Y'all. The Academy Awards nominations came out this week, and I realized my Oscar radar is seriously in need of repair. I've only seen three of the Best Picture nominees, and I didn't even know there was a Kung Fu Panda 2!
What I'm sayin' is: It's time to find your favorite theater in town and start checking off the movies from the big list. (Start with The Artist is my best advice to you.)
Movie theaters aren't the only theaters in town, of course. This weekend, we have lots going on in music venues and traditional theaters as well. All of them will keep you warm AND allow you to be "social" whilst watching your favorite entertainment.
FronteraFest, Austin's favorite experimental fringe theater fest, is now in full swing. The Long Fringe productions open Thursday at various theaters around the city like Salvage Vanguard and Blue Theatre, and you'll have four opportunities each to catch new works from companies like Trouble Puppet Theater and Poison Apple Initiative as well as individuals like Annie La Ganga and Christy McBrayer. With all the options available to you, you're sure to find at least one show and one theater to fit your weekend fancy.
ZACH Theatre opens their latest straight-from-Broadway production this weekend as well. Next to Normal is the Pulitzer Prize-winning rock musical about a family suffering from the effects of bipolar disorder. Austin favorite Meredith McCall plays the family matriarch, the role that won Alice Ripley a Tony Award for Lead Actress in a Musical. Come see one of our city's most talented actresses knock this performance out of the ballpark.
And if it's Broadway musicals you love, you're in luck. Elphaba and Galinda are punching everyone in the face with their show-stopping numbers in Wicked over at Bass Concert Hall. Sure it's over-the-top, but it's undeniably catchy and fun to see the characters you know from The Wizard of Oz in a brand new light. You might as well give in to it and get ready to cry and laugh and sing with that drunk lady two rows down from you. She's not afraid to sing along, so why should you be?
If electro-funk is more your speed, there's an awesome music benefit festival happening this weekend at The Parish. Oh Snap! Festival is a two and a half day music festival organized by friends of Sergio Machado to raise funds for his memorial scholarship. Machado was a foreign exchange student at Southwestern University who was killed by a drunk driver in his home country of Mozambique after graduation. Oh Snap! honors Machado's love of music and raises money to fund other awesome foreign exchange students' college educations.
One of our favorite multi-purpose venues, the ND at 501 Studios, is hosting an exciting, once-in-a-lifetime reunion for the historic Austin indie rock station, K-NACK. For two nights, bands like Sixteen Deluxe, Sincola, bo bud greene, Seed and Wannabes will take to the stage once again — some after 15 years apart — for an epic reunion, re-imagining the iconic sounds of alternative Austin radio. K-NACK DJs will be in attendance to introduce the bands and reminisce on the past. Anyone who loves music will want to be here for this special event.
Of course, if it's movies you want, there's lots going on at the Alamo Drafthouse of course. On Sunday, Sarah Pitre hosts a Girlie Night special Dance Movie Marathon at the Ritz. Starting at 1pm, you can take in the grandeur of the hate-that-you-love-them movies: Center Stage, Strictly Ballroom and Step Up 2: The Streets. A live dance team will be present to show you the moves in person in case you want to join the fun.
Or you can always go at your own pace, find your own movie theater and enjoy your movies in peace and quiet. I'm telling you: Start with The Artist and work your way down from there. It's going to change the way you see all the other ones.
Hooray for the Theater!