Things To Do

Best Things To Do in Dallas This Weekend

Warped Tour makes its final stop in Dallas on Friday.
Warped Tour makes its final stop in Dallas on Friday. Mike Brooks


It’s hard for most people to come up with the appropriate thing to say in most conversations, and a civilized exchange on social media can be unheard of even when participants have hours to ponder responses. So imagine the talent required to be a successful improv performer. Actually, don’t think about it — get fully immersed in improv during The Alternative Comedy Theatre’s 10th Big Weekend of Improv, Friday and Saturday at the Addison Conference and Theatre Centre’s Studio Theatre, 15650 Addison Road, and Pocket Sandwich Theatre, 5400 E. Mockingbird Lane. There’s no way to know what’s coming for each show except that every seating offers at least two troupes — many from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and a few out-of-towners from the likes of Austin (Parallelogramophonograph, TylerCo); Norman, Oklahoma (Red Dirt Improv); and Chicago (After Party). The Addison venue hosts the bulk of the fest, with shows at 7 and 9 p.m. Friday and 5:30, 7 and 9 p.m. Saturday. Pocket Sandwich hosts a 1 p.m. Saturday show. Individual show tickets are $5-$10, day passes are $18-$22.50 and a Big Weekend Pass is $40. Visit to purchase tickets and check out the full lineup. Merritt Martin

"She" is a turquoise-haired animated character projected onto a special glass screen. Her voice is created by software. Her songs are collaborative works plugged into a Vocaloid synthesizer — just type in melody and lyrics, and Hatsune Miku stands onstage and regurgitates them in a synthetic, electronically processed voice. In other words, Hatsune Miku is the corporate music world's ideal teen female pop star, an endlessly programmable and replicable nonentity creating something not-quite music. Only she doesn't suffer from eating disorders, drug addiction or bizarre episodes of uncontrolled twerking. See the future of pop (and dread it, if you have taste) as the Hatsune Miku Expo comes to The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets, $55-$153, can be found at Patrick Williams

It’s the end of an era. After close to a quarter of a century, one of the most iconic traveling punk-rock tours will be screaming its swan song in Dallas this year. Love it or hate it, the tour broke the bands that were big in high school (at least mine). Acts such as Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance and Blink-182 gained massive exposure thanks to the tour. It should be noted that none of those bands will be showing up in Dallas or on any Warped Tour stage in this final year. But while bigger names may be few and far between on the Dallas portion of the bill, tour veterans 3OH!3, Senses Fail, Simple Plan and Bowling for Soup, hometown act, will all be on hand. These names and more than 50 others are the lucky few who’ll get to say they closed out 24 years of history. That is, of course, until the nostalgia wheel comes full circle and the tour inevitably gets rebooted. Wishful thinking aside, the occasion is still bittersweet for some, so be ready to doff your trilbies and lower your Anti-Flags to half-mast as Warped Tour 2018 makes its final stop. 11 a.m. Friday, July 6, Dos Equis Pavilion, 3839 S. Fitzhugh Ave, 214-421-1111 or, $45 and up. Nicholas Bostick

With roots in Texas and Louisiana, Marcia Ball has been a part of the blues scene for decades. The pianist and singer has been described as sensational, saucy and irresistible from the likes of USA Today and Boston Globe. Swamp blues, boogie woogie and swamp rock are just a few genres describing Ball's unique sound. Her latest album, The Tattooed Lady and the Alligator Man, playfully embraces all of these descriptions. 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 6, Levitt Pavilion, 100 W. Abram St., Arlington,, free. Diamond Victoria

For three days, get to know some great local bands as Last Chance Records hosts its Summer Hangout concert series at Dan's Silverleaf in Denton. Featuring some of the best bands to come out of North Texas, including Slobberbone and Danny Diamonds, the weekend promises plenty of "beer, sun and live screen printing." Tickets are $30 for a day or $75 for the weekend. 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday, July 6-8, Dan's Silverleaf, 103 Industrial St., Denton,, $30. Diamond Victoria


