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Florida Spotlight: June 2011

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A scene from Motherhood: The Musical
(Courtesy of the company)
Just in case you're still looking for a Mother's Day gift, consider a visit to Motherhood the Musical at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, June 3-July 10, in which four harried moms learn to love their little bundles of joy through a night of song, messes and all.

Elsewhere, catch the last rays in the dawning of the "Age of Aquarius" as the kinetic '60s classic Hair closes out its Florida run with dates at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Ft. Lauderdale (June 7-19) and the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre in Orlando (June 21-26). Also touring is the equally hairy musical Cats, checking in at Jacksonville's Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts (June 17-19) for a show full of Andrew Lloyd Webber showstoppers and alley-cat hijinks.

Indecisive? Miami's City Theatre has just the thing with their Summer Shorts festival, a sampling of short works culled from playwrights across the country and presented in a gala night hosted this year by Queer Eye for the Straight Guy's Jai Rodriguez. See it at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (June 2-26) and Fort Lauderdale's Broward Center for the Performing Arts (June 30-July 3). Also in Miami, the Alliance Theatre Lab presents Sam Shepard's Fool for Love (June 9-26), an emotional slugfest between a rodeo cowboy and his tempestuous lover in a lonely desert motel.

In Plantation, it's a slower-burning taste of Sam Shepard drama with his Ages of the Moon at the Mosaic Theatre (June 2-26), where two old men take out the frustrations of their misspent years over a bottle of bourbon. Nearby, more level heads prevail as TV legend Ed Asner stars in the Theatre Guild production of FDR, a savvy one-man show at the Caldwell Theatre Company in Boca Raton (June 1-5) focusing on the President's most difficult years.

Sarasota's Asolo Repertory Theatre brings us a pair of plays that dissect some beloved icons of stage and screen: Hershey Felder's Maestro: The Art of Leonard Bernstein (June 8-12) offers a look at the composer's multiple careers, while Marilyn: Forever Blonde! (June 18-July 10) boasts a script culled from Marilyn Monroe's own words over years of interviews. Nearby, money woes and a woman's midlife crisis equal big laughs in Steven Dietz' romantic comedy Becky's New Car at the Banyan Theater Company (June 30-July 17), while Florida Studio Theatre offers Betsy Howie and Mary Mufitt's musical Cowgirls (June 8-July 3), where a trio of classical musicians turn country to save a failing saloon.

A struggling songwriter finds his muse in the unlikely locale of a hospital bed in A New Brain, a sweet and surreal musical from William Finn, playing at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center in Tampa (June 9-19). More dreamy musical doings can be found in FreeFall Theatre's immersive and experimental version of Dale Wasserman's Man of La Mancha (June 23-July 10), while Orlando's Mad Cow Theatre plays a game of he said/she said/he said with Fay and Michael Kanin's Rashomon (June 17-July 10), based on the classic Japanese tale of deceit and desire.

In West Palm Beach, Florida Stage brings back its original production of Ella (June 16-August 28), a soulful tribute to first lady of jazz Ella Fitzgerald starring Tina Fabrique. And finally, celebrate the decade of love in the musical revue Suds at Gainesville's Hippodrome Theatre (June 1-26), where a laundromat lonely heart finds her romantic groove to the tune of hits like "Respect" and "Say a Little Prayer."

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