15 Awesome Things to Do in Dallas this Weekend, April 30 - May 3

Scene from the Crowdus Pop-up Park
Scene from the Crowdus Pop-up Park
Mike Brooks

This weekend the weather predictions are magnificent. I'm talking 80 degrees and sunny all the way through. Enjoy it while you can. There are plenty of festivals and events to attend. CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post said the Thai Culture and Food Festival was this weekend. Our information was wrong, we apologize. It's later this month. There are plenty of other things happening this weekend.

Thursday, April 30 Crowdus Pop-Up Park This weekend, some of the visionaries in Deep Ellum want to give you a taste of what the neighborhood would be like with a greenspace or community gathering area. Swing through the pop-up park on Crowdus Street this weekend from noon-9 p.m. There will be music all weekend, and Thursday at sunset there will be a free screening of Napoleon Dynamite.

Sense and Sensibility If you thought romance was complicated these days, wait until you see Sense and Sensibility. Obsessing for hours about the read receipt you got on an unanswered text hours ago doesn't hold a candle to what the Dashwood sisters got going on in their love lives. It's nonstop drama: older sister Elinor has it bad for her sister-in-law's brother, Edward...but he's secretly engaged to a gold digger named Lucy. Younger, impulsive sister Marianne is being simultaneously pursued by the much older Colonel Brandon and the bratty young cad John Willoughby. Both are smart ladies, but they have some issues: Elinor is so overly practical that she suppresses her emotions and won't fight for her own happiness, while Marianne is so emotionally driven that she can't see what a total loser Willoughby really is. Jane Austen's classic tale of the tension between letting your brain override your emotions versus letting your heart lead all never quite susses out which approach is better (if any), but by the time each girl ties the knot with her soul mate, you won't really care. Dallas Theater Center presents the timeless tale at Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd, through Sunday, May 24. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays; 10:30 a.m. on Thursday mornings; 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; and 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are $18 to $60 at dallastheatercenter.org. - Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Newsies This season of AT&T Performing Arts Center Broadway Series is a good one for the little kid in all of us: two of its big shows are childhood callbacks, allowing us to relive the movies that we played ad nauseum on lazy Saturday afternoons. Annie is along coming this summer, and right now, Newsies is hitting the stage at Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora Street. Based on the much-loved 1992 Disney movie, Newsies is a timeless fairytale about a labor movement organized by small children--a movement that captures the imagination and hearts of all of New York City, and is somehow not quashed by conservative politicians and an army of vending machines. These plucky little laborers sing their little hearts out, all while battling the newspaper empire and making headlines of their own. The film wasn't terribly well-received on its initial release, but it exploded later as a kiddy cult classic, inspiring this energetic musical that keeps all the best songs and plot points from the film. See the story break for yourself through Sunday, May 10--shows are at 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday afternoons; and 7:30 p.m. Sunday nights. Tickets are $35 to $155; read all about it at attpac.org. - Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Upcoming Events

Scream Any avid horror movie connoisseur will tell you that Wes Craven's 1996 hit Scream carries a huge load of responsibility on pop-culture and how horror movies would continue to be written for generations to come. From parodies featured in Boy Meets World to launching the Scary Movie franchise, Scream still holds its own against other horror films with its ability to still make you jump. Plus, you get to see a young Drew Barrymore and the beginning of Courtney Cox and David Arquette's relationship. No horror movie collection would be complete if it didn't contain Scream. So, start your Frightmare Weekend with this trailblazing horror classic by heading to Alamo Drafthouse Richardson (501 W. Belt Line Rd) at 6 p.m. Thursday and stick around afterward for a Q&A with the beautiful Neve Campbell. Tickets are $20. Go to drafthouse.com/dfw for more info. -Lucas Buckels

