Austin Chamber Music Festival. Friday: Cavani String Quartet with Michelle Schumann plays Brahms Quintet in F minor, Szymanowski Quartet No. 2, Beethoven Opus 18, No. 2. Saturday: Alt-jazz trio the Bad Plus. Sunday: Brentano String Quartet plays Beethoven Quartet in E flat major, Haydn Quartet in F major and Stephen Hartke’s ‘Night Songs for a Desert Flower.’ All concerts at 7:30 p.m. Bates Recital Hall, University of Texas Music Building, 2350 Robert Dedman Drive. $25 per concert. www.austinchambermusic.org.
‘Melancholy Play.’ Palindrome Theatre presents Sarah Ruhl’s contemporary farce, a wry meditation on suffering, love and life. Ruhl, twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, sets the action in a small town in mid-America whose cheerful residents are baffled by a melancholy stranger. Opens 8 p.m. Friday. Show continues 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 5 p.m. Sundays through Aug. 8. Austin Playhouse, Penn Field, 3601 S. Congress Ave. — Jeanne Claire van Ryzin