Theater Events for the period Nov. 24-Dec. 3

Compiled by Donald V. Calamia

Professional Theater/Opera:

Action Four people, trapped in a cold cabin, struggle to celebrate a holiday meal in a post-apocalyptic America. The Abreact, Greektown Detroit. Fri.-Sat., through Dec. 3, plus Sun., Nov. 27. Free admission/donations welcomed! 313-378-5404. http://www.theabreact.com.

Altar Boyz A holy-inspiring musical comedy about five small-town boys trying to save the world one screaming fan at a time. City Theatre, Detroit. Tue.-Sun. through Nov. 27. $22.50-$45. 313-872-1000. http://www.nederlanderdetroit.com.

Children's Letters to God The Midwest Premiere of the off-Broadway musical hit taken directly from the letters of young people writing to "the Big G." Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, Detroit. Sat., Dec. 3 only. $39/adults, $29/children. 313-887-8501. http://www.musichall.org.

A Christmas Carol Mean-spirited Ebenezer Scrooge is haunted by three ghosts in this annual Holiday classic. Meadow Brook Theatre, Rochester. Various dates and times, Nov. 25-Dec. 24. $30-$38. 248-377-3300. http://www.mbttheatre.com.

A Christmas Carol A joyous holiday musical that transports audiences back to the cobblestone streets of Victorian London. Troupe America, Inc. and Mainstage Artists Management at Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, Clinton Twp. Sat., Dec. 3 only. $25-$25. 586-286-2222. http://www.macombcenter.com.

Fences A Pittsburgh garbage collector who was once kept out of professional baseball due to segregation disapproves of his gifted son accepting an athletic scholarship. Plowshares Theatre Company at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit. Thu., Sat. & Sun., through Dec. 4. $17.50-$25. 313-872-0279. http://www.plowshares.org.

The Glass Menagerie Tennessee Williams' poetic and complex drama about a restless soul stuck as the breadwinner for a family abandoned by his father. Purple Rose Theatre Company, Chelsea. Wed.-Sun., through Dec. 17. $20-$35. 734-433-7673. http://www.purplerosetheatre.org.

Golda's Balcony A riveting portrait of former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir. Fisher Theatre, Detroit. Tue.-Sun., through Nov. 27. $32-$57. 313-872-1000. http://www.nederlanderdetroit.com.

The Great American Egg Nog Festival A holiday comedy showcase featuring two one acts: "The Santaland Diaries" and "Jesus Cake, Fat Pants and the Theory of Relativity." Blackbird Theatre, Ann Arbor. Thu.-Sat., Dec. 1-10. $18. 734-332-3848. http://www.blackbirdtheatre.net.

Hairspray Let your hair down and dance the night away with a very pink and big-hearted young girl who dreams seemingly impossible dreams n and wins! Broadway Theatre Guild at DeVos Performance Hall, Grand Rapids. Tue.-Sun., through Nov. 27. $32-$67. 616-235-6285. http://www.broadwaytheatreguild.org.

Harpers Ferry/Mother Tongue Frederick Douglass, John Brown, Sojourner Truth and

Heart Attack Eight women and posters of Marilyn Monroe come to the rescue of an unfunny, down-on-his-luck stand-up comedian. Detroit Repertory Theatre, Detroit. Thu.-Sun., through Dec. 30, plus a special New Year's Eve performance. $20. 313-868-1347. http://www.detroitreptheatre.com.

Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol Marley finds himself facing the Record Keeper in the afterlife and is offered one chance to save himself from a wretched eternity A Michigan premiere by Performance Network Theatre, Ann Arbor. Thu.-Sun., through Dec. 24. $20-$34.50. 734-663-0681. http://www.performancenetwork.org.

Julius Caesar Can the murder of a king ever be justified, Marc Antony asks? The Hilberry Theatre, Detroit. Plays in repertory through Dec. 17. $20-$28. 313-577-2972. http://www.hilberry.com.

Menopause The Musical A joyful musical parody about four women who have nothing in common except a certain shared experience! Gem Theatre, Detroit. Every Tue.-Sun. $39.50. 313-963-9800. http://www.gemtheatre.com.

Nickel and Dimed A comic epic shadowed with tragedy that explores living the working-poor life. Jewish Ensemble Theatre Company at the DeRoy Theater on the campus of the Jewish Community Center, West Bloomfield. Wed., Thu., Sat. & Sun., through Dec. 4. $25-$37. 248-788-2900. http://www.jettheatre.org.

A Prairie Home Companion Public Radio station WKAR presents a live performance of Garrison Keillor's celebrated variety show. MSU Concert Auditorium, East Lansing. Sat., Nov. 26 only. $38.50-$53.50. 517-432-2000. http://www.whartoncenter.com.

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular The beloved Radio City Rockettes return for their ninth season of holiday cheer for the entire family. The fabulous Fox Theatre, Detroit. Tue.-Sun., Nov. 29-Dec. 24. $20.50-$65.50. 313-471-6611. http://www.olympiaentertainment.com.

Sez She Playwright Jane Martin's touching, often humorous journey of womankind. The University of Detroit Mercy's Theatre Company at Marygrove College Theatre, Detroit. Fri.-Sun., through Nov. 27. $15. 313-933-3270. http://theatre.udmercy.edu.

Sister's Christmas Catechism The Good Sister returns and employs techniques from her favorite TV show, "Forensic Files," to discover the whereabouts of the Magi's gold. Century Theatre, Detroit. Tue.-Sun., through Dec. 31. $34.50-$39.50. 313-963-9800. http://www.gemtheatre.com.

Stones In His Pockets Two down-and-out Irish lads become extras in a mega-Hollywood film that takes over their tiny County Kerry town. BoarsHead Theatre, Lansing. Previews Nov. 23 & 25, then runs Wed.-Sun., Nov. 26-Dec. 18. $21-$33. 517-484-7805. http://www.boarshead.org.

Sweet Bird of Youth Tennessee Williams' shocking tale of scandal and betrayal. The Hilberry Theatre, Detroit. Plays in repertory through Jan. 28, 2006. $20-$28. 313-577-2972. http://www.hilberry.com.

Sylvia The female that a man brings home has his wife seeing red n despite the fact that the female is a dog! The Hilberry Theatre, Detroit. Plays in repertory through Dec. 1. $20-$28. 313-577-2972. http://www.hilberry.com.

The Weekend Scary and unexplained things happen when two young couples go camping on 12 Trees Mountain. Planet Ant Theatre, Hamtramck. Thu.-Sun., through Dec. 3. $15. 313-365-4948. http://www.planetant.com.

University/College Theater:

That Championship Season A penetrating study of time lost. Hilberry Studio Theatre, Detroit. Thu.-Sat., Dec. 1-10. $10. 313-577-2972. http://www.theatre.wayne.edu

Urinetown Class wars and romance blossom amidst a drought that causes private toilets to be outlawed. Oakland University Dept. of Music, Theatre & Dance in the Varner Studio Theatre, Rochester. Thu.-Sun., through Dec. 4. $15. 248-370-3013. http://www2.oakland.edu/mtd.

Civic/Community Theater:

Candy Corn, Christ and the Convoluted Creation of Golf A fresh and humorous approach to the New Testament story of Jesus and his followers. Buckham Alley Theatre, Flint. Sat. & Sun., through Nov. 27. $10. 810-239-4477. http://www.buckhamtheatre.com.

Comic Potential Star-crossed, mistached lovers of the next millennium face an uncertain future where everything has changed except human nature. Farmington Players, Farmington Hills. Nov. 25-27, Dec. 1-4 & 8-10. $13. 248-553-2955. http://www.farmingtonplayers.org.

Man of La Mancha An aging, failing playwright is tossed into a dungeon, and while awaiting trail he is dragged before a mock court of prisoners who want to confiscate his personal possessions. The Players Guild of Dearborn, Dearborn. Fri.-Sun., through Dec. 4. $16. 313-561-TKTS. http://www.playersguildofdearborn.org.

The Retreat from Moscow A couple still years for fulfillment after many years of marriage. Peppermint Creek Theatre Company at the Woldumar Nature Center Barn Theatre, Lansing. Thu.-Sun., Dec. 1-10. $10. 517-927-3016. http://www.peppermintcreek.org.

Slab A director tries to breathe new life into theatre by having the lead character actually die on stage. Flint City Theatre at The Good Beans Cafe, Flint. Thu.-Sat., Dec. 1-10. $5. 810-341-6912. http://www.flintcitytheatre.com.

Taking Sides The clash of art and politics in which an orchestral conductor in occupied Berlin chooses to stay in Germany n but why? A Riverwalk Theatre Black Box presentation at Creole Gallery, Lansing. Fri.-Sat., Nov. 25-Dec. 3. $10. 517-482-5700. http://www.riverwalktheatre.com.

To Be Announced The world premiere of a silly musical about the trials and tribulations of a small theater company attempting to open a brand new theater and produce a major musical. Sunsets With Shakespeare at the RE Olds Anderson Rotary Barn at the Woldumar Nature Center, Lansing. Fri.-Sun., through Nov. 27. $15. www.

Once Upon a Mattress If you thought you knew the story of "The Princess and the Pea,' you may be in for a musical surprise! Hamilton Theatre, Hamilton, Ontario. Fri.-Sat., through Nov. 26. $20 CAD. 905-522-3032. http://www.hamiltontheatre.com.

Theater for Young Audiences:

After the Beanstalk A funny and engaging continuation of the "Jack and the Beanstalk" classic tale. A Second City Children's Theater production at The Second City, Novi. Every Sat. morning, through Dec. 17. $10. 248-348-4448. http://www.secondcity.com.

Cinderella The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical brings this enchanting tale to life. Kalamazoo Civic Theatre at the Civic Auditorium, Kalamazoo. Fri.-Sun., through Dec. 11, plus Thu., Dec. 1. $15-$21/adults; $8-$10/children. 269-343-1313. http://www.kazoocivic.com.

Ella Mentry and the Case of the Missing Scientist Archimedes, the famous Greek scientist, disappears when he's about to reveal his latest discovery and Ella Mentry works to crack the case. Performance Network Theatre's Series for Young Audiences, Ann Arbor. Sat., Nov. 26 only. $10/adults, $7 children. 734-663-0681 http://www.performancenetwork.org.

Pinocchio The world-renowned tale is brought to the here and now by local playwright Jeff Duncan and sprinkled with local color and Old World charm. Eastern Michigan University Theatre at Quirk Theatre, Ypsilanti. Dec. 3-4 & 9-10. $15/adult, $6 children 12 and under. 734-487-1221. www.emich.edu/cta.

Sleeping Beauty A comical adaptation of the popular musical. Riverwalk Theatre, Lansing. Fri.-Sun., Nov. 25-Dec. 11. $7/adults; $5/children. 517-482-5700. http://www.riverwalktheatre.com.

Improvisation/Late Night/Interactive/Dinner Theater:

A Christmas Story A fundraiser for the historically registered Old Congregational Church now known as the Richmond Center for the Performing Arts. Richmond Community Theatre at the Maniaci Banquet Hall, Richmond. Fri.-Sun., Nov. 25-27. $26; advance reservations required. 586-727-9727.

The Christma-Hana-Kwanzaa Holiday Spectacular A variety comedy show that lampoons and lambastes the holidays with sketches, dance and improv. Fri. & Sat. throughout December (excl. Christmas Eve and NY Eve). $10. 734-214-7080. http://www.improvinferno.com. Recommended for adults only; not recommended for fuddy-duddies.

Dear Santa Holiday hilarity and havoc rein in Santa's workshop when supplu shortages at the North Pole threaten the holiday. StarBrite Productions at Miles World Italian Restaurant, Fraser. Fri. & Sat., Dec. 2-16; Sunday matinees available for private parties. $39.95, includes three-course dinner and the show. 586-415-4500. http://www.starbriteprod.com.

Improv Inferno A new comedy lounge in Downtown Ann Arbor with five nights of fun: "College Comedy Night" and "Super Fun Karaoke" hit the stage on Wednesday nights; Thursday hosts "Catfight" and "High Octane"; Friday & Saturday feature the "Evil Twin: Prime Time Improv," "The Damnation Game," and at Midnight, "The X Show"; and the week closes on Sunday with "Get Up! Stand Up!" and "The Sweet Spot with Eye Candy." $5-$10. 734-214-7080. http://www.improvinferno.com.

In iPod We Trust Second City's 26th review explores political and societal elements from Detroit, Novi and national perspectives. The Second City, Novi. Every Wed.-Sun. $15-$20. 248-348-4448. http://www.secondcity.com.

It's All in the Words" The fast-paced cabaret-style musical romp with songstress Kate Brennan and music director Harvey reed returns to entertain lovers of great music. Cuisine Restaurant, Detroit. Fridays, Dec. 2-16. $45, includes three-course dinner and show. 313-872-5110. http://www.cuisinedetroit.com.

Last Call An original, dramatic one-act created through improvisation. A Late Night Series presentation at Planet Ant, Hamtramck. Thu.-Sat., through Dec. 3. $5. 313-365-4948. http://www.planetant.com.

Monday Night @ Planet Ant The Ant's resident improvisational troupe, the Improv Colony, is joined each week by a Guest Team that performs the evening's first act. Planet Ant, Hamtramck. Every Monday. $5. 313-365-4948. http://www.planetant.com.

The Reality Buffet Short plays selected by the audience are based upon the lives, perspectives and experiences of Detroit's acting and improv communities. Motoprism at the Improv Inferno, Ann Arbor. Every Sunday. $10. 734-214-7080. http://www.improvinferno.com.

2005: A Christmas ODDyssey They came from space with a goal, an act of treachery so unbelievable that no one could stop them. Their mission? To kidnap Santa! Random Acts on the Old Road Murder Mystery Dinner Train, Charlotte. Every Saturday, through Dec. 31. $57.95 includes dinner and show. 888-726-8277. http://www.random-acts.net.

Auditions & Classes:

RIDGEDALE PLAYERS - auditions for the musical "Cinderella," Nov. 28, 248-425-9691.

HOW TO CONTACT 'THEATER EVENTS' AND 'CURTAIN CALLS' Please send all press releases and promotional materials at least three weeks prior to the scheduled event, and your story ideas, comments, brickbats and accolades - preferably via e-mail - to curtaincalls@pridesource.com or by snail-mail to Curtain Calls, Between The Lines, 20793 Farmington Road, Suite 25, Farmington, Michigan 48336. Unless otherwise noted, tickets prices shown above are for adult general admission tickets only; please contact the theater for questions regarding the availability of discount tickets for preview performances, advance sales, groups, students, seniors and children.

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