There’s nothing like starting the week with a Monday off from work! My plans for the day include catching up on some reading and introducing Kimberly to Cafe Melissa.
But first, I’m excited to announce two winners of my PlayhouseSquare Broadway Launch Giveaway!
Congratulations, entries 20 and 6 – Beth at Craveable Cleveland and Kerry at Burritos and Bubbly – for winning tickets to PlayhouseSquare’s Broadway announcement and $10 gift card! Please email me at clueintocleveland (at) gmail (dot) com to confirm your prize.
Starting at 7:00 p.m. on March 19, follow facebook.com/playhousesquare and @PlayhouseSquare to learn about the new Broadway season as it’s announced. You can also watch the video of the announcement in its entirety beginning March 20, 10am at playhousesquare.org/launchparty.
Besides the Broadway series, PlayhouseSquare brings a massive slate of entertainment to Cleveland each year – concerts, comedians, speakers, children’s shows and much more. However, they also provide a home to Cleveland performers.
I’ve written before about my love for their resident theatre companies like Great Lakes Theater and Cleveland Playhouse. In addition to these shows in the Hanna and Allen spaces, you can find a wealth of local performances at the 14th Street Theatre.
A next door neighbor to the Hanna, the 14th Street Theatre originally was home to Second City Cleveland.
Now it hosts intimate, experiential-focused theater – like Cleveland Public Theatre’s annual Santaland Diaries, the Cleveland Comedy Festival, and Saturday night’s Class by the Glass.
This was Scott’s and my first time at the wine-tasting cabaret, but PlayhouseSquare has been hosting the Class by the Glass series over the last couple of years. They’ve been quietly building in popularity, repeatedly selling out the 288-seat theatre.
Presented by PlayhouseSquare’s Community Engagement & Education Department, Class by the Glass was created to help theatregoers learn more about cabaret as an art form and build awareness of PlayhouseSquare’s smaller venues and restaurant offerings.
For only $25 ($20 through our Partners discount), we got an entertaining evening of food, wine and song.
At the start of the night, we were treated to 2 wine tastings – a red and a white, as well as an appetizer pairing for each wine and dessert.
Scott and I enjoyed the food selections: bacon-wrapped scallops and spinach spanakopita triangles. Spanakopita is one of my favorite comfort foods and after work on Saturday morning, it hit the spot.
Each Class by the Glass cabaret complements a show currently on PlayhouseSquare’s mainstage. With Sister Act in town through March 17, Saturday’s cabaret took a tongue-in-cheek song-filled look at religion.
Sure, it’s typically not good form to talk religion. But no creed was exempt from roasting.
As we learned during the tasting notes segment of the cabaret, the two wines selected for the night were Blue Nun’s Riesling and 7 Deadly Zins – fitting for songs like Plastic Jesus and its Plastic Buddha remix.
We enjoyed all of the performances from Bryan Fetty (Audrey Audette), Monica Olejko, Rob Gibb, Marc Moritz, Tina Stump, and Lora Workman, who also directed the performance. However, my favorite was Gibb’s rendition of Steve Martin’s Atheists Don’t Have No Songs. Stump’s resonating voice wowed in every song she sung.
Applause is especially deserved for Music Director Charles Eversole, who accompanied the entire night on the keyboard, threw in his own jokes and – as we learned at the end of the show – did all that despite suffering from vocal problems last week.
The only thing I would like to see at future Class by the Glass events is a note on how the 2 wines paired with the food selections – even if it’s just a small print out at each cabaret table.
However, that would be my only recommendation for what was a very delightful and affordable evening out.
Although this was the last Class by the Glass for the season, Eversole and Workman will be teaching a Cabaret Intensive class at Baldwin-Wallace University July 28-August 2. During the workshop, Broadway/Cabaret performer Liz Callaway and NYC Music Director Alex Rybeck will also come in to lead a Master Class.
If you’re like me and feel more comfortable in the audience, you can catch more upcoming shows at the 14th Street Theatre including Last Call Cleveland vs The Asian Carp March 15, 16, 22 and 23 and The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer on May 11.