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10 Reasons to Attend the International Children’s Theater Festival!

Published May 1st, 2017 by | Comments Off on 10 Reasons to Attend the International Children’s Theater Festival!

We have a million reasons why you should attend the International Children’s Theater Festival on May 6-7, and we were able to narrow it down to 10 to get you started. Enjoy!

1. It is first and foremost family friendly

This festival is a place for BOTH you and your children to dance, play and have fun, so stop by and unleash your inner child! What better way to introduce your children to the world of theater than through the International Children’s Theater Festival at Playhouse Square?

2. Pedal Punk


This show is featuring a 20-foot-high, pedal-powered mechanical masterpiece, where the performers will leave you amazed with a heart-pounding pole drop, awesome aerial acts and high-flying tricks (on a trampoline!).

3. The Moon’s a Balloon

A balloon can be a friend to play with or a maker of friendships. The Moon’s a Balloon visual theater production is inspired by a poem by e.e. cummings which suggests all sorts of possibilities reside in the simplest of things.

4. Balloons, face painting & magicians

Need we say more? These free actives and stations will be taking place throughout the weekend. Click here to see our complete schedule of shows and activities.

5. Grug and the Rainbow


Meet Grug, as he begins his life on the top of a Burrawang tree that fell to the ground. Resembling a small, striped haystack with feet and a nose, Grug is fascinated by the world around him and solves everyday problems creatively and without fuss.

6. Morgan’s Journey


You will embark on a journey of discovery, in Morgan’s Journey, when Morgan the clown, delighted in the presents he receives, finds a wise sock puppet who becomes his companion.

7. Visit the passport stations and get a taco! 

There will be passport stations, sponsored by Talespinner Children’s Theatre, containing incredible masks, beautiful costumes & more. And upon finishing your journey at each station your little ones can enjoy a FREE taco at Puente Viejo, located at 1220 Huron Rd! (*Tacos will be only be awarded to children with completed passports.)

8. The Junkyard & Truck


Enter an immersive experience in a world of re-imagined recyclables, where travelers will create and personalize crafts to be used as they travel through The Junkyard. Then, through Bridgman Packer’s signature integration of live performance and video technology, an ordinary 17- foot U-Haul box truck will evolve from the utilitarian into a re-imagined space, a micro-world of visions and transformation in Truck.

9. Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players

The two-time Grammy nominee, Justin Roberts is truly one of the “all-stars” of the indie family music scene. See his free performances on the U.S. Bank Plaza!

10 .Your favorite downtown destination

Enjoy your time in our historic theaters, delicious restaurants and don’t forget to take your photo underneath the GE chandelier!

 

For more information about the International Children’s Theater Festival, click here.

Until then we’ll see you May 6-7!

Get to Know: Pedal Punk

Published April 24th, 2017 by | Comments Off on Get to Know: Pedal Punk

Pedal Punk  is one of the shows featured in the International Children’s Theater Festival, on Saturday, May 6 at 1:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 7 at 1:30 p.m. Learn more about this rowdy circus on wheel and purchase tickets, for only $10-15,  here!

 

Enter the world of Pedal Punk, a Steampunk inspired place where cycling is the way to escape the technology obsessed society. This production, featuring a 20-foot-high, pedal-powered mechanical masterpiece, the performers amaze with a heart-pounding pole drop, awesome aerial acts, and high-flying tricks (on a trampoline!). In Pedal Punk we experience the excitement, artistry and thrill that occurs when a wacky bike shop mechanic interacts with cyclists and bikes, he repairs more than broken pieces.  He creates wondrous machines and inspires the cyclist in all of us to become a Pedal Punk. With every spin of a sprocket and rattle of a wrench, the quirky cast of characters transforms a bevy of bikes into an astounding assortment or acrobatic apparatus in this adrenaline-fueled circus for the whole family. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

The 8th Annual International Children’s Theater Festival, May 6-7, 2017, and will give your children and grandchildren an unique enriching live theater experience with performances from around the world, free fun activities and so much more. Click here to learn more about the International Children’s Theater Festival.

Patti Smith and Her Band perform Horses anniversary tour!

Published February 20th, 2017 by | Comments Off on Patti Smith and Her Band perform Horses anniversary tour!

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Patti Smith is coming to the State Theatre on March 12! Here’s a little more information about her anticipated performance. 

Horses, the landmark recording that continues to have resonance and relevance for today’s generations of musicians and artists, will be performed in its entirety by Rock Hall of Fame inductee, Patti Smith. Forty-plus years later, performance poet/visual artist Patti, will be joined by her original band members, Lenny Kaye and Jay Dee Daugherty, plus bassist / keyboardist Tony Shanahan, who has been a part of her band for twenty years. Together they will celebrate the longevity and lasting influence of Horses, with their series of special shows centered around the album.

