The Gas Monkey Garage truck at last year's Monster Jam
The Gas Monkey Garage truck at last year's Monster Jam
Brian Maschino

21 Things to Do in Dallas This Week

Thu 2/8
Here we have two of the best rappers in the world, two rappers who grew up together, two rappers who sit stylistically at different poles. There’s the stark, heady and cold philosophizing of Vince Staples set against Tyler, the Creator’s warm, technicolor revelry. Staples' tracks balance hardline street values with a novelist's eye for cultural and social observation; Tyler playfully swims in an extramusical world of his making, a universe touched by fashion and film as much hip-hop’s storied past. Both are riding high off their best releases. Tyler’s Flower Boy and Staple’s Big Fish Theory were two of 2017’s best rap albums. Both artists doubled down on the talents they’re known for while adding new elements to their games. Staples added future-shocked electronics around his notoriously gloomy storytelling, and Tyler traded in his controversial antics for honest musings on sexuality and identity politics. Two masters of modern rap fueled by two absolute masterstrokes — there’s just no way this isn’t going to be a hell of a good time. Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 7:30 p.m., sold out, thebombfactory.com. — Jonathan Patrick

After the poor reception to his first symphony, it took Rachmaninoff nearly 10 years to compose his second. It’s a work of emotion more than deep thought, and its themes tap into the struggles the composer faced to make it. Rightly, it’s both depressed and triumphant, paranoid and hopeful. While the first movement plunges listeners into shadowy locales, the final movement scoops them back up, launching them into some of the most jubilant music Rachmaninoff ever put to paper. The third movement, however, is something altogether different. This is the composer at his most powerful and profound. If you searched Rachmaninoff’s music your entire life, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything quite so moving. Hadyn’s impish Sinfonia Concertante helps balance out the program. Jaap van Zweden conducts the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St. Tickets start at $19 and are available at mydso.com. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St., 7:30 p.m., $19 and up, mydso.com. — Jonathan Patrick

Up-and-coming Nashville artist Anderson East gets creative with a cocktail of bluesy Southern soul pop. His music's got plenty of rhythm, hot guitar licks, and even a horn section and synthesizer. East released his fourth album, Encore, just a couple of weeks ago. Trees, 2709 Elm St., 8 p.m., sold out, treesdallas.com. — Diamond Victoria

Start Black History Month off on the right foot by seeing Thurgood at Bishops Arts Theatre Center, 215 S. Tyler St. George Stevens Jr.’s 2006 one-man play, which opens at 8 p.m. Thursday, recounts the life of Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American on the Supreme Court, who was appointed in 1967. James Earl Jones originated the title role in Thurgood, which moved on to Broadway, where Laurence Fishburne performed the part. The New York Times gave that production a good review, calling it a “sweet escape to happier times.” Local actor Selmore Haines will take on the challenge in Dallas through Feb. 25. Tickets are $12 to $30 at bishopartstheatre.org. Bishop Arts Theatre Center, 215 S. Tyler St., through Feb. 25, $12-$40, bishopartstheatre.org. — Caroline North

Lana Del Ray stays ahead in the mainstream music game while also maintaining a distinctly nonfamiliar, cinematic sound. Her influences range from Elvis Presley and Nina Simone to Lou Reed and Bruce Springsteen. Her arena show may draw hundreds of fans, but Del Ray's mild-mannered live performances create the atmosphere of a much more intimate venue, allowing the authenticity of her singing and songwriting to be heard and appreciated. American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 8 p.m., $39.50-$125, americanairlinescenter.com. — Diamond Victoria

