Category Archives: Jump Back Ball

Events Around Cleveland: Jump Back Two Spaces Edition

Bummed that Jump Back Ball is still over a month away? Unable to go this year?

Fortunately, there are a few things going on in Cleveland between now and February 23 to wet your Jump Back whistle.

Get a Clue! Trivia Night

Jump Back Ball is hosted each year by PlayhouseSquare Partners, the theatre’s young professionals group.

However, Partners doesn’t stop there.  From our annual OSU tailgate to theatre outings, dine-arounds and putt-putt in the Palace, we’re busy year-round with events for Cleveland’s under-40 and young-at-heart crowd.

Our next event is Thursday, Jan. 17: the first annual Get a Clue! Trivia Night at Black Dog Kitchen & Bar in downtown Cleveland.

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Jump Back Two Spaces: ONE Styling’s Hair-spiration

Dino Palmieri Salon in Eton (photos courtesy of ONE Styling)

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post, I’m taking a head-to-toe approach in getting ready for this year’s Jump Back Ball.

That means getting the most difficult part — what the heck I’m going to do with my hair — out of the way before moving on to fun things like the dress and accessories.

I’m not very hair-savvy. Being a wash-and-go kind of gal, I keep my hair at shoulder-length because it’s easy to manage. Subsequently, it takes a lot of effort each year to plan how I’m going to style my Jump Back Ball do.

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Jump Back Two Spaces: Getting into Character

The NYE decorations and party hats have been packed away for another year, and the Christmas tree is coming down this weekend.

However, Scott and I are still in party mode because it’s almost time for Jump Back Ball!

Much to Scott’s chagrin, I tend to plan everything way in advance (case in point: we just started planning a trip to Chicago for our 5-year wedding anniversary in March … 2014).

So even though Jump Back Ball is not until February 23, it’s time to start pulling together our costumes and theme.

And with that comes my annual blog series on Jump Back Ball.

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PlayhouseSquare Doubleheader: Jump Back Ball Kick Off and Staging Success Premiere, Nov. 15

Celebrate PlayhouseSquare’s next 90 years at Jump Back Ball

This year one of Cleveland’s landmark institutions is celebrating its 90th birthday. As the country’s largest performing arts center outside of New York, PlayhouseSquare engages our community and attracts over one million guests each year to 1,000+ annual events.

But that wasn’t always the case.

Although PlayhouseSquare was downtown Cleveland’s cinematic and entertainment destination for many years, the post-WWII flight to the suburbs combined with a growing interest in tv, led to both the proverbial and literal wrecking ball landing at the door of PlayhouseSquare’s theatres.

Who saved PlayhouseSquare, though?

It’s an empowering story that exemplifies the resilient, passionate attitude I love about Cleveland. And on Thursday, Nov. 15, you can experience it when a new documentary on WVIZ/PBS tells the story of the volunteers, civic leaders and organizations who put PlayhouseSquare on its remarkable road to renewal.

Thanks to fundraisers like Jump Back Ball, PlayhouseSquare is able to provide arts entertainment and education for Northeast Ohio

Staging Success: The PlayhouseSquare Story blends nostalgic older films and photos with stunning new footage and interviews from the people that helped usher PlayhouseSquare into a new era.  It premieres Thursday, Nov. 15 at 8pm (encores: 11/16 at 9 p.m., 11/18 at 4 p.m. and 11/22 at 10 p.m.). Find your WVIZ/PBS channel at

While the Staging Success story has a happy ending, PlayhouseSquare still needs your support to continue this vibrant renaissance for future audiences.

Hands down my favorite way to support PlayhouseSquare’s mission is to snag a ticket to Cleveland’s craziest party – the 22nd annual Jump Back Ball on Feb. 23, 2013.

As much fun as I had planning last year’s Jump Back Ball, I’m ecstatic this year to have been selected as one of PlayhouseSquare’s Jump Back Ball bloggers.

Especially because this year’s Jump Back Ball co-chairs Maurie and Sam have picked a fantastic theme: Jump Back 2 Spaces, featuring decor, activities and surprises from some of your favorite board games.

