The 20 Best Things to Do in Dallas, Oct. 21-27

Manson is back, beautiful people!
Manson is back, beautiful people!
Mike Brooks
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Monday, October 21

Origins: Fossils from the Cradle of Humankind
The Perot Museum deserves major props for presenting educational material in ways more entertaining than children's TV ever could, but their newest exhibition doesn’t require any added song and dance. Origins: Fossils from the Cradle of Humankind offers the recently discovered fossils of two ancient human species: Australopithecus sediba and Homo naledi, making their first U.S. appearance in Dallas via South Africa. Forget ancestry.com and get to know your old relatives in the flesh ... sort of. The exhibition runs from Oct. 19 through March 22, at 2201 N. Field St. Tickets ($21-$30 for nonmembers) and select entry times (10 a.m.-4 p.m.) can be found at perotmuseum.org. Eva Raggio

The Funky Knuckles
If The Funky Knuckles aren’t a part of your weekly jazz intake, they should be. The Funky Knuckles have been together for nearly seven years. The fusion jazz band released an album called Meta-Musica in 2014 that climbed to No. 1 on iTunes’ jazz charts the first day of its release. Individually, the knuckles are all seasoned players who’ve worked with superstars such as Beyoncé, Erykah Badu, Chrisette Michele, Talib Kweli, Puff Daddy and the Polyphonic Spree. The free show starts at 9:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 21, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St. H. Drew Blackburn

Tuesday, October 22

Sum 41
If you're in your early 30s and had even a hint of teenage angst in high school, you probably listened to Sum 41's 2001 debut album All Killer No Filler. The pop-punk band from Canada won the hearts of those who wanted to rebel — but maybe not past their bedtime. It seems Sum 41 has grown right alongside its earliest fans, as made evident by the band's seventh studio album Order in Decline. It's a little harder and heavier than previous albums and reflects today's growing political and social unrest. The show starts at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at Gas Monkey Bar N’ Grill, 10261 Technology Blvd. E. Tickets are $31 at eventbrite.com. Diamond Rodrigue

We Will Rock You The Musical
British band Queen is becoming relevant to newer generations thanks to the film Bohemian Rhapsody, but We Will Rock You The Musical has been keeping Freddie Mercury & Co.’s legacy alive since its first run in 2002. The play tells the story of a bohemian group of friends in a dystopian world 300 years into the future, when the Earth has been renamed “iPlanet,” everyone thinks the same bland thoughts, musical instruments are banned and rock is indeed dead. Needless to say, the friends just “want to break free.” Using the band’s music and lyrics as inspiration à la Across the Universe, and with Yesterday’s melancholy collective state of oblivion (except with songs by Queen, not the Beatles), the musical’s soundtrack includes anthems like “Under Pressure” and “Radio Gaga.” It starts at 7:30 p.m. at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, 300 W. Las Colinas Blvd. in Irving. Tickets are $35- $183 at livenation.com. Eva Raggio

The Free Man's owner, John Jay Myers, is the gravel-voiced drummer and lead singer of jazz band The Free Loaders.
The Free Man's owner, John Jay Myers, is the gravel-voiced drummer and lead singer of 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, Oct. 22, at The Free Man Cajun Cafe & Lounge, 2626-2630 Commerce St. Jacob Vaughn

YASSS QUEEN! Drag performer Sasha Velour will be bringing her fierce magic variety show to Dallas.EXPAND
YASSS QUEEN! Drag performer Sasha Velour will be bringing her fierce magic variety show to Dallas.
Cindy Ord/ Getty

Wednesday, October 23

Sasha Velour: Smoke & Mirrors
Entertainer Sasha Velour, best known as the season 9 winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, is making a glitzy stop on her nationwide tour with her first one-woman show, Sasha Velour: Smoke & Mirrors. Velour will have you screaming your favorite — and really tired — social media expression, “YASS Queen!” as she stomps her heels onto the stage with a blend of drag performance, visual art and magic. Watch as Velour transforms into a splash of rose petals or into a tree, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St. Tickets are $17.25-$150 at thebombfactory.com. Eva Raggio

Tyler, the Creator will perform in all his newfound maturity at Grand Prairie this Wednesday.
Tyler, the Creator will perform in all his newfound maturity at Grand Prairie this Wednesday.
Mike Brooks

Tyler, the Creator
It might have taken a minute, but Tyler, The Creator has finally matured into the artist foreshadowed by his early years of raw talent. Before, energy and juvenile charm ruled his raps; now, nuance and emotive brilliance take center stage. People often speak of a millennial sadness, a vague but detectable despondency that seems to burden today’s young in ways that never existed before. Fed on irony, snickering cynicism and sometimes gross candor, Tyler channels this unease and gives it a voice. It might not always be pleasant, but it’s significant and remarkable to hear. The show starts at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23, at The Theatre at Grand Prairie, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie. Tickets are $45 at axs.com. Jonathan Patrick

