Best Things to Do in Dallas This Labor Day Weekend

Drink a mimosa while you stroll through Deep Ellum on Sunday. The adventure begins at Life of Riley on Main Street.
Drink a mimosa while you stroll through Deep Ellum on Sunday. The adventure begins at Life of Riley on Main Street.
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The Distinguished Performer Concert Series at Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts, which highlights notable faculty and guests, returns for its 2017-18 season. Esteemed concert pianist and Meadows professor Joaquín Achúcarro opens the season with an all-Chopin program. Achúcarro, who has produced some of the finest piano recordings ever — including his take on Bernard Herrmann’s Concerto Macabre for Piano and Orchestra — is using this event as a high-caliber practice of sorts; he’s flying to London to record these Chopin compositions after the performance. This installment of the series is dedicated to the memory of local philanthropist and music lover Jeanne Roach Johnson. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1 at SMU’s Caruth Auditorium, 6101 Bishop Blvd. Admission is $14 for adults, $11 for seniors and $8 for SMU students, staff and faculty. For more information, visit smu.edu/meadows. Caruth Auditorium, 6101 Bishop Blvd., 7:30 p.m., $8-$14, smu.edu/meadows. — Jonathan Patrick

The ambitious dance music duo Fight Clvb, comprises SAV and Carly M. Burns, who are known for their jungle terror sound that blends Dutch house, moombahton, steel drums and animal noises into their compositions and remixes. But SAV and Burns might be better known for their small legal battle with Donald Trump. While Trump was running for president in 2016, Fight Clvb released a song featuring the president’s name, and the video showed his face on dancers' bodies. Shortly after the release, Trump's lawyer hit the duo with a cease and desist. Fight Clvb argued that the song was protected as a parody and refused to remove the video. Fight Clvb is a staple on the EDM festival circuit, thanks to its energetic live show featuring Mystereo, the group’s masked hype man, who will surely turn things up at Stereo Live. Stereo Live, 2711 Storey Lane, 9 p.m., $10, stereolivedallas.com. — Mikel Galicia

Have you seen the critically lauded, seemingly omnipresent romantic comedy La La Land? If you haven’t, someone in your family probably did — and the person next to you right now probably saw it, too. It made like $500 million. It was nominated for 14 Oscars and won seven Golden Globes and five British Academy Film Awards. Courtesy of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the musical is going to be a live-orchestrated movie event. The DSO will project the picture in HD while the orchestra plays the film’s music live. “Join us for an evening of retro glamour and style in the grandeur of the Meyerson,” promotional material says. If that sounds up your alley, hurry and grab tickets; the first performance Friday is sold out. The second showing starts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2, at the Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St. Tickets start at $89. For more information, visit mydso.com. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St., 7:30 p.m., $89, mydso.com. — Jonathan Patrick

The Uptown Players close out an epic season that’s featured shipwrecks, train wrecks and gender-bending hilarity with its production of The Tribute Artist from Friday, Aug. 25, to Sept. 10 at the Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd. Coy Covington takes on the role of Jimmy Nichols, a man who specializes in paying tribute to legendary female performers. He puts that talent to good use when his landlord, a feisty and high-handed old dame, passes away unexpectedly: He dons her caftans and boas in a farcical effort to sell her home before the cutthroat world of Manhattan real estate intrudes. Of course, nothing ever goes as planned, resulting in plenty of the hijinks you’d expect from playwright Charles Busch and the nimble cast. Catch a performance at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, or at a 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $10 to $40 at uptownplayers.org. Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd., 8 p.m., $10-$40, uptownplayers.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

The controversial, shamelessly hedonistic and abstract Performance is one of the most influential films of ’70s cinema. Starring Mick Jagger, James Fox and recently deceased renaissance woman Anita Pallenberg, the movie explores a visually rich, fanciful approach to period crime dramas. Framed by the historical beauty of Texas Theatre, this 35mm showing is the ideal opportunity to enjoy this classic of cult filmmaking. After the screening, a set of Texas musical provocateurs — including Pearl Earl, Big Bill and George Quartz — will perform. The movie starts at 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1, at Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd. Tickets are $10 for the film, $6 for the concert or $14 for both. For more information, visit thetexastheatre.com. Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., 9 p.m., $6-$14, thetexastheatre.com. — Jonathan Patrick

The most exciting thing about Dallas’ first Riverfront Jazz Festival is that it’s a wildcard. The event’s website, for example, includes a video unveiling the fest’s lineup with a montage of the artists’ headshots backed by the chintziest smooth jazz you’ve ever heard (Najee’s “Betcha Don’t Know”). Yet the jazz/blues/soul/R&B lineup, which includes local torchbearer Erykah Badu, is filled with enough surprises and serious jazz names to silence any would-be cynics. No one really knows what to expect. Spanning three days and three venues over Labor Day weekend, Riverfront Jazz Fest could be a flop — or it could spark a fresh appreciation of jazz and its many offshoots in a new generation of local listeners. The fest likely will fall somewhere in between, yet seeing how it all unfolds in real time promises to be a thrill. Texas Horse Park, 811 Pemberton Hill Road, Friday-Sunday, $50 and up, tbaalriverfrontjazzfestival.org. — Jonathan Patrick

A unique venue opens its doors in Deep Ellum for the first time this weekend for lovers of music, art, food trucks and drinks to celebrate local artists of all stripes. Deep Ellum Art Co., 3200 Commerce St., was founded by Dallas-bred entrepreneur John LaRue and is coated in several colorful murals painted by more than 20 local artists. The opening weekend’s festivities begin at 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1, with live music from Grateful Dead tribute band Forgotten Space, an introductory artist exhibition titled Inhabitants and a street gallery, reflecting the venue’s character and dedication to the “creative and native.” Tickets to opening night start at $15 and can be purchased at eventbrite.com. The exhibition Saturday, Sept. 2, is free to attend, but prepare to splurge on the bar’s 31 beer taps and specialty cocktails, as well as the delicious noms from local food trucks in the venue’s lot. Deep Ellum Art Co., 3200 Commerce St., 9 p.m., $15, eventbrite.com. — Diamond Victoria

Find your soul at Ship's Lounge Saturday night.
Find your soul at Ship's Lounge Saturday night.
Sara Kerens

Are you the kind of gearhead who whistles at cool cars as they drive past? Then there’s only place for you to go. The annual Invasion Car Show celebrates the form and function of classic hot rods on Labor Day weekend in the bowels of Deep Ellum. This year marks the club’s 10th anniversary, so it’s hosting the classic car show in one of Deep Ellum’s most iconic and visited spots: Trees, 2709 Elm St. At the Invasion Car Show, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2, visitors can gawk at some of the coolest and fastest custom rods and rides in all of North Texas as they line up along Elm Street. Then pile into Trees for an after-party concert with “King of the Juke Joint Swing” Wayne Hancock at 7 p.m. Tickets for the Wayne Hancock show are $10 and can be purchased at ticketfly.com. Trees 2709 Elm St., 10 a.m.-6 p.m., $10, ticketfly.com. — Danny Gallagher

Labor Day is a sigh of relief. It’s a weekend celebration of the fact that the worst of the hot weather is (mostly) behind us, the kids are back in school, and there’s still enough heat for pool parties and frosty cocktails. Let’s lean into it with a jam-packed three-day celebration at the Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road. From 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2, through Monday, Sept. 4, the whole family can enjoy $2 hot dogs and root beer floats at the Terrace Café, plus lawn games on the Martin Rutchik Concert Lawn. Chase bubbles and listen to live music from Corey Breedlove between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Roof Raisers band plays all the best summertime jams between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday. All events are free with general admission, which is $10 to $15 (and free for kids ages 2 and younger); parking is $15. Find more information at dallasarboretum.org. Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, Saturday-Monday, $10-$15, dallasarboretum.org.— Jennifer Davis-Lamm

