1. “Compassion” with the Austin Symphony Orchestra
8 p.m. Nov. 22-23. $21-$100. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. austinsymphony.org/events/compassion
November brings two amazing composers under the Long Center roof, one from the classical period and one from the contemporary period. The Austin Symphony Orchestra begins the evening with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Overture to La Clemenza di Tito” and moves onto his symphony “Linz.” After intermission is the return of Australian vocal sensation Lior, performing the breathtaking piece “Compassion.” Lior debuted the piece with the symphony in 2016 with an overwhelming response.
2. The Bloody Mary Festival
Noon to 3:30 p.m. Nov. 17. $45-$60. Fair Market, 1100 E. Fifth St. thebloodymaryfest.com/austin-11-17-19
Here’s the brunch party of the year. Your ticket includes 2 1/2 hours of enjoying Austin's most creative and innovative bloody marys, created by the likes of Snooze, Pitchfork Pretty and the Cavalier as well as bloody mary mix makers including the Bloody Buddy. Cast your vote for the people’s choice award. (A set of judges will also award a prize.) VIP ticket holders get to enter the festival venue an hour early, at noon.
3. BookPeople author event: Cecile Richards
6:30 p.m. Nov. 18. $17.99. Central Presbyterian Church, 200 E. Eighth St. bookpeople.com
From former Planned Parenthood president and activist Cecile Richards comes the young readers edition of her New York Times bestselling memoir, “Make Trouble.” The takeaway from her book: To make change, you have to make trouble. She will speak and sign it at this author talk where seating is first come, first served. Tickets include a copy of the book, which will not be available at BookPeople beforehand.
4. Doug Sahm memorial tribute with Durawa & friends at El Mercado Backstage
7:30 p.m. Nov. 19. $10. 1302 South First St. austinbackstage.com.
This week marks 20 years since we lost Sahm, one of the most important and influential Texas musicians. Drummer Ernie Durawa, a lifelong friend and collaborator, plays every Tuesday at the Backstage and is marking the occasion with an evening of Sahm’s music, featuring special guests Joe King Carrasco, Will Owen Gage, Billy Broome, Mike Barfield, Will Knaak and Speedy Sparks. — Peter Blackstock
5. Austin Beerworks Harvest Beer Dinner
7 to 9 p.m. Nov. 20. $70. 3001 Industrial Terrace. facebook.com/events/702689400140245
The Austin Beerworks barrel room hosts a five-course dinner, each dish created by ABW CAN-tina's chef Wes Knutson to pair with a special selection of the North Austin brewery’s small-batch and barrel-aged beers. The tentative menu includes dishes such as the roasted elk loin with the Sakuma Sour Brown Ale with cherries. You’ll even receive one of the barrel-aged beers to take home and savor at a later date.
6. “Saint Somebody”
8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday through Dec. 1. $22-$25. Trinity Street Playhouse, 901 Trinity St. melangetheatre.com/season.html
Mélange Theatre Company presents Rita Anderson’s play, based on real events. It’s about an African American deserter who wanders into the camp of the Irish Brigade near Gettysburg. A play about the women and other unsung heroes in the Civil War, “Saint Somebody” explores a part of history that has not been dramatized, confronting the brutalities of war and demonstrating love’s resilience and the necessity of hope to keep the spirit alive in dire straits.
7. Santa’s Arrival and Tree Lighting Ceremony at Hill Country Galleria
6 p.m. Nov. 23. Free. 12700 Hill Country Blvd. hillcountrygalleria.com/event/santas-arrival-and-tree-lighting/2145534434
There’s no such thing as Christmas cheer coming too early. The Hill Country Galleria launches the holiday season with the arrival of Santa Claus and the annual tree lighting ceremony. Enjoy holiday performances and face painting; plus, arrive early to shop at the new Hill Country Holiday Village. Official activities begin at 7 p.m., when Santa settles in for the season and singer Ingrid Michaelson provides live music.