Five Things to Enjoy in Downtown Austin

Head back to the heart of the city for your post-SXSW entertainment

Fitting by Rachael Starbuck, Michael Muelhaupt, and Jesse Cline at Northen-Southern Gallery

Whether a venue's smack dab in the heart of it – like that Northern-Southern Gallery – or in the general vicinity – like Saengerrunde Hall – we're talking about events in the area recently commandeered by the media maelstrom of South by Southwest. Yes, now that the annual, globally beloved culture engine has made its successful return and departed, it's time to retake our bat-blessed city with local things for local people.

Northern-Southern Gallery: Fitting

Artists Rachael Starbuck, Michael Muelhaupt, and Jesse Cline live in a house in one of North Austin's less noticed neighborhoods. Professionally, Starbuck and Muelhaupt are sculptors, materials experts, and educators; Cline practices and teaches design. Their new work for this group show engages with life – serving growth, offering comfort, and inviting play. Inviting you, citizen, to play. March 25-April 30. Thu.-Sun., 2-6pm. 411 Brazos #105.

Lora Reynolds Gallery: Nature Cult

Here's an exhibition of resin and extruded paintings by Texas-born, New York-based Donald Moffett. Listen: A CNC router cuts these elaborate structures out of plywood, edges are masked with tape, and surfaces are given several layers of treatment – primer, then paint, followed by clear epoxy resin, and in some cases another pour of tinted resin. Result: Your senses will be intrigued and delighted. Through April 23. Wed.-Sat., 11am-6pm. 360 Nueces #50, 512/215-4965.

The Beerthoven concert series at Saengerrunde Hall

Beerthoven: NinePins and Fairy Tales

Legend has it that Mozart wrote his trio for piano, clarinet, and viola after a rousing game of ninepins. Decades later, Schumann wrote a magical trio for the same instrumentation. Classical mover-and-shaker Daniel Swayze and his Beerthoven crew sensed a theme, so they're taking a few pages out of Rip Van Winkle's book for this concert of music, magic, imbibing, and bowling – featuring Mozart's Kegelstatt Trio, Schumann's Fairy Tales trio, and Muczynski's Time Pieces. March 25-27. Fri., 7:30pm; Sat.-Sun., 3pm. Saengerrunde Hall, 1607 San Jacinto, 512/666-7464. $10-30.

The Hideout Theatre: Austin Secrets Live

Improvisation is back at the Hideout! Been about, what, two years? But now the diverse lineup of sometimes LMAO, always surprising shows has returned, with Pgraph and Maestro and more. And, this weekend? Austin Secrets debuts anew – with a batch of personal secrets divulged by your friends and neighbors right before the pandemic started, secrets that lay dormant during Our Miserable Interim, finally brought to extemporaneous comedic life by a crack team of improvisers. March 26-April 30. Saturdays, 8:15pm. 617 Congress, 512/443-3688. $12-18.

Esther’s Follies

This is Austin's longtime not-so-secret weapon in the fight against ennui, the comedy gem that still dazzles our growing urban hub, rocking the stage of their club on Dirty Sixth. Join the fun as the whole troupe brings back old favorites and debuts new territory of hilarity with topical, ripped-from-the-headlines sketches and musical numbers. Bonus: the mind-boggling illusions presented by award-winning magician Ray Anderson. Ongoing! Thu., 8pm; Fri.-Sat., 8 & 10pm. 525 E. Sixth, 512/320-0198. $30-40.

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