21 Best Things to Do in Dallas This Week: May 2-8
Trying to explain Dead White Zombies is no easy task, so see for yourself when the avant-garde theater troupe presents Holy Bone at Tacos Mariachi beginning Thursday.
Limber up your fingers and get ready to smash some stuff because Braindead Brewing (2625 Main St.) hosts its first Filthy Casual Smash Bros. Tournament at 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 2. The idea for the tournament comes after the brewery’s usual Tuesday video-game fight nights, with such classics as Mario Kart, became such a success. The free-for-all game nights eventually amassed a loyal team of roughly 10-30 gamers and became a strictly Smash Bros. night played on an N64 console. The inaugural tournament, which will transform the bar’s west dining area into a makeshift living room complete with rugs, has a $5 sign-up fee that goes toward system maintenance of game controllers, consoles and the projection screen. The winner will take home a trophy and $50 gift card. Sign-up time for the tournament is 8 p.m. Braindead Brewing, 2625 Main St., 9 p.m., $5, see Facebook. — Diamond Victoria
Every Tuesday night, the Lemmon Avenue location of Buzzbrews hosts a unique open mic experience with fewer predictably whiny singer/songwriters and more surprisingly talented opera singers, cellists and pianists. On Tuesday, you can join the good folks from Open Classical for an open mic night specifically catered to those who love to play (or love to hear) classical music. You’ll see an eclectic range of instruments, talent levels and musical styles — from a riveting string quartet playing Schubert to a tap dancer who improvises her movements to the accompaniment of a Mozart sonata. If you want to participate, you’ll need to sign up on the event’s Facebook page, but sitting back and enjoying the show with some coffee or a beer requires no commitment and is always entertaining. The music starts at 8 p.m. and runs until around 11:30 p.m. Buzzbrews, 4334 Lemmon Ave., 8 p.m., free, openclassical.org. — Catherine Womack
We’ve come to expect that anything under the banner of the Soluna Festival will be pretty extraordinary. The annual fest anchored by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra aims to interject an edgy diversity and international flair into the Dallas arts legacy. Though it doesn’t officially kick off until May, we’re starting to see affiliated events pop up in anticipation of the summer program, and Dallas Theater Center’s production of Electra really gets the Soluna party started. This ain’t your momma’s Sophoclean tragedy. The Dallas Theater Center presents an explosive adaptation in the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Annette Strauss Square (2403 Flora St.), which puts its audience members in a mobile theatrical experience outdoors and sets a pair of headphones atop their noggins for special insight into the interplay between lust, betrayal, and vengeance. The production, which is meant for audiences aged 11 and up, will run through Sunday, May 21, with performances at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, as well as 2 p.m. matinees on some weekends. Annette Strauss Square, 2403 Flora St., 8:30 p.m., $20-$90, attpac.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm
It wasn’t just pure luck that landed the Beatles at the top of multinational pop charts in the 1960s. And it certainly wasn’t happenchance when the fab four’s highly celebrated Rubber Soul gave us a reason to happy cry with “In My Life.” No. Along with the literal rhyme and rhythm was the figurative. Composer and producer Scott Freiman breaks down the methods and magic the Beatles embodied to crank out Rubber Soul with “Deconstructing the Beatles' Rubber Soul” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 3, at The Magnolia (3699 McKinney Ave). Listen to stories of how “Norwegian Wood,” “Nowhere Man” and other classics were made through an educational journey exploring the Beatles’ creative processes, performances and recording sessions. The Magnolia, 3699 McKinney Ave. 7 p.m., $15, landmarktheatres.com.— Diamond Victoria
For her Kindred series, British artist Sarah Ball pored through the archives of Ellis Island registry clerk Augustus Sherman, who worked at immigrant entry point for 33 years. During that time, the untrained photographer created hundreds of images documenting the new arrivals to America. He photographed families, groups and individuals while they were being detained for medical reasons, and in certain cases, interrogations. Conduit Gallery, 1626 Hi Line Drive, Suite C, 10 a.m-5 p.m., free, conduitgallery.com. — Rachel Williams
Trying to explain Dead White Zombies is no easy task: the local avant garde theater troupe isn’t just avant garde: they’re wild. They aren’t just a “theater” troupe — they exist in site-specific installations. And, well, they aren’t strictly about acting, either: they perform, they create, they move, they make music, and they challenge everything you think you know about the arts. That said, expect anything and everything to happen in a performance of Holy Bone at Tacos Mariachi, 602 Singleton Blvd. You won’t be warming any chairs, as audiences of six people admitted every 10 minutes will be put through a series of tests, conversations and experiences for the hour and a half show. Performances start at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays between May 4 and May 27. Tacos Mariachi, 602 Singleton Blvd., 7:30 p.m., $20, deadwhitezombies.com. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm
Kings of Leon have a tainted history with the Starplex venue. In 2011, their headlining set there ended shortly after they started, with frontman Caleb Followill too out of it (ie., drunk and voiceless) to perform. The band has since been back here without incident. Assuming that’s also the case this time, you can expect them to continue imitating U2, with occasional glimmers of the roots rock and post-punk sound of their first two albums. Fans of those early albums got left behind when Kings of Leon changed their sound to make it more arena-friendly, but the play worked; the band has been able to steadily get gigs at some of the biggest arenas around the world. Their latest, WALLS, will be in the spotlight when they visit Starplex Thursday. Starplex Pavilion, 3839 S. Fitzhugh Ave., 7 p.m., $24-$314, livenation.com. — Eric Grubbs
Borrowing from the most depraved inclinations of Michael Jackson and Prince, along with a distinctly millennial fatalism, The Weeknd has ushered R&B into the digital future. Since his early days in the internet underground — where Soundcloud, BandCamp and free mixtapes determine the winners — the singer born Abel Tesfaye has championed a grim and narcotized style, one marked by narratives of predatory sexual advances and mind-melting debauchery. Compared with the glittery sheen and Champagne corking of our fathers’ R&B, Tesfaye’s music is a far more serious — and sinister — artform. Pleasure by way of chemicals and flesh is not celebrated here, instead it’s rendered in HD, with every sticky detail, finegrain wrinkle and soul-sucking existential crisis in full view. The Weeknd’s tracks are less about the party, and more about the empty avenues such a lifestyle leads to. From the beginning, The Weeknd’s music has been far too barbed and unsavory for mainstream success. Or so it seemed. A Grammy win and platinum level sales have since put such assumptions to bed. The future of an entire genre rests in the hands of this refreshingly transparent, if brilliantly damaged young man. Thank god for that. American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 7 p.m., $85 and up, americanairlinescenter.com. — Jonathan Patrick
Texas Frightmare Weekend has risen to become one of the top 10 horror conventions in the country. Meet celebrity guests like Bates Motel's Freddie Highmore when it unfolds at the Hyatt Regency this weekend.
Celebrate the cinema's most life-affirming form of film from Friday, May 5, to Sunday, May 7, at the Texas Frightmare Weekend, a three-day pop culture festival dedicated to celebrating the legends of horror and thrillers from the small to the big screen. The weekend festival is stacked with a slew of celebrity guests including Bates Motel stars Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot, Nestor Carbonell and Ryan Hurst, legendary horror directors Dario Argento and Frank Henenlotter, wrestling legends Sting and Ric Flair, cast reunions from such memorable horror flick as John Carpenter’s The Thing and Tom Holland’s Fright Night and many more. Guests can also check out screenings of classic horrors and thrillers most with some of the stars and creative minds behind the films in attendance, attend panels about the latest techniques and tricks in the creative process, compete in trivia tournaments and stock up on all kinds of merch from local horror vendors. Texas Frightmare Weekend will run from 6-11 p.m. on Friday, May 5, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday, May 6 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, May 7. Hyatt Regency DFW Hotel, 2334 North International Parkway, Friday-Sunday, $30 and up, texasfrightmareweekend.com. — Danny Gallagher
The hottest acts in hip-hop are coming to Fair Park this weekend for JMBLYA’s fifth annual music event. Chance the Rapper, Gucci Mane and Migos headline the star-studded lineup, with Steve Aoki heading up the dance portion. The three headliners are reeling off career-making years that include Chance the Rapper earning three Grammys for his 2016 album Coloring Book, and both Gucci Mane and Migos topping the Billboard charts with No. 1 songs in the country. JMBLYA also mixes plenty of up-and-comers into its stew of top hip-hop and EDM acts. This year’s year’s lineup boasts Lil Uzi Vert, 6LACK, Young Dolph, YFN Lucci and Pell. The day-long affair kicks off at 12 p.m., and yes, there will be jambalaya. Fair Park, 1432 Coliseum Drive, 12 p.m., $99, jmblya.com. — Mikel Galicia
The three-day Dallas International Guitar Festival, a celebration of America’s favorite stringed musical instrument, will feature an entire floor of guitar sellers and vendors showing off everything from the latest models to the classic styles that are still sought by hardcore collectors. The festival will also feature live performances on four different stages by more than 45 famous bands and rockers like Derek St. Holmes, The Stratoblasters, The Milligan Vaughn Project, George Lynch, Sonny Landreth, Ian Moore and Ted Nugent. The Dallas International Guitar Festival will be open to the general public from 12-7 p.m. on Friday, May 5 followed by an 8 p.m. concert at the Gas Monkey Bar ’N Grill located at 10110 Technology Blvd. in Dallas, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturday, May 6 followed by the Saturday Night All Star Jam from 8 p.m.-12 a.m. and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday, May 7. Dallas Market Hall, 2200 Stemmons Freeway, $25 and up, Friday-Sunday, guitarshow.com. — Danny Gallagher
