Jersey Boys at Playhouse Square:
A smash hit with Cleveland audiences when it debuted here in 2008, the Tony, Grammy, and Olivier Award-winning musical Jersey Boys returns to the Palace Theatre today through July 17. Maybe it's a reflection of our own blue-collar values that makes Clevelanders cheer the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons: four kids from the wrong side of the tracks who became the biggest American pop-music sensation of all time by crafting their own sound, writing their own songs, and selling 175 million records worldwide — all before they reached their 30s! On the other hand, it could be as simple as the show's music: classics like "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," and "Dawn," along with 30 more memorable hits. But whatever the reason, the show broke box office records last time around, with more than 105,000 theatergoers ponying up for tickets. Word to the wise: Snag yours soon. Ticket prices range from $35 to $130; purchase them by phone at 216-241-6000 or online at playhousesquare.org. The Palace Theatre is at 1615 Euclid Ave. in downtown's Playhouse Square. — Elaine T. Cicora
Doctor Dolittle: The notable doctor doesn't just talk to the animals: He sings and dances with them in this family-friendly production from Mercury Summer Stock. Through July 2 at the Cleveland Play House, 8500 Euclid Ave. Tickets are $15 to $18 at 216-771-5862 or online at mercurysummerstock.com.
Dream Girls: Cain Park's summer musical tells the story of an up-and-coming girl group in the 1960s, and all the trials and tribulations that come with their quest for fortune and fame. "Employing an avalanche of spangled period costumes and a cast that errs only in expending too much energy at times, this Cain Park production is a visceral if not always thoroughly emotional ride" (Howey). Tickets begin at $15 at 216-371-3000 or at cainpark.com. Through June 26 at the Alma Theatre, 14591 Superior Rd. in Cleveland Heights.
Girls Night: The Musical: This jukebox musical with a book — okay, a pamphlet — by Louise Roche is focused on tickling a very specific sort of female funny bone. Suffice to say that if you're up for a weirdly non-ironic disco version of "I Am What I Am" and vibrator jokes, then your ship has come in. (Howey) Tickets are $39.50 to $50 at 216-241-6000 or at playhousesquare.org. Through June 26 at the East 14th Street Theatre, 2037 East 14th St.
Love's Labors Lost: Under the direction of Celeste Cosentino, this classic romantic comedy has been radically abridged and gender reversed for what promises to be a unique evening's entertainment. One half of the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival's summer repertoire, the production debuts at Notre Dame College, June 24 and 25, then continues in venues throughout the region through August 7. (The other half of the summer's repertoire is Othello, which returns to the boards July 2.) Free. For details, go to cleveshakes.org.
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