The Foreigner — Brit Charlie Baker arrives at a supposedly rundown fishing lodge in rural Georgia all depressed because his wife, who has been indulging in a constant series of affairs with any man available, is now suffering from a terminal illness. He really doesn't want to speak to anyone while he's at this rathole in the Deep South, so he pretends to be mute. This results in the resort's guests opening up to him in ways he really didn't need. If you're not bothered by lapses in logic and are able to leap gaping plot holes in a single bound, The Foreigner offers a passel of easy laughs. (Howey) Through July 17 at Porthouse Theatre, 1145 W. Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, 330-929-4416. Tickets are $13-$36 dept.kent.edu/theatre/porthouse.
The Merry Wives of Windsor — Shakespeare's story about a fat knight who, in a dire financial situation, decides to woo two wealthy married women. When they figure out his plan and determine that an overweight knight isn't the best candidate for an affair, they use the situation for their amusement. Hilarity ensues. Playing in rep with Titus Andronicus, through August 8 at various outdoor sites. Visit cleveshakes.org for schedule.
Romance — Not exactly for the faint of heart, this raucous one-act features all of David Mamet's trademark vulgarity, plus a load of racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-everything insults, along with some serious cocaine use. But the result is a dark comedy that's tighter than Snooki's tube top, thanks to a stellar cast. Opening in a courtroom where the Defendant, a chiropractor, is being grilled by a rabid Prosecuting Attorney (most characters have titles, not names), the case at hand is much less important than the process. And according to Mamet, the judicial process is a surreal and arbitrary clown show, overseen by a drug-addled Judge from hell. (Howey) Presented by None Too Fragile Theatre through August 7 at 2125 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls. Tickets are $17 or pay what you can. Call 330-962-5547 for more info.
Sweeney Todd — This bloody and brooding venture into the mind of a mad barber in the bowels of London is like being handed a cup of three-day-old coffee grounds and lemon peels. But an engrossing score by Stephen Sondheim lifts it out of the muck, and the book by Hugh Wheeler spins plenty of thrills. (Howey) Through July 27 at Cain Park, corner of Lee and Superior roads, Cleveland Heights. Tickets are $15-$24. Call 216-371-3000 or visit cainpark.com.
Titus Andronicus — Shakespeare's first play, Titus is pretty much a nonstop orgy of sex and violence, with multiple revenge plots being eagerly pursued in the bloody streets of ancient Rome. It offers some gripping moments, but the overall impact is weakened somewhat by excessive surface intensity and a paucity of nuance in some scenes. Under the inventive and adept direction of Allan Byrne, the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival does a creditable job given a nickel and dime budget and mostly young actors. (Howey) Playing in rep with The Merry Wives of Windsor, through August 7 at various outdoor sites. Visit cleveshakes.org for schedule.