Arts District

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

CWRU Announces 2018-19 Think Forum Speakers

Posted By on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 1:43 PM

  • Courtesy of Case Western Reserve University
  • Tarana Burke
Presented annually by Case Western Reserve University, Think Forum aims to allow the campus community and Greater Cleveland residents to “engage with prominent academic leaders and international experts.” Each presentation includes a lecture followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience.

The series returns this fall to Silver Hall in the Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center at the Temple-Tifereth Israel. It continues into 2019. All lectures are free and begin at 6 p.m.

Reserve general admission tickets by contacting the Maltz Performing Arts Center Box Office at

Here’s the schedule along with descriptions provided by Case’s PR team:

Jonathan Haidt, Thursday, Sept. 20

Jonathan Haidt is a social psychologist at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Haidt’s research examines the intuitive foundations of morality, and how morality varies across cultures––including the cultures of American progressives, conservatives and libertarians. Haidt is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis and The New York Times bestseller The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion.

Tarana Burke, Tuesday, Oct. 16

Founder of the seismic ‘me too.’ Movement  Tarana Burke shares a powerful message of unity, empathy and outreach in support of survivors of sexual trauma. The ‘me too.’ Movement inspires solidarity, amplifies the voices of thousands of victims of sexual abuse and puts the focus back on survivors.

Julia Ioffe, Tuesday, March 5

Julia Ioffe, a contributing writer at The Atlantic and a former Russian correspondent for The New Yorker, is a leading authority on Russian-U.S. relations. Born in Moscow, Ioffe’s family moved to America when she was seven years old. Ioffe conveys Russian-American relations from both sides with clarity and insight, providing colorful, character-rich discussions of Russia’s socio-political structure, its tempestuous historical relationship with America and how Russia will affect U.S. politics and policy.

Viet Thanh Nguyen, Thursday, April 11

A literary scholar, writer and professor at the University of Southern California, Viet Thanh Nguyen explores how depictions of the Vietnam War—and the refugees it displaced—often fail to capture the full humanity and inhumanity as well as the sacrifices and savagery of participants on both sides of the conflict. His bestselling novel, The Sympathizer, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. With his collection of short stories, The Refugees, Nguyen continues his exploration of the tensions, traumas and conflicting loyalties that endure far beyond a war’s end.

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August Means Plenty of Outdoor Classical Music in Cleveland

Posted By on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 1:07 PM

  • Courtesy Cleveland Orchestra
As the last few weeks of summer play out, every one of our classical music picks except one will take place outdoors. Time to enjoy the weather while it lasts.

Cleveland Opera Theater is planning three al fresco events: on Friday, August 17 at 7:00 pm on the steps of Holy Rosary Church in Little Italy (it’s the annual Feast of the Assumption), on Saturday, August 18 at 7:00 pm in the Grove Amphitheatre in Mayfield, and on Sunday, August 26 at 6:30 pm at Dunham Tavern. All performances are free and will feature members of the company in opera and light opera favorites. For the August 26 event, food trucks will be on site beginning at 5:00 pm.

Arts in August at Lincoln Park in Tremont will launch its free annual series with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra on Saturday, August 18 at 7:00 pm and follow that with opera in the open air performed by members of ContempOpera Cleveland on Friday, August 24 at 7:00 pm.

The Cleveland Orchestra is at home all month — in both of its venues. At Blossom on Saturday, August 18 at 8:00 pm with James Gaffigan at the helm, British polymath Stephen Hough will be featured in Mendelssohn’s first piano concerto along with Barber’s Essay No. 2 and Sibelius’ second symphony.
The repertory moves to the popular side on Sunday, August 19, when vocalists Carpathia Jenkins and Tony DeSare (who will also play piano) salute Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald under the baton of Randall Craig Fleischer.
The Orchestra moves back indoors on Friday, August 24 for the third Summers@Severance concert with guest conductor Jonathan Cohen and pianist Kristian Bezuidenhout in a program of music by Handel, Haydn (Piano Concerto No. 11), and Mozart (Symphony No. 25, featured in the film Amadeus).

