Photo by Danny Clinch

It's an absolutely stacked weekend in and around Fort Worth, to the point that there's almost too much to do. A huge concert, a touring Broadway production, and a music festival lead the way, but there is so much more. Other choices include an annual wine festival, visits from a couple of well-known comedians, home tours, more concerts, art exhibitions, and more.

Below are the best ways to spend your precious free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.

Thursday, September 14

37th Annual GrapeFest
The 37th Annual GrapeFest features a variety of events over four days, including the People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic, live music from headliners David Lee Murphy and Carnie and Wendy Wilson of Wilson Phillips fame, vendors, artisans, a Kid Zone, Carnival Midway, pickleball, and more. The festival takes place Thursday-Sunday at Historic Downtown Grapevine.

Friday, September 15

Pearl Jam in concert
Legendary rock band Pearl Jam doesn't often go on tour these days, and their 2023 tour only includes five cities, with Fort Worth being one of them. One of the original grunge bands to come out of Seattle in the early 1990s, Pearl Jam had a great 20-year run before slowing down in the early 2010s. They did release their 11th album, Gigaton, in 2020, but another promised new album has yet to materialize. They'll play the second of two shows (the first was on September 13) at Dickies Arena.

Broadway at the Bass presents Jagged Little Pill
If you were in your teens or twenties in 1995, Alanis Morissette's album Jagged Little Pill likely spoke to you in a big way. The rawness of the songs and Morissette's distinctive voice made it one of the classic albums of the '90s. That album inspired this Broadway musical, "an electrifying production about a perfectly imperfect American family" based on Morissette’s world-changing music. There will be five performances through Sunday at Bass Performance Hall.

Hip Pocket Theatre presents Old and In the Way
Old and In the Way is a nostalgic look back to the early days of the youthful dream of Hip Pocket Theatre, brought to life by the elders of the little tribe wrangled together by Doug Balentine, Diane Simons, and Molemo!. Molemo! is now one of the last living members of the original group and this presentation is meant to be a tender remembrance of the past and a tragi-comedic look at the last days of an old elderly hippy. There will be three performances through Sunday at Hip Pocket Theatre.

Hyena's presents Tim Meadows
A notable weekend of comedy at Hyena's in downtown Fort Worth starts with actor, comedian, and writer Tim Meadows, who will perform twice on Friday. Meadows was one of the longest-running cast members on Saturday Night Live, where he appeared for 10 seasons from 1991 to 2000. He's gone on to be a reliable character actor in both movies and TV.

Saturday, September 16

Tarrant Regional Water District presents Trash Bash
At Tarrant Regional Water District's Trash Bash, thousands of volunteers remove litter throughout the community and its local waterways. Volunteers can help cleanup from 8-10 am, and then celebrate their hard work at the after-party from 10 am to 1 pm at one of four locations: Trinity River, Cobb Park, Eagle Mountain Lake, and Cedar Creek.

Wedgwood Historical Association Parade of Homes
Wedgwood Historical Association will present their 3rd Annual Parade of Homes, Wedgwood’s own historic home tour. The event will feature four midcentury homes, of various styles. Guests will check in at a separate location, then tour the homes in any order they wish. Docents will be stationed outside and throughout the interiors of the homes to provide information.

AIA Fort Worth Homes Tour
Even more homes will be on display in the AIA Fort Worth Homes Tour, an annual showcase of outstanding residential architecture designed by local, licensed architects. It is the only city-wide, self-guided tour of elite homes in and around Fort Worth. The one-day tour showcases a variety of home styles, types, and sizes, and features a mix of projects, including new homes, renovations, and additions.

Amon Carter Museum of American Art presents "Trespassers: James Prosek and the Texas Prairie"
Less than one percent of native prairies exist across the state of Texas. This conservation concern is the catalyst for more than 20 new works created by artist and naturalist James Prosek. "Trespassers: James Prosek and the Texas Prairie" features a new large-scale silhouette painting, one of Prosek’s signature working styles; watercolor portraits of plants collected during his travels; and trompe l’oeil clay and bronze sculptures of wildflowers. The exhibition will be on display through January 28, 2024 at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.

