Mahabharata — The great tale of the Bharata dynasty is woven into modern costume in Jean-Claude Carriére’s staged undertaking of the 200,000-verse Indian epic. With a firm handle on the roots, geography and relevance of the Mahabharata to India’s longplaying historical record, Carriére recounts the timeless struggle for the throne of Hastinapura through interspersing complex conflicts between friends, kin and opposing philosophies. The divine protagonists vie for control of the dynasty at the cost of their lives, ushering in the fourth and final stage of mankind, in which all virtue is lost in the sunset of dissolution.
Admission is free and open to the public.
March 15, doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m., UC Santa Cruz Theater Arts Center, Second Stage
$12 in advance, $15 at door.
March 20, doors at 8:30 p.m., show at 9 p.m., the Catalyst
Spring Awakening — The teen daze of our lives is revisited in this rock operatic adaptation of Frank Wedekind’s 1891 expressionist play about the birds, the bees and awkward sexual encounters. Staged in 19th-century Germany, this winner of eight Tony Awards — including “Best Musical” — offers several pubertistic platitudes throughout its touching portrait of young love. So be prepared to laugh, cry, sing along and get really comfortable with your neighbor.
$18 in advance, $20 at door.
March 15–16, doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m., Rio Theatre