DEAP—Dobama Theatre’s Emerging Actors Program—is coming to a theatre near you (on Lee Road) this month. Now in its fifth season, DEAP is a summer acting program for high school students and college undergraduates. It features technique-based courses that culminate in a production. This summer, students are working on “Lord of the Flies,” a stage adaptation of the popular William Golding novel, in which a plane crash leaves a group of schoolboys stranded on a desert island.
A & E News
Linda Miller has had an impact on the musical lives of many children: 12,000 of them, by her best estimate.
A Cleveland Heights resident since 1978, Miller was hired as a music specialist at The Music Settlement (TMS) in 1986, and retired from her post in May 2014.
In addition to her work at TMS, Miller taught kindergarten in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District for about 25 years. "Pretty much all of my students have been under the age of six,” Miller said. “I have totally loved what I’m doing. It was a hard decision to retire because it’s fun, just a joy to work with these little kids. I’ve been very lucky to have that opportunity.”
Miller was feted at TMS in an event called the Early Childhood Ice Cream Social and Linda Miller Retirement Festival. “My friend Diana Johannessen [of Cleveland Heights], whose children attended The Music Settlement’s preschool, said she wanted to do something for me," said Miller. "I said that the people who value most what I do are the parents and the kids. That’s all I had to say; she took it and ran with it.
Through July 27, the Howson Gallery at Judson Park is featuring shibori artwork by Cleveland Heights artist Pam McKee.
Shibori—from the Japanese verb shiboru, which means to wring, squeeze, press—is an ancient shape-resist dyeing technique in which cloth or paper is bound, sewn, clamped, folded, or twisted and then dyed. The part that is protected resists the dye. When opened, the material retains the memory of the process, and texture is created, thus a two dimensional piece can become three dimensional.
The Chancel Choir of Disciples Christian Church (DCC) in Cleveland Heights was named the winner of the WCLV Jubilation - the Elizabeth Stuart Church Choir Festival.
As one of three finalists in WCLV’s competition, the choir had the honor of competing live on the air on the Cleveland classical radio station on May 8. WCLV broadcast the festival from the beautiful, historic sanctuary of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Cleveland.
DCC competed against the St. Joseph VLQ (Very Large Quartet), the Trinity Lutheran Church Choir from Lakewood, and an all-male choir from Avon Lake. Adam Kukuk, DCC music director, chose a varied repertoire ranging from the spiritual “My God is a Rock” and Olivier Messiaen’s “O Sacrum Convivium,” to two pieces from the Sacred Harp that showcased Shape Note singing. Westlake Christian Church’s music minister, Jake Briggs, accompanied the DCC choir on the piano and organ.
At 17 years old, recent Heights High graduate Moonisa "Nia" Halim is the first Teen Poet Laureate for the City of Cleveland Heights.
Her selection was announced at the Cleveland Heights Poets Laureate Reunion, held June 19 at Dobama Theatre, which honored the six poets laureate who have served the city since the program was created in 2006: Loren Weiss, Mary Weems, Meredith Holmes, Gail Bellamy, Cavana Faithwalker and Kathleen Cerveny.
The office of Teen Poet Laureate was the brainchild of Cerveny, the reigning Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate. She convinced members of Cleveland Heights City Council and Amy Rosenbluth, director of Lake Erie Ink (LEI), a nonprofit that offers writing opportunities for young people, to create and oversee the position in order to elevate the art form of creative writing among the city’s youth.
Dobama Theatre announced the winners of its 36th Annual Marilyn Bianchi Kids’ Playwriting Festival on May 22. A selection of winning plays will be fully produced and presented at the theater beginning on Friday, June 6, with the opening night benefit, and running through Sunday, June 8.
The festival, a popular Dobama tradition, received more than 250 plays this year, written by kids in grades 1–12 from throughout Cuyahoga County.
Dobama actors and designers are preparing to present several of the winning scripts over three days of original storytelling, imaginative dialogue and intriguing characters, all created by young Northeast Ohioans.
The sixth annual Larchmere PorchFest, featuring 30 bands on 30 porches, is set for Saturday, June 21, 1–8 p.m. The event takes place in Cleveland’s Larchmere neighborhood, and is free, family-friendly and open to all.
Heights-based band and PorchFest veterans Oldboy will open the event at 1 p.m. This is Oldboy’s fourth year as part of the PorchFest lineup, and Michael Kinsella—Oldboy’s bassist, Heights resident, and local music advocate—is excited about the event’s growth.
“Cleveland is the perfect place to grow an independent, original music scene,” said Kinsella, who works with Cleveland Rocks, the Heights Music Hop and PorchFest toward the shared goal of breaking down the “silos” in the local music scene, to create a collaborative and inclusive environment for musicians.