Thursday, October 24

Randy Rainbow
One problem when describing musical parodies is that when the melody and production are stripped away, the humor can come across as kinda dumb. On the page "Cheetos Christ, Stupid-Czar" is a little strained, humor-wise, sophomoric maybe. Set the words to music, in this case a medley of songs from Jesus Christ Superstar, and — most important — have singer/parodist Randy Rainbow get costumed for one of his popular YouTube video smackdowns of Donald Trump, and the genius shines through. Show tunes and pop hits are all enlisted by Rainbow on his popular YouTube channel to skewer Trump and his enablers with a mix of slick, cutting parodies and hilarious mock interviews. He's a millennial's Mark Russell, only wickedly funny and with higher production values. If you haven't seen him, check out his YouTube channel. If you have, get ready to catch the man himself performing live as his Randy Rainbow Live! tour comes to the Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Tickets start $32.50 on Ticketmaster. Patrick Williams

Leah Lane, frontwoman for the '80s synth-goth rock band Rosegarden Funeral Party, will be larger than life Thursday at Three Links.EXPAND
Leah Lane, frontwoman for the '80s synth-goth rock band Rosegarden Funeral Party, will be larger than life Thursday at Three Links.
Laura Hall

Rosegarden Funeral Party
The members of Rosegarden Funeral Party reportedly won’t be in Texas too much longer, so you’ll want to catch them whenever you can. Rosegarden Funeral Party sounds like they were pulled out of the ’80s, but with every release they put out, and with every show played, they become bigger than the era itself. Rosegarden Funeral Party will share the stage at Three Links with punk bands ACTORS and Sevit at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 24, at Three Links, 2704 Elm St. Tickets are $13 at seetickets.us. Jacob Vaughn

Legal thriller master John Grisham will be speaking about his new book, which is about (shocker!) a young lawyer and a murder.EXPAND
Legal thriller master John Grisham will be speaking about his new book, which is about (shocker!) a young lawyer and a murder.
Jeffrey Vock/Getty

John Grisham
The DMA'S Arts & Letters Live Series will host John Grisham, the lawyer-turned-best-selling-novelist who practically invented the legal thriller genre with books-to-movies classics like The Firm, The Client and The Pelican Brief, making crime irresistibly entertaining before any Netflix original series. Grisham will be discussing his latest novel, The Guardians, about the murder of a young Florida attorney, and the wrongfully convicted black man who’s scapegoated as a result; plus there's the idealistic young lawyer intent on setting him free (OK, the last part is a guess, but we're willing to wager a million dollars on it). Part of the event’s ticket sales will be donated to The Innocence Project, an organization that seeks prison reform and provides legal assistance to wrongly convicted prisoners. The talk takes place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, at the Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson.Tickets are $50-80 at eisemanncenter.org. Eva Raggio

Sugar Skull
Why venture across the border for an authentic celebration of a favorite Mexican tradition – Dia de los Muertos? Just cross the Trinity and enjoy a family outing to Sugar Skull! in Oak Cliff at Anita Martinez Recreation Center in Lorenzo De Zavala Elementary, 3212 N. Winnetka Ave., at 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Why throw a party for the dead? A candy skeleton named Sugar Skull and friend Vita explain along with a group of musicians and dancers called Mexico Beyond Mariachi. Sign up for free first-come, first-served tickets at ticketdfw.com/sugar-skull. Call 214-670-7773 for info. Dallas Park and Recreation hosts this presentation by Arts Bridge, powered by Toyota, a community arts program of the AT&T Performing Arts Center. Reba Liner

Friday, October 25

The Golden Cockerel
The Golden Cockerel, the 1907 opera composed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov with libretto by Vladimir Belsky, takes the stage at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. A satire of Russian autocracy — it's an operatic comedy, so only a few people die — the opera tells the story of a dissolute autocrat who fears an attack by a female political leader, so he relies on a magical talking chicken to guide him. Hmm ... a clueless, weak autocrat with a penchant for nepotism, advised by bird-brains and who fears a woman politico. Nope, doesn't ring a bell. Friday's production by the Dallas Opera begins at 7:30 p.m., and tickets start at $19. Other performances take place Oct. 27, 30 and Nov. 2. Patrick Williams

97.1 The Eagle Presents Freakers’ Ball 2019
After suffering seemingly grievous wounds at the hands of a falling stage prop, accident-prone shock-rocker  Marilyn Manson will finally be making up for his canceled appearance at the 2017 iteration of the Freakers’ Ball. At first blush it would seem this ball won’t pack quite the punch, considering the likes of Mastodon, In This Moment and Beartooth were on that same bill in 2017. Instead, the world’s best Alice Cooper impersonator will be joined onstage by fellow beloved '90s acts Bush and Filter. Mid-2000s alt-metal group, 10 Years, and the Palestine, Texas, natives Blacktop Mojo will round out the bill. And that is what makes this show truly interesting. The order of the lineup will take audiences on an eclectic walk from the present to the past of alternative rock and metal. The lineup is in reverse chronological order, and while that was likely unintended, it adds an oddly meta wrinkle to a freaky enough concert. It starts at 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 25, at Dos Equis Pavilion, 3839 S. Fitzhugh Ave. Tickets are $25 at livenation.com. Nicholas Bostick

