- Arianna Auber American-Statesman Staff
1. Ballet Austin’s “The Nutcracker”
Opens Dec. 8. 7:30 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays, with additional performances Dec. 19-21, through Dec. 23. $19.20-$89. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. balletaustin.org.
At this point, Austinites know the tradition, but how beloved it has become. For the 55th year, Ballet Austin will dance the Tchaikovsky classic to life with choreography from the troupe’s visionary Stephen Mills and live accompaniment by the Austin Symphony Orchestra. The world’s best-known ballet will feature hundreds of dancers, breathtaking sets and costumes, all to tell the story of Clara Silberhaus and her journey on Christmas Eve night from her family’s holiday party to the confection-filled Court of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
2. St. Elmo Brewing’s 1 Year Anniversary
Noon to 8 p.m. Dec. 3. Free. 440 E. St. Elmo Road. facebook.com/events/518915248501249/.
The South Austin brewery is celebrating its first birthday with a bash and lots of beers. St. Elmo will also offer its first bottle release at the party: wax-sealed bombers of One: Anniversary Imperial Stout for $12. Only 250 bottles of the beer were made. The draft beer list includes mainstays like Carl Kolsch and special offerings like the Chef Soursop Sour and a Balcones barrel-aged version of one. Plus, bluegrass music will play live from a roster of St. Elmo’s Grassy Thursday musicians.
3. “Botanical Eclipse” at Davis Gallery
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday through Jan. 13. 837 W. Twelfth St. 512-477-4929, davisgalleryaustin.com.
In his latest series, on display at the Davis Gallery for a solo show, one of Austin’s best photographers, Matthew Fuller, demonstrates his versatility and wide range of photography skills to bring “Botanical Eclipse” to life. The show explores the constant, interconnected cycle of life forces flowing through our universe. He uses magnified images to depict both earthly life and cosmic events, and the vibrant color and an orb in each image call to mind the power of a full solar eclipse.
4. Reza Aslan
7 p.m. Dec. 5. $28. First United Methodist Church, 1201 Lavaca St . 512-472-5050, bookpeople.com.
Tickets are required to attend this author talk and book signing produced by BookPeople and featuring the New York Times bestselling author of “Zealot,” who is in town for his latest sprawling project, “God: A Human History.” In this book, Aslan uses layered prose to narrate the history of religion as one long and remarkably cohesive attempt of humanity to understand the divine. “God: A Human History” aims to challenge the way we think about the divine and its role in our everyday lives.
5. “Up and Vanished” Live
8 to 11 p.m. Dec. 6. $29.50. 713 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org.
Learn more about the hit podcast “Up and Vanished: The Investigation of Tara Grinstead” in its first-ever live tour. Host Payne Lindsey will play never-before-seen footage and exclusive audio from his two-year investigation into the disappearance of Tara Grinstead, a Georgia teacher and former beauty queen. He’ll also revisit the untold stories of season one. Have questions? There will be a live audience Q&A with Lindsey and other “Up and Vanished” contributors.
6. Ian Moore at Stateside at the Paramount
8 p.m. Dec. 7. $22-$28. 719 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org.
An Austin native who moved to the Seattle area a couple of decades ago, Moore still makes a point to visit his hometown often. He’s playing an acoustic show for his eighth annual holiday tour with stops at many cities in Texas and neighboring states. Most of the shows are solo affairs, but because his ties in Austin run so deep, he’ll have a few friends joining him on this night, including keyboardist Bukka Allen, cellist Brian Standefer, fiddler Warren Hood and singer Amy Nelson. — Peter Blackstock
7. Cherrywood Art Fair
10 a.m. Dec. 9 and 10. Maplewood Elementary School, 3808 Maplewood Ave. cherrywoodartfair.org.
We’ve got only one weekend to find locally made gifts this holiday season at the East Austin shopping spot featuring the works of more than 85 Austin artists. In addition to the artistic vendors, Cherrywood Art Fair has live music and entertainment from the likes of Sour Bridges, Jed Craddock, TKO Puppeteers and more, as well as food from truck vendors including Mmmpanadas, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Texas Chili Queens, Hat Creek Provisions and more.