A & E News

Heights Arts reimagines daily activity

As with every other area business and organization, Heights Arts has had to change plans. 

“We had our opening for the Members Show on March 6,” said Heights Arts Executive Director Rachel Bernstein. “That was just as we were learning about the pandemic, and recommendations were changing daily. We were already planning to cut our hours back the following week, which we did. By the following Monday the governor was ordering the general shutdown, and we closed to the public until it is safe to reopen. We’re evaluating programming possibilities, but in light of the situation, it’s a question of our small staff capacity and available resources. Of course, this is true for all arts organizations and most small businesses—we are all in this together.”

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Volume 13, Issue 5, Posted 10:19 AM, 04.07.2020

Cedar Lee district welcomes CIFF East

The 44th Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) will return to its Heights roots in April 2020.

With generous support from PNC Bank, CIFF East will take place at the Cedar Lee Theatre the second weekend of the festival, starting on the evening of Friday, April 3, followed by two full days of programming on Saturday, April 4, and Sunday, April 5. There will be 18 screenings at the Cedar Lee throughout the weekend, comprising features, documentaries, shorts and family films.

Cedar Lee Theatre owner Jonathan Forman founded CIFF, the annual festival of films from around the world, in 1977. That year, the festival screened eight films over eight weeks at the Cedar Lee Theatre.

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Volume 13, Issue 3, Posted 9:28 AM, 02.28.2020

WRC sings Mozart's 'Great' Mass

The Western Reserve Chorale (WRC), a chorus of more than 100 voices from across Northeast Ohio, will share the incomparable mastery of Mozart in concert on March 22. 

It is a vexing truth that Mozart’s two towering choral works were both left unfinished. While the Requiem was not completed due to the composer’s untimely death, less is known as to why the Mass in C minor was not completed.

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Volume 13, Issue 3, Posted 10:37 AM, 03.02.2020

Choral Arts presents world premiere Mass

So, just who is George Bristow? Choral Arts Cleveland and its director, Brian Bailey, invite you to find out as it brings to life the Mass in C by 19th-century American composer George Bristow in a world premiere of the composition. Supported in part by the citizens of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, the evening begins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 13, with a talk on Bristow and American classical music, followed by the choral performance. The venue is Fairmount Presbyterian Church, 2757 Fairmount Blvd., in Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 13, Issue 3, Posted 10:49 AM, 03.02.2020

Pulitzer finalist gets Cleveland premiere at Dobama

Dobama Theatre will present the Cleveland premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-finalist “Dance Nation,” March 6–29.

In the play by Clare Barron, an army of preteen competitive dancers from Liverpool, Ohio, are plotting to take over the world. If their new routine is good enough, they’ll claw their way to the top at the Boogie Down Grand Prix in Tampa Bay.

Partly inspired by the reality-TV show “Dance Moms,” the play is about ambition, growing up, and how to be oneself in the heat of it all. It explores the exhilaration and terror of being a kid through the story of a group of 13-year-old dance troupe members, as portrayed by adult actors.

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Volume 13, Issue 3, Posted 10:38 AM, 03.02.2020

Burning River Baroque series debuts at Blank Canvas CLE

Burning River Baroque continues its eighth season with a series of thought-provoking performances, beginning Wednesday, March 18.

Witches: Revered & Reviled has been crafted to connect baroque music to present day issues of othering, bullying and stigmatization.

According to the musical program's description, the wish for an ordered society “frequently led to the persecution of individuals who were accused of straying outside the established conventional boundaries of ‘acceptable’ behavior.” The program focuses particularly on the criminalization of women who were labeled as not fitting into social norms.

Ironically, while women “ascribed with supernatural abilities” were severely outcasted and punished, they also were viewed as a resource to help those who suffered from mental and spiritual maladies. Thus, the program looks closely at reverence, as well as repulsion, through the stories of Circe, the Witch of Endor, and the Furies in a broad range of national styles and traditions of the 17th century. 

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Volume 13, Issue 3, Posted 10:29 AM, 03.02.2020

Heights Arts announces March exhibitions and concert

Heights Arts, the multi-disciplinary arts organization in Cleveland Heights, will celebrate the creativity of its musical and visual artist members throughout the month of March.

On Friday, March 6, Heights Arts will host the opening of its second Members Show, in which about 40 Heights Arts artist members will exhibit their work.

Most Heights Arts exhibitions are curated by guest curators or its Exhibition Community Team, which comprises community volunteers with connections and expertise in the visual arts community. This team has been responsible for 20 years of the highest quality exhibitions featuring the region’s emerging and well-established artists.

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Volume 13, Issue 3, Posted 10:32 AM, 03.02.2020

Soprano Angela Zawada in recital at First Baptist

Angela Zawada, the Chancel Choir soprano soloist of the First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland, will present a recital of classical works at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 8, in the Gothic sanctuary of the church at 3630 Fairmount Blvd. 

The program will feature works by Handel, Mozart, Schumann, Fauré and Samuel Barber, spanning several musical periods and languages. Visions of night and dreams trace a path through the program from “O Sleep” from Handel’s oratorio Semele, to Fauré's "Apres un rêve" ("After A Dream") to Barber's “Sure on this Shining Night.” The program also features fiery pieces, such as Fauré's “Fleur jetee," with its virtuosic piano score, performed by Adam Whiting, a Cleveland School of the Arts faculty member.

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Volume 13, Issue 3, Posted 10:44 AM, 03.02.2020

Spring show opens at St. Paul's White Gallery

The White Gallery in St. Paul’s Church will open its Spring Show with an artists’ reception on Friday, Feb. 28, 5–7 p.m. The show runs through May 31, and features the work of five Cleveland-area artists. 

In her photographs, Andrea Dawson focuses on subjects from nature, and imbues her images with a sense of serenity.

