Mardi Gras celebrations and John Williams tributes top the best events in Dallas this weekend
This weekend presents quite the eclectic bunch of Dallas events. Want to see a live broadcast of a national radio show? You got it. Dreamed of having some of your favorite local arts groups join forces? We've got two creative collaborations for you. Love to listen to movie soundtracks? The Dallas Symphony Orchestra is playing your favorites live.
Best of all, Mardi Gras will be celebrated early with several different events. Below are the 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, February 7
AT&T Performing Arts Center presents Wait Wait Don't Tell Me
Believe it or not, this live broadcast of the NPR quiz show may just be the only sold-out show in town this week, quite an accomplishment for a program that boasts no one more famous than panelist Paula Poundstone or host Peter Sagal. If you were one of the lucky few to snag a ticket to the show at the Winspear Opera House, you'll be treated to a hilarious rundown of the week's news (expect the blackout Super Bowl to be a big topic) and an interview with Erykah Badu.
Uptown Players and Turtle Creek Chorale present Ragtime
This unique collaboration between Uptown Players and the Turtle Creek Chorale brings the music of the early 20th century to life at Dallas City Performance Hall. Is it a musical? Is it a concert? It's both, and the talents of both arts groups are sure to provide much bang for your entertainment buck. Don't dawdle, though — the production only consists of four shows through Saturday.
Friday, February 8
House of Blues Dallas presents Ninjapalooza Pardi Gras
Mardi Gras isn't until Tuesday, but who wants to wait until then when you can party right now? Ninjapalooza says it's the biggest Mardi Gras party in Dallas, and it's hard to question that claim. The fest has concerts on literally every stage the House of Blues Dallas has to offer, featuring groups like Graceland Ninjaz and Zydeco Stingrays. Grab your beads and dancing shoes, 'cause it's gonna be a fun night.
Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents Tribute to John Williams and Arthur Fiedler
Millions of people know John Williams as the composer for movies like Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark and countless others, but he was also the conductor of the Boston Pops for 13 years. He was preceded by Arthur Fiedler, who conducted the orchestra for 50 years and was known for showcasing lighter classical music fare like Gershwin and Sousa. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra pays tribute to both with three concerts through Sunday at Meyerson Symphony Center. Additionally, they present Musical Magic of John Williams, a family-friendly concert on Saturday afternoon dedicated solely to Williams' movie soundtracks.
Dallas Theater Center presents Red
It's the week of artistic collaborations, as Dallas Theater Center and the Dallas Museum of Art team up to put on Red, the life story of artist Mark Rothko. Audiences get an inside look at the abstract painter's artistic process and the drama involved in his life through the intense play. The production runs through March 24 at Wyly Theatre.
Saturday, February 9
Go Oak Cliff presents 2013 OCarnivale Mardi Gras Ball
The Mardi Gras celebrations continue with this party at The Kessler in Oak Cliff. Guests are encourage to dress in their best Mardi Gras-themed attire for this event, which includes music from The Matt Tolentino Band, Club Wood and the Inner City All Stars, and, of course, Creole food and New Orleans-style Hurricanes. The only way you're getting more authentic is by actually going to New Orleans.
Fifth Annual Dallas Burlesque Festival
Anybody who goes to Ninjapalooza on Friday night gets a sneak preview of this event, but this is the main course. At least 15 different performers strut their stuff, including headliner Bettina May. If this display of sexy theatrics at House of Blues Dallas isn't enough, they also have an awards dinner on Sunday with additional performances.
Sunday, February 10
2013 Mardi Gras Oak Cliff Parade
The trio of Mardi Gras events comes to a close on Sunday with the annual Mardi Gras Oak Cliff Parade. The parade features all manner of musicians and floats and enough beads to tide you over until next Mardi Gras. The parade runs along Davis Boulevard, finishing up in the Bishop Arts District.
AT&T Performing Arts Center presents Lily Tomlin
Lily Tomlin has had one of the more consistent and enviable careers in Hollywood. She's worked steadily in both television and movies since 1966, starring with the likes of Rowan & Martin, Big Bird, and, coming soon, Tina Fey and Paul Rudd in the new movie Admission. With her broad experience, she has more than a few good stories to tell, and she gives you the lowdown at Winspear Opera House.