The 22 Best Things to Do in Dallas This Week, Nov. 18-24

Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who killed JFK
Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who killed JFK Hulton Archive/Stringer

Monday, November 18

The Funky Knuckles
If The Funky Knuckles aren’t a part of your weekly jazz intake, they should be. The Funky Knuckles have been together for nearly seven years. The fusion jazz band released an album called Meta-Musica in 2014 that climbed to No. 1 on iTunes’ jazz charts the first day of its release. Individually, the Knuckles are all seasoned players who’ve worked with superstars such as Beyoncé, Erykah Badu, Chrisette Michele, Talib Kweli, Puff Daddy and the Polyphonic Spree. The free show starts at 9:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 18, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St. H. Drew Blackburn

Samantha Power
Let’s hark back to a time when our approach to foreign policy was generated by thoughtful individuals who conducted their discourse with international leadership outside of 140-character tweets and questionable phone calls. Seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it? The two most recent U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations have had to work within an administration whose foreign policy seems largely … impulsive ... and probably have killer stories to tell, but it’s also interesting to contrast the more idealistic approach through the eyes of President Barack Obama’s former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power. The Pulitzer Prize-winning human rights advocate and former war correspondent has written a new book that examines her life as an Irish immigrant and former high-stakes diplomat. The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir is a fascinating account of Power’s drive to make a difference. She’ll be at the Hockaday School, 11600 Welch Road, at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 18 to discuss the critically lauded book in partnership with the Dallas Museum of Arts and the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth. Tickets are $40 to $70 at Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Tuesday, November 19

DRUMLine Live Holiday Spectacular
It should go without saying that participants in the Little Drummer Boy Song Challenge should stay far away from the DRUMLine Live Holiday Spectacular taking place 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, at Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. But everyone else in the holiday spirit should snag tickets while they can because this production is brought to the stage by the beat masters behind 2002’s hit Drumline and VH1’s Drumline: A New Beat. Experience everything from “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to “Jingle Bells” (with Hanukkah and Kwanzaa favorites mixed in) with all the precision, energy and choreography of an HBCU marching band with dance corps. Tickets are $39-$69. Call 214-880-0202 or visit Merritt Martin

The Last Days of Lee Harvey Oswald
More than half a century ago, Ruth Paine of Irving found herself placed in one of the most horrific events of the 20th century when Lee Harvey Oswald hid the bolt action rifle he used to wound Texas Gov. John Connolly and kill President John F. Kennedy. Paine met the Oswalds at a party seven months earlier and took in his wife Marina Oswald and her children when their marriage started to falter, giving Oswald an opportunity to hide his murder weapon. The decisions Oswald made thrust her into one of the saddest moments of American history and changed the course of her life in ways no one could imagine. Paine will tell her story at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, at the Sixth Floor Museum, 411 Elm St., during a special conversation with the museum's curator Stephen Fagin. The event is part of the museum's "Four Days in November" series commemorating the 56th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination. Tickets are $20 per person or $56 for the entire series. Tuesday's event includes a 6 p.m. wine reception. Visit for tickets and more information on the program and the series. Danny Gallagher

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. on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at The Free Man Cajun Cafe & Lounge, 2626-2630 Commerce St. Jacob Vaughn

Wednesday, November 20

Best in Show
Dallas’ Granada Theater may be a historic landmark, but its sister venue, Sundown at Granada, is the easygoing girl next door. Literally next door to the theater, Sundown offers a free weekly movie night on the venue’s (covered) rooftop. On this week’s program is Best in Show, a mockumentary about dog owners eager to get their pets a winning spot in a prestigious dog show. The comedy was written and directed by Christopher Guest, and stars what we can only assume are the only actors he can stand to work with, Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, since Guest persistently casts the duo in everything he ever touches. It starts at 8.30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 3524 Greenville Ave. For more information, visit Eva Raggio