Known as the “Godmother of Punk”, Patti has paved the way for so many other female musicians joining rock and poetry into her songs. The album, Horses, has since been viewed by critics as one of the greatest and most influential albums in the history of the American punk rock movement, as well as one of the greatest albums of all time. This is a musical event that you won’t want to miss!

For more information about Patti Smith, click here to listen to the the Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross on NPR about her career and her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.

Steven Sebring photos from the Beacon

Photo credit: Steven Sebring

Go see legendary singer-songwriter, Patti Smith and Her Band perform Horses at the State Theatre on Sunday, March 12, 2017 8 p.m. Click here to buy your tickets now!

A Behind the Scenes Q & A with Alan Cumming!

Published November 18th, 2016 by | Comments Off on A Behind the Scenes Q & A with Alan Cumming!

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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!

Get in the holiday spirit with the Dave Koz Christmas Tour!

Published November 7th, 2016 by | Comments Off on Get in the holiday spirit with the Dave Koz Christmas Tour!

Dave Koz returns to Playhouse Square Saturday, December 10 at 8:00 p.m. with some friends for his Christmas tour! Click here to get your tickets now.

davekoz_holidayblogpost2Nine-time Grammy® nominee and saxophonist extraordinaire Dave Koz and Jonathan Butler, Kenny Lattimore and Ashford & Simpson’s Valerie Simpson –will capture the magic of Christmas in the 19th anniversary edition of Koz’s holiday tour.

The irrepressible Jonathan Butler, an “alumnus” of the tour, has earned accolades in the R&B, contemporary jazz and gospel fields and recently released a new studio album entitled Free. Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Kenny Lattimore has been hailed by The New York Times as a “modern soul man.”

Acclaimed vocalist Valerie Simpson co-wrote such classic hits such as, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “You’re All I Need to Get By,” and “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing” as half of the songwriting/performing/producing entity Ashford and Simpson.

It’s never to early to start listening to your favorite holiday music. Click on the playlist below and get excited for the holidays and the upcoming Dave Koz Christmas Tour 2016 at the State Theatre!

Almost Like Being in Love: The Songs of Lerner & Loewe

Published November 1st, 2016 by | Comments Off on Almost Like Being in Love: The Songs of Lerner & Loewe

The Musical Theater Project (TMTP) is bringing a “docu-concert”, or live documentary, to Playhouse Square! What is a “docu-concert” you ask? Well TMTP defines it as, a combination of live performances with dozens of rare still images and video clips. Almost Like Being in Love: The Songs of Lerner & Loewe, coming Saturday, November 20, will showcase the finest theater songs while exploring the cultural and historical impact of musical theater as an American art form.

Learn about the remarkable story of two men, Alan Jay Lerner and Fredrick Loewe, who saw the world the same way, and wrote straight from their hearts. Alan Jay Lerner was a well-bred New Yorker with a Harvard education, and composer Frederick Loewe was a 17 year old who was also classically trained. The two great romantics fashioned four of the most beloved and romantic musicals of all time:

My Fair Lady, Camelot,

Brigadoon and Gigi

During the show you’ll hear your favorite songs from all four musicals, including “If Ever I Would Leave You,” “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face,” “Gigi” and “Almost Like Being in Love”—and so much more.

Click here to get your tickets!

Joan Baez returns to Playhouse Square!

Published October 5th, 2016 by | Comments Off on Joan Baez returns to Playhouse Square!

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American folk singer, songwriter and musician, Joan Baez, has performed publicly for over 55 years, releasing over 30 albums. She is well know for her contemporary folk music, as well as her social and political activism. A woman not afraid to speak her mind, many of her songs include themes of protest or social justice. Joan Baez returns to Cleveland on October 19 at the Hanna Theatre.

Click here to purchase your tickets now!

imagesWhile Joan is well-recognized for her music as well as her activism, the long list of accolades are merely a small reflection of her artistry and heart. Eight gold albums, one gold single, a Lifetime Achievement Award, seven nominations and one Grammy® award just to name a few! She has been in the business so long it seems that we would know everything about her, but her creative spirit continues to awe and surprise us – also as a published author who enjoys painting and poetry. Recently, Joan celebrated her 75th birthday with a PBS special. Musical guest list included Judy Collins, Jackson Browne, David Crosby, Mavis Staples and more.

Watch the PBS performance of David Crosby and Joan Baez as they sing Blackbird during Joan’s 75th Birthday celebration concert at the Beacon Theatre in NY.

