The 21 Best Things to Do in Dallas, Aug. 26-Sept. 1

The Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz
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Monday, August 26

EarthxFilm, the environmentally focused film festival, is one of the many efforts by the Trammell Crow-founded EarthX, an organization that unifies environmental activists around the globe. Monday’s screening of KIFARU shows the full-length documentary directorial debut from Emmy-nominated cinematographer David Hambridge. The film follows the first four years on the job of two young Kenyan rangers on a mission to protect the last male white rhino, while caring for the animal as well as his offspring. The documentary depicts the inevitable sadness and suspense weighing on a community that must resign itself to the imminent extinction of a majestic species. The free screening takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. at Magnolia Theatre, 3699 McKinney Ave., Suite 100. Eva Raggio

Tuesday, August 27

Jason Bucklin Trio
When Jason Bucklin isn’t teaching guitar and bass lessons, like he’s done for most of his life, he’s usually on stage with his jazz trio at The Balcony Club. In teaching guitar and bass over the years, including master classes at the University of North Texas, Bucklin has grown an appreciation and passion for all kinds of music. But jazz was his first love. Bucklin used to play with Café Noir, the Dallas-based sextet, but every Tuesday, at least from now until sometime in December, Bucklin hits The Balcony Club stage with his trio for a night of jazz. And, it’s free. Go see the Jason Bucklin Trio while you still can. The free show starts at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 27, at The Balcony Club, 1825 Abrams Rd. Jacob Vaughn

Andile Dyalvane and Madoda Fani
Kanui Interiors (at 154 Glass St.) will host a cocktail reception for celebrated South African ceramicists Andile Dyalvane and Madoda Fani. Dyalvane’s abstract work evokes the vivid memories from his life in both rural and urban Africa, while Fani will be showing his strikingly elegant sculptural vases. Both artists will be in attendance and speaking about their aesthetics and inspirations. The free showing takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. For more information, visit kanjuinteriors.com. Eva Raggio

The Free Man's owner, John Jay Myers, plays drums with his jazz band, The Free Loaders.
The Free Man's owner, John Jay Myers, plays drums with his jazz band, The Free Loaders.
Mike Brooks

The Free Loaders
If a movie was made about The Free Man, a Deep Ellum Cajun restaurant and live music venue, the soundtrack would consist of songs by one band: The Free Loaders. Luckily, a three-piece variation of the band plays at the venue every Tuesday, so there, you don’t have to wait for the movie to come out to hear its killer soundtrack. Just hop over to The Free Man on a Tuesday evening, order a po' boy and listen to frontman and venue owner John Jay Myers slam on his drums and bark into the microphone with keys and stand-up bass behind him. The free show starts at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 27, at The Free Man Cajun Cafe & Lounge, 2626-2630 Commerce St. Jacob Vaughn

Wednesday, August 28

What We Were
Second Thought Theater presents its third production of works by acclaimed Dallas playwright Blake Heckler, What We Were. The play examines the complex relationship of three sisters who reunite after experiencing a traumatic childhood; as they unearth a buried shared past of abuse, each woman’s personal brand of denial ultimately shatters as the family lies become untangled. The play, a co-production with Circle Theatre in Fort Worth, runs until Sept. 21, at Bryant Hall, 3400 Blackburn St. Wednesday’s performance begins at 7:30 p.m., and general admission tickets are $25 at secondthoughttheatre.com. Eva Raggio

Los Angeles power trio Nebula will send you to outer space and back. The band’s thick riffs, squealing guitar solos and punchy drum beats make for a combustible combination reminiscent of rock giants like MC5, The Stooges and Mudhoney. Nebula cemented its signature sound with the release of Let it Burn, the band’s first EP, in 1998. The L.A. group didn’t pull any punches with their first release, so why would they with their latest album Holy Shit? In the first music video from the album, for their song “Man’s Best Friend,” there are depictions of drug use, psychedelia and the occult — concepts the band has toiled with since the beginning. Nebula will be rolling through town as part of the Holy Shit tour with LA rock acquaintance Sasquatch for a show at Three Links. The show kicks off at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 28, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St. Tickets are $15 at eventbrite.com. Jacob Vaughn

