WEEKEND EVENT PLANNER
It's a huge weekend around Dallas, starting with the return of the biggest event of the year, the State Fair of Texas. Joining that extravaganza will be seven concerts featuring well-known singers and bands, a couple of local theater productions, an arts festival, and more.
Below are the best ways to spend your precious free time this weekend. Want more options? Lucky for you, we have a much longer list of the city's best events.
Thursday, September 29
Diana Krall in concert
Canadian pianist and jazz singer Diana Krall has managed to have a type of crossover appeal that not many in her chosen genre have experienced. Breaking out with 2001's The Look of Love, the majority of her albums have reached the top 10 or higher on the Billboard 200, and through the years she's worked with everyone from Ray Charles to Tony Bennett to Willie Nelson. She'll play at Texas Trust CU Theatre at Grand Prairie.
Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents Don Quixote
The latest concert from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra centers on Strauss’ Don Quixote, with cellist Jan Vogler playing the central role of Cervantes’s beloved Don. Other instruments represent various characters throughout, including the brass taking a turn as a herd of sheep. The concert, taking place at Meyerson Symphony Center on Thursday and Sunday only, will also include Tchaikovsky's emotionally charged Fifth Symphony.
Friday, September 30
State Fair of Texas
The 24-day, four-weekend extravaganza that is the State Fair of Texas is back. The great thing about the fair is its predictable greatness, from the butter sculptures to the nightly fireworks to the oodles of fried food. There will also be a number of concerts featuring big-name musicians, including Trace Adkins, Ashanti, Lucinda Williams, Jason Boland & The Stragglers, and more. The fair takes place at Fair Park through October 23. Here are all the discounts and here are the fried foods to check out.
Cara Mia Theatre presents Latinidades Theatre Fest: On the Eve of Abolition
A multimedia performance, On the Eve of Abolition is set in the year 2047 in the transnational liberated territories of what used to be known as the U.S. and Mexico, after a movement of abolitionists have created the conditions to end the prison-industrial complex. Papel Machete’s play, part of Cara Mia's Latinidades festival, is a work-in-progress production. There will be three performances through Sunday at Latino Cultural Center.
TITAS/Dance Unbound presents Gibney Company
Gina Gibney is a powerhouse in the New York dance scene with a dance center critical to the dance world. Gibney Company is a commission-based repertory company that has emerged in the touring world with an extraordinary company of dancers with a roster of world-famous choreographers making new works for the company Gibney Company will make their Texas debut with performances on Friday and Saturday at Moody Performance Hall.
Theatre Arlington presentsThe Cake
Della makes cakes, not judgment calls - those she leaves to her husband, Tim. But when the girl she helped raise comes back home to North Carolina to get married, and the fiancé is actually a fiancée, Della’s life gets turned upside down. She can’t really make a cake for such a wedding, can she? For the first time in her life, Della has to think for herself. The Cake will play at Theatre Arlington through October 16.
Weird Al Yankovic in concert with Emo Phillips
Comedy musicians are supposed to be flashes in the pan, giving people a chuckle with their novelty songs and then fading into pop culture history. They are not supposed to have 40-year careers like Weird Al Yankovic, who has been so beloved by fans and artists alike that he scored his first No. 1 album in 2014 with Mandatory Fun. He'll play at Majestic Theatre as part of The Unfortunate Return of the Ridiculously Self-Indulgent Ill-Advised Vanity Tour, with Emo Phillips as the opening act.
Elton John in concert
The "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" tour for Elton John has wound up being a lot longer than he intended. Starting way back in 2018, the tour was originally supposed to wrap up in 2021. But the pandemic took most of 2020 and all of 2021 off the board, and now the tour will last through at least July 2023. This concert at Globe Life Park in Arlington will be John's fifth appearance in Dallas-Fort Worth on the tour after four previous concerts at American Airlines Center.
Saturday, October 1
Cottonwood Art Festival
Cottonwood Art Festival is a semi-annual event that features works from the nation's top visual artists. Jurors select over 240 artists to exhibit their museum-quality work, with the artists competing in 14 categories. The festival, taking place on Saturday and Sunday at Cottonwood Park in Richardson, also features a variety of local bands.
Leanne Morgan: The Big Panty Tour
Leanne Morgan’s style of comedy combines her southern charm and hilarious storytelling about her own life. As a stay-at-home, mother of three with a husband, people are always accusing her of spying on them because she seems to be living the same life that they do. The fact that everyone can relate to her comedy has made her a hit even among the strangest of audiences. She'll perform three times on Saturday and Sunday at Majestic Theatre
Gorillaz in concert
The band Gorillaz has had one of the strangest careers in the history of music, as they've been very successful with few people actually seeing their faces. That's because all of their videos, including ones for hits like "Clint Eastwood" and "Feel Good Inc.," have featured animated figures standing in for the members of the band. It's always a question of what fans will see on stage when they perform live, but you can find out when they play at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory in Irving.
The Beach Boys in concert
Few bands are more synonymous with the 1960s than The Beach Boys. Sunny pop songs like "Barbara Ann" and "Surfin' USA" hid the fact that they could get pretty deep with their music, as evidenced by the now-legendary album Pet Sounds. Due to age and other factors, the touring version of the band only features one original member, Mike Love, but that inimitable Beach Boys feeling will be in the air when they play at Texas Trust CU Theatre at Grand Prairie.
Sunday, October 2Nasher Sculpture Center presents "Nasher Public: Celia Eberle" closing day
Sunday will be the final day to view Celia Eberle’s Nasher Public installation at Nasher Sculpture Center, which addresses issues of power, propaganda, and the threat of manipulation through her installation of Waiting for Robot (2022), a giant robotic hand puppeteering a number of tiny dancing sculptures to a soundtrack of original techno music. Evoking cybernetics, artificial intelligence, and classic children’s puppet shows, Eberle’s installation questions who is pulling the strings on our perceived reality.
Smashing Pumpkins in concert with Jane's Addiction
Alt-rock band The Smashing Pumpkins were at their peak in the mid-'90s when they were releasing songs like "Today," "Bullet with Butterfly Wings," and "1979." Through the years, with lead singer Billy Corgan at the helm, they've shown a tendency to take risks other bands don't, with mixed success. Their latest gamble will be Atum: A Rock Opera in Three Acts, which will be released gradually over the course of six months starting in November. They'll play at American Airlines Center with support from Jane's Addiction.
The Flaming Lips in concert
There's no show quite like a Flaming Lips show. The famously flamboyant Oklahoma group goes all out, no matter the venue, bringing a glitz and glamour to their performances that often overshadows the music itself. They'll bring their unique energy to South Side Ballroom, a relatively intimate venue that will likely allow them to involve the audience in the show to a great degree.