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This week in theater news...

Published March 6th, 2015 by | No Comments

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


Theater Happenings...

Sara Bareilles writes musical score to Waitress
Sara Bareilles, we choose you! “Brave” and “Love Story” singer Sara Bareilles will write the score for the musical adaptation of Waitress (You mean, that ’07 movie with Kerri Russel? That’s right!) developed by the American Repository Theater. If the musical’s schedule runs as planned, Waitress will premier in the ’15-’16 season at ART. ( Read more...

Dan Stevens will be the Beast
Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens will star opposite Emma Watson in Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast. He’s recently starred in movies like Walk Among the Tombstones and The Guest, but Beauty and the Beast will be his most high-profile role to date. If you don’t remember the storyline, what better way than to see it when Broadway Tour makes its way to CLE? ( Read more...

Ron Swanson headlines A Confederacy of Dunces
At least Nick Offerman is! A Confederacy of Dunces world premier will take place Nov. 11 at the Huntington Theatre in Boston. Directed by David Esbjornson, this will open the ’15-’16 season at Huntington. Originally based on John Kennedy Toole’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Offerman will star as the arrogant Ignatius J. Reilly. ( Read more...

Bruce Willis makes Broadway Stage Debut
Steven King’s Misery stage adaptation will be making its debut this fall in a theater TBA, and Bruce Willis is set to star. Two-time Oscar winner William Goldman wrote the play based off of the novel, which also was adapted for film in 1990. ( Read more...

Playhouse Square Happenings...

Dirty Dancing
Flanagan's Wake
The Pink Floyd Experience 
Andy Jeselnik
Celtic Woman 

Nobody puts Dirty Dancing in a corner... NOBODY.

Published March 2nd, 2015 by | No Comments

Admit it: you do your best to catch every Dirty Dancing movie marathon weekend and would kill to go to a summer resort like Kellerman’s in the Catskills. We’re here for you, and will tell you you’re not alone. How could you be with all of the Dirty Dancing references in movies and TV shows over the years?  This movie is a classic. It’s epic. And EVERYONE knows it.

Crazy Stupid Love

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling had the time of their lives, obviously.



It’s no secret the love for a Capella has grown in recent years, so of course Glee included the song. Another first round pick.


Gilmore Girls

Because nobody puts Rory in a corner.


That Sandals jingle…

Do do it, do it all again…


Family Guy

Family Guy tag teamed with Star Wars to make this super-parody.


Black Eyed Peas

Love it or hate it, this happened.


Dancing with the Stars

Starring Jennifer Grey!


Uncle Buck 

Even John Candy gave it a shot.


New Girl

We’ve all been there…


How I Met Your Mother

If this isn’t the best remake of this scene we don’t know what is.


Good Morning America
Ryan Gosling gave it another try with Al Roker.

So, here’s to the Dirty Dancing obsessed. If you still haven’t had enough, don’t miss Dirty Dancing when it hits CLE March 3-22! You can also check out our Dirty Dancing-inspired Pinterest board here.


This week in theater news...

Published February 27th, 2015 by | No Comments

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


Theater happenings...

Spongebob the musical
He lives in a pineapple under the sea, and now he’s taking his talents to the stage. You read that correctly: a Spongebob Squarepants musical adaptation is formally in the works. The current title is “Bikini Bottom Day” and features music from some big names like John Legend. ( Read more…

Lena Hall departs from Hedwig
Tony Award winner Lena Hall has announced her last performance as Yitzhak in Hedwig and the Angry Inch will be April 4. Keep your eyes out for her replacement, which will be announced soon. ( Read more…

Finding Neverland rehearsal
It's true, those who don't believe in magic will never find it. Catch a sneak peek into Finding Neverland rehearsals on Broadway, starring Matthew Morrison, Kelsey Grammer, Laura Michelle Kelly and more. ( Read more...


Playhouse Square happenings...

Je'Caryous Johnson's "Things Your Man Won't Do" 
Dirty Dancing 
Ina Garten
Gabriel Iglesias
Compagnie Kafig - Dance Cleveland

This week in theater news...

Published February 20th, 2015 by | No Comments

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


Broadway news...

Neil Patrick Harris hosts the Oscars. 
From the Tony Awards to the Oscars, we can’t get enough of NPH. Of course, he's extremely qualified for the job. Check out these ten gifs that prove his host worthiness. Tune in here Sunday night to see the show live.

Krysta Rodriguez blogs about her battles with cancer and fashion
Smash star Krysta Rodriguez is sharing her best beauty tips – and her fight with breast cancer – in her new blog, In the blog she tells all, explaining “I’m trying to live as loudly as I can.” Check out her hilariously written blog and read her take on life.

Darren Criss takes over as Hedwig
Glee star Darren Criss will take the stage in Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Belasco Theatre beginning April 29. In 2012 Criss debuted on Broadway in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Lena Hall will continue to star in the show as Yitzhak. ( Read more… 

Playhouse Square happenings... 

ROBOT PLANET RISING: An Intergalactic Nemesis Live-Action Graphic Novel
The Philadelphia Story
Angels in America Part 1
Dial "M" for Murder


This week in theater news...

Published February 6th, 2015 by | No Comments


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


Theater happenings... 

BroadwayCon hits NYC next January!

Theatre-goer dreams are coming true. The first ever BroadwayCon is coming to NYC in Jan. 2016. Held at the New York Hilton Midtown hotel, this three day event was created by Rent and If/Then star, Anthony Rapp. ( Read more...

Freaky Friday - the musical

“Could you like, chill for a sec?” No, not with a Freaky Friday musical in the works. The show will be based on the Disney movies, as well as Mary Rodgers’ original novel. Production is currently in the casting process, so expect more news to come. ( Read more...

Disenchanted! returns

You can never have enough fairy tale spinoffs. Disenchanted!, a fun take on the Disney princesses, is coming back to the stage. This fairy tale fantasy throws a twist on the lives of the princesses in an adult version of classic tales. Audiences around the country are thrilled it’s back with shows off-Broadway. ( Read more...

George Takei’s Allegiance on Broadway

Famed Star Trek actor George Takei is bringing his talents to Broadway. He is set to star in the musical, Allegiance, a musical about Japanese-Americans in the U.S. interment camps during WW2. The musical was first shown in the Old Globe Theater in San Diego, and is loosely inspired by Takei’s childhood. ( Read more...

Playhouse Square Happenings...

Five Guys Named Moe
Defending the Caveman 
The Little Black Dress 
Shen Yun 
Shaping Sound 

An Interview with Michael Lanphear from Pippin

Published February 5th, 2015 by | No Comments

Our Buzz Extra writer, Alicia Hansen had the exciting opportunity to interview Michael Lanphear, the Acrobatic Coordinator of the current touring production of PIPPIN The Musical. As part of our Broadway Buzz program, Alicia will take you behind the scenes of each KeyBank Broadway Series show and interview a member of the show’s cast, crew or creative team.

Pippin, part of the KeyBank Broadway Series at PlayhouseSquare

Michael Lanphear, the Acrobatic Coordinator of the current touring production of PIPPIN The Musical, found his way to Broadway via a different route than most. As a young child, horseback riding and vaulting lead him into acrobatics and eventually the circus arts. Since honing his skills in those areas, he performed with the likes of Britney Spears and Justin Bieber before finding his way to the Great White Way. In advance of PIPPIN’s arrival in Cleveland this month as a part of the 2014-2015 KeyBank Broadway Series, Michael answers some questions about his involvement with this American musical classic and its circus-themed spin.

Tell me a bit about yourself, your path to the circus arts and your involvement in this touring production of PIPPIN?
In terms of circus arts, I started at a bit of a late age. I rode horses starting when I was young. I started competing and started vaulting, which is gymnastics on horses. Then around the age of 18, I focused more acrobatics and then eventually on circus arts. I was a performer until last year. I retired and decided to go more into coaching, but up until then, I was performing for about ten years and touring the world. I’ve done pop tours, different circus tours and a lot of cabarets in Europe. Today, I am the Acrobatic Coordinator of PIPPIN and I am the assistant to Gypsy Snider, the Acrobatic Choreographer. I maintain all of what she’s created while we’re on the road.

Would you provide a glimpse into a “day in the life” of a touring production? What happens on the first day in a new city, and then once the show is up and running?
When we first arrive in a new town, I am responsible for checking that all the apparatus are running properly, all of cues are in the computer system correctly and all the props we use circus-wise are ready for the show that night. Once the artists arrive, we have a meeting before the first show in the new location. That very first meeting is very important to getting the team used to the new space. We will try different cues and skills if necessary, then we’ll do our regular training that occurs before each show.  At that daily rehearsal, all of the principal actors, if they do anything that is acrobatic in the show, come to brush up on skills and conditioning. The acrobats also have their skills that they train every day before the show. It’s a pretty full-on day!

Once settled into a new town, we have a two-hour training on stage once a week, which is separate from the daily hour rehearsal before each show. It involves constant cleaning and constant upkeep. If someone is planning on taking a vacation and we have to change the routines a bit, that is when we practice those changes.  We only have seven acrobats. If one is out, we are very creative in creating alternate versions of the routines without affecting the quality of the show. We have lots of tricks in our bag.

Is there a specific part of the show that is is a favorite for you?
I was able to assist the Acrobatic Choreographer in the creation of the tour, so all of the acro numbers are very special to me. There is one moment in particular that is a big mix of all the circus guild skills that we have: there’s tumbling, knife juggling, two porters throwing a flyer in the air to flip and land on a platform, and more. It’s the most challenging as a coach to constantly maintain and clean because there is so much going on at stage at once. It is one of those numbers where there’s a clear story to what’s happening, but there’s so much happening that an audience member can come and watch it ten times and they would see something different every time.

All of the acrobats are ensemble members, which is something new to them. In the circus, you are usually a specialist and we do our acts on stage by ourselves, or if you’re in a duo you are with your partner, and then you’re done. You have your highlight moment, and then you come out for bows at the end. Gypsy Snider has created a show where the acrobats are completely integrated the whole time: they are singing, they are dancing, they are doing the acrobatics, they are working with the principals constantly. For me, it’s exhilarating as a coach but it’s a great challenge for every acrobat that we bring in to the show.

What challenges arise with touring?
The most challenging thing is whenever we have to arrange for a replacement, or any time we have someone leaving on vacation, or if a performer’s contract is over and we have to fill the role. This tour really does have some of the best acrobats in the world, and replacing them is a very difficult process. Everyone brings something different to the table.  For example, my two handstand performers are basically irreplaceable. They spend two to three hours a day working on their handstands! We try to hang on to our performers as long as we can.  But when we can’t, I usually run the auditions. It’s hard when you’re trying to replace the best in the world! But we have a really fantastic group on the tour, so we have been fortunate that we haven’t had to do too many replacement processes. We’ve been able to slightly adjust the show for replacements of any sort without taking away any of the essence of what the originators created.

What makes being a part of this production so exciting? Why is this PIPPIN so special?
This production is so special because it is the first time that circus arts have been really integrated into a Broadway production. Some productions -- Broadway or not -- will put some circus elements in, but it’s icing on the cake – where in this production, it’s the meat of the show, right alongside the signing and dancing – it’s all equally important.

Also, there’s a huge importance placed on the storytelling through the acrobatics. Every act has a purpose and a meaning, and there’s not any superfluous acrobatics in the show. Everything has a bit of storytelling in the show, which is really special and unique to both the circus and Broadway worlds to use acrobatics in that fashion.

Also, we have a wonderful energy in the cast. The majority of the artists all went to the National Circus School in Montreal, so they all at some point cross paths at school. They are very close friends and they work very well together. So not only skill set, we have a nice family bond -- not just amongst the acrobats, but with the dancers as well.

On a personal note, one special part of this experience for me is being a part of a union. This isn’t something that we have in the circus and it’s been a huge benefit for everyone: for the performers, as well as for me as a coach. It’s been amazing to feel completely supported by the entire Broadway community because we are part of one united group. It’s not the most exciting answer but it’s a very truthful answer!

PIPPIN comes to Cleveland February 3 – 15 at the Connor Palace at PlayhouseSquare. For more information, please visit the show’s page on the PlayhouseSquare website.


Alicia Hansen is the writer behind Poise in Parma, a healthy balance blog for Clevelanders. A graduate of Baldwin-Wallace College’s theatre program, Alicia is a yoga teacher at Evolution Yoga, an event and marketing professional and proud Northeast Ohio arts supporter. Follow her on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

This week in theater news...

Published January 30th, 2015 by | No Comments

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


Theater happenings...

For the Record: Dear John Hughes
2015 is the 30th anniversary of the release of The Breakfast Club, so why not celebrate with a musical? For the Record: Dear John Hughes is set to release this year. With an all-star cast including Evan Rachel Wood and Rumer Willis, the show features bits from movies like Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and The Breakfast Club. ( Read more… 

Jim Parsons is God
Sort of. At least, he will be playing the role of God in the stage adaptation of The Last Testament: A Memoir by God. The script, written by the Almighty himself and transcribed by The Daily Show’s David Javerbaum, will play at Studio 54 in NYC this May. ( Read more… 

Quasimodo played by Michael Arden
Leads from the La Jolla Playhouse production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame will reprise their performances at Paper Mill Playhouse this spring. Michael Arden will play Quasimodo, and the cast also includes Patrick Page, Ciara Renee, and Andrew Samonsky. ( Read more…


Upcoming Events at Playhouse Square

Five Guys Named Moe
Flanagan's Wake
Four Bitchin' Babes: Mid-Life Vices
Last Call Cleveland
John Mellencamp 
Pilobolus - Dance Cleveland
Defending the Caveman


This week in theater news...

Published January 23rd, 2015 by | No Comments

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


Mrs. Doubtfire to become a musical
Tony and Oscar winner Alan Menken is working on a musical of Mrs. Doubtfire, the 1993 classic hit starring Robin Williams. Menken has teamed up with book writer Harvey Fierstein and lyricist David Zippel on the early stages of the musical. ( Read more...

Into the Woods leading ladies sing at Artios Awards
Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski, and Tracey Ullman surprised Into the Woods casting director Rob Marshall with a musical performance during the Artios Awards ceremony. The Artios Awards are held each year by the Casting Society of America. ( Read more...

Bradley Cooper moves to London
Well, actually, Elephant Man, starring Bradley Cooper, moves to London. It is officially set to play limited engagement. The show is currently running through February 21 at the Booth Theater in NYC. ( Read more...

Upcoming events at PlayhouseSquare

Flanagan’s Wake
Five Guys Named Moe – Cleveland Play House
Last Call Cleveland
Joshua Seth’s Beyond Belief Tour

JBB Style Watch 2015

Published January 21st, 2015 by | No Comments

Jump Back Ball is just a month away. It doesn’t even feel like we stepped out of that DeLorean at the Jump Back Ball Kickoff party back in the fall.


Maybe we didn’t…


So, if you’re coming to Cleveland’s hottest party of the year, you might consider adding some flare to your wears by giving a nod to this year's theme. Save yourself the scramble of finding a Back to the Future-inspired outfit with these go-to outfit ideas:


Marty McFly


Even if you’re not Michael J. Fox, you can still pull off an easily recognizable Marty McFly. All it takes is a red vest, and a lot of jeans- acid wash, light wash, just jeans. Don’t forget some great kicks while you’re at it.




If you’re looking to keep it classy while still playing the part, spring for a look alike of Lorraine’s prom dress. Look for a pink dress with vintage accessories to get the total outfit.




Do you want a quicker approach? Doc has a quick and easy outfit. Find a hazmat suit, a wild white wig, some yellow cleaning gloves and a pair of goofy glasses and nobody will even have to guess.




Or maybe you want to tone it down with a movie-inspired piece. Big hair, sneakers, floral and other prints are the way to go.


Style your dress or tux with a hot pair of sneakers, like these red Converse.

 jovani dress

Go for a modern twist on the floral print with a floral ballgown, like this one by Jovani.


Plaid tuxedos are a great option, too. Go for a visit to Men's Wearhouse to start shopping.


This year, Nike will release the Marty McFly “Air MAG” with power laces, nearly identical to those worn by Marty McFly in Back to the Future 2. Back in 2011, a version of the shoes were released without the self-tying mechanism, but it has been confirmed the real deal will hit shelves sometime this year. You might want to start budgeting now, though, as one pair without the self-lacing feature was sold at auction for $37,500.


Another Back to the Future 2 piece is Marty McFly’s hat. Just think – you can match it with any color.


Can’t afford a real DeLorean? That’s alright. You can wear one with this dress.  Throw on some heels and you’re black tie ready.

For more ideas, visit our Pinterest page and get ready for the party! What will you be wearing?

Don't have tickets? General admission is SOLD OUT; however sponsorship opportunities are still available. Learn more.


This week in theater news...

Published January 16th, 2015 by | No Comments

Each week, we’re going to keep you up-to-speed with the latest Broadway news and stories. Check back every Friday to see what you missed this week and to catch a glimpse of what’s going on at PlayhouseSquare this weekend. Enjoy!


Idina Menzel will sing National Anthem at The Super Bowl
Just a couple of weeks until the Super Bowl, football fans. Who better to sing the National Anthem than Broadway's own Idina Menzel? She will join a long list of Broadway stars like Harry Connick Jr. and Kathy Lee Gifford chosen to sing in the past. ( Read more...

Chris Noth takes the lead in Doctor Faustus
If you've seen The Good Wife, Law & Order, or Sex and the City, you've seen Chris Noth. Now he makes his way to Broadway starring in Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus. ( Read more...

Birdman Takes Nine Oscar Nominations
The 87th Academy Award nominations have been announced, and Broadway's Birdman, as well as The Grand Budapest Hotel, have been given 9 nominations each. The Oscars show will air on February 22. Tune in to see the winners! ( Read more...

Upcoming events at PlayhouseSquare

Flanagan's Wake
Partners Dine Around - Little Italy
IABD Emerging Artist Youth Showcase
Five Guys Named Moe - Cleveland Play House
IABD Members Company Showcase
Last Call Cleveland
Joshua Seth's Beyond Belief Tour
IABD Founders Showcase

About Us

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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