Bloody Brides, Creepy Cats, and More Arts Events for the Week

Valentine's (and anti-Valentine) fun, soundtracking a rock, etc.

Courtesy of Gator Horse Studios

Making Comics Workshop

Thursday 8, Terrazas Branch Library

Hey, kids – comics! You read ’em, you love ’em, and now you can learn how to make your own multipaneled masterpieces at this Eastside outpost of your friendly neighborhood Austin Public Library. Local comics creator Adam Kobetich (of The Shadow Under the Leaf fame) will show you how to channel your inner Stan Lee and Jack Kirby – or maybe Alison Bechdel or Takeshi Obata and Tsugumi Ohba – at this free workshop, where the power of sequential art is put into your narrative hands.  – Wayne Alan Brenner

15th Anti-Valentine’s Day Burlesque Show

Friday 9, Come & Take It Live

No more Whitman’s Samplers, no more wilting H-E-B bouquets, and no more pink bears holding hearts! This Valentine’s season, the Bat City Bombshells stick it to romance with a burlesque show boasting anti-Valentine’s propaganda. Featuring the burly-q talents of Sherry Bomb, Violet Sky, Mistress Moon, Kateastrophe, Roc Gaude, Folly Parton, Ms. Gorgeous George, Jack Potts, Marcia Melons, Hibiscus Bloom, Jess Velour, and host Nico De Gallo. Forbidden Fruit sponsors and provides sensual somethings for the show’s raffle.  – James Scott

USA and the UK

Friday 9 - Saturday 10, the Long Center

Austin Symphony Orchestra draws inspiration from “the special relationship” for an across-the-pond-and-back performance featuring four composers – two American, two British. Austin’s own preeminent pianist, Anton Nel, opens the program with Benjamin Britten’s Piano Concerto, Op. 13. Also on the bill: American Samuel Barber’s aching “Adagio for Strings,” Brit Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music, and American Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, performed in collaboration with Chorus Austin.  – Kimberley Jones

PrintAustin’s PrintEXPO

Saturday 10, Blue Genie Art Bazaar

PrintEXPO is PrintAustin’s annual two-day fair – free to attend! – featuring more than 100 artists, galleries, print shops, and university printmaking programs from across the United States. Experience live printmaking demonstrations, witness steamroller printing by Texas A&M Kingsville, participate in hands-on printmaking activities led by area arts educators, and purchase original artwork directly from local and, yes, even international artists. Ah, crafty polychrome exuberance, FTW! Never mind that impending singularity: Now’s the time to get down and ink-dirty with your fellow humans in this creative and material world.  –Wayne Alan Brenner

Porgy and Bess

Saturday 10, Carver Branch Library

Porgy and Bess is one of the most celebrated works of art ever made in America, but its portrayal of Black Southerners, written by whites, can still feel a little cringe. George and Ira Gershwin collaborated with DuBose Heyward to create the folk opera in 1935, combining Twenties jazz with musical ideas from the Gullah community of South Carolina. The opera’s debut was an important moment in race relations, as the Gershwins insisted that the lead roles be played by Black singers. This is a rare opportunity to see the 1959 film version starring Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, and Sammy Davis Jr.  – Brant Bingamon

The Mystic’s Valentine: An Enchanted Evening With Belladonna of Sadness

Saturday 10, Austin School of Film

Immersive event and interactive media creator Ceia G. brings an entrancing event boasting a “blend of cinematic brilliance and mystical allure, designed to captivate your senses and ignite your imagination.” During a screening of Seventies cult anime classic Belladonna of Sadness, you’ll be invited to walk through rooms crafted in the style of the film’s scenes, peruse a market of magical items, and sup upon drinks and food created to suit the night’s tempting tenor. But be warned: This screening isn’t suitable for everyone, so only mature audiences need RSVP.  – James Scott


Sunday 11, the Vortex

Nobody’s suggesting that youth is overrated, but the Eastside’s ever-sizzling Vortex Theatre and World Famous *BOB* unveil a poignant show focused on stories of elders of the queer community. The evening features a cast of five, all over the age of 60, who share 10-minute stories of their personal experiences that invite the audience to discard preconceived ideas of aging. This production is an outgrowth of *BOB*’s Campfire Queer Storytime, hosted monthly at the Vortex, and is sponsored by Rainbow Connections ATX, a program of Family Eldercare.  –Wayne Alan Brenner

"The Hanging-cloud Bridge at Mount Gyōdō near Ashikaga" by Katsushika Hokusai

The Floating World

Sunday 11, the Blanton Museum

The opportunity to witness, in person, the creative expression of different times and diverse cultures is one of the perks of city-dwellers everywhere – and exemplified by the collections and traveling exhibitions hosted by UT’s acclaimed Blanton Museum of Art. The Blanton’s newest show displays masterpieces from Edo-period Japan, on loan from the Worcester Art Museum through June 30. These “pictures of the floating world” depict the lifestyle, pleasures, and interests of the urban population – samurais, geishas, kabuki actors, boat parties, palaces, and lush landscapes. As then, so now: Much of who we are is what we do with our lives.  – Wayne Alan Brenner

Leap Day Art Show

Sunday 11, Museum of Human Achievement

It’s been four years since the last Leap Day – we know: How the hell did that happen so quickly? – and now 4friends (Itai Almor, Jasmine Chock, Julia Kunze, and Celine Lassus, the artfolks who brought us MoHA’s “Hot Wheels” show in 2023) have teamed with musician Victoria Wayland to curate up a show of 40 artists who’ve interpreted Leap Day in 40 different ways. Who are these artists? Joy Scanlon, Tay Hall, Jay Roff-Garcia, Yoona Bang, Martha Cryan, Mauro de la Tierra, Luna Davis, and 33 more – illustrating this quadrennial occurrence in our crazy little thing called time.  – Wayne Alan Brenner

Vintage Bookstore (Photo by John Anderson)

Silent Book Club ATX

Monday 12, Vintage Bookstore

Silent Book Club rejects the stuffy tradition of the reader gatherings of yore. In these local meetups, there’s no group discussion, or even required reading. Instead, the “introvert happy hour” invites book lovers to gather and read their own selections in silence, enjoying the company of those doing the same thing. After an hour of parallel play, the event opens up to (optional) socializing. Hosted by various local businesses, Monday’s congregation finds an especially fitting home at Vintage Bookstore, the cozy East 11th Street shop that features not espresso, but a wine bar.  – Carys Anderson

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Tuesday 13, Paramount Theatre

Spoiler alert: The Paramount Theatre's Loves Me, Loves Me Not series corrals some movie romances that end well (Love & Basketball, Feb. 10; Notting Hill, Feb. 14) and some that end in disaster (A Star Is Born, Feb. 10; William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, Feb 11). With Tuesday's screening of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, you get both. In this mind-bending, heartrending story (which won Charlie Kaufman a screenplay Oscar), two new lovers (played by Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet) are forced to confront their past mistakes and decide if they still have a future.  – Kimberley Jones

Public Works: Art by Elizabeth Olds

Tuesday 13, Harry Ransom Center

Minneapolis-born and -raised, Elizabeth Olds lived to a sturdy 94 but didn’t get the attention she deserved in her lifetime. The Harry Ransom Center’s new exhibit, which opened Feb. 3 and runs through July 14, aims to rectify that with a first-of-its-kind look back at more than 100 of her prints, paintings, drawings, and illustrations from the 1920s to the 1960s. Of particular note: her depictions of social and political change from her time as a Works Progress Administration printmaker. Want to go deeper? Drop in for one of the daily docent tours.  – Kimberley Jones

A Very Valentine Bride of Re-Animator

Wednesday 14, Eastside Cinema

It’s alive! Alive with Valentine’s Day spirit, that is. Blue Starlite’s new location within the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex single-theatre cinema screens the 1990 follow-up to Lovecraftian nightmare Re-Animator, where cohabitating mad scientists Dan Cain and Herbert West combine romance and god complexes for a schlock shock to the system. Let green reanimation fluid ooze from your heart when you ask your beloved to share a romantic moment: just you, them, and Jeffery Combs’ giant projected forehead.  – James Scott

Jellicle Night: An Immersive Screening of Cats

Wednesday 14, Museum of Human Achievement

If you’re going to watch Cats, you might as well watch it in the most extra way possible, offered at MoHA for Valentine’s Day in celebration of “all things feline, fearless, faithful and true.” This immersive, costumes-encouraged 4D screening is paired with local short film “Catula Theme Song” by Jeanne Stern and offers a themed feline feast from Lynny’s including deconstructed chicken pot pie with curried gravy, fish-shaped puff pastry, and fresh coconut-honey macaroons. Plus a photo booth, props, milk bar drinks, and more. Meeeeow!  – Kat McNevins

Roxy Castillo

Wednesday 14, Cap City Comedy

She’s had many titles – wrestling manager with Inspire Pro, Funniest Person in Austin finalist, Grease 2 expert – but this Valentine’s Day, Roxy Castillo takes the title of Cap City headliner. Spend a romantic night in the Red Room with Castillo as her hilarious asides bring hearts to your eyes. Openers include Aira Juliet, known for curating the rip-roaring variety show Black and Queer AF, and comic Justin Hicks, who delivers piping-hot humor with a chill vibe.   – James Scott

Photo by Rip Shaub

Montopolis’ Enchanted Rock

Thursday 15, the Bullock Museum

Forget the sounds of whining overheated children on a quintessentially Texan family hiking trip. Rather, Austin indie ensemble Montopolis interpreted the pink granite climb into beautiful orchestral movements on 2017 project Music for Enchanted Rock. At the time, composer Justin Sherburn (Okkervil River) told the Chronicle: “It became a meditation on context, thinking about our day-to-day on a much grander scale.” This live reprise includes Rip Shaub’s landscape photography and Amy Bluemel’s Chickasaw storytelling. With the performance included in the price of museum admission, the Bullock’s Third Thursday series also offers extended gallery access and a drop-in art station.  – Rachel Rascoe

Peter and the Starcatcher

Wednesday 14 - Sunday 18, Mary Moody Northen Theatre

Adapted from bestselling novels by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, this Tony-winning play by Rick Elice digs deep into J.M. Barrie’s story of Neverland like never before. Learn the origins of the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up as well as his friends and foes like Wendy, Captain Hook, and Tinker Bell. Directed by Ben Wolfe, this production features music by Wayne Barker and an ensemble cast of 16 actors in over 100 character roles.   –James Scott


Thursday 15, Northern-Southern Gallery

This is the new solo exhibition by Austin’s own Donya Stockton – yes, the multitalented woman behind legendary club venues Beerland, Rio Rita, King Bee, and more. So, the show’s about music? No, because this Stockton is also a world-class weaver, and her latest works of handmade basketry (and its stunning deconstructions) incorporate driftwood, Oaxacan seed pods, and copper into her signature serpentine loops of cane and reed, bringing topology itself to its knees in Philip Niemeyer’s excellent Downtown gallery.   – Wayne Alan Brenner

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