All Shook Up: Mercury Summer Stock wraps up its 2012 season with this musical comedy based on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and built around a couple dozen of Elvis Presley's most famous songs. Despite a tired plot, house critic Christine Howey calls the production "thoroughly engaging," with "infectious" performances. Shows continue through August 18 at Notre Dame College, 1857 South Green Rd. in South Euclid. Tickets are $15 to $18 at 216-771-5862 or online at mercurysummerstock.com.
Merchant of Venice: Featuring veteran actor Robert Hawkes in the role of Shylock, Ohio Shakespeare Festival's production of this Shakespearean classic — widely considered to be one of the Bard's most nuanced and engrossing — continues through August 19 on the open-air stage at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens. Tickets are $12 to $30 at 330-673-8761 or ohioshakespeare.com. Stan Hywet Hall is at 714 North Portage Path in Akron.
MilkMilkLemonade: Convergence-Continuum continues its 2012 season with the Ohio premiere of Joshua Conkel's MilkMilkLemonade, a queer rumination on gender, identity, and the need to dream up a world where you can be who you are. At the heart of the absurdist comedy, which made its New York debut in 2009, is the plight of young Emory, an effeminate fifth-grade farmboy whose interests run to choreography and playing with dolls. A worried granny, a neighborhood bully, and a giant, depressed chicken named Linda all play their parts. The show opens Friday, August 17, at the Liminis, 2438 Scranton Rd. Performances continue through September 8. Tickets are $10 to $15 at 216-687-0074 or online at convergence-continuum.org.
One Night with Janis Joplin: Presented by Cleveland Play House, this regional premiere is both concert experience and reflection on the famous singer's musical roots. In the title role, Mary Bridget Davies turns in a powerful performance with chill-inducing vocals. Performances continue through August 19 at the Allen Theatre, 1407 Euclid Ave. Tickets are $35 to $65 at 216-241-6000 or clevelandplayhouse.com.