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Your Weekly Theater Picks

Stage offerings worthy of your money

Bye Bye Birdie — Conrad Birdie, a rock star of the Elvis Presley sort, has been drafted into the army, therefore putting a halt to his music-making career. Through August 8 at Porthouse Theatre, 1145 W. Steels Corners Rd. Cuyahoga Falls. Tickets are $22-$33. Call 330-929-4416 or visit dept.kent.edu/theatre/porthouse.

Curtains -— In 1959, a less than talented actress is murdered during the opening night of her new play. Playing July 10-11, 15, 23 and 31, as well as Aug. 1, 7 and 8 at Cleveland State University's Summer Stages, 1833 East 23rd Street. Call 216-687-2113 or visit http://www.csuohio.edu/theater/SummerStages for more info.

Hunter Gatherers — The weirdest dinner party you will ever attend. Pam and Richard have their friends over for dinner, complete with animal sacrifices, sex, and wrestling. Through August 14 at The Liminis, 2438 Scranton Road. Tickets are $12-$15. Call 216-687-0074 or visit convergence-continuum.rg for more information.

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, 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.

The Phantom of the Opera

— A phantom man in a white mask and cape tries to seduce a young girl who has just recently been selected to sing at the Paris Opera House Through August 22 at the Allen Theatre, 1407 Euclid Ave. Tickets are $10-$87.50. Call 216-771-4444 or visit playhousesquare.org for more information.

Romance — This raucous one-act features all of David Mamet's trademark vulgarity, plus a load of anti-everything insults and some serious cocaine use. But the result is a dark comedy that's tighter than Snooki's tube top, thanks to a stellar cast. (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.

The Taming of the Shrew — One of Shakespeare's more delightful comedies, Shrew is packed with more false identities than a college bar at closing time. This version is a delicious romp from start to finish, highlighted by two excellent performances in the lead roles. Once again, director Terry Burgler shows why he is a master at mounting Shakespeare's works, filling the stage with lively characterizations and an irrepressible sense of fun. (Howey) Through July 24 at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, 714 N. Portage Path, Akron. Tickets are $15-30; go to ohioshakespeare.com.

Titus Andronicus ­— Shakespeare's first play, Titus is a nonstop orgy of sex and violence, with multiple revenge plots being eagerly pursued in the bloody streets of ancient Rome. (Howey) Playing in rep with The Merry Wives of Windsor, through August 7 at various outdoor sites. Visit cleveshakes.org for schedule.

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