"Mistakes Were Made" by Craig Wright, at Cape May Stage in Cape May, N.J. through Nov. 22. Pictured: Michael Basile. (Photo by Aleksey Photography)
Amid the usual early trickle of holiday shows both strange and familiar are more intense fare: plays tackling meaty historical themes, some sweeping musicals, and piercing, intimate dramas.
“The American Revolution” by Theater Unspeakable, at Adventure Stage in Chicago through Nov. 28
“Breakfast With Mugabe” by Fraser Grace, at Aurora Theatre Company in Berkeley, Calif. through Dec. 7. Pictured: L. Peter Callender. (Photo by David Allen)
“Christmas Is Here Again” by Renegade Animation, at PCPA/Pacific Conservatory Theatre through Dec. 24. Pictured: George Walker and Erik Stein. (Photo by Luis Escobar)
“Detroit ’67” by Dominique Morisseau, at the African American Repertory Theatre in DeSoto, Tex. through Nov. 23; pictured: Ayoka Lawson and Regina Washington (photo by Buddy Myers)
“Dr. Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” at Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis through Jan. 4; pictured: Reed Sigmund and Brandon Brooks (photo by Dan Norman)
“Fiddler on the Roof” by Joseph Stein, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. through Jan. 4, 2015; pictured: Jonathan Hadary and Erick Devine (photo by Margot Schulman)
“Handle With Care” by Jason Odell Williams, at the Colony Theatre Company in Burbank, Ca. through Dec. 14. Pictured: Tyler Pierce and Jeff Marlow. (Photo by Michael Lamont)
“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” by Alan Menken, Stephen Schwartz and Peter Parnell, at La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, Ca. through Dec. 14. Pictured: Ciara Renée and cast. (Photo by Kevin Berne)
“The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures” by Tony Kushner, at Theater J in Washington, D.C. through Dec. 21. Pictured: Tom Wiggin and Tim Getman. (Photo by C. Stanley Photography)
“Little Dancer” by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, running at Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. through Nov. 30. Pictured: Tiler Peck, Boyd Gaines and company. (Photo by Paul Kolnik)
“Mistakes Were Made” by Craig Wright, at Cape May Stage in Cape May, N.J. through Nov. 22. Pictured: Michael Basile. (Photo by Aleksey Photography)
“The Mousetrap” by Agatha Christie, at the Northlight Theatre in Skokie, Il. through Dec. 14. Pictured: Keith Neagle, Cora Vander Broek and Greg Matthew Anderson. (Photo by Michael Brosilow)
“Pitbulls” by Keith Josef Adkins, at the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in New York City through Dec. 13. Pictured: Donna Duplantier, Nathan Hinton and Yvette Ganier. (Photo by Monica Simoes)
“A Soulful Christmas” by Stepp Stewart, at Ensemble Theatre in Houston through Dec. 21. Pictured: Jannah Bryant, Andre’ Neal and Trenton J. Sutton.
“You Got Older” by Clare Barron, a Page 73 production at HERE Arts Center in New York City in 2015. Pictured: William Jackson Harper and Brooke Bloom.