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The season starts early

South Florida's theater season used to get rolling in October. Not anymore.

This week brings openings of shows with multi-week runs at five professional theaters, plus three more shows that will be around just this weekend.  Those longer-running shows (which we'll get into in more detail before the weekend) are the Alliance Theatre Lab's second-stage production of Marsha Norman's 'night, Mother at Barry University's Pelican Theatre; Douglas Carter Beane's As Bees in Honey Drown at Rising Action Theatre; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at Broward Stage Door Theatre and Song Man, Dance Man at the Miami Beach Stage Door Theatre; and Charles Smith's Jelly Belly at the African American Performing Arts Community Theatre.  (Anne Nelson's The Guys, which was to have launched the Caldwell Theatre Company's second stage programming this weekend, has been postponed until December.)

Stage wkend15 Bridge Tunnel Rose Aimee First, though, here's a little info on the this-week-only shows, since your theatergoing window of opportunity is so short with them.

Karen Stephens repeats the tour de force performance she first brought to Fort Lauderdale's Women's Theatre Project when Sarah Jones' Bridge & Tunnel plays the Willow Theatre at Sugar Sand Park, 300 S. Military Trail, Boca Raton.  The chameleonic Stephens plays 14 New Yorkers of various ethnic backgrounds, varying ages and both genders in a play that is, by turns, funny, touching and intense.  Presented by the Boca Raton Theatre Guild, Bridge & Tunnel runs 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday Sunday.  Tickets are $15.  Call 561-347-3948.

Four plays about love open this weekend at Fort Lauderdale's New Light Theatre at Gallery 101, 3354 NE 33rd St.  Vanessa Garcia's The Proposal and Breaking Bread are paired with Wendy White's Marry Me! and I Want To Be Your Sculpture.  Performances are 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, and tickets are just $15.  Call 954-829-0638 or visit the New Light Theatre's web site.

_DSC3091 And from Thursday through Sunday, Ever Chavez's FUNDarte brings If You're Going To Pull a Knife, USAlo to the On stage Black Box Theater at Miami Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler St., Miami.  Directed by Carlos Díaz of Cuba's Teatro el Público, the piece features Carlos Caballero and Elizabeth Doud as a star-crossed couple -- a petroleum platform worker and a "mermaid" who happens to be a theme park character actress.  Performed in Spanish and English, and infused with the spirit of Samuel Beckett, the play (which premiered as part of Miami Light Project's Here & Now Festival) will be performed at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday.  Tickets are $20 ($15 for seniors and for students 18 and younger).  Tickets are available via Ticketmaster at 305-358-5885 or FUNDarte's web site.