As April comes to a close, events in and around Dallas have an eccentric flair this weekend. You can cheer for soon-to-be rookie football players, catch under-the-radar movies, see a trio of bands/musicians whose reputations precede them, watch a musical from a legendary country musician, eat tacos while watching wrestling, or laugh at one of the funniest comedians in the country.
Below are the best options for your precious free time Thursday through Sunday. Don't like what you see? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.
Thursday, April 27
Dallas Cowboys presents 2017 NFL Draft Day Parties
The Dallas Cowboys host three days of official 2017 NFL Draft Parties at the Star in Frisco. The event provides football fans with the opportunity to see current Dallas Cowboys players, members of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, and the Dallas Cowboys mascot, Rowdy, while also enjoying entertainment by the Dallas Cowboys Rhythm and Blue Drumline and Dancers, among other activities.
2017 USA Film Festival
The 47th Annual USA Film Festival features 28 separate events and screenings, with a variety of big-name actors and filmmakers in attendance. Highlights of the festival, taking place at Angelika Film Center Dallas through Sunday, include appearances by Rene Auberjonois, Karen Allen, Sharon Lawrence, Brenda Strong, Nancy Cartwright, and more.
PJ Harvey in concert
English singer-songwriter PJ Harvey is a cult musician if ever there were one. Among a certain segment of music lovers, she's as revered as anybody, even though she's never had an album even reach the top 20 on the Billboard charts on this side of the Atlantic. You can expect this concert at the Bomb Factory to be packed, as she comes back to Dallas in support of her first new album in five years, The Hope Six Demolition Project.
Friday, April 28
Paul Anka in concert
Iconic singer-songwriter Paul Anka, known for hit songs like "Diana," "Lonely Boy," "Put Your Head on My Shoulder," and "(You're) Having My Baby," was named one of Billboard’s most successful artists of the 21st century, alongside music icons Elvis Presley and The Beatles. He plays at Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie for a special retrospective of his long career.
Arts & Letters Live: David Sedaris
David Sedaris, one of America’s preeminent humor writers, returns to Dallas for his eighth consecutive year participating in the DMA's Arts & Letters Live series. He is reading new and unpublished material at Winspear Opera House as part of the 26th anniversary of the museum’s acclaimed literary and performing arts series.
Lyric Stage presents Quanah
Quanah is a world premiere musical written by Grammy Award-winning country music legend Larry Gatlin. Presented by Lyric Stage, it is the story of Quanah Parker, the last Comanche chief; his mother, Cynthia Ann Parker; and the Parker family settling in Texas and the survival and ascendancy of the great Comanche people. The production plays at Irving Arts Center through May 7.
Saturday, April 29
Taco Libre Dallas
Tacos from 24 taquerias from around the Dallas-Fort Worth area and beyond are the highlight at this festival at Main Street Garden. But there will be more than just tacos to enjoy, including performances by Jenny and the Mexicats, Los Skarnales, Piñata Protest, and Supersonic Lips, as well as multiple lucha libre wrestling matches.
Pixies in concert with Public Access TV
Pixies are another band whose reputation is outsized compared to their actual success. They had a few modest hits in the late '80s and early '90s, and since 2013 they've been forging ahead without the services of original bassist/vocalist Kim Deal. The group comes back to Dallas for the first time in three years in support of their 2016 album, Head Carrier. They are joined at the Bomb Factory by opening act Public Access TV.
Sunday, April 30
Bill Maher in concert
Bill Maher was supposed to appear at the Music Hall at Fair Park just after Inauguration Day, but plane issues foiled that plan. Now we get him just after President Trump's first 100 days in office, which will surely give the comedian plenty of ammunition. Maher has set the boundaries of where funny, political talk can go on American television for decades, first on Politically Incorrect, then, for the last 14 years, on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher.