cultivation, CBD production, law and business, as well as a chance to network. It starts at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, 650 S. Griffin St. Tickets are $49.99 to $399. Find them and more info at Patrick Williams

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, Jan. 28, at The Free Man Cajun Cafe & Lounge, 2626-2630 Commerce St. Jacob Vaughn
click to enlarge Stone Mecca has a new EP out called Alienman. Watch the multi-instrumentalist play at the House of Blues this Wednesday. - RODERICK PULLUM
Stone Mecca has a new EP out called Alienman. Watch the multi-instrumentalist play at the House of Blues this Wednesday.
Roderick Pullum

Wednesday, January 29

speechless: different by design
The Dallas Museum of Art’s newest exhibition is an interactive experience meant to trip us up in the most sensical of ways. How do we feel sound and touch taste? Sure, various substances can help get us there, but there’s also speechless: different by design, which runs through March 22, and attempts to answer just that type of question. The museum (at 1717 N. Harwood St.) commissioned an international group of seven artists to conceive individual site-specific installations for a vast immersive sensory experience. Tickets are $16, with discounts for seniors, students and military. DMA members and children 11 and under are free. The museum is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and is closed Monday. For more information, visit Eva Raggio

Stone Mecca
Throughout his career, multi-instrumentalist Stone Mecca has worked with the likes of Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg and Organized Noize. Last year, Stone Mecca told the Observer that his latest release, the funk-rock-soul EP Alienman, is a throwback to the kind of music he wrote when he first started playing guitar. He said that with the album, he was trying to create music without hesitation or consideration of predetermined boundaries of his sound. If you haven't heard the latest of Stone Mecca, you'll want to be at his show this Wednesday. The free show starts at 10 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29, at House of Blues Foundation Room, 2200 N. Lamar St. Jacob Vaughn

Y La Bamba
There's some disconnect between the soft, Mexican-influenced, acoustic, lo-fi debut release for Portland folk-rock act Y La Bamba, Alida St., and its 2019 album Mujeres. The latest release sounds more electric and more produced, bordering on poppy, with songs like "Conocidos" or "Cuatro Crazy." Y La Bamba, driven by singer-songwriter Luz Elena Mendoza, has transformed a lot since it debuted in 2008. That transformation is traceable through the different albums Y La Bamba has put out through the years. By the artist's second album, Lupon, the recordings sounded cleaner and, structurally, more conventional. In 2011, Y La Bamba appeared on NPR's Tiny Desk concert series and has maintained the attention of the station ever since. Five years later, the artist's fifth release, Ojos Del Sol, ended up on NPR's Top 50 Albums of 2016. While Y La Bamba's music has changed, its roots still shine through with heavy Mexican-influence, which Mendoza likely gets from her father, who immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico, on songs from the latest album like "Boca Llena" and "Bruja de Brujas." In Mujeres, Mendoza explores where women fit in the "American story." It starts at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at Ruins, 2653 Commerce St. Tickets are $12-$14 at Jacob Vaughn
click to enlarge Comedians Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim can't even get through work without cracking each other up. - CAROLINE BADER
Comedians Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim can't even get through work without cracking each other up.
Caroline Bader
Tim and Eric: 2020 Mandatory Attendance World Tour
If you know someone who's never seen or heard of the comedy of Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, invite them out Thursday, Jan. 30, to The Majestic Theatre for the duo's 2020 Mandatory Attendance Tour.  Don't sit prime them for the experience by telling about Tim and Eric's Adult Swim shows Tom Goes to the Mayor, Tim and Eric's Bedtime Stories and Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job! Don't tell them to watch Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie. It's worth it to see the looks on their faces when they see the signature brand of absurdist comedy Tim and Eric unleashes. And if you're not familiar with Tim and Eric, I'm not telling you anything more for the same reason. Just scrape together $42.50 per person and get your tickets at for their 8 pm show at 1925 Elm St. Danny Gallagher

The Suitcase
The survivor story is such a complicated art: conjuring up pain that’s affected generations in a way that both haunts and inspires is not something an artist or an audience takes lightly. These stories must speak to resilience and hope, yet remind us of our role in preventing such horrors going forward. The Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, 300 N. Houston, remains dedicated to preserving such stories: in conjunction with their exhibit Stories of Survival: Object. Image. Memory, they’ll present The Suitcase by Tim Lorsch at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30. Lorsch’s moving one-man show blends music and narrative to tell the story of the titular piece of luggage found in a Czech Republic antique store with his great-uncle’s name inside. The suitcase found its way to Lorsch, inspiring this unique presentation about his family’s experience during and after the Holocaust. The presentation is included with admission, which is $16 for adults, $14 for seniors, military and first responders; and $12 for students. Make a reservation at Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Friday, January 31

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra has a new music director, the absurdly accomplished Italian-born Fabio Luisi, who was the principal guest conductor at the the Metropolitan Opera for six years until 2017, and who also has a Grammy. Luisi’s first order of business with the DSO is a bare-boned version of Richard Strauss’ Salome (based on Oscar Wilde's play taken from the biblical story) stripped of any costuming or other visual elements. The opera is an elegant tale of classic themes like incest and decapitation, so we’re with Luisi here; it needs no embellishment. The opera, which is in German with English subtitles, will be performed Friday, Jan. 31, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 2, at 2:30 p.m, at 2301 Flora St. Tickets are $49-$144 at Eva Raggio

