On Being Funny
Comedian Bill Squire performs his Perfect 10 act Nov. 20
during the Cleveland Comedy Festival at the Hanna Theatre.
It's my career to be funny, so I take it very seriously. There's a lot of pressure on me to be funny and make someone laugh and to find new ways to be funny, but it's a dream come true. I draw a lot of my material from my daily life, such as with my wife and kids and from the interactions I have. Being funny is all about timing and listening for the right moment. You'll have better success than just blurting every thought that comes into your mind. If you get the joke out at the correct time, anything can be funny. clevelandcomedyfestival.com — as told to Roxanna Coldiron
Pirates of Penzance
Sept. 12 and 13, Chagrin Valley Little Theatre, cvlt.org
The Chagrin Studio Orchestra and Opera Per Tutti vocalists team up for this lively comedic operetta of a pirate who tries to win the heart of a beautiful woman. But there's a catch, he's stuck on a pirate ship for the next 63 years.
Stand-up comedian Brian Regan turns everyday mishaps and observations into sidesplitting comedy, which anyone can enjoy since he rarely uses bad language. Instead, he delights with wry takes on anything from why peanut butter and jelly together in the same jar exists to why calling someone "Einstein" is supposed to be an insult.
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This Tony Award-nominated musical comedy follows Jeff and Hunter who decide to write a musical about two guys trying to write a musical. The men work through their creative process on a tight deadline and manage to put something spectacular, or at least educational, together with the help of friends and family.
On Pushing Boundaries
Artistic director Patrick Ciamacco gives new life to Night of the Living Dead at the Blank Canvas Theatre Oct. 17 through Nov. 1.
For me, pushing boundaries means that you're trying to do something that hasn't been done before. It would be easy to do it another way, but I want this to be almost a live horror film. Our space is very intimate, so you're going to feel as if you're inside the house and held captive while zombies are outside. It's going to be scary and it's going to be dramatic. As artists, if we're not pushing ourselves to be different or to try something new, then we're just doing whatever everyone else has already done. My goal is to push our audience to think, and I expect the same for myself and the crew. blankcanvastheatre.com — as told to Roxanna Coldiron
Oct. 24-Nov.16, Dobama Theatre; Nov. 20-22, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, dobama.org
In this romantic comedy, when someone gets dumped it means that someone else is getting whacked. Olive and Betty hire Norwegian hit men to take care of their exes but end up falling in love with the gangsters instead.
Set during the Newsboys Strike of 1899, this classic story — full of plenty of dance numbers and songs — focuses on young Jack Kelly, an orphan who works as a newspaper boy. Along with his crew, he tries to negotiate fair labor rights with their employers and the city.
Conni's Avant Garde Restaurant
In this popular holiday show set in a roadside diner, look for wacky characters to serve you a five-course meal along with sides of cabaret, comedy, dance and competition. It is interactive theater after all, so we're fully prepared to sing for our dinner.