Two painters, while both utilizing brushes and paints, will display very different types of finished work in the exhibition. Sam Roth will show his soft, abstract, acrylic paintings on canvas, while Emmalyn Tringali, employing oil on canvas, will bring to St. Paul’s her new series of vivid landscapes. 

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Volume 13, Issue 3, Posted 10:36 AM, 02.25.2020

Heights High's BOPO parents to host musical fundraiser

The parent organization for the Cleveland Heights High School Band & Orchestra (BOPO) will host a fundraiser, A Musical Feast, at Nighttown Restaurant (12383 Cedar Road) on March 1, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

The event will include a scrumptious brunch and an auction. It will feature live music performed by Heights High musicians alongside Cleveland Orchestra members Kathy Collins (violin), Beth Woodside (violin), and Richard Waugh (viola), and other professional musicians. There will be a special performance of the Mozart piano/wind quintet, played by Cleveland Orchestra musicians who are also Heights residents: Frank Rosenwein (principal oboe), Afendi Yusef (principal clarinet), Gareth Thomas (bassoon), Richard King (French horn), and Carolyn Gadiel Warner  (piano).

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Volume 13, Issue 2, Posted 4:57 PM, 01.31.2020

Celebrate Heights Arts' 20th and Beethoven's 250th

Heights Arts continues its yearlong 20th-anniversary celebration with a month of events showcasing the wonderful talent of local artists, musicians and poets. The ambitious schedule features concerts, poetry readings and visual art exhibitions.

On Feb. 13 at 7 p.m., Heights Arts and Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Damien McClendon collaborate to present Ekphrastacy: Artists Speak + Poets Respond, an event for art enthusiasts and poetry lovers alike. Artists from the current Point-Line-Pattern-Plane exhibition will speak about the inspiration and process behind the creation of their work. Poets Damien McClendon, Ray McNiece, John Burroughs and Carson Evans will join the artists to recite original poems inspired by pieces in the show. Cleveland is home to a bustling community of authors and poets who garner regional and national recognition, and Heights Arts Ekphrastacy series provides a unique opportunity for these talented writers to express their work.

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Volume 13, Issue 2, Posted 4:54 PM, 01.31.2020

Jazz and poetry return to First Baptist

Jazz and poetry have a lot in common. Both art forms can be free-flowing, innovative and challenging to understand, and both are created from imaginative, spontaneous psyches. 

In response to many requests from last year's appreciative audience, the Music and Fine Arts ministry of the First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland is bringing back its Jazz & Poetry Night on Friday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m. 

The evening will start with a Jazz Prelude by the Demetrius Steinmetz Jazz Ensemble, featuring Steinmetz on bass, Brian Kozak on guitar, and Eileen Burns on vocals. Steinmetz spent four years as Artist-in-Residence at the Cleveland School of the Arts and has been an instructor for the instrumental music after-school program for the 21st Century Community Learning Center. He has taught saxophone and bass at The Fine Arts Association in Willoughby and Beck Center for the Arts in Lakewood. He has performed professionally in Greater Cleveland and has been recorded on Cadence Records. 

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Volume 13, Issue 2, Posted 4:50 PM, 01.31.2020

Forest Hill Church presents annual Black History Month concert

Ascension: An Evening of African-American Music is the seventh-annual Black History Month celebration at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church. The event will take place on Feb. 23.

The event has transformed into an exciting and soul-stirring celebration that many in Cleveland Heights and its surrounding communities look forward to each year. This year’s concert will be led by musical director Caleb A. Wright, who has been a member of Forest Hill Church for more than 10 years.

Wright is a member of Cleveland Heights’ own Wright Family Singers, a family gospel group that has performed for more than 40 years. Wright has spearheaded this annual event since 2013.

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Volume 13, Issue 2, Posted 4:47 PM, 01.31.2020

'Skeleton Crew' in Cleveland premiere at Dobama

Dobama Theatre will present the Cleveland premiere of the Obie Award-winning “Skeleton Crew,” Jan. 24 through Feb. 16. Part of Dominique Morisseau’s three-play cycle, “The Detroit Project,” Dobama’s production will be directed by Nina Domingue.

The play, which The New York Times called “a deeply moral and deeply American play . . . squarely in the tradition of Arthur Miller," is set in a struggling Detroit automotive plant during the peak of the 2008 recession. A few remaining workers are trying to figure out how to move forward if the plant goes under. Shanita has to decide how she'll support herself and her unborn child, Faye has to find a place to live, and Dez has to figure out how to make his ambitious dreams a reality. Power dynamics shift as their manager, Reggie, is torn between doing right by his work family and by his own. (The struggle is familiar to Clevelanders, with recent plant closures like that at Lordstown General Motors directly impacting the community.)

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Volume 13, Issue 1, Posted 11:07 AM, 01.03.2020

Heights Arts turns 20 in 2020

In 2000, local residents who were committed to the arts and their community combined those passions and founded Heights Arts, with a mission to inspire all ages to engage in the arts, tap into the potential of local artists, and make a positive impact on overall community life.

Thanks to the support of an ever-growing community, 20 years later, Heights Arts continues to uphold the same mission and values, in service to local musicians, poets and visual artists.

Heights Arts turns 20 in 2020. To kick off a yearlong celebration, the first exhibition of the new year, Point-Line-Pattern-Plane, opens Friday, Jan. 17, with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Curated by fiber artist and Kent State University textile arts professor Janice Lessman-Moss, winner of a 2019 Cleveland Arts Prize, this exhibition highlights a wide range of expression and innovation achieved by regional artists using the distinctive materiality and processes associated with the medium of fiber.

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Volume 13, Issue 1, Posted 11:05 AM, 01.03.2020

Ensemble kicks off 2020 with 'Intimate Apparel'

Cleveland Heights’ Ensemble Theatre begins 2020 with a continuation of its 40th anniversary season, themed ”Making HER Story"—a season dedicated to female playwrights, female directors and female lead roles.

In its first production of the new year, Ensemble will present Lynn Nottage's "Intimate Apparel,” beginning Jan. 24. 

