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On Stage This Week 

The Jerry Springer opera leads this week's theater picks

Jerry Springer: The Opera There'll be strippers, whore mongers, and tap-dancing KKK'ers this weekend at the Beck Center for the Arts when the regional premiere of the award-winning musical Jerry Springer: The Opera takes the stage. Director Scott Spence called the comedy "provocative" — and that was even before the protests from evangelical Christians started. The R-rated Jerry has survived similar outcries in venues around the nation, and undoubtedly will do so here. Meantime, the show runs February 18 through March 27, with a post-show discussion of art and society set for Februrary 25. Tix are $28, with discounts for students and seniors. Purchase at 216-521-2540 or go to beckcenter.org. The Beck Center is at 17801 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood — Elaine T. Cicora

And Her Hair Went With Her: Set inside a beauty parlor, this comedy by Zina Camblin highlights the many intricacies of black women's lives. Through February 20 at Karamu, 2355 East 89th St. Tickets are $10-$25 at 216-795-7077 or at karamuhouse.org.

Assassins: An Emmy Award-winning musical by Stephen Sondheim, Assassins brings together a gallery of presidential assassins and would-be assassins in an utterly idiosyncratic examination of success, failure, and the quest for power and fame in contemporary America. For mature audiences. Through February 20 at Lakeland Civic Theater, 7700 Clocktower Dr., Kirtland. Tickets are $7 to $15 at 440-525-7526. For details, go to lakelandcc.edu.

Flanagan's Wake: A zany blend of written dialogue and improvised laughs, this interactive show transforms the audience into guests at Flanagan's wake in the fictional Irish village of Grapplin. Through April 30 at Playhouse Square's Kennedy's Theatre 1511 Euclid Ave. Tickets are $20-$23. Learn more by calling 216-241-6000 or visit playhousesquare.org.

Free Man of Color: An historical drama presented by Ensemble Theatre in collaboration with Notre Dame College Performing Arts Center, Free Man of Color tells the true story of John Newton Templeton, Ohio's first African American college graduate in 1828. Through February 27 at 1857 South Green Rd. in South Euclid. Tickets are $20, less for students and seniors. Call 216-321-2930 or purchase online at www.ensemble-theatre.org.

The Trip to Bountiful: Director Timothy Douglas brings a new twist to Horton Foote's touching meditation on the notion of home and its power to sustain us: an African American cast starring veteran Broadway actress Lizan Mitchell in the lead role of Carrie Watts. Through February 27 at the Cleveland Play House, 8500 Euclid Ave. Tickets are $46 to $66, with discounts for seniors and students. Order by calling 216-795-7000 or go to clevelandplayhouse.com.

Rent/La Bohème: Berea's Baldwin-Wallace College takes an innovative programming approach by offering two great musicals — Puccini's opera La Bohème and its progeny, the Broadway musical Rent — in repertory now through February 27, under the direction of Victoria Bussert. Weeknights, the shows alternate at 7:30 p.m. On weekends, La Bohème is performed at 2 p.m. and Rent at 7:30 p.m., at the college's Kleist Center for Art & Drama. Tix are $25, or $45 on weekends for both shows. To order, call 440-826-2240. For directions and more information, go to bw.edu/quickfacts/directions/kleist.

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