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What's On: Upcoming Shows in Cleveland and Akron - 5/1 to 5/31


Cleveland Public Theatre presents the world premiere of Jen Silverman's AKARUI for 11 performances between May 24th and June 9th. The curtain rises at 7:30pm at the Gordon Square Theatre on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

AKARUI is an exuberant and haunting take on transformation and love that transports its characters to a "rave cave" at the end of the world where DJ Akarui spins beats that summon the lost, the desperate and the dangerous. Among those that answer the call are a transboi, a young handsome musician, a young boy who awakens to find himself dead and his memory gone and a fearsome scientist caught up in her experimentation. As seekers and revelers follow the sounds of DJ Akarui, they are led into a world where everything comes at a price, and the price is often themselves.

Tickets to Friday and Saturday performances are $25, while tickets to Monday and Thursday performances are only $10. Purchase tickets online at or by calling the box office at 216.631.2727, ext. 501. The Cleveland Public Theatre is located in Cleveland's near west side at 6415 Detroit Avenue, just minutes from downtown.

The regional premiere of BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON will take place at the Beck Center for the Arts between May 25th and July 1st. Performances are at 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays and at 7pm on Sundays. Due to mature content, the show is recommended for those 17 and older.

Meet America's first political maverick, who kicked British butt, shafted the Indians and smacked down the Spaniards all in the name of the United States. This irreverent punk rock musical look at one of our nation's founding rock stars reinvents the life of "Old Hickory," from his humble beginnings to his days as our seventh Commander-in-Chief.

Tickets are range from $17 to $28. Purchase tickets online at 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's Palace Theatre will be home to COME FLY AWAY from May 8th to 20th. Evening performances are at 7:30pm with weekend matinees at 1pm or 1:30pm. Post-show chat with members of the cast are scheduled for May 10th and 17th.

COME FLY AWAY is the new Broadway musical that brings together the legendary music of Frank Sinatra and the creative vision of Tony Award-winner Twyla Tharp. This one-of-a-kind experience combines the seductive vocals of "Ol' Blue Eyes" with the sizzling sound of a live on-stage big band and the visceral thrill of Tharp's choreography. As 15 of the world's best dancers tell the story of four couples falling in and out of love, you will experience the exhilaration of a first kiss, the excitement of a first dance, and the bittersweet moments of a first good-bye in a world of sparkling romance and astonishing beauty.

COME FLY AWAY is part of PlayhouseSquare's Smart Seats program. Tickets range from $10 to $77.50. Purchase tickets online at 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.

GEM OF THE OCEAN, by playwright August Wilson, will play at Karamu House from May 11th to June 3rd. Evening performances at 8pm and matinee performances at 3pm are available. There is no performance on Mother's Day.

Set in 1904 at 1839 Wylie Avenue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's Hill District, Aunt Ester, the drama's 285-year-old fiery matriarch, welcomes into her home Solly Two Kings, who was born into slavery and scouted for the Union Army, and Citizen Barlow, a young man from Alabama in search of redemption. Aunt Ester is not too old to practice healing and she guides Mr. Barlow on a soaring, lyrical journey of spiritual awakening to the City of Bones.

Tickets range from $10 to $25, with discounts for students and seniors. Purchase tickets online at or by calling the box office at 216.795.7077. The Arena Theatre is located at 2355 East 89th Street in the Karamu Performing Arts Center.

Actors' Summit presents I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE from May 10th to June 3rd. Performances are at 8pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and at 2pm on Sundays.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of Actors' Summit's first production of I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE, which was the regional premiere of this laugh out loud comedy about the stages of love, from dating through marriage. From "I'll Call You Soon" to "Always a Bridesmaid" to "I Can Live With That," this musical finds the laughter in every dating and mating situation.

Tickets range from $19 to $30 for adults and are $9 for students (with a valid ID). Purchase tickets online at 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.

Great Lakes Theater presents SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM as part of their 50th anniversary season from May 16th to July 8th in the intimate Hanna Theatre. This regional premiere marks a collaboration with PlayhouseSquare as part of their KeyBank Broadway Series. Show times vary, with evening and matinee performances available.

The incomparable, Tony Award-winning composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim is up close and personal in this landmark theatrical event, SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM. Ohio native James Lapine has created an evening that fuses exclusive interview footage about a life and artistic process that has touched the world. This live musical journey includes dozens of tunes from Sondheim's amazing 50-year Broadway legacy. This unforgettable experience takes you inside the mind of Broadway's greatest living composer.

Tickets range from $10 to $60. Purchase tickets online at or by calling the box office at 216.241.6000. The Hanna Theatre is located at 2047 E. 14th Street, in downtown Cleveland.

Photo credit: Tanairi Sade Vazquez and Ron Todorowski in COME FLY AWAY. Photo by Joan Marcus.

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