Thursday, November 21

Todrick: Haus Party Tour
Todrick Hall is one of those modern-day celebrities who are famous for being, well, everywhere. The singer-dancer’s artistic talent, like Lil Nas X’s, is only surpassed by a genius-like aptitude for tech-savvy marketing. After making it to the American Idol semifinals 10 years ago on season 9, the North Texas native found a loyal YouTube following with a series of flash mob videos, earning this generation’s equivalent to a Nobel Prize: Beyoncé’s prestigious stamp of approval. Hall made his name as a choreographer and Broadway actor, got his own show on MTV, became a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race and most recently co-produced the LGBTQ anthem “You Need to Calm Down” with Taylor Swift. Hall’s show, supporting his EP Haus Party, promises dance moves as fierce as his vocals. Doors open at 7 p.m., while the show (which is for all ages) starts at 8 p.m. on Thursday Nov. 21. Tickets are $25-124 at Eva Raggio

Remy Reilly

The 15-year-old powerhouse singer-songwriter Remy Reilly will take the stage at the Box Garden at Legacy Hall for her last full-band show of the year. Reilly will perform new covers and new songs at her show in Plano, so you won't want to miss it. The young star in the making is up for a Dallas Observer Music Award this year for Best Female Singer. Most recently, Reilly released her song "Burn," a "ladies anthem" with the alt-country band Vandoliers. Reilly told the Observer that the inspiration behind the song was female empowerment. The artist is already making waves in the local music scene, and the future of her music career is looking even brighter with each release she puts out. The free show starts at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21, at Box Garden at Legacy Hall, 7800 Windrose Ave., Plano. Jacob Vaughn
click to enlarge
Local pop singer Remy Reilly will be at the Box Garden at Legacy Hall for a free set with her band this Thursday.
Will von Bolton

Friday, November 22

With All Due Respect with Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley — the Donald Trump-appointed U.S. ambassador to the U.N. (2017–19), governor of South Carolina (2011–17) and author of the ironically titled and timed book With All Due Respect (zero; she and the president whose ring she kisses are due none), in which she boasts about her refusal to help other top Trump officials buffer Trump's most idiotic and dangerous impulses (impeachment hearings began the day after the book was released) — makes a local 2020 vice presidential and/or 2024 presidential campaign stop as part of the World Affairs Council Women on the World Stage Series, 7:30 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building at UTD, 800 W. Campbell Road, Richardson. Admission is $50 for one ticket and a book or $70 for two tickets and a book, with discounts for students and USICC/UTD/WAC members, at Jesse Hughey

Living History With Bill Mercer
Marking the 56th anniversary of the JFK assassination, the Sixth Floor Museum, 411 Elm St., presents “Living History With Bill Mercer” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday. Mercer, legendary sports announcer, will interact with classrooms around the world in addition to the live audience at the museum. Moderator is Sixth Floor curator Stephen Fagin. A broadcaster with CBS affiliate KRLD radio and television on the tragic date, Mercer was reporting live from police headquarters at midnight of that Friday in ’63 and was first to inform Lee Harvey Oswald that he had been charged with the murder of the president. Retired and living in North Carolina, Mercer is co-author of the memoir When the News Went Live: Dallas 1963. The event is free, but reservations are required. For information, call 214-747-6660 or go to Reba Liner

In the dog-pet-dog world that is Dallas-Fort Worth’s local music scene, it’s as common as carbon to find lineups of homegrown heroes looking to make their bones. But none on the November night in question are likely to pack as much value per dollar as this Chancy-headlined show. A rock-tinged neo-disco quintet out of Dallas, Chancy released their first EP on this most recent April Fool’s Day, which includes the track “Oceans Over Me,” a slapper of supreme quality that’s sure to induce spontaneous gyrations. Before them, Ruff Wizard will take to the stage with jazzy effervescence, fresh off their most recent album Ruff Times; this band’s rhythm has just enough touch of the blues to round out their yacht rock edges. Black Hole Bears and Local Man Dies will be the night’s obligatory representatives from Denton, a super necessary complement to any night grooving in Deep Ellum. Both acts are a bit more somber, apropos for openers — with the latter dipping into emo territory while the former contains as much Texas twang as one is bound to pick on at this show (it’s subtle but it’s there). All told, there’s not much more you could ask for from a night out in Dallas. It starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22, at The Double Wide, 3510 Commerce St. Tickets are $7 at Nicholas Bostick

