As You Like It: Local Theaters Cater to Every Taste this Fall

Twenty shows will open from now through November, and they're all ready to give you what you want. For instance...


The Sunset Limited by Cormac McCarthy, None Too Fragile Theater, Akron, Sept. 12 to 27. A black ex-con rescues an intellectual white atheist from suicide at the last moment.

The Norwegians by C. Denby Swanson, Dobama Theatre, Oct. 24 to Nov. 16. Set in frigid Minn-ee-so-tah, two dim-witted hit men from Norway fall in love with married gals, and then plot their husbands' demise.

Woman and Scarecrow by Marina Carr, Mamai Theatre, Oct. 30 to Nov. 16. A dying woman is visited on her deathbed by a scarecrow (no, not Ray Bolger). It's born of Irish magical realism and maybe a tad too much morphine.


Hair by James Rado, Gerome Ragni and Galt MacDermot, Blank Canvas Theatre, Aug. 29 to Sept. 13. The classic rock musical takes you back to the Age of Aquarius, when head lettuce was a happy home for fleas.

Les Miserables by Claude-Michel Schonberg, Alain Boublil and Herbert Kretzmer, Great Lakes Theater, Oct. 3 to Nov. 9. This locally produced version of the hit musical once again pits noble Jean Valjean against pit bull Inspector Javert.

How We Got On by Idris Goodwin, Cleveland Play House, Oct. 24 to Nov. 16. Two teens in a 1988 upper-class Midwest suburb want to create the ultimate suburban rap song (which is not, apparently, an oxymoron).

Motown the Musical, book by Berry Gordy, Playhouse Square, Oct. 3 to 19. It's a tune-packed autobiography of Gordy, the founder of the renowned Detroit record company.


The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare, Great Lakes Theater, Sept. 26 to Nov. 2. This raucous Shakespeare comedy features a boffo battle of the sexes.

[title of show] by Jeff Bowen and Hunter Bell, Beck Center, Oct. 10 to Nov. 16. It's a musical comedy about two guys writing a musical comedy about two guys writing a musical comedy. Meta enough for you?

Spirits to Enforce by Mickle Maher, Cleveland Public Theatre, Oct. 9 to 25. Twelve superheroes gather in a submarine to plan their production of Shakespeare's The Tempest. Sheesh, why can't anyone come up with a new idea?


The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman, Cleveland Play House, Sept. 12 to Oct. 5. Family confrontations fed by greed light up the deep South. Without Paula Deen involved.

August: Osage County by Tracy Letts, Lakeland Civic Theatre, Sept. 19 to Oct. 5. Witness the nuclear meltdown of a family with plenty of dark humor.

Anna Christie by Eugene O'Neill, Ensemble Theatre, Sept. 26 to Oct. 19. A powerful love story played out against the raging sea. Bring your water wings.

The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh, convergence-continuum, Sept. 26 to Oct. 18. Two detectives in a totalitarian state put a writer through the wringer.


Forever Plaid by Stuart Ross, Beck Center, Sept.12 to Oct. 12. Not the usual zombies, but a deceased foursome of close harmony crooners come back to sing, not eat brains.

Night of the Living Dead adapted by Patrick Ciamacco, Blank Canvas Theatre, Oct. 17 to Nov. 1. No spoof, but a stage version of the Romero flick. There will be a splatterzone. 'Nuff said.

Edward Albee's Occupant, Playhouse Square, Sept. 19 to Oct. 25. Interviewee, artist Louise Nevelson, is brought back from the grave, huge ego intact, to answer questions.


Belleville by Amy Herzog, Dobama Theatre, Sept. 5 to Oct. 5. A beautiful American couple in Paris find their lives slowly spinning out of control in this psychological thriller.

In a Forest Dark and Deep by Neil LaBute, None Too Fragile Theater, Oct. 10 to 25. A brother and sister are in an isolated cabin. And in a world of hurt.


She's Wearing White... by Faye Hargate and Joan Hargate, Cleveland Public Theatre, Oct. 9 to 25. An interactive performance art installation that investigates purity and other issues through the lens of the Virgin Bride's wedding night.

Tingle-Tangle by Theater Ninjas, Oct. 23 to Nov. 15. A queer performance of songs and stories where lines of gender and sexuality bend and redefine.

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Christine Howey

Christine Howey has been reviewing theater since 1997, first at Cleveland Free Times and then for other publications including City Pages in Minneapolis, MN and The Plain Dealer. Her blog, Rave and Pan, also features her play reviews. Christine is a former stage actor and director, primarily at Dobama Theatre...
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