The 21 Best Things to Do in Dallas This Week

Author Neil Gaimain speaks at the Winspear Opera House Friday.EXPAND
Author Neil Gaimain speaks at the Winspear Opera House Friday.
Beowulf Sheehan
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Twenty-one things to do in Dallas from Thursday, July 6, through Wednesday, July 12:

The Dallas Museum of Art’s Mexico: 1900-1950 has brought masses of Frida Kahlo fans to the museum, many of whom have spent at least a few minutes awestruck in front of the mesmerizing “The Two Fridas” oil painting that figures prominently in the exhibit. Kahlo’s an icon for Latinos, for women, for anyone who’s ever felt a little out of place or uncomfortable in his or her skin. That’s why Kahlo’s legacy persists: She created a colorful world that appeals to the macabre and the cheerful alike. From 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 6, Frida lovers can converge on the DMA, 1717 N. Harwood St., to pay tribute to the wonderfully surreal painter during Frida Fest, which features a dance performance by the Dallas Black Dance Theatre at 7 p.m., a themed menu at the DMA café, a makeup demonstration from 6 to 8 p.m. and a run at 7:30 p.m. for Guinness World Records for the largest gathering of people dressed as Frida Kahlo. For more information on guidelines for the world record attempt or to register as a Frida, visit dma.ticketleap.com/fridafest. Admission to the museum is free; special exhibits require a fee. Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St., 6-8 p.m., free, dma.org.— Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Doug Aitken’s Electric Earth exhibit at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St., is about the most kinetic art experience you’ll have this summer, and things are about to get even more energetic. The Modern Dance Festival at the Modern presents Electric Earth in the Round with Illumination: Scatterlings at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 6, and Friday, July 7. Aitken’s multiscreen projections flow into the lobby, staircases, balconies and porches thanks to site-specific performances that capitalize on available light, highlighting themes from the exhibition. Audience participation, both passive and active, will be an integral part of this one-of-a-kind contemporary dance experience. Admission is free for kids 12 and younger, $4 for seniors and students, and $10 for adults. To learn more about this performance or the Aitken exhibit, visit themodern.org. Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St., 8 p.m., $10, themodern.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

The definition of folk art is a much-debated thing. Some say it’s art of indigenous people and/or laboring classes while others suggest it’s self-taught art that speaks to community with bold strokes and colors. Others define it as having a more decorative than aesthetic quality. While Jackdaw Folk Art doesn’t necessarily need the definition, Jack Russell’s works are bold pieces that speak to the group. They’re being exhibited from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, July 6, at The Collective Brewing Project, 112 St. Louis Ave. in Fort Worth, for Art + Collective in partnership with Piranha Bear art collective. Meet the artist and browse art for sale while sampling Collective’s funky and sour brews and snacking on food from Cannon Chinese Kitchen. The event is free to attend. Check out event details on Facebook or visit collectivebrew.com. Collective Brewing Project, 112 St. Louis Ave., Fort Worth, 6-10 p.m., free, collectivebrew.com. — Merritt Martin

If there’s a theatrical award for cultural zeitgeist, Sex With Strangers has it clinched. It functions not only as a rousing commentary on the state of modern literature, but also on the digital personas that make navigating relationships and our perceptions of our identities so challenging. The play finds two writers snowbound at a rural retreat. One, Olivia, is a teacher steeped in literary tradition. She’s been published, but the experience was not what she had hoped. The other, Ethan, is a younger blogger who’s become famous for a collection of tawdry essays about his sexual exploits. The two hook up repeatedly, boosting Olivia’s personal and professional outlook. But she’s forced to examine the chasm between Ethan’s sensitive and sweet pillow talk and the outwardly misogynistic character he plays in his work. Stage West, 821/823 W. Vickery Blvd. in Fort Worth, heats up the stage with this steamy and thought-provoking production. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays through July 23. Tickets are $17 at stagewest.org. Stage West, 821/823 W. Vickery Blvd., Fort Worth, 7:30 p.m., $17, stagewest.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

The Dallas Theater Center is having quite a year: It landed a Regional Theatre Tony Award last month, its much-lauded public works program was launched and it scored the world-premiere production of Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flinn’s Hood: The Robin Hood Musical Adventure, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 29, with a pay-what-you-can performance. Hood takes on the tale of a legendary rebel villain who robbed the rich to feed the poor and peppers it with soaring songs and hilarious high jinks for a romantic comedy that pays tribute to the ultimate man in tights. Beane’s script tips a hat to history but really shines thanks to action-packed sword fights, puppetry and acts of heroism aplenty. Get in on the ground floor of the buzzy show at the Wyly Theatre, 2400 Flora St., with performances through Sunday, Aug. 6. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays; and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $20 to $104 at dallastheatercenter.org. Wyly Theatre, 2400 Flora St., 7:30 p.m., $20-$104, dallastheatercenter.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