It’s back to Blossom for the rest of the summer season. On Saturday, August 25, Carl Orff’s ever-popular Carmina Burana will feature soprano Audrey Luna, tenor Matthew Plenk, and baritone Elliot Madore, baritone, led by Adrien Perruchon and backed up by the Blossom Festival Chorus. Copland’s Statements opens the evening.

And for the grand finale to the Blossom Festival, Vinay Parameswaran will conduct The Cleveland Orchestra in a live performance of John Williams’ score for Star Wars: A New Hope (along with a screening of the film, of course). There are three performances from Friday, August 31 through Sunday, September 2, all at 8:30 pm.

Tickets to all Cleveland Orchestra performances can be booked online.

We’ll be back with more classical music picks the first week in September.

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

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Local Artist to Open Art Exhibit About the Dogs of Train Ave. at the Derek Hess Gallery

Posted By on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 at 11:02 AM

  • Courtesy of the Derek Hess Gallery
A renowned visual and tattoo artist, Sean Jason Kelly stumbled upon a dead dog along Train Ave. a few years ago. After he discovered the poor animal in a garbage bag, he found several more through subsequent months and years and began getting them cremated out of respect, so they didn’t end up tossed in a landfill with trash.

As the jars of ashes started to line up, he decided to incorporate them into his artwork, so he could tell their stories. Local filmmaker Jeff Theman (Guilty Till Proven Innocent) followed him around while he worked and has shot a documentary movie about Kelly's artwork.

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

What You Need to Know About Saturday's SPARX City Hop

Posted By on Tue, Aug 14, 2018 at 8:52 AM

An annual tradition, SPARX City Hop aims to promote “the best of Cleveland’s cultural offerings.” At the free event, which takes place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, visitors can explore galleries and neighborhoods in the city via free trolleys.

“Each year, SPARX City Hop is a unique opportunity to explore Cleveland with fresh eyes,” says Joe Marinucci, CEO and president of Downtown Cleveland Alliance in a press release. “In this, our 16th year, we are especially honored to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge, which boasts unparalleled views of our city, and its past, present and future. Downtown Cleveland’s new developments are truly on display.”

Continue reading »

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Monday, August 13, 2018

Yo-Yo Ma Plays Bach Unaccompanied, Lays Bare His Soul at Blossom

Posted By on Mon, Aug 13, 2018 at 12:40 PM

  • Photo by Roger Mastroianni, Courtesy of The Cleveland Orchestra
Played sitting, the cello is perhaps the most intimate of instruments. A musician wraps arms and knees around its body pulling a warm sound not unlike a human voice from its core. Perhaps then, nothing was more intimate than the most famous cellist in the world, Yo-Yo Ma, playing all Six Suites for Solo Cello by J.S. Bach at Blossom Music Center last night.

There are few (if any other) musicians who can convince a sold-out crowd to listen to them play one instrument for two hours and 45 minutes without any semblance of an intermission. But that’s what Ma tricked an audience into experiencing last night. The whole event was just him and a cello on a mostly naked stage. There was no Cleveland Orchestra behind him, not a piano in sight and not even a screen with helpful visual aids to tell us how to feel.

Continue reading »

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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Apollo's Fire Sends 'Sugarloaf Mountain' On Tour and the Rest of the Classical Music to Catch This Week

Posted By on Wed, Aug 8, 2018 at 7:47 AM

If you think that classical music goes on holiday in August, consider these events that offer you a wide range of choices this week:

Ohio Light Opera has been opening shows on a regular basis since June, and this week, all seven productions are on the boards — and all will receive their final performances of the season. On Wednesday, August 8, its Cloclo. On Thursday, August 9, it’s La Périchole (matinee) and Iolanthe (evening). Pajama Game and Candide will keep the stage crew busy for performances at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm on Friday, August 10, and the same goes for Saturday, August 11, when Babes in Arms and 50 Million Frenchmen close the OLO season in matinee and evening performances. Tickets are available online.

Apollo’s Fire
is scheduling two send-off performances of its Sugarloaf Mountain program before taking the show on tour to Ireland, where its story of immigrants who brought their songs to Appalachian America began. Catch this popular program in Kulas Hall at the Cleveland Institute of Music on Wednesday, August 8 at 7:30 pm, or at the Bath Church (in Bath) on Thursday, August 9 at 7:30 pm. Buy your tickets here.

