The Alley Theatre kicks off its 2018-19 season with Twelfth Night, Shakespeare’s comedy classic of unrequited love, gender-bending hijinks and quick wit. Directed by Jonathan Mascone, this hilarious tale finds Viola assuming the disguise of a page boy for Duke Orsino, placing her at the center of an explosive love triangle in which identity, passion and gender all threaten to come undone. Bursting with vitality and romance, Twelfth Night gives audiences one of Shakespeare’s most dynamic heroines matching wits with a host of captivating characters. Suitable for audiences high school aged and older. Through November 28.
Also, The Alley continues a holiday tradition with A Christmas Carol: A Great Story of Christmas, a family-friendly retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic story following Ebenezer Scrooges’ journey with the three ghostly spirits who visit him on Christmas Eve. The story instills a powerful message about redemption and the spirit of the holiday season. Through December 30. 615 Texas Avenue. Tickets: AlleyTheatre.org or 713-220-5700.
The Music Box Theater presents Back to the ’80s. The talented ensemble of Rebekah Dahl, Brad Scarborough, Cay Taylor, Kristina Sullivan and Luke Wrobel dazzle with a musical and comedic tribute to the 1980s. Energetic and engaging, it’s a perfect date night for any couple or as a group outing. Through December 1. Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m. 2623 Colquitt. Tickets/reservations: 713-522-7722.
Stages Repertory Theatre kicks off the holiday season with The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged). It’s the annual holiday Variety Show and Christmas Pageant at St. Everybody’s Non-Denominational Universalist Church, where all faiths are welcome because we’ll believe anything! There is just one minor problem: None of the acts scheduled to perform have arrived. Now it’s up to three quick-witted church members to perform the entire pageant all by themselves. It’s an irreverent, yet heart-warming romp through tradition with festive slapstick fun! Through December 23.
Also, Panto Star Force is Stages’ adventurous, cosmic blast of blockbuster hilarity! Jed, a farm boy from the planet Cypress, joins forces with a zany band of space rebels, robots and furry bartenders (and Buttons, of course!) to stop the powerful Emperor Snorkelfish and Dark Tater from taking over the galaxy. Come ready to laugh, cheer and boo in true Panto style, with plenty of toe-tapping music and intergalactic fun for the whole family. Through December 30. Allen Parkway, Suite 101. Tickets: StagesTheatre.com or 713-527-0123.
Main Street Theater presents Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. A sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Miss Bennet is set two years after the novel ends and continues the story, this time with nerdy middle sister Mary as the unlikely heroine. Mary is growing tired of her role as the dutiful sister in the midst of everyone else’s romantic escapades . When the family gathers for Christmas at Pemberley, an unexpected guest sparks Mary’s hopes for independence, an intellectual match and possibly love.
Through December 23. 2540 Times Boulevard. Tickets: 713-524-6706.
Obsidian Theater offers a unique holiday experience with A Drag Christmas Carol.
A hard-hearted politician experiences a change of heart with the help of some drag queen ghosts in this jukebox Christmas musical. This original work is sure to be a fun and surprising wrapped gift for the adventurous. Through December 15.
3522 White Oak Drive. Tickets: ObsidianTheatre.org.
Theatre Under the Stars brings “a tale as old as time,” Beauty and the Beast
to the Hobby Center just in time for the holidays. Twenty-five years ago TUTS helped usher in a new musical era with this Disney epic which became an international sensation that played a remarkable 13-year run on Broadway. It has been produced in 37 countries worldwide. A magical tale of love and acceptance, this all-new production is perfect for the whole family. December 8 through 23. Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby Street. Tickets: 713-558-8887.