Avenue Q

THEATER & DRAMA

Group Free

Through December 4
An Act of God
God has arrived and she’s not holding back as she sets the record straight about some of the deepest questions that have plagued mankind and delivers a new Ten Commandments. The sinfully hilarious new play is staged by Arizona Theatre Company. Call for times and ticket prices. Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix, arizonatheatre.org, 602-256-6995.

Through December 10
Stray Cat Theatre
The company presents Anything You Hear and Only Half of What You See, a hilarious taut new thriller by Valley playwright Ron Hunt. Call for times and ticket prices. Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe, straycattheatre.org, 480-350-2822. Through December 11 The Herd This regional premiere takes a passionate and heartfelt look at a family in turmoil when life doesn’t turn out as expected. Call for times and ticket prices. Theatre Artists Studio, 4848 E. Cactus Rd., Scottsdale, thestudiophx.org, 602-765-0120.

Through December 24
Billy Elliot the Musical
Featuring a timeless score by Elton John, this inspirational story follows Billy as he stumbles out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class, discovering a surprising talent that inspires his family and his whole community, and changes his life forever. Call for times and ticket prices. Phoenix Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, phoenixtheatre.com, 602-254-2151.

Through December 24
Twist Your Dickens
Scrooge, Tiny Tim and three ridiculous ghosts take the stage as wicked parody and daring improv run rampant. The adult comedy is adorned with interactive seasonal satire. Call for times and ticket prices. Phoenix Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Rd., Phoenix, phoenixtheatre.com, 602-254-2151.

Through December 28
A Christmas Story: The Musical
Filled with quirky and lovable characters, this cherished Christmas classic captures a simpler time in America as it follows a bespectacled boy named Ralphie who has a big imagination and one wish for Christmas – an official Red Ryder BB gun. Call for times and ticket prices. Arizona Broadway Theatre, 7701 W. Paradise Ln., Peoria, azbroadway.org, 623-776-8400.

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. $15-$20. Space 55 Theatre, 636 E. Pierce St., Phoenix, space55.org.

Through December 30
Holiday Show
Champion yodelers Jim and Jeanne Martin and steel-guitar player Bill Bassett share their melodic sounds and cowboy humor. A magic show with illusionist Kevin Barnes also is featured. Call for times and ticket prices. Blazin’ M Ranch, 1875 Mabery Ranch Rd., Cottonwood, blazinm.com, 928-634-0334.

December 1-24
A Christmas Carol
Check your “bah humbugs” at the door and experience the magic and wonder of Charles Dickens’ classic tale about a harsh and greedy old miser who is transformed into a charitable and compassionate human being. Call for times. $18-$30. Hale Centre Theatre, 50 W. Page Ave., Gilbert, haletheatrearizona.com, 480-497-1181.

December 1-30
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. M, Th-Sa, 7 p.m. $20-$25. Don Bluth Front Row Theatre, 8670 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, donbluthfrontrowtheatre.com, 480-314-0841.

December 2-18
Bah Humbug!
Based on the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, The Musical tells the tale of curmudgeonly miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who is visited by the spirits of Christmas past, present and future hoping to change his destiny and save his soul. Call for times and ticket prices. Fountain Hills Theater, 11445 N. Saguaro Blvd., Fountain Hills, fhtaz.org, 480-837-9661.

December 2-18
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. $36. Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center, 1333 E. Washington St., Phoenix, blacktheatretroupe.org, 602-258-8129.

December 3
Jim Gaffigan
The comedian’s infectious style brings fans to tears with humor that revolves around observations of everyday scenarios, fatherhood and food. 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. $39.50-$85. Comerica Theatre, 400 W. Washington St., Phoenix, ticketmaster.com, 800-745-3000.

December 3-18
Holiday Rep
An all-star cast of singers captures the spirit of the season in Holiday Cabarets, which is performed in repertory with The Quiltmaker’s Gift, a heartwarming tale about a greedy king and a generous quilt maker who teaches him that giving is the gift. The productions are staged by Theater Works. Call for times and ticket prices. Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, 8355 W. Peoria Ave., Peoria, theaterworks.org, 623-815-7930.

December 3-31
Fiddler on the Roof
This heartwarming story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and timeless traditions raises its cup to love, life, community and faith in all of its joys and trials. 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. 6-29.

December 4
Good News of Great Joy (FREE)
Xavier’s gift to the community, this Christmas pageant shares the traditional story of the birth of Christ as told through reverent music and dance. 2 p.m. Free. Xavier College Preparatory, 4710 N. Fifth St., Phoenix, xcp.org, 602-240-3161.

December 4
This Wonderful Life
Based on the holiday favorite, It’s a Wonderful Life, this one-man play stars Jeremy Kendall portraying the Jimmy Stewart-inspired George Bailey and a cast of more than 30 lovable characters from Bedford Falls in an inspiring, funny, poignant and uplifting performance. 3 p.m. $21-$42. Higley Center for the Performing Arts, 4132 E. Pecos Rd., Gilbert, higleycenter.org, 480-279-7194.

December 6-11
Mamma Mia!
The ultimate feel-good show combines ABBA’s greatest hits – including “Dancing Queen,” “S.O.S.,” “Super Trouper” and “Take a Chance on Me” – with an enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship. Call for times and ticket prices. ASU Gammage, 1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe, asugammage.com, 480-965-3434.

December 8
Lunchtime Theater
Theater Works presents The Quiltmaker’s Gift performed in repertory with Holiday Cabarets. 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. $10; reservations required. West Valley Arts HQ, 16126 N. Civic Center Plaza, Surprise, surpriseaz.gov/arts, 623-935-6384. Bring a lunch or preorder one from City Cafe @ Surprise, 623-222-8900.

December 8
Tig Notaro
The stand-up comedian, storyteller and writer found fame mining humor from grief and the mundane indignities of cancer and death. 7:30 p.m. $30. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale, scottsdaleperformingarts.org, 480-499-TKTS.

December 9-18
A Midwinter Night’s Dream
Inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream, this magical 70-minute production uses the language of Shakespeare, the joy of the season and the beauty of the theater to inspire the imaginations of children of all ages. The tale is staged by Southwest Shakespeare Co. Dec. 9-11, Kerr Cultural Center, 6110 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale; and Dec. 16-18, Taliesin West, 12621 N. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd., Scottsdale. Call for times and ticket prices, swshakespeare.org, 480-644-6500.

December 9-18
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, scottsdaleperformingarts.org, 480-499-TKTS.

December 10
A Christmas Together
The Kingston Trio performs holiday songs and old Trio favorites, marking the group’s first ever pops concert of its Christmas repertoire. Jim Curry opens the show with his John Denver holiday tribute, and Lee Holdridge conducts the Chandler Symphony Orchestra throughout the evening. 7:30 p.m. $46-$77. Higley Center for the Performing Arts, 4132 E. Pecos Rd., Gilbert, higleycenter.org, 480-279-7194.

December 10
The SnowCat
This heartwarming tale by Dmitri Matheny centers on a little girl’s search for her wandering white cat on a chilly afternoon and the lessons she learns about sharing and gratitude. 11 a.m. $10, adults; $8, children 11 and younger. Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler, chandlercenter.org, 480-782-2680.

December 10-24
A Christmas Carol, The Musical
Selfish Scrooge must face his ways when three ghostly visitors lead him through his past, present and future. The heartwarming tale is presented by Arizona Broadway Theatre. Call for times and ticket prices. Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix, herbergertheater.org, 602-252-8497.

December 17
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 20
Talk Cinema
Mixing Hollywood flair with an element of surprise, guests arrive not knowing in advance what will be showing at this sneak-preview film series, which screens award-winning independent and foreign films before their theatrical release. Moderated conversations led by film scholars and guest speakers are included. 7 p.m. $17. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St., Scottsdale, scottsdaleperformingarts.org, 480-499-TKTS.

December 31-February 11
Is He Dead?
Unproduced in his own time, this Mark Twain comedy centers on a talented young painter who fakes his death to score fame and fortune. Call for times. $18-$30. Hale Centre Theatre, 50 W. Page Ave., Gilbert, haletheatrearizona.com, 480-497-1181.