Arts & Culture News

21 Things To Do in Dallas This Week

Get something inked this Friday at the Elm Street Music and Tattoo Festival.
Mike Brooks
Get something inked this Friday at the Elm Street Music and Tattoo Festival.

Ian Fleming was obsessed with the colorful life of the late playboy and race car driver Porfirio Rubirosa, native of the Dominican Republic, and some believe Fleming based his James Bond character on Rubirosa, who was also rumored to be a political assassin. The same theme is reflected in Bishop Arts Theatre's regional premiere of Christopher Rivas' one-man show, which he wrote, The Real James Bond Was Dominican. Daniel Banks directs. The theater is located in Oak Cliff at 215 S. Tyler St., 214-948-0716. Thursday's curtain goes up at 10:30 a.m.; 10:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. Friday; 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10-$25. Find them and more information at Reba Liner

After the disbandment of synth-pop outfit Silly Kissers, Jane Penny, Thom Gillies and David Carriere went on to form Tops in 2011 with Riley Fleck, Jackson Macintosh and Marta Cikojevic. The Los Angeles-by-way-of-Montreal indie rock band has released three studio albums, the latest being 2017's Sugar at the Gate — an album rich with syrupy sweet lyrics, hard-hitting guitar riffs and catchy hooks. 8 p.m. Thursday at Club Dada, 2720 Elm St., $13, Diamond Rodrigue

A beheading, drug-fueled nightmares, bucolic landscapes, satanic ritual — Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique is a disorienting, semi-autobiographical masterwork centered on the blistering imagination of a young artist and his unrequited love. Leonard Bernstein once called the opium-fueled symphony the “first musical expedition into psychedelia,” and after hearing its ghostly howls and stunning approximations of nature sounds, it’s hard to disagree — and even harder to not be transported. Brahms Violin Concerto completes the program. Pablo Heras-Casado conducts. There are four performances: at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 16-18, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 19. All performances happen at the The Meyerson, 2301 Flora St. Tickets start at $19. More info at Jonathan Patrick

There are two explanations for the existence of 18-year-old Florida rapper Lil Pump. Some rumors have it that he was bioengineered as a joint venture between record execs and marketing algorithms: Lil Pump, the product of business acumen developed for the sole purpose of generating enormous streaming numbers. The less sensational narrative involves acute media savvy and a vertex where on-trend SoundCloud aesthetics, candy-coated hooks and catnip-for-teens swagger converge for millennial success. Since popping off at 16 (he’s responsible for that catchy “Gucci Gang” song), Lil Pump has collaborated with titans like Kanye West and Lil Wayne, gone certified triple platinum and served a mini prison sentence (like, literally, a few days). Scoff all you want at the dude’s hollow lyrics and tasteless presentation, but the guy’s living a pretty interesting life — it’s better than flipping burgers or rat-racing it, anyway. “Gucci gang, Gucci gang, Gucci gang.” 7 p.m. Thursday at South Side Ballroom, 1135 S. Lamar St., tickets start at $25 at Jonathan Patrick


Fort Worth band Quaker City Night Hawks attributes its success to its brand of rock 'n' roll, which has roots in Texas boogie with a Memphis-like soul and heavy blues sound, and they dub their music simply as music in the "spirit of rock 'n' roll." The foursome made waves throughout North Texas when it formed in 2009  Live, the band's rhythm, guitar riffs and vocal harmonies will get your hips moving even against your will. Openers are Vandoliers and Convoy and the Cattlemen. 9 p.m. Friday at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., $15-$20 Diamond Rodrigue

In terms of boy bands, few have eclipsed the legacy and stardom achieved by New Kids on the Block. Since forming in Boston in the late '80s, the band has charted countless hit singles, performed thousands of shows and inspired millions of joyful shrieks from dedicated fans who have followed the band's career arc from adolescence into adulthood. 8 p.m. Friday at American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Ave., $29.95 and up. Jeff Strowe

If you don't think Jim Gaffigan is funny, then you're not funny. People avoid you because you're boring and pretentious. Gaffigan is objectively makes-you-laugh-out-loud funny. He's spent years onstage honing his unique, self-deprecating sense of humor, which he employs whether he's talking about raising a family of five kids or his unhealthy love for unhealthy food. He's so good that he can heckle himself long before someone in the audience thinks they can be funnier. His Quality Time Tour includes a show starting at 8 p.m. Friday at The Pavilion at the Toyota Music Factory, 300 W. Las Colinas Blvd., in Irving. Only lawn seating remains available at $29.50 each or $34.50 for a seat with a chair rental. Find tickets at Danny Gallagher

