UPDATE: The October 20 Madonna show at the American Airlines Center has been canceled.
Some weekends, you can just fly by the seat of your pants by perusing the CultureMap events calendar, choosing whatever strikes your fancy and hitting the town. That is still true, but a few of this weekend's events may have required a bit more planning, because they are likely sold out or close to it.
However, these events are so big that we're going to mention them anyway. (Not to throw in your face what you might be missing.) Below are some of your best options for 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, October 18
Fare in the Square
If you haven't encountered a "gourmet" food truck in your day-to-day travels around Dallas, you're just not paying attention. A bounty of food trucks has rolled into town over the past couple of years, and the latest landing spot is the sometimes-forgotten Thanks-Giving Square in downtown Dallas, every Wednesday and Thursday at lunchtime through mid-November. Along with an assortment of food trucks, there will be live music for entertainment.
Arturo Sandoval in concert
Arturo Sandoval is just the latest in the string of living legends who've graced our fair city of late. Considered one of the best jazz trumpeters of all time, he's worked with everybody from Dizzy Gillespie and Frank Sinatra to Alicia Keys and Justin Timberlake. If you consider yourself even a partial jazz fan, you owe it to yourself to catch one of his two shows at The Kessler Theater.
Friday, October 19
Late Nights at the DMA: Posters of Paris: Toulouse-Lautrec and His Contemporaries
Everyone knew at least one person in college who tried to show his hipness by displaying a print of a Parisian poster or two. Turns out that guy knew what he was doing, because the Dallas Museum of Art is currently exhibiting a series of said posters. This special event allows you to explore the exhibit after hours, as well as participate in a few related activities, such as creating your own poster or watching Moulin Rouge (the older versions, not the Baz Luhrmann one).
Dallas Theater Center presents The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
Unless you're 12 or under, you're well aware that the wrestling presented by the WWE and similar organizations is as fake as fake can be. The wrestling in the latest play from Dallas Theater Center will be just as fake, but the acting should be significantly better. This is no mere show of athleticism; the play, running through November 11 at the Wyly Theatre, delves into issues of race, class and power.
Saturday, October 20
Majestic Theatre presents Louis C.K.
Anyone who knows good comedy these days knows about Louis C.K. He's taken his career almost entirely into his own hands by writing, directing and producing his FX show Louie and self-promoting his stand-up specials and tour on his own site. If you didn't buy tickets for one of his two shows at the Majestic Theatre early, chances are you're out of luck, because both are sold out. And C.K. set it up so that no one could resell tickets for more than the face value.
Madonna World Tour 2012
Madonna has reached the stage of her career where she's afforded the status of a legend, even as she continues to crank out hit records. She is touring in support of her latest album, MDNA, which she pulls from during two shows at the American Airlines Center — one on Saturday night and one on Sunday. Unlike Louis C.K., there are still tickets available, but you'll pay dearly for them.
Sunday, October 21
Addison Circle Park turns into a cultural melting pot for this weekend's WorldFest. Countries from Mexico to Bulgaria to Ghana are represented by vendors selling goods and food, as well as activities highlighting the countries' traditions. Thanks to musical performances on four separate stages, you won't be able to go far without hearing the native music of one country or another.
State Fair of Texas
Yeah, we already mentioned it when it began, but because this is the last day of the fair's three-week run, it's worth the reminder.