NOVA at Cleveland Public Theatre’s Big Box ’14

Cleveland Public Theatre's Big Box '14, February 6 - March 22

Cleveland Public Theatre’s Big Box ’14, cptonline.org

Cleveland Public Theatre is known for its year-round dedication to pushing boundaries and taking risks with their production choices (you can read about some of those performances here and here). However, when it’s time for their annual Big Box series, they push it one step further.

Cleveland Public Theatre’s Big Box celebrates audacious, local artists by providing a space and support staff for new workshop performances.

For the writers, directors and actors selected to take part in Big Box, it means they have an opportunity to focus solely on experimenting with different disciplines and new stories. For audiences, it means the chance to experience ten world-premieres in only seven weeks. 

First up is NOVA, a one-act opera that satirizes contemporary marketing techniques and how our society often treats people – especially women – as commodities.

Presented by Real Time Opera, producers of Harvey Pekar’s Leave Me Alone!, NOVA is running in the James Levin Theatre February 6, 7 and 8 (all performances start at 7 p.m.).

Presented by Real Time Opera, NOVA will be onstage at the James Levin Theatre 2/6-8 (Credit: Don Harvey)

NOVA, onstage at the James Levin Theatre 2/6-8 (Credit: Don Harvey)

If the Stepford Men’s Association had gone to robotics school, NOVA would have been their thesis project. In short, she’s a sexbot.

(Needless to say, this production is for adults only — leave children at home because it contains nudity and sexual language of a graphic nature.)

This show intrigues me because I’m two issues into Alex & Ada, a new comic about an emotionally detached guy who receives a sexbot from his grandmother for his birthday.

However, in contrast to Alex & Ada’s use of the android trope for a love story, NOVA is taking a much more scathing and reflective approach.

Paul Schick, who wrote the libretto, said he intends NOVA to deliver an indictment of “the superficiality of commercialized sexuality — essentially white, video-obsessed and gamingobsessed – in which our culture is immersed.”

I’m similarly interested in how NOVA twists the traditional opera format. While the production will include a chorus, they’re evangelists backing up the sexbot salesman’s unending pitch. The jingles they use quote pre-existing material and advertising campaigns. The show will also feature canned sitcom laughter from a “studio audience.”

It’s an interesting concept and I love that CPT’s Big Box provides an environment where local artists can take this sort of risk and get feedback from an audience. 

After NOVA, Cleveland Public Theatre’s Big Box series continues through March 22 with one to two shows per week. Tickets cost $12 on Thursdays and $18 on Fridays and Saturdays. You can read more about each week’s schedule at the links below: 

Guest Post: Inspired by the Boutique Bridal Bazaar

Although I couldn’t make it to Something White’s Boutique Bridal Bazaar, I knew the ticket would go to better use after talking to my recently-engaged friend Ali. Today she shares what she saw, who she met, and what she learned at the Boutique Bridal Bazaar. Thanks, Ali!

Something White's Boutique Bridal Bazaar

Something White’s Boutique Bridal Bazaar

When my lovely friend Amanda allowed me the opportunity to take her place at the Boutique Bridal Bazaar hosted by Something White, my first thought was, “Well, I guess I SHOULD probably start planning my wedding…”

My wonderful fiancé asked me to make it street legal in September, after 5+ years of happily dating and cohabitating.  I tend to err on the side of “if it ain’t broke…” but in this case, I was very excited that we decided to take this next step together.

That being said, the wedding planning scene is daunting. I didn’t know where to start or who to ask, and the internet, in this state of confusion, is not your friend. So, upon reading Amanda’s post about the Something White event, I thought, “This is it… professional help!”

Continue reading

Q&A: The Intergalactic Nemesis’ Jason Neulander

Update: Congrats, entry 9 – Michelle @tinktastic for winning The Intergalactic Nemesis giveaway.

When it comes to the loves of my life, it goes

  1. Scott
  2. family and close friends
  3. Cleveland
  4. comic books 
Scott and me celebrating his birthday at a beer and comic books event

Scott and me celebrating his birthday at a beer and comic books event

While that may be a slight exaggeration, my love for comic books and graphic novels goes beyond the act of enjoying the latest issue of Fables. I think about how I used to draw comics as a kid and jump at the chance to visit the local baseball card store to read up on the X-Men.

I think about how Scott re-introduced me to comics when we started dating. It’s the first activity we shared as a couple, and every time I can help Scott with his own webcomic writing, it brings us even closer in our marriage.

I also think about all of the people I’ve met who share this love – both in the Cleveland community and at conventions from Minnesota to Maryland.

All of this is why I was thrilled to learn The Intergalactic Nemesis Live-Action Graphic Novel is coming to PlayhouseSquare. I saw another live-action graphic novel last year – Kill Shakespeare at C2E2 in Chicago.  It’s an incredibly immersive and entertaining experience.