Thursday, August 29

Chocolate and Art Show
Most of what you need to know about this event is right there in the title: Chocolate and Art Show. Case closed; there’s a whole chocolate station, sign us up. But of course, the chocolate only sets the stage for what organizers bill as a “cultural indulgence”: find local visual artists displaying and selling paintings, photographs and other media, plus live body painting, art demos, and music from Motif Dallas, The K3 Sisters Band, Outlaw Jane, and more. From 8 to midnight on Thursday, August 29, Friday, August 30 and Saturday, August 31, you can have a full sensory experience at Lofty Spaces, 816 Montgomery Street; tickets are $15 at eventbrite.com or $20 at the door. To learn more, visit chocolateandartshow.com. Jennifer Davis-Lamm

It's on. The Ticket's annual Ticket Fight Night is back this week.EXPAND
It's on. The Ticket's annual Ticket Fight Night is back this week.
Mike Brooks

The Ticket Fight Night
As exciting as professional boxing can be, a fight card full of amateurs with experience and skill levels ranging from slim to none offers a lot more entertainment. Pugilists turning their backs on their opponents, switching from left-foot to right-foot stances mid-bout or flailing away with nothing but wild haymakers are standard fare for KTCK-AM 1310 and 96.7 FM The Ticket’s annual Ticket Fight Night. One of the sports-talk radio station’s most beloved regular events, the evening of bouts pits listener volunteers and occasionally station hosts against each other, with a professional referee taking each match way more seriously than anyone else in the building — including most of the fighters. Doors open at 3 p.m. Thursday and the Sweet Pseudoscience action starts at 5 p.m. at the Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St. Entry is free, but seating is limited, so ensure you’ve got ducats at thebombfactory.com or find more info at theticket.com. Jesse Hughey

Mornings at Seven
Beat the heat and attend the cool classic comedy Mornings at Seven, Rover Dramawerks' 19th season opener running today through Sept. 14 in Plano, at 221 W. Parker Road, in the Ruisseau Village shopping center. The play by Paul Osborn presents a glimpse of small-town America almost 100 years ago. Today you pay $10 online or "what you can." Tickets for subsequent performances range from $18 to $24 with discounts for teachers, students and seniors. On Friday, Aug. 30, you can attend a reception and meet the cast, which includes Jennifer Patton and George William Phillips III. Curtain times are 8 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays; 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays. Call 972-849-0358 or visit roverdramawerks.com for tickets. Reba Liner

Friday, August 30

The Nude Party
A band like The Nude Party is what happens when you move into a lake house with five of your friends and step-siblings to jam every night. The North Carolina bro band celebrates frat rock that was coming out in the ’60s. But, before they moved into that lake house and became The Nude Party, the band was just a group of old friends playing together at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., around 2012. The band’s lineup includes lead vocalist and guitarist Patton Magee; vocalist and guitarist Shaun Couture; organist and pianist Don Merrill; bass player Alec Castillo; percussionist Austin Brose; and drummer Connor Mikita. The  band spent the next few years playing local clubs and bars until they met Black Lips’ drummer Oakley Munson. The drummer was impressed with the band and went on to record The Nude Party’s first EP Hot Tub, which was released in 2016. Two years later, they released their self-titled debut album. The Nude Party will be joined onstage at Three Links by Kentucky group Boa and North Texas psych-rock band Acid Carousel. The show starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St. Tickets are $12 at prekindle.com. Jacob Vaughn

Medicine Man Revival
Keite Young and Jason Burt have asserted themselves as a powerful presence in the Dallas music scene. Producing a sound that's nearly impossible to classify, the duo has to bring their uplifting and passionate testimonials to impassioned fans in venues all across our fair, regional neighborhoods. If forced to categorize, Medicine Man Revival is an outfit that spins the funkiest elements of soul and R&B alongside choice smatterings of hip-hop and classic rock. When backed by a rotating cast of ace area musicians, Young and Burt's lyrical epiphanies become more forcefully expressed while also touching on the cosmic karma that keeps us all sewn together on common ground. See all this in action for yourself as they dust off an old Deep Ellum dance hall Friday night. The event will be the first edition of Dallas' Pabst Sound Society, a night dedicated to promoting local art, music, food and connectivity. It starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30, at Sons of Hermann Hall, 3414 Elm St. Tickets are $5 at pabstblueribbon.com/soundsociety. Jeff Strowe

