West Side Story
A modern musical adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story opened on Broadway in 1957. Written by Arthur Laurents, the groundbreaking show included soaring music by Leonard Bernstein, satiric lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and stunning modern dance numbers from Jerome Robbins. Recast as a conflict not between families but between ethnic groups, the show was angry, gritty, and — unlike musicals like Oklahoma! or The Sound of Music — thoroughly steeped in a contemporary urban ethos. Critics and theatergoers embraced it, keeping it onstage for 732 performances — a figure that was finally bested, at 748, by its acclaimed 2009 revival. Now the tour of that revival is coming to town, featuring the original choreography and unforgettable songs like "Maria," "Tonight," and "Somewhere." You can catch it at the Palace Theatre (1615 Euclid Ave.) now through May 15. Tickets are $10 to $75 at playhousesquare.org. or by phone at 216-241-6000. — Elaine T. Cicora
Circle Mirror Transformation: Adult education meets group therapy in this dark comedy by young New York playwright Annie Baker. It follows five small-town Vermonters who discover more about themselves than they had bargained for after enrolling in a community acting class. Through May 15 at Dobama Theatre, 2340 Lee Rd. in Cleveland Heights. Tickets are $10 to $25 at 216-932-3396 or online at dobama.org.
Company: Presented by the Fairmount Performing Arts Conservatory; see full review this issue. Through May 14 at the Mayfield Village Civic Center, 6622 Wilson Mills Rd. in Mayfield Village. Tickets are $14 to $25 online at fairmountcenter.org or by calling 440-338-3171.
Huck and Holden: Ensemble Theatre closes its season with this sexy comedy from Pulitzer-Prize-nominated writer and Cleveland native Rajiv Joseph. Directed by Celeste Cosentino, the coming-of-age tales tells the story of an Indian immigrant and student who meets an alluring African-American woman while researching American literary icons. Values crumble and hilarity ensues. May 6 through 29 in the Studio One at the Cleveland Play House, 8500 Euclid Ave. Tickets are $10 to $20 at 216-321-2930 or online at ensemble-theatre.com
Insomnia: The Waking of Herselves: Director Raymond Bobgan and actors Holly Holsinger and Chris Seibert combined to assemble this challenging yet entirely accessible piece that explores the pleasures and terrors of all our various self-perceptions: those lurking identities that whisper to us in the night. (Christine Howey) Through May 7 at Cleveland Public Theatre's James Levin Theatre, 6415 Detroit Ave. Tickets are $10 to $25; call 216-631-2727 or visit cptonline.org.
Ruined: Set in a small mining town in the Democratic Republic of Congo, this powerful drama from Lynn Nottage follows Mama Nadi, a shrewd businesswoman in a land torn apart by civil war. Is she protecting or profiting from the women she shelters? And how far will she go to survive? Winner of a 2009 Pulitzer Prize, the play examines the resilience of the human spirit in times of war. May 6 through 29 at Karamu Theatre, 2355 East 89th St. Tickets are $10 to $25 at 216-795-7077 or online at karamuhouse.org
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