The events pentathlon: What to do when you're not watching the Olympics thisweekend
The Olympic Torch has found its way to London, and the 2012 Summer Olympic Games are set to begin this weekend with — hold on to your hats! — Women's 10m Air Rifle!
Of course it's then on to tennis, gymnastics and all the other sports you only get to watch once every four years. Medals will be awarded, underdogs will be championed and tears of joy will be shed across the country.
If you're into that sort of thing, we'll see you in a few weeks. Make sure to stay hydrated and remember to eat sometimes.
For the rest of you, there's a full pentathlon of fun weekend events to test out your recreational resolve and ability. Do you have what it takes to make Austin proud?
First up, in the film category, you've got plenty of options to fill your days and nights. Over at the Alamo, they're celebrating the nationwide release of the hysterical Danish buddy film Klown that took last year's Fantastic Fest by storm, largely due its willingness to cross every boundary in order to achieve the biggest laugh. Chef Bullington has even developed a special themed menu in honor of the film's release that you won't want to miss. (Take a photo: it'll last longer.)
Meanwhile, the Paramount Classic Film Series is rounding out Horror Week with double features of some of the best must-see movies of the black and white era. On Friday night, the double feature is the too-real-to-be-believed oddities movie, Freaks, and the 1931 vampire classic that started them all, Dracula. Then on Saturday and Sunday, catch the Boris Karloff version of Frankenstein with the all-too-colorful and far too real The Exorcist.
Finally, Austin Film Society and the Blue Starlite Drive-In are hosting a special screening of Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terrorover at the new Austin Film Studios lot. The zombie exploitation film is a great deal of ridiculous fun, and a cool way to appreciate a local filmmaker's work in his hometown. For those less zombie-obsessed, there are screenings of Rodriguez's family-friendly Spy Kids on Saturday at the Drive-In as well.
Also on Saturday, in the dance category of the decathlon, you're invited to join Ballet Austin as they celebrate National Dance Day. The annual event is meant to encourage everyone to get up, get moving and learn a new dance routine designed by choreographers from the reality TV show, So You Think You Can Dance. You can learn the dance steps online ahead of time or you can just show up, warm up and learn the steps with the Ballet Austin instructors.
If you'd prefer to watch others do the dancing for you, we suggest checking out Summer Stock Austin's production of Legally Blonde: The Musical over at the Long Center for Performing Arts any night this weekend. This all-student production is a fun way to see the most talented young performers from all across Texas performing on the grandest stage in Austin theatre. You know the story from the movie; now see the song and dance bring Elle Woods' story to fresh new life.
Saturday night, complete the music portion of the weekend pentathlon at Skinny's Ballroom for the Final Countdown show. Sadly, the downtown music spot is closing its doors after only a year and a half of solid indie music magic. To commemorate the memories made at this location, with maybe the best sound quality of a venue of its size, some of owner Brad Marcum's favorite acts from the last year will perform throughout the night. Come hear the magic for yourself for the first or the last time.
Sunday evening, the timeless sounds of super group Cheap Trick fill ACL Live. "I Want You to Want Me" has been covered so many times and by so many bands, and yet it still always makes you think of the original. Fresh off a tour with rock gods Aerosmith, the threesome is back at ACL for a night of classic and new music that will make you feel like a teenager all over again.
All day Sunday, head on down south to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to catch the centennial birthday celebration of Mrs. LBJ herself. The Wildflower Center is going all out to make Lady Bird Johnson Tribute Day a special event, including two new exhibition unveilings, storytelling and performances for the kids, extended hours and plenty of Texas family friendly fun.
Who needs Olympic athletes achieving unbelievable physical feats on the other side of the globe anyway? We've got amazing events taking place right here in our own backyard. And we'll be just as sweaty as they will just walking from our house to the bus stop.
To complete the feeling, play your own theme music on your iTunes, have a friend yell encouragement at you from afar and always remember to dream big. You deserve it.