As residents of Dallas-Fort Worth, we are fortunate to have a number of high-profile musicians and other celebrities regularly coming through town to entertain us. This just happens to be one of those weeks when big names are in short supply.
When that happens, you turn local. This week we're featuring an equal mixture of semi-recognizable names and events unique to our fair city. 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, August 8
Upstart Productions presents The Aliens
Even though we're not hurting when it comes to quality local theater, more companies are always welcome. That's why it's great that Upstart Productions, after taking a hiatus in 2012, is making a comeback with The Aliens, an Obie Award-winning play about two wanna-be musicians. It will run at Magnolia Lounge through August 31.
Crystal Bowersox in concert with Liz Longley
American Idol has had a spotty track record at turning out successful musicians, but that doesn't mean the show has been short on talent. A perfect example of that is Crystal Bowersox, who has yet to turn her second-place finish in 2010 into a mainstream career, despite two well-received albums. She'll play at The Kessler with Liz Longley as opening act.
Friday, August 9
The Polyphonic Spree in concert with Telegraph Canyon and Harper Simon
Everyone's favorite colorful, massive pop rock band, The Polyphonic Spree, just released their fifth album, Yes, It's True, and they're treating this show at the Granada Theater as their album release party. They'll be playing selections from the Kickstarter-funded album and more, with Telegraph Canyon and Harper Simon as opening acts.
Kathy Griffin in concert
It's kind of funny when Kathy Griffin is arguably the biggest name to come to Dallas this weekend, since she's made a career out of being D-list celebrity. But the comedian has become a ubiquitous presence in recent years, including serving as co-host for CNN's New Year's Eve coverage. She'll bring her self-deprecating sense of humor to Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie.
Saturday, August 10
Sausage Fest 2013
105.3 The Fan will take over Main Street Garden in Downtown Dallas to celebrate that barbecue staple, the sausage. There will be sausage races, bobbing for sausage and plenty of sausage to actually eat. This 21-and-over event will also feature a bikini contest and music from the likes of Seattle, A.Dd+ and The Mullet Boyz.
Casa Manana presents Miss Saigon
Miss Saigon is a classic musical from the same people who wrote Les Miserables. Anyone who's seen it on the stage in London or New York can testify to its power, especially involving a key moment when a helicopter descends on the stage. It'll be interesting to see whether Casa Mañana can replicate that moment, but the musical is worth seeing regardless. It'll play at Casa Manana Theatre through August 18.
Sunday, August 11
Mindless Behavior in concert with OMG Girlz and Young Marqus
If the boy band Mindless Behavior doesn't ring a bell, that's probably because you're not a teenage girl. But the hip hop/R&B group has gained legions of fans with songs like "My Girl" and "Mrs. Right." Prepare for a scream-a-thon at Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie, with OMG Girlz and Young Marqus as opening acts.
Breaking Bad Season Premiere Watch Party
Despite the Netflix-ification of television viewing that allows people to binge-watch almost any show they'd like, there's still something about watching a classic show while it's actually on the air. The Granada gets that, which is why it's hosting a free watch party for the season premiere of the final season of Breaking Bad, which will go down as one of the top 5 TV shows of all time.