The Punch Brothers, mandolinist Chris Thile, guitarist Chris Eldridge, bassist Paul Kowert, banjoist Noam Pikelny, and violinist Gabe Witcher, with guest vocalist Madison Cunningham, will visit the Evans Amphitheatre in Cleveland Heights’ Cain Park, on Thursday, August 9 at 8:00 pm. Buy your seats for an evening of acoustical bluegrass “and beyond” here.

The Cleveland Orchestra will play both in Cleveland and at Blossom this weekend. On Friday, August 10 at 7:00 pm, Vasily Petrenko, will lead the ensemble in Elgar’s In the South and Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra at Severance Hall. (Come early and stay afterwards for drinks and food on the terrace.)
On Saturday, August 11 Petrenko and the Orchestra move to Blossom for an 8:00 pm concert featuring pianist Simon Trpčeski in Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, with more Russian music by Liadov and Prokofiev.
Then on Sunday August 12 at 7:00 pm, the Orchestra will take the night off and a single musician will command the Blossom stage as cellist Yo-Yo Ma plays all six of J.S. Bach’s unaccompanied suites. Tickets for all three events can be ordered from the Severance Hall box office.

“Hip Hop | Minimalism” is the intriguing title of Time Canvas’ program featuring violinist Chiara Fasani Stauffer, guitarist Joshua Stauffer, bassist Joel Negus and percussionist Luke Rinderknecht at St. John’s in Ohio City on Saturday, August 11 at 8:00 pm. Archie Green will emcee the evening, and tickets can be reserved here.

Mastersingers Inc. Chorale will bid farewell to its founding conductor, J.D. Goddard, in an all-Brahms program on Sunday, August 12 at 3:00 pm in SS. Cosmas & Damian Church in Twinsburg. The free concert features the German Requiem and the Fourth Symphony.

And speaking of free concerts, on Tuesday, August 14 at 7:00 pm, the Cain Park Free Chamber Music Series will present Duo Anime (percussionists Mell Csicsila and Andrew Pongracz) with guest flutist Kyra Kester in its Alma Theater in Cleveland Heights.

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

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Monday, August 6, 2018

Pulitzer-Prize Winning Broadway Play 'Sweat' Launches Timely Tour of Smaller Towns, Including Ashtabula and Akron

Posted By on Mon, Aug 6, 2018 at 1:24 PM


New York's Public Theater, which debuted Lynn Nottage's Sweat in 2016 before it went on to Broadway in 2017, has announced that its Mobile Unit — which until now has been focused solely on New York — will launch a tour of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play to 18 upper Midwest (mostly) smaller cities and towns between Sept. 27 and Oct. 13.

The play, set in a Pennsylvania factory town, "tells the story of a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets and laughs while working together on a factory floor. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in the hard fight to stay afloat," according to the Public Theatre website.

The Ohio stops for Sweat include Ashtabula on Sept. 28, Akron on Oct. 2 and Ravenna on Oct. 3. It begins in Erie, Penn. on Sept. 27 and goes on to visit Meadville, Penn.; Macomb, Marshall and Albion, Saginaw and Eaton Rapids in Mich.; Janesville, Kenosha, Columbus, Viroqua, Sauk City and Hayward in Wisconsin; and Mankato, Rochester and St. Cloud in Minnesota.

On its website, the Public Theater said the purpose of its Mobile Unit is to "break down economic and geographic barriers to the arts by meeting our communities where they are, staging free professional theater productions in local neighborhood venues such as libraries, homeless shelters, and community centers across all five New York City boroughs."

And it said this expansion of the program, which will include special engagement activities at each stop, is designed to "amplify the voices of local communities in the Rust Belt and Midwest, and to powerfully connect their stories to a larger national narrative."

While it isn't directly stated on that website, The New York Times — in reporting the announcement — noted the tour is happening, before midterm elections, in upper-Midwest counties "where the 2016 election was closely contested; all but four swung toward President Trump." In that article, Oskar Eustis — the Public's artistic director — replied that "Our job isn't to change anyone's vote. It's to open a dialogue and do our part to remind all Americans of what we have in common."

The Times also reported the tour's funding was provided by the Ford Foundation and the Andrew Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. For more information, visit the The Public Theater's website here.

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