Shaq’s Bass All Stars Festival
DJ Diesel (aka Shaq) is taking his touring live event series, Shaq’s Bass All Stars, to the next level with his first large-scale bass music festival. With a lineup personally curated by the NBA Hall of Famer, the festival will feature more than 15 of Shaq’s All-Stars, including Alison Wonderland, Sullivan King, Kai Wachi, Crankdat, and more across two stages at Panther Island Pavilion. Besides the music, the festival will also host Shaq’s favorite Texas food trucks, as well as interactive brand activations and photo moments.

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth presents Modern by Moonlight: Otsukimi Festival
In recognition of the rich heritage of Tadao Ando, the architect of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth building, the museum will celebrate Otsukimi, the annual Japanese festival that honors the autumn moon and the season ahead. Guests can cast a lantern into the reflecting pond to create an ethereal glow and stunning event backdrop. In addition to the Modern’s special exhibitions, the event features live entertainment by Dondoko Taiko, Nik Parr and The Selfless Lovers, and The Dirty Shirts. Japanese-inspired food and beverages crafted by Café Modern will be available throughout the evening.

Hyena's presents Bobcat Goldthwait
Hyena's big weekend continues with Bobcat Goldthwait, whose career dates back to the 1980s, when he had one of the most recognizable voices in comedy. He's ditched that unusual way of speaking, but his stand-up still features hilarious riffs on politics, divorce, going broke, and his career as a writer and director of film. He'll perform twice on Saturday.

Chicago in concert
If it seems like Chicago is constantly on tour, that's because they are. The band has toured every year since their debut in 1969, never missing a year. Three of the original band members - keyboardist/vocalist Robert Lamm, trumpeter/vocalist Lee Loughnane, and trombonist James Pankow - are still going strong today, and they're still releasing new music, putting out Born for this Moment in 2022, making them the first American rock band to chart Top 40 albums in six consecutive decades. They'll play at Will Rogers Auditorium.

Bruce Wood Dance presents Homecoming 2
Homecoming 2 features a trio of dance performances, starting with Bruce Wood's The Only Way Through Is Through, a timeless embodiment of relentless determination. It also includes Wood's energetic and groovy tribute to the 1970s, Polyester Dreams, set to the music of Gladys Knight, The Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, and more. Joy Bollinger's Blue rounds out the evening. The production will be at W. E. Scott Theatre at Arts Fort Worth.

Arctic Monkeys in concert
For a long time, English rock band Arctic Monkeys was consistently bigger in their native UK than on this side of the pond. Their albums would sell well in the U.S., but wouldn't come close to the No. 1 status they enjoyed back home. That changed with their 2013 album, AM, which - on the strength of the hit "Do I Wanna Know?" - is their biggest-selling album to date. They'll play at Dickies Arena in support of their 2022 album, The Car.

Casey Donahew in concert
Country singer (and Burleson native) Casey Donahew had a nice run of success on the national country music scene, charting four straight albums in the top 10 on the Billboard Country charts in the 2010s, including the No. 3 All Night Party. He comes back to town in support of his 2022 album, Built Different. He'll play at Billy Bob's Texas.

Sunday, September 17

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth presents Robert Motherwell: "Pure Painting" closing day
Sunday will be the last day to view Robert Motherwell: "Pure Painting," the first presentation in more than a quarter century to fully examine the mastery of Motherwell, a major figure who shaped postwar art. Organized by guest curator Susan Davidson, the exhibition at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth features a selection of visually compelling works chosen from throughout the artist’s lengthy and influential career, highlighting the subsequent key series that defined his oeuvre, offering new insights into his evolution as an artist.

Pearl Jam
Photo by Danny Clinch

Pearl Jam will play at Dickies Arena on September 15.

Photo by Patricia Moore

Embrace cowboy culture in Bandera, the Wild West of Texas

Hit the Road

Ever wonder how Bandera came to be known as the Cowboy Capital of the World? The title originated when the Texas Hill Country town became a staging area for the last great cattle drives of the late 1800s.

Today, a bronze monument honoring the many National Rodeo Champions who call Bandera home stands on the courthouse lawn, and it's not uncommon to see horseback riders tipping their hats to each other as they pass in the surrounding rolling green hills. There are also regular gunfight re-enactments during Cowboys on Main, courtesy of the Bandera Cattle Company, and several dude ranches where you can hang your hat for the night.

