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No Better Mouse Trap 

The Play House likes Steinbeck's classic just the way it is.

Director Seth Gordon sticks close to the source material for the Cleveland Play House’s production of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, which opens tonight. The classic Depression-era tale about a pair of drifters kicking around the Dust Bowl often loses some of its grit onstage. Gordon says following Steinbeck’s “very linear and character-based” novel made adaptation easy. “It translates well into realistic drama,” he says.

The key, says Gordon, is the central characters. Of Mice and Men centers on the friendship between two physical and mental opposites: restless, diminutive George and lumbering giant Lennie. “Personality and appearance create the world of the play,” says Gordon. “Utter survival at the expense of human kindness was often the order of the day.” Gordon says the story’s unnerving realism still resonates with audiences – 70 years after it was written. “Human issues are just as relevant now as they ever were,” he says. “This story remains one needing to be told.”
Tuesdays-Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 4 & 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 & 8 p.m. Starts: Jan. 5. Continues through Jan. 28

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