In Living Colores

Had enough of Tiny Tim and that crazy Nutcracker? Get back to basics with American Pastorela: The Shepherds' Odyssey, presented by Colores Actors-Writers Workshop. "The pastorela in Mexico evolved to comment on the power structure and the events of the day," says playwright James Garcia. "I used to do a gridiron show with journalists, where you take current events and incorporate them into the show each year, and Pastorela is sort of like that."

Muchas centuries ago, Christianity preserved and spread its message with theater that incorporated humor, spectacle, and local interest. The Spanish conquista of this continent continued conversion through diversion, and Nativity plays about shepherds in the wilderness proved a popular vehicle. Colores' version summons la familia Hernandez from their Sonoran goat ranch to Bethlehem -- via Phoenix, por supuesto. The thrilling climax (in Ahwatukee) features an apocalyptic battle between el diablo himself and the beautiful angel Gabriela ("I may be hot, but this isn't going to be pretty!").

Thu., Dec. 6, 8 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 7, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 8, 2:30 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 9, 2:30 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 13, 8 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 14, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 15, 8 p.m., 2007