Photo courtesy of City of Plano

Homebuyers and families searching for their next place to call home should take a look at Plano and Richardson, which were just named among the top 15 Best Cities to Live in America by Niche.

Plano ranked No. 11 and Richardson, No. 12 in the 2023 report.

Niche is an online platform that connects families to schools or colleges; their 2023 report’s data was collected through resident reviews in combination with information from the Census and the FBI. This latest release is their ninth annual report, with rankings determined after a study of 228 American cities and nearly 18,000 towns and neighborhoods.

Plano and Richardson are no strangers to this prestigious list. Last year, Plano came in at No. 9, and Richardson, at No. 12. Richardson also came in at No. 12 in the 2021 list, while Plano was No. 7 that year.

Breaking down the 2023 report:

Plano (No. 11 overall) ranked in the top 10 in two categories in the report. It was named the No. 8 best American city to buy a house, and ranked No. 10 on the list of best cities to raise a family. Niche gave the city an A+ rating for its public school selection, diversity, and family-friendliness, and an A rank for its jobs, nightlife, and health and fitness.

Richardson (No. 12 overall) ranked No. 13 for best cities to raise a family. Richardson earned an A+ for its diversity, and an A grade for its family-friendliness, public schools, nightlife, and health and fitness. In the list of best cities to buy a house, it ranked No. 19.

Only one Texas town beat them out: Houston's northern neighbor The Woodlands, which made it at the top of the list in several categories. It was named theNo. 1 best city to buy a house in America, and No. 2 in the ranking of best cities to raise a family. The city has an A+ ranking for its family-friendliness, public schools, and job market, and an A- rating for its diversity, housing availability, and outdoor activities.

In the overall best American city to live in category, The Woodlands ranked No. 3. Cambridge, Massachusetts (No. 1) and Arlington, Virginia (No. 2) took the top two spots in the ranking.

Niche founder and CEO Luke Skurman says in a press release that the company is proud to be “a trusted resource for families, homebuyers” and many other professionals.

“For almost ten years now, our Best Places to Live rankings have helped people find a new neighborhood to call home based on what matters most to them, whether that’s affordable housing, easy access to amenities or excellent local schools,” says Skurman. “Families wondering about an area’s school district can also use our comprehensive school profiles and rankings to get a feel for their child’s potential school.”

The full report and its methodology can be found on Niche's website.

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Dallas sits pretty among world's top 20 cities with most mega-wealthy homeowners


The ultra rich are ultra attracted to Dallas. In a new report, Dallas ranks No. 14 in a list of the 20 cities worldwide with the highest number of ultra-high net worth individuals. Dallas lands just behind Paris as a location where the greatest number of ultra-wealthy people have primary or secondary homes.

The report by Altrata, an intelligence firm that creates data-based profiles on ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWs), explores where the most individuals with a net worth of over $30 million choose to live.

While other recent reports highlighting North Texas focus on the 1% and the income required to attain that rank, this study investigates those with accumulated wealth.

New York leads the global list with 21,714 ultra-wealthy residents, while Dallas claims 4,686.

Just behind Dallas is Houston, at No. 15, which boasts 4,420 ultra-wealthy folks.

While Dallas and Houston are the only Texas cities on the list (how did billionaire-tech-mecca Austin not make it?), U.S. cities dominate the rankings with only four international cities in the top 10: London, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Singapore.

That Dallas and Houston rose to the top of this list shouldn't be surprising since both cities were also recognized recently among the biggest markets in Texas for sales of homes valued at $10 million or more. As evidenced by recent listings, mansions and extreme luxury homes are a notable part of the real estate market in Dallas.

"In a world of volatile politics, uncertain economic prospects and rapid social and technological change, the wealthy population’s preferences for how and where they live are constantly shifting. Yet the significance of ‘home’ for the wealthy — as a haven for family, a place of work or a vacation escape for personal wellbeing — remains as strong as ever," the authors of the report say. "Moreover, the allure of the city, whether for business, cultural, family or lifestyle reasons, remains strong, driving demand across the world’s luxury residential real estate market."

This report also investigated the cities with the most ultra-wealthy individuals per capita, with Monaco and Aspen topping that list. Cities where the most ultra-rich people have second homes include New York, Miami, and Los Angeles.

