Ohio Performing Arts Theatre Productions

Akron Symphony

Welcome to the Akron Symphony Orchestra in Akron.

  • When: See concert schedule in link below
  • Location: Akron, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-535-8131
  • Web: www.akronsymphony.org/

The Akron Symphony is a professional orchestra that performs Classic Series concerts, Family Series concerts, Sundays at the Elms chamber music concerts, Concerts for Kids preschool concerts, free Picnic Pops in the parks concerts, a popular Gospel Meets Symphony concert, Holiday Pops and other special concerts and educational outreach programs.

Ashtabula Arts Center

Welcome to the Ashtabula Arts Center and community theatre.

  • When: Monday – Thursday 9 a.m.  – 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Open other hours for events.
  • Location: 2928 West 13th St., Ashtabula, OH 44004
  • Phone: 440-964-3396
  • Web: http://ashtabulaartscenter.org/

The Ashtabula Arts Center is a non-profit fine arts center.  The G. B. Community Theatre and the summer Straw Hat Theatre offer quality performances of popular shows and musicals nearly every weekend of the year. Ticket prices range from $6 – $12. The art gallery displays a free monthly art exhibit. The Varied musical events offered throughout the year include coffeehouses and outdoor concerts.  The Ballet Theatre Company Ashtabula produces the Nutcracker each December as well as a Spring Dance show in May. Numerous classes and workshops are offered year-round in music, theater, dance and the visual arts. Individual music instruction is also available. All events are reasonably priced. Financial aid is available.

BalletMet Columbus

Welcome to the BalletMet Columbus dance academy.

  • Location: 322 Mount Vernon Avenue in Columbus, Ohio
  • Phone Numbers: General – 614-229-4860, Box Office – 614-229-4848
  • https://www.balletmet.org/

BalletMet Columbus ranks among the nation’s 15 largest dance companies, and its Dance Academy ranks among the five largest professional dance-training centers. Since its inception in 1978, BalletMet has added 102 company premieres to its repertoire and produced 79 world premieres. It has also developed DanceReach, a series of educational and outreach programs that serve 40,000 people annually, as well as a Community Outreach Scholarship program that provides full tuition for talented minority and underserved youth.

Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati

cincinnati-childrens-theatreWelcome to The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati.

  • When: See website below for current opportunities and schedule
  • Location: (Map It) 4015 Red Bank Road in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Phone: 513-569-8080
  • Web: www.thechildrenstheatre.com

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati is the oldest children’s theatre in the country and is the only professional theater in the region that devotes its entire MainStage season to children.  They bring 82,000 people downtown annually and reach over 68,000 students through their touring productions, and their TCT Academy offering arts training to children in a variety of disciplines.

The TCT MainStage at the Taft series includes daytime performances for school audiences and weekend performances for the public.  Four Broadway-quality production runs are held each year (of which one is a world-premiere musical), with individual shows formatted into one-hour, family-friendly events.

TCT on Tour brings the magic of live theatre directly to those who would otherwise be unable to enjoy it. They tour six productions each season, serving children of all ages with titles taken from classic literature, fairy tales, history and other works studied in school curricula. TCT on Tour prides itself on productions that are educational and entertaining, as well as affordable for schools and other venues across the broad geographic spectrum of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and beyond.

TCT Academy offers arts training to children in a variety of disciplines through a twelve-week, one hour/week class sessions, one-week themed summer camps for introductory arts makers or audition-based, three-week STAR Camp Red Bank program and one-month, audition-based STAR Intensive NKU summer program for children with demonstrated talent and interest in the performing arts.

Cleveland Comedy Clubs

A list of Cleveland comedy clubs in Cleveland, Ohio, featuring The Improv, Hilarities, Bassa Vita / Bottoms Up, Something Dada and The Winchester.

What makes Cleveland a comedy capital & where to go for local humor?

The Improv – Cleveland, OH
(216) 696-4677
The Powerhouse
2000 Sycamore, Level 1
Cleveland, OH 44113
Web Site: http://www.improvupcoming.com/

Hilarities / Pickwick and Frolic
2035 East 4th Street
Cleveland, Ohio 44115
Web Site: http://www.pickwickandfrolic.com

Bassa Vita / Bottoms Up
1572 W 117th St.
Lakewood, Ohio 44107
(216) 521-4386
Website: http://www.bassavitalounge.com

Something Dada
1900 Superior Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114
(216) 696-4242
Web Site: www.somethingdada.com

The Winchester
12112 Madison
Lakewood, Ohio
9:00 p.m.
Website: http://www.thewinchester.net


Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler
by Bijan C. Bayne is a freelance writer and critic.

