"I'm going to kill myself, Mama," Jessie Cates says matter of factly, while preparing to give her mother, Thelma, her regular Saturday night manicure. Thus begins the 1983 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by Marsha Norman, 'Night Mother, which opens tonight and runs through Feb. 5 at Stageworks in Tampa. Karla Hartley plays the daughter and Monica Merryman the mother in the production, directed by Lisa Powers Tricomi (former artistic director of American Stage). Shows are 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday. $24.50. (813) 251-8984; stageworkstheatre.org.
, COLD STORAGE
The newly formed Tampa Repertory Theatre is proving true to its mission to perform plays that are not seen much. The company's second production (Euripides' Alcestis was the first) is by Ronald Ribman, a poet-playwright who was a dramatic voice to reckon with in the 1960s, '70s, '80s and '90s but is now largely forgotten. His Cold Storage, which ran both on and off Broadway in 1978, is a black comedy about Parmigian (played by Tampa Rep artistic director David Frankel) and Landau (Jim Wicker), a pair of hospital patients contemplating death and, it turns out, the aftermath of the Holocaust. Directed by Connie LaMarca-Frankel, Ribman's play opens tonight and runs through Jan. 29 at the Studio Theatre of the Performing Arts Building of Hillsborough Community College in Ybor City, Tampa. Shows are 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. $15, $20. tamparep.org.
What Makes Me Tick
Marc Kudisch has a great Broadway resume. A three-time Tony nominee, he has been featured in a string of musicals, including 9 to 5, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Bells Are Ringing, The Wild Party, High Society and The Scarlet Pimpernel. Recently he starred in the well-regarded off Broadway musical, A Minister's Wife, adapted from Candida by George Bernard Shaw. Kudisch has a solo show, called What Makes Me Tick, in which he and a combo perform "a mix of Broadway, country, folk, fusion and jazz, all rolled up into one big jam fest," while also telling some stories about his life in the theater. He brings the show to the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg at 8 p.m. Saturday. $32, $42. (727) 822-3590; mypalladium.org.
John Fleming, Times performing arts critic