Why? KeyBank Broadway Series!

The line-up for the 2020-2021 KeyBank Broadway Series at Playhouse Square has been announced! From music and stories we all know and love, to new tales that will tug at your heart, this upcoming season has something for everyone.

Here’s what’s coming and when:

To Kill a Mockingbird is Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of the classic novel.

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See it October 3-22, 2020.

Pretty Woman: The Musical is a musical interpretation of the beloved romantic-comedy, with all the iconic movie moments, plus lots of fun songs.

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See it Janaury 5-24, 2021.

The Cher Show brings all the glitz, glam, excess, and amazing music of Cher to the stage in a tale of her life, story, and legend.

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See it February 2-21, 2021.

The Prom is a new musical comedy about big Broadway stars on a mission to change the world and the love they discover that unites them all.

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See it March 9-28, 2021.

Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations tells the story of The Temptations and their iconic music, set against the backdrop of America’s civil unrest.

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See it April 6-25, 2021.

Moulin Rouge: The Musical is all about truth, beauty, freedom, and love in this adaptation of the Baz Luhrmann movie.

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See it May 5- June 6, 2021.

Hadestown intertwines the myths of Orpheus and Eurydice and Hades and Persephone into a beguiling and vibrant show.

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See it July 6-25, 2021.

Season ticket packages are currently on sale online. Cleveland boasts the largest Broadway season ticket holder base in the country, with 46,000 season ticket holders! This is the best way to secure your seats for all these amazing shows and be a part of Broadway in CLE!

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Why? Get Refreshed Giveaway!

How often do you take a whole day for self-care? To recharge, to get inspired, and to connect? Northeast Ohio Parent wants you to commit a day, busy mommas, to Get Refreshed 2020!

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Sometimes it can be so hard to carve out time for ourselves, but it’s always so worth it! Taking place on Thursday, April 30 at Studios at 78th Street, Get Refreshed 2020 includes yoga, inspirational speakers, lunch, pampering services, giveaways, shopping, an art walk, cocktails, and more.

The speakers for the day are Maribeth Leschinsky of Maximize Bliss, Liz Ferro of Girls With Sole, and Gina Kelly of Gina Kelly Health Coach.

Whether through movement, hearing a much-needed message, getting a much-needed massage, or connecting with like-minded women, Get Refreshed 2020 promises to be a day that will leave you and everyone in your life better for you participating in it!

Tickets are currently on sale for $60, but you can enter to win a complimentary ticket right here! Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment here for each):

1.Leave a comment here telling me why you need to Get Refreshed!

2. Visit Northeast Ohio Parent and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Visit my Instagram page and complete the steps with the Get Refreshed 2020 image for an additional entry.

4. Follow @neohioparent and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

5. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:

I want to Get Refreshed with @neohioparent and @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2020/02/21/why-get-refreshed-giveaway 

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment here each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Wednesday, February 26 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Northeast Ohio Parent to help promote Get Refreshed 2020. In exchange, I will receive one complimentary ticket for myself. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Anastasia Galentine’s Package!

Last night I celebrated one of my favorite holidays, Galentine’s Day, with my original galentine: my mom!

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We started with dinner and drinks at Bin 216. Bin 216 is offering a special Galentine’s Cocktail Menu through the run of Anastasia at Playhouse Square. There are select wines, beers, and cocktails.

Mom had the lemon drop and I had a Kentucky mule.

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Then we shared a selection of small plates, including the Neopolitan flatbread, the spinach and artichoke dip, and the special of the day: crispy Brussel sprouts.

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So delicious! We capped off the meal with the decadent apple tart.

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Then it was off to see Anastasia, a beautifully staged and costumed show. And the lead actress’s voice blows the doors off the Connor Palace Theatre.

We had single seats, but since we don’t talk during the show, it wasn’t a big deal! We just caught up at intermission and after the show.

What’s more fun than drinks and a Broadway show with your galentine? Playhouse Square knows that combo makes the perfect night out, so through the run of Anastasia, you can score single seat tickets, each of which will be paired with a drink voucher for a complimentary drink from the Bin 216 Galentine’s Cocktail Menu.

