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On Stage This Week 

Verb Ballets Presents Carmen:

A Story of Passion

"I've brought everything down to Carmen's essence: the point where passion becomes an obsession," says Verb Ballets choreographer Richard Dickinson. While loosely based on Bizet's famous 19th-century opera, Carmen: A Story of Passion is distinctively contemporary. "I have an image in mind of someone who is so possessed that they would do anything — even drink the poison lemonade — for the object of their affection." To help his dancers reach that level, Dickinson says he's worked with them extensively "to find that place in themselves where they truly understand" obsession. Adding to the dramatic impact is the in-the-round staging that puts the audience close to the sometimes R-rated action. Performances are set for 7 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through April 28 at Cleveland Public Theatre. Tickets are $10 to $30 by phone or online. The production marks the launch of CPT's 2012 DanceWorks showcase, which continues through May 19.

Elaine T. Cicora

At 6415 Detroit Ave., 216-631-2727,

The Addams Family: Based on characters created by cartoonist Charles Addams, this fast-paced musical comedy continues through April 22 at the Palace Theatre, 1615 Euclid Ave. Tickets are $10 to $87.50 by phone, online, or at the box office; call 216-241-6000 or visit

Elegy for a Lady/Three Women: Cesear's Forum presents a pairing of two short discourses — one by Arthur Miller and one by Sylvia Plath — that explore individual consciousness. Performances are April 13 through May 26 at Kennedy's Theater, 1501 Euclid Ave. Tickets are $15 at 216-241-6000 or

God of Carnage: Dobama concludes its 52nd season with this award-winning drama about grown-ups behaving badly. Performances are Thursdays through Sundays through May 13 at 2340 Lee Rd. in Cleveland Hts. Tickets are $10 to $26 at 216-932-3396 or

In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play: While the premise is based on historic fact, this 2009 drama by Sarah Ruhl is bold, contemporary, and very, very funny. Performances continue through May 13 at Cleveland Play House, 1407 Euclid Ave. Tickets are $49 to $69 at 216-241-6000 or

Iphigenia 2.0: The modern retelling of Euripedes' tragedy is presented in partnership with Oberlin College through April 28 at Cleveland Public Theatre. Tickets are $10 to $25 at 216-631-2727,, or at the box office at 6415 Detroit Ave.

Romeo and Juliet: Great Lakes Theater presents the essential Shakespearean love story through April 28 at the Hanna Theatre, 2067 East 14th St. See Christine Howey's review, left.

Velocity of Autumn: Beck Center serves up a dark comedy by Cleveland playwright Eric Coble. Through April 29 in the Studio Theater. Tickets are $10 through $28 at 216-521-2540 or Beck Center is at 17801 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood.

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