Nottage’s play is set in New York circa 1905—a time and place where rigid social divides exist along the lines of race, religion and class. At the same time, a burgeoning population of immigrants from abroad, and people from across the U.S., have moved to the city to seek their fortunes, bringing diversity, excitement and change. In the play, Esther Mills, a skilled African-American seamstress, navigates this changing, dangerous world with her needle and thread.

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Volume 13, Issue 1, Posted 11:03 AM, 01.03.2020

Heights Youth Theatre presents winter musical

For more than six decades, Heights Youth Theatre (HYT) has offered young people the opportunity to grow socially and emotionally while gaining theatrical skills. Producing three to four complete musicals each year, HYT is currently rehearsing its next production.

Almost ready for opening night, "Once on This Island" is the story of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl in search of her place in the world, and ready to risk everything for love. Guided by the mighty island gods Love, Death, Water, and Earth, Ti Moune embarks on a remarkable journey to reunite with the man who has captured her heart. The play opens Friday, Jan 17 at Monticello Middle School.

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Volume 13, Issue 1, Posted 11:01 AM, 01.03.2020

Shadow puppets and music create mystical setting for Dobama play

Dobama Theatre’s 60th anniversary Mainstage Season continues with “The Old Man and the Old Moon,” opening Dec. 6.

“The Old Man and the Old Moon,” written by PigPen Theatre Co. and directed by Melissa T. Crum and Nathan Motta, is a mystical epic—an odyssey of music and theater magic in which actors playing instruments create live sound effects on stage, and interact with elaborate shadow puppets.

In the play, the old man has the important job of filling the moon with liquid light each night. When his wife is drawn away by a mysterious melody, he abandons his duties and crosses the seas in search of his lost love. Along the way, he contends with apocalyptic storms, civil wars, monsters of the deep, irritable ghosts, and the fiercest obstacle of all: change.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 11:19 AM, 12.03.2019

Heights Arts invites community involvement

It’s been almost 20 years since Heights Arts began shining a light on greater Cleveland’s local artists, musicians and poets.

Its most visible program, the Heights Arts Holiday Store, is currently in full swing at 2175 Lee Road. More than 100 artists are participating to ensure that visitors can purchase one of thousands of unique and beautiful gifts created by artists who live and work in the region, while contributing to the creative economy at the same time.

While the holiday and year-round store is highly visible and has become a favorite destination, residents and visitors may not be aware of many other opportunities Heights Arts has for residents to become engaged, whether they dabble or work professionally in the arts.

Currently, the organization is accepting submissions for its popular Members Show in March. With just a $10 entry fee, all are welcome to submit a work of art for this show, which celebrates the Heights’ creative community. The work is not curated, and all submissions are accepted until the show is complete, so participants are encouraged to submit early.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 12:06 PM, 12.03.2019

'The Power of Ten' fills White Gallery

The Power of Ten opens Dec. 1 at the White Gallery at St. Paul’s Church, with an artists’ reception planned for Dec. 6.

The exhibition features the work of 10 talented Northeast Ohio fiber artists—Deb Berkebile, Joann Giordano, Ann Kmieck, Barb Lind, Ruta Marino, Amy Reed, Sandy Shelenberger, Mary Ann Tipple, Kathleen Vanmeter, and Martha Young.

“We call ourselves ‘The Tens’ because there are 10 of us . . . who have been meeting once a month for years,” explained Young. “Through those years we have supported and guided each other through the joys and sorrows of our lives.”

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 10:04 AM, 11.26.2019

Church presents 'Requiem' for victims of mass shootings

The Fairmount Choir of Fairmount Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights will present the Ohio premiere of the short work Requiem by Joshua Clausen on Nov. 17 at 10 a.m. The work was written to honor the victims of American mass shootings and their families and friends. The piece was inspired by the work of Sophie Cho, a journalist who took data about mass shootings and turned it into sound form to illustrate gun violence in America. What resulted was a recorded data sonification (series of piano notes) where each piano note represents the day of an American mass shooting, from January 2013 to November 2017. The louder the note, the more people were killed on that particular day.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 2:32 PM, 11.01.2019

WRC presents holiday concert Dec. 8

The Western Reserve Chorale's (WRC) first concert of the 2019–20 season, featuring Respighi’s rarely performed masterpiece Lauda per la Natività del Signore, will take place on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 3 p.m., at Church of the Gesu (2470 Miramar Blvd., University Heights). 

This year’s holiday season concert, featuring the 100-voice chorale, will offer a variety of works highlighting the winter season, including traditional and not-so-traditional arrangements of songs for Hanukah and Christmas by Gustav Holst, David Willcocks, Susan LaBarr, John Rutter, Dan Forrest, Stephen Schwartz, David Chase and others.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 2:33 PM, 11.01.2019

CH filmmaker explores a region once ruled by rail

Northern Ohio was an epicenter of electric rail in the early 20th century. Cleveland had one of the largest streetcar networks in the country, and was a key national center of streetcar innovation and manufacturing. Ohio once boasted the largest inter-urban electric rail system in the Midwest, connecting cities and small towns across the state.

What happened to those elegant systems? Was it a mistake to abandon them? What does history teach us about sustainable transportation choices?

Cleveland Heights filmmaker Brad Masi addresses these questions in his film "Streetcar City," which will have a free screening at the Bottlehouse Brewery & Meadery (2050 Lee Road) on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 10:58 AM, 11.01.2019

Heights Arts keeps holiday focus local

Holiday season is here, and Heights Arts celebrates with the opening of the 2019 Holiday Store. From Nov. 1 through Dec. 30, 100 local artists will fill the Heights Arts gallery with unique fine arts and crafts. The public opening is Friday, Nov. 1 from 6:30 to 9 p.m., with a members' special preview that evening from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Get a jump on holiday shopping with refreshments and other special treats. The 2019 Holiday Store is open seven days a week, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas days.

