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This week’s theater news blog…

Published May 16th, 2014 by | No Comments

Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella celebrates 500 performances on Broadway.

Theater news for the week of May 9-16, 2014

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!

Happening on Broadway …

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella celebrates 500 Broadway performances
The cast of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella celebrated a milestone 500 performances on Broadway May 15. To celebrate, the cast was joined by original Cinderella star Laura Osnes for cupcakes after the show. Cinderella waltzes into Cleveland July 21-August 2, 2015.  ( Read more.

NBC to air live broadcast of The Music Man
NBC announced this week that it will air a live broadcast of the 1957 musical The Music Man. The Music Man premiered on Broadway in 1957 starring Robert Preston and Barbara Cook, and has been revived twice. The musical has been adapted for film twice: first in 1962 (with Preston and Shirley Jones) and again for TV in 2003 with Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth.  Casting and air date for the broadcast have not been announced. ( Read more.

Stream the 2014 Tony Award nominees on Spotify
Getting anxious for the 2014 Tony Awards? To help get you through the next few weeks until the broadcast on June 8, has put together a Spotify playlist of songs from the Best Musical nominees – including Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, After Midnight and Aladdin, and Best Revival nominees – Violet, Les Miserables and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. ( Read more.

Upcoming Events at PlayhouseSquare

Jersey Boys – KeyBank Broadway Series
Informed Consent – Cleveland Play House
Grounded – Cleveland Play House
Grand Concourse – Cleveland Play House
Kathleen Madigan: Madigan Again
John Prine
The Singing Angels
Take a Hike Tours
LaBatt Blue Light Lime Outdoor Concert  – Mo’Mojo
Mindless Behavior
GCPOMS presents: Cleveland International Tattoo

Share your thoughts on this week’s news below, or talk to us on Facebook or Twitter!

2014 Tony Awards: Celebrity Edition

Published May 15th, 2014 by | No Comments

The Tony Awards are always a star-studded spectacle, and it looks like this year will be no exception! Whether Harry Potter, Breaking Bad, or “Adele Dazeem,” you’re sure to recognize many actors in the audience at the Tony Awards on June 8, 2014. Some of your favorite TV and film stars made their Broadway debuts this year and even more (veterans and newcomers alike) earned Tony nominations for their stellar performances. Here are a few celebrities who took the Great White Way by storm this year:

bryancranstonBrian Cranston: All The Way

debramessingDebra Messing: Outside Mullingar

danielradcliffeDaniel Radcliffe: The Cripple of Inishmaan

zacharyquinto & cherryjonesZachary Quinto and Cherry Jones: The Glass Menagerie

denzel washingtonDenzel Washington: A Raisin in the Sun

neilpatrickharrisNeil Patrick Harris: Hedwig and the Angry Inch

chrisodowdChris O’Dowd: Of Mice and Men

tonyshalhoubTony Shaloub: Act One

audramcdonaldAudra McDonald: Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill

suttonfosterSutton Foster: Violet

idinamenzelIdina Menzel: If/Then

marybridgetdaviesLast, but certainly not least, is a Cleveland native who’s shaking it up on the Great White Way. Congratulations to our very own celebrity, Mary Bridget Davies on her nomination for A Night with Janis Joplin!

Missed the Tony nominations? Get the full list here!

Dazzle The District Recap

Published May 12th, 2014 by | No Comments

Can you believe it’s been over a week since Dazzle The District?! It was undoubtedly a historic night for PlayhouseSquare and for Cleveland, with over 20,000 people filling the streets surrounding the GE chandelier, officially the world’s largest. The crowd loved Hot Chelle Rae and the 365 local performers that took the stage throughout the night, so Twitter was on fire with chatter about the event and there were more chandelier selfies than we could count!

If you missed out on the historic event, we’ve got plenty of photos and videos to get you in the Dazzle spirit!


Check out our Storify of the event:

The Past Moved in Cleveland

Published May 10th, 2014 by | No Comments

The Past Moved in Cleveland

This past fall, as part of the Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion program, the PlayhouseSquare Community Engagement & Education Department brought Vietnamese artist Bui Cong Khanh to Cleveland for a three-month residency. He worked with children in local schools and was asked to create a visual art project for our International Children’s Theater Festival.

I was fortunate enough to be able to spend time with Khanh while working with Think Media Studios on a video documenting his time in Cleveland.

Khanh is interested in the past, how it is remembered (or forgotten) and how it shapes the future. He wanted to go on a tour of Cleveland that would allow him to see our city’s history and roots. Seeing the Flats, steel mills and historic neighborhoods through his eyes made me appreciate anew our rich heritage, as well as my own personal heritage.

