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BWW Preview: Fall 2016 Cleveland Theater Calendar

Roy Berko

(Cleveland Critics Circle, American Theatre Critics Association)

Soon, the leaves will start to turn and many local theatres will be lifting their curtains to welcome a new season. Here's a list of some of the offerings of local theatres through the fall season. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL THEATRES!

You can track my reviews on http://www.royberko.info, or contact me to get on my direct review list. You can see a synopsis of the local reviewers' comments about the plays at http://www.clevelandtheaterreviews.com

BECK CENTER ?216-521-2540 or http://www.beckcenter.org

8 p.m. evenings, 3 p.m. matinees

RUTHLESS!, September 16-October 16-- Ruthless! is a campy cult favorite musical about Tina Denmark, the greatest song-and-dance sensation to ever hit the third grade.

BODY AWARENESS, October 7-November 6--It's "Body Awareness" week on campus and Phyllis, the organizer, and her partner, Joyce, are hosting a guest artist in their home. Their family is quickly divided as Frank, a photographer famous for his female nude portraits, settles in.

Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID-December 2-31-- Based on the classic fairy tale and film, the musical begins under the sea where Princess Ariel is fascinated by the forbidden land above. After saving Eric from stormy waters, she begins to discover her love for the human prince.

BLANK CANVAS ??440-941-0458 or http://www.blankcanvastheatre.com

2016 BENEFIT-September 3-A concert dedicated to raising money for the theater. Hors d'oevres and music from 7-7:50 PM, followed by an 8:00 PM performance by some of Cleveland's most talented actor-singers! Limited seating!

SILENCE! THE MUSICAL-October 21-November 5-A parody of The Silence of the Lambs which has been called, "irreverent, filthy and funny." Of course, this show contains adult language and content.

CABARET-December 2-17-Yes, the Kander and Ebb, "Maybe This Time," musical where your table, Sally Bowles and the Emcee are waiting.

CESEAR'S FORUM

216-241-6000 or go to http://www.playhousesquare.org

TAKE 5-September 23-October 29-Kennedy's Theatre (entrance off the lobby of the Ohio Theatre)-An evening of five short plays by Lanford Wilson about the concerns of black Americans.

Cleveland Play House ?216-241-6000 or go to http://www.clevelandplayhouse.com

7:30 Wednesday-Saturday, 2:30 Saturday and Sunday

ALL THE WAY-September 17-October 9 (Allen Theatre)-A Tony-Award winning drama that is a mirror of our time, the play reflects the power of one person and one vote to transform our country.

SEX WITH STRANGERS-October 22-November 13 (Outcalt Theatre)-Takes on the ever-blurring line between public and private in our digital age as a steamy romance erupts at a remote B&B.

A CHRISTMAS STORY-November 25-December 23 (Allen Theatre)-It's back yet again-- Ralphie, Randy, the Old Man, the triple-dog-dare, the glowing leg-lamp, the pink-bunny suit, and the bee-bee gun!

CLEVELAND PUBLIC THEATRE? 216-631-2727 or go on line to http://www.cptonline.org

44 PLAYS FOR 44 PRESIDENTS-October 6-29-Showcases the life and times of the 44 Presidents of the United States, featuring singing, dancing and an all-female cast!

THE GHOSTS OF LOTE BRAVO-October 14-29-Located in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, where girls often disappear, a mother reaches out for help in finding her lost daughter, revealing unflinching courage in the face of poverty and violence. (Presented as part of the National New Play Network).

Y-HAVEN THEATRE PROJECT-November 3-6-An original theatre project performed by the men in the Y-Haven traditional housing facility for homeless men recovering from substance abuse and mental health challenges.

LIGHT THE LIGHTS, OL' MOSES CLE! (A WILD HOLIDAY ROMP)-November 25-December 18-A vaudeville-inspired evening of holiday folly, mischief and merry-making, CPT style.

THE SANTALAND DIARIES-- December 1-18--(Outcalt Theatre at PlayhouseSquare)-A joint CPT-PHSq production of David Sedaris' story of Crumpet, a jaded and out-of-work actor who takes a job as a Macy's Christmas Elf!

convergence continuum

convergence-continiuum.org or 216-687-0074

Thursday-Saturday @ 8

SELFIES AT THE CLOWN MOTEL-August 26-September 17-The world premiere of Chris Johnson's play.

LIKE I SAY-October 14-November 5-A structurally bizarre play of stories within stories, weird puppet shows, and an Alpine zombie.

THE KNIFE IS MONEY, THE FORK IS LOVE-December 2-17-Jonathan Wilhelm's world premiere comedy about Tobias, a young man enamored by radio serials and pulp fiction, who is on a search for the members of a secret society.

DOBAMA?216-932-3396 or http://www.dobama.org

check the theatre's blog for performance times

THE MYSTERY OF LOVE & SEX-September 2-October 2-The Midwest premiere of Bathsheba Doran's tale about Charlotte and Jonny, life-long friends...she's white and Jewish, he's Christian and black.

AN OCTOROON-October 21-November 13-The Obie Award winner for best New American Play explores the 1859 plantation relationship between a handsome white man and a beautiful octoroon.

PETER AND THE STARCATCHER-December 2-30-A return engagement of last year's critically well-received Peter Pan prequel.

ENSEMBLE THEATRE?216-321-2930 or http://www.ensemble-theatre.com

Fridays and Saturdays @ 8, Sundays @ 2

MARGIN OF ERROR (or the Unassailable wisdom of the Mouse and the Scorpion)-September 30-October 23-The regional premiere of Cleveland Heights' playwright Eric Coble's tale of Harold Carver, the greatest political strategist the nation has ever known and the night he is stuck at Gate C19 at Cleveland Hopkins Airport amidst four possibly doomed campaigns.

THE BLOODLESS JUNGLE-September 15-October 2 (with a possible week extension)-Terrance Spivey directs former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones' script about a state senator and rising political star who is running for a pivotal seat in Congress.

THE NIGHT THOREAU SPENT IN JAIL-November 18--December 11-Clevelander Jerome Lawrence and Elyrian Robert E. Lee, authors of INHERIT THE WIND and AUNTIE MAME, tell the tale of Thoreau being jailed for refusing to pay taxes as a protest against a war of aggression in Mexico, his relationship with Emerson, and his romance and friendship with an illiterate cellmate.

GREAT LAKES THEATER?

http://www.greatlakestheater.org or 216-241-6000

Wednesday-Saturday @ 7:30, Saturdays @ 1:30, Sundays @ 3

MY FAIR LADY-September 23-October 29 (Hanna Theatre)-The Tony Award-winning Lerner and Loewe musical, based on George Bernard Shaw's PYGMALION, about the relationship between a linguistics professor and a Cockney flower girl. Songs include: "I Could Have Danced All Night," "Wouldn't It Be Loverly," and "The Rain in Spain."

TWELFTH NIGHT-September 30-October 30 (Hanna Theatre)-Shakespeare's bewitching comedy about a violent shipwreck off the coast of Illyria, an exotic island, which is turned topsy-turvy by love, false identities and misguided lovers.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL-November 26-December 23 (Ohio Theatre)-It's back again! The Dickens' "bah," "humbug," classic tale of Tiny Tim, Scrooge and the true meaning of Christmas.

INTERPLAY JEWISH THEATRE

%Dobama Theatre, 2340 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights

interplayjewishtheatre@gmail.com or 216-393-PLAY

(Play readings at Dobama are free, but reservations are required. Presentations at the Maltz Museum are fee based)

U.S. V HOWARD MECHANIC-September 18-(Dobama Theatre, 1430 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights)-A staged reading of Faye Sholiton's play about Shaker native, Howard Mechanic, who was falsely arrested on charges that turned him into a fugitive for 30 years.

KARAMU HOUSE

216-795-707) or www.karamuhouse.org

BLUES IN THE NIGHT-September 9-October 2-Sheldon Epps' Tony nominated compilation of 26 hot and torchy blues tunes is a musical commentary on three women's relationships with one snake of a guy.

RASHEEDA SPEAKING-November 4-20-A dark comedy of the realities of what happens when two co-workers, one black, the other white, are driven apart by the machinations of their boss.

SISTER ACT-December 2-30-A musical which relates what happens when a lounge singer witnesses her boy friend commit murder and she is relocated to a convent to the frustration of the Mother Superior and the delight of the audience.

LAKELAND CIVIC THEATRE

440-525-7134 or http://lakelandcc.edu/academic/arts/theatre/index.asp

THE LAST FIVE YEARS-September 16-October 2- Told almost completely through song, this Jason Robert Brown's Drama Desk Award-winning musical, is an unconventional glance into love-and-life-compartmentalized.

none-too-fragile theatre

330-671-4563 or http://www.nonetoofragile.com

THE WHIPPING MAN-September 23-October 8-The Civil War is over and throughout the South soldiers are returning home. Caleb DeLeon, a young Jewish Confederate officer finds his family's home in ruins and abandoned, save for two former slaves who wait for the family's return.

ANNAPURNA-November 4-November 19-A dark comedy that examines what happens when two damaged people get caught in the emotional whirlpool of not being able to live with or without each other.

PLAYHOUSESQUARE?216-241-6000 or go to www.playhousesquare.org.

See the website for specific dates and times

JERSEY BOYS-September 20-25 (State Theatre)-The musical tale of how four blue-collar kids became one of the greatest successes in pop music history. Hear "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Oh What a Night," and "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You."

FUN HOME-October 2-22 (Connor Palace)-Cleveland is the launch-point for the national tour of the 2015 Tony Award winner for Best Musical. Based on Alison Bechdel's graphic memoir, written while she was a student at Oberlin College, we see her at three different ages as she explores her own lesbianism and her father's homosexuality. (Part of the Key Bank Series)

FINDING NEVERLAND-November 1-20 (Connor Palace)-A prequel which tells the story behind J. M. Barrie's meeting four Young Brothers and their mother, which gives birth to the make believe adventures of Peter Pan. (Part of the Key Bank Series)

AVENUE Q-October 27-November 6 (Allen Theatre)-Cleveland State University stages Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx's musical tale of Princeton, who moves into a shabby New York apartment and discovers a neighborhood filled with unique characters.

DR. SUESS'S HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS: THE MUSICAL-December 6-11 (Connor Palace)-Visit the whimsical world of Whoville to learn the true meaning of the holiday season.

THE MUSICAL THEATER PROJECT

http://www.MusicalTheaterProject.org or 216-529-9411 for tickets and information

(productions staged in review format with narration)

THE CRADLE WILL ROCK-September 21 (@ 7:30, Beck Center for the Arts) and September 25 (@ 2 PM, Kent State's E. Turner Stump Theatre)-Marc Blitzstein's pro-union musical gets a staged reading directed by Terri Kent featuring Joe Monaghan and members of the Kent State University Musical Theatre program.

CURTAIN UP AT THE COTTON CLUB-October 15 (@ 3 PM, Lakeland Community College) and October 16 (@ 2PM, Stocker Center, Lorain County Community College)-The multi-media concert, which played to sold-out performances last year, is back by popular demand. Featuring the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, the Joe Hunter Trio, John Morton, Treva Offutt and Evelyn Wright.

ALMOST LIKE BEING IN LOVE: THE SONGS OF LERNER AND LOEWE-November 20 (@ 2 PM, Hanna Theatre, PlayhouseSquare)-The remarkable music of two men who saw the world in the same way and told the tales of the perfect time, perfect place and perfect love story in MY FAIR LADY, CAMELOT, BRIGADOON and GIGI.



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