Early days
Locals like to say that "nothing in Bandera changes except for the date," and an eye toward history is evident in the town's two museums.

The Frontier Times Museum is stocked with over 40,000 items and art that tell the story of Bandera County's earliest days. The Bandera Natural History Museum, meanwhile, displays an extensive wildlife exhibit and a collection of Spanish art from 1521-early 1800s.

Several spots in town are historical in their own right, too. Arkey Blues Silver Dollar Saloon recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, and St. Stanislaus Catholic Church is the second-oldest Polish Catholic church in the U.S. In fact, there are over 50 historic markers throughout the county, and 18 of them are in Bandera.

Mark your calendar
September rolls in with the Celebrate Bandera Roundup, complete with a parade and courthouse festivities as well as two ranch rodeos. September 23 is Cajun Festival in Lakehills at the Lakehills Civic Center (11225 Park Rd.), and at the end of September get ready for the Rumble on the River motorcycle rally.

The solar eclipse will be front and center on October 14, with many events throughout the area to celebrate and offer optimum viewing. On October 19-22, Bandera Brewery hosts its Beerfest, which is thankfully several weeks removed from Bandera Buckfest/Hunters Weekend on November 3-5.

February kicks off with the Annual Cowboy Mardi Gras, and you should be well recovered in time for the total solar eclipse in April 2024. Notable festivals during this time are Eclipse Utopia April 7-8 and Ground Zero Musicfest at Mansfield Park, April 5-9.

The Bandera ProRodeo Association welcomes Memorial Day weekend with three nights of professional (PRCA) rodeos and a Saturday morning parade. June is the beginning of the Summer Series Rodeos happening every Friday night through the first week of August, put on by Riding on Faith Rodeo.

Keep up to date and see a full calendar of events here.

It's natural
Two of the most breathtaking natural areas in Texas are within easy driving distance. Surround yourself with limestone bluffs and hills covered in blooming wildflowers at the Hill Country State Natural Area, which is home to more than 40 miles of trails.

Meanwhile, Lost Maples State Natural Area — named for the park’s abundance of bigtooth maple trees that provide vibrant fall colors — is 2,100 acres of statement-making scenery, including limestone canyons, grasslands and wooded hills, and clear-water streams. It's simply breathtaking in the fall.

The area is also known as one of the best birding destinations, with the spotting of species like the black-capped vireo, golden-cheeked warbler, and green kingfisher.

Chow time
Here you'll find an abundance of local eateries, including the Old Spanish Trail, which has been continuously open for over 100 years.

Elsewhere around town, take your pick from Mexican, Italian, Chinese, barbecue, pizza, and traditional steakhouses, while multiple bars offer adult drinks and dancing to live music almost every night.

For dessert or a refreshing snack, the Bandera General Store is a must; it has one of the last remaining old-fashioned soda fountains in Texas (there are only 11 of them!).

See more of what Bandera has to offer here.

Photo courtesy of Kimbell Art Museum

Kimbell Art Museum presents Komendant and Kahn: Engineer and Architect

As part of the 50th anniversary of the Kimbell, expert engineers, architects, and art historians will discuss the working relationship of two brilliant Estonian-born colleagues: structural engineer August Komendant, a pioneer of precast, prestressed, thin-shell concrete, and Louis I. Kahn, creator of modernist architecture with monumental forms and poetic light.

Their dynamic but sometimes contentious collaboration produced some of the most innovative, acclaimed buildings of the 20th century, including the Salk Institute and the Kimbell Art Museum.

Photo courtesy of PD Rearick

10 must-see DFW art exhibitions in August have lessons to teach us all

Art to see now

With school now in session for the kiddos, learning new things is front and center for teachers, students, and parents. Art lovers can find some lessons too in eye-opening August art shows and exhibitions. In shows this month, artists bring history to life, change our perspective on history as accepted fact, and open our eyes to new lessons from life and art.

Last month’s Barbie in a Blender show at Daum gallery has been extended, and free tickets for gallery viewings every Saturday in August are available on Eventbrite. If you missed it, you’ll want to add that to this list of 10 must-see art exhibitions in the Dallas-Fort Worth area this month.

