A & E News

Dobama closes its season with 'Kin'

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 5, Posted 9:54 AM, 04.22.2014

Internationally known gospel singer Willie-Mae Wright to perform

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 2:19 PM, 03.31.2014

Mamaí's second season: classic and innovative

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 10:13 AM, 03.31.2014

Play by CH's Eric Coble begins Broadway run on April 1

“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.”

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 2:15 PM, 03.25.2014

Cain Park announces 2014 summer schedule

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 10:50 AM, 03.11.2014

Heights independent restaurants featured in new marketing campaign

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 10:48 AM, 03.11.2014

Ensemble Theatre presents annual Colombi Festival of new plays

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 10:44 AM, 03.11.2014

March choral concerts at Fairmount Presbyterian

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 3:43 PM, 02.28.2014

Western Reserve Chorale performs Mozart's Requiem

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 3:37 PM, 02.28.2014

'Alternate Routes to an Outer Space' at Heights Arts

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 10:56 AM, 02.28.2014

'Perspectives in Nature' at St. Paul's

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 10:43 AM, 02.28.2014

Judge by day, rocker by night

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 9:08 AM, 02.28.2014

Jazz Vespers at St. Paul's features Paul Ferguson and friends

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 12:39 PM, 02.25.2014

CityMusic Cleveland's March performances put focus on refugees

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.”

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 12:14 PM, 02.25.2014

Uzizi: a unique band with a distinctive sound

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.”

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Volume 7, Issue 2, Posted 3:21 PM, 01.30.2014

Choral Arts Cleveland to perform contemporary music concert

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 2, Posted 3:17 PM, 01.30.2014

Senior Citizen Happenings

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 info@universityheights.com.

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 2, Posted 3:06 PM, 01.30.2014

Drive away the cold with ballads from old England at CH concerts

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 2, Posted 10:07 AM, 01.17.2014

Cleveland premiere of 'The Aliens' opens at Dobama

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 2, Posted 11:37 AM, 01.15.2014

Dobama Theatre announces playwriting festival for students

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 2, Posted 10:51 AM, 01.09.2014

These Knees' singer-guitarist has loved music her whole life

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 1, Posted 1:59 PM, 01.02.2014

Dual exhibition at Heights Arts opens Jan. 17

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 1, Posted 1:39 PM, 01.02.2014

Heights resident Christine Howey performs her one-person show at Cleveland Public Theatre

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 1, Posted 1:35 PM, 01.02.2014

Grog Shop kicks off new year with free shows

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 1, Posted 10:54 AM, 12.17.2013

Cleveland Jazz Project reunites at Nighttown Dec. 19

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 1, Posted 9:03 AM, 12.10.2013

Dobama presents 'The Big Meal'

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.

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Volume 7, Issue 1, Posted 10:26 AM, 12.04.2013

Tommy Tune to perform in benefit at Nighttown

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.

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 1:16 PM, 12.02.2013

Heights Youth Theatre celebrates 60th season with 'Peter Pan'

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."

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 1:09 PM, 12.02.2013

Eat for art at 14th annual Tommy’s New Year’s Day pancake breakfast

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.

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 12:02 PM, 12.02.2013

Creative neighbors: Susan Skove

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.

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 11:34 AM, 12.02.2013

Clare College choir will perform at Fairmount Presbyterian Church

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.

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 11:29 AM, 12.02.2013

Four artists link art with life in show

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.

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 11:04 AM, 12.02.2013

CityMusic Cleveland brings Viennese New Year's tradition to the Heights on Dec. 4

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.

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 10:46 AM, 12.02.2013

Hall of Famer Barry Henkin returns to Heights at district resource fair

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.

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 11:11 AM, 11.26.2013

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture awards grants to Heights organizations

On Nov. 18, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) announced that it will invest $1,891,902 in grants to 139 arts and culture organizations in Cuyahoga County next year. The grant awards include $110,623 to eight Heights-based organizations. 

