Arts & Culture News

The 21 Best Things to Do in Dallas, July 22-29

Adam Lambert and Brian May front the new and very expensive version of Queen, playing on Tuesday at American Airlines.
Adam Lambert and Brian May front the new and very expensive version of Queen, playing on Tuesday at American Airlines. Frazer Harrison/Getty

Monday, July 22

Holiday on Thin Ice, or What Did You Do in the War on Christmas, Daddy?
Decorate the Christmas tree (early) and then head on down to Pocket Sandwich Theatre, 500 E. Mockingbird Lane, where much-loved local comedian Mark Fickert is hosting a Yuletide-in-July celebration at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, July 22 with Holiday on Thin Ice, or What Did You Do in the War on Christmas, Daddy? Over the years, Pocket Sandwich has served as a lab for new works by members of the theater community, such as this free reading by former members of the comedy group 4 Out of 5 Doctors. After a few carols and in the spirit of the holiday, you might want to stuff the stocking with donations for a full production of the show. For tickets, visit Reba Liner

click to enlarge Shawn Mendes - ISABEL ARCELLANA
Shawn Mendes
Isabel Arcellana
Shawn Mendes
Shawn Mendes has come a long way in the past few years. In 2013, he got his start posting videos of himself performing cover songs on the now-dead video application Vine. After releasing a self-titled EP, Mendes came out with his first full-length album Handwritten in 2015. Over the next few years, Mendes would come out with two more albums, producing several top 10 singles in several countries. Before he was 18, Mendes had three albums debut on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. Now 20 years old, Mendes is touring through North America.  The show starts at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, July 22, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. Tickets are $50 at Jacob Vaughn

Tuesday, July 23

A Bronx Tale
Please your immigrant father or follow your dream to become a mob boss? Tough one. Honoring thy father is a commandment or something. On the other hand, mob bosses get cool nicknames and really snazzy suits, at least until they're pockmarked by bullet holes. See how one young man in the Bronx in the '60s comes to his decision — with singing and dancing! — in A Bronx Tale, based on actor Chazz Palminteri’s story. Tickets for Tuesday's performance at 7:30 p.m. start at $44 at Bass Performance Hall, 525 Commerce St., Fort Worth. Find them and other show times at Patrick Williams

Queen + Adam Lambert
One of the first times singer Adam Lambert met Brian May and Roger Taylor, performing members of Queen, was on the set of American Idol in 2009. It was the same year the former rendition of the band Queen + Paul Rogers stopped performing together. Lambert likely couldn't have met May and Taylor, the guitarist and drummer for Queen, at a better time in his career. Around this time, May had seen a video of Lambert performing "Bohemian Rhapsody" and began considering him as Rogers' replacement. The trio played a handful of shows together starting in 2011, but since 2014, they've been touring the world. While the show at American Airlines Center costs more than a pretty penny, the band never seems to disappoint, so it should be worth it. The show starts at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, July 23, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., $780 at Jacob Vaughn

Wednesday, July 24


Church is totally in right now thanks to Kanye West and, you know, conservatives. Godspell is a musical divided into traditional hymns and parables based on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, set to music by three-time Oscar and three-time Grammy winner Stephen Schwartz, who’s responsible for the score for Broadway hits like Wicked and for the lyrics in many a Disney film. Wear your Sunday best any day July 18-28. Tickets are $41 for general admission and $31 for seniors and students at Wednesday's performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Eva Raggio

click to enlarge QuakeCon is back this week. - BRIAN MASCHINO
QuakeCon is back this week.
Brian Maschino

