Friday, May 22, 2015

How a shocking story of teen-dating abuse, first reported in The Plain Dealer, became the world-premiere play 'Johanna: Facing Forward' at Cleveland P by Andrea Simakis

"Johanna: Facing Forward," the story of the girl who refused to be defined by her scars, jumps from page to stage.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

CityMusic Cleveland recruits Tony and Grammy winner Heather Headley for musical fight against child homelessness (preview) by Zachary Lewis

When CityMusic Cleveland convenes with star singer Heather Headley May 28 and 29 for "Wishes and Dreams," a special season finale devoted to child homelessness, jaws are certain dr…

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Monday, May 18, 2015

'Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea' at Cleveland Public Theatre headlines Cleveland theater openings for the week of May 18: On the Boards by Andrea Simakis

Catch two magical, metaphysical romps this weekend: CPT's "Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea" and Theater Ninja's "The Turing Machine"

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Celebrated AIDS activist Larry Kramer stymied by his own mountain of words in the novel 'The American People' by Earl Pike, Special To The Plain Dealer

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 800 pp., $40FSG  For over a decade, rumors of Larry Kramer's seemingly Orphean struggle to complete his magnum opus have circulated among publishing insid…

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Beck Center for the Arts' 2015-16 season to offer Tony favorites 'In the Heights' and 'Billy Elliot: The Musical' by Andrea Simakis

CLEVELAND, Ohio – What better way for artistic director Scott Spence to kick off his 25th season at the Beck Center for the Arts than to land a musical by one of the hottest composers in t…

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Strong performances and inventive staging give Ensemble Theatre's 'Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo' real bite by Andrea Simakis

The most amazing thing about Rajiv Joseph's "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo" isn't that the man-eater of the title is actually a scowling, bearded man who speaks directly to the a…

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Cleveland Opera Theater makes triumphant first bid with forceful 'Tosca' production (review) by Zachary Lewis

With its production of Puccini's "Tosca" last weekend, the newly re-branded Cleveland Opera Theater proved it has the knowledge and potential to serve as the region's primary opera…

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'I Love Lucy Live' at Playhouse Square headlines Cleveland theater openings for the week of May 11: On the Boards by Andrea Simakis

That wacky redhead comes to Playhouse Square this weekend in "I Love Lucy Live."

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Friday, May 8, 2015

Songwriter Jonatha Brooke brings one-woman show 'My Mother Has 4 Noses' to Cleveland Play House by Michael Heaton

The title of the piece comes from her mother's need for four different prosthetic noses because of the ravages of the cancer. She eventually yielded to medical help. Then came the dementia.

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Slow-go staging strips some of the shine from Eric Coble's glittering comedy 'Fairfield,' at the Cleveland Play House by Andrea Simakis

"Peace. Love. Respect for all" – so goes the slogan for Fairfield Elementary. Classes are racially diverse, parents are "engaged," as newly appointed Principal Angela W…

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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Cleveland Opera Theater asserts itself on cultural scene with new 'Tosca' production at Masonic Auditorium (preview) by Zachary Lewis

Even as it prepares a full-scale production of Puccini's "Tosca," its largest effort to date, Cleveland Opera Theater - formerly known as Opera Per Tutti - is advancing rapidly wit…

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Eric Coble's 'Fairfield,' opening at the Cleveland Play House, pans for comic gold in political correctness gone awry by Andrea Simakis

Fans of "South Park" will find much to snicker at in "Fairfield." Like Trey Parker and Matt Stone, playwright Eric Coble takes a machete to all sacred cows.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The 69th Annual Tony Award nominations are icing on the cake for Oberlin grad Alison Bechdel by Andrea Simakis

"Fun Home" has earned 12 Tony nods in all, including a nomination for Best Musical, tying the sumptuous "An American in Paris" for the most this year.

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Dancing Wheels rolls up to cutting edge in percussion-based 'Rhythm and Wheels' show (review) by Zachary Lewis

In addition to proving again that limitations exist to be overcome, Dancing Wheels also struck gold in "Rhythm and Wheels" serving as percussionists. With former "Stomp" …

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Wendy Whelan's 'Restless Creature' a sumptuous dance memory to cherish (review) by Special To The Plain Dealer

The hourlong set of four duets with former New York City Ballet star Wendy Whelan Saturday night at Playhouse Square more than lived up to its reputation, giving viewers a sumptuous dance me…

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'The Neighbor's Grief Is Greener' at CPT headlines Cleveland theater openings for the week of April 27: On the Boards by Andrea Simakis

"The Neighbor's Grief Is Greener" and "In a Word" are at Cleveland Public Theatre this weekend.

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Made in Cleveland: Playwright George Brant joins Anne Hathaway and lauded director Julie Taymor for a high-flying off-Broadway 'Grounded' by Andrea Simakis

Both art installation and thrill ride, Julie Taymor's production of "Grounded" feels like being in the cockpit of a jet, G-forces tugging at your body.

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast' at Playhouse Square: Can it still enchant in a 'Frozen' era? (Review) by Laura Demarco, The Plain Dealer

Long, long ago, before Queen Elsa and Princess Anna brought girl power to Arendelle in "Frozen," another Disney princess proved her mettle. Disney's 1991 "Beauty and the Beas…

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Look back in ardor: the Tony Award-winning Cleveland Play House, 2011-2015 (photo gallery) by Andrea Simakis

A look back at some of the productions staged at Tony Award-winning Cleveland Play House.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Cleveland Play House wins coveted 2015 Regional Theatre Tony Award in its 100th year by Andrea Simakis

The Tony Awards Administrative Committee announced Friday that the Cleveland Play House is the winner of the 2015 Regional Theatre Tony Award.

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Monday, April 20, 2015

'Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo' headlines Cleveland theater openings for week of April 20: On the Boards by Andrea Simakis

"Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo" at Ensemble Theatre and "Superior Donuts" at Dobama Theatre open in Cleveland this week.

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Ballet star Wendy Whelan coming to Cleveland with 'Restless Creature' tale of transformation by Zachary Lewis

In one hour Saturday, April 25, with four choreographers, former New York City Ballet star Wendy Whelan will relive her metamorphosis and prove to the world that she, like many older balleri…

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Boozing on Broadway: Who needs the Tonys? Contenders for Best Speciality Cocktail 2015 by Andrea Simakis

Based on painstaking research involving great personal sacrifice and a strong liver, here are the booze-filled contenders for Best Specialty Cocktail, 2015. Will "Hook's Right Hook"…

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Made in Cleveland: 'Phantom's' Kaley Ann Voorhees on corsets, comics and acting cool in front of Matthew Broderick by Andrea Simakis

A little more than six months into her role as Christine Daaé in Broadway's "The Phantom of the Opera," Aurora's Kaley Ann Voorhees is making adjustments and thinking on her feet …

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

A little time is all 'Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike' needs to hit its comedic stride at the Cleveland Play House by John Kappes, The Plain Dealer

Like Anton Chekhov, Christopher Durang built a little breathing room into his comedy of manners "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike." That's a very good thing for the Cleveland Pl…

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'Wolf Hall': Brilliant adapataton of Hilary Mantel novels one of many Broadway marathons by Andrea Simakis

In "Wolf Hall," the brilliant adaptation by Mike Poulton -- the distillation of Hilary Mantel's 1,008 pages of lust, vengeance and intrigue in King Henry VIII's court -- each part …

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Made in Cleveland: How did Adrianna Cleveland go from barista to Broadway hopeful? by Andrea Simakis

The timing couldn't have been better -- with her mother finally scheduled for a long--awaited surgery, the BW Showcase was a way to get Adrianna Cleveland's promising career back on track.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Broadway Experience: A peek at your theater diva's week in NYC by Andrea Simakis

What's the Theatre Diva seeing next in NYC?

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Made in Cleveland: BW grad Jill Paice glitters at 'An American in Paris' opening night party by Andrea Simakis

Jill Paice plays Milo Davenport, a lovelorn American heiress who has a yen for artist Jerry Mulligan (Robert Fairchild), an ex-G.I. knocking around the City of Light in "An American in …

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'An Amercian in Paris' opens on Broadway to bravos, champagne and stars by Andrea Simakis

"An American in Paris," a gorgeous fusion of Broadway and ballet, unfolded to spontaneous bursts of applause and shouts of "Bravo!" from the charmed crowd long before the…

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Report touts accomplishments of county arts tax hours ahead of scheduled vote to seek renewal: Cuyahoga arts tax renewal by Steven Litt

The latest annual report from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture touts the organization's accomplishments hours ahead of a vote by its board on whether a cigarette tax for the arts should be renewed.

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