“Cuyahoga County residents demonstrated extraordinary support for our county’s arts and cultural heritage in 2006 when they approved a dedicated source of public funds for creative activities in our community,” said Sari Feldman, president of the CAC Board of Trustees. “Cuyahoga Arts & Culture takes our responsibility to invest those dollars in exceptional arts and cultural organizations very seriously. Our goal is to support the regional economy through strategic investment in a vibrant arts community.”

CAC made the grants through its 2014 Project Support (PSI and PSII) and its 2014 Project Support for Units of Government programs. These project-specific awards go to organizations that conduct specific arts or cultural programs to benefit the community.

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 11:20 AM, 11.26.2013

Mystery in Cleveland: Writing stories of suspense with Les Roberts on Nov. 16

Les Roberts, prolific writer of Cleveland mysteries, returns to Lake Erie Ink (LEI) on Saturday, Nov. 16, to talk about his newest book, Win, Place, or Die, and about the process of writing stories of suspense. Writers of all ages are welcome to ask questions and work with Roberts, as well as try their own hand at suspense writing, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Roberts is the author of more than 25 full-length works of mystery, suspense and all things Cleveland. His last visit to LEI was during its Teen Fiction symposium in last spring. On that occasion, Roberts spoke to teen writers about finding inspiration and characters in everyday life, as well as building suspense—one of his trademarks.

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 12:27 PM, 11.12.2013

ChamberFest welcomes new managing director

ChamberFest Cleveland presented its second season this past June, offering eight concerts that featured rising-star classical musicians from around the country, performing in various small-ensemble combinations at eight nearly sold-out venues.

The organization has announced the appointment of Jacqueline Taylor to the position of managing director. Taylor will guide the organization as it prepares for its third summer festival of world-class chamber music.   

Taylor’s professional background includes positions as director of artistic planning for Bravo! Vail Music Festival; managing director of Apollo’s Fire; co-founder and director of New York’s Free for All at Town Hall music series; executive director of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; and managing director of the Tisch Center for the Arts at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.

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Volume 6, Issue 12, Posted 1:03 PM, 10.28.2013

Ceramics get some respect from Heights Arts guest curator

Tom Huck, guest curator of the All-Ohio Ceramics Invitational, on view Sept. 6 through Oct.19 at Heights Arts gallery, believes ceramic art and other craft mediums don’t always get their due as fine art.

Huck studied ceramics at the Cleveland Institute of Art, operated Avante Gallery on Murray Hill Road in Little Italy, and is now curator of University Hospitals’ art collection. “One reason I was eager to curate this show,” he said, “is to help elevate ceramic art awareness. I remember occasionally in my old gallery people would come in and look around and say ‘Oh, this isn’t a real gallery, they don’t have any paintings.’ I realized there’s still a lot of education to do.”

Huck was also intrigued by the possibilities of the Heights Arts gallery space. “Months before, in the planning stages,” he recalled, “I’d drive by at night, and I’d slow down and look at the windows and think ‘I bet this work by this artist would be great right there.’ The Heights Arts show is really what I hoped it would be, mostly because of the Lee Road district and all the influxes of different people there. Even when I was there setting up, I was amazed at the number of people who stopped in.”

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 10:16 AM, 10.15.2013

Local American-Irish band plays for marathon runners and in upcoming shows

Local American-Irish band CRAIC brought its signature Celtic Punk sound to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series on Oct. 6. Giving support to runners in the final stretch of the 13-mile run, the band played well past the four-hour mark of the race. CRAIC gave a spirited end to its set as the final trio of runners passed by—a mother, daughter and grandmother.

CRAIC, named for Gaelic term meaning interesting banter and good company, includes front man Brett M. Burlison, Tim Clausing on acoustic guitar, Nikki Wolfe on tin-whistle, Mitch Kozub on banjo, Jason Kollar on bass, Eric Rom on electric guitar, Karl Federmann on drums, and Andrea D'Amore on fiddle.

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 10:00 AM, 10.08.2013

Heights Arts opens its 12th annual Holiday Store

The Heights Arts 12th annual Holiday Store opens on Nov. 1, and will operate seven days a week through Sunday, Dec. 29. The store will feature the work of more than 70 regional artists. 

