5 Things to Do this Week: Cry with Madonna, Revisit the Origins of Memphis Soul and More

The free Denton Arts Festival will have you bursting with American — and DFW — pride this Friday.
The free Denton Arts Festival will have you bursting with American — and DFW — pride this Friday.
Ed Steele

April showers bring, well, arts festivals, meet-ups and new theatrical productions. And last week’s heavy downpours have left an arts-heavy week in their wake, finishing out the month with a full slate of cultural offerings that range from feel-good baseball flicks to musicals about the mid-century Memphis music scene. Find something to love on our list below:

For all-American girls:

A League of Their Own
7 p.m. Monday, April 25
Alamo Drafthouse Richardson
100 South Central Expressway
$7

There may be no crying in baseball, but if you make it through this nostalgic pic about a World War II-era women’s baseball league without getting misty, you’re basically not human. Penny Marshall’s comedy takes a fictional look at the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, punched up with performances from Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Lori Petty and Madonna. It’s hokey, cheesy and overly sentimental, but its charm still hits a home run.

Upcoming Events

For the retro-minded:

Singapore Slingers
8 p.m. Tuesday, April 26
Pocket Sandwich Theatre
5400 E. Mockingbird Lane, No. 119
$18

Swing into spring with Dallas’ ultimate retro orchestra in this tribute to warm breezes, brighter days and new beginnings. The Singapore Slingers roll through spirited tunes featuring hot jazz, pre-swing standards and ragtime pieces performed by their authentic 18-piece band. Throw in an optional dinner service for a memorable date night guaranteed to put a little spring in your step.

For the modern-minded:

Dallas Modern Meet-Up
6 p.m. Wednesday, April 27
Expo House
408 Exposition Ave.
Free

If scouring garage sales for Eames chairs and cruising through neighborhoods oohing and aahing at the flat planes, split levels and giant windows of mid-century homes is your thing, you don’t want to miss this. The monthly meet-up of mod aficionados brings together designers, architects, real estate experts, artists, and appreciators of the era for conversation and networking. This installment is hosted by Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s Jeff Mitchell and publisher of moderndallas.net Jeff Levine.

For musical theater fans:

Memphis
7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28
Theatre 3
2800 Routh St.
$12.50-$35

As the 1950s dawned in Memphis, the city’s music scene was pretty much a solidly country and western operation, but times were due for a changin'. In the coming years, a new sound started to creep into the region — and the reception it received was nothing short of wildly enthusiastic. As rock infused with R&B and gospel undertones began to make its way around the underground scene, some savvy listeners started to put those tunes on local airways and a new era in music was born. That’s the story of Theatre 3’s latest production, Memphis, a rollicking musical that explores the excitement of a time when new music meant new sounds, new business models and a breaking down of social barriers. The production continues through Sunday, May 22, with shows at 7:30 p..m. on Thursdays, 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Sundays.

For those who have festival FOMO from Coachella:

Denton Arts and Jazz Fest
5 p.m. Friday, April 29
Quakertown Park
Free

Denton likes to pass itself off as a slow-going little burg up north, but the truth is that Little D also does things pretty big. Take their annual Denton Arts and Jazz Festival: it’s anything but small and unassuming. Festival-goers know to expect big sounds, big experiences and a huge variety of activities throughout the event — which runs from 5 until 11 p.m. on Friday, April 29; 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Saturday, April 30; and from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Sunday, May 1. There’ll be a dizzying array of tempos, styles and beats on six outdoor stages and at one indoor venue. Roving musicians will bring the tunes throughout the festival grounds as well, walking among the nearly 150 fine arts and crafts booths, the Children’s Art Tent and its 15 stations, or one of the six food courts. Admission to this monster outdoor music fest, which features performances from UNT’s One O’Clock Band, Patrice Rushen & Friends, The Flatlanders and Brave Combo, is free. 


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