One of the underrated benefits of living in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is the quality of the theater scene. Top-quality venues are natural attractions for national tours, and a plethora of local theater companies ensure that hardly a day goes by without at least a few interesting productions taking place.
That's certainly the case right now, as theater dominates this week's best events. Below are your 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, January 17
Performing Arts Fort Worth presents West Side Story
West Side Story is one of those musicals that will never go out of style, even though its history goes back 55 years and counting. Part of that is the fact that the original production and subsequent movie both earned multiple awards, but mostly it's that the songs — "Tonight," "I Feel Pretty" and "Somewhere" — are timeless. The national tour stays at Bass Performance Hall through Sunday.
AT&T Performing Arts Center presents Nat Geo Live: Robert Ballard
You may not know the name Robert Ballard, but you know what he's accomplished. He's done extensive work on ocean floors around the world, most notably discovering the wreckages of the Titanic and the Bismarck. He tells the audience at Winspear Opera House about those adventures, as well as his tireless work that continues in places like the Mediterranean and Atlantic.
Friday, January 18
2013 Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo
Fort Worth loudly and proudly proclaims itself to be Cowtown, so it's no surprise that one of its biggest annual events is the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. With the focus on the livestock shows, demonstrations and the rodeo, with a carnival/midway as a sideshow, it's almost like the State Fair in reverse. The cattle extravaganza lasts until February 9 at Will Rogers Memorial Center.
TITAS presents The Joffrey Ballet
Showing off the variety of its programming, the Winspear Opera House hosts one of the country's preeminent ballet companies two days after a talk about deep sea diving. The Joffrey Ballet performs Le Sacre du Printemps (Rite of Spring), a classic by choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky that is celebrating its 100th anniversary. They perform Friday and Saturday night.
Saturday, January 19
Los Lobos in concert
For a 40-year-old band, Los Lobos has remained remarkably consistent. It's had the same main four members for nearly its entire existence, and its reign as the top Chicano rock band has been unchallenged since the mid-1980s. They don't have any new material out now, so you're guaranteed to hear a bunch of the classics at two separate shows at The Kessler.
Dallas Theater Center presents King Lear
The first Dallas Theater Center production of 2013 is actually a co-production with Rhode Island's Trinity Repertory Company and the final one of the Shakespeare series, which has included Henry IV and The Tempest. They are sure to make great use of the space inside Wyly Theatre, giving the tragedy of King Lear extra oomph. The play runs through February 17.
Sunday, January 20
Addison Theatre Center presents Zero
If you came across a man talking to himself on a street corner, you'd likely avoid him or ignore him. But you won't want to do either of those things when Danny O'Connor inhabits the personas of six different characters in his one-man show, ironically called Zero. The play, which runs at Addison Theatre Centre through February 9, also serves as a benefit for the Wounded Warrior Project in honor of Danny's brother Robert, who co-wrote the show.
Uptown Players presents Broadway Our Way 2013
Speaking of shows for a good cause, Uptown Players puts on their annual fundraising show, Broadway Our Way. A send-up of a variety of Broadway shows past and present, this year's version pits Uptown's men and women against each other. The show runs through January 27 at Kalita Humphreys Theater.