Thursday, July 23
Oak Highlands Brewery Launch Party
There's no such thing as too many breweries in a city. That would be like saying you can ever have enough cake, or french fries or puppies. You can never have too many puppies. What about puppies in a brewery? Now that would be cute! I wonder if the new kids on the brew scene, Oak Highlands, will be allowing dogs? Just asking important questions here. Leave your dogs at home for their launch party at Craft & Growler at 6 p.m. Thursday so that you can drink to your heart's content. More at oakhighlandsbrewery.com.
There is nothing quite like seeing the wheels in motion as little kids engage in creative endeavors. Imaginations run 60 miles an hour as bottles and cans fished from the recycle bin form rooms in a mansion. Their explanations of their creative choices are wondrous flights of fancy and reasoning, cooked up by little minds not yet limited by outside expectations and stressors. Kids blossom in these situations, and SPARK!, an organization dedicated to immersing at-risk kids in the creative arts, knows that a little bit of art and inspiration go a long way toward future achievement. The organization will unveil their 11,000-square-foot imagination station at 1409 S. Lamar St., Suite 4, from 7-10 p.m. Thursday with a presentation called “Take a Walk on the Creative Side.” Guests can explore the innovative space, learn about the pop-up events and workshops the organization will host, and participate in a silent auction to raise funds for the program. Heavy appetizers and drinks are included with tickets, which may be purchased for $50 at sparkdallas.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm
Friday, July 24
Broken Hearts Club
Everyone struggles to find an identity that he or she can be comfortable with. It doesn’t matter if you’re a broke college student trying to find her way in the world or a billionaire vying for the president’s job. We’re constantly defining and redefining ourselves. Dennis, played by a young Timothy Elephant in The Broken Hearts Club, is undergoing his own identity crisis in the LGBT cinema classic, telling himself, “I’m 28 years old and the only thing I’m good at is being gay.” It doesn’t help that he’s surrounded by friends who suffer the same problem, like Howie, played by Matt McGrath, and Benji, played by a pre-Scrubs Zach Braff. “I can’t decide if my friends are the best or worst thing that ever happened to me,” says Dennis. You can decide for yourself when the Texas Theatre (231 W. Jefferson Blvd.) screens The Broken Hearts Club at 9 p.m. Friday as part of its ongoing Cinéwilde series. Tickets are $10.50 each and available for purchase at thetexastheatre.com. - Danny Gallagher
Dallas Gaming Expo
Did you watch the 1989 Fred Savage vehicle The Wizard and think to yourself, “Really? 50,000 in Double Dragon? I could do that.” Well, with the Nintendo World Championships having gone the way of the dinosaurs, there aren’t many opportunities to prove your classic gaming prowess these days. Thankfully, the Dallas Gaming Expo is in town and they’re giving you your chance. The expo kicks off at 2 p.m. Friday at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Addison (14315 Midway Road) and runs through Sunday. You’ll be able to demonstrate your button-mashing and finger-flexing skills in games ranging from arcade classics such as Ms. Pac-Man or Donkey Kong to new favorites Super Smash Bros. Melee and Mortal Kombat X. You can even compete in tournaments for big prizes, and shake hands with celebrities such as Star Wars’ Peter Mayhew and Austin Powers’ Verne Troyer. Or, you could just play in the tabletop gaming room while bands Urizen and Psychotic entertain you. Tickets are $40 for a single-day pass or $60 for three-day general admission. Premium tickets are available for $150 each and come with access to deluxe suites, one free autograph or photograph and early registration for certain gaming tournaments. Tickets are available at dallasgamingexpo.com. -Danny Gallagher
The best and most memorable line in Sweet Charity succinctly sums up the travails of its main character: “You run your heart like a hotel,” she’s told, “you’ve always got people checking in and checking out.” And so it goes as Charity, a taxi dancer in Times Square, invites one loser after another into her life, only to find that you can’t count on even the nicest-seeming guy. Luckily, even after disappointment galore, Charity still has her sunny optimism, not to mention a killer lineup of showtunes (“If My Friends Could See Me Now” and “Hey, Big Spender”). WaterTower Theatre tackles this tale about the unlucky-in-love New Yorker at the Addison Conference Centre, 15650 Addison Road, starting 7:30 p.m. Monday. Performances run through August 16, with shows at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays.; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are $20 to $40 at watertowertheatre.org. - Jennifer Davis-Lamm
One by One
One by One will feature photography taken with mobile devices for Instagram. The name of this third-annual event references both the square ratio of the photographs as well as the intention to unite local photographers and build a community one person at a time. The enormous exhibit will showcase a single image from 100 Dallas-Fort Worth photographers at Atama, the toy store and art gallery at 5331 E. Mockingbird Lane, Suite 110. With a built-in audience of friends and family of contributors, the event should attract quite a crowd over three days, running from 7 p.m. Friday through July 26. Curating such an exhibit may sound like a daunting task that would require months of preparation, but not so, says Jeyson Paez, founder of both One by One and instaDFW, the Instagram account that led to this undertaking. Paez managed to select 85 photographers in less than a day and the other 15 responded to an open call on the social media site. Admission is free. -Jeremy Hallock
I'm Always On My Mind
Everybody knows the guy (or girl) whose got everything they want and more, and they know it. They're charming sure, but totally pushy and full of themselves. Maybe one day they'll figure out they're are a narcissist; maybe they won't. That's the story of the main character in I'm Always On My Mind, a new one-man-show starring Ken Orman and directed by Linda Leonard. The show opens at 8 p.m. Friday and runs through October 31 at Theatre166, 2425 W. Parker Road, in Carrollton. Tickets are on sale via Eventbrite.
