Things To Do

22 Awesome Things to Do in Dallas This Weekend, May 21 - 24

Your long weekend is on its way. On your way home this afternoon, you'll want to pop into the corner store grab a 12 pack of Shiner Prickly Pear, stick them in your fridge, and then save them for Monday. Because there's a lot to do around Dallas until then. We've got plays you'll need to see, festivals to attend, music to listen to, and even a parking lot pool party for you. Culture is out there, just waiting for you to come and get it. Here we've compiled a few things for you to start.

Thursday, May 21
Radio Golf
With the recent resurgence of development taking place all across Dallas, mostly south Dallas, what is more appropriate than a story of similar nature? Well, you're in luck! Starting on the 21st, African American Repertory Theatre is presenting Radio Golf. The play depicts an Ivy-League graduated lawyer attempting to redevelop a poverty-stricken area of Philadelphia all the while trying to become Philly's first black mayor. However, things become a little more complicated when an original tenant won't budge on their rightful home. If you'd like to see possible modern day prophecy of what happens when building development meets conflict with a twist of betrayal, then definitely head over to Wyly Theatre (2400 Flora St.). For $20 tickets, go to - Lucas Buckels

Michelle with Wet Eyeballs
Of late, a small group of young thespians have been popping up all over the city producing plays in galleries, in warehouses, in houses. Really, whatever they can get their hands on. This weekend, a new piece by playwright Claire Carson takes over a house on University Blvd. Here's her description: A short play about three fellas, self-immolation, and a young lady with weapon skin who may or may not be keeping up with her eyeball drying. See it in preview at 8:30 p.m. Thursday for $5, or Saturday through Monday for $10. More here.

Ahhh, Paris. The city of love, romance, and...the American Dream? Second Thought Theatre's second show of the season, Belleville, explores the turbulence of a successful couple's young marriage in regards to trust, security and secrets. This truly becomes a story of "how well do you know the person that you're sleeping with". Did I mention that a few of their showings are going to be "Pay-What-You-Want"? See it in preview at 8 p.m. Thursday or opening night at 8 p.m. Friday; the show runs through June 13. So, if you're looking for that date to make your current relationship all that more attractive or if you're looking to take a cheap "overseas vacation", then you should find yourself going to Bryant Hall (3636 Turtle Creek Blvd) to see how romance and the American Dream turn out in lovely Belleville. Go to for more information. - Lucas Buckels

Friday, May 22
The Firestorm 
The Firestorm is what would happen if the people behind House of Cards, Scandal, and NPR all came together for story time: a mash-up of political scandal, a marriage on the brink, and a public relations nightmare that creates a thrilling night of theater. The premise for the play is this: a white gubernatorial candidate and his African-American wife are thrust into an imbroglio when a racially-tinged prank from his fraternity days comes to light. His wife, a successful woman by her own right, is then put in the uncomfortable position of not only having to help secure the black vote and appeal to traditional voters, but also defend her husband against charges of racism. It’s a timely piece that delves into the interplay between power, race and gender…and examines the toll that our past transgressions can take. Meridith Friedman’s potent tale of a very public woman under pressure sees its first production as part of the National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere Program—in which the playwright works together with the production team to adjust and update the play as it is rolled out—with Kitchen Dog Theater at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney, beginning 8 p.m. Friday. Shows are at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through June 27, with occasional 2 p.m. Sunday matinees. Tickets are $13 to $36 at - Jennifer Davis-Lamm

In Bloom
"April showers bring May flowers," is an expression Kettle Art takes seriously. For the May exhibition, the gallery invites artists to plant flowers on their canvas and take it from there. This group show includes Frank Campagna, Brad Albright, Johnny Hawkins, Theresa Mangum, among others. See it in opening reception from 7-10 p.m. Friday. 

Bret Ernst
Bret Ernst has no qualms calling himself a “Jersey guido” but unlike the usual, stereotypical meatheads you see on TV and film, he has the smarts to step outside of his overly tanned persona and see the ridiculousness of him and his people. He’s like a newly matured man-child with friends who still can’t see the absurdity of celebrating Spring Break at age 47 or how far we’ve come from the dark days of renting roller skates from the roller rink. He got his big break as one of the headliners on Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Tour who has also appeared on shows such as E!’s “Chelsea Lately,” Showtime’s “Weeds” and “CSI: NY.” He’a also made appearances on Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend,” “Comics Unleashed,” “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” and the Showtime series “Comics Without Borders.” He’ll perform six shows at the Addison Improv (4980 Belt Line Road) at 8 p.m., Thursday, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15 to $25 for the Thursday and Sunday shows and $17 to $27 for the Friday and Saturday shows. Tickets are available at - Danny Gallagher

