V-E Day is more than just a memory play. "It's about the understanding of relationships," says Jacqi Loewy, director of the production that opens Friday at Dobama Theatre. The story, written by Beachwood resident Faye Sholiton and developed in the Playwrights Unit at the Cleveland Play House, is about a 79-year-old woman reflecting on her World War II-era life. As she and her daughter rummage through a box of period newsletters, marriage, motherhood, and suburban life combine and collide.
To Loewy, the play's focus is on the daughter. "She's learning about her mother and why she is the way she is. It's about empathy for choices that are made that may lead people to become what they are. Making assumptions can have long-term consequences. It examines the human heart and the best years of someone's life."
Don't assume it's just for the nursing-home crowd, Loewy cautions. "Twentysomethings can really relate to the romance story. And people in their forties and fifties is the generation caught in between, trying to understand." V-E Day is at Dobama (1846 Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights) through December 21. Tickets are $11 to $20; call 216-932-3396. -- Michael Gallucci
The Sahara sparkles in Lloyd Webber's classic musical.
Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat splashes a little bit of Vegas into biblical times. The Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical recounts the pre-Christ tale of Joseph and his 11 sheepskin-clad brothers, who go crazy with jealousy when their father gives Joe the titular dreamcoat. Desert hijinks ensue, augmented by vaudevillian slapstick and country-western two-steps. Joseph Patton directs the touring version playing at Carousel Dinner Theater, which features New York theater vet Kurt Robbins and Woody Allen film regular Carolyn Saxon as the narrator. Joseph is at Carousel (1275 East Waterloo Road in Akron) through January 4. Show times are 6 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; noon and 6 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday; and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $24.50 to $45; call 330-724-9855. -- Cris Glaser
A Critic's Everyone
Mark Dawidziak steals the show in Stan Hywet's Christmas Carol.
Stan Hywet's production of A Christmas Carol places author Charles Dickens in the middle of the action. In fact, he pretty much is the action. The adaptation of the holiday classic was penned and directed by Plain Dealer television critic Mark Dawidziak, who portrays Dickens -- in proper 19th-century garb -- reading from his book onstage. Ebenezer Scrooge and other characters make fleeting appearances, but this quiet, faithful take on the hoary chestnut is restrained, reserved, and charmingly quaint. It plays at 2:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens' Manor House Auditorium (714 North Portage Path in Akron). Tickets are $15, available by calling 330-836-5533. -- Michael Gallucci
The Ballad of Jimmy Wayne
Jimmy Wayne is the flesh-and-blood embodiment of the best country songs: The boyish-looking crooner grew up shuttled among foster homes while Mom was in the slam and Dad was MIA. Wayne's self-titled debut mines his tough past for inspiration. He opens for Lonestar at 8 p.m. Friday at the Lakewood Civic Auditorium (14100 Franklin Boulevard in Lakewood). Tickets are $29.50 to $39.50; call 216-529-4081. -- Michael Gallucci