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? Antoine Dunn Giveaway!

What are you doing on Valentine’s Day? Part of my plans definitely include listening to Cleveland-based artist Antoine Dunn‘s new album, “Everything,” which drops on Valentine’s Day.

“Smooth and soulful are words that describe Dunn, the man and his music. Dunn’s sound channels a timeless style, embodied by Donnie Hathaway, Roberta Flack, Stevie Wonder, and Ray Charles—all sources of inspiration for his music. Contemporary artists such as John Legend, John Mayer, Alicia Keys, and Adele round out the myriad of styles from which he draws.” – source

You can preview the new album now here and pre-order for the Valentine’s Day release. I’m seriously hooked just on the snippets I’ve heard so far!

Beyond that, you can see Antoine Dunn perform live at Playhouse Square on Sunday, March 15. Tickets are currently available online and you can save 14% on tickets with code VDAY through February 14.

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Or you can enter to win two tickets to the concert right here! 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 telling me which song on the album preview is your favorite.

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

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

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

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Why? Weekends!

This weekend recap could also be titled “How I spent most of my weekend in Tremont…”

Great Big Home and Garden Show

On Friday afternoon, Jeffrey and I checked out the opening day of the Great Big Home & Garden Show at the I-X Center.

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We especially enjoyed checking out the Garden Showcase and getting a breath of spring in January!

This year’s gardens are themed on One-Tank Trips and showed off a lot of creativity in imagining nearby destinations in gardens.

From model homes to ways to decorate both the inside and outside of your house, there’s something interesting for everyone to find at the Great Big Home & Garden Show!

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The show runs through Sunday, February 9. You can save $1 off your online ticket purchase with code CLE2020.

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Great Big Home & Garden Show. In exchange, I received two complimentary tickets to the show.***

Prosperity Social Club and Literary Tavern

On Friday night, I was out and about in Tremont with friends for dinner and drinks. We started at Prosperity Social Club, which offers great food and drinks in a casual atmosphere.

 

I had the Maple Bacon Old Fashioned (yum) and the fried chicken (double yum.) The chicken was crisp on the outside, juicy on the inside, and paired perfectly with the mashed potatoes.

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Simple, classic, delicious food in an easy-going setting. Sounds like the perfect place to end the week!

From there, we headed over to Literary Tavern. This cozy bar serves up craft cocktails and small plates in an intimate environment.

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I enjoyed the Blood Fountain, with OYO Bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, and red wine. Both the taste and presentation of this drink are spot on!

Game of Thrones Bar Crawl

On Saturday, it was back to Tremont for the Game of Thrones Bar Crawl to benefit A Special Wish Cleveland. When you registered for the crawl, you picked a house (Targaryen for us) and then went from bar to bar with your house.

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From The Treehouse to Post 58 to Crust to the South Side to Dante, we covered a lot of ground on the Tremont bar scene.

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And it was all for a good cause! What a fun way to spend the afternoon!

Children’s Theater Series

Before the bar crawl, Jeffrey, my mom, and I attended another of the Children’s Theater Series shows at Playhouse Square.

This show was “The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites,” presented by Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia. This puppet-based theater company did a lovely job presenting these classic stories in a bright, engaging way.

The Children’s Theatre Series is a great way to introduce your child to live theater in a friendly way, with shows that speak directly to them.

So, that was my weekend! How was yours?

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Why? Masthead Brewing!

Last night, Alicia and I grabbed a casual and yummy dinner at Masthead Brewing before heading over to the Hanna Theatre for a show. While you wouldn’t necessarily think of Masthead for a pre-show meal, it’s within a short walk or an inexpensive Uber ride to the theaters.

While I know I like Masthead’s craft beers (the Single Origin Coffee Stout and Falling Fruit are my favorites currently on tap there), I opted for a cocktail last night. I had the Bourbon Jam, with Watershed Bourbon, Grand Marnier, orange bitters, orange juice and raspberry preserves.

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Sweet, but not too sweet, this cocktail was right up my alley!

Alicia and I shared the new-to-the-menu Meatball Pizza, with crushed red pepper, red sauce, and fresh basil.

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I love Masthead’s thin-crust pies and this one is packed with traditional Italian goodness!

We also shared the Brussel Sprouts, with Ohio apples, roasted shallots, bacon, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar. Because we felt better about devouring the pizza with some vegetables nearby.

