Photo by Eric Ryan Anderson

The beat goes on — literally — in the Live Musc Capitol of the World. The next several days show a forecast of live performances by musical acts any local would hate to miss. See Sting, Tenacious D, or Arctic Monkeys in concert. For a complete list of events, go to our calendar.

Thursday, September 14

Lake Travis Film Festival
Cinema takes center stage at Cinemark Hill Country Galleria at the 4th annual Lake Travis Film Festival. Highlights of the four-day event include screenings, panel discussions, music, immersive experiences, and more. For a full schedule of events and to purchase tickets, go to ltff.net.

Naked at My Age: Charla Hathaway
Sexologist and performer Charla Hathaway brings her unbridled one-woman show to Austin for two cheeky evenings of entertainment. Hathaway will share intimate stories from her more than 20 years of sex work experience with vivid reenactments and the occasional stylings of her feather boa prop. The first show was at Kick Butt Coffee on Wednesday, but you can still catch the second show at Forbidden Fruit on Thurday. This performance is suitable for adult audiences only. Get ticket details at charlahathaway.com.

Friday, September 15

Iliza Shlesinger: Hard Feelings World Tour
Iliza Shlesinger makes her comedic presence known at Bass Concert Hall for one night only. Shlesinger, who is in town as part of her Hard Feelings World Tour, is best known for her Netflix standup specials including 2022’s Hot Forever and 2018’s Elder Millennial. For show details, go to texasperformingarts.org.

Tenacious D in concert
Jack Black and Kyle Glass' comedy rock duo, Tenacious D, comes to Germania Insurance Amphitheater in support of their Spicy Meatball Tour. Fans can expect a live performance of the viral, live-cover version of Chris Isaak’s "Wicked Game” and other songs from the group’s four-album discography. Get more concert information on Ticketmaster.

Arctic Monkeys in concert
Arctic Monkeys bring their newest music to a live audience at Moody Center. The English rock band performs in Austin in support of their new album, The Car. Since forming in 2012, they have amassed top hits such as “A Certain Romance” and “R U Mine?” For more information, visit Ticketmaster.

Sunday, September 17

Rowing Dock presents Paddlepalooza
Discover a new hobby or adventure with free access to a variety of water activities at Rowing Dock’s annual Paddlepalooza. Attendees can enjoy one complimentary hour of kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddle boarding on a first-come, first-served basis. No registration is required for the initial one-hour rental. For guests who prefer to stay on the water longer, regular rental rates will be applied following the first hour of use upon return of equipment. All experience levels are welcome. For more information, check out rowingdock.com.

Sting in concert
New-age rock icon Sting performs live for local fans at Moody Center. He comes to Austin in support of his My Songs tour. Fans can expect a selection of hits like “Roxanne,” “Fields of Gold,” and “Message In A Bottle” on the set list, along with other top songs spanning his more than 50-year career. For more information, go to Ticketmaster.

Sting musician
Photo by Eric Ryan Anderson

Sting performs live in concert at Moody Center on September 17.

Photo by F. Carter Smith

Here are the top 7 things to do in Austin this weekend

Weekend Event Guide

All the world’s a stage in the Live Music Capital of the World, and this roundup of can’t-miss concerts and shows serves as proof. See artists like Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa, Pantera, and Lamb of God live at some of the city’s hottest venues. Music-minded meet-ups and performance theatre offer alternative ways to get your local-approved music fix. Check out the top seven things to do in Austin this weekend. For a complete list of events, visit our calendar.

Thursday, August 17

KMFA Classical 89.5 presents an Austin Arts Mixer
Mingle and party with some of the city’s most regarded arts organizations at KMFA Classical 89.5. Highlights include exclusive networking opportunities, passed bites from Alfred’s Catering, wine by BOXT, cocktails by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and more. Mixer admission is free and open to the public. For a full list of participating partners, go to kmfa.org.

