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.
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.
NEW WORLD WOMEN
The New World School of the Arts opens its 2008-2009 season with a performance of Claire Booth Luce's "The Women." Luce's play, with a female cast of 19 students playing 39 characters, is an acidic commentary about the pampered lives and power struggles of a group of wealthy Manhattan socialites who are obsessed with staying young and buying the latest must-have accessory, needed or not. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11, 17 and 18. 2 p.m. Oct 12 and 19. Louise O' Gerrits Theatre, 25 NE 2nd St., Miami. General admission is $12, students and seniors $5. Details: (305) 237-3541 or www.mdc.edu/nwsa.
The Miami Children's Theater hosts a performance of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Crimes of the Heart." Warm-hearted, irreverent and brilliantly imaginative, the play examines the plight of three young Mississippi sisters betrayed by their passions. 8 p.m. Oct. 11, 16 and 18. 2 p.m. Oct. 12 and 19. Alper JCC, Russell Theater, 11155 SW 112 Ave., Kendall. Details: (305) 274-3595 or www.miamichildrenstheater.org.
GableStage at the Biltmore presents a performance of "In The Continuum" by Nikkole Salter and Danai Gurira. The play focuses on two black women, a middle-class wife and mother in Zimbabwe and a 19-year-old in the Los Angeles inner city. Although from disparate cultures and vastly different economic and social environments, they are trying to move ahead in a world in which everything is changed and yet nothing has changed. Ends Nov. 18. GableStage at the Biltmore, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables. $37.50-$42.50. Details: (305) 445-1119 or www.gablestage.org.
The Jesus Quintero studio will perform a reprise of Tennessee Williams' "27 Wagons Full of Cotton." One of Mr. Williams' lesser-known plays, "27 Wagons" begins with a middle-aged cotton gin owner burning down a rival's mill. Like the fire that goes off early in the first scene, the play begins with heat, but ends with the cold ashes of disillusionment. 8 p.m. Ends Oct. 26. The Yellow House, 420 NE 23rd St., Miami. $15. Details: (786) 853-3915.