BETTING ON LA BETE: While most of our area theaters are producing the holiday shows that help put them in the black, Theatre Three is going with a bit of counter-programing with the La Bete. David Hirson’s 1991 play takes place in 17th Century France and centers on a theater company manager, Elomire, who’s pressured into hiring a comedian, Valere, that he feels is below his artistic standards. Judging from the reviews, this one sounds like it might be worth putting the holidays on hold for one night. “You run some risk of being talked right out of your seat with this show,” Punch Shaw writes in his dfw.com review. “But if you can embrace the script’s love of its own words, you may find this to be a beastly funny play.” Consider Lawston Taitte on the fence, too. “The show’s beginning explodes with laughter. By the end, it feels more like a lesson than an entertainment,” he writes on dallasnews.com. Judge for yourself through Jan. 14.
WALKIN’ IN A WINTER WONDERLAND: The Dallas Museum of Art is getting into the holiday spirit. Though it (blessedly) hasn’t been quite cold enough to snow yet, the museum has gathered up images of works that evoke winter in one way or another and posted them on the museum’s Uncrated blog. Take a look and then go for a scavenger hunt next time you’re there.
THE BOOKSTORE’S DEAD (LONG LIVE THE BOOKSTORE: Bookstores typically see a bump in business around the holidays. And this year’s bump is pretty significant. NYtimes.com reports that sales for Barnes & Noble are up more than 10 percent over the same period last year, while members of the American Booksellers Association are seeing a 16 percent jump over last year. A better selection this year and former Borders customers coming by are credited for the rise. So it’s perfect timing for slate.com to advocate for buying your books online.