Sunday, March 20, 2011

Entertainment Review: Play House Square- The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

On the 12th after our fabulous dinner at Bricco my date- henceforth referred to as "The Dude"- took me to The Hanna Theater at Play House Square in downtown Cleveland to see The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).  First off, from the time he ordered the tickets our experience was fantastic.  After ordering the tickets he received an email intended to help us plan our entire night downtown.  It included helpful links about the show, activities they host surrounding the show on varying nights, information about parking, and a comprehensive list of places to either eat or get drinks before or after any of their performances.  I thought this was a great touch that helped get us excited about our upcoming visit.

I had not been to the theater district since the winter of 07/08 to see Wicked.   And I'd forgotten what a cute little area it is.  The Palace and Ohio Theaters were the first two we saw after parking and they had bright marquees that seemed so "big city" to me.  There were several nice looking restaurants and casual eateries and the vibe was great.  Around the corner from the bigger theaters was The Hanna which also boasted it's own marquee.

Having printed our tickets at home we were able to go directly to our seats which were in the first row of the balcony slightly stage left.  We could see the stage perfectly.  The play was super engaging from the get go.  The three actors did a fantastic job of being high energy while going through all 37 of Shakespeare's plays in 2 hours.  There were tons of Cleveland specific references from the Indians, to LeBron, to Tom Hanks (he acted in the Great Lakes Theater Festival for 3 years back in the late 1970's when it was located at the Civic Auditorium in Lakewood- coincidentally I performed there for several years in high school :) )  I was laughing out loud for the majority of the show, and my only complaint was based on my own lack of knowledge of Shakespeare's comedies- the tragedies are covered so much more thoroughly in school. 

The Dude also seemed to enjoy it.  He had said this was his first visit to the theater in his adult life.  He commented that it seems as if it'd be a good idea to be a season ticket holder as they seem to put on a variety of shows that would appeal to a wide range of people.  I concurred.

In short, this show is going on for 7 more days, and you should try try try to see it!  I would say it would appeal to any one with a decent knowledge of Shakespeare's plays, and who is in their 20's to 30's as many of the jokes included pop culture references referring to Facebook, Jersey Shore (I think) and other such things.  If you go let me know how you like it.  And remember, the theater doesn't have to be an expensive night out.  Playhouse square offers Smart Seats for $10 or $20 dollars to many of their shows- though look in advance because it seems like they sell out fast!

What are your favorite shows to see?

1 comment:

  1. This Sunday morning a new Art work will be placed in public, free for the taking. Marc Breed, has for 42-years placed art in public, in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Ann Arbor, immediately prior to arriving here in 1997. While many within the arts field, cannot tell you exactly what Marc does. The reason is as complex as is the artist himself. Mr. Breed works in whatever medium is at hand, with an eye firmly following the global arts dialog. He also is fully-cognizant of first amendment issues surrounding the arts. A fight he relishes. If you yourself conduct a web-search, the impression you'll be left with, is of a simple confidence man, who happens to be an artist. When the truth is that his faux ads are negative space, to the art which you'll well remember. And yes, many of his works are prurient.
    But, when at 15 you created a trifle, which later became the symbol for the anti-war movement. The expectations for yourself, are on a somewhat different plane.
    A small graffiti-esque piece will be left in or around Lakewoods' Root Cafe'; sometime this Sunday morning. For a man who rumors swirl around, he has been leaving us a huge bounty, for the taking.
    So far, such far flung fans have included Viktor Shrekengost, Dr. Dre, and Museum curators internationally.
    Many of us collect this artist whenever and wherever possible. With Larry Flynt's collection boasted an entire portfolio.

    Dr. Stanley Workman, Art Historian
    & Professor Emeritus