Awesome Things to Do in Dallas This Weekend, June 25-28: Taco Festival, Outdoor Ballet, a Literary Festival

Get sexy this weekend.
Get sexy this weekend.
Dallas Summer Musicals

Summer is a sexy time. Maybe its the unrelenting heat. Maybe it's the infectious freedom left over from school-free childhood summers. Maybe it's because everyone is wearing less clothing. Regardless, it looks like summer is finally here in Dallas. When you're not lounging by the pool, you'll want to be at one of these things this weekend. 

Thursday, June 25
Best of Texas Bash

Here in Texas, we embrace our Lone Star State roots no matter what baggage that entails. We don’t whisper that we’re from Texas; we’re unabashed, despite the nutjobs who share our state boundaries. We yell it from the mountaintops, and then we eat a lot of food to back up our assertion that we’re awesome no matter what. And what better way to prove our sustained awesomeness than with a best-of-Texas themed bash rolled out by Stephan Pyles’ Stampede 66, 1717 McKinney Ave., and Cowboys & Indians Magazine. The fête from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday pays homage to trailblazing Texas chefs, including Pyles himself, plus Tim Byres of the acclaimed Smoke, and legendary Perini Ranch founder Tom Perini. Expect a spectacular summer picnic, filled with quintessential Texan bites and cocktails as potent as our state pride. Live music is a given, and tickets will probably go fast. Lasso yours for $60 by calling 214-550-6966. Visit stampede66.com for more. Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Kathy Griffin
Mark Cuban, Rick Perry and Open Carry just crapped their pants a little: Kathy Griffin is coming to Dallas, and no Texas celebrities are safe. Griffin says her act is ever-changing: “When I’m at The Majestic, it’s all new material, baby.” Will she make fun of celebrities? Yes. Will there be mention of a box of organic eggs she recently received from Lady Gaga on an elevator? Probably yes. And after the show, will she go with you to the new Dallas restaurant, Tallywackers, for some hot dogs and man ass? Probably not, but dreams are fun. See Kathy Griffin at the Majestic Theatre (1925 Elm St.) at 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are $49.75-$79.75. Visit kathygriffin.net. Alice Laussade

Happiness for Beginners
The perfect summer read is light but thought-provoking, slightly predictable but smart, and totally fictitious but still infinitely relatable. It would appear that Texas gal Katherine Center has a lock on all of these elements with her latest novel, Happiness for Beginners, which tells the story of a recently divorced thirty-something woman who signs up for a wilderness camp to cleanse her palate of her life’s most recent disappointments. The book’s protagonist is looking for something of a reboot -— most of us have sought one out at some point in our life — and her adventures make for a compelling poolside read. The author will be at local literary destination The Wild Detectives, 314 W. 8th St., at 7:30 p.m. Thursday to read from and give a few insights into her popular escapist story, and to sign well-worn and crisp, new copies alike. Click your way over to thewilddetectives.com. - JDL

Upcoming Events

Love, Loss & What I Wore
Love, Loss, & What I Wore is a play adapted by Nora Ephron and her lesser known, but not at all bitter about it, sister, Delia Ephron. Jokes! All day! Of course she’s not bitter (we have no use for a lawsuit). The play opens with Gingy (talk about an uphill climb, huh?) telling her life story through articles of clothing. Her story is the saddest — she lost a child — but the other characters aren’t exactly skipping through a meadow. There’s a vixen, a gang member, a cancer patient and a mature woman “pierced by her vivid memories.” Despite the grimmest roster ever, there are still a lot of laughs and relatable moments. An explanation of Madonna’s influence and a detailed description of dressing room angst are guaranteed to make you LOL. The show runs from 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday at the Wyly Theatre, 2400 Flora St. Tickets start at $45 and are available at attpac.org. Nikki Lott

Phantom Eye
There is a phenomenon known as “phantom limb,” which describes the experience of some amputees who continue to sense a missing arm or leg. Scientifically, it’s related to muscle memory, but it’s a poignant illustration of how our minds sometimes cope with loss by imagining the continued existence of something now absent. Artists Jimmy Baker and Matthew Hillock cast a new light on this idea with the collaborative exhibition Phantom Eye, which is meant to explore ways we see and understand loss, relating it to imagination and memory. Baker creates multimedia works on canvas to add layers to narratives, while Hillock uses GIFs, screenprinted silks and prints on Dibond to offer shards of personal stories. See it in an opening reception at Zhulong Gallery (1302 Dragon St.) from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, or through September 11. Admission is free. More at zhu-longgallery.com. LS

