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Arts District

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Annual Dyngus Day Celebration Set to Return on April 22

Posted By on Wed, Mar 20, 2019 at 3:44 PM

  • Emanuel Wallace
Founded in 2010 by husband and wife Justin Gorski and Laura Ross, the annual Cleveland Dyngus Day Festival draws crowds of about 40,000 to Gordon Square, Ohio City and Tremont.

DJ Kishka will serve as the host at this year’s event, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Monday, April 22.

The festival will mainly take place on Detroit from West 57th to West 59th in the Gordon Square Arts District. In addition, the event will also overflow into other surrounding neighborhoods including Tremont, Ohio City, Hingetown, and Gordon Square. Lolly the Trolley will provide free transportation.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Le Femme Mystique Burlesque Celebrates 15th Anniversary With Upcoming 'Tease' Show

Posted By on Tue, Mar 19, 2019 at 2:43 PM

  • Photo by Churkh Photography
Le Femme Mystique Burlesque founder Bella Sin says she can't believe the Cleveland-based dance company is turning 15 this year. "It still feels like we just celebrated out 10th anniversary," she tells Scene.

In honor of the milestone, the company takes to the Beachland Ballroom stage for a grand burlesque revue March 29. This along with the reveal the Le Femme name is changing to Cleveland Burlesque.

Sin says the old name wasn't as inclusive to all community members. "We wanted [the new name] to reflect the works in Cleveland, not only in body but also sexual orientation," she says.

For the anniversary event, which is 18+, expect to see plenty of diversity, talent variety, rhinestones and even drag queens, Sin says. For the first time, the reigning national burlesque king and queen are set to perform, along with plenty of local cast members and Sin herself.

The evening kicks off with a VIP/Reserve ticket cocktail reception at 7:30 p.m., with the show starting for all at 8:30 p.m. While VIP tickets are already sold out, reserve tickets are $35 and general admission tickets are $20 (or $25 the day of the event).

Find out more information about the event right here.

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The Brasil Guitar Duo of João Luiz & Douglas Lora and the Rest of the Classical Music to Catch This Week

Posted By on Tue, Mar 19, 2019 at 9:08 AM

  • Photo by M. Stone

Curating thoughtfully-programmed, politically-inspired concerts has become a calling card for the innovative, Cleveland-based ensemble Burning River Baroque, and you can count on soprano Malina Rauschenfels to bring out every thread of drama in the music. Under the auspices of Fresh Perspectives, she’ll join harpsichordist Paula Maust, baroque flutist Sarah Lynn, and baroque cellist Glenna Curren in “The Other Side of the Story” at Glo in Cleveland on Wednesday, March 20 at 6:30 pm. The program draws on ancient mythology, literature, and Biblical passages, highlighting characters whose viewpoints are underrepresented, and includes the world premiere of Aaron Grad’s Honey-sweet we sing for you. A pre-concert discussion starts at 6:45 pm, and the evening includes a dj, bar, and light snacks. Name your own ticket price at the door, from $0 to $15. If you can’t make it to Glo, you can catch the same program in three different venues between March 21 and 23 (check out concert listings for details.)

Igor Stravinsky’s opera The Rake’s Progress is based on 18th century engravings of the same name by William Hogarth and boasts a libretto by W.H. Auden. Baldwin Wallace Opera Theater takes on this entertaining tale of Tom Rakewell and his pact with the Devil in the shape of Nick Shadow from March 21-23 at 7:30 pm and March 24 at 2:00 pm at the Klais Drama Center in Berea. Scott Skiba directs, and Domenico Boyagian guest conducts. Reserve your seats online.

Next up on the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society series is the Brasil Guitar Duo of João Luiz & Douglas Lora, who will bring an interesting program of original music and transcriptions by Rameau, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Gismonti, and Brouwer to Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights on Saturday, March 23 at 7:30 pm. Tickets here.

Trobár, the trio of Allison Monroe, voice and vielle, and Elena Mullins and Karin Weston, voice, will present a concert of songs by the medieval troubadours in both the original Occitan language and in English translation on Saturday, March 23 at 7:30 pm at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights. Tickets will be on sale at the door for $15 ($10 for seniors and $5 for students.)

