There are some weekends when some of the big venues in Dallas sit vacant, but this weekend they are all hosting big events. And even better, those events include a variety of types of entertainment, including concerts, a Broadway musical, a new kind of basketball, stand-up comedy, and a live podcast.
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, August 16
Women Texas Film Festival
The Dallas-based Women Texas Film Festival focuses solely on the work of female filmmakers. The festival, taking place through Sunday at Studio Movie Grill Spring Valley, will feature the world premiere of Amanda Kramer’s mind-bending film, Paris Window, as their Opening Night selection, with Jenn Wexler’s SXSW hit, The Ranger, serving as the Closing Night selection. In all, the festival will showcase 10 feature-length films and 25 short films.
Rob Zombie & Marilyn Manson in concert
Both Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson occupy a unique place in the music industry in that they've achieved a great level of success without ever having a mainstream hit song. Of course, it doesn't matter if the hits don't come as long as hardcore fans keep buying their albums and showing up to concerts like this at Dos Equis Pavilion. Zombie’s most recent album was 2016's The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser, while Manson released Heaven Upside Down in 2017.
Dallas Summer Musicals presents School of Rock
Based on the hit film, School of Rock is a hilarious musical that follows Dewey Finn, a wannabe rock star posing as a substitute teacher who turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. The high-octane smash features 14 songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber, all the original songs from the movie, and musical theater’s first-ever kids rock band playing their instruments live on stage. The production will run through August 26 at the Music Hall at Fair Park.
Friday, August 17
Big3: 3-on-3 Basketball League Playoffs
Dallas will host the first round of playoffs for Big3, the American 3-on-3 professional basketball league. Created in part by rapper/actor Ice Cube, the games feature half-court play and rules designed for competition and intensity. The league combines former NBA players and fan interaction before and after the games to make for an exciting live experience. There will be four games throughout the evening at American Airlines Center.
Rockwall Summer Musicals presents The Music Man
In this beloved family show, Professor Harold Hill shakes up a quiet Midwest town by posing as a band leader and selling instruments to naive Iowa townsfolk. The Broadway sensation features classic songs such as “76 Trombones," "The Wells Fargo Wagon,” and “Gary, Indiana.” The production will run at the Rockwall High School Performing Arts Center through Sunday.
Saturday, August 18
Ice Cube in concert with Bun B
After his duties are done with Big3 on Friday, Ice Cube will get back to his day job with this concert at the Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory. Cube is a rap legend whose time with N.W.A., as a solo act, and as an actor have made him into an entertainment industry mogul. Cube hasn't released a new album since 2010, but rumor has it that he'll release the long-anticipated Everythang's Corrupt later this year.
J. Cole in concert
The reason Ice Cube isn't just staying put at American Airlines Center is because another superstar rapper kicked him to the curb. J. Cole has yet to have an album that didn't go to No. 1, starting with 2011's Cole World: The Sideline Story and continuing through his newest album, KOD. He'll be joined at this concert by Young Thug, Jaden Smith, Earthgang, and Kill Edward.
Kathy Griffin: Laugh Your Head Off World Tour
Comedian Kathy Griffin caused a big stir last year when she posted a photo of herself holding up a bloody head that looked like Donald Trump. Despite being shunned by many for the stunt and subsequently apologizing, Griffin now seems to be taking total ownership over it, referencing the image in the name of her new tour. Fans who have stuck with her can catch her act at Winspear Opera House.
Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard Live
Since March 2018, actor Dax Shepard (Parenthood, CHIPS) has been hosting a weekly podcast where he talks to various other celebrities about their lives, philosophies, and "the messiness of being human." The live taping of the podcast at Majestic Theatre will feature a yet-to-be-named guest, but considering the quality of his previous guests, it's sure to a bold-faced name.
Sunday, August 19
Lyle Lovett and His Large Band in concert
A singer, composer and actor, Lyle Lovett has broadened the definition of American music in a career that spans 14 albums over three decades. Coupled with his gift for storytelling, the Texas-based musician fuses elements of Americana, swing, jazz, folk, gospel and blues in a convention-defying manner that breaks down barriers. He'll perform at Winspear Opera House.