PlayhouseSquare Broadway in CLE

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PlayhouseSquare Broadway in CLE

I should be packing right now for our drive to Fabletown and Beyond. Scott and I have an 11-hour car ride ahead of us today and we should get an early start.

But while I was going to wait til next week to post about PlayhouseSquare’s 2013-2014 Broadway announcement, I got a little too excited for some of the shows.

As PlayhouseSquare Partners, Scott and I were invited to an announcement preview on Monday, where we enjoyed a pre- and post-show reception and Senior VP of Theater Operations Gina Vernaci’s energetic presentation.

We even got the special treat of a performance by the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s All-City Arts Drum Line.

PlayhouseSquare #BWYinCLE

With Jen, Alicia, Kimberly and Nadine at #BWYinCLE

I think what most impressed me, though, was PlayhouseSquare’s focus on the audience. Similar to last year’s Broadway Your Way, this year’s focus is on what Broadway in CLE means to you.

My answer to that is a bit complicated.

In general, seeing these shows at PlayhouseSquare is the epitome of reconnecting with the city I love. From world class entertainment to the restaurants that line the streets and now the Residences at Hanna, PlayhouseSquare does an immense job in building a vibrant Cleveland.

And heading over after work to see a show or attend a Partners meeting always makes me feel that vibrancy in my bones.

On the other hand, there are the Broadway shows themselves. More so than in previous seasons, many of the productions PlayhouseSquare is bringing to Cleveland in 2013-2014 reconnect me with some personal memories.

ONCE (Nov. 12-Nov. 24, 2013)

Broadway musicals today are a lot of flash – often stunning, sometimes distracting. However, where other shows may shine with their special effects, ONCE enchants with a beautiful love story of Guy meeting Girl and Girl transforming Guy’s haunting music. Its intimate, emotional storytelling captivated Broadway audiences, won eight 2012 Tony Awards including Best Musical and the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.

Set in Dublin, ONCE will transform PlayhouseSquare into an Irish pub for the night with the ensemble of actor/musicians playing their own instruments and inviting audience members to sit at the onstage bar and join in with the ensemble before the show.

Having spent some time in Ireland during college and desperately wanting to return, ONCE is top of my must-see list. If I can’t get back there yet, at least I can reminisce for one night.

Wicked (Dec. 4, 2013-Jan. 5, 2014)

When I was a senior in college, there were two new shows on Broadway we were obsessed with: Avenue Q and Wicked. Their scores made up the soundtrack of our theatre group’s shop nights, roadtrips and just hanging out in the apartment. When I think of that last year in school, my memories are indelibly linked to these songs.

When I finally had a chance to see Wicked a few years ago, my seats were located beneath a balcony that obstructed some of my views. I loved the show, but was disappointed.

Fortunately for me, Wicked is flying back to Cleveland for its fourth engagement at PlayhouseSquare, answering the demand of fans who flock to see it time and again. And for anyone at the season announcement who wasn’t initially sold, Anne Brummel – the tour’s emerald-skinned Elphaba – put everyone under her spell when she performed Wicked‘s signature song “Defying Gravity.”

Flashdance: The Musical (April 1-April 13, 2014)

I am an unabashed child of the eighties. I love it all – the movies, the music, the fashion; the good, the bad and the ugly.  And the 1983 movie Flashdance – written by Cleveland’s Joe Eszterhas – oozes eighties.

It’s now been made into Flashdance: The Musical which will premiere on Broadway in August and makes its way to Cleveland next April.

Don your fishnets and stilettos (Scott, I’m looking at you!) for classics like the Academy Award-winning “Flashdance – What a Feeling,” “Maniac,” “Gloria,” and “Manhunt.” An additional 16 new songs have also been written for this well-known tale of a Pittsburgh welder by day, exotic dancer by night with big dreams.

Jersey Boys (May 6-May 18, 2014)

Some of my friends growing up were obsessed with New Kids on the Block; others Backstreet Boys or ‘N Sync. With the exception of Boyz II Men, my idea of boy bands was The Monkees and The Four Seasons.

Until 7th grade when I bought Green Day’s Dookie (more on that later!), I was raised on an exclusive diet of “oldies.”

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons’ “Sherry” and “Rag Doll” were favorites. When I saw Jersey Boys at PlayhouseSquare a few years ago, it was fantastic to reconnect with their music.

Similar to Wicked and its fervent fanbase, Jersey Boys returns this year due to popular demand.

If you want to see “Oh, What a Night” you’ll be in for (sorry, couldn’t help it), check out my review of Jersey Boys from when it last played at PlayhouseSquare.

PlayhouseSquare Broadway

Those are my favorites from PlayhouseSquare’s 2013-2014 KeyBank series. Rounding out the 7-show lineup are:

As Cleveland.com noted in their preview, Sleeping Beauty will only have 8 stops on its limited U.S. tour. So the fact that PlayhouseSquare is one of them is a big deal.

This year, PlayhouseSquare is also taking the ‘YOUR night’ idea one step further with the KeyBank Concierge.  Demonstrating their commitment to the audience’s experience, the Keybank Concierge features a personalization service for showgoers.

If you’re celebrating a birthday, anniversary or special occasion, you can purchase a Concierge evening that includes a red rose with personal message, glass of wine, special gift from KeyBank and access to the exclusive Roy H. Holdt Boxholder’s Lounge.

PlayhouseSquare KeyBank Concierge

I’ve always had an incredible experience at PlayhouseSquare, so I can’t imagine how KeyBank Concierge will take it to the next level. However, I laid many hints to Scott about what I want for Christmas (*cough* Wicked Dress Circle *cough*) – maybe we’ll see!

The best way to guarantee great seats at all of these shows is to become a PlayhouseSquare Broadway subscriber. Season tickets for the 2013-2014 KeyBank Broadway Series are now available by calling 216-640-8800 or online at playhousesquare.org/broadway/plans.html.

If one of the shows isn’t to your liking, you have the option to swap it out for another show. That reference I made to Green Day was not accidental – one of the swap shows this season will be American Idiot (April 25-27, 2014). Kimberly and Nadine can confirm I literally leapt for joy when I heard this.

The seven-show packages range from $110-$565 per seat. If you purchase by June 30, 2013, you can take advantage of PlayhouseSquare’s 12-month payment plan starting at under $10 per month. Single tickets will go on sale in early fall.

Disclosure: I am a member of Partners, PlayhouseSquare’s YP donor program, and attended the theatre’s donor preview on Monday. I was also asked to host a giveaway for Tuesday’s season announcement. This does not affect my choice to blog about productions I see there or my opinions on these shows.
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One Comment

  1. I had never heard of Once, but now I definitely want to see it! I also have been wanting to see Wicked for so long, so I am definitely making that happen this year.

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