Friday, June 26
Queerbomb Dallas

If you’re looking for a quaint, quiet little pride parade, this ain’t your thing. Queerbomb Dallas! is as loud and proud as it gets. It’s a sex-positive, body-positive people’s parade that has no room for spectators — if you’re there, you’re in it. The event commemorates the 46th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in New York City with a sponsor-free, non-corporate, free-to-be-you-and-me event that kicks off with a rally at 7 p.m. Friday in historic Lake Cliff Park in Oak Cliff. Following a few heartfelt and inspiring performances and speeches, participants will make their way through the streets of Oak Cliff. The procession lands at the Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., around 10 p.m. for an outsize after-party where the merriment will continue with some of the biggest divas in Dallas drag, including Nikki Trash, Damien DuPree + Elle Ay’Elle, Helena Isis, Kitty Sangria and May May, plus music from DJ DQ and soul-funk maestro Dezman Lehman. The events are not only free and all ages, but also a safe space for anyone who wants to celebrate their pride unapologetically. Get the details at queerbombdallas.com. JDL

Alan & Michael Fleming: Gemini
There is perhaps no collaborative team more qualified to explore the nuance of subjectivity and objectivity in human existence, especially as it relates to individuality and connection, than Alan & Michael Fleming. These 30-year-old twins have been artistic partners for a decade and they’ve spent much of it asking questions like, “How does synergy unfold between separate individuals?” and, “How can you make transparent the invisible bonds that manifest through collaboration?” In their newest exhibition, Gemini, which opens at Cydonia Gallery (167 Payne St.) at 6 p.m. Friday, the twins explore these questions further in a selection of old and new works. At 11 a.m. Saturday, they’ll enact a performance in Klyde Warren Park (2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway.). Admission to both events is free. More at cydoniagallery.com. LS

Todrick Hall
In the days of the Internet, you no longer need pure luck — chance meetings with people who promise favors, drugs and sex — to become a star. YouTube has cut out the middle executive and brought some truly talented people straight to the viewing public for their never-ending consumption. Todrick Hall is one of those success stories. He first became known as a semi-finalist on the ninth season of American Idol and soon started scoring gigs on Broadway and even his own national tour. But he really broke out on YouTube, where there were no publicists or image specialists to keep his sense of humor in check. His updated covers of Disney musical classics and song-inspired flash mobs have earned him millions of hits and subscribers, an upcoming reality show on MTV and his own tour dubbed The Toddlerz Ball, which will stop in Dallas at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St. Tickets are $15-$80 at prekindle.com. Danny Gallagher

Romeo & Juliet
Romeo and Juliet, directed by Artistic Associate Rene’ Moreno, the second production in the 2015 Shakespeare in the Park summer season. In perhaps his most well-known romantic tragedy, this play tells the tale of an ancient feud between the Montague and Capulet families, and how it disrupts the city of Verona. Performances at the Samuell Grand Amphitheatre run June 24-28 and continue Tuesdays, Saturday and Sundays, June 30-July 25. Performance time is 8:15 p.m. for all shows.

The Nance
By now, burlesque has become synonymous with strip show — and while that’s not entirely incorrect, it’s not the whole picture, either. Historically, burlesque has meant over-the-top, ribald performances that showcase physical comedy, gay performers and elements of the absurd, with sideshow entertainers like jugglers, fire-eaters, and yes … ladies who take it all off. takes us back to the era before it was all about pasties — it revels in bawdy entertainment and tells the story of a performer who markets flamboyance onstage, but is forced to tone it down when the lights go up. Ultimately, is a fun look back at burlesque in its naughty heyday and a tragic tale of the intersection of sexuality, self-image and identity. B.J. Cleveland stars as the titular nance in this production by Uptown Players, staged at Kalita Humphreys Theater (3636 Turtle Creek Blvd.) at 8 p.m. Friday. Additional shows are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through July 5. Tickets are $10 to $40 at uptownplayers.org. -JDL

