Things To Do

The Best Things To Do In Dallas, Oct. 12–18

Kyle Flubacker
The Dallas Opera presents Rigoletto.

Wednesday, October 12

Rigoletto at the Winspear Opera House
This is high drama from the Dallas Opera. The season opener is Verdi with a vengeance: Rigoletto. There’s something automatically compelling about the funny guy turned avenger, but with music like this and the talent of this cast … it’s beyond. See, our title character really is a court jester. But the Duke is an absolute piece of shit and has seduced Rigoletto’s daughter, and well, his people are possibly worse. There’s kidnapping, mistaken identity and misrepresented intentions (and that’s being generous). There’s also revenge and a curse and, well, see for yourself as it’s sung in Italian with English titles. The Dallas Opera puts it all onstage at the Winspear (2403 Flora St.) 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets prices vary, and there’s a virtual option too; check it all out online.

Hitchcocktober: Rope at Angelika Dallas
Look, we’re not going to lie to you. Hitchcock movies are streaming like all get-out right now in honor of the impending spooky holiday. But this is big-screen opportunity, people. This month, every Wednesday at 7 p.m., the Angelika Dallas (5321 E. Mockingbird Lane) screens a classic from the Master of Suspense, culminating with Psycho on Halloween night. But this week, Farley Granger and John Dall get super creeptastic when they murder a friend for fun and try to outsmart Professor Jimmy Stewart in Rope. And is that one long shot? Technically, there are only 10 cuts. No matter though, because it sure looks like one shot and we live for a dirty dinner party. Tickets for the film class fave are $13, available online.

Thursday, October 13

Vignette Art Fair at Dallas Market Hall
The Vignette Art Fair is back! Not sure what that should mean to you? It’s the largest woman art fair in Texas, so it should mean a lot. And artist Vicki Meek (whose work is in the permanent collection of the African American Museum Dallas) has curated this year’s selection of artists, so we’re especially excited. Representing cities small and large across the state, and all manner of disciplines, 54 artists converge on the Freeway Hall of Dallas Market Hall Thursday through Saturday. Dallas art lovers will recognize local participants Erica Felicella, Danielle Georgiou, Dr. Valerie Gillespie, Tina Medina, Marilyn Walligore and others. Vignette Art Fair opens with a couple of registration-required events Thursday and Friday, and normal viewing hours 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Check out the website to purchase admission to VIP events and get details on the artists.

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The stage is ALIIIIIVE with Young Frankenstein.
Jordan Fraker Photography
Young Frankenstein at Theatre Three
Continuing the trend of Mel Brooks-ian musicals in Dallas theaters, Theatre Three (2688 Laclede St.) is putting all the parts together for Young Frankenstein. Which came first? The 1974 Gene-Madeline-Marty-Cloris-Peter big screen mash-up that you should not admit you’ve never seen. But that’s not important right now. You can get the laughs, the jazz hands for “Puttin’ on the Ritz” and all the other madcap elements that bring this monster of a show to life in person starting Thursday and running through Nov. 13. Tickets start at $37 and are available online.

Friday, October 14

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Adriana Bate is Gloucester in King Lear.
Stephen Brodie
King Lear at Bath House Cultural Center
Auriga Productions is bringing the tragedy to Bath House Cultural Center (521 E. Lawther Drive) in Shakespearean proportions. No, really. The company offers up the classic tale of familial discord, staying true to oneself and walking through personal storms (literally and metaphorically, discuss) with King Lear. With a message that rings eternal, and thus is presented with a lack of time period, the production has a distinctly badass styling. The pure rock and roll aesthetic adds to the ego and the pomp that the Bard’s characters show by the leather pantload. Check it out at 8 p.m. Friday or Saturday for a mere $20 per ticket ($15 per senior or student), available online.

DIFF at Alamo Drafthouse Cedars and various locations for special events
It’s time to find your theater hoodie and scour the couch cushions for doll hairs to secure your badge to the Dallas International Film Festival. The six-day celebration of all things film kicks off Friday, Oct. 14, at Alamo Drafthouse Cedars (1005 Botham Jean Blvd.) and runs through next Thursday with shorts, docs, feature films with big names and big eyebrows (you saw last week’s SNL? Those guys) and oldies-but-goodies (Run Lola Run at 10 p.m. Friday? Yes, please). The schedule is big and bold and fun and eye-opening. If you want to laugh, you can. If you want to cry, you can. And don’t worry, you’ll learn something whether you were planning to or not. Tip your servers and thank the volunteers profusely. And btw, check out the Rush Badge, a super cool pass that gives you access to screenings with last-minute seating availability, so if you’re low on cash and want to see more than a handful of screenings, this is a fun way to gamble on catching a lot more movies. We can’t even begin to tell you all the flicks we have an eye for, so get over to the website and secure your single tickets or badges now. Like, NOW.

