March has arrived, bringing with it the return of evening sunlight, spring breaks, and St. Patrick’s Day. Despite what some people have said, spring break doesn’t last forever, so enjoy March while it lasts. Here are 25 things you can’t miss this month, as selected and summarized by D’s editors.
No one should have needed Jeff Tweedy to remind them that Mavis Staples is a goddess. Come on. She was in the Staple Singers. She kind of was the Staple Singers. Yeah, it was a family band, but Mavis’ voice is what you remember from “Respect Yourself” and “I’ll Take You There.” She was in The Last Waltz and Wattstax. People wrote songs for her. Bob Dylan tried to marry her. (Of slightly lesser note: she provided the theme song for National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.) But people forget sometimes. People need to be reintroduced to an artist sometimes. Rick Rubin did it for Johnny Cash. Jack White did it for Loretta Lynn. And Tweedy did it for Staples. The two records the Wilco frontman has produced for her–2010’s You Are Not Alone and 2013’s One True Vine–are proof that Staples’ voice remains a mighty instrument well into her 70s. Don’t forget again. The Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St.
TV on the Radio
Mar. 19 & 20, 8 pm
In the studio, TV on the Radio uses all available audio trickery to create a dense, heady sound. But onstage, the group transforms that sound into stripped-down rock and roll, feral and intense, almost like a different band covering TV on the Radio songs. Making for an even more intense experience: TVOTR is touring in support of last year’s Seeds, its first album since the death of bassist Gerard Smith. It’s an emotional comeback for the band that is reflected in the new music. Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. 214-824-9933.
Mar. 13-Apr. 18
Lee Trull’s new adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s most enduring play (The Importance of Being Earnest) tracks four farcical characters in trivial pursuit of their various fixations. In addition to an abbreviated title, Trull’s interpretation features new music from Dallas songwriter Jencey Keeton and several modern updates to Wilde’s Victorian-era classic, including rollerskates and peanut butter snacks. Kitchen Dog Theater, 3120 McKinney Ave. 214-953-1055.
Mar. 22, 6 pm
Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life has sold millions of copies since its release in 1976, and is probably his signature recording. It’s a genre-spanning double album that outpaces most other artists’ best-of collections in critical and commercial achievement. Here’s a better, less business-like way to put it: Songs in the Key of Life makes you feel like you’re floating several feet off the ground whenever you listen to it. Wonder is playing the album front-to-back on this tour to audiences sure to be levitating from the first note of “Love’s in Need of Love Today.” American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. 214-222-3687.
The Testament of Mary
Mar. 17–Apr. 11
Mary, mother of Jesus, recounts the story of her son’s crucifixion and its aftermath in Colm Tóibín’s tough, spare, one-woman show. It was nominated for three Tony Awards in 2013 and makes its regional premiere here, under the direction of Undermain Theatre artistic director Katherine Owens. Undermain Theatre, 3200 Main St. 214-747-5515.
It started as a joke. Shortly after Dallas Symphony Orchestra principal trumpet Ryan Anthony was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, he tossed out the idea of a benefit concert called “Cancer Blows.” From Anthony’s lips to some very generous ears. The three-day event culminates with a concert featuring some of the world’s best trumpeters, including Doc Severinsen, Arturo Sandoval, and Lee Loughnane. All proceeds will benefit Baylor Health Care System Foundation and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St. 214-871-5000.
North Texas Irish Festival
In the same way that Cinco de Mayo can be more of an excuse to drink margaritas than to celebrate Mexico’s independence, revelers often lose sight of the traditions at the heart of St. Patrick’s Day. This massive celebration of Irish heritage features traditional dancing, folk music, and other activities that go beyond green beer and shamrock hats. Fair Park, 1121 First Ave. 214-821-4173.
Conductor Riccardo Frizza makes his company debut with Puccini’s classic opera about passionate-but-poor Parisians. The Dallas Opera revives the production designed by the late Jean-Pierre Ponnelle with beautiful costumes from the late Peter J. Hall. The Grammy-winning (and still-living) soprano Ana María Martínez plays Mimi, who falls in love with Rodolfo (Bryan Hymel) over a flickering candle in a drafty attic in the Latin Quarter. Don’t feel like dressing up? There will be a free simulcast at AT&T Stadium on March 21. Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. 214-443-1000.
Mar. 27 & 28, 8 pm
Acrobatics on shifting sets make Diavolo an experience sure to set any heart racing. Presented by TITAS, Diavolo is back in Dallas to perform Fluid Infinities, the third part of a trilogy that explores how people interact with the large, often imposing architecture that surrounds us. Dallas City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St.
Mar. 12–Apr. 5
Adapted from the Gilbert and Sullivan opera, this musical comedy is set in a small town in Japan where flirting warrants a death sentence. But a sense of humor and music—mostly jazz, blues, and gospel—prevail despite the severe rule of law. Theatre Three, 2800 Routh St., Ste. 168. 214-871-3300.
Cold War Kids
Mar. 6, 8 pm
The band’s lineup and sound have undergone several changes in the 10 years since they put out their first album, but Cold War Kids’ live act—blistering takes on their brand of bluesy, blue-eyed soul—remains as vital as ever. The group is touring in support of its 2014 release Hold My Home, the first since two former members of Modest Mouse joined. House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St. 214-978-2583.
Mar. 17, 7 pm
Twin Shadow (born George Lewis Jr.) reinterprets the music he grew up on, writing moody, synth-heavy songs for the 21st century that nevertheless wouldn’t sound out of place in the romantic scenes of a John Hughes movie. Call it new-new wave. Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. 214-824-9933.
The King and I
Mar. 20–Apr. 5
The rare clash of cultures with a happy ending, The King and I holds out hope that we can all get along. It’s a simple story and even a little cliché, but only because the kernel of truth at the heart of the cliché is worth repeating. It’s a summer musical that goes down easy but stays with you. Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 First Ave. 214-565-1116.
Disney on Ice: Frozen
Karaoke renditions of the song “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen became something of a national pastime in 2014, but sometimes it’s best to leave everything to the professionals. This live translation is on ice—how perfect—and features skating, special effects, and, yes, “Let It Go.” American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. 214-222-3687.
Mar. 12, 6 pm
Native Texan Miranda Lambert is the reigning queen of popular country music and a veteran live performer. In case that’s not enough to convince you, she’s touring with up-and-coming acts Justin Moore, Sunny Sweeney, and Jukebox Mafia. American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. 214-222-3687.
Mar. 1, 2 pm
A different kind of cowboy will invade Jerry World this month for the American Rodeo. It’s presented by RFD-TV, “rural America’s most important network,” but even city folk should find something to appreciate, as competitors are vying for their share of a $2 million cash payout. AT&T Stadium, 1 AT&T Way, Arlington. 817-892-5000.
USA Gymnastics American Cup
Mar. 7, 10:15 am
Astronauts aren’t the only people who can skirt the Earth’s gravitational pull, as the gymnasts of USA Gymnastics can readily demonstrate. This is a great opportunity to see live a sport most only view every four years. Plus, several past champions have gone on to win gold at the Olympics. AT&T Stadium, 1 AT&T Way, Arlington. 817-892-5000.
Mar. 18, 8 pm
If guitarists age like fine wine, then Carlos Santana is a bottle of Château Margaux. Santana took a break to write his memoir last year and do a residency in Las Vegas, but the Corazón tour should prove that the musician still has a heart for the open road. Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Pl., Grand Prairie. 972-854-5111.
Dancing Beyond Borders
Mar. 20, 7:30 pm
This is the closest a dance troupe gets to a greatest-hits compilation. With Dancing Beyond Borders, both of Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s professional companies will reprise some 2013-2014 audience favorites. As a bonus, expect to see original works from company members. W.E. Scott Theatre, 3505 W. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth. 214-880-0202.
Mansfield Pickle Parade & Palooza
Mar. 14, 10 am
Parades are a typical feature of St. Patrick’s Day. In Mansfield, so are pickles. The pickle capital of Texas has embraced its claim to fame with the annual Pickle Parade & Palooza. The holiday goes hand-in-hand with time-honored St. Patrick’s Day traditions of drinking, wearing green, and marching down the street. Wear a pickle costume (doesn’t everyone have one?) and join the Pickle Queens in downtown Mansfield to take part in both celebrations. 109 N. Main St., Mansfield.
Mar. 6, 8 pm
Bo Burnham came to fame via a series of comedic songs he debuted on YouTube as a teenager. He was funny, but anxious and awkward. Burnham has matured as a comic and performer, fine-tuning that anxiety into the nervous energy that makes many comedians great. Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St. 214-670-3687.
Mar. 4, 7 pm
There’s no new album, and the band was in town for a sold-out gig just last year, but Fleetwood Mac is entitled to a victory lap. If you missed your shot, here’s a second chance. And the lack of a new album has its benefits: you don’t have to politely sit through the band’s new songs in order to get to classics like “Go Your Own Way” or “The Chain.” American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. 214-222-3687.
Mar. 24, 7 pm
When the electro-pop duo opened for TuneYards last year, fans packed the house early, foreshadowing a swift return to the Granada as headliners. They’re not trying anything too ambitious, but the result is sweet earworms with broad appeal. Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. 214-824-9933.
The Collection of Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass
Mar. 1–May 24
Names that tend to get entire chapters in Art History 101—Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, Rothko—will be on display at the Kimbell Art Museum this spring. The 37 works from the collection of local philanthropists Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass include paintings and sculptures such as Van Gogh’s Enclosed Field With Plowman and Picasso’s Fruit Dish, Bottle, and Guitar. Kimbell Art Museum, 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth. 817-332-8451.
Texas Guitar Competition & Festival
Mar. 6 & 7
This competition for classical guitarists pits the best against the best among college-level students. The second day of the event will showcase two international guest artists, who will also teach master classes. University of Texas at Dallas, 800 W. Campbell Rd., Richardson. 972-883-2787.