The South Asian film community has made some of the greatest contributions to the art of cinema, and we’re not just talking about the behemoth that is Bollywood. South Asian filmmakers have created groundbreaking movies in all major genres from art-house to thrillers. The four-day DFW South Asian Film Festival opens Thursday with a screening of director Zain Anway’s short film Mehram and Iram Haq’s drama What Will People Say at the Highland Park Village Theatre, 32 Highland Park Village. Screenings continue Friday through Sunday at the AMC Village on the Parkway 9, 5100 Belt Line Road in Addison. The festival will feature 19 films, including the documentary Ask the Sexpert, about a 90-year-old newspaper sex columnist in Mumbai. Festival passes are $250 and include access to every film. Passes for the opening night film, closing or centerpiece film are $25 apiece, and a pass to the after-party is $75.Visit dfwsaff.com to find showtimes and purchase tickets. Multiple locations, Thursday through Sunday, $25 and up, dfwsaff.com. — Danny Gallagher

San Antonio native Alejandro Escovedo's music transcends any one style of rock music. His range includes everything from cowpunk to chicano to alternative country and more. Escovedo's musical family and upbringing cemented his place in the industry, and he's been largely successful since his start in the early 1990s playing  venues throughout Austin. 2016's Burn Something Beautiful was his first album in four years and includes collaborations with R.E.M's Peter Buck and Minus 5's Scott McCaughey. Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., 8 p.m., $24-$36, thekessler.org. — Diamond Victoria

Tyler, the Creator plays Gas Monkey with Vince Staples Thursday
Tyler, the Creator plays Gas Monkey with Vince Staples Thursday
courtesy the artist

Fri 2/9
Echo Theatre will create an old supper club setting just in time for Valentine date night with Her Song, a music and dance revue at the Bath House Cultural Center, which overlooks WhiteRock Lake at 521 E. Lawther Drive. Shows start at 8 p.m. Friday and continue through Feb. 24. Arrive early and take a few spins on the dance floor. Food, drinks and craft cocktails are reminiscent of supper clubs in the ’30s (cash only — no credit cards in 1935). Annie Benjamin and Kateri Cale conceived and developed the revue, which features songs from the Great American Female Songbook. Pam Myers-Morgan directs, and Scott A. Eckert is music director. Some of Dallas’ best crooners, including Max Swarner and Angela Davis, will perform. For tickets, visit echotheatre.org. Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Drive, 8 p.m., $15-$25, echotheatre.org. — Reba Liner

The Ring of Polykrates
, a 1916 domestic comedy by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, is the Dallas Opera’s opening performance (sung in German with English supertitles) at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Additional performances are at 2 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Feb. 17 at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. The opera plot revolves around a happily married and well-to-do musician who tells his wife that life would be complete if only he could see his long-lost friend. But the tables turn when that friend shows up. Emmanuel Villaume conducts. Director is Peter Kazaras. For tickets, call 800-840-9227 or visit dallasopera.org. Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., through Feb. 17, $19 and up, dallasopera.org. — Reba Liner

Fort Worth native and Grammy-winning Americana troubadour Delbert McClinton is a legend on the national touring circuit. He brings healthy doses of pathos and humor to his live shows. He's released 29 studio albums since 1972, including last year's Prick of the Litter. Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 8 p.m., $39-$79, granadatheater.com. — Jeff Strowe

Experimental playwright Young Jean Lee’s We’re Gonna Die has received critical accolades since it premiered in 2011 at Joe’s Pub in New York City as the 11th play in the 13P playwriting coalition. It’s a monologue about her dread of taking the last bow and her family interspersed with catchy pop songs, such as “I’m Gonna Die,” that she performed with her band, Future Wife. David Byrne performed it with her during his 2015 Meltdown Festival. Dallas musician and director-producer Jake Nice put on a well-received local version last year with Samantha “Rat” Rios and is bringing it back this weekend as part of the Elevator Project series. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Wyly Studio Theatre, 2400 Flora St. Tickets are $25 at attpac.org. Wyly Studio Theatre, 2400 Flora St., Thursday-Saturday, $25, attpac.org. — Jesse Hughey

