Yep, he’s back, with Christmas lunacy throbbing in his veins. Cockeyed. Rabid. Ready to reinfect the lunatic fringe with holiday jeer. “The Pope of Trash,” as William Burrough once called him, is coming to Dallas on his annual festive home-invasion to slide down your chimney of burning giftwrapped needs, igniting your lust for presents and sparking the sexual desires of the newly perverted. It’ll be a combustion of Christmasly-incorrect kindling that will blaze into a glorious nut-case Noel fire from hell.
Broadway Dallas presents Six
Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. From Tudor Queens to Pop Princesses, the six wives of Henry VIII take the mic to remix 50 years of historical heartbreak into an exuberant celebration of 21st century girl power.
Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents Christmas Pops
The beloved tradition of Christmas Pops continues with the Dallas Symphony Chorus performing transcendent anthems, classical holiday favorites and sing-along carols. Favorite holiday vocalists join the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Dallas Symphony Chorus bring a bit of Christmas magic to the Meyerson. Sprinkle in an appearance by you-know-who, a bit of snow, and the joyous music of the DSO and there is nothing quite like it.
Dallas Theater Center presents A Christmas Carol
Dallas Theater Center presents their annual production of A Christmas Carol, a delightfully reimagined take on Dickens’ enduring classic. Three spirits have come to visit the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge to take him on a fantastic journey through Christmases past, present, and future that annually delights audiences across North Texas. But will it be enough to save Scrooge’s soul?
Grapevine Vintage Railroad presents North Pole Express
The whole family is invited to don their favorite pajamas and experience the magic of Christmas onboard the beautifully decorated Grapevine Vintage Railroad’s North Pole Express. Mrs. Claus takes guests on a holiday adventure to Santa’s Workshop in the Christmas Capital of Texas®. All guests will receive a cookie baked in Mrs. Claus’s North Pole kitchens and a taste of Santa’s Frosty Chocolate Snow Milk served in a keepsake Memory Mug. Children will also receive a beautiful “We Believe” bell.
CultureMap Emails are Awesome
Good news for cinephiles and aspiring directors: Dallas has landed a top-25 spot among the best big cities to live and work as a moviemaker in 2023. Coming in at No. 20 (down from No. 15 in 2022 and No. 12 in 2021) on MovieMaker Magazine's annual list, Dallas joins four other Texas cities in the top 25: Austin (No. 12), Houston (No. 21), San Antonio (No. 22), and Fort Worth (No. 25).
MovieMaker compiles its annual list based on surveys, production spending, tax incentives, additional research, and personal visits whenever possible — with the notable exclusions of Los Angeles and New York:
"We don’t believe people should have to be rich or well-connected to make movies," writes MovieMaker editor Tim Molloy. "And we know plenty of people who moved to L.A. or New York with filmmaking dreams and ended up working industry-barely-adjacent jobs just to pay the bills. We think the best place to live is one you can afford — a place where you can be happy, inspired, and financially free to pursue your art."
These criteria are themes throughout the ranking: Atlanta, Georgia, took the top spot overall, followed by Vancouver, British Columbia (No. 2), and New Orleans, Louisiana (No. 3). The five Texas cities on the list all boast more affordability than Los Angeles or New York, and each one features a deeply supportive film community and various local incentives.
Dallas came in second among Texas cities at No. 20, selected for its location and architecture, among other factors.
"Why choose Dallas? The city offers an online document that addresses just that question, and points to factors including its equal access to both coasts, great weather (except for some cold nights) and striking visuals, including modern and futuristic buildings that form a strikingly camera-worthy nighttime skyline," Molloy writes.
Dallas' diversity, plethora of permitting options, and cost of living also bolster its ranking.
"It’s one of the most diverse cities in the country, with a deep, experienced crew base, easily obtainable permits, and hotel deals to be had — if you’re shooting in Dallas and staying in the city’s hotels for at least 15 nights, you could qualify for up to 10 percent back on rooms," Molloy writes. "It’s a great city to work on other people’s projects so you can save enough money to create your own, and is almost exactly in line with the U.S. average cost of living. Just drive or walk its streets and it’s impossible not to notice the new construction and businesses popping up all over town, and it’s full of rising filmmakers who pitch in to do each other favors and bring one another’s projects to life."
He adds that the Dallas International Film Festival does an admirable job of showcasing must-see films, such as last year’s documentary Juneteenth: Faith and Freedom.
Neighboring Fort Worth made the list for the second year in a row. (It was No. 25 in its debut last year also.)
"Fort Worth is the proud home of Taylor Sheridan’s upcoming Paramount+ limited series about Bass Reeves, the once-enslaved man who became a famed federal marshal," Molloy writes. "Sheridan’s Yellowstone prequel 1883 also shoots in Fort Worth, and is based in nearby Weatherford, where Sheridan owns a ranch. Fort Worth offers clear skies, easy permitting, and a vibrant film culture that includes the Lone Star Film Festival.
"The 13th-biggest city in the country also has experienced crews and a cost of living almost exactly in line with the U.S. average. While there’s no official local incentive program, the city’s very accommodating film officials work hard to offer soft incentives like deals on hotels."
Elsewhere in Texas
"Texas is booming, as you’re about to see from the five Lone Star State cities on this list — all of which would be higher in our rankings if Texas offered more generous tax incentives," Molloy writes. "Still, the state is working hard to attract film and TV projects, and the signs of growth are obvious all over the state."
