Things To Do

The Best Things To Do In Dallas, August 31 – September 6

Jane Goodall watches the Gombe chimpanzees at Gombe National Park, Tanzania. Learn more about her groundbreaking behavioral research at Becoming Jane: The Evolution of Dr. Jane Goodall, organized by National Geographic and the Jane Goodall Institute.
Jane Goodall watches the Gombe chimpanzees at Gombe National Park, Tanzania. Learn more about her groundbreaking behavioral research at Becoming Jane: The Evolution of Dr. Jane Goodall, organized by National Geographic and the Jane Goodall Institute. Photo by Michael Nichols, National Geographic

Wednesday, August 31

Gabriel Dawe at Talley Dunn Gallery
If you could touch and feel refracted light, it would be through one of Mexican-born, Dallas-based artist Gabriel Dawe’s installations. Made with sewing thread in vibrant and mesmerizing colors, "Plexus, No. 41" is site-specific to Talley Dunn Gallery (5020 Tracy St.) and is part of Ode to Futility on view through Dec. 10. It marks the first time Dawe has combined in one exhibition his site-specific work and his sculptural and mixed-media works, including one created from found puzzles we can't seem to stop looking at. The gallery is open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and by appointment. Check it out online, or better yet, get there, because you’ll immediately want to go again.

Thursday, September 1

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Bob Reed, Charlotte Akin, Brady White, Chad Cline, Monica Jones and Bradley Atuba take the stage with some Big Scary Animals
Jeffrey Schmidt
Big Scary Animals at Theatre Three
Race, sex and football — sound familiar? Duh, we live in Texas. But no, really. Theatre Three’s (2688 Laclede St.) latest, Big Scary Animals, might seem a little bit like an old friend since it’s a previous T3 success. Formerly Cedar Springs, the play was performed in the basement theater and to much acclaim in 2017. With artistic director Jeffrey Schmidt’s focus on new work (especially by Dallas playwrights), the ideal season opener seemed obvious. See what happens when an older Paris, Texas, couple move unsuspectingly into the celebrated “Gay-borhood.” The show opens 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1, and runs through Sept. 25. Showtimes and tickets are available online.

Big D Reads Launch at J. Erik Jonsson Central Library
It’s time for city-wide, synchronized enlightenment via Big D Reads, and it comes with a familiar face and name: Dallas Observer’s beloved former columnist Jim Schutze and his book The Accommodation, which recently prompted re-publication after great demand. This is just the launch event — the entire month is filled with events related to Schutze’s legendary book, the Black experience, civil rights and desegregation history in our city. This is more than a book club for Dallasites. Epic efforts need a launch event, and this one takes place at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 1, at J. Erik Jonsson Central Library (1515 Young St.) and it’s full-up on action. Dallas’ poet laureate, Joaquín Zihuatanejo, will read a dedicated piece, the South Dallas Concert Choir will perform and, of course, Schutze (and publisher Will Evans) will speak. There’s an exhibition at the library, and attendees get a copy of the book with a Big D Reads reading guide. It’s all free, but registration is required, so go do it online. (And check out the rest of the month’s events while you’re there.)

Friday, September 2

Star Wars: A New Hope at Texas Theatre
See those opening words scroll across the big screen. Hear the theme real freakin’ loud. Take children. Take olds. The Texas Theatre (231 W. Jefferson Blvd.) is kicking off a series of screenings of the original Star Wars trilogy — and no, we’re not interested in semantics or whatever. We’re talking 1977 and 1980s Star Wars shit — the first movies, no matter what “order” they’re meant to be in, FFS. Star Wars: A New Hope (Are you happy? We caved and added the last part even though it’s not on our childhood movie poster) plays at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 4 p.m. Sunday. The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi are next week, so maybe score those tickets at the same time. All available online. You love us. We know.

Saturday, September 3

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Marathon classics for $3 each at Alamo Drafthouse.
Ed Steele
$3 Day at Alamo Drafthouse
Alamo Drafthouse locations aren’t the only theaters celebrating with $3 movies on Sept. 3, but they sure seem like the most fun. You can catch current flicks such as Honk For Jesus; Save Your Soul; Bodies, Bodies, Bodies; Beast and Nope, or catch some classic gems as well. We’re talking 1958’s The Blob, 1972’s The Godfather, 1975’s Jaws (in 3D, no less!), and more! Times and availability vary by location so get online fast, because seats are going to fly. Plus, three bucks means you can marathon movies AND eat and drink all you want. Supreme Saturday action.

A Debt That Led to Home at The Core Theatre
You know the tales about writers who uncover some sort of personal truth when investigating and reporting on a story? It actually happens. The Core Theatre (518 W. Arapaho Road, Richardson) tackles an all-too familiar topic using this storyline in A Debt That Led To Home, opening this weekend. James Hansen Prince’s play is poignant and timely and only too important right now. A writer looking for a story among two unhoused men finds a unique conversation of home and dignity and being invisible to others. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays, with some additional showings. Check out details and tickets ($25 for most) online.

Lonesome Blues at Undermain Theatre
Blind Lemon Jefferson is a name that anyone in Dallas should know. Born blind and discovered on a Deep Ellum street corner, he is one of the most influential musicians ever, from rhythm and blues all the way to rap. Alan Govenar and Akin Babatundé saw success with their musical Blind Lemon Blues, and now they’re back with a deeper look into the legend, his world and even some of his contemporary musicians. Lonesome Blues is his life and his songs, and it opens this weekend at Undermain Theatre (3200 Main St.). See it at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, through Sept. 18. Opening night Saturday is $40, prices for remaining performances vary. Tickets are available online.

Sunday, September 4

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Erykah Badu kicks off the 5th Riverfront Jazz Festival.
Mike Brooks
Riverfront Jazz Festival at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center
Labor Day Weekend doesn’t have to be all hot dogs and backyard sweating. The Black Academy of Arts and Letters presents the 5th Riverfront Jazz Festival from Friday through Sunday at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center (650 S. Griffin St.). The festival offers an insane line-up — no surprise with Erykah Badu and Malik Yoba as honorary chairs. Throughout the weekend, see Badu, Cameo, Spyro Gyra, Dianne Reeves, Eric Benet, Boney James, Hiroshima and many, many others. There's also a stage focused on promising young artists, which might be the most exciting part. Discover the next big sensation. Tickets start at $69 per day, and 3-day passes start at $109, available online.

Monday, September 5

Last day for Becoming Jane at Perot Museum of Nature and Science
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Kristen Cliburn's "Cloud Chord I," 2022, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 60 inches.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Todora and Cris Worley Fine Arts

We’re gonna keep this short and sweet: If you haven't been to the Perot (2201 N. Field St.) for Becoming Jane: The Evolution of Dr. Jane Goodall, please go Monday, Sept. 5. It's the last day. Admission to the museum is $25, plus $8 for the exhibition, available online.

Tuesday, September 6

Kristen Cliburn and Maysey Craddock at Cris Worley Fine Arts
Cris Worley Fine Arts (1845 Levee St.) is seducing us with color and time this round. The gallery hosts two solo exhibitions — Maysey Craddock’s Vanishing Lands and Kristen Cliburn’s The Receptive Eye — through Oct. 1. Craddock offers six new pieces of gouache on paper bags that carry an edge, literally. The water or wooded edges create figures that make a play on memory and nostalgia. Meanwhile, Cliburn reaches back to the Color Field movement of the 1960s and '70s and its Responsive Eye and Perceptive Eye exhibitions. Her spray gun paintings explore the relationship between art and viewer and how one interprets or intercepts color. Find out more online.

Arts & Letters Live: Jessie Burton at the Dallas Museum of Art
Here’s one way to get us to read a book: Tell us it involves love, obsession, becoming an adult, family, secrets and a girl determined to find out the past. (That’s also a great way to get us to watch a Netflix series, by the way.) Another way is to mention that the book is by Jessie Burton, author of bestseller The Miniaturist. Burton comes to the Dallas Museum of Art (1717 N. Harwood St.) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, to discuss her latest, The House of Fortune, which has all the elements listed above plus Burton’s sweeping storytelling. Fantastic. Tickets vary based on in-person or virtual, or if you’re purchasing a book as well. Purchase yours online.
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Jessie Burton sits in conversation with Sarabeth Grossman on Tuesday.
Photo by Lara Downie
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Merritt Martin
Contact: Merritt Martin