You don’t have to break the bank to see professional theatre and dance in Cleveland. I’ve bought “Smart Seats”, just $10 each, for several performances during the last few years. Sure, the seats are awful, but I’d rather see a really good Broadway show from a bad seat for $10 than miss it because I can’t afford the $70 tickets. Seats are available for a variety of shows, from musicals to dance to comedy. http://www.playhousesquare.org/default.asp?playhousesquare=21&urlkeyword=Smart-Seats
Archive for the ‘Theatre’ Category
For just $15, you can buy a Downtown Akron ”passport” that lets you attend 16 events in Akron for free from October 2011 to May 2012 — a value of over $180! There’s First Night, dance, music, museums, the zoo and even the roller derby (select dates). Click here for details. If I had some extra cash, I’d seriously think about getting them for our family.
As much as I love theatre, I was never much interested in going to see one of those “interactive” plays. I avoided “Tony and Tina’s Wedding” because I don’t like going to real weddings, so why would I choose to spend time and money to go to a fake one? Anyhow, my BFF has a co-worker who’s in “Flanagan’s Wake”, playing in the Kennedy Theatre in Playhouse Square. Some of the play was scripted, while some was improvised based on audience input. I have never seen “improv” and that was really interesting. It was also interesting to see the actions and reactions of the audience — some cringed when they were selected to go onstage, others acted like they wanted to be in the cast. If you’re easily offended by bawdy humor, or humor directed at Catholicism, this is not the play for you. But if you’re in the mood for something different, you just might like this.
So my BFF and I went to see “Romantic Fools” by the Actor’s Summit last night. I wasn’t sure what to expect because I had read two reviews online — one really good and one really bad. The comedy consists of just two actors performing in a number of skits about finding and dating the right person. I had never seen a production by the troupe before or been in its lovely new home in Greystone Hall. Anyhow — it was actually very funny and made me laugh out loud a lot — and I am NOT a laugh out loud person. But at intermission when I looked at my program I said, “I don’t remember the skit ‘At the Orgy’” and we’re like, that’s weird, they didn’t do it. Then my BFF looks at her program and that skit’s not listed. Hmm. Too risque? Though there was enough material of “mature” content that I don’t know how an orgy skit could’ve been worse. Curious.
Today my husband and I drove to Pittsburgh to see “Mary Poppins”. We had seen it in Cleveland in July 2009 and he liked it so much he got me tickets as a birthday present last year. We were really surprised at all the changes made for this tour. One song was out, a different, weaker song was substituted, and lyrics, dialogue and choreography were changed for reasons I didn’t understand. The fact that Bert couldn’t keep his English accent going for more than two minutes at a time didn’t help. It was just all over a whole different experience. You know, after we saw “The Wedding Singer” at E.J. Thomas Hall and could tell it was a scaled-down version from the one that had been on Broadway, I vowed not to see another Broadway show there. I was worried the same thing would happen in Pittsburgh and it did. So as much as I love Akron and Pittsburgh, I guess we’ll be sticking to seeing our Broadway shows in Cleveland!
If you get the chance to see this show, do it. My husband and I went yesterday, seeing it from$10 Smart Seats. Even before the intermission I knew I waned to see it again, but next time with better seats. The storyline is simple: boy wants to pursue his dream of studying ballet against the wishes of his family in a town which is dealing with economic strife. I laughed, I cried, I cheered. It’s just a great show.
But there were two things that bothered me, neither having to do with show itself. The first was the number of young children who were there. Just because the story involved ballet and a boy doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for children. Cursing was prevalent as was violence. Do parents not research a show before they buy tickets for it?
The other thing that made me sad was at the very end of the show when Billy leaves his dying town to study at the Royal Ballet in London. As he says goodbye to his teacher he tells her he’ll visit her every time he’s home. But she knows he won’t come back, and that he shouldn’t come back because there is nothing left for him in his hometown.
I know that that happens all the time. Kids go off to college and never come back. I know your job as a parent is to help them learn to be independent and go off on their own, but even now I get sad thinking of my children leaving to go who knows where but not here. I’ve talked to so many parents who are proud of their children for having glamorous careers in Los Angeles or New York City or Chicago but you can see from the look in their eyes how much they miss them, especially when their children start having children of their own.
My husband and I have tickets to see “Fiddler on the Roof” in Cleveland. I’ve never seen the musical and in fact only saw the movie once. Although I was not yet 5, I remember the night clearly because 1) I was bored out of my mind and thought the movie would never end and 2) I lost the clothes to the tiny Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls I was allowed to bring for my amusement (losing the clothes — and never getting replacements — was very traumatic for me; those were some of my very favorite toys and in fact I still have them). Anyhow, I remember seeing the movie at Mapletown (second-run theatre) with my family — the only time I remember all six of us ever seeing a movie together at the theatre. I can even picture a few scenes from the movie. But obviously I was so shaken by experience that I never had the desire to see the movie again or the musical until now. Nearly 40 years later, I’m ready. And actually excited!!
UPDATE: OMG! The musical, despite its stellar cast, made me feel exactly as seeing the movie 39 years ago did: “I’m SO bored! Will this ever end??” Not the reaction I was expecting and certainly not the reaction I was hoping for!! Well, at least now I know.
I couldn’t wait until this movie came out! I thought the kids would get a kick out of it since it takes place in New Orleans and the Louisiana bayous, where we vacationed this summer. I honestly don’t think they made the connection, but that’s okay! I really liked the movie — I smiled, I laughed, I cried, I tapped my toes. It’s very sweet, but I’ll warn you, it’s also a bit scary for the little ones and it stirred up questions about things like voodoo dolls. Overall, I think it does a really nice job of capturing the spirit of New Orleans and of the jazz age. Plus, it left me feeling good all over!
I have a question for you. The story line obviously favors Elphaba, the underdog, who so many of us can relate to. But if you are a Glinda (or “Galinda”) person — pretty, popular, used to getting everything you want — are you secretly disappointed with the ending? Just wondered how those kinds of girls perceive the story … (My husband and I saw it again last night at the State Theatre — an outstanding cast, a packed house and a wildly enthusiastic (and well-deserved) standing ovation.)
I just found out that AAA members get to buy their Playhouse Square tix before the general public! So you can get tickets for the Cleveland shows of Mamma Mia (November) and Wicked (November/December), starting TODAY, August 3 (they go on sale to the general public on August 21)! Just go to www.playhousesquare.org/groups and type “AAA” for the code. $10 Smart Seats are available for Mamma Mia but not Wicked, though you can still get those for as low as $26.55 each (+ $1 handling charge). So if you’re at all interested, hurry and order those tickets!!