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The Best Theatre, Dance and Comedy to See in Austin This Fall

As the weather cools, Austin’s best performing arts are heating up

The Book of Mormon (photo by Julieta-Cervantes)

Fall is here, and Austinities are breathing a collective sigh of relief as cool mornings return and festive celebrations of the season begin. It’s officially spooky season, and the city has plenty of eerie events, from plays that explore the art of the seance to vampirish cabaret. Plus, there’s celebrations of Día de los Muertos, Broadway’s best on local stages, comedy from one of our favorite Queer Eye guys, and much more. Find your favorite performing arts events coming to Austin in October and November below. 

(photo courtesy of Austin Symphony Orchestra)

Performing arts opening in October

“All Souls Cabaret” by Austin Playhouse
Oct. 20-21 at 8 p.m., Oct. 22 at 5 p.m. Austin Playhouse West Campus, 405 W. 22nd St. $35-$180

Get the creepy crawlies — in a good way — at an evening of ghoulish cabaret. Let the Austin Playhouse Company and their live band serenade you with songs of murder, mayhem, and the morose to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve.

“Happy Birthday, By George!”
Oct. 20-21 at 8 p.m., Long Center’s Dell Hall, 701 W. Riverside Dr.  

Join the Austin Symphony Orchestra in celebrating one of the most iconic compositions from master American composer George Gershwin: “Concerto in F.” Renowned pianist Yifei Xu takes the stage with Gershwin’s “Lullaby,” and later moves into the soundscapes of Italian composer Ottorino Respighi.

Jonathan Van Ness: Fun & Slutty
Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. The Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave. $55.

Beloved member of Queer Eye’s Fab Five and hometown hero (JVN moved to Austin after they filmed the show’s season here because they loved it so much) brings their comedy tour to the Paramount. You’ll probably get to see him do some flips onstage too!

The Thin Place
Oct. 25-Nov. 26 at varying times. ZACH Theatre, 201 S. Lamar. $26-$77.

Do you believe in spirits? Explore the tremulous line between this world and the next one in a night of theater that veers into a seance, and open your mind to the possibility of communicating with those beyond this realm.

Decapitations by Megan Tabaque
Oct. 28 at 6:30 p.m.; Oct. 29, 31 and Nov. 1, 3-5 at 7:30 p.m. Rogge Ranch House, 3506 Rogge Lane. $15-$100.

If you think you’ve done and seen all that spooky season in Austin has to offer, think again. Experience an interactive, outdoor, diasporic ghost story with Salvage Vanguard Theater, a nonprofit dedicated to experimental theater: When a dog goes missing on the week of Halloween, the Santos family is thrown into a homeowners dispute at the same time they’re mourning the family matriarch. Something supernatural ensues.

Songs from West Side Story
Oct. 29, Parker Jazz Club, 111 W 4th St. at 7:30 p.m. $45-$50.

Stephen Sondheim penned the lyrics of the Broadway classic West Side Story when he was just 27. Revel in the halcyon pairing of Sondheim’s lyrics and Leonard Bernstein’s melodies as some of Austin’s greatest performers belt out songs you know by heart.

RELATED: Dinner and a Show: Top Restaurants Around Austin’s Performing Arts Venues

Dia de los Muertos celebration (photo courtesy of Waterloo Greenway)

Performing arts opening in November

Día de los Muertos 2023
Nov. 1 at 6-10 p.m. Moody Amphitheater at Waterloo Park, 1401 Trinity St. Free.

Celebrate life and honor the dead at this community cultural gathering. Take in ballet folklorico and mariachi performances, grab a bite at food trucks including Veracruz All-Natural, peruse the Latinx artisan market, and keep your loved ones close by placing an object on the ofrenda.

Ofrenda: A Día de los Muertos Celebration by CirqueVida
Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. Fierce Whiskers Distillery, 5333 Fleming Ct. $35-$55.

Día de los Muertos takes to the sky in this aerial performance from CiqueVida. Delight in a night of circus acts such as contortionists, dance, mariachi, live poetry artists, and cocktails from Fierce Whiskers Distillery in their venue that has plenty of wide open space under the moonlight. 

Dance Repertory Theater presents “Fall for Dance” 

Nov. 9-11, 15, and 17 at 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. The University of Texas at Austin, Oscar G. Brockett Theatre, 300 E. 23rd St. $10-$26.

See the future of dance come to life with original choreography from UT’s creative class in this special performing arts event, with performances by faculty, guest artists, and undergraduate students.

The Sound of (Black) Music
Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. Hartman Concert Lawn, 701 W. Riverside Dr. $45.

Celebrate Black excellence with this Afrofuturist reimagining of the classic musical that centers BIPOC musicians and performers. The original score is infused with jazz, soul, funk, hip-hop, and other elements that praise the impact of Black music in American culture.

The Book of Mormon
Nov. 14-19 at varying times. Bass Concert Hall, 2350 Robert Dedman Dr. $40-$150. 

Ding dong! The winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical is heading to Austin to share the good news about a book that will change your life! Laugh along to the raunchy comedy brought to you by the same guys who created South Park.