For the curious, or for those planning on moving on up, here's the full list of the top 20 cities where the rich (and famous?) live and how many ultra-wealthy residents each city has:

  1. New York: 21,714
  2. London: 15,907
  3. Hong Kong: 15,175
  4. Los Angeles: 13,194
  5. Miami: 10,831
  6. San Francisco: 9,221
  7. Beijing: 8,923
  8. Singapore: 7,471
  9. Chicago: 6,506
  10. Washington, D.C.: 5,732
  11. Boston: 5,722
  12. San Jose: 5,291
  13. Paris: 5,235
  14. Dallas: 4,686
  15. Houston: 4,420
  16. Seattle: 4,334
  17. Toronto: 3,742
  18. Atlanta: 3,420
  19. Denver: 3,134
  20. Phoenix: 2,969
Photo by Igal Ness on Unsplash

Frisco has the 2nd largest gender pay gap in the U.S., new study finds


If you thought March 14 was solely dedicated to Pi Day, you’d be wrong. Equal Pay Day is also celebrated on the same day - a day to examine the decades of advocacy to extinguish the pay gap between men and women.

Unfortunately, nationwide the gap is still large. The latest Census Bureau says women make 18 percent less money than men do. We know the numbers for Texas and several of its cities, thanks to a new study by small biz experts Chamber of Commerce. They investigated the earnings for full-time workers in 170 of the most populous cities in the United States.

The analysis found that Texas has the 29th largest pay gap out of all 50 states, with women making nearly $11,000 less than men. Texas women can be glad they don’t live in Wyoming, which has the largest pay gap of the states at almost $19,000.

Just how do DFW cities stack up?

The news is not great. Several of the area’s suburban cities have higher gender pay gaps, including Frisco, which has the second highest in the nation (behind the Silicon Valley city of Sunnyvale, California). McKinney also appears in the top five for the highest pay gaps, landing at No. 5. Frisco men make nearly $40,000 more than women, while McKinney men make $29,000 more than women.

Just outside the top 10 is Plano at No. 12, with their gender pay gap adding up to $20,736.

The news is better inside Dallas city limits. Dallas has one of the smallest gender pay gaps nationwide, according to the report. The gender pay gap in Dallas is just $192 between full-time working men and women. In Oceanside, California (No. 167), that gap is even smaller, at $26. In the three top cities with the smallest gender pay gaps, women make between $969-$2,155 more than their male counterparts.

The top 5 U.S. cities with the smallest gender pay gaps are:

  • No. 170 – Hollywood, Florida
  • No. 169 – Oakland, California
  • No. 168 – Springfield, Massachusetts
  • No. 167 – Oceanside, California
  • No. 166 – Dallas

Other Texas cities that (disappointingly) have wider pay gaps include:

  • No. 2 – Frisco
  • No. 5 – McKinney
  • No. 12 – Plano
  • No. 13 – Austin
  • No. 25 – Pasadena
  • No. 30 – Lubbock
  • No. 45 – Fort Worth
  • No. 70 – Irving
  • No. 71 – Corpus Christi
  • No. 74 – San Antonio
  • No. 89 – Arlington
  • No. 93 – Grand Prairie
  • No 97 – El Paso
  • No. 101 – Laredo
  • No. 110 – Amarillo
  • No. 114 – Houston
  • No. 125 – Brownsville
  • No. 134 – Garland

In a different analysis of folks with a Bachelor’s degree, Frisco has the No. 1 largest gender pay gap between men and women. With a shocking $66,386 difference, men make more than double what women make in the Dallas suburb. The Texas city with the smallest gender pay gap for men and women who have Bachelor’s degrees is Grand Prairie (No. 164). Grand Prairie men make $1,741 more than their female counterparts do.

The full study can be found on chamberofcommerce.org.

Photo by Jason Risner

Southern Living names 2 Texas destinations among the best in the South


Austin has already been deemed one of the best cities for entrepreneurs, filmmakers, family-friendly vacations, remote workers, and retirees. Now, Texas' capital city has earned some impressive recognition as one of the best Southern cities overall, according to Southern Living’s seventh annual South’s Best Awards. Hill Country hot spot Fredericksburg made the magazine's list of top small towns in the South.

In the Alabama-headquartered publication's upcoming April issue, they tabulated the top 50 best Southern small towns, cities, hotels, state parks, and barbecue restaurants.

Austin ranked No. 10 in the South’s Best Cities list, with cities in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, and Tennessee ranking higher than the Lone Star State. Charleston, South Carolina was ranked the South’s best city, with Savannah, Georgia and Asheville, North Carolina respectively ranked in the No. 2 and No. 3 spots.

