The Jerry Herman Ring Theatre kicks off its season with the Tony Award-winning musical "Cabaret," a ground-breaking Broadway show that blends elements of music, comedy, sex and drama. Set against the backdrop of pre-World-War-II Berlin, the action takes place in the Kit Kat Klub, where a cast of seedy characters would rather drink, party and dance than face up to the growing menace around them. 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Ends Oct. 11. Jerry Herman Ring Theatre, 1312 Miller Drive, Coral Gables. $8-$22. Details: (305) 284-3355 or www.miami.edu/ring.
"The Cook," presented by the Florida International University Theater, by Eduardo Machado and based on his real-life experiences follows a woman named Gladys and her husband through 40 years of Castro's regime. The play watches them turn their mansion into a popular paladar, an illegal but tolerated private restaurant, that caters to tourists, including Cuban expatriates. 8 p.m. Oct. 2-4, 2 p.m. Oct. 5. 11200 SW 8th St., Tamiami. $12 for general admission and $10 for students, alumni and seniors. Details: (305) 348-0496 or carta.fiu.edu.
BIRTH OF A NATION
The Tony Award-winning musical "1776" comes to the Actors' Playhouse at the height of election season to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Ends Nov. 2. Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables. Details: (305) 444-9293 or www.actorsplayhouse.org.
The New Theatre presents "The Rant," a contemporary drama that follows a police officer who is assigned to investigate the murder of a 16-year-old boy. To find the killer, he must wade through prejudice, deceit, and a volley of anonymous threats. Ends Oct. 26. New Theatre, 4120 Laguna St., Coral Gables. $15-$40. Details: (305) 443-5909 or www.new-theatre.org.
QUEEN OF SCOTS
Theatre by the Book and The Bass Museum present an interpretation of Friedrich Schiller's "Mary Stuart." The play, based on Mary I of Scotland, follows the heir to the throne of England as she tries to escape death at the hands of Queen Elizabeth. 2-6 p.m. Alliance Française, 816 SW 8th St., Miami. Details: (305) 667-6798 or www.rafaeldeacha.com.