If you Google “MSHR,” the top results are for programs that offer a Master of Science in Human Resources. Dig a little deeper, and add “Portland” or “art” to you rsearch and you'll find a number of articles and video about the collaborative artists / band, MSHR. The duo creates sculptural synthesizers, ritualistic performances and installations derived from an interest in the xploration of the human as it relates to sound and light. This shit looks crazy. They'll be performing at 8 p.m. Friday at OFG.XXX (209 S. Peak St.). Admission is free. More at -LS

American Denial Screening 
It seems the excuse often offered by people these days for not having an open conversation about race is a lack of forum. How, who, where, and why to talk openly are all questions that turn into excuses to ignore the subject. Not this weekend, thanks to the South Dallas Cultural Center, which will host a community conversation after a screening of American Denial, a film that explores how unconscious bias impacts equitable treatment of fellow human beings. Be there at 7 p.m. Admission is free. -LS

Improv Dallas
Looking for a few laughs? Need someone funny in your life? Imrpov Dallas wants to fill that comedic hole in your heart. The troupe performs this weekend at the Margo Jones Theatre in Fair Park. Show starts at 8:30 p.m. Friday and they're promising belly laughs. $10 at the door.

Free Admission to Meadows Museum 
This weekend, in celebration of the museum's 50th anniversary and in honor of Memorial Day, the Meadows Museum will be offering free admission during its regular hours: 10 to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. This is part of the museum's participation in Blue Star Museums, a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, which offers free admission to active duty military personnel at more than 2,000 museums across America through Labor Day. This weekend you can check out the exhibition of John Alexander's latest paintings. 

Saturday, May 23
Thai Culture and Food Festival
At the inaugural Thai Culture and Food Festival last year, the prevailing sentiment seemed to be “this is fantastic…but why are they just now doing this?” And indeed, it was fantastic: the grounds of The Buddhist Center of Dallas, 8484 Stults, was turned into a vivid center for dance, music, Muy Thai boxing, and foooood. All of the food. The Buddhist temple onsite was opened to the public, and the trip up the stairs to view it was awe-inspiring. The Thai community was open and welcoming—at one point, a group of little old ladies delighted in cajoling a visiting toddler into trying several different native dishes, heaping praise on the kiddo for taking a bite of a curry. It was an inclusive, busy, beautiful little celebration of all things Thai that was so seamless and well-organized that it seemed like it was something that had been going on for years. But, surprisingly, last year was the first time for this event—and it carries on into its sophomore effort from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Sunday. Get there early for the best selection of inexpensive food from local Thai establishments, and stick around for colorful performances, religious rituals, sporting demonstrations, and a Thai market with trinkets and clothing. Admission and parking are free; visit -JDL

Jack 80's Prom
Are you ready to drunkenly sing and dance to “Can’t Stop Believin’” at the top of your lungs? Have you had the recent urge to grab a stranger’s face and kiss them right on the lips while Prince’s “Kiss” played in the background? Does the thought of dancing to “Thriller” by Michael Jackson make you warm inside? Have you ever thought about just doing prom all over again? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you are in so much luck because the Jack FM is hosting Jack’s ‘80s Prom on May 23 at the Granada Theater (3524 Greenville Ave.). To pump yourself up for the big night, Granada Theater also will host a week of classic ‘80s movies. Don’t be a loser this time around. Dress ‘80s and enjoy. More at - Paige Skinner 

SHAPES Zines Pop-up Shop
The evolution of zine culture has been something of a curvy trajectory—starting in the early 20th century with DIY science fiction pulps where Isaac Asimov and even L.Ron Hubbard honed their skills, and winding through the punk years of the 1970s, the riot girl era of the early 1990s, and the underground art scene in latter years. The cut-and-paste ethos has managed to stay intact despite the glossier lure of the Internet—and that’s ultimately the legacy of the zine. It’s not so much that any one piece of DIY-collated articles, art and photos will ever be singularly recognized by the art world or even main stream—it’s that zines collect and cultivate an aesthetic that thrives, endures and inspires the people that they touch, from riot girls to artists to gamers. Local artist and zine enthusiast Randy Guthmiller embraces the potential of the zine to foster creative community—his own DIY publication, SHAPES, aims to stimulate conversation about art, and he’s also working to bring together zine-makers from all backgrounds with his SHAPE ZINES Pop-Up event, from 2 until 7 p.m. Saturday at The Reading Room, 3715 Parry. The zine-laden affair will feature a diverse crop of work from Guthmiller’s zine publishing house, including zines focused on poetry, drawings, photos, musings, and short stories: admission is free. Visit for more. -JDL