The tres hombres who comprise the band ZZ Top are planning to celebrate their 50th year on the road with one big bash in Texas. The Houston band is hitting their hometown as well as Dallas and Austin before embarking on their 50th anniversary tour later this summer. Lead singer Billy Gibbons formed ZZ Top in 1969, and the band hit its stride once it finalized its lineup of rhythm guitarist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard. Two other bands nearing their own anniversary tours will join the bearded blues men (including Beard, despite his lack of whiskers). Arena rock notables Cheap Trick and English supergroup Bad Company will be present and accounted for when ZZ Top plays Dallas for the first time during their fifth decade. All together, the three bands have released more than a dozen platinum-selling albums and have penned innumerable classics, from “La Grange” to “No Smoke Without Fire” to “Surrender.” With Bad Company and Cheap Trick, 6:10 p.m. Friday at Dos Equis Pavilion, 3839 S. Fitzhugh Ave., $54 at Nicholas Bostick

More than 20 years old, Elm Street Tattoo is still inking strong. In addition to their own artists’ talents, one of the best things they offer is a welcome mat to the best tattoo artists in the world. The Elm Street Tattoo & Music Festival is a celebration that brings to Dallas more than 30 artists from around the globe representing all styles, along with art shows and live music (Lucero, Vandoliers, Riverboat Gamblers, Peelander-Z and more). Weekend passes $30, allow for entry to tattoo fest at Trees, 2709 Elm St., and shows (subject to capacity at Three Links and Club Dada). Tickets are also available to single shows ($15-$25) and single days of the festival ($20) on For more info, visit Merritt Martin

This is the fairy tale that has it all: parallels to modern political discourse, an examination of the nature of masculinity, the nature of parent/child bonds ... and puppets. Obviously. The Texas Ballet Theater’s Pinocchio gives a nod to all those heavy issues but doesn’t get too strung up on them in this age-old story of an earnest but flawed would-be boy. The U.S. premiere of the National Ballet of Canada co-production is a family-friendly and vividly costumed adaptation that’s peppered with innovative choreography and plenty of moral underpinnings. See the Blue Fairy work her magic as the ballet wraps up their 2018/2019 season at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St., at 7 p.m. Friday, May 17; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, May 18; and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, May 19. Performances will be accompanied by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; tickets are $25 to $105 at Jennifer Davis-Lamm


The Dave Matthews Band released their debut album Under the Table and Dreaming 25 years ago. The anniversary of the album also marked the band’s eligibility to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but the Hall of Fame took a pass on Dave Matthews Band. Despite some affirmations of their talent over the years, they’ve become a band that people love to hate. Maybe it’s because some of their albums sound the same. Maybe it’s because their fan base is perceived to be riddled with drunk frat boys. Maybe it’s because one of the band’s drivers (from Selma, Texas) emptied the contents of their bus’ septic tank while driving across a bridge in Chicago as a boatload of tourists passed underneath. Either way, they’ll be playing at Dos Equis Pavilion if people want to go sing along to “Crash Into Me,” or simply make fun of the people singing along to “Crash Into Me.” 8 p.m. Saturday at Dos Equis Pavilion, 3839 S. Fitzhugh Ave., $50-$115. Jacob Vaughn

It happens all the time when you’re trying to plan a night out with friends: You want to see a ventriloquist, one friend is in the mood for live music, another wants to see some stand-up comedy and your significant other has a hankering to hear some celebrity impersonations. Guess what? There is a production this weekend that will make everyone happy, provided everyone’s criteria for being happy includes watching someone sing without moving his lips. Singer, comedian, ventriloquist and impressionist Terry Fator is taking a break from his Las Vegas residency to bring his show on the road. Terry Fator: The Voice of Entertainment — It Starts Tonight, in fact starts at 8 p.m. Saturday, with doors at 7, at the Theatre at Grand Prairie, 1001 Performance Place. Tickets range from $39.75 to $99.75 and are available at or Jesse Hughey

The Riverboat Gamblers mark a point where punk and rock converge. Fast-paced guitar and bass lines drive each song forward, as singer Mike Wiebe belts heavy lyrics and Ian Walling hammers away on drums. The band will open up a night at Three Links for other heavy hitters Peelander-Z, Daikaiju and From Parts Unknown. Riverboat Gamblers has garnered a destructive stage reputation, as Wiebe has been known to smash instruments and swing from the rafters during performances. This demolition crew of a band will be a hard act to follow. 8 p.m. Saturday at Three Links, 2704 Elm St., $50-$115. Jacob Vaughn

