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This week on South Florida stages: Family histories

Here’s what going on in South Florida theaters this week.

NEXT TO NORMAL

This three-time Tony Award-winning rock musical follows a suburban family struggling with a whole litany of problems. The mother, Diana, is dealing with bipolar disorder and grief. While her ups and downs are being dealt with by her husband, Dan, and two psychiatrists, their teenage daughter, Natalie, is left to emotionally fend for herself. This staging is a joint effort by Infinite Abyss Productions and Measure for Measure Theatre.

When: May 11-June 3; 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; 2 p.m. matinee Sundays

Where: The Abyss Theatre, 2304 N. Dixie Highway, Wilton Manors

Cost: $39.50

Contact: Infinite-Abyss.org or MeasureForMeasureTheatre.com

THE EMPEROR OF THE MOON

This 1687 comedy was written by the first professional female playwright, Aphra Behn. The show is a heady mix of trends from that time. There’s a sort of protomusical element with music and dance featured in the play, as was the hot trend in the late 17th century. There are also strains of Italy’s commedia dell’arte form that — with its topical improvisation wrapped around stock characters — was very fashionable in Western Europe from the 1500s to 1700s. And finally, Behn blended in another obsession of the day, astronomy and natural science sparked by the work of Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) and Johannes Kepler (1571-1630). Staged by Thinking Cap Theatre, the run will also include a talk-back with the production’s director and the company’s artistic director, Nicole Stodard, following the June 3 closing performance. Admission for the talk-back is $5 (and free for season-pass holders). Thinking Cap will also have a Free Thinkers Initiative where 100 free tickets will be given to middle, high school and college students with valid ID during the show’s previews May 11-13. RSVPs are required by emailing info@vanguardarts.org or calling 954-610-7263.

When: May 11-June 3; 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays; 5 p.m. Sundays; 3 p.m. matinee Saturdays

Where: The Vanguard Sanctuary for the Arts, 1501 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale

Cost: $40. Student tickets (under 25 years old with valid ID) are $20. Preview weekend tickets May 11-13 cost $35 and $10 for students..

Contact: 954-610-7263 or VanguardArts.org

CUBAN COURAGE

Theatre Lab, the professional resident company of Boca Raton’s Florida Atlantic University, is presenting this world premiere of a musical by Mark Walter Braswell. “Cuban Courage” is about a Cuban couple who in 1961 send their only son alone to Miami as Communism begins to methodically restrict freedom and travel. Braswell based the narrative on the true story of the child exodus, known as Operation Pedro Pan, that brought 14,000 kids from Havana to Miami from December 1960 to October 1962. In that secret operation, none of the children traveled with their parents. Braswell first heard of Operation Pedro Pan 15 years ago in Washington, D.C., from a friend who was one of the transported children. In 2013, Braswell moved to Miami and started the research and interviews that would inform the show.

When: May 11-12; 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Where: Theatre Lab (on the campus of FAU), 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton

Cost: $20

Contact: 561-297-6124 or FAUEvents.com

rhagwood@southflorida.com

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