Cleveland Stage Alliance – Reviews and Previews

Eric Fancher – Founder/Administrator/ Webmaster/"CSA Presents" Co-Producer



Darkest Hour – Monday Night at The Capitol Theatre


The Capitol Theatre has $5 dollar movie nights on Monday. What!?

One of our New Year resolutions is to utilize this year-round gift.

Darkest Hour is a 2017 British biographical war drama film directed by Joe Wright and written by Anthony McCarten. The film stars Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, and follows his early days as Prime Minister while Hitler closes in on Britain during World War II.

Gary Oldman as Churchill is freakin amazing!

CSA – Cleveland Stage Alliance goes to the movies!

The Laughter League Super Spectacular Christmas Show! at Blank Canvas Theatre

Here is what you need to know!!!!!!!…………………………………………….

laughterleaguexmasshow 2017

  1. This shit is funny.
  2. This show contains all ORIGINAL material written by The Laughter League
  3. The Laughter League is composed of the following talented, insane, creative people: Joe Ciamacco, Patrick Ciamacco, Perren Hedderson, Noah Hrbek, Seth Hrbek, Luke Scattergood. (not appearing on this weekend’s crazy show are Leslie Andrews, Keith Cavey, and Billy DePetro)

In mine humble opinion, this is the funniest show they have produced and performed in the Blank Canvas Theatre space. It is very funny, and edgy, and also at times, makes you gag. But with all improv and sketch shows, there are always a few misses. However, there isn’t many at all and the pace is well-played. I laughed a lot. If you know the folks involved, you will have a blast. And if you don’t know them, it is still a blast, because the humor comes from the script, not from inside jokes, which results in solid work.

Laughter League Christmas Tickets

Here the link to the theatre, and get there Saturday night, the last show is at 8 pm. and Grab yourself a cocktail.

Cleveland Stage Alliance (CSA) Recommends.





Gift Of The Magi – Theatre in the Circle

gift of the magi titc

Theatre in the Circle
Professional Theatre
Once again, partners Bill and Mark Corcoran, this time as Director/Music Director and Producer, bring their Judson Manor magic to life. The current offering is the heartwarming musical Gift of the Magi.” The original material is a short story, written by O. Henry (a pen name for William Sydney Porter), about a young married couple and how they deal with the challenge of buying secret Christmas gifts for each other with very little money. As a sentimental story with a moral lesson about gift-giving, it has been a popular one for adaptation, especially for presentation at Christmas time. You will see the ending a mile away, but it plays out nicely as if Hallmark and Lifetime, decided to make people cry, but with a musical kleenex. However, this production comes from Peter Eckstrom who provided the Adaptation, Music, and Lyrics.
gift of the magi cast
As the quaint and struggling love birds, Meg Martinez as Della, and Robert Kowalewski as Jim are wonderful in both voice, and their endearing characters. Martinez has a beautiful operatic tone and lands high notes as if she was throwing kernels of popcorn and effortlessly snatching them out the air. Kowalewski’s baritone finds a rich and fertile ground in the piece and shines throughout the production. Both of these artists blend beautifully.
The musicians brought together for this production are phenomenal. Piano and Conductor Elias Manos, McKinley Glasser on Cello, Elizabeth Root on Flute, and Grace Cross on Harp. They sound incredible. and may I say, what a pleasure to hear a piece where the Harp is so prevalent, and the musical is freaking amazing. What a joy!
Speaking of the sound, it was the best ever. I thought the lighting and sound were top-rate. Kudos to David Palmer/Network Sound. Walter Boswell did a very good job of turning the set into an intimate apartment setting. And along with the lighting, very nice moments were enhanced throughout the production.
To be fair, I have to say that this kind of show is not my personal favorite. First of all, I don’t think any pancake house will run out of syrup anytime soon. I was glad to have my insulin pen with me, so I didn’t drive off the road on the way home. But that is about the show. Not this production, in which talent was in full force on all fronts.
There is a matinée left Sunday, December 17th, at 2 pm. Bring your parents, grandparents out for a wonderful reminder of what the holidays should be about. Sharing love with each other, not a Black Friday or Cyber Monday deal. We all need to find the true meaning of life love and support, especially during these times.
Cleveland Stage Alliance

