This weekend in and around Dallas has the theme of "local" and "new." While there are a few national visitors, including one huge concert and two comedians, many of the events are inherently local and will give attendees something they haven't seen before. That includes the selection of a new basketball star, the debut of a new theater company, a traveling prehistoric exhibit, and more.
Below are the best ways to spend your free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.
Thursday, June 21
Dallas Mavericks NBA Draft Watch Party
The Dallas Mavericks' finish toward the bottom of the NBA standings ensured that they would get a high draft pick this year — No. 5. Last year's first-round pick, Dennis Smith Jr., will be on hand for the Mavs' official draft party at Canton Hall, which also will feature appearances by the Mavs ManiAACs, Dancers, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Mavs legend Derek Harper.
The Classics Theatre Project presents The Cherry Orchard
The Classics Theatre Project will present its inaugural production, a new adaptation by Ben Schroth of Anton Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard. In Chekhov’s last work, a family finds itself unable to save its estate and beloved cherry orchard when nostalgia for a fictitious golden age, desire for the safety of dated familiarities, and an ignorance of youth and responsibility combine to create "the action of inaction” against looming economic and social ruin. The play will run through July 14 at Trinity River Arts Center.
Ochre House Theater presents Picasso: Matador De Málaga
Presented in collaboration with the 2018 Dallas Flamenco Festival, Picasso: Matador De Málaga is a journey into the rich mind of Pablo Picasso, one of the 20th century's most iconic and famous painters. Through his adventures from Málaga to Paris and around the world, and from his torrid love affairs and marriages, Picasso read the world as a matador reads the movement of a bull. The play will run at Ochre House Theater through June 30.
Friday, June 22
Rockwall Summer Musicals presents Into the Woods
Set in an enchanted forest, a childless baker and his wife will do anything to undo a curse placed on their family tree and live happily ever after. Into the Woods combines many Brothers Grimm fairytale classics including "Little Red Riding Hood," "Rapunzel," "Jack and the Beanstalk," "Cinderella," and more. Rockwall Summer Musicals will present Stephen Sondheim’s classic at the Rockwall High School Performing Arts Center through July 1.
Michael Che in concert
Since taking over as co-anchor for "Weekend Update" on Saturday Night Live almost four years ago, Michael Che's profile has gotten bigger and bigger. His social and political commentary has gotten more pointed, he co-starred in Chris Rock's film Top Five, and he was named co-head writer on SNL in December 2017. With SNL done for the summer, he'll come to Dallas to perform a stand-up comedy set at Majestic Theatre.
Saturday, June 23
Perot Museum presents "Ultimate Dinosaurs"
Based on groundbreaking research from scientists around the world, "Ultimate Dinosaurs" reveals a new breed of dinosaurs that evolved in isolation in South America, Africa and Madagascar — dinosaurs that are unfamiliar to most North Americans. "Ultimate Dinosaurs" tells the story of the break-up of supercontinent Pangaea into today’s continents and the ways that continental drift affected the evolution of dinosaurs. The exhibit will be on display at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science through January 6, 2019.
Martin Lawrence Galleries presents Takashi Murakami opening reception
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth recently opened a major retrospective for Takashi Murakami, and now Dallas can get a taste of the Japanese artist. This exhibit, on display through July 10, will be showing Murakami’s colorful paintings, which reveal the consistent, universal themes that have guided the artist’s work. Each work of art reflects his craft and insightful engagement with popular culture, folklore, and pop art style, all mixed with traditional Japanese culture.
Reunion Lawn Party
The Reunion Lawn Party will return to Dallas for its fourth year, allowing Dallasites to gather on the lawn under Reunion Tower to celebrate summer and soak in the skyline. The event will include cuisine from 10 food trucks, Dallas’ newest dessert bar, Baldo’s Ice Cream, lawn games, and entertainment from Emerald City Presents: Limelight Band. There will also be Armadillo Races and a special light show on “The Ball.”
Eagles in concert with Chris Stapleton
The legendary rock band Eagles will come back to the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the first time since the death of original member Glenn Frey. Don Henley, Joe Walsh, and Timothy B. Schmit will be joined by Vince Gill and Glenn's son Deacon Frey at AT&T Stadium to play all of the Eagles' greatest hits. As if that's not enough, reigning CMA Male Vocalist of the Year, Chris Stapleton, will be the opening act.
Chris D'Elia in concert
Chris D’Elia has become one of the most sought-after performers in the comedy world in recent years. He's best known for his stand up and starring role on the NBC comedy series, Undateable. He has a recent Netflix special, Man on Fire, and his weekly podcast, Congratulations With Chris D’Elia, has been a mainstay on iTunes’ comedy podcast charts. He'll perform at Majestic Theatre.
Sunday, June 24
The Aronson Cello Festival
The Aronson Cello Festival honors the legacy of legendary cello player and teacher Lev Aronson. The seven-day festival will feature a series of concerts, as well as master classes and presentations in honor of Aronson. There will also be a panel featuring women trailblazing the classical musical industry; a screening of a series of short films about Aronson; and a discussion with the author of The Lost Cellos of Lev Aronson. The festival will take place through July 1 at the SMU Meadows School of the Arts.