New This Week

The Bald Soprano (Curio Theatre) An incomprehensible evening with the Smiths and the Martins in Ionesco's first play. Previews Wednesday and Thursday, opens Friday.

Baskerville (Philadelphia Theatre Company) Heirs to the family fortune are being bumped off, and it's up to a certain deerstalker-topped sleuth to figure out who's doing it. In previews, opens Wednesday.

This Is the Week That Is (1812 Productions) As they do every year in this season, 1812's stalwarts offer their merry take on the highs and lows of current events. In previews, opens Wednesday.

Continuing

Reviewed by Wendy Rosenfield (W.R.), Jim Rutter (J.R.), David Patrick Stearns (D.P.S.) and Toby Zinman (T.Z.).

A Christmas Story (Walnut Street Theatre) If you loved the 1983 film version, you'll love this musical. And if you hated the 1983 film version, you'll love this musical. Through Jan 20. - J.R.

Becoming Dr. Ruth (Walnut Street Theatre/Independence Studio) This cozy, risk-free biodrama chronicles the life of America's most famous sex therapist. Through Dec. 27. - T.Z.

Billy Elliot (Media Theatre) This homage to dance's transformative power is a promise that Media's production expertly fulfills in one of its best musicals ever. Through Jan. 3. - J.R.

Black Nativity (Theatre Horizon) This Afrocentric holiday tradition is a joyful, noisy alternative to all those grim Dickensians and cynical elves. Extended through Dec. 13. - W.R.

Bonnie and Clyde: The Musical (Eagle Theatre) The thrill-seeking Depression-era duo sing their way down a criminal spiral to inevitable disaster. Through Dec. 12.

The Book of Mormon (Forrest Theatre) "Best musical of the 20th century," back by popular demand. Through Dec. 27.

Equivocation (Arden Theatre Company) Bill Cain weaves a fascinating, funny, and terrifying Jacobean world of intrigue and intellectual entrapment, which the cast makes even better. Through Dec. 13. - W.R.

The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical (Montgomery Theater) If it's your thing, this holiday hillbilly special brings two hours of lowbrow fun. Through Dec. 13. - J.R.

Lafferty's Wake (Society Hill Playhouse) Charlie Lafferty's (still) dead, and you're invited to join the memorializing, storytelling, and imbibing at his favorite pub. Through Dec. 20.

Matilda (Academy of Music) There's tremendous talent on stage in this story of a mistreated girl who has powerful inner resources - but there's little joy. Ends Sunday. - T.Z.

Menopause the Musical (Penn's Landing Playhouse) To classic tunes from the '60s and '70s, four women of a certain age bond over the one thing they share. Extended through January.

The Three Musketeers (People's Light) In this year's holiday panto, Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and a chicken hunt for justice against the evil Lord Mazorotti. And, yes, there's a guy in a dress. Through Jan. 10.

Underneath the Lintel (Lantern Theater Company) A librarian dedicates his life to solving the mystery of an overdue book in this entrancing show. Through next Sunday. - T.Z.