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Play House to warm up season
Play House to warm up season
Northeast Ohioans suffer each year when fall is just around the corner. We suffer, because we know what's coming. Winter.
But fear not, dear reader, for this is the time when the Cleveland Play House opens its doors to another new season. If anything can lessen the pain of harsh weather, it's the warm, excellent work of this great institution.
The entire season has been announced, September to May. Let's take a look at it.
What better way to start the season than with a sure thing. Tennessee Williams' masterpiece "The Glass Menagerie" opens the season on Sept. 11 at the Drury. This classic drama takes place in a St. Louis tenement where a single mother struggles with her friendless daughter and her determined son. And then a gentleman caller arrives and turns their lives around, if just for the moment. This one shouldn't be missed.
"Noises Off," by Michael Frayn, is a no-risk comedy that's been performed nearly everywhere. This farce centers on a mistake-riddled acting troupe and their loony antics as they perform a bedroom comedy. It opens on Oct. 3 at the Bolton. The set is part of the fun. After you've seen the show from the audience's point of view, the entire set is turned around, and you watch the insanity from behind. If you haven't seen this one, you should.
"A Christmas Story" opens Nov. 28 at the Bolton. Straight out of the movie of the same name, the plot centers on Ralphie and his quest for the greatest Christmas present of them all, a Red Ryder air rifle. This will be the fourth season for this popular show. If you haven't seen it, you must.
Nov. 7 brings another classic to the Drury stage. Lorraine Hansberry's lovely play, "A Raisin in the Sun," written in 1959, is a treasure. Race and integration and a powerful conclusion have riveted audiences for decades.
On Jan. 9, a staged adaptation of Jules Verne's "Around the World in 80 Days" will open at the Drury. Mark Brown is the adaptor, a difficult job indeed. Jules Verne's fearless adventurer Phileas Fogg accepts an outrageous bet. The bet has to do with Phileas circling the globe in 80 days. That was quite a feat in Jules Verne's time. The plot is merely about Mr. Fogg's hair-raising adventures as he tries desperately to win his bet.
"Mahalia: A Gospel Musical" follows in the Bolton on Jan. 30. This is a tribute to the most famous gospel singer of them all, Mahalia Jackson. The plot covers Miss Jackson's life from poverty in New Orleans to appearances before royalty. The play features numerous gospel songs with touches of comedy. This is family fun and should do well.
Dostoevsky's masterpiece "Crime and Punishment" follows, opening Feb. 27 at the Drury. This is the new award-winning adaptation by Marilyn Campbell and Curt Columbus. The Play House calls the play "a gripping 90-minute thriller," as well it might be. Poverty and finally desperation lead a young man to murder. This brand new adaption should be well worth seeing.
"The Lady With All the Answers" is a one-woman show all about Ann Landers. The story will feature much of the columnist's regrets and triumphs. It opens March 27 at the Bolton.
Another stage adaption opens April 24 at the Bolton. This is Thornton Wilder's "Heavens My Destination," adapted by Lee Blessing and directed by Play House artistic director Michael Bloom. Thornton Wilder can be extremely funny in his well-known unusual manner. Here, George Martin Bush is a traveling textbook salesman. We follow his adventures.
That's it, another Play House season. All of these nine plays seem to be very interesting. They may all be wonderful. We'll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, I'll see you on the aisle.
For tickets, call (216) 795-7000.
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