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Enter Stage North 

Cutting-edge theater tools up I-77 to debut satellite home in C-Town.

In Cleveland's East Fourth Street entertainment district, the Akron-based Bang & the Clatter theater troupe celebrates the unveiling of its second home with tonight's opening of Adam Rapp's emotionally stirring drama Blackbird. And the new digs, housed in the last Cleveland structure with original Civil War architecture, couldn't come at a better time for the company's fans outside of the Rubber City. "We saw nothing but opportunity," says Sean Derry, the ensemble's co-founder. "About 80 percent of our audience was driving 70-plus miles round-trip to see the show in Akron. So we had a built-in audience." As the stage's inaugural, Blackbird brings an edgy kind of drama that has become the troupe's trademark. The story's about a down-and-out Gulf War vet named Bayless, who lives with Froggy, a 19-year-old runaway with hepatitis. The action takes place in their run-down, one-room New York City squat, where they have only each other to bitch to about their shared misery. "We want people to walk out thinking and talking about our plays," says Derry. "Most productions, you forget about before you get in the car. The ones we choose stick with you for a long time." Showtime is at 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and Mondays, and 3 p.m. Sundays, through Saturday, March 29, at The Bang & the Clatter Theatre Company, 224 Euclid Avenue. Tickets are $15. Call 330-606-5317.
Wednesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: March 1. Continues through March 29, 2008

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