of the Holiday Season
Words by Savannah Whitmer Photos Courtesy of Zach Scott Theatre
The holidays are meant to be the happiest time of the year, but shopping crazes, in-laws, and new year diets aren’t always a recipe for good cheer. So this holiday season, take a seat and let someone else break a leg. Austin boasts some of the most creative people (and pets) in the world, and it’s time to let them take center stage.
1. The Muttcracker
Man’s best friend meets a ballet classic with The VORTEX’s canine rendition of The Nutcracker. The circus-style performance is of a breed all its own, featuring juggling, unicycling, a live, jazzy version of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, and some amazing stunts. This annual Austin favorite brings back returning stars: five clever rescue dogs, a talking scarlet macaw, and some talented VORTEX artists. The whole family is in for a treat! Experience The Muttcracker from December 21 to January 8 for a $25 general admission ticket, or a $15 discounted ticket for children, artists, students, and seniors.
2307 Manor Rd. | vortexrep.org
2. Shen Yun
How do you express the richness of five millennia of Chinese culture? It’s something only the Shen Yun performance can accomplish. This world-renowned revitalization of ancient Chinese dynasties is legendary in itself for its beautiful displays. Add in a one-of-a-kind symphony to the elaborate dances and costumes, and you can start to understand how Shen Yun evokes the power of centuries-old Chinese art and folklore. Experience Shen Yun at the Long Center January 5-7. Tickets start at $84.
701 W Riverside Dr. | thelongcenter.org
3. Soul of a Musician Series
Looking for a laid-back night out? Head over to the Iron Cactus restaurant for first three Sundays in December for an intimate encounter with Austin’s soul musicians. St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church pairs with the Mexican grill and bar for the church’s fifth year of celebrating passionate performances by local artists. Feast your taste buds on house favorites while you feast your love for soul on indie folk duo Dawn and Hawkes and longtime Soul of a Musician favorites Matt the Electrician and The Cotton Mather Christmas Show. Don’t miss out—Soul of a Musician series won’t pick up again until spring!
10001 Stonelake Blvd. | stmattsaustin.org
4. Christmas Belles
What do you get when you bring together Eastside theater talent, a Texas-sized story, and a twisted take on southern charm? This holiday season, you’ll get Christmas Belles, as put on by the City Theatre. If you’re looking for some comic relief amid the festivities, look no further than this must-see story about three sisters and a Christmas pageant gone wrong. Find tickets online starting at $10, December 1-30.
3823 Airport Blvd. | citytheatreaustin.org
5. The Nutcracker: Suite Dreams
A Christmas classic! The Austin Metamorphosis Dance Ensemble brings all of its talent to the Boyd Vance Theatre stage in this contemporary rendition of Tchaikovsky’s timeless ballet. Expect a magical holiday masterpiece that showcases the genre-blending abilities of local dancers for the fourth year running in the Land of the Sweets. Suite Dreams is showing December 8-10 at 2:30 and 7:30pm. Buy your tickets before the show for $20, or at the door for $25.
1165 Angelina St. | metamorphosisdance.org
6. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
ZACH Theatre breathes new life into C.S. Lewis’s children’s book with a rendition that’s anything but classic. Families will feel the magic of Narnia as just two actors take on this well-loved fantasy masterpiece on the intimate Whisenhunt stage. Catch The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe on Saturdays in December and January. Tickets start at $18.
202 S Lamar Blvd. | zachtheatre.org