16 Awesome Things to Do in Dallas this Weekend, March 27-30
Rhonda L. Williams
If you could live your life like Jay Gatsby, wouldn't you? The suits, the women, the music, the cars, the parties. Of course, F. Scott Fitzgerald's greatest character didn't live happily ever after, but that was then. This is now. There's no reason you can't dress up, pack a picnic, dance the Charleston and celebrate the end of the war. At the Dallas Heritage Village (1515 S. Harwood St.), the Jazz Age Sunday Social offers an afternoon of picnics, swing dance, ice cream and big band music at a Roaring '20s lawn party, complete with music from The Singapore Slingers. The party lasts from noon to 4 p.m. and tickets are $10. Attendees are encouraged to pack picnics and tuck flasks in their garters. Prohibition, baby.
Thursday, March 27
This is the one show that brings together Broadway lovers and Broadway haters. The long-running roast of The Great White Way, talented performers and comedians (often Broadway starts themselves) take to task everyone from Bernadette Peters to little orphan Annie with parodies of the song, the dance and the schmaltz. The show changes over the years, but the schtick stays the same. It swings through the Bass Hall at 7 p.m. Thursday for a one-night-only performance. Tickets start at $33.
Brahms & Chopin
Most of us were probably still trying to figure out what our majors were going to be and how to hold our liquor when we were 19. Jan Lisiecki, who turned 19 just this week, is already a professional concert pianist with a successful recording and touring career. You can hear this adorable, blond-haired wunderkind perform Chopin's gloriously romantic "Piano Concerto No. 2" with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St. Chopin himself was only 20 years old when he composed this piece, and it is filled with youthful energy, passion and demanding virtuosic feats. Guest conductor Jakub Hrusa leads the orchestra in a program that also includes the music of Brahms, Dvorák and Janàcek. Single tickets range from $38-$264 and are available at dallassymphony.com or by calling the box office at 214-692-0203. By Katie Womack
Friday, March 28
The Barber of Seville
If you've ever heard someone imitate a vibrato, singing, "Figaro, Figarooo, Figarooooo," they were singing The Barber of Seville.The Dallas Opera brings back Rossini's classic opera this weekend to run in repertory with Die tote Stadt. You should go, because you need more culture in your life. Tickets range $29 to $219.
She's funny, she's crass and notably, she's a she. In a world dominated by men, Handler earned a coveted late night spot on E! with her wit and willingness to sink her pearly whites into Hollywood's celebrity culture. We caught up with her last month in anticipation of the show. Her latest tour stops at the Verizon Theatre at 8 p.m. Friday to support her new book Uganda be Kidding Me, a travel journal of sorts that follows Handler's vodka-soaked trips to Africa, the Bahamas and more. Tickets start at $29.50.
Texas Pinball Festival
I remember the night I discovered the pinball machines at Reno's. I'm not exactly the bar's average customer, but I became a loyal one thanks to those three machines. Seriously, why aren't there more pinball machines in Dallas? This weekend, the Texas Pinball Festival takes over the Embassy Suites in Frisco with more than 350 machines. If you've got two thumbs and want to break a world record, show up at 5 p.m. Friday when fest organizers hope to shatter the world record for most people playing pinball simultaneously. More info at texaspinball.com.
Balanchine & Beyond
Ballet as we know it today we owe to George Balanchine. The classic pose of one armed raised as if blocking the dancer's eyes from the sun? His. Texas Ballet Theater pays tribute to the grandfather of American ballet in a three part performance, featuring Tchaikovsky's gorgeous Serenade for Strings in C as the score for what George Balanchine called "a dance in the moonlight." It will be followed by a piece from TBT's Ben Stevenson and a world premiere of a piece by company member Carl Coomer. Performances take place 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the City Performance Hall. Tickets start at $20.
"Um, it's for my niece," was the excuse I was given when I caught a dude looking at My Little Pony dolls in Target. I smiled and shrugged. That was before I learned about the phenomenon known as "Bronies." I hesitate to call the attendees of the Animation Celebration festival in Lewisville this weekend adults, because let's be honest. Would an adult really use a little purple brush to comb the hot pink mane of a doll pony? No. Absolutely they would not. But we're sending photographers and a journalist this weekend, because we want to document the strange human-like creatures known as Bronies. It happens Friday - Sunday at the Hilton Garden Inn and Lewisville Convention Center, 785 Highway 121 Bypass, Lewisville.
Saturday, March 29
Great Trinity Forest Event
If a tree falls in the forest and no one's there to hear it, maybe it's because no one knows the forest exists. It might come as a surprise to Dallas residents that the Great Trinity Forest is in their backyard. Well, maybe not your backyard. Yep, those are just weeds. Just eight miles south of downtown, the Trinity River Audubon Center, 6500 Great Trinity Forest Blvd., is the city's hidden treasure, located in a 7,000-acre forest. Saturday, the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, the Trinity Trust and the Audubon Center host an outdoor event, The Mystery and Magic of the Great Trinity Forest, with early morning family yoga, tours of the forest, tree planting and a picnic lunch. Yoga starts at 9 a.m. and lunch is served at noon. Tickets for children are $15, $20 for members and $30 for non-members. Visit
dallasinstitute.org for more info.