Featured on the magazine’s first-ever celebrity cover is Hoda Kotb, an NBC Today co-anchor. The cover spotlights her connection to New Orleans, which was ranked the No. 6 best Southern city.

Sid Evans, the editor in chief of Southern Living, shared his excitement to have Kotb share her “longtime connection” to Louisiana’s most famous city. “This whole issue is about the places we love, and in Hoda's case, the city clearly loves her back,” he said in a press release.

The top 10 South’s Best Cities list includes:

  • No. 1 – Charleston, South Carolina
  • No. 2 – Savannah, Georgia
  • No. 3 – Asheville, North Carolina
  • No. 4 – Atlanta
  • No. 5 – Nashville
  • No. 6 – New Orleans
  • No. 7 – Greenville, South Carolina
  • No. 8 – Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • No. 9 – Alpharetta, Georgia
  • No. 10 – Austin

In a win for the Hill Country, Fredericksburg was the only Texas town to make the top 10 in the category for the South’s Best Small Towns. St. Augustine, Florida was named the No. 1 best Southern small town.

"In a year when more people than ever are traveling and moving to the South, we wanted to put a spotlight on small towns in this year's South's Best Awards,” added Evans. “These are the hidden gems our readers picked for their character, charm, and unmistakable Southerness.”

The top 10 out of 50 Best Small Towns include:

  • No. 1 – St. Augustine, Florida
  • No. 2 – Beaufort, South Carolina
  • No. 3 – Gatlinburg, Tennessee
  • No. 4 – Dahlonega, Georgia
  • No. 5 – Blowing Rock, North Carolina
  • No. 6 – Fairhope, Alabama
  • No. 7 – Tybee Island, Georgia
  • No. 8 – Sanibel, Florida
  • No 9 – Folly Beach, South Carolina
  • No 10 – Fredericksburg, Texas

In the category for the best barbecue by state, we go back to Austin, as Franklin Barbecue was declared the best in Texas.

Southern Living’s Top Barbecue by state rankings are:

  • Alabama – Saw’s BBQ in Birmingham
  • Arkansas – Wright’s Barbecue in Fayetteville
  • Florida – Tropical Smokehouse in West Palm Beach
  • Georgia – Fox Brother’s Bar-B-Que in Atlanta
  • Kentucky – Moonlite Bar-B-B Inn in Owensboro
  • Louisiana – The Joint in New Orleans
  • Mississippi – The Shed Barbeque & Blues Joint in Ocean Springs
  • North Carolina – Lexington Barbecue in Lexington
  • Oklahoma – Leo’s BBQ in Oklahoma City
  • South Carolina – Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ in Charleston
  • Tennessee – Peg Leg Porker in Nashville
  • Texas – Franklin Barbecue in Austin
  • Virginia – Pierce’s Pitt Bar-B-Que in Williamsburg
  • West Virginia – Dem 2 Brothers and a Grill in Charleston

Southern Living’s April issue goes on sale March 17. The full list and methodology can be found on SouthernLiving.com.

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

15 Dallas-Fort Worth companies promoted as best large employers in U.S. by Forbes

Working for a living

Attention to all those seeking a career in the medical industry: Dallas' University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center has been named the second best large employer in Texas, and No. 19 best employer in America, according to Forbes’ 2023 report.

Healthcare organizations are the shining stars in this year’s report; they represented 20 percent of the top 100 employers. Houston Methodist made some major improvements within the span of a year to earn its title as the best large employer in the state and No. 2 spot overall in the report, after it was ranked No. 37 in Forbes' 2022 report.

Last year, UT Southwestern ranked No. 9 in the country.

To determine their 2023 rankings, Forbes partnered with consumer data and statistics firm Statista to survey 45,000 employees at companies with a staff of 5,000 or more. The full list categorized 500 of America’s large employers that earned the most recommendations.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area had the most employers make Forbes’ list, with 14 companies making an appearance after UT Southwestern Medical Center’s No. 19 ranking. Four are based in Plano, two from Irving, one from Fort Worth, and one from Grand Prairie.

