It’s rare enough that I answer my phone when I know who’s on the other end. When I don’t recognize the number, that call is going to straight to voicemail every time. The thought of spending a full hour speaking to whoever is on the other end of the line is a nightmare. But perhaps I’m missing an opportunity. For the podcast Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People, comedian Chris Gethard takes calls from strangers and leads them through a conversation for 60 minutes during which the guest callers — and the host — share the interesting events of their lives that make them who they are. Think This American Life (a show Gethard has been featured on) meets a celebrity-free WTF With Marc Maron. Want to see how it’s done? Gethard will tweet a phone number and pick up the first call at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29, and he’ll do it onstage at the University of North Texas Union Lyceum, 1155 Union Circle in Denton. The show is free for UNT students; $5 for guests of students; $15 for faculty, staff and alumni; and $25 for the public. Visit untuniontickets.com for tickets and more information. Texas Union Lyceum, 1155 Union Circle, Denton, 8 p.m., $25, untuniontickets.com. — Jesse Hughey
Most holidays are excuses for consuming mass quantities of alcohol, veiled as celebrations of family, friends and togetherness. Except for Oktoberfest. It's a drinking holiday outright. But who says you can't squeeze in a little bonding as you stumble arm in arm with your posse up and down Henderson Avenue on Friday night for the street's first Oktoberfest party? Check-in is from 6-8 p.m. at the Eberhard, 2107 N. Henderson Ave., where you'll receive a commemorative beer stein. Then continue on to Henderson Tap House, Capitol Pub, The Skellig, Lekka, Barcadia, High Fives and the Whippersnapper. Each bar will offer drink specials and host German-themed activities such pretzel necklace making and log-sawing contests. Return to the Eberhard at 11 p.m. for an after-party until 2 a.m. with free Kraftig beer. Tickets are $15 at eventbrite.com or at the door. The Eberhard, 2107 N. Henderson Ave., 6-8 p.m., $15, eventbrite.com. — Caroline North
Where words fail, pictures are necessary. Sometimes, describing the immigrant experience, crafting sentences about grief or recounting the havoc wreaked by floodwaters isn’t enough, and that’s where journalists must rely on media that goes beyond the confines of a word processor. Think about the way you felt when you heard about the rains Hurricane Harvey brought versus seeing pictures of people on roofs and rescuers speeding through urban streets on boats. It made it real, and it may have spurred you into action. The Dallas Morning News Multimedia Night showcases the power of multimedia during a 90-minute slideshow of iconic and compelling images that have shaped the way we think about our world. The presentation is from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Friday at Klyde Warren Park, 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and take in shots of the people and landscapes that make the news and inform our perspectives. Admission to the family-friendly event is free. For more information, find the event on Facebook or visit klydewarrenpark.org. Klyde Warren Park, 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, 7:30-9 p.m., free, klydewarrenpark.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm
No one will ever accuse comedian Jim Norton of being an intensely private man. He’s been putting it all out there since the ’90s, when he started on the comedy circuit as a newly sober college dropout. It took him a decade or so to find his voice, but once he marshaled it, he put it all out there. You can expect all manner of tales from Norton, from his sexual preferences and his shortcomings as a man to topical takes on racism, homophobia, Bill Cosby and politics. It’s cultural commentary that you’d expect from a guy who co-hosted the Opie and Anthony radio show: long setups full of personal exploits and insights interlaced with pure, unadulterated filth. Norton is the master of expository filth, and if you’re into dick jokes that lead to “aha” moments, you’ll want to catch his schtick at 8 p.m. Friday at The Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd. Tickets are $35 to $85 at ticketfly.com. Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., 8 p.m., $35-$85, ticketfly.com. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm
All you doubting Thomases and C. S. Lewis fans, this is for you: New York City actor Max McLean will bring every atheist's favorite Christian thinker, Clive Staples Lewis, to the Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive in Richardson. In only one hour and 20 minutes of The Most Reluctant Convert, McLean moves Lewis, the determined atheist, to Lewis, No. 1 Christian believer of the 20th century. Talk about your miracles. There is a performance at 7 p.m. Thursday, and shows continue through Oct. 8. Attendees can remain seated after the show for a talkback with McLean, founder and artistic director of Fellowship for Performing Arts. Prices range from $30 for attendees younger than 30 to $91. For tickets and more information, call 972-744-4650 or visit eisemanncenter.com. Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson, 7 p.m., $30-$91, eisemanncenter.com. — Reba Liner
Few people have seen the Hollywood machine the way comedian Tom Arnold has. The Iowa native started doing comedy in college before winning a Minneapolis comedy contest and making that big, scary move to the magical land of Los Angeles, where he scored a writing job on ABC’s Roseanne. The events that followed featured the kind of staggering highs that most comics only dream about, including HBO comedy specials, sitcom roles and memorable parts in big-budget movies such as True Lies with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold's career also included some lows that made him a regular fixture on supermarket tabloid covers but later served to make him funnier. See for yourself how the Hollywood machine has shaped Tom Arnold’s comedy psyche when he performs live this weekend at the Addison Improv, 4980 Belt Line Road. Performances are at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Friday, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $32 for the Sunday show and $35 for the Friday and Saturday shows and can be purchased at the box office or at improvaddison.com. Addison Improv, 4980 Belt Line Road, 7:30 p.m., $32-$35, improvaddison.com. — Danny Gallagher
The State Fair of Texas begins Friday in Fair Park. It ends Oct. 22. What? You want to know more? It’s the freakin’ fair, people. It’s only been happening 131 years. Geez. OK, fine: tons of food, most of it fried; butter sculpture; livestock exhibits; a huge midway with games and carnival rides; live music; assorted entertainers; vendors selling stuff as seen on TV; a car show; corn dogs; turkey legs; arts and crafts. It’s the S-T-A-T-E F-A-I-R. Got it? It costs $12.50 to $16.50 to get in the gate, but there are a ton of group packages that can lower the price if you’re unlucky enough to work for a Dallas employer who doesn’t pass out tickets as a perk. Bring lots of money for food, drinks, rides and game coupons. Acts on the Chevrolet Mainstage this year include Maren Morris, La Mafia, Ro James, the Charlie Daniels Band and Wilson Phillips. Holy crap: Wilson Phillips is playing at the State Fair of Texas at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 8. Well, that’s different. The fair kicks off at 9 a.m. Friday with the Chevrolet Ride and Drive, and Morris plays at 8:30 p.m. opening day. For tickets and a full schedule, visit bigtex.com. Fair Park, 1300 Robert B. Cullum Blvd., gates open 9 a.m. Friday, $12.50-$16.50, bigtex.com. — Patrick Williams
For a second year, the world’s only three-day instant film photography convention, PolaCon2017: An Instant Film Convention, offers analogue camera and instant film enthusiasts the opportunity to gather in Denton and Dallas for workshops, demonstrations, a scavenger hunt and PolaWalks. The weekend’s free festivities kick off with the sixth annual rain-or-shine PolaWalk and scavenger hunt, hosted by the Instant Film Society, at 7 p.m. Friday at the State Fair of Texas, 3921 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., with photography-centric prizes in tow. The following two days are packed with guest speakers and offer chances to learn from some of the best film photography buffs through film- and camera-specific workshops and demos in and around Denton’s Historic Downtown Square. For times and locations, up-to-date information and links to RSVP for workshops, visit instantfilmsociety.com. State Fair of Texas, 3912 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 7 p.m., free, instanfilmsociety.com. — Diamond Victoria
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The sixth annual Granbury Paranormal Expo kicks off Halloween time this weekend in the Historic Granbury Square, 201 E. Pearl St. Join other paranormal buffs for chats with ghost hunters, sci-fi and fantasy celeb appearances, cosplay and vendors with an array of services, treats and décor perfect for All Hallows’ Eve. Special guests include Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse series that inspired True Blood, paranormal mentor Boni Furusho, cryptozoologist Ken Gerhard and paranormal investigator Greg Stephens. Expo hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Visit granburyparanormalexpo.com for a schedule of guest appearances. Historic Granbury Square, 201 E. Pearl St., Saturday and Sunday, free, granburyparanormalexpo.com. — Merritt Martin
Cris Worley Fine Arts, 1845 E. Levee St., hosts its third solo show with artist Trey Egan through Oct. 7. Future Glow, which features large-scale paintings in oil on canvas, shows Egan’s unconventional approach of translating musical rhythms to create abstract art, which results in layer after layer of lush, high-definition colors that embody the energy of modern electronic music, including progressive trance, future bass and liquid dubstep. Reminiscent of early 20th century abstract expressionism, Future Glow is also just really pretty, and according to the artist’s statement, “deals with the relationship between the subconscious and physical space.” The exhibit runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m Tuesdays through Saturdays, or by appointment. For more information, visit crisworley.com. Cris Worley Fine Arts, 1845 E. Levee St., 11 a.m.-5 p.m., free, crisworley.com. — Diamond Victoria
For its inaugural exhibition, Encore Park’s Museum of Street Culture, 508 Park Ave., hosts Looking for Home: A Yearlong Focus on the Work of Mary Ellen Mark at its free kickoff celebration. The museum has been in the making for five years, and its opening event includes street performances and food trucks from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. In association with the Mary Ellen Mark Foundation, an exhibit of new photos will be phased in quarterly through June and follow the life of Erin Blackwell Charles, who ran away at age 13 and was known as Tiny, from 1983 through 2014. Two documentary films, both made by Mark and giving more insight into her most popular subject, Tiny, are slated to screen alongside the exhibit. According to its mission statement, the museum “validates the history and everyday experience of people in public places through diverse forms of art, education, and new ideas activating social change and building community.” For more information on the photography exhibit or other upcoming events, visit museumofstreetculture.org. Museum of Street Culture, 508 Park Ave., 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m., free, museumofstreetculture.org. — Diamond Victoria
Just in time for fall, acclaimed Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama presents an immersive, pumpkin-themed installation of infinite proportions. Consisting of a series of immaculately polka-dotted faux pumpkins, All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins belongs to the artist’s series of mirrored art installations. Imagine an endless expanse of bright yellows and stark blacks stretching into forever with you smack dab in the middle. The exhibit, the only one of its type in North America, allows viewers to explore firsthand Kusama’s fascination with space and how we perceive it. All the Eternal will be at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St., from Sunday through Feb. 25. Tickets to this special exhibition are $16, with discounts for students, seniors and military. For more information, visit dma.org. Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St., through Feb. 25, $16, dma.org. — Jonathan Patrick