An exciting and entertaining destination...this is PlayhouseSquare!

The Amish are coming!

Published July 13th, 2010 by | Comments Off on The Amish are coming!

No, not the British, but the Amish.  And it is great news!  The Plain Dealer reported news of the Cleveland Furniture and Millwood Fair 1.0 taking place this week at the Halle Building in PlayhouseSquare.  While it may not have much to do with theater, it does have a lot to do with PlayhouseSquare…as maybe you’re starting to discover by now, we’re all about improving the region.

PlayhouseSquare is heavily involved in the forthcoming District of Design –the aggregation of commercial/industrial design studios and showrooms from the region’s dense population of leading consumer product manufacturers.  While already in place in the neighborhood is the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, the potential exists to fill many more office and retail spaces with design showrooms in our neighborhood with creative people.  Add shoppers to this influx of workers and you get a sense of the economic impact this District could have on the local economy.

Stay tuned to the news and this blog for future announcements.

– Steve

Did You Take the Tony to Sardi’s?

Published June 9th, 2010 by | Comments Off on Did You Take the Tony to Sardi’s?

For me, the annual Tony Awards are synonymous with the Seinfeld episode where Kramer – as a seat-filler – accidentally gets whisked onstage to accept an award. But I digress.

What’s the significance of the Tony Awards to people in Ohio?  Put it this way, it’s the Broadway equivalent of watching the NCAA basketball tournament to see who the top NBA draft picks will be. It’s a glimpse of what the future holds because the shows nominated and performing at the Tony Awards are often the ones that will soon be on stages across the country.

It’s the brightest night of the year for the Great White Way.  The stars come out, and what’s cool is that international stars are plugging into Broadway.  Nominees include big name performers (Denzel Washington, Scarlett Johansson, Kelsey Grammar, Jude Law, Christopher Walken, Catherine Zeta-Jones) or producers (as Jay-Z, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith are for FELA!).  The Broadway industry is the beneficiary of slimming Hollywood budgets and the reality TV trend that has top list talent flocking to delve into the gripping and entertaining work of live theater.

To get a taste of the originality and diversity of the current Broadway scene, look no further than the Best Musical category:

FELA! – the true story of the legendary Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, whose soulful Afrobeat rhythms ignited a generation.

Memphis – a fresh musical about radio DJ whose love of music transcends race lines and airwaves in 1950’s Tennessee.

American Idiot – Green Day’s electrifying punk rock sound delivers the story of a new generation of young Americans struggling to find meaning in a post-9/11 world.

Million Dollar Quartet – inspired by the famed recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time.

There’s plenty more to see and hear.  Visit our site or the Tony’s site to enter plenty of the fun Tony Awards contests.

And of course, watch the Tony’s on Sunday, June 13th at 8PM on CBS…and give us your scouting report.

Tony Awards Information

– Steve

What’s the BIG Idea?

Published April 26th, 2010 by | Comments Off on What’s the BIG Idea?

For us, a highlight of every new season – beside the shows, obviously – is the opportunity to get our creative juices flowing by developing a new season campaign.  This consists of a concept that gets carried throughout all elements of our marketing efforts: the graphic design, copy, tv/radio spots, print ads, brochures, website, etc.  An admission:  it’s competitive…we always try to top ourselves plus our colleagues both locally and internationally.  Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose.

For our 2010-2011 KeyBank Broadway Series, we once again passed the creative baton to The Communications Factory agency. We challenged them to use the “experience of Broadway at PlayhouseSquare” as the heart of the work and to integrate the shows in a clever way.

They came back to us with a few options, but the one we liked the best was “There’s No Substitute for the Real Thing”.  See, the shows on this season exist in other formats (films, books, soundtracks, etc.).  You can sit on your couch and experience them all…but that pales in comparison to experiencing a show live, connecting to real people on stage and sharing a laugh with 3,000 others.  (True, Avatar made plenty of money. However, putting on 3-D glasses merely simulates an experience PlayhouseSquare has been offering since 1921.)  The Factory juxtaposed the limits of other forms of entertainment vs. the live experience in a funny and thought-provoking way that hopefully reminds us that the value of the “real thing” is worth leaving the house to experience.

Does it work?  You be the judge and tell us what you think.

(You can see the campaign here).


We had “The Time of Our Lives”, well almost.

Published February 15th, 2010 by | Comments Off on We had “The Time of Our Lives”, well almost.

Did you hear?  We almost had the new musical Dirty Dancing here this summer?  It was a part of the big news when we announced the 09-10 KeyBank Broadway Series in April 2009.  But alas, it was not meant to be.  Shortly after our announcement, producers of the tour notified us of their decision to cancel plans to mount a national tour for the show.  Say what?

Nobody puts PlayhouseSquare in the corner 🙂 …so we quickly changed gears.  We scouted to see what other opportunities were available.  We happily chose to bring the farewell tour of Fiddler on the Roof starring Topol (Tevye from the original movie) in as its replacement.  So we quickly signed contracts, loaded the new show into the ticketing system, recycled all our now-outdated posters/brochures/etc. and reprinted, recut tv/radio spots, updated our website, and informed our donors, subscribers and the press.  Whew, no easy task indeed.  How was it received? Well, people understood and took it in stride.  Some were disappointed.  Some even pleased.  Crisis averted.

Together, the staff breathed a collective sigh of relief.  Until we later received a call notifying us that Topol required shoulder surgery and could no longer be on tour.  Oy vay!  Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein would now replace him.  Rev up the engines again…out with the news.  One thing is for sure, life is never dull in show biz.

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.