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story.lead_photo.caption Soara-Joye Ross (center) and her choir of nuns lift spirits in the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s production of Sister Act. Several central Arkansas theaters offer opportunities for a fun escape.

Sometimes you just want to get away -- to escape reality and enter a fantasy world where things are a lot easier and, since they're fictional, a lot less serious.

And one of the best ways to do that is to see live theater, where performers and audiences share the same space and feed off one another's energy, working together to create a full experience that's transcendent.

Here are four shows currently filling stages in central Arkansas, each for a different audience and with a different purpose, but each serving up some laughs and healthy escapism:

• For unpredictable, sharp and off-the-wall humor -- and drinks: The Main Thing professional comedy team has made itself at home at North Little Rock's The Joint, 301 Main St., for years now, performing their original two-act shows every weekend. Currently, Steve Farrell, Vicki Farrell and Brett Ihler are presenting Naked People With Their Clothes On, a revue of sketches, songs and phony commercials. The cabaret theater also serves cocktails, craft beers, wines, coffee, food and desserts so patrons can order refreshments while they laugh. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday through March 25. Tickets are $24 and reservations are recommended. Call (501) 372-0205 or visit thejointargenta.com.

• For belly laughs and full belly: Murry's Dinner Playhouse, 6323 Col. Glenn Road, has been serving up theater and a full meal for 50 years. The Nerd, continuing through Feb. 18, tells the story of an architect whose life gets a major jolt thanks to an old friend. Meanwhile, the buffet serves up roasted pork loin, chicken marsala, marinara spaghetti, cod loin and plenty of sides, salads and sweets. Dinner starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Sunday, and the show follows at 7:30, 12:45 and 6:45 p.m., respectively. Show-only tickets are $25, $15 for children 15 and under. Tickets for the whole enchilada are $33-$37, $23 for children. Call (501) 562-3131 or visit murrysdp.com.

• For imaginative kids: The Arkansas Arts Center Children's Theatre presents The Laughable Legend of Fancybeard the Bully Pirate. The story takes place at Tortuga Pirate Academy, where three pirate captains-in-training get their best lesson in leadership from a ghost. The whimsical adventure with a message continues through Feb. 19 with performances at 7 p.m. Fridays, 2 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays. Tickets are $12.50 and $10 for AAC members. Call (501) 372-4000 or visit arkarts.com.

• For laughs with music and soul: A group of nuns get a musical and spiritual makeover thanks to a mob-connected lounge singer in Sister Act. The stage adaptation of the hit 1992 movie is shaking the boards at the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, 601 Main St., Little Rock, through Feb. 26. The music lineup isn't the same as the movie's, but showgoers can still expect rafter raising and fish-out-of-water comedy. Show times are 7 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $40-$60, $30 for students. Call (501) 378-0405 or visit therep.org.

Weekend on 02/02/2017

Print Headline: Four times the fun, laughs at nearby, neighborly stages

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