To sidestep the regular disappointment that is New Year's Eve, one year I barricaded myself in my house and binge-watched the entire first season of Friday Night Lights. I can't recommend it enough. But if you want even closer proximity to Tim Riggins on NYE, try Rainey Street.
OK, actually, it's Taylor Kitsch who's hosting the New Year's Eve Rocks Rainey Street block party on New Year's Eve. The event doubles as a fundraiser for the African Children's Choir, which will perform. Also on the bill: a set by Band of Heathens and appearances by Carla Gugino and FNL alums Connie Britton and Dana Wheeler-Nicholson. General admission tickets ($150) include an open bar and midnight tacos; the pricier VIP tickets get you dinner, a silent auction, a surprise band, and, of course, a better shot at breathing the same air as the celebrities.
And speaking of doing good with your dollars, filmmakers/philanthropists Turk and Christy Pipkin will host their annual Artists & Filmmakers Dinner on Feb. 10, 2013. The event benefits their nonprofit the Nobelity Project, which has worked to improve conditions for children, from schools to drinking water, around the global. This year's special honoree is Kris Kristofferson; also on the bill are Ray Benson, Joe Ely, Pat Green, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, Bruce Robison, and Kelly Willis.
Locally made comedy The Man From Orlando enjoys its Austin premiere on Saturday, Jan. 12, 8pm, at the Stateside Theatre. We'll let new Paramount/Stateside film programmer Stephen Jannise make the pitch:
"This hilarious new film from director Craig Elrod and writers Elrod and Jason Newman tells the story of Orlando (Newman), a lifeguard in the summer and gangster in the winter, who abandons his life of crime and moves back to his hometown of Priddy, Texas. After getting in over his head with his Olympic swimmer ex-girlfriend and a crew of volunteer firefighters, his former lifeguard gang comes after him and the contents of his fanny pack.
"This movie truly has it all. Laughs! Romance! Criminal Lifeguards! And most importantly, it shines the spotlight on a remarkably talented, local Austin cast and crew, with the likes of John Merriman, Chris Doubek, Byron Brown, and many others all featuring memorably in the film."
Tickets are on sale now for the premiere, which will include a post-screening Q&A with cast and crew.
Writer/director Andy Irvine's short film "Hearts of Napalm" will debut at the Slamdance Film Festival in late January. It stars Ashley Spillers and Alex Dobrenko as a couple attempting to address an orgasm imbalance.
Upcoming production Parkland announced more casting news shortly before we fell into a holiday feasting coma that we're only just now rousing from. Marcia Gay Harden and Zac Efron join previously announced cast Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton, and Jacki Weaver for the Tom Hanks-produced/Peter Landesman-directed JFK assassination film, which will film around town in January 2013.
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