Photo by James French

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. 44 new Dallas debutantes begin Presentation Ball prep with glam parties and glorious gowns. With the start of summer vacation came the beginning of the 2023-2024 Dallas Symphony Orchestra League debutante season - even though it seems like just yesterday that the 2023 debs were Texas-dipping into society. The DSOL introduced 44 new debs during Announcement Weekend festivities, May 18-20. Their parties, philanthropy, and training will culminate with the 38th Presentation Ball.

2. 21 North Texas museums offer free admission to military families this summer. Nearly two dozen Dallas-Fort Worth museums are honoring active duty military personnel and their families with free admission through the Blue Star Museums initiative, May 20-September 4, 2023.

3. 11 Dallas icons star in new book of most influential Texans from last 50 years. To commemorate Texas Monthly's 50th anniversary, the publication has collected the stories and photographs of 50 iconic Texans who have shaped the state and the country over the past 50 years for a book called Lone Stars Rising. Eleven Dallas megastars have made the roster.

4. These are the 7 best most intriguing hot dogs in Dallas right now. Hot dogs are the quintessential summer food and an item that nearly everyone loves. They're simple, flavorful, easy to make at home, and affordable if you dine out. Here are the seven most interesting hot dogs you can find in Dallas-Fort Worth.

5. Mississippi sisters debut perky Southern-chic boutique on Dallas' Greenville Avenue. When Allison and Anna Williams graduated from University of Mississippi in 2021, they didn't picture themselves owning a boutique on Lower Greenville in Dallas. But the Williamses' new women's clothing boutique, Five 54, opened this spring at 1906 Greenville Ave., next to Clark's Barbershop, in the buzziest neighborhood in town.

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Horror film It Lives Inside sets itself apart with unique cultural details

Movie Review

Like most genres in film history, horror movies have tended to be relatively homogeneous, focusing mostly on white characters and, if it delved into religion, Christianity. As movies in general have become more diverse, so has the storytelling, something which benefits a film like It Lives Inside.

Megan Suri in It Lives Inside

Photo courtesy of Neon

Megan Suri in It Lives Inside.

The story centers on Indian-American teenager Samidha (Megan Suri), who’s suffering to a degree with her cultural identity, indicated by the opening scene depicting her shaving the dark hair off her arms. Her self-esteem isn’t helped by her childhood best friend, Tamira (Mohana Krishnan), having turned herself into an outcast, eating lunch under bleachers and carrying a weird jar around everywhere.

Tamira claims that something lives inside the jar that has to be constantly fed, and a confrontation between the two unleashes the monster on Tamira and starts a series of scary dreams for Samidha. As the monster slowly insinuates itself into Samidha’s increasingly isolated life, she must turn to the one person with whom she’s having the most difficulty, her mother, Poorna (Neeru Bajwa).

The feature film debut for writer/director Bishal Dutta and co-writer Ashish Mehta, It Lives Inside has the familiarity of other previous mysterious force/monster movies, but sets itself apart by incorporating Indian and Hindu traditions. When Samidha confronts Tamira, she discovers a book filled with all manner of strange drawings and writing, but instead of being merely the scrawls of a possessed person, much of it is a reference to Hindu mythology.

For much of the film, Samidha shuns the traditions that her family, especially her mother, tries to keep alive. So it’s no small irony that it’s those same rituals and knowledge that may serve as the key to understanding and defeating the monster. It feels like the filmmakers are trying to tell a story about the costs of assimilation into a new country/culture as much as they’re to scare audiences.

Compared to other horror films, they do a pretty good job with the atmosphere and special effects. The monster is kept hidden in the shadows for most of the film, so there’s a solid creepy factor that keeps the tension level high. In fact, they might have done well not showing it at all; it’s only when it’s revealed that the spell is broken to a degree.

Suri is at the start of what’s shaping up to be a solid career, having co-starred in the recent Missing and on Netflix’s Never Have I Ever. She makes for a great lead character and horror protagonist. She’s aided by good supporting turns from Krishnan, Bajwa, and Betty Gabriel, who plays her teacher.

It Lives Inside more than holds its own in the scare department and ups the ante with its unique details. In a year that’s featured its fair share of intense movies, it brings a different perspective alongside its horrors.


It Lives Inside opens in theaters on September 22.

