Things To Do

19 Things To Do in Dallas This Week

The Texas Queerlesque Festival runs from Thursday to Sunday.
The Texas Queerlesque Festival runs from Thursday to Sunday. Brian Maschino

The Open Classical Artist Series is driven by a passion to change the stodgy perception of classical music. By continually looking for fresh ways to engage with modern audiences, Open Classical makes classical performances more fun and accessible for patrons of all ages and musical interests. Das Blümelein Project, a duo aiming to reimagine the tradition of art song, performs this week. Through unorthodox presentation and enhanced instrumentation, Das Blümelein reveals new, more intimate layers to vocal-piano performance. This concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Times Ten Cellars wine bar, 6324 Prospect Ave. Wine and food are available at the bar. Tickets are pay-what-you-want. Find more information at Jonathan Patrick

Glassjaw and Quicksand, two of post-hardcore’s premier acts, returned from the dead last year with their first full-length releases in decades. True to form, each fused brutalist energy with avant-rock structures and nu-metal textures, even if Quicksand’s album Interiors was predictably softer around the edges and more spaced out. It makes sense that the two bands would join forces to co-headline their latest summer tour. Considering both outfits are responsible for some of the finest cuts in the post-hardcore canon, those with any interest in alt-rock, metal and hardcore (especially of the mid-’90s variety) would be wise not to miss this. Shit's going to get intense. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 25, Gas Monkey Live, 10110 Technology Blvd. E.,, $25 and up. Jonathan Patrick

The English Beat is really just The Beat — a ska fusion band from Birmingham, England — but you can imagine that such a name would also exist in the U.S., Canada and Australia. So here in the states, it's The English Beat. Blending pop, punk, ska and some reggae, the band was known for hits such as "Mirror in the Bathroom" but only stuck around for a handful of years in the late '70s and early '80s before reuniting in the early 2000s. The English Beat was also influential in the surge of two-tone ska in late '70s England. 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 25, The Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St., 214-272-8346 or, $24-$48. Diamond Victoria


With the ever-changing restrictions that apply to traveling from the United States to Cuba, the destination can seem intimidating. But Americans are still permitted to travel (with appropriate and detailed receipts) for the purpose of supporting the people of Cuba, and photographer Jennifer Spelman has done just that. Yet it seems the Caribbean island nation may have had an even bigger impact on her. As part of the Dallas Center for Photography Speaker Series, Spelman presents 50 Trips to Cuba from 7-9 p.m. Thursday at DCP, 4756 Algiers St., documenting how her time there resulted in cherished friendships with people who represent a vast array of industries (from farming to dance to fishing and more) and a new approach to her craft. Her street photography gained a heightened energy and quicker rhythm while her portraiture seemed to slow and sit down in the pocket with her subjects, securing a comfortable intimacy as if in a perfectly partnered salsa. Tickets are $5 in advance at If the lecture doesn’t sell out, remaining tickets will be available at the door for $10. Spelman also leads a four-day workshop on Creating Compelling Portraits from Thursday through Sunday at DCP. Registration for this workshop includes admission to her 50 Trips to Cuba lecture. Visit the DCP website for more information. Merritt Martin

The Conception Art Show
beckons from the air-conditioned realm of Community Beer Co., 1530 Inspiration Drive, from 5-9 p.m. Thursday. As much as that cool air could be enough to lure us in at this point, this show is more than that. This pop-up gives local artists a platform to network, experience the ins and outs of exhibitions, and get their creative output in front of people. During the show, more than 60 local photographers, painters, digital artists, sculptors, woodworkers and mixed-media masters will come together for an immersive event that’s crackling with energy and potential. Visitors can support tomorrow’s artistic ground-breakers by buying tickets for $20 at Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Burlesque has made an impressive comeback. It’s gone from a dance done in hidden speakeasies to a celebrated art form. The Texas LGTBQIA community has a special celebration of this unique form of dance expression right here in Dallas. The Texas Queerlesque Festival runs from Thursday to Sunday, with shows and other events at Sue Ellen’s, 3014 Throckmorton St., and Viva’s Burlesque Lounge, 1350 Manufacturing St. This four-day celebration of burlesque dancing features performances from some of the state’s top dancers and artists, such as Honey Hula-la, Bobby Barnaby, Aurora Hart and groups Haus of Poison, Mustache Envy and Fat Bottom Cabaret. Guests can also attend the festival’s Unicorn School at Sue Ellen’s to learn more about this unique art form with classes such as The Art of Demanding Stage Presence and Building Outside-the-Box Costumes and Routines. Passes are $120 for the weekend or $60 for Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Showcase tickets for Friday and Saturday night shows start at $25. Visit for tickets and more information. Danny Gallagher

