Things To Do

21 Things To Do in Dallas This Week

Dallas Art Fair!
Dallas Art Fair! Kathy Tran


From humble beginnings in Cuba, husband and wife Emilio and Gloria Estefan came to America and broke all barriers to become a crossover musical sensation. But just when they thought they had it all, they almost lost everything in a near-tragic tour bus accident. Broadway bio-musical On Your Feet!, at Bass Hall (525 Commerce St., Fort Worth) on its national tour, takes you behind the music and inside the real story of this record-making pop music pair. Directed by two-time Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots), with choreography by Olivier Award winner Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys) and an original book by Oscar winner Alexander Dinelaris, the show is a lively, salsa-fied two hours of musical theater. Performances run through Sunday. For tickets, $44 to $61, and info, call 817-212-4280. Reba Liner

Thin Line Fest is a combined film, music and photography festival and competition celebrating art and community, both local and national. Focusing on documentary films, because as their site says “real life is more interesting than fiction,” Thin Line will take place over five days across various Denton bars, venues and the local Alamo Drafthouse. In addition to live music and both full-length and short films, there will be immersive photo exhibits and interactive photography workshops. Thin Line Fest started Wednesday and runs through Sunday, April 14. This festival is free. More info at Jonathan Patrick

This is not a week's worth of Netflix’s suggestions. These are 130-plus films you need to see because they’ve been carefully curated from submission after submission — many are premieres — and because while some will hit mainstream box offices, others are gems that will fight for distribution. Don’t pass up the 13th annual Dallas International Film Festival, taking over screens April 11-18 at Landmark’s Magnolia Theatre, 3699 McKinney Ave., and Studio Movie Grill, 11170 N. Central Expressway at Royal Lane. Watch Zac Efron take on Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile; Sundance hit Before You Know It; Chinese population control documentary One Child Nation; a veritable slew of shorts — narrative, documentary and student; Zhang Yimou’s martial arts action blast, Shadow; doc concert film about eponymous punk band Negro Terror; DIFF sweetheart Bob Byington’s latest life study, Frances Ferguson; the story of how Good Records’ (yes, that one) own Chris Penn persuaded the original lineup to reunite in his record store for Alice Cooper, Live from the Astroturf; and yes, more. Individual tickets are $13, while passes range from $75 to $500. This year, pass- and ticketholders can reserve seats, so finding one is easier. Purchase, plan daily festival schedules and find movie synopses at Merritt Martin

For over four decades, George Thorogood has been cranking out his brand of electric boogie blues. The Delaware native has released over 20 albums with his band, the Destroyers, and if you've paid attention to even a small percentage of movie soundtracks over the years, you've muttered along as a leading character walks away from a large fire in slow motion: "B-b-b-b-baaad." It's likely that "Bad to the Bone" would top the most used "badass doing something really badass in a movie" song list, as well as providing a soundtrack for barbecuing dads the world over. Of course, Thorogood's music catalog and talent don't stop there, and his last release was a solo effort in 2017 titled Party of One. 7 p.m. Thursday, April 11 at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., $35-$79. Diamond Rodrigue

A pioneer of West Coast hip-hop, Warren G started his career back in the early 1990s with Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg in the California trio 213. He's most noted for the single "Regulate" featuring the late Nate Dogg. The song turned 24 this year, and in 2015, Warren G released Regulate G-Funk Era, Pt. II. 7 p.m. Thursday, April 11 at Lava Cantina, The Colony, 5805 Grandscape Blvd., $15-$75. Diamond Rodrigue

Big Freedia is a pioneer of the bounce hip-hop scene, a New Orleans-born micro genre of rap that builds bangers out of chaos and glitchy beats. As one of the music’s most recognizable figures, Big Freedia has been spreading the gospel of bounce since the late ’90s, collaborating with artists across all genres to bring more exposure to a style mostly clustered throughout the South. Even amid sprays of future-shocked beat programming and looming bass, the emcee’s voice stands tall, a throaty and imposing delivery that finds a center between Danny Brown and Public Enemy’s Chuck D. Since her earliest singles, Big Freedia has exuded ambition and originality. Some things never change. 7 p.m. Thursday, April 11 at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., $22. Jonathan Patrick


Dallas’ most expertly curated art event is back for its 11th year at the Fashion Industry Gallery, 1807 Ross Ave. The 2019 Dallas Art Fair celebrates more than a decade of groundbreaking, eye-catching cultural happenings with 74,000 square feet of exhibitions from nearly 100 prominent and up-and-coming galleries — including first-time exhibitors Sadie Coles HQ of London; Lisson Gallery of New York; and Blain|Southern of London and Berlin. Local galleries (including And Now, Conduit Gallery, Cris Worley Fine Arts, Liliana Bloch and more) will be there, too. This year’s event also kicks off the installation of a project space in the Design District, solidifying Dallas Art Fair’s ongoing contributions to the evolution of the Dallas art scene. The event opens with a private benefit from 7 to 10 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, and continues from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, April 12, and Saturday, April 13, concluding on Sunday, April 14, from noon until 6 p.m. General admission is $25 per day or $50 for a three-day pass; tickets to the preview benefit are $350 and include a three-day pass; and the Patron Pass, which includes a number of special events, is $600. Visit Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Dallas Black Dance Theatre's Encore company welcomes back one of its own with a new work by choreographer My'kal J. Stromile, who danced with the company while he was a student at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Stromile went on to graduate from The Juilliard School in 2018 and became an apprentice with Boston Ballet. The SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival commissioned a new work by Stromile blending elements of classical ballet and expressionism. See it performed April 12-13 at Moody Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St. Both performances begin at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $35 at Patrick Williams

Girls Only is a two-woman comedy play that celebrates the humor and silliness of being female. The show's description says that "even men will enjoy" it, and thank God, because we all know that's what counts. The comedy came from its writers' childhood diaries and is a mix of sketch comedy, improv, audience participation, and songs and videos. This show features mature conduct, so don't bring the kids. Girls Only plays at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 12, at Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts, 2351 Performance Drive, Richardson. Tickets are $37 at Paige Skinner

Country music megastar Eric Church has announced an epic tour for early 2019 that will find him promoting his upcoming new album, Desperate Man. The multi-city North American tour will surely pack some of the year's largest crowds, and it visits American Airlines Center for a two-night stand. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 12-13 at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., $49-$139. Jeff Strowe

Brandi Carlile had won three awards before even taking the stage to perform at the Grammys this year. Between the release of her album By The Way, I Forgive You and being featured in the movie A Star Is Born, Carlile has become a soul-searching underdog of a musician. Fans will see these attributes on full display soon at The Bomb Factory. Opening up for Carlile is Nashville Elektra Records artist Savannah Conley. Carlile’s wide vocal range helps encapsulate the emotions behind her lyrics, which, for the most part, are about proving everyone wrong and getting back up every time you fall. 8 p.m. Friday, April 12 at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., sold out. Jacob Vaughn

Thirty-two years after recording and releasing their debut studio album Strange Fire in ’87, the Indigo Girls have continued to capture the attention of a broad fan base, and with popular singles such as “Galileo,” “Shame On You” and “Power of Two,” the duo continuously sells out shows across the country. Any mention of the Grammy-winning duo’s singalong songs must mention “Closer To Fine,” the Indigo Girls’ first charting single and undisputed fan favorite — and typical encore-ender, which turned 30 earlier this year. Released on Epic Records in ’89, the folk-rock outfit’s breakout self-titled album and major-label debut went on to sell more than 2 million copies, securing Amy Ray and Emily Saliers their first of many award nominations and wins, nabbing the duo a 1990 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album (the girls infamously lost the Grammy for Best New Artist to Milli Vanilli). Ray and Saliers recorded and released a handful of certified gold and platinum records over the years. In 2018, they released Indigo Girls Live With The University of Colorado Symphony Orchestra. Nashville-based singer-songwriter and guitarist Becky Warren opens the show Friday night. 7 p.m. Friday, April 12 at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., $30 and up at Daniel Rodrigue

With his craggy, sickly infectious flow and peerless swagger, Gucci Mane helped pioneer the hard, cold, snare-heavy trap style that simultaneously dominates mainstream and underground hip-hop today. In the span of over 70 mixtapes and albums — yes, you read that right — Mr. Mane has documented arguably the most singular journey in rap history, a gambit that runs from murderous Atlanta rivalries to prison and eventually release and redemption, including newfound moral perspectives and the shedding of addictions and some 50-odd pounds. There are no falsehoods in the rapper’s music, only tragic philosophies, hilarious brags and an endless sea of gold and diamonds. Memphis SoundCloud sensation NLE Choppa joins the tour to bring the kids in. 9 p.m. Friday, April 12 at Gas Monkey Live!, 10110 Technology Blvd., $60 and up at Jonathan Patrick


How was the West won? If you say "with smallpox-infested blankets, the slaughter of buffalo herds to starve Indians onto reservations and assorted other bits of genocide," then keep your cynical self home. If, however, you prefer a sunnier, more harmonious version of history, check out How the West Was Won by the venerable choral group Vocal Majority. The group's 100-plus singers come from all walks of life to fill the ranks of the 47-year-old chorus, and they'll sing the proud story of Texas' history and leaders at three performances April 13-14 at the Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive in Richardson. Saturday offers a matinee at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. performance Sunday. Tickets start at $16 at Patrick Williams

It's been roughly 27 years since the last Game of Thrones season aired. You've waited long enough to see Jon Snow do things with dragons. Then there's Sansa Stark, who is engaged to a Jonas Brother in real life, and she'll do crazy things on the show! Swords, dragons, copious copulation and blood! Hell, no, we can't describe the plot! It's just back, baby, so celebrate with like-minded fans at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at Canton Hall, 2727 Canton St. A Party of Ice and Fire will greet the premiere with drink specials, photo opportunities and a costume contest. Tickets are $15 at Paige Skinner

Mothers have it rough. Even in this age of touch-screen baby monitors and TVs that can keep kids occupied with pretty much every show they've ever wanted to watch, the hard work is still there. They still have to go days without showering or sleeping to take care of a crying baby. They have to drive them to everything until the kids are old enough to drive on their own. No one knows this better than comedian Dena Blizzard. She's a mother of three and comedian who further complicated her life with her one-woman, off-Broadway mommy comedy show One Funny Mother, and it's coming to the Majestic Theatre at 1925 Elm St., at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 13. Blizzard first found fame on YouTube as the "Target Mom" who ranted about chardonnay and back-to-school shopping to other sympathetic parents. That led to her hit, off-Broadway show in 2016. She was also one of the five finalists in the search for a new co-host for the morning show Live with Kelly and has hosted the preliminary rounds for the Miss America pageant for the last 10 years. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased at Danny Gallagher

Homegrown Music and Arts Festival, which is hosted downtown at Main Street Gardens, is turning 10 this spring. Appropriately, the organizers have turned the festivities into a local bonanza, anchored by some of the region's greatest players. Headlining the bill are The Toadies and Tripping Daisy, two of our most revered and venerated acts that need no introduction. Be sure to settle in early though, and take advantage of the afternoon's itinerary. You've got Denton's fine indie-rockers Seryn re-introducing themselves after a hiatus, Texas troubadour Ben Kweller bringing the heat from new album, Houston's hyper-kinetic soul revue The Suffers and balladeer Robert Ellis rolling his piano-man routine through some new songs. Additional sets will be provided by Pearl Earl, Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights, Black Pumas, Jackie Venson, Marc Rebillet, Israel Nash, The 40 Acre Mule and Oscar Delaughter. As always, kids and dogs are welcome. Noon Saturday, April 13 at Main Street Gardens, 1902 Main St., $54 and up at Jeff Strowe


Another multimedia entry in this year’s SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival, Mariachi and Mayan Night combines mariachi, a screening of 1939 film The Night of the Mayas and ballet folklorico — traditional Mexican dance with balletic features — with choreography and dancers courtesy Anita Martinez Ballet Folklorico and Booker T. Washington High School’s Mariachi Pegaso. The event begins at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 14, at Moody Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St. Tickets are $19. More info is at Jonathan Patrick

If the words "pizza fest" aren't enough to pique your interest, then probably nothing we say is going to persuade you to haul your reanimated corpse out for a Sunday afternoon at Deep Ellum Art Company, 3200 Commerce St., to munch a variety of slices from some of DFW's best pizza makers and food trucks. If, however, you are a normal, non-zombie human, then let's just cut to the chase: noon-9 p.m. Tickets $10; $7 for kids 8-15 and free for kids younger than 8. Get them at On the unlikely chance some of you are still fence-sitting vis-a-vis a freakin' PIZZA FEST, then fine: The event also offers live music, a full bar, a pizza eating contest and a bounce house for kids. Like that matters. Patrick Williams


Anthracite Fields
, the Pulitzer Prize-winning oratorio by the Dallas Symphony's composer in residence, Julia Wolfe, takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. Monday as part of the SOLUNA festival. The Bang the Can All-Stars will join the Verdigris Ensemble for a musical and visual work about life in Pennsylvania's coal mining region. See it at Moody Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St. Find tickets, $19 or $29, and more information at Patrick Williams

With album titles like Come an’ Get It, Ready an’ Willing and Slide It In, it shouldn’t be any surprise that Whitesnake is still going strong in 2019. Technical issues delayed the band’s Flesh & Blood Tour last year, but the kinks have been worked out and now some of America’s most veteran hard rockers are touring the country once more. The tour is in support of Whitesnake’s first album since their 2015 release The Purple Album. That record featured covers from lead singer David Coverdale’s time with Deep Purple. Flesh & Blood, on the other hand, is shaping up to be chock-full of original material from the iconic band. Mainly written during Coverdale’s time convalescing after knee surgery, early tracks off of the new release show a band that’s still rockin’ and rollin’, despite arthritis, old age and the cumulative effects of decades on the road. So Dallas, if you’re heading to this one, dust off that Tawny Kitaen wig and knock’em dead kid. It’s good to feel young. 7 p.m. Monday, April 15 at The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St., $48 at Nicholas Bostick
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Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner