ARTS: Theatre
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BIG CITY/little city

The two-in-one talents of Laura Freeman equal a night of devilish musical marvels from big-city wicked Luna Tart and little-city sweetheart Lurleen, both embodied with enough honky-tonk humor and vaudevilleian va-va-voom to knock a normal cabaret audience on their collective ass. 8pm. $10.

Spider House Ballroom, 2906 Fruth, 512/480-9562

Whoopi Goldberg

Character monologues like back in the day? Stand-up routines that don't shy away from important issues at hand? The multitalented Goldberg's got the stuff of performance legend, and we reckon tickets will go fast for this one-night show. 8pm. $49 and up.

Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside, 512/474-5664


Shakespeare at Ramsey Park

Something for Nothing Theater presents the Bard's comedic Two Gentlemen of Verona out there under the stars, directed by Chelsea Bunn and featuring "a different adoptable guest from Austin Dog Rescue each weekend as the incorrigible canine, Crab." Through May 18. Thu.-Sat., 8pm. 4301 Rosedale. Free.


This Hit from A Chick & A Dude Productions was an actual hit back in the day, winning a few local Payne awards even though it didn't have an actual set. Then it grabbed an award at the NY International Fringe Fest in 2005, and now, after ten years, Shanon Weaver's stark tale (of mobsters and a contract killing gone oddly wrong) returns with direction by Melissa Livingston-Weaver and a sharp cast. See our review here. Through May 18. Thu.-Sat., 8pm. Extra show: Wed., May 15, 8pm. $10-20. $15-25 ($10-20, Thursdays).

Hyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd, 512/921-4264,

Austin Latino New Play Festival

Orale! This year, three evenings of staged readings of three new Latino plays will be presented by Teatro Vivo and Scriptworks in the Long Center's Rollins Theatre. El Jardin Viviente by Ariana Mendez, directed by Ricky Ramon. Thu., May 16, 8pm. Quincea-What? by Caroline Dobson Chavez, directed by Lindsay Hearn. Fri., May 17, 8pm. Petra's Pastorela by Rupert Reyes, directed by Mary Alice Carnes. Sat., May 18, 8pm. $10 ($8, students). Three-day passes available.

Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside, 512/474-5664

The Chimponauts and the Mechanical Phantom

"Chimponauts," WTF? It's those musical savants of the Electronic Planet Ensemble again, back with their newest sight-and-sound spectacle: a sci-fi B-movie spoof, propelled by giant live-action puppetry, movement, video manipulation, and of course their signature electronic sound. "Signature electronic sound," WTF? We reckon: Sort of like Hawkwind as remixed by some genius Lebanese DJ on an Adderall bender. But see our in-person review here.Through May 18. Thu.-Sun., 8pm. $10-30 (2-for-1 admission w/ donation of 2 canned goods for SafePlace, Thursday & Sundays).

The Vortex, 2307 Manor Rd., 512/478-5282


Noises Off

Michael Frayn's 1982 comedy is, in the right hands, hilarious as it reveals the backstage antics and squabblings of a theatre company stumbling through troubled rehearsals, a dreadful first night, and a disastrous final performance. It's presented here by Austin Playhouse, with a stellar cast (David Stahl! Bernadette Nason! Hildreth England! And more!) directed by Don Toner. See our review right here. Through May 26. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 5pm. Austin Playhouse at Highland Mall, 6001 Airport Blvd. $28-37.


Happy Couple

James Venhaus' intense drama, featuring a couple who find a group of squatters occupying the house they first lived in, is directed by Karen Alvarado for Last Act Theatre Company. Through May 25. Wed.-Sat., 8pm. The White House Ranch, 3410 E. Pennsylvania. $12.


Gruesome Playground Injuries

Here's the Rajiv Joseph play, a FronteraFest favorite, that explores the lives of Kayleen and Doug, lives that "intersect at the most bizarre intervals, leading the two childhood friends to compare scars and the physical calamities that keep drawing them together." Starring Molly Karrasch and Benjamin Summers, directed by A. Skola Summers and Rommel Sulit for Street Corner Arts. Through June 1. Thu.-Sat., 7:30pm. Museum of Human Achievement, Springdale & Lyons. $10-25.


Austin Shakespeare: The Winter's Tale

The Bard's dark romance, as set down South America way? Yes, as directed by Ann Ciccolella, with choreography by Gustavo Simplis and Kaitlyn Jolly, and climaxing in a Brazilian Carnival with dancers and drummers. (Zounds! You'd think they were in cahoots with Central Market!) Through May 26. Thu.-Sat., 8pm. Free.

Beverly S. Sheffield Zilker Hillside Theater, 2206 William Barton Dr., 512/397-1463

Twelve Angry Men

A new production of Reginald Rose’s classic courtroom drama in which a jury decides the fate of a teenager accused of murdering his father. Directed by Karen Sneed for City Theatre. Through June 9. Thu-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 5:30pm. $15-25 ($10, Thursdays).

City Theatre, 3823-D Airport, 512/524-2870

The Brothers Merlin

Loaded Gun Theory presents this "comedic carnival of carnage" that's part Rocky Horror, part Freaks, with a little Abominable Dr. Phibes thrown in for good measure. It's a Frank Benge-directed stageshow where two brothers unearth a mysterious ancient secret to immortality, yes; but this isn't just a play, it's a night of wild characters and weird entertainments that also include magician Jack Darling, a roomful of pickled oddities, carny games and snack booths, and the Anna Larson and her Sleight-of-Hand Sideshow band. Through June 1. Thu.-Sat., 8pm. Extra show: Wed. May 29, 8pm. $18-28.

The Off Center, 2211-A Hidalgo, 512/476-7833

The Cruel Circus: A Trouble Puppet Show

Here's the newest work of dark whimsy, written and directed by Connor Hopkins, from the company that brought us The Jungle, Frankenstein, Riddley Walker, and Toil & Trouble. The professional Trouble Puppet team creates Bunraku-style tabletop puppets to embody this compelling and eerie drama for adults, with original music by Justin Sherburn, costumes by Monica Gibson, and, well, wow. Bonus: Pre-show performance by Cami Alys. Also: Look at the poster for this thing. Brilliant. Why? Because Jennymarie Jemison. Through May 25. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 6pm. $10-20.

Salvage Vanguard Theater, 2803 Manor Rd., 512/573-2540

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