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Let it Be true! The sound of the Beatles comes to Cleveland.

Published January 17th, 2017 by | No Comments

Jump in your Yellow Submarine and come to the State Theatre on Wednesday, February 22 at 8 p.m. to witness the international sensation Let It Be. This show is jam-packed with over forty of The Beatles’ greatest hits. Click here to buy your tickets now!

Relive The Beatles’ meteoric rise from their humble beginnings in Liverpool’s Cavern Club, through the heights of Beatlemania, to their later studio masterpieces, with live performances of early tracks including Twist and Shout, She Loves You and Drive My Car, as well as global mega-hits Yesterday, Hey Jude, Come Together and, of course, Let It Be. Travel back to the magical sixties when all you needed was love, and a little help from your friends!

Not only will audiences experience an abbreviated version of the critically acclaimed show in the first half, but in the second half this brand new production will take audiences to the concert the iconic group would have given had they reformed on October 9, 1980, John Lennon’s 40th birthday.

You’ll hear Beatles’ classic hits such as Hard Day’s Night, Twist and Shout, Hey Jude and I Wanna Hold Your Hand as well as songs not covered in the original show, including Got to Get you Into My Life and Lady Madonna. The cast will also perform individual works from John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr including My Sweet Lord, Live and Let Die, Imagine and many more.

Imagine a night that never happened, but which feels so surreal! Don’t miss this show!

How Much Do You Know About the Beatles?

Are you feeling brave? Try these Beatles Trivia questions and see how you measure up. There is an easy, medium and hard quiz.

Part 1 (Easy)

Part 2 (Medium)

Part 3 (Hard)

This week in theater news…

Published January 13th, 2017 by | No Comments

Each week we’re going to keep you up-to-speed with the latest Broadway and theater news. Check back next week to see what you missed this week, and to catch a glimpse of what’s going on at Playhouse Square and beyond. Enjoy!

The stars of the show…
Past Tony Awards host and winner Neil Patrick Harris joined 2016 Tony host James Corden in a talent-packed Broadway song riff off. James Corden is no stranger to riff offs, having competed against stars like Anna Kendrick and Shawn Mendes. See the dueling duo in the video above.

Anastasia has a cast…
And we’re proud it includes a Northeast Ohioan! Congrats to Zach Adkins, previous actor at Ashtabula Fine Arts, who will join the cast as it begins previews on March 23. Break a leg! (BroadwayWorld.com) Read more…

Sara Bareilles working on her to do list…
And that list includes finishing a record by the end of the year. Not a small feat. In other Sara Bareilles news, when asked about playing the lead role of Jenna in Waitress, she said, “Never say never… Of course it’s a dream of mine, but right now I’ve got a record label that is on my ass… so my number one priority right now is to work on my next record.” We’ll keep dreaming, Sara, and until then are looking forward to launch the national tour of Waitress this year! (BroadwayWorld.com) Read more…

Flanagan’s Wake is back… Can you dig it?

Published January 11th, 2017 by | No Comments

It’s time to be transported to Graplin, County Sligo, Ireland where you, as an audience member, can participate with the villagers in the telling of tales, singing of songs, and mourn the passing of one of their own: Flanagan. Don’t miss Flanagan’s Wake the hilarious interactive Irish wake January 6 – April 29 in Kennedy’s Theatre.

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“Flanagan’s Wake” has been making people in Chicago laugh since 1994. It is the one of the longest running shows in Chicago theater history. Making its debut in Cleveland in 1996 in Kennedy’s Down Under, the local U.S. customs agent and “schanachie” John Regan brought it to town under his group, the “Irish Rodeo Clowns.” On August 30th, 2003, former Mayor of Cleveland, Jane Campbell, awarded the “Irish Rodeo Clowns” with a proclamation on the groups’ 500th performance of “Flanagan’s Wake.”

What makes the show such a unique experience is the format of the show: interactive improv theater. The show depends on the wit of its audience. From time to time, the cast will request a suggestion from the audience that can take the show in one direction or another. The cast improvises the show based upon the audience “recollections” of the mythical Flanagan. The extended family at “Flanagan’s Wake” incorporates everyone in attendance that chooses to become involved, but in a way that makes you feel like you’re a vital part of the show.

Experience a night full of laughs and get tickets now for Flanagan’s Wake!

This week (January 1) in theater news…

Published January 5th, 2017 by | No Comments

Each week we’re going to keep you up-to-speed with the latest Broadway and theater news. Check back next week to see what you missed this week, and to catch a glimpse of what’s going on at Playhouse Square and beyond. Enjoy!

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New Year new records to break
Oh what a year it has been! Broadway broke box-office records up and down Times Square for the week ending January 1, with 33 Broadway shows taking in $50 million, the highest total in Broadway history! (Playbill.com) Read More…

A must see documentary
The world still feels the loss of legendary mother and daughter Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. On January 7 at 8 p.m., HBO will debut Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, a documentary. Watched first full trailer that was recently released here. (Playbill.com)

Nothing like Broadway in the spring time
There’s beauty behind a show closing in order for a new production to take its place. From December 31, 2016 through January 29, 2017 thirteen shows are scheduled to close, including Something Rotten, Jersey Boys & The Color Purple, and a new slate of revivals, original musicals, & two Broadway play writing debuts will being previewing these theatres. (Playbill.com) Read more…

Sing Emma sing
Just in case you’re as excited as we are for Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, enjoy this snippet of Emma Watson singing “Something There” (Playbill.com) Read More…

Reflection time
As the first week of 2017 comes to an end, join us as we take a look back on 2016 and some great Broadway reveals. (Broadway.com)

The Elvis Birthday Tribute Returns!

Published January 3rd, 2017 by | No Comments

Light the candles and cut the cake! Join us Sunday, January 8 for the return of the Elvis Birthday Tribute.

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Ryan Pelton as Elvis

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Shawn Klush as Elvis

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Cody Ray Slaughter as Elvis

 

 

This year’s Elvis Birthday Tribute stop will be its 17th consecutive year, performed on what would have been The King’s actual 81st birthday.

You will be treated to Elvis’ hits, with the tribute artists decked out in replicas of The King’s flashy wardrobe. This year’s line up features over two hours of live music starring two of the nation’s most critically-acclaimed Elvis re-creators, Shawn Klush, Ryan Pelton and Cody Ray Slaughter, each performing their entire tribute act. Joined by longtime Elvis back-up singers The Sweet Inspirations, Dove Award-winners and Elvis’ gospel family, The Blackwood Quartet and hosted by Elvis’ original drummer D.J. Fontana, who peppers the evening with intimate Elvis anecdotes. All three Elvis re-creators, Shawn, Ryan and Cody, come with impressive credentials, including rave reviews from those who personally worked with The King.

Shawn Klush has been acclaimed as the #1 Elvis performer in the country and was featured in the 1999 CBS-TV movie Shake Rattle & Roll. He was the winner of the Worldwide Elvis Competition and currently stars as “Elvis” in “Legends in Concert,” alternating in the show’s Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Branson, Seattle and Myrtle Beach venues.

Ryan Pelton’s uncanny resemblance to Elvis was noticed as far back as his pre-teen years. Even in the Marine Corps, with his head shaved, the drill instructors nicknamed him “Elvis.” Ryan went on to become the “Worldwide Elvis Impersonator Champ, Year 2000” held in Memphis.

Andy Cody Ray Slaughter, who began at only age 13 impersonating Elvis, went on to win The People’s Choice Award at the Elvis Week 2008 as part of the Images of the King Competition.

Click here for your tickets to the birthday show!

2017 Here We Come!

Published December 27th, 2016 by | No Comments

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2016 was full of great performances, and we cannot wait to see what 2017 has in store! Here’s a list of shows coming in the beginning of the New Year.

