The 21 Best Things to Do in Dallas This Week

A-Kon is back — this time at the Fort Worth Convention Center.EXPAND
A-Kon is back — this time at the Fort Worth Convention Center.
Kathy Tran

Thursday
If you happen to love It Happened One Night, the Frank Capra classic starring Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable, you’ve probably learned to ignore all the patriarchal annoyances (father’s ownership of daughter, weird Stockholm syndrome overtones) and love it for its endearingly screwball plot lines and trope-setting scenes.
It wasn’t the first madcap romance, but it set the bar high, inspiring countless romantic comedies and cementing its place as a cultural milestone. Richardson’s Core Theatre lovingly revives the timeless tale of a young heiress on the run from her father in its stage adaptation of the beloved 1934 film. In it, Ellie Andrews has defied her dear old daddy, only to meet her match in a charming, unemployed journalist. The production follows Ellie’s high jinks on a road trip that leads to the altar, with a few twists and turns along the way. Bask in the nostalgia with shows at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 8, through Saturday, June 10, and a matinee performance at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 11. Core Theatre, 518 W. Arapaho Road, 8 p.m., $5-$20, thecoretheatre.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Birdwatching may take on a different, and, dare we say, more anxious meaning after Theatre Too’s latest offering. Too is staging Conor McPherson’s take on The Birds (adapted from the Daphne du Maurier story, as was Alfred Hitchcock’s famous horror flick). In it, Nat and Diane go through the various stages of WTF as they observe birds repeatedly attacking everyone around them … to the point that they may be the last ones in the vicinity — emphasis on “may be.” They hole up, creating a claustrophobic shelter that becomes even more so when a new human arrives and adds a different dynamic to the paranoia and fear with which they’ve already heavily stocked their fortress. The confines of Theatre Too make for a perfect setting for this frenzied adaptation running through June 18. Tickets are $35 to $40. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Theatre Too, 2800 Routh St., No. 168, 7:30 p.m.,$35-$40, theatre3dallas.com. — Merritt Martin

It's summertime, the season when big-budget movie studios throw out every formulaic popcorn movie and explosion-laden film they can. If you’re tired of being pandered to with movies that push all of humanity’s most basic instinct buttons, check out the Oak Cliff Film Festival. Based mostly at the Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., the festival showcases some of the most innovative and original films of the year. This year’s festival features exciting and thought-provoking films from both new and seasoned filmmakers. It has everything from feature-length performances such as the new comedy/western Lucky starring Harry Dean Stanton to documentary shorts like Richard Twice, which explores the fateful, tragic night that altered the course of folk musician Richard Atkins' life. The Oak Cliff Film Festival runs from Thursday, June 8, to Sunday, June 11, and will host screenings and events around the city. Multiple locations, Thursday-Sunday, $10 and up, oakclifffilmfestival.com. — Danny Gallagher

It's fitting that the new play about Bette Davis, running at Fair Park this month, is a one-woman show. The actress, who dominated Hollywood from the '30s until her death in the '80s, racking up countless accolades and awards for her commanding, dramatic performances in films such as All About Eve, Dangerous and Jezebel, was something of a one-woman show in real life. Acting was her first love, and her determination to succeed in the field often came at the expense of other pursuits, including her relationships with her four husbands. See Morgana Shaw inhabit Davis in All About Bette: An Interlude with Bette Davis. Shows are at 8 p.m. through Saturday, June 10, at the Margo Jones Theatre. Margo Jones Theatre, 1121 First Ave., 8 p.m., $30, all-about-bette.site123.me. — Caroline North

A-Kon, the longest-running anime convention, celebrates everything about the animation medium and can offer even the most ardent fan more things to do than he or she can fit into a weekend. This year’s gathering at the Fort Worth Convention Center will feature live concerts from groups such as Pentagon Japan, OXT and Heavygrinder and celebrities from the anime world such as actor Christopher Sabat from Dragon Ball Z and J. Michael Tatum from Samurai 7. Guests can enter their best costumes into cosplay contests. There’ll also be live gaming competitions, art shows, swap meets, escape rooms, panels and a masquerade ball. A-Kon takes place from Thursday, June 8, to Sunday, June 11. Adult passes are $90 for all four days, $40 for Thursday or Sunday, and $60 for Friday or Saturday. Children’s passes are $20 each for all four days. Fort Worth Convention Center, 1201 Houston St., Thursday-Sunday, $20-$90, a-kon.com. — Danny Gallagher

Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike will man the decks at Stereo Live on Friday.
Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike will man the decks at Stereo Live on Friday.

