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
Susan Zeder's new play about a young boy struggling to make sense of a world at war, produced by UT's Department of Theatre and Dance (in partnership with Seattle's Children's Theatre), is directed by Linda Hartzell. See "Letting Go, With 'Peace,'
" for more. Through Feb. 10. Wed.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 2pm. B. Iden Payne Theatre, 2350 Robert Dedman
Celebrated playwright Yury Klavdiev joins the theatrical movers-and-shakers of Breaking String for a five-day Austin residency, featuring discussions of contemporary Russian theater – with David White of Generous Company, John Freedman of The Moscow Times, Pavel Shishin of Omsk's 5th Theater, and Maria Kroupnik (an indie producer in Moscow) – and staged readings and full productions of Klavdiev's work. And the whole shebang capped off on Sunday with a Golden Hornet Project concert of Prokofiev Miniatures! See the website for details, but especially don't miss the staging of Strike: Martial Arts and I Am the Machine Gunner, directed by Graham Schmidt. Thu.-Sat., Feb. 7-9, 8pm.
Salvage Vanguard Theater, 2803 Manor Rd., 512/474-7886
This fundraising party for Glass Half Full Theatre is a season-opener, hosted by Kelly Hasandras and featuring bikinis/ frocks that represent the disappearing ecosystems – designed and modeled by some of the most creative people in the East Austin theatre scene. Drinks, music, snacks, and all that wild fashion from the award-winning company that brought you The Orchid Flotilla and more. Sat., Feb. 9, 8pm. The Fort, 301 Chicon – Unit G. $10-20.
This music-driven theatre event focuses on the renowned singer, her music, and her musical influences, and will be produced by ZACH Theatre this summer, under the direction of playwright Randy Johnson. They're looking for singers/performers for all the roles right now – including Janis, Big Mama Thornton, and more. See website for details, and email (with headshot and résumé) for the required appointment. Tue., Feb. 12, 6-10pm. ZACH's Nowlin Hall, 1426 Toomey.
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 gangster-riddled Hit that was an award-winning hit for a chick and a dude returns, all revamped for the next clip in May. They're looking for a man (age: 40-60) to play the role of Ervin. E-mail headshot and résumé for appointment. Sat., Feb. 23.
The Trinity Street Players present John Cariani’s romantic comedy, directed by Cathy Jones, just in time to spark your Valentine's Day dreams. Through Feb. 17. Fri.-Sat., 7:30pm; Sun., 2:30pm. 901 Trinity.
The hilarious Long-Singer-Winfield deconstruction and twisting of Sweet William's oeuvre gets a fresh airing from the Paradox Players, featuring Jason O'Brien, Cameron Bergeron, and Michael Jastroch(!) under the direction of Ben Schave. Through Feb. 24. Fri.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 3pm. $15 ($10, students, seniors).
First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4700 Grover, 512/452-6168
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.
Hyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd, 512/479-7529
This Austin Shakespeare
production of Noel Coward’s provocative comedy of 1933, directed by Ann Ciccolella
, stars Martin Burke
, Helen Merino
, and Michael Miller
as a romantically entangled trio of artists. Featuring chanteuse Kara Bliss
and pianist Jason Conner
performing Coward songs. Here, see what the Chronicle's Jillian Owens thought of it
. Through Feb. 24. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 3pm
Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside, 474-5664
's heartwrenching drama about an adulterous seven-year affair that's presented backward – from end to beginning – is directed by Andrew Black for Chaotic Theatre Company. See what Dan Solomon said about it here
. Through March 2. Thu.-Sun., 8pm
The Off Center, 2211-A Hidalgo, 512/476-7833
Ahoy, wannabe Sherlocks! This is Alan Ayckbourne's ingenious murder mystery in which the killer is different for each performance – but maybe you can figure it out from the clues provided? The sizzling comedy whodunit's is directed by Frank Benge out Round Rock way. Through March 2. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 2pm. $13-18 ($10, children).
Sam Bass Community Theatre, 600 N. Lee St., 512/244-0440
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.
Zach Theatre, 1510 Toomey, 476-0541
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).
Zach Theatre, 1510 Toomey, 476-0541