Things To Do

Best Things To Do in Dallas This Weekend

Celebrate Day of the Dead this weekend.
Celebrate Day of the Dead this weekend. Elroy Johnson IV


Neil Diamond’s songs have never needed anything to punch them up. If you’ve ever heard a bar full of last-call patrons slurring “Sweet Caroline,” you know this is true. Those tunes stand on their own. That said, putting a little orchestration behind those well-worn, iconic hits adds a good dose of sparkle to your favorite Diamond earworms. Super Diamond: A Tribute to Neil Diamond gets a little power from the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra during performances at Bass Performance Hall, 525 Commerce, at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, plus a matinee show at 2 p.m. Sunday. Get your fill of glittery jumpsuits and swelling pop arrangements as the next best thing to the legendary crooner himself hits the stage in Cowtown. Tickets range from $33 to $104.50 at Jennifer Davis-Lamm

The last time stand-up comedian Felipe Esparza was in town, he performed a weekend of shows to a packed crowd at a local comedy club. A year later, his audience and popularity have grown so big that he needs big venues to accommodate his shows, like the one he’s doing Friday at the Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St. The Los Angeles native found the drive to pursue his comedy career in an unlikely place: rehab. He told NBC News that he included comedy as one of his goals on a list he was required to make in a group rehab session to help treat his drug addiction. After he cleaned up, he hit the road looking for gigs. He’s performed his comedy in several late night shows, including The Tonight Show, Lopez and ComicView and recorded specials for HBO and Showtime. He also hosts the What’s Up Fool? podcast on Bill Burr’s All Things Comedy network. Tickets are $35 to $53 and can be purchased at Danny Gallagher

Richard Wagner’s music is ferocious. It’s immense in size, hefty in sound and often difficult to unravel, marked by severe complexity and blinding emotion. No doubt, patrons often find the length and intensity of the composer’s works a touch exhausting, if not aggravating. Wagner’s fifth opera, The Flying Dutchman, however, finds a refreshing middle ground between accessibility and the artist’s more uncompromising inclinations. Classical music heads needn’t worry either, as The Flying Dutchman is a breathtaking ride from start to finish. There are four performances: 8 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. Sunday; and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday, Oct. 17 and 20. All dates take place at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. Tickets start at $19. More info at Jonathan Patrick

Rockers 4 Knockers started a simple rock show to help raise money for breast cancer awareness. LoveSick Mary’s lead singer’s grandmother was the inspiration behind it all. Seven years later, the event is a rock show and burlesque hybrid. LoveSick Mary hosts the event that will feature Lana del Gay, Birdie Holly, Donna Denise and more. This year’s event will benefit Stand Up To Cancer (or SU2C), which finds new and innovative ways to treat the disease. The show starts at 9 p.m. Friday at Viva’s Lounge, 1350 Manufacturing St., Suite 120. Tickets start at $20 at Paige Skinner

With its mind-bending video displays and diaphanous soundscapes, DAMN engineers one of the most singular art experiences in North Texas. For the 33rd installment in the concert series, DAMN once again transforms the Texas Theatre into an isolation tank of spectral tones and nebulous atmospheres. Synths will eddy. Colors will twist and bleed. Patrons will be transformed. From white noise and minimalist electronics, to the pastoral and the haunting, DAMN promises a wide swath of ambient music, synced to the most captivating visuals you’ll witness all year. Musicians Jess Garland, Darren Ryan, Brian Tomerlin, Sean Miller and Body Mechanics will join video artists Michael Morris, Astral Vision System, Evan Henry, Mike Petty and Jim Branstetter. DJ Mutarrancho will spin in the lobby before, after and between sets. 9 p.m. Friday at Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd, $10 in advance, $15 day of, at Jonathan Patrick


In the 14th year of the Plano International Festival, the annual celebration of cultural diversity and inclusion will pull out all the stops — including an outdoor naturalization ceremony that sets the hopeful tone for the event. Beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, Haggard Park, 901 East 15th St., will come alive with the sights, sounds and tastes of the global influences that run throughout the suburban community. Visitors will have the opportunity to catch multi-cultural dance and musical performances, sample internationally inspired dishes from a diverse variety of food trucks, get free health screenings and immunizations at a health fair and expose their kiddos to hands-on and educational activities. Admission to this colorful whirlwind of culture is free. To learn more, head to Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Flying a kite isn’t easy. It takes patience, perfect timing, persistence and more patience. Having these skills leads to being a great human being, so that’s why you should bring your kid to the Trinity River Kite Festival. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the festival grounds, 146 W. Commerce St. at the Trinity River, there will be public kite flying, kite making, arts and crafts and food trucks — all great things to create your wholesome Saturday afternoon. The festival is free. For more information, call 214-671-9500. Paige Skinner

We’re nearing the end of the dog days of summer, but that doesn’t mean Dog Day Afternoon has to end. Operation Kindness, DFW’s biggest no-kill shelter, presents this one-of-a-kind festival, where you can bring your dogs for a costume contest, get them microchipped (the first 100 get it for free) and vaccinated for cheap. There’ll even be a puppy kissing booth. Be there at 10 a.m. Saturday, at Operation Kindness, 3201 Earhart Drive, Carrollton. Admission is free. For more information, call 972-418-7297 or visit Paige Skinner

If you’ve got a need for speed and, more precisely, for that speed to come from pre-1975 vehicles that look like they belong on the set of the next Mad Max movie or an early-’60s B-movie about juvenile delinquents, this is the car show for you. Ratrodtober includes mini-bike races with a $1,000 grand prize, music and awards for two- and four-wheel vehicles alike, including categories like Best Fins, Most Likely to Fail and the Porkstick Pick. The show starts at 10:45 a.m. at TUPPS Brewery, 721 Anderson St., McKinney. Registration has closed, so plan to just come enjoy the show if you haven’t already signed your baby up. Call 972-591-3858 or visit for more information. Jesse Hughey


Each year the Bath House Cultural Center hosts its Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, exhibit. For its 32nd year, the event will focus on literary themes, featuring a variety of media accompanied by poems. Literary arts has always been a focus in the celebration of the Day of the Dead, especially writings that look into the concept of life and death. The exhibition will feature artwork by Karen Eliza Aguilar, Chandra and Ronald Armstead, Rita Barnard and plenty more. The exhibit is free and reception with the artists is 5 p.m. Sunday at Bath House Cultural Center, 521 East Lawther Drive. For more information, call 214-670-8723. Paige Skinner

In 2016, Bruno Mars told Billboard his then-upcoming third studio release would need to be as good, if not better than his previous, 2012’s Unorthodox Jukebox. That album won a Grammy, kicked off his second world tour and sold more than 6 million copies. Even attempting to match that level of success is ambitious in its own right. The jury’s still out on whether 24K Magic will hit the same heights as Mars’ sophomore album, but it is probably fair to say it won’t. Despite perhaps not being quite as ubiquitous a name in 2018, Mars is ever the showman and by any definition, 24K Magic can only be described as a success. Three of the album’s singles have reached or surpassed platinum sales. And while the title track might be disregarded as a clear rehash of “Uptown Funk” by some, it’s an enjoyable tune overall if you just take it for what it is. “That’s What I Like,” a danceable and sultry R&B track, has thus far made the biggest impact, matching some of the biggest hits of Mars’ career. And Mars has further showcased his versatility on “Wake Up in the Sky,” a recent feature with Gucci Mane for his upcoming album Evil Genius. Bruno Mars hasn’t skipped a beat. 8 p.m. Sunday at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., $90 and up at Nicholas Bostick

Nobody airs their dirty laundry quite like Lily Allen – and in such a relatable way. The U.K. pop singer's catalog of sad girl anthems are therapy to many. But it's not just upbeat, catchy earworms like "Fuck You" that get us nodding in agreement to giving our exes the finger – Allen just released a memoir last year titled My Thoughts Exactly that explores the singer's history of sexual abuse within the industry, having had an affair with Liam Gallagher and a close relationship to drugs and alcohol. 7 p.m. Sunday at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 214-978-2583, $34.50. Diamond Victoria
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Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner