He Wrote, She Wrote

Director David Arisco melds the multilayered plot and grand score into an evenly paced comic engine that never derails. While he allows each character a moment in the spotlight, Arisco never lets any cast member overshadow the plot or steal the focus away from the primary love story.

Leading a small orchestra and aided by Nate Rausch's sound design, musical director Tom Dillickrath puts Bock and Harnick's score front and center. Although the slight melodies in She Loves Me won't send folks humming up the aisles, the lyrics offer witty views of the characters' thoughts.

The Actors' Playhouse production fits this musical tale of pen pals to the letter.

She Loves Me. Music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, book by Joe Masteroff. Directed by David Arisco. Choreographed by Barbara LeGette. Starring Barry J. Tarallo, Kim Cozort, Margot Moreland, Gary Marachek, and Peter Haig. Through March 29. Actors' Playhouse, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, 305-444-9293.

Stage Whispers
The cost of an evening of theater has always been a gamble, but the stakes have gotten higher, with prices at the area's largest regional playhouses edging toward $40 a seat. Although discounts vary, bargain hunters can save up to 50 percent on admission price.

Earlier this month the Theatre League of South Florida launched "Ticket Madness" at five Miami-Dade locations. Like ArtServe's TICKETS! program in Fort Lauderdale, Ticket Madness provides discounted tickets for performances taking place the evening they're purchased or the following afternoon. The list of available shows for each ticket program changes daily, and the show you really want to see may not be among the choices. But everyone from small showcase theaters to large venues has signed on, and tickets, in some cases, go for less than ten dollars apiece.

The new Ticket Madness program involves two steps. A patron must first visit one of five outlets in person. The outlets sell vouchers Tuesday through Saturday, from 1 to 6 p.m. After paying a two-dollar service fee per ticket (limit of six tickets), the patron is given a voucher for the discounted tickets. When the patron arrives at the theater to see the show, he or she turns in the voucher at the box office and pays the lower price. For each day's deals, call 305-460-3188.

Ticket Madness locations are: Drama 101 Bookstore, 6789 Biscayne Blvd. in Miami; Books and Books, 296 Aragon Ave. in Coral Gables and 933 Lincoln Rd. on South Beach; Murder on Miami Beach Books, 16850 Collins Ave. in Sunny Isles; and Victorian's Cafe, 18840 NE 29th Ave. in Aventura.

Meanwhile, TICKETS! has entered its third year in Fort Lauderdale, where it offers one-stop discount ticket-shopping for theater and other cultural events. Located at a counter in the public library at 1350 East Sunrise Blvd., TICKETS! handles the entire sale. Patrons pay the discounted admission price plus a service charge (from one to three dollars depending on ticket price) and receive a voucher for their seats, which they turn in to the theater's box office prior to the performance.

The booth is open Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Tickets for Sunday performances are sold on Saturday. Purchases must be made in cash, although there is no restriction on the number of tickets that may be purchased. To find out what is available, call the TICKETS! hotline at 954-462-9191, extension 5.

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