Continue reading

GIVEAWAY: The Intergalactic Nemesis Live-Action Graphic Novel at PlayhouseSquare

The Intergalactic Nemesis Live Action Graphic Novel at PlayhouseSquare on January 30

The Intergalactic Nemesis Live Action Graphic Novel at PlayhouseSquare, January 30

UPDATE: After removing 2 pingbacks, congratulations to entry 9, Michelle @tinktastic for winning this giveaway. Please reply to my email confirming you can attend by 1/27.

IntNem Winner

Imagine this: It’s 1933. Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Molly Sloan is chasing down a story with her intrepid assistant Timmy Mendez and a mysterious librarian from Arizona named Ben Wilcott. A terrible threat is facing the Earth: an invading force of Zygonians – sludge-monsters from outer space.

In The Intergalactic Nemesis (coming to PlayhouseSquare on January 30), our fearless trio travels the Earth and beyond to defeat the Zygonians and hopefully save the day.

The Intergalactic Nemesis was conceived 17 years ago in an Austin, Texas coffee house.  The science fiction epic started as a serial radio drama — performed by three actors and a sound-effects specialist over five weeks. It was recorded on cassette and later aired on Austin’s NPR station.

The Intergalactic Nemesis mashes up period radio drama with the badass visuals of the science fiction comic book

The Intergalactic Nemesis mashes up period radio drama with the badass visuals of the science fiction comic book

The Intergalactic Nemesis was rewritten and re-recorded in 2000 by Jason Neulander. However, it wasn’t until 2009 that the show got a facelift – literally – when Neulander approached artist Tim Doyle about developing the story into a graphic novel.

Through a series of adventures that rival the characters’ journey to the Robot Planet, the comic book’s artwork was combined with the radio drama’s performance concept.

The final result was The Intergalactic Nemesis Live-Action Graphic Novel.

Continue reading

Guest Post: Bocce Ball – It’s Not Just for Your Grandpa

Because I’m out of town this week for work and my sister-in-law’s wedding, I asked Allison Kretz to stop by the blog and write about Cleveland’s newest sports league: Major League Bocce.

A bocce ball league is coming to Cleveland this winter

A bocce ball league is coming to Cleveland this winter

Major League Bocce, the nation’s largest organized bocce league, has found its way to Cleveland, bringing with it a fresh take on a sport steeped in tradition and heritage.  It’s true. You no longer have to be retired to enjoy this refined Italian game.  Major League Bocce is bending the rules and breaking traditions to make bocce ball available where and when it’s convenient to you – AT THE BAR! You were going to be there anyway…  Why not commit to 7 weeks of tossing balls and tossing back brews one night a week at a local watering hole?  Games are literally played right at the bar, on the court at Stone Mad Pub in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood.

Not familiar with the sport of bocce?  Here’s a quick tutorial:  Two teams compete with four balls each, attempting to get their team’s balls closest to the target, a smaller white ball called the pallina.  Games are played for 45 minutes or until a team reaches 14 points.  Players can toss their balls closer to the pallina, hit the pallina to maneuver it away from an opponent’s ball or closer to their team’s balls, or knock opponents’ balls out of the way. And don’t forget, it only takes one hand to toss a bocce ball, leaving the other one free to hold a frosty beverage. 

Continue reading

Cleveland Zoological Society’s Animal Attractions

Blogkeeping: Congratulations, entry 7 – Kate, for winning the Boutique Bridal Bazaar giveaway. Please respond to my email by 5pm ET today (1/9) to confirm you can attend.

Animal_Attractions_Identity2014

Animal Attractions at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s RainForest, February 6, 6-9pm

“Baby, it’s cold (really, really cold) outside.”

It’s time to cuddle up — not just because of the cold, but also because Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. (Where did the time go, right? Feels like it was just Halloween.)

That means it’s time for one of my favorite Cleveland winter events — the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s Animal Attractions.

This year’s Animal Attractions will be hosted by the Cleveland Zoological Society on February 6. It takes place inside the Zoo’s RainForest so you’ll be nice and warm to enjoy all of the food and wine and birds and the bees.

Continue reading

Jump Back Ball 0023: James Bond Costume Ideas

What are you wearing to Jump Back Ball 0023: Shaken Not Stirred?

What are you wearing to Jump Back Ball 0023: Shaken Not Stirred?

Jump Back Ball is less than two months away, which means it’s time to think about what to wear. If you usually go the dress-and-tux route for Jump Back Ball, but always wanted to try a costume, this year’s Shaken Not Stirred: JBB 0023 theme is perfect. It’s easy to take your formal wear one step further and turn it into a James Bond-inspired costume.

After scouring the internet, I’ve compiled my favorite James Bond costume ideas and broken them down into four categories. However, before we get to that, I have a quick Jump Back PSA:

Did you know you can still get tickets to Jump Back Ball?

This year’s general admission and VIP tickets sold out in less than two weeks. If you missed your chance to purchase a ticket and can’t wait til next year, there are still a few Sponsor level tickets. As far as event sponsorships go, it’s more affordable than you may think.

Continue reading

Giveaway: Win 2 Tickets to Cleveland’s Boutique Bridal Bazaar

Update: After removing 1 pingback and 1 non-entry comment, congratulations to entry 7, Kate for winning this giveaway.

Boutique Bridal Giveaway Winner

Win 2 tickets to Cleveland's Boutique Bridal Bazaar - January 12, noon-4pm

Win 2 tickets to Cleveland’s Boutique Bridal Bazaar – January 12

As I look ahead to 2014, I can’t believe that Scott and I will celebrate not just our fifth wedding anniversary this year, but also an entire decade together. A decade?!? Where did all of that time go? On top of that, we’re traveling to DC in a few weeks for Scott’s sister’s wedding.

With all of this going on, I’ve been thinking a lot about our wedding. At the time, I thought it was a good idea to DIY our invitations, centerpieces, favors, and more. It was a lot of fun and allowed us to put a personal touch on things, but these were the pre-Pinterest and Etsy days and it wasn’t easy.

Fortunately, today’s bride has all of these tools at her disposal, as well as events like Something White’s Boutique Bridal Bazaar.

On January 12 from noon til 4pm, the beautiful Tudor Arms Hotel will host off-the-beaten-path vendors, decor and fashions for Cleveland couples looking to add a unique, avant-garde twist to their wedding.

Continue reading

New Year’s Eve in Downtown CLE: 3 Parties to Check Out

NYE in CLE

It’s time to bust out the noisemakers and confetti. 2013 is days away from taking its final bow. How are you planning on celebrating New Year’s Eve?

If you don’t have plans yet, try one of these three parties in downtown Cleveland:

Society Lounge’s New Year’s Eve

Scott and I recently made our first trip to Society Lounge on E4th, and as we learned at their Repeal Day party, they know how to throw one classy celebration. Fine cocktails, music, a beautifully nostalgic setting. If you want to reminisce about the past while celebrating the future, join them on December 31. Lounge singer Phil Turk will be performing from 10:30pm to 1:30am, accompanied by a champagne toast at midnight. General tickets are no longer available; however, you can pick up $75 VIP tickets which include your own private table and a bottle of champagne for every two tickets purchased. See the flyer below for more information and call 216-781-9050 for tickets.

Society Lounge

New Year’s Eve at Pura Vida

Dinner reservations are available at Public Square’s Pura Vida from 4 til 10pm. After 10, a house party takes over. Party with Pura Vida and enjoy appetizers, an open bar, a DJ, champagne toast at midnight and breakfast buffet at 1am. Tickets are $100 if you have a dinner reservation earlier in the evening ($125 if you aren’t dining before the party). VIP lounges with bottle service and a personal host are also available. Reservations are required; email Katie@puravidabybrandt.com and see their flyer below for more information.

PuraVidaproof

Cleveland Rocks New Year’s Eve on Public Square

Of course, the biggest party in downtown Cleveland will be Cleveland Rocks New Year’s Eve on Public Square. With special guest Drew Carey, Ohio Homecoming will bring more than 15 food trucks, local DJs, and electronic dance music group Krewella to Public Square for this outdoor NYE festival. The event will also feature live ice sculpting, a beer garden, fireworks and a countdown at midnight. This free celebration starts at 6 p.m. on December 31 and leads up to midnight. A portion of the evening’s proceeds will go to Ohio Homecoming’s Village Project. Learn more at www.ohiohomecoming.com (click on ‘Events’).

If you can’t make it downtown for NYE, there are parties going on throughout the Cleveland area. Check out WhyCLE and Anchored in CLE for more New Year’s Eve ideas.

Disclosure: Ohio Homecoming emailed me about blogging about Cleveland Rocks New Year’s Eve after I had already decided to write this post. The choice to blog about these three events is 100% my own.

My #HomeinCLE Holiday Wish for You

Whether you’re #homeinCLE for the holidays…

Gingerbread House at Cleveland Botanical Garden's Glow 2012

…Or headed out of town

Virginia is for Lovers

Celebrating with family…

The DiGiandomenico and Hicken Families

…And friends…

TWChristmas 2013

…Or savoring the peace and quiet of your house…

Christmas tree

I hope that it’s a holiday season full of laughter, contemplation,
wonder, and love!