December 16, 2017
2pm Sunday

$12-$18 General Admission

(216) 282-9424

Judson Manor
1890 East 107th Street
University Heights, 44106



For information contact:
Kristin Netzband, Audience Development & PR Manager





Miche Braden and Chaz Hodges to play Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Marie Knight

CLEVELAND, OH (November 28, 2017) Cleveland Play House (CPH) is proud to announce the triumphant return of Miche Braden to CPH., where she will star as Sister Rosetta Tharpe alongside CPH newcomer Chaz Hodges as Marie Knight in The Atlantic Theater production of Marie and Rosetta.  Written by George Brant, and directed by Neil Pepe, Marie and Rosetta runs January 20 through February 11, 2018 in the Allen Theatre at Playhouse Square.  Marie and Rosetta is a co-production with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.

“I am thrilled to be working with Miche Braden and Chaz Hodges,” says Marie and Rosetta Director Neil Pepe. “They are both outstanding actors and I have been a great fan of their work for some time. Some may remember Miche’s terrific performance as Bessie Smith in (the CPH Production of) The Devil’s Music, and Chaz has been doing wonderful work on the west coast and had originally played the role of Marie in two developmental workshops. I couldn’t be more excited to see them bring Marie and Rosetta to life in Cleveland.”

Miche Braden returns to Cleveland Play House after a successful run as Bessie Smith in 2013’s production of The Devil’s Music: The Life and Times of Bessie Smith. The Plain Dealer stated, “Braden commands the stage every moment and thoroughly enjoys the ride.” Star 102 Radio noted, “Not only was she vocally perfect, but her acting and stage presence are commanding from the second she takes the stage.” Braden will portray rock legend Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who is nicknamed “The Godmother of Rock-and-Roll” and influenced the careers of artists such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Little Richard.

Making her CPH debut is Chaz Hodges, who has appeared in such productions as In the Red and Brown WaterA Lie of the MindLittle Children Dream of God, all at La Jolla Playhouse, and received her MFA from the University of California San Diego. Chaz will take on the role of Marie Knight, the talented singer who toured with Sister Rosetta Tharpe. in the 1940s and helped pioneer ideas of what rock music could be, melding gospel and secular music together to form a hand-clapping, hip-shaking sound no one had ever heard before.

Additional casting for Marie and Rosetta will be released in December, complete with full cast and crew biographies.

CPH will hold a “Rock Like Rosetta!” Cover Song Contest now through January 5, 2018.  Open to all, participants are encouraged to showcase their talents by choosing one of five iconic Sister Rosetta Tharpe songs and submitting a video cover song for a chance to perform at the Opening Night cast party of the show on January 26, 2018. All entries will receive a discount code for tickets to a performance of their choice (based on availability). Select covers will be featured on the CPH Social Media channels, and the Top 3 covers will get tickets to a performance of Marie and Rosetta. All bands or performers entering the contest grant permission to CPH to use the band’s performance submission on its social media networks and for promotional purposes. No ticket purchases are necessary to win, and full rules and details can be found online at: will be accepted through January 5, and all contestants will be notified about the results on or before January 19, 2018.


Marie and Rosetta will take place in the Allen Theatre at Playhouse Square from January 20-February 11, 2018. Tickets range from $25-$110 each, $15 rush tickets for currently enrolled students under age 25 with valid student ID, and Young Professional discounts available with YP-CPH Membership.  To order single tickets please call 216-241-6000 or visit clevelandplayhouse.comGroups of 10+ save up to 50% off single ticket prices; call 216-400-7027.

Subscriptions: Subscribers save up to 17%. Full and flexible season packages range from $262 – $440. To purchase subscriptions visit



CLEVELAND PLAY HOUSE, founded in 1915 and recipient of the 2015 Regional Theatre Tony Award, is America’s first professional regional theatre. Throughout its rich history, CPH has remained dedicated to its mission to inspire, stimulate, and entertain diverse audiences in Northeast Ohio by producing plays and theatre education programs of the highest professional standards. CPH has produced more than 100 world and/or American premieres, and over its long history more than 12 million people have attended over 1,600 productions. Today, Cleveland Play House celebrates the beginning of its second century of service while performing in three state-of-the art venues at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland.

Cleveland Play House is made possible in part by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically.


Kristin Netzband
Audience Development & Public Relations Manager
Cleveland Play House
1901 E. 13th Street, Suite 200
Cleveland, OH  44114


Eugene O’Neill’s The Hairy Ape at Ensemble Theatre.


Ensemble Theatre
Professional Theatre
Founder: Lucia Colombi
Executive Artistic Director: Celeste Cosentino

The word has tremendous power. It seems to be a defining feature of most people’s psyche. The word can cause great euphoria, and a sense of achievement. But, on the other hand, the word can cause great strife and disconnection that even a Xanax bar would hardly make a dent. Thus, the journey of the human spirit to belong and connect is at the core of the protagonist, brought to life by the Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning playwright Eugene O’Neill.

Written in 1921, this iconic piece of expressionist drama is a searing social commentary on the divide between the rich and poor. Yank (riveting Joseph Milan), an unthinking laborer, embarks on a search for a sense of belonging in a world controlled by the wealthy. His journey from the bowels of a transatlantic ocean liner to the wealthy neighborhoods of New York society serve as a metaphor for the struggle between the working man and the industrial complex found at the heart of the play.

Joe Milan as Yank


Director Ian Wolfgang Hinz has created a minimalist presentation of the play, which focuses the attention of the audience on the character study of each actor. The company moves well in tandem to present this particular journey. Overall, to great effect, but there are some performances that stand out.

The show is led by Milan, who turns in an excellent interpretation of Yank. I have to state that this performance is another solid acting turn from Milan, who consistently produces engaging theatre whenever he hits the boards. In fact, I think he is one of the most consistently solid actors in the city. Always engaging. Always professional quality. Watching the arc of his pursuit to belong is heart wrenching. Every hurdle he hits feels like a punch in the gut. His decline to a caged end, caps off a searing portrayal.

Joe Milan as Yank


Allen Branstein, as Paddy, brings some drunken realness to the party. Representing the one guy at the party that launches into psychological tormented stories, and demonstrative monologues of astute interpretations of life. Right before you put him to bed. There is a defeated quality to the old man at sea, and it is presented with great precision, even though the accent is a bit hard to unravel at points. But, the feeling is not veiled at all.

Joe Milan as Hank, Allen Branstein as Paddy, Company


James Rankin as Long, is serving up some major mustache, along with a precise and engaging personae. As he engages the company, he creates a dramatic presence and holds the stage with confidence and bravado, while providing just below the surface tension, that beautifully increase the dynamics.

Mary Alice Beck brings her superb sense of timing and comedic skills to the role of Mildred Douglas’s (Brittany Ganser) Aunt. She is serving major face during her scenes with Ganser, and the result is delightful. Providing a strong sense of righteous indignation, and also, “you will reap what you sow child” bravado. Beautiful work. Ganser brings her sass and attitude to set up the wounding encounter with Yank.

Joe Milan as Yank



Out of nowhere comes Keith Kornajcik, playing the Secretary of the Labor Union and dismisses Yank’s ideas of violent rebellion in favor of peaceful strikes, and the passing out of pamphlets. He does this with a strong and confident poise. His commanding voice demands attention, and his scene is delivered with pitch perfect focus.

The rest of the company is dead on. Whit Lowell, Santino Montanez, Kyle Huff, Aziz Ghrabat and August Scarpelli all deliver the goods.

Steve Vasse-Hansell, August Scarpelli, Aziz Ghrabat, Kyle Huff, & Santino Montanez.


Director Hinz has put together a great show. Bringing an American classic to the stage with focus and spirit. Walter Boswell’s Set Design is really interesting. A raked stage with inventive coal ovens, jail cells, city skyline, and a descending cage that enhances the dramatic ending. Costume Design by Meg Parish, certainly creates the worker, and the high society, which is key to understanding the pain of Yank’s journey. Andrew Eckert’s Lighting Design brings isolated energy to scenes that are strategically placed on the sparse set. Clear delineations of where we are physically in the play. Becca Moseley and Hinz’s Sound Design was on point. Moseley also added her artistic touch with designing the society masks. Technical Director Stephen Vasse-Hassell brings all the elements together with smooth and effective precision.