The Arlington natives of Pentatonix bring their brand of a cappella to Dos Equis Pavilion on Thursday night. The group dishes out all your favorite pop hits from the past few decades in a completely refreshing style using nothing but five voices. The multi-Grammy Award-winning act is on tour this summer in support of its latest album, PTX Presents: Top Pop, Vol. I, which was released a few months ago and features covers of "Havana," a medley of Dua Lipa's "New Rules" and Aaliyah's "Are You That Somebody?" 8 p.m. Thursday, July 26, Dos Equis Pavilion, 1818 First Ave., 214-421-1111, $18 and up. Diamond Victoria


If you can tear yourself away from TV's breaking news, you can catch another Reign of Terror in Imprint Theatreworks' production of The Revolutionists by Lauren Gunderson, playing at 8 p.m. Friday at the Margo Jones Theatre in the Magnolia Lounge at Fair Park, 1121 First Ave. Set in France during the French Revolution in the late 1700s, the plot involves a playwright, an assassin, an ex-queen and a rebel, all women, with one goal in mind: change the world. Joe Messina and Ashley H. White direct the foursome: Marianne Galloway, Jennifer Kuenzer, Sky Williams and Dani Holway. Shows continue at 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and again next weekend. Tickets are $25. Go to for more information. Reba Liner

Free games! Sure, video game fans probably have other reasons to go to the Let's Play Gaming Expo, coming this weekend to the Irving Convention Center, 500 W. Los Colinas Blvd. The expo includes Smash Bros. and Tetris competitions, among others; conferences with game producers; and a chance to get an autograph from Duke Nukem himself — or at least the guy who provides his words, voice actor Jon St. John. It includes parties, live music, vendors and, of course, a cosplay tournament. (At this rate, every convention will include a mandatory cosplay element. The next national political conventions should be interesting.) Most important, though, is that scores of classic arcade games will be available to play for free. Day passed are $20; weekend passes are $30. The expo is open from noon to 10 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Visit for tickets and details. Patrick Williams

The potential that a 24-hour period holds is sometimes breathtaking. When you’re able to focus and commit to it, spaces transform, creativity moves mountains and movements are born. Traditionally, we think that quality and innovation come from these huge investments of time, but as Muscle Memory Dance Theatre can tell you, brevity in a process can be a huge gift. At 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, you’ll see exactly what’s possible in a day as five choreographers put together a show from casting to performance in a 24-hour period. Kiera Amison, Jalila Bell, Amy Elizabeth, Amy L. Jennings and Rachel Wade will push themselves and take risks, all in the name of an exhilarating and memorable creative product. Don’t miss it: Tickets to Made in a Day 2018 are $15-$20 for each show at Life in Deep Ellum, 2803 Taylor St. Purchase them at Jennifer Davis-Lamm

An alumnus of St. Mark's and Woodrow Wilson, Steve Miller returns to the area where he cut his teeth as a guitarist and singer. Miller and his band have coasted on their big hits from the ’70s and ’80s for a few decades, and that's not really a bad thing. From "Space Cowboy" to "The Joker" to "Fly Like an Eagle," these songs have been played many times, and fans never tire of them. Also expect Peter Frampton’s best known songs from his landmark live record, Frampton Comes Alive. Frampton goes on at 7:30 p.m., so plan ahead and avoid the suburban rush hour traffic. With Peter Frampton, 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 27, Allen Event Center, 200 E. Stacy Road, Allen,, $49-$129. Eric Grubbs


Record Store Day celebrates the indie record store and promotes new vinyl. Original Vinyl Day: A Retro Celebration celebrates old vinyl — the rare vinyl from the ’70s and ’80s. ZT Records is hosting the event at from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Embassy Suites Convention Center, 7600 John Q. Hammons Drive in Frisco. There will be 3,000 LPs, more than 1,000 CDs (including bootlegs, imports, gold and Japanese), hundreds of 45s, Laserdiscs, VHS tapes and more for sale. Visit the event's Facebook page for more information. Paige Skinner

The Texas Latino Comic Con, celebrating the artists and writers behind comic books starring Latino characters, returns to Dallas for its second year from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak St. Lalo Alcaraz, creator of the syndicated strip La Cucaracha, is the special guest for the con, which includes appearances by Texas-based and national artists behind such titles as El Peso Hero and El Muerto, panel discussions and workshops. (It also includes a cosplay contest.) Admission is free. Find more information at Patrick Williams

