Awesome Things to Do in Dallas This Weekend, June 18- 21: Block Party, Free Movies, Jungle Show

Thursday, June 18
Shakespeare in the Park

While it is summer and school is out, an adventure through every single Shakespearean play in ninety minutes is the best English lecture you'll ever have. Shakespeare in the Park is presenting The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged). As soon as one drama ends, the evening could take a sharp turn to a snort-laugh worthy comedy. Performances begin at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday and will play in repertory with Romeo and Juliet through July 24. Feel free to bring blankets and chairs for seating, as well as family, friends, a date, or even just yourself. This is the perfect chance for a cheap date with a lot of culture. Admission ranges from pay-what-you-can to $15. For more information about the series, go to shakespearedallas.org. -Lucas Buckels

Sip and Shop with Neobantu
Say goodbye to your paycheck when you stop by Erin Cluley Gallery tonight for the summer sip and shop the space is hosting with local designer Neobantu. There will be cocktails, art, shopping, and giveaways. Free admission. From 6-8 p.m. Thursday. 

The Lego Movie
Everyone is all hopped up on Chris Pratt right now. People are (probably, but hopefully not) overwhelming the leather cargo vest market as we speak, trying to replicate his look as Owen in this month’s . Ah, so quickly blockbusters change memories. We’d already pushed Andy Dwyer’s Mouse Rat to the back of our minds last year when Pratt showed up in leather (this time with sleeves) to serve as one of the . But he took on what might be his most endearing big­ budget role when he (and a million other big­name peeps from Will Ferrell to Morgan Freeman) gave voice to an “AWESOME!!” building­block character. Get another Pratt fix at 8:30 p.m. Thursday during the Fair Park Summer Movie Series screening of in Fair Park’s Exhibition Plaza, 3809 Grand Ave. Since the movie’s free (as is the whole series through July 30), spend that dough on concessions and food truck vittles that will keep your belly full while sweet, sweet handlesthe sharp­cornered heartwarming. Visit fairpark.org. - Merritt Martin

Precious Little
Language is a paradox. Words can have such a simple meanings and carry the most complicated emotions. That’s why the field of linguistics is such an intricate one. Understanding words is not a simple task, and yet sometimes it takes the smallest of gestures to convey complexities. Precious Little, the play by Madeline George, is an exploration of language, transitions and ambiguity through the eyes of a linguist who seeks comfort in the wake of an uncertain diagnosis related to her unborn child. Struggling with an undefined outcome, she seeks solace from a zoo gorilla that relates to its environment with very few words, and a woman who relates to her environment through a language that is soon to die out. Echo Theatre takes on the quirky rumination about the ways that we communicate at the Bath House Cultural Center, 521 East Lawther, at 8 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from June 4 until June 20; matinee performances are at 2 p.m. on Saturday June 13 and June 20. Tickets on Thursday are pay-what-you-can. -Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Ewing Night at Dallas Comedy House
Texas may not have left as big of a mark on the art of comedy as places like the Borscht Belt scene in the Catskills or Chicago’s storied Second City theater, but at least we’re trying. And for once we’re not referring to the fact that Rick Perry gave Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show some of its best material since Dick Cheney mistook lawyers for quail. What we’re talking about is our beloved Dallas Comedy House, which has come up with its own unique way to deliver comedy with its weekly Ewing Show, in which some of the club’s stellar performers create a fully improvised scene based on audience suggestions. See it at 9:30 p.m. on Thursday nights at the Dallas Comedy House, 2645 Commerce St for just $10 at the door. - Danny Gallagher

Friday, June 19
Arts District Summer Block Party 
Stay up late at the museums this Friday night. 'Til Midnight at the Nasher features a 7 p.m. concert from Quiet Company and a 9 p.m. screening of A Fish Called Wanda. And the Dallas Museum of Art will be open late. Swing through the neighborhood all night long. 