Photo Credit: Celeste Cosentino

Cleveland Stage Alliance – Kevin Kelly

Thru December 10

8pm Fridays
8pm Saturdays
2pm Sundays

$12-$25 General Admission

Order Tickets Online
Ensemble Theatre
2843 Washington Blvd

Cleveland, OH 44118


Staff and Cast:

Director: Ian Wolfgang Hinz

Joe Milan (Yank)
Alan Branstein (Paddy) 
James Rankin (Long)
Brittany Ganser (Mildred Douglas)
Mary Alice Beck (Mildred’s Aunt)
Keith Kornajacic (Secretary/Ensemble)
Santino Montanez (Ape, Yank Understudy, Ensemble)
Whit Lowell (Ensemble)
Kyle Huff (Ensemble)
August Scarpelli (Ensemble)
Aziz Ghrabat (Ensemble)
Steve Vasse-Hansell (Ensemble)

Western Reserve Playhouse: Special Staged Reading of Heavy Lies the Crown. December 10 @ 2 pm.


Western Reserve Playhouse is pleased to present a staged reading of
Heavy Lies the Crown which will run for ONE PERFORMANCE ONLY December 10
at 2PM.

Heavy Lies the Crown is the lively history of the life & death of the
kings & queens of England told through tales, poems, letters & dialogue.
It gives audiences insight into stories of the succession of royalty &
how it shaped our world. At times, the monarchs own words are used to
describe their lives.

The cast features theatre luminaries Tom Stephan & Harriet DeVeto, as
well as Co-Artistic Director Brian Westerley.

Show Time: 2:00 PM on Sunday, December 10th.

Admission: $10 for everyone

To reserve tickets, please visit our website:

The venue is located at 3326 Everett Rd., Bath, OH.

Thank you & Happy Thanksgiving!