For anyone who paid attention during high school lit, the names Ralph and Piggy will trigger a reaction. Outcry Theatre brings Nigel Williams’ adaptation of William Golding’s classic novel, Lord of the Flies, to the stage of the Addison Theatre Centre, 15650 Addison Road, through Sept. 3. Using four casts throughout its run, the company revives the spirit of the conch and the descent into aggression of marooned kids. It’s a bleak story, to be sure, but one that has persisted in popularity for decades because of the timeless topics of the end of innocence and fragility of civilization. The last Thursday performance is at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 24. Additional showings are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and 6:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $10 to $20. Visit outcrytheatre.com. Addison Theatre Centre, 15650 Addison Road, 7:30 p.m., $10-$20, outcrytheatre.com. — Merritt Martin

The fourth installment of Dallas DanceFest kicks off at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2, at the Moody Performance Hall, 2302 Flora St., with a whirl of cultural kinetics and exceptional performances. This year, genres and diverse performers from 28 companies mix for a dynamic and wide-ranging dance experience, with soloists and ensembles that hail from the Metroplex and beyond. Opening night will feature Danielle Georgiou Dance Group, Dallas Black Dance Theater, Dance Circles Contemporary Dance, Texas Ballet Theater, Uno Más and more. The event continues at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 3 with performers such as Bruce Wood Dance, AJ Garcia-Rameau, Dallas Youth Repertory Project and Rhythmic Soul. Tickets are $22.50 to $47.50 per day; a discount of 20 percent is available tickets are purchased for both dates. For tickets and a full schedule, visit thedancecouncil.org. Moody Performance Hall, 2302 Flora St., 8 p.m., $22.50-$47.50, thedancecouncil.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Wanz Dover and a rotating guest list of some of the city's best soul DJs throw a retro party, touching on funk, soul, psyche rock, surf, protopunk, garage rock and other assorted old school jams, every Saturday night at Ships Lounge. With tunes from Velvet Underground to Otis Redding, Soul Bounce is a great alternative for those not wanting to brave Deep Ellum on its busier nights. It's truly a night dedicated to perfect dive bar jams for mods and rockers of all stripes. Ship's Lounge, 1613 Greenville Ave., 9 p.m., free, shipslounge.com. — Diamond Victoria

Love them or hate them, mimosa walks are a huge deal in Dallas. And for Labor Day weekend, getting a little day drunk on bubbles and soaking in the sun on the streets of Deep Ellum may be the best way to waste a few hours on a Sunday afternoon. The Deep Ellum Mimosa Walk offers a chance to sample mimosa after mimosa at the many participating restaurants and shops from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 3. Participants will meet half an hour before the start of the self-guided walk at Life of Riley, 2814 Main St., to receive maps and souvenir glasses. Glasses are $15 online or $25 the day of the event, if available. For more information, and to purchase a glass, visit the event’s Facebook page. Life of Riley, 2814 Main St., noon-3 p.m., $15-$25, see Facebook. — Diamond Victoria

The attraction of an illuminated manuscript goes beyond words on the page. Drawings and decorations, often in gold and silver, surround the text or appear in the margins and as featured, small illustrations. The Saint John’s Bible was the first handwritten and illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine monastery since the 15th century’s welcome of the printing press. With an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1, the University of Dallas’ Beatrice M. Haggerty Gallery, 1845 E. Northgate Drive in Irving, presents Modern Sacred: The Saint John’s Bible and Selections from the Permanent Collection, on view through Sept. 30. The exhibit showcases what is known as the Heritage Edition, a limited reproduction of the “Gospels and Acts” volume of the famous Bible. The original parchment remains at St. John’s University in Minnesota. Curator Christina Haley selected accompanying contemporary works that speak to the sacred imagery and themes in the historic piece. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Admission is free. Visit udallas.edu/gallery. Beatrice M. Haggerty Gallery, 1845 E. Northgate Drive, Irving, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., free, udallas.edu/gallery. — Merritt Martin

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