Texas Artists Coalition (TAC) 17th Annual Juried Exhibition
Marlene and Spencer Hays Gallery at Arts Fort Worth, through August 26
Juror (and co-founder of Tayf Collective) Saria Almidani says she found references to “home, memory, intimacy, and our post-pandemic state” in the works of the 27 Texas artists selected for this show. “What’s incredible about this exhibition is that there is a unified theme among a variety of mediums; figurative, realism, abstract, textile, photography, sculpture, video installations, and more,” Almidani says.

Antonio Lechuga: "Structures of Softness"
Oak Cliff Cultural Center, through September 2
For much of his art career, East Dallas resident and artist Antonio Lechuga has been exploring borders, walls, and fences, creating representations that invite deeper thought about separations and the intentions behind them. Lechuga assembles foam structures covered in cojibas - fleece-like blankets made in Mexico - for Structures in Softness, his largest work to-date. Originally scheduled for August 2022, the show was postponed when Lechuga was shot while jogging on the Santa Fe Trail. His experiences while recovering from a life-threatening injury further inform an already stirring perspective.

Jammie Holmes: “Make the Revolution Irresistible”
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, through November 26

In his first solo museum exhibition, Jammie Holmes brings to life stories of Black families and communities in tableau and portrait paintings. Fifteen paintings - a survey from his earliest to his most recent work - explore themes of masculinity, mourning, childhood, and race. With a style that’s neither traditionally realistic nor pure abstraction, Holmes provides a new vision while addressing long-time social structures such as poverty and racism. Adult admission, which includes entrance to permanent collection exhibitions and all special and traveling exhibitions, is $16 Tuesdays through Thursdays, $8 on Sundays, and free on Fridays.

Haley Cook: Ain’t a Daddy’s Girl
500X Gallery, through August 27

Mixed media artist Haley Cook illustrates their perspective on gender confusion through an art piece constructed of fabrics that once might have been used for a baby girl's clothing and layette. Cook explores their own queer identity in a playful way as a balm to the tumult and conflict often experienced in understanding and living gender nonconformity.

Chocolate And Art Show Dallas
Lofty Spaces, August 17-18

This annual feast for the senses brings together emerging artists, photographers, and creators with live face painting and body painting, live music, and a very live vibe. Complimentary chocolate treats are also part of the festive event. Tickets are available for Thursday and Friday night, starting at $15 if purchased early.

David Collins: “Beyond These Days”
Valley House Gallery, through September 23

David Collins shares his personal history and his personal iconography on canvas. Collins uses acrylic paint, charcoal, ink, and graphite to illustrate shifting geometric planes that incorporate architectural elements and aviation motifs. This show, his fourth solo show at Dallas’ hidden gem art gallery Valley House, opens Saturday, August 19. Before the show opening, join Collins for an artist talk at 5:30 pm and a reception from 6-8 pm. Both events and the gallery exhibit are free to the public.

Mônica Lóss: “Offerings”
Cluley Projects, August 26 - September 30

The textile constructions of artist Mônica Loss incorporate repurposed fabric and clothing as well as found items to imbue a sense of permanence to things that may have once been treasures. Her exploration of the relationships between feminine and the domestic things created a sensory canvas for all to discover.

Madelyn Sneed-Grays: "BLACK JOY"
Erin Cluley Gallery, August 26-September 30

Denton-based painter Madelyn Sneed-Grays seeks to bring awareness to the beauty of the Black community through her representational style. Her work has been shown in juried shows and solo exhibitions in Texas and throughout the United States since her graduation from University of North Texas in 2014 with a B.F.A in Studio Art.

Paul Winker & Jan van der Ploeg
Cris Worley Fine Arts, August 26-September 30

Dallas artist Paul Winker first collaborated with Dutch painter at last year’s Dallas Art Fair. The two explore a vision for renewal and discovery in this show, which seems destined to spark conversation about the link between the everyday and the extraordinary. Visit the gallery for a conversation between the artists on Saturday, August 26 at 4pm with a reception following from 5 to 8 pm. The event is free and open to the public.

"Come to Colorado"
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, August 27-January 7, 2024
In this exhibit, rarely-shown 19th-century photographs document Colorado’s settlement, mining industry, and promotion as a place for outdoors enthusiasts. Photographs by W. J. Carpenter, Joseph M. Collier, and William Henry Jackson are featured in the collection. Admission to the museum is free. Member preview days are Friday, August 25 and Saturday, August 26.

