Soundscapes, Bat Books, and More Arts Events for the Week

Things to do when you're not staring at an interloping moon

Photo by KoolShooters via Pexels

Queer TV Theory 101

Thursday 4, Barrel O’ Fun

Television! As one famous Springfieldian once called it, “Teacher! Mother! Secret Lover!” Turn on your TV set and tune in for a special episode of Queer Film Theory 101. In partnership with ATX TV Festival, QFT 101 invites local queer media mavens to present on “the very queerest and most influential episodes that aired on the small screen.” What shows will they choose? Glee? House, M.D.? Smash? The possibilities are nearly endless for a dedicated TV baby.   – James Scott

Bobby Dixon (Courtesy of Austin Public Library)

Artist Talk with Kollective Fusion

Thursday 4, Ruiz Branch Library

In conjunction with an Austin History Center traveling exhibition of his hip-hop posters, Bobby Dixon sits down to discuss his work with local library attendees. Dixon’s work spans nearly two decades with print designs ranging from brand logos and activist slogans to illustrations for sports, music, streetwear, and screenprinting. As Kollective Fusion founder and Industry Print Shop creative director, Dixon offers myriad insights into the history of hip-hop postermaking as he’s produced many posters for local, national, and globally recognized acts. The poster exhibition runs until May 23.   – James Scott

Courtesy of Austin Playhouse

Born With Teeth

Friday 5, Austin Playhouse

The worst myth about William Shakespeare was that he was a unique genius who penned his greatest plays and sonnets in pristine isolation in his home in Stratford-upon-Avon. Lizzy Duffy Adams’ scathing comedy gets to the reality: that he was a jobbing playwright, a controversial upstart crow in Elizabethan London’s vibrant, tumultuous theatre scene. A long day with his contemporary, the radical Christopher Marlowe, becomes an examination of collaboration, influence, politics, desire, and the wild energy of life behind the stage. Austin Playhouse’s production runs Thursday-Sunday through April 28.   – Richard Whittaker


Friday 5, the Creek and the Cave

Onetime club-of-choice for meathead king Joe Rogan, the Creek and the Cave also features good comedy. Take stand-up competition show Perverts: Comics pit freaky nasty fetish, kink, sex, and dating jokes against each other to find who’s the biggest perv in ATX. Under the watchful eye of host Ava Smartt, these comedians must delve deep into their horny psyche to win a mystery sex toy via audience applause. But don’t think you’ll miss out just because you’re a voyeur to this joke orgy – the comics get to crown the most perv-atious audience member, too.   – James Scott

George Wallace Feat. Marsha Warfield

Friday 5-Saturday 6, Cap City Comedy Club

The universe must have laughed itself silly that it gave one of the most racist governors ever and one of the most brilliantly, aggressively, caustically astute comics of the last 50 years the same name. But guess who got the last laugh? Now in his 70s, the great comedian is still out speaking truth to power and calling out idiocy. He’s on tour again, and he’s bringing another all-timer with him: After years of retirement, Marsha Warfield is back onscreen in the revamped Night Court, and on the stage speaking her own mighty truth again.   – Richard Whittaker

Photo by Adrien Olichon via Unsplash

First Saturdays at Canopy

Saturday 6, Canopy Complex

The first Saturday of every month from 1-4pm, the 72 artists housed at the Canopy complex on Springdale Road open their studios to the public, allowing an intimate look into Austin’s visual art scene. Ivester Contemporary and ICOSA Gallery are also open, giving people a chance to see work in progress and fully realized gallery shows, as well as buy or commission new artwork. Sa-Ten, which recently expanded its hours from 7am-9pm every day, provides tasty Japanese libations worth their own trip, so grab a yuzu lemonade to sip and wander.   – Lina Fisher

“Let’s Stay at Home (It’s Too Slippery Outside)”

Saturday 6, SAGE Studio

SAGE Studio is a nonprofit gallery that highlights artists with disabilities; their studio program allows artists to create work with the guidance of practicing artist facilitators, and the exhibition program puts on bimonthly shows with both Texan and out-of-state artists’ work. Their latest exhibit, Charlie French’s “Let’s Stay at Home (It’s Too Slippery Outside),” opens at SAGE Studio on this very first Saturday, from noon-4pm. Born in New York, Charlie French is an abstract painter who has studied in London, Dallas, and Santa Fe. His work has been shown at SAGE since 2018, and revolves around themes of water, storms, and food.   – Lina Fisher

Total Eclipse Viewing Party

Monday 8, Long Center Lawn

The interdisciplinary Fusebox Festival is marking its 20th anniversary with an impressive cornerstone booking: a total eclipse. True to Fusebox’s mission, Monday’s viewing party – a free, ticketed event – will feature a mix of artistic mediums, including visual storytelling led by writers Roxane Gay and Debbie Millman, hosting by Radiolab’s Molly Webster, and music by Graham Reynolds, who will add “eclipse” to composing credits that include theatre, ballet, film, and television. The viewing party anchors three days of Fusebox’s eclipse programming, which will kick off the eight-day festival.   – Abby Johnston

Greasy Strangler Benefit for Michael St. Michaels

Monday 8, Alamo South Lamar

You’d think that grease would be the bane of jet-setting hairstylist Michael St. Michaels, but it’s what made him a household name – well, in households that watch deliciously degenerate films like The Greasy Strangler. He’d made a few movies earlier, like cult fave Video Dead, but bagged his first leading role in his 70s as foul-mouthed disco-history walking-tour host and naked grease-covered killer Big Ronnie. Now he’s recovering from a serious medical incident, and the Drafthouse is holding a special fundraising screening of his biggest film. Can’t make it? You can still donate to his GoFundMe.   – Richard Whittaker


Monday 8-Wednesday 10, AFS Cinema

If you think J-horror began with Sadako crawling out of a well, then Kaneto Shind’s 1964 masterpiece of historical horror is a great introduction to Japan’s rich library of nightmares. In the middle of the roiling civil wars of the Nanboku-ch period, a woman (Nobuko Otowa) and her daughter (Jitsuko Yoshimura) lure unsuspecting soldiers fleeing combat to a gruesome death, then sell their armor for food. Yet a mask, supernatural forces, and the terrible bond between mother and daughter make for one of terror cinema’s most unforgettable nightmares.   – Richard Whittaker

Ernest Cline’s Bridge to Bat City Booksigning

Monday 8, under the Congress Avenue bridge

The wildly successful local author – you might remember the Spielberg-helmed adaptation of his Ready Player One – unveils his young-adult novel about a girl who helps a group of bats find a new home in Austin when their country home is destroyed. Appropriately, this booksigning takes place under the titular bat bridge near the old Austin American-Statesman building. Nerd-famous (and we mean that as a compliment) Felicia Day leads a discussion with the author before the signing line gets going.   – James Renovitch

Czech That Film Texas: She Came at Night

Tuesday 9, Violet Crown Cinema

Film fest Czech That Film Texas promotes contemporary cinema from Czech filmmakers that “not only expose viewers to Czech culture, but also enlighten audiences, bring people together, and present inspired entertainment for all.” This Tuesday’s kickoff film comes from directors Jan Vejnar & Tomáš Pavlíček and netted both Best Director and Actress at the Czech Oscars. She Came at Night, also called Přišla v noci, digs into the heart-pounding horror of a mother-in-law overstaying her visit to a young thirtysomething couple – featuring Simona Peková as the titular “she,” a 60-year-old diva who takes over her daughter and son-in-law’s lives. The full festival lineup includes Brothers (April 16), We Have Never Been Modern (April 23), and Restore Point (April 30), all at the Violet Crown.   – James Scott

Canto de Todes

Wednesday 10, Museum of Human Achievement

One of the many artistically exciting events going on as part of this year’s Fusebox Festival, multidisciplinary artist Dorian Wood pulls inspiration from late Chilean singer-songwriter Violeta Parra to create an immersive 12-hour “canon of songs.” This installation/composition focuses on folk music “as a vessel for social change” and “upends the expectation of the rigidness often associated with witnessing chamber music performances by offering a welcoming space that allows individuals to project their personal, communal joys, and traumas.” Should this interest you, dear Reader, then I must insist you head to to see the full array of exhibitions, installations, and etc. on offer from April 7-14 all around Austin.   – James Scott

“Hill & Adamson: The Clarkson Stanfield Album”

Through June 2, the Harry Ransom Center

Art conservation can be a contradiction: to destroy to preserve. Thus it is with the HRC and its efforts to restore the Clarkson Stanfield album, one of the most remarkable volumes in the history of art photography. More correctly known as “100 Calotypes by D. O. Hill, R.S.A., and R. Adamson,” the collection of over 100 salted paper prints was collated by the photographers for landscape artist Stanfield and depicts the lords, laborers, clergy, and scientists of 19th-century Scotland and the landscapes in which they lived. Currently undergoing repairs, the center staff are using its deconstructed state to display 39 plates, along with more works from Hill and Adamson, as separate works since the first time they were bound.   – Richard Whittaker

32 Sounds

Wednesday 10, Bass Concert Hall

What is sound? A way to orient us in the present? An intimation of future danger? A tether to the past? Filmmaker Sam Green travels far and wide, from the mundane to the sublime, in his immersive, exploratory documentary 32 Sounds. Featuring original music by JD Samson and sound design by Mark Mangini (Dune, Mad Max: Fury Road), this unique screening will be presented with live narration by Green and with individual headphones for each audience member to more intensely experience the 32 distinct sounds explored in the film.   – Kimberley Jones

A Night of Too Many Poets

Wednesday 10, the Vortex

My face when it’s night and there’s too many poets: U_U. However: My face when I remember April is National Poetry Month and all these poets are here on account of the Library Collective, a group dedicated to supporting the next generation of librarians, library workers, and library stakeholders, and that among the poets performing are Harold Whit Williams, Michael Perret, Faith Gómez Clark, Chelsea Li, Gina Bastone, Sam Trevino, and many more: 0u0. Much to consider, wouldn’t you say?   – James Scott

Into the Woods

Through April 21, Mary Moody NorthenTheatre

Who’s ready for a bedtime story? Because there’s nothing like Stephen Sondheim’s grand unification theory of the Brothers Grimm’s collection of German fairy tales. All your childhood folklore favorites become tangled up in the search for the cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn, and the slipper as pure as gold. Underneath the toe-tappers and cunning one-liners, there’s a fable about the perils of getting what you wished for and not paying attention to what you have, a moral reiterated by a witch who’s not good, not nice; just right.   – Richard Whittaker

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