ONSTAGE

PLAY TIME If you have any doubt that Houston's theater community is living up to its vibrant reputation, make it your New Year's resolution to take a seat in one of the city's velvet-covered chairs and check out the following selections. Begin with two plays by August Wilson: Jitney, Wilson's updated, reworked version of his first play, will be performed at the Alley Theatre January 11-February 9, while the Ensemble Theatre stages Wilson's Pulitzer prize-winning drama, Fences, January 31-February 24. Next, from January 16 through February 10, catch Stages Repertory Theatre's co-production of Moises Kaufman's poignant work of "theatrical journalism," The Laramie Project, in which eight actors play more than forty characters discussing the Matthew Shepard murder. Finish the month with Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century, Greil Marcus' historical interpretation of punk rock, which has been adapted for the theater in a frenetic production presented by Austin's Rude Mechs at DiverseWorks from January 31 through February 2. After all that, you can proceed with your less appealing resolutions. (See Houston: Theater .)

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