Frights'n Lights at Riders Field
This is not a pumpkin patch. This is not a haunted house. Frights’n Lights at Riders Field in Frisco is both … and more. The carved pumpkins glow and the frights are perfectly interactive. Of course, there have to be photo pop-ups so you can do it all for the candy-gram. And there’s also Crystal Lake Black Light Axe Throwing, which sounds terrifying for young lovers (see: horror trope) and aging rotator cuffs everywhere. Then there’s a haunted hay maze, which is actually an exercise in being a ghoulishly good neighbor, since you gotta help ol’ Ichabod Crane find his way out. This family-friendly offering has levels of fright for all ages, plus a VIP experience to a super kid-friendly situation (face painting, costumed characters and more). Tickets start at $19.99, available online.
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The artful pumpkins of Frights'n Lights.
Patrick Tewey

Saturday, October 15

Garden of Eden Drag Brunch at Ebb & Flow
Not going to lie, we really don’t think of Plano as a drag hotspot. But it’s about to be. Ebb & Flow (7300 Lone Star Drive) and its gorgeous patio gets a helluva lot prettier at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. for two Garden of Eden Drag Brunch events that kick off an ongoing series. Catch performances, comedy and probably some heckling, depending on how well you handle that breakfast taco, from Dulce Strutts, Kandy, Star, Barb and Serif. Entrees are decadent, and drinks range from dependable to fancy. Just know that tickets are required and vary by where you sit and with how many peeps, so get online to pick your package.

Deep Ellum Open Studios
There’s never better inspiration than seeing someone create. So, from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, pop down and around the Deep Ellum Open Studios event to see artists in their element. While the Deep Ellum Outdoor Market offers retail mingling, neighborhood artists will open the doors to where the magic happens, and others will participate in a live painting competition to celebrate 150 years of Deep Ellum and compete for an opportunity to paint a full-scale mural. Studios include Chet Morrison Photography, Sean Fitzgerald Photography, Kettle Art, Life in Deep Ellum’s Umbrella Gallery and Deep Vellum Books. For more on Deep Ellum Foundation and Open Studios, get online.

Turn Up the Lights at Strauss Square
This is just the season for fabulous outdoor benefits, and the AT&T Performing Arts Center knows it. Wild Turkey presents and the AT&T PAC Auxiliary Board hosts Turn Up the Lights at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, in Strauss Square (2389 Flora St.) Cocktails and delicious bites (vegan and vegetarian available) are fabulous, but the big draws are special performances throughout the night by Bandan Koro African Drum and Dance Ensemble, vocalist Brad Ackland, big band Aurora Bleu and party makers Signed, Sealed, Delivered. The event is 21+, and ticket packages start at $50, available online.

Sunday, October 16

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Matthew Wong, "A Walk by the Sea," 2019. Gouache on paper. Matthew Wong Foundation.
© 2022 Matthew Wong Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Mathew Wong: The Realm of Appearances at DMA
The loss of artist Mathew Wong in 2019 is a big one, softened only slightly by the bittersweet fact that in his short six-year career he was prolific. He left behind a huge part of himself over which we can still fawn. Fans of his work who live in Dallas are especially fortunate to be in proximity to the Dallas Museum of Art (1717 N. Harwood St.), because not only was it the only museum to actively collect Wong’s work while he was living, but it is now opening a retrospective of his work. Mathew Wong: The Realm of Appearances opens Sunday, Oct. 16, and features around 50 works by the self-taught painter, many of which are landscapes. There’s so much more to say about Wong, but it’s worth it to go and discuss him by way of his work. The exhibition shows through Feb. 19, 2023. Secure admission online.

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Capathia Jenkins honors the Queen of Soul with the DSO.
Courtesy of Dallas Symphony Orchestra
DSO Aretha Tribute at Meyerson Symphony Center
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra hosts a can’t-miss series of tributes to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. Conductor John McLaughlin Williams will preside over the podium with his charismatic presence, while Broadway’s Capathia Jenkins and Ryan Shaw bring Franklin’s lyrics to life. Iconic hits will have you both tapping your toes and transfixed. "Respect" and "Amazing Grace," indeed. The mesmerizing concert transforms the Meyerson Symphony Center (2301 Flora St.) at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available online.

Monday, October 17

Jeffrey Siegel Keyboard Conversations® at the Eisemann Center
Oh, Jeffrey. How we love our little chats. You play out your heart and soul all over the keys and then make us all comfy, cozy and engaged by talking to us over the top of the piano and we feel like we’re in your home, not a concert or recital or anything. OK, this is starting to sound like we’re not really doing anything for you and we’re sorry, but we’re just not that great at piano, so we figured we’d leave the Gershwin, Copland, Bernstein and others to you. And we don’t really have great stories now that we think about it, so cool if we just ooh and ahh at your anecdotes and demonstrations? We’ll applaud for sure! And we’ll pay the $42–$50 online and see you at the Eisemann Center (2351 Performance Drive, Richardson) at about 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17, if that’s still good with you.

Tuesday, October 18

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If you were going to turn into a pumpkin, Autumn at the Arboretum would be the place to do it.
Photos courtesy of Dallas Arboretum
Autumn at the Arboretum
Be one with the pumpkin. Get hip with the gourd. Celebrate the squash. And do it through Oct. 31 at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens (8525 Garland Road) during the 17th annual Autumn at the Arboretum. It’s a Fall Fairy Tale (really, because that’s the theme) and you can check out Cinderella’s carriage amongst 100,000 of the plump and proud showstoppers, along with other re-imaginings of classic tales. There are seasonal tours and “What’s in Bloom” walks for the taking along with cooking and craft classes, so don’t forget to check out the calendar. Want to go just one day or become a member? Find out about both online.