Heights Arts offers community partner events in the Holiday Store and throughout the year. Memberships start at $50 for individuals and $150 for businesses, and members are eligible to participate in community partner events for free. Heights Arts will promote the partnership, invite the partner to co-host the event, and provide a cash bar and complimentary food for attendees. In addition, Heights Arts’ 10-percent membership discount will be extended to partner attendees. Attendees who are already Heights Arts members will receive an additional 5-percent discount for purchases that evening. For more information, visit www.heightsarts.org/community-partner-events

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 11:17 AM, 10.29.2019

First concert in chamber music series is Oct. 13

October marks the opening of the 2019–20 Close Encounters chamber music concert series. Now in its 14th season, Close Encounters celebrates Heights Arts’ 20th anniversary with four unique afternoons of chamber music performed by some of the world’s finest musicians—who just happen to live here in the Cleveland area.

The first concert, to be hosted at a historic carriage house in Herrick Mews, will take place on Sunday, Oct. 13, at 3 p.m.

Performing is the Omni Quartet, who will present Robert Schumann’s String quartet in A-minor, written during a brief and singular period of happiness in his otherwise melancholy life. Musicians in the Omni Quartet are also members of the Cleveland Orchestra. 

The second concert in the series will take place at Dunham Tavern on Sunday, Nov. 24, with subsequent concerts planned for March 1 and May 3.

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Volume 12, Issue 10, Posted 12:02 PM, 10.14.2019

Annual benefit event will feature Ohio's poet laureate

Ohio’s poet laureate, Dave Lucas, will read his work at the eighth annual “Afternoon with an Author,” hosted by the Cleveland Heights Chapter Q of Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) International. The poetry reading will be followed by a Q&A session, a book signing and a dessert reception on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2 p.m., at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church (3031 Monticello Blvd.). Tickets are $20.

Lucas’ first book of poems, Weather, received the 2012 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rita Dove named him one of 13 “young poets to watch.” Lucas has also received a Discovery/The Nation Prize and a Cleveland Arts Prize. In 2018, he was appointed the second Poet Laureate of the State of Ohio. He lives in Cleveland Heights, and teaches at Case Western Reserve University. 

Past speakers at the event have included other area writers, including award-winning novelists Mary Doria Russell and D.M. Pulley, and mystery writer Annie Hogsett.

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Volume 12, Issue 10, Posted 1:03 PM, 10.02.2019

The Fairmount exhibits CH artist's fiber series

Katie Mongoven is the latest artist to have her work featured at The Fairmount, as part of its emerging artist exhibition program. The exhibition features Morgoven’s fiber series, Periodic, and will be on view until Nov. 28.

Mongoven, who lives and works in Cleveland Heights, is known for her use of vibrant color and attention to detail—bringing unique patterns into focus.

She began the Periodic series at the Vermont Studio Center last winter, as an exploration of embroidery and a denaturing of its established purpose as a decorative embellishment. Each piece bonds the intangible qualities of light and color with texture, pulling inspiration from traditional quilt-making, geometry and pattern-making. 

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Volume 12, Issue 10, Posted 1:01 PM, 10.02.2019

Dobama presents new play by Will Eno

Dobama Theatre continues its 60th Anniversary season with "Wakey, Wakey" by Will Eno. The play runs Oct. 18 through Nov. 10.

The New York Times called the play "profoundly moving,” and Variety described it as "a work of humor, humanity and grace that makes you want to hug your lover, your neighbor and maybe an usher on the way out.” This new play from Pulitzer Prize-nominee Will Eno ("The Realistic Joneses," "Middletown," "Thom Pain") features a guy named Guy who knows, like all of us on some level, that he is about to die. Guy engages the audience in a conversation about life and what is worth celebrating, what is worth treasuring, and what is worth letting go in this moving and hilarious play.

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Volume 12, Issue 10, Posted 12:59 PM, 10.02.2019

Burning River Baroque to perform at Blank Canvas CLE

Thoughtfully crafted programs inspired by the current social climate are at the heart of Burning River Baroque’s eighth season, which focuses on unconventional 17th-century women and perceptions of mental health. Known for its their socially motivated programming and dynamic interpretations of early modern music, the group will bring “A Mad, Burning Desire” to Blank Canvas CLE on Oct. 19.

The performers will also engage the audience with dialogues about the myriad ways the perception of mental illness in the early modern period is directly related to the stigma surrounding mental health in contemporary times. The program will further challenge audience members to consider the ways in which we might address the mental health crises many are facing today.

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Volume 12, Issue 10, Posted 12:56 PM, 10.02.2019

UH Symphonic Band embarks on 50th season

This season marks the 50th anniversary of the University Heights Symphonic Band (UHSB), an all-volunteer wind ensemble sponsored by the city of University Heights.

This year the band is pleased to inaugurate its first year-round concert season, presenting concerts in Kulas Auditorium at John Carroll University (JCU) on Oct. 20, Dec. 5 and March 8. Additionally, the band will present a series of holiday and summer concerts around Greater Cleveland.

The band is under the leadership of Musical and Artistic Director Matthew Salvaggio, who also serves as music director of the Euclid Symphony Orchestra.

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Volume 12, Issue 10, Posted 10:38 AM, 10.01.2019

The most-watched film in the Cedar Lee's history

It’s the most watched film in the history of the Cedar Lee Theatre. It’s not an award-winner, and it’s not “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Created by a director who’s a native of Cleveland Heights, it premiered in July 2014 and has been running daily ever since. By my back-of-the-envelope calculations, it’s played more than 40,000 times.

It’s the policy trailer that plays before every feature film. You know, the 55-second short that tells you to keep your feet off the seats, find the nearest exit, and turn off that cell phone! Locally produced for Cleveland Cinemas, it features local people, unlike most of its generic counterparts you see in national theater chains.

