21 Best Things to Do in Dallas This Week

Jackson, Mississippi-based hip-hop dance troupe Miss D’s Dancing Dolls will perform at Music Hall at Fair Park on Wednesday as part of the "Bring It!" live tour.
Jackson, Mississippi-based hip-hop dance troupe Miss D’s Dancing Dolls will perform at Music Hall at Fair Park on Wednesday as part of the "Bring It!" live tour.
courtesy Bring It Live
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.


The ongoing TexFest series, presented by the USA Film Festival and the Texas Association of Motion Media Professionals, gives audiences a glimpse of what’s possible for homegrown filmmakers. Why make the move to LA when there are plenty of movies written and filmed in the Lone Star State? Case in point: The Harrowing, a supernatural horror/thriller written by Dallas-based Jon Keeyes and starring local actor Matthew Stephen Tompkins, which will show at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3, at the Angelika Film Center, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane. Keeyes and Tompkins have collaborated for more than 20 years, creating plenty of pathways for local filmmakers and artists. Get their perspectives on local opportunities at a Q&A after the film. Tickets are $10 in advance and can be obtained by calling the USA Film Festival at 214-821-6300. See tammp.com/texfest-info/ for more information. Angelika Film Center, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, 7 p.m., $10, tammp.com/texfest-info/  – Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Good art can give you a good laugh. You’re more likely to learn a lesson when you’re laughing than when you’re crying at the lack of humanity in the world. Learn all about the history and contribution of humor in art during an open conversation at the Umbrella Gallery, 2803 Taylor St. The gallery’s regular Art Skool series will include classes and discussions like “Intro to Contemporary Art” and “The Artist’s Joke.” The series starts at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3, and will repeat every week for 10 total sessions. Admission is free. Visit lifeindeepellum.com/umbrella-gallery for more information. Umbrella Gallery, 2803 Taylor St., 7 p.m., free, lifeindeepellum.com. – Danny Gallagher

Lionel Richie and Mariah Carey are two of the most financially successful musicians of all time. With their unforgettable voices and knack for hooking melodies, they’ve collected platinum-quality singles, Grammys and legions of fans. Their willingness to venture into cheesy smoothness and unabashed sentimentality helped shape the modern pop frontier. Sure, they often smooth off the edges and cut the results with water, but entertainment doesn’t have to be critically robust to sweep you away from the pressures of work, home and living in a human body. The courage to go anywhere — even into kitsch — for a radio-ready hit is a testament to the love these two artists have for their fans. Their joint All the Hits Tour promises to showcase the songs that made them both household names, all nestled in an awe-inspiring, arena-sized flash bang of sight and sound. Escapism might get a bad rap, but what more could you want from a pop song? American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 7 p.m. Thursday, $26 and up, ticketmaster.com. – Jonathan Patrick

Dallas foodies wait for DFW Restaurant Week like it’s Christmas, Diwali, Halloween, Purim and Thanksgiving all rolled into one event. This year, it’s an even bigger throwdown because it’s the 20th anniversary of the culinary tradition. Kick it all off with Food & Wine Night — sort of an amuse bouche to the week — at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3, in One Arts Plaza, 1722 Routh St. Enjoy tastings from Dallas-Fort Worth restaurants, samples of spirits, beer and wine, and a concert by Broadway star Linda Eder. VIP tickets are $80 and include early entry at 6 p.m. and free valet, and general admission tickets are $50. All tickets come with commemorative glassware. For more on DFW Restaurant Week, visit DFWrestaurantweek.com. One Arts Plaza, 1722 Routh St., 7 p.m., $50-$80, dfwrestaurantweek.com. – Merritt Martin

Taking on a Greek classic like The Minotaur might seem like a daunting, and possibly boring, dramatic feat. But Jeffrey Schmidt welcomed the challenge for his first season as artistic director for Theatre Three, 2800 Routh St. While the messages of love and honor are prevalent, the approach is new and exciting. In Anna Ziegler’s modern version, the once-traditional Greek Chorus of Innocents now has a lawyer, a priest and a rabbi — just one example of the often-funny twists that pepper the dark yet hopeful story. Performances are at 7:30 p.m.Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. Sundays through Aug. 27. Special events include a performance at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 6, a Deaf Action Center Interpreted performance at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 10, hooky matinee at 2 p.m. Aug. 15 and a Saturday matinee at 2:30 p.m. Aug. 26. Tickets are $10 to $50. Call 214-871-3300 or visit theatre3dallas.com. Theatre Three, 2800 Routh St., 7:30 p.m., $10-$50, theatre3dallas.com. – Merritt Martin

See The Minotaur at Theatre Three through Aug. 26. Tickets start at $10.EXPAND
See The Minotaur at Theatre Three through Aug. 26. Tickets start at $10.
Jeffrey Schmidt


Waxahatchee is Katie Crutchfield's minimalist project who turns out delectable pop tunes. Crutchfield came from the acclaimed folky garage rock band P.S. Eliot and has found her footing with her new band, touring on its latest, Out in the Storm. Expect plenty of crunchy guitars with sweet harmonies. The band has four albums to pick a set list from and puts on an impressive live show. Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., 8 p.m., $15, dadadallas.com. – Eric Grubbs

Enter the sweet, little world of We the Birds bloggers Natalie and Emily during a special soiree from 1 p.m. to midnight Friday, Aug. 4, and from 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday, Aug. 5, at Jade + Clover, 2633 Main St. The taste-making Dallas duo has curated an event featuring beautifully block-printed dresses and tops from Symbology’s new Hibiscus Flower collection (at a special discount), as well as We The Birds’ chic and tasty French macarons. The creative powerhouses behind both Symbology and We the Birds will be on site, too, offering shoppers an opportunity to meet the entrepreneurs behind the brands. For more information, find the Symbology x We the Birds event on Facebook. Jade & Clover, 2633 Main St., 11 a.m.-midnight, free, jadeandclover.com. – Jennifer Davis-Lamm

English band Queen is like a solar system that lost its star. Late singer Freddie Mercury was an icon of showmanship, passion and theatricality, the ultimate performer and arguably the most talented vocalist in rock history. When you've lost the greatest frontman in all of pop music, Adam Lambert initially wouldn't appear to be a fitting replacement. After all, he earned his fame (after auditioning with "Bohemian Rhapsody") on American Idol. However, like Mercury, he is a countertenor, a young, good-looking gay man, androgynously glam like a Velvet Goldmine character and pleasantly controversial. American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 8 p.m., $49.50-$175, ticketmaster.com. – Eva Raggio

North Texas' Cody Jinks makes the kind of country music that resonates beyond strict fans of the genre. As proof of his cross appeal, all he really needs to do is point to his experience fronting a metal band. Now that he's considered more of a country artist, however, his outlaw persona lends itself well to both sides of his musical personality. He can churn out vigorous and energetic anthems and then turn things down with ruminative ballads. In a live setting, he's as apt to break out Pink Floyd and Soundgarden covers as he is to cover Hank, Willie or Waylon. Although he's five albums into his career, 2017 has been a banner year for Jinks. He's appeared on late-night television, is headlining the Ryman and has earned praise from many of the industry's heaviest hitters. Speaking of heavyweights, the one and only Kris Kristofferson is opening Friday evening's show. This is a one-time only treat to help celebrate Jinks' homecoming; be sure to allow yourself plenty of time getting out to Grand Prairie so you don't miss out. Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie, 7 p.m., $30-$125, axs.com. – Jeff Strowe

The Cry Havoc Theater Company presents the biting political allegory The Great American Sideshow, co-produced with Kitchen Dog Theater. The Great American Sideshow outlines the story of Otto Barron, the new owner of The Great American Sideshow, and his attempts to coerce his employees to embrace his own perverse worldview, all for the sake of making The Great American Sideshow great again. Dissenters are met with manipulation, intimidation and (presumably) death. By the end of the tale, no one seems to remember how The Great American Sideshow began, much less what it stood for. The subtext is both sad and frightening, revealing how, through ego and greed, an agenda can undermine and ultimately destroy the bedrock from which it sprung. Performances take place at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4, through Sunday, Aug. 6, and Wednesday, Aug. 9, through Saturday, Aug. 12, at Trinity Rivers Arts Center, 2600 N. Stemmons Freeway. Tickets are $15. For more information, visit kitchendogtheater.org. Trinity River Arts Center, 2600 N. Stemmons Freeway, 8 p.m., $15, kitchendogtheater.org. – Jonathan Patrick

Katie Crutchfield plays Club Dada with Waxahatchee on Friday.EXPAND
Katie Crutchfield plays Club Dada with Waxahatchee on Friday.
Jesse Riggins