After Saturday’s opening reception for the biennial Dallas Medianale, your eyes will be engorged from feasting on stimulating visuals. The exhibition showcases the best in video art, experimental film and other works in visual mediums, walking a zigzagging line between an art-house film festival and art installation. With five artists of international renown displaying stunning uses of LED lights or claymation shorts, this cycle focuses on time-based media. On view Saturday, May 18 through July 14 at the MAC, 15013 Ervay St. Free admission. More info at Eva Raggio

There are three little words that could surpass all other attractions at Dallas Pet Expo this Saturday and Sunday: free nail trims. From 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at Dallas Market Hall, 2200 N. Stemmons Freeway, check out all the latest pet products (fingers crossed for a live demo of that giant cat wheel), low-cost vaccines, obedience demos and tutorials, a parade of rescue pets, a lure course, microchipping and heartworm tests, a mega adoption event and more. Tickets are just $6 ($5 veterans and seniors, $4 kids), but are discounted $2 with a pet food donation. For a complete schedule and list of more than 125 exhibitors, visit or call 1-800-977-3609. Merritt Martin


Known for his radio show on 91.7 KXT and being a member in the popular local rock band 10 Hands, Paul Slavens is finally getting proper recognition as a solo artist as he explores a more experimental avenue with his project Kill the World — which includes a recent collaboration with fellow Denton artist Lorelei K. Sunday night’s show at Top Ten Records also includes Wanz Dover, another local music staple. Dover will play half his set with his band the Last Afronauts and the other half performing tracks off his new album Der Klang Von Fonix — the sequel to Music For Hospitals, an album Dover wrote after his own lengthy hospital stay back in 2015. 6.30 p.m. Sunday at Top Ten Records, 338 W. Jefferson Blvd., $10 (with no one turned away for lack of funds). Diamond Rodrigue

There was a glorious time before the mid-2000s when the house of Dior didn’t bring to mind the image of the words “J’adore Dior” printed on a cheap T-shirt barely visible through two-tone hair extensions flowing out from under a cheesy trucker hat. Then, the couturier’s brand was instead synonymous with unattainable elegance and the luxurious femininity of the elite. The Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St., offers a chic retrospective on Dior’s 70 years in power as a fashion ruler, throughout the subsequent guidance of artistic directors John Galliano and Yves Saint Laurent, with Dior: From Paris to the World, a collection of over 100 pieces of haute couture, accessories and photographs. Various events throughout the exhibition’s run, through Sept. 1, include talks and a Dior documentary screening. Entrance to the exhibition is timed, and adult tickets, at, are $20 for Tuesdays-Thursdays and $25 for Fridays-Sundays. Eva Raggio

California-born alternative rock band Toad the Wet Sprocket formed in 1986. The band has since broken up and reunited twice, and its latest album, New Constellation, was released four years ago. (The band has released six albums in its 31 years.) Toad the Wet Sprocket's name derives from a Monty Python skit, which vocalist Glen Phillips says was a last-minute decision and a "joke that went on too long." The band's first major successes came in the early '90s with hits such as "Walk on the Ocean," "All I Want" and "Something's Always Wrong." 7 p.m. Sunday at House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St., $40-$59.50 Diamond Rodrigue


Author Celeste Ng will be in Dallas to discuss her second novel, Little Fires Everywhere, which placed her once again on The New York Times best-seller list and won the Goodreads Choice Award for best fiction. The novel digs deep into themes like secrecy, obsession and identity through the tale of the impossibly perfect Richardson family as their reality is challenged by conflicted friendships and small-town dynamics after a custody battle. Hear Ng at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St 7.30 p.m. Tickets are $40 with discount prices for educators and students. Eva Raggio


In the first book in the fantasy series by Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson is a dyslexic Manhattan teenager who learns that he’s a demigod child of Poseidon who has to learn to control his newly discovered powers as well as (we’re assuming) his acne and return a master lightning bolt to Zeus before a war breaks out among the gods. See the novel set to music as The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday or at one of several performances through May 26 at Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. Tickets start at $29 at Eva Raggio


Maybe we’re optimistically campy here, but no story deserves a Bob Fosse choreography and chorus lines like a movie based on Dangerous Liaisons about a teenage virgin corrupted by an oversexed rich kid intent on deflowering her in order to win a slow bang with his cokehead stepsister. Cruel Intentions, the Reese Witherspoon-Ryan Phillippe-Sarah Michelle Gellar drama, was every '90s kid’s true awakening into adulthood’s irreversible cynicism; you walked in expecting a fun high school movie and walked out feeling like an unpaid prostitute in a world intent on eating up your innocence. So, kids, let's go see the same story set to music! Cruel Intentions: The '90s Musical runs Wednesday-Sunday, May 22-26 at the Wyly Theater, 2400 Flora St. Tickets start at $46 at Wednesday's performance begins at 7 p.m. Eva Raggio