If only John Waters’ world was reality. If all it took to eradicate racism was a spirited dance-off, then we’d all be practicing our moves right now. Things are a bit more complex and depressing than that, but the musical adaptation of Waters’ inspiring, hopeful dance party, Hairspray, offers a sweet fairy tale escape from the real world. Heroine Tracy Turnblad takes on social change and equality, high school bullies, first loves and big dreams, all without so much as a hair out of place on her fabulous 'do in the exuberant production that opens the 2018-19 Broadway Series at 8 p.m. Saturday at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, 2403 Flora St. It’ll run through July 15 with several matinee and evening performances. Tickets are $24-$156 at Jennifer Davis-Lamm

An expert in texture, improvisation and restraint, visual artist Lisa Reed builds fascinating paintings from wax and oil. Layer after layer of wax is stacked atop another in Reed’s works, which she then completes with a process she calls “unpainting.” This finishing stage of scraping away at the wax to create negative space is what makes her work so unique. The artist has invited patrons to come watch this process firsthand, to see her abstract landscapes come to life in the flesh … or wax, whatever. This free demonstration starts at 11 a.m. Saturday at Dutch Art Gallery, 10233 Northwest Highway. For more information, visit Jonathan Patrick

Get ready to declare, "Give me all the eggs and bacon you have," and "Everything hurts and I'm dying." Brush up on your knowledge of Entertainment 720, Ice Town, Li'l Sebastian and Jerry/Garry/Larry/Terry. Don your best Leslie Knope pantsuit or Ron Swanson mustache while jamming out to "The Pit." Pocket Sandwich Theatre, 5400 E. Mockingbird Lane, Suite 119, is hosting Parks and Recreation Trivia Night from 11:15 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 for non-Pawnee residents or $5 for those in costume. Eagletonians need not attend. For more information, find the event on Facebook. Emily Goldstein

Any longtime ska fan eventually encounters Dicky Barrett’s unforgettable gravely vocals as the frontman of influential third-wave ska act The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. And thanks to his attention-grabbing vocals and the nine-member band’s brassy horn section on catchy singles "The Impression That I Get," “Someday I Suppose" and "Where'd You Go?" the Boston-bred act continues to attract new fans 25 years after forming. The always sharply dressed band was one of the first to find success merging high-energy ska with elements of punk and hardcore, triggering a surge in ska punk’s popularity and inspiring many other acts to follow suit in the late ’90s. Speaking of sharp suits, expect to see a well-dressed crowd mirroring the band because this show’s sure to bring out lots of ready-to-skank rudeboys and rudegirls from around North Texas donning tight-fitted dark suits, narrow ties, and pork pie hats or thin-brimmed trilbies. After forming in 1983, the Bosstones went on a hiatus from 2003-07. This will be Dallas’ first chance to skank along live since the band reactivated. The Bosstones are on tour supporting the band’s 10th studio album, While We’re at It. 7 p.m. Saturday, July 7, House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583 or, $25. Daniel Rodrigue

Country music artist Gary Allan has had more chart-topping hits than a lot of others in his field of work. But it's not just Allan's accolades that highlight his talent. With a career spanning two decades, his music is on par with his electric live performances. Allan's latest album, Hard Way, saw its first single hit air waves in 2015, but its release date is still unclear. 10:30 p.m. Saturday, July 7, Billy Bob's Texas, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth, 817-624-7117 or, $20 and up. Diamond Victoria

Mozez tha Great returned to Dallas about a year ago after working with Bun B, Paul Wall, and Rakim & Eric B. His latest project is slated to help other up-and-coming local hip-hop artists garner recognition through the I Am Dallas Hip-Hop night at Trees and features FL Loud, Previs The Best, Jui$e Leroy, IqMuzic, Contrabandz, Hyperfenton, Alex the Great, Amber Bee and Shoose McGee. 9 p.m., Saturday, July 7, Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122,, $16-$21. Diamond Victoria


If you've been wanting to scratch the itch of seeing a car show and you just can't wait until the State Fair of Texas, then please be patient and wait until Sunday. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sandy Lake Amusement Park, 1800 Sandy Lake Road in Carrollton, is hosting DubSplash 2018, a family-friendly all-Volkswagen car show. It's one of the biggest in the country. The event is free, but park general admission and amusement prices apply. Also, slug Bug, you're it. For more information, visit the event's Facebook page. Paige Skinner
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner