What's On Stage This Week?

Good question, we have the answers right here

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 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.

The Scarlet Pimpernel — There's a fascinating thought at the center of the Clark Kent/Superman myth, that even the most bland-looking person could be harboring a dashing hero inside. That means the nose-picking, phantom-farting schlub sitting next to you might be able to save the world in a different guise. Yeah, probably not. But still, it's fun to imagine, and that's why musicals such as The Scarlet Pimpernel have such allure. While this Mercury Summer Stock production displays many strengths — from the ensemble voices to the imaginative staging — it's a spotty effort overall, sometimes lacking the tight cohesive quality that we've come to expect from this fine company of young actors. Based on the adventure novel of the same name, this play revolves around Percy Blakeney, a foppish British nobleman married to the lovely French woman Marguerite. It's all set during the Reign of Terror in 18th century France, when Robespierre and his pals from the Revolution were working the guillotine harder than the corned beef slicer at Corky and Lenny's. As Percy, the excellent actor Brian Marshall shows perfect timing in his comical scenes. But when portraying the heroic Pimpernel, Marshall oddly shifts into neutral, his face goes pasty and soft, and he seems to be floating in limbo. This leaves a void at the center of the play that's hard to fill. Through August 21 at the Cleveland Play House, 8500 Euclid Ave. Tickets are $12-$15. Call 216-771-5862 or go to mercurysummerstock.com.

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