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Recommended arts: Café Antarsia and 'Over the Garden Wall,' 'A New Year's Conspirare Classic,' Voice Dance Company, 'There Was a Forest: Jewish Life in Eastern Europe Today,' Frontera Fest

Staff Writer
Austin 360

Friday and Saturday

Café Antarsia and 'Over the Garden Wall.' Live theater, live music. Playwright Ruth Margraff - who's Austin-made work includes the edgy operas 'The Cry Pitch Carols' and 'Stadium Devildare' - returns to town with her band Café Antarsia, a world folk cabaret group with undercurrents of Eastern European gypsy rhythms and blues. Before the gig, Margraff's new parlor play, 'Over the Garden Wall,' opens the show. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Salvage Vanguard Theater, 2803 Manor Road. $10. www.salvagevanguard.org.

'A New Year's Conspirare Classic.' Austin choir Conspirare celebrates the new decade - and its fifth Grammy nomination - with a splash of virtuosity including Richard Strauss' Deutsche Motette, an a cappella monument that at time divides into 23 separate parts. Also on the program, among other pieces, is 'My Little Green Cactus' in the style of Comedian Harmonists, a 1920s German male sextet famous for intricate vocal harmonies. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday. St. Martin's Lutheran Church, 606 W. 15th St. $38-$45. 476-5776, www.conspirare.org.

Voice Dance Company. Former Ballet Austin principal dancers Gina Patterson and Eric Midgley have created Voice Dance Company, which leaps into its debut performance. The award-winning Patterson premieres a selection of her new short works and also presents the Austin premiere of her critically acclaimed work 'My Witness.' 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Kleberg Stage, Zach Theatre, 1510 Toomey Road. $30-$40. www.voicedancecompany.org.

Saturday

'There Was a Forest: Jewish Life in Eastern Europe Today.' Fort Worth-based photographer Loli Kantor - a daughter of Holocaust survivors - presents her documentary photographs of the small and disappearing population of elderly Holocaust survivors in Eastern Europe. Kantor juxtaposes sepia-toned palladium prints with super color-saturate pigment prints. Opening reception: 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday. Exhibit continues through Feb. 27. L. Nowlin Gallery, 1210 W. Sixth St. Free. www.lnowlingallery.com.

Tuesday

Frontera Fest: Short Fringe. It's back! The fringe theater festival that could - and has for the past 17 years - kicks off with the Short Fringe. For the next three weeks on Tuesdays through Friday nights you find a four or five new plays or performances no longer than 25 minutes each. Then each Saturday, it's Best of the Week and the last week, February 10-14, it's the juried Best of the Fest. 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. Hyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd St. $12. www.fronterafest.org. - Jeanne Claire van Ryzin