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Holidays officially close out with 'Muttcracker' shows

Arianna Auber
aauber@statesman.com
Austin Java celebrates a new location at Manchaca Road and Stassney Lane with a grand opening party on Jan. 5. [Contributed by Resplendent Hospitality]

Theater & dance

"The Muttcracker (Sweet!)." Rescue dogs? Juggling? A talking macaw? You know what that means: Circus Chickendog returns to the Vortex for its holiday spectacular featuring five furry friends. The Vortex's Melissa Vogt wrote the original script and is a featured performer, and the live original score incorporates the Tchaikovsky original. It's the final weekend to see this local favorite. 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. various dates through Jan. 6, with no 6:30 show Jan. 6. $15-$35. 2307 Manor Road. vortexrep.org/30_mutt-1.

Coming up

"Old Love" at ColdTowne Theater. "Old Love" takes real facts about your grandparents and spins them into heartfelt improvised comedy. Funny and poignant, uplifting and uproarious, the intimate evening at ColdTowne explores the evolution of a well-aged relationship, perfect for date night or anyone who cried at the beginning of the beloved Pixar movie "Up." 7 p.m. Saturday through Feb. 9, with additional 8:30 p.m. show Feb. 14. $10-$12. 4803-B Airport Blvd. coldtownetheater.com.

Austin Java's Manchaca Grand Opening Party. The local coffee shop chain opened its fifth location last month without fanfare, but that'll change thanks to this all-day celebration. In the spirit of the new year, Austin Java will focus on wellness and reaching those 2019 goals, all while having a great time. The event will include live music by Aubrey Hays Band, a CBD pop-up, complimentary bites, smoothie samples and so much more. 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Jan. 5. Free. 5404 Manchaca Rd. facebook.com/events/2216739708378908/.

"Matter at Hand" at ICOSA Collective. Don't miss the final two days of ICOSA's two-person exhibition featuring the work of Darcie Book and Sarah Hirneisen. Both artists push the boundaries of traditional art-making techniques. Through materials and process, they manipulate the familiar into unanticipated forms. Noon to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and by appointment. 916 Springdale Road. icosacollective.com.

Gardening calendar

“Organic Veggie Gardening 101.” The Natural Gardener is kicking off the new year with three classes about the basics of growing your own food. Instructor Linda Wall will lead the first one, and she certainly has the knowledge to do it. Wall grows much of her own food at her home in Spicewood, on land that has been in her family for four generations. Leading the latter two classes is Neil Schmidt, and he'll have different techniques and perspectives to offer than Wall. 10 a.m. Jan. 5-6, 8. Free. 8648 Old Bee Caves Rd. 512-288-6113, naturalgardeneraustin.com.

Tree Pruning Workshop. Trees provide us so much — shade, natural beauty, energy conservation. Learn how to keep them happy and healthy, with proper pruning technique from landscaping expert Coleen Dieter. 9 to 11 a.m. Jan. 5. $30. 4801 La Crosse Ave. 512-232-0100, wildflower.org.