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Straight Outta Brooklyn

Two kids come of age at the Play House.

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A softball rivalry sparks an unlikely cross-cultural friendship in The Chosen, which opens at the Cleveland Play House tonight. The production is based on a 1967 novel about best pals who come from opposite sides of Brooklyn's divided Jewish American community. "The differences are almost entirely cultural — seen through fashion and religious practices," says director Seth Gordon. "It can't be said that one is more religious or more observant than the other."Chaim Potok's sprawling book (which was made into a 1981 movie starring Robby Benson) posed a few challenges for the stage, says Gordon. "You have to find a more narrow narrative line," he says. "You have to leave room for human beings to come alive." As the boys approach manhood, their respective identity crises ignite. "Essentially, it's about how we are tested," says Gordon. "And how we have to defy our fathers to become who we are." The Chosen runs through November 25 at the Cleveland Play House's Drury Theatre, 8500 Euclid Avenue. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $39 to $62. Call 216-795-7000 or visit www.clevelandplayhouse.com.
Tuesdays-Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 3 & 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Nov. 2. Continues through Nov. 25, 2007

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