Promo Video by Magic Spoon Productions: THE MUTT-CRACKER (SWEET!) by Circus Chickendog at The Vortex, Austin

(Video promo via Jose Lozano)

 The Mutt-Cracker (SWEET!) provides the most extraordinary original, holiday entertainment in Austin for the holidays at The VORTEX. A holiday, family-friendly, circus extravaganza featuring dogs! For all ages! This year’s production stars brilliant and talented rescue dogs including our newest stars, Dragonfly and Firefly. Darren Peterson brings his masterful juggling and unicycling, as well his gifted dog-training. We are thrilled to include the multi-talents of acro-artists Balyssa Ball and James Kent

Circus Chickendog returns to The VORTEX with The Mutt-Cracker (SWEET!). For the twelfth year, our favorite canines and circus artists transform The VORTEX for the holidays with a fabulously fun show for All Ages. 

The Mutt-cracker (SWEET!) is written and directed by Melissa McKnight. Tyler Mabry’s live original score also includes bits of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker Suite. Featuring Olivia Rose Mccain as Clara, Nicole Boyd as Trudy Ballerina, Patricia Wappner as Mom, Sherris Runcie as Squirrel, and Balyssa Bell and James Kent as party guests/circus performers. Vikki Schwarz on piano. 

Lighting Design by Amy Lewis. Costume Design by Pam Fletcher Friday. Choreography by Blaise Ricin. Stage Management by Fernando Lara. Production Manager, Katie Hamilton. Producing Artistic Director, Bonnie Cullum. 

The Mutt-Cracker (SWEET!) is funded and supported in part by VORTEX Repertory Company, Six Square Austin’s Black Cultural District, and by the City of Austin Economic Development Department. We are a proud member of ATX Theatre.

Circus Chickendog is an Austin-based troupe that has been entertaining audiences for decades. Previously featured nationally on David Letterman, Pet Star, and Donny and Marie (Osmond), Circus Chickendog performs regularly in Austin and around Central Texas. 

Six-time Ironman Darren Peterson received a BS in Mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin after interrupting his college studies for two years to join the Royal Lichtenstein Circus where he was the main juggler and unicyclist. After graduation, Darren taught High School math for three years and worked as an editor of math textbooks for four years. While editing math books, Chicken Dog began winning Disc Dog competitions, and Darren combined her tricks with his circus skills and became so popular that he no longer had time to edit math books.

The Mutt-Cracker (SWEET!)
by Darren Peterson and Circus Chickendog
Circus Chickendog

December 15 - December 30, 2023
The Vortex
2307 Manor Road
Austin, TX, 78722

Dec 15-17, 20-23, 26-30, 2023

4:30 pm and 6:30 pm shows

Live-Streamed Thursday, December 28th @ 4:30pm

ASL-Interpreted Wednesday, December 20th and Saturday, December 23rd

 The VORTEX, 2307 Manor Rd. Austin, TX 78722

INSIDE the theatre on the Eloise Brooks Cullum Stage!  

Free Parking (limited). Bus Route.

The Butterfly Bar @ The VORTEX opens nightly with hand-crafted cocktails and snacks.

Patrizi’s @ The VORTEX opens nightly with delicious homemade Italian food.

Tickets: $37, $27, $15 

RESERVED seating

$37 Benefactor

$27 Supporter

$15 Discount/Child/Artist/Student/Senior

$9.99 Livestream  or 512-478-5282

Advance Reservations Recommended.  Limited seating.

Blue Star Theatre: Discounts for Military, Veterans, and their families.

Radical Rush Free Tickets: Limited free tickets for each performance in the spirit of sustainability, accessibility, and the gift economy. Radical Rush tickets released at 7pm each night--in-person only.