Bob Hope, Tim Conway, Arsenio Hall, Drew Carey, Steve Harvey. These entertainers and others have started their careers in Cleveland before hitting the national comedy scene. With every city that produces such a stream of talent, one wonders if there is something tangible to which to attribute the legacy. Is there something instrinsically funny about Cleveland or its residents, and where can one go to experience stage humor in the city today?

British-born Leslie Townes “Bob” Hope moved to the U.S. with his family at age five, his father a stonemason, his mother a light opera singer-turned-cleaning woman. His family’s Doan’s Corner neighborhood was home to several vaudeville theatres such as The Alhambra. As a youngster, Hope earned money singing on the trolley en route to Luna Park. In 1915, he won a Charlie Chaplin imitation contest at the amusement park. By 16, he had dropped out of school. He and his Cleveland girlfriend, Mildred Rosenquist, apsired to the dancing success of Vernon and Irene Castle, the country’s most popular hoofing couple. It was as part of a two-man dance team that Hope, who also tried his hand at boxing under the pseudonym “Packy East”, was discovered as a dancer during the vaudeville era by the legendary comic actor Fatty Arbuckle. Dance teams employed comedy lines and repartee as a staple of their acts, and Hope’s quick wit led him to the New York’s famed Palace Theatre. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.
One requisite of effective comedy is the ability to speak comfortably before audiences. Another is wit. Steve Harvey’s parents were a churchgoing mother and a construction worker dad who supplemented the family’s finances during the slow winter months by booking numbers in the organization headed by the aptly named Don King. Harvey aspired to work as a t.v. comic from his teens- he graduated Glenville High School in the Richard Pryor era of 1975. Arsenio Hall, like Harvey, was exposed to the oral tradition of the Black church- his father was a minister. Harvey, Hall and Carey all attended Kent State, though frat boy Carey was expelled. In 1986, Carey rode the success of winning a local comedy contest to an emcee position at the Cleveland Comedy Club. By then, Hall was opening for acts such as R & B singer Patti LaBelle. It is worth noting that the signature “Whoop, whoop, whoop” chant favored by Hall and his late night t.v. studio audience was very similar to that used by Browns fans in the section of the Municipal Stadium end zone known as The Dawg Pound. As for his church roots, many recall Hall’s archetypical Black preacher in the 1988 film “Coming to America”.

What about suburbia? Funnyman Tim Conway was born in Willoughby, and grew up in Chagrin Falls. After majoring in speech and radio at Bowling Green, and a stint in the Army, he took a job answering mail for a Cleveland radio station. Conway became a writer in the promotions department. He later worked with Cleveland broadcasting legend Ernie Anderson on WKYC and WJW t.v. (“Ernie’s Place”) and recorded a comedy album with Anderson before landing a starring role on the 1960’s sitcom “McHale’s Navy”. No matter the training ground or the era, there have always been mentors and outlets for Cleveland comics.

Observational comics, as opposed to practitioners of the one-liner, are known to have open minds. Think George Carlin, Steven Wright, Jerry Seinfeld. The Midwest has few more open-minded cities than the one that produced progressive politicians the likes of Mayors Carl Stokes and Dennis Kucinich, the former who was America’s first Black to govern a major city. Where corporate executives view Cincinnati as conservative and Columbus as an ideal midstream market to test new foods, Cuyahoga County provided stronger support for presidential candidate John Kerry than any other in the state.

The city has long laughed at itself, another characteristic of a comic mind. From a mammoth football/baseball stadium lovingly nicknamed “The Mistake on the Lake”, to the notoriety of the “Major League” movie series based on the woes of the then-hapless baseball Indians, Clevelanders have joined in the fun Americans have had at its expense. Native son Carey even set his popular sitcom in his hometown.

Mike Polk, a promotions writer for a local t.v. station and freelance comedy writer, performs stand up and improv. He is part of a  sketch comedy group called Last Call Cleveland. Says Polk, “the Cleveland comedy scene has a pretty rich history and has produced some rather respectable stars over time. I think that Cleveland is a such a remarkable breeding ground for comedic minds for the same reason that it is a swing state. The state is ecletic, with many differing opinions and cultures. There is a little bit of everything and it is all concentrated into small areas. Within fifteen miles around the Cleveland area, you have the blue collar working class, intense poverty, extreme affluence, and rural farm dwellers. Unlike other parts of the country where areas have a consistent mindset with rare exceptions, ie: California is liberal and blue, Alabama is rural and red, etc. Cleveland is all over the map. I believe that it is this exposure to tons of different types of people and circumstances that feeds comics and makes their material approachable to so many people. Cleveland’s underdog status is a factor as well. We are consistently the nation’s poorest city. We are losing people and jobs at an alarming pace. Our weather is, at times, wretched. Crime is high. Our sports teams are cursed. Our river caught on fire. Much like the fat kid in grade school, we as Clevelanders have been forced to develop a sense of humor about ourselves and what goes on around us as a self-defense mechanism.”

According to Polk, Cleveland has ample opportunity for stand up comics to work on their acts before moving on to bigger and better things. There have been open mic comedy nights periodically at various bars and clubs, which last until owners decide karaoke is more profitable and interactive. The two main venues in town, for rising comics, Hilarities and the Improv, provide a stage for area comics in addition to bringing in national headliners. The Second City Theater, widely regarded as the world’s foremost improv training theater, had a stint here in Playhouse Square a few years back, and though the comedic scene as a whole was appreciative and supportive, ticket sales simply weren’t good enough to sustain the company. Second City left town, and closed their improv training school. Some of the offshoot groups spawned by Second City have survived, others have not been as fortunate.

Something Dada is the area’s longet running improv group. Celebrating 12 years of existence, the troupe is moving into a new theatre in the Tower Press Building at East 21st and Superior. Their motto- “Never the same show twice”. In January 2007 they will participate in the Chicago Skecth Fest for the third consecutive year.

Contemporary Cleveland nightlife offers several comedy options. Pickwick and Frolic, a retroswank martini bar, features an old style revue at Hilarities. For the unrepentant frat boy and coed in many of us, there’s the bawdy dueling piano bar of Howl at the Moon in The Flats. Wednesday’s at 9:30 p.m., Lakewood’s underground Bassa Vita Lounge presents their Grimey Ninety comedy show, with performers such as Mike Baker, John David Sidley and Kathie Dice. The Improv is located at 2000 Sycamore in The Flats’ Powerhouse. In early November, Cleveland native Tammy Pescatelli, who was featured on two seasons of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing”, performed there. This city’s rich legacy of laughs inspires one to check out the scene, form one’s own opinions and catch a rising star. History shows it is well worth the effort.

Cleveland Institute of Music

The Cleveland Institute of Music provides many free events.

  • When: Varies
  • Location: 11021 East Blvd. · Cleveland, OH 44106
  • Phone: 216-791-5000
  • Web: http://www.cim.edu/

The Cleveland Institute of Music is a leading international conservatory. Hundreds of concert are presented each year by CIM’s illustrious faculty, student and visiting artists.  Concert are held on the main campus in Cleveland’s University Circle. Visitors may see fully staged operas, the CIM Orchestra, a wide variety of chamber music and faculty recitals, student recitals, plus the Mixon Hall Masters Series which features some of the world’s most prominent artists. Concerts are presented several times a week.  Check www.cim.edu for the complete schedule.

Cleveland Play House

allen-theatre-cleveland-play-houseWelcome to the Cleveland Play House at Playhouse Square in Cleveland Ohio.

  • When: See link below for current shows
  • Location: (Map It) Paid parking garage is at 1901 E. 13th St., Cleveland, Ohio and connects to the Allen Theatre Complex which is the location of the Cleveland Play House at 1407 Euclid Avenue
  • Phone: 216-241-6000
  • Web: http://www.clevelandplayhouse.com/ 

The Cleveland Play House in Playhouse Square was the recipient of the 2015 Regional Theatre Tony Award. Founded in 1915, it 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 its centennial while performing in three state-of-the art venues at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland.  Our Mission: To inspire, stimulate and entertain diverse audiences across Northeast Ohio by producing plays and theatre education programs of the highest professional standards.

Cleveland Playhouse Square & Allen, State, Ohio & Palace Theaters

Playhouse-Square-District-Cleveland-OhioCleveland Playhouse Square features the Connor Palace, Allen, Hanna, State and Ohio Theatres in Cleveland, Ohio.

Cleveland Playhouse Square is one of the nation’s premier performing arts centers, perhaps the largest in the United States. The large complex is located along Euclid Avenue incorporating several renovated theaters, namely: the Palace, State, Ohio, Allen, E. 14th and the Hanna. A multitude of talent can be seen in opera, dramas, dance and musicals. The theaters and talent can best be described as “amazing.” Other theater companies are choosing Playhouse Square rather than Broadway in New York City. Tickets may be purchased by calling or online. The Idea Center is also located in the heart of Playhouse Square. It is a place for creativity and education for all ages and backgrounds. For registration, call 216-348-7909. The Cleveland public libraries also work in cooperation with the Playhouse Square Foundation’s Arts Education Department offering additional educational projects.

