Things To Do

Cheap and Free Events in Dallas This Week

Delve into the life story of '80s synth pioneer Suzanne Ciani at the Texas Theatre on Friday.
Delve into the life story of '80s synth pioneer Suzanne Ciani at the Texas Theatre on Friday.
Junior Players Present Othello
Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre
1500 Tenison Parkway
8:15 p.m. nightly through Sunday
Free Tuesday and Wednesday
Although the Junior Players perform children’s theater, they still produce modified versions of traditional theater, and that means the troupe rarely shies away from heavy material. Adding to its impressive roster of plays, the 55-year-old group performs Shakespeare’s Othello at 8:15 p.m. nightly through Sunday, July 30, at Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre, 1500 Tenison Parkway. The play, a disturbing take on how suspicion and jealousy can incite destruction and tragedy, also shows unparalleled unconditional love. Tickets are $10 to $15. Guests can bring picnics and blankets, or rent lawn chairs and purchase concessions. Visit for tickets or for a map and more on the venue. – Merritt Martin

Swing in the Park + Social Dancing
Klyde Warren Park
2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway
6:30-10 p.m. Friday
It’s counterintuitive, but honestly, the best way to power through a hot summer night is to dance. Get up, get moving and get sweaty. The beat makes the time breeze by, and the energy level makes the heat bearable. Swing in the Park + Social Dancing helps you sail through the humidity from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Friday, July 28, at Klyde Warren Park, 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway. The evening kicks off with a free swing class from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. with Studio 22 that covers all the basic turns, steps and hops you’ll need to get moving. From 7:30 until 10 p.m., put all your new moves into play during the social dance; you can take breaks and hit up food trucks to fuel your grooves. Admission is free, and you don’t need experience or even a partner to join in. Learn more by visiting the event page on Facebook. – Jennifer Davis-Lamm

A Life in Waves
Texas Theatre
231 W. Jefferson Blvd.
8:15 p.m. Friday
Although the electronic music genre has typically been dominated by men for the past few decades, Suzanne Ciani’s innovative approach to music making during the 1970s and ’80s made her a pioneer in popularizing the genre. The classically trained pianist and composer turned her attention to computer-generated music in the ’70s and eventually helped lay the groundwork for new age music to come. She mastered synthesizers, music sequencers and drum machines, and she worked with advertising companies to give television viewers auditory bliss, such as the mouth-watering sound in Coca-Cola's’ Pop & Pour commercials. Ciani’s role in electronic music is undeniable; just ask filmmaker Brett Whitcomb, who previewed his documentary, A Life in Waves, at this year’s South by Southwest festival. The film follows Ciani’s career and was a huge hit at this year’s Oak Cliff Film Festival. If you missed both previews of the film, which becomes available on VOD on Aug. 4, Texas Theatre, 231 W. Jefferson Blvd., offers three chances to see it. The first is at 8:15 p.m. Friday, July 28. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at – Diamond Victoria

Commerce Street Night Market
444 W. Commerce St.
6-10 p.m. Friday
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 – Merritt Martin

Texas Latino Comic Con
Latino Cultural Center
2600 Live Oak St.
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
There are way too many cons these days. It’s impossible to attend them all without having supernatural powers that allow you to be in three places at once. So you’ll just have to prioritize, and you’ll definitely want to keep Saturday, July 29, open on your calendar because it marks the start of Texas’ first Latino Comic Con. This daylong festival will celebrate comics and pop culture from a Latino perspective, featuring live talks and Q&A sessions with influential artists like El Peso Hero creator Hector Rodriguez and Eliza in a Box Comics’ Eliamaria M. Crawford. The festival will also give attendees chances to compete in a Latino character cosplay contest and meet many other special guests from the comic book world, like Rio Bravo Comics, Funimation and Dusk Publishing. The best part: It's free. Take that, overgrown convention industry! The Texas Latino Comic Con will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 29, at the Latino Cultural Center, 2600 Live Oak St. – Danny Gallager