Feb. 23, 2013 at PlayhouseSquare’s State Theatre

Now you’re probably thinking – February 23 seems like it’s really far away.

However, as someone who has attended and volunteered for Jump Back Ball in the past, trust me when I say this: you want need to get your tickets now!

Fortunately, before you tune into Staging Success on Thursday night, PlayhouseSquare is hosting Jump Back Ball’s Kickoff Happy Hour.

Stop by the Market Garden Brewery from 5:30-7:30pm on Nov. 15 to enjoy free apps, drink specials and prizes. PLUS buy your tickets at the lowest price they’re ever going to be!

Enjoy a pint of Market Garden’s Festivus at the Jump Back Ball Kick Off

So why should you buy your Jump Back Ball ticket at the Ticket Kickoff Party?

  • You’ll save the most money. Attending the Kickoff Happy Hour is the only way to get tickets for $135 each. The price increase the next day by $20.
  • No handling fees. When the ticket price goes up the next day, each ticket will also have a handling fee. But if you buy tickets in person at the Kickoff Happy Hour, you don’t have to worry about any fees.
  • You can sign up for a payment plan. I really like the payment plan option. I use it every year because breaking my purchase up over the course of 4 months makes it really easy on the bank account.
  • Last year’s event sold out very early. If you want to go to Jump Back Ball, don’t wait — each year the event sells out earlier than the year before.  The earlier you purchase tickets, you’ll not just save money but also guarantee your spot.

If you haven’t attended Jump Back Ball in the past, it’s an evening of fine food, drinks and entertainment wrapped in a creative spirit. The State Theatre will be transformed into an homage to board games like Monopoly, LIFE, Clue, and Candy Land, with guests invited to dress up either in their finest or a theme-inspired outfit.

My suggestion: Save even more on your ticket by becoming a PlayhouseSquare Partner. One of the many perks of the tax-deductible Partners membership (starting at $100 for 1-2 people) is you get to enjoy a ticket price of only $110 at the Kick Off (limit 2 tickets).

If you buy 2 tickets to Jump Back Ball at the Kick Off, the $50 difference between the regular price and the Partners discount makes up for half of your membership. While the other half is made up by the tax deduction, invitations to other social, networking and volunteer events and an assortment of other perks.

And the best part about buying a ticket to Jump Back Ball or becoming a member of Partners on Nov. 15? You can go home that night, tune into WVIZ and know you’re Staging the Success of PlayhouseSquare’s next chapter.

Keep an eye on Clue Into Cleveland and over the next few months for more information about Jump Back 2 Spaces.

Disclosure: I was invited to blog about Staging Success and this year’s Jump Back Ball in exchange for one general admission ticket to Jump Back Ball 2012. I will also be attending an advance screening of Staging Success as both a blogger and PlayhouseSquare Partner. My opinions on Jump Back Ball, though, are always 100% my own. Aerial photo of PlayhouseSquare is courtesy of PlayhouseSquare.

And the theme of the 22nd Annual Jump Back Ball is —

Read on for this year’s Jump Back Ball theme but here’s a hint

Well, I had a different post planned for today. However the week ended up being even more of a challenge (the nicest way to put it) than I expected when I last posted on Tuesday.

So in lieu of my wrapup about a couple of recent dining experiences (keep an eye out for that post early next week), I figured I’d share the one highlight of an otherwise not-so-great week:

PlayhouseSquare’s Jump Back Ball theme announcement!

Last year I was on the announcing side of things and after this week it was nice to be in the dark on what the theme was. As everyone perused the different committee tables and enjoyed some popcorn, pretzels, and candy, the suspense for the announcement built. We even signed on a number of new Partners – including Charlene and Kimberly!

At the end of the evening, this year’s Jump Back Ball co-chairs Samantha and Maurie took the stairs in the Ohio Theatre lobby to present their theme.

So without further adieu…

Maurie and Samantha unveil the Jump Back Ball theme

“Take a RISK, get a CLUE, come have the time of your LIFE … and Jump Back Two Spaces” when Jump Back Ball turns 22 this February!