Dallas has produced quite a few famous faces, and Demi Lovato is certainly one. The pop star, now based in L.A., has come leaps and bounds from her days on the Disney Channel TV movie Camp Rock. She has experienced her fair share of ups and downs in her line of work, but she has proven a powerful figure in modern music. Catch her twice within one month. She plays House of Blues on Friday, and she returns March 7 for an American Airlines Center show with DJ Khaled. House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 8 p.m., $35-$45, houseofblues.com/dallas. — Diamond Victoria

Comedian Jim Gaffigan has done a lot of great things with his career, but the most amusing is how he made the Hot Pocket funnier. His high-pitched squealing of the microwaved lunch treat’s signature jingle that goes (ahem) “Hoooot Pocket!” helped him build a massive fan base that carried him across his early days in the comedy clubs, across the television landscape, through the publishing world and onto some of the biggest stages in the world. He scored sitcoms for CBS and TV Land, appeared on just about every late-night talk show and even took over Craig Ferguson’s post-Late Show time slot before James Corden scored the job. He’s also opened for Pope Francis. That’s pretty good for a guy who has 15 solid minutes on cake. The multiplatinum record-selling and Grammy-nominated comedian will perform at 9 p.m. Friday at the WinStar World Casino and Resort’s Global Event Center, 777 Casino Ave. in Thackerville, Oklahoma. Tickets are $65 to $95 and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com. WinStar World Casino and Resort, 777 Casino Ave., Thackerville, Oklahoma, 9 p.m., $65-$95, ticketmaster.com. — Danny Gallagher

The Ring of Polykrates has a short run at the Dallas Opera this weekEXPAND
The Ring of Polykrates has a short run at the Dallas Opera this week
Karen Almond

Sat 2/10
Matthew Posey’s cozy 50-seat Ochre House Theater, 825 Exposition Ave. across from Fair Park, opens its doors at 8:15 p.m. Saturday for another Kevin Grammer original musical, The Woman Who Knew Too Much, about a woman with lapsed memory of who she is or where she comes from. How did this happen? Is she a spy? Grammer calls it a fantasy noir that “blurs the lines of reality and fantasy.” Lyrics are by Grammer and his wife, Carla Parker. Justin Locklear is music director of a foursome tucked into a corner of the stage. For tickets, $17, call 214-826-6273 or visit ochrehousetheater.org. Pay what you can Feb. 19. Performances happen at 8:15 p.m. through March 3. Ochre House Theater, 825 Exposition Ave., 8:15 p.m., $17, ochrehousetheater.org. — Reba Liner

Big trucks go VROOM! Jump in air. Move fast on dirt. Roll over sometimes. That’s the Monster Jam, taking place at 7 p.m. Saturday at AT&T Stadium, 1 AT&T Way in Arlington. What, you need more details? OK, they’re really big trucks that make a really loud VROOM! The event includes ATV and speedster races. Listen, if you like monster trucks, you know what this is and are probably wetting yourself with joy. If you don’t have a clue, well, let’s just say if you’re a fan of opera, the symphony or art gallery openings, then this is definitely the place you want to be Saturday. Would we lie? Tickets, $35 to $135, are available at ticketmaster.com. AT&T Stadium, AT&T Way, Arlington, 7 p.m., $35-$135, ticketmaster.com. — Patrick Williams

Celebrating the New Year in Western culture is basically a 10-second affair, prolonged by dressing up and getting properly soused before the countdown commences and then waiting an eternity for an Uber afterward. Chinese New Year, which is based on the lunar calendar, can be a weeks-long experience that dwarfs our Champagne-soaked soirees. Think festivals, lion dances, parades, musical performances, fireworks, Chinese treats and eats, and revelry aplenty. This year, the 2018 Asia Times Square Lunar New Year Festival kicks off the Year of the Dog at 2625 West Pioneer Parkway in Grand Prairie with two weekends of fun. Festivities start from 6-11 p.m. Friday and continue from noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. If that’s not enough of a party, the whole schedule repeats itself Feb. 16-18. To see the full schedule, which includes karaoke, live music, games and martial arts performances, visit facebook.com/ATSLunarNewYearFestival. Admission is free. 2625 West Pioneer Parkway, Grand Prairie, 6-11 p.m., free, see Facebook. —  Jennifer Davis-Lamm