Austin unsurprisingly took the highest Texas spot at No. 12, scoring points beyond the obvious benefits of SXSW. MovieMaker praised smaller fests like the Austin Film Festival, as well as the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program, and Austin's impressive list of filmmaker residents (Richard Linklater, Robert Rodriguez, and Terrence Malick — to name a few).
Houston placed right behind Dallas at No. 21, with MovieMaker touting its diversity and low cost of living.
San Antonio came in fourth among Texas cities at No. 22, selected for its plethora of permitting options, reinstatement of local film incentives, and growing educational opportunities such as the University of Texas at San Antonio’s new Bachelor of Fine Arts Film & Media Studies program.
This week in gluttony
Warm up this week with a whiskey dinner, rib-smoking class, and hot cinnamon rolls. Or hop aboard a motorcoach bus for a Valentine’s-themed vegan tour of Dallas. Follow that with a meetup at one of Dallas' newest vegan restaurants. This week also brings the first Galentine’s event of 2023 – a brunch just for gal-pals with lots of pink drinks. (Note: Due to winter weather, be sure to check the event links for possible cancellations.)
Tuesday, January 31
Lockwood Pairing Dinner at Whiskey Cake Plano
The Southern-inspired dining destination will partner with Lockwood Distilling to host a five-course cocktail and spirits pairing dinner. Menu highlights include shrimp and grit cakes, lamb meatloaf, and banana and spiced pecan eggrolls. Cocktails will be themed to match the courses. Reservations are $85 plus tax and gratuity, and dinner begins at 7 pm.
Saturday, February 4
House of Bread One-Year Anniversary
Line up early for 25-cent cinnamon rolls at this McKinney bread bakery, which is celebrating its first birthday. There’ll be raffle prizes, giveaways, and even a 25-pound cinnamon roll to share. Proceeds will benefit the Community Food Pantry of McKinney. House of Bread opens at 8 am.
RibsU at Manhattan Project Beer Co.
The folks from Backyard Pitmasters will host a class all about ribs during this Saturday morning cooking class. Learn about short ribs, chuck ribs, beef back ribs, St. Louis-style pork ribs, pork baby back ribs, and lamb ribs. Butcher a rack of spareribs and learn how to use a dry rub, how to slice, and how to serve. The class is $119 and will run from 10 am-1 pm.
The Vegan Valentine Tour
Hop aboard the motorcoach bus for a tour of Valentine’s specials at vegan eateries around Dallas. The tour will be led by Courtney Garza McCullagh of VegWorld Magazine. Tickets are $64, and the tour will run from 12:30-4:30 pm. The bus is BYOB.
Veggie Outers Meetup at Green Papaya Plant Based
Join the Veggie Outers, a foodie group that meets once a month at area vegetarian restaurants, on a visit to Green Papaya Plant Based, the new vegan restaurant at 3211 Oak Lawn Ave. The event is free. You can order a la carte from their menu which includes dishes such as avocado truffle burger, tofu pho, white truffle pizza, and green papaya salad. 6:30-9 pm. RSVP on their website or on EventBrite.
Sunday, February 5
Galentine’s Brunch at El Patio Mex-Tex
Bring your gal-pals for an all-pink Galentine’s brunch-time affair at this Lewisville hot spot. There’ll be lipstick readings, DJ music, pink drink specials, and an all-you-can-eat Tex-Mex brunch buffet for $28. Brunch will be served from 11 am-2 pm.
Luke Bryan fans, clear your calendars in late September 2023. The five-time Entertainer of the Year and American Idol judge is making not one but two stops in North Texas on his "Country On Tour."
He'll play Dallas' Dos Equis Pavilion on September 28, then scoot over to Fort Worth for a show at Dickies Arena on September 29. The only other Texas stop on his 36-city tour will be in Lubbock, on July 27. (So sorry, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.)
Special guests throughout the tour will include up-and-coming country artists Chayce Beckham, Tyler Braden, Ashley Cooke, Jackson Dean, Jon Langston, Conner Smith, Alana Springsteen, Hailey Whitters, and DJ Rock.
According to the tour site, Beckham, Dean, Whitters, and DJ Rock will play the Dallas-Fort Worth shows.
Bryan has a history of investing in new artists by inviting them to join him on tour, a press release reminds.
“Artists get into the business to make music and perform it for the fans,” Bryan says in the release. “Leaving it all out on that stage is what it’s all about for me. I’m excited to support and have so many talented new artists along for the ride this year. It’s one of the most rewarding parts of our job.
The tour is named for Bryan's 30th No. 1 single, “Country On” - a celebration of farmers, truckers, military, first responders, and all of Americana that hit the top of the country singles charts around Christmas 2022. He has amassed a career tally of 56 total weeks at #1.
Bryan launches his 2023 headline dates at Resorts World Theatre in Las Vegas on February 1. He's also returning as a judge on ABC's American Idol this spring.
Bryan's "Country On Tour" kicks off June 15 in Syracuse, New York.
Tickets go on sale on at 10 am Friday, February 3 at Lukebryan.com.
Presale for Bryan's fan club members will run 8 am Tuesday, January 31 through 5 pm Thursday, February 2. For details, go HERE.
Citi cardmembers will have access to presale tickets from 10 am Wednesday, February 1 to 10 pm Thursday, Feb 2 through the Citi Entertainment program. For complete presale details visit www.citientertainment.com.