Scott and I love board games so we were really excited to hear that this year’s event will be board game-themed.

This theme should inspire a lot of fun decor and activities at the event and (of course!) costumes and accessories for attendees.

So save the date for February 23rd, 2013 and keep an eye out for more info about the Ticket Sale Kickoff in the next couple of months.

In the meantime, I’m in need of an escape. We’re heading to the Poconos this weekend to unwind, try our hand at white water rafting and – quite fittingly – play a bit of board games.

See you on the other side!

Jump Back Ball 21: One Last Trip Through the Looking Glass

Another Jump Back Ball is in the books!  This past Saturday was the culmination of a lot of people’s hard work and months of planning. And after spending the last few weeks living and breathing nothing but Jump Back Ball, I needed to take some time to step back and recover before I posted my pictures.  Better late than never, though.  Enjoy!


I love “before pictures” so here’s one of the State Theatre before we set everything up last Friday:

On Saturday night we were ready to party – as were 1000 other people. By the time we got to the Palace Theatre for the VIP hour, everything was in full swing:

The fact that AMP 150 catered VIP was honestly worth the price of my ticket alone. I was blown away by (and, as a co-chair, incredibly grateful for) how they went above-and-beyond with everything.

First off, they really got into the spirit of the event with some really whimsical centerpieces:

And as always, their food lived up to its expectations:

My favorites were the mushroom soup and the chai latte shots with vodka.  I had a couple of both, whereas Scott may have taken 4 or more shares of the pork belly.

I’m glad that I was able to find AMP 150′s Nathan White by the end of the evening to share my praise. He and Chef Jeff Jarrett rocked everything out.

As the dimming lights signaled the end of VIP, this is the scene we walked into in the State Theatre:

The backdrop and hanging toadstools were some of my favorite decorations of the evening, with the exception of maybe this:

Scott had helped make this smoking Caterpillar, so I’m glad our friend Sarah grabbed a photo of it because we completely forgot!

Before the first band went on, we entertained ourselves by marveling at the stilt artist:

and playing games like the Card Cannon:

After I switched into flats, I spent the majority of my evening dancing to Radioactive:

(I may have been dragged up on stage by my co-chair Meredith, but you’ll have to check out WhyCLE’s blog post to see my fleeting moment of rockstardom!)

After tiring myself out on the dance floor, we moved into the State Theatre lobby where I spent a lot of time at the Raffle tables while Tricky Dick and the Coverups played:

Although I didn’t have a chance to sample Sammy’s ‘Eat Me’ cake, I did snap a photo before it was devoured (I wish I had had a birthday cake like that when I was a kid):

Speaking of devouring, Scott may have drank his weight in free Labatt – just so he could collect enough beer koozies for life:

Of course, hanging out with friends and meeting new ones was the real highlight of the evening. A few of my favorites:

Despite the sinus infection from hell, this year’s Jump Back Ball was a lot of fun – made even better by opening up my email this week and reading we raised over $125,000 for PlayhouseSquare.

If you’d like to help out with next year’s Jump Back Ball, PlayhouseSquare Partners offers a great opportunity to get a hands-on and behind the scenes look.

Learn more about Partners here and save the date for next year’s Jump Back Ball: February 23, 2013!

Read more Jump Back Ball reviews:

**Because half of my photos came out really fuzzy, a special thanks to Jen from WhyCLE for the last three group shots and my friend Sarah Casto for the photos of the caterpillar, Scott’s beer koozie madness and the only photo I can find of the two of us.** 

Look Behind the Looking Glass, Part 5: The Finishing Touches

Last night's Shop Night where we put the final touches on our decor projects with time to spare.

The Day After Tomorrow.

Nope, I’m not talking about Roland Emmerich’s ridiculous, end-of-the-world laughfest (I’ll stick to Independence Day, thanks).  I’m referring to Jump Back Ball and the fact that I can’t believe it’s only two days away.   

Although I signed on to co-chair this year’s Jump Back Ball last Spring, it feels like we announced the theme and started planning it a mere month ago.  Meredith (my co-chair and a Jump Back Ball planning-expert who really deserves the credit for this year’s party) told me at the beginning it would speed by.

I think my smile may have been bigger than even the Cheshire Cat's after looking over the great job every volunteer did on Jump Back Ball's decor.

So while I shouldn’t be surprised it’s here (I’ve only had it marked on my calendar since last year!), I am. 

Despite a few times where I felt like I was on a runaway train, I’ve marveled at how it’s all come together and enjoyed being able to contribute to it.

Last night was my favorite moment so far as we put the finishing touches on Jump Back Ball’s decor. Tonight we’ll spend our final shop night preparing for Friday’s Set-Up Day — without the anxiety of franctically finishing any projects.

One of our many Alices who will be making an appearance on Saturday

When I took a step back to look at the decor we made. I was blown away by the efforts of the talented and dedicated people who helped out at this year’s Shop Nights (including fellow bloggers Why CLE?NIDHIZZLE, Eat Drink Cleveland, Cooker Girl and Finding the Time!)

Brainstorming decor ideas and then watching the to-do list go from paper to reality was a definite highlight. 

Many of Wonderland’s inhabitants will be making an appearance at Jump Back Ball on Saturday (keep your eyes peeled for my favorites — Cheshire and the Caterpillar). And Alice will be popping up here and there throughout the State Theatre (maybe even under your nose when you sit down to tea).

You can never have too many tea pots

With the end in sight, I wanted to send a huge thanks to the following people who kept me from going mad and made the experience – dare I say it? –  fun:

Worth repeating, the biggest praise goes to Meredith Seeley, my co-chair. From the very beginning, I was a self-confessed ’newb’ and didn’t have a clue.  However, Meredith’s advice and reassurances from previous co-chairing experiences were a key reason I enjoyed it all. The fact that she was really easy to work with and always encouraged my opinions helped too.

Scott braved the Jabberwocky to get this picture from inside its fearsome mouth

The Jump Back Ball co-chairs can only do so much, though. The Planning Committee’s 8 chairs were invaluable:

  • Thanks to our Ticket Co-Chairs Maurie Donnelly and Stacy Seeley, Jump Back Ball 21 sold out earlier than any year previous.
  • There are so many great prizes in this year’s Silent Auction and Raffle because of John Hagerty and Sara Radak‘s hard work.
  • And Mary Friedl, Mike JohnsonLance Todd and Mike Washlock deserve a tip of the hat from the Mad-Hatter himself, not just for coming up with fantastic ideas and designs but accomplishing every one of them with time to spare!

I’m grateful for this irreplacable Planning Committee’s leadership, the constant support from PlayhouseSquare’s staff and the rest of Partners, as well as anyone who volunteered to help. And I wish Saturday would get here already because I can’t wait any longer to see how everyone’s efforts will come together.

If Jump Back Ball is part of your weekend plans, I hope that you have a blast and say hi. 

Now if I could only shake the horrible sore throat I woke up with this morning, I’d be good to go!

One of my favorite decor pieces – Wonderland's Caterpillar

This is the last installment in Behind the Looking Glass. Want to learn more about this year’s Jump Back Ball? Check out:

Look Behind the Looking Glass, Part 4: An Entertaining Evening

Feeling lucky? Casino games are just part of the entertainment you'll find at this year's Jump Back Ball. (photo from

The countdown has begun: Less than two weeks to go until Jump Back Ball!

Scott bought the rest of his outfit this weekend, all of my accessories have come in, and at last night’s Shop Night so many of the decor projects really came together.

I’ve even had my requisite dream where everything that could possibly go wrong does. When I was a kid, I’d have the same nightmare every year about my first day back from summer vacation — so I’m right on schedule!

After last year's JBB, RadioActive is making its return to the State Theatre stage (photo from

I know it’s silly to be nervous, though, because there’s a lot to look forward to.

In addition to an evening of good food (if you’re going to the VIP party, Chef Jarrett’s plans for the menu look delicious), your ticket gets you an evening full of entertainment.

For our bands, we’re spotlighting three local groups: the 2-1-Chicks, RadioActive and Tricky Dick and the Cover-Ups.

