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On campus, tragedy and hilarity

Two South Florida college theater programs are getting ready to open their winter productions, one a grand Broadway musical about a famous tragedy, the other a pair of shows about a noted cartoon blockhead.

NWSA Titanic The New World School of the Arts launches its production of Maury Yeston and Peter Stone's Titanic on Friday, Feb. 13 (which may be the right day to open a musical about one of the greatest nautical disasters in history).  Theater professor James S. Randolph directs a cast of 37 college students (including Jameson Hammond, Jehane Serralles and Nicholas Duckhardt as the captain), plus a half dozen New World high school students.  The orchestra features students from both the college and high school music divisions. 

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday through Feb. 22 in the Louise O. Gerrits Theatre, 25 NE Second St., Miami.  Tickets are $12 ($5 for students and seniors).  Call 305-237-3541 or visit the school's web site.

Charlie Brown.jpg ***

At the University of Miami, some clever soul thought to pair the family-friendly musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (featuring Robb Nanus as Linus, Matthew Mickenberg as Charlie Brown and Kate Metroka as Sally) with the decidedly not-for-kids play Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead.

Bert V. Royal's Off-Broadway hit imagines characters very much like the ones in the Peanuts comic strip (the names are changed to guard against copyright infringement, lawsuits, Dogseesgod.jpg etc.) as hormone-addled teens.  The gang (Max Emerson as Matt, Tim Murray as CB and Katie McClellan as CB's sister) deal with little issues like arson, drugs, homophobia and more.

The shows run in repertory at the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre, 1312 Miller Dr., Coral Gables, beginning Feb. 18. Charlie Brown is performed at 8 p.m. Feb. 18, Feb. 20, Feb. 26, Feb. 28 and March 4-7; 2 p.m. Feb. 21, March 1 and March 7.  Dog Sees God has performances at 8 p.m. Feb. 19, Feb. 21, Feb. 25 and Feb. 27; 2 p.m. Feb. 22 and Feb. 28.  Do NOT, whatever you do, make a mistake and take the kiddies to the wrong show.  Lifelong trauma is made of this.

Ticket prices for Charlie Brown are $18-$22 ($16-$18 for faculty, staff and alumni, $8-$10 for students).  Dog Sees God tickets are $16-$18 ($14-$16 for faculty, staff and alumni, $6-$8 for students).  Call 305-284-3355 or visit the Ring Theatre web site.