Truly, Madly
n a conversation with gallerist Brian Gibb, he shared that one of his biggest professional regrets was a missed chance for The Public Trust to be the first exhibitor of a now big-name artist. It's one of the reasons he pounced on collaborative photographers, Kasumi Chow and Desiree Michelle Espada. These two artist create staged photographs rich with complicated narrative. One of their pieces to display in a gallery was in the recent Public Trust re-opening at the new location, 2271 Monitor St. Don't miss your chance to see these super cool works by two emerging artists in their first exhibition, Truly, Madly, from 6-9 p.m. Saturday, or during regular gallery hours, noon- 5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, or noon – 6 p.m. Saturdays, through June 20. More at -LS

Little D Urban Bazaar
Little D Markets is teaming up with Urban Bazaar to host some local vendors at Community Beer Company (1530 Inspiration Dr.). If you are into live music, craft beer, food trucks, and local vendors (and you are), then this is something you do not want to miss. Some local vendors include Dotted Line Jewelry, LemonGlaze, Sissy’s Soaps and more. The food and drinks will come from Company Beer Company, Steel City Pops, Live Tribal, Texas Burrito Company, Chez Flo, Dallas Caramel Company, and more. Attendance is free and beer tickets are available for purchase for anyone of drinking age. The event is from noon to 6 p.m. May 23. -Paige Skinner

One Month in Dallas
Germany-based artist Reinhold Engberding's latest project is something between found object art and adopt-a-highway clean up initiative. For the past month, he has been exploring Dallas by bike and on foot collecting our detritus. He's washed these items, cared for them, and he has now arranged them based on where he found them in a sort of visual map on the walls of Beefhaus, 833 Exposition Ave. See the exhibition in an opening reception from 4-7 p.m. Saturday. -LS

WCD Project
Dallas-based visual artist Francisco Moreno must've pulled the lucky toothpick, as he provides only local art component. His project is part large-scale painting and part automotive performance. Interested in themes of American imagery, he has re-conceived the Emanuel Leutze painting, "Washington Crossing the Delaware," in abstract language, employing the World War II tactic of painting boats in dazzle camouflage. He's then installed a monstrous engine inside a 1975 Datsun Z, and his brother will perform doughnuts in the car in front of his painting. It is a commentary on growing up Mexican-American, but it sounds like it's going to be really freaking cool. See it in performance at 8 p.m. Saturday in the green warehouse in Trinity Groves (2900 Bataan St.). Admission is free. -LS

Old School Vinyl Hip-Hop With DJ Love
This bookstore/coffee shop/gathering spots is easily one of our favorites. This weekend, you can indulge in an aural history of hip-hop with DJ Love while relaxing in The Wild Detectives’ beautiful backyard. DJ Love will play hip-hop throughout the decades and across genres from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m., giving you the perfect soundtrack for thumbing through a new book or enjoying a great cocktail. - Amy McCarthy

Bradley Cruse: Chance
Bradley Cruse, a student and artist at the University of Texas at Dallas, will present the culmination of his MFA work, Chance, at CentralTrak starting on May 23. Cruse’s work in new media uses “advanced technology to detail the impact of chance on the human psyche,” and focuses on techniques used in the film and gaming industry to explore this topic. CentralTrak will host an opening reception for the exhibition on May 23. -AM

Sunday, May 24
Parkin' Lot Pool Party
Leave it to the Double Wide to throw a pool party in their parking lot. This now annual Memorial Day weekend party, kicks off at 1 p.m. Sunday, there will be DJs all day and $3 Mama Mosa's and punch., plus food trucks. No cover. Bikinis mandatory. 

Margarita Meltdown
A visit to your favorite Tex-Mex restaurant is not complete without an ice cold margarita. Scratch that. A visit to any restaurant in Dallas isn't complete without an ice cold margarita. Don't believe me? Just live outside of Texas for a few years and see how much you'll miss them. This weekend drink more than your fair share of lime juice and Milagro tequila at Margarita Meltdown from 4-9 p.m. Sunday in the Bishop Arts District (intersection of Bishop and Davis Streets). Vote for your favorite to be crowned this year's winner. Tickets are $30 online, and $35 at the door. More information at

Salute to the Armed Forces
Sticking around Dallas this Memorial Day weekend? You’re smart. You miss the gnarled traffic and the inevitable hangover-laden trip home, but you still get plenty of ways to celebrate a three-day-weekend here in the Metroplex. There are festivals galore, arts events, and sweet tributes to the our nation’s troops and first responders that will make you glad you stuck it out and stayed Big D-side—including a free concert from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra from 8 p.m. until 10 p.m. Sunday at the Muse Family Performance Pavilion in Klyde Warren Park, 2012 Woodall Rodgers. The DSO, conducted by Jaap van Zweden, will work their woodwind, percussions, and strings for a powerful program entitled “Salute to the Armed Forces”, which includes all the patriotic favorites you’d expect, plus a specially commissioned video program produced in collaboration with artist Monte Laster and students from Booker T. Washington High School. See for further information about this close-to-home tribute. - JDL

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Lauren Smart
Contact: Lauren Smart