There's no telling how many teenagers' cars have fogged up listening to "Your Body is a Wonderland." After all, John Mayer is the king of soft rock, and he's back this year with a new album called The Search for Everything. Like any album that comes after a four-year hiatus, Mayer's is a means of stepping back into the spotlight, but perhaps he's a little wiser. In support of the album, his tour this summer includes solo acoustic performances of the new tracks, as well as full-band sets and a segment with his blues trio band. American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 7 p.m., $85 and up, ticketmaster.com.– Diamond Victoria

Retro gaming has become a hot commodity, which is amazing when you think about it. How do you keep an industry vibrant that technically can’t produce new games? If you’re a lover of the pixelated arts, you’re in the target market for one of the most beloved gaming conventions in the Dallas area. The Let’s Play Gaming Expo at the Irving Convention Center, 500 W. Las Colinas Blvd., will have just about everything a gamer could want to play. The gaming floor will be filled with vendors and chances to play all kinds of video games, including a full re-creation of a classic video game arcade — minus the part when you have to dig for quarters or tokens to continue. There are also a ton of tournaments in a bunch of different video and board games, as well as live panels and discussions on gaming issues. The expo runs from Saturday, Aug. 5, through Sunday, Aug. 6. Weekend passes are $25 online and $30 at the door, day passes are $15 online and $20 in person, and VIP packages are $75. Purchase passes online at letsplaygamingexpo.com. Irving Convention Center, 500 W. Las Colinas Blvd., Saturday-Sunday, $15-$75, letsplaygamingexpo.com. – Danny Gallagher

For two years, Mother Truckers, 2110 W. Northwest Highway — Dallas’ go-to spot for hot rod memorabilia, pinups and homemade frozen moonshine — has hosted a pinup contest and car show. The show features women with Gil Elvgren-style new and vintage attire competing for a $500 cash award and classic cars on display from Dallas LowLifes. If you’re looking to up your Instagram likes or enter your classic set of wheels, or you want to compete in the beauty contest (judging is partly based on applause, so bring your friends), then don’t miss the third annual Pinup Contest and Car Show beginning at noon Saturday, Aug. 5, with live music from Sleazy Mancini and Drop Top Rockets, drink specials and food trucks. Early registration for the pinup contest and more information is available on the event’s Facebook page, or register on site at 6 p.m. the day of the show. The event is free to attend, but donations are welcome. Mother Truckers, 2110 W. Northwest Highway, noon, free, see Facebook. – Diamond Victoria

2 Chainz possesses the gift of gab in its highest form. The smooth-talking superstar rapper has made a career off witty wordplay, hilarious metaphors and catchy punchline raps that often make him the star of the track no matter the competition, whether it's Lil Wayne, Drake or Kanye West he's sharing a beat with. He’s also a marketing genius. In support of his new album, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, the Georgia native turned an Atlanta home into a pink pop-up installation that involved an art gallery, a church service and even HIV testing for the community. 2 Chainz’s success is all the more impressive when you realize he didn’t really see mainstream success until his early 30s. He’s one hell of a rapper, and he's getting attention for all the right reasons. Gas Monkey Live, 10110 Technology Blvd. E., 7 p.m., $42.50 and up, ticketfly.com. – Mikel Galicia

For his first studio album in seven years, Retroactive, DJ and producer Sharam Tayebi composed a love letter to his musical influences, and he’s bringing the love to Dallas. As he grew up on the ever-scrutinized streets of post-revolutionary Tehran, Iran, Sharam’s musical tastes were restricted to whatever could be smuggled across the border or was accepted by his government. But at 14, when Sharam and his family moved to Washington, D.C., he learned how to mix tracks, and the rest is history. His album Retroactive is an eclectic walk through Sharam's mind; it fluctuates between electro-tinged nightclub hypnosis on tracks like “Arpi” and more upbeat tunes inspired by '80s disco, like the collab track “Crazi Flute,” which features disco pioneer Giorgio Moroder. But if a walk down memory lane doesn’t sound like your particular cup of jungle juice, Sharam’s latest release, Collecti, Pt. 1, takes a darker turn with guttural growls, and a few tracks may just make it into the set. It'll Do Club, 4322 Elm St., 10 p.m., $15-$20, eventbrite.com.– Nick Bostick

See a new side to artist Pablo Picasso at the Meadows Museum beginning Aug. 6.
See a new side to artist Pablo Picasso at the Meadows Museum beginning Aug. 6.
courtesy Meadows Museum