My dad served in Vietnam and had been stationed in the town where Khanh grew up. A retired truck driver, he helped me plan the route we would travel through Cleveland. Khanh and I stopped at the Red Chimney in Slavic Village for a pierogi lunch. And the ceramic studio he was working out of? It’s right on the street where my grandparents grew up.

Being able to form this connection with someone from half a world away and witness the creativity inspired by Khanh’s time in our city reaffirmed for me why the arts are so important, and why PlayhouseSquare is so committed to providing arts education opportunities for students.

I would say more about that, but this video captures it perfectly.

I hope you will take a few minutes to watch, and then come to the International Children’s Theater Festival to see some of Khanh’s work in person. How will the past move for you?

Cindi S.
Manager, Brand Communications

Khanh’s residency was made possible by the Cleveland Foundation’s Creative Fusion program, which seeks to maximize the cultural exchange between international artists and the Greater Cleveland community.

PlayhouseSquare thanks director Geoff Yaw and the team at Think Media Studios for their devotion to this project.

This week’s theater news blog…

Published May 9th, 2014 by | No Comments

Hugh Jackman is heading back to Broadway this fall in The River.

Theater news for the week of May 2-9, 2014

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!

Happening on Broadway …

Frozen Duo Robert Lopez & Kristen Anderson-Lopez working on new musical
Frozen’s Oscar winning duo Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez are currently working on a new musical, Up There. Up There, which will be directed by Alex Timbers (Rocky, Here Lies Love) is slated to open in San Diego in 2015. No casting has been announced. ( Read more.

Tony Winner John Tiffany in talks to direct Harry Potter play
John Tiffany, who was recently nominated for a Tony for his work on The Glass Menagerie, is in talks to direct the new Harry Potter play in the West End. The play, which is expected to hit the stage in late 2015, would focus on Harry’s early childhood, as well as his late parents, James and Lily Evans Potter. In addition to potentially directing the show, Tiffany is said to possibly be collaborating with J.K. Rowling on the script. ( Read more.

Hugh Jackman returning to Broadway this fall
Tony Award winner (and this year’s Tony Awards host) Hugh Jackman, is slated to return to Broadway this fall in the new Jez Butterworth play The River, which will begin performances October 31 at Circle in the Square. The show premiered originally in London in 2012. ( Read more.


Upcoming Events at PlayhouseSquare

Jersey Boys – KeyBank Broadway Series
Informed Consent – Cleveland Play House
Grounded – Cleveland Play House
Grand Concourse – Cleveland Play House
Ethan Bortnik – The Power of Love
Katherine Boo – William N. Skirball Writers Center Stage Series
Kathleen Madigan: Madigan Again

Share your thoughts on this week’s news below, or talk to us on Facebook or Twitter!

Jersey Boys Takes Over New Day Cleveland

Published May 6th, 2014 by | No Comments

They may have been running on a few hours of sleep, but the cast of Jersey Boys lit up the set of New Day Cleveland this morning! Nicolas Dromard, Hayden Milanes, Quinn VanAntwerp, and Adam Zelasko mixed Jersey Boys-inspired drinks, talked 60s fashion and fitness secrets, and shared their plans for the two-week stay in Cleveland. (The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and famous local restaurants topped their list.) After an hour on set, we found out that Nicolas speaks French, Hayden enjoys yoga, Adam loves dressing to the nines, and Quinn wants to be a weatherman. (He even practiced for his future celebrity appearance!) Thanks for an entertaining show today and we can’t wait for opening night TONIGHT! Break a leg!

Jersey Boys on New Day Cleveland

New Day Cleveland

New Day Cleveland

New Day Cleveland


The cast of Jersey Boys gets up close and personal with the mannequins on set.


Quinn VanAntwerp of Jersey Boys practices for his dream job: weatherman!

Are you seeing Jersey Boys while it’s in Cleveland?

This week’s theater news blog…

Published April 25th, 2014 by | No Comments


Theater news for the week of April 25 – May 2, 2014

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!

Happening on Broadway …

Cabaret Extended through January
The revival of Cabaret opened in New York last night and announced it’s run has been extended through January 4, 2015. The show, starring Alan Cummings and newcomer Michelle Williams, features iconic songs like “Willkommen,” “Don’t Tell Mama,” “Maybe This Time” and “Cabaret.” Read more (

“Hedwig and the Angry Inch” Opens on Broadway

Hedwig and the Angry Inch began its first Broadway production at the Belasco Theatre last night. Neil Patrick Harris, the star of the show, plays a transgender rockstar who’s sex-change operation went awry. Under the direction of Michael Mayer, the show runs through August 17. Read more (USAToday).

