Cabeza de Vaca: Shipwrecked in Texas — A Texas History Operetta. A short rock opera about a Spanish conquistador’s encounters with the Native American tribes of Texas? Sure, why not. Crank Collective takes Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca’s famous narrative of 16th-century European exploration in and around Texas and turns the tale into a family-friendly one-hour rock-musical tribute. 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Rollins Studio Theatre, Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. $14-$20. www.texshows.com.
“Mad, Beat, Hip and Gone.” Everybody knows the adventures of Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady when the two young men went on the road in the 1950s, becoming fodder for Kerouac’s seminal novel of rebellious, restless post-war American youth. But what about Danny Fergus and Rich Rayburn — you know, the guys in the car right behind Jack and Neal, the not-so-hip guys whose history never ended up immortalized in novels? In a new play, Austin playwright Steven Dietz pays homage to American wanderlust. Show are Wednesdays-Sundays through April 28. Topfer Theatre, Zach Theatre, 202 S. Lamar Blvd. $25—$65. www.zachtheatre.org.
“The Oracle.” For her edgy, sensual new dance work, celebrated Australian choreographer Meryl Tankard uses Igor Stravinsky’s seminal composition for the famous 1913 ballet “The Rite of Spring,” which caused riots at its Paris premiere and is celebrating its centennial in 2013. Performed solo by noted dancer Paul White, “The Oracle” explores the conflicting forces of nature and man, masculinity and femininity, violence and nurturing, strength and vulnerability. 8 p.m. Saturday. Bass Concert Hall, UT campus. $10-$32. 477-6060, www.texasperformingarts.org.