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A new musical and a classic play

So the reviews for Cry-Baby, the second Broadway musical based on a John Waters movie, are in.  And they're a real mixed lot: very good, very bad and just about everywhere in between.

Crybaby826r Linda Winer of Newsday liked it a lot, and so did Elysa Gardner of USA Today and Malcolm Johnson of the Hartford Courant.  Among those at the opposite end of the spectrum were Ben Brantley of the New York Times, John Simon of Bloomberg.com and Peter Marks of the Washington Post.

Given that all-over-the-map bunch of notices, Cry-Baby is likely to have a bumpier road to long-running hit status than its Waters musical predecessor, Hairspray.  But if Miami Beach-raised producer Adam Epstein can get the word out about the show's true-to-Waters aesthetic (in the Joan Marcus photo at left, stars James Snyder and Elizabeth Stanley illustrate the musical question Girl Can I Kiss You [With Tongue]?), and if he can find a way to convey the show's exuberant faux-'50s fun, it could last.  For more info, check out the Cry-Baby web site.

***

New Theatre founder Rafael de Acha kicks off his Theater by the Book venture Sunday at 7 p.m. at Rafael_de_acha GableStage.  First up is a reading of Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning Our Town.  In the cast are David Kwiat, Bill Schwartz, Robert Strain, Kimberly Daniel, Sally Levin, Nicholas Richberg and Cecilia Torres, all veterans of the De Acha era at New Theatre.  Admission to the staged reading is free; GableStage is in the Biltmore Hotel at 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables.

De Acha, as organized as ever, also has seven future readings planned at various locations:  Mario Diament's The Book of Ruth June 1, John Strand's adaptation of Alfred de Musset's Lorenzaccio July 8, Pedro Calderon de la Barca's Life's Dreaming Aug. 3, De Acha's own Shakespeare adaptation Falstaff and Hal Sept. 6-7, Friedrich Schiller's Mary Stuart Oct. 5, Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac Nov. 9 and Paula Vogel's The Long Christmas Ride Home Dec. 12-13.

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