Toys 4 Tots
We know it's getting close to the holidays when Drowning Pool makes its way through town for the annual Toys 4 Tots at Trees in Deep Ellum. Catch them this week along with fellow rock bands Overseen, Adakain and Begotten for the annual charitable event. The band has played several times since the beginning of the event, which has collected more than 5,000 toys over the years for children whose families suffer financial strain. You'll remember Drowning Pool's breakout hit, "Bodies," in 2001. Since then, the Dallas-born band has seen some lineup changes throughout its six-album career. Earlier this year they teased on social media to a seventh studio album in the works. The Toys 4 Tots show starts at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22, at Trees, 2709 Elm St. Tickets are $9.71-$20 at Diamond Rodrigue

Saturday, November 23

click to enlarge
courtesy ATTPAC

Musicals aren’t always about the bombast: Once is proof positive that you don’t need flashy choreography or wired harnesses to make characters soar. It’s a bare-bones, earnest and romantic little musical in which the characters don’t even have names; the set is entirely understated; and the cast does double-duty as the orchestra. And yet, every little bit of it manages a depth and emotional wallop without so much as an Andrew Lloyd Webber credit anywhere on the playbill. The sparse but captivating Tony Award winner plays at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., at 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22; 2 and 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23; and 1:30 and 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24. Tickets to the presentation by the AT&T Performing Arts Center Broadway Series are $35 to $135 at Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Lewis Black
Don’t say Lewis Black is a pessimist. He’s simply the ultimate observer of both the political and social. He’ll see things no one else would focus on, and then annihilate it detail by detail. Aside from the side stitches from laughing way too hard, audiences are often better for it. Lots of “Omg, I’ve felt that way exactly!” “Dude, that is so true.” and “Stop talking. He’ll see you.” spread out through seats like wildfire during a Lewis Black set. (Oddly noteworthy: It simply never feels natural to say “Lewis” or “Black” by itself. Always the full name.) The comedian brings his The Joke’s On Us Tour to the Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23. Tickets are $25-$75. Visit Merritt Martin

Candid Camera's LOL Tour
"Reality TV" is such a cringe-inducing phrase. It contradicts itself by its very nature. It's not reality since it's set up by a producer to create fights, start arguments and get housewives to flip over tables because someone didn't use the salad fork properly. It barely qualifies as TV. There was a time when catching people in real situations for our amusement was a novelty and even considered a worthy way of spending time in front of our televisions. Now it has its own live tour. Candid Camera's LOL Tour is coming to the Eisemann Center in Richardson at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23. Host Peter Funt, the son of Candid Camera creator Allen Funt, will take the audience through some of the TV show's most memorable pranks and real encounters and share stories about how the groundbreaking TV comedy series paved the way for the genre of reality television. The Eisemann Center is located at 2351 Performance Drive in Richardson. Tickets are $29-$40 and can be purchased at Danny Gallagher

After the digital release of their surprise ninth studio album Get Fixed in October, post-hardcore band Cursive set out on the road earlier this month with Cloud Nothings and The Appleseed Cast. Grappling with anger, frustration, helplessness and loss, Cursive's new album picks up where their 2018 release, Vitriola, left off. Largely composed during the same sessions as Vitriola, Get Fixed is very much a companion piece to their last album, filled with the band's trademark intensity and melodicism. You'll want to arrive on time for this stacked lineup. The last date of this leg of their tour, Dallas will be Cursive's last show with Lawrence, Kansas-based emo band The Appleseed Cast as their support before picking the tour back up with Cloud Nothings and Criteria in January. Both supporting acts fit together perfectly with the headliner, both known for their visceral instrumentals and evocative wordplay. It is sure to be a night of high energy and high emotion. It starts at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23, at Trees, 2709 Elm St. Tickets are $23 at David Fletcher
click to enlarge
Teenager Frankie Leonie already sounds like a country legend.
Cal Quinn and Aly Faye
Frankie Leonie
We're all about local country folk darling Frankie Leonie right now. This teenage sensation will blow you away with her powerful voice, talented guitar playing and compelling songwriting. Last year, the young artist with an old soul took home the award for Best Country Act at the DOMAs, and she's up for the same award in 2019. Often you'll find Leonie in Dallas or Fort Worth playing shows with the likes of country acts Vincent Neil Emerson and Joshua Ray Walker at venues like Flying Saucer and The Kessler, respectively. This Saturday, however, Leonie will take the stage at Mama Tried in Irving. It might be a bit of a drive for some, but trust us, you'll want to keep your eye on this one and catch her live wherever you can. The free show starts at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23, at Mama Tried, 340 W. Las Colinas Blvd. #120, Irving. Diamond Rodrigue