Upcoming Events

Friday
Mark Chen’s Windtopia originated as a visual art project of photos and videos but has evolved into a full-blown multimedia collaboration among artists in visual art, sound art, graphic design, creative writing and performance. It also includes collaborations with nonartists in fields such as engineering and climate science. Windtopia imagines what a future world powered by 100 percent renewable energy would look like while exploring and examining the good, the bad and the downright disturbing possible outcomes and implications. As part of Dallas Center for Photography’s Speaker Series, Chen will detail the conceptual development behind Windtopia. Chen is a photographer, a digital media artist and an activist, and a behind-the-scenes talk will follow his presentation. The event runs from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, June 9, at DCP. Tickets cost $5 online; remaining tickets will be available at the door for $10 (cash only). Dallas Center for Photography, 4756 Algiers St., 7-9 p.m., $5-$10, dallascenterforphotography.com. — Daniel Rodrigue

Over the past several months, Dallas has hosted some of the top EDM DJs touring today. On Friday night, Stereo Live will bring Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, a pair of Belgian brothers who captured the top spot on DJ Mag's Top 100 poll in 2015. The duo have recently remixed the iconic Hans Zimmer-produced Pirates of the Caribbean theme song, a move that hasn't exactly endeared them to other industry producers. Deadmau5 has been a vocal naysayer, tweeting that the version tarnishes a film classic. Others have jumped to the brothers' defense. Questionable remix choices aside, their diverse catalog with the label Smash the House has earned them a loyal following. Stereo Live Dallas, 2711 Storey Lane, 9 p.m., $55-$60, stereolivedallas.com. — Jeff Strowe

Saturday
Do you ever wonder why Texans spend the hottest part of the day in the hottest part of the year cooking meat over an open flame? Maybe you’ve never had great Texas barbecue. The right piece of meat can weaken the strongest knees. If you want to try the best barbecue, get some at a professional barbecue competition where the best grillers around compete for the love of your tastebuds. The Big D BBQ Battle in Addison Circle Park brings some of the most ambitious and talented barbecue cooking teams in the state together to feed the hungry masses. More than 40 teams will grill and smoke up everything from beef to chicken while the barbecue fans wash it down with local brews from breweries like Deep Ellum, Four Corners and Tupps. The Big B BBQ Battle runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, June 9, and Saturday, June 10, at Addison Circle Park. Tickets are $30 online and $40 at the gate. Addison Circle Park, 4950 Addison Circle Drive, Friday-Saturday, $30-$40, bigdbbqbattle.com. — Danny Gallagher

Although Waco native Wade Bowen built a rock-solid rep before releasing The Given on BNA Records in 2012, it’s the output since then that is interesting. It has not only been the best of his career but is also among the best new Texas country music. Bowen has taken excellent advantage of the freedom afforded to a successful independent artist with a high profile. Following his stellar 2014 self-titled LP, Bowen has released two absolutely killer albums — one live acoustic and the other full of traditional country duets — with best bud and fellow major label survivor Randy Rogers. And his album of Americana-tinged gospel hymns isn’t only outstanding but, endearingly enough, originally meant to only be a Christmas gift to his mother. None of these records would’ve ever made it past the narrow-minded gatekeepers of Music Row, and that’s why we’re even more fortunate Bowen is separated from his label. Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, 10:30 p.m., $18-$26, billybobstexas.com. — Kelly Dearmore

Ballet BC gets a lot of buzz in the contemporary ballet scene, thanks to a fluid and sophisticated combination of collaboration, innovation and a borderline anarchic approach to movement. It’s no surprise, then, that the cultural arbiters with Titas have roped it in for a debut performance in Dallas, set for 8 p.m. Saturday, June 10, at the Winspear Opera House. As Ballet BC wraps up a national tour that highlights choreography from its own Emily Molnar and Crystal Pite, plus Israeli choreographer Sharon Eyal, it will showcase explorations of space and transition, acceptance and loss, and expressions of the human body. Experience a dynamic and original evening of modern dance with a company seen by critics as a rising star in the ballet world. Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., 8 p.m., $12-$135, attpac.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