Thursday, July 25


The massive gaming expo QuakeCon runs July 25-28 at the Gaylord Texan, 1501 Gaylord Trail in Grapevine. This year will offer a special sneak peek and playable demo of the upcoming game DOOM: Eternal as part of a weekend celebration of the bloody first-person shooter’s 50th anniversary along with panels, competitions and much more. Guests can also compete by bringing their computer and playing against some of the best esports players in the country and catch a first glimpse of the newly formed Quake Pro League. There’s also cosplay contests, board games, fan art competitions and more demos of other upcoming and newly released games from Bethesda Softworks and id Software. The con starts at 9 a.m. Thursday and runs until 1 p.m. Sunday. Guests can register for a free general admission pass from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday-Saturday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Sunday. VIP packages with reserved seating, BYOC reservations and other amenities are available for an additional cost. Visit for more registration and schedule details. Danny Gallagher

Julia Holter 
Shapeshifting composer, keyboardist and singer Julia Holter is an architect of sprawling, visionary chamber pop. Her meticulously manicured works hinge on a push and pull between avant minimalism and experimental obfuscation, a realm where deep truths lie buried under layers of mist-like Rorschach slides waiting to be unwound. Weaving a circuitous through-line between auteurs like Kate Bush, Meredith Monk, and Laurie Anderson, Holter’s art is pop music glimpsed through the haze of a dream. By comparison, Ana Roxanne’s hushed vignettes are acutely insular and transportively naked. Another Los Angeles artist on the vanguard of contemporary art music, Roxanne’s ambient music leans toward the “furniture music” of Erik Satie than the panoramic soundscapes of Brian Eno. Hers is a music that’s barely there. In its delicate wash of nature sounds, droning synths, and new age pastels, it achieves an intimacy somewhere between meditative and spiritual—background music that works as a trap door to deep, personal introspection, or simply as beautiful colors drifting through your headspace. The show starts at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 25, at Deep Ellum Art Co., 3200 Commerce St. Tickets are $15-$17 at Johnathan Patrick

Yaa Halla Y'all
Bellydancers, the time has come again. The wow moves, shared wisdom and worldly vendors of Yaa Halla, Y’all have returned for another Gathering of Stars in Texas. From Thursday through Sunday, there will be showcases, classes for all levels and serious competition. Learn from Meera Varma, Bozenka, Dalia Carella and others. Have professional portraits taken or browse new costumes. And there are opportunities for drummers and musicians. Register for individual workshops ($70 to $150), or opt for 3-day packages for $445. Visit for details. Merritt Martin

Luna Luna
The modern-indie Dallas megaband Luna Luna just released their second EP since they formed in 2017. The all-Hispanic sextet gave everyone a taste of their new EP with the release of their single "Feelings in Me" at the beginning of the month. Now, they have some Texas dates lined up, but only two shows in DFW before they're bound for San Antonio and Austin, so you might as well just go see them this week while they're close. The show starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 25, at Main At South Side, 1002 S Main St., Fort Worth. Tickets are $10 at Jacob Vaughn    

Friday, July 26

Latin History for Morons

When you’re contending with an entire country that believes that Cinco de Mayo is, like, the Latino Fourth of July, you know you’ve got some educatin’ to do. John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons is the Broadway show that we need in a time when asylum seekers sit in cages at the border and most Americans would name Pitbull as the most important Latino of our time. It’d be depressing in the hands of just about anyone else, but Leguizamo’s meaningful paean to the struggle and history of the Latinx people is full of tongue-in-cheek asides and fascinating historical tidbits. Look up his syllabus for the program online (full of interesting reading material) and prepare yourself for a night of eye-opening historical narrative at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 26. Tickets are $40 to $90 at Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Slightly Stoopid
The award-winning reggae bands Tribal Seeds Matisyahu and HIRIE all hopped on tour with California blues-rock-reggaehip-hop blend Slightly Stoopid. They'll all be at The Bomb Factory for the only North Texas gig set for the Slightly Stoopid: How I Spent My Summer Vacation Tour. Slightly Stoopid has not put out any new music since 2018 when they released their ninth studio album Everyday Life, Everyday People. However, at the beginning of this month, the band released a music video for its song "One More Night" off the latest album, helping kick off the tour. The tour will end on the West Coast. If you want to procrastinate and travel all that way, go ahead, but you'll probably save some money if you just see them while all these bands are in town. The show starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 26, at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St. Tickets are $15 at Jacob Vaughn

