takes place in a bar, for one thing. For another, it's performed by the National Theatre of Scotland, touring here under the auspices of Texas Performing Arts and those progressive savants of Fusebox Festival. It's an evening of eerie, anarchic theatre and live music, and we reckon it's going to sell out, so make those reservations now. Jan. 16-19. Wed.-Fri., 8pm; Sat., 2 & 8pm. The Palm Door, 401-A Sabine. $32 (students, $10).
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
Different Stages presents Doug Wright's Obie-winning drama about the Marquis de Sade and the contentious, talespinning turbulence of his years
spent confined to the Charenton Asylum for the Insane. What can you expect from this show? "Sex. Perversion. Violence." Also, a fine cast directed by Norman Blumensaadt, featuring Craig Kanne as the notorious Marquis. Jan. 4-26. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 5:30pm
City Theatre, 3823-D Airport, 512/524-2870
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.
The Hidden Room, that cabal of professional theatremakers who recently brought us the amazing Rose Rage
, now command a Long Center stage to present the new Paul Menzer
drama about two feuding stage magicians in Depression-era New York City. Menzer's previous Austin triumph was via The Bedlam Faction's delightful Brats of Clarence
– another indication that this Beth Burns
-directed spectacle of contention and vintage hocus-pocus will be a well-wrought crowd-pleaser. Starring Robert Matney, Liz Fisher, Joseph Garlock, Todd Kassens, Julia Lorenz-Olson, and Laurence Pears. Nothing up our sleeve here but recommendation. Jan. 11-20. Mon.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 5pm
. Note: No show on Jan. 15
. $18.50 and up.
How about a little history and rich drama for you, citizen? After all, this is where Downton Abbey pretty much started, isn't it? Here, the life of Queen Elizabeth I is portrayed by three separate women (Angela Loftus, Lorella Loftus, and Jennifer Underwood) in this new play by Lorella Loftus. Henry VIII, Thomas Seymour, Robert Dudley, William Cecil, Mary I, and Mary Queen of Scots make appropriate appearances, of course, and the whole show's directed by Karen Jambon. Through Jan. 26. Thu.-Sun., 8pm. $10-30. (2-for-1 admission on Thursdays and Sundays with donation of two canned goods for SafePlace).
The Vortex, 2307 Manor Rd., 512/478-5282
Taught by David Lee Strasberg, Lee Strasberg’s son, the seminar is designed to hone skills and develop new possibilities for advanced actors while creating a nurturing beginning for less experienced actors. Coming up fast, register soon
. Fri.-Sun., Jan. 25-27
. $175 (immersion; $75, observational).
Zach Theatre, 1510 Toomey, 512/476-0541
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.