Remember the TV show America's Best Dance Crew? Dance groups from all over the country competed in front of three washed-up celebrities for their chance at being named the best of the best? Dallas Hip-Hop Dance Fest is kind of like that but probably a lot better. Dance teams from all over the country will meet Saturday at the Majestic Theater, 1925 Elm St., to battle for the title of DHDF 2018 champ. Doors open at 6 p.m., and tickets are $25. For more information, visit Paige Skinner

As one of country’s biggest voices, Jason Aldean stretches the genre in unexpected directions. Atop typical country music trappings — meat and potatoes lyrics, emotive guitar, accented vocals—Aldean adds threads of soul, alternative rock, R&B, hip-hop and world music. He’s even been known to rap, such as on the single “Gettin’ Warmed Up” off his new album, Rearview Town, his strongest release yet. Power ballads meet clever fusion in Aldean's tunes, which seem engineered for big, euphoric stadium performances. Aldean might flirt with comparatively radical ideas in his arrangements, but his music never fails to feel genuinely part of country music’s rich and storied tradition. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 28, Dos Equis Pavilion, 3839 S. Fitzhugh Ave.,, $41 and up. Jonathan Patrick

Renowned DJ and music producer Paul Oakenfold just returned from a stint in Russia, where he attended World Cup matches and performed a series of shows in the host cities. While there, the longtime soccer fan incorporated elements of Russian rock music and techno into his set lists with the goal of bringing into the limelight the diverse and rich history of the country's musical scene. Considering the news and, y'know, politics, it's unknown if Oakenfold will bring some of this Russian vibe into his upcoming American concerts. Regardless of the content, attendees will be hard pressed to remain calm for his sets. As he's done for decades, Oakenfold will light up the dance floor with rhythmic and mesmerizing performances that feature of bevy of musical genres and textures. The Lizard Lounge will surely be brimming with adrenaline. 9 p.m. Saturday, July 28, Lizard Lounge, 2424 Swiss Ave.,, $15 and up. Jeff Strowe


You don't hear much harmonica music on radio these days, and most of what you're likely to stumble across is reedy old folky stuff. With apologies to Neil Young and Bob Dylan, the proper use of a harmonica is to wail out the blues. Get a dose of the good stuff at the KNON Harmonica Blowout at 4 p.m. Sunday at Poor David's Pub, 1313 S. Lamar St. Acts include Paul Oscher, Stompin’ Bill Johnston with the Super Kings, The Dallas Blues All Stars with Hash Brown and Mike Morgan, and the Harrington Clark Project. Tickets start at $20 at Patrick Williams

In collaboration with Shakespeare Dallas, Junior Players will present Romeo and Juliet at 8:15 p.m. Sunday, closing out their summer season. The place is Samuell-Grand Park Amphitheatre, 1500 Tenison Parkway. Ben Villasenor and Taylor Kincaid take the leading roles. Families are the same — the Montagues and the Capulets, but the setting is Mexico during the 1940s. Spoiler alert: The ending's still tragic. What a difference a cellphone and some simple texting could have played. Tickets are $10, with a $5 discount for seniors and students. For more information, visit or call 214-526-4076. Reba Liner

Apparently, Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, aka Logic, hasn’t let the final leg of his summer tour keep him from writing new music. The 28-year-old rapper took to Twitter recently to say he’s been sitting on seven projects. It could be nothing more than a characteristically boastful statement from a best-selling rapper. All seven of the alleged projects could just be plain bad, too. But given his character and the rave reception of his latest mixtape, Bobby Tarantino II, if Logic speaks the truth, your boy is sitting on a goldmine. The Macklemore antidote hit the scene opening for the likes of Pitbull and Ludacris as they came through his home state of Maryland. His third mixtape, Young Sinatra: Undeniable, earned him his first national tour and made him a shoe-in for the 2013 XXL Freshman Class alongside Joey Bada$$, Action Bronson and Schoolboy Q. Three studio albums and two mixtapes later, and Logic is nearing the summit of the rap game. Hits such as “1-800-273-8255” and “Sucker for Pain,” helped ingratiate his complex lyricism with mainstream audiences while he kept the connoisseurs satisfied with straight rap bangers like “Dead Presidents III” and “44 More.” If you’ve haven’t already heard, let this be a wake-up call. 7 p.m. Sunday, July 29, Dos Equis Pavilion, 3839 S. Fitzhugh Ave,, $18 and up. Nicholas Bostick
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Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner