Things To Do

21 Things To Do in Dallas This Week

Oktoberfest! Brian Maschino


Maybe it was balls or just fortuitous timing, given the state of race relations in Dallas today, but Shakespeare Dallas presents Othello, the bard’s grim masterpiece about the jealous “Moor” Othello and his evil companion Iago’s plan to break up Othello’s marriage to the lovely (and white) Desdemona. There’s an apocryphal story of an audience member in the Old West killing the actor playing Iago during a performance. Maybe not, but it’s a pretty intense play with a long history of debate about representations of race. Leave your gun at home, remember it’s only a play and see it at Samuell Grand Park, 1500 Tenison Parkway. General admission tickets are $11.47 at Patrick Williams

If you're a fan of Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards or Eric Clapton, to name a few, you can thank Buddy Guy. The legendary blues guitarist has inspired many of the world's greatest musicians. Guy began specializing in Chicago blues — just like his predecessor Muddy Waters — in the late '50s after moving to the Windy City from Louisiana. These days, Guy, 81, is still going strong, as is obvious with his newest album, The Blues is Alive and Well. 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 19, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 214-824-9933,, $75 and up. Diamond Victoria


If there are three things you can be sure of, it’s life, death and you will go to Addison’s Oktoberfest if you live anywhere in DFW. It’s family-friendly fun. There’s folk dancing. There’s German sausage. And then there’s a carnival on the other side of the festival just in case you get tired of German things or want to make space in your stomach for more sausage. It all goes down Sept. 20-23 at Addison Circle Park, 4970 Addison Circle Drive. Admission is free on Thursday and Sunday and $10 on Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit Paige Skinner

It’s so true that you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. For example, had we known that today’s supermodels would spring from a culture of reality TV and Instastories, we might have appreciated the ’90s supermodel paradigm a little more in its heyday. Back then the women who ruled the runways were all drop-dead glamour, projecting attitudes that lay somewhere between beautiful disdain and sheer empowerment while they pranced around in George Michael videos. It was a different world, and few people captured it in the way that photographer Donna Demari did. In 1991, armed with a camera and an assignment from British Vogue, she took luminous and powerful backstage shots of modeling titans Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Carla Bruni, Christy Turlington, Susie Bick and more during the fall/winter haute couture season. The photos will be on display as part of Age of the Supermodel: The Photographs of Donna Demari at Galleria Dallas, 13350 Dallas Parkway, through Sunday, Oct. 28. The exhibition is free and will be open Tuesdays through Sundays from noon until 6 p.m. Visit for more information. Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Yo La Tengo loves to play at any volume. Founders Georgia Hubley and Ira Kaplan have been a band since 1984, and they have been quite consistent ever since. Their latest, There's a Riot Goin' On, is a gorgeous addition to their catalog. They can play quietly on acoustics and brushes, or they can play loud, droney jams on loud amps, and it all seems to make sense. They're also known for their covers, so who knows what they will play? They will be good, whatever's on the set list. 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 20, at Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave.,, $30-$50. Eric Grubbs

Not one to be cast into any one category, local singer-songwriter A.J. LeGrand describes his music as cosmic country psychedelic folk rock storytelling. Raised in rural areas, LeGrand heard plenty of storytelling in the music he listened to and has carried it with him in his career, which only really started a few years ago. 10 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 20, at Sundown at Granada, 3520 Greenville Ave., 214-823-8305, free. Diamond Victoria

There must be something in the famous Vaughan family blood that makes for great blues guitarists, as is made obvious by the talent of Stevie Ray and his older brother, Jimmie. After the two released an album together in 1990 and after his brother's death, Oak Cliff native Jimmie Vaughan went on to release numerous successful blues rock records and win four Grammy Awards. 8 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 20, at Levitt Pavilion, 100 W. Abram St., Arlington, free. Diamond Victoria

Hopefully with the start of September, being outdoors won’t be so miserable. The Dallas Arboretum seems to be counting on that with its Cool Thursdays Fall Concert Series. (Though to be honest, the series has been running all summer. Cool is a relative term.) There’s your chance to relax by White Rock Lake with beverages and a picnic or buy food from Ruthie’s, Bellatrino and Yim Yam trucks. This Thursday’s performance is by the appropriately named Rocket Man, an Elton John tribute band. The concert starts at 7 p.m. at the Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road. Tickets are $30 for nonmembers and $20 for members, with discounts for seniors and children. For more information, call 214-515-6500 or visit Paige Skinner


