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Things to do in Austin on Thursday, Jan. 16

Arianna Auber
Lowell Bartholomee, Barbara Chisholm Faires and John Christopher star in the Austin Playhouse production "Tiny Beautiful Things." [Contributed by Errich Petersen Photography]


Writers' League of Texas Third Thursday. The word “relatability” gets thrown around a lot in discussions of great characters, but the most memorable characters in many novels, films and TV shows are the villains. Imagine “Les Miserables” without Inspector Javert or “Star Wars” without Darth Vader. In this panel discussion, authors will discuss their favorite villains in literature and strategies for making their own literary baddies as wonderfully bad as possible. 7 p.m. Jan. 16. Free. BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd.

Theater & dance

Austin Playhouse’s “Tiny Beautiful Things.” Based on the bestselling book by Cheryl Strayed and adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos, “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. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday through Feb. 2. $18-$36. 6001 Airport Blvd.


“Space Is a Reality” at Grayduck Gallery. Using sculpture and installations made with both natural and manufactured materials, Spanish artist Ana Esteve Llorens presents a new group of works that investigate the reality of space as a sensory experience. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday through Feb. 23. 2213 E. Cesar Chavez St.

Pop-Up Exhibition: “Lone Stardom” at the Blanton Museum. This one-day pop-up features printed works by just as diverse a group of artists, mediums and styles as the great lands of Texas. The legends of Texas cowboys and longhorns run deep, but what about the brightly lit bustling cities, the rolling plains and painted canyons, the towering pines and swampy bayous, the crashing ocean waves on sandy beaches? Artists including Luis Jimenez and Robert Rauschenberg will illuminate these as part of a PrintAustin event. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 16. Free. 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Gardening calendar

Native & Adapted Perennials With Reeve Hobbie: Austin Pond Society's Monthly Meeting. Hobbie, a local, certified master gardener hosts this lecture about native and adapted perennials. In Central Texas, it is always best to garden using plants that will tolerate our wicked summer heat, native soil and infrequent rain. The presentation will cover many of the tried-and-true perennials that can thrive in our climate and soil with minimal care. 7 to 9 p.m. Jan. 16. Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road.

The 18th Annual Fruits, Nuts, and Berries Workshop. The Natural Gardener brings back Jim Kamas, associate professor at Texas A&M, for this very popular workshop on fruits, nuts and berries. Kamas covers all aspects of home orchard production, from variety selection to pruning and harvesting. 10 a.m. Jan. 16. Free. 8648 Old Bee Cave Road.