The 21 Best Things to Do in Dallas, July 17-24

Beware of Miss Trunchbull! Matilda the Musical will be playing in Dallas.EXPAND
Beware of Miss Trunchbull! Matilda the Musical will be playing in Dallas.
Getty Images/Michael Dodge
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Thursday, July 18

Asian Film Festival of Dallas
Looking for a little action, a lot of mystery and intrigue? It’s time to spring for the large with butter and nestle into the comfort of the Angelika Film Center, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, from July 18-25 for one of the city’s best celebrations of film, the 18th annual Asian Film Festival of Dallas. Examine status in The Third Wife (Vietnam); come of age with the girls of the bifurcated doc We Don’t Wanna (Japan); watch the Southwest premiere of The Sweet Requiem (India); rediscover love in the erotic drama How to Live in This World (Korea); and get caught up in the crime of Fly By Night (Malaysia). And that’s just a small sampling. See the full schedule and reserve tickets (prices vary) at asianfilmdallas.com. Merritt Martin

Revive or Die Local Music Festival
The Rail Club is coming back from the dead as The Rail Club Live. The Fort Worth venue’s heart stopped beating when its doors were closed about a year ago. Now, local promoter Chris Polone is trying to resuscitate it, starting with the Revive or Die Local Music Festival. The festival spans four days, featuring local heavy hitters like The Drop Deadlys, Civil Unrest and In Resistance. Previous owners of the venue Brian Sheid and Josh Campbell will be performing at the festival in their respective bands, the Grant Morrison Band and Hell’s Half Acre. The festival should make for the ultimate comeback for The Rail Club Live. It starts at 6 p.m. on Thursday-Sunday, July 18-21, at The Rail Club Live, 3101 Joyce Drive, Fort Worth. Tickets are $10-$50 at eventbrite.com. Jacob Vaughn

Great DFW Lip Sync Battle
If you’re the type of person who has always dreamed of stepping up onstage for karaoke night and felt limited by your utter lack of vocal talent, it’s time for you to feel seen. The Great DFW Lip Sync Battle is a gathering place for your people, those who want to showcase their stage presence and sweet moves but, you know, with existing vocal tracks. At 7 p.m. Thursday, July 18, Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., welcomes the lip syncing community with open arms for an event that benefits Family Compass, a local organization that focuses on preventing child abuse. Give all those fundraising, stone silent rock stars your love, support and cold hard cash as they grind and emote through a fun catalog of pop hits, retro power ballads and much more. Tickets are $15 at family-compass.org/events/. Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Slaid Cleaves
Deciding to go to college to study philosophy is a risky choice in general because, like Slaid Cleaves, you might just end up busking on the streets of Cork, Ireland, and decide to become a folk singer. A cross between a modern-day Woody Guthrie and Tom Petty, with just a soupçon of Conor Oberst on the side, acts like Cleaves are one in a million. After releasing a handful of tracks during the music boom days of the 1990s, Cleaves made his first mark after the release of his 1997 album No Angel Knows and has since then kept the flame alive for the style we now just call Americana. His latest release, 2017’s Ghost of the Car Radio, saw him labeled as Americana’s most underappreciated songwriter by Rolling Stone. Cleaves taps into the discontent of small-time men and women with the accuracy and flair of someone who has already lived it or truly understands it. Being a philosophy major is a tough gig, but looking at the lyrics to "Already Gone" off No Angel Knows, it seems Cleaves knew what he was getting himself into all along: “One more town one more job another chance now, I'm down to muscle and nerve/ May not have gotten all that I dreamed of/ Pretty sure I got what I deserved.” The show starts at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 18, at The Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St. Tickets are $24 at prekindle.com. Nicholas Bostick

The Try Guys will be trying all the things live.EXPAND
The Try Guys will be trying all the things live.
JD Renes

The Try Guys: Legends of the Internet
A purportedly wise Jedi once said, “Do or do not. There is no try.” But if everyone followed that maxim, there would be no Try Guys, four bros who put their pride and occasionally their stomachs on the line making viral videos in which they attempt various challenges such as baking a pie without consulting a recipe, enduring a labor-pain simulator and sampling every item on the menu at Taco Bell. Now they’re trying it live. The Try Guys: Legends of the Internet is a live, interactive performance without the benefit of reshoots or edits. Do or do not check it out at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, 300 W. Las Colinas Blvd. in Irving. Tickets range from $32.50 to $89.50. Visit tryguys.com or livenation.com for tickets and more information. Jesse Hughey

