Monday, November 30, 2015

2016 Winter-Spring Cleveland Theater Calendar

Here’s a list of some of the offerings of local theatres through the spring season. 

You can track my reviews on, 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


330-374-7568 or go to
Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 PM and Sundays @ 2 PM

JAN 21-FEB 7--SAME TIME, NEXT YEAR—Neal Simon’s romantic comedy follows Doris and George, married to others, who rendezvous once a year.

FEB 25-MAR 13—CHIAPATTI—When forlorn Dan and his dog Chiapatti cross paths with the amiable Betty and her nineteen cats, unexpected sparks fly as two people rediscover the importance of human companionship.

APR 14-MAY 1—TALLEY’S FOLLY— Set in Lebanon, Missouri in 1944, Lanford Wilson’s love story concerns the courtship of young Sally Talley and her Jewish suitor, Matt Friedman.

MAY 19-JUNE 19—TINTYPES—a tune-filled musical melting pot review of the Great American Songbook, which offers a snapshot of America from 1890-1917.  Songs include, “Meet Me in St. Louis,” “Yankee Doodle Boy,” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag.”


216-521-2540 or
8 p.m. evenings, 3 p.m. matinees

DEC 4-JAN 3—MARY POPPINS (The supercalifragilisticexpialidocious musical appears once again on the Mackey Main Stage.

FEB 12-FEB 28—IN THE HEIGHTS--The 2008 Tony Award-winning Best Musical about chasing dreams and finding a true home in NY’s Washington Heights transitional community.  (Mackey Main Stage)

APR 1-MAY 1--SHINING CITY—The 2006 Tony Award-winning play set in Dublin, in which a guilt-ridden man reaches out to his therapist after seeing the ghost of his recently deceased wife.  (Studio Theatre)

MAY 27-JULY 2--HEATHERS:  THE MUSICAL—A teenage misfit hustles her way into the most powerful clique in her high school, falls in love with a dangerous “bad boy,” with questionable results.  (Studio Theatre)


440-941-0458 or



216-241-6000 or go to
7:30 Wednesday-Saturday, 2:30 Saturday and Sunday

JAN 9-FEB 7—LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS—Mixing Motown, B-movies, and the American Dream, it’s a musical tale of a peculiar plant that might just bring Seymour, a floral clerk, fame and fortune and the girl of his dreams.

JAN 23-FEB 14--THE MOUNTAINTOP—April 3, 1968, The Lorraine Motel, Room 306, the night before Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot.  The portrait of the man behind the myth.

FEB 10-20—THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA—THE CWRU/CPH MFA ACTING PROGRAM’S production of Shakespeare’s comedy about what happens when two young men fall in love with the same woman. 

FEB 27-MAR 20—LUNA GALE—How do you make the right decision when there is no clear right?   A suspenseful play about parenthood, faith and love, by Pulitzer Prize finalist Rebecca Gilman.

MAR 16-26—METAMORPHOSES-- THE CWRU/CPH MFA ACTING PROGRAM’S production, adopted and inspired by Ovid’s epic poem, Mary Zimmerman reinterprets ancient myths and stories for a modern audience by using movement, song, vivid drama, and comedic storytelling.

APR 2-24—MR. WOLF—Clevelander Rajiv Joseph makes his CPH premiere with this story of a family’s desperate and determined attempt to heal each other and rebuild their world.

MAY 21-AUG 21—STEEL MAGNOLIAS—It’s the 1980s at a beauty shop in Louisiana and six Southern spitfires, who are all sass and brass, gather each week to gossip and support each other through thick and thin.


216-631-2727 or go on line to

JAN 7-23—INCENDIARIES—Explores conflicts between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

JAN 7-30—FRANKENSTEIN’S WAKE—A twisted, one woman adaptation of Mary Shelley’s masterpiece, FRANKENSTEIN, stars Holly Holsinger.

FEB 11-MAR 5—MR. BURNS—A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY—A post-apocalyptic tale of survival, passion and the enduring power of Bart Simpson.

MAR 3-19—TEATRO PUBLICO DE CLEVELAND—SPANISH LANGUAGE PRODUCTION—Teatro Publico de Cleveland presents a scripted work by a Latin American playwright.

MAR 24-26—SEXCURITY—OUT OF THE BOX SERIES—James Levin Theatre—Daniel can’t write.  He can’t keep a boyfriend.  He can’t stand the thought of moving home to help his Israeli parents with their failing business.  Yuval Boim explores sex, identity and belonging.

MAR 31-APR 2—DON QUIXOTE:  A PILGRIMAGE—OUT OF THE BOX SERIES—James Levin Theatre--A remix of Cervantes’ classic explores the story of Isabel, making a pilgrimage across modern-day Spain, who confronts a past she has been avoiding for many years.

APR 30—STATION HOPE—St. John’s Episcopal Church, 260 Church Street—A free multi-arts event that celebrates the triumphs of the Underground Railroad, Cleveland’s social justice history, and contemporary struggles for freedom and justice.

MAY 5-22—WRESTLING JERUSALEM—A man grapples with the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

MAY 26-JUNE 11—BLUE SAND DREAMING—A new work based on “The Egyptian Book of the Dead.”

convergence continuum or 216-687-0074
Thursday-Saturday @ 8

FEB 11-13, 18-20--NEOMFA PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL (see the theatre’s website for specific offerings)

MAR 25-APR 16—BOOTYCANDY by Robert O’Hara is a kaleidoscope of sketches that interconnect to portray growing up gay and African American.  O’Hara states, “Everyone is welcome, no one is safe.”

MAY 20-JUNE 11—THREE TALL WOMEN is Edward Albee’s personal exorcism which centers on a 90-year-old woman who reflects on her life with a mixture of shame, pleasure, regret and satisfaction.


216-932-3396 or
check the theatre’s blog for performance times

JAN 22-FEB 14--THE REALISTIC JONESES—Will Eno’s comedy centers on Bob and Jennifer Jones and their neighbors, John and Pony Jones.  Its about identical homes, shared last names, idyllic fantasies and imperfect realities.

MAR 4-APR 3—THE REVISIONIST—Actor Jesse Eisenberg’s tale of David, a young writer who arrives in Poland with a desire to be alone.  Staying with his seventy-five year old cousin, (portrayed by Cleveland legend Dorothy Silver) who reveals details about her postwar past that tests the idea of what it means to be family and challenges the concepts of truth and fantasy.

APR 22-MAY 22—MARIE ANTOINETTE—Times have changed and Marie is no longer the darling of the French people.  How’s a queen to keep her head in the middle of a revolution?


216-321-2930 or
Friday and Saturdays @ 8, Sundays @ 2

FEB 5-28—SLOW DANCE ON THE KILLING GROUND—William Henley’s tale of a refugee from Nazi Germany, a hunted young black man, and an 18-year old dancer whose fates are played out on the killing ground of life. (Mainstage Theatre)

FEB 5-28—GOLDEN LEAF RAG TIME BLUES—A story of a young African American and an old Jewish man who are thrown together because of circumstances beyond their control.  Through music and stories they illustrate how basic needs transcend the barriers of race, religion and age.  (Playground Theatre)

MAR 17-27—CHOICES—Cynthia Dettlebach’s exploration of what happens to  a Jewish family when their firstborn son brings home a Muslim girlfriend.. (Mainstage Theatre)

MAR 31-APRIL 10—A KIND OF COURAGE—An examination of a relationship between thirty-year old Jennifer, who has a dark secret, and Ben, a thirty-seven year old college professor. (Playground Theatre)

APR 29-MAY 22—JERUSALEM— Based on Blake’s eponymous poem of the same name, Jez Butterworth puts a spotlight on Johnny “Rooster” Byron and carnival week in Pewsey, Wiltshire.  (Mainstage Theatre)

GREAT LAKES THEATER or 216-241-6000
Wednesday-Saturday @ 7:30, Saturdays @ 1:30, Sunday @ 3.

FEB 26-MAR 20–AND THEN THERE WERE NONE—When a group of ten strangers are lured, in this Agatha Christie class murder mystery, to a remote English island, mysterious machinations are set in murderous motion.

AP 8-24—LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST—Shakespeare’s labor of love and laughter centers on how the court turns topsy-turvy when the King decrees that his court be free of women so that he and his men may study without distraction.

MAY 13-29—A romantic musical about one young couple, two “feuding fathers” and an infinite love that transcends time.  The longest professional running American musical.  Songs include, “Try to Remember,” “Soon It’s Gonna Rain,” and “I Can See It.”

%Dobama  Theatre, 2340 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights or 216-393-PLAY
(Play readings at Dobama are free, but reservations are required, presentations at the Maltz Museum are fee based)

April 3--GOOD--A choral reading of a play set in Frankfurt in the early 1930s which centers on a German Literature professor who is recruited for the Nazi propaganda machine.  (Acconpanies he Maltz Museum exhibit: "Operation Finale; the Capture and Trial of Adolph Eichman")--Maltz Museum

May 1 & 3--OH GOD--A psychologist meets a new client (God) who is in dire need of counseling.  Dorothy Silver directs @ Dobama.

216-795-707)  or

FEB 5-28--DETROIT ’67—Dominique Morisseau examines two siblings and what happens to them in Detroit in the middle of the 1967 riots.

MAY 20-JUNE 19—GOD’S TROMBONES: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse—Based on the poems of James Weldon Johnson.


440-525-7134 or

FEB 5-28—INTO THE WOODS—Steven Sondheim and James Lapine’s musical retelling of several Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault fairy tales, exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests.

none-too-fragile theatre

330-671-4563 or

JAN 28-FEB 13—PURE SHOCK VALUE—A satirical comedy that updates the post-Tarantino generation of Silver Lake Slackers.

MAR (TBA)—A KID LIKE JAKE is a story of intimacy and parenthood and the fantasies that accompany both.

AP 22-MAY 7—THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE—a dark comedy about a lonely woman and her manipulative aging mother.


216-241-6000 or go to
See the website for specific dates and times

JAN 12-17—ANNIE—Connor Palace—Leapin’ Lizards, the little red head is back in this new incarnation of the iconic original.

JAN 23—JOSHUA SETH—PSYCHOLOGICAL ILLUSIONIST—Combining mind reading comedy, and some old fashioned showmanship, this is a performance of laughter and mystery.

FEB 5-7—BLUE MAN GROUP—Connor Palace—the enemy of monotony, remedy for boredom, promoter of joy and elation, it’s a comedy, theater, rock concert, and dance party all rolled into one.

FEB 9-21—IF/THEN—Connor Palace—a contemporary original musical about living in New York today, and all the possibilities of tomorrow, from the creators of NEXT TO NORMAL.  (Get the inside scoop on IF/THEN from host, Joe Garry, one-hour before selected performances. Broadway Buzz Pre-Show Talks are held in the Idea Center at Playhouse Square (1375 Euclid). Admission is free.

MAR 8-13—MAMMA MIA—Connor Palace—Based on ABBA’s greatest hits, the ultimate feel-good musical about love, laughter and friendship, returns once again.

MAR 13—POSTSECRET:  THE SHOW—Ohio Theatre—A visual, auditory and emotional journey through the beauty and complication of our deepest fears, ambitions and confessions.  Reaches beyond the confines of the stage, reminding the audiences that no matter what you may be facing, you are not alone.

MAR 23-26—IN THE MOOD--Ohio Theatre—Now in its 22 nd season, this review celebrates America’s 1940s pop music with a big band, singers and dancers.

AP 5-17—BEAUTIFUL:  THE CAROL KING MUSICAL—Connor Palace—The musical tale of Tony and Grammy Award-winning Carole King, the woman who wrote the soundtrack to a generation.  (Get the inside scoop on BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL from host, Joe Garry, one-hour before selected performances. Broadway Buzz Pre-Show Talks are held in the Idea Center at Playhouse Square (1375 Euclid). Admission is free.

MAY 3-22—MATILDA—State Theatre—A musical based on the novel by Roald Dahl that tells the story of a girl who, armed with a vivid imagination, dares to stand up and change her own destiny.  (Get the inside scoop on MATILDA from host, Joe Garry, one-hour before selected performances. Broadway Buzz Pre-Show Talks are held in the Idea Center at Playhouse Square (1375 Euclid). Admission is free.  

MAY 21-AUG 21—STEEL MAGNOLIAS—Allen Theatre—Through clouds of hairspray and the buzz of blow dryers, six southern spitfires gather each week to gossip and support each other.

THE MUSICAL THEATER PROJECT or 216-529-9411 for tickets and information
(productions staged in review format with narration)

JAN 30 (8PM) and 31 (2 PM)—CURTAIN UP AT THE COTTON CLUB—Hanna Theatre—In the 1920s and 30s, Harlem’s Cotton Club was the citadel of the NY jazz scene.  Join Bill Rudman, Paul Ferguson, members of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, the Joe Hunter trio, and Evelyn Wright to learn about the history of the era and The Club.

FEB 14 (7 PM)—ANYTHING YOU CAN DO—Vosh Lakewood—It’s a Valentine’s Day cabaret which is a mash-up of musical theater songs that explain the why of the battle of the sexes.  Featuring Nancy Maier, Joe Monaghan, Kelly Monaghan and Bill Rudman.

MAR 5 (7 PM) and MAR 6 (2 PM)—Mixon Hall—Cleveland Institute of Music—BERNSTEIN ON BROADWAY—Leonard Bernstein believed that Musicals are America’s brand of opera.  The program, featuring arrangements by Cleveland composer Ty Emerson, will take a close look at Bernstein, the man behind the theatre music of WEST SIDE STORY, ON THE TOWN, WONDERFUL TOWN and CANDIDE.  Co-hosted by Bill Rudman and Nancy Maier, and featuring Benjamin Czarnota, Sheri Gross and others.

APR 30 (7 PM)—Lorain County Community College and May 1 (3 PM)—Notre Dame College—BEHIND THE MUSICAL/THE FANTASTICKS—Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt’s tiny show which is now the longest continuous running musical in American theatre.   Songs include, “Try to Remember,” “Soon It’s Gonna Rain,” and “I Can See It.”  Co-hosted by Bill Rudman and Nancy Maier, featuring Shane Patrick O’Neill, Fabio Polanco, George Roth and a vocalist TBA.