Every year, the Straz Center tries to mix it up a little, injecting a not-quite-so-safe show into an otherwise bankable lineup. Last year, that was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. This year it's Fun Home, a coming-of-age musical set in a family-run funeral home. Based on Alison Bechdel's autobiographical graphic novel, the story plumbs the depths of the inevitable and the business that promises in its advertising to "remove all signs of trauma."
Granted, both Curious Incident and Fun Home won Tonys for best play and musical, so it's not like the Straz is about to adopt Artaud's "theatre of cruelty." But next to The Bodyguard, The Color Purple and a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, if you were looking for something fresh this season, this is your best chance. Runs Tuesday through Dec. 3 at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $31 and up. (813) 229-7827. For show times, go to strazcenter.org.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry crashed his plane in a Libyan desert in 1935 and nearly died of dehydration, during which he suffered hallucinations. The French poet and pilot used that experience to launch The Little Prince, a gentle, charming novella about a boy from a planet the size of a house, one of the most widely published books of all time.
In what already feels like the best conceived production around the holidays in recent years, Freefall Theatre opens a stage adaptation Saturday. Eric Davis directs young Will Garrabrant, right, who has appeared in several Freefall productions; Trenell Mooring, Logan Wolfe, Michael David and Carolina Esparza also star.
Opens Saturday and runs through Dec. 24 at 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. $25-$52. Previews start at 8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday and cost $25. (727) 498-5205. For show times, go to freefalltheatre.com.
What would happen if two panhandlers competed for the same space near a New York subway platform, with exactly the same gimmick? That's the premise of Not There Yet, a brief one-act on display at the Studio@620. This month's Radio Theatre Project features the play by William Ivor Fowlkes, which was a finalist at the Warner International Playwrights Festival. Other offerings include The Secret Keeper, a story about forgiveness; and High Thin Cirrus, which follows a widower returning to his youth. This whimsical look at aging ran in New York in 2012. 7 p.m. Monday at 620 First Ave. S. St. Petersburg. $10. (727) 895-6620. thestudioat620.org.