Kerry and I are big fans of the theater. Growing up my mom took me to a lot of plays. I remember seeing Secret Garden when I was very young. I think that’s the first one I remember. We saw multiple productions of Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables. The list goes on but that was all probably before the age of 12. I don’t think I realized until I was older how special that was. That’s not something everyone gets to experience and I was a very lucky kid for that to be a part of my life.
A few weeks ago, Kerry saw a contest on our friend Amanda’s blog Clue Into Cleveland for tickets to PlayhouseSquare’s Broadway Season Launch Party. Basically they have an informal event in the State Theatre where they announce what plays are coming to Cleveland for the upcoming season. I think the majority of attendees were season ticket holders and sponsors, but tickets were available to the public as well. We were lucky enough to win Amanda’s contest so we were very excited to go.
Coincidentally, the event was on our ten month wedding anniversary, so we decided to make a real night of it. We had an early dinner at Cowell & Hubbard which is right next to the theaters. This is our third time eating there and we have not been disappointed. In fact we’ve been to quite a few of Zack Bruell’s restaurants and I don’t think I’ve had a bad meal at any of them.
*I got the braised beef shoulder. So tender. So good.*
*Kerry got a trout. She said she’s not usually a trout girl but she was very happy with her decision.*
After dinner it was over to the theater. The State Theatre is gorgeous (thanks in part to my uncles, but that’s a story for another day) and it’s hard to walk in without losing your breath a little bit. We found some seats up in the balcony (it was “seat yourself”) right as the show was beginning. It opened with a drum line marching through the crowd, composed of kids enrolled in a local arts program. The organizers then went on to talk about new housing and restaurants going into the area. It’s pretty inspiring to see that area making a strong comeback.
Up next was what most people were there to see: the announcement of the upcoming musicals for the 2013 – 2014 season. I encourage you go head over to PlahouseSquare’s website to see what’s coming. There are some fan favorites like Wicked and Jersey Boys, but I think I’m most excited for Once. That may or may not be because before the play, and during intermission, the audience gets to go up on stage and order drinks at the bar that’s part of the set! And it’s set in Ireland, so I’m fairly certain they’ll be pouring pints of Guinness. Sign me up.
The highlight of the evening, though, had to be when Anne Brummel, who plays Elphaba in Wicked, came out and sang Defying Gravity live. It was pretty amazing. This song honestly gives me chills every time I hear it. The drums on it are just so good. The way they build up, by the end they are just so driving and up-tempo. And don’t forget her voice! Phenomenal. It’s an incredible song for an incredible evening.