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Arts News: The Reach of Playhouse Square 

And other local arts news

Reuben Silver was to star with his wife Dorothy in Laughter in Three Languages, scheduled to open this week at Actors' Summit, but Silver's health forced the company to cancel the show and put another in its place. Silver has been battling complications from Parkinson's disease, but he was still hoping to be able to do the show. He wrote in a letter to the theater, "Dorothy and I have worked together for over 60 years, and this is the very first time we have ever had to cancel a show." In its place, Actors' Summit will present the regional premiere of Rich Orloff's Big Boys. Co-artistic director Neil Thackaberry directs actor Keith E. Stevens in the satire about climbing the corporate ladder. Tickets for Laughter are refundable or can be exchanged for tickets to Big Boys. The show runs May 15-31 at Actors Summit Theatre (86 Owen Brown St., Hudson, 330.342.0800, actorssummit.org).

We hear a lot of statistics these days, especially having to do with population decline, job loss and stock indices. There's nowhere the statistics get thicker than on grant applications, when applicants attempt to explain to funders exactly what it is that they do and how important it is. Sometimes a little context helps. So when considering, for example, the PlayhouseSquare education department's statement that its programs reached 200,000 people last year, it doesn't hurt to note that Cuyahoga County's population is just less than 1.3 million. So a little more than 1 in 7 of us in the county had a direct experience with a PlayhouseSquare program — ranging from kids on field trips to adults learning more about the Broadway shows that come through town. This isn't what you'd describe as a "special interest group."

You might be wondering what a "dancing-themed wine selection" is, but that's what Verb Ballets promises at its Dancing With the Vines wine-tasting fundraiser. You can also meet Verb's dancers, bid on silent-auction items and eat hors d'oeuvres. It's from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, May 13, at Budapest Blonde (6901 Rockside Rd., Independence). Tickets: $100. Call 216.397.3757 or go to verbballets.org.

mgill@clevescene.com

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