With the holiday season just concluded, you could be excused for wanting a break from going out. But the events keep rolling, whether you're ready for them or not. And this weekend's lineup is no snoozer — there are more than a few bright spots worthy of leaving your couch.
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 3
Winspear Opera House presents Shen Yun
Shen Yun is a dance experience like none other, as the all-Chinese cast immerses you in the culture of China thanks to detailed sets, costumes and, of course, the dancing itself. Thursday is the end of a short two-night stint at the Winspear Opera House, but Shen Yun also hits the Bass Performance Hall on February 20.
Pegasus Theatre presents XSR:Die!
If you've never seen one of Pegasus Theatre's Living Black & White productions, there's no time like the present. You won't believe your eyes when everything on the stage, from the sets to the actors themselves, looks like a 1930s movie. Combine that with the campy noir story involving bumbling detective Harry Hunsacker, and you have an ultra-fun night at the theater. The play runs through January 20 at Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson.
Friday, January 4
The Cotton Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma at Cowboys Stadium
Don't let the name fool you. This Big 12 flashback rivalry is taking place under the lights — and big-screen TV— of Jerry World in Arlington. The No. 9 Aggies, led by Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, are facing the No. 12 Sooners and their underrated QB Landry Jones. Between the talent on the field and the sold-out crowd, the game should be a shootout of Texas proportions. Kickoff is at 7 pm, but as parking is notoriously tedious, so you better get there early.
Gregg Allman and John Hiatt in concert with Leon Russell and Royal Southern Brotherhood
Classic musicians will be everywhere you look at Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie on Friday, as Gregg Allman, John Hiatt and Leon Russell take the stage for a sure-to-be rollicking concert. Even the opening act has music history on its side, as Royal Southern Brotherhood boasts both Cyril Neville, the youngest Neville brother, and Devon Allman, son of Gregg, as members.
Guns 4 Roses in concert with Kill 'em All
Axl Rose has long since ceased to be of any use to the music world, but his music from the '80s and the '90s lives on in the form of tribute bands like Guns 4 Roses. They are joined by Kill 'em All, a Metallica cover band whose inspiration obviously goes all the way back to the heavy metal band's first album. Either way, it's going to be head-banging night at House of Blues Dallas on Friday.
Saturday, January 5
2013 Division I Football Championship Game: North Dakota State vs. Sam Houston State
The minds of most college football fans are squarely on the big upcoming bowl games, like the BCS Championship Game between Notre Dame and Alabama on January 7 in Miami. But a true college football playoff has been going on for the past month or so, culminating in the championship game on Saturday at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, a rematch between defending champion North Dakota State and Sam Houston State.
Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra presents Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters is one of Broadway's most enduring stars, having headlined such productions as Song and Dance, Into the Woods, Annie Get Your Gun and Gypsy. Don't be surprised if you hear songs from all of those musicals and more as Peters, backed by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, fills up Bass Performance Hall with her enormous voice.
Sunday, January 6
North Texas Comic Book Show
As even those who loved the film can attest, the Hulk was pretty much the best thing about The Avengers this past summer. Mark Ruffalo owes a debt of gratitude to Lou Ferrigno, who brought a type of understated fury to the role in the live-action TV series from the late '70s/early '80s. Ferrigno is the headliner for the North Texas Comic Book Show, which takes over the DoubleTree Market Center on Saturday and Sunday.
Beatlemania Now presents Magical Symphony Tour featuring the Richardson Symphony Orchestra
The height of Beatlemania may have been in the early '60s, but because they're considered by many to be the greatest band in music history, it's never really gone away. Touring cover band Beatlemania Now has been taking advantage of that fervor for quite a while now, and they team up with the Richardson Symphony Orchestra to give a unique take on some of the Beatles' biggest hits. They play three shows at Eisemann Center on Saturday and Sunday.