Local theater gets a moment in the sun this weekend in Dallas, with no fewer than four separate productions opening up. You can also check out some mom humor, a well-known comedian, a dance fundraiser, '90s folk rockers, a Texas version of Mardi Gras, some hilarious basketball, a Broadway legend, and some fantastic art.
Below are the best ways to spend your free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.
Thursday, February 20
Soul Rep Theatre Company presents Amazing Grace
This children’s show captures the story of a young African-American girl named Grace, who boasts a colorful and vibrant imagination. In her play world, she becomes the characters: Anansi the Spider, Joan of Arc, Mowgli, Hiawatha. But when she's told by two of her classmates that she can't be Peter Pan in the school play because she is a girl and because she is black, she has to prove that she can indeed do anything she sets her mind to. The play will run at South Dallas Cultural Center through March 8.
Second Thought Theatre presents Mlima’s Tale
Ancient and legendary African elephant Mlima is struck down and his massive tusks stolen as trophies. His ghost is ever-present as the tusks change hands many times and travel the world from Kenya, to Vietnam, to Beijing. Set against the backdrop of the black market ivory trade, and written by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage, Mlima's Tale explores complex questions of global consumerism, ancestral history, and human greed. The production will run at Second Thought Theatre through March 14.
Theatre Three presents Funny, You Don't Act Like a Negro
You know what they say happens when you assume … but then again, there’s also that saying about people who live in glass houses. Denise Lee’s Funny, You Don't Act Like a Negro explores the prejudgments we make on our neighbors, the biases we inadvertently pass on to our children, and how the simple act of talking to one another is being subverted by social media. The production will run at Theatre Three through March 15.
#IMomSoHard: Mom's Night Out Round 2
There’s no one making moms feel as uncomfortably normal as Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley, the hilarious oh-so-real women behind #IMomSoHard. Jen and Kristin’s blend of honesty and humor delivers the kind of straight talk you can only get from discussing body hair in the kids’ playroom while sipping mimosas. They will perform at The Theatre at Grand Prairie.
Improv Addison presents Melissa Villaseñor
Melissa Villaseñor is currently a featured cast member on Saturday Night Live. She made her television debut on America's Got Talent and does extensive voiceover acting on Fox’s Family Guy, Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time, and Comedy Central’s Triptank. She'll perform five times through Saturday at Improv Addison.
Friday, February 21
Bruce Wood Dance 10th Anniversary Gala: Cowboy Songs
Bruce Wood Dance will pull out all the stops to celebrate its 10th year with Cowboy Songs. Dancers will perform the Texas-inspired choreography of Bruce Wood, while Broadway’s Joseph Thalken leads Ginny Mac, Sonny Franks, and six musicians through a suite of songs by composers Michael Martin Murphey, Lyle Lovett, Wylie Gustafson, and more. The event will take place on Friday and Saturday at Bruce Wood Dance Gallery.
Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents Indigo Girls
Two decades after releasing their first album and countless U.S. and international tours later, the Indigo Girls continue to make waves on the music scene. They remain the only duo with top 40 titles on the Billboard 200 each decade since the 1980s. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jeff Tyzik, will accompany the Indigo Girls for three concerts through Sunday at Meyerson Symphony Center.
Cara Mia Theatre Co. presents The House on Mango Street
Esperanza’s story is the experience of so many Mexican-American girls during the stage of life between childhood and adolescence. We see her rush into the innocent games, fantasies, and friendships of childhood, yet she begins to become conscious of the dangers and contradictions of being a young woman living in the barrio. Esperanza tries to make sense of her place in the world while observing the lives of the women around her and decides her life is going to be different. The production will play at Latino Cultural Center through March 8.
Saturday, February 22
Mardi Gras Texas Style
The 19th Annual Mardi Gras Texas Style music festival will feature 20 of Texas country’s hottest emerging and established acts on five different stages. Performers will include Josh Abbott Band, Aaron Watson, Flatland Cavalry, Shane Smith & The Saints, and more. Festivalgoers will also have the opportunity to enjoy Mardi Gras-style eats, beer, and beads. The festival takes place in the Automobile Building at Fair Park.
The Original Harlem Globetrotters
The Harlem Globetrotters will bring their all-new show, “Pushing the Limits,” to Dallas. Fans can get up close and personal with a star-stuffed roster, including Big Easy Lofton, Hi-Lite Bruton, and female stars TNT Lister, Swish Sutton, and Torch George. Every show features a blend of hilarious hijinks and incredible basketball skills, including ball handling, high flying dunks, and a new record-breaking attempt. There will be two games at American Airlines Center.
Turtle Creek Chorale presents Rhapsody: 40th Anniversary Gala with Idina Menzel
Idina Menzel, the Tony Award-winning icon of stage and screen, will headline Rhapsody, Turtle Creek Chorale’s 40th Anniversary Gala. The evening will feature a cocktail reception, elegant dinner, open bar, live auction, a performance by Menzel, and other surprises. Funds raised at the event, taking place at The Statler Hotel, will support the Chorale’s mission to entertain, educate, unite, and inspire through its musical, cultural, and educational programs.
Sunday, February 23
Dallas Museum of Art openings and closings (EDIT: "Speechless" will close on March 22, not February 23.)
It's moving day at the Dallas Museum of Art, as one exhibition opens while another closes. Opening is "Frans Hals," featuring two imposing portraits of the same sitter painted a decade apart that showcase the revolutionary technique of Frans Hals, the first major artist of free Holland. Closing is "Speechless," an exhibition that merges research, aesthetics, and innovative new design to explore the vast spectrum of sensory experiences and new approaches to accessibility and modes of communication in the museum setting.