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Jay's theater picks

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Are you a theater lover trying to figure out which show to see this week on stage, here are a few suggestions in this new feature.

“Twelve Angry Men” at Asolo Repertory Theatre

James Clarke presses his case to a jury that includes, from left, Ron Kagan, David Breitbarth and Adam Carpenter in “Twelve Angry Men” at the Asolo Repretory Theatre. FRANK ATURA PHOTO PROVIDED BY ASOLO REPERTORY THEATRE

You could call Frank Galati’s production of the Reginald Rose drama “an oldie but a goodie.” The play, about a jury deciding the fate of a young man accused of killing his father, started as a 1950s TV drama and was later adapted to the stage. Galati and a fine cast make it fresh and involving. The show runs in repertory through March 26 with “La Bete” and “Boeing Boeing,” which opens Friday. 351-8000; asolorep.org

For my full review, click here.

“Hairspray” at Manatee Players

In the first locally staged production of this long-running, Tony Award-winning musical, director and choreographer Rick Kerby creates an infectious spirit and a few clever surprises for those who have seen the stage version before. Runs through Jan. 30. 748-5875; manateeplayers.com.

See the full review here.

“The 39 Steps” at Florida Studio Theatre

Inspired by the Alfred Hitchcock film and an earlier novel, this play offers a lot of laughs and thrilling theatricality as four actors play all the characters in a story about an innocent man who is drawn into a web of intrigue. The story doesn’t always hold up, but the performances and Eric Hissom’s staging make it constantly inventive. Through Feb. 20. Gompertz Theatre. 366-9000; floridastudiotheatre.org

See the full review here.

Liz Callaway at Historic Asolo Theater

One of my favorite theater and pop singers returns to Sarasota for a concert focusing on the music of Stephen Sondheim, George Gershwin and others. Callaway has starred on Broadway in “Miss Saigon,” “Cats” and “Baby,” but she’s also known for both her concert work with orchestras and cabaret shows like the one she is presented at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23 and 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Historic Asolo Theater for the Artist Series of Sarasota. For ticket information: 360-7399; ringling.org or artistseries.net.

“reasons to be pretty” at FSU/Asolo Conservatory

It’s the final weekend for this often gripping FSU/Asolo Conservatory production of Neil LaBute’s dark comedy about a relationship that is threatened by comments a man makes about his girlfriend to someone else. At times, it’s over-the-top, but the cast and play take hold by the end. Through Sunday. FSU/Asolo Conservatory, Cook Theatre. 351-8000; asolorep.org

You can read the full review here.

Last modified: February 11, 2011
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