Photo courtesy of Houston Museum of Natural Science

Check out this giant shark and 10 more Texas travel tidbits for August

Where to travel right now

Even as summer vacation season winds down, there's fun to be had all across Texas in August. Can't decide where to take a quick vacation, road trip, or staycation? Here are 11 exhibits and events, special celebrations, and hotel happenings around the state to help plan a getaway.

In Houston

A jaw-dropping showcase has taken a dive into Houston's Museum of Natural Science this summer. At the exhibit's centerpiece is Meg, a gigantic 50-foot shark showing off her wide, toothy grin for photos with visitors of all ages. But not to worry, this Jawsome exhibit is focused on educating and inspiring curiosity. Patrons can explore six galleries that include a live shark tank, 14 life-sized models, interactive and touchable items, dazzling digital displays, fun photo ops, and megalodon-sized chunks of information about the ocean's apex predators.

In Austin

Swanky destination spas rarely offer deep discounts. So spa fans can be thankful for Miraval Austin's limited-time Gratitude Sale. Book by August 15 for stays through November 30 to receive a $100 discount on nightly rates (which start at $849) and a $100 nightly resort credit. Guests can also choose to receive a $225 resort credit per night. Credits can be used on spa sessions; private sessions with Miraval Specialists; or deluxe experiences like yin yoga, tarot reading, beekeeping, and more.

Another Austin spa-resort is headed to the top of the charts: Lake Austin Spa Resortwas recently featured in Trips to Discover's "Top 20 Spa and Wellness Resorts in the U.S." list. Ranking No. 7, the resort earned praise for its executive chef, lakefront access, and variety of fitness classes offered for guests. The resort is booked out for August, but rates for September stays begin at $581 a night.

A cornerstone Austin music venue is celebrating its decade-long empire with a month full of festivities. After 10 years in business, Empire Control Room & Garage is toasting its anniversary through August 26 with a series called "A Decade of Empire." Every Friday and Saturday night throughout the month brings new shows, a mini-museum of Empire photos and "ephemera," and giveaways, among other surprises.

"Mother/Land" - a new large-scale art exhibition, will be on display at the Austin Central Library Gallery beginning August 24. Designed in response to Austin-based artist (and UT Austin assistant professor) Yuliya Lanina's relationship with the ongoing war in Ukraine, the display uses animation and sculpture to explore the impacts of the war, both physically and emotionally. Lanina is a second-generation Holocaust survivor, born and raised in Russia of Ukranian descent, and arrived in the United States in 1990 as a refugee. "Mother/Land" will be available for viewing until Sunday, November 5.

In the Hill Country

The JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa is lettingguests treat their furry friends to an luxurious lodging experience with a new Pet Retreat Package. These exclusive rooms have their own walk-out patios, dog beds and blankets, and food and water bowls. Dogs also will receive a chew toy, treats, and a stylish bandana as deluxe take-home gifts. Book the package on the resort's website using the code U8D, with rates beginning at $414 a night.

A new luxury RV and tiny home resort has pulled into Fredericksburg. The FireFly Resort is located on 52 acres of land and boasts over 230 sites with gorgeous Hill Country views. The resort is only a 15-minute drive from Fredericksburg's thriving main street district, where folks can visit one of the many local shops, eateries, and wine bars that make it one of the most-loved destinations in Texas. Rates for RV sites start at $60 per night, while nightly rates for tiny homes begin at $162.

Johnson City's Carter Creek Winery Resort & Spa is collaborating with nonprofit radio station Sun Radio for a new weekly Saturday night concert series spotlighting homegrown Texas musicians. The Sun & Vine Music Series begins on August 19 from 5-7 pm, with a new lineup of musical talent every week until September 30. The free concerts will be held at the resort's central pavilion, and attendees are encouraged to donate to Sun Radio as they continue to promote Texas music. Carolyn Wonderland and Shelly King are scheduled for August 19, while Beat Root Revival will perform August 26. Make it a weekend stay by booking a room at the resort, with rates starting at $219 per night.