It all began as a small pop-up gallery in a borrowed space on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. The organization’s first Holiday Store opened in 2002 and launched the bricks-and-mortar gallery that now showcases, year-round, the work of artists who live and create here in Greater Cleveland. 

The Heights Arts Holiday Store is a festive exhibition featuring a wide range of artworks at affordable prices, including ceramics, jewelry, handmade scarves and bags, paintings, drawings, glass and photographs.

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 4:50 PM, 10.31.2013

Coventry club expands musical offerings with open-mic nights

The B-Side Liquor Lounge and Arcade, the Coventry Road club located under the Grog Shop, has long been associated with the most current musical trends. In recent years it has primarily focused on presenting deejays, who offer up electronic dance music. However, this past July, the club introduced “Mic-aroni,” an open-mic night where almost anyone can perform. As a result, B-Side patrons can now hear a wide range of music styles and artists.

Mic-aroni is hosted by Leah Lou and the Two Left Shoes, a Cleveland music act that features Leah Lou Tater on vocals and guitar and Daniel Lee on bass. It was Tater who came up with the idea for the open-mic nights. “I read a book by Rev. Jen Miller called Elf Girl,” she said, “and in it she writes about these events that she put on in New York City called the Anti-Slam. It was basically an open-mic night where someone could do just about anything.”

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 4:38 PM, 10.31.2013

Western Reserve Chorale announces 2013–14 season

The Western Reserve Chorale, under the direction of David Gilson, announces three concerts for its 22nd season, including a production of Mozart's Requiem with the Cleveland School of the Arts’ Nathaniel Dett Choir.

In December, "Tis the Season" will feature songs of thanksgiving and praise, including songs for Chanukah, settings from Anniversary Carols arranged by Mannheim Steamroller’s Jackson Berkey, and Conrad Susa’s Carols and Lullabies: Christmas in the Southwesta suite based on traditional Spanish carols scored for choir, harp, guitar, marimba and vibraphone.

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 4:43 PM, 10.31.2013

Roots of American Music to hold benefit in the Heights

The education organization Roots of American Music (ROAM) has called Cleveland Heights home since its inception 16 years ago. Its founder and executive director, Kevin Richards, is a Cleveland Heights native and lifelong resident. ROAM’s original headquarters were on Fairmount Boulevard near Taylor Road, downstairs from the Fairmount School of Music, which Richards also founded. Its current office is in the Rockefeller Building on the corner of Mayfield Road and Lee Boulevard.

ROAM is a nonprofit organization that provides community-based programming—teaching and performance, both utilizing American roots music genres—based on community input about service gaps and underserved individuals in diverse and low-income neighborhoods.

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 4:31 PM, 10.31.2013

Heights High alumna choreographs story of triumph

Only 29, Errin Berry already has amassed more than 18 years experience in dance and 13 as a choreographer. She studied dance locally and as an undergraduate, performed in Cleveland with Dance Afrika Dance and is a dancer with Muntu Dance Theatre in Chicago. While she enjoys dance in all forms, her passion is Praise Dance, a specialty in which she is making a name for herself.   

This devotional art form, found in many church ministries, can take many shapes. For Berry, and for her latest creation, "How I Got Over," the form is to tell a story—the story of African Americans and their journey of faith from the shores of Africa to present-day America. “'How I Got Over' is a song made famous by Mahalia Jackson during the civil rights movement,” Berry explained. “This song was pivotal to the concept for our concert, but it has morphed into so much more.”

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 1:45 PM, 10.28.2013

'Hello, Dolly!' lights up Heights High

More than 600 students in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights schools will perform in the Heights High production of "Hello, Dolly!" on Oct. 28 and 29 (preview nights), Oct. 30 and Nov. 1–3. Tickets may be purchased from any cast member. Call 216-320-3105 for ticket and show information.

“This is a fun show!” said Craig McGaughey, vocal music director and the show's producer. “It is a comedy with great songs and dance numbers and a little bit of a history lesson thrown in. The show transports us back to the 1890s in New York City and Yonkers.”

