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Summer Stages: BWW's Top Summer Theatre Picks - Cleveland (Off The Beaten Path)!

June 7
9:25 AM 2012



Roy Berko

(Member, American Theatre Critics Association and Cleveland Critics Circle) 

The Cleveland area has a full schedule of professional summer entertainment.  But, instead of examining the traditional city offerings, let’s look at some non-traditional suggestions.


The fabled Oberlin College is within easy driving distance of the Cleveland area.  The Oberlin Summer Theater Festival’s 2012 season will include: William Shakespeare’s comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” William Inge’s romantic comedy, “Bus Stop,” and Marc Blitzstein’s hard-hitting musical, “The Cradle Will Rock.” The productions will feature professional Equity actors in leading roles and will run in rotating repertory from July 6 through August 4 in Oberlin’s Hall Auditorium, state Route 58 between the Oberlin Inn and the Allen Memorial Art Museum. Tickets are free, but reservations are recommended. For tickets call 440-775-8169. 


 Bannered as, “SEE A LITTLE HEAVEN AND RAISE A LITTLE HELL!,” Kent State University’s summer theatre, performed on the grounds of the Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, will perform  Damn Yankees, from June 14-30.  It will star the dynamic duo of Eric van Baars and MaryAnn Black. Kander and Ebb’s The World Goes ‘Round, with songs from Chicago, Cabaret, Funny Lady, Kiss of the Spider Woman and New York, New York, coupled with witty comic numbers, follows from July 5-21.  The season ends with the most beloved sing-along musical, The Sound of Music and star Kayce Cummings Green, being staged from July 26 through August 12.

Curtain time is 8 PM Tuesdays through Saturdays and 2 PM Sundays. The picnic grounds open 90 minutes prior to curtain time.  For tickets call 330-672-3884 or go online to


In its thirty-third year, the resident professional company of the College of Wooster performs from June 16 through August 11 in the campus’s Freedlander Theatre.  This year’s offering, which are performed in repertoire are:  GUYS AND DOLLS, A CONNECTICUT YANKEE, THE MIKADO, THE CHOCOLATE SOLDIER, BLOSSOM TIME, UTOPIA LIMITED and MISS SPRINGTIME.  For tickets and show descriptions go to or call 330-263-2345.


Though its been in existence since 1998, in an itinerate existence, Mercury Summer Theatre has finally found a home.  They will be performing at Notre Dame College in South Euclid. 

Headed by Artistic Director Pierre-Jacques Brault and his life partner, managing director Brian Marshall, the professionally-based, not for profit stock company, performs popular, but rarely done scripts. 

This season’s offerings are:  CATS, June 15-30, ONCE UPON A MATTRESS, July 6-21 and ALL SHOOK UP, August 3-18.  Performances start at 7:30.

For tickets go online to or call 216-771-5862.


Noted as a venue for music concerts and dance programs, Cain Park, located in Cleveland Heights, produces a musical play each season.  This year’s offering is AVENUE Q.  The show previews on June 14, opens on June 15 and runs through July 1 in the Alma Theatre.  For the $15 tickets call 216-371-3000 or go to

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About the Author

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Roy Berko Roy Berko, a life-long Clevelander, holds degrees, through the doctorate from Kent State, University of Michigan and The Pennsylvania State University. Roy was an actor for many years, appearing in more than 16 plays, 8 TV commercials, and 3 films. He has directed more than 30 productions. A member of the American Critics Association, the Dance Critics Association and The Cleveland Critics Circle, he has been an entertainment reviewer for more than twenty years.

For many years he was a regular on Channel 5, ABC-Cleveland's "Morning Exchange" and "Live on 5," serving as the stations communication consultant. He has also appeared on "Good Morning America." Roy served as the Director of Public Relations for the Volunteer Office in the White House during the first Clinton Administration.

He is a professor of communication and psychology who taught at George Washington University, University of Maryland, Notre Dame College of Ohio and Towson University. Roy is the author of 31 books. Several years ago, he was selected by Cleveland Magazine as one of the most interesting people in Cleveland.

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