These are the 16 best things to do in Dallas this weekend

Weekend Event Planner

The third weekend in September means a lot of things around Dallas, including the official start of fall, the beginning of Halloween events, and the one-week countdown to the State Fair of Texas. But this year it also means visits from a music superstar, a couple of big comedians, a major LGBTQ event, a new production of a favorite musical, 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 21

Beyonc\u00e9 Renaissance album cover
Photo courtesy of Beyoncé

Beyoncé will perform at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on September 21.

HEB | Central Market Plano Balloon Festival
The annual Plano Balloon Festival is a multi-day event that features balloon glows, skydivers, hot air balloons, concerts, fireworks, a huge kid’s 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 festival takes place daily through Sunday at Red Tail Pavilion.

Haunted houses/Halloween events
Halloween is over a month a way, but you can get in the spirit now by going to one of the handful of big haunted houses/Halloween events in the Dallas area. They include Pumpkin Nights at Howell Farms in Arlington, featuring over 5,000 hand-carved real and artificial pumpkins; Fright Fest at Six Flags Over Texasin Arlington, featuring seven different haunted houses, a variety of scare zones with zombies, witches, and more, and chilling rides in the dark; J&F House of Terror, featuring an indoor haunted house and an outdoor haunted maze; and Dark Hour Haunted Housein Plano, with a witch-themed storyline. All will take place through at least October 31.

Beyoncé in concert
It's taken a long time, but R&B/pop superstar Beyoncé has finally arrived in Arlington in one of the last stops on her Renaissance World Tour. The tour, which is in support of her 2022 album, Renaissance, has been met with rapturous reviews at every stop, featuring a variety of big special guests and the production value that only Queen Bey can deliver. If you're lucky enough to have a ticket, you can see her perform at AT&T Stadium.

Ilana Glazer Live!
Comedian llana Glazer co-created and co-starred in the critically acclaimed series Broad City. Since that series ended in 2019, she's debuted her first stand-up comedy special, The Planet Is Burning, on Amazon Prime, and put out a film, False Positive, on Hulu. She can most recently be seen in The Afterparty on Apple TV+. She'll perform at Majestic Theatre.

Friday, September 22

Unleashed LGBTQ
Unleashed LGBTQ is a first-of-its-kind conference and entertainment festival creating a space for brands, artists, and LGBTQ+ professionals to connect. The lineup will include some of the most prominent names in the LGBTQ+ community, including Antoni Porowski of Queer Eye, Dyllón Burnside and Indya Moore of Pose, Billy Eichner of Bros, former Penn State Rep. Brian Sims, and more. It takes place at Gilley's Dallas through Sunday. While not part of that event, another big name in the LGBTQ community, Chasten Buttigieg, will be in town signing copies of his new book at Oak Lawn Branch Library on Saturday.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra presents "Great American Songbook Selections"
Music Director Fabio Luisi makes his first appearance on the Pops Series with "Great American Songbook Selections," featuring influential American popular songs, jazz standards, and other pieces. Highlighted by soprano Karen Slack and tenor Issachah Savage, the concert will have three performances through Sunday at Meyerson Symphony Center.

The Mavericks in concert
For more than 30 years, The Mavericks have made their own way in the music industry, along the way becoming masters of country-Latin rock ’n’ roll. The band, born in the rich cultural mix of Miami, found their biggest success during their Nashville days in the 1990s, with hits like "O What a Thrill" and "Here Comes the Rain." Their most recent album was 2020's En Español. They'll play at Majestic Theatre.

TITAS/Dance Unbound presents MOMIX: Alice
Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, choreographer Moses Pendleton’s newest work explores Alice’s adventures with the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, the White Rabbit, and more. Having enchanted audiences for over 40 years, internationally renowned dance company MOMIX blends creativity and visual illusions to reveal nothing is as it seems. They'll perform three times through Saturday at Moody Performance Hall.

Saturday, September 23

Nasher Sculpture Center presents "Groundswell: Women of Land Art" opening day
For many years, art historical narratives of land art have been dominated by men. "Groundswell: Women of Land Art" intends to shift that focus to shed new light on the vast number of land works by women artists, whose careers ran parallel to their better-known male counterparts, yet have received less recognition and representation in museum presentations. The exhibition will be on display through January 7, 2024.