Catch Me If You Can
In the hands of Neil Simon, even the most conniving of fraudsters becomes a charming, heartwarming cad … sure, Frank Abagnale Jr. put lives at risk when he faked being a doctor and swindled airlines out of thousands when he pretended to be a deadheading pilot, but the FBI forgave him and so did Broadway audiences in droves. The Tony Award-winning play Catch Me If You Can, based on the 2002 Leonardo DiCaprio flick (in turn based on Abagnale’s autobiography), intersperses the corkscrew twists and crazy deceptions with upbeat numbers from songwriting team Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and choreographs the scams with amazing precision. The Uptown Players go for the long con with their production of this fun fraud at Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd., beginning at 8 p.m. Friday. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through August 9. Tickets are $10 to $50 at uptownplayers.org.
Saturday, July 25
Dessert and Beer Pairing
Most of the time what we drink with our dinner is an afterthought, or worse, a decision made with no thought at all. Water pairs well with everything, right? Yes, it does. But you know what else pairs really well with high-quality food? Beer! No, not just any beer. Texas beer that is hand-crafted to enhance your palate and heighten your enjoyment of your meal. Joyce and Gigi’s (1623 N. Hall St.) has caught on and they’re hosting a second beer-and-food pairing at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. It will feature three unique desserts and three equally unique beers that combine to create deep, contrasting flavors, all for $25. Be sure to call ahead since reservations are sure to fill up fast. More at joyceandgigis.com. — Lucas Buckels
Reunion Lawn Party
Throwing your own backyard party is tough. As host, you have to slave over the grill, provide the entertainment and worry about people overstaying their welcome. But hanging out outdoors is fun, even if temperatures are in the triple digits. So at 6 p.m. on the last Saturday of every month, Reunion Tower hosts Reunion Lawn Party at Reunion Park (302 Reunion Blvd.). It has everything a good outdoor party needs — live music, food trucks, lawn games and a beer garden. And best of all, you aren’t the host, so you don’t have to worry about kicking people out once your bedtime rolls around. For July’s special musical guests, Aaron Stephens and Prophets and Outlaws will be there to entertain the hot and possibly drunk crowd. Admission is free. - Paige Skinner
Soft Power: Intimacy
As seismic cultural shifts occur as a result of events in South Carolina, the rash of police shootings against people of color, and a political climate that seeks to divide, the power and importance of community is becoming clearer than ever. To dismantle structural inequalities, community organizers must inspire communities to unite through shared values and set this country on a better path. Community organizer Darryl Ratcliff seeks to use art, music and, yes, cocktails as a common ground for just this purpose at his “Soft Power: Intimacy” event from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday at Zhulong Gallery, 1302 Dragon St. Attendees will have the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the Cultural Equity Investment Fund, which aims to elevate discussions of inequality and remove barriers through sustainable investments in communities and the arts. Hosted by Will Ritchey, the event will feature music by Dezi5, Lord Byron, Howler Jr. and Francine 13, plus art from Anansi Knowbody, Chesley Williams, Adu, Lauren Woods, Fred Villanueva and Christian Vasquez. Tickets are $10 to $100 and can be purchased at eventbrite.com. -JDL
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Shake the Dust
Produced by "Nas," Shake the Dust documents the influence of breakdancing, especially in the slums, favelas and ghettos around the world. The film promises awesome moves in what it describes as a "tribute to the uplifting power of music and movement." See it at the South Dallas Cultural Center, 3400 S. Fitzhugh Ave., at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the box office. For more information call 214-939-2787.
Irrational City artist talk
The artists from the group show Irrational City, which explores questions of the apocalypse and identity, currently on display at the Bath House Cultural Center, will convene for an artist talk at 4 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.
Sunday, July 26
Tanabata Party on the Roof
Nothing says summer quite like a rooftop party. This weekend, for a pretty penny, you can celebrate the Japanese Tanabata Festival on the rooftop of Tei-An. Wear Yukata and get in for $35; don't stop there and cough up $60 if you want drink specials, appetizers a Nagashi Somen demonstration and Tanabata and Tanzaku making. This all happens from 7-9 p.m. Sunday. RSVP by calling 214-220-2828 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Occasionally throughout the sumer, the Power Station has hosted "curated" movie screenings. At 9 p.m. Sunday, they're back with the third iteration of this event, which they are calling Suncreen. This week the three films screened explore "early desert racing in Baja, California, a psychedelic flight through orange and purple mushroom clouds, and the spellbinding waters of 1970s Bali, Indonesia." The event is free, but you can RSVP to email@example.com and BYOB. Snacks will be served.