Art vs. Everything
Asher Lev Explores the Cost of Being YourselfWhere does a young artist draw the line between his family's expectations and the need to fulfill his inner genius? When does self-expression trump religious tradition? That's the territory explored in My Name Is Asher Lev, the story of a young Hasidic Jew struggling to actualize his creative mojo. Based on the novel by Chaim Potok, the Cleveland Play House version is directed by Laura Kepley and stars Noel Joseph Allain. The show runs from March 4 through April 3 on the Baxter Stage. Tickets start at $46, with discounts for seniors, students, and military reservists. Call 216-795-7000 or visit clevelandplayhouse.com for more information. The Cleveland Play House is at 8500 Euclid Ave. — Elaine T. Cicora
A Steady Rain: A routine call sends two flawed cops on a journey that will change their lives forever. When the friends are forced to offer their differing accounts of that night's disturbing events, the audience becomes the jury in this dramatic work by Keith Huff. Through March 20 at Dobama Theatre. Tickets are $10 to $25 at 216-932-3396 or dobama.org. The Dobama Theatre is at 2340 Lee Rd. in Cleveland Heights.
Darwinii: The Comeuppance of Man: What if Charles Darwin had a love child? What if that love child's great-great-great-great-grandson was touring the country, lecturing on his own demented version of Darwin's theories? Then you would have this seriously funny one-man play, lampooning everything you think you know about the origins of the species. Darwinii makes its Midwest debut March 3 in Cleveland Public Theatre's Store Front Studio, where it continues through March 19. Tickets are $10 to $25. Call 216-631-2727 ext. 501, or go to cptonline.org. Cleveland Public Theatre is at 6415 Detroit Ave. in the Gordon Square Arts District.
Flanagan's Wake: A zany blend of written dialogue and improvised laughs, this interactive show transforms the audience into guests at Flanagan's wake in the fictional Irish village of Grapplin. Through April 30 at Playhouse Square's Kennedy's Theatre 1511 Euclid Ave. Tickets are $20 to $23. Learn more by calling 216-241-6000 or visit playhousesquare.org.
Jerry Springer: The Opera: Strippers, whore mongers, and tap-dancing knights of the Ku Klux Klan populate this provocative satire now making its regional debut at the Beck Center. While controversial in this country — and definitely for mature audiences only — the British comedy won Best New Musical kudos when it opened in London in 2003. Beck Center's version survived an opening-night protest of its own, and continues through March 27. Tix are $28, with discounts available for students and seniors. Call 216-521-2540 or go to beckcenter.org. The Beck Center is at 17801 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood.
Shrek the Musical: Everyone's favorite ogre ambles into the Palace Theatre in this lively touring production from Dream Works Theatricals, based on the original book and the movies that followed. The familiar story finds Shrek and his gang of lovable misfits embarking on an adventure involving a fearsome dragon, a fiesty princess, and lessons in real friendship and true love. Through March 13. Tickets are $10 to $75 at 216-241-6000 or online at playhousesquare.org. The Palace Theatre is at 1615 Euclid Ave. in Playhouse Square.