A Miracle at Convergence-Continuum:
You Had Us at 'Bawdy Sex Romp'
"If culture is a conversation," American Theatre magazine once wrote, "then the works of David Grimm are a roaring dinner party." That goes double for The Miracle at Naples, Grimm's erotic farce that borrows in both form and substance from the comedies of the Italian Renaissance. The play debuted to positive reviews in Boston in 2009. On Friday, July 1, it gets its Midwest premiere from the always-daring Convergence-Continuum company. Set in 1580 Naples, the plot revels in the chaos caused by a band of roving players who stumble into town in time for the annual miracle of San Gennaro, and subsequently generate what artistic director Clyde Simon calls "a hilarious mire of erotic and sexual confusions." Directed by company member Geoffrey Hoffman, the production features actors Lucy Bredeson-Smith, Ray Caspio, Robert Hawkes, Stuart Hoffman, Zac Hudak, Emily Pucell, and Lauren B. Smith. The curtain goes up at 8 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through July 23 at the Liminis Theater, 2438 Scranton Rd. in Tremont. Tickets are $15 general admission, and less for students and seniors. For reservations and information, call 216-687-0074 or visit convergence-continuum.org. — Elaine T. Cicora
Chicago: A singing, dancing satire of civic corruption and the notion of celebrity criminals, this musical is best remembered for Bob Fosse's iconic choreography that finds the cast dancing its way through circa-1926 Chicago. Through July 2 at Porthouse Theatre, on the grounds of Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls. Tickets are $17 to $33, and are available at 330-929-4416 or online at porthousetheatre.com.
: The notable doctor doesn't just talk to the animals: He sings and dances with them in this family-friendly production from Mercury Summer Stock. Through July 2 at the Cleveland Play House, 8500 Euclid Ave. Tickets are $15 to $18; for more information, call 216-771-5862 or visit mercurysummerstock.com.
Jersey Boys: This award-winning musical tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, complete with more than 30 of the pop group's most memorable hits. See full review, this issue. Through July 17 at the State Theatre, 1519 Euclid Ave. in Playhouse Square. Tickets are $35 to $130; for more information or to order tickets, call 216-241-6000 or visit playhousesquare.org.
Love's Labors Lost: Under the direction of Celeste Cosentino, this classic romantic comedy has been radically abridged and gender-reversed for what promises to be a unique evening's entertainment. One half of the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival's summer repertoire, the production continues in venues throughout the region through August 7. Free. For details, go to cleveshakes.org.
Othello: The Cleveland Shakespeare Festival "does a respectable job with the bard's iconic tragedy. Featuring some strong work in the leads and snappy pacing by director Aaron D. Elersich, this production manages to overcome some sketchy acting elsewhere." (Howey) Free, in venues around the region through August 6. For more information, go to cleveshakes.org.