It's another big music weekend in Dallas, with the city's two biggest venues each hosting multiple events. Starplex Pavilion will look back in time, while American Airlines Center will stay thoroughly modern. You can also see movies made exclusively by women, laugh at a show by a well-known comedian, take in some rodeo and country music in Denton, catch a play about an iconic actress, and more.
Below are the best options for your precious free time Thursday through Monday. Don't like what you see? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.
Thursday, August 17
2017 Women Texas Film Festival
The second annual Women Texas Film Festival focuses solely on the work of female filmmakers. Taking place through Sunday at Studio Movie Grill Northwest Highway, this year’s edition of WTxFF will showcase eight feature-length films, 38 short films, and three VR projects, with multiple filmmakers on hand to talk about their projects.
Friday, August 18
Improv Addison presents Arsenio Hall
Comedian Arsenio Hall has been a name brand for over 30 years, thanks to collaborations with Eddie Murphy and his eponymous talk show, which ran from 1989-1994. He's been in and out of the Hollywood spotlight since the end of that show, but audiences at the Improv Addison on Friday and Saturday will get to see him back in his natural element, as a stand-up comedian.
2017 North Texas Fair and Rodeo
The North Texas Fair and Rodeo, taking place through August 26 in Denton, offers professional and youth rodeos, livestock exhibitions, a fun midway, and a variety of exhibits. It is also known for bringing some of the best country music talent to the North Texas area; the concert series this year will include performances by Travis Tritt, Ryan Bingham, Cody Johnson, the Josh Abbott Band, Tracy Byrd, and others.
Foreigner in concert with Cheap Trick and Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience
It'll be throwback night at Starplex Pavilion as Foreigner will celebrate the 40th anniversary of their debut album, which contained such hits as "Feels Like the First Time" and "Cold as Ice." They'll be joined by fellow classic rock band Cheap Trick and Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, led by the son of original Led Zeppelin drummer, John Bonham.
Ed Sheeran in concert
Despite his act consisting of little more than himself and a guitar, Ed Sheeran has managed to become one of the biggest stars on the planet. The math-obsessed singer has named each of three albums after mathematical equations, and he'll play at American Airlines Center in support of his third album, ÷, which features the hit songs "Castle on the Hill," "Shape of You," and "Galway Girl."
Starlight Entertainment presents All About Bette: An Interlude with Bette Davis
Two months after a run at Fair Park, All About Bette: An Interlude with Bette Davis returns to the area with a two-weekend stint at Addison Conference Centre. The one-woman show details the real Bette Davis, who owned cinema for six decades, earning 62 nominations, awards, and honorary distinctions, including two Oscars. The production will play four times through August 26.
Saturday, August 19
Deep Purple and Alice Cooper in concert with The Edgar Winter Band
More throwback '70s rock will come to Starplex Pavilion on Saturday night, with performances by Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, and The Edgar Winter Band. Although they're sure to play many of their classic songs, Deep Purple is touring in support of their latest album, Infinite, while Alice Cooper is touring in support of his new album, Paranormal.
AT&T Performing Arts Center presents 2017 Strauss Square Fall Season: ABBA the Concert
This is the first in a series of outdoor concerts at Annette Strauss Square, located just outside Winspear Opera House. ABBA The Concert is one of the top ABBA tribute groups in the world, playing the most iconic hits from ABBA, including “Mamma Mia,” “S.O.S,” “Money, Money, Money,” “The Winner Takes All,” “Waterloo,” “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme,” and “Dancing Queen.”
Klyde Warren Park presents Movies in the Park: Sing
As part of the Movies in the Park series, Klyde Warren Park will present a screening of the 2016 animated movie Sing. Watch as a whole host of animals help rescue Buster Moon’s theater by hosting a giant singing competition. Blankets, lawn chairs, picnic baskets, and coolers are welcome. Beer, wine, and concessions are available for purchase at Relish. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages are allowed.
Sunday, August 20
J. Cole in concert
He may not have the name cachet of Jay-Z, Kanye West, or Drake, but J. Cole is still one of the best rappers around. Each of his first four albums has reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, including his latest, 2016's 4 Your Eyez Only. He'll be joined at American Airlines Center by Anderson.Paak, Bas, J.I.D., and Ari Lennox.