Things To Do

20 Things To Do in Dallas This Week


If you're looking to smarten up your holiday music listening ears, try a night at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra when Grammy Award-winning jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis plays. He'll do classic Christmas songs, like "O Christmas Tree," "Jingle Bells" and others. Sip some wine while taking it all in. The show is 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at DSO, 2301 Flora St. Tickets start at $52 at Paige Skinner

It's not enough to simply pull a rabbit out of a hat anymore. Magicians need to fly. They need to break their bodies in half. They have to make the audience believe in something that is completely impossible. The public just sees too much odd stuff on the internet to be easily impressed. The Champions of Magic are coming to Dallas and with a name like that, we can only assume they'll perform miracles. See the advanced magic show Dec. 5-9 at Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 1st Ave. Tickets are $25 and up at Paige Skinner

The Devil Wears Prada formed at a transitional phase for metal as a genre. Despite being often associated with devil horns, the early 2000s saw the rise of several Christian metal bands that were able to achieve about as much mainstream success as any band that employs ultra-aggressive guitar riffs and demon-scream vocals. Droves of satanic teenagers were lulled into moshing to bands like August Burns Red, Norma Jean and The Devil Wears Prada, likely due to the lack of turned cheeks in mosh pits for each of the aforementioned bands. The Devil Wears Prada’s latest tracks have strayed away from the metalcore sound that made the band infamous to begin with. Opting for a sound closer to shoegaze than straight metal, The Devil Wears Prada’s latest single, "Sour Breath," features more post-metal influence than the naked aggression of their earlier work. Opening for the band are local act Fit for a King, as well as ’68, the latest project from Josh Scogin, formerly of Norma Jean. With Fit for a King, ’68, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5 at Canton Hall, 2727 Canton St, $22 at Nicholas Bostick


Waaait a minute. It's says on the all wise internet that Grapevine had a "Carol of Lights" event to kick off the Christmas season back in mid-November. It's the holidays, so we won't tell you what we think of anyone who turns on Christmas lights before Thanksgiving. To say wouldn't be Christian; though to be fair, strictly speaking, neither is Christmas. Anyhow, now Grapevine is back for a second bite of the fruitcake with the 39th annual Parade of Lights, which its organizers say is the largest lighted holiday parade in North Texas. They certainly get a lot of mileage out their lights in Grapevine, and nowhere more so than with the parade with its more than 100 lighted floats, marching bands and Santa. They'll all head down Grapevine's Historic Main Street beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6. The parade is free to attend. Visit to find links to more details and a map for the parade and nearby parking. Patrick Williams

This December, NorthPark will be known for more than its candy Santa, pecan reindeer and trains. Dallas playwright Jonathan Norton, with contributions by Cherish Robinson and Janielle Kastner, introduces Theatre Three audiences to Stuart and Paulette, "two of the most lovable drug-addled grandparents Dallas has to offer," and NorthPark is the setting for the story and songs of Solstice: A New Holiday Adventure. Vickie Washington directs and musical direction is by Cherish Robinson. Performances run from 7:30 p.m. Thursday to a final show at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 30, at the theater in the Quadrangle Shopping Center, 2800 Routh St. Call 214-871-3300 for show times and tickets starting at $25. For more info: Reba Liner


The Dallas Black Dance Theatre, 2700 Ann Williams Way, presents an event that’s part holiday party, part gift: their Black on Black production at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 8, operates as an exciting talent showcase while serving up seasonal merriment. The 21-and-up soiree kicks off with a holiday happy hour at 6:30 p.m. and is followed by an energetic and exhilarating performance where company members bring to life works choreographed by their fellow dancers. It’s an amazing opportunity to get a bird’s-eye view of this emerging talent — and when it’s over, you can stick around to celebrate their accomplishments at a bumpin’ after-party, complete with live DJ. Get your tickets for $40 at Jennifer Davis-Lamm

We’d just gotten used to calling the White Rock Marathon the “Dallas Marathon” when some German automaker bought the naming rights. Oh well, we never stopped calling the Fair Park amphitheater “Starplex” even as its official name changed every few months, so maybe we can wait this one out too. Whatever you call it, the White Ro — excuse us, the BMW Dallas Marathon events begin with the Health & Fitness Expo 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, 650 S. Griffin St.; the expo continues 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Actual running starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Dallas City Hall Plaza, 1500 Marilla St., with the 10K, 5K, 2-mile walk, 2-mile dog walk and kids’ races. The marathon, half-marathon, five-person and corporate relays and, new this year, ultra-marathon (50K) start at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, also at Dallas City Hall Plaza. Early registration would have been cheaper, but you can still sign up, with entry now ranging from $10 for kids’ races to $179 for the ultra to $449 for relay teams. Cheering runners on is free, as always. Visit for course map, registration and more info. Jesse Hughey

