- Unmasked! The Phantom of the Opera returns to town this week.
Five years of playing heroine Christine in The Phantom of the Opera had taken its toll, and Rebecca Pitcher begged for a break. So the Berea native left the national touring production of the hit musical for six months last year to study yoga. "I was having problems with anxiety and a little bit of a stage-fright type thing," she explains. "Certain things happen onstage, and it just feels like your safe place, that safety, is taken away." She became a certified Bikram yoga instructor and now copes with the occasional miscue and flat singing note. "It's live theater," she shrugs. "You're never going to have exactly the same show that you had the night before, regardless of how hard you try." Phantom returns to the Allen Theatre (1407 Euclid Avenue) on Tuesday and stays through October 28. Show times are 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $22.50 to $66.50; call 216-771-4444. -- Cris Glaser
Pete Trewavas, bassist for U.K. prog-rockers Marillion, can't understand why the music industry won't embrace the internet. After all, it's been very, very good to the veteran combo, which has released several CDs online. "Too many mainstream record companies are scared of what's happening," offers Trewavas. "They want too much ownership." Of course, it helps to have a fan base that hangs on every note. "They live and breathe us," Trewavas explains. Marillion's latest album, Marbles, comes out on Tuesday, and after 22 years and one frontman replacement, Trewavas proclaims it the band's most relaxed outing ever. "I think we've finally learned how to actually write and arrange songs," he says. "Everything seemed to come together with this album." Marillion plays the Odeon (1295 Old River Road) at 8 p.m. Monday. Tickets are $30, $28.50 in advance; call 216-241-5555. -- Michael Gallucci
Moor, Moor, Moor
The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice is one of Shakespeare's most complicated and heavy works. Covering such intricate issues as jealousy, racism, and the power of, well, power, the 400-year-old play is also among the Bard's most timeless tales. Bad Epitaph Theater Company's contemporary staging of the thorny story includes several fashionable tweaks, like having a woman portray the villainous Iago; it starts Friday and runs through October 23 at Orthodox, 6203 Detroit Avenue. Show times are at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15 ($12 for students); call 216-556-0919. -- Michael Gallucci