January

Rodney Carrington: The country comedian, an insanely popular touring artist, returns to the city with his Let Me In! tour Jan. 8 in the Amarillo Civic Center Complex Auditorium, 401 S. Buchanan St.

Scream: Original cast members Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette, among others, return for this Halloween-style revisiting of the modern horror classic, opening Jan. 14. Good timing: The reboot culture is due for a smart takedown. Also in theaters this month: female-led action flick The 355 on Jan. 7, a musical version of Cyrano on Jan. 21 (in limited release), and vampiric superhero tale Morbius on Jan. 28.

Tri-State Open Chili Cookoff: One of Amarillo’s heartiest fundraisers is this annual fest for Make-A-Wish. You’ll want to make sure you’ve worked off all of your excess holiday dinners to make room for bowl after bowl of delicious chili Jan. 15 in the Rex Baxter Building on the Amarillo Tri-State Fairgrounds, 3301 SE 10th Ave. Then, about a week later, gorge yourself on a multiplicity of mac-and-cheese dishes at The Big Cheese, Hope & Healing Place’s comfort food fundraiser, set for Jan. 21, also in the Rex Baxter Building.

Son Volt: One of the very best Americana rock bands out there hits town for a highly anticipated (one might even say “electrifying”) show at Hoots Pub, 2424 Hobbs Road. Other big concerts on tap include Ragland on Jan. 7 at Golden Light Cantina, 2906 SW Sixth Ave.; and Daniel Donato on Jan. 25 at Hoots.

Amarillo Symphony: The orchestra kicks off its new music director search with the first of six concerts that give each of the three finalists two chances to show their best. Up first: George Jackson conducting Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 and Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture on Jan. 21 and 22 in the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts, 500 S. Buchanan St. Also worth catching on the arts scene: Chamber Music Amarillo’s latest collaboration with world-class guitarist Pepe Romero on Jan. 8 in the Globe-News Center; Paradox in a POW Camp, an exhibition looking back at the Italian prison camp in World War II-era Hereford, opening Jan. 15 at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, 2503 Fourth Ave. in Canyon; and Amarillo Little Theatre’s parodic take on Murder on the Orient Express, Jan. 20 to 30, ALT Mainstage, 2019 Civic Circle.

February

Cabaret: One of the most popular (and well-remembered) musical productions in ALT’s history gets a timely revival in a sure-to-be-a-smash three-weekend run from Feb. 3 to 20 in the ALT Adventure Space, 2751 Civic Circle. Other arts events to keep on your radar: West Texas A&M University Theatre’s genderfluid staging of Shakespeare’s As You Like It from Feb. 9 to 13; CMA’s Trio for Violin, Clarinet, & Piano on Feb. 12 at Amarillo Botanical Gardens, 1400 Streit Drive; Amarillo Opera’s intimate concert with the Moipei Triplets on Feb. 13 (call 806-372-7464 for details); and Amarillo Symphony’s second conductor candidate Stilian Kirov with Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 2, Gershwin’s Girl Crazy and Leroy Anderson’s Piano Concerto in C Major on Feb. 25 and 26 in the Globe-News Center.

Marry Me: Stop what you’re doing and go watch the absolutely INSANE trailer for this romantic comedy with Jennifer Lopez as a Latina pop star and Owen Wilson as the everyday schlub she (spoiler alert) marries. It opens Feb. 11, just in time for Valentine’s Day dates, alongside Kenneth Branagh’s latest Agatha Christie remake, Death on the Nile. Also in theaters: The schlocky disaster flick Moonfall and the immortal pranksters of Jackass Forever on Feb. 4; and Jake Gyllenhaal in the intense thriller Ambulance (Feb. 18).

Mardi Gras Party: Laissez les bons temps rouler again at the return of Family Support Services’ popular fundraiser, set for Feb. 12 in the Amarillo Civic Center Complex Heritage Ballroom. The Band Monarch will perform, but don’t miss out on the jugglers, tarot readers, casino games and a second-line parade, too.

The Harlem Globetrotters: The one-of-a-kind basketballers return for a much-delayed outing, this time promising “ankle-breaking moves, jaw-dropping swag and rim-rattling dunks.” The Feb. 15 game in the Amarillo Civic Center Complex Coliseum will incorporate streetball with the Globetrotters’ traditional action. 

George Ducas: The Nashville singer-songwriter moseys back to town for a show at Chesney’s Whiskey Saloon, 715 S. Polk St. Plus, don’t miss the return of Amarillo-born indie rockers Dear Marsha on Feb. 12 at The Golden Light Cantina and Americana act Grady Spencer & The Work on Feb. 26 at Hoots Pub. 

Author

  • Chip is the senior communications specialist at West Texas A&M University. A Canadian High School graduate and award-winning journalist, he has covered arts and entertainment in Amarillo since 1998 and is a member of the Amarillo Convention and Visitor Council arts committee. He is a 2020 Golden Nail Award winner and a 2017 National Philanthropy Day award winner. He is a member of the national GALECA critics group, has seen every Best Picture Oscar winner and watches way too much television.