The Deep End
Most people wouldn’t take any amount of money to get into a body of water at night in the dark for an outdoor viewing of the movie Jaws—even in a friend’s crystal-clear backyard pool. But enough brave people have paid Alamo Drafthouse $32.64 for the privilege to sit in an inner tube in the lake at Texas Ski Ranch—as part of the theater’s Rolling Roadshow “Jaws on the Water” event—that there is now a waiting list. (There is a second show scheduled for July 11 and a third show on July 25, both of which are also waiting list only.) Obviously, there are no sharks in the water at the Ski Ranch, but that probably won’t ease the tension during the film’s chilling opening scene, in which Chrissie’s harmless nighttime swim off the coast of Amity Island ends up being her last. These screenings celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Jaws, arriving in the wake of recent shark attacks in North Carolina where two kids got their arms chewed off. As reported by the Dallas Morning News, the first-ever test screening of Jaws was in Dallas, at the old Medallion movie theater, which director Steven Spielberg called his “good-luck charm” because of a positive screening the year before for his film The Sugarland Express. Spielberg was concerned that Jaws wouldn’t convey well to audiences. But he was relieved when one member of the audience left the theater, vomited in the lobby, and returned to the movie after watching a gory scene involving a boy on a raft who is reduced to a blood bath (later cut from the film). “That’s when I knew we had a hit,” Spielberg said.
Texas Ski Ranch, June 27, 8 p.m., drafthouse.com
The state of Texas is enjoying a golden era of tacos, with strong taco scenes in all of the major cities, plus the Rio Grande Valley. But José R. Ralat, operator of the Taco Trail blog, makes a good case for the Dallas area having some of the best. “Dallas’s taco landscape is one built on diversity,” Ralat said. “Even within one to two miles from my house, I can eat tacos from Oaxaca, Sonora, Sinaloa, Veracruz, and Monterrey, as well as good old-fashioned Tex-Mex. Some of the best Mexico City–style tacos are a five-minute drive from my house. In other parts of the city, there are excellent examples of Jalisco cuisine and Zacatecan guisados.” A sampling of these can be savored at Taco Libre, a one-day taco and music festival. Ralat is in charge of selecting the tacos and among the fourteen purveyors he has anointed are Revolver Taco Lounge, the Fort Worth operation serving traditional Michoacán food; Trompo Tacos, the Oak Cliff vendor who favors meat carved from a spinning top–like shawarma; and Urban Taco, the multi-venue proprietor with Mockingbird Lane and McKinney Avenue locations whose taco de patita, a carnitas taco with cueritos (pickled pig skin) and patita (pigs’ feet) has Ralat salivating. Instead of hot sauce for that extra kick, perhaps take in some of the day’s other major offering: masked lucha libre wrestling.
Main Street Garden, June 27, 2 p.m., tacolibredallas.com
Basketball isn’t even the half of it for Dirk Nowitzki, the Dallas Mavericks’ game-changing big man and certain first ballot Hall of Famer. Nowitzki is also somewhat of a soccer player, having participated in various charity matches including his buddy and former teammate Steve Nash’s annual Showdown event. This Saturday, see Nowitzki reveal whether he is a true triple threat at the annual Dirk Nowitzki 2015 Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game. There will be nine innings for Dallas sports fans to catch the star turns of other Mavericks, including Tyson Chandler and Chandler Parsons, along with a variety of Dallas Cowboys, such as Cole Beasley, Tyron Smith, and Dez Bryant, who displayed glimmers of tremendous outfielder potential after that spectacular catch he made against the Green Bay Packers in last year’s NFL Playoffs. (Yes, that was a catch.) But perhaps the player to keep the closest eye on is Charles Barkley, the NBA Hall of Famer turned TNT commentator, who is always good for a laugh.
Dr Pepper Ballpark, June 27, 6 p.m., heroesbb.com
It’s been about a year and a half since Ray Price, the country crooner from East Texas, passed away, at the age of 87. For some, the night life Price famously sang about—lending his romantic baritone to the 1960 single Willie Nelson wrote—just hasn’t been the same. The Rizdales, a classic country band from Ontario, Canada, recognized that void and has tried to fill it with the release of its album Blue Ain’t the Word: A Tribute to the Music of Ray Price, featuring tunes that Price sang, like “Crazy Arms,” “Bright Lights and Blonde Haired Women,” and “Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes.” The Rizdales will play the Continental Club on Thursday night, where a slew of guest musicians will join them in lending their talents to Price songs, including Redd Volkaert and James Hand. Holding down the fort as the drummer for the evening will be Johnny Bush, who wrote Willie Nelson’s “Whiskey River” and was a former bandmate of both Price and Nelson in the Cherokee Cowboys.
The Continental Club, July 2, 10 p.m., continentalclub.com
DiverseWorks is an artist’s art gallery. Case in point: the “Parliament of Owls” show features the works of the organization’s Artist Board, including the multidisciplinary artists JooYoung Choi, who, like her artist boyfriend Trenton Doyle Hancock, has created an imaginary world—called the Cosmic Womb—for her art to inhabit, and Michael Galbreth, one half of the Art Guys, whose off-the-wall collaborations have included marrying a tree.
DiverseWorks, June 27 to Aug. 15, diverseworks.org
As Bernie Tiede has already demonstrated, East Texas can be full of high drama. That helps explain why the annual Texas Shakespeare Festival is celebrating thirty years there this month, with a series of professional productions, both contemporary and from Shakespeare’s cannon, featuring two festival hallmarks: A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night.
Kilgore College, June 26 to July 26, texasshakespeare.com