top 8 things to do in January

1 Der Ring des Nibelungen. January S, 10,13,16. For some (very patient) people, Wagner is opera. The Dallas Opera’s production of his Ring Cycle (Der Ring des Nibelungen) will span four years, beginning this season with Das Rheingold, which stars the world’s most famous Wotan, bass-baritone James Morris, along with the usual chorus of burghers, matrons, invisible demons, students, witches, and celestial voices. The Music Hal! at Fair Park. 214-443-1006.

2 Most Valuable Player. January 22-February 20. Ebbet’s Field, Brooklyn, 1947-a place and lime thai changed sports forever, This heroic play about Jackie Robinson’s break into the all-white major leagues is always moving and sometimes funny. (It’s called Dallas Children’s Theater, but its productions are designed to be as enjoyable for adults as they are for kids.) Dallas Children’s Theater. 2215 Cedar Springs. 214-978-0110.

3 An Evening with Bill Cosby. January 10 The Cos has mellowed into more of a storyteller than a stand-up comic, and he may be even more fun to listen to now than when he pictured God asking Noah the famous question, “How long can you tread water”?” Presented by F^rforming Arts Fort Worth. Bass Performance Hall. 4th and Calhoun streets, Fort Worth. For tickets: 1-888-597-7827.

4 The Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show-103rd edition. January 22-February 7. The “Fat Slock” show is a real legacy of the Old West, an event that returns to the roots of Cowtown. One of the biggest rodeos in the country, cowboys (and girls) come from all over the country to show off their skills (bronco riding, barrel racing, calf roping) and their animals (not just horses and cattle, but also poultry, pigeons, rabbits, goats, llamas, donkeys, sheep, and pigs). Will Rogers Memorial Center, Fori Worth. For tickets: 817-877-2420.

5 Perception of the Miraculous. January 1-31. For painter Louisa McElwain, nature is the miracle. She knife-paints outdoors near her home in Santa Fe, observing and responding to the day’s mood, weather, and changing light in the high desert landscape. Karen Mitchell Frank Gallery, 4632 Commerce Si,. 214-559-4700.

6 A Raisin in the Sun. January I3-February 7. Raisin premiered in 1959; now. it’s one of the hallmarks of American theater. Lorraine Hansberry’s drama was the first Broadway play by an African-American woman-the Mory ni Marna Younger,lier family, and their dreams still rings true, Dallas Theater Center, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd., 214-526-8210,

7 Buddy Miles. January 22. He’s a legend whose musi cal cam spans 30 years- whether you’re into jazz, R&B, rock, or soul. you’ve listened to Buddy. He’s played with Carlos Santana, The Ink Spots. Wilson Pickett, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, Slash, and Bootsy Collins, not to mention his own groundbreaking blues- rock band, The Electric Flag. Now he plays for you. Caravan of Dreams, 312 Houston St., Fort Worth. 817-877-3000.

8 Radio Days. January 16. “Mairzy Doats,” “Chattanooga Choo-Choo,” “Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy.” The vocal group Five by Design, with the Dallas Wind Symphony’s Swing Orchestra, takes you back down Tin Pan Alley with their nostalgic creation of a live radio low. Vintage comedy and usic from Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, and Tommy Dorsey-plus a reincarnation of Carmen Miranda singing “Tico, Tico”-complete with fruited hat. Presented by TITAS, McFarlin Auditorium, SMU. 214-528-5576

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