Winter is making one last cold gasp, but spring is just around the corner. This weekend brings the start of daylight saving time, not to mention the start of spring break for most area schools. You can celebrate with several outdoor festivals, concerts from two legendary musicians and comedy from one of the funniest guys in the business.
Below are the best options for your precious free time Thursday through Sunday. Don't like what you see? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.
Thursday, March 5
Out of the Loop Fringe Festival
The annual Out of the Loop Fringe Festival, hosted by WaterTower Theatre at Addison Conference Centre, is a chance for smaller arts groups and individuals to get in front of a larger audience. Among the groups performing through March 15 are Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet, Blaque Artists Collective, Audacity Theatre Lab, Rhythmic Souls and, of course, WaterTower Theatre.
Theatre Three presents Fellowship!: The Musical Parody of The Fellowship of the Ring
If you're a fan of the original Lord of the Rings trilogy, you should be first in line to see this musical parody in the Theatre Too space at Theatre Three. It lovingly makes fun of the first Peter Jackson film, and women play roles like Legolas and Gimli. It runs through April 12.
Friday, March 6
2015 North Texas Irish Festival
If you can't wait until St. Patrick's Day to get in the Irish mood, the annual North Texas Irish Festival at Fair Park more than fits the bill. Featuring 13 stages with top Irish musicians, dancers and cultural presentations, a kid's zone, and tons of traditional Irish food, it's the next best thing to being in Ireland. The festival runs through Sunday.
Alan Jackson in concert with Jon Pardi and Ashley Monroe
It's been a bit of slow going in recent years for country singer Alan Jackson, but with 13 No. 1 albums and 25 No. 1 songs in his long career, he's long since earned his legion of fans. Jackson celebrates the 25th anniversary of his debut album, Here in the Real World, with this concert at Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie, with Jon Pardi and Ashley Monroe as opening acts.
Saturday, March 7
2015 All Out Trinity
It will still be a little chilly on Saturday, but that's no reason not to get out and enjoy some of nature on the Trinity River Greenbelt. The free all-day festival includes a variety of exercise-related activities, such as yoga, cycling, zumba, disc golf, canoeing, soccer and much more. Some events require pre-registration, so make sure to check the website before heading out.
Dallas Arts District Spring Break Kickoff
The museums in the Dallas Arts District team up for a variety of events, but this is their first-ever daytime block party to celebrate the beginning of spring break. Flora and Hardwood streets will be lined with booths, activities and food trucks, while the Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center and Crow Collection of Asian Art offer special programs.
Kevin James in concert
Erstwhile King of Queens Kevin James has been an A-list comedy star for years now, co-starring in a string of Adam Sandler movies and headlining the Paul Blart: Mall Cop series. In advance of the Paul Blart sequel, which comes out in April, James gets back to his roots with this stand-up performance at Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie.
Sunday, March 8
Master Pancake presents Fifty Shades of Grey
Even before it was released, Fifty Shades of Grey seemed tailor-made for ridicule from the likes of Master Pancake, the Austin-based comedy troupe that takes great pleasure in mocking films both good and bad. Master Pancake whips the S&M film into submission with two special screenings at Alamo Drafthouse in Richardson.
Mavis Staples in concert with James Hall
Gospel/soul singer Mavis Staples has had a memorable career by any measure, rubbing shoulders with Martin Luther King Jr. and singing with the likes of Bob Dylan, Ray Charles and George Jones. She brings her decades of experience and, more important, her voice to the Kessler for this concert, with James Hall as opening act.