The Bannisters’ Wholesome Family Fun Hour Local folky-rockers The Bannisters present an eclectic mix of music, comedy and fun in live and taped segments in an old-time variety show format. Planet Ant Theatre, Hamtramck. Thu.-Sat., through Jan. 14, plus Sun., Jan. 8. $10. 313-365-4948. http://www.planetant.com. May not be suitable for children.
Electra Sophocles’ classic tale of a woman seeking revenge for the death of her father. The Hilberry Theatre, Detroit. Plays in repertory Jan. 6-March 23, 2006. $20-$28. 313-577-2972. http://www.hilberry.com.
Going to St. Ives The mother of a dictator questions the very nature of her own motherwood. Detroit Repertory Theatre, Detroit. Thu.-Sun., Jan. 12-Mar. 19. $17. 313-868-1347. http://www.detroitreptheatre.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.
Mrs. Shakespeare Dishes the Dirt Award-winning actress Gillian Eaton presents a 90-minute solo show about the life of Shakespeare from his wife’s point of view. Performance Network Theatre, Ann Arbor. Thu.-Sun., Jan. 5-15, 2006. $20-$40. 734-663-0681. http://www.performancenetwork.org.
No Way to Treat a Lady A musical comedy thriller about a cat-and-mouse game between a detective and a serial killer, and the detective’s mother and the killer’s mother, and someone else’s mother! A co-production of the BoarsHead Theatre and Meadow Brook Theatre at Meadow Brook Theatre, Rochester. Previews Jan. 4-6, 2006 and runs Wed.-Sun, Jan. 7-29, 2006. $20-$36. 248-377-3300. http://www.mbtheatre.com.
Side by Side by Sondheim A tribute to the sophistication, wit, insight, heart and genius of composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim. Jewish Ensemble Theatre Company at the DeRoy Theatre on the campus of the Jewish Community Center, West Bloomfield. Wed., Thu., Sat. & Sun., through Jan. 8. $27-$37. 248-788-2900. http://www.jettheatre.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.
Guys and Dolls A lively, toe-tapping musical comedy about gamblers, missionaries and chorus girls in 1950s New York City. Ann Arbor Civic Theatre at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, Ann Arbor. Thu.-Sun., Jan. 12-15. $24. 734-971-2228. http://www.a2ct.org.
Let Freedom Ring: A Celebration of America’s Music An original production that salutes American music, from the classics to the contemporary. Avon Players, Rochester Hills. Fri.-Sun., Jan. 13-28. $16. 248-608-9077. http://www.avonplayers.org.
Over the Tavern It’s 1959 and Catholic schooler Rudy Pazinski comes to realize that it’s time to shop around for another religion. Kalamazoo Civic Theatre at the Civic Auditorium, Kalamazoo. Jan. 6-7, 12-15 & 20-21, 2006. $13-$18. 269-343-1313. http://www.kazoocivic.com.
The Underpants A husband becomes furious when his young wife’s underpants fall down in public while watching a royal parade. St. Dunstan’s Guild of Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills. Jan. 13-14, 19-22 & 26-28. $16. 248-737-3587. http://www.stdunstanstheatre.com.
Theater for Young Audiences:
Alexander, Who’s Not, Not, Not, Not, Not, Not Going to Move! A musical about the feisty and lovable boy from the “Alexander” book series who faces his biggest challenge ever. Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, Clinton Twp. Sat., Jan. 7, 2006. $10. 586-286-2222. http://www.macombcenter.com.
Improvisation/Late Night/Interactive/Dinner Theater:
Get a Clue Reality shows can be murder, as colorful celebrities entertain as you vote for your favorite reality show contestant. Random Acts on the Old Road Murder Mystery Dinner Train, Charlotte. Every Saturday, through Feb. 25 (excl. Jan. 28). $57.95 includes dinner and show. 888-726-8277. http://www.random-acts.net.
Improv Inferno A new comedy lounge in Downtown Ann Arbor with five nights of fun: “Citizen Improv” and “Super Fun Karaoke” hit the stage on Wednesday nights; Thursday hosts “Catfight” and “High Octane”; Friday & Saturday feature “The Damnation Game,” and at Midnight, “The X Show”; and the week closes on Sunday with “Uncoupled,” “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.
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 Fri. & Sat. through February. $10. 734-214-7080. http://www.improvinferno.com.
Auditions and Classes:
ANN ARBOR CIVIC THEATRE n auditions for “A Thousand Clowns,” Jan. 8-9, 734-971-2228.