Allison Moorer
Whether it's on her own or in collaboration with some leading figures in the Americana scene, including her sister Shelby Lynne, singer-songwriter Allison Moorer has been making heartfelt, introspective music for over 20 years. Though she's hinted at the incident in the past, the tragic murder-suicide of her and Lynne's parents is directly being discussed for the first time with the release of Moorer's autobiography Blood: A Memoir and its accompanying album, Blood. On tour as part of a combination book reading/concert tour, she'll appear in Dallas for an extended evening at Sons of Hermann Hall. Things will begin with a conversation moderated by acclaimed music journalist Mario Tarradell to discuss the book, followed by an acoustic solo set in which Moorer will perform select songs from the book’s accompanying album. It starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23, at Sons of Hermann Hall, 3414 Elm St. Tickets are $13-$40 at Jeff Strowe

Sunday, November 24

Esé Azenabor
Nigerian-born fashion designer Esé Azenabor studied in Canada and at Southern Methodist University before becoming the fairy godmother to fashion-conscious brides and a favorite designer among celebrities. Azenabor’s signature luxurious beading and endless gown trains border on avant-garde, and her newest collection, Woman X Power Paradise, is a couture feast of florals, bold patterns and lush color. Dallas personalities such as Housewives cast members LeeAnne Locken and Kameron Westcott will walk the runway to benefit Action with Compassion Dallas, Inc., an organization that supports victims of domestic abuse. It starts at 5 p.m. at Hall of State at Fair Park, 3939 Grand Ave. Tickets are $90-150 at Eva Raggio

Pete the Cat
Based on the book series by Kimberly Dean, James Dean and Eric Litwin, Pete the Cat is a restless music-obsessed feline who gets in trouble for rocking after bedtime and is sent to live with the uptight Biddle family. When the youngest Biddle member loses his creativity during art class, Pete will help him recapture his source of inspiration. The musical play is for little ones; it’s a story about friendship and good morals with, you know, lively songs for kids. It starts at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson. Tickets are $12-$22 at Eva Raggio

Touring for the first time in 14 years, experimental industrial-rock supergroup Pigface’s list of former members and collaborators is truly remarkable. In fact, we could not unpack a complete roster listing the dozens of influential and noteworthy past and present alternative and industrial artists who have recorded or performed with Pigface over the decades since Martin Atkins formed the industrial supergroup in 1990: from Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails to En Esch of KMFDM, to Nivek Ogre of Skinny Puppy, to Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers, to the members of Shonen Knife — just to name a handful. While it’s been a decade since Full Effects Records released Pigface’s album 6, it’s worth noting that drummer, producer and record label founder (Invisible Records) Atkins is also a well-respected lecturer and writer who wrote what’s arguably one of the best books for up-and-coming bands to read, Tour:Smart: And Break the Band, which when published in 2007 was billed as “the first real book about the business of touring,” and the 2018 sequel Band:Smart: And Succeed In the Music Business On Your Own Terms. The show starts at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. Tickets are $24-$41 at Daniel Rodrigue

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. The free show starts at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24, at Revelers Hall, 412 N. Bishop Ave. Jacob Vaughn
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Dallas Observer Staff