OPENINGSThe Miser hits Fells Point Corner Theatre (251 S. Ann St.,  276-7837, fpct.org) Jan. 15-Feb.14. Molière's comedy pits the titular tightwad against his free-spirited romantic kids. Wacky French satire ensues. Gaslight illuminates Spotlighters (817 St. Paul St.,  752-1225, spotlighters.org) Jan. 15-Feb. 14 with a psychological thriller set in Victorian England. And Two Rooms gets cozy at Everyman Theatre (1727 N. Charles St.,  752-2208, everymantheatre.org) Jan. 19-Feb. 21. Lee Blessing's 1988 play takes an unnervingly personal look at terrorism through the experiences of an American professor held hostage in the Middle East and the wife who waits for him at home.
SMOOTH MOVESThe Collective prances onto the stage at the Creative Alliance at the Patterson (3134 Eastern Ave.,  276-1651, creativealliance.org) Jan. 15 with Shorts. The show features brief pieces by choreographers Adrienne Latanishen, Camille Lattimore, Cait Moler, Lynne Price, Melissa Talleda, Emily Tankersley, and Lauren Withhart with original music by Keith Kramer and Mark Williams.
BOOTY CALL The Saartjie Project--a group that uses theater and performance to examine issues of gender, race, and power--presents Deconstructing the Myth of the Booty at the Strand Theater (1823 N. Charles St.,  874-4917, strandtheatercompany.org)Jan. 16-17. The show revolves and evolves around the woman the project takes its name from--Saartjie Baartman, also known as Hottentot Venus. Baartman was an African woman displayed as a sideshow attraction in the early 1800s due to her large behind--and the play looks at how this type of objectification continues to affect black women.
BEAUTY MARK, GET SET, GO Run of the Mill Theater kicks of its sixth Variations Project--this time, Variations on Beauty--with a party Jan. 16 at Load of Fun Studios (120 W. North Ave., loadoffun.net). The Variations Project is a collaboration between theater audiences and local playwrights, and the accumulated source materials gathered from the community will be on display. There will also be food, music, and drinks to further inspire creativity.
AT LAST DARKNESS HAS COMEGeodesic Gnome presents Collinsport by John Berndt, Ric Royer, and Connor Kizer at 2640 Space (2640 St. Paul Street , redemmas.org/2640) Jan. 15. Ostensibly an "inquiry into the structural anomalies" of Dark Shadows, ABC's late '60s gothic soap opera about a wealthy Maine family that Tim Burton is bringing to the screen in 2011, Collinsport features a who's who of local left-fielders: Stephanie Barber, Peter Blasser, John Eaton, Sarah El Jallad, Mike Muniak, Melissa Moore, Kate Porter, and Liz Meredeth.