Why? DANCECleveland BalletX Giveaway!

DANCECleveland is going all out for the 2019 National Dance Day on Saturday, July 27, with an ADF in CLE Summer Dance Festival that includes free community dance classes, a Take a Hike Tour, and Community Dance Day around the Playhouse Square district. Classes are for all ages and abilities and free, although registration is encouraged.

DANCECleveland’s celebration of National Dance Day will conclude with the dance company that is the darling of the Vail International Dance Festival and their own hometown of Philadelphia: BalletX.

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BalletX will make their Cleveland debut in an evening of works by some of the most exciting choreographers creating work today. Founded in 2005, the company has been applauded for their athleticism, emotion, and grace while challenging the boundaries of classical ballet. Having toured to prestigious venues around the world, it is so exciting to welcome them to Cleveland.

The performance will take place at 7:30pm on Saturday, July 27 in the Ohio Theatre. There is a pre-performance chat in the theatre that begins 45 minutes before the show.

BalletX Tickets range from $20-$45 and can be purchased online. Or you can enter to win two tickets to BalletX 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 your favorite style of dance.

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

3. Follow @dancecleveland and @whycle on Instagram and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

4. Follow @DANCECleveland 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 celebrate National Dance Day with @DANCECleveland thanks to @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/07/05/why-dancecleveland-balletx-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, July 10 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked by DANCECleveland to help promote the BalletX performance. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary tickets for myself and two tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Playhouse Square Partners at Bin 216!

Last night, Playhouse Square Partners celebrated the end of our (fiscal) year with our fifth annual wine tasting night at Bin 216.

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This event has become both a staple and a favorite for the organization. This year’s theme was South American wines and we enjoyed five courses of small bites and wines that were perfectly paired.

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Our first course paired Leyda Sauvignon Blanc with Asparagus & Egg Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette.

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You really can’t go wrong in my book with either asparagus or Sauvignon Blanc!

Our second course paired Tilia Chardonnay with a Seared Scallop over Sweet Corn Purée and Herb Oil.

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This particularly chardonnay was very oaky and on its own was not my favorite, but when paired with the food, it was quite good.

Our third course paired Root 1 Carmenere with Devils on Horseback.

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This peppery, delicious red wine was perfect by itself, but became even more delicious when paired with the chorizo-stuffed dates of happiness. (This was my favorite course, can you tell?)

Our fourth course paired Catena Malbec with Grilled Chicken Kabobs with Chimichurri.

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Much like the first course, this course paired two can’t miss items for me: Malbec and chimichurri.

Our fifth course paired El Enemigo Bonarda with Marinated, Smoked, and Grilled Portobello Mushroom Risotto.

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The risotto had a delicious, smoky taste to it which matched the wine nicely and added a depth of flavor you don’t always get with this kind of dish.

All in all, it was a delicious evening trying some new-to-me wines. Bin 216 is a great pre- or post-theater stop, with ambiance (check out that view of the beautiful Ohio Theatre lobby), delicious food, and great wines.

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And if you’re interested in getting involved with Playhouse Square Partners, we’re starting our Jump Back Ball 29 planning on Thursday, July 11 at Market Garden Brewery. You don’t have to be a member to attend. Click here to learn more and RSVP.

***Disclosure: I am the Communications Co-Chair for Playhouse Square Partners. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Oh my gosh, you guys. It’s JULY! When did that happen?! Here’s how we closed out the last weekend in June…

John Carroll Alumni Volunteer Summit

I spent a good part of my weekend up at John Carroll University attending the inaugural Alumni Volunteer Summit, which was truly energizing and inspiring.

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Image Source: @jcualumni 

The Summit brought together alumni volunteers from various university departments and areas of the country to share ideas, learn about the university’s vision for the future, and eat ice cream overlooking our beautiful alma mater’s campus.

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We kicked off the Summit with a cookout outside of Murphy Hall, spent Saturday hearing from various departments within the university, and ended with a party on the Quad with a band and food trucks.

