Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The supporting "lunatics" are running the asylum in Blank Canvas' 'Cuckoo's Nest' (review) by Andrea Simakis

You know you're in for an intimate dose of realism when you see the set: the dayroom of a 1960s mental hospital in all its impersonal and sterile dreariness, complete with locked grates over…

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

'Arcadia': Mamai Theatre takes on Tom Stoppard's time-shifting masterpiece (review) by Andrea Simakis

"Arcadia" has lost none of its power to enthrall, confound and charm. Fact is, as scientists warn of close shaves with species-killing asteroids and the deadly creep of climate cha…

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Verb Ballets warming up something different in Anthony Krutzkamp's 'Similar' by Zachary Lewis

Motivated to revamp some of ballet's core maneuvers, Verb Ballets guest choreographer Anthony Krutzkamp crafted "Similar" in part to revamp the running and lifting that occupied hi…

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Theater legend Elaine Stritch, who died Thursday, mourned as 'feisty, funny broad' by Associated Press Entertainment Staff

Elaine Stritch, who became a sort of shorthand for acting longevity since she made her Broadway debut in "Loco" in 1946, died Thursday at 89 in her home state of Michigan — far f…

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summer Stages: Your guide to North Coast theater in the steamy season by Andrea Simakis

Each year, more and more companies are joining the ranks of warm-weather producers, offering everything from light musicals -- the theatrical equivalent of a beach read -- to chewier, headie…

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Actors' Summit goes 'Back to Bacharach and David' with verve (review) by John Kappes

Director MaryJo Alexander takes a risk with the Actors' Summit production of "Back to Bacharach and David": to test whether the songs of Burt Bacharach and Hal David really are ind…

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lorin Maazel and his wide-ranging musical legacy: editorial by Editorial Board

Lorin Maazel, who never quite touched the heart of this community when he led the Cleveland Orchestra four decades go, still leaves an exceptional musical legacy, the editorial board writes.

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Even the best of intentions can't pump life into the Beck Center's 'Young Frankenstein' (review) by Andrea Simakis

Mel Brooks, the genius who brought the borscht belt to Broadway with "The Producers," penned both the music and the lyrics, so who else is to blame for the serviceable if not unfor…

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Lorin Maazel 1930-2014: A lifetime of music (photo gallery) by Michael Norman, Northeast Ohio Media Group

Conductor and composer Lorin Maazel, who led the Cleveland Orchestra from 1972 to 1982, has died at his home in Virginia while preparing for the annual Castleton Festival. He was 84. A music…

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Lorin Maazel, former music director of the Cleveland Orchestra, dies at 84 by Zachary Lewis

The successor to legendary former Cleveland Orchestra music director George Szell, Maazel left his own major impact on the ensemble, serving as its music director from 1972 to 1982.

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Lorin Maazel, music director of the Cleveland Orchestra from 1972-1982, dead at age 84 by Plain Dealer Staff and Wire Reports

Conductor and composer Lorin Maazel, who led the Cleveland Orchestra from 1972 to 1982, has died at his home in Virginia while preparing for the annual Castleton Festival. He was 84.

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Ensemble cast strikes gold as the 1950s rock icons of this 'Million Dollar Quartet' (review) by Andrea Simakis

It's hard to beat the irresistible idea for the show itself. On Dec. 4, 1956, Samuel Cornelius Phillips, a scrappy, upstart producer from nowhere Alabama (played with crackling energy and do…

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

'Young Frankenstein': Mel Brooks' madcap monster mash comes to the Beck by Andrea Simakis

The monster patiently awaits his cue wearing a pair of orange shorts and pontoon-sized flip-flops. Soon Christopher Aldrich, who plays the world's most famous green creature -- Kermit being …

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Cleveland arts organizations win nearly a third of $9.36 million in Ohio Arts Council grants announced Monday by Steven Litt

Cleveland's cultural organizations pulled in nearly one third of the $9.36 million in Ohio Arts Council grants announced on Monday, and nearly 11 percent of the statewide total went to five …

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

The City Club will hold a free July 24 Q&A with arts funding leaders over suspension of Cuyahoga County grants to individual artists by Steven Litt

The City Club of Cleveland will hold a free public forum on July 24 on the suspension of individual Creative Workforce Fellowship grants in Cuyahoga County.

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

'Possum Dreams' at Akron's None Too Fragile Theater outrageously entertaining (review) by Andrea Simakis

"Possum Dreams" feels like an unhinged cousin to "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "God of Carnage;" it's a play with similar DNA but willing to go further,…

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Cleveland Public Theatre joins National New Play Network by Andrea Simakis

Cleveland Public Theatre has joined the National New Play Network, a potent alliance of more than 70 nonprofit theaters that champions the writing and production of new plays.

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'Evil Dead The Musical' brings gore galore to Playhouse Square this fall by Andrea Simakis

Break out your slickers and chainsaws, my ghastly ghoulies. "Evil Dead – The Musical" is coming to Playhouse Square this fall, a Halloween hors d'oeuvre just for you. Tickets for…

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Remembering Ray Shepardson: Playhouse Square savior hailed as a visionary (gallery) by Andrea Simakis

But the memorial for preservationist and visionary Ray Shepardson at the State Theatre yesterday had the joy, passion and emotional realness of a truly great performance. A nutshell review? …

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Playhouse Square hosts celebration of Ray Shepardson's life and legacy by Joanna Connors

Ray Shepardson discovered the then-empty theaters of Playhouse Square in 1970, when they were in bad shape and on the brink of demolition. The great success of "Jacques Brel" prove…

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Nathan Lane in 'The Nance': Broadway comes to the Capitol Theatre by Andrea Simakis

Sometimes, the Gods of the Great White Way smile upon you, and you get a second bite at Big Apple fare -- in this case, the 2013 production of Douglas Carter Beane's "The Nance."

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Friday, June 20, 2014

PlayhouseSquare's new $100 million capital campaign gets a $9 million boost from Sherwin-Williams chief Chris Connor and family by Steven Litt

A $9 million gift from Sherwin-Williams CEO Chris Connor and family has given a big boost to Playhouse Square's newly announced $100 million capital campaign, the theater district said Frida…

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Raymond Bobgan's 'Theater of Collaboration': Cleveland Arts Prize 2014 by Andrea Simakis

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Raymond Bobgan's first professional production at Cleveland Public Theatre was a 1994 show called "Pinocchio Rising," an adult version of the fairy tale sandblas…

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

11 movie musical adaptations that were hit or miss (photo gallery) by Troy L. Smith, Northeast Ohio Media Group

"Jersey Boys" arrives in theaters this weekend, continuing a trend of movie musical adaptations that have been hit or miss.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

'Heartbreak House': A crackerjack ensemble brings Shaw classic to life (review) by Andrea Simakis

There is much to admire about the production of "Heartbreak House" now at Pilgrim Church, particularly the sharp, shrewd characterizations delivered by an absolutely crackerjack en…

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Friday, June 13, 2014

GroundWorks DanceTheater's 'Summer Series' is a dream on an early summer night (review) by Zachary Lewis

All the connotations of "summer" also apply to GroundWorks DanceTheater's 'Summer Series," now playing at Cain Park: fresh, light and thoroughly enjoyable.

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Karamu Hall of Fame honoree S. Epatha Merkerson talks about playing Cleveland and why she's the Miss Kitty of 'Law & Order' by Andrea Simakis

Longtime "Law & Order" star S. Epatha Merkerson is returning to Karamu House on the eve of its centennial celebration (the arts and cultural organization was founded in 1915 by…

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ruby Dee kept giving to the theater, to social causes and to Cleveland: An appreciation by Mark Dawidziak, The Plain Dealer

Cleveland native Ruby Dee, who died Thursday at 91, used her great voice as an actress and an activist.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Actress Derdriu Ring is the white-hot center of a stunning production of Eric Coble's 'Stranded on Earth' (review) by Andrea Simakis

As Alexa, Ring, barefoot and dressed in faded pastels -- a lilac top and chinos the color of green tea -- is elemental and divine. She splatters white paint across the charcoal tarpaulin lik…

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Opera Circle takes ambitious plunge into Korngold's 'The Dead City' by Zachary Lewis

In staging Erich Korngold's rarely heard "Die Tote Stadt" ("The Dead City") this week at Playhouse Square, Opera Circle may be making its most ambitious effort yet.

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Monday, June 9, 2014

GroundWorks Dance Theatre plans highly musical 'Summer Series' at Cain Park by Zachary Lewis

In planning his group's "Summer Series," GroundWorks Dance Theatre founder David Shimotakahara drew more than the usual amount of inspiration from music.

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