Jay Mohr
Jay Mohr has been a Saturday Night Live cast member, starred in a handful of movies and TV series, hosted a midday sports radio talk show, gone through a messy celebrity divorce and written a best-selling book. Yet, 23 years after his first movie role, a supporting part, he is probably still best known for that debut performance. Fair enough, as that film was Jerry Maguire, which introduced the phrase “Show me the money!” to a generation of douchebags. For all the trades at which he is a jack, though, Mohr has mastered at least one of them: stand-up comedy, wherein he combines improvisation, storytelling and impressions that include Tracy Morgan, Al Pacino and — perhaps most notably, as he was among the first to impersonate him — Christopher Walken. Mohr performs at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Friday, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Addison Improv, 4980 Belt Line Road, Suite 250. Cover is $30 to $40. Visit improvtx.com/addison for tickets and more information. Jesse Hughey

The Bippy Bobby Boo Show
Some thespians are so committed to their craft, that even death couldn’t keep them out of the spotlight. Such is the premise of The Bippy Bobby Boo Show, where Theater Three’s ghosts haunt the stage through a groovy ‘60s-style musical variety show. Written by Dallas creative visionaries Justin Locklear and dancer and choreographer Danielle Georgiou, who also directs, the show revisits the theater’s past productions through the decades. The late-night play starts at 10:30 p.m. for five dates, running until Nov. 3. Catch the ghostly cast before they return to the theater’s basement, at 2800 Routh St., Suite 128. Tickets are $20 at theater3dallas.com. Eva Raggio

Saturday, October 26

Jade Nickol
Back in June, local singer-songwriter Jade Nickol released her debut EP Murphy’s Law after putting out her second single "Marijuana and Gin." The single and the EP starkly contrast with Nickol's first release “Best Friends,” in which she tried her hand at country music. In May, Nickol told the Observer that she tried to wipe the internet clean of "Best Friends," frustrated with the initial direction she tried to take her music. "Marijuana and Gin" marked a new beginning for Nickol's music career, in which she wants to write songs that are more true to herself. Nickol will share the stage with Nashville artist Caleb Caudle for a free show at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26, at Armoury D.E., 2714 Elm St. Jacob Vaughn

Jade Nickol went from "Best Friends" country to Billie Eilish-ish "Marijuana and Gin."EXPAND
Jade Nickol went from "Best Friends" country to Billie Eilish-ish "Marijuana and Gin."
Josue Briseno

Anne Le Troter
French artist Anne Le Troter will be speaking on the same day she's unveiling her Nasher Museum commission: a sound installation that uses hundreds of audio samples she obtained from a cryobank that exemplify the language used in sperm and egg donor banks when discussing potential donors. Le Troter emphasizes words and phrases in her installation to notate how we speak of genetic ideals. With work inspired by writings from H.G. Wells and Aldous Huxley, Le Troter raises the ethical questions surrounding eugenics and government’s interference with reproduction. The piece is on display until Feb. 2, 2020. Le Troter will be speaking at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 at the Nasher Sculpture Center, 2001 Flora St. Tickets are free for students with ID, $10 for non-members and include museum admission at nashersculpturecenter.org. Eva Raggio

Piff the Magic DragonEXPAND
Piff the Magic Dragon
courtesy ATTPAC

Piff the Magic Dragon
When was the last time you described a comedy show as “magical”? It’s just not a superlative that comes up often in the gritty world of comedy. One does not generally walk away describing an hour and a half of jabs at our current state of affairs in mystical terms, but maybe that speaks more to our current state of affairs than the actual comedy. Regardless, Piff the Magic Dragon is here (or specifically at the Wyly Theatre, 2400 Flora St.) to bring a little enchantment/voodoo to the stage with a special brand of comedy that melds trickery, sleight-of-hand, a dragon suit, deadpan humor and a bemused Chihuahua. The America’s Got Talent finalist performs his family friendly show at 2 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26. Tickets are $32.50 to $45.50 at attpac.org. Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Shin Lim
Sleight-of-hand master Shin Lim, an America's Got Talent winner who turns card tricks into a multimedia musical performance, is in town for one show at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St. Sometimes performing without speaking, Lim eschews massive, complex illusions for a blend of music and skilled legerdemain to create a show that lifts magic to the level of fine art. The few remaining tickets for the 3 p.m. performance are $32 on Ticketmaster. Patrick Williams

Sunday, October 27

Book Tour With Babish
The trend of YouTube stars turning their online fame into touring shows and books continues with Andrew Rea, creator of the video channel's cooking show Binging With Babish. Rea is coming to Dallas for a stop on a tour promoting his cookbook, which re-creates dishes from popular TV shows and movies. Hear him speak, and snag an autographed copy of Binging With Babish (the book) at 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27, at the Wyly Theatre, 2400 Flora St. Tickets are $45Patrick Williams

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.