The Nance

By now, burlesque has become synonymous with strip show — and while that’s not entirely incorrect, it’s not the whole picture, either. Historically, burlesque has meant over-the-top, ribald performances that showcase physical comedy, gay performers and elements of the absurd, with sideshow entertainers like jugglers, fire-eaters, and yes … ladies who take it all off. takes us back to the era before it was all about pasties — it revels in bawdy entertainment and tells the story of a performer who markets flamboyance onstage, but is forced to tone it down when the lights go up. Ultimately, is a fun look back at burlesque in its naughty heyday and a tragic tale of the intersection of sexuality, self-image and identity. B.J. Cleveland stars as the titular nance in this production by Uptown Players, staged at Kalita Humphreys Theater (3636 Turtle Creek Blvd.) at 8 p.m. Friday. Additional shows are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through July 5. Tickets are $10 to $40 at uptownplayers.org. - JDL

Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy
The minds behind Cirque Dreams are a little different than the rest of ours: They dream in color, perceive movement as art, and push the limits of imagination as they conceive wild, acrobatic performances. revels in lush scenery straight from an earthy, green mirage and is filled with bending bodies, aerial feats and stunning costumes. The show puts Mother Nature on a stage and lets her shine through the trees — there are butterfly ballets, acrobatic monkeys, gymnastic frogs and other interpretations of the natural wonders inhabiting the jungles of our dreams. The show presents a signature blend of dance, music and visual delights on the stage at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25 to $85 at attpac.org. -JDL

The Defeatists
“Ever wonder what your life would look like if you had followed your dreams?” The Richardson Theatre Center has big plans for you. The promotional materials for , a comedy revue by The Defeatists, promise the show will not only make you a hero, but also make all of your fondest dreams come true. The show will present one lucky audience member with a vision of an alternate, less ordinary life, accomplished through songs, improv and sketches. We’re not exactly sure how The Defeatists will pull it off, but we’re certainly not ready to call their bluff. Show up just in case it proves to be the reawakening you need. It’s on at 8 p.m. Friday and then again at 8 p.m. June 25-27 at the Richardson Theatre Center (518 W. Arapaho Road, No. 113). Tickets are $15 at defeatists.ticketleap.com/greenerpastures. More info on the Richardson Theatre Center’s Facebook page. - Caroline North

Josh Blue
Last Comic Standing may be one of the more evil reality shows for how it has treated genuinely funny comedians and the way earlier episodes were rigged, but it produced some great talent when it gave his first shot at the spotlight. He not only became that season’s breakout star but he also won the top prize. He clearly deserved it more than any other comic on the stage, and not just because of his physical handicap. Blue has no problem making fun of his experiences with cerebral palsy. He lets the audience have fun with it and he’s also a quick wit. He can roast hecklers and comedians with the best of them. See Blue’s unique wit for yourself when he makes a stop at Hyena’s Comedy Nightclub, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, for four shows at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Friday and 8 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $13.50 to $18 and available at hyenascomedynightclub.com. -DG

Saturday, June 20
New Works Festival
The is Christmas for theater buffs, a bounty of little gifts, shiny and new, just waiting to be unveiled and enjoyed. Kitchen Dog Theater plays Santa Claus, plopping a big, fat bag of pristine new plays onto the stage at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney Ave. Submissions are sent in from around the world, and the winners are doled out in staged readings that conclude on Saturday. Two plays remain: Good Day by Diana Lynn Small is a piece about the fraught homecoming of a prodigal daughter, and Terry Vandivort’s The Incident explores a man’s decades-long obsession with a traumatic event set in the underground nightlife of 1970s Dallas. will be staged at 1 p.m. Saturday and gets underway at 4 p.m. Admission is pay what-you-can; read more about the festival at kitchendogtheater.org. -JDL

Solstice Eve Fête
Last year, Zhulong Gallery (pronounced “Chew-Long”) landed on Dragon Street with an interest in new media art that is unmatched in Dallas. In just over 12 months, the gallery has exhibited everyone from Dallas-based Lauren Woods to New York’s Mark Tribe. This influx of ideas sparked a new energy in local artists, and stirred up conversations about where art is headed in the 21st century. As a way to celebrate the gallery’s one year anniversary, Zhulong (1302 Dragon St.) is throwing a SOLSTICE EVE FÊTE at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Entry is free, but the gallery will be accepting donations for The Birthday Party Project. Expect new media performance art, music, tech-inspired floral crown making and aura photography. More at zhulonggallery.com. -LS

Ex Mus: Jeremiah Cymerman
eremiah Cymerman has been described as a “sound sculptor,” which is a pretty interesting way to talk about a musician. It’s fitting in this case, though — Cymerman is a clarinetist, which may not sound like the artiest vocation in music, but his composition and work in the studio elevate his instrumentation to mind-blowing levels. His genre-busting improvisation, production and electronic manipulation have made him a sought-after collaborator in contemporary music — both his solo and ensemble work have been celebrated during international tours and in breathless profiles in music publications. He’ll be featured at the-curated experimental music program at CentralTrak, 800 Exposition Ave., at 8 p.m. Saturday, alongside local composer/performers Ryan Fellhauer and Josh Westerman, and filmmaker Mike Morris. Admission is free; visit centraltrak.com for further details. -JDL

Girls Rock Dallas Splash Party
There are age old stereotypes that little girls dream of being prima ballerinas, cutting hair or walk the runway. A lot of little girls want to roughhouse and play in the dirt. Some even want to be guitar shredding rock stars. And Girls Rock Dallas wants to empower those girls to jam. It's almost time for the annual rock camp, and the girls are hosting a fundraiser from 3-10 p.m. Saturday to make dreams come true for anyone who wants to rock out. The Girls Rock Dallas Splash Party will take over the FOE (8500 Arturo Drive) with a bake sale, a selfie booth, and live music. All proceeds benefit GRD. More at girlsrockdallas.org. -LS

Bruce Wood Dance Project
We’ve only just reached the first anniversary of the unexpected death of esteemed Dallas choreographer Bruce Wood. A year later, the dance community still feels the shock of the news, and the space once filled by his bold creativity still echoes a bit. But those inspired by Wood are producing new choreography, and the has been moving forward with a new acting artistic director (Kimi Nikaidoh) and Wood’s past work to guide them. BWDP honors Wood and celebrates its fifth season with 5 Years Project at 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Dallas City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St. The production features the Dallas premieres of Wood-choreographed — an athletic, challenging piece set to Mozart’s — and — a blast into the 1970s, by way of the music of Gladys Knight, Jackson 5 and others, that touches on social issues still very relevant today. The show also features the world premiere of , a piece on gratitude by BWDP dancer Albert Drake. Tickets are $15-$45; VIP $100; student rush $12. Call 214-428-2263 or visit brucewoodance.org. - MM

Sunday, June 21 His Gal Friday
Who among us hasn’t been there? You’re a newspaper editor, your ace reporting ex-wife is set to marry someone else and you’ll stop at nothing to break them up. In fairness, your ex’s new finance is a boring ass insurance salesman so you’re kind of doing her a solid. That’s pretty much the plot of the 1940 “screwball comedy” His Gal Friday starting Cary Grant and playing Sunday, June 21st at 8:30 p.m. on the lawn of AT&T Performing Arts Center. While there are tons of antics in the film, there were also several going on behind the scenes. Director Howard Hawks encouraged on-set ad libbing which lead to Grant working in his real name, Archie Leach, as the name of the last fella to cross him. The female lead, Rosalind Russell, felt like her lines weren’t as good as Grant’s she hired a writer to and slipped the new lines in as “ad libs.” Drama with a comedy? Yes please. Admission is free and spots can be reserved at attpac.org. -Nikki Lott

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