If you came out of Memorial Day with your grill marks lacking, or you just haven’t had enough homemade pickles since the unofficial start of summer, Taste of Dallas has the food, flavor and instruction to get you back on your game. This is the 31st year of the culinary festival, which kicks off with an inclusive sampling event ($55 and tickets go fast) for the 21 and older set at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 9, at Gilley’s, 1135 S. Lamar St. TOD organizers have upped the weekend festivities from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Fair Park with Live Fire: BBQ, Burgers & Brews presented by Napoleon Gourmet Grills. Local chefs and pitmasters — all rallied and curated by Smoke’s Tim Byres — present live demos over crackling pits and grills Saturday and Sunday, covering topics from burnt ends to gluten-free and paleo diets. This is in addition to the more than 60 restaurants and food trucks and 20 craft brewers all offering deliciousness for $2 to $5 per dish. There’s also a gigantic indoor family area with games and activities, a marketplace, live music and more. Admission is $15 on Saturday and Sunday, June 10-11. Fair Park, 3600 Grand Ave., Saturday-Sunday, $15, tasteofdallas.org. — Merritt Martin

The Lev Aronson Legacy Festival celebrates one of the greatest cello teachers ever. Aronson overcame physical and emotional tragedy during the Holocaust, and his story is one ultimately defined by triumph, talent and an immense passion for music education. This year’s fifth annual festival welcomes artists, listeners, teachers and skilled instrumentalists from all over the country to share in a week of multimedia performances, film screenings, concerts and cello teaching seminars. Aronson’s 19-year stint with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and his renowned teaching career at Southern Methodist University make the festival’s location, SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, both poignant and appropriate. The festival takes place Saturday, June 10, through Saturday, June 17. Concert events are $35; festival master classes are free and open to the public. SMU's Meadows School of the Arts, 1601 Bishop Blvd., through June 17, free-$35, levaronsonlegacy.com. — Jonathan Patrick

For five summers in a row, Sun to Moon Gallery has featured photographic prints captured by photographers who turned their lenses on the city of Dallas. The summertime tradition continues with Dallas x 5, a wide-ranging exhibition featuring photographic prints by Dan Burkholder, Charles Cramer, Scot Miller, Jill Skupin Burkholder and R.P. Washburne. While the five photographers are known for traveling in search of new and interesting subjects to photograph, in Dallas x 5, they took inspiration from locations ranging from iconic to off the beaten path all within just 15 minutes of Sun to Moon Gallery. Each photographer captured images highlighting the beautiful, distinctive and sometimes quirky sights found in the heart of the city, including the Trinity River, Great Trinity Forest, Trinity Forest Golf Club, Trinity Skyline Trail and State Fair of Texas. The opening reception for Dallas x 5 is free and starts at 5 p.m. Saturday, June 10, and the exhibit runs through Aug. 19. Sun to Moon Gallery, 1515 Levee St., 5 p.m., free, suntomoon.com. — Daniel Rodrigue

Sunday
(Sandy) Alex G
, formerly known as Alex G, is back after the longest hiatus of his career. Yep, a whole two years have passed since the release of Beach Music, but last month, the prodigious songwriter released Rocket and reclaimed the adoration of every major music blog in existence. It’s what he’s done ever since 2014’s cult hit, “DSU.” On Rocket, the 24-year-old’s seventh album since 2010, (Sandy) Alex G continues to experiment, straying from the acoustic bedroom pop that has earned him comparisons to Elliott Smith and adding banjos, synths, keys and distorted vocals. The blunt lyricism and wonderful songwriting are still present, however. The album deals with the theme of success and its challenges once achieved. If you haven’t heard it and want to before the show, it’s available on Bandcamp along with the rest of his catalog. Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., 7 p.m., $15, dadadallas.com. — Mikel Galicia

Berklee alumnus Nigel Newton and Dallas native Brianne Sargent first met in 2011 during an impromptu show, resulting in three original songs on the spot. They are now known as Skinny Cooks. With an impressive horn section backing them up and a penchant for mixing jazz, 20th-century classical, funk and psychedelic rock, the result is a sound that defies genre norms. Sundown at Granada, 3520 Greenville Ave., 9 p.m., free, granadatheater.com. — Diamond Victoria

Sundays are made for following garage sale signs through neighborhoods in hopes of finding new records, pieces of furniture or other knickknacks. Relishing in others’ throwaway curiosities is a feeling unlike any you can find in retail shops. But if trudging from one stranger’s home to another to get your fix of whatnots doesn’t fit in your schedule, and you prefer to sip on a happy hour cocktail while inking your fingers with old books and other collectables, Three Links' June Garage Sale, hosted by the venue and Kaia Bellanca Art, is where you want to be. The community garage sale, which runs from 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday, June 11, at Three Links, is free to attend with limited booth space for locals to sell art, vinyl, clothing and other mementos. Three Links, 2704 Elm St., 2-7 p.m., free, see Facebook. — Diamond Victoria

Monday
Great art doesn’t come from painting what you can see. It comes from what you didn’t know you could see. Artist Arthur Peña, the co-founder of Deadbolt Studios and a visiting lecturer at Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts, lets his paintings develop and be shaped as he moves from painting to painting. He lets each work guide the next as his subconscious plays with the canvas through his masterful skills. See how the exciting artist produces breathtaking works of abstract art in his exhibition A Place for Everything, No Time for Nothing, a painting series that took almost four years to produce. The leather-goods retailer Coach will showcase Peña’s latest exhibition from Wednesday, June 7, to Sunday, June 25, at its store in NorthPark Center. Admission is free. NorthPark Center, 8687 N. Central Expressway, through June 25, free. — Danny Gallagher

Something Rotten is the latest Broadway sensation to visit the Winspear Opera House.
Something Rotten is the latest Broadway sensation to visit the Winspear Opera House.
courtesy ATTPAC

Tuesday
Something Rotten is a bawdy love letter to theater, a musical that pays tribute (and makes fun of) all the groundbreaking musicals before it, and a play that both acknowledges the omnipresence and brilliance of Shakespeare and understands that he can be a bit tiresome. The show examines the trials and travails of Nick and Nigel Bottom, two of Shakespeare’s contemporaries who just can’t seem to get ahead, in no small part because of the Bard’s corner on the theatrical marketplace. They enlist Nostradamus for some insight that may help them upset Shakespeare’s reign — only to find themselves producing a ridiculous paean to breakfast food, thanks to a little soothsaying misstep. The show is rambunctious, chock-full of double entendres and bursting at the seams with high-energy antics. Shows run from Tuesday, June 13, through Sunday, June 25, at the Winspear Opera House. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sundays. Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., 7:30 p.m., $25-$200, attpac.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra doesn’t believe in making you wait until July to hear some epic Americana under the great wide open. And it doesn’t hold off on musical fireworks either. The DSO Parks Concerts bring fun, classical music to venues across Dallas with lively performances perfect for the whole family. The roster of works includes increasingly familiar tunes starting with Bernstein’s Candide Overture and Still’s Afro-American Symphony: 3rd Movement (Animato). Film favorite John Williams can be heard via his music from The Cowboys, Star Wars and Superman, and no concert in the park would be complete without some John Philip Sousa (“Washington Post March” and “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” naturally). Admission is free, and concerts start at 8:15 p.m. Shows are Tuesday, June 13, at Timberglen Park, 3810 Timberglen Road; Wednesday, June 14, at Kidd Springs Park, 700 W. Canty St.; and Thursday, June 15, at Paul Quinn College, 3837 Simpson Stuart Road. Timberglen Park, 8:15 p.m., free, mydso.com. — Merritt Martin

Wednesday
Watching even a video of Nathan Laube at the organ is mesmerizing. It’s as though his body is suspended somewhere in the vicinity of the bench, his limbs weightless and moving in opposition yet choreographed together. It’s almost impossible not to wonder: How can the human body possibly make that much noise at once and make it sound so beautiful? How does one master such a gigantic and imposing instrument at such a young age? Footage of Laube at a mere 19 is mind-boggling. Laube, now in his late 20s, serves as assistant professor of organ at the Eastman School of Music when he’s not touring and seeking time with all the great organs the world has to offer, such as the Lay Family Concert Organ at the Meyerson Symphony Center. He performs there at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 14, as part of the Opus 100 Organ Series. Tickets are $19 to $29. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St., 7:30 p.m., $19-$29, mydso.com. — Merritt Martin

Anyone who’s sat down at a computer and stared long enough at the blinking line knows the agony of writer’s block. It happens to every writer, from poets to fiction writers to journalists. Perhaps one method of remedying this creative frustration could be a glass or two of wine. But if you’re really looking to get some constructive feedback on existing work or newly conceived ideas, you need insight from other wordsmiths. And from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 14, writers cut from all cloths will meet at Deep Vellum Books for the Writer’s Bloc writing workshop hosted by poet and writer Craig Nydick. This biweekly workshop aims to help anyone who needs to get his or her creative juices flowing. Deep Vellum Books, 3000 Commerce St., 6-8 p.m., free, see Facebook. — Diamond Victoria


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