The Baker’s Wife The inhabitants of a French Provincial village share a passion for bread, gossip and arguing with their spouses. Performance Network Theatre, Ann Arbor. Thu.-Sun., through Dec. 23. $30-$42. 734-663-0681. http://www.performancenetwork.org
Biloxi Blues On a train headed to boot camp during World War II, 20-year-old Eugene Morris Jerome tries to understand his reactions to the world around him. Hilberry Theatre, Detroit. Plays in rotating repertory through March 22, 2008. $20-$30. 313-577-2972. http://www.hilberry.com
A Christmas Carol Metro Detroit’s longest running holiday show returns for its 26th year of family fun. Meadow Brook Theatre, on the campus of Oakland University, Rochester. Wed.-Sun., through Dec. 23. $25-$40. 248-370-3316. http://www.mbtheatre.com
Clear and Present Manger An original holiday comedy directed by Margaret Edwartowski. Planet Ant Theatre, Hamtramck. Thu.-Sun., through Dec. 22. $15. 313-365-4948. http://www.planetant.com
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) A record-breaking 37 plays and 154 sonnets are touched upon in a mix of pratfalls, puns, willful misreading of names and dialogue, clunky female impersonations, clean-cut ribaldry and broad burlesque. Hilberry Theatre, Detroit. Plays in rotating repertory through Dec. 15. $20-$30. 313-577-2972. http://www.hilberry.com
Doubt A troubled, African-American student may have been sexually abused, and a Sister suspects the parish pastor is the molester. Detroit Repertory Theatre, Detroit. Thu.-Sun., through Dec. 31. $17-$20. 313-868-1347. http://www.detroitreptheatre.com
The Eight: Reindeer Monologues Scandal strikes the North Pole – Santa is accused of sexual harassment and other unseemly activities – and for the first time, the eight reindeer break their silence. The Ledges Playhouse Theatre Company at The Creole Gallery, Lansing. Fri.-Sun., through Dec. 23. $12. 517-679-1052. http://www.ledgesplayhouse.com
Every Christmas Story Ever Told Three actors toss aside “A Christmas Carol” and instead stage pretty much every BHC – beloved holiday classic. Co-produced by Meadow Brook Theatre and Williamston Theatre at Williamston Theatre, Williamston. Thu.-Sun., through Dec. 23. $18-$24; 517-655-SHOW. http://www.mbtheatre.com; http://www.williamstontheatre.org
A Forbidden Broadway Christmas One of Detroit’s holiday favorites returns with new spoofs based on the latest Broadway shows and celebrities, with holiday favorites sung by the likes of Cher, Bing, Frank and Britney! Gem Theatre, Detroit. Tue.-Sun., through Dec. 30 (plus two special New Year’s Eve shows at special prices). $39.50. 313-963-9800. http://www.gemtheatre.com
Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings The truly eternal teenagers continue their supernatural saga to play their very own Christmas special. Tipping Point Theatre, Northville. Thu.-Sun., through Dec. 29. $18-$35. 248-347-0003. http://www.tippingpointtheatre.org
Kenny Rogers Christmas and Hits Tour Julienne Irwin and Linda Davis join Kenny in this annual holiday treat. Fox Theatre, Detroit. Wed., Dec. 12. $38-$75. 313-471-6611. http://www.olympiaentertainment.com
The Lion King The Tony Award-winning Disney family musical returns for a limited, six-week engagement. Broadway in Detroit at the Detroit Opera House, Detroit. Tue.-Sun., through Jan. 6, 2008. $17-$80. 248-645-6666. http://www.broadwayindetroit.com
The Lusty and Comical History of Tom Jones An 18th-century good-natured young man finds that his childhood friend has flowered into a magnificent, cultured lady. Hilberry Theatre, Detroit. Plays in rotating repertory through Jan. 26, 2008. $20-$30. 313-577-2972. http://www.hilberry.com
Moonlight and Magnolias Enjoy the madness as “Gone With The Wind” goes wild in this hilarious backstage look at Tinsel Town in the 1939 office of David O. Selznick. BoarsHead Theatre, Lansing. Wed.-Sun., through Dec. 30. $12-$25. 517-484-7805. http://www.boarshead.org
The Nutcracker’s Nuts An elderly piano teacher at a Michigan retirement community suggests they do a different holiday show this year, something like “The Nutcracker,” but the rotund star doesn’t know how to dance. Broadway Onstage, Eastpointe. Fri.-Sun., through Dec. 16. $16. 586-771-6333. http://www.broadwayonstage.com
The Poetry of the Pizza A visiting university poetry scholar finds her life irrevocably altered when she stops by a local pizzeria. Purple Rose Theatre, Chelsea. Wed.-Sun., through Dec. 22. $25-$38. 734-433-7673. http://www.purplerosetheatre.org
Prince Mania The Musical Purple Reign stars in this musical tribute to the artist Prince. Classic Concert Live at the Millennium Theater, Southfield. Sat., Dec. 15. $29-$36. 877-388-6428. http://www.thepurplereigntour.com
Puppet Scrooge Using projections, hand-crafted puppets and live actors, the Dickens classic is remixed into a unique, here-and-now family show with a Detroit twist. Matrix Theatre, Detroit. Fri.-Sun., through Dec. 16. $15. 313-967-0599. http://www.matrixtheatre.org
The Santaland Diaries & Season’s Greetings A pair of festive monologues by cult American humorist David Sedaris will be the perfect antidote to the relentless mirth and merriment that invades theaters at this time of year. Who Wants Cake? Theatre at The Ringwald, Ferndale. Fri.-Mon., through Dec. 22. $10-$20. 248-556-8581. http://www.whowantscaketheatre.com
They’re Playing Our Song A musical based on the true-life relationship between lyricist Carol Bayer Sager and composer Marvin Hamlisch. Jewish Ensemble Theatre Company at the Aaron DeRoy Theatre on the campus of the Jewish Community Center, West Bloomfield. Wed., Thu., Sat. & Sun., through Dec. 31. $33-$39. 248-788-2900. http://www.jettheatre.org
Woodward Wonderland: A Detroit Holiday Celebration A nostalgic theatrical journey to magical destinations – with a uniquely Detroit spin on the holiday season. Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit at the Detroit Film Theatre inside the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit. Fri.-Sun., through Dec. 16. $20. 313-833-4005. http://www.mosaicdetroit.org
Black Nativity A musical portrayal of the nativity that pays homage to Detroit’s phenomenal gospel artists. Bonstelle Theatre, Detroit. Thu.-Sun., through Dec. 16. $20. 313-577-2960. http://www.bonstelle.com
A Play on Words: Four One-Act Comedies An evening of four short comedies by David Ives. Lansing Community College Performing Arts Dept. at LCC’s Black Box Theatre in the Gannon Bldg., Lansing. Fri.-Sat., through Dec. 15. Free. 517-483-1488. http://www.lcc.edu
Ain’t Got No Home The story of a Jewish immigrant from Poland who founded the Chess Records label in Chicago and his relationship with Muddy “Mississippi” Waters. Whole Art Theatre at the Whole Art Studio, Kalamazoo. Fri.-Sat., through Dec. 15. $10. 269-345-7529. http://www.wholeart.org
Bat Boy: The Musical A half boy/half bat is discovered in a cave and becomes a member of the town veterinarian’s family – much to the chagrin of some narrow-minded townsfolk. Whole Art Theatre at the Epic Theatre, Kalamazoo. Sat.-Sun., through Dec. 16. $22. 269-345-7529. http://www.wholeart.org
It’s a Wonderful Life – The Musical George Bailey and Clarence, the angel trying to win his wings, return this holiday in a musical for the entire family. Novi Theatres at the Novi Civic Center, Novi. Fri.-Sat., through Dec. 15. $18. 248-347-0400. http://www.novitheatres.com
Splotski & Dancer An original comedy that asks the timely question: What happens if a reindeer falls out of the sky onto a hunter’s deer blond while he’s in it? Buckham Alley Theatre at Woodside Church, Flint. Fri.-Sun., through Dec. 16. $10. 810-964-0791. http://www.buckhamtheatre.com
Stage to Screen An original musical revue featuring songs that have made the transition to the big screen. Hamilton Theatre at the Studio Theatre, Hamilton, Ontario. Dec. 14-16, 21-22 & 31. $20. (New Year’s Eve Show only: $85) 905-522-3032. http://www.hamiltontheatre.com
THEATER FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES:
A Christmas Carol A kid-friendly, parentally sophisticated adaptation of the Dickens’ classic by William P. Ward. Flint Youth Theatre, Flint. Fri.-Sat., Dec. 21-22. $16/adults; $14/children. 810-237-1530. http://www.flintyouththeatre.com
A Multi-Cultural Holiday Puppeteer Maureen Schiffman presents an all-ages show that features music, movement and storytelling. Performance Network Theatre, Ann Arbor. Sat., Dec. 22. $10/adults; $7/children. 734-663-0681. http://www.performancenetwork.org
Visions of Sugar Plums A premier black light extravaganza about a magical dream flight through a fantasy world filled with puppets and life-sized characters in exotic locales. Flint Youth Theatre, Flint. Fri.-Sat., through Dec. 22. $14/adults; $12/children. 810-237-1530. http://www.flintyouththeatre.com
IMPROV/LATE NIGHT/INTERACTIVE/DINNER THEATER:
The Best of the Second City Detroit An archive show featuring some of the best sketches, songs and satire from The Second City Detroit’s 30-revue history. The Second City, Novi. Sundays at 5:30 p.m. through Jan. 27, 2008. $12. 248-348-4448. http://www.secondcity.com
Big Time An improvised musical featuring Amy Phillips and Matt Naas with various guest stars, often preceded by improv masters Schtick Mahorn, featuring Second City studs Brett Guennel and Tim Robinson. Late Night at Planet Ant Theatre, Hamtramck. Every Thursday at 11:30 p.m. $5. 313-365-4948. http://www.planetant.com
Improv at the Point An evening of off-the-cuff comedy features rotating casts of the best improv talent in Metro Detroit. Every first and third Tuesday of the month at the Tipping Point Theatre, Northville. $8. 248-347-0003. http://www.tippingpointtheatre.org
Michigan Star Clipper Dinner Train Enjoy a two-hour scenic train ride while enjoying a three-course, onboard chef-prepared meal and live tableside entertainment that varies each week. Train departs every Friday at 7:30 p.m. from Walled Lake. $69. 248-960-9440. http://www.rail-road.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; plus, “AntJam.” Planet Ant, Hamtramck. Every Monday. $5. 313-365-4948. http://www.planetant.com
The New Sunday Night at Planet Ant Theatre A brand new night of improv opens with 2006 Colony Fest champs Simply Coney at 9 p.m.; followed by Improv Inferno’s popular improvised romantic comedy “Uncoupled” at 9:30 p.m.; and improv super group Eye Candy closes the night at 10:30 p.m. Planet Ant Theatre, Hamtramck. Every Sunday. $5 for the entire night. 313-365-4948. http://www.planetant.com
The Second City’s Dysfunctional Holiday Revue Get a healthy dose of seasonal satire with a fast-paced, interactive comedy revue that reflects on the year passed. The Second City, Novi. Every Wed.-Sun. through Dec. 31. $15-$20. 248-348-4448. http://www.secondcity.com
Sorry! Wrong Chimney! A newlywed moonlights as a department store Santa so he can buy his wife an expensive gift. StarBrite Presents at the Uptown Eatery, Southfield. Saturday evenings ($39.95) and Sunday afternoons ($35.95), through Dec. 23. Price includes three-course meal, show and tax. 248-423-1452. http://www.starbriteprod.com
Timeless: The Danceical The smash hit of this past summer’s Box Fest returns in an expanded format. Late Night at Planet Ant, Hamtramck. Thu-Sat., through Dec. 22 at 10:30 p.m. $5. 313-365-4948. http://www.planetant.com
Tony ‘n Tina’s Wedding The bride, groom and their crazy Italian relatives return for a special “engagement.” Sat., Dec. 15. The San Marino Club, Troy. $63, which includes dinner, a champagne toast, wedding cake and the show. 313-885-3032.
BOARSHEAD THEATER – the annual Christmas toy drive is now underway throughout the run of “Moonlight and Magnolias,” during which patrons are asked to bring an unwrapped toy suitable for a boy or girl ages 5 to 12; LANSING COMMUNITY COLLEGE PERFORMING ARTS DEPT. – will host a demonstration of stage combat styles, Dec. 15, 517-483-1488; LOWELL AREA ARTS COUNCIL – is seeking musicians for the 10-week 2008 Lowell Showboat Sizzlin’ Summer Concerts, 616-897-8545; MASON STREET WAREHOUSE – the popular West Michigan theater received its first-ever grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs in the amount of $10,900 to assist with its 2008 musical theater programs; ONSTAGE CONNECTION – is offering a series of performing arts camps and fun days over the holiday break for children ages 3 1/2 to15, 734-944-9400.
Flint Youth Theatre presents its original adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” as the third Signature Series offering for the 2007-2008 Season through December 22. This classic Charles Dickens novel is adapted and directed by FYT executive artistic director, William P. Ward. First performed in 2002, this is the fourth and final time FYT’s adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” will be performed.
Performances are Friday, December 21 and Saturday, December 22 at 8 p.m. Performances will take place at Flint Youth Theatre, 1220 East Kearsley Street, on the campus of the Flint Cultural Center.
Advance tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for children and are available at Flint Youth Theatre by calling 810-237-1530 or online at http://flintyouththeatre.com. Day of performance tickets are $16 for adults and $14 for children.
“A Christmas Carol” is recommended for ages 8 and up.
By Donald V. Calamia