Brian Westerley
Co-Artistic Director
Western Reserve Playhouse

Chicago, the Musical at The Brecksville Theatre

chicago official

The Brecksville Theatre
Community Theatre
Music by John Kander
Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Book by Ebb and Bob Fosse
Based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins
Chicago, the Musical is an American musical with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and a book by Ebb and Bob Fosse. Set in Prohibition-era Chicago, the musical is based on a 1926 play of the same name by reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins about actual criminals and crimes she reported on. The story is a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice and the concept of the “celebrity criminal.”
There is something magical happening in Brecksville.  It is the inaugural theatre production of the newly formed: The Brecksville Theatre. The magic ignites with its first production of the season, Chicago, the Musical. And, there is much to celebrate.
I had a chance to talk with Artistic Director Bruce Orendorf about the exciting new changes that have happened to Breckville’s Historic Old Town Hall, which has in turn, changed the local theatre scene into a dynamic hurricane of theatrical riches. Orendorf, along with other talented and committed colleagues,  was very much involved in the process of forming The Brecksville Theatre. This happened by the merging of Brecksville Little Theatre, and Theatre of the Square, which shared the space. On July 1st, 2017, Bruce “The Handmaids Tale” Orendorf, gave birth to the 501C baby of the year.
Coincidentally, at the same time, The City of Brecksville was considering making an investment into the Town Hall. Mayor Jerry N. Hruby is very supportive of the arts, and recognizes the immense payoff that culture and theatre can bring to the community, and families in the area. Helmed by the Mayor, The City of Brecksville made a substantial investment by installing a lighting system in the theatre, capable of enhancing productions to dramatic professional heights. What a joy this will be to the audiences, and the production teams that will flock to work at the theatre. Orendorf was quick to point out that his associate Myles Rapkin, researched and qualified the new lighting equipment for the space. Quite a massive and important job. Also, just as important, is finding someone who can implement the new upgrade into the theatre, and have the production quality reflect the investment. Orendorf made it quite clear, that Lighting and Sound Designer Tobias Peltier was instrumental in the new vision. His final thought was that he wanted “to give the artists the environment to play, create, and highlight their abilities, while removing obstacles to creativity and vision”.
The phrase “Light the Way” is powerful on its own, and as a result of this incredible investment from the city, and the dedication of the transition team led by Orendorf and the Board, the theatre can “Light the Way” for audiences, cast and crew members, alike. Bravo Mayor Hruby. Congratulations to The Brecksville Theatre.
And now, the show must go on!
When you first take your seat you can’t help get excited from what you see on the stage. Especially the official Chicago sign that looms over the entire set and audience. It sends a signal that you’re ready to see something very exciting. There are many fine performances in the show. But first off, let me talk about Kristin Netzband. She has become quite a force in the Cleveland musical theater scene. When you see her name, you can be assured that it’s going to be a dynamic presentation. Plus, she is gifted with talents of casting, directing, and choreography. A triple threat on the production side. And once again, she knocks it out of the park.
Leading this musical are the two jewels, Velma and Roxie as played by Trinidad Snider and Kimberly Eskut. This dynamic duo is quite impressive. It wouldn’t surprise me if Marvel didn’t pick them up for superhero series. Snider is one of the most talented performers in the city. She brings her special star power qualities to this production in multiple ways. Her acting is strong. Her dancing is joyful and sultry. And her vocal chops are legend. Equally amazing is her cohort and musical theater crime partner, Kimberly Eskut. She embodies this character, and evolves into a celebration of musical self-actualization. Which is magnificent to watch. In fact, I think this is the best performance that I have ever seen from this talented performer. She looks beautiful, she dances sublime, her vocals are sexy as hell, and she simply kicks ass. It is a treasured performance.
Neil Scheibelhut as Billy Flynn cuts a fine figure, and brings a velvet vocal quality to the role. Think Dan Draper. And, when he hits the “Gun” note, don’t be surprised if oxygen masks fall from the ceiling to help you breathe along with him. He definitely has his job cut out for him holding his own against such dynamic performers around him. As provided by Caron Wykle, who is on fire as Mama Morton. This is another performance that I feel is the best she has delivered. She is sassy, fierce, and uses those qualities to turn Mama Morton into a jailhouse sex kitten. MEOW Bitch! Mary Sunshine is a fabulous hot mess of sexual identity. Joel Fenstermaker brings some Lucille Ball real-ness to the role, as if Lucille Ball was actually in female drag. Kind of like RuPaul’s wedding planner. His vocal range provides the mystery needed to make the final reveal hysterical. Good job. I really enjoyed Brian Pichola as Amos Hart. His characterization is dead on and the whole audience probably would take up a collection for him at the end of the show. A really nice consistence characterization, which causes the audience to provide several “awwwwwww’s” along the way. Perfect.
Cell Block Tango is one of the big highlights of the show. The six Merry Murderess’s really kick some major jailhouse sass. One of the very clever casting choices show is David Turner as Annie. But instead of going drag, it takes a more realistic approach and makes the monologue about a same-sex relationship which ends up being hilarious. Bravo on that decision and making it work. And in the role of Fred Casely, Jeremy Jenkins looks like he stepped out of a film noir convention, and is a perfect addition to the iconic characters. And, also an indication of the depth of this cast, because Jenkins is an excellent performer.
The Featured Ensemble of actor/dancers are great and fully capture the essence of the show. It is so wonderful to see this fabulous music come to life through this company of invested performers. And, bravo for fitting into those shirts, because if I did that, i would look like one of those frozen turkeys with the fish net holder to carry the bird.
There are some points of order that were noticed. Although the lighting is fabulous, there were two points where I found it distracting. I felt like the jail gobo used for the Cell Block Tango, left too many faces half lit while they were singing and acting. I thought a stronger base lighting across the stage, would have helped and still maintained the effect.
Also, the timing of the lighting on the individual tag lines of each murderess was not as sharp as it could have been. What I felt was missing from Billy Flynn was the smarm of the character. I wanted Flynn to lighten up and be more in love with himself, and expressive, and have much more fun with the audience in a “look at me, I am so good at what I do, and on top of that, women can’t resist me” vibe. Sunshine needs to provide a bit more diction on the higher register. Finally, a little more expression from the crowd during the trial scene would seem to add more energy and fun.
The orchestra certainly jammed, led by Heidi Herzeg. Although I admit I wish you see the orchestra on stage. Netzband provided great true to form choreography, and also, an understated bold set design. Kristina Zielinski provided great costumes. I didn’t see one wrinkle in any of the outfits, including the suits, which is my pet peeve. Tobias Peltier provided an absolutely wonderful lighting and sound design. There wasn’t one moment of feedback.
This is one hell of a way to kick off a brand-new theater in a brand-new season. And it’s clear that the audiences agree, because they’ve actually added to show to the official run to accommodate audience demand. That additional show is on Thursday, November 16th.
Bravo Folks. You have a very entertaining show!
Cleveland Stage Alliance
Kevin Kelly
November 3 – November 18

