Opening this period:
Burn the Floor Championship dance couples from fifteen different countries present a culture clash between the elegant sophistication of ballroom dancing and sweaty sensuality of rock ‘n’ roll. Presented at the Fabulous Fox Theatre, Detroit, March 28 – 30. Tickets: $15 – $60. (313) 471-6611. http://www.olympiaentertainment.com
The Diary of Anne Frank A young girl’s private writings present a view of life under Nazi rule. Staged by the Jewish Ensemble Theatre Company at the Scottish Rite Cathedral Theatre, Masonic Temple, Detroit, March 23 only. Tickets: $10. (248) 788-2900. http://www.jettheatre.org
Comedy Works A “nuts and bolts comedy” featuring The Guild, a group of Detroit’s best improvisers, that uses game-style and sketch improvisation to tickle even the rustiest of funny bones. Presented Friday and Saturday at the Century Theatre, Detroit, March 28 through June 14. Tickets: $12.50. (313) 963-9800. http://www.gemtheatre.com
Pirates of Penzance Swashbuckling buccaneers, bumbling British Bobbies and frolicsome Victorian maidens join together for a rollicking romp over the rocky coast of Cornwall. Staged by the NY Gilbert & Sullivan Players at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, Clinton Twp., March 28 only. Tickets: $29 – $38. (586) 286-2222. http://www.macombtheatre.com
The Bald Soprano & The Lesson These two comic one-acts by Eugene Ionesco are classic examples of Theater of the Absurd. Presented by the Whole Art Theatre, Kalamazoo, March 28 – 29, April 3 – 5 & April 11 – 12. Tickets: $12. (269) 345-7529. http://wholeart.hypermart.net
The Kentucky Cycle Part 1 of a two-part sweeping epic that traces 200 years of American history via the intertwined stories of three ethnically diverse families in eastern Kentucky. Staged Thursday through Sunday by the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre and the API Theatre at the Suzanne D. Parish Theatre, Kalamazoo, March 28 – April 12. Tickets: $13 – $16. (269) 343-1313. http://www.kazoocivic.com
Bear in the Big Blue House Live: A First Time for Everything The wonders and challenges of first-time feats are explored in this stage show based on the hit Disney Channel show by Jim Henson Television. Presented at the Masonic Temple Theatre, Detroit, March 27 – 30. Tickets: $9 – $24. (313) 872-1000. http://www.olympiaentertainment.com
Copenhagen A poignant drama that asks pertinent questions about patriotism and loyalty in times of way and the place of ethics in science. Presented Thursday through Sunday at Performance Network, Ann Arbor, March 20 – April 13. Tickets: $22.50 – $27.50. (734) 663-0681. http://www.performancenetwork.org
In Walks Mem’ry A world premiere production that captures the lingering impact sexual abuse has had on many families. Staged Thursday through Sunday by Plowshares Theatre Company at the Northwest Activities Center, Detroit, March 20 – April 13. Tickets: $10 – $25. (313) 872-0279. http://www.plowshares.org
The Runner Stumbles Suspense, passion, romance and trials of faith create a tense drama when a parish priest is accused of murdering a young nun. Staged Thursday through Sunday by The Theatre Company at McAuley Theatre on the Outer Drive Campus of the University Detroit Mercy March 20 – April 5. Tickets: $12. (313) 993-6461. http://theatre.udmercy.edu
The Importance of Being Earnest Two bachelors who are prone to lying find their deceptions unraveling in a series of crises that threaten to spoil their romantic pursuits. Staged Thursday through Sunday by Stagecrafters at the Historic Baldwin Theatre, Royal Oak, March 21 – April 6. Tickets: $14 – $16. (248) 541-6430. http://www.stagecrafters.org
Side Man A tender and deeply personal memory play about the turmoil in the family of a jazz musician whose career crumbles at the dawn of rock-and-roll. Staged by St. Dunstan’s Theatre Guild of Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills, March 21 – 23 & 27 – 29. Tickets: $13. (248) 644-0527. http://www.stdunstanstheatre.com
Rent A joyous, yet bittersweet musical that celebrates a community of artists as they struggle with the soaring heights and tough realities of today’s world. Presented at the Detroit Opera House March 18 – 23. Tickets: $20 – $55.50. (313) 872-1000. http://www.nederlanderdetroit.com
Wait Until Dark A beautiful, intrepid blind woman is stalked by evil when her new husband becomes an unwitting accomplice to drug smugglers. Presented Wednesday through Sunday at Meadow Brook Theatre, Rochester Hills, March 19 – April 13. Tickets: $19 – $38. (248) 377-3300. http://www.mbtheatre.com
Riverdance A celebration of Irish music, song and dance that has touched the hearts of millions around the world. Presented at the Stranahan Theatre, Toledo, March 18 – 23 only. Tickets: $46 – $56. (419) 474-1333.
The Ball and Chain Gang An original comedy developed through improvisation that celebrates the ongoing war of the sexes. Staged Thursday through Sunday by the Planet Ant Improv Colony at Planet Ant, Hamtramck, March 14 – 30. Tickets: $15. (313) 365-4948. http://www.planetantimprov.com
Porgy and Bess George Gershwin’s American masterpiece brings the colorful residents of Catfish Row to life is a story that entwines pride, prejudice, pathos and passion through a jazz and blues influenced score. Performed Tuesday through Sunday at the Fisher Theatre, Detroit, through March 30. Tickets: $30 – $65. (313) 872-1000. http://www.nederlanderdetroit.com Recommended.
A Streetcar Named Desire Southern belle Blanche DuBois relocates to New Orleans, but her past catches up with her, thanks to her violent brother-in-law. Performed in repertory at the Hilberry Theatre, Detroit, through May 8. Tickets: $15 – $20. (313) 577-2972. http://www.theatre.wayne.edu.
Art What happens when one man purchases a painting by the hottest artist in Paris, only to have his closest friends think it’s a sham? Presented Wednesday through Sunday at the BoarsHead Theatre, Lansing, through March 30. Tickets: $19 – $29. (517) 484-7805. http://www.boarshead.org.
Denial A college professor who writes an inflammatory book denying the Holocaust and indicted by the government for inciting violence seeks out a Jewish attorney from the ACLU for his defense. Staged Wednesday through Sunday by the Jewish Ensemble Theatre Company at the DeRoy Theatre, West Bloomfield, through March 30. Tickets: $20 – $30. (248) 788-2900. http://www.jettheatre.org. Highly recommended.
The Comedy of Errors Shakespeare’s tale of mistaken identity about twin brothers, separated during childhood, who cross paths later in life. Performed in repertory at the Hilberry Theatre, Detroit, through April 3. Tickets: $15 – $20. (313) 577-2972. http://www.theatre.wayne.edu. Highly recommended.
No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs The Midwest premiere of a provocative drama about a Jewish scholar doing research for a book on the comparative racial suffering of Jews and Negroes that dares its audience to look at the signs of racism dead in the eye. Performed Thursday through Sunday at the Detroit Repertory Theatre, Detroit, through March 23. Tickets: $17. (313) 868-1347. http://www.detroitreptheatre.com. Highly recommended.
Cloud 9 A comedy-drama by British feminist playwright Caryl Churchill that encourages audience members to question their own ideas of stereotypes and relationships. Performed in repertory at the Hilberry Theatre, Detroit, through March 27. Tickets: $15 – $20. (313) 577-2972. http://www.theatre.wayne.edu. Recommended for those who don’t mind adult themes and course language.
The Diary of Anne Frank Newly discovered writings from the famous diary and survivor accounts are interwoven in a new adaptation written by Wendy Kesselman. Performed Friday through Sunday by the Players Guild of Dearborn, through March 23. (313) 561-TKTS. http://www.playersguildofdearborn.org
Shear Madness The hilarious whodunit set in a unisex beauty parlor lets the audience take a stab at catching the killer of a famous concert pianist. Runs every Wednesday through Sunday at the Gem Theatre, Detroit, extended through June 29. Tickets: $14.75 – $19.50. (313) 963-9800. http://www.gemtheatre.com Highly recommended.
Woodward to Your Mutha Second City Detroit’s 24th mainstage review incorporates classic Second City style songs and sketches, some with a local, national or even political twist. Presented Thursday through Sunday at Second City, Detroit. Tickets: $15 – $20. (313) 965-2222. http://www.olympiaentertainment.com.
Sunday Night Line-Up at Second City Start the evening with “Parallel 181 (Don’t Throw Pennies Off the Edge of the World)” followed by “Blue Lights/Pink Slips” featuring The Second City Touring Company. Performed every Sunday night at Second City Detroit. Tickets: $12 for both shows or $10 for Touring Company show only. (313) 965-2222. http://www.olympiaentertainment.com.