Gale Theatre Company and Bottle Alley Theatre Company use dance, video, and physical theater to tell "the story of Florence Lawrence, America’s 'First Movie Star'" in this site-specific presentation. Directed by Katherine Wilkinson, choreographed by Celina Chapin. Thu.-Sun., Dec. 6-15, 8pm. Sparky Park Substation, 3701 Grooms. $10-25.
Broadway in Austin presents this winner of four 2010 Tony Awards (including Best Musical), about "a radio DJ who wants to change the world and a club singer who is ready for her big break." Dec. 10-15. Tue.-Fri., 8pm; Sat., 2 & 8pm; Sun., 1 & 7pm. $25 and up.
Bass Concert Hall, 2350 Robert Dedman Dr., UT campus, 512/477-6060
Patrick Rainville Dorem and Bill Francoeur adapt E.T.A. Hoffman's story, adding lyrics to Tchaikovsky’s famous music. Dec. 12-15. Thu.-Sat., 7:30pm; Sun., 2:30pm. $5.
Bastrop Opera House, 711 Spring St., 512/303-6283
A collaboration between Glass Half Full's amazing Caroline Reck and that golden-throated banshee of weird brilliance named Cami Alys? Hell, we don't even need to know that "renowned Victorian lady scientist Amelia Wetherbeaten and intrepid lady explorer Eleanor Dangerbottom have traveled to the nether creases of the earth and run their voluminous skirt hems over the dusty bottoms of creation to present you with their collection of human (and inhuman) travel curios." (But: Whoa.) And Jay Byrd and Noel Gaulin are abetting the ladies' scientifico-bawdy endeavors? Bonus! And Connor Hopkins is doing some of the puppetry here? Bonus! Oh! All my tubes and wires! And careful notes! Such as: RECOMMENDED. Thu.-Sat., Dec. 12-14, 8pm. $10-20.
Salvage Vanguard Theater, 2803 Manor Rd., 512/474-7886
This show has nothing to do with the late Gertrude Yorkes or her Deinonychus, except that it's – of course – where that pair got their battle names. This is Joseph Kesselring’s macabre comedy in which drama critic Mortimer Brewster, intent on marriage, must deal with his crazy, homicidal family – among them, two spinster aunts who've been killing old men. Directed by Norman Blumensaadt for Different Stages. Bonus: Jennifer Underwood and Karen Jambon star as the murderous Brewster sisters. Through Dec. 14. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 7pm. Extra show: Wed., Dec. 11, 8pm. $15-30.
The Vortex, 2307 Manor Rd., 512/478-5282
A classic Agatha Christie murder mystery takes the stage to the heights of sleuthing and terror. See: Ten strangers, each with a dark secret, are summoned to the island mansion of an eccentric millionaire, but when the guests arrive their host is nowhere to be found … and the guests are being killed one by one. A terrific cast is directed by Lara Toner for Austin Playhouse, and you know somebody is gonna get out alive … right? Through Dec. 22. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 5pm. Austin Playhouse at Highland Mall, 6001 Airport, 512/476-0084. $28-35 (half price, students).
Staying in touch via social media? What happens when relationships never have to have an expiration date? This play by Will Arbery, created in collaboration with Lisa Szolovits, Shelley Fort, Elly Smokler, and Emilie Soffe for Poison Apple Initiative may answer those questions in ways that will surprise you. Directed by Bastion Carboni. Wed.-Sat., Dec. 11-21, 8pm. Monstrosity Studio, 2514 Wilson. $15-25.
Watch as five radio-play actors from Penfold Theatre bring Joe Landry's classic story to life, playing dozens of characters and performing live sound effects in the style of "A Prairie Home Companion" out there in Round Rock. Through Dec. 22. Thu.-Fri., 7pm; Sat.-Sun., 3 & 7pm. Rice's Crossing Store, 3300 East Palm Valley Blvd, Round Rock.
Robert Harling’s Southern-fried hit comedy is directed by Andy Berkovsky for City Theatre. Through Dec. 22. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 5:30pm. $15-25 ($10, Thursdays).
City Theatre, 3823-D Airport, 512/524-2870
Street Corner Arts
returns to the fast-paced, politically charged world of playwright Jason Wells
with this black comedy, reviewed right here
. Directed by A. Skola Summers
, starring Rommel Sulit
and Indigo Rael
. [Soundtrack bonus: Lots of Skynyrd.] Thu.-Sat., Dec. 6-21, 8pm
. $20 ($15, students, teachers).
Hyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd, 512/479-7529
Puppets? Yes, but not the darkling denizens of Trouble Puppet. This is the family-friendly Puppet Improv Project, presenting "a colorful cast of mischievous imps and woodland creatures who brighten the stage with a musical and interactive situation comedy – based on suggestions from the audience about the life of elves in Santa’s Workshop." Bring the kids! Fri., Dec. 6; Sat., Dec. 7, 14, 21; Sun., Dec. 15, 22. All shows at 6pm. $7.
Institution Theater, 3708 Woodbury, 512/895-9580
Philip Grecian's version of Jean Shepherd
's holiday classic gets the full Zach treatment, as reviewed here
. Nov. 27-Dec. 29. Tue.-Sat., 7:30pm; Sun., 2:30pm. (Note: no show on Dec. 24; see website for more information)
Zach Theatre, 1510 Toomey, 512/476-0541
Richard Robichaux directs this Steve Murray one-man adaptation of the beloved Capra film It's a Wonderful Life, which sounds like a pretty decent holiday treat, y'know? Like, why the hell not? But then you learn that Martin Burke will be playing all 37 characters from the movie himself – and you realize it's more like an OMG-don't-miss-this-show situation at Zach Scott this holiday season. Through Dec. 29. Wed.-Sat., 7:30pm; Sun., 2:30pm. See website for more information.) $18-65.
Zach Theatre, 1510 Toomey, 512/476-0541