Let’s just call May a washout. After weeks of rain, we’re optimistic that June will be a kinder, gentler month here in Dallas. It will at least be a fun month, with the Rolling Stones kicking off a summer of giant concerts, Neil deGrasse Tyson making Dallas a little smarter, and a selection of musicals getting our toes to tapping.
Here are the 25 things you must do in North Texas this June.
The Rolling Stones
June 6, 7 pm
There is almost no reason for the Rolling Stones to be on the road in 2015. No new album to promote (A Bigger Bang came out in 2005), no milestones to celebrate (it’s doubtful they planned a 15-date tour in honor of guitarist Ronnie Wood’s 40th year in the group), nothing left to prove after 53 years together. That last word is a big part of why the Stones remain worth seeing in 2015. Most other bands exist in name only after a few decades, becoming shells of their former selves as members die or are exiled. The Who is more like “The who?” these days; the Replacements are mostly replacements now. Some groups have such a tenuous hold on their original form that they are scarcely better than cover bands. But the Stones are basically the same pirate gang they’ve been since the mid-1970s: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Wood. If nothing else, that matters. AT&T Stadium, 1 AT&T Way, Arlington.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
June 15, 7:30 pm
Neil deGrasse Tyson is the coolest astrophysicist since Carl Sagan, who was perhaps the only other cool astrophysicist ever. Like Sagan, Tyson is a populist who can appeal to the eggheads without losing those who still think the moon is made of cheese. He will act as a film critic for this talk (something he regularly does via his popular Twitter account), dissecting the alleged science in movies like Gravity and Star Wars, and crushing the dreams of anyone who has ever wanted to fly their own Millennium Falcon. Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St.
Dallas Solo Festival
No man is an island, but one man (or woman) can be a dozen different characters. Back for its second year, this theater festival showcases the tricky art of the solo playwright-performer. Original work from national and local theater artists includes tales from a nightmare vacation, a ghostly cabaret act, and a Lord of the Flies spoof set in an office. Margo Jones Theatre, 1121 First Ave.
Fomenting revolution is a piece of cake compared to the challenges of fatherhood. In Sunset Baby, a middle-aged black activist who spent years in prison for a politically motivated arrest tries to form a bond with his estranged daughter. They’re separated by an ideological and generational gulf, and the attempted family reunion comes to symbolize much more. Jubilee Theatre, 506 Main St., Fort Worth.
June 6, 8 pm
Part of Courtney Barnett’s appeal is that she sounds utterly uninterested in being a rock star, but that is also kind of what makes her a rock star. At any rate, it’s not really up to her: it’s impossible for somebody to write music this affecting without the world taking notice. The Australian singer-songwriter’s debut album — the fantastically named Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit — has songs that can make you laugh and cry at the same time. This is probably the last time you’ll see Barnett at a venue this small. Club Dada, 2720 Elm St.
June 6, 7 pm
A Nashville talent with Hollywood looks, McGraw seemed destined to become one of the biggest names in country music. His 2007 tour with wife Faith Hill — a musical power couple rivaled only by the union of Beyoncé and Jay Z — remains one of the highest-grossing tours of all time. McGraw has the motley crew of Billy Currington and Chase Bryant supporting him on this walkabout, but it should still be one of the biggest shows of the summer. Gexa Energy Pavilion, 3839 S. Fitzhugh Ave.
June 1, 7 pm
Action Bronson serves up more curse words and culinary references than Gordon Ramsay at a restaurant opening. Bronsolino even hosts his own online cooking show, which has a name we can’t print. The Queens rapper, born Arian Arslani, is a man of many talents, but he is still at his best with a microphone, rather than a skillet, in hand. House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St.
June 19–July 5
In The Nance, Chauncey Miles’ onstage vaudeville act as an effeminate homosexual is a smash hit with audiences. Off stage, 1930s-era America hasn’t exactly warmed to the idea of a gay man living his life with the same amount of respect and dignity as anyone else. Miles — a role that won Nathan Lane a Tony during the show’s Broadway run — has to tango with his own self-loathing and a world that only accepts him when he’s playing a part. Kalita Humphreys Theater, 3636 Turtle Creek Blvd.
Bruce Wood Dance Project: 5 Years
June 19 & 20, 8 pm
North Texas lost one of its most brilliant and well-known choreographers last year with the death of Bruce Wood, whose legacy lives on through the dance company that bears his name. Wood’s work will feature prominently in 5 Years — which includes performances of “Requiem,” with music by Mozart — and “Polyester Dreams,” a glittering disco ball of a piece set to 1970s hits by The Jackson 5 and Gladys Knight. A world premiere from Albert Drake, one of the company’s founding dancers, completes the concert. Dallas City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St.
This Broadway blockbuster has a pair of sailor-meets-native love stories at the center of the action, and while its ultimate verdict that “love conquers all” is a little simplistic, the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic is remarkably bold in how it tackles issues of race. But you don’t have to think too much to enjoy this production — the grand scale, the sweeping songs, and the crowd-pleasing theatrics do the work for you. Lyric Stage at Irving Arts Center, 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd., Irving.
June 16, 7 pm
When D’Angelo resurfaced late last year with Black Messiah — an album 14 years in the making, a gestation period so long that most fans had given up on ever hearing it — his unexpected return was greeted with the same kind of excitement you might expect from some other long-prophesied comebacks. It’s appropriate, then, that the reclusive neo-soul legend is billing this 14-date North American road trip as the Second Coming Tour. Music this powerful can feel like a spiritual awakening. The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St.
Brian Wilson & Rodriguez
June 24, 6:30 pm
The troubled genius of the Beach Boys has settled into his role as pop music’s avuncular elder statesman, and if Wilson’s new album, No Pier Pressure, doesn’t measure up to his past work, it’s possibly because it’s competing with some of the best songs of the 20th century. Wilson’s star stature should help shine even more of a light on opening act Rodriguez, a once-forgotten Detroit folk musician who has found belated and well-deserved fame with the release of Searching for Sugar Man, an Oscar-winning documentary about his life. Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie.
Tyler, the Creator
June 5, 7:30 pm
Rap music’s rampaging id, Tyler, the Creator, is as aggressively obnoxious as he is singularly talented. You could also say he is singularly talented at being aggressively obnoxious. To be sure, Tyler’s profane, gravel-voiced, skate-rat shock-jock act isn’t for everyone. But his kaleidoscopic production work bears the hallmarks of a thoughtful, if demented, auteur, especially on his recent Cherry Bomb, which features guest spots by Kanye West and Lil Wayne. The Bomb Factory, 2713 Canton St.
June 15, 7:30 pm
After being diagnosed as a child with a genetic disorder that will gradually rob her of her sight and hearing, Rebecca Alexander could have easily given up. But the successful psychotherapist and author never has. Alexander will talk about the story of her journey (Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found) as part of the DMA’s Arts and Letters Live series. Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St.
Trinity Shakespeare Festival
The Trinity Shakespeare Festival is known for producing some of the Bard’s best, and this summer’s programming is no different. Up this year are performances of King Lear and Love’s Labour’s Lost, a relatively obscure — obscure for the most famous writer in the English language, at least — comedy that should serve as a nice counterpoint to the well-treaded doom and gloom of Lear. Buschman Theatre at TCU, 2800 S. University Dr., Fort Worth.
The Mountain Goats
June 8, 7:30 pm
Mountain Goats singer John Darnielle is one of music’s finest storytellers, a songwriter who can make tunes about a hopeless Florida couple and a death metal band from Denton sound like full-fledged epics. His indie folk outfit’s latest stellar record, Beat the Champ, a collection of songs about the interior lives of professional wrestlers, is also about death and heartbreak, with more narrative twists and turns than an episode of Monday Night Raw. Kessler Theater, 1230 W. Davis St.
June 23–July 5
You’ve seen the movie and heard the songs, so odds are good that you have, in fact, felt this way before. But the movement, the romance, and the spectacle of this stage adaptation continue to make Dirty Dancing the time of your life, no matter how many times of your life you’ve already had. Music Hall at Fair Park, 909 First Ave.
June 24, 7 pm
Best Coast’s fuzzed-out surf pop works as a teleportation device that beams listeners to a magical world where the waves are always killer and the sun is always shining, but you’ll never drown in a pool of your own sweat five seconds after stepping outside. Is that just California? No matter. The Granada’s air conditioning works great—close your eyes to “The Only Place,” and play pretend. Why would you live anywhere else, indeed. Granada Theater, 3524 Greenville Ave.
Queens & Cowboys: A Straight Year on the Gay Rodeo
June 27, 2 pm
Members of the International Gay Rodeo Association know a thing or two about bucking both broncos and misconceptions people might have about what it means to be a cowboy or cowgirl in the 21st century. This documentary — a favorite from QCinema’s LGBT film festival that also screened at DIFF last year — depicts a year in the competitive rodeo, where the challenges facing our stars aren’t confined to the stockyards. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St., Fort Worth.
Ballet Concerto Summer Dance Concert
The Ballet Concerto’s summer concert is an outdoor showcase for some of the best ballet in North Texas, a treat for newbies and aficionados alike. It is concerts like this that help convert the uninitiated to the world of ballet and demonstrate the vast amount of talent in the area. Trinity Park Pavilion, 2401 University Dr., Fort Worth.
June 27, 7 pm
The “original black Elvis” is rap music’s Salvador Dalí, a hip-hop surrealist whose eccentricities are as legendary as his art. An outer-space chameleon who flits among various personas, each one stranger than the last, Keith’s live act is unpredictable, frustrating, and brilliant — a lot like the man himself. Trees, 2709 Elm St.
National Theatre Live: The Hard Problem
June 3, 2 & 7 pm
The “hard problem” that gives renowned playwright Tom Stoppard’s new work its title might just be unsolvable: how do we define human consciousness? It’s a question that leads to more headaches than answers for his science-minded characters. Don’t expect a solution, but feel free to anticipate a thought-provoking production broadcast from London’s National Theatre, courtesy of Fort Worth’s Amphibian Stage Productions. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St., Fort Worth.
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
June 4–July 12
Lives of quiet desperation make for rich comic fodder in this 2013 Tony Award winner for best play, an absurdist riff on the work of Chekhov. Hilarity ensues when the glamorous and narcissistic actress Masha pays a visit to her plain-Jane siblings Vanya and Sonia — who are in the grips of a shared midlife crisis — with her beefcake beau Spike in tow. Stage West Theatre, 821 W. Vickery Blvd., Fort Worth.
The Avett Brothers
June 25, 7 pm
What is it about siblings deciding to form Americana bands? We’re not complaining, and the Avett Brothers have come a long way from their back-porch-and-banjo roots. This band is a touring juggernaut that can appeal to fans of bluegrass, rock and roll, and all the vagaries in between. Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie.
Le Train Bleu
June 13, 1 & 3 pm
Le Train Bleu is a sporty ballet, a portrait of the leisurely athletic pursuits of young folks in the 1920s. The graceful movements of tennis players and swimmers are reinterpreted through dance in this one-act piece, which the Dallas Neo-Classical Ballet will perform almost 91 years to the day after it premiered at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 N. Harwood St.