It’s a great deal on a great night out with your galentines! Click here to purchase tickets.

***Disclosure: I was asked by Playhouse Square to help promote the Anastasia Galentine’s package. In exchange, I received complimentary tickets and drink vouchers. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? NCJW Winter Meeting: Headlines and Hemlines!

Spend a fun and fashionable morning with NCJW Cleveland at their 125th annual Winter Meeting on Wednesday, February 5 at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven.

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The theme of this year’s Winter Meeting is Headlines and Hemlines. The morning will include a presentation from Sarah Rogers and Sara Hume from Kent State University Fashion Museum, exploring how the tenor of the times has impacted both fashion and the activities of NCJW Cleveland.

You can start your morning perusing pop-up shops starting at 10am, enjoying a curated shopping experience with unique retailers. Brunch and the presentation begin at 11:30am.

Cost to attend is $40 for NCJW Cleveland members and $45 for non-members. Click here to purchase a ticket and enjoy a morning of fashionable fun!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the NCJW Cleveland Winter Meeting. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Mecklenburg Gardens!

For New Year’s Eve this year, my friend Anne invited me to take a road trip with her to Cincinnati to ring in the new year German-style.

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Anne’s friends Chris and Allison own Mecklenburg Gardens, the oldest restaurant in Cincinnati. Mecklenburg Gardens was established in 1865 and is still serving up delicious German food and beer, with the distinction of being named America’s Best Beer Garden by Travel and Leisure Magazine.

While it was too chilly to enjoy the outdoor gardens, we did get to experience the bier hall, which was filled with old-world charm.

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Mecklenburg’s Midnight in Munich party included a champagne toast at 6pm (midnight Munich time); a delicious buffet of German favorites like sauerkraut balls, a whole roast pig, and German chocolate cake; live music; and lots of fun.

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Seriously, all New Year’s Eve celebrations should happen at 6pm. I was in my PJs on our hosts’ couch before midnight.

While our trip to Cincinnati was super short, I was absolutely delighted with Mecklenburg Gardens and the hospitality we received. I definitely want to head back down south soon to explore more of the city, so let me know if you have any recommendations of where to go!

And if you find yourself in Cincinnati, check out Mecklenburg Gardens for a delicious taste of old-world Germany!

How did you ring in the New Year?

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Why? Weekends!

When your weekend recap is essentially three blog posts, you know it was a good time!

John Carroll Alumni Breakfast with Santa

On Sunday morning, the John Carroll Alumni Relations Office hosted their annual Breakfast with Santa on campus.

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The Breakfast with Santa includes a Mass in St. Francis Chapel, a buffet breakfast in the Dining Hall, crafts, a donation drive for Bellefaire JCB, and of course a chance to visit with Santa.

Jeffrey made a list before we went and presented it to Santa, who promised to take it back to the North Pole with him!

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We also had a chance to visit with the President of the University, Dr. Johnson, and his wife Jill, who are such wonderful assets to the university.

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I always love this event because I can catch up with college friends and see how our kids have now become friends, too!

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It was a fabulous holiday morning!

Mean Girls

On Sunday night, Alicia brought me as her guest to see “Mean Girls” at Playhouse Square. Before the show, we grabbed cocktails and appetizers at Republic Food and Drink.

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We both love their selection of bourbon cocktails (I had the rye old fashioned). We also devoured the Warm Bavarian Pretzel Sticks with cheddar-beer sauce and the Warm Street Corn Dip, with sweet corn, white cheddar, cilantro, and lime, served with corn tortilla chips.

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Then it was over to the show. Alicia and I both had the chance last week thanks to Playhouse Square to interview the actors portraying “The Plastics,” so it was especially fun to see them in action after getting the chance to know them a bit off-stage.

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The show is energetic and hilarious and has all the best lines that you love from the movie version, plus updated jokes for 2019. And boy, can the cast sing and dance! I absolutely loved the performance! “Mean Girls” is at Playhouse Square through Sunday, December 22, so don’t miss your chance to get in on the fun!

So, that was my weekend in (three) nutshells. How was yours?

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Why? CIAO! Cleveland Giveaway!

