Michelle Obama: A conversation with the former first lady // Winspear, 3/9
After graduating from Harvard Law, Michelle Robinson went to work for a law firm in her home city of Chicago. Her work was not challenging enough, she told her supervisors, who assigned her an associate to mentor. His name was Barack Obama. He wanted to date her; she wasn’t sure. Michelle’s story did not begin when she fell for Barack. But a world’s view of love and family in America finds its origin in that moment. A champion of education for girls and women and a game-changer for nutrition in public schools, Michelle continues the legacy she left.
Lorde, Run the Jewels, American Airlines, 3/18
No mainstream pop artist with greater gravity has risen this decade. Last year’s Melodrama is a mature, deliberately theatrical, piano-based statement that sneers at its own title.
George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic // House of Blues, 3/3
How much do you want the funk? George Clinton still does at 76 years old, enough to helm the singular, ambling, thump-heavy universe onstage with Parliament-Funkadelic he established in the 1970s. Clinton has said it’s a top strategic priority to keep himself relevant; still, recent collaborations with acts like Kendrick Lamar and Flying Lotus are more an act of service.
Maria Shriver // First Presbyterian Church, 3/6
Maria Shriver’s presence has a welcome familiarity. The Peabody Award winner’s new book I’ve Been Thinking is meant to intercept daily stresses with a set of meditations that earned praise from Deepak Chopra.
Laura Owens // Dallas Museum of Art, 3/25- 7/29
This painter was targeted for being part of the gallery-led gentrification of the Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights, putting her recent exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art—and her dealer Gavin Brown—in the center of a national discussion. Twenty years of Owens’ exciting avant-pop work is represented here, and it’s become a document of tension between culture and class.
Texas Bound I & II // Dallas Museum of Art, 3/3 and 3/19
Readings by local actors of fiction by Cristina Henríquez and Bret Anthony Johnston are followed by a short story workshop in the first installment; then writers Colum McCann and Julia Heaberlin get their due in the next.
FOCUS: Kamrooz Aram // The Modern, 3-31 – 6/17
Architecture lovers will relish this formalist’s tableaus, sculptures and installations that look at how Western modernism (Suprematist painting) relates to classical non-Western art (Persian carpets).
From the Lands of Asia // Kimbell Art Museum, 3/4 – 8/19
A foundational look at Asian art from the Neolithic era forward tells whole histories via material elements and signifiers most often associated with the continent, like Chinese jade and blue-and-white porcelain.
Sunken Garden // Winspear, 3/9-17
This multimedia opera-libretto mystery centers a filmmaker who, in trying to solve the disappearance of a young girl, discovers a garden that stands between life and death. It’s the fourth effort by experimental Dutch composer Michel van der Aa.
The Great Society // Wyly, 3/9 – 4/1
Lyndon B. Johnson left a conflicted legacy, and the second installment of Robert Schenkkan’s charged documentary-theatre piece enters the chaos of his presidency as Johnson signs off on civil rights laws while the war in Vietnam rages on.
Cameron Carpenter // Moody Performance Hall, 3/13
This organist identifies as a concert player but acts as an apologist for the digital organ, even giving TED talks in its service. Carpenter was the first solo organist to ever be nominated for a Grammy and bridges the worlds of tradition and contemporary music with inarguable talent.
Demi Lovato, DJ Khaled, American Airlines, 3/7
By openly discussing her struggles with mental health, the multiplatinum Lovato is influencing millions of young teens. The daughter of North Texas—her mom was a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader—has navigated weird dichotomies of the industry since tweenhood, when she once covered the Christian band MercyMe just before a dance troupe hit the stage to the sexed-up sounds of Ginuwine at a charity benefit south of Dallas. Lovato’s sixth album, Tell Me You Love Me, darkens her repertoire with beats rich enough to rival DJ Khaled as the special guest.
600 Highwaymen: The Fever // Wyly, 3/27 – 4/1
Audience interaction becomes visceral— ritualistic, even—in this dissection of community and personal integrity. If you prefer to stay in your seat and passively participate, The Fever is not the show for you.
Detour: A Festival of New Work // Water Tower Theatre, 3/1-4
A haven for devised work and new plays, Detour spreads out readings and performances over four days in a survey of theatre’s future.
The Royale // Kitchen Dog Theater, 3/1-18
Marco Ramirez won two Obies for this piece based on Jack Johnson, the black boxer who became famous when Jim Crow hit a fever pitch. But The Royale instead sets its hero’s rise in 1905.
She Kills Monsters // Theatre Three, 3/12 – 4/1
Role-playing games get the onstage treatment they’ve always begged for with this wild 1990s-decorated comedy by Qui Nguyen about Dungeons & Dragons.
TITAS: Lucky Plush Productions // Moody Performance Hall, 3/9-10
In a relevant turn, this physical flex of a dance piece follows has-been superheroes as they try a comeback at fighting evil by forming, of all things, a nonprofit think tank. It becomes more of a problem than a solution as they wade through the politics of the project.
Guinea Fare // Winspear, 4/22-24
This family-ready exploration of rising womanhood uses traditional African music and dance, along with elements of contemporary dance and spoken word, to apply a quest for self and its ancient precedent to current-day womens’ issues.
Yana Wana’s Legend of the Bluebonnet // Rosewood Center, 3/23 – 4/8
The audience travels with wayward María to find her ancestral connections in the story of young heroine Yana Wana. The state flower features as an important symbol amid its springtime peak around the theatre.
Waitress // Music Hall at Fair Park, 3/28-4/8
The film famous for pie’s resurgence — and for hosting Andy Griffith’s last performance in a wide-release feature — became a musical thanks to songstress Sara Bareilles and an all-female creative team, in service to our heroine Jenna’s industrious spirit.