Flanagan’s Wake 2017
Jan 6 – Apr 29 , 2017

Elvis Birthday Tribute 2017
Sun, Jan 8, 2017

Into The Woods
Jan 10 – 29 , 2017

LAST CALL CLEVELAND: Michael Stanley Superstar
Jan 13 – 21 , 2017

SOULmate? A True Love Story
Sat, Jan 14, 2017

Dance Theatre of Harlem – DANCECleveland
Sat, Jan 21 , 2017

Joshua Seth – Psychological Illusionist
Sat, Jan 21 , 2017

Season 8: The Queens. Live Across America.
Sun, Jan 22, 2017

Dancing with the Stars Live!
Wed, Jan 25, 2017

A Celebration of Dance & Music
Fri, Jan 27, 2017

Enjoy the rest of the holidays and stay tune for more blog posts next year!

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas returns!

Published December 13th, 2016 by | No Comments

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Mannheim Steamroller Christmas returns to Playhouse Square on Saturday, December 17 with music by Chip Davis. The show has been a favorite holiday tradition and this year marks the 31st Anniversary of the group’s annual tour. Grammy Award winner Chip Davis has created a show that features the beloved Christmas music of Mannheim Steamroller along with dazzling multimedia effects performed in an intimate setting. The spirit of the season comes alive with the signature sound of Mannheim Steamroller music.

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1. Mannheim has sold over 40 million albums, outselling artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and Billy Joel, making them one of the top 50 best selling artists during the past two decades.

2. Chip has developed a patent-pending music therapy system. Ambient Therapy combines music with natural sounds and is being used by Mayo Clinic, Wake Forest, Walter Reed and other medical facilities.

3. Mannheim Steamroller has transformed Halloween music just as it did with the sounds of Christmas. The band is the top selling Halloween artist today.

4. The Recording Industry Association of America has awarded 16 gold records, 7 platinum and 4 multi-platinum to Mannheim Steamroller.

5. The top-selling non-music product on the Mannheim Steamroller website is Cinnamon Hot Chocolate and the hottest selling ring tone for mobile phones is “Carol of the Bells”.

6. Mannheim Steamroller is the #1 Christmas music artist of all time, selling over 27 million albums which is the second highest Christmas artist to Elvis Presley.

7. The band’s name came from Mannheim, Germany where Mozart lived and is the name for an 18th century musical technique known as the crescendo.

8. Mannheim has sold over 40 million albums, outselling artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and Billy Joel, making them one of the top 50 best selling artists during the past two decades.

9. If you lined up all the CDs sold, they would stretch from New York to Los Angeles and then into the Pacific Ocean — more than 3000 miles!

10. Chip has created two traveling troupes for the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Tour to meet continuing popular demand even after 25 years. For more fun facts about Mannheim Steamroller click here.

Join in the 30th Anniversary celebration of Mannheim Steamroller Christmas and get your tickets now.

Yule love the holiday shows at Playhouse Square

Published December 7th, 2016 by | No Comments

Image result for holly leaf Why not treat yourself to a show? Image result for holly leaf

On Friday, Dec. 9 or Saturday, Dec. 10 go see the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra: A CJO Christmasperforming their upcoming recording, “Have yourself a Swinging Jazzy Christmas”. They will be joined by exploding jazz star Nia Drummond at the Hanna Theatre. Get tickets here.

Sunday, Dec. 11, the  Cleveland Jazz Orchestra: Jingle Bell Matinee will be led by Paul Ferguson with guest Nia Drummond at the Hanna Theatre. Enjoy a family-friendly version of their celebrated holiday concert, featuring a shortened program, $10 tickets for all and the popular interactive instrument “petting zoo.” Get tickets here.

You can also catch the Straight No Chaser: 20th Anniversary Tour on Sunday, Dec. 11 in the State Theatre! This group captives the sound of ten unadulterated human voices that have come together to make extraordinary music which has moved people in a fundamental sense… and with a sense of humor. Get tickets here.

To help get you through the holiday hustle, enjoy Straight No Chaser’s “I’ll Have Another… Christmas Album” playlist.

Image result for holiday present clip art Visit playhousesquare.org for more show information. Image result for holiday present clip art

Train with Andy Grammer and Blue October

Published November 29th, 2016 by | No Comments

Come and experience the Q104 Holiday Show, Train with Andy Grammer and Blue October, on Monday, December 5 at 8:00 p.m. Kick off your December and see these three chart-topping acts on the State Theater stage performing both current and holiday hits! Click here to purchase your tickets now.

Columbia Recording Artist and Grammy Award winning band, Train, hails from San Francisco and is led by front man Pat Monahan. Train is best known for their hits “Hey Soul Sister”, “If It’s Love”, “Drops of Jupiter” and “Drive By. They’ve had three albums break into the top 10 on the Billboard 200, and have sold over four million albums in the US. With their newest single “Play That Song”, featured on their upcoming tenth studio album.

In five years, S-Curve Records’ artist, Andy Grammer has gone from street performer to selling millions of records with hits like “Keep Your Head Up” and “Fine By Me”. In 2014, “Honey, I’m Good” became a triple platinum smash and one of the ten best-selling songs of the year. His euphoric follow up, “Good to be Alive (Hallelujah)”, was certified gold. Grammer’s current single “Fresh Eyes,” is quickly climbing the charts.

Blue October is the Texas-based band known for its shimmering melodies and heart-string pulling lyrics, boasting one of the most emotionally charged and magnetic front men in music today in Justin Furstenfeld. Blue October has charted nine Top 40 Hot AC and alternative singles over eight albums, including the hit singles “Into The Ocean,”, “Hate Me,” and “Home”, and 2016’s new album ‘Home’, which has charted as the #1 Alternative Album, #1 Rock Album, and #1 Independent Album this year, reaching audiences around the world.

Tickets can be purchased here.

A Behind the Scenes Q & A with Alan Cumming!

Published November 18th, 2016 by | No Comments

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Alan Cumming: Sings Sappy Songs tour makes a stop in Cleveland on Sunday, December 4 at the Connor Palace. In anticipation of his upcoming performance, we had the pleasure of asking the talented and one-of-a-kind Mr. Cumming some questions about his life. Enjoy!

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Photo credit: instagram.com/alancummingsnaps

Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs comes to Cleveland on December 4. The show is a cabaret with an eclectic blend of music and stories from your life. Do you find yourself telling different stories each performance, depending on your mood? Or do you have a standard story that pairs with each song?

My ambition for the show is that it will feel as though I’m just making things up as I go along, but I’m usually not. There is quite a strict structure to it and the stories all correspond to the songs, and it really seems to work quite well so I don’t meddle with it very much. Of course I sometimes have a ramble about what I did that day or what is happening in the world or sometimes I engage with the audience for some reason or another but for the most part it is rehearsed spontaneity.

While most people are familiar with your talents as an actor, singer, author and philanthropist, many may not know about your passion for photography. What do you like most to photograph? Also, inquiring minds want to know… Cannon, Nikon or other?

Photo credit: instagram.com/alancummingsnaps

I have no set rules about taking photos, and sometimes I go for ages without taking a single snap. My favorite kind of picture is one that just captures a mood, a moment, an essence of an experience. I don’t take loads and loads of pics of the same thing, I’m a real one or two snaps and I’m done man. That’s why my Instagram handle is @alancummingsnaps. I think it’s because my book has just come out (You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams – My Life In Stories and Pictures) and I have been talking loads about my pictures that has made me kind of self-conscious about taking them right now. So I am looking forward to the muse descending again! Oh, and I mostly use my iPhone now, but also have a trusty old Olympus that I enjoy playing with!

 

Do you play any musical instruments? If so, which ones?

I play the piano fairly well. I actually played it for a song in my last show, but in Sappy Songs I don’t. I can also strum a few chords on the guitar and could probably still muster a scale on the cello.

What is your favorite Scottish cuisine?

Oh that’s easy. I am obsessed with mushy peas. They are sort of vinegary mashed up peas that you get in the chip shop with your chips. I love them! There is a chip shop at the bottom of the street where I live in Edinburgh and I rarely pass without indulging myself. I am also a big fan of the sort of peasant food that we do so well: soups and stews and that sort of thing. Some ingredients of Traditional Scottish Stovies

I love eating a plate of one thing. I don’t like having too many options when I eat! My absolute favorite is stovies, which is a potato and onion and mincey sort of dish that is meant to be left on the stove and you eat it throughout the night at a party so you don’t get too drunk! And I love to make vegan versions of those kinds of foods that I grew up with.

What was the most interesting thing you learned when you officially became a U.S. citizen in 2008?

That America makes absolutely everything a game show! You are given 100 questions and their answers in advance to study, and I sat up for many nights memorizing the number of seats in the congress and all sorts. In the actual naturalization test you’re asked ten questions and have to get six correct. I got my first consecutive six all right and the man asking me said ‘You’ve got the six, would you like to go for the ten?’ I said ‘What is this? Let’s Make A Deal?

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Photo credit: instagram.com/alancummingsnaps

You’ve worked with some amazing artists over the years. Can you tell us about one of your favorite collaborations?

I recently sang a couple of songs with Chita Rivera at Carnegie Hall. It was, incredibly, her debut as a headliner at that amazing venue, and she asked me to come and join her and I couldn’t have been more honored. I met her years ago when we both took part in a Kander and Ebb tribute as part of the Kennedy Center Honors, and I fell in love with her at once. She has such spirit, such spunk and is just a real old mucker, so kind and hard-working and always smiling.  At Carnegie we sang the amazing song “Nowadays” from Chicago The Musical and she taught me the Bob Fosse choreography to it that she had learned from him. I felt overwhelmed and out of my depth but at the same time this amazing sense of carrying on a tradition. And I felt so proud.

What is a Broadway role that you would like to add to your résumé?

Right now I am obsessed with the play Good by CP Taylor. It’s a sort of impressionist look at the way normal, everyday people suddenly become inured to and then actively engage in extremism, and in this case the Nazi party. I can’t imagine why I find it so relevant to what is happening today! I wouldn’t mind giving the central character a go. And I think the time is right!

I know you don’t have a lot of free time, but what are some of your favorite TV shows right now?

You’re right, I don’t have much time, but I am looking forward very much to getting back to The Americans and also the cartoon Bo Jack Horseman. I am also trying to get up to speed on Game of Thrones as seemingly every other human in the world has watched it except me and I feel I need to get with the program! At the gym, when I am on the elliptical machine I just turn on Bravo and watch awful people shout at each other, and that whiles away the time!

Looking back on your career (so far), what would you say to someone who is new to the business about rejection? Any advice about a career in performing arts?

My advice to anyone starting out in the arts is to try and be yourself. So many people will try and tell you to become a generic type and you should always remember that the most interesting thing about yourself is you, your experience and your authenticity. And as for rejection, well, I always think that I don’t like everything or everyone in the world, so I can’t expect everyone to like me or what I do!

Photo credit: instagram.com/alancummingsnaps

This show is a unique opportunity to hear the legendary Alan Cumming in a raucous one-man show, at Playhouse Square. Alan Cumming: Sings Sappy Songs is an eclectic, wildly entertaining mix of intimate stories. From the sentimental to the sassy – and witty reinterpretations of pop songs and stage classics, this is a show you have to see!

Click here to get your tickets now!

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A not-for-profit performing arts center that presents and produces a wide variety of performing arts, advances arts education and creates a destination that is a superior location for entertainment business and residential living, thereby strengthening the economic vitality of the region.

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