by Lenise Willis

This week is buzzing with musicals, comedies and family-friendly tales.

Continuing now through the end of the month is Barn Dinner Theatre’s Saturday Night at Old Smokey, a comedy about one mountaintop country store, a fundraising jamboree and a few hectic hiccups.

Saturday, Community Theatre of Greensboro presents Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Kids at CTG’s Starr Theatre on Elm Street. The production includes classic songs such as “Once Upon a Dream” in addition to a few modern twists including, “Maleficent.” Performances continue through Feb. 1.

Also opening on Saturday is another installment of Twin City Stage‘s Saturday Family Series: The Ugly Duckling and The Tortoise and the Hare. The joint production runs one-hour long at the Arts Council Theatre. The show is a family-friendly production and is recommended for ages 5-9.

Sunday, Triad Stage presents its first Greensboro show of the New Year: Dirty Blonde, a love story inspired by the real Mae West. Their first Winston-Salem show won’t hit until Feb. 11: Other Desert Cities, a comic drama about a writer who’s going to publish some family secrets.

Monday and Tuesday, Community Theatre of Greensboro is holding auditions for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, at the Greensboro Cultural Arts Center.

Next Thursday, Jan. 29, North Carolina Opera will present Approaching Ali, a 50-minute contemporary chamber opera at the Carolina Theatre in Durham and on Saturday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m. at Enloe Magnet High School in Raleigh.

Coming soon in February is Greensboro’s 13th annual Fringe Festival, which will include An Evening of Short Plays presented by the Drama Center’s Playwright’s Forum. The event includes eight original, never-before-produced pieces. Plays at the Greensboro Cultural Center range from funny to serious.

Also upcoming is a special Black History Month play by Caldcleugh Multicultural Arts Center, Pride and Prejudice by Twin City Stage, and The Odd Couple by Barn Dinner Theatre.

In other news, the young actors of Community Theatre of Greensboro were in Atlanta, Georgia, this past weekend to perform Hairspray, Jr. in the National Junior Theatre Festival. !