Things To Do

Cheap And Free Things To Do in Dallas This Week

Cheers to Deep Ellum Arts Festival.
Mike Brooks
Cheers to Deep Ellum Arts Festival.


Lindi Ortega makes country music for people who don’t typically like country music. Her rockabilly-infused style keeps her a few steps away from today’s commercial country pop rock but not too far from her Nashville base. The Canadian singer-songwriter released Liberty last week. 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., 214-742-3400,, $12. Diamond Victoria

Second Thought Theatre's performance of Empathitrax, which opens at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and continues through April 28, deals with a couple (STT company members Jenny Ledel and Drew Wall) trying to fix a broken relationship by merely swallowing pills guaranteed to let each experience what the other is feeling. Sounds like a cure to me, but playwright Ana Nogueira introduces a few complications. Bryant Hall at Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3400 Blackburn St., is the theater setting. Carson McCain directs. Plan to stay after the play for the conversation between the audience and members of the cast, staff or production team. Tickets are $25, but the theater will offer several pay-what-you-can evenings. For more information, call 214-724-0309 or visit Reba Liner

SMU is giving some serious snaps, and oh, these are snaps well deserved. Jazz choreographer Danny Buraczeski has devoted 13 years to the Meadows School of the Arts dance faculty and is retiring, but not without a spotlight on his talents. The Spring Dance Concert from Wednesday through Sunday at the Bob Hope Theatre in the Owens Arts Center, 6101 Bishop Blvd., features a retrospective of his works, putting to stage seven of them performed by SMU students and the Zenon Dance Company from Minneapolis. Buraczeski’s choreography has been highly regarded and even commissioned by the Library of Congress, and he is known for his commitment to passing on knowledge of jazz, from origins and sources to techniques and performers. Experience it at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $14 ($11 seniors, $8 students). Call 214-768-2787. Merritt Martin

Reggae quartet The Movement adds a little spice to the genre. Infusing elements of hip-hop and rock, the Philadelphia-based band got its start a little over a decade ago and has since released six full-length albums. Its eclectic sound has landed it opening spots for acts ranging from Blues Traveler to Ludacris. 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, Gas Monkey Bar N' Grill, 10261 Technology Blvd. E.,, $12. Diamond Victoria


Soul Rep Theatre presents Steal Away, a caper comedy by Ramona King, Thursday through Sunday and April 13-15 at South Dallas Cultural Center, 3400 S. Fitzhugh Ave. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Set in the '30s in Chicago, the plot centers on five church ladies and how they raise money for scholarships for young black women. Their fundraising quest ranges from bake sales to a bank hold-up, all for a good cause. Dee Smith directs. Thursday night's preview is pay-what-you-can, and regular tickets are $15-$25. Call 214-939-2787 or visit for more information and tickets. Reba Liner

Parenting is mostly about doing things you swore you’d never do, like begging someone to just please eat a few bites of quinoa or subjecting yourself to a half-dozen Disney princesses on ice skates. But alas, the Disney machine is a powerful force — one that few parents manage to resist for any significant amount of time — and so here we all are, browsing for tickets to Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream at the American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., which runs through Sunday. Dare to dream, indeed, because for between $15 and $70 per ticket, you can see how the magic of Disney managed to work Moana, a heroine more attuned to tropical climates, into an icy showcase. She’ll be joined by Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Belle, ubiquitous sisters Anna and Elsa, Rapunzel and Cinderella for a delightful show and/or merchandising bonanza. It’ll be magical, swear. Tickets are available at; showtimes are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Jennifer Davis-Lamm

Bar crawls are important. They bring together groups of people for one important cause: drinking. But usually, there are other causes involved, like charities or other nice things. This bar crawl is in the name of Broadway, and the goal is to win a pair of season tickets to AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Broadway season. Will there be Broadway singing during the bar crawl? We hope so. Will people attach miniature mics to their face for the bar crawl? We hope so. Will people wear over-the-top makeup that looks like a clown’s for the bar crawl? We really hope so. The Broadway Bar Crawl is at 6 p.m. Thursday at Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. It's free with RSVP at Paige Skinner


