(Cleveland Critics Circle, American Theatre Critics Association)
Though the weather is still warm, soon the leaves will be turning and the Fall 2015 theatre season will be upon us. Here’s a list of some of the offerings from September through December.
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’ capsule comments about the plays they see at http://www.clevelandtheaterreviews.com
SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL THEATRES!
330-374-7568 or go to www.actorssummit.org
Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 PM and Sundays @ 2 PM
QUILTERS (Oct. 8-Nov. 1, 2015)—A play with music, in which frontier women share their love, warmth, and lively humor while facing a life of adversity.
GUYS ON ICE (Nov. 25-Dec. 22, 2015)—Lloyd and Marvin brave the cold as they dream about catching the big one, while enjoying the pleasure of a fishing-pole and a warm snowmobile suit.
216-521-2540 or http://www.beckcenter.org
8 p.m. evenings, 3 p.m. matinees
SPITFIRE GRILL (Sept. 18-October 18, 2015)—A play with music and lyrics about a feisty parolee Percy Talbott, as she takes a job at Hannah’s Spitfire Grill in rural Wisconsin with startling results.
MOTHERS AND SONS (Oct. 9-Nov. 15, 2015)—Terrence McNally’s play about what happens when a mother, whose son has died of AIDS, visits the home of her son’s ex-partner and is forced to come to terms with the life her son might have lived.
MARY POPPINS (Dec. 4, 2015-Jan 3, 2016)—An encore production of the local and Broadway award winning show that broke all Beck Center box office records last year. Again starring Rebecca Pitcher, with choreography by Martin Céspedes.
440-941-0458 or http://www.blankcanvastheatre.com
BAT BOY THE MUSICAL (October 16-31, 2015)—A horror spook satire musical of a half boy/half bat discovered in a cave near fictional Hope Falls, Virginia, who is taught the “civilized” ways of society with disastrous results.
REEFER MADNESS (December 4-19, 2015)—a raucous musical comedy which takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the hysteria caused when clean-cut kids fall prey to marijuana, with the resulting outcome of listening to evil jazz music, and partaking in sex and violence.
Kennedy’s Theatre (entrance in the Ohio Theatre lobby)
216-241-6000 or go to http://www.playhousesquare.org
THE INVESTIGATION (Oct 16-Nov 14, 2015)—A documentary drama based on the verbatim testimonies from the Frankfurt Trials of 1963-1965, where survivors of Auschwitz face those in charge of the camp.
CLEVELAND PLAY HOUSE
216-241-6000 or go to http://www.clevelandplayhouse.com
7:30 Wednesday-Saturday, 2:30 Saturday and Sunday
A COMEDY OF TENORS (Sept 5-Oct 3, 2015)–The Tony Award winning CPH kicks off its 100t th season with the world premiere of Ken Ludwig’s farcical play about three tenors, three egos, and one stage!
THE CRUCIBLE (Oct 10-Nov 8, 2015)—Arthur Miller’s classic that uses the Salem Witch trials to put the McCarthy House Un-American Activities Committee and the American society on trial.
A CHRISTMAS STORY (Nov 27-Dec 23, 2015)—It’s back! Yes, its all there–Ralphie wants a Red Ryder b-b gun, he has to wear that pink-bunny suit, his dad wins a glowing-leg lamp, his friend gets his tongue stuck on a steel pole because of a triple-dog-dare, and the entire family has fun watching this holiday classic.
CLEVELAND PUBLIC THEATRE
216-631-2727 or go on line to http://www.cptonline.org
WHITE RABBIT RED RABBIT (Oct 8-25, 2015)—An absurdist adventure by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour, with a performance by a different actor each night.
TEATRO PUBLICO DE CLEVELAND (title to be announced)—(Oct 15-24, 2015)—an original show created and performed by the ensemble.
THE LOUSH SISTERS LOVE DICK’NS (GREAT EXPECTATIONS)—(Nov 27-Dec 19, 2015)—Join Holly and Jolly Loush (aka—The Loush Sisters) for a bawdy, boozy, over-the-top holiday cabaret.
FEEFER RISING (Dec. 3-19, 2015)—A devised solo performance that explores emerging sexuality and selfhood through the eyes of an adolescent girl.
216-932-3396 or www.dobama.org
check the theatre’s blog for performance times
OR (Sept 4-Oct 4, 2015)—Liz Duffy Adams’ bawdy farcical sex comedy.
THE CALL (Oct. 23-Nov 15, 2015)—A politically charged story about a white couple who decide to adopt a child from Africa.
PETER AND THE STARCATCHER (Dec. 4, 2015-Jan 3, 2016)—A farcical musical prequel to Barrie’s “Peter Pan” that is filled with madcap fun.
216-321-2930 or http://www.ensemble-theatre.comFridays and Saturdays @ 8, Sundays @ 2
FARRAGUT NORTH (Aug 27-Sept 6, 2015)—A timely story about the lust for power and the costs one will endure to achieve it.
DEATH OF A SALESMAN (Sept 18-October 11, 2015)—Considered one of Americas greatest plays, playwright Arthur Miller exposes the underside of success, happiness, and false dreams.
AGES OF THE MOON (Nov 3-Dec. 6, 2015—Sam Shepard’s gruff and funny play about the mutual desperation of two friends, which is put to a test at the barrel of a gun.
THE LION, THE WITCH, & THE WARDROBE (December 4-13, 2015)– This new dramatization of C.S. Lewis’ classic, set in the land of Narnia, recreates the magic and mystery of Aslan, the great lion, his struggle with the White Witch, and the adventures of four children.
GREAT LAKES THEATER
http://www.greatlakestheater.org or 216-241-6000
Wednesday-Saturday @ 7:30, Saturdays @ 1:30, Sunday @ 3.
THE SECRET GARDEN (Sept 25-Oct 31, 2015)—Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon’s musical based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, tells the tale of 10-year-old Mary who returns to England to live with her melancholy uncle at his neglected estate.
KING LEAR (Oct 2-Nov 1, 2015)—Shakespeare’s classic brutal, exciting, terrifying tragedy.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Nov 28-Dec 23, 2015)—Great Lakes celebrates the holiday with its 27 th annual production of Gerald Freedman’s adaptation of Dickens’ classic tale.
INTERPLAY JEWISH THEATRE
(staged readings are free at Dobama; performance cost at The Maltz Museum: members–$6, for non-members the performance is free with the purchase of an admission to the museum; reservations required.
HAPY ENDING (Oct 19-2 PM)—Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, 2929 Richmond Rd., Beachwood—A play about the power of denial by Iddo Netanyahu, playwright, author and physician. Reservations at 216-593-0575 or visit maltzmuseum.org
EXQUISITE POTENTIAL (Nov 8 & 9 @ 7 PM)—Dobama Theatre, 2340 Lee Road, Cleveland Hts—His dad thinks David Zuckerman, one of the characters in this play, is the messiah. What do you think? Playwright Stephen Kaplan, who will attend the Sunday staged reading of his show, will share his views in a talk back with the audience.
LAKELAND COMMUNITY THEATRE
440-525-7134 or http://lakelandcc.edu/academic/arts/theatre/index.asp
evenings at 7:30, matinees at 2:00
WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF (September 18-October 4)—Edward Albee’s award winning drama examines the volatile marriage of George and Martha over one alcohol soaked evening…staring Gregory Violand and Molly McGuiness.
evenings at 7:30, matinees at 2:00
IN A FOREST, DARK AND DEEP (Aug 28-Sept 12, 2015)—Neil LaBute’s 110-minute fun, rug-snatching meditation on what is and is not true and the ease of rushing to misjudgment.
FIRST LOVE (Sept 9-24, 2015)—Charles Mee’s play about two people in their seventies who fall in love for the first time in their lives, but they work in fits and starts toward sabotaging their last chance for happiness.
TBA (Nov 6-21, 2015)
216-241-6000 or go to http://www.playhousesquare.org
See the website for specific dates and times
BULLETS OVER BROADWAY THE MUSICAL (Oct 6-18, 2015)—Musical comedy written by Woody Allen, with original direction and choreography by Susan Stroman, about a young playwright who, in desperate need of financial backing for his play, accepts an offer from a mobster looking to please his showgirl girlfriend. (Connor Palace)
EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL (Oct 16-18, 2015)—Combines the cult films “Evil Dead,” “Evil Dead 2” and “Army of Darkness” to make a crazy theatrical experience that allows the audience to sit in the “Splatter Zone” and get drenched from the onstage mayhem. (Ohio Theatre)
GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER (Nov 3-15, 2015)—A musical that tells the story of Monty Navarro, a distant heir to a family fortune, who sets out to jump the line of succession by eliminating the eight relatives (all played by one actor) who stand in his way. (Connor Palace)
STEVE SOLOMON’S CANNOLI, LATKES, AND GUILT! (Nov 8, 2015)—The author/performer of “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish and I’m in Therapy” continues the tale with this, his newest project. (Ohio Theatre)
SOULMATE? A True Love Story (Nov 14, 2015)—About a quirky boy who falls in love with the most popular girl in school and tries everything to get her to notice him until he realizes all he has to do is be himself. (Ohio Theatre)
THE DUMBASS (Nov 21, 2015)—Najee Mondalek’s play about an Arab American community that centers on Im Hussein, her know-it-all husband, which deals with divorce, infertility, drug abuse, conflict between generations, welfare fraud and more. (Hanna Theatre)
THE WIZARD OF OZ (Dec 1-6, 2015)—A new production which contains all the beloved songs from the Oscar winning movie score plus new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. (Part of the Star Performance Series) (State Theatre)
ELF (Dec 29, 2015-Jan 3, 2016)—A modern day Christmas classic about Buddy, a young orphan who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. (Part of the Star Performance Series) (Connor Palace)
THE MUSICAL THEATER PROJECT
http://www.MusicalTheaterProject.org or 216-529-9411 for tickets and information, except where indicated
PERFECTLY MARVELOUS: THE SONGS OF JOHN KANDER (Oct. 31-Nov 1, 2015)—Oberlin Grad John Kander, who wrote the scores for “Cabaret,” “Chicago,” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” joins Karen Ziemba, who starred in three of Kander’s shows, join in this concert tribute to Kander and his writing partner, the late Fred Ebb. (Allen Theatre) For tickets to this Musical Theater Project show go to: 216-241-6000 or go to www.playhousesquare.org
Performance venues vary…see individual play listings
TALL SKINNY CRUEL CRUEL BOYS (Oct. 22-Nov 7, 2015)—This bold dark comedy about self-destruction, honesty, and finding what you really need centers on Brandy, a children’s entertainer, with some serious demons in her personal life.