For music lovers: Next to Normal

Mental illness is rarely the stuff of popular musicals, let alone Broadway’s biggest hits. But this gripping show, which earned a 2010 Pulitzer Prize for drama and garnered three Tony Awards in 2009, tells the story of a mother struggling with mental illness and how it affects her family—all set to a contemporary score. Jan. 4–16, Ellie Caulkins Opera House

For sports fans: The Catch

A failed dot-commer gambles that he can mathematically calculate where to sit in a baseball stadium to catch a home-run ball. Though his math is correct, he drops the ball. Legal battles and general mayhem ensue as the show traces the story of a man rebuilding his life. Jan. 21–Feb. 26, Space Theatre at the Denver Performing Arts Complex

For Shakespeare buffs: The Lion in Winter

Philip Sneed, producing artistic director of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, brings to life this classic about King Henry II of England, the wife he’s imprisoned, and their sons, intertwining deception, politics, and humor. Jan. 25–Feb. 20, Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities

For friends: Circle Mirror Transformation

Quirky, misfit characters are at the heart of this play about a small community drama class. The tender and funny interactions between an eclectic gaggle of strangers earned several Obie Awards (off-Broadway theater awards) in 2010. Jan. 22–Feb. 26, Curious Theatre

For late-night comedy watchers: Kafka on Ice

In this Ice Capades–style show (with mock ice), the tortured Czech writer Franz Kafka puts on skates for a slapstick retelling of the author’s Metamorphosis, the story of a traveling salesman who turns into a bug. Jan. 28–Feb. 19, Buntport Theater