click to enlarge May we suggest saving your money for Hardwicke and either donating it to victims of abuse or instead getting tickets to Iyanla Vanzant's Saturday show? The author and inspirational speaker is a survivor with a message of love. - PARAS GRIFFIN/GETTY
May we suggest saving your money for Hardwicke and either donating it to victims of abuse or instead getting tickets to Iyanla Vanzant's Saturday show? The author and inspirational speaker is a survivor with a message of love.
Paras Griffin/Getty
Chris Hardwick
Less than a month after the Addison Improv booked — and sold out — four shows for comedian Louis C.K., the venue is giving four headlining slots to another comedian who has faced some serious sexual and emotional abuse accusations, with parallels that include allegedly sabotaging the career of a victim. This decision is even harder to comprehend, because as problematic as his behavior has been, at least C.K. can be really, really funny. Chris Hardwick — former host of @midnight and current host of The Wall and, after a brief absence following those accusations by former girlfriend Chloe Dykstra, Talking Dead — performs at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Friday and 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Addison Improv, 4980 Belt Line Road, No. 250. Tickets are $30 to $40. Visit for tickets and more information, or — at the risk of sounding a little sanctimonious — visit and find a nonprofit doing work for sexual-abuse victims that could probably use that $30 or $40 instead. Jesse Hughey

11th Annual Big Weekend of Improv

The 11th Big Weekend of Improv continues its annual all-ages event with performances and troupes spanning a wide range of styles. From aerial arts and improvised faux documentaries, to historical reenactments and miming, there are sure to be plenty of strange, unusual and silly performances to keep you and the family entertained all weekend long. The 11th Big Weekend of Improv has two programs on Friday, July 26, and two on Saturday, July 27; all take place at 7 and 9 p.m. at the Addison Conference & Theatre Center, 15650 Addison Road. Tickets are $10 for each performance. More info at Jonathan Patrick

We Were Promised Jetpacks
Among the many things that come to mind when someone mentions Scotland, underrated emo post-rock is probably near the bottom of the list. But We Were Promised Jetpacks is the reason that would be on the list in the first place. One of Scotland’s most notable exports, the band is probably best known by their 2009 anthem “Quiet Little Voices” off their debut album These Four Walls. A gem of the latter heydays of 2000s pop-punk, the album seemingly didn’t get its due as the wheel of trends spun away from sappy rockers and on to sappy singers. Criticized for repetitious lyrics and a tone deemed to be too earnest for some, both qualities can now be found in abundance on all manner of 2019 radio stations and music sales charts. It’s more likely that We Were Promised Jetpacks just missed the boat on the days of listening to an entire album from start to finish. Because when you do that, the 11 tracks on These Four Walls can stand alongside any world eating Jimmy or Dashboard Confessional. The show takes place at 8 p.m. Friday, July 26, at Club Dada 2720 Elm St. Tickets are $20 at Nicholas Bostick

Saturday, July 27

The Red Pears
One hot summer day in 2014, a seed was planted somewhere around El Monte, California. It happened the moment musicians Henry Vargas and José Corona started talking about starting a band. The two played their first show, with Vargas on guitar and vocals, Corona on drums, at an open mic hosted by a local church. However, the tree that would later produce The Red Pears, didn't really take root until the addition of Patrick Juarez on bass. About a year into its growth, the band released their album We Bring Anything to the Table … Except Tables, We Can’t Bring Tables to the Table and that was it. The Red Pears finally fell from the tree and were ready to be consumed by the masses. That means you. Get your bite this weekend at The Foundry. The free event starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, at The Foundry, 2303 Pittman St. Jacob Vaughn