MayFest Slather the family in sunscreen and get your walking shoes on--it's Mayfest time again. The annual ritual offers up a heady dose of Vitamin D, plus 33 acres worth of activities for the whole family at Trinity Park in Fort Worth, 2401 University Drive between Thursday and Sunday. Events include a 1, 5 or 10K run, paddleboating, ziplining, duck races, carnival rides, petting zoos, and an entire kids' zone worth of games and other diversions. Three dedicated live music stages will feature almost 60 hours worth of performances, with something for everyone. An arts and gift market will be set up for your shopping/viewing pleasure, and a bevvy of beer booths and food stations will keep your appetite sated. Make plans to attend between 3:30 and 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Saturday; and from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8 for adults ages 13 and up; $5 for seniors and kids 3 to 12; and free for the 2 and under set. Family passes for up to five people are also available for $25. Visit mayfest.org for the full schedule and all the FAQs. - Jennifer Davis-Lamm

  Friday, May 1

The monsters come out this weekend.
The monsters come out this weekend.
Mike Mezeul II

Texas Frightmare Weekend If you love things that scare you and have a great deal of bladder control, where do you go to get the biggest dose of adrenaline you can short of running across a busy highway or hiring a friend to kidnap you? You could eliminate the risk of committing a felony by going to the Texas Frightmare Weekend which kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday. Frightmare has become one of the most notorious horror conventions across the country. Every year, the horror fans descend on Dallas like a pack of ravenous zombies for three days of unapologetic gore, tense moments and jump scares as they explore their favorite genre in all of its horrifying glory. This year's gathering of horror heads will be treated to movie premieres, all night parties and appearances by "Scream" stars Neve Campbell and Skeet Ulrich and a reunion of the principal cast of Don Coscarelli's "Phanstam." Single day passes are $30 each and weekend passes are $75 each or $249.95 for a 4-pack at texasfrightmareweekend.com until Monday. Tickets can be purchased for a higher price at the Hyatt Regency DFW International Airport Hotel located at 233 International Pkwy. during the convention. - Danny Gallagher

Brew Mile You know when you have spent all day and night drinking and then you find yourself running? You're running from something -- whether it's the cops, your friends, the bouncer at the bar -- point is, you're running. And you feel nauseous and horrible. Well take that feeling and reverse it. Because now there's Brew Mile, which is the act of running THEN drinking. First you run, then you relax at a three-hour event that includes open tasting of craft beer, live music, drinking games to make you feel like you're back in college, and of course, good times. There's no need to feel bad about yourself for consuming all of those beer calories because you just ran. Reward yourself. Brew Mile is at 7 p.m. May 1 at Fair Park. Tickets are $55 to $80. Call 214-421-8737 for more information.

Malandain Ballet Biarritz For those who still think of dance--ballet, especially--as fragile or lightweight, limited to a throng of ladies and sometimes one guy, you should take a gander at the work of Malandain Ballet Biarritz. Tough, sensual, inventive, different, and above all body-proud are all easy go-to descriptions for what is one of the most exciting companies touring today. Direct from France and founded by Thierry Malandain, who grew in classic training but expanded into his own choreography that dances on and around boundaries, Malandain Ballet Biarritz brings its alluring, sometimes strange, and always compelling Cinderella (with Prokofiev score) to the Dallas City Performance Hall, presented by TITAS. As men and women mix and mingle in what are often refreshing breaks from the usual gender confines of traditional ballet, audiences can also celebrate these performances 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday as the first full-length ballet staged at this venue. The Dallas City Performance Hall is located at 2520 Flora St. Tickets are $25-$75. Call 214-880-0202 or visit attpac.org. - Merritt Martin

Saturday, May 2 Independent Bookstore Day at Wild Detectives This weekend will be a great weekend to post up on the Wild Detectives Saturday afternoon. To celebrate Independent Bookstore Day, there will be a poetry reading by Bonehouse, the guys behind the Grub Street Grackle at 2 p.m., as well musical performances and we're told, "a few surprises." Plus, they're offering 10% off any book purchase, along with a copy of "Hemingwasted" ("a coloring book about historic authors and their relation with booze") if your purchase includes a cocktail and a book. All day Saturday.

