Things To Do

Best Things To Do in Dallas This Weekend

Danity Kane is in town. Remember them?
Danity Kane is in town. Remember them? Wikimedia Commons


Alive, he’d be celebrating his 84th birthday this month. Dead, Elvis’ birthday bash continues with the look, the voice and the moves of tribute performer Kraig Parker, who has represented the King in more than 1,000 party, cruise ship, corporate and Las Vegas appearances since Presley’s death at 42 in 1977. The Royal Tribute Band accompanies the event in Carpenter Hall at Irving Arts Center, 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd., where the show gets underway at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Expect lots of rhinestones and the trademark scarf giveaway. For tickets, $26.50-$46.50, call 972-252-2787. For information: Reba Liner

Poor Hamlet. His pops is dead. His mom has remarried, to his douche of an uncle. Now dad’s ghost is fingering the uncle as his killer and demanding that Hamlet avenge his murder. What’s a Dane boy to do? Dither, that’s what. And talk. Mope some. Accidentally kill his girlfriend’s father, throwing a huge wrench in his love life. See this story of political intrigue and dysfunctional palaces in the slow-moving pre-Twitter age of politics, back when taking bold political action demanded a little forethought and contemplation. Shakespeare Dallas brings Hamlet to the stage under the direction of executive and artistic director Raphael Parry for the group’s inaugural indoor winter season. Performances are at Moody Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St. Shows are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 11-12 and Jan. 16-19, with 2 p.m. matinees on the 13th and 20th. Tickets start at $25; find them at Patrick Williams

Exploring female sexuality and men’s infamous ignorance about it, In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) is a comedy centered on self-discovery and the tacit cultural oppression of women. Set in the late 19th century, this finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for drama outlines the bizarre story of the medical origins of the vibrator, which male doctors historically used on female patients as a means of curing “hysteria.” Marianne Galloway directs. The first performance takes place at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11 at Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Drive. Tickets start at $25. More info at Jonathan Patrick

In the first show he’s put together since signing to Def Jam, Bobby Sessions brings (RVLTN Live!) to Deep Ellum, featuring Zyah, Keite Young of Medicine Man Revival (who just won a DOMA for Best Male Vocalist) and Poizon Ivy – the official DJ of the Dallas Mavericks. The gathering is celebrating last year’s release of RVLTN - Chapter 1: The Divided States of AmeriKKKa and RVLTN - Chapter 2: The Art of Resistance on Def Jam. And there’s a lot to celebrate, as both releases landed on several national year-end lists, including noteworthy Best EP nods from DJ Booth and UPROXX, and the Jeremy Biggers-directed music video for the single “Like Me” landed on XXL’s Top 50 Hip-Hop Videos of 2018 list. Sessions and Young also landed the title track for the film adaptation of the best-selling book “The Hate U Give,” which was released in October. And in December, Sessions won big at the 30th annual Dallas Observer Music Awards Ceremony – winning awards for Best Rap/Hip-Hop Act, Best Album (for RVLTN - Chapter 1) and Best Song for “Like Me.” 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11 at Trees Dallas, 2709 Elm St., $11 at Daniel Rodrigue


Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes? Because it’s a reptile convention, that’s why. If you, like Indiana Jones, suffer from ophidiophobia, go ahead and skip to the next event blurb. But if reptiles, amphibians and other exotics are your thing, you can enjoy hourly interactive seminars and animal encounters and shop vendor booths at Repticon Dallas from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday (with VIP entry at 9 a.m.) and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at the Grapevine Convention Center, 1209 S. Main St. VIP tickets, which cover admission for both days and include a ZooMed tote bag and product samples, are available online for $12 and $5 for ages 5-12. Two-day admission at the door is the same price but doesn’t include the swag, and single-day tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Entry is free for ages 4 and younger. Visit Jesse Hughey

The bends, twists, contortions, choreography and theatrics of the Golden Dragon Acrobats are rooted in history that spans millennia, and these performers are at the top of their game. The Chinese acrobatic company combines mind-bending acrobatic feats with traditional dance, vivid costumes and diverse music for a show that tests the limits of both physics and human anatomy. You’ll question how it is you can barely balance two grocery bags when these men and women can manage their body weight, five giant candelabras and a gyrating hula hoop on a wheel. Gawk at Golden Dragon’s mastery of motion, poise and symmetry during their performance at the McKinney Performing Arts Center, 111 North Tennessee St., at 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $35 to $45 at Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Admit it. You’ve driven by Reunion Tower a million times, but you’ve never actually been inside. You also promised yourself you’d start exercising this year. Scratch two items off your “just hurry up and do it already” list by signing up for the Dallas Vert Mile at Reunion Tower on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 12-13. Athletes and fitness addicts from across the city will descend upon this iconic piece of the Dallas skyline for a vertical fun run (or walk) up the 50-floor, 470-foot tower. The event begins Saturday with the “Vert Half-Mile” starting with the first wave of runners at 6 a.m. and the second wave at 7 a.m. Then the sprinters will climb the tower, starting with the “elites” at 8:30 a.m. and “individuals” at 9 a.m. On Sunday, the official Vert Mile starts with the first wave of climbers at 6 a.m. and the second wave at 8 a.m. Sunday will also have a “Vert Quarter-Mile” with the first wave starting at 10 a.m. and the second wave at 10:30 a.m. Reunion Tower is at 300 Reunion Blvd. E in Dallas. Entry costs between $20 and $85 per person depending on the level of participation and access. Visit for tickets and more information. Danny Gallagher

Warm melodies, ’90s nostalgia and a deep well of emotion map out the lo-fi house of Swedish producer Armand Jakobsson, aka DJ Seinfeld. Dusted with distortion and artificial tape hiss, the artist’s ghostly take on deep house skates along hypnotic key and vocal samples, evoking an atmosphere somewhere between rave nostalgia and the futuristic archaeological possibilities of modern music-making — no sample, style or time period is beyond reach. Part of a still-burgeoning group of producers injecting nostalgia and humor into contemporary house music, DJ Seinfeld is above all else not a provocateur, but a uniquely skilled conjurer of mood and emotion. With DJ Red Eye, 10 p.m. Saturday at It’ll Do Club, 4322 Elm St. Tickets start at $15 at Jonathan Patrick

Hailing from the same era of reality TV that made the sitting U.S. president a national phenomenon, the members of Danity Kane were always destined to attract more drama than most bands. Formed under the guidance and tutelage of Sean “Diddy” Combs, the original five-member group has suffered through breakups and fist fights, as well as relative success over the years. With no one yet clamoring for the return of O-Town or Da Band, Danity Kane are taking their third shot at maintaining a successful group, nearly four years after the band’s most dramatic breakup to date. After the release of DK3 in 2014, Dawn Richard allegedly struck fellow band mate Aubrey O’Day in the back of the head, leading to Danity Kane’s second dissolution. However, all signs are pointing to the third time being their charm. After the band’s 2014 breakup, all sides have seemingly made amends and brought along original member Shannon Bex. Their tour, The Universe is Undefeated, will feature original Danity Kane hits as well as cuts from Richard’s solo catalog and music from O’Day and Bex’s electropop group, dumblonde. Whether this iteration (of the best band Making the Band ever made) lasts, for fans it’s just nice to see their name in lights once more. 8 p.m. Saturday at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., $26. Nicholas Bostick

Judy Chamberlain performs with a fellow jazz artist every Saturday night at Sahara, a Persian restaurant with décor resembling an open-air food market, on Alpha Road in North Dallas. Her jazz philosophy stresses interplay between the singer and instrumentalist. Chamberlain’s chemistry with her vibraphonist, Dana Sudborough, highlights a musical ethos she refers to as “the art of the duo,” which she uses to set the night’s tone. 7 p.m. Saturday at Sahara Restaurant, 5441 Alpha Road, free. John McClanahan

Blake Ward is one of the busiest DJs in Dallas, with four different weekly events and recently having taken up the management of his new Four Four Booking agency. He has a longstanding Saturday night Glamorama gig at Beauty Bar. As far as promotion goes, Ward is relentless, a perfect example of how to connect, inform and grow a DJ audience. 9 p.m. Saturday at Beauty Bar, 1924 N. Henderson Ave., free. Wanz Dover

The Granada Theater will host a show by famed guitarist Monte Montgomery. Named one of the "Top 50 All-Time Greatest Guitar Players" by Guitar Player magazine, he has also won the "Best Acoustic Guitar Player" Award at SXSW's Austin Music Awards seven years in a row. 7 p.m. Saturday at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., $16-$32. Jeff Strowe


Kick off the Year of the Boar in traditional Japanese fashion by using giant mallets to pound the hell out of rice. The pasty, pounded sweet rice created during mochitsuki celebrations is used to make mochi, used in sweet rice cakes eaten to start the new year. (Or to put a capper on the old one: A few elderly people and some children in Japan annually wind up with trips to the hospital or dead from choking on big pieces of sticky mochi.) Hopefully, the good people of the Japan America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth are clued in to the danger and won’t let the hazard put a damper on their celebration of the new year, which includes calligraphy demonstrations, games, flower-arranging exhibits and tons of traditional music and dance performances. It all happens 2-5 p.m. Sunday at Fujitsu Network Communications Inc., 2801 Telecom Parkway in Richardson. Tickets are $5 for society members, $10 for others, with discounts for children. Find them and more information at Patrick Williams

DFW songwriter Daniel Markham has dabbled in folk, rock 'n' roll, country and even metal during the last six years. A regular name on the Dallas Observer Music Awards lists, Markham has become a staple in the local music scene. Expect to hear lots of original music at this gig, including from his latest album, Hyperspeed, with singles "Silver" and "Velvet Elvis," and also covers of Neil Young. 3 p.m. Sunday at Dan's Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St., Denton, $7-$10. Diamond Victoria

Sunday night’s stacked bill offers a can’t-miss experience for experimental and noise music lovers as Detroit-based act Wolf Eyes returns to North Texas for the first time in more than a decade to burn freaks' minds. Formed in ’96 by Nate Young, Wolf Eyes' self-described psycho jazz or trip metal is uncompromising, abrasive and not for the faint of heart. And suburban Detroit-based guitarist Mark Charles Morgan (formerly of Sightings, Silk Purse) will be joining Wolf Eyes on this show – Morgan was named to SPIN’s "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" list. Since 2002, Massachusetts-based Bromp Treb’s Neil Cloaca Young’s kinetic solo performances have become something of a legend in the noise scene. While Neil’s setup may look standard, a table crowded with what a critic once described as a familiar “bouquet of wires,” effects pedals, mixers, electronic drum pads and a sampler, but also includes unfamiliar busted electronics and other assorted, often random items and devices, ranging from tin cans to Brillo pads. Folks won't want to miss the improvised industrial meltdown of Denton’s Bad Bad Baby, which features Alizsha Pennington and Randall Minick of Felt & Fur and Julie McKendrick of MoMWoW (formerly of Vulgar Fashion who won a DOMA for Best Experimental/Noise Act in ’13). Denton’s no wave noise-rockers Flesh Narc also open, and one of Denton’s best vinyl DJs, Dreamlover 69, will drop "bangers" between sets. 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13 at Andy's Bar, 122 North Locust St., Denton, $10 at Daniel Rodrigue
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Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner