Theatre & Drama

THEATER & DRAMA

Group Free

Through December 3
The Bodyguard
Based on the hit film, this award-winning romantic thriller tells the story of a former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, who is hired to protect a pop superstar from an unknown stalker. Call for times and ticket prices. ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe, asugammage.com, 480-965-3434.

Through December 3
The River Bride
Set in a Brazilian village along the Amazon River, this Arizona Theatre Co. production uses fantastical elements to go beyond the simple idea of happily ever after, and delves into deeper, richer territory when it comes to the complex nature of love. Call for times. $25-$80. Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix, arizonatheatre.org, 602-256-6995.

Through December 9
Mercury
No one’s happy, people stop being nice and blood spills in this story that mashes up violent myth and ideas about “good neighbors” to explore what happens when the mercury rises. The play is presented by Stray Cat Theatre. Call for times and ticket prices. Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe, straycattheatre.org, 480-227-1766.

Through December 28
A Christmas Carol
Dickens’ classic tale of redemption and hope is rich with traditional carols and memorable characters that are guaranteed to enrich the holiday season. Through Dec. 23: Hale Centre Theatre, 50 W. Page Ave., Gilbert, haletheatrearizona.com, 480-497-1181; Dec. 8-24, Theater Works at Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, 10580 N. 83rd Dr., Peoria, theaterworks.org, 623-815-7930; and Dec. 9-28: Arizona Broadway Theatre at Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix, herbergertheater.org, 602-252-8497. Call for times and ticket prices.

Through December 30
A Bloody Mary Christmas
This irreverent and bawdy Christmas musical focuses on three retirees who sing, dance and drink themselves silly as they fight to keep from losing their Sun City condo to a heartless homeowners association on Christmas Eve. Call for times. Tickets start at $15. Space 55 Theatre, 1524 N. 18th Ave., Phoenix, space55.org.

Through December 30
It’s a Wonderful Life
A guardian angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated small-town businessman by showing what life would have been like if he had never been born. Call for times. $23-$25. Don Bluth Front Row Theatre, 8670 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, donbluthfrontrowtheatre.com, 480-314-0841.

Through December 30
South Pacific
The award-winning classic is set in an island paradise during World War II where parallel love stories are threatened by the dangers of prejudice and war. Call for times and ticket prices. Arizona Broadway Theatre, 7701 W. Paradise Ln., Peoria, azbroadway.org, 623-776-8400.

Through December 31
Newsies
Inspired by the real-life newsboys’ strike of 1899 and based on the 1992 film, this Disney musical follows Jack Kelly and a ragtag group of newsies as they take on the biggest names in publishing in a remarkable fight for justice and fair pay. Call for times and ticket prices. Phoenix Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, phoenixtheatre.com, 602-254-2151.

December 1
Fall Senior Film Showcase
ASU senior film students present their most ambitious productions of the year, ranging from cinematography and editing reels to short films and documentaries. 7 p.m. $5. ASU Paul V. Galvin Playhouse, 51 E. 10th St., Tempe, asuevents.asu.edu, 480-965-6447.

December 1-2
Holly Jolly Puppet Slam
Expect the unexpected as this adults-only event brings together cutting-edge puppeteers presenting new short works that are outrageous, moving, bawdy and controversial. Rasputin’s Marionettes from Los Angeles is special guest. 8 p.m. $10, advance; $12, day of show. Great Arizona Puppet Theater, 302 W. Latham St., Phoenix, azpuppets.org, 602-262-2050.

December 1-3
The Music Man
Filled with sentiment, nostalgia, humor and romance, this Broadway classic focuses on a fast-talking con man who sings and dances his way into town with a plan to snooker the good folks of River City, Iowa. The musical is presented by Theater League. F, 8 p.m.; Sa, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Su, 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Call for ticket prices. Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams St., Phoenix, broadwayorpheum.com, 602-262-7272.

December 1-3
Twelfth Night
This romantic comedy about a stranger in a strange land probes the timeless themes of identity, loss and love with all the humor and humanity for which Shakespeare is so revered. The 70-minute abridged production is staged by Southwest Shakespeare Co. Call for times and ticket prices. Taliesin West, 12621 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd., Scottsdale, swshakespeare.org, 480-644-6500.

December 1-10
Black Nativity
Black Theatre Troupe shares this holiday production, which features a company of singers, actors, dancers and musicians delivering a powerful message of joy, hope, victory and liberation. Call for times. $38. Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center, 1333 E. Washington St., Phoenix, blacktheatretroupe.org, 602-258-8129.

December 1-17
Father Christmas & the Snow Queen
Presented in the traditional British-style pantomime, this interactive holiday show features an assortment of vibrant and imaginative characters and lots of audience participation. Call for times and ticket prices. Theatre Artists Studio, 4848 E. Cactus Rd., Scottsdale, thestudiophx.org, 602-765-0120.

December 1-23
Nuncrackers
Those hilarious nuns return – this time in a makeshift TV studio in the basement of the convent. The Christmas musical features all-new songs, including “Twelve Days Prior to Christmas,” “Santa Ain’t Comin’ To Our House,” “We Three Kings of Orient Are Us” and “It’s Better to Give Than to Receive.” Call for times. $28, adults; $22, seniors and students. Desert Stages Theatre, 7014 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale, desertstages.org, 480-483-1664.

December 1-24
Dickens’ Classics
Peter Hill’s musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol, The Musical is presented in rotating repertory with the hilarious Inspecting Carol, on even and odd days, respectively. Call for times and ticket prices. Fountain Hills Theater, 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills, fhtaz.org, 480-837-9661.

December 1-24
Scrooge in Rouge
The old adage of “the show must go on” is front and center in this bawdy retelling of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, in which a threadbare theatrical company must overcome illness to ensure the curtain rises on their latest production. Th-Sa, 7:30 p.m.; Su, 2:30 p.m. $15. Mesa Encore Theatre, 933 E. Main St., Mesa, mesaencoretheatre.com, 480-644-6500.

December 2
Family Gatherings
When the Franklin family comes together for the holidays, all-out chaos consistently reigns. However, at the end of the day, they discover the most important thing is family. The play is staged by O-live! Theatre. 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. $20. El Bethel Church, 6902 W. Heatherbrae Dr., Phoenix, olivetheatre.com, 602-524-0156.

December 2
Jim Jefferies
The Australian stand-up comic brings his Unusual Punishment tour to the Valley, entertaining guests with his controversial, belief-challenging and thought-provoking comedy. 8 p.m. $39.75-$59.75. Celebrity Theatre, 440 N. 32nd St., Phoenix, celebritytheatre.com, 602-267-1600.

December 2-31
Man of La Mancha
Arizona Theatre Co. presents this passionate and poignant tale-within-a-tale, which focuses on a man who, against all odds, sees good and innocence in a world filled with darkness and despair. Call for times and ticket prices. Temple of Music and Art, 330 S. Scott Ave., Tucson, arizonatheatre.org, 520-622-2823. The production moves to Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix, Jan. 5-28.

December 6
Dear Santa Claus Tour
Follow the booze-fueled misadventures of the Trailer Park Boys – three longtime pals and petty serial criminals who run scams from their Nova Scotia trailer park. 7:30 p.m. $34.50-$59.50. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa, mesaartscenter.com, 480-644-6500.

December 7
Wordplay Café
Community members become the storytellers, poets and musicians at this open-mic event, which begins with a workshop led by professional storytellers and poets. 6-9 p.m. Volstead Public House, 105 W. Main St., Mesa, mesaartscenter.com, 480-644-6500.

December 7-17
Agnes of God
Science and religion draw their battle lines in this play, which is based on a murder that occurred in a Brighton, N.Y., convent in the early ’70s. Entangled with twists and torments, the production is staged by Compass Players. Th-Sa, 7 p.m.; Su, 2 p.m. $30, adults; $27, seniors and students. Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, 10580 N. 83rd Dr., Peoria, theaterworks.org, 623-815-7930.

December 8
Jill Kimmel (FREE)
The actress, comedian and sister of late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel performs a stand-up set in tribute to veterans and first responders. Guests are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy for families in need. 4-5:15 p.m. Carefree Desert Gardens, 101 Easy St., Carefree, christmasincarefree.com, 480-488-3686.

December 8-17
Sister’s Christmas Catechism
In an unusually jolly mood, the tart-tongued, ruler-wielding nun teaches her students the story of the nativity and asks for their help to solve the greatest Christmas caper ever – who swiped the gold that those three wise men gave to Baby Jesus – in The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold. F, 8 p.m.; Sa, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Su, 2 p.m. $39, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale, scottsdalearts.org, 480-499-TKTS.

December 9
Girls Night Out
Five women gather for a night on the town to laugh, cry, gossip and just let their hair down in ’Twas a Girls Night Before Christmas. The hilarious and touching musical features classic Christmas songs and contemporary hits. 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. $29-$49. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale, scottsdalearts.org, 480-499-TKTS.

December 16
Carnival of Illusion
Enjoy an evening of Old World magic as this program blends an international theme with the charm of a Vaudeville-inspired roadshow. 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Call for ticket prices. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa, carnivalofillusion.com, 480-359-SHOW.

December 17
Carol Burnett
The award-winning actress and best-selling author hosts an evening of laughter and reflection where the audience asks the questions. The program harkens back to the legendary openings of The Carol Burnett Show, which ran 11 years and earned 25 Emmy Awards. 7 p.m. Call for ticket prices. Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix, ticketmaster.com, 800-745-3000.

December 19-24
Cinderella
Perfect for anyone who’s ever had a wish, a dream… or a really great pair of shoes, this Tony Award-winning musical offers a contemporary take on the classic tale. Call for times and ticket prices. ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe, asugammage.com, 480-965-3434.

December 20-31
Menopause: The Musical
Set to classic tunes from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, this hilarious musical parody focuses on four women at a lingerie sale with nothing in common but a black lace bra – and hot flashes, forgetfulness, mood swings, wrinkles, night sweats, chocolate binges, not enough sex, too much sex and more. Call for times. $46-$66. Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., Mesa, mesaartscenter.com, 480-644-6500.

December 21-January 21
The Calamari Sisters’ Clam Bake
Hilarity and delicious dishes are on tap as two over-the-top plus-size Italian sisters from Brooklyn share their special brand of musical culinary education. Th, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; F, 8 p.m.; Sa, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Su, 2 p.m. $50-$58. Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix, herbergertheater.org, 602-252-8497.

December 26-30
Sing-a-Long-a Grease
Come in costume and add your voice to the cast in this fully interactive screening of the classic film with subtitled lyrics. The electrifying singalong sock hop includes free goody bags and a Rockin’ Rydell costume contest. Tu-Th, 7:30 p.m.; F, 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sa, 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. $17. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale, scottsdalearts.org, 480-499-TKTS.

December 28
The Comedy Get Down
Enjoy a night of comic royalty as Cedric “The Entertainer,” Eddie Griffin, D.L. Hughley and George Lopez share the stage. 8 p.m. $45-$175. Talking Stick Resort Arena, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, ticketmaster.com, 800-745-3000.

December 30-February 10
See How They Run
Outrage erupts in a small English town when a former actress marries the local reverend. Call for times and ticket prices. Hale Centre Theatre, 50 W. Page Ave., Gilbert, haletheatrearizona.com, 480-497-1181.