If you haven’t seen The Meyerson during the holiday season, you’re missing out one of Dallas’ most breathtaking seasonal spectacles. It’s the inside of a jewelry box set to mammoth proportions, a magnum opus of architectural design tastefully adorned in traditional, shimmering grandeur. It makes the annual Dallas Symphony Christmas Pops Concert all the more fun and regal. Christmas staples, audience-involved caroling, and other holiday favorites and surprises are to be expected. Lawrence Loh conducts; Joshua Habermann directs the chorus. Eleven performances take place Dec. 7-16, with the first happening at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7. All take place at the Meyerson (of course!), 2301 Flora St. Tickets start at $44. More info at Jonathan Patrick

Former lead guitarist of The War on Drugs, Kurt Vile’s single “Pretty Pimpin” sits at 47 million Spotify streams as of press time, making it easy to see why the indie-rock guitar hero turned frontman-singer-songwriter sits on the verge of breaking into the mainstream. His Lou Reed-meets-Neil Young delivery perfectly blends his Middle America rock sound with city-folk street-smart lyrics. “Pretty Pimpin” soared to No. 1 on Billboard’s Adult Alternative Songs chart in early 2016, making Vile’s first track to land on a Billboard chart also his first chart-topper. In October, Matador Records released Bottle It In, Vile’s first new solo album since 2015’s b’lieve i’m goin down. Interestingly, this year’s album, which was recorded in a piecemeal fashion over two years of touring, is one of his most eclectic and ambitious while also being the most cohesive listen. With Bottle It In, Vile seems poised to finally make the crossover from indie darling to mainstream dream. 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7 at The Bomb Factory, 2727 Canton St., $15 and up at Daniel Rodrigue

The singer-songwriter, Oscar winner and one-time rodeo cowboy was just recently in these parts when he appeared at a rally for Beto O' Rourke in the days leading to last month's Senate election. That night, he performed alongside Margo Price and Stephen Stills as the trio ran through a stunning version of "For What It's Worth." It's that type of versatility that has kept Ryan Bingham's career rolling over the past decade. Still probably best known for his 2009 hit, "The Weary Kind," for which he won that Oscar, he's on the road this winter with just a barstool and a guitar performing songs and telling stories from his seven-album catalog. With his rich, whiskey-tinged voice, he's one of those artists who sounds good reading or singing almost anything. Fortunately, he has the tunes and the tales to go along. 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7 at The Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., sold out. Jeff Strowe


In the world of brilliant ridiculousness, Amy Sedaris is a fearless leader with a roster of perfectly imperfect characters and a delicious cheeseball recipe for any occasion. The writer, actor and DIY enthusiast has proven herself as adept at winning over audiences on screen as she is winning over readers and fellow actors on the page. That range is why Dallas VideoFest selected Sedaris for its Ernie Kovacs Award. After all, the creative force who can bring to life Strangers With Candy’s main mishap Jerri Blank, the many characters of Exit 57, Mimi Kanasis of the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and BoJack Horseman’s Princess Carolyn (among others) is deserving of a prize named for the late greatness who embodied characters such as Eugene and Percy Dovetonsils. The star of At Home with Amy Sedaris claims her honor Saturday at Dallas VideoFest 31 at Alamo Drafthouse, 100 S. Central Expressway in Richardson. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets for the award ceremony are $25 on For more on Dallas VideoFest, visit Merritt Martin

Step back to long-ago 1985 for a Christmas past with Jubilee Theatre's production of The First Noel. The story follows Noel, a girl whose hope for a happy Christmas seem crushed in a home where her parents still mourn the death of their firstborn. The musical production comes with a score filled with pop, gospel, R&B and reworked holiday songs. Will something unexpected grant Noel her wish? We don't want to spoil the show, but it is Christmas. What do you think? Find out for certain at 3 or 8 p.m. Saturday, or at one of several performances scheduled through Dec. 23 at Jubilee Theatre, 506 Main St. Only one ticket was left online for the 3 p.m. show, and the evening performance was sold out at press time, but find more details and dates at Patrick Williams

