'What's On' - Upcoming Shows in Cleveland and Akron - 2/1 to 2/29
A GIRL'S GUIDE TO COFFEE
Actors' Summit presents the world premiere of Eric Coble's A GIRL'S GUIDE TO COFFEE at Greystone Hall from February 23rd to March 11th. Evening performances are Thursday to Saturday at 8pm with 2pm matinees on Sunday.
Coffee, from the ubiquitous Starbucks to the neighborhood shop, has become a defining commodity for a generation. Half-caff macchiato with chocolate shavings and whipped cream has become as common as "burger and fries." A barista, whose creations elevate the humble beam to hitherto unknown heights, carves a path for herself from college to whatever comes next.
Tickets range from $19 to $30 for adults and are $9 for students (with a valid ID). Purchase tickets online at www.actorssummit.org/tickets.htm or by calling the box office at 330.374.7568. The theatre is located on the sixth floor of Greystone Hall, located in downtown Akron across from the John S. Knight Center.
The second U.S. production of ANTEBELLUM will be produced by the Cleveland Public Theatre for eleven performances between February 23rd and March 10th. Performances are at 7:30pm on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays.
ANTEBELLUM unfolds against the backdrop of a southern plantation, a German concentration camp, the Atlanta premiere of "Gone With the Wind" and the cabarets of 1930s Berlin. Two seemingly unrelated stories reveal a love affair between two men that bridges time, space and gender. Through juxtaposed realities of Nazi cruelty and Hollywood dreams, this sweeping romance challenges race, religion and discrimination on both sides of the Atlantic.
Tickets are $25, with a $3 discount for students and seniors. Tickets to Monday and Thursday performances are only $10. Purchase tickets online at www.cptonline.org/cleveland-public-theater-box-office.php or by calling the box office at 216.631.2727, ext. 501. The Gordon Square Theatre is located in Cleveland's near west side at 6415 Detroit Avenue, just minutes from downtown.
ANYONE CAN WHISTLE
Lakeland Community College will be performing the classic Sondheim/Laurents musical ANYONE CAN WHISTLE as their spring semester production. Running weekends from February 3rd to 19th at Lakeland's Performing Arts Center, the Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30pm and Sunday performances are at 2pm.
The Mayoress has led her town into glorious bankruptcy. To save the town she gains help from her merry band of corrupt city workers and politicians to create a miracle she hopes will attract paying tourists. Unfortunately for her, the inmates of the local asylum escape and mix with the tourists rushing into town. A doctor named Hapgood surfaces and claims to have the ability to identify the inmates from the normal members of society. Nurse Apple, who let the inmates escape by accident, reappears as an out-of-town consultant. Hapgood and Apple hook up – maybe.
Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 440.525.7134. The Performing Arts Center is located on the campus of Lakeland Community College in Kirtland.
THE BLUEST EYE
THE BLUEST EYE will be presented by Karamu Performing Arts Theatre from February 3rd to 26th. Evening performances (Thursday to Saturday) are at 8pm and matinee performances (Sunday) are at 3pm.
Adapted from Toni Morrison's novel by Lydia Diamond, THE BLUEST EYE is a story about the tragic life of a young black girl in 1940s Ohio. Eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove wants nothing more than to be loved by her family and schoolmates. Instead, she faces constant ridicule and abuse. She blames her dark skin and prays for blue eyes, sure that love will follow.
Tickets range from $10 to $25, with discounts for students and seniors. Purchase tickets online at www.karamuhouse.org/tour-ticket.php?id=2 or by calling the box office at 216.795.7077. Several performances have already been sold out. The Arena Theatre is located at 2355 East 89th Street in the Karamu Performing Arts Center.
THE COLOR PURPLE
The national tour of THE COLOR PURPLE stops at Akron's E.J. Thomas Hall for two performances only. The curtain rises at 7:30pm on Friday, February 3rd and at 8pm on Saturday, February 4th.
