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On Stage This Week 

Theater? Theater.

Silver strands among the gold:

Getting Hairy at Playhouse Square

When Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical opened at Broadway's Biltmore Theater in 1968, MLK and Bobby Kennedy were still among us, the Kent State massacre was yet to come, and the U.S. was busy drafting 18-year-olds to fight in Vietnam. In that context, Hair — a balls out (literally!) celebration of sex, drugs, and the dreaded Youth Culture — proved profoundly empowering to many and deeply disturbing to many more. Today ... well, let's just say that even the Heartland digs a good love-in every now and then. Which brings us to Hair's upcoming run at the Palace Theatre, January 17 through 29. The touring company of the 2009 Tony Award-winning revival will be serving up what The New York Times has called "intense, unadulterated joy," complete with memorable songs, colorful costumes, and, yes, a wee bit of bareness. Ticket prices range from $10 to $82.50. Snag yours via phone at 216-241-6000, online at playhousesquare.org, or at the box office. The Palace Theatre is at 1615 Euclid Ave. at Playhouse Square. — Elaine T. CicoraFlanagan's Wake: Presented by the Frankie Kong Players, this interactive Irish wake — part scripted, part improv — is back again at Kennedy's Theatre on Playhouse Square. Performances are set for Fridays and Saturdays through April 28. Tickets are $22 at 216-241-6000, at playhousesquare.org, or at the box office. Kennedy's is at 1501 Euclid Ave. below the Ohio Theatre lobby.

October in the Chair: Cleveland Public Theatre's Big Box series continues with this adaptation of a short story by Neil Gaiman, complete with make-believe monsters, playful shadows, and adventures as real as your dreams. Performances are set for January 12, 13, and 14. General admission is $15 at 216-631-2727 or at cptonline.org. Find them at 6415 Detroit Ave.

Song for Coretta: Inspired by the mourners at the Ebenezer Baptist Church paying their respects to Mrs. King, Pearl Cleage's play introduces us to five fictional African American women finding laughter and hope while waiting in the rain to say goodbye. Performances run Jan. 12 through 29. Tickets are $10 to $20, available at 216-321-2930 or online at ensemble-theatre.org. Ensemble Theatre is at 2843 Washington Blvd. in Cleveland.

Ten Chimneys: Cleveland Play House presents this backstage comedy based on the private lives of theater legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. Starring Emmy Award-winning actress Mariette Hartley and directed by Michael Bloom, preview performances begin January 13; the show continues through February 5 in the Allen Theatre's intimate, endlessly flexible Second Stage, at 1407 Euclid Ave. at Playhouse Square. Tickets are $49 to $69 at 216-241-6000 or at clevelandplayhouse.com.

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