Girls Night: The Musical
Boys Not Included
Maybe estrogen-laced shows like Girls Night: The Musical are just natural extensions of the hard-wired differences between guys and dolls. Whatever the underlying causes, the audiences for this singing-and-dancing celebration of womanhood — described in love-it-or-hate-it terms as a blend of Desperate Housewives, Sex and the City, and Mamma Mia! — have been understandably skewed toward the distaff side since its 2003 U.K. premiere. Featuring songs like "It's Raining Men," "I Will Survive," and "We Are Family," the show arrived in the U.S. in 2007 and has been touring the country ever since. It stops at Playhouse Square tonight through June 26, with its story of five gal pals reuniting for a wild, outrageous night at a karaoke bar, complete with laughter, tears, and girly cocktails. Les dames should dig it. Dudes probably have somewhere else to be. Tickets are $39.50 to $50 at 216-241-6000 or online at playhousesquare.org. It's happening at the East 14th Street Theatre at 2037 East 14th St. And yes, there is a full bar. — Elaine T. Cicora
Circle Mirror Transformation: Adult education meets group therapy in this dark comedy by young New York playwright Annie Baker. Through May 15 at Dobama Theatre, 2340 Lee Rd. in Cleveland Heights. Tickets are $10 to $25 at 216-932-3396 or online at dobama.org.
Company: This Stephen Sondheim musical about romantic entanglements among the upwardly mobile in 1970s Manhattan is brimming with gloriously intricate compositions and acidic banter. And this iteration, by the Fairmount Performing Arts Conservatory, finds many moments of levity. But a yawning vacuum at the center of the production, along with some heavy-handed approaches to key scenes, make it an unfortunately mixed blessing (Christine Howey). Through May 14 at the Mayfield Village Civic Center, 6622 Wilson Mills Rd. in Mayfield Village. Tickets are $14 to $25 at fairmountcenter.org or by calling 440-338-3171.
Huck and Holden: Ensemble Theatre. Read a full review in this issue. Through May 29 at the Cleveland Play House, 8500 Euclid Ave. Tickets are $10 to $20 at 216-321-2930 or online at ensemble-theatre.com.
Ruined: Set in a small mining town in the Democratic Republic of Congo, this powerful drama from Lynn Nottage examines the resilience of the human spirit in times of war. Through May 29 at Karamu Theatre, 2355 East 89th St. Tickets are $10 to $25 at 216-795-7077 or online at karamuhouse.org
The Museum Play: A dark, comic exploration of untenable longings to possess the past and preserve love and desire, Jordan Harrison's play investigates the curious intersections of memory and desire. A convergence-continuum production, it runs May 13 through June 4 at the Liminis, 2438 Scranton Rd. General admission tickets are $15 at 216-687-0074 or convergence-continuum.org.
My Barking Dog: Two lonely people's lives take a dramatic turn for the bizarre when a starving coyote starts appearing at their doorsteps. May 12 through May 28 at Cleveland Public Theatre; tickets are $10 to $25 at 216-631-2727 or at cptonline.org.
West Side Story: The musical retelling of Romeo & Juliet includes soaring music by Leonard Bernstein, satiric lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and stunning modern dance numbers from Jerome Robbins. The touring company of the critically acclaimed 2009 Broadway revival continues performances at the Palace Theatre through May 15. Tickets are $10 to $75 at playhousesquare.org or by phone at 216-241-6000.