Our weekly theater roundup features shows recommended by our reviewers:
"Cloud 9," through Dec. 22 in the New Phoenix Theatre. ★★★½
From the review: "The New Phoenix Theatre has just opened [Caryl] Churchill’s early career sex farce, 'Cloud 9,” a wild, erotic, gender-bending story that crosses oceans and centuries. It’s a hilarious, obscene romp populated with unforgettable, cartoonish characters, situational foolishness, sight gags and chase, but leaves room for messages: know thyself, respect others, ditch preconceived notions about people, be on the alert for double standards." --Ted Hadley
"Other Desert Cities," through Dec. 16 in the Kavinoky Theatre. ★★★½
From the review: "Baitz’s play, unlike far more simplistic living room dramas like Yasmina Reza’s 'God of Carnage,' is overloaded in the best possible way with emotional and political ammunition. It can be read from a strictly political angle, a strictly emotional one, or any combination of both. It says important things about mental illness, about apathy, about the need for a broader perspective than one was raised with, and about the use of dishonesty as the means to a laudable end – a deeply political notion if ever there was one." --Colin Dabkowski
"It WAS a Wonderful Life," through Jan. 5 in the chapel at Forest Lawn Cemetery. ★★★½
From the review: "The one-hour-plus presentation is less revue and more monologue cycle. It is built on the premise that the long-term residents of the famous Buffalo cemetery have come to share their holiday memories. What sounds like a morose, potentially morbid display of friendly ghosts and black-and-white nostalgia, is actually a delightfully salient little piece." --Ben Siegel
Also running this week:
John Smeathers' final performances in"A Christmas Carol," through Dec. 16 in the Alleyway Theatre.
"Shrek the Musical," tonight and Friday in the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts.
And here's a roundup of other holiday shows playing throughout the region.