Arts & Culture News

21 Things To Do in Dallas This Week

A sculpture by Nathan Sawaya at the Perot Museum exhibition, "The Art of the Brick"
A sculpture by Nathan Sawaya at the Perot Museum exhibition, "The Art of the Brick" courtesy of the Perot Museum

If you’re at the Deep Ellum Art Company on Wednesday, you might have trouble standing still. The funkadelic sounds of Georgia band Funk You will have you moving and grooving like never before, even though you’re usually too self-conscious to dance in public. The vibrations will shoot through the venue’s speakers, reverberate off the walls and enter your ears, causing a chain reaction in your body, forcing you to bust moves you didn’t know you had. Just when you think it’s over and you’ve regained control, the funk will continue with local act Chancy. So, if you’re looking for a good workout, and even better music, Art Co. is where you’ll want to be. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday at 3200 Commerce St. Tickets are $8 at Jacob Vaughn


Daryl Hannah wasn’t scamming anyone all those years ago in Splash. Mermaids are real. And they live at SEA LIFE Grapevine in Grapevine Mills Mall, 3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway. Fans of all ages can enjoy underwater performances by mermaids (and assorted sea creatures) at the Magical Mermaid Show, every Thursday through Sunday through July 7. Plus, audiences can have a dry-land meet-and-greet with the mermaids. Shows and greets are included with aquarium admission (starting at $14.99 per child online), and take place 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2:30-4:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 3-4:30 p.m. Sundays. An optional Mermaid Makeover (limited quantities available) can be purchased as an add-on. Go to to purchase tickets in advance. Merritt Martin

Jack Barksdale, the 11-year-old North Texas blues-rock musician, just can’t be stopped. He runs his own video web series, has shared the stage with Ray Wylie Hubbard and is actively performing all over North Texas. His musical journey began when he learned to perform “Give My Love to Rose” by Johnny Cash at 7 years old. When the Observer spoke to Barksdale in September, he had just released his four-song EP Revival. His show at The Post at River East with special guest Verlon Thompson marks the release of his first full-length album. There are plenty of shows ahead for Barksdale, but this is one you won’t want to miss. The show starts at 8 p.m. on Thursday at The Post at River East, 2925 Race St., Fort Worth. Tickets are $8 at Jacob Vaughn

The Sixth Floor Museum has opened a new exhibit to mark the 55th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's death with Sixth Floor Museum Presents 55 Years, a special series on the magazine covers picturing the 35th president. The exhibit includes a timeline of the publications that put President Kennedy on its covers, such as Time, Newsweek, Esquire, National Lampoon and Life, showing both the highs and lows of his campaign and presidency and the nostalgic and somber portrayals following his shocking death. The exhibit is included in all general admission tickets, which are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors 65 and older, $14 for children ages 6-18 and free for children 5 and younger. Tickets can be purchased at the museum located at 411 Elm St. or online at Danny Gallagher

Representing the continuation of the Muscle Shoals legacy, former Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell and his band The 400 Unit are proof that regional influences still have a role in modern music. Joining them is Josh Tillman, aka Father John Misty, who recently name-dropped Isbell on his 2018 album God’s Favorite Customer. The two are just as complementary to one another as they diverge, and it seems fitting that the two are spending June on tour. Isbell, the alt-country crooner, and Tillman, who’s been called the “patron saint of hipsters,” are both known for their storytelling lyrical style even if they’re on seemingly opposite ends of the spectrum. However, moments of Tillman’s latest album bear a striking resemblance to the same kind of soul-wrenching self-examination Isbell displayed on his 2013 album Southeastern and throughout his career. These two are different sides of the same coin in so many ways. The show takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, 300 W. Las Colinas Blvd., Irving. Tickets are $34-$65 at Nicholas Bostick


The DFW area knows culinary pop-ups. Dallasites will line up for hours for a fleeting gourmet bite. But the latest trend is all about tasty flashes of light. Literally. Exciting backdrops, perfect lighting and flash-in-the-pan time slots. All for the perfect photo. Pop-up photo experiences are sprouting up to satisfy the need for a fantastic portrait, team snap or the ultimate selfie. TFTI: An Interactive Photo Experience has hit Arlington, and the Cloud Room, Pillow Fight and Upside Down (no, not that one, Stranger Things fans) will be available by appointment through June 30. A $25 ticket (for each person entering) provides access to the setups at 3701 S. Cooper St., but participants must arrive within 15 minutes of their scheduled time. It’s all ages, and no pets are allowed. Visit to schedule and check out FAQs. Merritt Martin

When Black Pumas roll into The Kessler Theater on Friday, their debut self-titled album will have been out in the world for exactly one week. The Austin-based duo, comprised of singer Eric Burton and Grammy-winning guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada, make beat-heavy psychedelic soul that shimmers with energy and eclectic grooves. Described by KCRW as "Wu Tang Clan meets James Brown," their approach led to a coveted weekly residency at Austin's C Boys, a showcase that led to rave reviews and long lines to enter the venue. The distinguished honor of Best New Artist at the Austin Music Awards was later bestowed and now the gentlemen are out on a national tour with the backing of ATO Records. Catch their momentum as they light up the intimate confines of The Kessler. The show starts at 8 p.m. on Friday at The Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St. Tickets are $20 at Jeff Strowe

This season of the Plano Summer Musical Series opens with Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, based on the Tony-nominated Broadway production. Through the decades, the classic Stockholm syndrome fairy tale has inspired two Disney movies, many television series, Donald and Melania and endless variants on the “tale as old as time,” but it’s never better than when told through Alan Menken’s songs, performed by a cast of blindly loyal, enchanted characters. Catch it before the last petal drops on July 7, at Willow Bend Center of the Arts Rodenbaugh Theatre, 6121 W. Park Blvd. Tickets are $18-30 at [email protected] Eva Raggio

Unveiled: A One Woman Play, providing a glimpse into Muslim faith and culture of and the prejudice toward the Muslim community, continues at 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday at WaterTower Theatre, 15650 Addison Road, Addison. Writer and performer Rohina Malik portrays five characters: immigrants from Pakistan and Palestine, a Moroccan American, an African American convert to Islam and a South Asian rapper. Save your questions and comments for the post-show discussion after each 90-minute performance. For tickets call 972-450-6232 or go to Reba Liner


For years, Dallas has had one of the most underrated and under-appreciated electro/techno scenes in the country. The lineup for HEAT  features local mainstays Cygnus, aka Phillip Washington, Blixaboy aka Wanz Dover, and R-9, Rick Simpson, who have been at the forefront of this scene for decades collectively, fueling hypnotic experiences that unfold in under-the-radar venues throughout DFW. At times, they’ve taken their talents out of state, too, repping our backyard and helping make a name for our city in the international dance scene. Meditative beat programming and heady arrangements are to be expected, as are moments of outright bliss. The free show takes place at 9 p.m. on Saturday at Wits End, 2724 Elm St. Jonathan Patrick

Your yard may be a barren, brown and dry sad-scape at this point in the summer (or more likely a marshy mess, this rainy summer), but that is not the case at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, 8525 Garland Road. While not exactly a respite from the heat, 3.5 acres of lush green grass, shade trees, misty water features and sweet refreshment stands will keep your temperature in check as you experience Summer at the Arboretum daily through July 31. Explore sculptor Gary Lee Clark’s “Celebrate the Children” installations of life-like bronze statues (and perfect Instagram fodder) throughout the gardens, or drop in this Saturday for Nature Walk Bingo from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., or a historical tour at the DeGolyer House between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Arboretum hours are daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., with special members-only hours beginning at 7 a.m. Admission is free for members and kids under age 2; $15 for adults; $12 for seniors; and $10 for kids ages 2 to 12. Additional fees apply for Children’s Adventure Garden admission and for parking. Visit for more. Jennifer Davis-Lamm

The psychedelic rock quintet Atlantis Aquarius released its latest album Leo’s Rising in April. It’s jam-packed with gritty vocals, catchy hooks and foot-stomping drum beats. It’s hard to believe the band released its debut EP just two years ago and has already toured the country. But they’ve got the chops to prove it. About a year later, the band underwent a lineup change, adding guitarist Hutton Ferrell, bassist Max Smith and drummer Oliver Smith. Since their album release show at Three Links, they’ve been touring around, playing shows anywhere from Mansfield to Little Rock. Toward the end of July, Atlantis Aquarius will be leaving Texas to perform for some lucky, out-of-state concert goers, so you might want to go see them before it’s too late. The free show starts at 9 p.m. on Saturday at The Rustic, 3656 Howell St. Jacob Vaughn

Ice cream, patriotic music and a fireworks display: If Klyde Warren Park could manage to get Tom Hanks show up as special guest, it would have the Platonic ideal of a July 4th celebration. Well, three out of four ain't bad, so Dallas will just have to muddle along with food, music and kabooms at Klyde Warren Park's Independence Day Celebration. Dozens of food vendors will bring the snacks and chill treats 4-10 p.m. Monday, and the U.S. Army’s 36th Infantry Division Band will wrap up with music just before the ending fireworks. Admission is free at 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway. Patrick Williams

Theater Three presents its last date for The Armor Plays: Cinched and Strapped, two one-act plays by award-winning playwright Selina Fillinger. The first part is set among 19th-century nobility, while Strapped fast-forwards to depict warriors in a dystopian future. Combined, Filinger’s works look to the past and future to explore the evolving roles of gender. If you’re already missing Arya Stark’s bold fighting style and angrily following the handmaid’s plight, this is the right theatrical event for you. The matinee show starts at 2.30 p.m. at 2800 Routh St. Tickets are $10-50 at Eva Raggio