THE COLOR PURPPLE is an inspiring family saga that tells the unforgettable story of a woman who – through love – finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discover her unique voice in the world. Set to a joyous score featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel and blues, THE COLOR PURPLE is a story of hope, a testament to the healing power of love and a celebration of life.
Tickets range from $32.50 to $52.50. Purchase tickets online at www.ejthomashall.com, by calling the box office at 330.972.7570 or by visiting a Ticketmaster outlet. E.J. Thomas Hall is located at 198 Hill Street, on the campus of The University of Akron.
IN ARABIA WE'D ALL BE KINGS
The 2014 graduate ensemble from the Case Western Reserve/Cleveland Play House MFA Acting Program are proud to present IN ARABIA WE'D ALL BE KINGS, the first production in the new Lab Theatre at PlayhouseSquare. Running February 1st to 11th, evening performances are at 7:30pm and matinee performances are at 3pm.
IN ARABIA WE'D ALL BE KINGS, written by Stephen Adly Guirgis (THE MOTHERF**KER WITH A HAT), is a dramatic play that takes place in 1990s New York City. It chronicles the demise of a group of individuals living in New York's Hell's Kitchen around the time Mayor Rudy Giuliani's efforts to clean up the city. Out of work and strapped for money, the lives of these individuals revolve around a local bar and their misguided hopes and dreams. Due to strong content, IN ARABIA WE'D ALL BE KINGS is not recommended for anyone under 16 years old.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $7.50 for students (with a valid ID). Purchase tickets online at www.clevelandplayhouse.com or through the PlayhouseSquare box office at 216.241.6000. The Helen Rosenfeld Lewis Bialosky Lab Theatre is part of the new Allen Theatre complex at PlayhouseSquare.
The Ensemble Theatre presents LOWER NINTH from February 3rd to 19th, with a preview show on February 2nd. Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8pm and Sunday afternoons at 2pm.
Inspired by the events of Hurricane Katrina, LOWER NINTH tells the tale of two men stranded on a roof following a devastating storm. They struggle against heat, hunger and their pasts. Ultimately, their salvation rests with each other.
Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and $10 for students. Purchase tickets online at www.ensemble-theatre.com/box-office/panorama or by calling the box office at 216.321.2930. Ensemble performs at the former Coventry School, located at 2843 Washington Blvd. in Cleveland Heights.
The first national tour of MEMPHIS comes to the Palace Theatre for 16 performances between February 28th and March 11th. Evening and matinee performances are available, with post-show chats with cast member scheduled on March 1st and 8th.
From the underground dance clubs of 1950s Memphis, Tennessee, comes a Tony-winning new musical that bursts off the stage with explosive dancing, irresistible songs and a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love. Inspired by actual events, MEMPHIS is about a white radio DJ who wants to change the world and a black club singer who is ready for her big break. Come along on their incredible journey to the ends of the airwaves – filled with laugh, soaring emotion and roof-raising rock 'n' roll. Hockadoo!
MEMPHIS is part of PlayhouseSquare's Smart Seats program. Tickets range from $10 to $85. Purchase tickets online at www.playhousesquare.org or by calling the box office at 216.241.6000. The Palace theatre is located at 1615 Euclid Avenue, in the heart of Cleveland's theatre district.
The regional premiere of MIDDLETOWN will be produced by Dobama Theatre. Running Thursdays to Sundays from February 24th to March 18th, performances are at 7:30pm, 8pm and 2:30pm.
MIDDLETOWN is Will Eno's deeply moving and funny play exploring the universe of a small American town. Mary Swanson just moved to Middletown, eager to start a family and enjoy the neighborly bonds a small town promises. But when Mary befriends resident John Dodge, she is quick to discover that below Middletown's unflinchingly honest exterior lies something much more complex.
Tickets are $21 or $26, depending on performance day. Discounts are available to seniors and students. Purchase tickets online dobama.ticketleap.com or by calling the box office at 216.932.3396. The Dobama Theatre is located at 2340 Lee Road, adjacent to the Cleveland Heights/University Heights Library.
MISS ABIGAIL'S GUIDE TO DATING, MATING & MARRIAGE
PlayhouseSquare's 14th Street Theatre will host MISS ABIGAIL'S GUIDE TO DATING, MATING & MARRIAGE from February 8th to 12th. Evening performances are available Wednesday to Saturday and matinee performances are available Saturday and Sunday.
MISS ABIGAIL'S GUIDE TO DATING, MATING & MARRIAGE is the story of Miss Abigail, the most sought-after relationship expert to the stars (think Dr. Ruth meets Emily Post), and her sexy sidekick Paco, as they travel the world teaching Miss Abigail's outrageously funny "how-tos" on dating, mating and marriage!
MISS ABIGAIL'S is part of PlayhouseSquare's Smart Seats program. Tickets range from $10 to $35. Purchase tickets online at www.playhousesquare.org or by calling the box office at 216.241.6000. The 14th Street Theatre is an intimate performing space next to the Hanna Theatre in downtown Cleveland.
Director Lou Bellamy will helm Cleveland Play House's production of RADIO GOLF. A collaboration with the Indiana Repertory Theatre, performances run February 10th to March 4th at the Allen Theatre. Weekday evening performances are at 7:30pm and weekend matinees are at 2:30pm.
The final chapter in August Wilson's unprecedented 10-play cycle chronicling African-American life in the 20th century, RADIO GOLF is about a successful and idealist entrepreneur who aspires to become a city's first black mayor. While looking ahead to his and the city's future, however, he is forced to reckon with the price of progress.
Tickets range from $49 to $69 for adults and are $15 for students. Purchase tickets online at www.clevelandplayhouse.com or through the PlayhouseSquare box office at 216.241.6000. The Allen Theatre is located at 1407 Euclid Avenue, the new home of the Cleveland Play House.
Beck Youth Theatre presents RECKLESS in the Studio Theater for six performances between February 24th and March 4th. Show times are 7:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays and 3pm on Sundays. The cast consists of 16 teenage actors who are students at the Beck Center for the Performing Arts.
RECKLESS is a dark, but very funny comedy about a modern-day Alice who encounters bizarre characters on her surreal, loop-de-loop adventures through a contemporary Wonderland. At home on Christmas Eve, Rachel is informed by her guilt-ridden husband that he has hired a hit man to kill her. Distraught, she flees for her life by scrambling out the bedroom window and into the snowy night. Rachel's journey takes her from town to town where she meets a variety of crazy, colorful characters and encounters an endless series of incredible coincidences.
Tickets are $12 for adults and seniors and $10 for children and students. Purchase tickets online at www.beckcenter.org or by calling the box office at 216.521.2540, ext. 10. The Beck Center is located at 17801 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood, ten minutes west of downtown Cleveland.
The Beck Center for the Performing Arts presents SPRING AWAKENING from February 3rd to March 4th on the Mackey Main Stage. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and 3pm on Sundays.
Winner of 8 Tony Awards, SPRING AWAKENING is a rock musical adaption of the controversial 19th century German play that explores with poignancy and passion the turbulent journey from adolescence to adulthood. Follow this group of teenagers on their passage as they navigate self-discovery and coming-of-age anxiety in a powerful celebration of youth and rebellion. More suitable for mature audiences, this landmark musical is an exhilarating mix of morality, sexuality and rock 'n' roll.
Tickets are $28 for adults, $25 for seniors (65 and older) and $17 for students (with a valid ID). Purchase tickets online at www.beckcenter.org or by calling the box office at 216.521.2540, ext. 10. The Beck Center is located at 17801 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood, ten minutes west of downtown Cleveland.
Photo Credit: Taprena Augustine in THE COLOR PURPLE. Photo by Scott Suchman.