Along the Gulf Coast

Corpus Christi's 21st annual Conquer the Coast bike ride has opened registration for this year's event, Saturday, September 16. The 66-mile course, including the "toughest 18 miles in Texas" will route cyclists down Mustang Island, JFK Causeway, Ocean Drive, and the Corpus Christi Marina before returning to where they started. If the full course is a little too extreme, intermediate cyclists can choose a 21-mile endurance course, while families can enjoy a 10-mile scenic route along Ocean Drive. Registration varies from $50-$110.

A breathtaking waterfront condo in Rockport(and its owners) has sailed to the top of Airbnb's nationwide report of the "most hospitable" rentals in 2023. The remarkable coastal condo has one bedroom, two bathrooms, can accommodate up to four guests for a relaxing vacation with stunning panoramic views of Little Bay. The owners, Doug and Sandy, won the Airbnb award thanks to their 100 percent five-star ratings. With the condo's typical price ringing up at $240 a night, it's safe to say this cozy condo is in high demand with Texans yearning for a beach trip.

In North Texas

The first JW Marriott Dallas hotel has finally opened its doors in the city's famed Arts District downtown. Among the property's 22 floors are 267 guest rooms, nine guest suites with views of the Dallas Museum of Art, 20 displays of regional art, and much more. There are three unique restaurants providing fine dining experiences for guests, with one cocktail lounge paying tribute to Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night. Guests can take advantage of the hotel's many state-of-the-art amenities with nightly rates beginning at $474, and carve out some time to explore the Dallas Arts District.

Photo courtesy of Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth presents Modern by Moonlight: Otsukimi Festival

In recognition of the rich heritage of Tadao Ando, the architect of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth building, the museum will celebrate Otsukimi, the annual Japanese festival that honors the autumn moon and the season ahead.

To begin this special evening, guests can cast a lantern into the reflecting pond to create an ethereal glow and stunning event backdrop. In addition to the Modern’s special exhibitions, Robert Motherwell: "Pure Painting" and Jammie Holmes: "Make the Revolution Irresistible," the event features live entertainment by Dondoko Taiko, Nik Parr and The Selfless Lovers, and The Dirty Shirts. Japanese-inspired food and beverages crafted by Café Modern will be available throughout the evening.

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'Yellowstone' stars to greet fans at Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

Yellowstone news

Yellowstone fans, get your comfy shoes ready - there'll be a long line for this one. Cole Hauser a.k.a. "Rip Wheeler" on Yellowstone, and Taylor Sheridan, the show's co-creator, executive producer, and director of the series, will meet fans and sign autographs at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

The event will take place from 4:30-6:30 pm only on Friday, February 3. Location is the 6666 Ranch booth near the south end of Aisle 700 in the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Exhibits Hall.

According to a February 2 announcement from FWSSR, "fans will have the opportunity to snag an autograph as well as purchase some distinctive Yellowstone and 6666 Ranch merchandise while also enjoying all the features the Stock Show offers."

The event is free to attend (with paid Stock Show admission) and open to the public.

It's the second year in a row for Hauser to appear at FWSSR; in 2022, he and fellow cast mates drew huge crowds.

Sheridan, a Paschal High School graduate, is no stranger to Fort Worth; he lives in a ranch near Weatherford and filmed 1883, the prequel to Yellowstone, in and around Fort Worth. Currently, another spinoff, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, is filming in North Texas.

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is winding up its 2023 run on Saturday, February 4.

Gamestop stock saga gets fun, star-filled movie treatment with Dumb Money

Movie review

The stock market feels like one of those aspects of American life that only a select few truly understand. The rest of us acknowledge it as something that exists and affects our lives in some way, but how and why any particular stock is traded and becomes more (or less) valuable can be a complete mystery.

Dumb Money tackles one of the most interesting recent stories to come out of the stock market, the surprising inflation of Gamestop stock in late 2020/early 2021. The film bounces around to a variety of characters, but centers mostly on Keith Gill (Paul Dano), a YouTuber who went by the name of Roaring Kitty. Gill, an amateur stock trader, took an early position about liking the lightly-regarded Gamestop stock, regularly posting videos and on the Reddit thread WallStreetBets about how his significant investment in the stock was doing.