Dallas-Fort Worth area companies on Forbes’ list include:

  • No. 70 – Southwest Airlines
  • No. 83 – Topgolf
  • No. 164 – McKesson, based in Irving
  • No. 188 – Toyota North America, based in Plano
  • No. 250 – Jacobs Engineering
  • No. 268 – Texas Instruments
  • No. 339 – ExxonMobil, based in Irving
  • No. 369 – CBRE Group
  • No. 376 – American Airlines Group, based in Fort Worth
  • No. 400 – Aimbridge Hospitality, based in Plano
  • No. 403 – NTT Data, based in Plano
  • No. 410 – Republic National Distributing Company, based in Grand Prairie
  • No. 430 – AT&T
  • No. 497 – Crossmark, based in Plano

Other Houston-area companies on the list after Houston Methodist include:

  • No. 210 – Shell
  • No. 289 – Schlumberger, based in Sugar Land
  • No. 341 – BP
  • No. 383 – Sysco
  • No. 421 – Waste Management
  • No. 479 – Air Liquide

Elsewhere in Texas, San Antonio had a top 10 contender on Forbes’ report for best employers: none other than Texas’ signature grocery store H-E-B. Other San Antonio companies that were ranked include United Services Automobile Association (USAA) at No. 42 and Whataburger at No. 493.

In Austin, five employers earned spots in Forbes' rankings:

  • No. 77 – Dell Technologies, based in Round Rock
  • No. 96 – Keller Williams Realty
  • No. 121 – University of Texas at Austin
  • No. 306 – Whole Foods Market
  • No. 454 – McLane Company, based in Temple

The full rankings and its methodology can be found at forbes.com.

Photo by Elisa Ventur on Unsplash

3 Dallas-Fort Worth cities among most stressful for workers, report says


Feeling totally stressed about work? Many fellow workers in Dallas-Fort Worth feel the pain.

In a new report from LLC.org, Arlington, Dallas, and Fort Worth were deemed among the 10 most stressful U.S. cities to work in. Two more - Garland and Irving - made the top 30. Ouch.

LLC.org’s analysis looked at eight different categories such as average commute time, average weekly hours worked, income growth rate, and more. Each of the 170-plus cities researched in the report have a population of at least 150,000 people – which adds up to a lot of stressed-out folks nationwide.

Houston earned the top most stressful city ranking due to its nearly 53-minute average round trip daily commute, not to mention that one in three people in the city are on the road before 7 am every morning. To top it off, Houston’s percentage of workers without health insurance is a whopping 30.4 percent. (That’s a lot to be stressed about.)

Arlington was ranked second overall for its 39.9-hour average daily work week. The city's 3.4 percent income growth rate also plays a major factor, as it is nearly half of the national average. Adding in the low percentage of remote workers and its 52-minute round trip commute provides a full understanding of Arlington's placement in the report.

Dallas earned its third most stressful city ranking due to its long work week and high number of workers without health insurance. Twenty-five percent of workers do not have health insurance, which is significantly higher than the national average of 10.5 percent.

Additionally, the city has the ninth longest work week out of all cities in the analysis. The average Dallas laborer works 40.2 hours a week, which is greater than the 38.7 hour national average. But Dallas’ average commute is a little lower than Houston's (No. 1) and Arlington's – at 51.4 minutes round trip.

A little further down in the top 10 is Fort Worth, at No. 8. High percentages of single-income families (nearly 42 percent) and workers on the road before 7 am (36 percent) are what led to the city's ranking. For Worth also ranks neck-and-neck with Arlington for the percentage of workers without insurance, at both 22 percent.

Garland lands at No. 13, and Irving, at No. 26. Garland recently made another headline as having one of the worst commutes in America.

Rounding out the top five are Memphis, Tennessee (No. 4) and Las Vegas, Nevada (No. 5) with Corpus Christi taking the No. 6 spot.

Other Texas cities that made the list include San Antonio (No. 12), Brownsville (No. 15), and El Paso (No. 22).

The top 10 most stressful cities for workers are:

  • No. 1: Houston
  • No. 2: Arlington, Texas
  • No. 3: Dallas
  • No 4: Memphis, Tennessee
  • No. 5: Las Vegas
  • No. 6: Corpus Christi, Texas
  • No. 7: Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • No. 8: Fort Worth, Texas
  • No. 9: Moreno Valley, California
  • No. 10: Modesto, California
In an examination of the least stressful cities for workers, not a single Texas city made the top 10. Madison, Wisconsin earned the ranking of least stressful city to work in. It must be nice to have a 36.6-hour average workweek and short average round trip commute of 37.4 minutes. If only...

The full report can be found at llc.org.

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Country superstar Chris Stapleton adds Dallas stop to his all-American tour this fall

Just a Traveler

Chris Stapleton is bringing his “All-American Road Show" back to Dallas this fall. The eight-time Grammy Award-winning country music superstar (who also has 15 CMA and 10 ACM awards under his belt) will stop at Dos Equis Pavilion on October 27, 2023.

Stapleton will appear with special guests Nikki Lane and CMT-nominated Charley Crockett.

The new date, announced March 23, will come one year after Stapleton's "Roadshow" concert at Globe Life Field. He'll be playing shows in San Antonio and Austin on October 19 and 20, respectively, and his only other Texas stop (so far) is Corpus Christi, on October 12.

Tickets will go on sale on Friday, March 31, at 10 am. Stapleton’s fan club will have early access to tickets and VIP packages with pre-sale starting on Tuesday, March 28, at 10 am through Thursday, March 30, at 10 pm. As the official card of Chris Stapleton’s “All-American Road Show” 2023 tour, Citi cardmembers will have access to pre-sale tickets starting on Tuesday, March 28, at 10 am until Thursday, March 30, at 10 pm. For complete pre-sale, details visit citientertainment.com.

In addition to the new “All-American Road Show” dates, Stapleton will headline Stagecoach Music Festival on April 30 and will join George Strait for a series of stadium shows with special guests Little Big Town.

The Kentucky-born artist is one of the country’s most respected and beloved musicians. He was recently named the CMA Male Vocalist of the Year for the sixth time, setting the record for most wins ever in the category. Additionally, his most recent album, Starting Over, won Best Country Album at the 67th Annual Grammy's, as well as earning Album of the Year honors at both the 54th Annual CMA Awards and 56th ACM Awards. The record follows Stapleton’s pair of Platinum-certified releases from 2017, From A Room: Volume 1 and From A Room: Volume 2, as well as his x5 Platinum breakthrough solo debut album, Traveller.

In addition to his work as a musician, Stapleton and his wife, Morgane, are founders of the Outlaw State of Kind charitable fund, which supports a variety of causes that are close to their heart. Most recently, their “Kentucky Rising” concert last fall raised over $2.8 million to support flood relief in Eastern Kentucky.

Confirmed tour dates are listed below, including supporting acts and special guests:

April 26: El Paso, TX—UTEP Don Haskins Center*
April 27: Albuquerque, NM—Isleta Amphitheater*
April 29: Los Angeles, CA—Hollywood Bowl – Willie Nelson’s 90th Birthday
April 30: Indio, CA—Stagecoach
May 6: Glendale, AZ—State Farm Stadium†
May 27: Columbus, OH—Buckeye Country Superfest
June 1: Moline, IL—Vibrant Arena at The MARK‡
June 2: Grand Rapids, MI—Van Andel Arena‡
June 3: Milwaukee, WI—American Family Field†
June 8: Syracuse, NY—St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview+
June 9: Mansfield, MA—Xfinity Center+
June 10: Mansfield, MA—Xfinity Center+
June 15: Spokane, WA—Spokane Arena§
June 16: Bend, OR—Hayden Homes Amphitheater§
June 17: Seattle, WA—Lumen Field†
June 22: Des Moines, IA—Wells Fargo Arena§
June 23: Wichita, KS—INTRUST Bank Arena§
June 24: Denver, CO—Empower Field at Mile High†
July 7: Bangor, ME—Maine Savings Amphitheater§
July 8: Cavendish, PEI—Cavendish Beach Music Festival
July 13: Charleston, SC—Credit One Stadium#
July 14: Virginia Beach, VA—Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater#
July 15: Baltimore, MD—CFG Bank Arena#
July 19: Omaha, NE—CHI Health Center**
July 20: St. Louis, MO—Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre**
July 21-22: Cullman, AL—Rock the South
July 28: Nashville, TN—Nissan Stadium†
July 29: Nashville, TN—Nissan Stadium†
August 5: Tampa, FL—Raymond James Stadium†
August 10: Gilford, NH—Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion**
August 11: Gilford, NH—Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion**
August 12: Gilford, NH—Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion**
August 17: Toronto, ON—Budweiser Stage‡
August 18: Toronto, ON—Budweiser Stage‡
August 19: Montreal, QC—Lasso Festival at Parc Jean-Drapeau
August 24: Memphis, TN—FedExForum††
August 25: Alpharetta, GA—Ameris Bank Amphitheatre††
August 26: Alpharetta, GA—Ameris Bank Amphitheatre††
October 5: Charlottesville, VA—John Paul Jones Arena*
October 6: State College, PA—Bryce Jordan Center*
October 12: Corpus Christi, TX—AmericanBank Center Arena+
October 19: San Antonio, TX—AT&T Center+
October 20: Austin, TX—Moody Center+
October 26: Tulsa, OK—BOK Center+
October 27 – Dallas, TX – Dos Equis Pavilion+

*with special guests Margo Price and Nikki Lane
†with George Strait and special guests Little Big Town
‡with special guests Marcus King and The War and Treaty
+with special guests Charley Crockett and The War and Treaty
§with special guests Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives and Allen Stone
#with special guests Margo Price and Allen Stone
**with special guests Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives and The War and Treaty
††with special guests Marcus King and Allen Stone
+with special guests Charley Crockett and Nikki Lane

These are the 10 best things to do in Dallas this weekend

Weekend Event Planner

If this week's list of things to do around Dallas looks odd, that's because there's a wide variety of choices, including a very odd convention. Also happening are two comedians, an opera, a trio of concerts from across the musical spectrum, a local theater production, a Shakespearean festival, and a dance production.

Below are the best ways to spend your precious free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.

Thursday, March 23

Luke Comb at his November 2021 concert at AT&T Stadium.

Photo courtesy of Luke Combs

Luke Combs returns to AT&T Stadium on March 25 for another huge concert

Improv Arlington presents DeRay Davis
DeRay Davis has been killing it in Hollywood with his hilarious humor and persona, with film credits like Semi-Pro, Imagine That, Scary Movie 4, Barbershop 1 & 2, and Johnson Family Vacation. On the small screen, he has appeared in HBO's Entourage, Comedy Central's Reno 911, and as numerous voices on The Boondocks. He'll perform nine times through Sunday at Improv Arlington.

Friday, March 24

The Dallas Opera presents Così fan tutte
In Così fan tutte, the women have the last laugh when the men they plan to marry come up with a really bad idea: Egged on by a cynical old bachelor, the guys decide to put their fiancées to the “fidelity test.” Big mistake, as the resulting romantic debacle demonstrates. Mozart does it again, with glorious music fueling comedy that cuddles right up to a calamity just waiting to happen. The production, which is sung in Italian with English supertitles, will have four performances through April 1 at Winspear Opera House.

Marco Antonio Solis in concert
The 2023 concert season at outdoor venue Dos Equis Pavilion gets started a bit early with this visit from Mexican singer Marco Antonio Solis. For the first half of his career, he was part of the group Los Bukis, during which he became known as a great songwriter. He finally went out on his own in the late 1990s, releasing 10 albums, most recently 2013's Gracias Por Estar Aquí. He'll come to Dallas as part of his El Buki World Tour.

The Core Theatre presents A Trip to Bountiful
A Trip to Bountiful is a classic American play about a remarkable journey home. In her autumn years Carrie Watts dreams of escape from the bustling city and of a return to simpler times in her beloved Bountiful, Texas. She sets out on a risky journey to her long lost hometown, with her family in hot pursuit. The production runs through April 9 at The Core Theatre in Richardson.

Sabrina Carpenter in concert
The 23-year-old Sabrina Carpenter is a multi-hyphenate who's dipped her toes into multiple parts of the entertainment industry. She's had parts in productions as diverse as Disney's Girl Meets World, the film The Hate U Give, and the two Tall Girl movies on Netflix. She put out her first music single in 2014, and has gone on to release five albums, including 2022's Emails I Can't Send. She'll perform at The Factory in Deep Ellum.

Saturday, March 25

Oddities & Curiosities Expo
The Oddities and Curiosities Expo features over 150 oddity vendors and artists selling a wide variety of rare and unusual items, including taxidermy, preserved animal specimens, original horror and Halloween-inspired artwork, antiques, handcrafted oddities, skulls, bones, and funeral collectibles. The one-day expo at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center will also feature photo ops, tarot reading, sideshow performers, and concessions.

Adriatica Village presents Shakespeare McKinney
Shakespeare McKinney provides residents and businesses with an opportunity to show their support for the local arts community, including theatre, dance, music, and visual arts, at the celebration of culture, creativity, and community. Shakespeare’s work comes to life through presentations, adaptations, and modernized renditions of his repertoire performed on the MainStage. Taking place at Adriatica Village, there will be multiple other stages of entertainment, as well as street performers and visual artists, a variety of food truck options, a vendor market, and a kids zone.

Luke Combs in concert
There was no wait-and-see period with country star Luke Combs; he was big out of the gate, going to No. 1 with his 2017 debut album, This One's for You. He maintained that popularity with his next two albums, so there's no reason to think that his just-released fourth album, Gettin' Old, won't have the same success. He'll be joined at this huge concert at AT&T Stadium in Arlington by special guests Riley Green, Lainey Wilson, Flatland Cavalry, and Brent Cobb.

Dallas Black Dance Theatre presents "Dancing Beyond Borders"
DBDT: Encore! takes its talents to Richardson with "Dancing Beyond Borders," pushing the lines of contemporary modern dance. Choreographer Jess Hendricks brings the dancers to the brink of physical exhaustion in the dance Shedding Skin. Tears of War choreographer Christopher L. Huggins mirrors the heartbreak of war during six periods of American history. Spiritual Suite is a collection of spiritual works choreographed in a collaborative effort by Nycole Ray, Richard A. Freeman, Jr., Floyd McLean, Jr., and Dianne Grigsby. The production will be at Eisemann Center for Performing Arts.

Druski: "Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda Tour"
Acclaimed comedian, actor, and entrepreneur Druski comes to Texas Trust CU Theatre in Grand Prairie as part of his first-ever headlining comedy tour. The tour will feature a traditional comedic stand-up performance, as well as a live element of Druski’s record label, Coulda Been Records. Online, Druski facetiously offered aspiring performers an opportunity to showcase their skills online in front of millions. Now, these prospective entertainers will have the chance to perform for a live audience for the first time ever.

Dallas native directs new Netflix series Waco: American Apocalypse

Documentary News

Netflix has a new series on the tragedy that took place in Waco three decades ago: Called Waco: American Apocalypse, it's a three-part series documenting the standoff between cult leader David Koresh and the federal government that ended in a fiery inferno, televised live, with 76 people dead.

The series debuts on March 22, to coincide with the 30-year anniversary of the event which took place from February 28 to April 19, 1993. There's a trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scZ2x7R_XXc.

It's an oft-told tale and not the only new release to try and exploit the 30-year anniversary: Jeff Guinn, former books editor at the Fort Worth Star Telegram, just came out with a book also described as definitive, called Waco: David Korsh, the Branch Davidians, and a Legacy of Rage.

Waco: American Apocalypse is directed by another "local": Dallas native Tiller Russell (Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer), who obtained never-before-seen videotapes of FBI negotiations, as well as raw news footage and interviews with insiders.

Those insiders include one of David Koresh’s spiritual wives; the last child released from the compound alive; a sniper from the FBI Hostage Rescue Team; the FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit Chief; journalists; and members of the ATF tactical team who watched colleagues die in the shootout against the heavily armed members of the religious sect.

The FBI videotaped inside the hostage negation room, thinking they'd be there maybe 24 hours, not 51 days.

"These are video cassettes that were sitting in somebody’s closet for 30 years, that show the mechanics of hostage negotiations in an intimate setting - not the hostage negotiation scenarios you see in films, but a team of people grinding, day in and day out, for 51 days," Russell says.

He also procured footage from Waco TV station KWTX, who had a reporter embedded in the initial gunfight.

While the standoff was broadcast live on TV at the time, much of it was out of camera range. The film uses 3D graphics to recreate the details of the compound.

Russell acknowledges that the tale of the cult leader who was also a pedophile, the debate over the right to bear arms, the constitutional limits of religious freedom, dredge up painful conversations that continue today.

"It cast a long shadow, pre-saging the Timothy McVeigh bombing in Oklahoma, the shooting at Colombine, and a growing distrust of government, but I think it's important to reckon with our past so we don't repeat mistakes," he says.

"So much of what’s roiling in culture today can be traced to Waco, a story about God and guns in America with all these children at the center whose lives were determined by the adults around them," he says. "There was no playbook for what happened, everyone was out on a limb, and people made mistakes. But almost everybody was trying to do their very best."

"I think this is a story that's often recalled in politicized terms, with finger-pointing on who screwed up and how did we get here, but there's a profound humanity to it all," he says.