The Northern Ohio Italian American Foundation is kicking off Italian Heritage Month with a free outdoor festival in The Flats on Saturday, October 5. CIAO! Cleveland is a celebration of Italian culture that is open to the public from 12pm to 10pm.

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There will be wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, fashion art, music, and of course food. Vendors for CIAO! Cleveland include Lago East Bank, Caruso’s Coffee Roasters, Orlando Baking Company, Miceli’s, Luca Italian Cuisine, Dante’s Inferno, Corbo’s Bakery, and more.

Enjoy live entertainment the Avanti Band, SPAZMATICS, and more. And check out the Medical Mutual Demonstration Tent with wine tastings, cooking demos, and a presentation from Angelo Petitti of Petitti Garden Centers.

This is sure to be a fun and delicious day celebrating the best of Italian culture in Northeast Ohio!

CIAO! Cleveland is free and open to the public, but the demo tent events are ticketed and I have your chance to win two tickets to an event in the Medical Mutual Demonstration Tent! Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, or all three entries, just leave a separate comment here for each):

1. Leave a comment here telling me your favorite Italian dish.

2. Visit NOIA Foundation and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Visit my Instagram page and follow the directions with the CIAO! Cleveland image.

The giveaway will close on Sunday, September 29 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck! Hope to see you at CIAO! Cleveland!

***Disclosure: I was asked by NOIA Foundation to help promote CIAO! Cleveland. In exchange, I will receive a press pass to the events in the Medical Mutual Demo Tent. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Why? Playhouse Square Partners!

Last night, Playhouse Square Partners kicked off our programming for 2019-2020 with an Oktoberfest-themed membership open house at Hofbrauhaus Cleveland.

From cheap liters of beer to yummy pretzels to the chance to get to be among the first to know the theme for the upcoming Jump Back Ball, there was a lot of fun to be had!

Speaking of Jump Back Ball, this year’s theme is From Jukebox to Boombox. The party of the year takes place on Saturday, February 29 and tickets go on sale on October 29. You won’t want to miss it!

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But Partners is so much more than just Jump Back Ball. We plan monthly events that range from networking to socializing to volunteering and fundraising. Our fundraising efforts support Playhouse Square’s Community Engagement and Education initiatives, such as Disney Musicals in Schools and the Dazzle Awards.

I’ve been involved with Partners for eight years now and am completing my sixth and final year on the Board. I’ve seen firsthand how much fun we have, how much good we do, and how amazing it is to be connected to Playhouse Square, which is truly an icon in the Cleveland community.

If you’re interested in joining Partners, you can learn more about our membership levels and benefits here. You can also join me at one of our upcoming events:

  • September Monthly Members Meeting on Monday, September 16. Join us for a Happy Half Hour, followed by committee break-out sessions where you can learn more about the various Partners committees and help us plan upcoming events.
  • Partners Dine Around on Monday, September 23. Choose one of four restaurants in the Playhouse Square District and dine with Partners members. Afterward, all the groups will meet up for a nightcap at Parnell’s Pub.

I hope to see you at one of these events and that you’ll save the date for Jump Back Ball!

***Disclosure: I am the communications co-chair for Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom!

We all know that The Cleveland Orchestra is a world-class orchestra. But seeing The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center is also a world-class experience.

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On Sunday, Matthew and I attended a show with the Blossom Festival Orchestra and Brian Wilson, celebrating the iconic “Pet Sounds” album (as well as lots of Beach Boys classics). This was so exciting for me, since my first concert was seeing The Beach Boys at Blossom.

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But before the music even starts, there are new features at Blossom that make an evening there with The Cleveland Orchestra even more spectacular! The newly-opened Tasting Room offers wine, beer, and desserts to enjoy in the Tasting Room or take with you to your seats in a handy, yours-to-keep carafe.

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At all The Cleveland Orchestra concerts, the featured wines in the Tasting Room are themed on what the orchestra is playing. So, at Sunday’s show with Brian Wilson, the wines were from California.

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You can also order boxed lunches or picnic baskets from the Tasting Room to enjoy on the lawn or in one of the cute new seating areas.

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Beyond The Tasting Room, the Blossom Grill offers full-service, sit-down dining or you can enjoy one of the many food truck vendors lining the lawn.

