On Stage This Week

Cleveland's theater offerings, all in one convenient place

Hunter Gatherers — The weirdest dinner party you will ever attend. Pam and Richard have their friends over for dinner, complete with animal sacrifices, sex, and wrestling. Through August 14 at The Liminis, 2438 Scranton Road. Tickets are $12-$15. Call 216-687-0074 or visit convergence-continuum.rg.

King LearKing Lear is considered by many Shakespeare's greatest play, and it is an honor well earned. Given such high-octane material, it is incumbent on the players to provide the gristle and nuance that makes the work sing onstage. The Ohio Shakespeare Festival is often successful at this — and sometimes dazzlingly so, although there is a certain softness at the center that prevents it from reaching its full potential. In the legendary and demanding role of King Lear, director Terry Burgler has cast himself. While the man's skills at interpreting Shakespeare are remarkable, he does himself a disservice here. (Howey) Through August 15 at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, 714 N. Portage Path in Akron. Tickets are $15-$30. Call 330-673-8761 or visit www.ohioshakespeare.com.

Personals Uncut: The New York Edition: A comedic view of the online dating world written, directed, and produced by Clevelander Jennifer Griffin. 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday, August 14, and Saturday, August 21, at Kennedy's at Playhouse Square, 1501 Euclid Avenue. Tickets: $15; call 216-241-6000 or visit personalsuncut.com.

The Phantom of the Opera — A phantom man in a white mask and cape tries to seduce a young girl who has just recently been selected to sing at the Paris Opera House Through August 22 at the Allen Theatre, 1407 Euclid Ave. Tickets are $10-$87.50. Call 216-771-4444 or visit playhousesquare.org for more information.

The Producers — Given all the musicals about show people trying hard to achieve something, from 42nd Street to A Chorus Line, you'd think a tunefest about theater people trying desperately to fail wouldn't be very entertaining. But that's why The Producers has carved a distinctive place for itself over the years. Mel Brooks' satirical extravaganza has won a passel of awards on Broadway. Now the Beck Center is taking on those lovable con men from the Great White Way. With more than 40 people in the cast, lots of set changes, and loads of costumes, this production requires not only commitment — it demands a company that can poke fun at all kinds of showbiz shibboleths without coming across as mean-spirited or just silly. And this well-paced production mostly succeeds, even if there is something of a vacuum at the center. (Howey) Through August 22 at Beck Center, 17801 Detroit Ave., Lakewood. Tickets are $10-$28. Call 216-521-2540 or go to beckcenter.org.

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