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Actual footage of me devouring the pizza

We also shared the Everything Pretzel, with pimento cheese, stadium mustard, and IPA honey mustard (my favorite of the dips.)

Then it was off to see “The Office! A Musical Parody” at the Hanna Theatre. The show was funny and light and a great tribute to the sitcom we loved.

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Masthead made the perfect casual stop before this casual show. Next time you’re in the area, grab a pizza and a beer and enjoy! And Masthead is celebrating their Third Anniversary Party tomorrow, so drop in and celebrate!

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Why? Playhouse Square Partners!

On Wednesday, I got to spend the evening pretending it was summer with putt-putt, margaritas, and tacos at Playhouse Square Partners‘ Putt-Putt Night.

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The event was held in the lobby of the KeyBank State Theatre, which not only provided a unique setting for miniature golf, but also let us start daydreaming about Jump Back Ball, which will be held there in just over a month!

We had a great time playing putt-putt and I even got two holes in one! There were also some great prizes of loge seats to various shows at Playhouse Square for those with the lowest score, as well as those who could get a hole in one on a particularly tricky hole.

Playhouse Square Partners plans lots of fun evenings like the putt-putt event, as well as our gala Jump Back Ball. We also assist Playhouse Square’s Community Engagement and Education initiatives through both fundraising and hands-on volunteering. And we get to do a lot of it in the absolutely beautiful theaters of Playhouse Square!

If that sounds like you’re speed, check out joining Playhouse Square Partners and/or join us for Jump Back Ball on Saturday, February 29. This will be my ninth Jump Back Ball and I swear they get better every year! This year’s theme is “From Jukebox to Boombox” and it’s sure to be a rockin’ evening!

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

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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? Jump Back Ball!

There are a lot of great fundraisers in Cleveland for a lot of great causes. But the one that is closest to my heart is Playhouse Square‘s annual Jump Back Ball.

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This event is put on by Playhouse Square Partners (I’m finishing up my sixth and final year on their board this year) and has everything you could want in an amazing party:

  • 2 bands, one rocking the Key Bank State Theatre stage and DJ Smoov rocking the late night party in the Key Bank State Theatre lobby
  • Unlimited cocktails and dinner and late-night eats from Driftwood Catering
  • Gaming tables, auctions, and activities throughout the theatre and lobby
  • Awesome decor created by Playhouse Square Partners
  • Dress like your favorite rock star from the past, like you’re going to the Grammy’s, or in your finest

All of this fun benefits Playhouse Square’s Community Outreach and Education initiatives, including Disney Musicals in Schools, the Dazzle Awards, and more.

This year’s Jump Back Ball theme is From Jukebox to Boombox and you’ll leap back on a musical journey through time on Leap Day, Saturday, February 29, 2020.

Tickets go on sale today at 10am. There are three ticket levels to fit your time and budget:

  • VIP tickets for $200, which includes an extra cocktail party at 6:30pm in the Connor Palace Theatre, with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and music from Sinatra CLE
  • General admission ticktes for $120 for Partners members and $155 for the general public
  • Late night admission tickets for $75, which include admittance at 9:30pm, the late night music and eats, and activities (limited number)

Ticket prices will increase as the event approaches (in fact, General Admission tickets increase by $10 tomorrow, October 30), so grab your tickets now to secure the best price!

I hope to see you at Jump Back Ball 29: From Jukebox to Boombox!

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

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Why? Weekends!

It was a busy, fun, pre-Halloween weekend, so let’s get right to it…

Designer Dress Days

On Friday morning, I stopped by the 51st annual Designer Dress Days sale to benefit NCJW Cleveland.

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Held at the Mandel JCC, this sale has something for every fashionista, from exclusive designer labels to cashmere to furs to handbags.

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I scored an amazing deal on this stunning dress off the Celebrity/Influencer rack.

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It was donated by Kimberly of Modern Musings and I just cannot wait to wear it out on the town (perhaps to the event I’ll be blogging about tomorrow).

The sale is still on today, October 28, from 12-8pm and tomorrow, October 29, from 10am-7pm. And today, everything is 20% off the already amazing prices! So stop by and grab yourself some fabulous new finds for your wardrobe, all to benefit a great cause!

