19 Awesome Things to Do This Weekend, May 1-4

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Another day, another dollar. This week, the wise words of Jay-Z are getting you through to the weekend, which arrives in approximately five more spreadsheets, 30 more emails, and one long meeting with the boss man, which you're hoping will lead to that raise they promised you last year. The economy is looking up and your work week draws to a close to make way for the overdue weekend. That's where we come in. We here at Mixmaster have organized this list stacked with plans, none of which take place in a cubicle. When you exit the office, don't scurry home. Get out and see Dallas at its best. And maybe, just maybe, you'll be celebrating that raise.

Plus, in case you didn't get the hint from the above picture, at least one activity on this list contains an abundance of dogs. How's that for a mood raiser?

Thursday, 5/1 The Magician Think of it as an adult pop-up book, meets graphic novel, meets art piece. It would be difficult to put this in any single category, because there's absolutely nothing traditional about this mysterious epic by Chris Byrne (co-founder of the Dallas Art Fair). We've been crazy about it since the first time we saw it and lucky for all of us, it's back Thursday at The Reading Room, 3715 Parry Ave. Catch the free opening reception from 7-9 p.m. Thursday. Or see it another time through May 17. Visit thereadingroom-dallas.blogspot.com.

Jellyfish Eyes The Dallas Museum of Art is the first of nine American museums to screen Japanese artist Takashi Murakami's live action film, Jellyfish Eyes. This rare chance to nerd out happens at 7 p.m. Thursday to be followed with a conversation between Murakami and DMA curator Gabe Ritter. Jellyfish Eyes is Muramaki's first venture into feature film making and blends live action with illustration to create what promises to be a heartwarming bildungsroman. The tickets were free and it looks like they were all snatched up, but you can probably get on a standby list if you show up early.

Tommy Davidson Do you remember In Living Color? You know, that sketch comedy show brought to us by the Wayan brothers. If so, you probably remember Tommy Davidson. He's posting up this weekend at the Arlington Improv with performances starting at 8 p.m. Thursday and repeats at various times through Sunday. Tickets are $20 through the box office, 817-635-5555.

Beethoven's 9th Symphony There's a three-week Beethoven Festival currently taking place, thanks to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Although you won't be able to hear his famous 5th Symphony (you know, those ominous chords: Duh Duh Duh Dum!), his 9th might be his next most familiar, with its transcendent "Ode to Joy" finale. Plus, it was the man's last full symphony. See at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and Monday at the Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St. Tickets range from $42 to $271. For more information, visit dallassymphony.com.

Mayfest Have you been outside yet today? It's absolutely beautiful in North Texas today. We won't make any predictions for this weekend, but our fingers are crossed. If the sunshine holds up, we'll be headed to Fort Worth's Mayfest, a four-day celebration of the great outdoors, with music, performing arts, duck races(!), dog and pony shows (!!), mazes, bungee jumping, shopping, petting zoos, and beer booths. Need I go on? Head to Trinity Park (2401 University Drive, Fort Worth) from 3:30 to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and then again from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8 for everyone 13 and up; $5 for 3- to 12-year-olds and seniors; and free for tykes 2 and younger. More info at mayfest.org.

Friday, 5/2 Texas Frightmare Weekend This weekend, the worst nightmares of TSA agents climb into reality when swarms of bloodthirsty horror film fans flock to the Hyatt Regency DFW Hotel for Texas Frightmare Weekend. Hopefully, they don't try to sneak their chain saws into a carry-on. This three-day celebration of gory, grimy movies gives even the garden-variety fan something to scream about. Panels feature everyone from Saw's Jigsaw Killer, Tobin Bell, to Dawn of the Dead creator and zombie proselytizer George Romero, as well as a reunion of the original cast of Creature from the Black Lagoon. After you stand in line to shake a few bloody hands, catch one of the modern horror movie screenings, which have an international flavor this year with flicks from Spain and Japan on the docket. Unlimited screaming costs $75; one-day passes are $30. For more information, visit texasfrightmareweekend.com.

Command Performance Gala The next time someone tells you dance is boring, point them to Texas International Theatrical Arts Society, or TITAS for short. For more than 30 years, this group has brought some of the world's most exciting dance troupes to Dallas. And no, "exciting dance" is not an oxymoron. Some of the performances incorporate comedy or new media, and many of them are drop-dead sexy. The annual Command Performance Gala is one of the company's signature events, bringing in some of the world's biggest names and choreography and also presenting TITAS-commissioned works. See the thrill of dance with your own eyes at 7 p.m. Friday at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. Tickets start at $12 and can be purchased at attpac.org.

Arab Film Festival Film introduces you to parts of the globe you may know nothing about, to things you've never experienced, to people you've never met. You can learn a lot by spending a day at the movies, even if it's just that Zac Efron defies the law of six abs to a pack. Of course, you could use your time more wisely and attend the second annual Arab Film Festival Texas, presented by University of North Texas' Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Institute. This three-day festival kicks off at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Angelika Film Center, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane. Catch the regional premiere of award-winning short and full-length films and documentaries that tell the stories of people from Palestine, Iraq, Tunisia and other Arab countries. Learn a little, be entertained and pat yourself on the back for being a responsible citizen of the world. The festival is free for students, $5 for one film ticket and $30 for a full festival pass. See the schedule at cams.unt.edu.

Ben Sansbury Exhibition at the Goss-Michael Foundation London-based artist Ben Sansbury's exhibition, Next, Now, Then, focuses on his experiementation with simplified serial sculptural forms. Also on display are Jaakko Pallasvuo's Nu Paintings and work by local artist Nathan Green. The opening reception takes place at the Foundation, 1405 Turtle Creek Boulevard, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday.