Friday, July 19

Ink Masters Tattoo Expo
Getting a tattoo for the first time is one of the hardest decisions a person can make. The only decision that's harder is who should give you that tattoo. If you're having trouble making up your mind, go to the third annual Ink Masters Tattoo Expo from July 19-21 at the Richardson Civic Center, 411 W. Arapaho Road. More than 120 award-winning tattoo artists will be drawing a variety of tattoos in several sizes and colors. Guests can also get piercings, temporary tattoos and airbrushed tattoos and win a chance for a free tattoo during each day. The festival runs from 1 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. Tickets can only be purchased at the door and cost $20 on each day and $35 for the full weekend. Visit facebook.com/raymond.inkmasterstattooshow for more information. Danny Gallagher

Friday Night Drags
Do you find NASCAR just a little too, um, complicated? All those cars turning left for what seems like days — who can keep track? Get your loud-cars-go-fast fix in a literally more straightforward fashion at Friday Night Drags. Each Friday night through July 26, Texas Motor Speedway is offering street-style dragsters a chance to compete in a series of races on the course's 1/8th-mile pit road. Gates open at 6 p.m. and racing starts at 8:15 p.m. at 3545 Lone Star Circle, Fort Worth. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids under age 12. Find more info and tickets at texasmotorspeedway.com. Patrick Williams

Matilda the Musical
Remember Brit writer Roald Dahl’s 1988 children’s book, shelved in the humor and fantasy stacks, about a super-nerd little girl named Matilda? If you liked the book, you and the young ones will applaud the dark-and-fun musical version, Matilda the Musical, adapted by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin, which plays at the Driegert Theatre of Repertory Company Theatre Inc., 770 N. Coit Road in Richardson on Friday through July 28. Show time is 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Adults pay $28; youths 5-18, $17. For tickets, 972-690-5029, or go to rcttheatre.com. Reba Liner

Saturday, July 20

KUZU: Revolution II
KUZU 92.9 FM, Denton's little radio station that could, is celebrating two years of some of the most original DJ sets and playlists. KUZU plays everything from noise, punk, honky-tonk and beyond, and can be streamed live from its website from anywhere in the world. The party takes place at the newly reopened Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios. Rubber Gloves shuttered back in 2016, but earlier this year had a soft reopening during Denton's documentary festival Thin Line Fest. The KUZU: Revolution II will see several local bands taking to the venue's new outdoor stage for the first time. Bands include The Birds of Night, Cure For Paranoia, Starfruit and more. Also in tow for the celebration will be an art market, food trucks and KUZU DJs streaming live. The show starts at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 20, at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio, 411 E. Sycamore St., Denton. Tickets are $10 at kuzu.fm. Diamond Rodrigue

Artists will be battling it out at Deep Ellum Art Co. this Saturday.EXPAND
Artists will be battling it out at Deep Ellum Art Co. this Saturday.
Andrew Sherman

Art Battle
Dallas joins in on a world war by participating in Art Battle, a competition happening in 50 cities across the globe. The event pits artists against each other, Project Runway-style, by allowing each 20 minutes to complete a painting. The audience will determine each round’s winner and can bid on their favorite pieces through a silent auction. Doors open at 1 p.m, while the fight starts at 2 p.m. at Deep Ellum Art Co., 3200 Commerce St. Tickets are $20 at eventbrite.com. Eva Raggio

Nick Offerman
He has a giggle that betrays his standard lumberjack-ian presence. He has sparkling eyes that twinkle despite their exposure to copious amounts of sawdust. He has written several books worth reading and listening to. He once decried “fish is bullshit” when judging Dallas’ barbecue competition, Meat Fight. He is Nick Offerman, supporter of intellectual ribaldry and deftly written turns of phrase. Point the wagons toward Oklahoma and check out Offerman on his All Rise Tour as he takes the stage 8 p.m. Saturday at WinStar World Casino and Resort, 777 Casino Ave. Tickets are $35-$75, but they’re limited, so get them quickly. Visit ticketmaster.com. Merritt Martin

The Baptist Generals
Titans of the North Texas music scene Baptist Generals will be at Andy’s Bar on Saturday. Besides Schizo Harmonic: Bad Music, Stray Animals and Everything else from The Baptist Generals, an archival project by frontman Chris Flemmons, the band hasn’t released any new music since their 2013 album Jackleg Devotional to the Heart, and they seldom play shows. Performing with the experimental folk band will be California artist John Vanderslice, on tour after the release of his latest album, The Cedars. The show starts at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 20, at Andy's Bar, 122 N. Locust St., Denton. Tickets are $12-$15 at eventbrite.com. Jacob Vaughn

Sunday, July 21

Built To Spill
In 2015, a Phoenix New Times article headlined “Built to Spill Is the Ultimate Indie Rock Band” tried to tackle why Built to Spill, who spent two decades on a major label, are considered indie-rock royalty. After all, Built to Spill’s seminal full-length Keep It Like a Secret was released in early 1999 on then Warner Bros. Records, yet the album cemented the band’s place in the indie-rock pantheon and frontman Doug Martsch as an indie-rock guitar hero. Then, in 2017, after six albums over the course of 22 years on Warner, the band returned to indie status after announcing their departure from the major label. This Keep It Like a Secret Tour commemorates the 20th anniversary of the keenly crafted record, and while “Carry The Zero” remains a fan-favorite track, and the band’s closest thing to a single, even new fans can likely sing along to every track on the album. Newer fans, however, should expect to hear fresh interpretations of the album's tracks, as Martsch & Co. tend to improv and experiment with the larger-than-life arrangements. The show takes place at 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 21, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. Tickets are $30 at prekindle.com. Daniel Rodrigue

Boeing, Boeing
The farce Boeing, Boeing was written by French playwright Marc Camoletti. In 1991, it was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the most performed French play worldwide. (Beating none other than Molière.) It’s the classic tale of a philanderer whose infidelity is set to blow up in his face thanks to the advancement of technology. With the invention of the Boeing airplane, the trio of flight attendants the main character’s been three-timing are all set to arrive at the same time as he struggles to get his stories straight. Sunday's matinee starts at 2:30 p.m. The play runs until Aug. 3, at 2333 W. Rochelle Road, Irving. Tickets are $24-28 for adults, and $21 for seniors and students, at irvingtheatre.org. Eva Raggio

Twin Tribes
Brownsville, Texas, band Twin Tribes is bringing its darkwave, synthesized post-punk sound to The Nines. The duo made up of Luis Navarro on vocals, guitar, synth and beats, as well as Joel Niño, Jr. on bass, synth and vocals, released its debut album Shadow last year with a music video to boot. In the music video for the title track, the band displays an apparent affinity for the occult, with visuals of ritualistic cannibalism. They’ll be sharing the stage with the locals in Rosegarden Funeral Party, and the out-of-state Bathhøuse and Garden of Mary. The show starts at 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 21, at The Nines, 2911 Main St. Tickets are $8 at eventbrite.com. Jacob Vaughn

Junior Players: The Little Shop of Horrors
Co-produced by the University of Texas, The Little Shop of Horrors has something for everyone except those with a case of botanophobia (an irrational fear of plants): It’s a horror and comedy musical about a plant that likes to feast on human blood and is on a mission to take over the world. The songs, by frequent Disney composers Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, are based on 1960s musical styles like Motown and rock, as that’s the decade that birthed the B-list movie that the musical is based on. It starts at 8 p.m. every day except for Sunday, which has a matinee at 2:30 p.m., and runs July 18-21 at 800 W. Campbell Road, Richardson. General admission tickets are $15 at juniorplayers.org. Eva Raggio

Inna Vision
It's not too often that a band from Hawaii makes a national impression as big as Inna Vision has over the past decade or so. The state's geographical isolation makes touring and promotion all the more difficult. However, this hasn't stopped the reggae maestros from striking gold. On their perpetual quest to spread positive Aloha vibes to the mainland, the group has played in over 100 cities, recorded four full-length albums and five EPs, and has consistently cracked the iTunes Top 10 charts. They're back out on the road in support of their latest release, Link Up, a collection of reggae, dancehall and hip-hop that should leave concert attendees bopping along with joy. The show starts at 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 21, at Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill, 10261 Technology Blvd. E. Tickets are $10 at ticketfly.com. Jeff Strowe

Korn will be playing in Dallas on Sunday.
Korn will be playing in Dallas on Sunday.
Mike Brooks

Korn with Alice in Chains
With their low-end rumble, volatile emotions, and raw, barbed-wire energy, both Korn and Alice in Chains were fixtures of the alternative scene that dominated rock radio in the ‘90s (R.I.P. 102.1 The Edge!). Alice in Chains was one of the seminal if less acclaimed grunge acts when that genre was still a thing, while Korn found a middle between nu metal and rap rock, with lead singer Jonathan Davis snarling in his notoriously high-end caterwaul about everything from societal mistrust to personal abuse. A quick Spotify search reveals both bands’ most popular tracks (Korn’s “Freak on a Leash” and Chains’ “Would?”) have a combined age of 48 years — and here we are in 2019 and both acts are still filling stadiums. If you chalk it up to nostalgia you’re probably mostly right, but is there something else to their infectious if garishly unsubtle art? Something that strikes at the benefit of pure expression unfettered by heady encumbrances? Maybe, maybe not. But either way, their best tracks still slap. Doors open at 6 p.m. on  Sunday, July 21, at Dos Equis Pavilion, 3839 S. Fitzhugh Ave. Tickets are $20 at livenation.com. Jonathan Patrick

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. Monday, 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 pocketsandwich.com. Reba Liner

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 basshall.com/abronxtale. Patrick Williams

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 watertowertheatre.org. Wednesday's performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Eva Raggio

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