It’s like no adaptation of “The Nutcracker” that you’ve seen before. Circus Chickendog returns with its “The Mutt-Cracker (Sweet!),” featuring six performing rescue dogs, a talking macaw and plenty of circus tricks all set to a jazz piano version of Tchaikovsky’s music.

This year, the Gentile 5, a family of acrobats, joins the show. These shows often sell out, so purchasing tickets in advance is recommended.

Details: Opens Friday. 6 and 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 4 and 6 p.m. Sunday through Jan. 3. The Vortex, 2307 Manor Road. $15-$35. 512-478-5282, vortexrep.org.