If you’re the rare Heights resident who hasn’t seen a film at the Cedar Lee in the past five years, here’s a recap (or, view it here: https://tinyurl.com/cedarleetrailer): The trailer starts with a couple buying tickets which shoot out animated confetti in joyful anticipation of the fun to come. The couple head to their seats, blocked by two rude dudes with their feet up. A subtitle tells you not to do that, and the dudes drop their feet.

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Volume 12, Issue 9, Posted 1:41 PM, 09.02.2019

Heights Arts exhibition explores 'digital paradox'

Heights Arts kicks off the fall exhibition season with Untouched: The Digital Paradox, opening Friday, Aug. 30, 6–9 p.m. Matthew Hollern, professor and chair of jewelry and metals at the Cleveland Institute of Art, is the guest curator for the show, which explores the evolving role of technology in the creation of art.

“Sometimes the digital history of an object is apparent,” said Hollern. “At other times the role of technology is there but it’s invisible. Sometimes a work seems like digital trickery but it is actually not. Digital work can really challenge assumptions.”

Artists in the show are George Kozmon, Barry Underwood, // Benitez_Vogl (Margarita Benitez and Markus Vogl), Janice Lessman-Moss, Marcus Brathwaite, Tony Ingrisano, Yasniel Valdes, and Matthew Hollern. The exhibit is on view through Oct. 13.

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Volume 12, Issue 9, Posted 7:58 AM, 08.27.2019

White Gallery fall show opens Sept. 6

The Nicholson B. White Gallery at St. Paul’s Church invites the public to an artists’ reception on Friday, Sept. 6, 5–7, p.m., to view work by photographer Thomas Abel, painters Patricia Ingram and Jerome T. White, and textile artist Martha Young.  

Abel took the photographs in the 1950s and '70s in France, mostly in Paris, using the distinctively rich Kodachrome color film. He studied and worked in France for part of his life, and became fascinated with the architecture. His images capture a time gone by in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Abel worked for more than 30 years in Cleveland as an architectural photographer and photographic artist. While in France, he met his wife, who shared his love of art and architecture. With the encouragement and assistance of his family, the White Gallery is thrilled to show Abel's work. 

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Volume 12, Issue 9, Posted 7:53 AM, 08.27.2019

Burning River Baroque opens eighth season

Thoughtfully crafted programs inspired by the current social climate are once again at the heart of Burning River Baroque’s upcoming season, which will shed light on unconventional 17th-century women and issues surrounding mental health. The group, known for both  socially motivated programming and dynamic interpretations, will open its eighth season with a performance of A Mad, Burning Desire on Aug. 22 in Cleveland Heights.

The program highlights the extraordinary accomplishments of the first English actresses who gained the legal right to take the public stage in the early 1660s. Many of them capitalized on early modern society’s fascination with mental illness and catapulted themselves to fame by portraying characters who descended violently into lovesick madness on the Restoration stage. English philosophers and medical experts alike began to think of psychological maladies as medical conditions requiring treatment by doctors rather than as spiritual deficiencies to be handled by religious authorities over the course of the 17th century.

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Volume 12, Issue 8, Posted 1:46 PM, 08.01.2019

Heights Music Hop 2019 bands to be announced Aug. 16

The public is invited to attend a band lineup announcement event for the seventh annual Heights Music Hop 7–9 p.m. on Aug. 16 at the BottleHouse Brewery and Meadery, 2050 Lee Road. At the event, organizers will announce the acts for this year’s free live-music festival.

The three-day weekend of more than 60 musical performances will take place Sept. 12-14 in more than 28 venues across three business districts in Cleveland Heights. The event offers a variety of musical genres, such as classical, rock, rap, country, reggae, bluegrass and American roots.

Heights Music Hop began in 2013. Jeff Coryell, a former FutureHeights board member, believed that Cleveland Heights had the artists, musicians, resources, and public interest to warrant organizing a large-scale music festival. Other individuals, business owners, and partner organizations quickly joined the mix–including fellow board member Greg Bonanno. Although he has been stationed more than 7,000 miles away for the last several years, Bonanno is still an ardent supporter.

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Volume 12, Issue 8, Posted 1:41 PM, 08.01.2019

CH mayor and Ensemble director attend national placemaking workshop

Cleveland Heights Mayor Carol Roe and Ensemble Theatre Executive Artistic Director Celeste Cosentino traveled to Washington, D.C., in mid-July to attend the inaugural Local Leaders’ Institute on Creative Placemaking. They were among six teams, each comprising a local arts leader and a government official, representing small, medium and rural communities that were selected to participate from among 148 applicants.

Cosentino spearheaded an effort last year to apply for a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Our Town grant for the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus project. Though she did not receive a grant, she was invited to apply for the workshop.

“I learned so much about how integral arts and culture are to community cohesion and how there are courageous ways to think outside of the box to solve civic issues,” said Cosentino about her experience at the institute.

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Volume 12, Issue 8, Posted 11:03 AM, 07.23.2019

Weil captures rare moonlit images of Lake View

Cleveland Heights photographer Michael Weil first began to think about making nighttime photographs in Lake View Cemetery almost 10 years ago.

“Lake View was part of my growing up,” said Weil. “As a child I would go with my father to visit the gravesite of his parents. Even as a child it struck me as not the typical cemetery where you’d hold your breath as you drove past.”

That early connection has developed into a two-part photographic presentation, Moonlight in the Gates: 150 Years of Lake View Cemetery in a New Reflective Light which will be on view in a special installation throughout the cemetery from July 22, 2019, through October 2020. Meanwhile, prints from the series also will be on view at Weil’s Foothill Galleries in Cleveland Heights, July 23 through Aug. 31.

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Volume 12, Issue 7, Posted 12:40 PM, 06.27.2019

Cleveland Heights vocalist presents concerts

Caleb A. Wright and his band, Alexander Wright & The Collective, will perform a free concert at Forest Hill Church in Cleveland Heights on Sunday, July 7, at 6:30 p.m.

