The weekend of events in and around Dallas is once again so packed that we're breaking them down by category instead of date. There will be multiple different theater productions, concerts, dance events, comedy events, and festivals, and it all starts off with the biggest event of the year for us here at CultureMap.
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.
CultureMap Tastemaker Awards
By pure coincidence, CultureMap's Tastemaker Awards kick off the big weekend on the evening of Thursday, May 4. The annual celebration of Dallas' top restaurant and bar talent shines a spotlight on the people making the local restaurant scene special and honor their innovation, energy, and creativity. Guests at Fashion Industry Gallery can celebrate all of the nominees while sampling bites and sipping specialty drinks along the way. Read about the nominees here and snag last-minute tickets here.
Echo Theatre presents Natural Shocks: A One-Woman Play in a Tornado
Insurance agents aren’t supposed to be funny, but what can one do except crack jokes when they're trapped in their basement with a gun and an impending tornado? Angela is a fast-talking woman filled with mostly-true stories about her mother, her husband, and how likely they are to actually die in a tornado. The 60-minute, one-woman tour-de-force is part confessional, part stand up, and part reckoning, spiraling towards a conclusion. The production runs May 4-13 at Bath House Cultural Center.
Bishop Arts Theatre Center presents World Classic
World Classic is what happens when you take the quintessential American domestic drama away from white suburbia. It explores the identity issues created by assimilation through the eyes of two generations of an immigrant family. Like The Humans or August Osage County before it, it all takes place during one night, but unlike them, this play focuses on those that had to sacrifice their homeland and in the process, compromise their heritage. The production runs May 4-21 at Bishop Arts Theatre Center.
His Story: The Musical
The Broadway Tent at Grandscape in The Colony will host the world premiere of His Story: The Musical, a Broadway-style theatrical event. In this new contemporary pop musical based on the life of Jesus, a common-man-from-a-sketchy-family arrives in the big city and defies expectations. He performs miracles and speaks great wisdom, but chooses friends from the dregs of society and hangs out in the wrong part of town. Mocked by the establishment, he is adored by the people. Melding a youthful voice with a timeless perspective, the greatest story ever told is brought into the third millennium. The production, which starts on May 5, will run through at least September 10.
Mainstage Irving-Las Colinas presents The Light in the Piazza
When strong-willed Southern housewife Margaret Johnson and her charming daughter Clara vacation in Italy in the summer of 1956, Margaret hopes the magic and memories of Florence will sweep her off her feet, but it’s Clara and earnest inamorato Fabrizio who fall in love at first sight. Suddenly, mother and daughter must brave blossoming love, buried secrets, and a startling cultural clash to uncover the hopeful new chapters they didn’t know they’d been searching for. The production runs May 5-20 at Irving Arts Center.
Theatre Arlington presents On Golden Pond
On Golden Pond is the love story of Ethel and Norman Thayer, who are returning to their summer home on Golden Pond for the 48th year. They are visited by their divorced, middle-aged daughter and her dentist fiancé, who then go off to Europe, leaving his teenage son behind for the summer. The boy quickly becomes the “grandchild” the elderly couple have longed for. The production runs May 5-21 at Theatre Arlington.
Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents "Beethoven and Brahms"
The latest concert from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, "Beethoven and Brahms," will be conducted by Fabio Luisi and feature pianist Francesco Piemontesi and vocalist Lido Pimienta. The program will include the world premiere of Angelica Negron's “Arquitecta,” Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3, and Brahms' Symphony No. 4. There will be four performances, May 4-7, at Meyerson Symphony Center.
Ed Sheeran in concert
For a global superstar, Ed Sheeran has a very unassuming - some might even say nerdy - look with his messy red hair and glasses. Heck, he's even named all of his albums after different math symbols, including the new - (aka Subtract), which will be released on May 5. But he's struck a chord with fans around the world, which is why he can easily fill a venue like AT&T Stadium in Arlington, where he'll play on May 6. He will be accompanied by special guests Khalid and Dylan.
Straight Up with Stassi Live: The Mommy Dearest Tour
Stassi Schroeder Clark may be pregnant, but she can still rally and she’s ready to be reunited with her Khaleesis. Fans can gasp at recent headlines during Pop Culture Hour live with Taylor Strecker, gush with Stassi and Beau about family life during The Good The Bad The Baby, and get real advice about any relationship/friendship drama during a live Pour It Out segment. The event will be at Majestic Theatre.
Improv Arlington presents Paul Reiser
Comedian, actor, television writer, author, and musician Paul Reiser has spent the last 30+ years acting in Oscar and Emmy award-winning movies and TV shows, including Aliens, Mad About You, Whiplash, and Stranger Things. But he got his start as a stand-up comedian, and was voted one of Comedy Central's "Top 100 Comedians of All Time." He'll perform four times on May 5 and 6 at Improv Arlington.
Bad Friends with Andrew Santino & Bobby Lee
Comedians Andrew Santino and Bobby Lee will bring their hit podcast, Bad Friends, to The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory in Irving on May 6. Bad Friends showcases the dynamic and sometimes "contentious" relationship between Lee and Santino, providing audiences with a hilarious and entertaining glimpse into their world.
Agora Artists presents The Eldert Lofts
As part of AT&T Performing Arts Center Elevator Project series, Agora Artists will present The Eldert Lofts, an original movement-based work made in collaboration with local artists. The piece explores the stories of a community living in a small apartment building. Through a series of vignettes, the work reveals the intimacies and intricacies of relationships, exploring themes of connection, isolation, identity, and support as each character navigates what it means to be in community. The production will have three performances, May 4-6, at Wyly Theatre.
Ballet North Texas presents A Midsummer Night's Dream
Drama and romance are palpable in this production of Shakespeare’s most famous romantic comedy. A Midsummer Night’s Dream lures the audience into a delightful dreamscape where a mischievous fairy’s spell turns happily ever after on its head. A night with supernatural effects, fairies, romantic misadventures, and fantasy characters, the story evolves in a mysterious and magical place. In a world of suspension, the production travels from reality to imagination with a unique sense of harmony. There will be four performances, May 5-7, at Moody Performance Hall.
TITAS / Dance Unbound presents Command Performance
At Command Performance, artists from leading companies light up the stage with spectacular performances. It features TITAS-commissioned works created specifically for the gala performance by some of the world’s leading choreographers, including Twyla Tharp, Dwight Rhoden, Jessica Lang, Mia Michaels, Sonya Tayeh, Bridget L. Moore, and WANG Yuanyuan. The performance takes place on May 6 at Winspear Opera House.
Dallas International Guitar Festival
At the Dallas International Guitar Festival, visitors can buy, sell, trade, or just browse among the thousands upon thousands of new and vintage guitars, basses, amps, banjos, and more. The three-day event, taking place May 5-7 at Dallas Market Hall, also features performances by more than 50 local, regional, and national bands, including headliners Eric Johnson, Orianthi, and Philip Sayce.
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden presents Black Heritage Celebration
The third annual Black Heritage Celebration at Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden will feature chef demonstrations, musicians, a vendor exhibit with more than 40 Black-owned businesses, a fashion show showcasing local Black designers, and an entrepreneur showcase. The event takes place on May 6 and 7.
At the 19th Annual Plano Asian American Heritage Festival, aka Plano AsiaFest, visitors can enjoy cultural performances from all parts of Asia and learn about Asian artistic traditions such as cooking, visual art, calligraphy, martial arts, music, origami, fashion, and more. The one-day event on May 6 takes place at Haggard Park.
Create Arlington presents West Main Arts Festival
The annual West Main Arts Festival will be a six-block street scene that includes over 100 art/vendor booths, food trucks and food vendors, an interactive kids area, four stages featuring 30 local bands, along with buskers playing along West Main Street. The festival has expanded to include a stretch featuring the Arlington Museum of Art, Dance Theater Arlington, Theater Arlington, Arlington Public Library, and the Create Arlington Studios and Gallery. The one-day festival takes place on May 6.