Concurrently, hedge fund managers like Gabe Plotkin (Seth Rogen) were actively trying to short, or bet against, the stock. That began a battle by Gill and other similarly-minded individual investors to fight back against what they saw as unfair trading practices by the big firms, resulting in Gamestop’s stock rising astronomically in a relatively short period of time.

Directed by Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya) and written by Lauren Schuker Blum and Rebecca Angelo, the film is notable for what it is not, a deep dive into the inner workings of the stock market. Instead of getting into the nitty gritty details, the filmmakers treat it as the ultimate David vs. Goliath story, with Gill and other everyday people like a nurse, Jenny (America Ferrera), Gamestop worker Marcus (Anthony Ramos), and college student Harmony (Talia Ryder) going up against billionaires like Plotkin, Steve Cohen (Vincent D’Onofrio), Ken Griffin (Nick Offerman), and Vlad Tenev (Sebastian Stan).

Paul Dano in Dumb Money

Photo by Claire Folger/Sony Pictures

Paul Dano in Dumb Money.

It doesn’t hurt that Gill is an eccentric character who wears cat-emblazoned shirts and a headband, and that the Reddit community he inspires communicates primarily in memes, upping the entertainment factor of their side immensely. The story is also a suspense in a way; as the variety of individuals drive the stock ever higher, their net worth – on paper – also grows exponentially, and the longer each of them holds on without selling ups the potential that they could be burned.

Because the real-life event happened during the thick of the pandemic when it was still up in the air as to the full impact of COVID-19, the story takes on a little more significance. Characters mask up regularly, conversations take place on the phone or over Zoom, and a general feeling of unease permeates the film. That may or may not have influenced how certain people approached the situation, but in the context of the film, it definitely seems to play a part.

The back-and-forth between the haves and have-nots takes up so much time in the film that it barely has time for such well-known actors as Shailene Woodley, Dane Dehaan, Olivia Thirlby, and Pete Davidson, among others. Each of them plays a supporting character to one of the main people, and all of them deliver that little something extra in what could have been throwaway roles.

Dano is a chameleonic actor who’s gone between drama and comedy with ease throughout his career. This role is a mixture of both, and he has an effortlessness about him that makes everything he says instantly believable. Rogen is great casting as Plotkin, amiably playing the buffoon of the story. After her big role in Barbie, Ferrera once again shows that she deserves as many showcases as Hollywood can give her.

Storytellers can rarely go wrong in showing people with little power taking on those with great wealth, and the fact that the story shown in Dumb Money is (mostly) true makes it that much better. You may not understand the stock market any more than you already did at the end, but you’ll be so entertained that it won’t matter.


Dumb Money is now playing in theaters.

Nordstrom bestows 2 new discount stores upon Dallas-Fort Worth

Shopping News

Dallas-Fort Worth bargain shoppers have two new stores to put on their list: Nordstrom Rack, the discount sibling of Nordstrom, is opening two locations in the DFW area, both in early- to mid-October.

  • October 5: Denton Crossing, at 1800 South Loop 288 in Denton
  • October 19: The Village at Allen, at 170 E. Stacy Rd. in Allen

Nordstrom Rack offers up to 70 percent off on-trend apparel, accessories, beauty, home, and shoes from many of the top brands sold at Nordstrom stores, such as Levi’s, Madewell, Topshop, Dr. Martens, On Running, New Balance, and Sam Edelman. It's also the largest source of new customers for Nordstrom.

The Denton store will encompass 25,000 square feet. Denton Crossing is a popular shopping center just off I-35 that is also home to Best Buy, Total Wine & More, Ulta Beauty, Old Navy, T.J. Maxx, Kroger, and HomeGoods. The center is owned and managed by Kite Realty Group Trust.

"We are thrilled to welcome Nordstrom Rack to Denton Crossing," says Kite VP Jason Kasal. "Nordstrom Rack's high-quality offerings and welcoming format will be an excellent addition to the compelling shopper experience and diverse merchandising mix offered at Denton Crossing."

The Allen store is slightly larger at 29,000 square feet, in the former Hemispheres space, where it will join a roster of stores that includes Target, Best Buy, PetSmart, Homegoods, and the similar Macy's Backstage.

These new locations bring the total number of Nordstrom Rack stores in Texas to 20; the company also has eight Nordstrom stores in Texas.