AT&T Performing Arts Center presents Latinidad Festival
The annual Latinidad Festival is a celebration of dance, music, food, local vendors, family crafts, art, and culture. The one-day event at Strauss Square on the AT&T Performing Arts Center campus will bring the color and diversity of Latin America while also supporting and spotlighting local businesses, organizations, and artists.

Bert Kreischer: Tops Off World Tour
Comedian Bert Kreischer’s career has evolved from earning Rolling Stone’s 1997 Number One Partier in the Nation, to one of the top grossing stand-up comics in the business. Shameless and shirtless as ever, Bert spills on bodily emissions, being bullied by his kids, and the explosive end to his family's escape room outing. He'll perform at American Airlines Center.

Jelly Roll in concert
Rap and country music aren't usually two things that go well together, but Jason DeFord (aka Jelly Roll) has been carving his own unique path. The prolific artist has released 18 albums in just 13 years, including four Waylon & Willie albums, on which he's collaborated with Struggle Jennings, Waylon's step-grandson. The recently-released Whitsitt Chapelis his biggest success to date, coming in at No. 3 on the Billboard 200. He'll play at Dos Equis Pavilion.

Dallas Theater Center presents The Rocky Horror Show
In this cult classic, sweethearts Brad and Janet discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter. As their innocence is lost, Brad and Janet meet a houseful of wild characters, including a rocking biker and a creepy butler. Through elaborate dances and rock songs, Frank-N-Furter unveils his latest creation: a muscular man named “Rocky.” The production runs through October 29 at Kalita Humphreys Theater.

Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts presents Manual Cinema: Frankenstein
Love, loss, and creation merge in unexpected ways as Manual Cinema presents its version of the classic Gothic tale, Frankenstein. The Chicago-based performance collective imaginatively combines shadow puppetry, cinematic techniques, sound effects, and live music for a haunting show. The performance will be at Eisemann Center for Performing Arts in Richardson.

Sunday, September 24

Dallas Children's Theater presents Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale
In the Zimbabwe-based Cinderella tale Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale, an African villager named Mufaro has two daughters whom everyone agrees are beautiful. Manyara possesses a bad temper and is self-centered, and Nyasha is kind and considerate to people and to animals. When Mufaro learns that the King is in the process of meeting all of the most worthy and beautiful women in order to choose a wife, he decides that both of his daughters should go. The production will have five performances through October 14 at Dallas Children's Theater.

Ann Wilson of Heart in concert
For over 40 years, Ann Wilson was best known as the lead singer of the rock band Heart. She and her sister, Nancy, crafted indelible hits like "Crazy on You," "Barracuda," "Alone," and more. Since 2016, though, both Ann and Nancy have been pursuing side projects, with Ann and her new band Tripsitter recording two albums, including the new Another Door, set for release on September 29. They'll play at Majestic Theatre.

Where to eat in Dallas right now: Best new restaurants for September

where to eat

This latest Where to Eat, our monthly compilation of Dallas restaurants worth checking out for one reason or another, is a motley bunch. Some of these are newly opened. Others have introduced new locations or even new meal segments (and "meal segments" in this scenario means "brunch").

Here are the best suggestions for where to eat in this September edition of Where To Eat Right Now:

Chilangos Tacos
At long last, this taqueria concept has opened their location at 4012 Ross Ave., a former Subway at Haskell Avenue. Chilangos is from a polished team that includes SMU grad Jon Garay and highly-regarded chef Joel Mendoza. They first debuted the concept in 2019 with a location on Harry Hines by Dallas Love Field, featuring Mexico City-style tacos, made with top-quality ingredients. (It earned them a spot on our Where to Eat list for July 2019.) They serve authentic tacos, quesadillas, and refreshing fruity margaritas, and were among the first in DFW to do the now-buzzy birria taco. They also have locations on Harry Hines Boulevard, at Legacy Hall in Plano, and in Nashville.

Common Table
Friendly restaurant-bar just opened at District 121, the development at SH-121 and Alma Road, adjacent to Craig Ranch. This is the second location and an interesting journey for a concept that started out as a craft beer bar in Uptown before morphing into a congenial sports-bar spot owned by Milkshake Concepts and starring a menu of good food by chef Rodman Shields. They opened a location at The Star in Frisco and are one of the few places to not only survive the pandemic but to thrive at the Star. They're open for lunch, dinner, and a popular brunch with a stick-to-your-ribs menu that ranges from pretzel bites with beer cheese fondue to fried chicken Cobb salad to wings to Hatch chile queso, nothing over $20. There are creative cocktails, good wines, and back to where they started: a worthy list of beers on tap.

Crown Block
Restaurant that opened atop the Reunion Tower in June is now launching Sunday brunch beginning September 24. Beyond the views for miles, this will involve buffet stations and one plated entrée, for $80. A Bloody Mary Bar, espresso drinks, mimosa flights, and craft cocktails are extra. Hey, those views aren't free. Although, the Crown Block tradition is to welcome guests at the elevator with a beverage, and on Sundays, that'll be a mimosa. So that's free. Brunch stations include a sushi and seafood bar with oysters, nigiri, maki rolls, ceviche, poke bowls, shrimp cocktail, smoked ham, sausage, a lavish candy bar, pies, doughnuts, and cakes. Entree options include Chicken & Waffles with caviar, a BLT sandwich with scrambled eggs, Masa Pancake, and Wagyu Croquetta Benedict with eggs and asparagus.

Italian restaurant near Dallas' Inwood Village in the former Fireside Pies at 7709 Inwood Rd., from Tracy Moore Rathbun and Lynae Fearing, has been serving a banging dinner with pastas (cacio e pepe, Bolognese with ground beef & spicy Italian sausage), daily risotto, and entrees such as scallops with white bean cassoulet and halibut with farro. Now they and chef Roman Murphy are launching Sunday brunch beginning September 24, from 11 am-3 pm, with live music and dishes like bacon and egg flatbread, lemon-ricotta French toast with lemon curd, and cocktails like the Ciao Bella, with Tito’s Vodka, lemon juice, and blackberry hibiscus syrup.

400 Gradi
Italian restaurant with great pizza, which debuted in Dallas in 2019, has opened a second location in McKinney, at District 121, the mixed-use development at SH-121 and Alma Road, adjacent to Craig Ranch, along with its sweet sibling Zero Gradi, a cafe for gelato, pastries, and coffee. A grand opening will take place September 23-24, which will include menu tastings, gelato carts, and champagne. 400 Gradi specializes in pastas, entrees, cocktails, and wine. More than 70 percent of their ingredients are imported, including the truffle paste and burrata on the antipasti menu, and the dough for their pizza is prepared with water filtered to replicate that used in Naples, Italy, then fermented for 48 hours in a temperature- and humidity-controlled room. Standouts include Linguine Alla Pescatora and Pappardelle Ai Funghi. Husband-and-wife owners Igor Stevovic and Nikoleta Plavsic are dedicated to bringing the full Italian experience to the greater Dallas area.

Jonathon's Forestwood
Dallas breakfast and brunch institution is now open in a new location at 5337 Forest Ln. The restaurant from husband-and-wife Jonathon and Christine Erdeljac first opened in Oak Cliff in 2011, where it drew a following for down-home dishes such as chicken-fried steak & eggs, and biscuits & gravy. But facing a rent increase after a decade, they decamped to the former Kel's Restaurant, which they've fastidiously renovated the space and are having fun trying out new dishes such as a bountiful Cobb salad, a buffalo cauliflower appetizer with picnic sauce, fried chicken salad, and the Pig Mack sandwich with a spicy ground pork patty, citrus slaw, pickled red onion, Pepperjack cheese, Harissa Aioli, and an easy egg.

New sushi restaurant from chef Shine Tamaoki (Nobu) is now open at 4640 McKinney Ave. #130, with an adherence to Japanese tradition combined with a progressive approach to sushi. Nigiri and sashimi include otoro, king salmon, fluke, tiger shrimp, snow crab, and more, as well as sushi rolls such as the spicy yellowtail roll. Hot dishes include filet of beef (either A5 Kobe or American Wagyu) served seared and sliced; Japanese fish & chips, with beer- and curry-battered fried white fish with burdock chips; shrimp tempura; shojin tempura; and fried Japanese oysters. Cocktails highlight Japanese flavors such as the White Pearl - made with Grey Goose vodka, lychee puree, lime juice, elderflower syrup, and plum bitters.