Dallas Hip-Hop Dance Fest

Several national dance teams will come together to leave their sweat, blood and tears on the dance floor (well, at least sweat) to battle it out Britney- and Justin-style at the Dallas Hip-Hop Dance Fest, which is perfect for those who like to marvel at humans contorting themselves through unexpected moves, but prefer a more modern and urban take because they tend to fall asleep at the ballet. The competition goes down at 7 p.m. at the Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson. Tickets are $30-40 at Eva Raggio

Beck will be at Dos Equis Pavilion this Saturday. - MIKE BROOKS
Beck will be at Dos Equis Pavilion this Saturday.
Mike Brooks
Beck, Cage The Elephant, Spoon and Wild Belle
In the midst of the hottest part of the summer, Dos Equis Pavilion will be hosting one of the season's coolest shows on Saturday night. Co-headlined by multiple Grammy award winner and sonic innovator Beck and alternative rock titans Cage The Elephant, the Night Running Tour should prove to be a pretty cutting-edge evening of tunes. Beck, of course, has been releasing music since the early '90s, when his laconic albums Mellow Gold and Odelay set the template for creative, slacker rock. Cage The Elephant have followed a similar, stratospheric trajectory vaulting from scrappy punk-rock side stages to arena and festival headliners in less than a decade. And if these two aren't enough to be excited about, this tour also features Spoon, the mighty indie rock craftsmen with Texas connections whose history and influence could fill another couple of paragraphs in this preview if time and space allowed for such a thing. Psych-rock duo Wild Belle will open up the festivities. The show starts at 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, at Dos Equis Pavilion, 3839 S Fitzhugh Ave. Tickets start at $31 at Jeff Strowe

Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones
Like many bands, Los Angeles-based Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones have a long history. It all started when frontwoman and singer-songwriter Wicklund was 8 years old. Backed by rock 'n' roll trio The Steppin Stones, the band began exclusively playing Janis Joplin and Neil Young covers. Twelve years later, the band released its first full-length self-titled album. Since then, the band has played alongside acts like Tom Petty, Cage the Elephant and Muse. While they're set to play a bunch of shows for the rest of the year, Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones are also spending some time in the studio, so be on the lookout for new music after you see them this Saturday. 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, at Sundown at Granada, 3520 Greenville Ave., $9-$12 at Jacob Vaughn

Iyanla Vanzant
Left without parents at age 2 after her dad split and mom died, sexually abused by a family member, married to an abusive husband, Iyanla Vanzant's early life was fit for a modern-day Charles Dickens novel. She overcame her trials, though, to become a best-selling author, TV personality, lawyer, life coach and inspirational speaker. In 2000, Ebony magazine named her one of the 100 most influential black Americans. Hear her message of love and "living your best life" at 8 p.m. Saturday at Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. Tickets start at $39.75 at Patrick Williams

Sunday, July 28

Afrolicious Hair and Beauty Expo
Just as California and New York banned workplace discrimination against natural hairstyles, the Afrolicious Hair and Beauty Expo celebrates and educates those who wear their hair in natural African American hairstyles. Bringing together hair stylists, makeup artists, fashion designers and beauty advisers, the event has a masquerade theme. So put on that Venetian mask but let your hair flow free from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 12720 Merit Drive. Tickets range from $5-50 at Eva Raggio

Basically Beethoven Festival: Paris Connections

The 39th Basically Beethoven Festival wraps up this weekend with chamber music performances for flute and violin. Per usual, the program begins with a Rising Star Recital showcasing burgeoning local talents followed by a feature performance. Violinist Anais Feller and pianist Ella Tran perform Beethoven’s Sonata No. 8, op. 30 no. 3 for the former; flautist Margaret Fischer, violinist Lucas Aleman, violist Lauren Menard, and cellist Una Gong tackle Mozart’s Flute Quartet in D Major and works by François Devienne, Ravel and Debussy for the latter. This performance begins at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, July 28, at Moody Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St. This event is free and family friendly. More info at Jonathan Patrick
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