21 Best Things to Do in Dallas This Week: April 25-May 1

Sample food from 40 Dallas restaurants at the Observer's Iron Fork event at Fair Park on Wednesday.
Sample food from 40 Dallas restaurants at the Observer's Iron Fork event at Fair Park on Wednesday.
Melissa Hennings
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Tue 4/25
Cite and release, Dallas’ newly approved policy on marijuana possession, means possessing less than 4 ounces of marijuana won't mean an automatic trip to jail. But don’t get too excited. This is a far cry from decriminalization, and some may feel more safe living vicariously through the two kings of kush, Cheech and Chong. At 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, Alamo Drafthouse gives you that opportunity with their Hopped Up Cinema series featuring the 1978 cult classic Cheech and Chong’s Up In Smoke, a flight of five local brews and a commemorative glass. The flight is slated to include a brown ale, a light honey-rye, an IPA, a porter and a saison from the Trinity Grove neighborhood brewery, Four Corners Brewing Company. Alamo Drafthouse, 100 S. Central Expressway, Richardson, 7 p.m., $37.89, drafthouse.com/dfw. — Diamond Victoria

Wed 4/26
Reading can be such a chore. The nonprofit literary group Wordspace has come up with a new breakthrough innovation in reading called the Pegasus Reading Series. All you do is show up to the Kettle Arts Gallery at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, and a series of state-of-the-art authors and writers will do all the reading for you. Simply sit back and relax with your favorite beverage as authors including John Andrews, Lauren Brazel, Glenn Shaheen and Nadia Wolnisty read excerpts from their latest works and books. You get to hear all four of these authors in one sitting for the low, low price of absolutely nothing. Kettle Arts Gallery, 2650 Main St., 7 p.m., free, wordspacedallas.com. — Danny Gallagher

An honest account of love, betrayal and an impending revolution, Norma (written in 1831 by Vincenzo Bellini with a libretto by Felice Romani) is filled with clashing cultures, romantic intrigue and despair. The Dallas Opera hosts the masterpiece for the first time at the Winspear Opera House. The opera tells the tale of a love triangle set during the Roman occupation of Gaul in 50 B.C. The title character and Druid high priestess (soprano Elza van den Heever) finds out her lover, a Roman proconsul (tenor Yonghoon Lee), has been unfaithful. Insanity ensues. Performances continue through May 7. Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., 7:30 p.m., $19 and up, dallasopera.org. — Diamond Victoria

Dallas foodies' Christmas is almost here: Iron Fork. Unlimited food samples; a generous sampling of cocktails, beer and wine; and a live cooking competition all promise to make Iron Fork the fine food event of the season. More than 40 of Dallas’ most eclectic and en vogue restaurants will be represented by some of the most talented chefs our city has to offer. This year’s Chef Challenge pits Aaron Staudenmaier of Lovers Seafood & Market against Fearing’s Eric Dreyer. Centennial Hall, 1001 Washington St., 7 p.m., $45 and up, observerironfork.com. — Jonathan Patrick

The three-day USA Film Festival features 28 screenings and special events celebrating the best of independent cinema in all of its forms and genres. This year’s festivities will include shorts by Karen Allen and Sharon Lawrence; a special screening of the 1959 classic The Best of Everything with a special appearance by its star Diane Baker; and a screening of Simpsons voice star Nancy Cartwright’s first penned film, In Search of Fellini, featuring a Q&A with the writer and cast. The festival runs through Sunday. Visit usafilmfestival.com for showtimes and ticket prices. Angelika Film Center, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, Wednesday through Sunday, usafilmfestival.com. — Danny Gallagher

Thu 4/27
Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons
is a collection of violin concerti meant to evoke the awesome forces of nature. And somehow, impossibly, it succeeds. Few pieces stick to your bones the way the Four Seasons does – its imagery and textures will rattle around in your skull for days after listening. Opening with the jubilant, pastoral grace of “Spring” and closing with the crystalline edge and lurching fatalism of “Winter,” Four Seasons is as poignant as it is entertaining. As the gorgeously rendered “Summer” concerto – with its twitchy euphoria and heated moods – gives way to the caramel-colored tones of “Autumn,” Vivaldi seems to ask: “Can man-made music approach the beauty of nature?” The fact that the Four Seasons all but demands a resounding “Yes!” is enough to cement Vivaldi’s place as one of the most commanding music-makers to ever live. Beethoven’s own pastoral opus, Symphony No. 6, also makes the program. Matthew Hall conducts. There are four performances: 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 27, 28 and 29, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 30. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St., 7:30 p.m. $47 and up, mydso.org. — Jonathan Patrick

PJ Harvey's live appearances around these parts are few and far between. Discounting a canceled 2004 gig at the old Gypsy Tea Room, the last time the English chanteuse appeared in Dallas was as the opening act for U2 in 2001. Thursday night will find her anchoring The Bomb Factory, a cavernous and utilitarian venue, in support of The Hope Six Demolition Project, released last year. Tunes like "The Community of Hope" and "The Wheel" are appropriate anthems for uncertain times. So venture down to Deep Ellum and catch this musical tour-de-force before another decade passes. The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 8:30 p.m., $59.50, thebombfactory.com. — Jeff Strowe

The Dallas Medianale made a splash back in 2015 with an extended lineup of experimental media art presented in film, video installations and weird and wonderful manipulations of screen time. Now the biennial festival is back, kicking off with a trippy night of film featuring avant-garde artist Tony Conrad. Thursday, the Texas Theatre will screen the documentary Tony Conrad: Completely in the Present, followed by a hallmark hallucinogenic Conrad piece from 1966, The Flicker. Afterward, enjoy a Behind the Screen musical performance that pays tribute to Conrad. Tickets are $6 to $14 at prekindle.com. The Medianale festival continues through Sunday, April 30, with screenings and performances at a variety of venues. Find a full listing of events on Facebook. Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., 7:30 p.m., $6-$14, see Facebook. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

English chanteuse PJ Harvey plays Dallas Thursday for the first time in over a decade.EXPAND
English chanteuse PJ Harvey plays Dallas Thursday for the first time in over a decade.
Maria Mochnacz

Fri 4/28
Festivals and fairs are often less about the artists, food or bounce houses and more about appreciating something together with your neighbors and stranger-friends. Don’t get us wrong, the art is what gets you there – or in the case of Southlake’s Art in the Square carrying on Friday-Sunday in the Southlake Town Square, the art shopping, family-friendly entertainment and readily available concessions. With more than 150 artists from all parts of the country showing and selling wares ranging from fine oils to unique ceramics to covetable pieces of jewelry, Art in the Square is a destination for families, novice collectors and those who just want to stroll and look. Admission is free, but tickets are required for food, drink and children’s activities (think face-painting and bounce houses). Live entertainment is scheduled on two stages all three days, with Marshall Tucker Band headlining at 8:15 p.m. Saturday. Visit artinthesquare.com for complete details, including kiosk and grounds maps. Southlake Town Square, 1560 E. Southlake Blvd., Friday-Sunday, free, artinthesquare.com. — Merritt Martin

David Sedaris has made a stop in Dallas yearly for the past eight years, and yet it’s almost impossible to fight off the urge to see him again. You could probably see him monthly for, like, ever and still never get tired of his impish high jinks, his bizarre observations, his off-kilter family tales and the occasional outrageously inappropriate joke. Last year’s stop saw him trot out a play on words related to a filthy sex act that left a woman in front of us entirely stone-faced and scandalized while the rest of the theater doubled over in hysterics. His gift is an ability to find the absurd in situations banal, poignant or even straight-up tragic – and we’re here for it each and every time. Join him at the Winspear Opera House. Winspear Opera House 2403 Flora St., 7:30 p.m., $35-$75, attpac.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff, two of the most memorable stars and writers from the long-running, cult TV classic Mystery Science Theater 3000, are joining forces again to take down some of the worst cinematic marvels ever to hit a movie screen in their live comedy show “The Mads Are Back.” The guys who played the evil Dr. Forrester and TV’s Frank will make two live appearances at the Alamo Drafthouse Richardson Friday for an evening of movie mockery. Alamo Drafthouse, 100 S. Central Expressway, Richardson, 8 p.m., $27.06, drafthouse.com/dfw. — Danny Gallagher

The American architect Frank Lloyd Wright called architecture the “Mother Art,” the reservoir from which all other art forms flow. A properly designed building, he noted, was something that could transform lives and alter the way we perceive the world around us. The Wyly Theatre is one such building – one of the most brilliant gems of the architectural exhibit that is the Dallas Arts District. Ready to be transformed? Bring your formal attire and an appetite for fine food and exquisite design to The Beaux Arts Ball, presented by The American Institute of Architecture Students. There will be socializing and cocktails and hors d’oeuvres by Wolfgang Puck, but the real treat is spending a night in the Wyly Theatre’s otherworldly atmosphere. In the belly of its ghostly concrete, metal grids and brute futurism, every moment becomes an experience to remember. The Beaux Arts Ball begins at 6:30 p.m. (with tours between 7-9 p.m.) Friday. Wyly Theatre, 2400 Flora St., 6:30 p.m., $30 and up, aiasbab2017.eventbrite.com.— Jonathan Patrick

Ever wandered through the Perot Museum of Nature and Science (or any museum, for that matter), and thought, “This is amazing, but there’s about one-third too many people, and I could use a cocktail.” If so, the Perot’s themed, 21-and-up Social Science event every other month is worthy of a prime place on the calendar. Admission – $15 for members and $25 for non – allows for browsing the permanent exhibitions (special exhibition admission can be added in a combo), digging on special performances or presentations and partaking in all the interactivity one can handle with a signature cocktail in hand (available for purchase from one of the bars peppered through the museum). April’s Elemental-themed event takes place from 7-11 p.m. Friday, April 28. Perot Museum, 2201 N. Field St., 7 p.m., $15-$25, perotmuseum.org. — Merritt Martin

Sat 4/29
If Bill Nye is known as “The Science Guy,” then Alton Brown should be known as “The Food Science Guy.” He’s an award-winning food writer and author, a TV host and a damn good chef, but he does more than just show you how to cook food. He digs down deep into every ingredient and shows what has to happen to it on a molecular level in order to make a great meal. For 13 years, he hosted the beloved Food Channel show Good Eats, and his fans have been clamoring for a return ever since its absence. Brown is taking his show on the road to deliver entertaining and enlightening food instructions on a stage with his “Eat Your Science” tour in which the Good Eats host explains what goes into making a great meal. Brown will appearance live on stage in Dallas for two shows at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Majestic Theater. Majestic Theater, 1925 Elm St., 3:30 and 7:30 p.m., $52.50-$125, axs.com. — Danny Gallagher

The North Texas music festival scene may be saturated, but no other festival has promised “a cultural experience that will include multiple creative disciplines” like the inaugural Fortress Festival has. Holding court in the heart of Fort Worth’s Cultural District, with stages set up on the grounds of the Will Rogers Memorial Center and the reflecting pond at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the festival is certainly one of a kind. Headliners Run The Jewels and Purity Ring top a bill loaded with internationally recognized acts such as Flying Lotus, Slowdive and Peter Hook & The Light. Some of the brightest local acts in the region round out the bill, including Blue, The Misfit, Sam Lao, Quaker City Night Hawks, Bobby Sessions and Cure For Paranoia. Between acts, Fortress Festivals offers attendees an opportunity to stroll the Kimbell and Amon Carter museums. Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St., $65+, fortressfestival.com — Mikel Galicia

Do you find history to be a little dry? Then you’ve been doing it wrong. Trying to drill dates and names into your head has its function, sure, but research shows that experiential learning is best. And obviously, experiential learning punctuated with food and libations is optimal (though the research on that is still … fluid). Dallas Heritage Village, our city’s one-stop-shop for glimpses into the past, aims to raise funds for continued experiential learning for kids and adults during their annual History with a Twist function at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 29. Guests will step back in time to the 1940s for the night, donning vintage togs and making their way down Main Street to sample 1940s Southern cuisine from Top Chef’s Tiffany Derry and throwback cocktails from Charlie Papaceno. The Singapore Slingers will be on hand for soundtrack purposes, cranking out pre-swing and jazz tunes, and Elaine Hewlett will be offer retro dance lessons. Dallas Heritage Village, 1515 S. Harwood St., 6 p.m., $125-$250, dallasheritagevillage.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

MST3K is back, and so are its stars Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff. They'll perform their live riffing show at Alamo Drafthouse Friday.
MST3K is back, and so are its stars Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff. They'll perform their live riffing show at Alamo Drafthouse Friday.
courtesy Joe Martin

Sun 4/30
If televised singing competitions have taught us one thing, it's that you want to compete, but not win. With the exception of Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, the American Idol contestants who've had the healthiest careers are those who got the axe at the finale or shortly before. Case in point, Arlington native Todrick Hall, who was eliminated in the 2010 semifinals but has gone on to accrue over two million Youtube subscribers, lead roles on Broadway and now is touring his musical, Straight Outta Oz, which he wrote, choreographed and stars in. The show is an adaptation of L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz, based on Hall's own experiences moving to and seeking fame in Los Angeles, and it stops at the Bomb Factory (2713 Canton St.) at 8 p.m. Sunday, April 30. Tickets to the family friendly spectacle are $20 at thebomfactory.com. The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., 8 p.m., $20, thebombfactory.com. — Caroline North

The last time Bill Maher had a comedy show in town, he never made it. The host of Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher and Real Time with Bill Maher was first supposed to perform at the Music Hall in Fair Park on Jan. 22 but the show was canceled because of mechanical issues with his plane. Maher returns to the Music Hall in Fair Park Sunday to set things right with an evening of sharp, satiric comedy that’s probably going to feature more than a few jabs at our new president. Tickets will go on sale at the Music Hall’s box office one and a half hours before the show. Ticket holders who purchased seats for Maher’s canceled January show will be able to get into the upcoming Sunday show with their previous tickets. Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 1st Ave., 7:30 p.m., liveatthemusichall.com. — Danny Gallagher

Would the world of art be so rich if it weren’t tempered with periods of great conflict? Meadows School of the Arts and Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet’s presentation of Futurisme à Pied is a brilliant example: The two-act performance offers an array of Dadaist/Futurist stagings from and inspired by the period between World War I and World War II. Part outrageous, part triumphant, part challenging, the evening is a celebration of movement, of the body, of the machine. Act 1 begins at 7 p.m. in the Dallas City Performance Hall with a centennial celebration and restaging of Erik Satie’s Parade, featuring modern costuming and live accompaniment by SMU’s SYZYGY. DNCB artistic director, Emilie Skinner, closes out Act 1 with the Dadaist 361, inspired by the iconic magazine. Act II starts and ends with a premiere. First, 13 percussionists from SMU’s Meadow Percussion Ensemble provide the accompaniment for Ionisation. Airplane propellers and film provide a dramatic setting lauding parts and engines, perfect for Erin Boone’s choreography for George Antheil’s Ballet Mécanique. Dallas City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St., 7 p.m., $14-$44, ticketdfw.com. — Merritt Martin

They don't make cars like they used to. If you agree with that statement, you probably want to check out the All British & European Car Day at White Rock Lake Sunday, April 30. A bevy of car clubs from all over the city and even the state will be bringing their vintage Astin Martins, Fiats, Jaguars, and more to the lake's entrance at Buckner Boulevard and Lake Highlands Drive. First-, second-and third-place trophies will be awarded in a number of categories. The event starts at 9 a.m. and voting concludes at 2 p.m., with winners announced at 3. Bring a picnic to eat by the lake or buy a very appropriate one from food truck Great Australian Meat Pie Company. The event is free to attend, but you can register your car in advance for $25 at allbritishcarday.com. On-site registration is also available. Buckner Boulevard at Lake Highlands drive, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., free, allbritishcarday.com. — Caroline North

Mon 5/1
Dallas plays host to light-emitting diode, or LED, founder Dr. James R. Biard. But when Biard filed the patent for LED in 1961, he only earned a buck. That’s certainly not a lot, especially considering LEDs are one of today’s most energy-efficient lighting technologies. But it didn’t stop the Texas A&M University adjunct professor from filing 72 more patents in his now 60-plus year career in electrical engineering, including the optical isolator, the Schottky transistor, and metal oxide semiconductor read-only memory. Hear him speak on the importance of sophisticated technologies and companies coming together to revolutionize and develop the engineering industry at 3 p.m. Monday, May 1, at Southern Methodist University’s Palmer Conference Center for its second installment of the Distinguished Speaker Series. An RSVP is required by Thursday, April 27. Palmer Conference Center, 3145 Dyer St., 3 p.m., free, see Facebook. — Diamond Victoria

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