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 11:16 AM, 10.22.2013

Mike Bartlett play is Dobama's second 2013-14 production

Dobama Theatre will present the Cleveland premiere of “Cock” by Mike Bartlett as the second play of its 2013–14 season. The play runs from Oct. 25 through Nov. 23. 

John, the protagonist, takes a break from his boyfriend and unexpectedly meets the girl of his dreams. Filled with guilt, confusion and indecision, he decides there is only one way to straighten things out. Stripping drama down to its essential language, British playwright Mike Bartlett’s punchy drama takes a playful and candid look at sexuality and the difficulties that arise when you realize you may have a choice about who you love. 

Bartlett, 32, is currently associate playwright at Paines Plough, the U.K.’s national theater of new plays. In 2011, he was writer in residence at the National Theatre, and before that Pearson playwright in residence at The Royal Court Theatre.

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 3:52 PM, 10.14.2013

New neighborhood artists’ group launches with show

Grant Deming Artists, a newly formed group of seven Cleveland Heights artists, launches its first public exhibition with a reception on Nov. 23, 7–10 p.m. at Pentagon Gallery and Frame, 3102 Mayfield Road in Cleveland Heights. The show runs through Dec. 24.

Made up of residents of Grant Deming's Forest Hill District neighborhood, the group was formed under the leadership of Rebecca Wickre, who moved to Cleveland Heights from the New York City area in March. Member artists are Natalia Bicvic, Cheryl Cochran, Jean Hoffman, Donna Marchetti, David Perelman-Hall, Rebecca Wickre and Sarah Wean.

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Volume 6, Issue 11, Posted 11:33 AM, 11.01.2013

CityMusic Cleveland begins 10th season with new director

CityMusic Cleveland, with its newly appointed music director Avner Dorman, will present its 10th season opening, the Mozart Violin Concerto Tour, featuring one of the world’s foremost violinists, Rachel Barton Pine.

After performing Bruch’s Violin Concerto with CityMusic Cleveland last October, to standing ovations and stellar reviews, Pine has been invited back to perform Mozart’s five violin concertos—a different one in each of five venues. 

Pine has appeared as a soloist with many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, including those in Chicago, Montreal, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Vienna, New Zealand, Iceland and Budapest. She has worked with well-known conductors, including Zubin Mehta, Erich Leinsdorf and Placido Domingo. She also plays the electric violin in her rock band, Earthen Grave.

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Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 10:12 AM, 10.03.2013

Apollo’s Fire opens 22nd season on Oct. 11 in the Heights

The internationally acclaimed Cleveland Heights-based Apollo’s Fire opens its season Oct. 11 with a program of works written for the virtuoso orchestras of the 18th century. Award-winning conductor Jeannette Sorrell leads from the harpsichord, as principal players take turns in the spotlight.

The ensemble will perform Telemann’s Allegro from Concerto in D for Two Flutes, Violin and Cello; J.S. Bach’s Harpsichord Prelude in G, Concerto for Oboe and Violin in C Minor, and Brandenburg Concerto No. 4; selections from Heinichen’s Concerto Grosso in G Major, and Heinichen’s Concerto Grosso in C; and Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins in B Minor.

Canadian recorder virtuoso Francis Colpron joins Apollo’s Fire favorites Kathie Stewart on traverso and Debra Nagy on oboe. Four of AF’s leading violinists square off for the fiery Concerto for Four Violins by Vivaldi.

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Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 10:06 AM, 10.03.2013

Cleveland Chamber Music Society launches 64th season

To hear renowned artists in one of Cleveland’s finest musical spaces, make your way to Plymouth Church off Shaker Square during the 2013–14 season.

The Cleveland Chamber Music Society (CCMS) is offering eight concerts by some of the world’s best known musicians and some exciting new performers. Programs are richly diverse, including vocal, piano, and guitar ensembles as well as traditional string quartets.  The acoustics at Plymouth Church are bright, warm and among the best in Cleveland for live music.

The Cleveland Classical Guitar Society co-sponsors a dynamic collaboration in October between the Cuarteto Casals and Manuel Barrueco. The Cleveland Institute of Music collaborates with CCMS in December to present the Daedalus Quartet.