Many people know Ramon Mallow as Mr. Troll, the longtime open mic host and doorman at Poor David’s Pub in The Cedars. Mallow had hopes that he would gain notoriety as a songwriter in North Texas. But that all changed in June last year. Mallow suffered from two strokes, leaving him unable to work or play music. Because he can’t work, he is having trouble paying the rent for the apartment he currently lives in. Mallow’s sister Faye Price started a GoFundMe campaign to help him raise the money for six more months of rent. The donations keep coming in and Mallow has reached a little over half the goal of $10,000. Mr. Troll's Benefit Show, featuring performances by friends of Mallow, such as Dan Roarke, Rob Case and folk trio Southern Karma, is an additional effort to help raise the money he needs. The free show starts at 3 p.m. on Sunday at Poor David’s Pub, 1313 S. Lamar St. Jacob Vaughn

Along their 32-date North American tour, Ocean Alley, the Australian psychedelic-surf-rock band, has released two new singles, “Stained Glass” and “Infinity,” and put out a music video for the latter to boot. The six-piece group has said “Infinity” is a way of acknowledging the band’s past achievements and begging for new challenges. In 2011, the band was rehearsing in a shed in Australia. Eight years and 70 million catalog streams later, it’s sharing a stage with acts like Tash Sultana, performing at places like the House of Blues. Shortly after its Dallas stop, the band will be heading back home for a string of shows during the winter months. The show is at 7 p.m. on Sunday at The Cambridge Room of House of Blues, 2200 Lamar St. Tickets are $15 at Jacob Vaughn

Mercury One presents their next special exhibit, 12 Score & 3 Years Ago: The Unfinished Promise of Unity. A follow-up to last year’s “Rights and Responsibilities” pop-up museum, 12 Score is an interactive exploration of slavery and a celebration of unsung black heroes, innovators and history makers. Through a series of immersive artifacts like augmented reality pieces, portraits, artwork, priceless books and other records (including original documents from Abraham Lincoln), Mercury One looks to shed light on corners of our country’s history so often buried or forgotten. Visits to 12 Score conclude with a poignant reflection on contemporary slavery. This exhibit runs Saturday, June 29, to Sunday, July 7, at Mercury One Studios, 6301 Riverside Drive, Irving. Tickets start at $15. More info at Jonathan Patrick

The Curtain Club's Last Show celebrates 21 years of live music. North Carolina-based company Asana Partners bought The Curtain Club property over a year ago and have plans of making the building ready for real estate when the longtime tenants leave. But, before they do, the venue owners want to go out with a bang and have put together a killer lineup to do so. Rock band Drowning Pool, along with the metal heads in local bands Faded Grace and DownLo and many others, will help the historic Deep Ellum venue close its curtains forever. The sold-out show starts at 6 p.m. on Sunday at The Curtain Club, 2800 Main St. Jacob Vaughn


Those lucky parents not yet traumatized by the mere sight of a LEGO brick, who are inevitably due to step on the popular building toy in the middle of many a night, should bring the little ones to the Perot Museum’s The Art of the Brick, a traveling exposition by artist Nathan Sawaya, who specializes in recreating famous works like Vermeer’s "Girl with a Pearl Earring" and Van Gogh’s "Starry Night" entirely out of LEGOS. The museum, at 2201 N. Field St., is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The total experience ticket bundle includes entry to a 3D film, $27-38 for non-members. Children under 2 get in free. Because of the event’s popularity, it's recommended that tickets be purchased ahead of visiting, at Eva Raggio


Both crack and the actual candy sold at his parents’ candy shop inspired the play written by Dallas’ own Jonathan Norton. Penny Candy takes a harsh look at the effects of the crack epidemic during the late ’80s and the devastation left by the war on drugs on the African American community in the Pleasant Grove neighborhood. It runs until July 14 at the Wyly Theater, 2400 Flora St. Tickets are $40-80 at, with a special pay-what-you-can show taking place on July 5. Eva Raggio


Until we can celebrate the liberation of asylum seekers held in Department of Homeland Security concentration camps and the end of the corrupt Trump regime, the Third of July will have to suffice as our country’s most patriotic celebration. For the fourth consecutive year, Mrs. Baird’s, the city of Dallas and 98.7 FM KLUV continue the July 3 tradition of food vendors, live music, various family-friendly activities and, once it gets dark, fireworks. Bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on if you want to lessen the likelihood of ant bites during the display, and bug repellent probably wouldn’t be a bad idea either. Red White & Boom on the Bridge is 6 to 10 p.m. Wednesday on the Ronald Kirk Bridge, the Felix Lozada Sr. Gateway and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. The westbound side of Large Marge will be open to pedestrians and closed to traffic. It’s free and open to the public. Parking is free too, at 110 Continental Ave. on the east side of the bridges and in various lots around Trinity Groves on the west side. Jesse Hughey
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