Things To Do

19 Things To Do in Dallas This Week

Poison! Coming! To! Dallas!
Poison! Coming! To! Dallas! Alex Scott


See late 19th century France through the eyes of Parisian nobility when French literature professor and fashion historian Caroline Weber discusses her latest book, Proust’s Duchess: How Three Celebrated Women Captured the Imagination of Fin de Siecle Paris, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St. The book follows three women — Geneviève Halévy Bizet Straus, Laure the Comtesse de Chevigné and Élisabeth the Comtesse Greffuhle — who sought freedom from social rules of the time by inspiring creativity in salons. They were the basis for Marcel Proust's fictional character the Duchesse de Guermantes. Tickets are $40 for the public, $30 for DMA members and educators, and $20 for students. For more information, visit Emily Goldstein

For the uninitiated, "Nightmares on Wax" splashed across a gig poster might conjure to mind the soundtrack from a dark '70s or '80s slasher flick. But for fans of George Evelyn and his many collaborations with N.O.W., the name invokes a lengthy, decade-spanning back catalogue of genre-bridging and genre-bending tracks that call to mind a much more laid-back and positively uplifting vibe — especially on the last two full-length albums. Since 1989, Nightmares on Wax has continued to be a mainstay and one of the most iconic names on the roster of U.K.-based independent record label Warp Records. After releasing numerous notable singles, such as “You Wish,” “Flip Ya Lid” and "Les Nuits," Evelyn established himself as a respected electronic and trip-hop trendsetter, and his down-tempo and trip-hop approach to production creates a unique, influential sound built on numerous genres, including modern jazz, funk, soul and R&B, as well as hip-hop, acid house and dub. A live band on the tour supports Evelyn’s latest full-length release, Shape the Future, a record that conjures on-the-couch vibes paired with positive messages and observations. 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, Trees, 2709 Elm St.,, $20. Daniel Rodrigue


Few comics have done as much for comedy as Tig Notaro. She called out Louis C.K.’s deplorable behavior long before anyone in the public eye was talking about it. She talked candidly about her struggles with cancer. She’s also damn funny. The stand-up comedian will headline a show at the Eisemann Center, 2351 Performance Drive in Richardson, for a charity comedy show at 7:30 p.m. Thursday to raise money for Cancer Support Community North Texas, the local nonprofit that provides emotional and educational support for cancer patients and their families. Tickets are $62.50 and can be purchased at Danny Gallagher

We don’t often go to a play without knowing at least something about what we’re going into. As a result, we set expectations; we feel a certain familiarity with the material before we even get to the venue. Dallas Theater Center’s White Rabbit Red Rabbit turns that experience on its head. The actor performing the play has never seen it. Each time, a new actor opens an envelope and performs a real-time social experiment as he or she goes. Playwright Nassim Soleimanpour crafted it as a subversively humorous way to emphasize the power of human connection. Experience it through July 1 at the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Wyly Studio Theatre, 2400 Flora St. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 2 and 8 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $20-$82 at Jennifer Davis-Lamm

James Clapper, director of National Intelligence from 2010-17, will speak and sign his new book, Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence, at 7 p.m. Thursday at a meeting of the World Affairs Council of Dallas-Fort Worth at Parish Episcopal School's Midway Campus, 4101 Sigma Road. Clapper’s Air Force career (he’s a retired lieutenant general) led to heading the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. While serving President Barack Obama, Clapper navigated the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Also on his watch: the Benghazi attack, WikiLeaks and the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Members pay $35; nonmembers, $55. A ticket includes one book. Register at or call 214-965-8412. Reba Liner

There are only two kinds of magic in the world: very good magic and very bad magic. Illusionist David Blaine is in the first category. He still does the basics, like card tricks, but he puts his wellbeing on the line almost every time he tries to find a card. He pushes the limits of his body and strength to the very edge in his famous stunts, which include freezing himself in a block of ice for almost two days. You can see the modern master of illusion live at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 First Ave. Tickets are $39-$125 and can be purchased at Danny Gallagher

