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On Stage This Week 

Theater picks for the week

Shades of Zanesville:

Tigers Be Still

Misfortune is always on the prowl in Tigers Be Still: ripping into the hearts of the characters and clawing its way through their various entanglements. Take Sherry (Rachel Gehlert, pictured far left), the until-recently unemployed art therapist, and her older sister Grace (Kristy Cruz), who took up with Jack Daniel's after being dumped by her boyfriend. In fact, depression, death, and denial are so ubiquitous here that when a real tiger starts roaming the streets, the threat of being eaten might seem almost like a relief! Ghastly subject matter notwithstanding, this dark comedy by East Coast playwright Kim Rosenstock was called "quirky," "endearing," and "heartfelt" by critics during its 2010 New York premiere run. Directed by Marc Moritz, Tigers made its regional debut at Dobama last month; this weekend is your last chance to capture a performance. The final shows are set for Thursday, November 10, through Sunday, November 13, at 2340 Lee Rd. in Cleveland Heights. Tickets are $10 to $26; hunt 'em down at 216-932-3396 or dobama.org. — Elaine T. Cicora

A Little Night Music: There are many dandy reasons to have sex, and most of them are elucidated in one form or another in this Stephen Sondheim musical produced by the Fairmount Performing Arts Conservatory. Director Fred Sternfeld and musical director David Williams have stocked their cast with fine singers. Even with occasional bumps, they deserve credit for mounting a strong production. (Howey) Through Nov. 13 at 6622 Wilson Mills Rd., Mayfield Village. Tickets are $14 to $25 at 440-338-3171 or fairmountcenter.org.

Daddy Long Legs: Cleveland Play House continues its inaugural season in the newly renovated Allen Theatre with a musical love story in the tradition of Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott. Through Nov. 13 at 1407 Euclid Ave. at Playhouse Square. Tickets are $41 to $69, available by calling 216-241-6000 or at clevelandplayhouse.com.

La Cage Aux Folles: Much has changed since this 1984 musical about Georges and Albin's gay relationship first titillated audiences. Still, its lighthearted focus on love, marriage, and tolerance keeps the story relevant and entertaining. The touring production, starring George Hamilton, is part of Playhouse Square's Broadway series. Performances continue through Nov. 20 at the Palace Theatre, 1615 Euclid Ave. Tickets are $10 to $75; get them by calling 216-241-6000 or online at playhousesquare.com.

Race: Beck Center for the Arts presents a regional premiere of this new drama by David Mamet that explores perceptions of race from black and white perspectives. The Beck production, directed by the estimable Sarah May, often crackles with dramatic turns that are carved out of razor-sharp beats. But for all its undeniable fireworks, Mamet's script is bookended by a less-than-credible opening and a fairly gutless conclusion. (Howey) Performances continue through Nov. 20 at 17801 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood. Tickets are $17 to $28 at 216-521-2540 or at beckcenter.org.

The Shadow Box: Three patients diagnosed with terminal illnesses confront the ultimate human challenge as they struggle with their mortality and its effect on their loved ones. Performances continue through Nov. 20 in Karamu's Arena Theatre, 2355 East 89th St. Tickets are $10 to $25 at 216-795-7070 or karamuhouse.org.

Ya Mama!: (See the full review in this issue.) Cleveland Public Theatre presents the world premiere of a one-woman show written and performed by Cleveland artist-educator Nina Domingue. The story follows Domingue's struggle with motherhood: the death of her mother, her bitter struggle with the woman who raised her, and her healing and reconciliation in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Performances continue through November 12 at 6415 Detroit Ave. Tickets are $10 to $25 at 216-631-2727 or cptonline.org.

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