A holiday weekend is often a time for event organizers to scale back on their plans, but not so this Labor Day weekend. The next five days are absolutely packed, headlined by four big events at a new major venue. You can also see a world premiere play, enjoy the music of one of the best movies of 2016 live, see two major college football powers square off, 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. (Note: The Pavilion at the Music Factory in Irving was scheduled to open this weekend, but all events have either been moved or postponed due to construction delays.)
Thursday, August 31
UT Arlington presents Lou Diamond Phillips Film Festival
In advance of Lou Diamond Phillips appearing at UT Arlington on September 7 as part of its Maverick Speakers Series, the university will host screenings of some of Phillips' best known movies. 2012's Filly Brown will screen on Thursday, followed by La Bamba on September 5, and a double feature of Courage Under Fire and The 33 on September 6. All films are free and will take place at Mavericks Activities Center.
Dallas Theater Center presents Miller, Mississippi
The 2017-2018 season opener for Dallas Theater Center is the world premiere of Miller, Mississippi, which tells the story of one family that falls apart as the country attempts to come together during the Civil Rights movement. In the classic Southern Gothic tradition, the tragic new play will stun minds and break hearts, as the personal and political combine to bring about the Miller family’s undoing. The production will run at Wyly Theatre through October 1.
TITAS presents Momix: Opus Cactus
If Salvador Dali and Leonardo da Vinci were inspired by National Geographic, you’d get Opus Cactus, Moses Pendleton’s evening-length work about the desert world. With their signature dance illusion style, Momix explores the mysterious creatures and cacti of the desert. The season opening performance will take place at Winspear Opera House.
Friday, September 1
Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents La La Land in Concert
The controversy over La La Land's non-win at the Academy Awards overshadowed the fact that it was one of the best movies of 2016. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra will pay tribute to its musical greatness by screening the critically-acclaimed film while the full orchestra performs the score live. There will be two performances Friday and Saturday at Meyerson Symphony Center.
2017 Riverfront Jazz Festival
Dallas’ inaugural Riverfront Jazz Festival, presented and produced by The Black Academy of Arts and Letters, will host 35 national and international music artists on three stages over Labor Day Weekend. Taking place at Texas Horse Park, the festival will feature performances by honorary chairs Erykah Badu, Will Downing, and Najee, as well as Jon Secada, Ruben Studdard, and others. The festival will take place through Sunday.
Jimmy Herring and the Invisible Whip in concert
Jimmy Herring, best known as the lead guitarist for Widespread Panic, will bring his band, the Invisible Whip, to town to play new music and material from his last two records. Although Herring has been touring consistently with Widespread Panic over the past 10 years, it has been almost five years since he last toured with his own band. The concert will take place at Trees.
Saturday, September 2
Advocare Classic: Michigan vs. Florida
All the three local Division I college football teams - SMU, TCU, and UNT - open their seasons with home games on Saturday, but those who aren't fans of the Ponies, Frogs or Mean Green should head to this game at AT&T Stadium. The Michigan Wolverines and Florida Gators will meet for the first time in the regular season. Ticket-holders can enjoy a pregame Fan Fest with performances by Reckless Kelly and Judah & The Lion.
Dallas DanceFest, taking place at Moody Performance Hall on Saturday and Sunday, features works from 28 diverse dance companies from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and beyond. Performers will include Ballet Ensemble of Texas, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Danielle Georgiou Dance Group, NobleMotion Dance, Texas Ballet Theater, Bruce Wood Dance, imPULSE Dance Project, and more.
Sunday, September 3
Dallas Museum of Art presents "Visions of America: Three Centuries of Prints from the National Gallery of Art" closing day
Sunday is your final chance to see "Visions of America: Three Centuries of Prints from the National Gallery of Art," which surveys how America and its people have been represented in prints for the last 400 years. The exhibit features more than 150 outstanding prints from the colonial era to the present, including works by Paul Revere, James McNeill Whistler, Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Jenny Holzer, and others.
Monday, September 4
Lifehouse and Switchfoot in concert
This co-headlining concert by Lifehouse and Switchfoot, two bands that appeal to the Christian music genre, was to have taken place at the Pavilion at the Irving Music Factory. Because of construction delays there, it has been moved to South Side Ballroom in Dallas. Lifehouse is touring in support of its 2015 album, Out of the Wasteland, while Switchfoot is promoting its 2016 album, Where the Light Shines Through.