Frosty the Snowman and other familiar Christmas tales have a worthy competitor this year as the Ensemble Theatre brings a new holiday story to the stage: Djembe and the Forest of Christmas Forgotten. Set in the imaginary world of Abahu and brought to life by puppetry and other special effects, the musical fairy tale “sends a message of hope, perseverance and the spirit of community,” playwright Carlton Leake tells us. It is time for the Royal Christmas Festival in Abahu, but the festivities are spoiled when a curse falls on the kingdom and the sacred Djembe drum is lost. Princess Binah and her friend Nika go on a quest to retrieve the drum and save their kingdom, restoring the true spirit of Christmas in the process. When asked what he would like the audience to take away from the experience, Leake replied, “We all face adversity at some point in life. Sometimes adversity is what helps us realize and appreciate the characteristics that make us human and connects us to a larger existence in the world.”
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7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sundays. 3535 Main. For information, call 713-520-0055 or visit ensemblehouston.org. $28 to $44.
Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.; Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Nov. 14. Continues through Dec. 22, 2013