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In the mood to catch a Broadway show? A movie? A comedy performance? Shakespeare?
All this and more are offered at PlayhouseSquare, a theater complex of several theaters. Indeed, Cleveland’s theater district is the second largest in the world, only behind New York’s Broadway.
According to information provided byPlayhouseSquare’s website, PlayhouseSquare attracts 1 million guests annually to its 11 performance spaces: the State, Ohio, Hanna and Allen Theatres (all built in 1921), the Palace Theatre (1922), Kennedy’s Cabaret (1975), Star Plaza (1996), 14th Street Theatre(2002), Westfield Insurance Studio Theatre (2005), and Second Stage and Helen Rosenfeld Lewis Bialosky Lab Theatre (2012).
Saved from demolition in 1972 by a grassroots effort that became the PlayhouseSquare organization, the painstaking renovation and reopenings qualified the project as the largest theater restoration in the world.
PlayhouseSquare hosts several touring Broadway shows per year. Past shows have included “Wicked,” “The Lion King,” “Once,” “Porgy and Bess,” “Phantom of the Opera,” and many others.
Upcoming shows in the 2013-14 season include “Flashdance” in the Palace Theatre April 1 through 13, and “Jersey Boys” May 6 through 18 in the State Theatre.
The next season’s shows are expected to be announced in late March.
Great Lakes Theatre
Great Lakes Theatre, which runs from September through May in the Hanna Theatre, features a resident company of artists who put on a variety of shows, including Shakespeare and its annual production of “A Christmas Carol” at the Ohio Theatre.
The 2014-15 season will include The Merry Wives of Windsor, presented in rotating repertory with Boublil and Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical epic, “Les Misérables” (Sept. 26 through Nov. 9, 2014). The company’s annual production of Dickens’ holiday classic, “A Christmas Carol,” will be staged Nov. 29 through Dec. 23, 2014) . In the spring of 2015, GLT will present the classic thriller, “Dial “M” for Murder” by Frederick Knott (Feb. 27 through March 22, 2015) followed by Shakespeare’s magical romance, “The Tempest.” (April 4 through 19, 2015).
Cinema at the Square
Every summer, PlayhouseSquare screens a variety of movies at the Palace Theatre. To further enhance in the nostalgia, all moviegoers are treated to pre-show organ recitals on a fully restored 1928 Kimball organ, a variety of short films and classic cartoons as well as a snack bar.
PlayhouseSquare hosts preshow and postshow talks at select performances for the Broadways series. In addition, performers from the Broadway Series and other shows lead instructional master classes. Participants must be advanced students or professionals in the genre unless otherwise noted. Ages 14 and up only, please. Others are welcome to observe. Most master classes are provided free of charge.
PlayhouseSquare is at 1501 Euclid Ave. in Cleveland.
For information, call 216-771-4444. For tickets, call 216-241-6000 or 866-546-1353.
For details, visit www.playhousesquare.org online.