Matthew and I stuffed ourselves with pizza, mozzarella sticks, and truffle fries from Sauced Wood Fired Pizza (the firecracker chicken pizza is so good).

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As one of the incoming members of the Alumni Association Board, the Summit was a great chance for me to connect with other Board members and get ready to once again give back to a place that has given me so much.

Dear Evan Hansen

On Saturday night, Matthew and I attended one of the final Cleveland performances of “Dear Evan Hansen.”

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This deeply moving, funny, true, heavy, beautiful story made me laugh, cry, and think about loneliness, human connection, parenting, and so much more. I was so glad we had a chance to see it!

Cedar Point

On Sunday, we met up with our dear friends (and some of Jeffrey’s godparents) Amanda and Scott for a toasty, fun summer day at Cedar Point.

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Jeffrey is enjoying his new height and was able to ride Thunder Canyon for the first (and second and third) time this season.

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From rides to lunch at Famous Dave’s to ice cream at Toft’s to fun with some of our favorite people, it was a perfect summer Sunday!

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How was your weekend? Do you have big plans for the holiday week?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Tri-C Jazz Fest!

Last night, the 40th anniversary year of Tri-C Jazz Fest kicked off at Playhouse Square in swinging, soulful style.

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Tower of Power opened the festival with a funky, raucous performance that brought the audience to their feet several times.

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With a fantastic horn section and an easy-on-the-eyes lead singer who also is insanely talented, this concert certainly set the stage for a weekend of “le jazz hot.”

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After the concert, we popped over to the VIP after party, with sips and nibbles and more live music.

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That’s the theme of the weekend for Jazz Fest: anywhere you go in the Playhouse Square District, you’ll hear live music. From free outdoor performances on Friday and Saturday to ticketed concerts in the theaters to kids activities to cooking demos to local food and craft vendors, you can spend two full days enjoying a fully immersive cultural experience.

For me, Tri-C Jazz Fest is one of those annual events that really illustrates the breadth and depth of Cleveland’s cultural might. The festival commands performances from jazz legends and brings all walks of life together to celebrate what is called “the original American art form.”

For a swinging good time, head to Tri-C Jazz Fest this weekend!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Tri-C Jazz Fest. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the concert of my choice, as well as access to the VIP After Party. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Dancing Wheels!

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a rehearsal as the Dancing Wheels company prepares for “Reverse*Reboot*Reveal” on Friday, June 14 at the Allen Theatre at Playhouse Square.

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Dancing Wheels is the nation’s first and foremost physically integrated dance company that pairs disabled dancers with non-disabled dancers.

“Reverse*Reboot*Reveal” will feature four world premiere pieces by internationally-acclaimed disabled choreographers. I got a glimpse at these pieces at the rehearsal and was amazed by the beauty, grace, and haunting emotion of the company’s performances.

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Dancing Wheels also provides in-studio classes, K-12 in-classroom education, and a summer Youth Arts Camp, so the organization is truly in the community creating greater understanding and acceptance of those with disabilities and fostering integrated partnerships with the non-disabled.

Dancing Wheels’s founder, Mary Verdi-Fletcher, is world-renowned as a wheelchair dancer and has a passion not only for the art form, but for the organization she founded in 1980.

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Attending “Reverse*Reboot*Reveal” will not only provide an evening of entertainment, but will support the Dancing Wheels mission and programming.

Tickets are $40 for general admission, which includes the performance and after party. VIP tickets are $125 and include a Gala Celebration with pre-performance hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, silent auction, prime seating for the concert, and meet & greet dessert and champagne after party.

Join Dancing Wheels for an inspirational night of dance on Friday, June 14!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Dancing Wheels to help promote Reverse*Reboot*Reveal. In exchange, I will receive compensation for this post. I declined two tickets to the show due to scheduling conflicts. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

 

Why? Tri-C Jazz Fest Giveaway!

Cleveland has such a wealth of cultural offerings and one of the coolest happens when the weather heats up. This summer marks the milestone 40th annual Tri-C JazzFest, presented by KeyBank, happening June 27-29 at Playhouse Square.

Tri-C JazzFest packs a great lineup of concerts, celebrating Cleveland’s contributions to jazz with both iconic and emerging artists.

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On June 28 and 29, you can enjoy free concerts from seventeen different local bands on the outdoor Strassman Insurance Stage at Playhouse Square. Check out the full schedule here.

The weekend’s outdoor activities also include shopping tents and trucks, cooking demonstrations, food trucks, balloon art, giant puppets, dancing, games, photo opps, artist interviews, and much more.

The indoor line-up of ticketed concerts includes such diverse performers as Christian McBride, Clayton-Hamilton, Regina Carter and Xavier Davis, Dominick Farinacci’s Rhapsody in Blue, and more.

Tri-C JazzFest individual tickets and festival passes are on sale now. Or you can enter to win two tickets to the indoor concert of your choice right here!

Here’s how to enter to win (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment here for each):

1. Leave a comment telling me which concert you would like to attend.

2. Visit Tri-C JazzFest and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Hop over to @whycle on Instagram and follow the instructions with the Tri-C Jazz Fest image.

4. Follow @TriCJazzFest 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 win tickets to @TriCJazzFest from @WhyCLE #giveaway #tricjazzfest https://whycle.com/2019/05/21/why-tri-c-jazz-fest-giveaway-5 

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

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

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote Tri-C JazzFest. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary tickets to the show and special event of my choice, as well as two tickets to give away. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

It was another fun weekend, with checking out some small local businesses and catching some theater too…

Junie B. Jones

On Saturday, we had the last show in this season of Playhouse Square’s Children’s Theater Series.

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The show was “Junie B. Jones,” a musical version of the book series. The show followed the adventures of Junie B., an inquisitive first grader. The songs were fun and accessible for kids and the story was light-hearted with a lesson.

We love attending the Children’s Theater Series shows and are excited for next season!

Elegant Ice Creations

Saturday afternoon, we had a chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at Elegant Ice Creations workshop and handiwork.

Started by Aaron Costic, who began carving ice 25 years ago, the company has grown to an 8000 square foot studio that produces custom ice creations for special events, sports teams, business, and more.

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Aaron even won a gold medal for ice carving at the Turino Winter Olympics in 2006!

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Jeff Meyer, who gave us our tour, showed us some of the custom pieces waiting to be delivered…

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…as well as some of the custom ice cubes created there to make your cocktail just perfect.

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We also saw how the large blocks of ice are made…

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…and checked out a demonstration of the ice carving tools.

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What a cool (haha) local business!

Junker Fitness

On Sunday morning, I met up with a grade school classmate, Cindy, who invited me to check out a yoga class at Junker Fitness.

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Located in The Shoreway apartment building in Battery Park, Junker Fitness’s studio offers HIIT, yoga, and beach burn classes. They have a rooftop deck that overlooks Edgewater Park that is the perfect spot for summer yoga.

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Unfortunately, the weather kept our class inside on Sunday, but we still enjoyed a great flow, with lots of active stretching as well as vinyasa.

Junker Fitness also offers personal training that meets you where you are, both in terms of ability and location. Junker Fitness staff will travel to the gym close to you and work with you to build a program that suits your needs.

Plus, I had the opportunity to chat with the owners, Jack and his wife Stephanie, who are super personable, down-to-earth, and committed to becoming an active part of the community where the studio is located.

I can’t wait to head back to check out a rooftop yoga class…and I have some free class passes, so if you’re interested, hit me up in the comments!

***Disclosure: I was invited to attend a class at Junker Fitness. I received a complimentary class and class passes for a return visit. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Astoria

After our yoga class, I headed to brunch with the Junker Fitness team. We went to nearby Astoria, which was on my must-try list for awhile!

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While waiting for a table, we perused the market and wine shop and sipped mimosas, which is the best way to wait for a table ever!

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I had the seafood frittata, with a poached egg, potato and onion frittata, scallops, crab, and Hollandaise. Such a delicious brunch creation!

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I definitely want to go back and do a deeper dive into Astoria’s wine and charcuterie, too!

What a fun weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Weekends!

Happy Home Opener, Cleveland! There may be snow on the ground, but the home opener means summer is just around the corner…

So, how did I fill the chilly last weekend of March? Let’s get to it…

Brewery Crawl

On Saturday, Matthew and I met up with our friends Ritch and Denise for a brewery crawl. Ritch has a goal of hitting a certain number of Cleveland breweries by a certain birthday (numbers withheld because we’re all getting older), plus it was just Denise’s birthday, so what a fun way to celebrate!

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We started at Saucy Brew Works, where we love the food just as much as we love the beer.

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We shared the Nashville Hot Chicken and Bees Knees pizzas and definitely couldn’t decide which we enjoyed more.

From there, it was a short walk to Bookhouse Brewing. This cozy, bookstore style brewery made us want to sit there all day. I had a sampler and really enjoyed all the (fabulously-named) beers I tried: Patio Season, Maybe Partying Will Help, River of Memories, and Reasons to be Cheerful.

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Next up: Brick and Barrel Brewing, where we played board games while enjoying our brews. I had a Roasted Out of My Gord pumpkin porter, because if this cold weather is sticking around, so is my love for porters and stouts.

Our final stop was Terrestrial Brewing Company, which was filled with great beer, but also with sweet fuzzes. I love bars that are dog friendly. I spent most of my time hanging out with the pets (sorry, friends).

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It was a fun afternoon and such a great reminder of how many awesome breweries we have in Cleveland, who are putting out creative, delicious beer! We also picked up a bunch of stamps in our Cleveland Brewery Passport!

Monsters Purple Game

That evening, we picked up Jeffrey and headed to the Cleveland Monsters Purple Game, to benefit the American Cancer Society, Ohio.

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We had so much fun (and amazing seats). The Monsters games are action-packed and really family-friendly, which make them a favorite sporting event choice for us.

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Plus, the Monsters commitment to the American Cancer Society was really touching and made it an even better night out.

The Monsters auctioned off a special commemorative purple jersey to raise funds, as well as showing videos throughout the game and having people make support signs for those in their life impacted by cancer.

When everyone waved their purple rally towels, it was a sight to see!

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Stay tuned for my on my growing involvement with the American Cancer Society…

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Monsters to help promote the Purple Game. In exchange, I received three complimentary tickets and a parking pass. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Superstar and Nuevo Modern Mexican

I had a Sunday Funday with my mom, when we attended “Superstar: The Songs. The Stories. The Carpenters.” at Playhouse Square. I got Mom the tickets for her birthday and have to admit to not being a huge Carpenters fan going in to the show. But, the music was great!

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I had no idea going in that Helen Welch, the lead singer, is a Cleveland resident who has performed at places like Nighttown, so the local connection had me enjoying the show even more.

After the show, we grabbed dinner at Nuevo Modern Mexican. There’s something about having guacamole and a margarita while it’s snowing that just makes you feel like you’re shaking your fist at the weather.

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Gosh, I can’t wait for patio season!

We shared the habanero jelly guacamole and then I had the Cuban sandwich, which was meaty and flavorful!

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For dessert, I had the manzana gallette because I seriously cannot pass up an apple dessert.

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It was a great way to end a great weekend! How was yours? What are you doing to celebrate the Home Opener?

jenclesig_pur

 

Why? Weekends!

Hey, hey, it’s March! We welcomed the new month with a fun weekend out and about in Cleveland.

Home Cooking

But before we were out and about, we were in and cozy. On Friday night, I made BBQ chicken mac ‘n cheese (recipe here).

