You’d think that after several straight weeks of thousands of people flooding the town for large-scale events, everyone would want to take a little break from the action and take it easy this weekend. But, as a glance at our events calendar for the next several days attests, there ain’t no stopping Austinites from going out and having fun, now or anytime.
We’ve already detailed some great options this week, including Chicago at Bass Concert Hall, The East Austin Studio Tour (weekend two) and the Wizard World Comic Con, but below are more good entertainment bets for the next few days. Be as active as you can this weekend, because you likely won’t feel like moving much after Turkey Day next week.
Thursday, November 21 – Saturday, November 23
Based out of New York City and Los Angeles, the UCB Theatre is basically a farm system for training the best and most talented comedy performers to break into the mainstream. Think guys like Rob Corddry, Rob Riggle, Paul Scheer, Aubrey Plaza and the matriarch of the first UCB franchise in NYC, Amy Poehler.
Comics from both coasts will perform over several nights at the Paramount, and while you won’t be seeing some of the big names to have come out of UCB, you will be the beneficiary of being entertained by a hilarious slate of comedians who could very well get their big breaks soon enough. When you’re watching an NBC sitcom down the road, you can brag to your friends about how you were into them before they made it big.
After you watch some of the best improv performers in the country at the Paramount, walk down the street to enjoy some laughs from Austin’s own supertalented troupes at the Hideout Theatre.
These guys know that they’re competing against other event choices this weekend, so they’ll sweeten the deal for you — literally. That’s because this is the Hideout’s signature event of the year, Wafflefest, meaning that you can watch an almost endless stream of comedy skits while enjoying infinite waffles with all of the fixings. This is the only festival that could possibly make Leslie Knope want to leave Pawnee, Indiana.
Thursday, November 21 – Sunday, November 24
It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but big retail stores would have you believe that Christmas is just minutes away. It won’t be much longer before the airwaves are dominated with classic holiday carols and movies, such as the inescapable It’s a Wonderful Life.
But you why try to avoid it when you can enjoy a special twist on the tale of a man saved by an angel to show how much he matters to the world? Actor Martin Burke, who previously wowed audiences at the ZACH in The Santaland Diaries and Harvey, performs all 37 roles from the holiday staple, from George Bailey to his nemesis Old Man Potter. It’s a more comedic take on a film that centers around a suicide attempt, but it should still be able to fill you up with fresh holiday cheer.
Saturday, November 23
Austin might be lacking massive music festivals this weekend, but there is one festival worth checking out if you are craving nostalgia for the old country. Texas Folklife is presenting Polkapocalypse at the historic Elisabet Ney Museum, with an afternoon of free music that reflects the diverse cultural heritage of Texas.
Polka is more than just the genre that “Weird” Al Yankovic is a maestro at; it’s a musical tradition with roots in Czech, German, Ukrainian, Polish and other Slavic cultures, and it inspired many of styles of Mexican American music today. Just bring blanket and picnic gear and enjoy some eats along with the addictive beats, from food trucks including Jim Jim’s Ice and The Best Wurst — because it wouldn’t be polka without sausage.