The high-fashion community has always been an advocate for AIDS awareness and research. Even when AIDS was still taboo to talk about, designers, models and retailers put the conversation in the spotlight and raised both awareness and funds. That vital tradition continues at the TWOxTWOXTWENTY Pop-Up Shop at Forty Five Ten, 1615 Main St., through Saturday, Oct. 27. For six weeks, you can visit the haute couture destination for a benefit event featuring signature pieces from a variety of brands. Check out luxury tequila purveyors Casa Dragones; sculptures from the artists of Carpenters Workshop Gallery; designers Prabal Gurung, Proenza Schouler, Adam Lippes and more; and pieces from The Tot and SUISTUDIO. If those are a little out of your budget, there will also be a series of limited-edition T-shirts available, and proceeds go to TWOxTWO’s beneficiaries, including amfAR (the Foundation for AIDS Research). For more information, visit Jennifer Davis-Lamm

For a few hours a year, on the third Friday in September, Dallas and other cities around the world do something counterintuitive: reduce the amount of available parking in order to make the downtown area “a more lively, active and community oriented-place to live, work and play.” Various teams, encouraged to use sustainable building materials and to partner with local charities, turn parking spaces into temporary performance stages, dog-sitting services, art installations and other spots meant to attract people, not cars. If you are passionate about walk-ability and overjoyed by the sight of furniture made from shipping pallets, PARK(ing) Day Dallas, free to the public 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, downtown on Main Street between Harwood and Field streets, is a can’t-miss event. Jesse Hughey

The story of diarist Anne Frank, the Jewish girl who along with her family and others spent two years hiding from Nazis in the German-occupied Netherlands before being captured, is a familiar one. (Anne died in a German concentration camp in March 1945.) The Dallas Holocaust Museum, 211 N. Record St., Suite 100, is debuting a special exhibition that tells Franks' story in a modern way, via virtual reality. Let Me Be Myself: The Life Story of Anne Frank will let visitors wear a VR headset that will immerse them in the Secret Annex, the hiding place where Frank wrote her famed diary. The exhibition is included in the regular price of museum admission, $10 for adults with discounts for seniors, kids and active military. Find more information at Patrick Williams

With new age music on the upswing, it’s an apt time for one of its pioneering figures, Laraaji, to roll through town. After a chance encounter with Brian Eno in the late ‘70s, the multi-instrumentalist launched his career with Day of Radiance, the third installment in Eno’s ambient series and a record that would introduce Laraaji’s meditative music to the world. The release’s five hypnotic movements remain a fitting introduction to Laraaji’s sound art, immersing listeners in a drifting stream of gauzy dulcimer, percussive zither and the rhythmic textures of eastern mysticism, a mainstay of Laraaji’s compositions. Presented by DAMN (Dallas Ambient Music Nights), the finest curatorial organization for left field electronic music in the city, this audio-visual event offers a rare chance to bliss out with one of the godfathers of ambient music. Psychedelics not included. With Arji OceAnanda, Dallas Acid and City of Dawn, 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 21, at Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., $30 at Jonathan Patrick

“Are you ready to party?” is a rallying cry typically heard at the beginning of Andrew W.K.’s concerts. (W.K. really knows how to party.) On The Party Never Dies Tour with his full band, W.K. is known for party-perfect tracks such as "Party Hard," “Party Party Party,” "We Want Fun” and “It’s Time To Party.” Sensing a theme here?Memorable for his positive stage banter; kinetic, high-energy performances; and frequently pointing his mic at his fans for their help with his call-and-response and anthem-style lyrics, he truly knows how to captivate and rally an audience. But Andrew Fetterly Wilkes-Krier is much more than your typical singer-songwriter or charismatic frontman. The multi-instrumentalist is also a writer and touring motivational speaker, and in 2016, he announced the launch of a political party, The Party Party, "to unify and unite people under a common celebratory philosophy." 8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 21, at Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122,, $20. Daniel Rodrigue

Often in musical theater, the entertainment comes through the spectacle. Plots are bolstered with costume changes and strobe lights, while music becomes an amped-up series of power chords designed for maximum volume. Once has none of those things. This stripped-down little musical doesn’t even give its main characters names; the set pieces are minimalist; the cast doubles as the orchestra; and the songs manage to convey a world of emotion without even a hint of a thumping bass line. It’s a masterpiece of understatement that packs a wallop, and Theatre3, 2800 Routh St., will produce the Tony Award-winning play onstage through Sunday, Oct. 7. Find yourself engrossed in the tale of an Irish busker who’s encouraged to pursue his dreams by a musical soulmate. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $10 to $20 at Jennifer Davis-Lamm