The Lyons Nothing brings a family together quite like the impending death of an aging grandparent. For most kids, this is the first experience of the void created by the extinguished candle of life. It's also the first experience many children have with savage familial honesty. Of course, when you're an adult, these experiences are less eye-opening and more painful, and the only way to get through them is find the humor, which is the crux of Nicky Silver's play The Lyons. This dark comedy about an aging man in a hospital surrounded by his children for his final days was called "deliciously dark and hilarious" when it premiered on Broadway. Uptown Players present the regional premiere of the play under the direction of Bruce R. Coleman. See it open at the Kalita Humphries Theatre, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd., at 8 p.m. Friday, or in another iteration through May 18. Tickets are $25 to $40 and available at uptownplayers.org.

Scottish Festival This weekend spend some time with the hammer throws, the highland dances, and maybe eat some haggis. Check out the Texas Scottish Festival Friday through Sunday at Mavericks Stadium at UT-Arlington. It's three days of continuous food, live music, dance and sport celebrating everything Scottish. There'll be four tents of music from a ton of bands, including Rathkeltair and acclaimed fiddler Brian McNeill. The festival kicks off at 5 p.m. Friday and picks up again at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $5 for children. Adult prices are $18 Saturday and $12 Friday and Sunday, or $30 for weekend pass. Visit texasscottishfestival.com to see a full schedule. Saturday, 5/3

DB14 Panel at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary Have you seen "DB14" around town and experienced a mental "WTF?" It's not code for some strange cult, it's a giant art show and it's happening in your city right now. Hear from some of the participating artists when the MAC hosts a DB14 Panel Discussion at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Cottonwood Arts Festival Richardson's semi-annual Cottonwood Art Festival is part music festival, part giant art show. Head to Cottonwood Park (1321 W. Belt Line Road, Richardson) from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday or 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday with works from more than 1,400 artists in fields from ceramics to two-dimensional mixed media. The weekend event will also feature live performances by Robert Gotcher, Randy Hopper and the Big Texas Boys, Texas Flood, Lone Star Attitude, Shoot Low Sheriff and many others. Entry to the festival is free.

New Work at 500x Gallery One of Dallas' oldest artist-run gallery spaces, 500x continues to present the work of local artists in an environment that allows them experiment and break down boundaries. See "New Paintings" by Timothy Harding and Shelby David Meier, as well new work by Cassie Phan, whose pigweasels uses object art and videos to explore the process of visual inquiry. Stop by the opening reception from 7-10 p.m. May 3 at 500X, 500 Exposition Ave.

Deep Ellum Urban Race and Block Party If you've ever thought about participating in The Amazing Race only to remember your crippling fear of air travel, we have exciting news. The Deep Ellum Urban Race and Block Party gives you a chance to race through the streets, solve puzzles, answer trivia and outwit your opponents to the finish line. The race starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, turning the streets of Deep Ellum into one giant puzzle. After you've declared victory (or defeat), head to the block party for music, food trucks and beer from Deep Ellum Brewing Co. Register solo for $40 or team up with friends for $65. The proceeds benefit Life in Deep Ellum, 2803 Taylor St., which serves as the starting line for the race. More information is available at lifeindeepellum.com.

Ansel Adams: Masterworks Anybody can print a copy of an Ansel Adams photograph. If you have access to your company's printer, you could do it right now, and you won't even need the color code, because his shots are black and white. But like any piece of art, there's something about knowing that the artist touched it, that after printing one of his landscape photographs, he considered it something worth sending out into the world. The Arlington Museum of Art, 201 W. Main St., plays host to Ansel Adams: Masterworks, a series of 48 photographs printed by the artist. His stunning shots of some of America's most breathtaking natural landmarks will be unveiled 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and the exhibition continues through August 3. Tickets to the museum are $8 for adults, $5 for students and seniors. Children 12 and younger are admitted free. More information is at arlingtonmuseum.org.

Sunday, 5/4 Star Wars Day at Klyde Warren Park Everything has its own holiday. In America, we have National Pie Day (yummy); in Spain, they have Goose Day, which is something worth a quick Google. But one holiday spans the galaxies. Star Wars Day is celebrated annually by the universe's nerds on May 4, because if you're Daffy Duck, when you say, "May the force be with you," it sounds a lot like "May the fourth be with you." You're clever, so you probably already realized that. Apparently for one day a year, the storm troopers aren't such bad dudes, because they will be in Klyde Warren Park (2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway) collecting books for kiddos at Children's Medical Center of Dallas. Snap a pic with good-deeding bad guys, greet your fellow nerds with the cheesy greeting and keep an eye out for Wookiees. Oh, and bring a book for the kids like the good citizen of Earth that you are. They'll be in the park's reading room from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday. More info is at klydewarrenpark.org.

Dog Bowl What could be better than a gathering of hundreds of dogs, running free on the field of the Cotton Bowl at Fair Park? That's clearly a rhetorical question, because nothing could be better. Big dogs, little dogs, old dogs, baby dogs (who doesn't love puppies?). Your dog loves you, now it's time to love her back and take her to the Dog Bowl from 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free, though parking on the grounds of Fair Park will run you $10. Visit fairpark.org for all the details.

Itzhak Perlman When Sunday rolls around and you realize that you've ignored the other items on this list and need to tack on a little culture before your brain melts, head to the Winspear Opera House (2403 Flora St.) to catch the classical superstar, Itzhak Perlman. This world-famous violinist plays as part of the recital series, taking the stage at 3 p.m. Sunday. . Tickets range from $20 to $100 and can be purchased at attpac.org.

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