A Better Life A Michigan premiere of an original play by Richard Goteri. Presented Friday through Sunday by the Detroit Ensemble Theatre, Roseville, April 16 – May 2. Tickets: $12. 586-790-5666.
A Life in The Theatre Two actors, one at the end of his career and the other much younger, work in what seems to be a never-ending repertory theater company. Presented at the Abreact Performance Space, Detroit, April 10 – 11 & Friday and Saturday April 16 – May 1. Free admission; donations accepted.
Blues for an Alabama Sky Four friends in 1930 Harlem share their hopes and dreams for love and life. Staged Thursday, Saturday and Sunday by Plowshares Theatre Company at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit, through April 25. Tickets: $25. 313-872-0279. www.plowshares.org.
Brilliant Traces A woman barges into a secluded cabin in the backwoods wearing a wedding dress, alternately being repelled and attracted by its sole occupant. A Dark Night production of the BoarsHead Theatre, Lansing, April 12 & 13. Free admission; donations accepted. 517-484-7805. www.boarshead.org.
Chicago The razzle-dazzle Broadway smash hit musical hits the road starring Tom Wopat. Presented Tuesday through Sunday at the Fisher Theatre, Detroit, April 13 – 25. Tickets: $22.50 – $67.50. 313-872-1000. www.nederlanderdetroit.com.
The Drawer Boy A moving story of love and loss in which an eager young actor volunteers to help on a farm while trying to collect anecdotes for a play on rural life. Presented Thursday through Sunday at the Detroit Repertory Theatre, Detroit, through May 23. Tickets: $17. 313-868-1347. www.detroitreptheatre.com.
The Kentucky Cycle Parts I & II A two-part epic that tells the story of three families in eastern Kentucky and spans 200 years of American history. Performed in repertory Wednesday through Saturday at the Hilberry Theatre, Detroit, through May 15. Tickets: $12 – $20. 313-577-2972. www.theatre.wayne.edu/t_hilberry.html.
Kimberly Akimbo An absurdly funny and touching tale about a young girl with a rare disease who discovers love and escapes her unique limitations. Presented Thursday through Sunday at the Performance Network, Ann Arbor, through April 11. Tickets: $22.50 & $27.50. 734-663-0681. www.performancenetwork.org.
Kiss Me Kate A production of “The Taming of the Shrew” is turned upside down in this behind-the-scenes battle of the sexes. Presented at Stranahan Theater, Toledo, April 16 – 18 only. Tickets: $34 – $40. 419-474-1333. www.stranahantheater.com.
The Lion King The Disney musical that brings the hit animated movie to life. Presented Tuesday through Sunday at the Masonic Temple Theatre, Detroit, through May 30. Tickets: $17.50 – $77.50. 248-645-6666. www.nederlanderdetroit.com.
Menopause The Musical A joyful musical parody about four women who have nothing in common except a certain shared experience! Presented Tuesday through Sunday at the Gem Theatre, Detroit, for an open run. Tickets: $39.50. 313-963-9800. www.gemtheatre.com.
Sarah, Ella & Pops A world premiere musical that celebrates the lives and works of America’s great jazz legends. Presented Wednesday through Sunday at the BoarsHead Theater, Lansing, through April 18. Tickets: $24 – $34. 517-484-7805. www.boarshead.org.
Talking With Eleven funny, frightening and touching monologues feature women who have had bizarre experiences. Presented Wednesday through Sunday at Meadow Brook Theatre, Rochester, through April 11. Tickets: $22 – $38. 248-377-3300. www.mbtheatre.com.
The Trees Don’t Bleed in Tuskegee A poignant drama about the Tuskegee syphilis experiment conducted on black men by the United States government. Staged Friday through Sunday by Phases Theatre Company at the Hastings Street Ballroom, Detroit, through April 11. Tickets: $20. 313-438-6096.
The Underpants The Michigan premiere of Steve Martin’s turn-of-the-century sex farce about a stuffed-shirt government clerk whose young wife accidentally drops her “unmentionables” at a parade. Presented Wednesday through Sunday at the Purple Rose Theatre, Chelsea, through June 5. Tickets: $17.50 – $32.50. 734-433-7673. www.purplerosetheatre.org.
Welcome to the Moon and Other Plays Six short plays by John Michael Shanley about love and romance range from lyrical and bitter-sweet to the farcically absurd. Presented Friday through Sunday at Planet Ant, Hamtramck, April 16 – May 9. Tickets: $15. 313-365-4948. www.planetant.com.
Jesus Christ Superstar This once-controversial rock opera grippingly retells the last seven days in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Staged by the University of Michigan School of Music at the Power Center for the Performing Arts, Ann Arbor, April 15 – 18. Tickets: $15 – $20. 734-764-2538. www.uprod.music.umich.edu.
Proof A woman spends years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, but the discovery of a mysterious notebook draws her into the most difficult problem of all. Staged by Macomb Community College Academic Theatre Department at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, Clinton Twp., April 15 – 18 only. Tickets: $10. 586-286-2222. www.macombcenter.com.
A View from the Bridge A gripping tale of family and community set in 1950s Brooklyn that simmers with tension and betrayal. Staged by Stagecrafters at the beautiful Baldwin Theatre, Royal Oak, April 16 – 18, 22 – 25 & 30 – May 1. Tickets: $10. 248-541-6430. www.stagecrafters.org.
Parallel Lives An outrageously funny two-woman comedy that explores different facets of modern life and the struggle of women for love, respect and parity in a contest handicapped by capricious goddesses. Staged Friday and Saturday by StarBrite Theatrical Productions at the 14th Street Bar and Grille, Madison Heights, through April 17. Tickets: $37.50 includes dinner and show. 248-589-9900.
The Soapranos An interactive comedy that spoofs TV’s most celebrated crime boss and his family. Presented by the New York Dinner Theater at Club Monte Carlo, Utica, April 17. Tickets: $49.95 includes dinner, show and dancing. 800-383-6080.
Vee Corporation Productions – for costume characters, adult actors and puppeteers for future tours and replacement positions, April 23 at Detroit’s Fox Theatre, 612-375-9670, ext. 704.