This is one of those weekends in Dallas where there's almost too much to do. A dozen events made the list, but it could've easily been expanded to 20 or more. Those that did make the cut include four new theater productions, three separate chances to spend some quality time outdoors, three big-time concerts, and more.
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, September 20
Bishop Arts Theatre Center presents "Denise Lee Sings Miss Simone"
Bishop Arts Theatre Center presents "Denise Lee Sings Miss Simone," a special North Texas Giving Day event and concert featuring Denise Lee. The concert will feature songs made famous by Nina Simone, who is the focus of the 25th Anniversary Season opening play, The Champion, by Amy Evans. They're far from the only local organization seeking donations on this special day; go to northtexasgivingday.org for more information.
Pegasus Theatre presents The Cuban and the Redhead
Escaping bloodshed in Cuba, a young man named Desi Arnaz sets sail on a turbulent journey that leads him all the way to Hollywood and into the arms of a fiery, redheaded movie star named Lucille Ball. Desi and Lucy put their egos and dreams of stardom on the line in a gamble to save one thing — their marriage — risking it all on an untested and floundering new medium called television. The musical will play at Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts in Richardson through September 30.
Cara Mia Theatre presents WET: A DACAmented Journey
WET: A DACAmented Journey is the story of what it means to be an American in every sense of the word except one: on paper. Based on a true story, WET chronicles one DACA recipient’s ongoing battle of living all but his first three months of life in the United States as an undocumented citizen. The production, taking place in the Theatre Too space at Theatre Three through September 30, is making the first of several nationwide stops in Dallas.
Shakespeare Dallas presents Othello
The fall season of Shakespeare Dallas' Shakespeare in the Park will feature Othello. Othello is a general in the Venetian army who chooses Cassio to be his lieutenant. This angers Iago, who wanted the position for himself. Iago and Roderigo devise a plan to get back at Othello by making a nighttime visit to Brabantio, the father of Desdemona, claiming that she has been stolen by and married to Othello, the Moor. The production will run at Samuell-Grand Amphitheatre through September 29 before moving to Addison.
Friday, September 21
Dallas Arboretum events
The Dallas Arboretum will celebrate the 5th birthday of the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden with special events all weekend, including scavenger hunts, birthday cake, and more. They'll officially welcome fall starting on Saturday with their annual Autumn at the Arboretum, featuring pumpkin houses and creative displays incorporating more than 90,000 pumpkins, gourds, squash, cornstalks, and a hay bale maze.
InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival
The annual Plano Balloon Festival is a three-day event that features a balloon glow, skydivers, hot air balloons, concerts, a huge kids' fun zone, merchandise vendors, corporate exhibitors, and variety of foods. There will also be a half marathon, relay, 5K run/walk, and 1-mile Fun Run. The event will take place through Sunday at Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve.
The City of Grand Prairie Parks, Arts & Recreation Department presents EpicFest (UPDATE: Due to expected inclement weather, this event has been canceled.)
The City of Grand Prairie Parks, Arts & Recreation Department will present the first ever EpicFest. The festival will celebrate the culture, nature, and arts of Grand Prairie with performances by the Kumbia Kings, Sister Hazel, and many others. Guests can also enjoy a variety of other activities, including monarch butterfly releases, live entertainment, educational components, multicultural performances, vendors, lawn games, food, and beer gardens. The festival will take place on Friday and Saturday.
Lyric Stage presents Newsies
Set in turn-of-the century New York City, Newsies is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a band of teenaged “newsies.” When titans of publishing Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack rallies newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions and fight for what’s right. Lyric Stage will put on four performances of the Tony Award-winning musical at Majestic Theatre through Sunday.
Troye Sivan in concert with Kim Petras
Watch out, because Troye Sivan is about to take over the world. The former YouTube personality hit the top 5 in Billboard Top 20 with his second album, 2018's Bloom, and he's part of the cast of the buzzy fall movie Boy Erased, starring Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, and Russell Crowe. Sivan will perform at the Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory in Irving, with Kim Petras serving as opening act.
Saturday, September 22
Dierks Bentley in concert with Brothers Osborne and LANCO
There are few country singers with a higher profile than Dierks Bentley. He has released nine albums since his debut in 2003, including 2018's The Mountain, with all but two of them reaching the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Country charts. Those albums have yielded 11 No. 1 songs, including "Come A Little Closer," "Free and Easy," and "Somewhere on a Beach." Bentley will play at Dos Equis Pavilion alongside Brothers Osborne and LANCO.
Interabang Books and USA Film Festival present An Evening with Sally Field
Interabang Books and the USA Film Festival will honor Sally Field in conjunction with the publication of her new memoir, In Pieces. The evening will kick off with a film clip compilation tribute featuring Field’s film and television works. Field will then take the stage at Dallas Trade Mart for a conversation moderated by Krys Boyd, the host of KERA’s Think, and take the audience behind the scenes for the highs and lows of her Hollywood career and her lifelong relationships.
Sunday, September 23
Childish Gambino in concert with Rae Sremmurd
If you're into pop culture at all, then you know that Childish Gambino — aka Donald Glover — took over the music world earlier this year with the video for his highly political No. 1 song, "This is America." This concert at American Airlines Center will be your last chance to enjoy Glover's music persona, as he announced he was retiring the name during the first stop on the tour. But given how ubiquitous Glover is in music, TV, and movies, don't expect the man to disappear anytime soon.