The Dallas Opera has a way of making every performance feel like a world-stopping event, an all enveloping experience as powerfully realized as fully convincing. There’s no reason to believe The DO’s one-night semi-staged encore of Everest will be any different. Rich with interlocking details and serious layers of drama, Everest is a critical darling for good reason. This unique performance, brought to life with projections by Elaine McCarthy and featuring original cast members Kevin Burdette and Andrew Bidlack, promises to reach the very same — forgive the pun — heights. The world premiere of Joby Talbot’s Everest Prelude opens the program. Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., 7:30 p.m., $15 and up, dallasopera.org. — Jonathan Patrick
Everybody likes getting more than one thing for the price of one. It feels like you’ve beaten the system. So imagine the accomplishment and vengeance against the system that you’ll feel when you buy a ticket for a comedy show and learn that you’ll get to see not just one but three top name comedians in the same show. That’s what you get when you see the Festival of Laughs show at the Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie on Saturday, May 6. This comedy showcase will feature live performances by legendary comedian and star of movies and shows like Martin, Friday, Hollywood Shuffle and The Boondocks John Witherspoon, comic and morning radio show host Rickey Smiley and comedian and The Hangover star Mike Epps. Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie, 8 p.m., $56.75-$129.75, axs.com. — Danny Gallagher
Looking to kick off a successful second showing, this year’s Off the Rails Country Music Festival is pulling together some of the biggest names in modern pop country for a two-day extravaganza of banjo-plucking revelry. Miranda Lambert and Jason Aldean will serve as respective headliners for the festival and are backed up by an impressive roster of country hit-makers new and old. Dierks Bentley, Justin Moore and Rodney Atkins will follow the lead of the headliners, all of whom together have enough No. 1 singles to keep the most ardent of country radio fans singing along for hours. Hip-hop inspired newcomers Old Dominion, red dirt ruffians the Turnpike Troubadours, and the legendary Charlie Daniels take the edge off the mainstream performers and add much needed variety to the festival. Last year’s festival was similarly stocked with stars, but after a year to work out the kinks with the venue, this year’s Off the Rails Fest seems to be right on track to better the formula and keep Frisco do-si-doing through the weekend and into Monday. Toyota Stadium, 9200 World Cup Way, Frisco, 12 p.m., $39 and up, offtherailsfest.com. — Nicholas Bostick
Blood is one of those things that you need for survival. Pakistan native Simeen Farhat has taken this intrinsic component to living to the next level with Blood Shot Is Blood Loved. As she writes, “I leave my traces. I can be either hot or cold. People both love and hate me – I scare them off; but they need me, too. My name is Blood.” In her exhibit at Cris Worley Fine Arts, Farhat’s fashioned a replica of a large-scale drop of blood as it hits the ground, its spatter appearing to be a dramatic burst of energy. The liquid metaphor is an ongoing motif for Farhat, as evidenced by past works "Teardrop in Disperse," "A Bubble Bursts" and "A Red Drop of Blood" (all from 2015). Cris Worley Fine Arts, 1845 E. Levee St., 11 a.m.-5 p.m., free, crisworley.com. — Rachel Williams
The Cottonwood Art Festival neatly bookends summer in North Texas, with one installment of the Richardson mainstay each May and the other in October. The spring edition of the festival, held in Cottownwood Park, 1301 W. Belt Line Road, packs out green, shaded spaces with a juried art show that covers 14 mediums, including jewelry, 2- and 3-D mixed media, ceramics, digital art, painting, photography, fiber, sculpture and wood. The diverse array of museum-quality work lays a vivid backdrop for everything else going on — including hands-on activities for the kids, live music, food, libations and vendors of all kinds. Kick off a summer full of arts experiences with this North Texas tradition from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 6, and from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 7; admission and parking are free. Cottonwood Park, 1301 W. Beltline Road, Saturday-Sunday, free, cottonwoodartfestival.com. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm
How anyone views themselves is filtered through a series of frames and issues, or even barriers, perhaps. Identity is a loaded term anymore, and that’s a good thing. Discussing identity means discussing gender, politics, culture and various other defining issues. That discussion is just the aim of Identity: I Am One, I Am Many, presented by Sunset Art Studios and the Oak Cliff Cultural Center at the OCCC, 223 W. Jefferson Blvd., opening 5:30-8 p.m. Saturday and running through June 9. Inspired by a quote attributed to activist and co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association, Cesar Chavez — “Preservation of one’s culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures” — Identity features Sunset Art Studio’s artist residents, Tina Medina, Johnathan Foster, Iris Bechtol and artist coordinators, Emily Riggert and Rachel Rushing, and their works which spotlight defining the self and the world surrounding the self. Admission is free to the opening as well as the long-term exhibition. Oak Cliff Cultural Center, 223 W. Jefferson Blvd., 5:30-8 p.m., free, see Facebook. — Merritt Martin