Collaboration between dancers and musicians is a special experience for the artists and the audience. That’s why David Shimotakahara is excited about the upcoming June performances of his company, GroundWorks DanceTheater, at Cain Park and at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM).
“We will perform with live music at both venues, which is a rare treat,” Shimotakahara said. “Dancers respond to working with musicians in a different way than dancing to a recording. The performance is much more alive—it lives and breathes as both the dancers and the audience respond to musicians. It’s really a wonderful exchange of energy.”
ChamberFest Cleveland (CFC), the acclaimed and successful chamber music festival that was born in Cleveland Heights and remains headquartered here, is ready to launch its third season, titled "Three!"
"Cleveland concertgoers have shown incredible support for the idea of a true festival that offers two concentrated weeks filled with glorious chamber music," said Diana Cohen, CFC’s co-founder and co-artistic director.
Having played to sold-out houses for its first two years, CFC is tuning up for a 10-day, 10-concert season, running June 19–29 and featuring world-class musicians, a world-premiere performance, and unusual programming.
Maroon & Company, the debut novel of Cleveland Heights resident Vetella A. Camper, is a heartfelt narrative about courage, tenacity and genuine friendship. Published in December 2012, the book tells the story of three women through their own distinctive voices.
Camper said she created the book’s three main characters from the inside looking out. "That's the only way I could separate their personalities and idiosyncrasies,” she said. “Chandler, Lorelei and Stevie Mitchelle were created as complex women whose tumultuous life experiences and tragedies were delicately weaved throughout the novel with their affection for one another and successes."
Heights Arts, the organization behind local art initiatives such as the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Arch, murals in the Cedar Lee and Cedar Fairmount business districts, and the Heights Youth Club mosaic, has launched Make Your Mark for the Arts, a new public art program designed to tap into the creative spirit of the community and encourage increased support of local businesses.
Rachel Bernstein, executive director, explained, “It's a way to bring our entire community together with a fun, artistic activity [to] help build relationships with residents and businesses. I am especially thankful to the Cleveland Foundation and Cyrus Eaton Foundation, Shawn Paul Salon, and Elizabeth Gevelber of Simply Charming for their early investment in this idea, and to Heights Arts board members for pounding the pavement. The response from businesses has been beyond my expectations so far, and I’m really looking forward to seeing this program spread as we celebrate our creativity together.”
In its Report to the Community, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) announced that 196 arts organization received grants in 2013, including 14 based in Cleveland Heights or University Heights.
CAC is a political subdivision of the State of Ohio that administers public funds from cigarette taxes and grants them to eligible organizations in Cuyahoga County.
A week of immersion in music exploration can turn beginning instrumentalists into confident performers and inspired learners. That’s what happens each year at the Reaching Heights Summer Music Camp, which will take place for the tenth consecutive year at Wiley Middle School from June 16–21.
The public is invited to the camp's free finale concert on Saturday, June 21 at 10:30 a.m., at Wiley Middle School, 2181 Miramar Blvd.
“Campers learn the life changing lesson that sustained effort allows them to do things they never imagined! After seven hours of music making, most campers go home and practice more. It lights a fire,” said Susie Kaeser, camp director.
The Heights Music Hop will be returning to Lee Road on Oct. 11. The music festival made its debut last year and drew more than 1,000 people to the Cedar-Lee neighborhood. Retailers said it had a tremendous impact on their businesses. “Lee Road was like a downtown street, like East Fourth,” said Kelli Kral, the proprietor of the New Heights Grill. “There was all this pedestrian traffic, and it was really wonderful. Everyone had a great time.”
“It was great for business,” added Adam Fleischer, owner of The Wine Spot. “As merchants, we get approached about things all the time. But with the Music Hop, we were able to get quite a few merchants on board, and everything came together. For four or five hours that night, we were packed, and a lot of the people had never been in this neighborhood before.”
Josh Dolgin, aka Socalled, is a moviemaker, puppeteer, magician, rapper, hip-hop artist and klezmer musician. He's bringing his sextet to Cain Park on Sunday, June 29 for the annual free Yiddish concert, sponsored by Workmen’s Circle.
Dolgin, who is from Montreal, was discovered by David Krakauer, a world-class classical and klezmer clarinetist and former member of the Klezmatics. Dolgin plays keyboards, accordion and synthesizer, and sings in English and Yiddish.
He has toured extensively with Krakauer as part of Klezmer Madness, as well as with Abraham Inc., a klezmer-meets-funk group that features Fred Wesley, former trombone player for James Brown.
