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Theatre for Fri., Feb. 1
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    C.S. Lewis Onstage: The Most Reluctant Convert

    Ah, good old Jack Lewis with his popular Christian fanfic featuring, what was it, some anthropomorphic lion beyond the coat-hangers? And now here's a staged biography, with actor Max McLean portraying the brilliant apologist and Oxford Don. You know – kind of like Hal Holbrook's Mark Twain, but with a lot more Jesus.
    Jan. 31-Feb. 3. Thu., 7:30 & 10pm; Fri., 7:30pm; Sat., 4 & 8pm; Sun., 2pm. $52-62.  
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    Cirque Italia: Water Circus

    These professional (read: mind-boggling) acrobats bring an array of unique aerial acts, hand balancing, contortionists, and more, from all over the world – performing over a custom-designed, 35,000-gallon "water stage" that travels from city to city.
    Jan. 24-Feb. 3. Thu.-Fri., Mon., 7:30pm; Sat., 1:30, 4:30, 7:30pm; Sun., 1:30 & 4:30pm. $10-40.  
    2901 S. Capital of Texas Hwy
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    FronteraFest Long Fringe: Booger Red

    Jim Loucks' solo performance, directed by Lisa Chess, is loosely based on stories from his childhood, focusing on his relationship with his father (a hellfire-and-brimstone Southern Baptist preacher) and his struggle to come out from under the shadow of that larger-than-life persona.
    Jan. 28-Feb. 2. Mon., 9:15pm; Wed., 7pm; Fri., 9:15pm; Sat., 4pm. $10.  
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    FronteraFest Long Fringe: Speed Levitch's Birth of the New Ghetto

    As a Zionist leader, Theodor Herzl's a natural. As a playwright, he's a putz. As a husband? Oy. This black comedy shows Herzl, the founding father of Zionism, through a historical drama in the shape of a borscht-belt comedy. Picture The Sorrow and the Pity as written by Neil Simon, with Timothy "Speed" Levitch as Herzl.
    Jan. 28-Feb. 2. Mon., 7pm; Wed., 8:45pm; Fri., 7pm; Sat., 5:45pm. $17.  
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    FronteraFest: Short Fringe

    One of Austin’s longest-running festivals, a legendary vehicle for theatre artists, actors, musicians, poets, and performers of all types, FronteraFest returns for its 26th year of showcasing some of the wildest – occasionally brilliant, frequently delightful, and almost always original – entertainment you're likely to see. It's a collaboration between that professional thespian powerhouse called Hyde Park Theatre and ScriptWorks and anyone who's got what it takes to put their act on a stage. The Short Fringe showcases performances of 25 minutes or less, and runs the entirety of the festival. Here's the main thing to know about the Short Fringe, in case you're not familiar with the whole FronteraFest deal, yo: The weeknight shows are a mixed bag but usually crowded with folks there to see friends do their stuff onstage; each Saturday "Best-of-the-Week" show is sure to be worth your time, but it sells out fast, so plan accordingly; the final week, the "Best-of-the-Fest" week, if you care about new theatre in Austin or just like to be wowed by some fierce stagework, you should get your tickets now, because this will be the primo live-performance shit in town and don't blame your Chronicle pals for not hipping you to it ahead of time, capisce? Okay, then.
    Through Feb 16. Tue.-Sat., 8pm  
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    Theatre

    Heartland

    This play was written by Gabriel Jason Dean as a direct response to the true story of the U.S. government’s textbook propaganda contributing to the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan. This play draws a line from the Cold War to the war on terror and is a story of healing, grace, and connection. This play stars Lowell Bartholomee, Kareem Badr, and Kacey Samiee – directed by Rudy Ramirez for the Vortex. And here's the scoop on the playwright and the play's origins. For the love of all that might be holy, don't miss it.
    Through Feb. 9. Thu.-Sun., 8pm. $15-35.  
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    Hedwig and the Angry Inch

    Director Dave Steakley and choreographer Abe Reybold bring John Cameron Mitchell's glamorous and rockin' musical classic – about "a fourth-wall-smashing East German rock & roll goddess who also happens to be the victim of a botched sex-change operation, trying to find a place to belong in America," of course – back to the Austin stage.
    Through March 2. Wed.-Sat., 7:30pm; Sat.-Sun., 2:30pm. $30-165.  
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    Paradise

    This bluegrass comedy brings its "irreverent, heart-warming, toe-tapping show" to Austin before heading across the country. Imagine a sort of Music Man in a Southern coal mining town, as a charismatic preacher, saucy stripper, and greedy Hollywood production company show up to create their own version of the American Dream. Directed by Michael Myers for Austin Playhouse.
    Through Feb. 3. Thu.-Fri., 8pm; Sat., 2 & 8pm; Sun., 5pm. $38-42.  
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    Sweat

    This Pulitzer-winning Lynn Nottage drama about a struggle for survival among factory workers is directed by Kat Sparks for Southwest Theatre Productions.
    Through Feb. 3. Thu.-Sat., 8pm; Sun., 4pm. $15-23.  
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    Theatre

    The Magic Fire

    Different Stages presents Lillian Groag's comedy about a young woman growing up in a family of European immigrants who surround themselves with art to fend off the realities of Juan Peron’s Argentina after World War II. Directed by Norman Blumensaadt.
    Through Feb. 2. Thu.-Sat., 7:30pm; Sun., 3pm. $15-30.  

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