Thursday, September 29, 2016

9th Annual Benefit for Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory Goes Down This Saturday Night

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 12:48 PM


At 15,000 sq. ft. (and a half acre garden), the Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory and Educational Foundation is the largest arts center in America specifically dedicated to every aspect of papermaking, book arts and letterpress printing. Explore it for yourself during the Morgan’s 9th annual benefit and silent auction from 6:30 to 10 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 1. The benefit is the organization’s largest annual fundraiser, and directly supports the Morgan’s more than 60 workshops, exhibitions and special events each year.

“After nine years, we are beginning to see the vision of our mission to provide an epicenter of papermaking arts for established and emerging artists in Northeast Ohio and beyond” says Tom Balbo, Artistic Director of the Morgan Conservatory. “The support from the arts community, our sponsors and all supporters of The Morgan during our Annual Benefit has helped make our vision a reality these last nine years.”

This year’s silent auction includes more than 100 works of art by noted artists from throughout the country on handmade paper created at the Morgan Conservatory, as well as a selection of gift certificates from local art businesses, such as: Art Source, Aspire Auctions, Bonfoey Gallery, M. Gentile Studios, Paper Connections International, Wolfs Art Dealers and Wood Trader.

The evening also includes exclusive live demonstrations in papermaking, letterpress printing and bookbinding, as well as live music from the Syncopated Sin Swing Band with special guest Ernie Krivda, hors d’oeuvres, cash bar and more.

General Admission tickets are $35 for nonmembers, $30 for members and $10 for students 18 and older with valid student ID. VIP tickets are available for $75, and include all of the general admission benefits, as well as early 5:30 p.m. entry and auction access (including a Buy It Now option), specialty hors d’oeuvres and exclusive VIP Lounge access throughout the night.

Attending the event? Organizers are asking guests to tag photos and social media posts with #9reasonstolovethemorgan.

Since 2008, the Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory and Educational Foundation has risen to an international destination. Free and open to the public, the Morgan serves as a working studio, formal exhibition space with 85 ft. double-wall gallery, gathering place for the community, educational hub and purveyor of some of the finest handmade paper in the world.
  • Favorite

Tags: , ,

Capitol Improvements: Theatre Enthusiasts Face Grim Realities with Courage and Grace

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 11:15 AM

Capitol! Capitol! - @CAPITOLW65TH
  • @CapitolW65th
  • Capitol! Capitol!
Representatives from the Detroit-Shoreway Community Development Organization (DSCDO) and Cleveland Cinemas assembled a multi-generational bushel of Capitol Theatre enthusiasts Tuesday evening to discuss the west side movie theater's financial challenges and explore options for enhanced marketing and publicity. 

Last week, Cleveland City Council voted to restructure a loan made by the city to Detroit-Shoreway for the Capitol's extensive renovations in 2009. The theater, which is owned by DSCDO and operated by Cleveland Cinemas, now has two more years of breathing room before it must begin making payments on the principal of the $1.5 million loan. Until September, 2018, the theater will only be required to make monthly "good will" payments of $100.

But the city is also asking that the theater develop concrete marketing plans to increase its business. Currently, the Capitol attracts 50,000 visitors per year. That's less by half than initial projections, based on community surveys.

Jenny Spencer, DSCDO's Managing Director, who led the meeting Tuesday, said that 50,000 visitors per year is enough to "keep the lights on," but certainly not enough to pay back the loan, and not enough to make capital improvements — pun, this time, unintended — which are becoming necessary, even though the theater is only seven years old. Pricey new digital projection equipment, spot treatment for the theater's old plaster, and cosmetic updates like new carpeting are all on the wish list, (in that order). 

On the fundraising front, Spencer announced an inaugural benefit event, a gala-type big-ticket shindig scheduled for April 21, 2017, about which there are as yet few public details. 

On the customer-attraction front, DSCDO is enlisting the neighbors. The meeting Tuesday, with gratis popcorn and veggie plates on the Capitol's second-floor mezzanine, was positioned as a re-establishment of the "Friends of the Capitol Theatre" group. Given that movie theaters attract the highest percentage of their customers from the immediate neighborhood — the Cedar Lee being the region's notable exception, due to its unique programming — Detroit-Shoreway wants community members to be the theater's biggest champions. 

And they are. The meeting's attendees told stories of their personal outreach and marketing among social networks. Many of them said they forward Capitol emails to contacts who they think might enjoy certain films, for instance. Others said they regularly organize "dinner and a movie" outings with friends.

But those efforts aren't quite enough, in the long-term — at least not without a critical mass of such efforts — and Cleveland Cinemas' wider publicity tactics have been frustratingly hit-or-miss, said Dave Huffman, the local theater chain's director of marketing. 

Though special events continue to do very well — the upcoming Seventh annual 12 Hours of Terror all-night movie marathon (October 15-16) is expected to be the biggest yet, collecting in a single night what most movies collect in a full one-month run, Huffman said — other efforts have fallen far short. 

Films in the summer "Capitol Selects" series, for instance, were largely very poorly attended. And attempts to market the Capitol to Spanish-speaking audiences have failed dramatically. 

"We've talked to every Spanish-speaking organization in town, and they all are incredibly enthusiastic," Huffman said, "but people aren't showing up for the movies." 

After pleading with a studio to get the mainstream Spanish-language film No Manches Frida, Huffman said, the Capitol posted the second-lowest gross in the country for that film. Box-office performances like that jeopardize the theater's ability to get additional titles from the studio. 

Therein lies the biggest challenge and Catch-22 for the Capitol, said Huffman. The theater hasn't attracted enough business to convince studios to grant them certain films — they wanted to show Snowden at the Capitol, for example, but the studio said no — but they can't attract the business they'd like without titles that people are interested in.

That said, marketing efforts continue apace. Screened at the Tuesday meeting was a new 30-second clip that will soon precede all films at the Capitol, a trailer explaining the Capitol's renovations and its importance in the community. Additionally, the Capitol on Tuesday began its fall documentary series, and October will be saturated with cult horror classics in honor of the season.

Also encouraging are the neighborhood advocates — young professionals, mid-career types, seniors, and even a high-schooler, attending with his dad — who helped brainstorm additional special events and grassroots strategies long after the meeting had officially run its course. 
  • Favorite

Tags: , ,

Prosecutors Want Bond Revoked for Former 92.3 The Fan Producer J.G. Spooner After Another Alleged Scam

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 10:43 AM


Update: J.G. Spooner is still awaiting trial on charges of money laundering for allegedly setting up fake GoFundMe accounts and pocketing the cash. (We assume he will be wearing a shirt if and when he appears in a courtroom). The former 92.3 The Fan producer was indicted back in April and since then he's been out on a $10,000 bond.

Prosecutors are now seeking to have that bond revoked or to have J.G. Spooner placed under house arrest after some additional alleged shadiness he's pulled since then.

Scott Taylor, formerly of Channel 19 and now working his investigative shoe leather in D.C., tweeted the news yesterday. 

It seems Spooner allegedly offered up his house as a rental. The problem here is twofold: First, Spooner doesn't own the property. He rents. Second, when a woman gave him a $900 deposit, he refused to return the money and stopped responding to her when questions arose.


We'll let you know what the judge ends up deciding.


(Original story 4/6/16): That there is J.G. Spooner, he of a Superman tattoo that we didn't know about until today and formerly a producer for the Ken Carman show on 92.3 The Fan until earlier this week.

Spooner tweeted the news the other day that he was no longer employed by the station. It was a bit of a mystery as to why he was let go, but that mystery appears to be solved.

Scott Taylor reports that Spooner was arrested and charged with money laundering and is currently out on a $10,000 bond. Taylor also reports the allegedly shady deals that landed Spooner in jail. Turns out he was (allegedly) setting up GoFundMe accounts, including one to benefit two women with cystic fibrosis, and depositing some of those proceeds into his personal bank account. What a guy.

Feel free to make your own joke about his shirt being laundered in the comment section below.

  • Favorite

Tags: , , , , ,

Former Ohio Trump Campaign Chair Who Said Racism Didn't Start Until Obama Administration Was In Front Row of Mike Pence Rally Yesterday

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 10:13 AM

Remember Kathy Miller? Garbage moves so quickly with the Trump campaign that it might be easy to forget the volunteer Mahoning County Trump campaign chair who quit just last week. That came after a video interview with The Guardian during which she said things like, "I don't think there was any racism until Obama got elected," and, "If you're black and you haven't been successful in the last 50 years, it's your own fault." She quickly resigned but stood by her wrong assertion that racism was born only after President Obama took office.

Anyway, people like Kathy Miller tend to stick around despite reasonable humans' desires for them to fade to the background. And so there she was in the front row of a Mike Pence rally yesterday in Ohio.


39 days until the election.
  • Favorite

Tags: , , ,

Everyone Who Worked for the Cavs Last Season is Getting a Championship Ring

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 9:32 AM

And you get a ring. And you get a ring. And you get a ring. 

A nice little story from Joe Vardon yesterday: Dan Gilbert and the minority owners of your 2016 NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers have elected to bestow a championship ring not only to the usual crew — players, front office, etc. — but to every damn person that worked for the Cavs or The Q during a Cavs game last season.

Yeah, not everybody is going to score the bling the players get. That piece of jewelry is loaded with approximately 1,567 (estimated) diamonds and looks like this. But, everyone will get something. That includes janitors and cops, vendors and ushers. 

Vardon says estimates have the total price tag at getting all 1,000 or so full or part time workers at about $1 million. 

Go ahead and start the countdown to when one of those beauties (or a fake) ends up on eBay.
  • Favorite

Tags: , ,

Nighttown to Host Tribute to Singer-Songwriter Laura Nyro

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 7:45 AM

New York-based singer-songwriter Christine Spero fell in love with singer-songwriter Laura Nyro’s music when a friend of hers gave her a copy of Nyro's Eli and the Thirteenth Confession.

A Rock Hall Inductee, Nyro became one of the most covered artists in the 1960s and 1970s with tracks such as “Eli's Coming,” “Stoned Soul Picnic,” “And When I Die” and “Wedding Bell Blues.”

Continue reading »

  • Favorite

Tags: , ,

Great Lakes Theater's 'My Fair Lady' Sticks to the Fundamentals — And That's Good

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 7:14 AM

One of the pleasures of seeing a classic Lerner and Loewe musical such as My Fair Lady is in seeing how it can be restaged, or even reimagined, some 60 years after it opened on Broadway. In this Great Lakes Theater production, directed by Victoria Bussert, very few liberties are taken with the material. And that’s a good thing, since the material is so damn good all by itself.

Of course, back in the day other Broadway teams took a run at musicalizing George Bernard Shaw’s story of Pygmalion—including Rogers and Hammerstein. Richard and Oscar worked on it for more than a year before giving up, What threw them was the lack of a strong romantic through line, since the stern taskmaster, phonetician Henry Higgins, and the poor flower girl Eliza Doolittle never seem to really hit it off.

In this production, Eliza is played by Jillian Kates, and she handles her chores with professional aplomb, even though the “r” sound is barely noticeable in her tender rendition of “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly.” Still, she is a properly rough and tumble gal as the early Eliza, joking and dancing with the other denizens of the gutter. And she shows some real spirit in “Just You Wait,” her rant against the dominating presence of ‘enry ‘iggins. When Eliza is transformed as a proper lady, Kates shows off her powerful singing voice in the amusingly repetitive “I Could Have Danced All Night.” But once this Eliza gets her rap together, her character becomes a bit too flat, the spirit refined out of her.

As Higgins, Tom Ford brings a tense, rapid-fire, no-nonsense approach to a role that was made famous by Cyril Richard’s talk-singing profundity and slow burn. Ford’s take is quite amusing throughout, especially in “I’m An Ordinary Man,” but it sacrifices something in the connection that is supposed to grow between Higgins and Eliza. Since Ford’s machine-gun nastiness seems reflexive rather than inspired by the specific presence of the Cockney lass, it makes his eventual softening towards her less personal, and thus less meaningful, than it might otherwise be.

There are particular delights in the smaller roles. M.A. Taylor has never been better than he is as Eliza’s scoundrel father Alfred P. Doolittle. His takes on “With a Little Bit of Luck” and “Get Me to the Church on Time,” augmented by energetic dance numbers choreographed by Gregory Daniels, are little gems. And Colton Ryan as Freddy loads plenty of yearning into “On the Street Where You Live,” making his reprise laugh-out-loud funny. And Laura Perrotta manages to cadge some laughs from the rather drab role of Mrs. Higgins, Henry’s mom.

The scenic design by Jeff Herrmann is to drool for, with simple rotating panels indicating the locations and a virtually monochromatic color scheme of whites and off-whites giving the production a lush feel. The orchestra under the direction of Joel Mercier is spot on.

My Fair Lady is a treasure and this production does it full justice.

My Fair Lady
Through October 29 at the Great Lakes Theater, Hanna Theatre, 2067 E. 14th St., 216-241-6000.

  • Favorite


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2016 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation