Things To Do

21 Things to Do in Dallas This Week

ERMAHGERD it's time for CatFest.
ERMAHGERD it's time for CatFest. Shutterstock
These days, it’s a cat’s world, and we just live in it. These tiny mousers were tasked to warn off rodents in order to earn their keep when they first entered our homes hundreds of years ago. Now, you’ll be hard pressed to get Mittens out of his bed without opening a can of tuna or dishing out catnip for an afternoon of hazy-eyed fun. But proof of our obsession and love for these little lions is evident, thanks to the internet and its videos documenting their many antics. And Dallas gets to experience cat videos on the big screen, thanks to Dallas VideoFest CatFest, a one-day feline film festival celebrating the world’s best cat videos in more genres than you probably thought possible for such an event — comedy, drama, animated, musical, action, vintage and documentary. Showtime is at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, at Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd. Tickets are $15. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., 7 p.m., $15, — Diamond Victoria

For anyone who paid attention during high school lit, the names Ralph and Piggy will trigger a reaction. Outcry Theatre brings Nigel Williams’ adaptation of William Golding’s classic novel, Lord of the Flies, to the stage of the Addison Theatre Centre, 15650 Addison Road, through Sept. 3. Using four casts throughout its run, the company revives the spirit of the conch and the descent into aggression of marooned kids. It’s a bleak story, to be sure, but one that has persisted in popularity for decades because of the timeless topics of the end of innocence and fragility of civilization. The last Thursday performance is at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 24. Additional showings are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and 6:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $10 to $20. Visit Addison Theatre Centre, 15650 Addison Road, 7:30 p.m., $10-$20, — Merritt Martin

A homeless encampment under a bridge is a statistic, but a single homeless person is a tragedy. But in James Hansen Prince’s A Debt That Led to Home, presented through Sept. 17 by The Core Theatre, 518 W. Arapaho Road in Richardson, the “invisible population” is the center of the story. Directed by Eric Hanson, the play follows a journalist looking for a story but finding more than she expected as she dives into the lives of two homeless people. Showtimes are at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and there are 3 p.m. matinees Sept. 10 and 17. Tickets are $20 ($10 for students and seniors). Call 214-930-5338 or visit Core Theatre, 518 W. Arapaho Road, Richardson, 8 p.m., $10-$20,— Merritt Martin

People don’t call themselves entertainers anymore. Everyone prefers to lock him- or herself in a bubble of performance, whether it’s a comedian or a musician or an actor. What happened to the people who live to entertain audiences by being multifaceted? Eric Schwartz definitely fits the title of entertainer. Sure, he’s performing at a comedy club, but it’s not the only thing he can do to make you feel entertained. He can be funny. He can write everything from songs to sketches. He can act. He can sing and play music. He can shoot and direct comedy videos. See this seasoned entertainer who has worked with the likes of Jason Mraz, Craig Robinson and Tiffany Haddish at Hyena’s Comedy Nightclub, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane. Performances are at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24; 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25; and 8 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26. Tickets, $12 to $30, can be purchased at Hyena's Comedy Nightclub, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, 8:30 p.m., $12-$30, — Danny Gallagher

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Decks in the Park returns to Klyde Warren Friday.
Roderick Pullum
Dallas Green isn't just the lead singer, rhythm guitarist and songwriter for hardcore screamo outfit Alexisonfire; he also plays his hand at the other side of the multifaceted alternative genre with his country folk project, City and Colour. The Toronto-based musician uses his softer sound to release music he's written since age 14. Green has released five albums under his City and Colour moniker. The latest was 2015's If I Should Go Before You, which he's promoting on his current tour. House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., 9 p.m., $55 and up, — Diamond Victoria

Steven Tyler released his only solo album, We're All Somebody From Somewhere, a “country-tinged” record produced in Nashville with the help of T-Bone Burnett and a bunch of Music City songwriters, including Chris DeStefano (Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan), Hillary Lindsey (Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw) and the Warren Brothers (Faith Hill, Martina McBride). It’s sort of endearing that Steven Tyler pays lip service to concepts like “authenticity,” particularly because he’s a survivor of rock ’n’ roll’s gilded age, never mind that Aerosmith continues to rock arenas despite the fact that its members’ ages add up to something like a million years. Seeing how Tyler’s already dabbled in shoehorning rap into his music, he shouldn’t give a shit about what anyone thinks. Besides, “Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” which came out about 20 years ago, is pretty much a country song already. Tyler may yet get made fun of by Sturgill Simpson super fans (correction: probably already is), but really, so long as he isn’t rapping about tailgates or tractors, Tyler is most likely in the clear. WinStar World Casino, 777 Casino Ave., Thackerville, Oklahoma, 8 p.m., $27-$125, — Steve Steward

Bryson Tiller is an amalgamation of contemporary R&B music. He’s often criticized for ripping off The Weeknd and Drake, and not bringing anything new to the table. But we’ll give him this: He rips them off really well. He has an ear for melodies, his voice is sultry and his lyrics are relatable. When he released TRAPSOUL in 2015, tracks like “Don’t” and “Exchange” became anthems for the brokenhearted and placed him in a class with Partynextdoor and Jeremih, other fresh faces of R&B. In support of his new album, True To Self, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts, Tiller is playing Bomb Factory on Friday with up-and-coming singer H.E.R. and superstar producer Metro Boomin. Bomb Factory 2713 Canton St., 8 p.m., $45-$128, — Mikel Galicia

Wrapped in the fingers of the arts district’s glittering skyscrapers, Klyde Warren Park is one of the most idyllic spaces in all of Dallas. It makes an almost too obvious setting for Decks in the Park, Dallas’ largest free outdoor music festival. The festival, an exhibition of mostly electronic artists, is stacked deep with sounds both gorgeous and ambitious. From the electropop of Ishi to the buttery-smooth stylings of Christy Ray, Decks in the Park is a keen, finegrain snapshot at the local music scene. Decks in the Park is from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25, and admission is free. For more information, visit Klyde Warren Park, 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, 6-10 p.m. Friday, free, — Jonathan Patrick

Our brains love to make our lives seem worse than they really are, thanks to a weird evolutionary trait that served our ancestors who lived at a time when eating rocks was considered a luxury. Now it just seems like it’s always preparing us for the worst. So what happens if the worst actually happens? Director Janicza Bravo explores this sad moment of human life in his film Lemon, starring Brett Gelman, Judy Greer and Michael Cera. The movie tells the story of Isaac Lachmann, a 40-year-old nobody who feels stuck in life because he sees his existence as defective. How does someone cope with a life he sees as the equivalent of a gas station burrito that barely qualifies as the thing it was made to be? Find out by seeing Lemon, the opening film of the 2017 Oak Cliff Film Festival, at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25; 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26; or 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27, at the Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd.. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd. 7 p.m., $10, — Danny Gallagher

In 2014, Little D Markets jumped on the opportunity to bring people into lovely spaces that weren’t being championed for community events. Thanks to Little D, we have the Commerce Street Night Market, 444 W. Commerce St., from 6 to 10 p.m. the last Friday of each month in the Pike West Commerce outdoor pavilion. The free, open-air market offers a family-friendly stroll with live music; food options to satisfy cravings for tamales, ice pops and more; and vendors selling wares ranging from clothing to natural skincare to stained glass to pet attire. The Oddfellows-run bar will serve beer, wine and watermelon sangria while DJ Durty Laundry spins tunes. Culture vultures will appreciate the pottery workshop by James Olney of Oak Cliff Pottery from 7 to 9 p.m. For more details, visit the event page on Facebook. To learn about becoming a vendor or hosting a workshop, visit 444 W. Commerce St., 6-10 p.m., free, — Merritt Martin

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Get your meat on at the Meat Fight 1K Saturday.
Alison McLean
The little charity that could has turned into a meat-eating juggernaut that can no longer be contained at its annual Meat Fight competitive cook-off; Dallas is hungry for much more. So locally beloved Meat Fight has spun off a 1K event that accomplishes everything its mission requires: raising money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society; copious amounts of meaty goodness; and plenty of irreverent, low-brow meaty humor. No word on whether glittery pig monuments will be present at the Meat Fight 1K 2017 at Tupps Brewery, 721 Anderson St. in McKinney, but competitors will be challenged to scarf down food from at least 12 stations in order to earn their medals. The bad news is that tickets to Meat Fight 1K at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26 are sold out — but the good news is that you can support the meaty endeavor by donating or buying merch at TUPPS Brewery, 721 Anderson St., 7 p.m. free, — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Forget all the men — Mary J. Blige is arguably the most influential and popular figure in R&B history. While her nine Grammys, 30 Grammy nominations and eight platinum records make her the most decorated artist in her field, Blige’s music tells the real story. At turns sensual and forceful, Blige’s richly detailed music covers ground as delicate and complex as addiction, love lost and prejudice. Threading together soul and hip hop, Blige’s songs laid the groundwork for the sounds modern listeners now associate with R&B and neo soul. Blige's greatest feat is finding confidence in suffering and flipping that into inspirational anthems that empower fans across the globe. Her legacy is showing countless artists how to perform the same miracle decades later. Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 1st Ave., 8 p.m., $60.50-$130.95, — Jonathan Patrick

Starplex Pavilion's specialty is big-ticket country concerts. The wide stage design, ample lawn seating and big-screen video boards lend themselves well to warm summer nights spent under the stars with a beer or two in hand. Saturday night's bill of Lady Antebellum and Kelsea Ballerini should make for a particularly exciting country showcase. Back out on the road after the lengthiest break of their decadelong career, the three members of Lady Antebellum have been touring this summer with a renewed energy and vigor. They've added a horn section, punched up the volume on their amps a notch or two, and delved into their back catalog, out to prove that they’re more than "Need You Now" and "I Run To You." (Not to worry, those hits will still make it onto the evening's setlist.) Ballerini, a 2017 Grammy nominee for best new artist, works her Tennessee drawl to maximum effect on her sunny and charismatic pop-country tunes. She's a natural energizer who will get the crowd up and moving as the sun goes down and folks make their way to their seats and lawn spots. Starplex Pavilion, 3839 S. Fitzhugh Ave., 7:30 p.m., $34.75-$66.25, — Jeff Strowe

Going to the movies was an adventure when you were a kid. Since the internet wasn’t even a gleam in anyone’s bloodshot, overcaffeinated eye, it was the only way to see the movies that everyone was talking about. Relive the days when you had to go to a theater to see a movie by going to the Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., to see one of the greatest adventures of this classic age of cinema. Director Tim Burton’s blockbuster hit Pee Wee’s Big Adventure first brought the world’s greatest man-child to the big screen in a comedy that’s as timeless as Herman’s maturation process. Herman’s beloved bicycle gets stolen by a snobby, rich kid, so he has to cross the country to track it down and get it back. You can’t truly call yourself a Texan until you’ve sat in a crowded theater and screamed “deep in the heart of Texas!” during the movie’s crucial Alamo scene. The theater will screen the ’80s comedy with an original 35mm print as part of its Summer Adventure Series at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26. Tickets are $10.75 and can be purchased at the box office and at Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., 8 p.m., $10.75, – Danny Gallagher

Wanz Dover and a rotating guest list of some of the city's best soul DJs throw a retro party, touching on funk, soul, psyche rock, surf, protopunk, garage rock and other assorted old school jams, every Saturday night at Ships Lounge. With tunes from Velvet Underground to Otis Redding, this weekly Lower Greenville gig is a great alternative for those not wanting to brave Deep Ellum on its busier nights. It's truly a night dedicated to perfect dive bar jams for mods and rockers of all stripes. Ship's Lounge, 1613 Greenville Ave., 9 p.m., free, — Diamond Victoria

The Uptown Players close out an epic season that’s featured shipwrecks, train wrecks and gender-bending hilarity with its production of The Tribute Artist from Friday, Aug. 25, to Sept. 10 at the Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd. Coy Covington takes on the role of Jimmy Nichols, a man who specializes in paying tribute to legendary female performers. He puts that talent to good use when his landlord, a feisty and high-handed old dame, passes away unexpectedly: He dons her caftans and boas in a farcical effort to sell her home before the cutthroat world of Manhattan real estate intrudes. Of course, nothing ever goes as planned, resulting in plenty of the hijinks you’d expect from playwright Charles Busch and the nimble cast. Catch a performance at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, or at a 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $10 to $40 at Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd., 2 p.m., $10-$40, — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