Etsy Handmade Bash Not that long ago, craft fairs were about as cool as a No Fear sticker on the back of your Ford Probe, but oh how the times have changed. Nowadays, No Fear still sucks, but Craft Fairs are the business with one small caveat - don't call it a craft fair. Call it the Etsy Handmade Bash instead and it's instantly hipper than Betty White on a birthday card. The annual Etsy Dallas Spring Bash is happening on Saturday, May 2nd from 11 a.m. to 6p.m. at South Side on Lamar, 1135 S. Lamar Street. This year's vendors include t-shirt screenprinter Dowdy Studio, leathergoods and paper prints from SCOUT + LILLY, bocote and cocobolo combs from Big T Woodsoon and more. The first fifty guests will receive a free Bash Bag which is basically a swag back just way more alliterative. Pre-shop or grab yourself a little sneak peek at etsydallas.blogspot.com. - Nikki Lott

The P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Project If you grew up in Texas, it's likely you knew someone with an inflated idea of patriotism. For a lot of people, pride in one's country is like religion. It's easy to follow along with the narrative blindly. It's this faith that the P.A.T.R.I.O.T Project investigates. In a new exhibition at Beefhaus (833 Exposition Ave.), Kate Jarboe reassmbles U.S. government images, reconstructing them to create a new image of patriotism. In doing so, she hopes to examine "the idea of patriotism as a smokescreen for war and surveillance." It's a complicated issue that is ripe for discussion. See the work in opening reception from 7-10 p.m. Saturday. More at artbeef.blogspot.com. - Lauren Smart

Ark Festival Last year Fort Worth-based artist and Dallas Observer Mastermind Christopher Blay collaborated with bc Workshop to erect an ark in Oak Cliff -- a project meant to bring a neighborhood together. Created as a gathering space and temporary gallery installation, the ark sat on East 10th Street between Noah and Cliff streets, serving as a way for the community to share stories of their neighborhood and its heritage. This year, Blay and bc are rebuilding the ark for another iteration of the Ark Festival at noon Saturday. Blay drew inspiration for the project from the namesake of Noah Street, Noah Penn, who founded Greater El Bethel Baptist Church. The ark is made entirely of materials salvaged from the surrounding 10th Street neighborhood and will help tell the story of "the oldest intact freedman's town in Dallas." Like last year, the festival will stage Iv Amenti's play A Freeman Cries for the Future and will host a pop-up market with local vendors. The ark will remain on display for 40 days and 40 nights. More at bcworkshop.org.

Asian Fest The 2015 Asian Festival is a delightfully broad title for an event crammed with activities representing the cultures of over 30 countries. It's not like the Scottish Festival, which--despite its many, many merits--is pretty limited to kilts, organ meats, and log-throwing. Indeed, the Asian Festival is teeming with variety--it's one of the largest gatherings of Asian Americans in Dallas, and it features food, music, art and performances from India, Japan, Korea, China, Thailand, and just about every other place you can think of in the Asia-Pacific region. Between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, you can make your way through the Dallas Arts District up to Klyde Warren Park, 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, and experience food trucks, vendor booths, games, Tai Chi, yoga, meditation, dance performances, and even art-making activities at the Crow Collection of Asian Art, 2010 Flora. All events are free; visit asianfestdallas.com. -Jennifer Davis -Lamm

JMR at {neighborhood} Brooklyn muralist JMR has had quite a year in Dallas with exhibitions at WAAS Gallery, Circuit 12 Contemporary, and now an exhibition at the shop/gallery space in the Bishop Arts District, {neighborhood}. The store recently renovated its collection of furniture and decor, transforming a 56-foot long wall into a gallery space. See the new digs and be there for JMR's unveiling of his new "housewares" line (we've been told he's making decorative plates now). Opening reception will be from 7-10 p.m. Saturday.

Sunday, May 3 Mystical Arts of Tibet As part of its month long celebration, 31 Days of Asia, the Crow Collection has once again brought the Monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery to the gallery for a week-long residency during which they are creating a Mandala sand painting. They've been working on it since last weekend, and this weekend they will complete it and then on Sunday they will ceremoniously disperse the sand into White Rock Lake. Tickets to the ceremony are $40 for non-members, but the gallery will be open with the painting on display, along with a number of other activities daily. More at crowcollection.org.


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