The Loush Sisters DO The Nutcracker
Cleveland Public Theatre | Nov. 29 – Dec. 21
CPT calls this one a hilarious and bawdy evening of song. The fictional Loush sisters, Jolly and Butter Rum, relive some of their favorite Christmas memories and imbibe perilous portions of adult beverages throughout.
Doug Is a D-Bag
Cleveland Public Theatre | Nov. 29 – Dec. 14
Well, it's another piece of "devised" theater at CPT, meaning this thing was sort of improvised and created during the rehearsal process. It's always a toss-up with works like this -- aspiration and experimentation don't always correlate to "entertainment" -- but the premise here is funny. It's set in an HR company and Lorie and Doug fall out of love as they come up with rules for texting in the workplace...or something. Audiences are invited to keep their cell phones on.
Fool For Love
convergence-continuum | Nov. 29 – Dec. 21
This one's a classic by Sam Shephard. The folks over at con-con rarely do "classic" theater like this, but they're psyched to present, "with searing intensity," all the love, hate and the dying myths of the old west at the Liminus Theater on Scranton Road in Tremont.
A Christmas Story
Cleveland Play House | Nov. 29 – Dec. 22
In honor of the 30th anniversary of the beloved film. (It's not the musical you saw at Near West Theater, but it's still just as fun).
A Christmas Carol
Great Lakes Theater | Nov. 30 – Dec. 22
Look, it's one of Northeast Ohio's favorite holiday traditions. If you don't go see Ebeneezer Scrooge and his visits with the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, at least read your children or nieces & nephews or little cousins some Dickens. Or show them a Muppet Christmas Carol.
PlayhouseSquare| Dec. 4 – Jan. 5
Yeah yeah, the greatest musical of all time. If you've been living under a rock since 2004 or whatever, this is the musical backstory of Oz's famous witches Glinda and the Wicked Witch of the West. Some incredible Broadway spectacle here and some of the catchiest showtunes in recent memory. Steven Schwartz wrote the score.
The Big Meal
Dobama Theatre | Dec. 6 – Jan. 5
Cool premise here: Set at a single restaurant table, The Big Meal spans 80 years and five generations of one huge family. Metaphors out the wazoo here, but something you could definitely only see on stage.
Christmas Is Comin' Uptown
Karamu House | Dec. 6 – Dec. 29
Described as A Christmas Carol with jive and funk, Karamu -- as the only African-American theater in town -- is always a lock for soulful productions. If you've never seen their annual Black Nativity performance, check that out as well. The music will be sure to amaze.
Beck Center | Dec. 6 – Jan. 5
Fun for the whole family: A musical tale of little orphan Annie and Daddy Warbucks, living it up in NYC at Christmas time. The sun really will come out tomorrow, and certainly at the Beck Center.
Blank Canvas Theatre | Dec. 6 – Dec. 21
Steven Schwartz, the guy who concocted Wicked, also dreamed up Godspell back in the day. It's the parables of Jesus set to some classic 70s folksy tunes. Directors always want to "put their spin" on Godspell, and Blank Canvas helmsman Pat Ciamacco ought to be no different. Look for great music and innovative concept here. Terrific stuff coming out of Blank Canvas all year round.
Cleveland Play House | Jan. 10 – Feb. 2
A young woman defies conventions (dressing like a man) and the laws of her people (Orthodox Jews) to fulfill her dream (education). Modern love story here, with wit and heart to spare.
Dobama Theatre | Jan. 24 – Feb. 23
This one's described as a modern day Waiting for Godot, and it won the Obie Award for Best New American Play. It's basically just two dudes behind a coffee shop singing some original songs and meditating on friendship and loss, but the consensus is that it's a lovely meditation on a generation of young Americans trying to find their place in the world.
Ceremonies in Dark Old Men
Karamu House | Jan. 31 – Feb. 23
1950s Harlem comes to life — and nowhere like at Karamu — in this poignant story of a family struggling to get by. An old man/failed barber can only survive on memories as a new generation tries to learn from the past.