Eight short-short plays will be selected from a wealth of open submissions, rehearsed, and produced for a one-time performance. (Or is it just "one-time"? Because, dig it, the favorite short-short will get an encore showing at TNM on Sunday, May 19, 7pm.) See website for details. $10-25.
M. Scott Tatum and Julianna Elizabeth Wright of Half & Half Productions present the Texas premiere of this new rock’n’roll musical. You like Rocky Horror, you'll likely enjoy this "sprawling work of performance art, complete with angry rants and scary drag queens." Through May 12. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 6pm. Half & Half @ Highland Mall, 6001 Airport #1020. $10-35.
Abe Koogler's new play, about a woman who takes a job at the local slaughterhouse while also trying to reconcile with her 15-year-old son who's a passionate vegetarian, is directed by Steven Wilson. May 9-12. Thu.-Fri., 8pm; Sat., 7pm; Sun., 2pm. Winship Drama Building, 300 E. 23rd. $5.
It's the first national tour of this beloved Broadway musical starring Wade McCollum, Scott Willis, and Bryan West as the trio of friends who "hop aboard a battered old bus searching for love and friendship in the middle of the Australian outback and end up finding more than they could ever have dreamed." May 8-12. Wed.-Fri., 8pm; Sat., 2 & 8pm; Sun., 1 & 7pm. $30 and up.
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.
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.
"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).