We're Gonna Die gets a new production at the Wyly Theatre as part of this year's Elevator Project.
We're Gonna Die gets a new production at the Wyly Theatre as part of this year's Elevator Project.
Rob Martinez

Sun 2/11
The chocolate industry has us in its grip. Through years of grooming via holidays engineered for the purpose of chocolate consumption, we have become a culture under the spell of sweet, dark confections. We can’t get through Christmas, Valentine’s, Easter or Halloween without submitting to absurd amounts of cacoa. The Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, is here to feed our obsession. During Chocolate Lovers Unite, it’ll help participants cook creative new uses for the vaunted ingredient. From 1-3 p.m. Sunday, chocolate lovers can try recipes for sweet and savory dishes that will remind them of how helpless they are in the face of this powerful treat. Tickets are $65 at dallasarboretum.org. Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, 1-3 p.m., $65, dallasarboretum.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

For more than a decade, Denton-based singer-songwriter Doug Burr has been wowing audiences and impressing music critics. Whether he's playing old songs or new material, if you catch him live, it's hard not to be impressed. Burr knows how to write songs that are visual, visceral and evocative. His sets sometimes include a full band; other times, it's just Burr with a guitar and a stomp box. Small Brewpub, 333 W. Jefferson Blvd., 7 p.m., $10, see Facebook. —Diamond Victoria

Mon 2/12
It’s strange that a “vintage” film musical might seem oddly prescient, but in the case of 1972’s Cabaret, the peep-toe fits. Angelika Film Center Plano, 7205 Bishop Road, hosts a screening of this iconic hit at 7 p.m. Monday, amidst Oscar season and a time of social and political discord that seems to hearken back to the days of the featured Kit Kat nightclub. The Bob Fosse film version of the beloved musical sets Sally Bowles and her lover Brian in the Weimar Republic just as the Nazi presence is beginning to grow. As the show goes on, the club’s emcee provides an interesting parallel to society and its acceptance of the new regime, with his words becoming increasingly hostile and anti-Semitic. Meanwhile, Sally’s arc is both tragic and strong as she grapples with love, loss and an uncertain future in prewar Berlin. Starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York and Joel Grey, the film has the record for Oscars won but didn’t garner the Best Picture statue. The film provided Minnelli her first on-screen singing role and that coveted golden man. Tickets are $10.50 at angelikafilmcenter.com/plano. Angelika Film Center Plano, 7205 Bishop Road, 7 p.m., $10.50, angelikafilmcenter.com/plano. — Merritt Martin

Tue 2/13
Using traditional African, Caribbean, Southern and South American foods to honor African-American heritage and build a healthier diet is the goal of A Taste of African Heritage, a free, six-week series of classes organized by the Oldways Preservation Trust. Cooking classes tare at 7 p.m. Tuesdays at the Juanita Craft Recreation Center, 4500 Spring Ave., through March 6. Juanita Craft Recreation Center, 4500 Spring Ave., 7 p.m., free. — Patrick Williams

Wed 2/14
Sure, you could get that special someone flowers and a card for Valentine’s Day. But if you really want to make a statement, you’ll have those gifts delivered — preferably in the most public venue available — by a love-song-singing quartet dressed in formal attire. The Men of Note Chorus will deliver its Singing Valentines on Wednesday to any spot around North Dallas or Collin County. The presentation includes two love songs in four-part a cappella harmony; a rose, teddy bear or balloon; and a card with a personal message. The cost is $60 for a four-hour delivery window, $75 for a two-hour window or $90 for a one-hour window. To fill out an order form, visit menofnote.org. $60 and up, menofnote.com. — Emily Goldstein

These guys will show up to sing your love a valentine on Wednesday, if you pay them.
These guys will show up to sing your love a valentine on Wednesday, if you pay them.

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