Fresh from their other raise-the-roof, packed-house collaborations for Ensemble Theatre - The Wiz, The Twelve Ways of Christmas and Ain't Misbehavin' - director/choreographer Patdro Harris and musical director Carlton Leake join their considerable theatrical forces with Houston writer Thomas Melancon for a world-premiere holiday musical at Ensemble, Christmas with Great Aunt. A gospel-infused, old-time-religion revival, Christmas takes the stuffy Gilliams family from The Woodlands to the rural town of Bethlehem, Texas, to visit their great aunt, where they learn the timeless lessons of Christmas. "The creative use of organic music in this play," says Eileen J. Morris, artistic director for Ensemble Theatre, "makes it so rich and thick with love it sticks to you like clay..." (Translation: expect lots of opportunities to clap along.) 7 p.m. November 27. Regular curtain times are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. Through December 27. 3535 Main Street. For information, call 713-520-0055 or visit www.ensemblehouston.com. $18 to $45.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Nov. 21. Continues through Dec. 18, 2009