The Western Reserve Chorale will present "Night and Day: Reflections on the Spirits of Darkness and Light," exploring this theme in sacred and secular music across centuries and genres, in five languages. The concert, under the direction of David Gilson, takes place Sunday, June 1, at 3:30 p.m., at Cedar Hill Baptist Church (12601 Cedar Road, Cleveland Heights).
Sponsored in part by a grant from the Maison Française de Cleveland, the concert’s selections include Camille Saint Saëns’ Deux Choeurs, selections from Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem, Robert Applebaum’s arrangement of the traditional Hebrew folk song “Ani ma’amin,” “Choose Something Like a Star” from Randall Thompson’s Frostiana, “Sure on this Shining Night” from Samuel Barber’s Four Songs, and Johannes Brahms’ rarely performed lament “Nänie.” The concert will also feature well-known favorites by Cole Porter and the King’s Singers.
Experience the passion and tyranny of unrequited love in the 18th-century, when Burning River Baroque presents “Obsession & Unrequited Love” on Saturday, May 31, at 8 p.m., at St. Alban Episcopal Church (2555 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights).
The program comprises Italian cantatas by Giovanni Bononcini, Nicola Porpora and Domenico Scarlatti, rivaled in drama and virtuosity by the violin and cello sonatas of Porpora, Scarlatti and Francesco Maria Veracini that are also part of the concert. Though these Italian Baroque composers are perhaps not as familiar to modern audience as their contemporaries J.S. Bach and G.F. Handel, in their own day they were revered as some of the brightest stars in the musical world.
Exceptional students from Cleveland Heights-University Heights public schools will showcase their creativity and artistic ability at the Exceptional Arts Exhibition, May 22–31, at the Lee Road Library.
The artists and their art teachers will co-host the opening reception on Thursday, May 22, 4–7:30 pm. There will be refreshments, and a musical performance by Heights High’s Lady Barbershoppers. The opening is free and open to the public.
This very special art exhibit features artwork created by students with disabilities and learning differences, curated by district art teachers. Student artists will have the opportunity to represent their schools, sell their art and come together as honored guests at the opening reception.
One Million Acts of Kindness, an organization whose goal it is to spread kindness and love in the world to end violence, visited the Heights in May, and on May 15, the Kindness Bus was parked in Coventry Village.
Founder Bob Votruba tours the country in his bus along with his dog companion, Bogart.
"Three days after the Virginia Tech shooting, I drove down there and stayed for four days," said Votruba. "I saw so much pain and suffering caused by one person. I wanted to overcome the pain and hurt by spreading kindness."
Heights Arts introduces a new membership program specifically designed for working artists, made possible with generous support from the George Gund Foundation. Through this program, working artist members join at a special rate of $30 and gain opportunities to showcase and sell their work, while Heights Arts is able to further its mission of supporting local artists.
“This is a big step forward for Heights Arts in that we can now have a collaborative and mutually supportive relationship with our artists,” said Rachel Bernstein, executive director. “In addition, this program enables us to own editioned pieces of original art for the first time in our history. We look forward to showcasing these exceptional artists while offering the community a unique opportunity to win and own an original work of art created just for us.”
The annual Roxboro Family Arts Festival, now in its 30th year, will take place Saturday, May 31, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Roxboro Elementary School. A true community event, the festival features child-centered and family activities, planned in collaboration with these local organizations: Heights Arts, MOCA, Cleveland Botanical Garden, Center for Arts-Inspired Learning, Cleveland Sculpture Center and Cleveland Clinic Children’s Be Well Kids Clinic.
Admission to the event is free. Roxboro students are participating in an art contest to design wearable buttons for the event visually answering the question “What does your town or neighborhood mean to you and how does it inspire your artwork?”
"Prelude to a Cure," a chamber concert featuring 20 members of the Cleveland Orchestra, will take place at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights on Friday, May 30.
The concert will benefit Shaking With Laughter, a Cleveland Heights-based nonprofit organization that raises money for Parkinson’s disease research. Since its inception in 2011, Shaking With Laughter has raised more than $460,000 through concerts and performances that often include humor.
The Howson Gallery at Judson Park presents “Close to Home,” an exhibition of oil paintings by Cleveland Heights artist Jeremy Tugeau. The show runs through June 8.
Tugeau is a children's book illustrator and professional artist, whose work appears in galleries in Cleveland and Nantucket, Mass. He is the drawing and painting instructor at Lake Ridge Academy in North Ridgeville, and a graduate student at Case Western Reserve University, where he is working toward a master's degree in art education.
“I’ll tell you a tale of the bottomless blue,” begins Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.,” this year’s Communion of Saints School drama production. This show is sure to delight, as Ariel and Flounder join in a stunning visual display of underwater creatures, and the classic tale of boy meets girl unfolds.
Adapted from the 2008 Broadway musical production, this classic is set in an underwater kingdom. Ariel longs to be “part of your world,” but she has to defy her father, King Triton, to do so. Going against her father leads Ariel to daring and exciting adventures. All of the favorite characters are portrayed by the grade-school actors as they sing and dance their way under the sea.
On Friday, May 9, the public is invited to celebrate Cleveland Heights composer/musician Anne Wilson’s 25th anniversary as music director and organist at Forest Hill Church. A concert entirely of Wilson’s own music, featuring four of the church choirs she directs, will begin at 7:30 p.m., followed by a reception in her honor. Guest instrumentalists will include Derek Snyder, cellist; Paul Ferguson and a trombone quartet from Case Western Reserve University; and Tom Trenney, organist.
Wilson has been a fixture not only in Cleveland Heights but also in the wider music community. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and holder of the American Guild of Organists’ prestigious fellowship and choirmaster certificates, her musical influence stretches far beyond Forest Hill Church.
On view through June 7 at Heights Arts Gallery, 2173 Lee Road, is Morganites: Fiber in Flux, a special exhibition curated by Tom Balbo, artist and artistic director of Cleveland’s Morgan Papermaking Conservatory. “We see it as an important service to our community to introduce and highlight the arts resources in our area that set our region apart," said Rachel Bernstein, Heights Arts executive director. "To that end, we are showcasing the Morgan Paper Conservatory and artists who have helped grow a local and thriving paper arts community.”
Guest curator Balbo elaborated, “The Morgan Conservatory is a place for discovery of hand-papermaking for both the professional and nonprofessional artist and craftsperson. The exhibition highlights many Morgan Conservatory artists of all levels and backgrounds that embrace the organization’s ethos of setting aside the ego for the sake of a collaborative effort of papermaking and the transference of craft, technique and ideas. Paper is so fundamental to our daily rituals despite the rise of e-technologies. The Morgan Papermaking Conservatory invites everyone to share in the preservation of the art of hand papermaking for its own sake and for the sake of its application to other fine art forms.”
Dobama Theatre announces the regional premiere of “Kin” by Bathsheba Doran, directed by Shannon Sindelar. The play runs from April 25 through May 25.
The play spans great distances and many years in the lives of its nine characters, telling the unconventional love story between Anna, an Ivy League poetry scholar, and Sean, an Irish personal trainer—a seemingly unlikely match, yet somehow a perfect one.
Doran’s original approach turns the romantic comedy formula inside out. Instead of focusing on the growing relationship of the two lovers, the audience follows their extended network of family and friends, separated by geography and culture, who gradually find their way together as a unit. “Kin” shows the vast web of connections that makes up a modern community. This intimate, yet epic new play explores familiar material in a completely revolutionary way.
Cleveland gospel singer Mother Willie-Mae Wright will perform her first concert in more than 10 years at 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 27, at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights.
The internationally known singer has been performing, and advocating for the poor, since the 1960s. She sang for Pope John VI at the Vatican in 1975 and has opened for many famous names in gospel music, including the legendary Mahalia Jackson. Wright is the matriarch of the Wright Family Singers, featuring seven of her eight children. The group performed for President Bill Clinton at the White House in 1994.
The 80-year-old Wright has lived a long and exhilerating life, singing, praising God and fighting to eradicate poverty. Her performance will combine her gift of song with personal stories of the trials and triumphs of her remarkable life.
Following its award-winning inaugural season, Mamaí Theatre Company announces its expanded second year, which begins on June 16 with a benefit staged reading of the rarely performed James Joyce’s “Ulysses in Nighttown” at—of all places—Nighttown in Cleveland Heights.
June 16 has special meaning for Joyce fans. Bloomsday, as it’s called, celebrates June 16, 1904 as depicted in James Joyce’s Ulysses. The day is named for Leopold Bloom, the central character in the novel, and follows his life and thoughts from 8 a.m. to the early hours of the next morning. The benefit evening begins at 5:30 p.m. sharp with a three-course Joycean-inspired dinner, designed by Brendan Ring, Nighttown’s proprietor. The reading will follow.
Also in June, Mamaí (pronounced Mah’ may) plans to host a rare theater event. Ten members of Actors Equity Association will gather to self-produce George Bernard Shaw’s “Heartbreak House.” A popular 20th-century masterpiece, this eclectic drama features an ensemble cast of unexpected visitors to an unusual home.
“The Velocity of Autumn,” a play by Cleveland Heights resident Eric Coble, begins preview performances on Broadway on April 1, and tickets are now available.
The play is headed to Broadway following its critically acclaimed run at Washington D.C.’s Arena Stage. The production’s two stars, Academy Award-winner Estelle Parsons ("Bonnie and Clyde", "Roseanne", “August: Osage County”) and two-time Tony Award-winner Stephen Spinella (“Angels in America,” “24”) will reprise their roles in the Broadway run of “Velocity.”
Cain Park has announced its summer concert series and, as usual, several major artists are scheduled to perform. Judy Collins, The Average White Band, Arlo Guthrie, Tori Amos and Michael Stanley are among the headliners who will be appearing at the Cleveland Heights venue this summer.
Judy Collins will appear at the Evans Amphitheater on June 14. Now 74 years old, she was a major force in 1960s folk-rock and had such major hits as “Both Sides Now,” “Send in the Clowns” and “Amazing Grace.”
The Average White Band, the Scottish band best-known for its hit “Pick Up the Pieces,” will perform at the amphitheater on June 20.
In an effort to put a face on its members and encourage guests to visit locally owned, independent restaurants throughout Northeast Ohio, Cleveland Independents—the largest group of independent restaurants in the country—introduced a Passport Promotion on March 1.
The first stop on this culinary journey is the Heights, where local restaurateurs and chefs posed for an advertisement slated to appear in the upcoming issue of Edible Cleveland. Kara O’Donnell, Cleveland Heights city planner, worked with the group to gain access to the Superior School Building at the corner of Euclid Heights Boulevard and Superior Road.
"Our goal was to showcase the many incredible Heights restaurants in a light-hearted way while featuring an historically significant backdrop," said Jonathan Bennett, vice president and executive chef of Red Restaurant Group and president of Cleveland Independents.
It comes around only once a year, and it’s an event worth waiting for. It’s the third annual Colombi New Plays Festival presented by Ensemble Theatre. The New Plays Festival premieres works by local playwrights for Heights audiences and is dedicated to the memories of Lucia, Licia and Christopher Colombi (founder, artistic director, and player in the original company, respectively). The plays will run throughout the month of March and into the first week of April.
The four productions that make up this year’s festival are “For the Love of a Leica” by Cynthia Dettelbach, directed by Brian Zoldessy; “Zebediah” by Barbara Harkness, directed by Martin Cosentino; “Lives of the Saints” by Jean Cummins, directed by Celeste Cosentino; and “Road Kill” by Ed Walsh, directed by Ian Hinz.
Fairmount Presbyterian Church will feature its own choir and the visiting Choir of The College of William and Mary in two Sunday concerts during March. Both concerts are free to the public.
The 40-voice Fairmount Choir will be joined by orchestra to present the Mass in C and the "Choral Fantasy" by Ludwig van Beethoven on Sunday, March 9, at 4 p.m.
The "Choral Fantasy" will feature Russian-born pianist Halida Dinova in the virtuoso keyboard part. Vocal soloists are Lisa Litteral, Nicole Batson Bush, Alicia Hrubey, Lyndsay Moy, Baichuan Han, Steven Weems, Peter Bush and John Watson.
The Western Reserve Chorale (WRC), under the direction of David Gilson, performs Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s magnificent Requiem in D minor, Sunday, March 16, at 4 p.m. at Cleveland State University’s Waetjen Auditorium. Joining WRC are the R. Nathaniel Dett Concert Choir from the Cleveland School of the Arts (CSA); soloists Sandra Simon, Joanne Uniatowski, Nathanael Hein and Brian Keith Johnson, and an orchestra pairing professional musicians with CSA students.
Intrigue has surrounded the Requiem since its commission in 1791 by Count von Walsegg. According to one legend, the commission was delivered with 50 ducats and a warning about Mozart’s own death. Another tale had Mozart poisoned, perhaps by his archrival, Salieri, who wanted to pass off the Requiem as his own.
A new exhibition, Alternate Routes to an Outer Space, opens at Heights Arts, 2175 Lee Road, on Friday, March 7 at 6 p.m. Featuring new works by regional artists Christi Birchfield, Terry Clark, April Friges and Benjamin Hauser, the show reveals the artists’ shared intrigue in exploiting chance through both inventive and traditional processes.
Representing photography, printmaking and painting, the selected works reflect meditative engagements with inner worlds, while also providing visual links to our physical world through references to natural phenomena.
Christi Birchfield’s large-format monoprints read as mirrored images or palindromes. To make them, she places inked plant materials or pools of watercolor between sheets of paper, runs the "sandwich" through a printing press, then unfolds the paper to discover the result.
The South Wing Gallery of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd. in Cleveland Heights, announces its spring show—“Awe and Abstract: Perspectives in Nature.”
The opening reception is scheduled for Friday, March 7, from 5–7 p.m. Participating artists David Bergholz (photographs), Judith Brandon (mixed media on paper), Bonnie J. Gordon (porcelain) and Nijole Palubinskas (monotypes) will be on hand to greet visitors and talk about their work. The show runs until May 29.
With a pocket-size Sony RX-100, David Bergholz sets out in search of images that pique his curiosity and please his keen eye, wherever he might be. “Photography has a great capacity to move me,” said this self-taught photographer who immerses himself in influential visual experiences.
Cleveland Heights resident Mike Donnelly has had a long career in the legal world. He received his law degree from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1992. He then became an assistant county prosecutor under Stephanie Tubbs Jones. After four years in the prosecutor’s office, Donnelly went into private law practice. Then, in 2005, he was elected a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court judge, a position he still holds.
Donnelly has another interest: rock and roll. “I’m a judge by day and a rocker by night,” said Donnelly, who sings and plays guitar in the band Faith and Whiskey. The group includes nine other musicians: Rich Wesorick, vocals and percussion; Steve Zashin, vocals and guitar; Dan Krueger, bass; Jerry Kysela, guitar; Keith Merritt, vocals and percussion; Jim Pujolas, percussion; Jim Reesing, vocals and guitar; Joe Barone, keyboards; and Matt Kozink guitar. Half the members live in the Heights area, and two are also lawyers.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church will hold a Jazz Vespers service on Sunday, March 2 at 5 p.m. The service will include prayers, reflection, and music led by Paul Ferguson. He will be accompanied by a jazz combo, augmented by violin and French horn, and soprano Sandy Simon.
Ferguson is director of jazz studies at Case Western Reserve University and associate artistic director of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra. He also enjoys a varied career as a performer. He can be found in the pit orchestra for the national touring production of “Porgy and Bess” when it appears in Cleveland, performing Christmas concerts with the Cleveland Orchestra, and making guest appearances in other musical events around town.
Once a year, CityMusic Cleveland devotes a program to a social issue, to heighten community awareness. In past seasons, the ensemble has explored genocide and bullying. This year’s project, “Fleeing,” focuses on refugees who have journeyed to Cleveland to begin new lives after years of displacement and suffering. CityMusic Cleveland is bringing attention to the topic through a series of concerts in March, some of which will include performances by refugees.
To celebrate refugees in Cleveland, CityMusic Cleveland commissioned Dan Visconti, graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and winner of the Rome Prize, to compose the percussion concerto, “Roots to Branches.”
When it comes to Cleveland-area bands, Uzizi, a group led by Cleveland Heights resident Craig Matis, is unique. The group features five musicians—Matis on guitar and vocals, Jim Van Cleef on lead guitar, Reed Simon on violin, Darren Frate on bass and Noel Howard on drums—as well as a seven-member backup choir. Uzizi’s music blends world music, folk music and what’s known as sacred-harp singing.
Sacred-harp singing is a form of a cappella singing that dates from the mid-1700s, when it developed in rural churches around England. “Traditionally an a cappella form of singing, sacred harp has been adapted, reconfigured and incorporated into Uzizi’s music,” Matis said. “While not a literal rendition of sacred-harp music, some of our compositions have been strongly influenced by the melodies and harmonies of its tradition.”
Choral Arts Cleveland, directed by Heights resident Martin Kessler, aims to show its audiences that contemporary choral music is exciting, beautiful, sensual, and thoroughly appealing and accessible. On Sunday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, 13001 Cedar Road, singers and instrumentalists will present "New Music from Old Friends," a concert of contemporary choral works. The program features pieces from five living composers whose works Choral Arts has performed in recent years.
Supported in part by a grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, the program includes the North American premiere of two previously unperformed movements of Antony Pitts’ oratorio Jerusalem-Yerusalayim; movements from Bob Chilcott’s rhythmically ambitious “Making of the Drum,” a work that celebrates the drum as it is honored in African culture; pieces by Robert Cohen and Morten Lauridsen; and Requiem by William Godfree.
Senior Citizen Happenings, sponsored by the City of University Heights, are open to all. Events take place on Thursdays at 2 p.m. at the University Heights Library. For information, and to suggest program topics, contact the UH Office for Senior Services at 216-397-0336 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feb. 6: Sarah Siebert, project manager for LAND Studio (Landscape Art Neighborhoods Development), discusses the work of this nonprofit that designs, builds and activates Cleveland’s public spaces and promotes public art. Its work includes hosting free events in neighborhood parks, providing critical exposure to the arts, and safe, vibrant environments where families can spend quality time together.
As part of its Fireside Series, Apollo’s Fire (AF) welcomes Grammy award-winning lutenist Ronn McFarlane and soprano Meredith Hall for evening concerts featuring haunting laments and hilarious ballads.