Check out the jazzy 2-1-Chicks during the VIP party (logo from facebook)

A play on the 2-1-6, the ladies of 2-1-Chicks will bring their jazz stylings to Jump Back Ball’s VIP party. The 2-1-Chicks feature Chris Fader on vocals, keyboard, and flute; Bettyjeane Wischmeier on sax, clarinet, flute and vocals; Carol Dieball on drums and vocals; and Alie Brooke on upright/electric bass and vocals.

They play a mashup of Funk, Jazz, Soul, Pop, and Lounge covers and are known for making the sound their own by taking a song you know and love and putting it on its head in a completely unexpected style.

If you don’t have a chance to see them at Jump Back, their next show is Feb. 21 (next Tuesday) in Brothers Lounge‘s Wine Bar starting at 8pm.

Tricky Dick and the Cover-Ups, JBB21's late-night band (photo from

After dinner, RadioActive makes their return to Jump Back Ball.  This Top 40 party band was so popular as last year’s late-night group that they will be holding court this year on the main stage of the State Theatre.

Tricky Dick and the Cover-Ups will be closing out the night in the State Theatre Lobby.  Meredith and I saw them at Around the Corner a few months back. Despite the fact that their lead singer appeared to have a broken leg, they brought so much energy that people in the packed bar were bouncing off the walls. Plus,  any band that covers the Ghostbusters theme wins me over pretty fast.

PlayhouseSquare’s blog has a nice feature on the two bands and you can check out both of their upcoming schedules here and here.

Jugglers at last year's Jump Back Ball (photo from

If you aren’t looking to dance your entire night away, we have other plans for you.  From stilt-walkers and yo-yo tricks to a round of flamingo croquet fit for the Queen of Hearts, there will be plenty to see and do while you enjoy your fill of food and drink.

Casino games and the raffle/silent auction will also be back for those who are feeling lucky. Our Raffle Co-Chairs John and Sara (from Finding the Time) have done an excellent job putting together a number of Alice-themed packages to bid on.  There are more than a few restaurant certificates that I’ve already been eyeing up.

Knowing me, I’ll likely still be a little anxious until the VIP party kicks off at 6:30pm. However, with an evening packed so full of things to do, I think that even this natural-born worrier will be able to relax and lose herself in the fun that is planned.

This is part 4 in my Behind the Looking Glass series. Want to learn more about Jump Back Ball? Check out:

Look Behind the Looking Glass, Part 3: Shop Nights

Join PlayhouseSquare Partners at the next Shop Night to get a behind the scenes look at decor and learn more about the organization.

Although Jump Back Ball has sold out, the work has just begun for PlayhouseSquare Partners.  One reason I love Jump Back Ball is that even before Scott and I get to party on February 25th, we’re having fun throughout February at Jump Back Ball Shop Nights.

Shop Nights are a unique opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look and play a part in PlayhouseSquare’s biggest fundraiser.

Throughout the month leading up to Shop Nights, volunteers are creating and building all of the decor that guests will enjoy at Jump Back Ball. From painting to glueing to hammering decorations together, there is a lot that needs to be done.


I'm not great at cutting or glueing, but I do love painting which is where you'll likely see me during JBB Shop Nights


And everyone is welcome to help out.  You don’t need to be a part of PlayhouseSquare Partners to show up and volunteer, nor do you need any artistic skills. There are plenty of projects to work on, so you won’t be lacking for something to do. 

Last Monday we started our first week of Shop Nights and things are already starting to come together. So far you can catch a glimpse at the early stages of the Caterpillar and its Hooka, the Red Queen’s Castle and the Tea Time Clocks, among other decorations.

After only 2 Shop Nights, construction on the Red Queen's Castle is underway

But there’s still a lot to do, which is where you can come in.  Over the next three weeks, there are 7 more opportunities to join us at Jump Back Ball Shop Nights:

  • Monday, Feb. 6 (Tonight!)
  • Wednesday, Feb. 8
  • Monday, Feb. 13
  • Thursday, Feb. 16
  • Monday, Feb. 20
  • Wednesday, Feb. 22
  • Thursday, Feb. 23

All Shop Nights start at 6pm and go til around 9pm (you can come late or leave early if you want). We work out of the  Hanna Building Annex in downtown Cleveland, which you can enter through the main doors between Prospect and E14th St. You can also join us Friday, Feb. 24 starting at 10am for all-day set-up in the State Theatre.