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Matthew and I grabbed dinner from The Shuckin’ Shack. The BBQ pulled chicken was delicious, as was the garlic parmesan roasted corn.

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If you’re a season subscriber to The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom, you get exclusive access to Kulas Plaza, which includes a bar, food vendors, seating, restrooms, and easy access to the pavilion.

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We also got a glimpse of all the backstage action. The backstage set-up at Blossom is truly impressive and massive, with practice rooms, dressing rooms, catering services, and everything to keep shows from The Cleveland Orchestra to rock ‘n roll up and running.

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Then it was time for the show! It was such a cool throwback for me to see Brian Wilson and hear music that I enjoyed at my first concert ever. The Blossom Festival Orchestra added such great depth to the music too.

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From taking us through the entire “Pet Sounds” album to an encore dance party of Beach Boys favorites, it was a wonderful night!

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The Cleveland Orchestra has three more concerts left at Blossom this season: Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances on Saturday, August 17; South Pacific in Concert on Saturday, August 24 (a collaboration with the Baldwin Wallace Music Theatre Program); and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back on Friday, August 30 through Sunday, September 1.

Of course, you can also catch The Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall. Learn more about the 2019-2020 series here.

For a magical night of music, food, and fun, don’t miss your chance to see The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center!

***Disclosure: I was invited by The Cleveland Orchestra to attend a show at Blossom Music Center. I received two complimentary tickets to the show, a parking pass, and drink vouchers. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Matthew’s Birthday!

Last week, Matthew turned 40, which called for several celebrations…

Marble Room Steaks and Raw Bar

Marble Room Steaks and Raw Bar was one of the spots we kept wanting to go to, but hadn’t yet. A big birthday celebration seemed like the perfect reason to go!

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We went a bit before our reservation time, so we could enjoy a cocktail at the bar and take in the ambiance first (thanks for the pro tip, Adam and Rebecca!)

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I had the Love Potion, with Belvedere Vodka, Pama Liqueur, grilled pineapple purée, pomegranate glaze, baked coconut flakes, and cranberry juice. This was light, fruity, and seasonally perfect!

Matthew had the High on Life, with Tanquerey Gin, St. Germain Elderflower, Dolin Blanc, cucumber, mint, lemon juice, and shiso leaf.

For dinner, we shared two appetizers: Hamachi Jalapeño Crudo and Duck Confit Duo (a Korean BBQ bao bun and confit-mushroom spring rolls).

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The Hamachi was perfection and the duck was smoky and delicious. I could drink the ginger-plum sauce that came with the duck!

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For our entrees, we made our own surf and turf. Matthew chose the dry-aged Delmonico and I had the King Crab. Both were simple, but prepared very well.

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The side dishes are shareable and we split the Crispy Potato Cake, with roasted poblano and guajillo chiles, garlic, scallion, and cotija cheese. It’s like a hash brown in heaven!

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For dessert, Matthew was presented with Marble Room’s homemade special-occasion cotton candy.

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He also got the Liz’s Gilded Chocolate Cake and I got the classic Vanilla Bean Crème Brulée, served with a snickerdoodle cookie (my favorite cookie).

The food, service, and atmosphere all truly made it a very special meal!

The Lion King

From there, we walked down to Playhouse Square to see The Lion King.

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The show is playing at the KeyBank State Theatre through Sunday, September 1 and is truly something to see. You know the story, of course, but there are new songs and the costumes are incredible. Disney never skimps on production value!

Dinner at Home

On Thursday (Matthew’s actual birthday), we enjoyed a family dinner at home with tacos and birthday cake, which is a meal that can keep everyone from a 5-year old to a 40-year old happy!

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Jeffrey helped make the cake, which made it even more special!

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Masthead Brewing Co.

Then on Saturday, we gathered with friends at Masthead Brewing Co. for one last birthday celebration of this big year.

Masthead was the perfect spot to meet up: great beer, delicious food, a nice patio, convenient parking, family-friendly for those who wanted to bring their kids…

We ordered lots of pizza and pretzels to share and of course enjoyed lots of craft beer, too!

It was a fun few days celebrating! Where are your go-to birthday celebration spots?

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