Audition: Child's Play

This Robert Marasco play is a classroom drama that also involves … demonic possession? Different Stages is looking for men (ages 25-65) and boys (ages 13-18) to be directed by Robert Tolaro in April. See website for details. Jan. 18-19; Sat., 6-8pm; Sun., 2-4pm. Waller Creek School, 4100 Red River. 512/444-3303.

American Idiot

This is the Tony-winning Broadway musical based on that Green Day album, right? Exactly – now on tour and ready to rock UT's Bass Concert Hall in a youthsplosion of "the hope embodied by a new generation." Jan. 14-19. Tue.-Fri., 8pm; Sat., 2 & 8pm; Sun., 1 & 7pm. $25-85.

Bass Concert Hall, 2350 Robert Dedman Dr., UT campus, 512/471-1444



Venus in Fur

This steamy David Ives play is about a writer who's adapted Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s famous 19th-century erotic novel for the stage, but can’t find the right woman for the role. Until he does – and she turns out to be, oh, a bit more fierce than he bargained for. Starring Gray G. Haddock and Molly Karrasch, directed by Lara Toner for Austin Playhouse. Caution: Adults only. Jan. 3-25. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 5pm. Austin Playhouse at Highland Mall, 6001 Airport. $24-26 (half price, students).


Der Bestrafte Brudermord

Hidden Room Theatre presents its collaboration with Tiffany Stern of Oxford University and the American Shakespeare Center: This odd, comedic 1710 adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet – performed here as a human-framed puppet show. With live music, fireworks, and much slapstick. Directed by Beth Burns, narrated by Judd Farris and Jason Newman from the Christine Schmidle translation, and featuring Mystery Bird Puppet Theatre. (Note: Sometimes the blood flowing through our veins is too eager to find an off-ramp.) Jan. 17-Feb. 2. Fri.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 5pm. York Rite Masonic Hall, 311 W. Seventh. $15-30.

The Language Archive

Different Stages presents the quirky comedy by Julia Cho that looks at the power of words and the private languages that love inspires. Directed by Karen Jambon, featuring Trevor Bissell, Circe Sturm, and Eva McQuade. See our review of the show right here. Through Feb. 1. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 5pm. $15-30.

City Theatre, 3823-D Airport, 512/926-6747


True West

Sam Shepard's classic – about what The West means and used to mean, about what it's like to be men, about, hell, about two adult brothers staying at their mother's empty house – features David Boss, Chris Hejl, and Bob Jones and is directed by Jerry Fugit for Weird Rodeo. Through Jan. 25. Thu.-Sat., 8pm. $10-30.

The Off Center, 2211-A Hidalgo, 512/699-1603



Gale Theatre Company brings forth its newest devised work, a pop-culture collage that follows a 7-year romance from beginning to end. "How does your first love change you – and can you ever return to the way you were before?" Directed by Katherine Wilkinson, starring Aaron Alexander and Celina Chapman. Through Feb. 1. Thu.-Sun., 8pm. $10-30.

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