Madden NFL 20 Classic
Those with the gumption to think they can go four quarters on the digital gridiron will test their skills against seasoned pros during the Madden NFL 20 Classic. This video game tournament is only one stop along a longer road for one player, whether they play on their couch or pull down sponsorships, to add their name to the annals of console football history. The Classic portion eschews the fancy rules that have accrued over the series decades-long history in favor of good ol’ no-frills football. Challengers will face each other in head-to-head matches  throughout the weekend in Arlington, all vying for a portion of a $190,000 dollar prize pool. First and second place will clinch a spot in the Madden Bowl, that sweaty-fingered crucible where only the true disciples of Madden mania can hope to attain victory. The Madden NFL 20 Classic runs Aug. 30 to Sept. 1 at the Esports Stadium Arlington, 1200 Ballpark Way (open to players and their guardians only for this event). Visit the Madden Bowl official website for more information. Chase Carter

Saturday, August 31

Deep Ellum Art Co. is once again hosting a battle of paintbrushes, with Art Battle.
Deep Ellum Art Co. is once again hosting a battle of paintbrushes, with Art Battle.
Melissa Hennings

Art Battle
Watching someone paint at a normal, steady pace is like, well, watching paint dry. However, if you add a timer and some stakes to it, then you've got a paint flying, brush bruising, canvas crushing good time. That's exactly what you'll see at Art Battle, a high-stakes tournament of competitive art creation starting at 2 p.m. (doors open at 1 p.m.) on Saturday, Aug. 31, at the Deep Ellum Art Co. located at 3200 Commerce St. The show will feature local, national and globally acclaimed artists standing at their easels churning out the best painting they can, in three rounds, before the time hits zero. The artists can only use acrylic painting, brushes, palette knives and the deepest parts of their imagination. The final two go head-to-head in a final round face-off for a cash prize and a shot at the next level of competition. The audience can even bid on the paintings in a silent auction. Tickets are $15 each if you buy them before Aug. 31, when the price jumps to $20 on the day of battle. Learn more about Art Battle and get your tickets at artbattle.com. Danny Gallagher

The Mocky Horror Picture Show
There's only two ways that watching a bad movie like Ed Wood's Plan Nine from Outer Space could be funnier: You could ask the director himself to watch it with you and explain just what he was thinking, but that's hard to do because he's dead, or your only other option is to watch it with The Mocky Horror Picture Show, the live, movie-mocking comedy show that will make its debut at Stomping Ground Comedy Theater at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31. Three comedians will make fun of the movie just like Joel, Mike, or Jonah and the bots do on Mystery Science Theater 3000 and the audience can join in on the mockery. The Mocky Horror Picture Show will perform its "public mockery" of Plan Nine from Outer Space at Stomping Ground Comedy Theater, located at 1350 Manufacturing St. Tickets are $10 if you buy them online before the day of the show, $5 for students, and $12 on the night of the show. Visit stompinggroundcomedy.org for more information. Danny Gallagher

The Wizard of Oz
Back last century, when most of us had access to only three TV stations (one was always fuzzy), The Wizard of Oz's annual appearance on the tube in summer was a shared time, when American culture could bond around a cinematic icon, hear wonderful, classic tunes and be scared witless by flying monkeys. That, youngsters, is how you build a common culture — and learn to keep flying monkeys at bay. Today's lucky li'l rug rats have it way better: They can head to the awesome Majestic Theater and see the 1939 gem starring Judy Garland on the big screen in an old-school movie house. Of course, most of the ingrates will probably never lift their eyes from their smartphones, but some might see enough of the movie to imbibe a little culture/monkey fear.  Texas Theatre and the Majestic present The Wizard of Oz at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Majestic, 1925 Flores St. Advance tickets are $11.50 at prekindle.com. Patrick Williams

Jazz artist Alex Rivera has had some big shoes to fill. Today, he fronts his band the Alex Rivera Quartet playing jazz standards at live events throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, but music has always been a part of his life. Rivera grew up watching his step-dad Danny Hollis play piano and trombone with the late Tommy Loy's Upper Dallas Jazz Band. He wanted to play the trombone like his step-dad, but his arms were too short. He played the cornet, a smaller brass instrument, until he was about 13. It was at this age that Tommy Loy gave Rivera his first trumpet, a Getzen Doc Severinsen. Rivera developed a taste for jazz in high school and, with direction from his step-dad, 1992, he led a quartet to the Booker T. Washington Jazz Festival and earned the festival's award for top High School jazz soloist. However, it wasn’t until after college that Rivera really began focusing on a career as a performing musician. He studied with Bert Truax, former trumpeter with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and performed with local singer Glennda Hill before trying to get his own band together. After a while, Rivera settled on a group of musicians including Mike Garvey on piano, Alex Camp on bass and Chris Holmes on drums. Rivera sometimes plays with his group as a trio, but all four members will be present at Revelers Hall this Saturday.  The free show starts at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31, at Revelers Hall, 412 N Bishop Ave. Jacob Vaughn

The Dallas yoga festival offers free yoga classes all day.EXPAND
The Dallas yoga festival offers free yoga classes all day.
Jessica Robertson

Dallas Yoga Festival
Celebrate Labor Day by working on those abs, or on a less shallow note; by caring for your mind, body and spirit, for free. The event at Main Street Gardens, 1902 Main St., is attempting to pull off the largest yoga class in Dallas, by offering free classes taking place from sunset to sunrise. The festival features artisan vendors, giveaways, live music with “healing sounds,” (and boy do we need healing) and healthy food and drink vendors. Sounds kind of om-azing. When you’re done being healthy, though, take a – still healthy – walk to the doughnut shop a few blocks down in Deep Ellum. To pre-register, and for more information, visit dfwfreedayofyoga.com. Eva Raggio

Sunday, September 1

Labor of Love Homebrew Festival
By necessity, any successful beer company knows a thing or two about labor, love, homebrewing and festivals. Deep Ellum Brewing Co. grew from founder John Reardon’s homebrewing into the successful Canarchy-owned company it is with a lot of work, including some memorable concerts and other events that put the company on the map of its namesake neighborhood. Each Labor Day weekend, it gives a nod to its roots and sets up a friendly yet fierce homebrew competition at the Labor of Love Homebrew Festival. The winning recipe will be produced and commercially released by DEBC, and several past winning teams have gone on to upgrade their status from amateur to professional. Along with music from Taylor Young Band, Bryce Bangs and Atlantis Aquarius, festgoers receive a custom tasting glass and endless samples 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday at the DEBC’s Deep Ellum location, 2823 St. Louis St. Admission is $10 at deepellumbrewing.com. Jesse Hughey

Three-time nominee for Best Punk Band in the Dallas Observer Music Awards, local favorite LOAFERS will be stopping by for a set at one of its regular spots this weekend. The show is part of a birthday celebration for local band Eleventeen's Michael Cheney. The band's latest EP Bobby still hits as hard as it did when they released it in 2017. LOAFERS has put out several songs since then, starting in 2018 with "No Cowboys" and "Formaldehyde." The band's latest release is a short and sweet demo recording of their song "You're Out," which came out Aug. 9. The recordings are great, but they only give people a taste of what the band is all about. If you want to hear LOAFERS the right way, you have to hear them live. So, why not do that this Sunday at Three Links? Do yourself a favor and make it to this show. You won't regret it. Joining LOAFERS is Eleventeen, Sub-Sahara and Ting Tang Tina.  The show starts at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 1, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St. Admission is a $5 donation to Foundation 45. Jacob Vaughn

Labor Day Food Truck Rally
No matter the occasion, American holidays invariably end up centering around food, and this event has truckloads of options to indulge your appetite. Klyde Warren Park (at 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway) is hosting a gathering of more than 25 of the city’s finest vehicular dining offerings, aka, food trucks, with worldly cuisine ranging from Cuban to Greek to good ol' American sno cones. Top 40-friendly live music will be provided by Downtown Fever. No outside alcohol is permitted, so hide your flask well or else reconsider your drinking habit. The family-friendly, free event takes place from 4 to 9 p.m. For more information, visit klydewarrenpark.org. Eva Raggio

Backstreet Boys
No other entity in the music industry comes close to the type of world domination that boy bands achieve. Throw a group of five good-looking young men onstage with some well-choreographed dancing and pop songs that tug at the hearts of millions of adoring fans, and you've got yourself an international treasure. But it takes more than just perfectly quaffed hair and lovemaking lyrics to cement a group as one of the best in its genre. One of the front-runners of the resurgence of boy band popularity in the 1990s, after New Kids on the Block made more than a few young women pant in the '80s, the Backstreet Boys were a five-piece group from the boy band capital of the world, Orlando, Florida. Since forming in the early '90s, AJ, Howie, Nick, Kevin and Brian filled hearts and arenas with their infectious, syrupy pop music. And today they continue their streak of performing high-energy concerts, and released their ninth studio album, DNA, earlier this year. While fans have grown up, become parents or have simply had a change in musical taste since their early teenage years, the Backstreet Boys provide a sense of nostalgia and recall those earlier years of growing up, and singles like "I Want It That Way" and "Quit Playing Games (with My Heart)" remain earworms today.  Start swooning at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 1, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. Tickets start at $35 at ticketmaster.com. Diamond Rodrigue

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