Cap City Comedy Club presents David Koechner
Comedian and actor David Koechner is the latest resident at Capitol City Comedy Club. Koechner is best known for his longtime stand-up career and his scene-stealing roles in films like Anchorman and The Office. In addition to his stand-up performances, Koechner will host an Office trivia show for diehard fans of the groundbreaking comedy series. See showtimes and ticket details at capcitycomedy.com.

Friday, August 18

High School Reunion Tour with Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa
Legendary Californian Hip-Hop artists Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa bring their co-headlining High School Reunion Tour to Austin’s Germania Insurance Amphitheater. The show will also feature performances by other rap heavy hitters including Too $hort, Warren G, Berner, and special guest DJ Drama. Go to Ticketmaster for more information.

Jurassic World Live Tour
Journey into the prehistoric world of dinosaurs and other ancient beasts at this immersive experience inspired by the cult classic cinematic universe, Jurassic World. Guests will enter a space at Moody Center wholly transformed into the environment depicted in the franchise, which features 24 film-accurate and life-sized dinosaurs operated by animatronics and performers. Pre-show activations are also available for guests who want to embark on the adventure early. Get more details on Ticketmaster.

Saturday, August 19

ZACH Theatre presents Head Over Heels
The love stories of a fictional royal family come to life through an in-verse production with a modern twist at ZACH Theatre. Kathy Valentine, bassist for 80s girl group The Go-Go's, presides as music director over this kingdom until September 10. Audiences can experience the chaotic, queer tale as told through Go-Go's music and a set completely made of pool inflatables. Familiar songs like “We Got the Beat” and “Vacation” offer the perfect soundtrack to this age-old story. Learn more about the creative Broadway play adaption in CultureMap's review and interviews.

Sunday, August 20

John Oliver in concert
Acclaimed comedian John Oliver performs live at Bass Concert Hall. The host and producer of the HBO show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver will perform two back-to-back shows. Throughout his career, Oliver’s style of comedy and writing skills have awarded accolades such as 23 Primetime Emmys, five Writer’s Guild Awards, and two Critics’ Choice Television Awards. For tickets, go to texasperformingarts.org.

Pantera in concert
Heavy metal band Pantera makes their highly anticipated return to the stage as part of their national tour. Fans can expect original band members Philip Anselmo and Rex Brown joined by Zakk Wylde, and Charlie Benante on the stage at Germania Insurance Amphitheater. Lamb of God joins the concert as special guest. Get more information on Ticketmaster.

Snoop Dogg
Photo by F. Carter Smith

Snoop Dogg comes to Austin with Wiz Khalifa, Too $hort, and others on August 18.

Photo courtesy of Austin Shakespeare/Nell Carroll

Experience 4 Shakespearean plays at Zilker Park in Austin


As Polonius said in Shakespeare's Hamlet, "Brevity is the soul of wit." And that is the goal behind this upcoming one-weekend only show at Zilker Park.

On May 18-21, Austin Shakespeare will put on their local favorite Short Shakespeare at Zilker Hillside Theater. The performances are directed by Gwendolyn Kelso and include four abbreviated renditions of classic Shakespeare comedies: A Midsummer Night's Dream; The Tempest; Twelfth Night; and Hamlet.

“If you’ve never seen Shakespeare, these four abbreviated plays with their comedic spirit will be a great introduction,” Austin Shakespeare Artistic Director Ann Cicccolella said in a press release. “And those who love The Bard will have a wonderful time with these talented actors and the creative interpretations.”

The 20-minute plays will be highlighted by the small cast, only five members, and two musicians. Isaac Howell is a recurring Austin Shakespeare actor, cast alongside Texas State University theatre students Wallis Brown and Schaeffer Certenberg.

The remaining two actors are making their Austin Shakespeare debut: Luke Ellis and Isabelle Dickey. Ellis was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, also known as Shakespeare's birthplace, and trained at the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama in London. Dickey studied at Ithaca College and received her BFA in Acting.

Sets and lighting are by resident designer Patrick Anthony, costumes are by Kristin Knipp, and properties are by Tressa Gilmer.

