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  • The Mutt-Cracker (Sweet!)

    The Vortex and Circus Chickendog team up to present this trained-animal homage to Tchaikovsky's classic for the holidays. It's family-friendly, all right, but it's not just for the kiddies: These are antics that even grown-ups will be delighted by, as the talented Darren Peterson goes all out with juggling, unicycling, giant bubbles, rope tricks, and puppets – as abetted by his circus dogs and a performing macaw. Thu.-Sun., Dec. 27-30, 5:30 & 7pm; Thu.-Fri., Jan. 3-4, 7pm; Sat., Jan. 5, 5:30 & 7pm. $10-30 ($5-15, kids)

    The Vortex, 2307 Manor Rd., 512/478-5282

    www.vortexrep.org

  • Museum of Natural and Artificial Ephemerata: House

    Witness all ye artlovers the Museum of Natural & Artificial Ephemerata's current exhibition of urban habitation, and enjoy a tour of their bizarre "impermanent collection" as well. Through Jan. 28. Saturdays, 1-4pm.

    Museum of Natural & Artificial Ephemerata, 1808 Singleton, 512/320-0566

    www.mnae.org

  • Tiny Park: Divergent Space

    Oh! The entire gallery's filled with the works of Leah Haney, and all we can do is stare in wonder, transfixed by the artist's exploded conflations of multidimensional perspective and architectural renderings on wooden panels and more. Smart, elegant, and with colors like Frank Lloyd Wright went on an Adderall bender and redesigned Bifrost. Through Jan. 5. Saturdays, noon-5pm, and by appointment. 1101 Navasota.

    298-9920

    www.tinyparkgallery.com, contact@tinyparkgallery.com

  • The Game's Afoot!

    Ken Ludwig's comical murder-mystery is subtitled Holmes for the Holidays, and of course you're familiar with that consulting detective. Here's an actor (Jason Newman) playing an actor (William Gillette) who's playing Holmes and who's shot onstage in mid-role. Things get even more complicated (and dangerous) at a weekend revel after the attempted murder, and – well, thereby hangs a tale. A fine cast is directed by Don Toner for Austin Playhouse (now in their temporary digs at the Highland Mall). Dec. 13-Jan. 13. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 5pm. Highland Mall, 6001 Airport. $15-37 (student discounts available)

    476-0084

    www.austinplayhouse.com

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