Arborophilia An oblique comedy that manages to twist thoughts, maul marriage, poke politics, whack weather, muddy money and loop love around a tree. Detroit Repertory Theatre, Detroit. Thu.-Sun., through Dec. 30. $20. 313-868-1347. http://www.detroitreptheatre.com
A Christmas Carol The 25th anniversary family favorite production features the return of director Charles Nolte and Peter Thomson as Scrooge. Meadow Brook Theatre, Rochester. Dec. 20-24. $25-$40. 248-377-3300. http://www.mbtheatre.com
Escanaba in Love The world premiere of Jeff Daniels’ hilarious prequel to his popular comedy set in the Soady deer camp during World War II. Purple Rose Theatre Company, Chelsea. Wed.-Sun., extended through Jan. 20, 2007. $25-$35. 734-433-7673. http://www.purplerosetheatre.org
The Fantasticks Two young people fall in love, run off to see the world and learn a valuable lesson. Performance Network Theatre, Ann Arbor. Thu.-Sun, through Dec. 31. $25-$37. 734-663-0696. http://www.performancenetwork.org
Holiday Memories Two of Truman Capote’s short stories, “The Thanksgiving Visitor” and “Christmas Memories,” are adapted to the stage by Russell Vandenbroucke. BoarsHead Theater, Lansing. Wed.-Sun., through Dec. 31 (except Dec. 23-27). $20-$35. 517-484-7805. http://www.boarshead.org
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas A new stage adaptation of the beloved holiday classic film. Fox Theatre, Detroit. Tue.-Sun., through Dec. 30. $20-$100. 313-471-6611. http://www.olympiaentertainment.com
Jaques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris Brel’s ideas and music based on life and love, war and peace are transformed into a thrilling musical experience. Jewish Ensemble Theatre Company at the Aaron DeRoy Theatre on the campus of the Jewish Community Center, West Bloomfield. Wed., Thu., Sat. & Sun., through Jan. 6. $32-$39. 248-788-2900. http://www.jettheatre.org
Marty Bufalini’s It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Show Audiences will be transported back to a 1940s New York style network radio studio to watch a broadcast of this classic holiday favorite performed live by an ensemble of talented actors. Assumption Cultural Center, St. Clair Shores. Sat., Dec. 23. $14. 586-779-6111.
Monty Python’s Spamalot The legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table as lovingly ripped from the motion picture, “Monty Python’s Holy Grail.” Fisher Theatre, Detroit. Tue.-Sun., through Jan. 6, 2007. $30-$85. 313-872-1000. http://www.nederlanderdetroit.com
Moses:39 Detroit’s premier performance artist is back by popular demand in his unique multimedia performance art piece. Satori Circus at 1515 Broadway, Detroit. Every Thu.-Sun., through Dec. 30. $15-$20. 313-965-1515.
Onstage & Unplugged Jeff Daniels and his blues guitar take to the stage with his arsenal of songs that are alternately humorous and touching. Purple Rose Theatre Company, Chelsea. Fri.-Sun., Dec. 29-31. $65-$85. 734-433-7673. http://www.purplerosetheatre.org
The Rat Pack is Back! Frank, Sammy, Dean and Joey return one more time to roll back the years and relive some of the most exciting times in popular entertainment. The Historic Gem Theatre, Detroit. Every Tue.-Sun through Dec. 31. $39.50-$44.50; previews half-price. 313-963-9800. http://www.gemtheatre.com
Side Man The twilight years of the big bands are examined through the life of a “sideman,” a backup to the star bandleaders. Hilberry Theatre, Detroit. Plays in repertory through Feb. 3, 2007. $15-$28. 313-577-2972. http://www.hilberry.com
Steppin’ Out III: Charity Begins at Civic Ann Arbor Civic Theatre’s finest entertainers join forces to present an evening of Broadway and holiday tunes to benefit one of America’s oldest community theaters. Firefly Club, Ann Arbor. Wed.-Thu., Dec. 20-21. $15-$25. 734-971-2228. http://www.a2ct.org
THEATER FOR FAMILIES & YOUNG AUDIENCES:
Clifford, The Big Red Dog Live! The much-loved characters from Birdwell Island for a fun-filled spectacle for the whole family. Wharton Center’s MSU Concert Auditorium, East Lansing. Sat., Dec. 30. $15-$20. 517-432-2000. http://www.whartoncenter.com
Dark Cowgirls and Prairie Queens The story of six African-American women who changed the course of Western expansion and history. A Young Company Production of Plowshares Theatre Company at the City Theatre, Detroit. Sat.-Sun., through Dec. 31. $13/children, $24/adults. 313-872-0279. http://www.plowshares.org
Winter Tales An afternoon of Christmas stories, songs, crafts, games, treats and a visit from old St. Nick himself. Buckham Alley Theatre, Flint. Sat., Dec. 23. Free. 989-871-4491. http://www.buckhamtheatre.org
IMPROVISATION/LATE NIGHT/INTERACTIVE/DINNER THEATER:
Improv Inferno The Ann Arbor hotspot for comedy is back with four nights of laughs: “The Catfight” on Thu;. “O Christmas Triage” on Fri.; “The Damnation Game” on Sat.; and “Get Up! Stand Up!,” “Rap It Up!” and “The Sweet Spot with Eye Candy” on Sun. All shows at Live at PJ’s, Ann Arbor. $5-$10. 734-214-7080. http://www.improvinferno.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
Second City’s Dysfunctional Holiday Revue Catch up with holiday film characters, take an outside look at those awkward family gatherings and experience improvised Christmas Carols in the troupe’s 28th original revue. The Second City, Novi. Every Wed.-Sun., through Dec. 31. $15-$20. 248-348-4448. http://www.secondcity.com
AUDITIONS AND WORKSHOPS:
ANN ARBOR CIVIC THEATRE – auditions for “The Tempest,” Jan. 7-8, 2007, 734-971-2228.