Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

On Sunday I saw the Cleveland Playhouse Production of the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.   I really enjoyed it a ton!   I left the theater with a sappy grin on my face.  I'd watch it again!   This production featured amazing choreography and the magnificent talents of Ali Stroker.  She was the first Broadway actress to perform on Broadway in a wheelchair.   Her Olive is bright, and inquisitive.   You just have to admire her.  Go see this show!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Humans

Yesterday afternoon, we saw the play, The Humans at Playhouse Square.   It is about a family Thanksgiving post September 11.   It touches on the reality of the American dream and how things have changed since it emerged.  There is simultaneous conversations between the family members on the first and second levels of the apartment (one of the daughters' places).   It vaguely reminded me of observing characters in the Sims.   Each family member has a secret of his or her own too.   Dreams, anxiety, religion, and family are all touched upon.   I liked it more than I thought I would.   

Saturday, April 7, 2018

My First Time

Last Friday, I saw My First Time at the Beck Center.   It is a play with many many stories first time sexual experiences collected from the My First Time blog.   Gay, straight, consensual, and coercion, all are told in the stories by 4 actors, 2 male and 2 female.   It was funny and sometimes very touching.   They also had surveys on the seats.   Those are optional, but they use the answers to show stats on the audience.   It was neat.

This was a good play, but it doesn't follow set people.   Everything is in flux.

Saturday, March 24, 2018


Last Saturday, I saw Rent for the first time live since the 90s.  I own the DVD of the closing performance on Broadway and I have seen the movie version.  I know the lyrics by heart.   Seeing it live does heighten the emotional impact.   I found myself crying from "Without You" in the second act on.   

Interesting tidbit, near the end of act one, the police sing a jarring line "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas."  This time the word right was inserted after white.   Good nod to current events.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Invisible Hand

Last week we saw the Invisible Hand at Cleveland Playhouse.  An American banker is kidnapped by Pakistani freedom fighters in the near future.   He agrees to make money for the group to pay his own ransom.   It was compelling.   I also learned quite a bit about the stock market and business that I didn't know before.   It asks about faith and what is good for one's people.

Saturday, February 17, 2018


I finally got to see Hair!  I had missed it at Playhouse Square in 2012, but the Beck Center has a collaboration going on with the Baldwin Wallace school.   I really enjoyed it.   The students are amazing and the choreography and singing are strong.    It was nice have some context put to the music.  I wrongly assumed that it was from the 70s, but it's from the late 60s.   It was a neat use of modern protest signs and clips with the show.  The video editing game is strong with this show.  Go see it!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Marie and Rosetta

On Sunday we had the pleasure of seeing Marie and Rosetta, the true story of Rose Etta Tharp meeting Marie Knight, and bringing forth the music that would eventually become rock 'n roll.   This play has wonderful music, but I wouldn't call it a musical.   It's more of history featuring music.    It shows the painful realities of what it was like to be a black person traveling back before the Civil Rights movement.   Even though Sister Rosetta was famous, she couldn't stay in proper hotels because of discrimination (relying on the Green Book for safer travels).   In fact, the whole show (90 minutes without intermission) takes place in a funeral parlor. 

Cleveland Playhouse is only the second theater to present this show.  I highly recommend it.