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Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 10:01 AM, 10.03.2013

Heights Arts presents Close Encounters, chamber music as it's meant to be heard

Heights Arts presents its eighth season of Close Encounters chamber music concerts performed by world-class musicians who live right here in Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Heights. Isabel Trautwein, Cleveland Orchestra violinist and Close Encounters artistic director, collaborates with her colleagues and other professional musicians to perform programs of their choice in unique venues.

This new season continues Heights Arts’ tradition of providing excellent chamber music to the public. Many music fans have enjoyed hearing most of these musicians for years at Cleveland Orchestra concerts; hearing them up close and personal, only feet away from the audience, is a completely different and intimate experience. The series begins on Oct. 27; venues to be announced. Reserve tickets at 216-371-3457 or www.heightsarts.org.

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Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 9:54 AM, 10.03.2013

Heights Youth Theatre presents 'Willy Wonka'

Heights Youth Theatre (HYT) kicks off its 2013–14 season as Roald Dahl's deliciously dark tale of young Charlie Bucket and the mysterious confectioner, Willy Wonka, comes to life in a new musical.

When Charlie wins a golden ticket to the weird and wonderful Wonka Chocolate Factory, it's the chance of a lifetime to feast on the sweets he's always dreamed of. Astonishment lies beyond the gates, as down the sugary corridors and amongst the incredible edible delights, the five lucky winners discover not everything is as sweet as it seems. A chocolate garden, an army of squirrels and the peculiar Oompa-Loompas must be believed to be seen in this spectacular new musical.

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Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 6:15 PM, 10.01.2013

Art Spot exhibition features fresh energy, ideas from CIA students

Don’t expect classical still-life paintings in the current exhibition at Art Spot, but do expect fresh energy and new perspectives from the five Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) students featured.

Titled "FIVE – 2013," the show runs through Nov. 8 and features new artworks by 2013 CIA graduates Lindsay Matthews and Mathew Henry Grady, senior Connor Elder, and juniors Jack Sherry and Jack Subsinsky.

“It’s a good show; it’s not thematic but it’s fairly cohesive and I think the jurors had a lot to do with that,” said Tommy White, assistant professor and chair of CIA’s painting department. “The palette and the tactile nature of the materials are cohesive.”

White coordinates outside jurors for the quarterly CIA shows hosted by Art Spot so that he doesn’t have to pick favorites from among his own students.

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Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 11:22 AM, 09.24.2013

Heights Music Hop plans to light up Lee Road

The first annual Heights Music Hop will take place on Friday, Oct. 18 in the Cedar Lee Business District. This live music festival will be one of five regional flagship Collaboration Kickoff events on the opening night of 2013 Cleveland Beer Week.

FutureNow, a committee of FutureHeights, is organizing the event. "I'm really fired up about the Hop," said Kevin Smith, chair of FutureNow. "This is more than just a fun night of music, it's a fantastic opportunity to show that the Heights is a great music town and an exciting place to work or live."

Musical performances will be free from 6–10 p.m. The Social Room, the Wine Spot, Phoenix Coffee, Lopez, New Heights Grill, Cedar Lee Pub and the Stone Oven have been confirmed as mainstage music venues, each hosting two acts. Several merchants and institutions on Lee Road will offer live music in addition to the mainstage venues. Music genres include rock, jazz and classical.

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 3:54 PM, 08.30.2013

Ensemble Theatre announces ambitious 2013-14 season

Ensemble Theatre's 2013–14 season promises to be an ambitious and exciting one. Celeste Cosentino, artistic director, has announced plans to expand Ensemble’s season to include summer and touring productions. In addition to its four mainstage productions, Ensemble will offer TheatreCLE in the company’s Playground Theatre, a small, 50-seat venue adjacent to the mainstage space.

Ensemble’s mainstage season begins Sept. 27 with “Animals Out of Paper” by Rajiv Joseph, which runs through Oct. 20. A finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo,” Joseph’s interest in theater began at Cleveland Heights High School and summers working in Cain Park.

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 3:51 PM, 08.30.2013

Mamaí's first season: a hit!

Asked to reflect on their inaugural season, two of the four co-founders of Mamaí Theatre Company—Christine McBurney and Bernadette Clemens—agreed that they had exceeded their own conservative expectations.

“Ensemble Theatre welcomed us into their space,” said McBurney. “The discounted rent in the form of a space grant enabled us to launch. Community support [came from] the Heights Observer, Nighttown, the Props Shop, friends, family, students, and Lori Berenson, our volunteer house manager.”  

McBurney said that colleagues volunteered their time to help build sets, photograph and videotape rehearsals and performances, and staff the box office. Friends did laundry for cast members, and family members provided food.  

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 2:10 PM, 08.30.2013

From roots to sky

Works by artists Michael Weil (photographs), Richard Ruehle (wood), Kam Shun Lee (oil paintings) and Toni Fiderio (watercolors) are featured in a new show running from Sept. 13 to Nov. 30 at the South Wing Gallery of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd. in Cleveland Heights. Meet all four artists at the opening reception on Friday, Sept. 13 from 5–7 p.m.

"I was always taking pictures—never a time when I didn’t," said Michael Weil, a photographer with a Ph.D. in art history with a focus in photography from Case Western Reserve University. An artist's book by Weil was featured in the 2012 Cleveland Museum of Art exhibition "DIY: Photographers & Books." His photographs also have been shown at the Heights Arts Gallery, the Cleveland Clinic, Cedar Creek Grill, and the Katz Club. Weil photographs a variety of subjects, from the Adirondacks, to Frank Gehry’s flying rooftops, and aerial views. "I’m just beginning to think of myself as an artist," he said.

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 2:03 PM, 08.30.2013

All-Ohio Ceramic Invitational brings the state's best to Heights Arts

The All-Ohio Ceramics Invitational at Heights Arts, 2175 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights, begins with an opening reception on Friday, Sept. 6, 6–9 p.m., and runs through Saturday, Oct. 19. This landmark exhibition, organized by Tom Huck, curator of University Hospital’s art collection, is the largest exhibition to date for the 13-year-old nonprofit gallery. Exploring the diversity of clay, it showcases ceramic works from 30 artists in northern Ohio and throughout the state, with contrasts in scale, clay bodies, firing ranges, glazing techniques, and execution.

"We are particularly excited," said Huck, "to introduce a recognized group of artists from the outlying regions of the state and exhibit their work for the first time in the Cleveland area. This exhibition not only highlights some of Ohio’s talented ceramists but also provides a perspective on ceramic art and its place in today’s contemporary art market."

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 1:51 PM, 08.30.2013

'Time Stands Still' opens Dobama's 2013-14 season

Fall will be here before long, and with it comes Dobama Theatre’s first production of its 54th season—“Time Stands Still” by Donald Margulies. The play runs from Sept. 6 through Oct. 6. 

Nominated for two Tony Awards, “Time Stands Still” focuses on Sarah, a photojournalist, and her foreign correspondent boyfriend, James. They return home to Brooklyn to try to find balance and happiness after the physical and emotional wounds inflicted on them while they were covering conflicts in the Middle East. Theirs is a partnership based on telling the tough stories and making a difference in the lives of others. When their own story takes a sudden turn, the couple confronts the prospect of living a more conventional life. 

Playwright Donald Margulies is best remembered as the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2000 for “Dinner with Friends.” Margulies’ plays also include “Brooklyn Boy,” “The Loman Family Picnic,” and “Sight Unseen."

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 3:31 PM, 08.29.2013

Heights Arts installs mural at Heights Youth Club

The mosaic mural created by Cuban-born Cleveland artist Augusto Bordelois and a group of students for the Heights Youth Club was installed in late July at the club’s Lee Road location. Heights Arts coordinated the project and secured an Ohio Arts Council grant to sponsor the artist in a five-week residency to create the mural.

Bordelois worked with student members of the club to design the colorful mural, which portrays Cleveland Heights landmarks, such as Cain Park and the Cedar Lee Theatre, as well as the Heights High mascot. Students worked with Bordelois and Heights Arts staff members Andrea Joki and Courtney Young to fabricate the design.

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Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 9:20 AM, 08.20.2013