Married couples make for great duo-piano teams, as Antonio Pompa-Baldi and Emanuela Friscioni will demonstrate on Sunday, March 24 at 2:00 pm in Gartner Auditorium at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Their free concert is part of Tri-C’s Classical Piano Series, and a great event to combine with a museum visit.

Also on Sunday, and also free — though you’ll surely want to make a donation at the door — is a 3:00 pm concert at Rocky River Presbyterian Church by former Detroit Symphony bassist Rick Robinson and his Cut-Time Symphonica. It’s called “Making Classical Music Work Everywhere,” and includes a mix of symphonic standards, crossovers into jazz and rock, and new music for string quartet and drums by Robinson himself.

Check out details of these and other events on our Concert Listings page.

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Monday, March 18, 2019

Comedian and Actor Nick Offerman to Perform at the State Theatre in November

Posted By on Mon, Mar 18, 2019 at 11:44 AM

Earlier today, writer, woodworker and comedian Nick Offerman announced the dates for his brand-new live show, All Rise.

The tour comes to Cleveland on Nov. 23 for a show at the State Theatre.

“My aim in this undertaking is to encourage my fellow Homo Sapiens to aim higher in life than the channels of consumerism would have us imagine,” says Offerman in a press release announcing the tour.

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Comedian Russell Peters to Perform at MGM Northfield Park — Center Stage in July

Posted By on Mon, Mar 18, 2019 at 8:23 AM

After taking time off to film his hit CTV/Netflix series The Indian Detective, comedian Russell Peters has announced more dates for the Deported World Tour that kicked off in Australia and New Zealand last year and has already travelled to over 29 cities in 20 countries. The tour comes to MGM Northfield Park on Friday, July 5. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday.

During the course of his career, Peters has played to sold-out crowds at Madison Square Garden and the Sydney Opera House. He’s also performed for the troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and on the USS Eisenhower and the HMCS Winnipeg. His 2010 memoir, Call Me Russell, was a bestseller in Canada.

A philanthropist, Peters has donated more than a million dollars to charities such as Brampton Civic Hospital, Gilda’s Club and the MS Society of Canada. Each year, the Russell Peters North Peel Scholarship sends a deserving student to college.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Cleveland Orchestra's 102nd Season Lineup is Here, Offering Some Surprises

Posted By on Wed, Mar 13, 2019 at 4:57 PM

  • Photo by Roger Mastroianni, Courtesy of The Cleveland Orchestra
After recently announcing its summer Blossom Music Center schedule, the Cleveland Orchestra has just released its list of concerts planned for the 2019-2020 season at Severance Hall — and the numbers are stacked.

The new season, its 102nd, includes 76 concerts with 15 conductors and 28 soloists over the course of 26 weeks. Performances include old standbys, like Beethoven symphonies and Dvorak's "New World Symphony," but also newly commissioned works, orchestra premieres (including the Alban Berg opera LuLu in May 2020) and more inclusion of women and minority composers. 

As always, the orchestra continues its efforts to reach new audiences. Anyone under 18 can attend a Severance Hall concert for free, when accompanied by a paying adult.

“As we look ahead to the 102nd Cleveland Orchestra season, The Cleveland Orchestra is more committed than ever to serving and engaging its Ohio communities,” André Gremillet, Cleveland Orchestra President & CEO, said in a statement.

Over the last year the Orchestra has ridden a roller coaster of headlines, from the New York Times saying 'Cleveland Orchestra may (quietly) be America's best,' to the Washington Post's article on (now-fired) concertmaster William Preucil's misconduct. With this new season, the orchestra starts fresh once more.

The whole season kicks off Sept. 19 with a performance of Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet." Check out the whole season lineup right here.

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Ethics and Virtual Reality Take Center Stage in 'The Nether' at Dobama Theatre

Posted By on Wed, Mar 13, 2019 at 12:26 PM

  • Steve Wagner Photography

In a virtual world where there are no consequences in reality, what decisions should we make? Should we seek to create real consequences from actions in the virtual world, or we should explore the limits of unadulterated freedom? And if actions conducted in the virtual world have no real-world consequences, though would be considered criminal or worse in the real world, are those virtual actions considered harmless?

In Dobama’s production of Jennifer Haley’s play The Nether, these and other ethical questions are explored.

In the play, The Nether has replaced the internet. It is a virtual landscape of crafted “realms” where you can inhabit any identity you want while seeking experiences as this avatar—with your actual body asleep and hooked up to a computer. Driving the narrative is detective Morris’ investigation of a realm that might be merging the virtual and the real in illegal—not to mention unethical—ways, specifically with its programs of children. Played with a law enforcer’s put-on moral resignation by Sarah Durn, Morris works for a force that monitors activity on the Nether. When she interrogates Mr. Sims/“Papa” (Matthew Wright) about his realm The Hideaway, she seeks the consequences of manifesting our most private, secret, taboo desires in a place where we repeatedly act on them as if they matter only to ourselves.

In this minimalistic production, director Shannon Sindelar relies on the strong performances of her cast far more than set design, lighting, sound, or costuming, though all these aspects of the production certainly help to create the worlds the audience sees. While this interpretation might seem counterintuitive for convincingly depicting a virtual world, it works well because the core of the play is very much a procedural narrative, like those in a crime drama.

An overarching focus in this kind of story is conversation between characters, specifically concerning the ways human behaviors intersect with larger social norms. The Nether’s dialogue, while at times too laced with exposition, generally strikes a good balance between sounding natural and sounding “performed,” which rightly feels like the consequence of the procedures undertaken via roles in both the real world and in virtual worlds.

After Mr. Sims begins the play with the first line—“I want to go home”—the dialogue is performed accordingly: with a search to see where each character might belong.

Each member of the cast believably oscillates between withdrawal-like angst and inebriated cheer when considering the ethical dilemmas of belonging—or not—in a consequence-free world. But the young Calista Zajac, who plays Iris, is the stand out. Zajac thankfully brings a degree of tact to her character, who is the program of a nine year old girl who exists in the Nether but exhibits a stilted, yet insightful subjectivity. To convey both the programed-ness and the feeling of a self for her character, Zajac effectively mimes the saccharine manners and chipper vocal flourishes of the young girls often seen in fantasy media while also displaying a genuine curiosity regarding questions like what constitutes God, which Iris wonders might be in “the way we are with each other.”

Sindelar’s dedication to serving the core of the play shows in making sure her actress embodies this cartoonish version of a young girl. The script for The Nether has a note about Iris, stating that a child actor takes an audience “out of the play” and that this is a desirable consequence, especially with The Nether’s subject matter. If Zajac wasn’t properly attuned to how Iris helps the audience reflect on the artificiality of the show, then its many uncanny valleys would’ve peaked too far into reality. The distance between the worlds in this production and our own worlds is perfected such that, even though there are moments that depict alarming interactions with a child, I felt secure enough to manually consider the horrors of what might be possible in virtual reality.

Our reactions are determined relative to others’ reactions. I observed others fidgeting, laughing at serious moments, even feigning surprise. (I surprised myself at feigning my own surprise). Procedures of identity and identification are often determined by the narratives imposed on us by others: strangers, co-workers, family, friends, lovers. But this isn’t all bad. We often believe, as Morris says at one point to Sims, that “there is a line” to our privacy—“even in the imagination”—which we cannot cross if we hope to live ethically with others. But other times, we’re lured by the prospect, as Iris says, of “forgetting who [we] think [we] are and discovering who [we] might be.”

The final scene of The Nether asks where you belong by both considering where to draw an ethical line and discovering who you might be in relation to several of the play’s characters. But when the show ends, you’re not likely to feel you’ve been part of a self-contained theatrical procedure that’s definitively solved anything, regardless of your judgment or discovery. You’re more likely to feel that you’re part of an ongoing network of procedural generations—lives upon lives, identities upon identities, whether in waking life, dreams, stories, online, or elsewhere.

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