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for Sun., Dec. 22
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    Theatre

    La Pastorela

    La Pastorela – a tradition since the 16th century, the annual yuletide play that's been performed all over Mexico and Latinoamerica – is adapted and directed by Teatro Vivo founder Rupert Reyes. This year, Clemencia Zapata returns as music director of the story of shepherds on a pilgrimage that pits them against angels and demons who test their strength and faith along the way.
    Through Dec. 22. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 2pm. $6-21.  
    • Arts

      Theatre

      A Christmas Memory

      The Alchemy Theatre, with permission from the Truman Capote Literary Trust, presents that author's beloved 1956 short story, featuring Luke Hill as the narrator, "capturing Mr. Capote’s richly detailed memories of his Depression-era, rural Alabama boyhood with his best friend – an eccentric, 60-something distant cousin with whom he baked fruitcakes each Christmas." Directed by Michael Cooper, who previously helmed Alchemy's excellent Waverly Gallery production.
      Through Dec. 22. Fri.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 2pm. $25-35.  
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      Theatre

      Five Lesbians Eating A Quiche

      An award-winning, off-Broadway laugh-fest that'll take you back to 1956 and the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein's annual holiday quiche breakfast. Delicious discoveries and cheeky innuendoes ensue, as presented by City Theatre Company.
      Through Dec. 29. Fri.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 3pm. $10-25.
    • Arts

      Theatre

      It's A Wonderful Life: Classic Radiocast

      This show from the Penfold Theatre gang, staged within Downtown's lovely Driskill Hotel, draws audience members back in time to 1946, as members of the KPNF radio station are assembling for a live radio performance of, well, you know: George Bailey, that angel Clarence, Bedford Falls, and where the band Zuzu's Petals got its name from? Yes.
      Sun., Dec. 22, 5pm. $30-45.  
    • Arts

      Dance

      Of Mice & Music: A Jazz Tap Nutcracker

      Tapestry Dance Company's Acia Gray starts it all off as Ms. Bon Marche, a dance diva who introduces little Clara to a world of dance by giving her a pair of tap shoes – and the journey begins with the Mouse King and his powerful style of contemporary rhythm tap leading an army of tapping mice in their battle against the Nutcracker. Performed to a jazzed-up version of the original Tchaikovsky score and beloved jazz classics, all played live by a group that includes Masumi Jones on drums, Eddy Hobizal on piano, and Michael Stevens on bass.
      Through Dec. 22. Thu.-Fri., 7:30pm; Sat., 2 & 7:30pm; Sun., 2pm. $34 and up.  
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      Theatre

      The Mutt-Cracker (Sweet!)

      Darren Peterson's Circus Chickendog returns to The Vortex for the ninth year, his company of five talented rescue dogs and a talking scarlet macaw unleashing a fun show for all ages to enjoy. Also featuring humans Patricia Wappner, Monica Kurtz, and Sandie Donzica, this year's live-music-enhanced spectacle of juggling and unicycling madness includes a special performance by the Famiglia Gentile.
      Through Jan 5. Fri.-Sat., 4:30 & 6:30pm; Sun, 6:30pm. $15-37.  
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    • Arts

      Theatre

      A Christmas Carol

      ZACH’s adaptation of the Dickens classic is a family-friendly spectacular, a musical sleigh ride through rhythm and time, infusing the traditional Victorian story with a score that spans all genres and eras. Directed by Dave Steakley, with musical direction by Allen Robertson.
      Through Dec. 29. Wed.-Fri., 7:30pm; Sat.-Sun., 2:30 & 7:30pm. $35 and up.  
    • Arts

      Theatre

      A Tuna Christmas

      City Theatre presents Scot Friedman and Rick Smith in the local classic brought to such sassy fame by Joe Sears and Jaston Williams back in the day. See what hilarity ensues in the lead-up to Christmas among the many zany characters (all of them played by just those two actors) in the tiny Texas town of Tuna, "where the Lion's Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies."
      Through Jan. 5. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 3pm. $10-20.
    • Arts

      Dance

      Ballet Austin: The Nutcracker

      From its vibrant sets and costumes to the impressive cast of more than 200 dancers, this colorful winter classic brings families and friends together every year to enjoy the world’s best-known ballet. Featuring choreography by Stephen Mills, with Tchaikovsky's score performed live by the Austin Symphony Orchestra.
      Through Dec. 22. Thu.-Fri., 7:30pm; Sat., 2 & 7:30pm; Sun., 2pm. $29 and up.  
    • Arts

