Close out the year with Willie Nelson, Vigilante game night and more


Close out the year with Willie Nelson, Vigilante game night and more

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A musical version of “A Christmas Story” is taking the Austin stage with many of the scenes from the movie, including the tongue on a freezing flagpole. Contributed

1. Willie Nelson & Family New Year at ACL Live

8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 9 p.m. Sunday (with Blackberry Smoke added to the bill). $99-$157. 310 Willie Nelson Blvd. acl-live.

This one’s too big for a single night. After Nelson began playing New Year’s Eve at this marquee downtown venue when it opened in 2011 (his statue presides out front), the event quickly grew into a two-night, and now three-night, affair. His sister Bobbie has always been in the band on piano, but this year it’s an even broader family affair: Willie’s sons Lukas and Micah Nelson open all three shows with their Promise of the Real and Particle Kid bands, respectively. The focus is fitting given this fall’s release of “Willie Nelson and the Boys,” which featured Willie, Lukas and Micah joining voices on a dozen country classics. — Peter Blackstock

2. Bars Against Humanity

7:30 to 10 p.m. Dec. 28. Free. Vigilante Gastropub & Games, 7010 Easy Wind Drive, Suite 150.

Ever played Cards Against Humanity with a bar full of people? Host entertainer Preston Swincher will lead the game, with each table competing to impress with their terrible sense of humor. Get the most cards selected by the host to win a Mark of the Vigilante, redeemable for a secret room rental at Vigilante. The cards will come from either Cards Against Humanity packs, custom packs, Vigilante’s own collection or from patron-submitted supplies — so you’re guaranteed a wide range of heinous humor.

3. “A Christmas Story: The Musical”

8 p.m. Dec. 29 and 30, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Dec. 30, and 1 p.m. Dec. 31. $26-$86. 701 W. Riverside Drive.

From the songwriting team behind the Tony Award-winning musical “Dear Evan Hansen” and the Academy Award-winning film “La La Land,” this weekend show at the Long Center brings the classic 1983 movie to hilarious, tongue-sticking life on the theater stage. You know the story, right? Set in 1940s Indiana, a young and bespectacled Ralphie Parker schemes his way toward the Christmas gift of his dreams — an official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle.

4. Banger’s New Year’s Eve Smoke Out

7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Dec. 31. Free. 79 Rainey St.

The Rainey Street bar is ringing in the new year in the only way Banger’s knows how — with a late-night smoke-out. The evening will include live music from Teddy Long, followed by a complimentary toast of Miller High Life, “the champagne of beers,” at midnight. For the more craft beer-minded, the bar will also tap Austin Beerworks’ Mr. Sparkle. Bangers’ smoke-out menu will feature smoked prime rib, charred swiss chard and potato au gratin.

5. New Year’s Eve Brunch with Jeff Lofton Trio

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 31. Free. Juliet Italian Kitchen, 1500 Barton Springs Road. 512-479-1800,

Juliet’s regular KUTX Live Jazz Series has featured jazz musicians from all over Austin. But for this special brunch, the Italian restaurant is bringing in local trumpeter, composer and band lead Lofton, widely regarded as a veritable jazz virtuoso. He’ll play while diners enjoy a brunch menu that doesn’t just include Italian dishes. Courses include gnocchi hash, truffle polenta and the American classic of biscuits and gravy. Juliet will also be hosting New Year’s Eve dinner.

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