Almost a quiet weekend in the ATX... until the ROT Rally showed up
Once a year, the otherwise peaceful streets of South and Central Austin are invaded by the rumbling thunder of badass bikes during the Republic of Texas Biker Rally.
Four days of live music at the Travis County Expo, group rides through the State capital and plenty of attitude, the ROT Rally is one of the largest motorcycle gatherings in the entire country. Yeah, it's loud. Yeah, there are more bikes on the road to have to watch out for. But, in their denim and leather glory, this yearly tradition is actually pretty amazing to witness.
Each night around 7:30 p.m., the whole stinking lot of them ride together up Congress Avenue, and you can see a million headlights and hear a million engines all running in glorious synchronicity. Almost makes you want to take a shot, climb on the back of one of them and scream obscenities at cops and old ladies as you speed out of town. Is that just us?
Well, if you don't share our secret fantasies to climb aboard the ROT train, may we suggest a few more pedestrian alternatives to fill your weekend schedule?
On Friday evening, we'll be at the Long Center for the world premiere of the second installment of The Intergalactic Nemesis, the live action comic book and radio drama, called Robot Planet Rising. The first half of this Austin-born show has grown into a huge phenomenon thanks to the national tour and recent appearance on Conan. Now the team is back with a whole tale of superheroics and alien robot nemeses, performed with live music, sound effects and character actors playing all the parts.
For an extra special appreciation of the show, CultureMap is hosting a pre-show Long Center Lounge where you can meet the cast, get an autographed copy of the second graphic novel and get a guided tour of the show's backstage during intermission from Director Jason Neulander himself. What better way to enjoy the show that will soon be an intergalactic hit?
On Saturday, we recommend taking in one of the amazing alternative theatrical events our city has to offer. The first of our suggestions is the popular Austin Puppet Incident, a joint annual tradition from Glass Half Full Theatre and Trouble Puppet Theater Company. These fun, imaginative evenings consist of several short puppet acts that demonstrate several varieties of puppetry styles. This year, the event takes place on the east side at The Fort, so shows will take place both inside and outside the space.
This is also the first weekend for new work troupe, DA! Theatre Collective's new creative fairy tale, DayBoyNightGirl, over at the Long Center's Rollins Theatre. Retelling the Gaellic myth of Photogen and Nycteris, this stage adaptation uses no props or sets; the impressive collection of actors take on all the roles as well as the set pieces. There are only six chances to see this new piece, so why not this weekend?
Finally, on Sunday, we recommend taking the kids and spending the afternoon at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum for the Charles Umlauf 101st Birthday Celebration. In addition to the usual beauty of Umlauf's original sculptures, the garden will be populated with living sculptures as well, provided by AcroStatues. Kids will get a kick out of seeing people take on the likeness of bronze, and everyone can appreciate the oncoming summer weather.
So whether you're here in town as a part of the raucous ROT Rally or you're a long-time Austinite who can't stand all the noise and pollution, remember the city (and the roads) are big enough for everyone. Traffic's going to suck either way; why not find a way to relax and enjoy your weekend? You could always forget it all and hop on the back of a Harley...