The Exchange Artists present scenes from Clifford Odets’ Golden Boy, stitched together with sonic interstitials by the band Language Room – who then perform a full set of their music. Like this: "Short Play. Long Set. Big Party." 9pm. $5.
The way the Xenogians do spoken word, we're not sticking this in the Litera section: These are performances that explode from a stage, channeled by poets and actors who moonlight as TNT. A tightly controlled conflagration of hip-hop and jazz rhythms, this show offers a kaleidoscopic look at homophobia, racism, sexism, and classism. Thu.-Sat., Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 8pm. $10-30.
The Vortex, 2307 Manor Rd., 512/478-5282
Jon Robin Baitz's acclaimed drama – his Broadway debut in 2011 – is a complex of family secrets, lies, and betrayals playing out against a backdrop of Californian affluence and restraint. The cast boasts the talents of Lara Toner, Babs George, Rick Roemer, Jacob Trussell, and Bernadette Nason – directed by Don Toner for Austin Playhouse, currently staging their productions in Highland Mall. Through Feb. 24. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 5pm. 6001 Airport. $28-37 (student discounts available).
The big fierce Disney production returns to Austin with a roar like engines. This is the musical production that's loved even by people who dislike musicals, the Disney property cherished even by people who hate on the Mouse: A spectacular based-on-the-movie show that will undo your biases and touch you deep in that circle of life. Through Feb. 10. Tue.-Fri., 8pm; Sat., 2 & 8pm; Sun., 1 & 6:30pm. Bonus matinee: Thu., Jan. 17, 1pm. $29 and up.
Bass Concert Hall, 2350 Robert Dedman Dr., UT campus, 477-6060
Fronterafest's all over for another year, people, except for this Short Fringe: Best of the Fest part –and I'm glad to tell you that any night of this line-up is worth seeing, because you'll laugh, you might cry, you will be extremely fucking entertained at all times. [Full disclosure: I helped decide which shows got to be presented again this week.] And "Austin's Best Monologist" – it's true! – Steven Tomlinson debuts his new "How to Use Evernote" piece in the Wild Card Bill. You'd best hurry, though, because these nights (and one matinee) of no-fail theatrical enjoyment are selling out so fast you'd think they were Tim Doyle prints or something! See website for full schedule details. Wed.-Sat., Feb. 14-16, 8pm.
Jaston Williams, known to many Austinites as That One Greater Tuna Actor, is directed by Larry Randolph in this revealing and humorous Jay Presson Allen play about Truman Capote. Back at Zach after 12 years – by popular demand! Through March 10. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 2:30pm. $40.
Dave Steakley directs Moisés Kaufman's drama in which a present-day music-scholar mother struggling with her daughter is contrasted with Ludwig van Beethoven struggling with the demands of his genius. Zach Theatre's got somebody coming in from New York to play Beethoven, but this show stars Beth Broderick and pianist Anton Nel. Jan. 23-Feb. 17. Wed.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 2:30pm. $25-65 ($18, student rush tickets).