Two big events — the Dallas International Film Festival and Dallas Art Fair — go head-to-head for your entertainment dollar every year at this time. But this weekend brings even more competition in the form of a big art opening, the debut of a new opera, a one-day music festival, and more.
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, April 14
Dallas Wings Draft Party
The news may have passed you by, but Dallas — well, Arlington — is now home to a WNBA team. It's the Dallas Wings, the third incarnation of the team that began as the Detroit Shock in 1998. They'll kick off their inaugural season with a draft party at College Park Center on the UT Arlington campus, where the Wings will be playing their home games. Guests can tour the facility; watch the draft on the Jumbotron from the seats; and enjoy the action on the court below, where there will be several speakers and a uniform unveiling.
2016 Dallas International Film Festival
The 2016 edition of the Dallas International Film Festival will feature 113 films, including nine world premieres. Notable feature films include High-Rise with Tom Hiddleston and Sienna Miller; John Carney's new musical romance, Sing Street; the Natalie Portman-directed A Tale of Love and Darkness; and the Centerpiece Gala Selection, Other People starring Molly Shannon and Jesse Plemons. There will also be a John Williams tribute at Dallas City Performance Hall, followed by a screening of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and a Q&A with star Henry Thomas. Screenings, running through April 24, will take place at Angelika Film Center Dallas, Alamo Drafthouse Dallas, and Klyde Warren Park.
2016 Dallas Art Fair
The 2016 Dallas Art Fair is set to feature over 95 prominent national and international art dealers and galleries exhibiting painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, video, and installation by modern and contemporary artists. The event, taking place at Fashion Industry Gallery through Sunday, kicks off with the Preview Gala on Thursday, an event that benefits the Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, and Dallas Contemporary.
Ben Folds in concert with yMusic and Dotan
Singer Ben Folds has had one of the more eclectic music careers, coming to fame with Ben Folds Five (which was actually a trio), working with everyone from William Shatner to Weird Al Yankovic, and serving as a judge on NBC's The Sing-Off. His latest album, So There, is another left turn, as it's his take on classical music. Folds will be joined at this concert at Majestic Theatre by yMusic and Dotan.
Friday, April 15
Dallas Museum of Art presents Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty opening day
The opening of the Dallas Museum of Art's newest exhibition coincides with its monthly Late Nights at the DMA. Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty, running through August 14, is the first retrospective of Penn’s work in nearly 20 years and features over 140 photographs, including iconic images and previously unseen or never-exhibited photographs. The Late Nights event will feature two separate talks about the exhibition.
Dallas Opera presents Show Boat
"Wait a second," you may be saying, "isn't Show Boat a musical, not an opera?" Right you are, and one that many credit with changing the trajectory of American musical theater. But Dallas Opera will give its own interpretation of the classic work, which follows Magnolia down the Mississippi River as she navigates love's choppy waters. The production will play six times through May 1 at Winspear Opera House.
Saturday, April 16
Perot Museum of Nature and Science presents Eye of the Collector
In its first full-scale, self-curated exhibition, the Perot Museum presents Eye of the Collector, bringing together personal collections of nine very different people — from the exquisite to the quirky, from historical artifacts to pop culture trinkets. Among the collections in the exhibition, running through September 5, are ones highlighting Star Wars, the Dallas Cowboys, and Pez dispensers.
Old 97's County Fair
One of Dallas' favorite musical institutions, the Old 97's, will host this one-stage, one-day festival at Main Street Garden. An array of alt-country bands will be featured, including Drive By Truckers, Lucero, Deer Tick, Justin Townes Earle, Nikki Lane, Brent Best, and Madison King. The event will also have a 40-foot Ferris wheel, corn dogs, and midway games.
Sunday, April 17
Lucinda Williams in concert
Lucinda Williams is one of those musicians who you know even if you don't know you know her. She's had a steady career, garnering critical acclaim with every album release dating back to her debut in 1979. That includes her latest, The Ghosts of Highway 20, which she'll sing in support of at this concert at The Kessler.