A GREAT WEEKEND IN AUSTIN

AUSTIN POWER Let me set you a scene, one I’ve participated in often during many a pleasantry-exchanging encounter: “So where are you from?” inquires a new acquaintance. “Austin,” I reply, with a smile on my face. “Oh, you must love it. Austin’s a great city.” Time and time again, I’ve found that such get-to-know-you chatter turns from just that to an oration, packed with glowing adjectives and anecdotes, on the greatness of the Capital City. Why all the oohing and aahing? Well, lots of reasons, for sure—the weather, the greenery, the music scene—but one of the primary explanations for such affection is a long weekend like February 19­22, when, between trips to the Capitol, the hike-and-bike trail, the shops and restaurants on South Congress, and the Broken Spoke, you can check out the following events. On Thursday, the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, an archival gem on the University of Texas campus, will present two programs of short films, Revolutions in Technique and Form and Dance, Dance, Dance: Image, Movement, Abstraction , at the Alamo Drafthouse as part of the rare-film series “Unseen Cinema: Early American Avant-Garde Film 1893­1941.” If you are interested in something a bit more mainstream, see The Phantom of the Opera at the Bass Concert Hall on Friday. Saturday marks the opening of “Jim Hodges,” an exhibit at the Austin Museum of Art that features some twenty multimedia installations by the New York­based artist who uses household objects to build his works. On Sunday afternoon, the Austin Wranglers take on the Tampa Bay Storm at the Frank Erwin Center for the first home game of the Arena Football League team’s inaugural season. That night Texas Folklife Resources presents This is It: The Ultimate Cindy Walker Tribute at the venerable Paramount Theatre. Musicians from HenHouse and Heybale will perform some of the Country Music Hall of Famer’s biggest hits, which were once crooned by the likes of Elvis Presley, Bob Wills, Ray Charles, and Bing Crosby. There really is no place like home. (See Austin.)

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