WEDNESDAY 4TH – UNT Symphony Orchestra’s concert offers up an astronomy-themed pairing. There’s The Planets, Gustav Holst’s cheesy Edwardian suite that’s nevertheless quite enjoyable in its evocation of the Roman gods after whom the planets are named. Then there’s Kirsten Broberg’s Celestial Dawning, a highly textural work from the 35-year-old composer who recently joined UNT’s faculty. The concert is at 8pm at Winspear Hall, 2100 I-35, Denton. Tickets are $8-10. Call 940-369-7802.
THURSDAY 5TH – Fans of TV’s Downton Abbey won’t want to miss Rollin Phipps when he visits The British Emporium in Grapevine. The former UTA instructor will discuss the history of Highclere Castle, the Hampshire country house where the show is filmed. Fun fact: The park on the grounds was designed by an architect known as Capability Brown. The talk is at 7pm at 140 N Main St, Grapevine. Admission is free. Call 817-421-2311.
FRIDAY 6TH – From now until the end of the year, Nash Farm in Grapevine will once again hold First Fridays at the Farm, its monthly series of lectures about life skills essential to living on Texas farms in the 19th century. Farming techniques and ways of cooking and preserving food will be addressed at 10am at 626 Ball St, Grapevine. Admission is $3. Call 817-410-3585.
SATURDAY 7TH – The Open Classical series returns to the Near Southside. The group’s founder and director, violinist/violist Mark Landson, will be leading performances of his own Troubled Souls, as well as the rarely heard first movement of an aborted piano quartet by Mahler and music by Sir William Walton, Margaret Barrett, and Adam Eason. The concert is at 8pm at The Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge, 1311 Lipscomb St, FW. Tickets are $10-15. Call 817-926-0986.
SUNDAY 8TH – A difficult task is sometimes compared to herding cats, but Samantha and Her Amazing Acro-Cats aim to disprove that cliché. Trainer Samantha Martin’s show features cats, all of them rescue or shelter animals, performing circus maneuvers. Their two-week engagement runs thru today at Stage West, 821 W Vickery Av, FW. Tickets are $19. Call 817-784-9378.
MONDAY 9TH – Black History Month is typically a festive occasion, but after the events of the past few months, audiences are probably ready for something a bit more serious. In this spirit, Emory University Michael Leo Owens discusses the U.S. prison system in his lecture The Civic Consequences of the New Jim Crow for Black America at 5:30pm at UNT General Academic Bldg, 225 S Av B, Denton. Admission is free.
TUESDAY 10TH – Published in America’s centennial year of 1876, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer has since been adapted to countless films, TV shows, stage plays (musical and not), and even a ballet. Artisan Center Theater will get in on the act with Joe Sturgeon’s theatrical version of Tom Sawyer. The show runs Fri thru Feb 28 at Belaire Theater, 420 E Pipeline Rd, Hurst. Tickets are $11-20. Call 817-284-1200.