Ballet Concerto
Ballet can be a cost-prohibitive art form for dancer and observer. There’s the clothing, the shoes, the training, the costuming — the list goes on. For years. If you’re a patron, there are donations to make and pricey tickets to purchase. But at its most basic, dance simply requires the body, right? That, and a lot of passion, of course. But what you don’t know you can’t be passionate about, so Fort Worth’s Ballet Concerto is committed to exposing future dancers and audiences from a range of socio-economic backgrounds to ballet and other types of dance. Not only does Ballet Concerto offer ballet programs and lectures to school children, but it also makes performances available to families and audiences for free. The nonprofit’s 33rd annual Summer Dance Concert once again combines nature, dance and generosity at 8:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday at Fort Worth’s Trinity Park Pavilion, 2300 W. 7th St., and features the premiere of The Wedding (based on the Federico García Lorca play), Michel Fokine’s Les Sylphides, as well as new works by Fort Worth’s own Elise Lavallee. The performance is free for those on the lawn, but reserved table seats are available for $30 (or $25 for groups of four or 10). Call 817-738-7915 or visit bal-letconcerto.com. -Merritt Martin

Dirty Dancing
Baby has not stayed in the corner. Dirty Dancing , the megahit film from 1987 with a soundtrack that sold millions of copies, Dirty Dancing is still a fixture of pop culture. Patrick Swayze is dead and Jennifer Grey seems to have dropped off the face of the earth, but the film is a cultural phenomenon that continues to live on. Stage versions have appeared all over the world and another film, , appeared in 2004. A remake of the original film has also been in the works for years. Now there’s a musical adaptation of the film featuring all the hits, and it’s touring internationally. Dallas Summer Musicals will bring the show to the Music Hall at Fair Park (909 First Ave.) for several performances starting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets are $17 to $93 and can be purchased at etix.com. -Jeremy Hallock

Saturday, June 27

Dallas Noir Literary Festival
You’ve heard of film noir, but have you heard of Dallas Noir? The anthology of short stories is part of a series launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. This follow-up features 16 stories by local authors exploring Dallas’ darker side, each set in a different neighborhood, and was edited by Dallas literary agent David Hale Smith. It flies off the shelves at The Wild Detectives (314 W. 8th St.) — they can’t keep it in stock. Now, finally, the Oak Cliff bookstore is gathering together Dallas Noir’s authors and editor for a celebratory evening. Beginning at 5:30 p.m. Saturday and going late, The Wild Detectives will come alive with drinks, music and discussion of the literary scene in Dallas. Chat with authors including Matt Bondurant, Catherine Cuellar, Ben Fountain, Merritt Tierce and Fran Hillyer about their work, pick up a copy and have yours signed. The event is free. More info at thewilddetectives.com. - Caroline North 

Dear Elizabeth Staged Reading
In elementary school, I had a pen pal. I can’t tell you how many letters we exchanged or what he’s doing now, but I can tell you that it was incredibly difficult to keep up with. Not so for wordsmiths Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop. Not only did they consistently write each other, they also put themselves to paper better than most of us could ever hope to. Celebrated playwright Sarah Ruhl adapted the collection of their some 400 letters into a moving play by the name of Dear Elizabeth, and Undermain Theatre is taking the moving tale of travel, romance, humor, personal victory and defeat to the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St., for a staged reading at 2 p.m. Saturday. Come experience an intimate and vulnerable production about two literary legends, outside of the structure and confines of their craft. Admission is free. For more information, go to undermain.org. -Lucas Buckels

Taco Libre
We hold the taco sacred in these parts, endlessly perusing “Best Of” lists devoted to the delicacy, and diligently standing in lines behind hungover bros and hyperactive kids on weekend mornings to obtain them. We drive across town for delights folded inside straining tortillas. We venture to try things we would never try if they weren’t doused in salsa and tucked in floury goodness. We love our tacos, and this weekend, we salute them. Starting at 2 p.m. Saturday you can pay homage at Taco Libre in Main Street Garden Park, 1902 Main St. This festive paean to the beloved handheld food includes an expertly curated gallery o’ tacos, which will run the gamut from gourmet concoctions to traditional street fare. Garnish your hand-to-mouth experience with live music from Ozomatli, Deep Blue Something, Pinata Protest, Party Static, Team*, Valise and Dustin Cavazos, not to mention live (and larger than life) lucha libre wrestling. Admission runs $12 for early-bird entrants from 2-5 p.m.; $22 for general admission after 5 p.m.; and $60 for a VIP experience. Visit tacolibredallas.com to purchase tickets and learn more. -JDL