Wright, a vocalist and entertainer, is a member of the Cleveland Heights-based Wright Family Singers, who have been performing in the Cleveland area for more than 40 years.

Wright has been performing on his own, locally and nationally, for the past five years. He is a member of multiple groups and choirs, including the Wright Family Singers, Elégie, the Voices of Koinonia, the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, and the Cleveland Opera Circle.

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Volume 12, Issue 7, Posted 10:33 AM, 06.28.2019

Dobama names Wise managing director

After a national search, Dobama Theatre’s Board of Directors unanimously selected Trevor Wise to be the theater’s new managing director.

“As we approach our 60th year, the Dobama board is very excited to welcome Trevor to Cleveland as our new managing director,” said Board President Marcel Duhamel. “Trevor brings skills and experiences that will help lead Dobama into a new decade of growth.”

“I am thrilled that Trevor will be joining Dobama to help lead the theatre at this exciting moment in the theatre’s history,” said Artistic Director Nathan Motta.

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Volume 12, Issue 7, Posted 10:29 AM, 06.28.2019

Dobama presents world premiere musical

June 27 through July 14, Dobama Theatre presents the world premiere of “33⅓,” a new musical about coming of age and coming out.

Matthew Wright is the director of Dobama’s production, which will feature choreography by Holly Handman-Lopez and music direction by Matthew Dolan.

The book, music and lyrics are by Jay Turvey and Paul Sportelli, co-writers of eight musicals. 

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Volume 12, Issue 6, Posted 10:14 AM, 06.03.2019

Heights Music Hop returns in September

The seventh annual Heights Music Hop festival will take place Sept. 12-14, in three Cleveland Heights districts: Sept.12 in Coventry Village, Sept. 13 in Cedar Fairmount, and Sept. 14 in Cedar Lee.

Heights Music Hop showcases local live musical talent, performing in local businesses and unique locations to promote the Heights as home to the arts, while also helping to support the local economy and celebrate the community’s diversity, walkability and great quality of life.

The 2019 festival will showcase new musical talent from all genres, including jazz, rock, R&B, classical, rap, indie, Americana and folk.

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Volume 12, Issue 6, Posted 10:12 AM, 06.03.2019

One-woman play will benefit memory-care programs

Net proceeds of the June 14–16 performances of “Living on the Moon,” a one-woman play written and performed by Molly McFadden, will benefit memory care programs managed by Benjamin Rose Institute and its affiliates. The performances take will take place at Ensemble Theatre, 2843 Washington Blvd., in Cleveland Heights.

The one-act play explores the bittersweet journey McFadden shared with her mother, after her mother’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease in the 1980s. Drawing on a lifetime of producing, acting and singing professionally, McFadden’s play brings meaning and light to her late mother’s story.

Locally renowned pianist Vince Robinson will accompany McFadden during performances of the show, directed by Christina Courtenay.

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Volume 12, Issue 6, Posted 10:07 AM, 06.03.2019

Cain Park ticket office residents day is June 1

The Cain Park ticket office opens to Cleveland Heights residents on Saturday, June 1, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., for the sale of tickets to the 2019 season from a specially held block of seats. The ticket office will open to the general public on Tuesday, June 4, noon to 9 p.m.

Residents need to bring a photo ID and two proofs of current residency (e.g., mail, utility bill, current CH Rec ID) to register with staff outside the main ticket office. After registering, each resident will get a number that represents his or her place in the ticket-buying queue. Or, residents can fill out a ticket-order form and leave it with staff to be filled at the end of the day, if seats are still available.

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Volume 12, Issue 6, Posted 11:46 AM, 05.28.2019

WRC concert will be Poderis' last

Western Reserve Chorale (WRC) will present the final concert of its season at 3:30 p.m., Sunday, June 2, at Church of the Gesu (2470 Miramar Blvd, University Heights).

The concert, "Sonic Sunrise," will be the final one with accompanist Joanne Poderis at the keyboard. Poderis, a founding member and longtime executive director of WRC, is stepping down from her roles with the Chorale. WRC invites all to celebrate Poderis' artistry and the conclusion of its 27th season.

The concert will feature Ola Gjielo’s Sunrise Mass as well as a celebration of the 125th anniversary of the birth of E.E. Cummings.

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Volume 12, Issue 6, Posted 11:55 AM, 05.28.2019

Dobama Theatre wins Actors Equity award

Dobama Theatre was honored with a regional award by the Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) for making non-traditional casting a priority all season long, and providing ongoing opportunities for underrepresented artists.

The theatre received the Kathryn V. Lamkey Award at the annual “Spirit, a Celebration of Diversity” event in Chicago’s Shakespeare Theater on March 11. Named after a former AEA Central Regional Director, the “Kathy” recognizes Dobama’s current 2018/2019 season, which features only women playwrights, including Dominique Morisseau, Annie Baker, Karen Zacarías, Alice Birch, Jennifer Haley and Melissa James Gibson.

Past winners of the award include Damron Russel Armstrong, founder the Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City; Ellen Alberding, president of the Joyce Foundation; Ron Himes, the founder and producing director of the St. Louis Black Repertory Theater; Barbara Gaines, founder and artistic director of Chicago Shakespeare Theater; and the Court Theatre.

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Volume 12, Issue 5, Posted 11:00 AM, 04.30.2019

Artists contemplate local experiences

Karen Sandstrom is the next featured artist in the Heights Arts Spotlight Gallery, in a show opening May 10. Sandstrom’s recent body of work, “Such Agreeable Friends,” pays homage to George Eliot’s quote, which observes the personified virtues of the kinship animals offer. Sandstrom’s work in this show combines handwritten text and illustrated imagery in an article-style composition. Mentions of local weather, animals, seasonal fruits and trees, etc., construct a life that is familiar to any number of suburban Cleveland residents. The mellow exterior and visually flowing scrawl of the lettering sits in contrast to the sharper, snarkier voice of the text. Focusing a humorous and honest lens on a calmer, softer approach to dissecting the everyday, Sandstrom’s pieces do not aim to critique or to settle for paying homage. They heighten an awareness of the existence of these pleasantly simple and small moments that would otherwise be overlooked. Come to the opening reception on May 10, 6 to 9 p.m., to see how the narrator works in conjunction with an intertwining collage of tenderly rendered watercolor pieces, and converse with the artist herself.