An immersive performance art piece featuring large-scale puppets, shadow puppetry, video and sound installation, Dirty Turk is a theatrical production that examines cultural assimilation, racism and identity of central character Ozlem through her daydreams, nightmares and memories. Testimony from local immigrants and refugees are woven into the script. It sounds like just the kind of thought-provoking conversation-starter your MAGA-hat-wearing stepdad could’ve used if he didn’t reply “Hell no” immediately after the phrase “immersive performance art.” Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. 29 (and possibly extending into October) at Artstillery’s West Dallas performance space, 723 Fort Worth Ave. Tickets are $10 for students with ID and people from La Bajada and $25 for everyone else. There’s also a two-hour “Talkback!” fundraiser, with cocktails and mingling for $20 for those who want a VIP look into how the production came to be, on the 29th. Call 512-994-8832 or visit Jesse Hughey


The thought of flying in a tiny balloon doesn’t sit well with a lot of people, but seeing them, even from the ground, is a wonder. The InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival is a three-day event that will feature Limelight band, a fireworks show, food, merchandise and 45 hot-air balloons. This all takes place Sept. 21-23 at Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve, 2801 E. Spring Creek Parkway. Tickets start at $5. For more information, visit Paige Skinner

Dallas’ fire department started way back in 1860 with just two hand engines, 10 fire extinguishers and a firehouse full of dedicated firefighters. Today, Dallas has a much larger but equally dedicated crew of men and women who risk their lives to protect the public. Celebrate and learn about the city’s fire and rescue department with some of its finest at the 4th Annual FireFest at the Dallas Firefighters Museum, 3801 Parry Ave. The event features hands-on exhibits and activities for kids. The signature Hose Cart Races at noon features teams of five racers pulling historically accurate hose carts for a $1,000 cash prize. The FireFest runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22. Admission is free, and all the festival’s proceeds will go to the museum. Visit for more information. Danny Gallagher

Shake your booty and get down tonight with funky outfit KC and the Sunshine Band. It's one of those bands your parents probably made you listen to, but you didn't mind too much. For 45 years, KC and the Sunshine band have encouraged you to party, so why not go along for the ride? 10:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 22, at Billy Bob's, 2520 Rodeo Plaza, Fort Worth, 817-624-7117, $35-$55. Diamond Victoria

For its 35th season opener at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Undermain Theatre, 3200 Main St., will present the world premiere of Len Jenkin’s How is it That We Live or Shakey Jake + Alice. Jenkin, playwright, director, screenwriter and novelist, frequently collaborates with John Arnone, who designed the set, lighting and costumes for the cast — Bruce DuBose, Danielle Georgiou, Sharon Kearns and Jim Jorgensen. Artistic director is Katherine Owens. You’ll spend an evening following the lives of two lovers through the years, from first kiss to final goodbye, as the lifelong partners strive to answer the question, “How is it that we live?” For a variety of ticket prices, call 214-747-5515 for shows running Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 7. For information: Reba Liner


Pretty proud of that 60-inch flat-screen TV, are you? Surround sound, wall mount, all ready to kick back for the Cowboys’ season. Especially proud that your brother-in-law has only a 50-inch screen? Well, before you go getting all Freudian on us, big guy, consider this: Texas Live, 1650 E. Randol Mill Road in Arlington, is throwing a Cowboys watch party this Sunday and showing on a 100-foot screen. Don’t feel too deflated, fella. Remember, size doesn’t matter. Mostly. See the Cowboys take on the Seattle Seahawks when the party starts at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Buckets of Coors Light and Miller Light are $30, but admission is free. Reserve a table by emailing [email protected]. Patrick Williams

When comedian, actor, singer, songwriter, DJ, producer and director Donald Glover signed to Glassnote Records in 2011, few fans, music writers, critics or bloggers could have imagined the impact the young celebrity’s rapper alter ego would have after only three studio albums, three EPs and a dozen singles. Easily the most influential, his single "This Is America" debuted in May 2018 at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 after Glover performed the song on Saturday Night Live while simultaneously unleashing the single and the remarkable Hiro Murai-directed music video, which quickly went viral. In the four months since the single dropped, the video has already garnered a staggering 400 million views on YouTube and more than 220 million plays on Spotify. Fans on the fence about attending won't want to miss this tour, because after kicking off the This Is America Tour in Atlanta on Sept. 6, SPIN, Fader and others reported that in fan-captured videos from the concert Glover announced the tour would be “The last Gambino tour ever.” 8 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 23, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., $49 and up at Daniel Rodrigue
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Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner