As residents of Dallas, it's pretty difficult to miss the fact that 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Technically, we have 10 more months until the actual anniversary is upon us. But commemorative events start this week.
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 10
Dallas Zoo presents Penguin Days 2013
As a big thank you for year-long support — and as a lure to bring people in during the colder months — the Dallas Zoo presents its annual Penguin Days, during which any man, woman or child above the age of 3 can get into the zoo for the low, low price of $5. (Kids 2 and under are always free.) The promotion lasts through the end of February so, in addition to dropping by the penguin tank, you have plenty of time to check out the fantastic Giants of the Savanna exhibit on the cheap.
Theatre Three presents Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
It's a zoo-themed Thursday, as Theatre Three opens up its first production of 2013, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. As you might surmise from the title, the action takes place in Iraq and involves a chance encounter between an escaped tiger and two American soldiers. With this and the recent Life of Pi, Bengal tigers on the loose are definitely having a moment right now.
Friday, January 11
Radney Foster in concert with Carter Beckworth
Radney Foster is another in a long line of Texas country music legends. His debut album, Del Rio, TX 1959, is hailed by many to be one of the best of all time, and he recently revisited those songs for an acoustic album, Del Rio, TX Revisited: Unplugged and Lonesome. The Kessler plays host to Foster, Carter Beckworth and possibly a few special guests.
Charlie Rose and the Kennedy Legacy
Let the JFK remembrances commence. Charlie Rose, the longtime PBS broadcaster and, more recently, co-host of CBS This Morning, welcomes two of the more prominent members of the Kennedy family, Rory Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to the stage at Winspear Opera House. They talk about the family's history, its legacy and its effect on American culture.
Saturday, January 12
The Sixth Floor Museum 2013 Living History Series: Rev. Bill McElvaney
If the previous night's event didn't sate your Kennedy appetite, head over to the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza for the first of 12 planned events featuring people who either directly witnessed the JFK assassination or who were involved in other historic events in the 1960s. Saturday's speaker, Rev. McElvaney, led desegregation efforts in Mesquite and protested the Vietnam War in Dealey Plaza.
AT&T Performing Arts Center presents Mike Birbiglia's My Girlfriend's Boyfriend
You may not know the name Mike Birbiglia right now, but if he keeps rising at his current pace, chances are you soon will. The comedian has gained acclaim in New York theater circles for his one-man shows, and a movie based on his one-man show Sleepwalk With Me was a highly regarded indie film in 2012. My Girlfriend's Boyfriend, playing at Winspear Opera House, is a hilarious look at the slew of romantic miscues that have befallen Birbiglia.
B.B. King in concert
The amount of superlatives that you could put before the name B.B. King probably numbers in the thousands. Suffice it to say that he is, bar none, the best blues musician in the history of the genre. His unique guitar style has influenced countless other people, from Eric Clapton to George Harrison to Jeff Beck. You can bow down to the presence of greatness at, appropriately, the House of Blues Dallas.
Sunday, January 13
The Complete Works of Shakespeare — The Winter's Tale
It's a new month, which means another entry in the epic quest by Shakespeare Dallas and AT&T Performing Arts Center to present staged readings of all of Shakespeare's works. The Winter's Tale has everything you could want out of a Shakespeare play — a royal family, jealousy and romance. The reading is presented in Hamon Hall inside Winspear Opera House on Sunday and Monday.
Undermain Theatre presents Penelope
After a series of events in the months after it opened, Dallas City Performance Hall has seemed to go a little quiet as of late. Undermain Theatre remedies that when it presents Penelope, a fun take on the mythological story of Penelope. In this incarnation, she fends off men looking to take the place of her absent husband by having them wait at the bottom of an empty swimming pool. The play runs through January 26.