Romeo wears tennis shoes in Baylor Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” but that’s not an invented insult to give to Tybalt, who’s in a Dolce and Gabbana-inspired jacket. There’s an electric guitar or two as well, and costume designs that mix Italian Renaissance accents with lines from contemporary Italian haute couture.

While the romance and messages on racism in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “South Pacific” still hold up almost 70 years after its Broadway debut, theaters usually depend on the available talent for their timing.

Christmas celebrations — the theatrical kind — move indoors this weekend with Waco theaters staging no less than five holiday productions, following last weekend’s Waco Childrens’ Theater presentation of “It’s a Wonderful Life” at the Lee Lockwood Library and Museum.

The Waco Civic Theatre is more Doyle than Dickens this month, but the tone is still light and entertaining as the theater turns to comedy with Ken Ludwig’s “Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery.”

Those with a sweet tooth for musical theater can get a large dose of song and dance over the next two weeks with a Baylor Theatre production heavy on dance and a Waco Civic Theatre production jammed with song.

The {254} Dance Fest celebrates its sixth year Oct. 6-8 with more than a dozen participating companies, nearly 200 adult and youth dancers and at least one act that tries to defy gravity: an aerial dance demonstration by Austin’s Blue Lapis Light company.

First appearances can be deceiving in Vincent Terrell Durham’s play “The Fertile River,” beginning with the title: It’s not about a geographic feature or its agricultural value.

The Broadway musical “Dear Evan Hansen” rocked this year’s Tony Awards, putting it on a must-see list for those Waco theater mavens lucky enough to make it to New York. For those with no New York in their immediate future, “Dear Evan Hansen” seems likely destined for non-delivery in Waco.

Comic William Lee Martin says the Fine Tex-Mex Comedy Tour that he and fellow comedian Alex Reymundo have put together operates much like Tex-Mex cuisine: People like the result even if — or maybe because — culinary lines were blurred in the process.

Alfred Hitchcock won fame as a director of suspense films, told with a strong visual sense, but a Brazos Theatre cast will explore another dimension of his storytelling this weekend, one complete with creaking doors, foreign accents and limping footsteps.

The number on the Shakespeare “Henry” this weekend at Bosque River Stage is five, but for the McLennan Theatre production that’s staged there it might be called a tale of two Henrys.

Waco stages buzz with action this week with four plays opening and providing everything from farcical comedy and melodrama to family drama and examination of a relationship, the latter two set to music.

The Baylor Opera Theatre stages Gilbert and Sullivan’s popular 1878 operetta “H.M.S. Pinafore” Friday and Saturday at the Waco Hippodrome, but just because it’s in English doesn’t mean it’s a piece of cake for its singers.

The creative and inspirational sides of art gets employed in service to others Monday night with the third annual Wild Torch, a fundraiser for Jesus Said Love, a nonprofit organization that works with women in the sex industry.

Chocolate and gumdrops often decorate the witch’s house to entice children in the Engelbert Humperdinck opera “Hansel and Gretel” and the McLennan Opera production staged this week also is trying to attract an audience’s attention.

Long before “Mad Men” made ’60s-era office politics a topic of weekly conversation, the 1961 Broadway musical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” tackled the subject, albeit in a much nicer, singable manner.

Life and relationships in a small, fictitious Maine town have a universal feel in John Cariani’s play “Almost, Maine,” in which the small parts of living — the give-and-take of friendships, romances and acquaintances — shine a light on the whole.

“La Finta Giardiniara (The Secret Gardener)” may not ring bells for any but those with a deep knowledge of Mozart operas, but that’s because the composer, 18 years old at the time, eclipsed it with a flood of symphonies, operas and piano works.

The “Great Russian Nutcracker” ballet that a Moscow Ballet touring company performs Dec. 29 at the Midway Performing Arts Center in Hewitt not only differs from many American stagings of the Tchaikovsky holiday classic, but it’s changed from the version that many Waco residents saw in the same place in 2014.

Two Waco stages will offer different, family-friendly takes on the Christmas season this weekend and coming week. At the Jubilee Theatre, a first-grader’s unfiltered view of life and those around her provides a fresh and funny look at the holidays in “Junie B. and Jingle Bells, Batman Smells.” It’s primarily adults on the stage, singing and dancing, for the Waco Civic Theatre’s “The Most Wonderful Show Of The Year.”