Weather-wise, we've had an easy time of it this winter. But the weather gods are fickle, and we yet may require some live theater to jump-start our minds and bodies.
With that in mind, here's a look at what will be opening from now till April Fool's Day.
MONSTERS, BOTANICAL AND OTHERWISE
If you like your plants bloodthirsty and your dentists sadistic, Little Shop of Horrors is revisiting us at the Cleveland Play House (Jan. 9 to Feb. 7). And for Mary Shelley fans, Frankenstein's Wake at Cleveland Public Theatre (Jan. 7 to 30) is an original script that was performed off-Broadway in 1997 by Cleveland's Theatre Labyrinth.
HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF
The Hough riots in the late 1960s were tough, and that time is explored in The Incendiaries at Cleveland Public Theatre (Jan. 7 to 23), using historical texts and trial transcripts to shed light on a racial divide that exists to this day. Riots in another city are explored in Detroit '67 at Karamu House (Feb. 4 to 28); it takes place in a basement rec room where Motown music plays and tensions build.
In The Mountaintop at CPH (Jan. 23 to Feb. 14), we are taken inside the room at the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King Jr. stayed before his assassination. It promises a portrait of the man behind the myth. And more angst from the '60s is heated up when a young black man and an elderly refugee from Nazi Germany collide on the night Adolph Eichmann is hanged in Slow Dance on the Killing Ground at Ensemble Theatre (Feb. 5 to 28).
It's always fun to see bottom feeders in La-La Land get their comeuppance, and that's what happens in Pure Shock Value at None Too Fragile Theater (Jan. 29 to Feb. 13). And who ever thought a Hollywood production would save the world, as it might in Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play at CPT (Feb. 11 to March 5)? Yes, it's that Mr. Burns, as society rebuilds itself from the apocalypse, one episode of The Simpsons at a time.
The inventive and often hilarious playwright Will Eno puts two married couples through their paces in The Realistic Joneses at Dobama Theatre (Jan. 22 to Feb. 14). An unusual coupling is presented in Golden Leaf Ragtime Blues at Ensemble (Feb. 5 to 28) when an old Jewish man and a young African-American lad find surprising connections.
In The Revisionist at Dobama (March 4 to April 3), a young American writer visits his 75-year-old second cousin (played by Dorothy Silver) in Poland. And when a shrink listens to his patient's ghost stories in Shining City at Beck Center (April 1 to May 1), the horrors of life and death are investigated.
Two young men fall for the same woman, meaning sparks could fly in Two Gentlemen of Verona in this Case Western Reserve University/CPH production (Feb. 10 to 20).
PARENTS AND KIDS
Who decides if parents are fit to be parents of their own child? That's the vexing question in Luna Gale at CPH (Feb. 27 to March 20). And in A Kid Like Jake at None Too Fragile Theater (Mar. 11 to 26), a little boy with a passion to dress up like Cinderella causes problems for Mom and Dad.
WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE SINGING INSTEAD OF TALKING?
Don't worry, it's just the musicals coming our way, such as the dynamic, salsa and hip hop-infused In the Heights at Beck (Feb. 12 to 28). Fairytale characters are working their way home in Into the Woods at Lakeland Civic Theatre (Feb. 5 to 28). And at Playhouse Square (Feb. 9-21), If/Then looks at the decisions we make (and those that fate dictates) as we watch one woman follow two possible life paths.
LOVE AND MURDER
Love can be a fraught subject, especially for a young man growing up gay and black in America. That's the core of the journey of Bootycandy at Convergence-Continuum Theater (March 25 to April 16). Various aspects of love (plus power and family) are spun in Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses, a CWRU/CPH production (March 16 to 26).
And finally, who doesn't love a good whodunit? In the classic Agatha Christie nailbiter And Then There Were None at Great Lakes Theater (Feb. 26 to March 20), 10 strangers start dropping like flies ... and who's to blame?
Beck Center, 17801 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-521-2540, beckcenter.org.
Cleveland Play House, 1407 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, clevelandplayhouse.com.
Cleveland Public Theatre, 6415 Detroit Ave., 216-631-2727, cptonline.com.
Convergence-Continuum, 2438 Scranton Rd., 216-687-0074, convergence-continuum.org.
Dobama Theatre, 2340 Lee Rd., Cleveland Heights, 216-932-3396, dobama.org.
Ensemble Theatre, 2843 Washington Blvd., Cleveland Heights, 216-321-2930, ensembletheatrecle.org.
Great Lakes Theater, Hanna Theatre, 2067 East 14th St., 216-241-6000, greatlakestheater.org.
Karamu, House, 2355 East 89th St., 216-795-7077, karamuhouse.org.
Lakeland Civic Theatre, Kirtland, 440-525-7134, lakelandcc.edu.
None Too Fragile Theater, 1835 Merriman Road, Akron, nonetoofragile.com.
Playhouse Square, 1615 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.
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