Comedy


Esther's Follies. A comedic experience in Austin for more than 40 years, Esther’s Follies has been entertaining sold-out audiences with its unique blend of political satire, sketch comedy and award-winning magic. Hailed as Austin’s version of “Saturday Night Live,” this show is filled with sharp, insightful comedy ripped right from the headlines. 8 p.m. Thursday, 8 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $20-$35. 525 E. Sixth St. esthersfollies.com


Art


Public Tours: Medieval Monsters at the Blanton Museum. 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 unknown. “Medieval Monsters: Terrors, Aliens, Wonders,” now on display at the Blanton, presents a lively array of monsters that appear in more than 50 manuscripts from the European Middle Ages and the Renaissance. 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Jan. 2. $5-$12. 200 E. MLK Jr. Blvd. blantonmuseum.org


Theater & dance


“The Mutt-Cracker (Sweet!)” Rescue dogs? Juggling? A talking macaw? You know what that means: Circus Chickendog returns to the Vortex for its holiday spectacular featuring furry friends. This year’s production — based on “The Nutcracker” and about a girl, Clara Marie, exploring the magical world of Doglandia — stars five talented rescue dogs, a talking scarlet macaw and their handler, Darren Peterson. 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. Jan. 2-5. $15-$37. The Vortex, 2307 Manor Road. vortexrep.org


Coming up


Jamie Amelio at BookPeople. “When's the last time you were bothered?” When philanthropist Amelio poses this question, she's talking about the big bothers, like how you feel when you learn that every day 1,600 children die from diseases directly linked to unsafe water or a lack of basic sanitation facilities. In “Staying Bothered,” she shows readers that every one of us is capable of affecting real, positive change if we just do one thing. She speaks and signs her book at this author event. 7 p.m. Jan. 3. Free. 603 N. Lamar Blvd. bookpeople.com


Gardening calendar


Fortlandia at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. The wild and creative forts of Fortlandia were so popular last year that the wildflower center is bringing them back through Jan. 26. Explore a new display of 10 original forts designed and built by local architects, designers and artists for the Mollie Steves Zachry Texas Arboretum. Inspired? You can even imagine, design and construct your own fort in the Fort Build area. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. $6-$12. 4801 La Crosse Ave. 512-232-0100, wildflower.org/event/fortlandia