Steel Magnolias

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

www.citytheatreaustin.org, info@citytheatreaustin.org

And Then There Were None

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).

It's a Wonderful Life

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.

Elf Employment

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

www.theinstitutiontheater.com, sarahmarie@theinstitutiontheater.com

The Wonder Bread Years

Pat Hazell returns with his popular comedy: a nostalgic look at childhood for the entertainment of all – especially for those who were kids way before Hong Kong Phooey chop-sockied his way into Saturday morning cartoon-time. Remember when? Dec. 19-22. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 3pm. $39 and up.

Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 W. Riverside, 512/457-5100


La Pastorela: A Sheperdela's Storia

The Austin Latino Theater Alliance presents this traditional Christmas tale, bringing contemporary Austin characters to life in a show directed by Patricio Villarreal Avila. Dec. 19-22. Thu.-Fri., 8pm; Sat.-Sun., 7pm. $15 ($10, children).

Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River, 512/537-2582



We Were Nothing!

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.

www.poisonappleinitiative.com, poisonappleinitiative@gmail.com

The North Plan

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


Holiday Hip-Hop Theatre Explosion

Here's a full three nights of family-friendly performance, hosted by Zell Miller III, and featuring DaShade Moonbeam, Mindz of a Different Kind, and many more B-boyz, poets, dancers, singers, and theatre artists. Thu.-Sat., Dec. 19-21., 8pm. $10-30.

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



A Christmas Story

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). $18-65.

Zach Theatre, 1510 Toomey, 512/476-0541