The Ohio natives of Hawthorne Heights have delivered punchy post-hardcore rock to fans for more than a decade. The band has also seen numerous lineup changes over the years but has settled nicely these days on a quartet including two original members — JT Woodruff on lead vocals and guitar and Matt Ridenour on backing vocals and bass. Hawthorne Heights' popularity took off in 2004, and this year's Bad Frequencies is its first album in five years. Although reluctant to label itself "emo" or "screamo," Hawthorne Heights certainly embodies some of those styles made popular in the early aughts by the likes of Taking Back Sunday and Brand New. 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 31, RBC, 2617 Commerce St., 469-487-6149,, $20-$22. Diamond Victoria


A dazzling masterstroke of symmetry and kineticism, Swan Lake still draws patrons more than 120 years after its debut. Even with updated choreography by Ben Stevenson, it’s among the most difficult ballets to perform. Part of what makes Swan Lake so riveting is just how risky it is to pull off successfully. As a disorienting tangle of atmospheric set design, emotional exhaustion and circuitous storytelling, Swan Lake all but demands to be overblown while at the same time its traditional roots often lead to stilted performances. What will we get from the Texas Ballet Theatre — thrilling maximalism, wooden convention or something in between? Showing up to find out is half the fun. The Dallas Opera Orchestra performs Tchaikovsky’s legendary score. Performances happen Friday through Sunday at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. Tickets start at $20. For more information, visit Jonathan Patrick

Put on your deerstalker cap and grab your magnifying glass for a night of playing detective as the Dallas Museum of Art hosts an interactive murder hunt with Museum Murder Mystery: An Artful Game of Clue. Miss Mary Pelham is dead, and you must figure out the room where the murder took place, uncover the murder weapon and interview suspects, among them Helen of Troy and Camille Pissarro. The murder most foul happens at 8 p.m. Friday at the DMA, 1717 Harwood St. Tickets are $35 for non-museum members and $30 for members and students age 16 or older. Find them at Patrick Williams

Nearly six decades into his career, one of America’s most iconic songwriters has announced his imminent retirement after one last trip around the world. Paul Simon’s Homeward Bound Tour will end this September in New York City along with Simon’s tenure as a full-time musician. But the occasion so far hasn’t been a somber farewell for fans or the man himself. Simon’s been pulling out all the stops along this final lap, belting out everything from the deepest Simon & Garfunkel cuts to his own classic hits. Overwhelming audiences are desperate to mourn Simon’s recession from the spotlight with songs such as “The Boxer,” “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” and “El Condor Pasa.” Perhaps the levity has something to do with Simon’s loose take on retirement. While he won’t be performing as often, he’s still due to release a new album this fall and has already hinted at possible one-off shows in the future. Regardless of what happens, Simon’s voice will grace Dallas in full earnest. Grab your ticket while you can; this one’s likely to sell out. 8 p.m. Friday, June 1, American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 214-665-4299, $50 and up. Nicholas Bostick


Modest Mussorgsky is oddly relatable for a Russian composer who keeled over at age 42 some 130 years ago. He was born into a wealthy family but was drawn more to the folk songs of peasants. He was a hard drinker, squandering days and nights at seedy taverns. And his career was unremarkable at best. He couldn’t cut it in the military and supported himself with menial work, never making a living from music. Yet this untrained slob created some of the most celebrated, beautiful Russian music of the 19th century. Dallas Symphony Orchestra assistant conductor Ruth Reinhardt will conduct his best-known work, Pictures at an Exhibition, with original choreography by Dallas Black Dance Theatre: Encore at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora St. Tickets, $15-$49, are available at Jesse Hughey

There is no greater love than between a human and his or her canine companion. This is a fact. Please don’t argue. There are tons of love movies revolving around a man and woman, but not enough about dogs. To combat that, The Modern in Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St., is hosting The NY Dog Film Festival, which includes a lineup of fantastic dog movies, like Who Rescued Whom? and Outdoor Adventures With Dogs. The festival happens 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10, with 10 percent of proceeds go to Saving Hope. For more information, visit Paige Skinner

Think of, the matching website from the North Texas nonprofit VolunteerNow, as Tinder for community service. Instead of weeding out potential matches, you can browse organizations based on causes such as education, social services, health and hunger. The Voly in the Park volunteerism festival, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at Kylde Warren Park, 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, will include 75 nonprofit agencies, volunteer activities and entertainment. For more information, visit To learn more about volunteer opportunities in Dallas and Fort Worth, visit Emily Goldstein

Poison’s most successful record is called Open Up and Say…Ahh!. The cover features a half-beast, half-man, mouth open, teeth bared, with a giant dangling tongue Gene Simmons would envy. In other words, when it comes to Poison, you know what you’re getting. You’re getting clumsy sexual metaphors like “She goes down slow like a shot of gin.” (Since when do shots go down slowly?) You’re getting crunchy, glue-drenched hair, faux androgyny and gassy pop metal anthems that go nowhere. The only substance in Poison’s music, really, is the blatant disregard for taste that animates every hit. Which, when you think about it, is a good thing. Taste doesn’t lead to euphoric, beer-drenched nights. Taste doesn’t inspire yelling out lyrics to a song that topped the charts 30 years ago. Taste doesn’t factor into a Poison concert — taste is never that fun. With Cheap Trick and Pop Evil, 7 p.m. Saturday, June 2, The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, 316 W. Las Colinas Boulevard,, $22 and up. Jonathan Patrick

If you can get past the KFC bucket and creepy white mask, you can start to enjoy Buckethead's music. Otherwise known as Brian Patrick Carroll, Buckethead transcends any one genre and has reportedly released hundreds of studio albums in his 31-year career. He's considered by many critics to be one of the best guitar players who's lived, but the instrumentalist's talent doesn't stop there. Buckethead excels in bass, banjo and the keys as well. 8 p.m. Saturday, June 2, Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933 or, $30-$56. Diamond Victoria

Polyphonic Spree is truly a one-of-a-kind band. The revolving-member symphonic pop choral is the product of frontman and founder Tim DeLaughter's desire to create something with the pop sensibilities of the Beatles or the Beach Boys. An act perhaps best experienced live, Polyphonic Spree combines about 15 horns, keys, strings and woodwinds to conjure something magically whimsical and totally refreshing. Check out the band's free show at the newly opened Box Garden venue at Legacy Hall in Plano. 6 p.m. Saturday, June 2, The Box Garden, 7800 Windrose Ave., Plano,, free. Diamond Victoria


Mamma Mia 2 hits theaters toward the end of July. We’re not saying that the film looks bad, but we’re not saying it looks great, either. The first film was good and followed Amanda Seyfried’s character as she met three men from her mother’s past and tried to determine which one was her father. But you know what was even better than the movie? The musical! Mamma Mia!, a musical utilizing Abba’s hit songs, is so much better than anything Meryl Streep is in. See for yourself Saturday through June 10 at Casa Manana, 3101 W. Lancaster Ave. in Fort Worth. Tickets start at $59. Visit for more information. Paige Skinner

With a sound straight out of the ’90s and a name that references a character in the Love and Rockets comic book series, Speedy Ortiz is one of today's best touring indie rock bands. Singer and guitarist Sadie Dupuis fronts the group with time signatures that are both erratic and catchy. But as audacious as this band sounds, the members click so well that it never comes across as clumsy or careless. Speedy Ortiz has riffs that are as energetic and strident as what you hear in Superchunk songs. As much as this band rocks, there is a melodicism and pop sensibility that makes its music accessible. And like Stephen Malkmus from ’90s indie rock group Pavement or Liz Phair, Dupuis’ lyrics are worth reading, incorporating a sophisticated sense of wordplay and dark humor. 7 p.m. Sunday, June 3, Dada, 2720 Elm St.,, $15. Jeremy Hallock

Minus the Bear has released six albums, but its third, Planet of Ice, remains a fan favorite. The band is celebrating its release from 11 years ago, so expect this show to have the album played from start to finish. Guitarist Dave Knudson continues to drop jaws with his inventive playing, which mixes well with the keyboard-heavy math pop. And if you're up for staying out really late on a Sunday, hop on over next door to Sundown, where Minus the Bear keyboardist Alex Rose will do a DJ set. With The New Trust, 8 p.m. Sunday, June 3, Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave.,, $30. Eric Grubbs
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Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner