Pulling back the curtain on Cleveland's theaters
By Erin Toohey Naso
A 20-foot, 8,500-pound crystal chandelier (a world record holder) announces your arrival to the country's largest theater district outside of New York City. Playhouse Square and its 10 different stages epitomize world-class stagecraft with more than 1,000 annual concerts, off-Broadway series, ballets, and comedy events. Nearby bistros, pubs, and cafes only add to the class and allure.
Celebrating its 100th season, the Cleveland Play House hails as America's first professional regional theatre, and it's still one of Cleveland's most vibrant, producing more than 500 performances each year. Big characters always grace its three stages - from Ralphie ("A Christmas Story," Nov. 27-Dec. 23) to Seymour ("Little Shop of Horrors," Jan. 9-Feb. 7).
Located in the terminally-hip Gordon Square Arts District, Cleveland Public Theatre is the local hub for progressive theater, modern dance, edgy opera, and genre-defying performances, submitted by both regional and national artists. Avant-garde eats and drinks can also be found at the many walkable, gastro-gasmic options on Detroit Ave.
This modern, 195-seat performance space promotes contemporary plays from emerging playwrights. Each year, Dobama produces only six Mainstage plays, and its Mainstage productions are Cleveland, American, or world premieres. It's also located near the arts, entertainment, and education hubs of the Cedar Lee District and Case Western Reserve University.