Fetch Clay, Make Man is a play that looks at what it really means to be a black man in America. The script is loosely based on the friendship between Cassius Clay, aka Muhammad Ali, the symbol of black pride, and Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry, aka Stepin Fetchit, the controversial black vaudevillian who drew laughs from 1930s white movie audiences for a character that many black people saw as pandering to racists. Dallas Theater Center's playwright Will Power has created a story about the two men before their legacies were created, and it's set during the civil rights movement. It plays through Jan. 13 at Dallas Theater Center, 2400 Flora St. Tickets are $20 and up Paige Skinner

There are 101 ways to celebrate Christmas this year in Dallas, but if you're looking for alternative ways to celebrate the holiday season, you might come up short. Kwanzaa Fest helps fill the void with its festival Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 8-9 at Fair Park, 1121 1st Ave. The event offers prizes, live music and free medical services, including screenings for high blood pressure and prostate cancer. Children can have their teeth and health checked, as well. Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price will be there, as well as comedian D. Elli$, Mike Jones, Lenny Williams and more. The event is free. For more information, visit Paige Skinner


Only if you're privileged enough to live in New York City can you conveniently see the Rockefeller tree lighting at Radio City every year. Yes, you could travel to the Big Apple to enjoy Christmastime in the city, but plane rides cost money. Thankfully, Dallas has its own version of the event, Rockefeller Christmas at the Majestic at Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St. Promised to be Radio City-style for all ages, the show offers family friendly dancing, singing, The Nutcracker and even some snow. See it all Sunday, Dec. 9. Tickets start at $25 at Paige Skinner

Gabriella Wilson, the once anonymous artist simply known as H.E.R., made a splash with her debut SoundCloud release H.E.R. Volume 1 at the tender age of 19. Now, having reached the legal drinking age, Wilson is steadily rising from underground artist to R&B darling, after a platinum-selling collaboration with Daniel Caesar on "Best Part" and her Billboard No.1 release I Used to Know Her: The Prelude. But judging from her follow up to August’s prelude, I Used to Know Her: Part 2, it appears Wilson is still treading water in search of a cohesive sound. There are certainly glimpses of magic across the 14 tracks of the two-part EP but nothing comes off quite as organic as she had in 2016. Yet, while Wilson may still need to dive deeper to codify her sound, she’s already proved to be more than capable of dominating Spotify playlists and concert venues alike. Plus, tracks like “I’m Not Okay” and “Hard Place” off her latest release are good enough indicators that show H.E.R. has plenty more pearls of wisdom to offer. 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9 at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., $32.50 at Nicholas Bostick

What happens when you fuse metal and mariachi? Metalichi. This unlikely band comes from Juarez, Mexico, and can appeal to more than one type of concertgoer with its unique genre. Boasting the only of their kind, the band, which bases itself in Hollywood, also puts a spin on classic rock songs. 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9 at Trees, 2709 Elm St., $12-$20. Diamond Victoria


The Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Lay Family Concert Organ is fierce and ravishing. It breathes fire and is at once muscular and ethereal. It also promises to gift a unique luster to this year’s Big Brassy Christmas & Organ Extravaganza. Featuring Christmas classics brought to you by the orchestra’s percussion, brass and organ technicians, the concert makes for another memorable entry in the DSO’s holiday programming. Lawrence Loh conducts. This program has a single performance at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Meyerson, 2301 Flora St. Tickets start at $32. More info at Jonathan Patrick


The Sonos Handbell Ensemble will ring their bells, mezzo-soprano Federica Von Stade will sing and the Dallas Street Choir, a group composed of homeless people, will perform at A Holiday Celebration of Hope and Unity at the Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive in Richardson, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets, $49-65, are available at Patrick Williams


We wonder. If one were to poll a random group of American twentysomethings, how many could give a knowledgeable account of the birth of Jesus, the flight into Egypt and other details of the Nativity? And how many, do you think, could tell the entire plot of A Christmas Story, with Ralphie, the leg lamp and Ralphie's campaign for a Red Ryder BB gun in 1940s Indiana? Which would be a bigger number? We figure a lot more people have basic cable than attend church, so we're going with Ralphie. What? You say you've heard of Jesus but not Ralphie? Then prepare for a treat as A Christmas Story, The Musical comes to the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., from Broadway on Dec. 12-16. Nominated for three Tony Awards in 2013, the musical adds tunes and brings the 1983 classic holiday movie to the stage. Tickets start at $25 at Wednesday's kid-friendly performance begins at 7:30 p.m. It's Neiman Marcus Kids Night, so children get in free with accompanying adult admission. Patrick Williams
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Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner