Newspapers, unions and strikes seem unlikely subjects for a Broadway musical, but the combination — with heavy doses of music and choreography — proved winning enough to make “Newsies” a stage hit when it debuted on Broadway in 2012.

Comic William Lee Martin still answers to Cowboy Bill, the nickname a grandfather gave to him, but the salty language that once peppered his routines no longer is something he hangs his hat on.

It’s the sort of family reunion that makes one squirm to live through or, if on the outside, laugh at the familiarity of it: The child who returns to a smaller hometown after life in the big city.

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.