Short Shakespeare is free to the public, and will be performed at 8 pm on May 18-21. Audience members are encouraged to bring their own blankets or low chairs to the event.

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Here are the top 7 things to do in Austin this weekend

Weekend Event Guide

We see festivals, art events, and live music in the near future, and this list is proof. Raise a stein in honor of Oktoberfest at Banger’s, or catch a can’t-miss show by Depeche Mode. Check out the top seven things to do in Austin this weekend. For a complete list of events, please visit our calendar.

Thursday, September 28

Fantastic Fest
Fantastic Fest presents its final day of fantasy, horror, sci-fi, and action. Attendees will have the opportunity to screen movies from a variety of genres as well as the closing night film, Totally Killer, and more. Badges are available at fantasticfest.com.

Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden presents Oktoberfest Celebration
Celebrate the autumn season in all German-inspired fashion at Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden. Guests can enjoy German food, games, and beer, and several live music performances for three days straight. For more Oktoberfest details visit bangersaustin.com. Admission is free and open to those who are 21 and older. Read CultureMap's Oktoberfest guide for more event recommendations.

ProyectoTeatro presents "Cabarex: Orígenes ¡A Latinx Cabaret!"
The Vortex hosts an original Spanish-language cabaret production by ProyectoTeatro in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The show blends comedy, risqué theatrics, improv, drag, and live singing for a rich retelling of major moments in Latino history. "Cabarex" will be performed in both Spanglish and Spanish and also with English subtitles. Performances are scheduled through October 8. Go to vortexrep.org for more details.

Friday, September 29

Viata Hotel presents an Art Installation Launch Party
Be among the first to experience new installations by artists Ryan Runcie and Matthew Phelan at the contemporary and hip Hotel Viata. This intimate opening event will feature highlights including an exclusive gallery viewing, live music, curated food and drinks, and the opportunity to meet the artists. Admission is free with RSVP at hotelviata.com.

St. Elias Orthodox Church presents the 89th annual St. Elias Mediterranean Festival
The richness and traditions of Mediterranean culture are on full display for members of the public to enjoy at St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Church. Festival attendees can expect dance performances, a variety of Mediterranean foods, a bazaar, henna drawing, kid-friendly activities, and more. Get more event information at austinmedfest.com.

Moody Center presents Depeche Mode in concert
Electronic group Depeche Mode will play a live show at Moody Center. The artists behind songs such as “Enjoy the Silence” and “Just Can’t Get Enough” come to Austin in support of their new album, Memento Mori. The nostalgic show may remind viewers that the group was ahead of its time in the 80s. Get more details on Ticketmaster.

Banger\u2019s Oktoberfest 2023 Celebration
Photo courtesy of Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden

Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden presents an Oktoberfest Celebration on September 28.

Saturday, September 30

Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service in concert
Co-headliners Death Cab for Cutie and The Postal Service (linked by singer Ben Gibbard) bring their tour to Germania Insurance Amphitheater. Both bands are in Austin in support of new albums. Death Cab for Cutie will perform tracks from their 2022 project, Asphalt Meadows, and The Postal Service will perform their 2003 album, Give Up. Fellow alternative rock band The Beths will join for a special guest performance. Go to Ticketmaster for more details.

Top medical cannabis dispensary buds in Lakeline with new pickup store


Folks north of Austin can now find more relief closer to them with the opening of a new facility for cannabis prescription pickup.

Texas Original is now open in the Lakeline area at 10222 Pecan Park Blvd., continuing to expand the brand's services throughout Central Texas. While Austinites may be used to more recreational cannabis stores, Texas Original's main clientele are patients managing things like cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and even dementia.

In Texas, patients can obtain medical cannabis prescriptions through online clinics or local physicians registered with the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas; In Texas Original's case, the dispensary connects candidates for medical cannabis with partnering clinics via an online form to close the loop between prescription and pickup.

Texas Original (formerly Compassionate Cultivation) opened the first public medical dispensary in the state (out of Manchaca) and started serving patients in 2018 with the motto “Grown for Texans by Texans.” The entire operation — from the cultivation of plants to the formulation of products — is based in the state. In 2023, Texas Original was named the best medical marijuana dispensary in the Austin American-Statesman's Community Choice Awards.

This is now Texas Original’s fourth location in Central Texas along with its headquarters and dispensary in South Austin, two other stores in Waco and San Antonio, and many others throughout the state.

“Opening a full-time pickup location that serves our growing community in North Austin and its surrounding suburbs is another step toward creating comprehensive medical cannabis access for all patients throughout Texas,” said CEO Nico Richardson in a release.

To celebrate the opening, Texas Original is partnering with a telehealth medicine clinic to offer free one-year prescriptions to 50 customers at the North Austin location on a first-come first-serve basis. Patients can visit the store this week to book an appointment with the telemedicine clinic’s registered physicians to receive a prescription for medical cannabis.

For more product information and hours of operation for all of Texas Original locations, visit texasoriginal.com. Hours of operation at Lakeline are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 am to 6 pm, with plans to expand to six days a week in the upcoming months.

Fantastic visuals and original story make The Creator a must-see sci-fi film

Movie Review

In the relatively risk-averse world that is modern Hollywood, getting an original story is a rarity. The vast majority of potentially blockbuster movies these days are ones that have a connection to some kind of existing intellectual property that already has a well-established track record. So anytime something interesting arrives that’s not a sequel/reboot/remake/commercial for a product, it deserves to be celebrated.

And that goes double when it’s done as well as the new sci-fi film, The Creator. The film is set in a post-apocalyptic world in 2065, 30 years after a sentient artificial intelligence detonated a nuclear bomb in Los Angeles. Joshua (John David Washington) is an American soldier who for years worked undercover alongside A.I.-enhanced robots, many of which are fitted with clones of human faces, to try to find their reclusive leader, Nirmata, in a part of the world now called New Asia.

A personal tragedy sends him into exile, but he’s recruited back into service by Colonel Howell (Allison Janney) to seek out and destroy a weapon that may turn the tide in the war for good. Turns out the weapon is a robot in the form of a child (Madeleine Yuna Voyles), and when Joshua discovers that fact, he finds it impossible to carry out the mission. Instead, he does everything he can to protect the girl he calls Alphie, with the military hot on his tail all the while.

Written and directed by Gareth Edwards (Rogue One) and co-written by Chris Weitz, the film is astonishing in a number of ways, but mostly for its ability to draw the viewer in visually. The CGI is amazingly believable, making it easy to immerse yourself in the storytelling. From a foreboding super-weapon in the sky called NOMAD to the futuristic landscapes to the whirring metal cylinders that appear to be the brains of the robots, the film is full of fantastic details that make it a feast for the eyes.

The concept of A.I. is increasingly being used as a storytelling tool, and here the filmmakers seem to try to play both sides of the fence. Many people in the film fear its capabilities, especially given the nuclear event. But by literally putting human faces on many of the robots, it becomes more difficult to see them as pure evil, a dilemma that’s at the core of the problem for both Joshua and the audience.

Washington, who’s fast becoming as reliably good as his father, Denzel, is the star of the film, and he does a great job in that role. But stealing the show every second she’s on screen is Voyles, who delivers a debut performance the likes of which hasn’t been seen in many years. She is utterly convincing and heartbreaking as Alphie; while the story may have worked with a lesser actor, she helps take it to completely different level.

Also putting in great work are Janney, who proves herself as badass and fearsome a military leader as any man; Mark Menchaca as her No. 2; Ken Watanabe as an A.I. robot; singer-turned-actor Sturgill Simpson as a friend of Joshua; and Gemma Chan, redeeming herself after the misfire of Eternals.

John David Washington in The Creator
Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios

John David Washington in The Creator.

The Creator could’ve earned praise simply by giving us an original sci-fi story. But by accompanying it with awe-inspiring imagery and performances that elevate the story immeasurably, Edwards and his team have made a film that will likely be remembered for years to come.


The Creator opens in theaters on September 29.