You can't blame Reduced Shakespeare Company - a three-man comedy troupe - for targeting the holidays. Its latest, The Ultimate Christmas Show (Abridged), opens on Black Friday, though you're less likely to encounter trampling or angry outbursts in the confines of Booth Playhouse, where the show is being held through Nov. 25, than at your local big box store.
The production pokes at Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Saturnalia (think: the Romans) with scenes that evoke "cringing at the origins of the term 'nutcracker' and gasping at the shocking history of our best-loved Christmas traditions," according to the troupe. Reduced Shakespeare is known for shaking up its performances, all of which are abridged. Past shows have included hilarious bits on the Bible, American history, sports and obviously, the works of William Shakespeare. $29.50 and up. Nov. 23, 8 p.m.; Nov. 24, 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Nov. 25, 1 p.m. & 6 p.m. Booth Playhouse, 130 N. Tryon St. 704-372-1000. www.blumenthalarts.org