According to the organizers of the monthly Nerd Nite, it’s like the “backyard wrestling version” of TED Talks. Maybe not so professional, not talking to so large an audience, but fun all around nonetheless. Three people who love to learn lead discussions, drinks in hand, through topics culled from the “ivory towers of academia and the weird basements of geekdom.”
Or, if you want to be more social, speed dating, friend matching and a pop-up library are also available. If these can’t satiate your thirst for knowledge, Tuesday night at the North Door will feature Astronomy on Tap.
Patricio Guzmán, the man behind Chilean documentary masterpiece “Nostalgia for the Light,” revisits his country’s past, looking to the waterways that surround Chile as a prism reflecting two tales of genocide.
His foreign film, a documentary that was screened in the main competition of the 65th Berlin International Film Festival, is a bit of a departure from the movies Guzmán normally focuses on, as it doesn’t directly explore his country’s past under dictator Augusto Pinochet, but it’s as gripping a look at Chilean history as any he’s done.
Details: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Jan. 18. $7-$10. The Marchesa Hall and Theatre, 6226 Middle Fiskville Road. austinfilm.org.
Taking picture-making into the realm of choreography, New York-based artist Charles Atlas has bridged the worlds of visual arts, technology and dance. His performance Saturday, an essential component of the Contemporary Austin’s “Strange Pilgrims” exhibit, brings him center stage with avant-garde composer and musician William Basinski.
Together, they will use video, a live music feed and other multimedia elements to create an immersive, thought-provoking experience for their audience.
In Way Off Broadway Community Players’ new production, “Pillow Talk,” Jan is a successful interior decorator forced to share a party line with a man named Brad — which wouldn’t be so bad, except that he is constantly talking to his many girlfriends. When they finally meet, Brad pretends to be a nice guy from Texas named Rex Stetson, and that’s when the trouble really begins. His dual identity and Jan’s love for the gentle Rex makes “Pillow Talk” a very special comedy.
Details: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Jan. 17, through Jan. 30. $10-$20. 11880 W. Old FM 2243, Leander. 512-259-5878, www.wobcp.org.
The final few days of Jim Torok’s “New Potraits and Other Work” show, which ends Saturday, are your last chance to see Torok’s miniature portraits that he paints from photographs he’s taken himself. They’re shot like passport photos: head and shoulders, eye contact, neutral expressions and a plain background.
Most of the portraits in this exhibit are recent commissions of two families and three well-known contemporary artists, including Rashid Johnson and Tom Sachs.
Details: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday. 360 Nueces St. Ste. 50. 512-215-4965, www.lorareynolds.com.
The holidays might be over, but the skating rink at Omni Barton Creek Resort and Spa has a few days left before it melts. Bring the family for a couple hours of fun on the indoor ice rink that overlooks the scenic Hill Country. It’s accompanied by a display of twinkling lights and festive activities, as well as treats and hot beverages.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit Make-A-Wish Central & South Texas.
Performed in front of the magnificent stained glass windows of First Presbyterian Church, a quartet of soloists from La Follia Austin Baroque will perform solo and chamber works of Johann Sebastian Bach: selections from the Goldberg Variations and the Cello Suite No. 6, the B minor Flute Sonata and the Chaconne for solo violin.
The musicians include Stephen Redfield, Baroque violin; Marcus McGuff, Baroque flute; Jane Leggiero, 5-string and 4-string Baroque cello; and Keith Womer, harpsichord.
The best way to cure your New Year’s Eve hangover? Admiring the cuteness of the pooches at Yard Bar’s First Annual Hair of the Dog New Year’s Party. Yard Bar, the outdoor dog park and bar in North Austin, will have drink specials, a special menu of gumbo and black-eyed peas and plenty of dog-friendly fun.
Plus, there will be contests that your canine (and you) can try to ace, including “Best Dog Beard,” “Hairiest Dog” and “Dog and Owner Lookalike.”
There’s something about the idea of a fresh start (and a day off from work) that makes people want to party hard. Ring in 2016 in fantastic fashion with these Austin-area events:
NYE Aerial Spectacular. A cast of 30 performers will fly through the air for eighteen acts during the awe-inspiring night. Also expect a midnight countdown, balloon drop, champagne toast, and lots of dancing in the new year. 9:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Austin Music Hall, 208 Nueces Street. Tickets $70-$2,500.
Rock the Mothersip New Year’s Eve. Performances from Body Rock ATX, Mother Falcon, Sip Sip, Holiday Mountain, Peligrosa and more big time local acts will send 2015 away in epic fashion. 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Empire Control Room, 606 East Seventh Street. Tickets $10 advance, $15 day of.
3rd Annual Totally Awesome 80’s New Year’s Eve Bash. Downtown crowds? Gag me with a spoon. Flashback 35 (36?) years at the roller rink with a costume contest, photo booth, karaoke room, and of course a balloon drop and champagne toast. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Austin Roller Rink, 11600 Manchaca Rd. Tickets $40.
Moon Milk: An infinite new year. Seattle-based psych trio Night Beats headlines the evening along with Annabelle Chairlegs, The Rotten Mangos and more. The new music venue will be transformed into an interactive, biotic lunar dreamscape. 8:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Barracuda, 611 East Seventh Street. Tickets $27.
Effervescent New Years Eve Party. Get to the courtyard for drinks, dancing with DJ Chino Casino, a champagne bar and DIY photobooth. A rare free New Year’s Eve event! 8 p.m.-midnight. Hotel San Jose, 1316 South Congress Ave. Free.
Casino Night. The all-inclusive party includes $5,000 in chips for gambling, unlimited bowling and table games, appetizers, a midnight champagne toast and a raffle tickets for a Vegas vacation. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. The Goodnight, 2700 West Anderson Lane. Tickets $100.