The Drowsy Chaperone
Local theater star Janelle Lutz returns to Firehouse Theatre, 2535 Valley View Lane, Farmers Branch, Friday evening to the role of Janet van de Graaf ,which she played five years ago at this theater in The Drowsy Chaperone. Shows continue on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Feb. 23. With the house lights down, a man in a chair appears on stage and gets ready to listen to his favorite record — the cast's recording of a fictitious 1928 meta-musical from the jazz age. Then voila!, the recording magically comes to life on stage with such numbers as "I Don't Want to Show Off." Artistic director is Derek Whitener. For tickets and show time, call the box office at 972-620-3747. For more info of the PG-rated performance: Reba Liner
click to enlarge Celebrate the Chinese New Year - GETTY IMAGES
Celebrate the Chinese New Year
Getty Images
2020 DFW Chinese New Year
The lunar calendar got its first new moon on Jan. 25, so Lunar New Year — also known as Spring Festival, Chinese New Year and Tet — is in full swing for more than two weeks. Red lanterns and Year of the Rat celebrations are spread across the city with the coming weekend seeing a fair number of the events. Talon Cultural Foundation sponsors a stage production dedicated to celebrating a fortuitous 2020 and that tenacious rat, of course. Traditional cultural performers and contemporary artists take the stage 7 p.m. Friday and 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Moody Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St. Tickets are $25. If fewer seats and fewer dollars sound like a better idea for families with youngsters, The Crow Collection of Asian Art hosts its annual celebration at NorthPark Center, 8687 N. Central Expressway, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Dancing dragons, live music, noodle-pulling demos from Andrew Chen of Monkey King Noodle Co., martial arts and crafts highlight the day. Visit for details and schedule. Merritt Martin

Lloyd Cole
English singer-songwriter Lloyd Cole just recently put out his longest album, Guesswork. Cole first began gaining notoriety in the '80s through his work with his band Lloyd Cole and the Commotions. In the '90s, Cole went solo, releasing albums such as Don't Get Weird on Me Babe, Bad Vibes and more. In 2004, Cole celebrated the 20th anniversary of his band debut release Rattlesnakes. Cole's current tour, the From Rattlesnakes to Guesswork 2020 Tour, looks back on the musician's long career. Be sure to catch him at The Kessler Theater this Friday. It starts at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, at The Kessler, 1230 W. Davis St. Tickets are $20 at Jacob Vaughn
click to enlarge Medicine Man Revival will be at Main at South Side this Friday. - CAL QUINN AND ALY FAE
Medicine Man Revival will be at Main at South Side this Friday.
Cal Quinn and Aly Fae

Medicine Man Revival
Keite Young and Jason Burt have asserted themselves as a powerful presence in the Dallas music scene. Producing a sound that's nearly impossible to classify, the duo bring their uplifting and passionate testimonials to impassioned fans in venues all across our region. If forced to categorize, Medicine Man Revival is an outfit that spins the funkiest elements of soul and R&B alongside choice smatterings of hip-hop and classic rock. When backed by a rotating cast of ace area musicians, Young and Burt's lyrical epiphanies become more forcefully expressed while also touching on the cosmic karma that keeps us all sewn together on common ground. See all this in action for yourself when they hit the Main at South Side stage this Friday with Son of Stan and Crystal Rippers. It starts at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, at Main at South Side, 1002 S. Main St., Fort Worth. Tickets are $7 at Jeff Strowe

Saturday, February 1

Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr.
If you still hum a funky children’s tune when you need to remember the function of a conjunction or the various possible outcomes for a bill on Capitol Hill, you must have grown up during the educational cartoon Schoolhouse Rock’s 1970s and ’80s run or its ’90s revival. Now your own kids can see how fun learning English, science, math, history and social studies can be when the lessons are set to catchy music at Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr. at Dallas Children’s Theater, 5938 Skillman Road in the Rosewood Center. Performances are Saturday and Sunday afternoons through Feb. 23. This weekend’s showtimes are at 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $23 to $30 at Jesse Hughey

Imagine Broadway!
Imagine Broadway! at Theatre Three in the Quadrangle (2800 Routh St., No. 168) takes you inside the swanky Manhattan apartment of a Broadway composer for an evening of sparkling song and dance. There might even be a soupcon of theater gossip. Imagine! The show at 8 p.m. Saturday runs about two hours and features four of Dallas' top vocalists, Marisa Diotalevi, Blake Hackler, Quintin Jones and Cherish Robinson, showcasing tunes from the Great White Way's top-dollar musicals. Michael Serrecchia directs and music direction is handled by Mark Mullino. Proceeds of the fundraiser will benefit programming at this theater. Need more info? Go to or call 214-871-3300. Reba Liner

DMA Arts & Letters Live: Selected Shorts
Public radio fans in Dallas are no strangers to KERA’s broadcast of Selected Shorts on Saturday nights. Seeing them live, however, is a treat. The Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St, offers up a special 7:30 p.m. Saturday production of O.Henry Prize-winning stories — that is to say, the best short stories of the year — as curated by Selected Shorts and Arts & Letters Live. Better yet, the stories (“Midrash on Happiness” by Grace Paley, “Nayla” by Youmna Chlala, “A Permanent Member of the Family” by Russell Banks and “Oh Shenandoah” by Maura Stanton) will be performed by Wendie Malick (Frasier, Hot in Cleveland, Grace & Frankie), Zach Grenier (The Good Wife, Blindspot, Ray Donovan) and Rita Wolf (The Michaels, My Beautiful Laundrette, Girl 6). Tickets are $40 for the general public, $30 for members and educators, $20 for students. Visit to purchase. Merritt Martin

Le Cure
The news hit a few months ago that legendary post-punk band The Cure is finishing recording their first album in 10 years. To get acquainted with or refresh your memory of the band's extensive musical catalog before the album's release (which has so far been reported as "soon"), check out Le Cure, the Dallas-based Cure tribute band that's, like, really, really good. They're playing at Bowlski's Lakewood Theater, so if you throw back a couple of beers, it's sort of impossible not to assume it's the real Robert Smith and the gang. The free show starts at 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at Bowlski's Lakewood Theater, 1825 Abrams Pkwy, Suite 1. Diamond Rodrigue

Possessed by Paul James
For many who attended NX35 in Denton in 2009 (before the multi-day, multi-stage music festival became 35 Conferette then 35 Denton), one of the most memorable, truly unforgettable performances was the spirited performance by Possessed By Paul James at Rubber Gloves. As Konrad Wert leaned back on his chair above a well-worn Samsonite stompbox held together by duct tape, he paused for a second before grasping his fiddle and commencing to saw at it with his bow like a possessed lumberjack trying to set a felling record — converting many music critics in the room to fans. This one-man band may be a “solo act,” but Wert’s powder-keg explosive performances sound more “full” than some full bands, as he juggles duties as vocalist and percussionist while swapping between a guitar, fiddle and banjo. Reviewing that 2009 set, this critic wrote: “The ‘possessed’ part of his stage name makes perfect sense because Wert does (cliché alert!) play like a man possessed … possessed by roots musicians from the past, he threw everything from folk and blues to punk and bluegrass at that audience last night.” After a hiatus, Wert returns with a new album As We Go Wandering due Jan. 31. It starts at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at Dan's Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St., Denton. Tickets are $12 at Daniel Rodrigue

A Giant Dog
Get ready, Dallas, because A Giant Dog is about to come crashing back into Three Links for an all-ages show that is sure to get your whole body rocking. This female-lead punk band from Austin has been making crowds sweat since 2008. Vocalist Sabrina Ellis gives an absolutely breathtaking performance with a no-holds-barred, theatrical presentation from start to finish. Interaction with fans and onlookers alike is to be expected. Touring in support of their punk-infused, full-album cover of Arcade Fire's Neon Bible, A Giant Dog will share the stage with fellow Austin rockers, the female-lead GO FEVER, LA disco-death-rock act Sick Ride, with local support from Denton's equally theatrical garage rock act Hen and the Cocks (also with a female lead). This is sure to be a show full of energy, angst and in-your-face girl power. Get there early and stay late because there is nothing in this lineup that could possibly disappoint. It starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St. Tickets are $15, David Fletcher

Sunday, February 2

Groundhog Day
Do you ever get deja vu so intensely you question your sanity? The notion might strike when, say, you see Karl Rove appearing on cable news to claim slaughtering people in the Middle East is not only justifiable but urgent, and that it will be a big success for an idiot president and you think, “Didn’t this already happen?” At least you know if things get really bad there’s always the option of suicide, a solution unavailable to the bored weatherman reliving the same day over and over in the classic 1993 comedy Groundhog Day. After witnessing local groundhog Arboretum Annie look for her shadow at sunrise in A Tasteful Place, you can rewatch one of Bill Murray’s greatest performances at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden’s Groundhog Day celebration. The event and screening — free with membership or $12 to $17 admission plus $10 parking — includes complimentary coffee or hot chocolate and a 7:30 a.m. hat contest. Groundhog Day at the Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, is 6:30 to 11 a.m. Sunday. Visit Jesse Hughey

Revelers Hall Band
Every Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m., the Revelers Hall Band makes a not-so-subtle stop at their home venue. The six-piece brass band packs a punch that is near impossible to stand still against. The band embodies what Revelers Hall co-owner Jason Roberts and music director Kevin Butler want to get out of all the performers at the venue. It's acoustic, and they play real pianos and upright basses, instead of electric. Even if the power goes out, the Revelers Hall Band will keep the show going. The band can also be heard accompanying other acts booked at the venue throughout the week. It starts at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2, at Revelers Hall, 412 N. Bishop Ave. Tickets are $5 at venue. Jacob Vaughn
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