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Things to do in Austin the week of Jan. 5-11

Arianna Auber
Pianist Orion Weiss will be the special guest performer at the Austin Symphony Orchestra’s first concert of the year. [Contributed by Orion Weiss]

1. “Rach Star: Music of Brahms & Rachmaninoff” with the Austin Symphony Orchestra

8 p.m. Jan. 10 and 11. $21-$100. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. 512-476-5664,

Let the Austin Symphony Orchestra take you on a trip around the musical universe as pianist Orion Weiss takes us on a ride through a constellation of a piece, known as Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3. It is feared by many pianists due to its difficulty. It was also the main piece in the movie “Shine,” in which Geoffrey Rush portrays a real-life character who tries to master the “Rach 3.” Arnold Schoenberg's orchestration of Johannes Brahms' Piano Quartet in G Minor is the other song being performed.

2. H-E-B Free First Sunday at the Bullock Museum

12 to 5 p.m. Jan. 5. Free. 1800 Congress Ave.

Beat back the early January boredom by exploring all three floors of the Bullock Museum on a day of free admission. In addition, the Bullock will have three hours of special activities themed around style for families. From 12 to 3 p.m., you can sing and dance along to beats with Groundwork Music Project and channel your inner designer and use fashion plates to create fun, bold looks, among other options.

3. “The Bachelor” Premiere Watch Party

6 to 10 p.m. Jan. 6. Free. 506 West Ave.

Catch the new season of “The Bachelor” at Irene’s weekly watch parties. Starting at 6 p.m. every Monday, you can snag a table and enjoy some rose-worthy specials and free tastings from the locally based Ethyl Ambrosia while watching the popular reality show. (Ethyl Ambrosia offers vegan Jell-O-like shots). Irene’s also will offer rose-decorated cupcakes each week. This season’s bachelor is Pete the Pilot.

4. Durawa, Los Texmaniacs at El Mercado Backstage

6:30 p.m. doors Jan. 7. $7. 1302 South First St.

A San Antonio native whose credentials include the Tex-Mex outfit Texas Tornados, drummer Ernie Durawa plays with his namesake band every Tuesday in the back room of El Mercado, which was redesigned a few years ago as a high-quality listening room for dinner shows. Durawa’s deep connections with Texas musicians allow him to bring in some high-quality guest artists. This week it’s San Antonio’s Grammy-winning Los Texmaniacs. — Peter Blackstock

5. “Drawing Tense” at Lora Reynolds Gallery

11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday through Feb. 1. 360 Nueces

For this exhibition of new work by Lucas Simões — the artist's second presentation — angular or curved shapes have been cut into blackened steel plates. They are essentially turned into elaborate paperclips that pinch, pull and compress his trademark stacks of tracing paper. In the Project Room at the gallery, Laddie John Dill’s “Contained Radiance Austin” is concurrently on display through Feb. 1.

6. Austin Playhouse’s “Tiny Beautiful Things”

8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday through Feb. 2. $18-$36. 6001 Airport

Based on the bestselling book by Cheryl Strayed and adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding”), “Tiny Beautiful Things” is a luminous play that personifies the unfathomable questions that are at the heart of being a human. When a struggling writer is asked to take over the unpaid, anonymous position of advice columnist, she receives thousands of letters asking for advice.

7. “Murder!: An Improvised Whodunnit” at Fallout Theater

7 p.m. Jan. 11. $12. online, $15 at the door. 616 Lavaca St.

There's been a murder! Was it Mademoiselle Louise in the cigar lounge with a crochet needle? Was it General Smallhat in the greenhouse with Babe Ruth’s lucky baseball bat? There's a chance you'll be able to figure it out even before the murderer does. Watch the mystery unfold during “Murder! An Improvised Whodunnit,” a one-hour comedy inspired by your suggestions. Each week will have a fresh victim, a new cast of suspects and a uniquely improvised adventure.