Columbus Children’s Theatre

Welcome to the Columbus Children’s Theatre.

Since 1963 Columbus Children’s Theatre has offered a variety of drama and performance programs of interest to young and old alike. Located near the North Market, CCT offers approximately six productions each year. CCT also offers a year-round academy where a novice thespian, ages K-8, has the opportunity to learn and practice his/her craft. There’s also a professional touring company, which has been bringing quality live theatre to Ohio schools since 1972.

Columbus Symphony

Tickets to the Columbus Symphony range from $15.50 – $57.50.

  • Box Office Hours: Monday – Thursday, 8am – 6pm. Friday, 9am – 5pm. Saturday (concert weekends only), 10am – 2pm.
  • Location: Ohio Theatre, 39 E. State St., Columbus
  • Phone: 614-228-8600
  • Web: http://www.columbussymphony.com/

The mission of the Columbus Symphony is to advance a symphony orchestra of the highest artistic standard for the enrichment, enjoyment, and well-being of central Ohio. This mission is achieved through a diverse set of programming that promises something for everyone throughout the year.

The Columbus Symphony offers eight programs annually: Classical, Concerts for Kids, State Street Pops, Picnic with the Pops, Popcorn Pops, Youth Orchestras, Community Outreach Programs, and Young Peoples’ Concerts. Special events and engagements are also available. Call for complete concert schedule, announcements, special offers, and a free e-newsletter.

Covedale Center for the Performing Arts

Tickets to the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts ranges from $19.00 – $21.00.

  • Box Office Hours 11:00 am to 5:00 pm  Monday – Saturday
  • Location: 4990 Glenway Avenue in Cincinnati, Ohio  45238
  • Phone:  513-241-6550
  • Web: Click here

The Covedale Center for the Performing Arts, continues to grow as the region’s newest and most exciting theatrical venue. The Covedale has been converted from a 1947 movie house to a live theatre, featuring the best in local performers and performances. The season ahead features classic shows, sure to delight every audience: one patriotic musical; the Covedale’s annual Dickensian holiday treat; an intimate family comedy/drama with humor and heart; a new musical review and an all-time Broadway hit, chock full of “My Favorite Things”!

Fairborn Summer Park Series

Admission to the Fairborn Summer Park Series is free.

  • When: Fridays (June and July) All events begin at 7:30 pm
  • Location: Community Park East · Amphitheater · 691 E. Dayton-Yellow Springs Road in Fairborn, OH (Rain Location: Fairborn High School Auditorium · 900 E. Dayton-Yellow Springs Road)
  • Phone: 937-754-3090

The Fairborn Summer Park Series:  These Free On Friday concerts feature big band to jazz and include jugglers and other entertainment. It is a pleasant way to end the work-week and sit in the warmth of the evening sun and enjoy outdoor concerts and shows for free. Past performances included plays like John Henry by the Mad River Theater Works; pop, soul, R&B, gospel, doo-wop and jazz by the cappella group – Fourth Avenue; Pop Wagner – the singer, lasso twirler and cowboy anthems. And also, the Juggernaut Jug Band complete with washboards, washtubs, kazoos, jugs and you name it; contemporary music, beach party music and civic bands.

Living Word Outdoor Drama

Admission to The Living Word Outdoor Drama in Cambridge: Adults $16, Seniors $14, Children 4-12 are $6 and AAA or groups of 20+ are $14/each.

  • Open: Friday and Saturday evenings from mid-June through September, at 8 p.m. (Show runs one hour earlier in September)
  • Location: 6010 College Hill Road in Cambridge, OH 43725
  • Phone: 740-439-2761
  • Web: http://www.livingworddrama.org/

The Living Word Outdoor Drama in Cambridge:  This outdoor drama features the life and ministry of Jesus Christ on a 400 panoramic set in one of the country’s most realistic recreations of Old Jerusalem.  The drama offers reenactments of The Sermon on the Mount, The Palm Sunday Entrance, The Last Supper, The Crucifixion, The Resurrection, and The Ascension.  A tour of the set and special music are both offered starting an hour before the show.

Midland Theatre

Welcome to the Midland Theatre in Newark, Ohio.

The Midland Theatre in Newark is a great place in central Ohio to experience the arts. From live music performances to dance performances, the Midland Theatre has it all! Legendary musicians have performed at there, including Three Dog Night, Jon Vezner, Barbara Bailey Huchison, The Smothers Brothers, and many more. The Midland Theatre is dedicated to producing positive experiences of the arts and promoting value around the community. Recently restored from its original building in 1928, the Midland Theatre inspires people of all ages and enriches the lives of all audiences that experience the wonderful shows and programs.

Murphy Theatre

Admission to the Murphy Theatre in Wilmington is $8.00-$22.00/Adult/Senior and 5.00-$7.50/Child.

Since 1918, the Murphy Theatre of Wilmington has been entertaining people from all around. Murphy’s Theatre was built by Charles Webb Murphy, prior owner of the Chicago Cubs, who sought to make a theatre that would bring a heart to his hometown. The theatre offers an range of shows from musical performances of many genres, to well known stand-up comedy routines and tickets are available in floor, box, and balcony seating. It is an experience for any age The Murphy’s grand, old fashioned marquee still shines its’ lights over the center of town. Tickets for shows can be purchased through phone and online ticket sales are coming soon to the theatre’s website.

Ohio Ballet Summer Festival

Admission to the Ohio Ballet Summer Festival is free.

  • When: Various dates throughout the Summer
  • Location: Various locations throughout greater Akron, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-972-7900 or 216-661-6645

The Ohio Ballet Summer Festival:  For more than 30 years, the Ohio Ballet has opened its season with a series of FREE outdoor shows. In recent years, more than 10,000 people turn out at approximately three locations to see eight performances in casual and family-friendly atmospheres. There are also interactive pre-shows for children before events where some kids are invited on stage to learn basic ballet moves and more.

Ohio Valley Opry

Admission to the Ohio Valley Opry is $10.00 for reserved tickets, $8.00 at door (kids 12 & younger half price. 

The Ohio Valley Opry is a great place to spend an evening enjoying a marvelous show. The Ohio Valley Opry offers a musical variety including bluegrass, country, and gospel music. An array of artists and acts have had the pleasure to play at the Ohio Valley Opry, including Johnny Staats and the Delivery Boys, Carolyn Connor, John Billotte, Connie Smith, and Jack Greene. The Ohio Valley Opry also offers group (of any size) packages, which can include exclusive pre-show tours and/or reservations for all accommodations, like lodging, food, and attractions. The OVO performs at regular shows that are held each 3rd Saturday in McConnelsville at the Twin City Opera House. The Opry has been called, “the best live music show in the state of Ohio”.


Concerts by The Cleveland Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Toledo Symphony Orchestra and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. 

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra: www.cincinnatipops.org/ (Cincinnati)

The Cleveland Orchestra: www.clevelandorch.com (Cleveland)

Columbus Symphony Orchestra: www.columbussymphony.com (Columbus)

Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra: www.daytonphilharmonic.com (Dayton)

Toledo Symphony Orchestra: www.toledosymphony.com/ (Toledo)

These renowned orchestras and others throughout the state sometimes perform smaller, free concerts at various locations in their respective greater metropolitan areas throughout the year. Keep an eye open for announcements in local newspapers or by periodically visiting the respective Web addresses listed above to find out when the next free event is being planned.

Players Guild Theatre

Welcome to the Players Guild Theatre in Canton, Ohio.

The Canton Players Guild Theatre is a volunteer-based, professionally directed theatre. Players Guild Theatre offers instruction in theatre arts through production experience, workshops, special programming and outreach activities. At Players Guild Theatre, volunteers work side by side with professionals in order to maintain the highest standards of production, encourage individual creativity and enhance their understanding and appreciation of live theatre. Players Guild Theatre, EXPERIENCE IT LIVE!

Pump House Center for the Arts

Admission to the Pump House Center for the Arts in Chillicothe is free.

  • Open Wednesday – Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sunday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Closed Mondays &Tuesdays
  • Location: Enderlin Circle, Yoctangee Park Chillicothe, Ohio 45601
  • Phone: 740-772-5783
  • Web: http://www.pumphouseartgallery.com/

The Chillicothe Pump House Center for the Arts is home to nine to ten visual art exhibits. The Pump House gift gallery highlights local artists of Southern Ohio and free tours are available. All exhibits are located in the historic Pump House facility, whose history dates back to 1883 and includes a listing in the National register of Historic Places. Visitors can enjoy the gallery’s historic Victorian Gothic architecture and the beautiful gallery that the house provides for art. The Pump House also hosts the Gallery Stroll event that takes place every second Saturday of the moth from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. in downtown Chillicothe. The event is designed to promote the downtown area and its businesses as well as the arts, performing and visual. The facility is available for rent by group, individual, or business events.

Renaissance Theatre

Welcome to the Renaissance Theatre in Mansfield, Ohio.

The Mansfield Renaissance Theatre is the largest performing arts center in North-Central Ohio. Opening in January 1928, the theater seats 1,600 people. In the past it has been the host of the Miss Ohio Scholarship Pageant and the state competition for the Miss Ohio Pageant. The Renaissance has an extensive history from the 80 years it has been operation and offers visitors a place to indulge themselves with great performances, as well as learn about The Renaissance’s historic contributions. Formally known as the Ohio Theatre, The Renaissance has been renovated, but still maintains its classic charm. In May 1983, The Renaissance Theatre was added to the National Register of Historic Places, and still remains as a piece of beloved history in Mansfield. The theatre is currently undergoing a renovation for a second addition in the near future to expand the facility and improve patron amenities and technical shortcomings, but it is still open to visitors.

Ritz Theatre

Welcome to the Ritz Theatre in Tiffin, Ohio.

The Ritz Theatre in Tiffin:  At the beginning of the 20th century when movies were becoming popular, theaters were becoming a popular place in towns and cities. The Ritz Theatre was no exception to this; being a very popular place from the day it opened its doors in 1928. Over 1,000 people would pack into the theatre to watch a movie, accompanied by a live orchestra and organs. Since it’s opening, The Ritz Theatre has been entertaining thousands and thousands of people. Currently, the Ritz Theatre, after being renovated in 1998, still holds performances in its classy and historic theater. With its classic, Renaissance-like style, the Ritz Theatre features a variety of performances going on each week, including musical performances, plays, and even movie nights, which can be experienced in a unique and distinctive way. For information on weekly features, show times, and information about purchasing tickets at the Ritz, visitors can call or visit the ritztheatre.org.

Shadowbox Live

shadowbox-sketch-comedyWelcome to Shadowbox Live in Columbus, Ohio.

Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler Magazine by Frank R. Satullo

What did I get myself roped into? Sitting at a table with friends and strangers, our waitress asked loudly, “Are you a virgin?” I looked desperately at my wife for help but she sank into her chair and gazed away.

“ATTENTION EVERYONE, I HAVE A TABLE OVER HERE WITH THREE VIRGINS!” The waiter at the next table shouted for all to hear.

I asked my friend, “What the heck do they do to virgins?” He chuckled and said to relax and enjoy the show. And I did.

Shadowbox Live is a unique blend of comedy, theater, live rock and roll, full bar and bistro. It is located in Columbus, Ohio.

When we entered, we were greeted by Stacie Boord. At first, I didn’t pay any mind except to note that she was very friendly and welcoming. She made our group feel her energy become our own. Energy is the operative word here because EVERYONE at Shadowbox has an abundance of energy and enthusiasm. If you read Stacie’s job titles (yes, plural) written in the program ($1 and well worth it I may add) it says she is a singer, dancer, actress, chief vocal instructor, comedy director, choreographer, community relations director, company events sales consultant, fundraiser, creative team member and general manager.

Stacie is the one who called to offer my friend discounted tickets because they pulled his business card, she greeted us at the door, and she would later, sing, act, and dance and …I’m getting tired thinking of the list that goes on.

She is no different from anyone and everyone else working at Shadowbox. A common job description includes marketing, acting, waiting, singing, administrative work and dancing.

Our waitress returned to take orders and said she won’t be back until intermission, so stock up now with all the food we’ll want plus a bucket of drinks on ice. That’s because she would soon be on stage along with the rest of the wait staff belting out classic rock songs or jamming on guitar while taking turns making us laugh by acting in the outrageous and original sketch comedy acts between sets.

So we sat back at our table, ate some tasty food, laughed with friends and strangers, dipped into the ice bucket and took in the high energy, fast pace, intimate setting waiting for the show to begin. The intimate quarters in this environment worked right into the ambience and mood. We were ready for the show.


What a performance right out of the box. Stand any of these people toe-to-toe with your favorite American Idol contestants and it’s no contest. Not only can these boys and girls deliver pitch perfect arousing vocals, they do it with style, edgy and hip!

Then, silence. The lead singer and a couple musicians soon disappear and reappear in costume to join other actors in an original comedy sketch just underway on the other half of the stage. Saturday Night Live eat-your-heart-out!

At intermission we realized we under ordered and fixed our mistake just in time to kick back and enjoy the second half of the hybrid show that never ceased to amaze.

When the show was over, we were in great spirits talking about our favorite musical performances and comedy sketches. Heck, even the popcorn left an impression.

But that’s not all.

