Reviewed by Wendy Rosenfield (W.R.), Jim Rutter (J.R.), David Patrick Stearns (D.P.S.) and Toby Zinman (T.Z.).

A Christmas Story (Walnut Street Theatre) If you loved the 1983 film version, you'll love this musical. And if you hated the 1983 film version, you'll love this musical. Through Jan 20. - J.R.

Billy Elliot (Media Theatre) This homage to dance's transformative power is a promise that Media's production expertly fulfills in one of its best musicals ever. Ends Sunday. - J.R.

Diner: The Musical (Delaware Theatre Company) Lifelong early-20s buddies meet at the diner, where they sing, josh, and jive and face the fact that growing up may be inevitable. Musically weak, but a terrific cast. Ends Sunday. - J.R.

Hansel and Gretel (Quintessence Theatre Group) A contemporary retelling of the classic Grimm fairy tale that piles on a bit too much but that is beautifully acted and produced. Ends Sunday. - J.R.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Merriam Theater) New production of this '60s-vintage Tim Rice/Andrew Lloyd Webber rock musical. Ends Sunday.

The Three Maries: A Philadelphia Phable (Prince Theater) It's 1926 and Queen Marie of Romania is visiting Philadelphia in this new city-centric musical by Michael Ogborn. Shamelessly entertaining, it lovingly spoofs Philly accents, institutions, and traditions. Great phun! Through next Sunday. - J.R.

The Three Musketeers (People's Light) In this year's holiday panto, Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and a chicken hunt for justice against the evil Lord Mazorotti. It's fun for all, but a little too long and a little too sweet. Through next Sunday. - W.R.