Three concerts in the series will be performed in Cleveland Heights. Concerts on Thursday, Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m. and Friday, Jan 24 at 8 p.m. take place at Rockefeller’s Restaurant, 3099 Mayfield Road.
The concert on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. is at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd.
Dobama Theatre’s fourth mainstage production this season, and a Cleveland premiere, is “The Aliens” by Annie Baker. The play will run from Jan. 24 through Feb. 23.
The play opens with KJ and Jasper—two aimless 30-somethings—loitering behind a coffee shop in a small town in Vermont. They discuss women and Charles Bukowski (poet, novelist, and short story writer) while occasionally singing an original song or two. Then Evan, a high school student and loner who works at the coffee shop, arrives to get rid of them. KJ and Jasper decide to teach Evan everything they know. The play, described as a modern-day “Waiting for Godot,” won an Obie Award for Best New American Play. It is a compassionate meditation on art, friendship and loss about a generation of young Americans trying to find their place in the world.
Dobama Theatre is accepting submissions for the 36th Annual Bianchi Kid’s Playwriting Festival. The festival promotes the creation of plays by Cuyahoga County students in first through twelfth grades, and has been rewarding the creative expression of generations of young people for over three decades. This year’s festival will be held June 6–8 at Dobama Theatre.
The festival is named for Marilyn Bianchi, actress, teacher and director, who co-founded Dobama Theatre with her husband, Don, and their friends Barry Silverman and Mark Silverberg. During the last five years of her life, Bianchi reached out to the children of Greater Cleveland, helping them to explore and realize their creative talents through playwriting.
Stephanie Trivison has loved music for as long as she can remember. In fact, there is a photo of her taken when she was three years old, and she is standing in front of a microphone, holding a guitar and singing.
Now 27, Trivison, who lives in Cleveland Heights, is the lead singer, guitarist and main songwriter for the band These Knees.
The group, which also includes Eric Piontkowski on bass and backing vocals and Rob Hassing on drums, recently released its debut album, “The Young and the Bright,” a collection of songs that range in style from pop rock to indie rock to singer/songwriter.
On Jan. 17, Heights Arts unveils a two-person exhibition of works by artists Mark Keffer and Lisa Schonberg. “As a nonprofit arts organization, Heights Arts serves the community by shining a light on the remarkable artists, musicians and writers that call this region home,” said Rachel Bernstein, Heights Arts executive director.
“With this exhibition, Heights Arts showcases the artists’ shared technique of constructing evocative compositions through a rigor of layering and patterning,” said Bernstein. The exhibition displays Keffer’s graphic abstract paintings alongside Schonberg’s vibrant nature-inspired works on paper.
Keffer maintains an intimate studio within a large warehouse space in midtown Cleveland’s Tyler Village.
Christine Howey, who was born and raised in Cleveland Heights and still lives in the city, feels as if she’s being reborn as an actor.
Years ago, she was an actor and director at Dobama Theatre in Cleveland Heights. At that time, she was Richard Howey and performed in more than 20 productions between 1969 and 1984.
Among the roles Richard played were Richard Nixon in “An Evening with Richard Nixon” by Gore Vidal and Bitos/Robespierre in “Poor Bitos” by Jean Anouilh.
Since then, Richard has become Christine. The one-person show she wrote and performs, “Exact Change,” will run at Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT) Jan. 9–25.
The Grog Shop, on Euclid Heights Boulevard at the corner of Coventry Road, is kicking off 2014 with a weekend of free shows. The concerts will take place the weekend of Jan. 3 and will feature a variety of musical styles. On Friday night, the club’s focus will be on indy-rock, with Pleasure Leftists, Royal Blood, Ultrasphinx and DJ Nig Champa. The following night, the club will host a big dance party, with Secret Soul Club, Ma Holos and Shit-Box Jimmy. And on Sunday night the focus will be on acoustic music, with Tiger & Boy, True Stories, Noon and Carrie Ryan.
“The holidays are so crazy, so we wanted to give something back to the community,” said Kathy Blackman, the club’s owner.
Nathan Davis (Heights High '05), Jacob Bergson (Heights High '06), and James Muschler (Heights High '07) led the exploratory jazz quartet Cleveland Jazz Project until 2008. When Bergson and Muschler relocated to New York City, the band went on indefinite hiatus.
Since then, they've all enjoyed successful careers as players, performing and touring both nationally and internationally.
On Dec. 19, these three members of the original quartet—without bassist Ben Bloom, who is not able to attend—will reunite at Nighttown, at 12387 Cedar Road, for a special one-night-only show.
Bring your appetite to Dobama’s third mainstage production of its 54th season in the Heights—“The Big Meal,” by Dan LeFranc. The play runs through Jan. 5, 2014.