Nominations Announced for 2014 Drama League Awards
The 80th annual Drama League Awards announced it’s 2014 nominations on April 23. Nominations for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical are: After Midnight, Aladdin, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, The Bridges of Madison County, Bullets Over Broadway, Fun Hom, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Murder for Two, Rocky. For the complete list, click here. (

Upcoming Events at PlayhouseSquare

American Idiot – U.S. Bank Broadway Series
Informed Consent – Cleveland Play House
Murder Ballad – Baldwin Wallace Student Production
Fair on the Square – Community Engagement & Education
Dazzle the District – U.S. Bank Plaza (formerly Star Plaza)
Brian Regan
Jersey Boys – KeyBank Broadway Series

Share your thoughts on this week’s news below, or talk to us on Facebook or Twitter!


Meet the Director of “Dazzle the District: Lighting the Legacy”

Published April 23rd, 2014 by | No Comments

Geoff Yaw, creative director at Think Media Studios, shares some insight into the creation of “Dazzle the District: Lighting the Legacy,” premiering on Cleveland’s own WJW Fox 8 on Saturday, April 26 at 3:30 p.m.


What is your role?

As a writer/ producer/ director, it’s my job to come up with a vision for a project like this and to see that vision through to the end. That is probably the most basic way to describe it. It’s my job to figure out the story that should be told and what the audience will eventually see on screen before we start. Will there be interviews? Voiceover? How should the images we create look and feel? What are the aspects of the story that are important to focus on? How will we establish tone? These are all questions that need to be answered before we unpack the cameras. On set, I am generally the person directing the crew and putting the camera into situations that will help to tell the story. I’m very lucky to work with a bunch of very talented people. When we’re documenting a process, the construction of one of the gateways, for example, I tell my crew what I’d like to see and then I generally get out of the way. If we’re interviewing someone, it’s my job to guide the on screen discussion. My responsibilities then extend into the editorial process.

How do you approach a project like this? Where do you start?

The most important step is to understand what it is that you’re documenting. You have to get the lay of the land and understand who the characters are. Once I feel like I have my arms wrapped around that I develop an outline. Having this outline is a big help in guiding what we should be focusing on in any given situation. What the outline doesn’t cover is the unknowable, and sometimes the unknowable has potential to give you something much more entertaining than what is found in the outline. When making documentary projects, you are inundated with unknowable situations. It’s a constant decision-making battle between using your time to capture outline topics or choosing to go “off script.” Sometimes you choose and pray. Viewers of this special will definitely see some unknowable situations that came to light during production.


You captured a lot of footage. How do you decide what makes it and what doesn’t?

As I mentioned earlier, I have the privilege of working with very talented people. For editorial, I’m teaming up with editor/producer Keith Potoczak on this project. It’s true: you shoot a lot of footage for a project like this. This is where the outline comes back into play again. As we go through production, I make changes to the outline that fill in the blanks and account for the unknowables that we encounter. This information generally dictates what stays in and what goes. It’s basically a matter of finding the best stuff that tells the story in the best way and then using craft to shape the story in the most compelling way. Simply put, if it doesn’t advance the story, it goes.

Aside from possibly having too much footage, what were the major challenges?

Editorial is always a challenge and this project was no different. In production, I’d say the biggest challenges for us were the same ones the installation crews faced. The physical elements began their installations in February and many installations happened at night…in Cleveland…during one of the coldest winters in decades. ‘Nuff said.

Did you have a vision for this project from the outset? Or did it evolve over time?

There was definitely a vision and it did evolve. The thing you generally don’t know from outset is who all the players are and how they will come across on screen. There are some big personalities on the team that provided some opportunities for humor that I didn’t necessarily anticipate. Also, in the beginning I was on the fence about using voiceover narration as a storytelling tool. As the edit started taking shape, it became pretty clear that we would need it to advance the story in a concise way.

What do you hope people come away with after watching this?

My goal with this project was to get the audience to understand the broader importance of this undertaking. I think that it could be easy to see this project through the lens of “PlayhouseSquare decided to build and install some impressive looking things.” This is in part, of course, true, but to me there is a much deeper symbolic meaning to the project that speaks to the identity of PlayhouseSquare and greater Cleveland as a whole. I hope that the audience sees the heart and soul that PlayhouseSquare and the team put into the project.

What is your favorite “Dazzle the District” element and why?

I think my opinion on this may be controversial. I don’t like to pick favorites, but I really love the retro sign. It’s extremely visually impressive and I love that it’s a throwback to the origins of the district.

Final thoughts?

The story we’re telling with “Dazzle the District: Lighting the Legacy” is part vision, part design and part engineering. If you know anything about PlayhouseSquare’s past, you’ll start to detect a theme for most of the important moments in the organization’s history. This story is about people coming together to get something done that hadn’t been done before or was thought to be impossible (like building the world’s largest outdoor chandelier).

Think Media


Learn more about the Dazzle the District project and May 2 celebration and lighting ceremony at

Think Media Studios, Cleveland’s leading video and event production company, produces award-winning video, feature films, and multimedia assets for a wide range of uses.

Top 6 Rock Musicals

Published April 22nd, 2014 by | No Comments

With American Idiot coming to CLE this weekend, we can’t help but think about the legacy of rock musicals that transcended the theater to become a form of social commentary. Hair rallied for the sexual revolution, RENT for HIV/AIDS patients, and Green Day’s American Idiot for an escape from suburban life. With these classics in mind, we compiled a list of six well-known rock musicals that changed the face of theater. Did you favorites make the list?

HairHairHair follows the story of a group of young, politically active hippies as they struggle in the face of the Vietnam War and the sexual revolution. The show, written by James Rado and Gerome Ragni with music by Galt MacDermot, started Off-Broadway in October 1967. After it opened on Broadway in April 1968, Hair was nominated for Best Musical at the 1968 Tony’s. Some songs from the show even became Top 10 hits!

Jesus Christ SuperstarJesus Christ SuperstarJesus Christ Superstar, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber with music by Tim Rice, follows Jesus and Judas Iscariot through the events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus. The show opened in 1971 and was nominated for Best Original Score at 1972 Tony’s.

RENTRentRENT follows a group of poor New York City residents in the age of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Jonathan Larson wrote the music and lyrics for the show, which is based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera La bohème. RENT opened in January 1996, won the Tony for Best Musical that year, and has become the 10th longest-running Broadway musical in history.

Hedwig and the Angry InchHedwig And The Angry InchWith text by John Cameron Mitchell and music and lyrics by Stephen Trask, Hedwig and the Angry Inch follows a transgender front man of a German rock and roll band. The show opened Off-Broadway in 1998 and the first Broadway production, starring Neil Patrick Harris, recently opened in March 2014.

Spring AwakeningSpring AwakeningSpring Awakening, with music by Duncan Sheik and script and lyrics by Steven Sater, opened in December 2006. The show, which follows German teenagers as they discover their sexuality during the late 19th-century, won 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Direction, and Best Score. Rumors of a film adaptation continue to swirl, especially after Steven Sater said he hopes to make the film this year.

Green Day’s American IdiotAmerican IdiotBased on the music of Green Day, American Idiot opened on Broadway in April 2010. The show, written by Billie Joel Armstrong of Green Day, is set after 9/11 and follows three men as they escape suburbia and discover what it means to have a meaningful life. The show was nominated for Best Musical at the 2010 Tony Awards, Won Best Scenic Design of a Musical, and received a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album in 2011.


Are you ready to let out your inner rocker? Join us April 25 – 27 when Green Day’s American Idiot comes to Cleveland. See you there!

This week’s theater news blog…

Published April 19th, 2014 by | No Comments

Jersey Boys trailer

Theater news for the week of April 19-25, 2014

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!

Happening on Broadway …

Jersey Boys Movie Trailer Released
The Broadway musical – turned movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, released its first trailer this week. The Four Seasons are set to take over the big screen on June 20. Read more (

Olivier Award Winners Announced
On April 13, hosts Gemma Arterton and Stephen Mangan announced the winners of the 38th annual Olivier Awards. Rory Kinnear won Best Actor for Othello at the National Theatre and Lesley Manville won Best Actress for Ghosts at the Almeida Theatre & Trafalgar Studios. For the complete list of winners, click here (

Daniel Radcliffe Leads “The Cripple of Inishmaan”
The Harry Potter star and Broadway veteran, Daniel Radcliffe, has returned to the Great White Way to lead the dark comedy The Cripple of Inishmaan in its first Broadway run. The show opens April 20 at the Cort Theatre. This will be Radcliffe’s third Broadway run after performances in Equus and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Read more (NY Daily News).


Upcoming Events at PlayhouseSquare

Flanagan’s Wake -  Kennedy’s Theatre
Informed Consent – Second Stage
Cleveland Ballet Youth Company: Where It All Began – Hanna Theatre
CSU Spring Dance Concert 2014 – Allen Theatre
Green Day’s American Idiot – Palace Theatre
Murder Ballad – Helen Rosenfeld Lewis Bialosky Lab Theatre


Share your thoughts on this week’s news below, or talk to us on Facebook or Twitter!

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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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