7:30pm Fridays
7:30pm Saturdays
2pm Sundays

$15 General Admission

(440) 526-6436

Order Tickets OnlineLocation:
The Brecksville Theatre
49 Public Square
Brecksville, OH, 44141

The All Night Strut at Theatre in the Circle


Theatre in the Circle
Professional Theatre
all night strut
September 21 – September 24
There is a new theatre in town kicking up some swing and jive to the delight of audience members at the Judson Manor Ballroom. Director Mark Corcoran, Musical Director Bill Corcoran, and Choreographer Jennifer Justice, have produced a delightful juke box musical that should entertain virtually everyone. This is definitely a great event to bring your parents, grandparents, and Manhattan Transfer fans, to completely immerse yourself into tight four part harmonies, a kick ass band, and performers that are as talented, as they are charming.
The show itself: The All Night Strut! moves through the Depression, World War II and the post-war boom in a two-act musical celebration of the 1930s and ’40s, filled with jazz, blues, bebop and American songbook standards. Weaving together the work of legendary songwriters such as Hoagy Carmichael, Frank Loesser, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Cab Calloway and the Gershwins. The story moves through time and place to highlight a slick slice of yesteryear and capture a beloved American era.
all night cast
This cast is on fiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre! Thank you Alicia Keys. Listening to this quartet sing, you would think that they have been together for years. But, they were cast out of auditions, and worked there struts off to create a magic evening of tuneful entertainment.
The ladies from left to right: Neda Spears and Jill Marie Zeszut. Each deliver some dynamite moments throughout. Spears knocks it out of the park several times. Starting off with a great rendition of “Gimme A Pigfoot And A Bottle of Beer”, and then later, literally rips the roof of the ballroom with a fantastic version of “Operator”.  I am sure she heard my group yelling with approval. Zeszut with her Marilyn Monroe hair and a red dress that would stop Fleet Week dead in its tracks, finds her enhanced fierceness with her lead on “In The Mood”, which she adds her deft dancing skills, and then makes me question why I don’t date women, with her beautiful delivery of “I’ll Be Seeing You”.
The gentlemen from left to right: Miguel Osbourne and Robert Kowalewski. Osbourne is a finely tuned showman, and leads this quartet with confidence and a smile that would surely turn any bad day into a good one. Whether he is charming your face off with “Minnie The Moocher”, or pulling on your heart-strings during “Brother, Can You Spare A Dime”, he is the consummate performer. Kowalewski possesses one of the most beautiful voices I have heard in a long time. The quality reminds me of Karen Carpenter in a way, and I don’t mean that is a weird way, but just as Carpenter’s resonance is spellbinding, so is Kowalewski’s. It is like listening to butter melting, crossed with looking like John Boy Walton. His version of “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” is flawless, and “As Time Goes By” is so radiant it sets off the disco ball.
Add all of these talented folks together and it is a blast to listen to and watch. The opening number of “Chattanooga Choo Choo” is fierce. Their movements and vocals sprint out of the starting gates to such grand effect, you don’t care which horse wins, because actually, they actually all cross the finish line at the same time.
Through an artistic telescope there are some minor distractions. The Ballroom chandelier is not as high up as you would hope from the stage. Making you feel like it is a bit cramped for the middle singers. When the singers move together on one mic, the balance is off because the middle singers stick out. A couple of times, the band drowned out the singers. There are slight moments of not being in sync on the moves. The lighting at times did cast shadows on faces more than I thought should. But as I said, that is through a telescope, because the overall vibe of the evening is a hit.
Shout out to the talented band. Bill Corcoran on Piano, George Judy on Drums, and David Spondike on Bass. Each one helped create a fabulous combo, that worked along with the performers with professional grace and execution. Set Design and Fabrication Design by Austin Kilpatrick was on point. Dig the stage sign in the back. Nice touch. Lighting and Sound Design by David Palmer/Network Sound did a great job in that space. Akron Design & Costume provided eye-popping looks.
Check out this show. It is a great atmosphere and the Corcoran’s are adding a great space for fierce entertainment in a gorgeous neighborhood.
Cleveland Stage Alliance
September 21 – September 24

7:30pm Thursday
7:30pm Friday
2pm and 7:30pm Saturday
2pm Sunday

$15 General Admission

(216) 282-9424

Order Tickets Online
Judson Manor
1890 East 107th Street
University Heights, 44106

The All Night Strut! at Theatre in the Circle

Swing’s the thing in The All Night Strut!