Set at a single restaurant table, and spanning more than 80 years, “The Big Meal” tells the story of five generations of a modern family through one unending metaphoric meal. Beginning with a young couple’s first meeting and ending with a visit from their great-grandchild, this inventive and beautiful play is about the love, the trials and tribulations, and the resilience of families. Over the course of many mealtimes, the play presents the moments—both large and small—that make up a full life.
Nighttown will host a benefit for the Cedar Fairmount Special Improvement District’s streetscape plan, featuring Tommy Tune, on Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Actor, dancer, singer, theater director, producer and choreographer Thomas James "Tommy" Tune has won nine Tony Awards and the National Medal of Arts.
He will perform a “tap-iography show,” covering his half century on stage and on screen.
In celebration of its 60th season, and in time for the holiday season, Heights Youth Theatre (HYT) invites the Heights community to meet "Peter Pan" again, for the first time. The attic of an old Victorian house is transformed into Neverland by a little boy, his imagination, and the timeless story of the boy who never grew up.
Come fly with Peter, Wendy, Michael, Tinker Bell and John as they go on adventures with Lost Boys, Indians and pirates in ways you may have never seen before.
HYT describes the production as a "Peter Pan" for a new generation, featuring familiar songs, such as "Tender Shepherd," "I've Gotta Crow," "I Won't Grow Up," "I'm Flying" and "Never Never Land."
Tommy’s restaurant, at 1824 Coventry Road, has hosted a New Year’s Day benefit pancake breakfast for Heights Arts since 2001, when owner Tom Fello first offered to help raise funds for the Coventry Arch located at the intersection of Coventry Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard.
This year’s breakfast will take place Wednesday, Jan. 1, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. (Dine in, or order to go: 216-321-7757.)
Fello makes pancakes with all the fixings, and volunteers serve, bus tables and wash dishes. Some volunteers have helped out for all 14 years. The event is sponsored by Tommy’s, Macs Backs and Big Fun.
A popular stereotype paints artists as disorganized, unconventional, arrogant, opinionated, sporadic, impractical about day-to-day life, and sometimes fueling their creativity with drugs or alcohol. Hovering over their chaotic lives is their Art—brilliant writings or paintings or films that transcend their tawdry lives. So goes the movie version of the Artist.
Brilliant Hemingways and Van Goghs thankfully exist, but more artists are sober, organized, hardworking, practical, well-trained and inspired people who get up every morning and work at their art. Crack open a front door on a conventional tree-lined, residential street and you may find someone like artist Susan Skove.
The Choir of Clare College of Cambridge University, England, is coming to Cleveland Heights on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m., to perform a holiday concert at Fairmount Presbyterian Church. Admission is free.
This small choir of 29 students enjoys a reputation as one of the top mixed-voice collegiate choirs in the world. Selected by competitive auditions, these talented young singers perform with the clear sonority and delicate expressiveness that has made British chapel choirs famous throughout the world.
Kathleen McKenna (figurative works and still life), Joel Hauserman (photographs), Amy Fishbach (hand-made books) and Candice Dangerfield (photography and mixed media) will exhibit their work in a new show at the South Wing Gallery at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd., Cleveland Heights, on view from Dec. 6 to March 1.
Join the artists at the opening reception on Friday, Dec. 6, 5–7 p.m. The artists receive all proceeds from sales of their work.
Kathleen McKenna captures everything from the architecture of delicate hydrangeas and the luminescence of incandescent lightbulbs to the rollicking bold colors and fluttering streamers of the fanciful Parade the Circle.
Each New Year’s morning since 1939, the Vienna Philharmonic has performed a world-famous concert, broadcast internationally from the ornately gilded Großer Saal of the Musikverein.
Each program is different, but the music typically includes waltzes, polkas and operettas from the Strauss family—Johann Strauss I, Johann Strauss II, Josef Strauss and Eduard Strauss—with additional music from other composers. It always concludes with Strauss II’s famous "Blue Danube Waltz," followed by Strauss I’s rollicking "Radetzky March" finale, where audience members clap the music forward with the bass drum.
Watching this televised concert has become a family tradition across Europe, and more recently worldwide, but only a privileged few are able to hear it live.
Barry Henkin, a Heights High hall-of-famer, brought his enormous spirit and encouraging outlook back to his alma mater on Nov. 16 as a special guest at the second annual Resource Fair for Students with Disabilities and Learning Challenges.
The event was co-sponsored by Reaching Heights, as part of its Exceptional Children's Advocacy Group (ECAG) initiative, and by the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District. Families were invited to attend educational presentations and meet community partners to learn more about programming and support services.
Henkin made good use of his time at the event. He sold copies of his new autobiography and spoke to parents and students who stopped at his table at the fair.