Professional Theater

Beck Center’s 85th Theater Season includes a regional premiere, blockbuster family-friendly musicals, and one of theater’s most memorable couples for 2018-2019!

  • Individual Tickets, including Smart Seats®, on sale now!
  • Season Tickets and Flex Pass Packages on sale now. To learn more about pricing click here, or call Customer Service: 216.521.2540 x10

An Act of God 

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Written by David Javerbaum
Directed by William Roudebush
Featuring Mike Polk Jr. as God
Presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
September 14 – October 7, 2018 | Mackey Theater
Special Thursday evening performance October 4

Written by 13-time Emmy Award® winner David Javerbaum (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart), this exceptionally witty comedy delivers a new meaning to the phrase divine intervention. In An Act of God, the Almighty is back and he's got a lot to say. God, and his devoted angels, answer some of the deepest questions that have plagued mankind since Creation. The One with the first and last word on everything has finally returned to set the record straight… and he’s not holding back!

“The Funniest 90 minutes on Broadway! Comedy Heaven!” – The New York Times

“Wickedly funny and irreverent!” – The Hollywood Reporter

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?   

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Written by Edward Albee
Directed by Donald Carrier
Presented through special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
October 5 – November 4, 2018 | Studio Theater

Winner of five Tony Awards®, including Best Play, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is considered one of the masterworks of American drama, with dazzling language and unforgettable characters. George, a professor at a small college, and his wife, Martha, have just returned home, drunk from a Saturday night party. Martha, much to her husband George’s displeasure, has invited the opportunistic new professor and his wife to their home for a night-cap. Over the course of the evening, George and Martha use their guests as pawns in increasingly cruel mind games, leading to a devastating revelation.

"…a scorching, scalding, revealing, and completely engrossing drama." — Women's Wear Daily

"…a brilliant piece of writing." — New York Herald-Tribune

Shrek The Musical 

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Book and Lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire; Music by Jeanine Tesori
Based on the DreamWorks Animation Motion Picture and the book by William Steig
Originally produced on Broadway by DreamWorks Theatricals and Neal Street Productions
Directed by Scott Spence | Musical Direction by Larry Goodpaster | Choreography by Martín Céspedes
Featuring Gilgamesh (G.A.) Taggett as Shrek
Presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI)
December 7, 2018 – January 6, 2019 | Mackey Theater
Special  performances Thursday evenings Dec. 20 & 27, double performances Dec. 15 & 29, and matinee only Dec. 8 & 22 and Jan. 5

Based on the smash-hit DreamWorks Animation film, Shrek The Musical is a Tony Award®-winning fairy tale adventure. "Once upon a time, there was a little ogre named Shrek...." And thus begins the tale of an unlikely hero who finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside a wisecracking Donkey and a feisty princess who resists her rescue. Throw in a short-tempered bad guy, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you've got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there's one on hand... and his name is Shrek.

“Shrek The Musical is sweet, big, and extremely lovable.” - Newsday

“The most ingeniously wacky, transcendently tasteless Broadway musical since The Producers. Altogether irresistible!” – USA Today


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Book by Enda Walsh
Music and Lyrics by Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová
Based on the Motion Picture Written and Directed by John Carney
Directed by Victoria Bussert | In collaboration with Baldwin Wallace University Music Theatre Program
Presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI)
February 8 – February 24, 2019 | Mackey Theater
Special Wednesday and Thursday evening performances February 14, 20 & 21

A testament to the transcendent power of love and music takes center stage with Beck Center’s eighth annual collaboration with the esteemed Baldwin Wallace University Music Theatre Program. Once follows a Dublin street musician and a Czech immigrant who are drawn together by their shared love of music. Over the course of one fateful week, an unexpected friendship and collaboration quickly evolves into a powerful but complicated love story, underscored by emotionally charged music. Winner of eight Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, a Grammy Award® for Best Musical Theatre Album, and four Drama Desk Awards® including Outstanding Musical, Once speaks to the power of music to connect us all.

"A gem of a show. ...Once wins its standing ovations the old-fashioned way: with a love story, great songs, compelling characters and inventive stagecraft.... downright revolutionary." - The New York Post

"An exquisite reminder of theater's singular capacity to transport us." – The Hollywood Reporter

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill

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Written by Lanie Robertson
Directed by Scott Spence
Musical Direction by Ed Ridley
Featuring Nicole Sumlin as Billie Holiday
Presented through special arrangement with Samuel French Inc.
March 15 – April 14, 2019 | Studio Theater

Nicknamed “Lady Day” by saxophonist Lester Young, Billie Holiday was one of the greatest jazz voices of all time. The award-winning Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill takes place in1959 at a small Philadelphia club where she takes to the stage for one of the last shows of her accomplished, yet turbulent life. More than a dozen musical numbers, including “God Bless the Child” and “Strange Fruit,” are interlaced with salty, often humorous, reminiscences to project a riveting portrait of the lady and her music.

"Original and riveting." - The London Times

"Utterly intoxicating." – The Daily Telegraph

King Lear

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Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Eric Schmeidl
May 31 – June 30, 2019 | Studio Theater

In William Shakespeare's royal-family tragedy, the aging King Lear divides his estate between his three daughters, ultimately refusing his youngest and favorite her share because she won't publicly admit her love for him. The decision leads to chaos and treachery within the kingdom and madness for its monarch. King Lear is a classic tale of love, loss, and legacy.

"No man will ever write a better tragedy than Lear." – George Bernard Shaw

Matilda The Musical

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Written by Roald Dahl
Book by Dennis Kelly
Music and Lyrics by Tim Minchin
Directed by Scott Spence; Musical Direction by Larry Goodpaster; Choreography by Martín Céspedes
Presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI)
July 12 – August 11, 2019 | Mackey Theater
Special Thursday evening performance August 7

Winner of over 85 international awards, including five Tony Awards® and 16 for Best Musical, Matilda The Musical is based on the beloved novel by best-selling author Roald Dahl. Matilda is an extraordinary girl with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind whose talents are constantly belittled by her cruel parents and headmistress. Dreaming of a better life for herself, she dares to take a stand against these oppressive forces and takes her destiny into her own hands.

"Once in a blue moon, a show comes out blazing and restores your faith in Broadway. Matilda The Musical is that show." – The New York Post

"Smart, quirky, and sublimely good fun....A moving and subtle spectacle which will have kids in stitches and adults in tears. It is guaranteed to delight anyone who’s ever been a child." – TimeOut

CAC 4c NEW 27may09  Ohio Arts Council

Programming at Beck Center for the Arts is made possible through the generous support of the Ohio Arts Council. Beck Center gratefully acknowledges the generous funding provided by the citizens of Cuyahoga County through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.