"Electric earth" has a loose plot of alienation, surveillance and consumerism told through a series of architecturally arranged projectors.EXPAND
"Electric earth" has a loose plot of alienation, surveillance and consumerism told through a series of architecturally arranged projectors.
courtesy the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

Those toys that once occupied every square inch of your childhood bedroom weren’t just mindless playthings designed to keep you occupied. They were brilliant works of art. Don’t kick yourself that you gave away an art gallery to Goodwill when you moved out of the house. There is still a place where toys are considered priceless works of art. The Quixotic World gallery, 2824 Main St. in Deep Ellum, will host the seventh Vinyl Thoughts Art Show from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, July 7. Seventeen artists are tasked with designing vinyl toys around a single theme. Admission is free. Visit vinylthoughtsartshow.com for more information. Quixotic World, 2824 Main St., 7-11 p.m., free, vinylthoughtsartshow.com. — Danny Gallagher

Literary jack-of-all-trades Neil Gaiman has something for everyone: comic books, nonfiction essays, novels, children’s lit, plays, radio performance, film, television and a blog. He manages to bridge fantasy with serious, allusive writing, appealing to academics and pop-culture enthusiasts alike. Gaiman spends quite a bit of time on the road, reading to audiences and lecturing about the importance of reading, imagination, creativity and the storytelling process. Gaiman’s fascinating insight and almost limitless ability to envision other worlds and fantastic situations make for an engrossing discussion, and he’ll give Dallas audiences the opportunity to engage in his process at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 7, at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. Tickets for “#hearhere: An Evening with Neil Gaiman” are $30 to $75 at attpac.org. Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., 7:30 p.m., $30-$75, attpac.org. — Jennifer Davis-Lamm

It's almost inconceivable to stay up until close to midnight and drive to a theater to see a 30-year-old movie. But the 1987 romantic fantasy adventure comedy The Princess Bride is worth it. Most of us have seen this cult classic directed by Rob Reiner, but if you haven't, here's a brief synopsis: Girl meets boy and falls in love; girl is forced to marry a king; boy becomes a dreaded pirate to save the girl, all while picking up a few quirky friends, delivering perfect one-liners and trudging through rotting sludge along the way. The film stars Cary Elwes, Andre the Giant, Wallace Shawn, Mandy Patinkin and Robin Wright. You can see all the fun at 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 7, at Landmark's Inwood Theatre, 5458 W. Lovers Lane. Tickets range from $8.25 to $10.50 and can be purchased at landmarktheatres.com. Inwood Theatre, 5458 W. Lovers Lane, 11:59 p.m., $8.25-$10.50, landmarktheatres.com. — Diamond Victoria

Before Arrival, Stranger Things, Twin Peaks or any other modern, alien-centric movie or TV show, there was Steven Spielberg's 1982 science fiction fantasy classic E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. This story of a young boy named Elliot who stumbles upon a pretty adorable, albeit strange, little alien is funny, a tiny bit spooky and totally heartwarming. Based on an imaginary friend of Spielberg’s when he was a child, E.T. is one of the most recognizable science fiction characters in cinema, and the film earned the rank of greatest science fiction film ever made in a Rotten Tomatoes survey. When it released, it knocked Star Wars out if its top spot by becoming the highest-grossing film of all time — until another of Spielberg’s big blockbusters, Jurassic Park, took the title. The Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., offers a chance to experience the story of a lonely boy and his alien friend at 8 p.m. Friday, July 7. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at prekindle.com. Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St., 8 p.m., $10, prekindle.com. — Diamond Victoria

Lightning will strike yet again when one of Dallas’ greatest musical commodities takes the stage for a third time in as many months. The reunited band will headline an extensive showcase of local acts, including Mind Spiders, the O's, Loafers and Sailor's Horse. Whether you were one of the lucky few fans who packed out Club Dada for Tripping Daisy’s warm-up show before headlining the Homegrown Festival in May or you haven’t heard the band since its radio-bait single “I Got a Girl,” this is not a show to be missed. Tripping Daisy disbanded in 1999 after the death of founding member and lead guitarist Wes Berggren, with frontman Tim DeLaughter going on to form the Polyphonic Spree. DeLaughter has hinted at more Tripping Daisy dates in the future, but as information on the future of the band comes out in a trickle, there’s no telling when the next chance to catch this iconic local band will be. Nytex Sports Centre, 8851 Ice House Drive, North Richland Hills, 7 p.m., $35, nytexsports.com. — Nicholas Bostick

Tripping Daisy's show in North Richland Hills Friday could be their last in a while.
Tripping Daisy's show in North Richland Hills Friday could be their last in a while.
Mike Brooks

As a photographer with a passion for capturing images of urban wildlife, Chris Jackson makes it clear he’s not a biologist, a zoologist, an ornithologist “or any other kind of ologist, for that matter,” he jokes on his website. Jackson chronicles the diversity of various wildlife found in and around the Dallas-Fort Worth area on the website he launched in 2005, DFWUrbanWildlife.com. Jackson also co-authored the book In Your Backyard: Discovering Urban Wildlife. For folks wanting to improve their photography skills with any type of camera, join Jackson for a free Urban Wildlife Photography Class at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, 8525 Garland Road. Photographers should meet up under the shady canopy found in Pecan Grove. Workshops run from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 8, and Sunday, July 9, and both sessions are open so guests can come and go. The photo class is free with paid general admission, which costs $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $10 for children (free for ages 2 and younger). For more info, visit dallasarboretum.org. Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, 9 a.m.-noon, $15, dallasarboretum.org. — Daniel Rodrigue

Roni Size’s imprint on the electronic music landscape is undeniable. The DJ born Ryan Williams played an integral role in the development of jungle music and is a pioneer of the drum and bass subgenre that began in his hometown of Bristol, England. Williams has also performed with an award-wining electronic group, Reprazent, and influenced trip-hop groups Massive Attack and Portishead. Williams is on the second leg of a North American tour, his first in 10 years. Lizard Lounge, 2424 Swiss Ave., 9 p.m., $10-$300, thelizardlounge.com. — Mikel Galicia

If you watch the Great British Baking Show with more understanding of Mary Berry’s sweet technical challenges than Paul Hollywood’s bready ones, you’re probably going to be keen on the Dallas Bake Off from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 8, in the Embarcadero Building 1229 Admiral Nimitz Circle in Fair Park. The inaugural event is for competitors and voyeurs alike; it welcomes bakers of all skill levels for a sugar-loaded battle in categories of cake, pie, chocolate, cupcake, macaron and cookie. Judges include Bronwen Weber of Frosted Art Bakery & Studio and Food Network Challenge fame, Kate Weiser of Kate Weiser Chocolate and Nicolas Blouin of the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. There’s no baking onsite, but contestants are required to bring their finished masterpieces (and 75 bites for judging). General tickets ($10) include samples from local vendors, and people’s choice tickets ($25) give the option to judge a category for popular vote. To register or purchase tickets, visit dallasbakeoff.com. Embarcadero Building, 1229 Admiral Nimitz Circle, Fair Park, noon-5 p.m., $10, dallasbakeoff.com. — Merritt Martin

It takes guts to stand on a stage and try to make someone laugh, but it’s even gutsier to go out on the killing floor and try to make a crowd laugh with (gasp!) no prepared material. The Alternative Comedy Theater has dedicated two days to the art of improvisational comedy with the ninth annual Big Weekend of Improv on Friday, July 7, and Saturday, July 8, at the Studio Theatre at the Addison Theatre and Conference Center, 15650 Addison Road. The two-day comedy festival will feature acts from around the Dallas-Fort Worth area, such as the long-running Dallas comedy staple The Victims and The Motley Players, as well as acts from out of town, such as Folksongs Against Humanity from Austin and the Oklahoma comedy group Red Dirt. Tickets are $10 per show, except for the 5:30 p.m. Saturday show, which is $5 per person. Day passes are available for $25 per person and can be purchased online at improvact.org. Addison Theatre and Conference Center, 15650 Addison Road, Friday-Saturday, $5-$10, improvact.org. — Danny Gallagher

There was a time when art was exclusive to the very wealthy. Japan was a pioneer in bringing art to the average commoner. During the Edo period between 1603 and 1868, developments in woodblock printmaking made visual art accessible to many in Japan. The woodblock printmaking process originated from packing materials for tea from China and Japan, and the finished product required a publisher, artist, woodcutter and printer. Average travelers could take home pieces to remember their trips. The Crow Collection of Asian Art, 2010 Flora St., opens Styled with Poise: Figures in Japanese Paintings and Prints at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 8, for a chance to see some of these groundbreaking paintings and prints. Admission is free. The exhibit runs through Sunday, Jan. 7. For more information, visit crowcollection.org. Crow Collection of Asian Art, 2010 Flora St., 10 a.m., free, crowcollection.org. — Diamond Victoria

A collection of Japanese prints opens at the Crow Collection of Asian Art Saturday.
A collection of Japanese prints opens at the Crow Collection of Asian Art Saturday.
courtesy Crow Collection

Who doesn’t love grown men beating the snot out of each other for the public’s general amusement? That’s not the only reason why World Wrestling Entertainment attracts some of the largest spectator sports crowds in the country. They’re also there for the drama. It’s like a daytime soap opera with head trauma. See for yourself at WWE’s Great Balls of Fire event at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, July 9, at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave. The live pay-per-view event will offer high-profile matches, including Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman, a “Raw” women’s championship match between Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks, and the first universal championship match between Brock Lesnar and Samoa Joe. Tickets are between $25 and $500 per person and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com. American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., 6:30 p.m., $25-$500, ticketmaster.com. — Danny Gallagher