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Volume 12, Issue 5, Posted 1:11 PM, 05.01.2019

Cedar Lee to screen crowd-sourced film on yoga master

A new documentary film, "Iyengar: The Man, Yoga, and the Student’s Journey," will be screened at the Cedar Lee Theatre on Wednesday, June 5, at 7:30 p.m.

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Jake Clennell, the film looks at the life and teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar, considered instrumental in popularizing yoga around the world. An Official Selection of the Vancouver International Film Festival, the film was made with the support and cooperation of B.K.S. Iyengar and the Iyengar family, the Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States, and students and supporters worldwide.

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Volume 12, Issue 5, Posted 1:00 PM, 05.01.2019

Ensemble to celebrate 40 years with April 13 gala benefit

On Saturday, April 13, Ensemble Theatre in Cleveland Heights will host a benefit gala to celebrate 40 years of providing Northeast Ohio with professional theater.

The gala fundraiser will include live music, select preview performances from the upcoming season, silent auction items, and food from local sponsors, including The Fairmont, Nighttown, Luna Bakery and Café, The Stone Oven, and Poison Berry Bakery.

Founded in 1979 by Lucia Colombi, Ensemble Theatre was started in the spirit of producing American classic plays, including those of Eugene O’Neill, of whom Colombi was particularly fond. Among its many award-winning productions over the years was the “Panorama of African-American Theatre” series, which was filmed by PBS, syndicated nationally and chosen for the network’s “First View Award” as one of the top 25 educational programs in the country.

Celeste Cosentino, Colombi’s daughter, took over as executive artistic director after Lucia’s passing in 2009. The theater has been a huge part of her life for the past 40 years. “I was born in October of ’78 and Ensemble was created in the summer of ’79, so we are both 40 this year,” Cosentino said.

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Volume 12, Issue 4, Posted 12:50 PM, 04.01.2019

University Heights Symphonic Band in concert April 14

On Sunday, April 14, at 3 p.m., the University Heights Symphonic Band will perform a concert in the Dolan Science Center Atrium at John Carroll University (1 John Carroll Blvd., University Heights).

The event is open to the public, with a $5 suggested donation at the door, and ample free parking is available next to the venue.

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Volume 12, Issue 4, Posted 12:54 PM, 04.01.2019

Un-romantic comedy 'This' opens April 26 at Dobama

Dobama Theatre will wrap up its 2018–19 mainstage season with the regional premiere of “This” by Melissa James Gibson, running April 26 through May 26.

Directed by Nathan Motta, Dobama’s artistic director, “This” is a smart, witty, un-romantic comedy that captures the uncertain steps of a circle of friends who are backing their way into middle age. Jane is a promising poet without a muse and a single mother without lessons to pass along. With her dating life in shambles, she goes to a friend’s dinner party where she’s set up with a handsome French doctor. But after the meal and a few glasses of wine, a party game goes wrong and everything in her life becomes more complicated.

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Volume 12, Issue 4, Posted 12:59 PM, 04.01.2019

April at Heights Arts features third iteration of Emergent

Opening Friday, April 26, at Heights Arts gallery, 2175 Lee Road, is the third iteration of the well-received exhibition Emergent, which shines a light on artists who have recently graduated from area colleges and universities.

First presented in 2015, Emergent celebrates the strength of the Northeast Ohio region as a training ground for the great artists of tomorrow. Numerous artists who appeared in previous Emergent exhibitions at Heights Arts are now well into established careers as working artists in the Cleveland area and elsewhere, including Jerry Birchfield, Abbey Blake, Robert Coby, Amber Ford, Matthew Gallagher, David Masters, Nathan Prebonic, and Rachel Shelton.

For Emergent 2019, the Heights Arts exhibition community team selected 11 artists who create in a variety of media, from institutions that include the Cleveland Institute of Art, Kent State University, the University of Akron, and Oberlin College. The artists are Emily Brannan, Davon Brantly, Kimberly Chapman, Kylie Demkowicz, Sydney Givens, Alyson Hollobaugh, Danielle Muzina, Alex Overbeck, Noelle Richard, Jeni Stovicek, and Yskandar.

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Volume 12, Issue 4, Posted 12:56 PM, 04.01.2019

Burning River Baroque will perform at St. Alban on March 21

Burning River Baroque continues its seventh season with a series of thought-provoking performances, beginning Tuesday, March 19. The Other Side of the Story: Untold Perspectives on Familiar Tales has been crafted to connect baroque music to contemporary social issues.

The March performances engage audiences around the timeless issues of toxic masculinity and consent. Historic passages and tales have been interwoven with a broad range of musical compositions and related commentary. “We frequently get to experience history through the victor’s eyes,” said co-director Malina Rauschenfels. “We’re interested in hearing the other side of the story—from those populations that are often marginalized.”

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Volume 12, Issue 4, Posted 10:33 AM, 03.19.2019

Foothill Galleries presents photomontages by CH artist Greg Donley

A montage of images and words, Greg Donley’s works—uniquely sized at 6 inches tall by 6 to 10 feet wide—seem to wrap the viewer within. Explaining the intentionality of the size, Donley said, “You can’t really take in the detail all at once. You have to move yourself past it, much as you have to move yourself through a landscape.”

“What I have tried to do with these photographs,” said Donley, “is explore the ways in which people experience places, and how they remember those experiences later.