Once a year, Deep Ellum transforms to a neighborhood of the arts — even more so than usual. The three-day Deep Ellum Arts Festival is back and possibly bigger than ever. The festival will feature 200 amazing decorative and visual artists, 100 bands and musicians performing on six stages throughout Deep Ellum, the renowned Pet Parade, and delicious foods and drinks. That’s art, music and food for you. The festival runs Friday through Sunday in Deep Ellum, 2900-3400 Main St. Admission is free. For more information, visit Paige Skinner

Dallas Black Dance Theatre brings a world premiere of DBDT: Encore! — Rising Excellence to Moody Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St., at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. (There's a student show at 10:30 a.m. Friday with $5 tickets.) The show features Japanese choreographer Takehiro Ueyama's In the Sea of Heaven, created as an ode to the victims of the 2011 Japanese tsunami and last year's hurricanes. Then dancers shift into high gear in Zach Law Ingram's Phoenix, a contemporary ballet based on the mythical fire bird. Nine members of Texas Ballet Theater Professional Division will appear as guest artists in the world premiere of Wavelength, a contemporary ballet choreographed by TBT dancer Andre Silva. Call 214-871-2376 or visit for more information. Reba Liner

Denton Folk Festival

The second annual Denton Folk Festival features all your favorite finger-pickin’, whisky-slingin’, toe-tappin’ folk acts from Little D. The two-day fest features over 15 musicians, including singer-songwriter Claire Morales and “folk noir” outfit Whiskey Folk Ramblers. Day two of the festival begins with a children’s show and open mic contest. Kids get in free, and parents enjoy a reduced fee. Noon Friday and Saturday, April 6-7, The Parker House, 8550 W. University Dr., Denton, 469-556-3475, $10-$25. Diamond Victoria


J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young St., is hosting two free festivals from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. With a theme of "The Connected City," the fourth annual Dallas Festival of Ideas will cover four topics: affordable housing, education, technological advances in health care and integration of newcomers. Keynote speakers are Nikole Hannah-Jones, Larry Scarpa, Gina Kolata and Wajahat Ali. Space is limited, so register for the morning or afternoon session at The Dallas Book Festival, founded in 2006, includes a marketplace, public art tours of the library, and sessions with authors, poets and illustrators. Featured speakers are Jesse Andrews, Kara Bietz, Kayla Cagan, Hillary Jordan, Daniel Kalder, Mariko Tamaki and Lisa Wingate. Visit EMILY GOLDSTEIN

The Festival of Joy, also called Ratha-Yatra or the Festival of Chariots, is an ancient celebration of Indian culture, spirituality and, even more broadly, connection to friends and family. Cities around the world celebrate with parades, music, food and fun, and Dallas is no exception. TKG Academy, the Crow Collection of Asian Art and Kalachandji’s Restaurant & Palace present dance, storytelling, live music, authentic Indian food, face-painting, henna tattoos, a photo booth, games, children’s arts and crafts, meditation and a Ratha-Yatra parade, a re-enactment of the procession in which Krishna’s childhood friends brought him home. Your whole family can experience joy from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Klyde Warren Park, 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway. Admission is free. Call 214-827-6333 or visit for more information. Jesse Hughey

Dallas band Adakain is a hard-hitting metal act that throws a hell of a live show. It's one of 97.1 FM The Eagle's best bands to look out for, and Adakain's unique brand of metal promotes a positive message to its fans to have fun and do what you love. 8 p.m., Saturday, April 7, Trees, 2709 Elm St., 214-741-1122,, $10. Diamond Victoria


If shopping is cardio, Brittany Cobb is a lifetime long-distance athlete. The founder of Flea Style (formerly The Dallas Flea) took her passion for scouring flea markets and combined it with her desire to support local makers to create a biannual blowout for shoppers, deal-lovers and fashionistas alike. Don those endurance kicks and hydrate: Flea Style’s Dallas Spring Show kicks off with a VIP sneak peek from 5-9 p.m. Friday ($40) and continues with general admission shopping from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday ($5). Dallas Market Hall (North Hall), 2200 N. Stemmons Freeway, offers 80,000 square feet of handmade and vintage art, fashion, homewares and goods for the whole family. In addition to retail glory, VIPs get early access, free drink, cupcake, tote, a signed copy of Maryam Montague's Marrakesh by Design coffee table book, and more. The first 100 attendees on Saturday receive a free tote, along with a sure profit on that daily step count. Children under 12 admitted free. Purchase tickets at Merritt Martin