Calendar Arts Theatre

Theatre for Thu., Dec. 7
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    Merlin Works Improv Mixer

    Yes, and it's open to total newbies, current students, free agents, existing troupes looking for new members, coaches, or anyone who wants a free improv workout and a night of getting to know likeminded citizens.
    Thu., Dec. 7, 8-10pm. Free.
    ZACH North, 12129 N. FM 620
OPENING
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    A Prairie Christmas Carol

    Watch the village come to life with carolers and colorful characters that step out of history, not in England but in the Lone Star State, as performers at Pioneer Farms re-create various scenes of the classic tale – Dickens with a Texas twang.
    Dec. 7 & 9. Thu. & Sat., 7-11pm. $12.
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    La Pastorela

    Teatro Vivo invites you to this bilingual holiday play directed by Alexis A. Arredondo, in which shepherds, on their way to where the angel San Miguel has told them that the Child of Light will be born, encounter an array of "zany devils and fun-loving angels." Bonus: live music from Clemencia Zapata and friends.
    Through Dec. 17. Thu.-Fri., 8pm; Sat., 4 & 8pm; Sun., 4pm. $15-20 (pay what you can, Thursdays).  
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    Latino Comedy Project: Barrio Daze

    The LCP's recent run of Gentrifucked was as timely, relevant, and provocative as the troupe's productions have always been – and pretty damn funny, too. And this Barrio Daze is just as laced with dark humor, but even more concentrated and powerful – partly because it's performed by just one man: LCP head honcho Adrian Villegas, whose array of characters and the level of craft with which he portrays them could leave you breathless. Barrio Daze, a kaleidoscopic glimpse into diverse aspects of Mexican-American identity, is something of a reprise of its own earlier incarnation – but newly revamped to reflect a variety of *fnord* current events. We recommend it highly. And if you hold (or you're thinking of running for) public office anywhere in Tejas, we reckon it should be required viewing.
    Through Dec. 16. Thu.-Sat., 8pm. $12-15.  
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    The Drowsy Chaperone

    Nick Mayo directs this metatheatrical spectacle, a Tony-winning tribute to Jazz Age musicals.
    Dec. 7-10. Thu.-Fri., 7:30pm; Sat., 2 & 7:30pm; Sun., 2pm. $15-26.  
ONGOING
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    A Miracle on 34th Street Classic Radiocast

    The players at the fictional KPNF radio station return to put their stamp on another holiday classic, bringing the entire story to life through dozens of character voices and live foley sound effects.
    Through Dec. 23. Thu.-Sat., 8pm. $23-25.  
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    A Tuna Christmas

    No, no, Jaston Williamswho created this wacky small-town wonderment with Joe Sears and Ed Howard – that Jaston ain't in this version, now, hon, but he sure 'nough directs it and brings "the third smallest town in Texas, where the Lion’s Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies" back to hilarious holiday life with just three actors playing all 25 of the Tuna citizens.
    Through Dec. 31. Wed.-Fri., 7:30pm; Sat., 2:30 & 7:30pm; Sun., 2:30pm. $25 and up.  
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    Christmas Belles

    This thoroughly Southern-fried downhome comedy, scripted by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten, brings us up close and personal with the three Futrelle sisters of Fayro, Texas: Frankie is overdue with twins, Twink’s in jail, and Honey Raye is trying to keep the Tabernacle of the Lamb’s Christmas pageant from spiraling out of control. Directed by Jessica McMichael for City Theatre.
    Dec. 14-15; Dec. 28-30. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 3pm. $10-25.  
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    Miss Bennet: Christmas At Pemberley

    Austin Playhouse presents Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon's sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, in which the oft-overlooked, bookish middle sister Mary has come into her own as a confident woman full of curiosity and wit. Directed by Lara Toner Haddock.
    Through Dec. 23. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 5pm. $16-36.  
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    Pocatello

    Samuel D. Hunter – you know, the brilliant fellow who wrote The Whale and Bright New Boise – scripted this new ensemble piece about a last-ditch attempt to stave off the inevitable at Eddie’s failing Italian restaurant in the equally failing town of Pocatello. It's one hell of a Famiglia Week, alright, and this poignantly funny unraveling is directed by Benjamin Wallace Summers for Street Corner Arts.
    Through Dec. 16. Thu.-Sat., 8pm. $15-22.  
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    The Brutes

    Four Brutes await their orders in the shadows as the Booth family of actors begins rehearsals for a benefit performance of Julius Caesar. Meanwhile, other Booths, both living and dead, are threatening to derail the entire production – and John Wilkes is late again, as usual. This deeply thespian offering is the Theatre Synesthesia world premiere of Casey Wimpee’s new play.
    Through Dec. 16. Thu.-Sat., 8pm. $15-20.  
    The Back Pack, 2400 E. Cesar Chavez #206
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    The Member of the Wedding

    Carson McCullers’ adaptation of her own novella is presented by Different Stages, featuring Taylor Flanagan, Chelsea Manasseri, and Jago Mystiek among a fine cast under the direction of Karen Jambon.
    Through Dec. 9. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 6pm. $15-30.  
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    Wild Horses

    Allison Gregory's new play, a world premiere presented by your adventurous friends at The Vortex, takes on the pathos and hubris of teenage years, the struggle for identity, independence, authenticity, and the desire to find a place in this complicated world. Starring Jennifer Coy Jennings; directed by Rudy Ramirez. And here's what our arts editor Robert Faires thought of the show.
    Through Dec. 9. Thu.-Sun., 8:30pm. $15-35.