The geographic term “Asian” is such a short word for so much: area, people, diversity, culture, language, art and more. Plano AsiaFest 2017, from 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday in Haggard Park (901 E. 15th St. in Downtown Plano), focuses on “unity in diversity” as it celebrates its 14th anniversary of throwing a fairly fabulous party honoring Asian American heritage from tJapan and Korea in the north; China, Taiwan, and the Philippines to the east; Vietnam and Malaysia in the south; and Bangladesh, India, and Nepal in the southeast. There are demonstrations of music, fashion, medicinal practices, martial arts, fine art, and more, but the most fascinating demo is language-related. The seven “critical languages,” as deemed by the U.S. government, include Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Indonesian, and AsiaFest features an area to learn the distinguishing characteristics of them all. Plus — and this is the coolest — you can find out if you have learning aptitude for them. (Why can’t we all have this before choosing a foreign language in school?) Food and drink will be available for purchase — OK, we lied, this is the best part. Haggard Park, 901 E. 15th St., Plano, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m., free, asianamericanheritage.org. —Merritt Martin
Off the Rails fest returns to Toyota Stadium for its second year, and major country stars Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean and Dierks Bentley are along for the ride.
It’s almost hard to imagine a time without Etsy — when finding your fill of twee, handmade and unique goods meant traveling, searching and basically just lucking into them. Etsy has fueled a revival of crafting, creating a handmade economy and a platform for small businesses that’s empowered entrepreneurs (who are mostly women) to make, sell and profit from their own ideas, creations or curations. It’s also benefited consumers, allowing purchasers to find custom-made items that have been largely elusive or out of reach until relatively recently. That’s why you’ll find us queued up outside the Southside Event Center, 1135 South Lamar St., at the Etsy Dallas Spring Bash on Sunday, May 7. Doors open at 10:30 a.m., and shoppers will find a mind-boggling selection of clothing, jewelry, art, home goods and decor, stationery, pet wares, beauty products, and more until things wind down until 5 p.m., including plenty of pretties for Mother’s Day and graduation gifts. And there will be abundant diversions on site, as well, including a photo booth, mobile manicurist, food trucks, restaurants, and live music. Admission is free, and the first 50 shoppers in line get a grab bag stuffed with goodies. Southside Event Center, 1135 S. Lamar St., 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m., free, etsydallas.com. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm
Since bursting onto the scene in 2009, English minimalists the xx have catapulted even further up the indie rock chain. This summer will find them near the top of the bill for many of the big-ticket festivals, such as Bonnaroo and Glastonbury, where their dreamy pop soundscapes will inspire sing-alongs and air guitar noodling in equal measure. In between their fest stops, the band is crisscrossing the globe on an ambitious tour supporting their third and latest album, I See You, which is a bit more cheerful than their past recordings. Despite their festival ubiquity, a theater environment like South Side Ballroom is a more appropriate venue to appreciate their melodic dirges and low-end hum. It's also fitting that this show falls on a Monday, as an xx concert is more attuned to the slow burn of the work week than a frenzied Friday night. South Side Ballroom, 1135 S. Lamar St., 8 p.m., $77-$281, livenation.com. — Jeff Strowe
Award-winning author Sandra Cisneros may be best known for her 1984 novella The House on Mango Street, chronicling the pangs of a young Latina in Chicago. But after 31 years and several short stories, poems, essays and other fictional pieces, Cisneros proved herself to be a powerful nonfiction writer with A House of My Own: Stories from My Life. This memoir, spanning three decades, journeys through the author’s difficult childhood moving from Mexico to America and back again and deals with the subject of parents, coping with the harsh realities of success and, of course, home. Cisneros’ international acclaim has earned her an award with the National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, the American Book Award, the Thomas Wolfe Prize and a MacArthur Fellowship, the National Medal of Arts. Her work has been translated into 20 languages. You can listen to Cisneros discuss her latest literary feat Monday. DMA, 1717 N. Harwood St., 7:30 p.m., $20-$40, dma.org. — Diamond Victoria
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