In Reginald Rose’s famous television play “12 Angry Men,” the source for an even better known 1957 movie starring Henry Fonda, jurors debating the merits of a murder trial end up far from where they started as their individual perspectives and biases come into play.

The patrons of a small-town beauty salon share tears of heartache and laughter amid whiffs of hairspray in “Steel Magnolias” and that mix is what director Kelly MacGregor hopes to bring out in the Waco Civic Theatre production that opens on Friday.

Few things seem to escape D.L. Hughley’s sharp eye for comedy and commentary: celebrities and politicians, the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements and their oppositions, the challenges of living while black, an urban childhood where discipline was measured by objects used.

Connally Junior High theater arts teacher Kay Bell writes about a group of homeless people who find a home of sorts when they band together in “Born to Win,” but her play debut seems to have already found a home: a sellout Saturday night at the Waco Hippodrome.

Nationally known comic Carlos Mencia brings his stand-up comedy to Waco in a 7 p.m. Friday show at the Waco Convention Center. General admission tickets are $35, $45 for VIP seats, available online at

Waco opera fans get two operas for the price of one in Baylor Opera Theater’s fall production opening Tuesday — the one-acts “Signor Deluso” and “Trouble In Tahiti” — but theater director Susan Li also has her eye out for the potential fan, too.

The Jubilee Theatre’s production of “Clue the Musical” has surprises built into its storyline, as any good murder mystery does, even if from a board game, but director Trent Sutton found one from the beginning:

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.”