An exhibition of Donley’s latest series of works, Annotated Grandeur: New photomontages by G.M. Donley, will open at Foothill Galleries (2450 Fairmount Blvd., Suite M291) on Wednesday, March 13, with a reception 6–8 p.m. The show will run through the end of April.

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Volume 12, Issue 4, Posted 10:04 AM, 03.08.2019

Free tour and program celebrate iconic synagogue

During its 150th anniversary year, Park Synagogue is celebrating the art and architecture of Park Synagogue Main in Cleveland Heights, designed by the world-renowned architect, Eric Mendelsohn.

On Sunday, March 10, the community is invited to a free program at, and about, this iconic space, located at 3300 Mayfield Road, in Cleveland Heights.

In “Park 150: Celebrating the Art & Architecture of Park Synagogue,” Samantha Baskind, professor of art history at Cleveland State University, will highlight many of the significant works of art in the exceptional collection that hangs in the building.

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Volume 12, Issue 3, Posted 9:57 AM, 03.04.2019

Heights Arts show celebrates 'Sideways Thinking'

Guest curator Julianne Edberg invited her friends to have some serious fun with the group exhibition Sideways Thinking, on view at Heights Arts March 8 through April 21. Artists Leslye Discont Arian, Catherine Butler, Julianne Edberg, Laurie Garrett, Jenny Mendes and Melissa O’Grady focus on playing—the less serious side of art.  

“It may look like fun, but it's all the artist can do!” Edberg explained. “When we play, we let loose the inspired part of our mind to think sideways instead of logically. Ideas flow more freely. Questions may be raised. Is this an alternate, more fantastic world we are looking at? It is definitely a more fun, more magical place. Perhaps less polished, less formal. A childlike viewpoint sparks a connection between hitherto unconnected frames of reference. Playing calms the nerves and provides a new way of looking at things.”

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Volume 12, Issue 3, Posted 1:15 PM, 03.03.2019

Cleveland premiere of 'The Nether' opens at Dobama

Both a twisting criminal drama and a haunting sci-fi thriller, “The Nether,” by Jennifer Haley, explores the consequences of living out our most shocking urges in the age of virtual reality. Dobama Theatre’s production of the play, directed by Shannon Sindelar, will run March 8–31.

In her play, Haley creates a possible future in which The Nether is a virtual wonderland that provides total sensory immersion. Participants log in, choose an identity, and indulge their every desire. But when a young detective uncovers a disturbing brand of entertainment, she triggers an interrogation into the darkest corners of the imagination.

The New York Times called the play “a parable for where we’re headed.”

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Volume 12, Issue 3, Posted 1:09 PM, 03.03.2019

Ensemble stages classic O'Neill work

March 8–31, Cleveland Heights’ Ensemble Theatre will stage another timeless Eugene O’Neill play, “A Moon for the Misbegotten,” directed by Ian Wolfgang Hinz.

A sequel to “Long Day’s Journey into Night,” the play continues O'Neill's exploration into themes of deceit—both of others and within oneself—and the ever presence of death.

After Ensemble’s recent productions of O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey . . .” and “The Iceman Cometh,” Hinz felt it was time to bring “A Moon for the Misbegotten” to Ensemble’s stage.

“It’s one of O’Neill’s last three plays,” Hinz said, “and those are his more famous works. He’s America’s greatest playwright, and the time was right to bring this one to light.”

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Volume 12, Issue 3, Posted 1:06 PM, 03.03.2019

WRC to sing Haydn and Beethoven

There may be other examples of a teacher and student sharing a concert stage, but rarely are both held in such high regard. In this instance, the Western Reserve Chorale (WRC) will share the work of Franz Joseph Haydn (the teacher) and Ludwig van Beethoven (the student) as part of the Silver Hall Concert Series at the Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center on March 24.

The chorale will present Haydn’s St. Nicholas Mass with Beethoven’s Mass in C Major. Both works represent the legacy of music commissioned by Prince Nicolaus Esterhazy II for performance in Eisenstadt, Austria. The St. Nicholas Mass is not on the same scale as Haydn’s late masses (it is about half the length of the Nelson Mass) but it is nevertheless quintessential Haydn in its energy, its tunefulness and, above all, its infectious joy.

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Volume 12, Issue 3, Posted 1:12 PM, 03.03.2019

Cleveland Heights' Apollo's Fire wins Grammy

On Feb. 10, the baroque ensemble Apollo's Fire won the Grammy Award for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album for "Songs of Orpheus." The ensemble, under the artistic direction of Jeanette Sorrell, shares the award with tenor Karim Sulayman, the album's solo vocalist.

"Songs of Orpheus" uses the work of 17th-century Italian composers Monteverdi, Caccini, Landi and d'India to retell the story of Orpheus' journey to the underworld to recue his wife, Eurydice. Along with providing the instrumentation for these vocal pieces, the ensemble also performed sonatas by Castello and Cima on the recording.

Apollo's Fire has produced over 20 albums in its 27-year history thus far. This is its first Grammy

Sorrell expressed surprise about winning the award, noting, "The other nominees in our category had quite a bit of PR-power behind them, in addition to being compelling recordings. We were the new kid on the block in that world." 

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Volume 12, Issue 3, Posted 12:18 PM, 02.12.2019

Forest Hill Church celebrates 'An Evening of Wonder'

This year’s celebration of Black History Month at Forest Hill Church—An Evening of Wonder—will honor the music of Motown legend Stevie Wonder on Sunday, Feb. 10. Preceded by a community soul food dinner at 5:30 p.m., the musical performances will begin at 7 p.m.

The community meal and concert are free and open to the public.

The church’s Black History Month committee chose to celebrate Wonder in recognition of his phenomenal musical career and the significant contributions his music has made in elevating the position of black musicians throughout society, as well as the lasting impact of his songbook on modern American history. The evening will highlight many of Wonder’s most memorable and socially impactful songs over the past 50 years.

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Volume 12, Issue 2, Posted 4:52 PM, 02.01.2019