Thursday’s event pick: The Amazing Acro-cats at Stateside at the Paramount

GOES WITH BOX cutline for 122714 raising The Amazing Acro-cats will come back to Austin Jan. 17 and 18. Tuna, star of "The Rock Cats," a traveling cat circus playing Austin Nov. 12-18
The Amazing Acro-cats will come back to Austin Jan. 17 and 18.

Sometimes, unimaginably cool things are real. Samantha Martin and her Amazing Acro-Cats, a troupe of former rescues, orphans and strays, have come to town to show off their striking feats of agility.

The one-hour show features more than a dozen felines performing tricks like walking tightropes, skateboarding, jumping through hoops and balancing on balls. Plus, Tuna, the star of the show, is the leader of the only cat band in existence — the Rock Cats. Part of the proceeds from each show will benefit the local rescue organization Austin Pets Alive.

Details: 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 3 p.m. Saturday, 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday. $26-$34. 719 Congress Ave. 512-378-3952,

Wednesday’s event pick: Nerd Nite at the North Door

Edutainers L.B. Deyo, left, preisdent of The Dionysium, Michael Graupmann, center, producer of the Encyclopedia Show, and JC Dwyer, right, "co-boss" of Nerd Nite, at Stephen F's Bar and Terrace on Wed., Jan. 16, 2013. The Encyclopedia Show, Nerd Nite and The Dionysium join forces to make up The Brain Candy Collective, which performs for the first time at Alamo Drafthouse Village on Feb. 6. Ashley Landis for American-Statesman
Ashley Landis for American-Statesman

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.

Tuesday’s event pick: “The Pearl Button” with the Austin Film Society

Explore Chile's past with filmmaker Patricio Guzm n and his latest documentary, "The Pearl Button," presented by the Austin Film Society. Contributed by Atacama Productions.
Explore Chile’s past with filmmaker Patricio Guzm n and his latest documentary, “The Pearl Button,” presented by the Austin Film Society. Contributed by Atacama Productions.

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.

Saturday’s event pick: Charles Atlas at Stateside at the Paramount

As part of the Contemporary Austin's "Strange Pilgrims" exhibit, New York-based artist Charles Atlas is coming to Stateside at the Paramount for one of his immersive multimedia performances.
As part of the Contemporary Austin’s “Strange Pilgrims” exhibit, New York-based artist Charles Atlas is coming to Stateside at the Paramount for one of his immersive multimedia performances.

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.

Details: 8 p.m. Saturday. $12-$18. 719 Congress Ave.

Friday’s event pick: Way Off Broadway’s “Pillow Talk”

Way Off Broadway Community Players' latest production, "Pillow Talk" centers around the comedy of dual identity.
Way Off Broadway Community Players’ latest production, “Pillow Talk” centers around the comedy of dual identity.

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,

Wednesday’s event pick: Jim Torok at Lora Reynolds Gallery

Jim Torok's potrait show at the Lora Reynolds Gallery shows off the portraiture he's done of ordinary individuals and other artists like Rashid Johnson, pictured here.
Jim Torok’s potrait show at the Lora Reynolds Gallery shows off the portraiture he’s done of ordinary individuals and other artists like Rashid Johnson, pictured here.

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,

Sunday’s event pick: Holiday Lights & Ice at Omni Barton Creek

Photo by Erika Rich
Photo by Erika Rich

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.

Details: Various times Sunday through Wednesday. $20-$25. 8212 Barton Club Drive. 512-329-4000,


Saturday’s event pick: La Follia Austin’s “Start the New Year with Bach”

Publicity photo of La Follia members performing live, for Features story. From left: Keith Womer, harpsichord, Christopher LeCluyse, tenor, Scott Horton, lute, and (behind stand) James Brown, viola da gamba. Photo by Jim Garrison, and courtesy of Pro Arts Management (photo was emailed in by Melissa J. Eddy of PAM; Eddy is La Follia's Business Manager). Pic received on 5/6/05.

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.

Details: 8 p.m. Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday. $10-$30. First Presbyterian Church, 8001 Mesa Drive. 512-879-6404,

Friday’s event pick: Hair of the Dog at Yard Bar

People celebrate the Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage in Austin, Texas on Friday, June 26, 2016. Shelby Tauber / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

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.”

Details: 11 a.m. Friday. Free. 6700 Burnet Road.

Go out to ring in 2016

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:

Photo by Tammy Perez
Photo by Tammy Perez

NYE Aerial SpectacularA 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 EvePerformances 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 BashDowntown 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 yearSeattle-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 PartyGet 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 NightThe 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.

Still searching for the perfect party? There are plenty more to choose from in our events database.

Want to dine out for your last meal of 2015? Here’s what’s open on New Year’s Eve.

Hosting your own party? Go beyond champagne with these cocktail ideas.