Weekend Event Planner
When an event only takes place once every four years (and now five, due to the pandemic), it automatically gets top billing, as the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition will this weekend and each of the next two weekends. Non-classical music fans can enjoy one of four big concerts, a quartet of new local theater productions, movies old and new, 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, June 2
Sixteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition
The quadrennial Van Cliburn International Piano Competition features 30 of the world’s top emerging pianists as they strive to perform their best on an enormous world stage, in hopes of launching international careers. The three-week event starts this weekend with preliminary rounds taking place through Saturday, followed by the quarterfinal rounds on Sunday and Monday. Performances this weekend will take place at the new Van Cliburn Concert Hall at TCU and then move to Bass Performance Hall for the semifinal and final rounds.
Steely Dan in concert with Snarky Puppy
The legendary band Steely Dan no longer features co-founding member Walter Becker, who died in 2017. But Donald Fagen and the band continue to honor Becker and their legacy together with this tour coming to Dickies Arena, where fans can expect to hear hits like “Reelin’ In The Years,” “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number,” “Dirty Work,” “Do It Again,” and more. They'll be joined by special guest Snarky Puppy.
Friday, June 3
Magnolia at the Modern: Viva Maestro!
With the Cliburn starting, there's no better time to feature a film like Viva Maestro! than now. When conductor Gustavo Dudamel’s international tours are disrupted by deadly protests across his native Venezuela, one of the world’s finest and most beloved musicians faces a daunting set of challenges — to his commitment to the mentor who changed his life, to friends and musicians he’s led since his teens, and to his belief in art’s transformative capacity. The film will screen six times through Sunday at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
Theatre Arlington presents The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
In the Tony Award-winning The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, an eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, “ding” of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. The production runs through June 19 at Theatre Arlington.
Amphibian Stage presents Marie Antoinette
Amphibian Stage's production of Marie Antoinette is a modern (and hilarious) retelling of one of history’s most decadent queens. Spun sugar wigs and a candy-coated sheen can’t cloak the terror bubbling underneath this surreal and witty comedy from playwright David Adjmi. Extravagance, artifice, and one neurotically affectionate sheep accompany the queen as the chants of “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité!” grow too loud to ignore in this modern, satirical spin on the young, doomed Queen of France. The play runs through June 26.
Hip Pocket Theatre presents Pinocchio Commedia
Pinocchio Commedia, Johnny Simons' whimsical adaptation of the Carlo Collodi classic, is presented in the style of the Italian commedia dell'arte, replete with character masks, slapstick, and puppetry while featuring a cast of Hip Pocket veterans. The production runs at Hip Pocket Theatre through June 26.
Saturday, June 4
Casa Mañana presents Disney's Newsies
Based on the 1992 motion picture and inspired by a true story, Disney’s Newsies is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a band of teenaged “newsies” in New York City at the turn of the 20th century. When titans of publishing 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. The musical runs through June 12 at Casa Mañana Theatre.
Kenny Chesney in concert
Country superstar Kenny Chesney has made a stop in Dallas-Fort Worth in late spring on a near-annual basis, but this is the first time since 2018 that he's made it back to the area. Taking place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, the concert will feature performances by Chesney, still touring in support of his 2020 album, Here and Now, as well as opening acts Dan + Shay, Old Dominion, and Carly Pearce.
Shenandoah in concert
Fueled by Marty Raybon’s distinctive vocals and the band’s skilled musicianship, Shenandoah became well known for delivering such hits as “Two Dozen Roses,” “Church on Cumberland Road,” and “Next to You, Next to Me,” as well as such achingly beautiful classics as “I Want to be Loved Like That” and the Grammy-winning “Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart” duet with Alison Krauss. They'll play at Billy Bob's Texas in support of their 2020 album, Every Road.
Sunday, June 5
Downtown Cowtown at the Isis presents Batman Triple Feature
The Movie Mutant will present a Triple Feature to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Batman Returns. The event includes special appearances by Batman and some of his infamous foes in the lobby between movies and short Batman videos in the theatre. The movie marathon at Downtown Cowtown at the Isis starts with The LEGO Batman Movie, followed by Batman and Batman Returns.
Gucci Mane in concert
The relatively new concert venue Wild Acre Live is hoping to make a name for itself by hosting a series of well-known hip hop musicians, starting with Gucci Mane. Gucci has been a mainstay in the rap world going back to 2005, with all but one of his albums making the top 10 on the rap charts, and a handful achieving the same on the Billboard 200.
Billy Bob's Texas presents Chad Prather
Chad Prather is a humorist and motivational speaker known for a series of YouTube videos in which he comments on life, politics, and current events. He's become somewhat of a celebrity for conservatives, being featured on Fox News and elsewhere. He recently took his politics off stage in an unsuccessful bid to unseat Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. He'll perform at Billy Bob's Texas.