Can’t get enough of Joan? Click here to watch the brilliant musical collaboration of Joan Baez, the Indigo Girls and Mary Chapin Carpenter singing The Water is Wide.

Get the Led Out rocks Cleveland!

Published September 28th, 2016 by | Comments Off on Get the Led Out rocks Cleveland!

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The State Theatre will be rocking on Saturday, October 15 when Get the Led Out takes the stage! This group of professional musicians are passionate about their love of the music of Led Zeppelin. It’s been their mission to bring the studio recordings of “the mighty Zep” to life on the big concert stage. This is not an impersonator act, but rather a group of musicians who were fans first, striving to pay homage to one of the greatest bands in rock history!

You don’t want to miss this electrifying show. CLICK HERE to get your tickets now!

Like many musical groups, Led Zepplin has had an interesting journey to fame. We did some digging and found a few interesting facts about the band.

– Early on, Robert Plant attempted to buy a shirt he liked on Carnaby Street, and was asked for ID when he tried to pay with check. Without one, Plant retreated to his car and returned with a copy of Led Zeppelin’s first album as proof of his identity.

– Jimmy Page has said that their first album was recorded in 30 hours. The second album took more than eight months, largely because of non-stop touring.

knebworth79_promo_field1– Led Zeppelin II, like Zeppelin’s first album, used a vintage photograph for its cover-only this time with some key alterations. A graphic designer took a World War I-era photo that reportedly included the legendary Red Baron, then replaced the heads with those of Zeppelin band members.

– Jimmy Page didn’t always want to be a rock star. In fact, during an appearance on a 1957 episode of the U.K. children’s talent show On Your Own, a 13 year old Page said he wanted to grow up to work in biological research studying germs.

pandj-at-the-peakGet the Led Out wants to continue carrying the torch of Led Zepplin’s music. Although, you might notice that there are only 4 members of Led Zepplin, but 6 members of Get the Led Out. Their mission is to bring the studio recordings of Led Zeppelin to life in concert. In the studio, Led Zeppelin layered many guitars, vocals, keyboards, and various other instruments in a process known as “overdubbing.” Quite simply, it’s physically impossible for only 4 people to recreate those amazing recordings in a live performance. Zeppelin themselves never attempted replicating their recorded work in concert, as it would have required hiring additional musicians, and they just weren’t about that. Get The Led Out however, is ALL about that!

FUN FACT: Get the Led Out’s very own Paul Sinclair had the pleasure of lending his vocals to the pilot episode of the new Martin Scorsese – Mick Jagger produced HBO TV series Vinyl. The show is all about the record business in early 1970s New York.

Watch the video below to hear more from Get the Led Out!

Don’t miss your chance to see this show! Saturday, October 15 only! Get the Led Out!

Jackie Evancho

Published September 19th, 2016 by | Comments Off on Jackie Evancho

Jackie Evancho brings her new sound to the Ohio Theatre on October 8.  jackie-evancho

You might know her as the talented little girl who stole America’s hearts in 2010 on America’s Got Talent. Now she’s 16 years old, and is evolving musically with plans to release a new album this year. While still recording some songs in her beautiful soprano voice, she has also learned how to use her voice in a more “pop” way. She has already received raves for her new single, Apocalypse. And here’s some great news: when she visits Playhouse Square this fall, she plans to perform some of these new songs!

Watch Jackie’s performance of O Mio Babbino Caro at Festa Italiana 2016 in Milwaukee, WI.

Check out the video for her new hit song, Apocalypse, and hear how she’s branching out into pop music with her newer music.

CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets to see Jackie Evancho on stage at Playhouse Square!

Black Violin returns to CLE

Published September 12th, 2016 by | Comments Off on Black Violin returns to CLE

Black Violin returns to CLE on Friday, September, 23 at 8 p.m. at the Ohio Theatre!

Wilner “Wil B” Baptiste (viola) and Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester (violin) are Black Violin, and they are on a perception-changing, stereotype-shattering mission. Classically trained musicians, they met as high school orchestra nerds; today, they play genre-bending music, radically fusing hip-hop and pop with classical to create a kaleidoscope of sounds uniquely their own.

They have opened for such diverse names in music as Kanye West, 50 Cent, Aerosmith, and Tom Petty, and collaborated with the likes of Wu-Tang Clan, Linkin Park, Wyclef Jean and Alicia Keys. Their major label debut, Stereotypes, was released last year to critical acclaim.

Click below to watch a clip of the PBS NewsHour special on Black Violin.

Can’t get enough of this groundbreaking group? Watch this video of their song Magic (The Jason Nevins Remix).

Join us on Friday, September 23 to see Black Violin!

CLICK HERE for tickets! 

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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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