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Before I made the mac, I cooked the chicken wrapped in foil packets at 250 degrees for 2 hours. This made the chicken tender and perfect to fork shred, which was the exact right consistency for the mac ‘n cheese.

Pair this with Matthew’s homemade Old Fashioned and you have a perfect little Friday evening meal!

Children’s Theater Series

On Saturday, we had the third of four shows in the Children’s Theater Series at Playhouse Square. This one was “Emily Brown and the Thing,” about a little girl and her stuffed rabbit who have many adventures after bedtime.

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We didn’t know the story going in and found the show to be engaging and funny. I love taking Jeffrey to see live theater, especially in the incredible theaters at Playhouse Square!

Lunch in Ohio City

From there, we headed over to Great Lakes Brewing Company for lunch. I always enjoy going to the brewpub because, while you can find Great Lakes beer all over, there’s always something special on tap at the pub.

I tried the Imperial Buzzcut Nut Brown Ale, brewed with honey and hazelnuts, and Matthew had the same. We both really enjoyed this smoothy, nutty beer!

To eat, I had the Fitzgerald burger, with bacon, smoked cheddar, Edmund Fitzgerald BBQ sauce, and onion straws.

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Flavorful and juicy, this was one delicious burger! The fries were particularly good, too!

Matthew had the Sweet & Salty Pork pizza, with smoked pulled pork, cucumber, green pepper, onion, mozzarella, goat cheese, garlic oil, and orange lavender honey.

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He ate the entire pizza (!), so my guess is that it was quite tasty!

Jeffrey loved his chicken fingers, too! The brewpub atmosphere for a weekend lunch is wonderful for kids, too!

From there, we had to stop to get dessert at Mitchell’s Ice Cream!

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The Buckeye Sundae was the perfect sweet treat. Jeffrey is pretty much all of us when it comes to Mitchell’s…

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What a fun family day!

***Disclosure: I received a gift card from Great Lakes Brewing Company as part of my partnership with Lyft. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Sprinkle

On Sunday, I attended a Sprinkle for my dear friend Mariah, who is expecting a little girl in May. While Mariah has two boys already, it was so fun to fete her new arrival with lots of pink clothes and toys.

I also had to snag her this adorable onesie from Anne Cate!

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We had a great ladies lunch, with bellinis, homemade pesto and chicken, salad, fruit, and pastries from Luna Bakery & Café.

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It was a lovely way to celebrate a lovely lady!

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So that was our weekend! How was yours?

jenclesig_pur

Why? Broadway in CLE!

The line-up for the 2019-2020 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:

Summer: The Donna Summer Musical tells the behind-the-music story of the Disco Queen, with a score featuring more than 20 of her greatest hits.

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See it October 8-27, 2019.

The Band’s Visit, winner of 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical, this show tells the story of a band of Egyptian musicians who wind up in the wrong town and find their lives changed by the locals.

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See it November 5-24, 2019.

Mean Girls is so fetch! You probably know the movie, but you’ll love seeing it come to life in song and dance on stage!

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See it December 3-22, 2019.

Anastasia will take you on a journey to the past, from the fall of the Russian Empire to Paris in the 1920’s, as Anya struggles to find home, love, and family.

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See it February 4-23, 2020.

Jesus Christ Superstar celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2020, as a rock opera that started as a record album and went on to shake up the theatrical world. With rock songs that tell a story as old as time, this show is sure to stir your soul.

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See it March 10-29, 2020.

My Fair Lady is a revival of the classic story of Eliza Doolittle and Professor Henry Higgins, with gorgeous costumes, set, and songs to transport you to London in 1912 and make you able to dance all night.

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See it April 28-May 17, 2020.

Disney’s Frozen brings what Disney does best together with what Broadway does best to tell the beloved tale of Elsa and Anna in spectacular visual format.

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See it July 15-August 16, 2020.

Season ticket packages are currently on sale online. Cleveland boasts the largest touring 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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