Shock the Monkey The Cheeky Monkey Sideshow Nov. 28 at LOF/t (120 W. North Ave., loadoffun.net) promises to amaze and slightly disgust you. The Washington-based troupe includes an aging escape artist, a sword eater, a contortionist, and a magician, among others.
Opening Single Carrot Theatre (120 W. North Ave.,  844-9253, singlecarrot.com) offers Illuminoctem, an original play by the company, Nov. 25-Dec. 20. The show is loosely based on a short story but it's more about form than plot as it is entirely wordless. And a bit saucy, too--there is nudity and no one under 15 will be admitted; under 18s need a parent or guardian to get in.
University of Maryland, Baltimore County (1000 Hilltop Circle,  455- 2476, umbc.edu/arts) brings a short story by H.G. Wells to life using puppets and animated effects Dec. 2-13. The Crystal Egg centers on curio-shop owner Mr. Cave (a puppet it takes two people to perform), who finds a crystal egg with amazing creatures inside. And Cinderella finds, loses, and is found by her prince in Rodgers' and Hammerstein's musical version of the tale at Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theater (817 St. Paul St.,  752-1225, spotlighters.org) Nov. 27-Dec. 20.