Dirk Nowitzki’s 2015 Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game
A number of fantastically unique sports-nerd scenarios will play themselves out during this year’s edition of Dirk Nowitzki’s 2015 Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game. When the star-studded teams take the field at Frisco’s Dr Pepper Ballpark (7300 Roughriders Trail, Frisco) at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, the dynamic duo of former Maverick Steve Nash and his bar-hopping bro Nowitzki will be reunited. Cowboy receiver and current hold-out Dez Bryant will be active on a field, and one of the all-time Texas Rangers greats, Michael Young, will again grace a North Texas diamond with his much-missed presence, all for the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation and the Heroes Foundation. Even Basketball Hall of Famer and infamous television analyst Charles Barkley will swing a bat (and likely some piping-hot opinions, too). Make note: This is a fast-pitch baseball game, not some half-assed, slow-pitch softball soirée. It’s a real (fun) possibility that celebrities will be hit by errant baseballs, all in the name of charity. Tickets are $10-$25 at ticketmaster.com. -Kelly Dearmore

Favio Moreno: Grotesque Beauty
Favio Moreno has a grasp on color like no one else in this city. His unique visual language combines interests in painting and printmaking in ways that are at once rebellious and alluring. The Dallas-based artist claims influences from Latin and American culture, but he’s blended them in a way that’s all his own. Once you see a Moreno piece you’ll quickly recognize his work upon your next encounter, and yet, no two Morenos are alike. See his latest work in Grotesque Beauty, a solo exhibition at The Public Trust, 2271 Monitor St. The opening reception will take place from 6- 9 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. More at thepublictrust.com. -LS

Trey Egan
Do certain songs move you? Or maybe there’s a beat that inspires you? For artist Trey Egan it’s progressive trance and electronic beats, which he uses to create a certain energy in his paintings. He describes it as a stimulator for his artistic synapse. Maybe his paintbrush is dancing to the music, because the paintings that develop are groovy. Check out his luminous abstractions in his second solo exhibition at Cris Worley Fine Arts (1845 Levee St., No. 110) in an opening reception from 6-8 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. More at crisworleyfinearts.com. LS

Sunday, June 28
The Kountry Girls

The Kountry Girls’ world premiere this month will end Theatre Three’s 2014-2015 season. At first glance, this folk musical might seem like a bad reality show featuring the Kardashian Klan surviving in a log cabin, but it’s really about two small-town gals chasing their big-city dreams. Written by Ken Murchison, Andrew Clendenen and Sonny Franks, and showing 2 p.m. Sunday at Theatre Three (2800 Routh St.), The Kountry Girls features things foreign to the Kardashians, such as economic struggles, real love and tradi-tional folk music. The Norma Young Arena Stage will serve as Mama’s Kountry Café and some “waitresses” might even hand you a menu and tell you about the daily specials. Each of the actors plays at least one instrument, so you’re sure to get the full musical treatment. The show runs through July 19. Tickets start at $15. More at theatre3dallas.com. -Paige Skinner

Jiro Dreams of Sushi
The Sunday Cinema Series continues at Knife. If that sounds harrowing, bear in mind we’re talking about dinner and a movie, folks. The film for this installment of the series is Jiro Dreams of Sushi, the delightful 2012 documentary about an elderly sushi master still aiming for perfection in his craft. Food and drinks from Chef John Tesar will follow the theme of the film, so I’m going to take a shot in the dark here and guess you can expect sushi and sake. Before the screening, you can also expect a guest speaker from the food or film industry. Combining film and food may not be a new idea, but this is the rich man’s Alamo Drafthouse: Admission is $35 per person, with $10 donated to the Dallas Film Society. Be at Knife, 5300 E. Mockingbird Lane, at 8 p.m. Sunday. To purchase tickets, call 214-443-9339. -JH


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