Swing’s the thing in The All Night Strut!  Conceived and directed by Clevelander Fran Charnas, this jumpin’ jive show premiered at Pickle Bill’s in the Flats in 1976 then moved to pre-restoration Playhouse Square to further efforts to save our theaters in the tradition of Jacques Brel is Alive and Well & Living Paris. From touring with the Glenn Miller Orchestra to performing with the Boston Pops, this classy, sassy musical revue has played the world over to record-breaking houses and garnered rave reviews from critics.

September 21-24A delightful romp through the dance and music of the 1930s and ’40s.
The All Night Strut! moves through the Depression, World War II and the post-war boom in a two-act musical celebration of the 1930s and ’40s, filled with jazz, blues, bebop and American songbook standards. Weaving together the work of legendary songwriters such as Hoagy Carmichael, Frank Loesser, Duke Ellington, Johnny Mercer, Cab Calloway and the Gershwins, the story moves through time and place to highlight a slick slice of yesteryear and capture a beloved American era.
Get Tickets Now


Four performers welcome you, full-throttle, on board the “Chattanooga Choo Choo.” It’s a place where sad stories are told with optimism and flair. “Minnie The Moocher” tells a story about a big-hearted gal gone wrong. The world seems to have turned its back on a man who plaintively asks “Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?”

We switch gears to happier moments and experiences: jitterbugging and getting “In The Mood” and a Saturday night bash in Harlem where old Hannah Brown says “Gimme A Pigfoot And A Bottle Of Beer.” Romantic memories from Old London Town cast their spell in “A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square.” We become mesmerized with the syncopations of a “Crazy Rhythm” and seduced by the odd and mellow lure of coffee and other things with “Java Jive.”

Reflections of war in a medley of songs make us experience a range of emotions from discomfort, hope (“Shoo Shoo Baby”), homesickness (“White Cliffs Of Dover”), opportunity (“Rosie The Riveter”), to madness (“Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition”) and heartache (“I’ll Be Seeing You”). The act ends with lingering memories of what was and what might have been.

Act Two begins with a questionably sincere promise of fidelity (“Ain’t Misbehavin’”). Love and sincerity are shown in other ways, such as faith in the gospel-inflected “Operator,” as hopeful fantasy in “Dream,” and as pure fun ‘jamming’ in “Beat Me Daddy, Eight To The Bar.”Two couples square off in a battle of one-upmanship. They are sophisticated, funny and flirtatious as they complain of their stalled affair (“A Fine Romance”). Things then get sultry in the South with slow, steamy moves to dance the night away (“Tuxedo Junction”). The mood suddenly perks up and we swing and sway to “Jukebox Saturday Night.”

Even as the world changes, we are reminded that sentiments such as love and passion never fade or go away (“As Time Goes By”). Keeping spirits up — jivin’, swingin’ and singin’ — give the finale the feel of a great time (Medley: “Hit That Jive Jack,” “Billie’s Bounce,” “It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing”). As the cast bows, the excitement and optimism of a world long gone still reverberates in the sweet sentiments of “Lullaby Of Broadway.”

Musical Numbers

1    Chattanooga Choo Choo – All
2    Minnie The Moocher – All
3    Bother, Can You Spare A Dime? –Miguel, All
4    In The Mood – JIll, All
5    Gimme A Pigfoot And A Bottle Of Beer – NedaAll
6    A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square – Robert, All
7    Crazy Rhythm – All
8    Java Jive – All
9    World War II Medley – All
10    Ain’t Misbehavin’ – Miguel, All
11    Operator – Neda, All
14    Dream – All
15    Beat Me, Daddy, Eight To The Bar – Soprano, All
16    A Fine Romance – All
17    Tuxedo Junction – All
18    As Time Goes By – Jill, All
19    Finale – All
20    Lullaby Of Broadway – All

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