10 Things You Have to Do This Holiday Weekend

Thu 12/22

click to enlarge WARNER BROS.
Warner Bros.

Among the sort of people who have time for that kind of thing, there’s an ongoing debate about whether Joe Dante’s gory creature-feature masterpiece Gremlins is really a Christmas movie or just a movie set at Christmastime. Meaning, Phoebe Cates’ tragic monologue about Christmas Day disappointment aside, is there enough of the true spirit of the reason for the season and blah blah blah gratuitously stuffed in between the scenes of Rube Goldberg-inspired anarchy and Tex Avery demon splatter-punk to fill the viewer with holiday cheer? But go to your neighborhood big box on December 24 and compare the Norman Rockwell-painted greeting card and Thomas Kincade snow village scenes to the overworked single mom pepper spraying a would be eBay impresario over the last Snuggles the Dream Puppy or whatever the hell, and you remember that there’s nothing red-and-greener than a Gremlin in a blender. $11.64, 7:30pm Thu, Alamo Drafthouse Stone Oak, 22806 Hwy. 281 N., (210) 677-8500, drafthouse.com. — Jeremy Martin

Thu 12/22
Queers and Beers 3: Make the Holidays Gay Again

A king is born … And adopted by a loving, career-minded couple. Queers and Beers are decking the halls of Paper Tiger with boughs of sexy fruitcakes and jingle beads. The party’s third incarnation continues to celebrate local LGBTQ acts, and there’s something for everyone this year. Introducing the resident snow queen of Tejas – that’s drag royalty, Miss Fonda Koxx – the starry showcase features Alyson Alonzo’s classic soul revival, Wayne Holtz’s gooey pop confections, Chris Conde’s daredevil tongue twisters and more. Beyond the feast of holiday tunes, BEAT AIDS will provide free HIV and STD testing on site. Ain’t nobody playin’ little reindeer games around here. Free, 8-11pm Thu, Paper Tiger, 2124 N. Saint Mary’s St., papertigersa.com. — Abby Mangel

Thu 12/22
Basquiat's Birthday

click to enlarge JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT
Jean-Michel Basquiat

Since way before the days of Kanye West fancying himself an art lover, even before the days of The Velvet Underground and Andy Warhol, artists and musicians have shared a special kinship, a sense of mutual admiration. In a nod to this kinship, Ventura is hosting a special show to commemorate the occasion of iconic artist Jean-Michel Basquiat’s birthday. Basquiat — who would have been only 56 this year, but for a heroin overdose that cut his brilliant life short at age 27 — was a neo-expressionist whose work resonates with many for combining elements of graffiti and primitivism with colorful abstractions and biting social commentary. The all-local bill for this show, an appropriate homage to the eclectic artist, will feature Mad One (hip-hop), At War with Dust and Antique Sunlight (folk), Tony Romero (jazz fusion) and Mockingbird Express (psych-rock). $3-$5, 8pm-2am Thu, Ventura, 1011 Avenue B, (210) 802-6940, venturasatx.com. — James Courtney

Thu 12/22 - Fri 12/23
Home Alone in Concert

click to enlarge 20TH CENTURY FOX
20th Century Fox

What’s up with John Hughes centering his movies around privileged white American suburbia? Amiright? Falling down a rabbit hole of ’80s movies recently, I started to notice similar themes: anxious white wealthy teenagers, unavailable parents and radical soundtracks that really gave these films life. While Kevin McCallister (played by Macaulay Culkin) is just a kid in the movie, Home Alone manages to fit all of these components, including a badass soundtrack scored by Star Wars composer John Williams. For two nights, our very own San Antonio Symphony will be serving us memories while they perform the score — “live to picture” — from a movie that hit theaters 26 years ago. $26-$67, 7pm Thu-Fri, The Majestic Theatre, 224 E. Houston St., (210) 226-3333, majesticempire.com. — Chris Conde

Thu 12/22 - Fri 12/23
A Charlie Brown Christmas

The Magik Theatre

In case you never realized it before, Charlie Brown is woke as hell. The beloved sad sack and focal point of the long-beloved Peanuts crew, who first appeared in a 1950 comic strip by Charles M. Schulz, is always questioning tradition, always looking for deeper meanings. Such is certainly the case in A Charlie Brown Christmas, perhaps the most cherished Peanuts installment of all, in which Charlie bemoans the commercialization of the holiday and wonders about the real meaning of Christmas. Hijinks ensue and, through a series of Bible verses read by Linus and one very special Christmas tree, the whole gang comes to feel the true spirit of the season. With the Magik Theatre’s stage adaptation, this 1965 classic comes to life in what promises to be a memorable experience for the whole family. $20-$30, 6:30pm Thu, 2pm & 6:30pm Fri, Charline McCombs Empire Theatre, 226 N. St. Mary’s St., (210) 226-3333, majesticempire.com. — JC

Fri 12/23
Ray Wylie Hubbard

click to enlarge COURTNEY CHAVANELL
Courtney Chavanell

Oklahoma-born singer-songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard is a ruffian, a roustabout, a scoundrel with a bit of a flair for earthy poetry and inappropriate uncle humor, a blues picker and a folk slinger turned Texas/Red Dirt country standard bearer. While he may not be as touted as some of the folks he came up with, amid the Outlaw Country boom of the 1970s, Hubbard’s hybrid music occupies a special place in the Texas music milieu. “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother,” Hubbard’s most beloved song, which gained popularity after its inclusion on Jerry Jeff Walker’s standout 1973 release ¡Viva Terlingua!, perfectly exemplifies the hallmarks of his best work: It’s a little bit country and a little bit rock, it’s funny and subversive, and it’s ideal for beer hall singalongs. $20, 8pm Fri, Gruene Hall, 1281 Gruene Road, New Braunfels, (830) 606-1281, gruenehall.com. — JC

Fri 12/23 - Sat 12/24

click to enlarge BARBACOAPPAREL

Facilitating the seasonal needs of workaholics, procrastinators and others who put holiday gifting on the back burner, Brickmas brings together an assortment of local favorites for last-minute shopping in the Blue Star Arts Complex. Hailed as “the final market of the season,” the two-day event encourages guests to “shop local, support handmade, and get the best gifts San Antonio has to offer” by snapping up screen-printed gems from BarbacoApparel, “chingona” offerings from the “one-stop Chicana stop” VeryThat, all-natural, soy wax candles from Karma Candle Makers, food-inspired polymer clay ornaments and jewelry from Sweet Craft and eclectic wares from 10 other vendors. Beyond satisfying seasonal gifting needs, Brickmas comes complete with a make-and-take ornament table courtesy of Crafthouse SA, a prop-filed holiday photo booth and pan dulce samples from Panifico Bake Shop. Free, 3-10pm Fri, 9am-1pm Sat, Brick, 108 Blue Star, (210) 262-8653, facebook.com.
— Bryan Rindfuss

Sweet Craft

Sun 12/25
Spurs vs. Bulls

Spurs Sports & Entertainment

After a lackluster effort against the Chicago Bulls earlier this month, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich criticized his squad’s effort with the no-nonsense disdain he generally reserves for members of the media. San Antonio responded with a 29-point drubbing of the Brooklyn Nets at home, after which Patty Mills declared that for these Spurs, there is “no more messing around.” Sunday’s Christmas Day rematch with the Bulls should offer NBA enthusiasts a competitive contest to enjoy after all the gifts are unwrapped, as the Spurs strive toward consistency on their home court. Boasting an All-Star trio of their own in Jimmy Butler, Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade, Chicago remains a dangerous opponent, particularly in crunch time where offensive options abound. $64-$1,600, 4pm Sun, AT&T Center, One AT&T Center Pkwy., (210) 444-5000, attcenter.com. — M. Solis

Mon 12/26
Great Russian Nutcracker

click to enlarge MOSCOW BALLET
Moscow Ballet

When it comes to taking in a production of The Nutcracker, San Antonians have options that range from the homegrown to the overblown. While most have already come and gone, Moscow Ballet’s signature Great Russian Nutcracker wraps up the yuletide season with a decidedly extravagant bow. Comprising 40 dancers trained in the world-renowned method created by Russian ballet mistress Agrippina Vaganova, the company has been touring North American every year since 1993 — performing in 80-plus cities, conducting workshops and welcoming aspiring youngsters to the stage through its “Dance with Us” program. Distinguished by 10-foot-tall puppets, nine dazzling, handpainted backdrops and “hundreds of exquisite costumes,” their over-the-top Great Russian Nutcracker takes a number creative liberties with the 19th-century classic scored Tchaikovsky and choreographed by Marius Petipa — including moving the ballet to the onion-domed city of Moscow, adding a Dove of Peace character and rebranding the fanciful Land of Sweets as the Land of Peace and Harmony. $32.25-$179.25, 3pm & 7pm Mon, The Majestic Theatre, 224 E. Houston St., (210) 226-3333, majesticempire.com.
— BR

Mon 12/26
A Christmas Story Movie Party

click to enlarge MGM/UA ENTERTAINMENT CO.
MGM/UA Entertainment Co.

Much like that other perennial cable-force-fed fave It’s a Wonderful Life, absolute inundation at holiday time has left many of us numb to just how fudged-up A Christmas Story truly is. If not for the gently sardonic nostalgia of screenwriter-narrator Jean Shepherd’s voiceover, much of this episodic reminiscence of childhood humiliation and disappointment would play like Truffaut’s 400 Blows with the occasional respite of a Fellini fantasy sequence. And, like Chekhov’s The Seagull, the viewer spends most of the runtime dreading the moment the protagonist inevitably shoots himself. Ho ho ho. Watch this truly deranged and subversive piece of American cinema the way so few of us have: on the big screen, sans-commercial interruption — and since it’s a Drafthouse presentation there’ll be prop-assisted audience participation portions and a Nerf gun fight. (Mom was right: BB guns are actually pretty dangerous.) $14.07, 6:30pm Mon, Alamo Drafthouse Stone Oak, 22806 Hwy. 281 N., (210) 677-8500, drafthouse.com. — JM

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