The week’s best Pa­tri­o­tism, plants and Pe­tula Clark

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - Showtime - Broward - - ON STAGE - By Rod Stafford Hag­wood

This is what’s go­ing on in the South Florida theater scene this week.

Be­com­ing Dr. Ruth

The show re­counts the ma­jor episodes in the fa­mous sex ther­a­pist Dr. Ruth Wes­theimer’s life, from flee­ing the Nazis in Kin­der­trans­port to be­com­ing a sniper in Is­rael, study­ing in Paris and find­ing fame on TV in the 1980s.

When: Through Dec. 24; 8 p.m. Thurs­day-Fri­day; 7 p.m. Sun­day; 2 p.m. mati­nee Sun­day (and Dec. 16 and 23)

Where: GableS­tage, 1200 Anas­ta­sia Ave., Coral Gables

Cost: $45-$60 ($15 for stu­dents on Thurs­day and Sun­day evenings)

Con­tact: 305-445-1119 or GableS­tage.org

Irv­ing Ber­lin Salutes Amer­ica

Writ­ten by Palm Beach Gar­dens’ Alan Ja­cob­son (the cre­ator of “WaistWatch­ers — the Mu­si­cal”), this pa­tri­otic tribute to Irv­ing Ber­lin has been up­dated to keep it timely.

“I re­vis­ited this show for three rea­sons,” Ja­cob­son ex­plains in a press re­lease. “First and fore­most is that we are living in dif­fi­cult times, geopo­lit­i­cally and cli­mate­wise, and our own coun­try has seen politics over­take our lives and cre­ate tremen­dous po­lar­iza­tion amongst our cit­i­zens, friends and fam­ily in­cluded. I wanted to use the power of the theater, and live mu­sic, to take peo­ple's minds off the daily stresses, and to re­mem­ber that we must fight against the di­vi­sive­ness and bring back a sense of unity and pa­tri­o­tism.

“Sec­ond was the mu­sic. Who bet­ter to look to for this kind of up­beat and mov­ing mu­sic than Irv­ing Ber­lin? This show also ex­em­pli­fies the tremen­dous con­tri­bu­tions of im­mi­grants; Mr. Ber­lin was one, and one who proudly served in the Amer­i­can armed ser­vices.

“[The third rea­son is] I wanted a real feel-good, pa­tri­otic show, some­thing that will lift peo­ple’s spir­its.”

When: Through Dec. 24; 7:30 p.m. Thurs­days; 8 p.m. Fri­day and Satur­day; 2 p.m. mati­nee Thurs­days, Satur­days and Sun­days

Where: PGA Arts Cen­ter, 4076 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gar­dens Cost: $45-$48 Con­tact: 855-448-7469 or PGAArts­Cen­ter.com

Lit­tle Shop Of Hor­rors

In this campy mu­si­cal, down-and-out florist as­sis­tant Sey­mour dis­cov­ers a new breed of plant that makes him a me­dia su­per­star. But there’s a prob­lem: The oth­er­worldly plant has a taste for blood. The stage mu­si­cal was orig­i­nally based on a lower-than-low­bud­get 1960 movie (not a mu­si­cal) by schlock-meis­ter Roger Cor­man. With book and lyrics by Howard Ash­man and mu­sic by Alan Menken, it moved from a stage mu­si­cal to the big screen again in 1986. That movie starred Rick Mora­nis and Steve Martin, with Four Tops l ead singer Levi Stubbs pro­vid­ing the voice of the vo­ra­cious plant.

When: Dec. 1-17; 7:30 p.m. Tues­days- Satur­days; 1:30 p.m. mati­nee Wed­nes­days, Satur­days and Sun­days

Where: Kravis Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts, 701 Okee­chobee Blvd., West Palm Beach Cost: $45 Con­tact: 561-832-7469 or Kravis.org

It’s Only A Play

Ter­rence McNally wrote and re-wrote this play in the late 1970s, through­out the ’80s and into the ’90s. In 2014, a suc­cess­ful pro­duc­tion made it to Broad­way, where its run was ex­tended three times. That’s the ver­sion of the com­edy about a group of ac­tors wait­ing for theater reviews to come in that Cur­tain Call Play­house is opening in Boca Ra­ton be­fore tak­ing the show on a tour of South Florida. “It’s Only a Play” will run Dec. 16 at the Herb Skol­nick Cen­ter in Pom­pano Beach (954-786-4590), Jan. 6-7 at the Sun­rise Civic Cen­ter in Sun­rise ( sun­risefl. gov /in­dex.aspx?page=548) and Jan. 12-21 at the Pom­pano Beach Cul­tural Cen­ter (CCPom­pano.org).

When: Dec. 1-10; 8 p.m. Fri­days-Satur­days; 2 p.m. mati­nee Sun­days

Where: Wil­low Theatre, 300 S. Mil­i­tary Trail, Boca Ra­ton (in Sugar Sand Park) Cost: $15-$20 Con­tact: 561-347-3948 or Wil­lowThe­atre.org

An Evening with Pe­tula Clark

The singer, ac­tor and com­poser comes to South Florida fresh off a world tour pro­mot­ing the 2016 al­bum “From Now On.” The oc­to­ge­nar­ian is fa­mous for megahit record­ings such as “Down­town” and “Don’t Sleep i n the Sub­way,” as well as for star­ring in movies “Good­bye, Mr. Chips” and “Finian’s Rain­bow.” When: 8 p.m. Dec. 7 Where: Dun­can Theatre at Palm Beach State Col­lege, 4200 Congress Ave., Lake Worth Cost: $50, $60 and $75 Con­tact: 561-868-3309 or Dun­canTheatre.org

Hamil­ton Work­shop with An­drew Chap­pelle

An­drew Chap­pelle, who starred in “Hamil­ton” and “Mamma Mia!” on Broad­way, will lead a work­shop for young emerg­ing tal­ent (ages 7 to adult). Regis­tra­tion is be­ing ac­cepted un­til 80 spots are filled (at presstime, nine slots were still avail­able) When: 6 p.m. Dec. 8 Where: Kravis Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts, 701 Okee­chobee Blvd., West Palm Beach Cost: $160 Con­tact: 561-651-4376 or Kravis.org (click on “Ed­u­ca­tion and Com­mu­nity,” then the drop down “Com­mu­nity Ed­u­ca­tion Pro­grams,” then the drop down “Stu­dents Arts En­rich­ment” and then click on “Work­shops and Mas­ter Classes”)

Around the World in 80 Days

Sol Chil­dren Theatre gives its take on the Jules Verne clas­sic, which is now a mu­si­cal. The story is the same, though, fol­low­ing the ad­ven­tures of Phileas Fogg and his bet that he can race around the globe in 80 days. The pro­duc­tion in­cludes a mix of adult and child ac­tors.

When: Dec. 8-23; 7 p.m. Fri­days and Satur­days; 2 p.m. mati­nee Satur­days and Sun­days

Where: Sol Theatre, 333 N Fed­eral High­way, Boca Ra­ton

Cost: $20 ($15 for ju­niors age 11 and younger)

Con­tact: 561-447-8829 or SolChil­dren.org

CAROL KASSIE/COUR­TESY

Melissa Ja­cob­son, John Lariv­iere and Leah Sessa in "Irv­ing Ber­lin Salutes Amer­ica.

CAROL KASSIE/COUR­TESY

Murphy Hayes as Phileas Fogg and Chris­tian Matthiesen as Passep­a­rtout in “Around the World in 80 Days.”

Clark

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