The Christmas season is barely underway, and already the television lineup looks like Hallmark exploded all over it. There are dogs named Christmas, a plethora of people home for the holidays, and plucky heroines who can inspire their rustic small towns to understand the "true meaning of Christmas," find love and tie their own elaborate bows without any help at all. These are the kind of Christmas stories that drive many of us to distraction. They're not simple, they're not believable and they make us all feel like lesser people because we don't have the energy for that kind of unfettered, slightly insane Christmas spirit. Artisan Center Theatre has the perfect antidote to the maddening crush of annoying Christmas storytelling with their production of The Forgotten Carols, the story of a weary nurse whose patient reminds her of the "true meaning of Christmas," not with outlandish gifts or crazy antics of any kind, but with simple reminders of the warmth and possibilities that the holiday season is supposed to bring. Turn off the TV and head out to the Artisan Center Theatre, 420 E. Pipeline Road in Hurst, for a break from all of the silliness. The show runs through Saturday, December 19, with performances at 7:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays (with an additional 3 p.m. matinee on Saturdays). Tickets range for $9 to $16. Visit artisanct.com.
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 3 p.m. Starts: Nov. 20. Continues through Dec. 19, 2009