What's On: Upcoming Shows in Cleveland and Akron - Now thru 7/31

Ohio Shakespeare Festival opens their season with A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, running July 5th to 22nd. Curtain time is 8pm with the grounds opening at 6pm for picnics.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM tells of the adventures of four young lovers and a group of amateur actors and their interactions with woodland fairies and a duke and duchess. Taking place in a mythical Athens and an enchanted forest, there is a handsome fairy king, a misguided parent, star-crossed lovers, a weaver who's transformed into a half-donkey, wood sprites and elves.

Tickets are $30 for reserved seating and $25 for open seating. Purchase tickets online or by calling the box office at 330.673.8761. The Ohio Shakespeare Festival takes place on the grounds of Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens in Akron.

LEGALLY BLONDE takes to the Mackey Main Stage of the Beck Center for the Arts for 18 performances between July 6th and August 12th. Friday and Saturday night shows are at 8pm, with Sunday shows at 3pm.

Don't underestimate Elle Woods, a college sweetheart, homecoming queen and not-so-dumb blonde who doesn't take "no" for an answer. When her boyfriend dumps her for someone "serious," Elle puts down the credit card, hits the books and sets out to go where no Delta Nu has gone before – Harvard Law School. In the end, Elle learns that being true to yourself never goes out of style.

Tickets range from $10 to $28. 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.

PlayhouseSquare will be host to the national tour of MAMMA MIA! from July 13th to 22nd. Weekday evening performances are at 7:30pm, with weekend performances at 1pm and 6:30pm.

MAMMA MIA! is the ultimate feel-good show that has audiences coming back again and again to relive the thrill. Now it's your turn to have the time of your life at this smash hit musical that combines ABBA's greatest hits with an enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship. Whether it's your first visit or your fourteenth, see the show that has the whole world coming back for more, because every time feels like the first time!

MAMMIA MIA! is part of PlayhouseSquare's Smart Seats program. Tickets range from $10 to $70. 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.

Mercury Summer Stock presents ONCE UPON A MATTRESS for 11 performances between July 6th and 21st. All evening shows start at 7:30pm and all Sunday shows start at 2pm.

If you thought you knew the story of "The Princess and the Pea," you are in for a walloping surprised! Carried on a wave of wonderful songs, by turns hilarious and raucous, romantic and melodic, ONCE UPON A MATTRESS is a zany musical send-up of the beloved Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale of courtship and comeuppance that will provide for some side-splitting shenanigans.

Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. Purchase tickets online or by calling the box office at 216.771.5862. The Regina High School building is located on the campus of Notre Dame College in South Euclid.

Cleveland Play House will kick off the tour of ONE NIGHT WITH Janis Joplin this summer. Starring Cat Stephani, the production runs July 27th to August 19th at the Allen Theatre. Performance times vary.

With a voice like whiskey and a laugh like pure joy, Janis Joplin took the music scene by storm. Simultaneously rough and vulnerable, Joplin was dubbed the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll, proving music wasn't just a man's world anymore. Packed with classic songs, the show also shines the spotlight on trailblazers who influenced Janis – like Bessie Smith, Etta James and Aretha Franklin.

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Vicky Croisant Vicky is living her dream working as a zookeeper, spending her days with penguins, lions, tigers and bears (oh my!). Theatre has always been an interest of hers, but ever since moving to Ohio in 2003 it's become a true passion. Downtown Cleveland – the largest theatre district outside of Manhattan – is a frequent stomping ground. She sees as many touring, local, regional and orchestral productions as she can and is always looking to broaden her theatrical horizons. When not outside at the zoo or inside a theatre, Vicky enjoys photography, bird watching and knitting.

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