Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff to summer, as many use it as an excuse to head out of town for a few days. But the local events may have you rethinking those plans, as they include one long-awaited concert, a couple of intriguing theater productions and several worthy holiday celebrations.
Below are your best options for your precious free time Thursday through Memorial Day Monday. Don't like what you see? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.
Thursday, May 22
Second Thought Theatre presents Booth
Everybody knows that John Wilkes Booth was responsible for the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, but fewer people know the story of the assassin himself. This play from Second Thought Theatre, playing through June 14 at Kalita Humphreys Theater, recounts the events leading up to assassination, intertwined with Booth's own history.
Morrissey in concert with Kristeen Young
It's been a long time coming to get Morrissey back to Dallas, as he first postponed, then ultimately canceled a performance at South Side Ballroom in early 2013. The former frontman of The Smiths will finally take the stage at the Majestic Theatre in advance of the release of his first new album in five years, World Peace is None of Your Business. He'll be joined by opening act Kristeen Young.
Friday, May 23
2014 Downtown Arlington Center Stage Music Festival
Arlington will celebrate Memorial Day with three days of free music at Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts. The O's and Bob Schneider will kick things off on Friday night, followed by Barrett Baber, Luke Wade & No Civilians and Jimmie Vaughan on Saturday, and culminating with the Brandon Steadman Band, Charla Corn and Cody Canada & the Departed on Sunday.
Kitchen Dog Theater presents Barbeque Apocalypse
The annual New Works Festival from Kitchen Dog Theater is an opportunity for up-and-coming playwrights to have their works showcased. The winning play of each year's festival is then fully produced the following year, which is the honor that Matt Lyle's Barbeque Apocalypse is receiving this year. The play and the festival featuring other new works will run through June 21 at McKinney Avenue Contemporary.
Saturday, May 24
2014 NoteStar Youth Piano Competition
New classical music website ClassicalRush is looking to find fresh young talent with the NoteStar Youth Piano Competition. Pianists from around Dallas-Fort Worth submitted entries into the contest, and now the top six contestants will perform at Klyde Warren Park, with prizes for the winners including a total of $5,000 and a demo recording session.
2014 Radfest Music Festival
Panther Island Pavilion in Fort Worth just got done hosting the Fort Worth Music Festival last weekend, but they're back at again, hosting the Radfest Music Festival. Organized by the nonprofit Where People Meet Together, it'll feature seven local acts like A.Dd+, Sam Lao, The Orbans, Dustin Cavazos, The Tontons, Chudi, B Anderson and Crit Morris.
Sunday, May 25
Dallas Memorial March 2014
Memorial Day is on Monday, but Carry the Load has a special reason for starting their Memorial March a day early. Designed to to restore the true meaning of Memorial Day by connecting Americans to the sacrifices of the military, law enforcement, firefighters and rescue personnel, the march will go on for 20 hours and 14 minutes at Reverchon Park. Anyone is welcome to participate in the free event for however long they would like to walk.
Journey in concert with Steve Miller Band and Tower of Power
For many, Journey hasn't really been Journey since former lead singer Steve Perry and drummer Steve Smith left the band in 1998. But the new frontman, Arnel Pineda, is a virtual copycat of Perry's style, meaning fans can still sing along to "Don't Stop Believin'" with little guilt. Journey will be joined by the Steve Miller Band and Tower of Power at Gexa Energy Pavilion, making a true classic rock night.
Monday, May 26
2014 Uptown Ciclovia
A ciclovía is a specific closure of a street or streets so that cyclists, runners and other non-motorists can enjoy a road without having to compete with other vehicles. Uptown Dallas will use Memorial Day as an excuse to host its first one, closing down parts of Harwood Street, Cedar Springs Road and Routh Street to connect Klyde Warren Park to the Katy Trail.
2014 Dallas Symphony Orchestra Memorial Day Concert
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra's 2013-2014 season is officially finished, but the ensemble will kick off its summer Community Concerts Series with this Memorial Day concert at Flag Pole Hill Park near White Rock Lake. Expect the orchestra to play patriotic favorites, movie music and more, with the concert being capped off by a fireworks display.