Primus is a band's band. The now three-member, San Francisco-based rock band began in 1984 but wasn't signed to a major label until six years later, after releasing the highly successful album Fizzle Fry and touring with Jane's Addiction. Primus' expert musicianship is undeniable, and although it became successful as a '90s alternative band, its origins lie in heavy metal. After repeated hiatuses and lineup changes, the band began touring the country extensively a couple of years ago. South Side Ballroom, 1135 S. Lamar St., 7:30 p.m.,  $137-$286, ticketmaster.com. – Diamond Victoria

Within any form of art, there is some rivalry between artists. From Saturday, Aug. 6, through Nov. 5, Southern Methodist University’s Meadows Museum, 5900 Bishop Ave., presents Picasso/Rivera: Still Life and the Precedence of Form, an exhibition of works that compares and contrasts the styles, techniques and possible competition of Pablo Picasso and Diego Rivera. Admission to the Meadows Museum is $4 to $12 for the public and free to SMU faculty, staff and students. It is also free Thursdays after 5 p.m. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays. Visit meadowsmuseumdallas.org. Meadows Museum, 5900 Bishop Ave.,, through 10 a.m.-5 p.m., $4-$12, meadowsmuseumdallas.org. – Merritt Martin


During the summer, it’s easy to stay indoors, crank down the air conditioner and binge on Netflix until your eyes bleed. After all, temperatures around here reach egg-scrambling numbers. But occasionally there’s a good enough excuse to throw on sneakers and venture to the great outdoors. The Full Moon Ride Through the River offers the chance to ride alongside the Trinity River during the less-than-scorching time of the day. Beginning at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 7, at Belo Garden Park, 1014 Main St., load up your water and bike the 12-mile paved trail at this easy social ride ending at around 10 p.m. at BuzzBrews Kitchen Victory Park. The ride and the fresh air cost nothing. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page. Belo Garden Park, 1014 Main St., 7:30 p.m., free, see Facebook. – Diamond Victoria


History classes always seemed to be the hardest in college because, for some reason, the teacher never allowed the students to drink alcohol during the lesson. There’s no better way to make an important lesson sink in than taking a shot right after you learn it. The Dallas Historical Society knows the importance of alcohol in obtaining knowledge, and that’s why it’s hosting Pour Yourself Into History lessons with Dallas Hotel Magazine at the Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave. Each event features a special history talk from a noted subject, copious amounts of happy hour drinks, and lively discussions fueled by the magic and majesty of alcohol. The next Pour Yourself Into History lesson starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8. Attendance is free. Visit eventbrite.com to register. Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave., 6 p.m., free, eventbrite.com. – Danny Gallagher

Sure, summers these days are great for movies packed with computer-generated imagery, sexy stars and long box office lines. It’s a multi-million dollar time of year for an industry bursting at its seams with over-the-top, action-packed thrillers and science fiction fantasies. But long before we experienced Guardians of the Galaxy or Transformers, movie production was much simpler. And Magnolia Theatre, 3699 McKinney Ave., thinks its Tuesday nights should be dedicated to these movie classics that cement cinema as one of the most important and influential art forms of modern history. At 7:30 and 10:35 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8, catch the 1983 crime film Scarface as part of the theater’s weekly Big Movie series. Directed by Brian De Palma and written by Oliver Stone, Scarface is the American Institute of Film’s No. 10 gangster film. Tickets range from $8.50 to $11 and can be purchased at the box office or online at landmarktheatres.com. Magnolia Theatre, 3699 McKinney Ave., 7:30 and 10:35 p.m., $8.50-$11, landmarktheatres.com. – Diamond Victoria


Since 2014, Lifetime channel has followed Jackson, Mississippi-based hip-hop dance troupe Miss D’s Dancing Dolls as they strut, sashay and shake their way through rigorous practices and high-stakes competitions. Miss D, or Dianna Williams, mentors her team, which has won 15 grand championships and earned more than 100 trophies, at the Dollhouse Dance Factory. This summer, fans get a chance to experience the team’s award-winning performances firsthand as Bring It!: Live Tour stops at the Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 First Ave., at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9. The tour sold out last summer, so grab your tickets, which range from $35.52 to $55.52, now at liveatthemusichall.com. Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 First Ave., 7:30 p.m., $35.52-$55.52, liveatthemusichall.com. – Diamond Victoria

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.