Things To Do

21 Things To Do in Dallas This Week

See The Phantom of the Opera on Wednesday night (through Jan. 6) at the Music Hall at Fair Park.
See The Phantom of the Opera on Wednesday night (through Jan. 6) at the Music Hall at Fair Park. courtesy Phantom of the Opera


If your idea of the holidays is about a baby Jesus and a virgin Mary and also some old fat man dressed in red, maybe it's time to explore outside your world views. The Interfaith Council of the Thanks-Giving Foundation is here to help with its 2018 Winter Festival of Faiths: A Journey Around the World. At 6 p.m. Wednesday, join faith and cultural groups to learn about the community's diverse traditions. It takes place at the Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak St. It's free. For more information, visit Paige Skinner

Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera comes to the Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 1st Ave., beginning with a 7:30 p.m. show Dec. 19 followed by performances through Jan. 6. The story of a murderous, mysterious opera fan and the singer he takes under his cape is one of the highest-grossing musicals in Broadway history and winner of several Tony Awards. Visit for a full schedule and tickets, which start at $26 for Wednesday's show. Patrick Williams


There are those who strap on a lap shawl and copious baked goods over the course of the holidays, and there are those who make fitness festive. (Warning: murdering the latter is against the law and not in keeping with the Christmas spirit, no matter how tempting.) The elves in the latter camp are those who register for Generational Group’s annual Jingle Bell Run on Thursday. A tradition jogging well past 20 years now, the family-, dog- and costume-friendly 5K (with 1-mile fun run) begins with an opening ceremony at 6:20 p.m. at the Hilton Anatole, 2201 N. Stemmons Freeway, before the run (or walk) begins at 7 p.m. and weaves through the Design District and onto the Trinity Strand Trail. Of course, there’s an after-party back at the hotel — enjoy food, live music by the Spazmatics and prizes for top finishers and best-dressed dog. Proceeds benefit the Trinity Strand Trail, as well as the Mavs Foundation. Registration fees increase the day before the event, so hop on now for a deal. And, naturally, be there with bells on. Merritt Martin

Finally, there’s a Christmas celebration for all of us who take pride in our “naughty list” status. A Drag Queen Christmas arrives Thursday at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., bringing with it a cavalcade of glittery Christmas angels with better eyebrows than (most of) us. From the realm of RuPaul come these hilarious, glamorous and over-the-top performers including Aja, Latrice, Farrah, Monet, Thorgy and Vanjie, plus host Miz Cracker. The variety show format is the perfect showcase for the costumes, the impeccable contouring/highlighting, and a musical/comedy/dance party that’s extra merry and bright. Tickets are $22.50 on Jennifer Davis-Lamm

If you've seen Star Wars: A New Hope, the 1977 original formerly known as simply Star Wars, so many times that you never want to see Princess Leia's perfect buns again, then take, um, hope. There's always a new and different way to experience a classic movie. From Dec. 20 through Dec. 22, Jayce Ogren will conduct as the Dallas Symphony Orchestra performs John Williams' Oscar-winning music, allowing music and movie fans different ways to enjoy the movie. Tickets, $109 and up, are going fast, so snag one before they're all gone. Be there at 2301 Flora St. For more information, visit Paige Skinner

Few rappers are capable of making tales of drugs, money and excess sound relatable quite like New Orleans emcee Curren$y. His lithe flow and blasé delivery make textbook sex and weed bars not only tolerable, but almost thrilling. After coming up with Lil Wayne’s Young Money imprint as a founding member, the rapper has made a career of retreading these well-worn hip hop trappings. But in terms of pure skill, Curren$y can do it all: quick-fire cadences, cool meandering flows, staccato deliveries. His wordplay game is pretty damn good, too. Expect few surprises but plenty of fire. Mid-2000s rap fans will not be disappointed. With The Real Augustine, 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20 at Trees, 2709 Elm Street., tickets start at $21 at Jonathan Patrick

If last month's Bohemian Rhapsody – a cinematic homage to legendary rock band Queen – has prompted more than a few classics like "We Will Rock You" to bump around in your head, then tonight's concert at Granada Theater is where you'll want to be. Queen tribute band Queen For A Day plays the best and the rest as a four piece, sticking to the Live Killers era of 1973-1981. 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20 at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., sold out. Diamond Victoria


You would think Santa Claus would be a bit crunched for time two days before Christmas Eve, but the jolly old elf has made time to lead a few horseback trail rides at Southfork Ranch, home of the primetime oil opera Dallas’ Ewing family. Apparently reindeer-driven sleighs aren’t Old Saint Nick’s only area of hoof-powered transportation expertise. One can only imagine how slow a one-horsepower ride must feel after being accustomed to a ride fast enough to cover the globe in a single night. Rides are $45 per person (must be 8 or older), include photographs with Santa and are available at 10 and 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday at Southfork Ranch, 3700 Hogge Drive in Parker. Online reservations are not available, so call 972-442-7800 or email [email protected] to book your ride or get more information. Jesse Hughey

Celebrating the winter solstice in 2018 might sound a little odd. What are we, druids? But you don't need to be a blue-painted pagan to find a reason for celebrating the sun's return journey north and more daylight ahead. Today, we have knowledge of seasonal affective disorder, and any sufferers would gladly don some holly and blue paint and dance naked at dawn for relief. Luckily, Dallasites won't have to take things that far. Instead, head to the Perot Museum of Science and Nature, 2201 N. Field St., for a solstice celebration that includes a yoga session among the dinosaurs, an immersive, relaxing soundscape in the Gems and Minerals Hall and a sunrise dance party with tunes supplied by DJ Sober in the lobby. It all begins at 6 a.m. Tickets are limited and cost $20 for museum members, $25 for nonmembers and include all-day access to the museum. Reserve them at Patrick Williams

After that last trip to NorthPark, you’re gonna be more than on board with a Christmas story that’s a little south of apocalyptic. In fact, a zombie attack is scientifically more relaxing than getting out of that mall parking garage. See for yourself as Stomping Ground Comedy Theater, 1350 Manufacturing Street #109, presents Christmas horror melodrama Deck the Halls With Brains at 8 p.m. Friday. Greg Silva’s off-kilter holiday tale puts a merry band of misfits in a showdown with a crop of zombies as they attempt to track down (a hopefully not zombie-fied) Santa Claus. There’s probably a metaphor in there somewhere, but who are we kidding? We’re kinda hoping to see what happens when someone eats the Spirit of Christmas’ brains. See, the parking garage got to us. Find tickets for $5 to $10 online at Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Billed as a holiday art celebration, power trio Dead Mockingbirds headlines this shindig at the always-great Double Wide. Fresh off some nice DOMA nominations, the band makes music that is neither pretty or ugly — it's just dirty rock 'n' roll that rattles your brain and tugs at your heart. There will be art on display from Jackdaw Russell, Flesh Piñata, and Andrew H. Kendall, so it serves double-sided enjoyment from the music scene and art scene around here. Skip out on that lame holiday party at your office and see this instead. With Crooked Bones, Big Heaven and Cool Jacket, 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21 at Double Wide, 3510 Commerce St., $10 at Eric Grubbs

After slurring his way into the hearts of the mainstream with 2015’s hit single “Broke Boi,” mumble rapper and part-time model Playboi Carti is on a career upswing after the release of his debut studio album Die Lit this spring. The album came close to topping Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop album charts, no doubt thanks in part to features from the likes of Nicki Minaj, Travis Scott and Lil Uzi Vert. Though if you weren’t a fan of mumble rap before, there’s nothing on Die Lit that’s likely to change your mind. Mainly known for rapping about sleeping with your girl and drinking lean until his “stummy hurts,” Carti’s flair for the dramatic and complex aesthetic are usually enough to send crowds into hysterics on their own. Add that to the rapper’s repetitive catchphrase vocal delivery style, set to booming trap beats from “Magnolia” producer, Pi’erre Bourne, and you have all the necessary components of a good night out. 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21 at South Side Ballroom, 1135 S., Lamar St., Suite 101, $35 and up at Nicholas Bostick

Full of frenetic energy and dynamic magnetism, a Shane Smith & The Saints show can be a cathartic, communal experience. There will be a cappella sing-alongs, roaring choruses and a fitful blend of Cajun folk and raucous instrumentation that always serves to bring down the house. The Austin-based quintet have released two albums of original material and have toured relentlessly across Texas for the past several years. The roadwork has paid off, as they've built a bigger audience throughout much of the West Coast and have earned a wide range of positive reviews for their latest full-length release, Geromino. Expect a heavy dose of those tracks and some spirited cover songs as they take over Gas Monkey Live! Friday night's show also serves as an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, so come dressed in your most garish attire. 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21 at Gas Monkey Live!, 10110 Technology Blvd. East, $20 and up at Jeff Strowe

What do you call a band of five talented brothers from different fathers who play solid gold country-and-western hits and bar-room-sing-along songs while wearing gleaming gold satin cowboy suits? The Gold Brothers, naturally. While you may not have seen or heard of the brothers Gold yet, you’ve likely heard many of the classic country hits that Cal, Cotton, Cozy, Cam and Cash Gold claim to have “written” and then had “stolen” by counterfeit performers who’ve gone on to success in Nashville, Memphis or Bakersfield, leaving the brothers to play gin joints, dive bars and burger houses in North Texas. And the band has an embellished over-the-top story to go with most of the songs. Expect to hear classics like “Amarillo By Morning,” “Elvira,” “Friends In Low Places” and “Take This Job and Shove It” – just never call them one of the most entertaining cover bands in town unless you want the conversation to end in a bar-room brawl. For Friday night’s A Gold Brothers Xmas! expect some rousing holiday favorites mixed in. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the brothers play from 7:30 to 9 p.m. with an after-party hosted by DJ Bro Ho Ho. 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21 at Andy’s Bar, 122 N. Locust St., Denton, $7 at Daniel Rodrigue

With roots in Dallas, The Mammoths are now an Austin band but are back for a show at Three Links on Friday night with an excellent lineup. The band fuses blues, psychedelic rock and soul, and its sweaty, fueled live performances have been described as reminiscent of Led Zeppelin. With Bryce Bangs and Dr. Joe, 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21 at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., $12-$20. Diamond Victoria

Twice nominated for Best Cover Band by the Observer, Raised Right Men are a Denton gem covering all your favorite old country songs. The five-piece who call themselves a honky tonk band invite you to crack open a beer and celebrate the legacy of Willie, Waylon and the boys. 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21 at Box Garden at Legacy Hall, 7800 Windrose Ave., free. Diamond Victoria


A supergroup made popular by Simon Cowell of American Idol fame, the quartet Il Divo blends classical music and opera with the performative gusto of pop balladry. Touring behind their 10th studio album, Timeless, which includes “Hola,” a Spanish language version of Adele’s smash hit “Hello,” Il Divo are sure to also showcase their celebrated Christmas hits. For fans of vocal supergroups, contemporary classical pops concerts and holidays celebrations, this concert takes place at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at The Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St.. Tickets start at $59. Find more info at Jonathan Patrick

Kindness and love can change the world. That's the message of A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens, the holiday musical playing at Dallas Children's Theater at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and winding up at 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Treat your 6-year-olds and up and yourself to the 90-minute performance, which includes a magical tree ride back to foggy Victorian England where brother and sister Jack and Annie and three ghost friends help Charles Dickens with a writing project. For info and tickets ($15-$40), go to or 214-978-0110.The theater is located at 5938 Skillman Ave. Reba Liner

We're all about local country folk darling Frankie Leonie right now. The teenage sensation who was recently nominated for a Dallas Observer Music Award will blow you away with her powerful voice, talented guitar playing and compelling songwriting. Keep your eye on this one. With Nathan Mongol Wells and Ian Salazar, 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22 at Double Wide, 3510 Commerce St., $7-$10. Diamond Victoria


To tide you over until Hugh Jackman comes to town to sing the hit songs from his 2017's The Greatest Showman, you can catch Vocal Majority, a Dallas-based men's chorus, perform their Greatest Snowman, a Christmas-themed night of song. Vocal Majority is made up of 100-plus volunteers and have performed all over the world. With their layered harmonies, they'll give audiences a treat. Shows start Thursday, Dec. 20, and go through Sunday, Dec. 23, at the Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson. Tickets start at $16. For more information, visit Paige Skinner


You would really have to love tubas and other instruments in the tuba family to go to something called Tuba Christmas. Like, to spend your Christmas Eve celebrating the people who play, teach and compose music for tubas would be fan-girl-level love. But to each their own. If that's you, you'll want to make yourself available at noon at Thanks-Giving Square, 1627 Pacific Ave., to get your tuba on. If you want to participate, be there at 10 a.m. and bring $10 and a music stand. For more information, visit Paige Skinner
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Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner