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Hugo, Shakespeare, and southern-fried comedy on stage

Les Mis is sure to please, but don't forget the Bard's classic comedy, and a stage adaptation of an erotic novel.

Les Misérables

Do you hear the people sing? The sound of revolution will be heard once more at the 25th anniversary production of Les Misérables, coming to the Auditorium Theatre starting Tuesday, May 7.

Boublil and Schönberg’s musical adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel is now the longest running musical in the world. The film version starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway was nominated for eight Academy Awards, taking home three. The anniversary production of Les Misérables at the Auditorium will dazzle audiences with new staging and scenery inspired by the paintings of  Victor Hugo. The show’s distinctive music remains the same with musical numbers such as “I Dream a Dream,” “On My Own,” “Do You Hear the People Sing,” and the uproarious “Master of the House.”

The Rochester Broadway Theatre League presents Les Misérables at the Auditorium Theatre May 7-12. Tickets start at $37.50. Call 800-745-3000 or visit the Auditorium Theatre Box Office online.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Though some may scoff at the idea of fairies meddling around with true love, A Midsummer Night’s Dream has charmed audiences for centuries. Geva Theatre Center will present the Bard’s classic comedy May 8–June 2.

Set in an enchanted forest on a warm summer’s night, no one is safe from the games of the fairies. While two men pursue the attention of the beautiful Hermia, a sprinkling of fairy dust transfers their affections to the less-than-desirable Helena. In other parts of the forest, Titania, the fairy queen, is blissfully unaware that a handsome stranger is actually an ugly donkey. What will happen when morning comes?

Opening May 8, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is directed by Mark Cuddy and Skip Greer. All ages are welcome at this production, and children under five are not allowed in the theater. Tickets start at $25. Call (585) 232-GEVA or order directly from the website.

Venus in Fur

While dog-eared copies of Harlequin romance novels have quietly circled suburbia for decades, the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy brought kink back into the spotlight.

The Geva Theatre Center Fielding Nextstage will dive into the dark world of seduction with Venus in Fur, opening May 16.
Vanda is a talented young actress determined to land the lead role in the stage adaptation of an erotic novel. Her electric audition for Thomas, the demanding playwright/director, weaves a tangled web that blurs the lines of fantasy and reality, love and sex.

Recommended for ages sixteen and up, Venus in Fur will run May 16-June 2 at the Fielding Nextstage. Tickets start at $30. Call 232-GEVA or visit the box office or website.

Steel Magnolias

I must admit I watch Steel Magnolias whenever it’s on cable. There is just something about the winning combination of Sally Field, Julia Roberts and Dolly Parton that puts a smile on my face every time.Blackfriars Theatre will present Robert Harling’s Steel Magnolias from May 17–June 2.

In this timeless story, a group of six women share happiness and heartbreak in a small Louisiana town. Though they appear to be delicate flowers, these steel magnolias help each other through the toughest battles. I am certain the intimate theater space at Blackfriars will lend itself well to the primary set, a beauty shop. So wear your best ’do and bring the tissues for Steel Magnolias.

Directed by John Haldoupis, Steel Magnolias opens May 17 at Blackfriars Theatre. Tickets range from $28.50 to $36.50 and are available at the box office, on the website, or by calling 454-1260.

Michelle Inclema is a Rochester-based freelance writer.

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