The Basically Beethoven Festival, presented by Fine Arts Chamber Players, exhibits some of the city's finest musicians while offering a glimpse at Dallas’ next generation of local talent. To the service of music by Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Copland and more, musicians from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and the Dallas Opera will join forces for a monthlong concert series. Every concert will open with a “Rising Star Recital,” each of which introduces audiences to new, young musicians from the area. From providing elegantly polished, world-class feature performances to showcasing the burgeoning talents that will shape the city’s musical future, Basically Beethoven Fest 2017 looks to be one the most dynamic concert series of the classical season. Performances start at 2:30 p.m. each Sunday — July 9, 16, 23 and 30 — at Dallas City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St. Tickets are free. For more information, visit fineartschamberplayers.org. Dallas City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St., 2:30 p.m., free, fineartschamberplayers.org. — Johnathan Patrick

The memories made on roller skating rinks tend to be lasting ones. Perhaps, in middle school, you asked Jenny to the Valentine's dance at one, and you were rebuffed. Maybe you had roller skating birthday parties or got a first job behind a rink's concession counter. Many things have changed over the last few decades, but at least one thing remains the same: Roller rinks are places where we come together to socialize, grow up and listen to the Ghostbusters’ theme song. One of the most pristine, '70s time warps of a roller rink, InterSkate, 1408 S. State Highway 121 in Lewisville, hosts a reunion and social skate from 7 to 11 p.m. Monday, July 10, to bring together the skaters and employees whom time has separated. "We want everyone to come together and meet each other’s family and friends," the Facebook event page reads. "This is a time for all of us to enjoy and reminisce about all the good times we had and the fun times to come." Admission is $8. For more, visit interskate.net. Interskate, 1408 S. State Highway 121, Lewisville, 7-11 p.m., $8, interskate.net. — Caroline North

Peter Pan and its associated characters have provided decades of inspiration not only for children, but also for other artists. The creator of Peter Pan, however, needed inspiration before he could put pen to paper and build his complex story for the stage. How J.M. Barrie found it is the basis of Finding Neverland, opening Tuesday and running through July 23 at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. Based on the 2004 movie, the musical follows Barrie as he befriends four brothers and their widowed mother, discovering that their make-believe world holds the key to a brilliant on-stage adventure. Tickets start at $25 and are available at attpac.org. The show is for people ages 4 and older. Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., 7:30 p.m., $25 and up, attpac.org.— Merritt Martin


After a quiet suburban schoolgirl risks her life to rescue a cat, she is pulled into a fantastical feline-world fairy tale. To Haru’s surprise, the cat stands on its hind legs, brushes itself off and politely thanks her before scurrying off. Soon after, the King of Cats shows up with an entourage to shower Haru with gratitude for saving his son’s life, and he decrees that she shall marry the cat prince and live as a princess in the secret Kingdom of Cats. Produced by Studio Ghibli and directed by the by longtime Ghibli animator Hiroyuki Morita, The Cat Returns is based on the story “Neko no Danshaku” (The Cat Baron) by Hiiragi Aoi. This screening of the original Japanese version of the film with English subtitles coincides with Studio Ghibli Festival, which is releasing a series of classic Studio Ghibli films to theaters nationwide. For more on the films and festival, visit ghiblifest.com. The Wednesday, July 12, screening starts at 7 p.m. at both Dallas’ Angelika Film Center, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, and Plano’s, 7205 Bishop Road. (The theatres will screen the English-dubbed version of the film at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 13.) Tickets are $9.50 to $11 at angelikafilmcenter.com. Angelika Film Center; 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas; 7205 Bishop Road, Plano; 9:50-$11; angelikafilmcenter.com. — Daniel Rodrigue

Let’s assume you already know how to put your thing down, flip it and reverse it. You may not need this class. But if we’re to assume you do not, in fact, know this technique, it’s in your best interest to sign up for the How to Be a Missy class series from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. each Wednesday in July at Jade & Clover, 2633 Main St. The classes, limited to 20 participants, build upon one another, so all will have learned a complete routine of Missy Elliott choreography by the last one. To top it off, the final class features a performance against the Dance Like a Bey class for the ultimate in badass dance-offs. The focus is on technique with fun (bonus: Champagne), so there’s no intimidation factor, just the motivation to get your freak on. The series is $100. Keep it movin’ on over to eventbrite.com to reserve a spot. Jade & Clover, 2633 Main St., 7:30-8:30 p.m., $100, eventbrite.com. — Merritt Martin

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