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Florida Spotlight: March 2011

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Got Gershwin? No matter where you are in Florida this month, that's a big yes with the arrival of 'S Wonderful, a new touring revue that pays tribute to the tunes of George and Ira in five mini-musicals. Sing along to hits like "Shall We Dance," "Rhapsody in Blue" and more at Bunnell's Flagler Auditorium (March 1), Palm Beach State College (March 2), the Dolly Hand Performing Arts Center in Belle Glade (March 3), Old School Square in Delray Beach (March 4-6), Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall (March 7), the Sunrise Theatre in Fort Pierce (March 9) and Fort Lauderdale's Broward Center for the Performing Arts (March 10-13).

And what better time than March for Spring Awakening to make the rounds? See teenage hormones and 19th-century mores clash to the sounds of Duncan Sheik's rockin' score as the latest tour hits the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach (March 2), Tallahassee's Leon County Civic Center (March 3), the Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater (March 18-19), the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota (March 20), Gainesville's Phillips Center (March 22), the Sunrise Theatre in Fort Pierce (March 23), Jacksonville's Times-Union Center (March 24) and the Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale (March 25-27).

In other touring news, catch Lin Manuel-Miranda's boisterous barrio musical In the Heights. The show may have closed on Broadway this year, but the Tony award-winning score lives on at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami (March 29-April 3). Also at the Arsht Center: Jersey Boys, a multi-faceted look at the glory days of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons featuring their biggest hits. Catch it in Miami from March 2-20 or at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa from March 23-April 17. And it's romance and rumbles Shakespeare-style as West Side Story continues its own run through the state, stopping at the Straz Center from March 1-6 and the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach March 8-13.

It's a great month for wry playwright Tracy Letts, with two productions of August: Osage County, his Pulitzer-winning look at a family's declining values after the suicide of their patriarch. See it at Orlando's Theatre Downtown March 4-27 or the Florida Repertory Theatre in Fort Myers March 18-April 2, or take in Letts' softer side with Superior Donuts, a wistful look at a nostalgic café at the Gable Stage at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables (March 12-April 10). Also in Coral Gables, catch the world premiere of Shirley Lauro's The Radiant (New Theatre March 25-April 17), a poignant look at the life of pioneering physicist Marie Curie, starring Angelica Torn.

In Orlando, the spotlight shines on still another trailblazer in Kathleen Cahill's Charm, a journey through the trials and triumphs of women's rights activist Margaret Fuller at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center (March 23-April 17). Meanwhile, sparks fly in a lively debate between Sigmund Freud and writer C.S. Lewis in Mad Cow Theatre's production of Freud's Last Session (March 11-April 3).

On the east coast, mysterious forces are at work in the creation of a dead novelist's final book in Ghost-Writer, a drama from Michael Hollinger at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach (March 2-April 3). Further up the coast, two one-time lovers struggle to bridge the gap of 25 years after their fling in Stephen Belber's Dusk Rings a Bell at the Mosaic Theatre in Plantation (March 31-April 24), and it's one last flight for the flying monkeys as the touring production of Wicked closes out its Florida run at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale (March 30-April 24).

In Sarasota, scandal lands in the lap of the royal court in Lynn Nottage's Las Meninas, a tale of a queen's straying affections at the Asolo Repertory Theatre (March 18-May 15). South to Naples, we find family unrest on a smaller scale - among a troubled Brooklyn husband and wife in Gulfshore Playhouse's production of Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge (March 4-20), and between English twins in the Willy Russell musical Blood Brothers at TheatreZone (March 10-20), with that production featuring Tony nominee Andrea McArdle.

In nearby Fort Myers, the stage takes a pounding from two touring dance showcases: The ballroom blitz of Burn the Floor comes to the Barbara P. Mann Performing Arts Hall from March 15-20, followed up just in time for the St. Patrick's Day afterglow by a visit from the National Dance Company of Ireland in their production of Rhythm of the Dance, finishing up their Florida tour at the Barbara P. Mann on March 21 after dates at Niceville's Mattie Kelly Arts Centre (March 11), Jacksonville's Moran Theatre (March 13), South Florida Community College in Avon Park (March 14), the Lyric Theatre in Stuart (March 15), the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach (March 16), the Coral Springs Center (March 17), Sarasota's Van Wezel Performing Arts Center (March 18) and St. Petersburg's Mahaffey Theatre (March 19).

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