In the round 

News and notes from the San Antonio theater scene

Alms for actors

In keeping with our "Red State" status, the "holiday" fare at local theaters has a distinctly Christian bias. If you're comfortable with, or at least not distracted by, all the Christmas talk, there are plenty of ways to help keep actors off the streets this holiday season.

The Steven Stoli Playhouse is staging the most traditional fare, with Home for the Holidays 2004, billed as an old-fashion holiday variety show. Through December 19. Call 408-0116.

St. Andrew's Players are presenting the updated Christmas story The Wise Man. This is the fourth production of local playwright Bob Rymill's play about a frozen "find" who may or may not be Jesus. Through December 12. Call 824-2465.

If you're already waiting for next year's round of Renn Faires, you can indulge that jones this holiday season with Boerne Community Theatre's Dickens on Main event, November 26-27 (249-9166) or a Magical Madrigal Dinner at Alamo Street Restaurant and Theatre, featuring the Merrie Court Singers, on November 28 (271-7791).

Alamo Street is also hosting the Shoestring Shakespeare Company's panto (a British holiday tradition that features song parodies, fractured fairy tales, and cross-dressing). Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves includes, as do all their pantos, the alterna-carol "Tacky Texas Christmas." Through December 31. Other "Christmas is a Drag" entertainment opportunities include visiting diva Jimmy James at Jump-Start on December 17-18 (227-5867), who will channel screen sirens singing Christmas carols. Actors Theatre of San Antonio, in collaboration with Different Stages SA and F&P Productions, is also bringing back its XXXmas line-up, featuring Santa Claus is Coming Out, The Reindeer Monologues, and David Sedaris' annual NPR fave The Santaland Diaries. Shows are scattered around town, playing through December 18, and info on all of them is available at 738-2872.

Speaking of ATSA, Artistic Director and local theater mainstay Jerry Pilato is leaving for warmer climes, and the San Antonio Theatre Coalition's annual holiday party (open to all) is your chance to say goodbye. The party is at the CameoCenter on December 5, from 6-10 p.m., and admission is free with a pot-luck food item. Check out the "Cast Parties" page on SATCO's website,, for RSVP info.

For some San Anto Christmas flavor, there's Las Nuevas Tamaleras, the runaway holiday hit by Alicia Mena, playing, as usual, at Jump-Start through December 15. Call 223-2009. The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Teatro Program is bringing back Octavio Solis' La Posada Magica, the story of a bereaved and bitter little girl who is changed by participating in this cultural Christmas event. December 3-18 (351-7787).

So if you're looking for a Hanukkah, Kwaanza, or Solstice play, you're out of luck, but the theater community in San Antonio sure does celebrate Christmas in all its permutations. Yee-haw.

Compiled by Laurie Dietrich

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