Theater & dance
“Christmas Belles.” The City Theatre is producing this Texas-set comedy, written about a church Christmas pageant that spins hilariously out of control. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. $10-$25. 3823 Airport Blvd. citytheatreaustin.org.
“A Christmas Carol.” This Zach Theatre tradition is back for the fourth year running, though it’s not quite as fans of Charles Dickens’ book will remember it. Zach’s production combines new songs and reimagined carols with traditional Victorian setting and costumes. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday. $25-$150. 202 S. Lamar Blvd. zachtheatre.org.
“A Christmas Carol: A New Musical.” This new musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel, playing at the Georgetown Palace Theater, features original songs along with the familiar carols and songs of Christmas that we all want to hear. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 810 S. Austin Ave., Georgetown. georgetownpalace.com.
“J’oy Vey.” The Trinity Street Players’ holiday show, a comedy with both Christmas and Chanukah nods, centers on a fierce competition between two grandmas — Gammy Leigh and Bubbie Arlene — competing for the love and attention of their grandbabies. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday. Free. Black Box Theater, 901 Trinity St. trinitystreetplayers.com.
“Mutt-cracker (Sweet!).” Buy your tickets as soon as possible to this family-friendly circus extravaganza from Circus Chickendog featuring five talented rescue dogs, a talking scarlet macaw and their owner’s juggling and unicycling skills. The endearing production will recount “The Nutcracker” tale. 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. on various dates through Jan. 6. $15-$35. The Vortex, 2307 Manor Road. vortexrep.org.
“The Santaland Diaries.” David Sedaris’ work, adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello, serves as a wry and witty look at the combination of retail hell and theatrical spectacle that has become the holiday season, and the Georgetown Palace Theater is offering it as a Christmastime treat for adults. Various dates and times through Dec. 30. $23-$35. 810 S. Austin Ave., Georgetown. georgetownpalace.com.
“A Tuna Christmas.” Zach Theatre is kicking off its yuletide season in Tuna, the third smallest town in Texas, with this holiday favorite produced in collaboration with the Paramount Theatre. Co-creator Jaston Williams directs the actors from the recent hit tour of “Greater Tuna,” who play all 25 colorful citizens. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday. $30-$88. 1421 Riverside Drive. zachtheatre.org.
Art for the People. “3Ps (Pets, People, Places).” The multi-artist exhibit at Art for the People began as an idea to acknowledge gratitude for companion animals and expanded to include all animals and other entities that make a difference in the world, with a total of 55 local artists participating. Noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, and Tuesdays by appointment, through Jan. 27. 1711 S. First St. artforthepeoplegallery.com/exhibitions/3ps-pets-people-places.
Art on 5th. This exhibit features pieces related to the blockbuster “Star Wars” franchise, the latest film of which is hitting theaters. “The Fine Art of Star Wars” includes original canvas works, limited-edition giclees, vintage film posters and other collectibles. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday through Jan. 7. 3005 S. Lamar Blvd. arton5th.com.
Blanton Museum. “Austin Collects Contemporary: Selections from the Blanton’s Recent Gift from The Contemporary” celebrates the Contemporary Austin’s recent gift to the Blanton and underscores both galleries’ commitment to building a world-class collection of contemporary art in Austin. Through Dec. 30. “The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip.” This multi-artist exhibit explores the photographic road trip as a genre and America as an imaginative resource, presenting the stories of photographers for whom the American road was muse. Through Jan. 7. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. $5-$9. 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. 512-471-5482, blantonmuseum.org.
The Contemporary Austin. John Bock’s “Dead + Juicy” centers around a film newly commissioned by the Contemporary Austin that was shot in and around Austin. The Jones Center also brings together new and existing work from Wangechi Mutu, anchored by a new, site-specific edition of “Throw,” an action painting generated by a performance in which Mutu throws black paper pulp against the wall, creating an abstract composition that dries, hardens, and then degrades over time. Both exhibits through Jan. 14. Plus new works in the sculpture park at Laguna Gloria. Jones Center, 700 Congress Ave. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Laguna Gloria, 3809 W. 35th St. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday (gallery); 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday (grounds). $3-$5 (free on Tuesdays). 512-453-5312, thecontemporaryaustin.org.
Davis Gallery. “Botanical Eclipse.” In his latest series, on display for a solo show, artist Matthew Fuller explores the constant, interconnected cycle of life forces flowing through our universe by creating magnified images of both earthly life and cosmic events. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday through Jan. 13. 837 W. Twelfth St. 512-477-4929, davisgalleryaustin.com.
Grayduck Gallery. “Practical Acts of Perception.” The works presented by Cande Aguilar, Mauricio Sáenz and Jorge Purón in this exhibit all play with the concept of scale — using proportion as a device to augment or degrade the viewer’s perspective. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday through Jan. 14. 2213 E. Cesar Chavez St. grayduckgallery.com.
Icosa Collective. “Tiger Strikes Austin.” The gallery’s last show of the year is a collaboration with artist-run spaces in Los Angeles — Tiger Strikes Asteroid and Monte Vista Projects — marking an effort to work with other groups sharing the same self-determining and organizing philosophy. Noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays or by appointment through Jan. 6. 702 Shady Lane, Suite 190. icosacollective.com.
Link & Pin. “Heads in the Clouds.” The latest art from Jeffrey Butterworth depicts what a seemingly normal existence can yield, not shying away from flatulence, sex-crazed middle-age men and cats with breasts. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Link & Pin, 2235 E. Sixth St. #102. 512-900-8952, linkpinart.com.
Lora Reynolds Gallery. “The Last Tree on the Planet.” Jason Middlebrook’s fourth show features his new sculptures and drawings, inspired by a scene in the recent blockbuster “Blade Runner 2049” that depicted the last tree on earth. By isolating his paintings from the slabs of wood he typically paints on, he is imagining a world without trees. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday through Feb. 3. 360 Nueces St. Suite 50. lorareynolds.com.
North Hills Art Gallery. “Season’s Jewels.”Members of the more than 50-year-old Capitol Art Society group will have their work on display. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to noon Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday through Jan. 2. 7050 Village Center Drive. 512-345-4546, nwhillsumc.org.
The People’s Gallery. 13th Annual Exhibition. The People’s Gallery in City Hall features a wide array of painting, sculpture, drawing and other media by nearly 90 artists across Central Texas. 7:45 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday through early January 2018. Austin City Hall, 301 W. Second St. Free. 512-974-7700, austintexas.gov/department/peoples-gallery.
Ransom Center. “Mexico Modern: Art, Commerce and Cultural Exchange, 1920-1945.” The Ransom Center’s newest exhibition “explores two decades of dynamic cultural exchange between Mexico and the United States.” 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday (Thursday until 7 p.m.), noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Jan. 1. Free. 300 W. 21st St. 512-471-8944, hrc.utexas.edu.
Stephen L. Clark Gallery. “Notes on the Universe.” The internationally acclaimed photographer and Lamar University professor Keith Carter will show off his recent works, which attempt to reflect hidden meanings in the real world. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday through Jan. 13. 1101 W. Sixth St. artnet.com/galleries/stephen-l-clark-gallery/.
Texas Folklife. “The Master & The Apprentice: Highlights from the Texas Folklife Apprenticeship Program” features tools, instruments, finished works, photographs, audio, video and other documentation to show off the success of the apprenticeship program. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday through Jan. 12. 1708 Houston St. 512-441-9255, texasfolklife.org.
Women and Their Work. “Good Days & Bad Days on the Internet.” In this solo show, Rachel Stuckey dissects the emotional pull of technology — our dependence on it and fears of what it can be used for — using video, site-specific projection, and custom software. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, noon to 6 p.m. Saturday through Jan. 11. 1710 Lavaca St. 512-477-1064, womenandtheirwork.org.
Yard Dog Art Gallery. “Odd Pottery” is a collection of new works by Waxahachie potter Carl Block, who takes the Southern folk art face jug in a very contemporary direction — equal parts Appalachian tradition and tattoo shop irreverence. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. 1510 S. Congress Ave. 512-912-1613, yarddog.com.
“I Heart the 80s.” The Austin Symphony Orchestra is transporting audiences back to the 1980s with a show of classics from the decade by George Michael, Cyndi Lauper, David Bowie and Michael Jackson, to name a few. Vocalists Jessica Phillips and Tony Vincent join the symphony for hits like “Footloose,” “Born in the U.S.A.,” “Holiday” and “1999.” 8 p.m. Dec. 29-30. $30-$55. Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road. austinsymphony.org.
NEW THIS WEEK
Theater & dance
“A Christmas Story: The Musical.” From the songwriting team behind the Tony Award-winning musical “Dear Evan Hansen” and the Academy Award-winning film “La La Land,” this weekend show at the Long Center brings the classic 1983 movie to hilarious, tongue-sticking life on the theater stage. 8 p.m. Dec. 29 and 30, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Dec. 30, and 1 p.m. Dec. 31. $26-$86. 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org.
COMEDY THIS WEEK
Cap City Comedy Club. Ron Funches, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday, $25-$70. New Year’s Eve show tickets include passes to return in 2018. Ian Bagg, 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, $12-$19. 8120 Research Blvd. No. 100. 512-467-2333, capcitycomedy.com.
ColdTowne Theater. The Burbank Comedy Festival showcase comes to Austin for one night only and will feature 25 local musicians each performing three minutes of their best stand-up in front of a live audience, as a means of auditioning for a spot in the festival next year. 6:30 to 8 p.m. Dec. 30. $15. 4803 Airport Blvd. coldtownetheater.com.
Esther’s Follies. It’s the Holly, Jolly Follies — the most wonderful time of the year. At least it is at Esther’s, where the performers are turning their comedic sights on holiday tradition and dysfunction in the White Houe with “A Trump Family Christmas” and “The Trump Wives Club.” Esther’s troupe will also roll out its annual “Esther’s Follies Dysfunctional Family Holiday” with burnt ham, stiff drinks and family secrets. 8 p.m. Thursday, 8 and 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday in December. $25-$35. 525 E. Sixth St. 512-320-0198, esthersfollies.com.
The New Movement. “F*** This Year: A Year End Show from FTW,” 9 p.m. Saturday. Plus more improv and stand-up shows throughout the week. $7-$10. The New Movement, 616 Lavaca St. 512-696-2590, newmovementtheater.com.
The Velveeta Room. Matthew Broussard with Vanessa Gonzalez, 9 and 11 p.m. Friday. $10. 521 E. Sixth St. 512-469-9116, thevelveetaroom.com.