For film buffs who love classic musicals produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios during Hollywood’s musical heyday, this weekend the McKinney Classic Film Festival promises to entertain as it presents MGM musicals from the ’40s and ’50s Aug. 25, 26 and 27. The popularity of La La Land sparked a renewed interest in the classic Hollywood musicals that inspired the award-winning film by director Damien Chazelle, and it’s clear that the roar of the MGM lion heralds the start of the greatest films. The festival features five MGM musicals at McKinney Performing Arts Center, 111 N. Tennessee St, including a screening of Gigi at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25. Tickets cost $15 for adults or $10 for children, students and seniors, and are available online or at the arts center. A Film Buff Pass for all five films over three days is $60 for adults and $40 for children, students or seniors. The festival will screen The Band Wagon, Meet Me In St. Louis, The Pirate and On The Town on Saturday and Sunday. For details and a full list of showtimes, visit McKinney Performing Arts Center, 111 N. Tennessee St., multiple showtimes, $10-$60, — Daniel Rodrigue

See Meet Me in St. Louis at the McKinney Classic Film Festival this weekend.
Wikimedia Commons

Theater doesn’t have to be in stuffy performance halls to be good. Sometimes all it takes is a small ensemble of actors, a modest stage in a bar and plenty of booze. And Dallas literati favorite The Wild Detectives, 314 W. Eighth St., is the perfect venue to host a night of buzzed storytelling with Shakespeare in the Bar’s The Tempest at 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 28. Expand your literary horizons and follow along as “barely rehearsed” actors tell the story of an exiled duke on a remote island who whips up a storm to set in place events that lead to the marriage of his daughter and the king’s son. Revered as Shakespeare’s strictest, most organized and most neoclassical play, The Tempest brings together tragedy and comedy and leaves a little something to the imagination. Tickets for the event are available at and cost $7, plus processing fees, or on a first-come, first-served basis at the door the day of the show. Wild Detectives, 314 W. Eighth St., 8 p.m., $7, — Diamond Victoria

From Dijon to Dallas, the latest exhibition at Liliana Bloch Gallery, 2271 Monitor St., is opening with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26. It runs through Sept. 2 and features a showcase of artists from the Division of Art at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and École Nationale Supérieure d’Art of Dijon, France. The program is formed around an artist from each school who received a postgrad fellowship, which involves a six-week residency and exhibition. This show features Juan Negroni, a Meadows alumnus from Dallas, and Benjamin Grivot from Dijon. With an eye on the French and the contemporary, From Dijon to Dallas offers a conversation on creativity from up-and-coming artists. Visit Liliana Bloch Gallery, 2271 Monitor St., through Sept. 2, free,  — Merritt Martin

The first 30 minutes may be dialogue free, but director Louis Malle’s Black Moon is a poetic feast for the eyes and imagination. The 1975 film may not be as well known as My Dinner with Andre or the autobiographical Au Revoir Les Enfants, but Malle once said his surrealistic Black Moon was “the most intimate of my films.” Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., screens Malle's fantastical Alice in Wonderland-inspired dreamscape in 35mm film, complete with gabby unicorn, a mumbling rat named Humphrey, talking flowers and other unforgettable scenes. The dreamlike film is unlike anything he filmed before or after, and when pressed to describe the film, Malle called it “a mythological fairy tale taking place in the near future.” The film screens at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 30. A concert featuring Time and a live set from Wanz Dover’s Blixaboy follows the film. George Quartz will also be deejaying in the Texas Theatre Saloon. Tickets are $10 for the film, $6 for the concert or $14 for both. For tickets, visit Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., 7:30 p.m., $10-$14, — Daniel Rodrigue

It’s become pretty obvious lately that America has a complex relationship with its history. One glance at the headlines makes clear that what happened in the South more than a century ago still looms large in our national identity and seeps into the current climate like so much poison. And that poison is plentiful in Boo Killebrew’s world-premiere play, Miller, Mississippi, which spans two decades in the lives of the Miller family. As the Civil Rights movement begins to take root in Jackson, Mississippi, the family’s legacy starts to tear it apart in this timely tragedy presented by the Dallas Theater Center at the Wyly Studio Theater, 2400 Flora St. The production kicks off with a pay-what-you can performance at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 30, and continues through Oct. 1. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and 7:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $20 to $67 at Wyly Studio Theatre, 2400 Flora St., 7:30 p.m., $20-$67, — Jennifer Davis-Lamm
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