Y'all. Sunday night is the night of big stars and big statues. In this Oscars race, it's George vs. Brad. Meryl vs. Glenn. Me vs. all the food I'm going to scarf down that night without even realizing it. I can't even wait for this annual party to get started so I can yell at the screen and shove cheese cubes shaped like little Oscar statues into my face.
But before that happens, there's two whole days to fill with splendor and excitement. Our city has lots to offer yet again, from art exhibits, new theatre works, competitive beard growth and, of course, boobs. Yep, boobs.
Friday night is alright for fine art. Austin City Hall will host the opening reception for the 2012 People's Gallery, an exhibition of over 150 Austin-area artists that will populate three floors of the highly visible building for the coming year. The reception, catered by Whole Foods, will include the announcement of last year's winner of the juried competition and short films from the Faces of Austin collection.
Meanwhile, at the 29th Street Ballroom, the Jigglewatts Burlesque troupe are putting on their "celebration of glitz, glamour and extravagant beauty" at the 2012 Jigglewatt Jubilee. Featuring all of their talented ladies in one show, plus the visiting brilliance of MC Jade Esteban Estrada as host, this night promises to be a show you won't soon forget. Lots of pretty ladies wearing their skimpiest outfits and dancing to the sultriest music. What better way to start off your weekend?
This is the last weekend to experience the four new works in the UT Department of Theatre and Dance's UT New Theatre festival. These brave new pieces are the handiwork of the third year graduate student playwrights in the MFA program, all with impressive production resumes and equally promising futures. With the largest number of offerings at a UTNT in a single year ever, you're sure to make it to at least one of these can't-miss new work performances.
Both Friday and Saturday, the loveably mischievious miscreants at Misprint Magazine are teaming up again with the Austin Facial Hair Club to host the 6th Annual Beard and Moustache Contest. Friday night's kick-off party at the ND@501 Studios will feature the first ever Lady Beardette competition where real and fake beards and moustaches will compete for big prizes. Then Saturday, emcee Matt Bearden (that's his real name) will lead the 1000+ attendees at Mohawk in a rousing beard battle that is sure to top the previous five years.
Sunday afternoon, drag yourself on over to Rainey Street for Lustre Pearl's famous annual Crawfish Boil. Over 2,000 pounds of the delicious N'Awlins crawlers will be cooked up with all the proper pot compatriots like corn, potatoes and sausage. Come chase away that hangover with the all-you-can-eat, head-poppin', crawfish-slurpin' lunch that has made this a fun community event for east Austin year after year.
Then the biggest night for Hollywood happens on Sunday. Despite the disappointing jokes and the maddening length of the whole production, folks will still be tuning in to see Billy Crystal back in action. You've still got all weekend, though, to catch the Oscar Shorts (both animated and live action) up on the big screen over at the South Lamar Alamo. And while you're at it, check out our hometown representative at the Oscars, Bullhead, the Drafthouse Films contender in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Regardless of the outcome, Austin's got something to cheer about Sunday night for sure.
Whatever you do, make sure to stay classy, Austin. Make sure to dress your best wherever you go this Oscar weekend and take as many photos as possible. Don't be afraid to stop along the red carpet and talk with Joan Rivers. She's pretty intimidating up close, but she'll be nice to you in the "Who Wore It Better" recaps if you're friendly with her. Oh, and be sure to thank your mother in your acceptance speech; she deserves at least that much.