      Visual Arts

      Carver Museum: Future Inhabitants

      The willful self-destruction of humanity by Earth’s most formidable species – humans – is the topic of New Orleans-born and Dallas-raised photographer Tia Boyd. Through a series of portraits, Boyd reveals "a surviving race of godlike women warriors who have come to terraform the planet for future inhabitants." And here's our full review of the show.
      Through Jan. 11
    • Arts

      Theatre

      Casta

      This is a Works Progress Austin production of Adrienne Dawes' new multilingual stagework featuring music, puppetry, and dance, inspired by a series of casta paintings by Miguel Cabrera. Directed by Jenny Larson for Salvage Vanguard.
      Sun., Dec. 22, 7:30pm. $5.  
    • Arts

      Visual Arts

      Davis Gallery: Looking Out, Looking In

      This is an extensive group exhibit focused on the personal philosophies of premiere Austin and Central Texas artists. Sacred geometry, the importance of family, life and death, our connection to nature, and spirituality are among the perspectives that the artists (Randall Reid, Sam Yeates, Jan Heaton, Faustinus Deraet, David Leonard, Denise Fulton, and John Sager, among others) have focused on. What a fine follow-up to that excellent "Lone Star Wild" show, and what a glorious way to bid 2019 farewell!
      Through Jan. 11
    • Arts

      Visual Arts

      J Gallery: Abstract Visions

      The Visual Arts League of Shalom Austin JCC presents four artists whose works display different techniques of abstraction: Patti Troth Black, Diane Sandlin, Jane Fier, and Ashley Mayel.
      Through Jan. 5
    • Arts

      Visual Arts

      Landmarks Video: Animation I

      Keith Sonnier’s videowork from 1973 is the latest to get the big-screen treatment in this ongoing series from your friends at UT's Landmarks program.
      Through Dec. 31. Daily, 7-10pm  
      ART Building, 2301 San Jacinto
    • Arts

      Theatre

      Saul Ravencraft: Ghosts of Christmas

      The enigmatic and wizardly Mr. Ravencraft reads the Dickens holiday classic A Christmas Carol in this show that's suitable for the whole family.
      Sun., Dec. 22, 8pm. $5-10.  
    • Arts

      Visual Arts

      Texas Biennial: Open Call

      The 2020 Texas Biennial Open Call is open to artists currently living and/or working in Texas, to Texas natives/expats working anywhere in the world, and to artists who have produced significant work in Texas over the last three years. Applications accepted online through Feb. 7. See website for details, yes.
      $20 application fee.  
    • Arts

      Visual Arts

      The Blanton Museum: Medieval Monsters

      From griffins and giants to demons and dragons, monsters have enthralled people throughout time. In medieval art and literature, these fanciful creatures give form to fears, curiosities, and fantasies of the unfamiliar and the unknown. This new exhibition, organized by the Morgan Library & Museum in New York, presents a lively array of monsters that appear in more than 50 illuminated manuscripts from the European Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Each of the three sections of the exhibition – "Terrors, Aliens, and Wonders" – will explore the ways monsters functioned as the embodiment of power, the representation of marginalized groups in society, or the inspiration for awe.
      Through Jan. 12  
    • Arts

      Theatre

      The Preacher's Wife

      In Robert King Jr.'s new stage adaptation based on Robert Nathan's 1930s novel The Bishop’s Wife, an angel comes to earth to help a troubled preacher over his midlife crisis, but is distracted by the cleric’s lovely young wife.
      Through Dec. 21. Fri., 7:30pm; Sat., 2:30pm. $15-20.  
      Mosaic Theatre, 11530 Manchaca Rd
    • Arts

      Theatre

      The Santaland Diaries

      David Sedaris’ irreverent and cynical Crumpet returns! The outlandish tale of a Macy’s elf merrily jingles to life in this holiday classic. With 75 minutes of rollicking (and not so politically correct) fun, this evening will delight adult elves who like things more naughty than nice. Directed by Nat Miller and reviewed here by Paul Beutel.
      Through Dec. 29. Wed.-Thu., 8pm; Fri.-Sat., 6:30 & 9pm; Sun., 7:30pm. $40 and up.  

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