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Theater gets busy

The Thanksgiving arts lull is over, and though it may seem as though there's nothing going on this week in South Florida except Art Basel, that's just not true.  Not at all.

From Coral Gables to Jupiter, there are 10 shows opening over the next four days.  And that, of course, isn't counting the already-running ones like The Book of Mormon at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale, My Name Is Asher Lev at GableStage in Coral Gables, White Christmas at the Wick Theatre in Boca Raton, The Last Night of Ballyhoo at the Stage Door in Coral Springs, New Theatre's world premiere My First, My Fist, My Bleeding Seeded Spirit (and there's more). 

So if you're looking for a new theatrical adventure this week (and this month), consider these possibilities:

Making God LaughMaking God Laugh -- Sean Grennan's comedy brings to Actors' Playhouse the world of empty-nest parents and their grown "children." Michael Focas, Angie Radosh, Peter Haig, Deborah Sherman and Gregg Weiner star in the play, which takes place at different holiday celebrations over a 30-year period.  The show is in the upstairs Balcony Theatre at the Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, through Dec. 29.  Performances are 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday (extra matinee 2 p.m. Dec. 11).  Tickets are $48 Friday-Saturday, $40 other shows (10 percent off for seniors, $15 student rush tickets, excludes Saturday-Sunday).  Call 305-444-9293 or visit the theater's web site.

Once This Island 4*  The New World School of the Arts presents its high school junior and senior theater students in Once on This Island, the Broadway musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty.  Faculty member Stuart Meltzer directs the musical love story about an impoverished Caribbean island girl who rescues and falls in love with a privileged young man.  Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, through Dec. 15 in the Louise O. Gerrits Theater on the eighth floor of the New World building at 25 NE Second St., Miami.  Tickets are $15 ($10 for students and seniors).  Call 305-237-3541 or visit the school's web site.

BrSch.128 (2)*  Comedian-turned-actor Brian Schiller performs his solo show Even Dr. Phil Can't Fix This! at 8 p.m. this Saturday and Dec. 14 at the Main Street Playhouse, 6766 Main St., Miami Lakes.   It's funny, yes, but its serious content includes sexual abuse, mental illness, self-discovery and healing through therapy.  Tickets are just $15, available by calling 305-558-3737, at the door or via the Main Street Players web site.

Santaland_Pic*  The edgy favorite The Santaland Diaries starts a three-week run at Empire Stage, 1140 N. Flagler Dr., Fort Lauderdale.  Jamie Morris plays the David Sedaris role of a guy who earns his holiday pay by working as an elf at Macy's flagship store in Manhattan.  Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday, through Dec. 22.  Tickets are $30.  Call 954-678-1496 or visit the Empire Stage web site.

DSCN1067a*  Nicky Silver's Broadway hit comedy The Lyons opens in a Women's Theatre Project production running through Dec. 22.  Kevin Reilly plays a dying family patriarch in a cast featuring Jacqueline Laggy, Jessica K. Peterson, Clay Cartland, Carolyn Johnson and Matthew Korinko.  Performances are at the Willow Theatre at Sugar Sand Park, 300 S. Military Trail, Boca Raton.  Shows are at 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Dec. 12-13 and Dec. 19-20; 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 11, Dec. 14-15, Dec. 18-19 and Dec. 22.  Tickets are $25.  For information, call 561-347-3948 or visit the Women's Theatre Project web site.

Respect: A Musical Journey of Women begins its long run this weekend in the Studio Theatre at the Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center, 201 Plaza Real, Boca Raton. Sharyn Peoples, Carla Bordonada, Nicole Kinzel and Ziarra Washington perform some 60 woman-power songs and snippets under the musical direction of Phil Hinton.  Performances are 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Wednesday and Sunday, through Jan. 5.  Tickets are $38.  Call 866-811-4111 or visit the Boca Raton Theatre Guild's web site.

*  James Sherman's comedy From Door to Door is the newest offering from the West Boca Theatre Company.  Phyllis Spear, Renee Rogoff and Clelia Patrizio star in the Shari Upbin-directed play about three generations of women.  The West Boca Theatre Company production runs at the Levis Jewish Community Center's Beifield Auditorium, 21050 95th Ave., Boca Raton, through Dec. 22.  Performances are 2 and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday.  Tickets are $20.  Call 561-852-3241 for information.

*  The popular musical revue I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change explores the giddiness and challenges of love in a new production at Manalapan's Plaza Theatre.  Wayne LeGette, Mia Matthews, Mike Westrich and Leah Sessa perform the musical vignettes under Kevin Black's direction.  Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Wednesday and Sunday through Dec. 22.  The Plaza is at 262 S. Ocean Blvd., Manalapan. Tickets are $45.  Call 561-588-1820 or visit the Plaza's web site

Portrait300*  James Goldman's The Lion in Winter, about the warring King Henry II and his estranged wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, gets a handsome new production at Palm Beach Dramaworks, 201 Clematis St., West Palm Beach.  Under William Hayes' direction, C. David Johnson plays Henry, Tod Randolph is Eleanor.  Also in the cast are Katherine Amadeo, Justin Baldwin, Cliff Burgess, Chris Crawford and Pierre Tannous.  The play runs through Jan. 5.  Performances are 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday, 2 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday-Sunday.  Tickets are $60.  Call 561-514-4042 or visit the Dramaworks web site.

3*  The always-popular Annie, that Broadway smash with cute orphan girls, the lovable dog Sandy and one heck of a Christmas scene, is at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre through Dec. 22.  New Yorker Clara Young plays the red-haired optimist whose meeting with Daddy Warbucks changes her life.  Performances are 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday-Sunday, through Dec. 22 at the Maltz, 1001 E. Indiantown Rd., Jupiter.  Tickets are $52-$79.  For information, call 561-575-2223 or visit the theater's web site.

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