***Disclosure: I was asked by NCJW Cleveland to help promote Designer Dress Days. In exchange, I received complimentary admission to the preview day and compensation. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Burntwood Tavern Dia de los Muertos

On Friday night, I met up with my friend Lisa for dinner at Burntwood Tavern to enjoy their limited-time Dia de los Muertos menu.

We both started with the Perfect Margarita, served on the rocks with Patron, Grand Marnier, lime, and a salted rim.

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We shared the Pacos Nachos, with smoked pork carnitas, colby jack cheese, crispy jalapenos, peppers and onions, avocado salsa, pico de gallo, and queso blanco.

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Hearty and filling, these were delicious nachos!

For my entree, I had the Baja Fish Tacos, with beer-battered cod, cole slaw, queso rico, chipotle aioli, and rice & beans.

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The rice & beans were not your typical Mexican rice & beans, but they were tasty. And the fish was tender and flaky, with a nice kick from the chipotle aioli.

The Dia de los Muertos menu is available at all Burntwood Tavern locations through Sunday, November 3, with options from tacos to burritos to chicken tortilla soup. Over on Instagram, I’m running a gift card giveaway for $50 to Burntwood Tavern to check it out for yourself. The giveaway closes on Tuesday, October 29 at 11:59pm, so hop over and enter!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Burntwood Tavern to help promote the Dia de los Muertos menu. In exchange, I received two complimentary entrees and two complimentary margaritas. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Children’s Theater Series

On Saturday, we kicked off our fourth season as subscribers to the Children’s Theater Series at Playhouse Square.

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The first show was Jungle Book, a re-imagined version of the classic tale, with a great message about conservation mixed in. Every year, Jeffrey becomes so much more engaged in the stories taking place on stage!

While the season ticket packages are sold out for this year, stay tuned in March for when the 2020-2021 season is announced. This a great way to introduce children to live theater in a way that is friendly and accessible, while still challenging their imaginations.

Gesu Young Families Truck or Treat

Trunk or Treat events have become quite popular over the last few years with church groups and schools, where families can decorate their cars and let their kids trick or treat in an enclosed area.

The Gesu Young Families group hosted their Truck or Treat on Saturday night, but it turned into a Gym or Treat due to the weather!

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There was a DJ, pizza, and plenty of candy! Our Trunk or Treat design came from my friend Sarah who created this adorable Toy Story-scape and was kind enough to let me borrow it! It was definitely a hit with the kids!

Trunk or Treat was a fun night and a great precursor to all the Halloween action coming this Thursday.

Gesu Blue-Gold Game

On Sunday, we bundled up and headed to the last game of Jeffrey’s soccer season: the Gesu Blue-Gold game.

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All the Kindergartners played each other, enjoyed pizza and snacks, and generally celebrated the end of a fun season!

So, that was our weekend! How was yours?

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Why? Republic Food and Drink!

This week, I met up with fellow Playhouse Square Partners members for a dine-around in the Playhouse Square District.

At our dine-arounds, we select four restaurants that are geographically close together and split into small groups to enjoy a meal. Then we all meet up for an after-dinner drink together.

In the Playhouse Square District, we visited Ghost Light Restaurant and Lounge, Yours Truly, Puente Viejo, and Republic Food and Drink, all close to the theaters and great choices for pre- or post-theater dining. Our after-dinner drink was at Parnell’s Pub, a perennial Partners favorite.

I was in the group at Republic Food and Drink, which is a part of the Driftwood Group. This relatively-new restaurant occupies the former Otto Moser’s space and has transformed the old deli standby it into a comfortable, modern, delicious spot.

The list of bourbon cocktails alone had me happy! But the expansive menu of elevated comfort food sealed the deal. Our table shared the Pub Onion to start, a crispy-fried Vidalia onion with Carolina Gold Ranch.

I couldn’t pass up the Chicken Fried Chicken, with whipped potato, bourbon bacon green beans, and black pepper gravy.

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The chicken was tender and the breading was crisp. The potatoes and gravy were well-executed and the bourbon bacon green beans could make anyone eat their veggies.

Other comfort food favorites around the table included the Baked Mac ‘n Cheese, the Pork Schnitzel, and the Short Rib Stroganoff.

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As we head into Fall, the menu is perfect for cooler nights…warm up with an Old Fashioned and some Short Ribs!

And if you want to explore the Playhouse Square District with Partners, join us on Monday, October 7 for our Recess Scavenger Hunt to benefit arts education. Tickets are only $10!

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

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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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