If this is your first time attending a Jump Back Ball Shop Night and you have any questions, email Molly Franz at PlayhouseSquare at When you show up, we’ll have dinner waiting for you and our Decor Committee Chairs will be sporting neon green shirts to point you in the right direction.

Volunteering at Shop Nights is just one way to help out PlayhouseSquare Jump Back Ball

Can’t make it to a Shop Night, but want to help out Jump Back Ball? We’re still accepting sponsorships from local businesses and donations for the Jump Back Ball Silent Auction.  

Check out the Sponsorship Guide here or email if you’re interested in donating a gift certificate or other service to help raise money through the Silent Auction.

This is part 3 in my Behind the Looking Glass series. Want to learn more about Jump Back Ball? Check out:

And come back next week to learn more about the entertainment at this year’s Jump Back Ball.

Look Behind the Looking Glass, Part 2: Jump Back Ball Fashions

From the White Rabbit to the Mad Hatter and beyond, there is plenty to be inspired by.

I need to start this week off by saying thanks.  Thanks to everyone who sold out PlayhouseSquare’s Jump Back Ball. Whether you bought a ticket or helped spread the word on your blog/other social media or the old-fashioned way, thanks!

A huge thank you, in particular, to the Jump Back Ball Committee’s Ticketing Co-Chairs Maurie and Stacy and everyone at PlayhouseSquare.  This year sold out in record time. And I can say it’s nice to go into February, when we’ll be busy putting the final touches on everything, knowing the event is sold out.

Now that you have your ticket, the next step is figuring out what to wear.

One of my favorite parts of the evening is checking out the variety of fashions at Jump Back Ball.  From gowns to cocktail dresses, suits to tuxes, and even costumes, almost anything goes.

Jump Back Ball is a creative formal event with guests invited to incorporate the theme in their outfit however they see fit.

Blue Caterpillar Dress designed for an Alice in Wonderland runway show from MonkeyWrenchDesigns on Etsy

For last year’s Jump Back Ball, I hit up City Buddha for exotic accessories to complement the Passport to Party theme.

This year, I figured you only co-chair Jump Back Ball once. So if all goes as planned, I should be rocking out a tea-length party dress I designed inspired by the Queen of Hearts.

If you’re planning an outfit around the theme, the first place to start is figuring out where you want to get your inspiration.

You can find a list of Wonderland characters and costume tips on the Jump Back Ball site including a few obscure ones like the Dormouse.  If you can’t make up your mind, I really want to see someone dress up as the Mad Hattress or the Caterpillar.

After you figure out what you’re basing your outfit on, think about how far you want to go with the theme. You don’t have to do a full costume.  Incorporating the theme is as easy as pairing thematic accessories with a nice suit or cocktail dress.

Etsy has a lot of options when it comes to handcrafted Alice in Wonderland swag.

From earrings…

Steampunk Alice Earrings from NobleStudiosLtd on Etsy

to handbags…

Lady Hatter Handbag from UniquelyDifferent on Etsy

to cufflinks…

Cheshire Cat Cufflinks from tartx on Etsy

And, yes, plenty of hats and fascinators…

White Rabbit Top Hat from eCRAFTic on Etsy

I just ordered a few accents for my dress over the weekend and can’t wait until they arrive. I’m anxious to see how the outfit comes together.

Whatever you decide to do, have fun! Even if you and a friend are inspired by the same character, there are so many ways to interpret the theme that there are endless options for what to wear.

If you’re looking for more fashion inspiration, check out these posts from CLE Shopaholic here and here and i Heart Cleveland here.

This is part 2 in my Look Behind the Looking Glass series. Want to learn more about Jump Back Ball? Check out:

And come back next week for a behind-the-scenes look at Jump Back Ball Shop Nights!