Shadowbox also does an abbreviated lunchtime show, full-fledged musicals and rock operas, and community workshops for professionals. Shadowbox, The Sketch Comedy and Rock ‘n’ Roll Club, is an artist owned and operated not-for-profit organization.

The next time you can’t decide whether to go to a night club, theater, concert or comedy club, stop wavering and do-it-all at Shadowbox Live.

By the way, earlier I mentioned my alarm at being called a virgin for all to hear and my friend merely saying to relax and enjoy the show. Well, let me say that I later realized his comment really didn’t address my concern. And I’m not about to ruin the suspense.

To plan your night out at Shadowbox, visit www.shadowboxlive.org.

Shakespeare Festival

Admission to the Shakespeare Festival in Northeast Ohio  is free.

  • When: 6:30 p.m. Fridays through Sundays in June and July
  • Location: The season is split between two locations in northeast Ohio. Shaker Heights Colonnade at 3450 Lee Road in Shaker Heights, Ohio and Tri-C West Campus at 11000 Pleasant Valley Road in Parma, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-732-3311

The Shakespeare Festival in Northeast Ohio:  Come early to find a good lawn seat and bring a blanket for the whole family. This award winning show has been running for several years and has wowed thousands. Visitors will enjoy Shakespeare the way Shakespeare was meant to be enjoyed – amidst the festive atmosphere of a vibrant community. The actors and staff offer a show that is fresh and entertaining for the modern world. So, enjoy good old-fashioned theatre in the glow of the summer’s afternoon sun.

Shakespeare in the Park

Admission to the Columbus Shakespeare in the Park is free.

Columbus Shakespeare in the Park:  These free performances in the park began more than 20 years ago. It is said that the tradition started when a dog led cofounders Patricia and Gary Ellson there. Once there, they found an unused band shell. Having a love for Shakespeare, the two sought permission to use the stage to offer free shows to the community. Well, as they say, the rest is history. What was started as an amateur group grew into a professional production and has attracted hundreds of thousands of spectators. Enjoy this fascinating tradition. Note, you may want to call first to see if your dog is allowed to attend.

SignStage Theatre in Cleveland

Welcome to the Cleveland SignStage Theatre.

  • Location: 11635 Euclid Ave. in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Phone: 216-325-7559
  • Web: click here

The Cleveland SignStage was founded by one Deaf and one hearing actor in 1975.  Since then the theatre has established a sound reputation for bringing new and colorful expressions of theatre to the stage.  Since moving in with the Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center, SignStage has transitioned into a deaf awareness program within the Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing department.  SignStage is now an educational outreach program that uses theatre techniques to educate it’s audiences through school assembly programs, workshops and residencies.  We combine American Sign Language with the imagery of mime and theatrical text to bring a unique style of education to our audiences.

Speakeasy in Bucyrus

Welcome to the Bucyrus Speakeasy: Groups of 35 are required to put on a show in this authentic old speak easy from Prohibition days.

  • Location: Bucyrus, Ohio
  • Phone: 419-562-0720 or 1-866-562-0720

speakeasy1The Speakeasy in Bucyrus, Ohio is the underground location where famous Mob Boss Al Capone and his cronies were known to hangout while in town.

The hotel was built in 1916 and was named the Highway Hotel. During the 1920’s it was a popular spot for gangsters traveling from Chicago to New York and return trip.  At that time there were tunnels under the city of Bucyrus and the tunnel in the Speak Easy still exists (Other tunnels have been replaced by modern basements, etc. due to new construction, etc). The area was called the Highway Grill; Late 1930’s it was a Rathskeller and then the area was closed until renovation and reopening of the historic Speak Easy was completed in 2003. Everything is now just as it was in the 1920’s.  The woodwork, tables, etc. are original.  The elevator is still the original and is hand operated. A play has been written based on history, facts of the era, singing, dancing, gangsters, and just bringing the 1920’s alive. The production is by local all-volunteer talent. A minimum of 35 persons is required for the production. There are two shows available for tour groups…30 minute and a one-hour length show.  Call to schedule a show for your group or attend one of four Speakeasy : Valentine Show & Dinner, Mother’s Day Show & Dinner, Bratwurst Festival Show, and Holiday Show & Dinner . The Speak Easy opportunities are available by contacting the Bucyrus Tourism & Visitors Bureau, 301 South Sandusky Avenue, Bucyrus, Ohio 44820; 419-562-0720; 1-866-562-0720. email – info@visitbucyrus.com or check out www.visitbucyrus.com.

Stuart’s Opera House

Tickets to Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville go on sale six weeks prior to scheduled events. Call for schedule.

  • Box office hours are Monday – Friday, 10am – 5pm
  • Location: 52 Public Square in Nelsonville, Ohio
  • Phone: 740-753-1924
  • Web: http://stuartsoperahouse.org/

Stuart’s Opera House is a unique second floor theater that has been the cornerstone of Nelsonville’s Historic Arts District since 1879. With more than 75 events every year, they serve Southeast Ohio and beyond as a one of a kind venue for a wide range of music, theatre and community functions.

Tecumseh Outdoor Drama

Welcome to the Tecumseh Outdoor Drama in Chillicothe, Ohio. Call for up-to-date admission, tour and buffet prices.
*Not recommended for children age 6 or under.

  • When: June 11 – September 4, 2010 (Monday through Saturday).
  • Showtime:  8:00 PM.
    Location: Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheatre; 5968 Marietta Road in Chillicothe, Ohio
    Phone: TOLL FREE 1-866-775-0700
  • www.tecumsehdrama.com

The Tecumseh Outdoor Drama in Chillicothe:  Witness the epic life story of the legendary Shawnee leader as he struggles to unite the various tribes in an effort to drive the encroaching whites from their sacred homelands in the Ohio country during the late 1700’s.

The huge, outdoor stages of the Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheatre afford the audience a unique viewing experience.  You will sit beneath the stars in the beautiful Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheatre as sheer spectacle surrounds you with a herd of galloping horses, live military cannon in action, and the most dazzling battle sequences offered on the American stage.

This professionally produced outdoor drama is written by seven-time Pulitzer Prize nominee and Emmy recipient, Allan W. Eckert.  The script has been acclaimed as the best of its kind with the outdoor drama industry and continues to fascinate thousands each summer.

Over 2.3 million visitors have witnessed this great outdoor drama, making it the most popular of its kind in the State of Ohio and the entire Mid-Western United States.

Enjoy an exciting “Behind-the-Scenes” Tour with cast members as your tour guides.  The stuntmen of TECUMSEH! give a dazzling display of stage-combat and flintlock firing, then pitch headfirst from a twenty-one foot cliff, get up, and explain how they did it.  The tours last approximately one hour and along with detailed historical information also include demonstrations of weaponry, stunts, and make-up as well as explanations regarding communication systems and stage design.  Tours are offered at 4:00 PM and 5:00 PM.

The Tecumseh Terrace Buffet features a Buffet Dinner of wholesome American food.  Served from 4:30 PM until 7:30 PM, the menu includes Broaster Fired Chicken, baked ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, corn, salad bar, bakery rolls, dessert includes baked apple streusel and chocolate pudding, coffee and soft drinks.  Cash, MasterCard and Visa accepted at the buffet.  Snacks, including pizza, popcorn, sweets, and soft drinks are available at the concession stand from 4:00 PM through intermission.

Stroll through our mini-museum and enjoy the displays of prehistoric Indian artifacts from the Scioto Valley.  In cooperation with the Ohio Historical Society, this exhibit is offered Free of charge, Monday – Saturday, from 5:00 PM to 7:45 PM.

Visit our Mountain Gallery Gift Shop where you can find many unique and popular gifts.  Selections include jewelry, pottery, T-shirts and books to serve as souvenirs of your evening at TECUMSEH!

During Meet and Greet, immediately following the performance, cast members will assemble in the pavilion area for autographs and photographs.  This is the perfect opportunity for you to talk to the actors one-on-one!

Trumpet In The Land & The White Savage Outdoor Dramas

Admission to Trumpet In The Land & The White Savage Outdoor Dramas: Adults $17, Seniors (60 and over) $15, Children (12 and under) $8.

  • When: Early June – late August (Monday through Saturday)
  • Location: Schoenbrunn Amphitheatre in New Philadelphia, Ohio
  • Phone: 330-364-5111

Trumpet In The Land sweeps you back in history to a time when Ohio was the western frontier of America.  Witness the founding of Ohio’s first settlement, Schoenbrunn, and the eventual Gnadenhutten massacre of 96 Christian Indians at the hands of American militiamen.

The White Savage is the life of Simon Girty who was labeled a savage due to his alliance with the Native Americans and the British during the American Revolution.  His loyalty to the Indian and his savagery in battle were legendary and his name brought fear to all along the frontier in the late eighteenth century.

Professional actors, brilliant lighting effects, galloping horses and spectacular battle pyrotechnics bring both of these epic productions to life on the stage of the 1,400 seat outdoor amphitheatre.

Woodward Opera House

Welcome to the Woodward Opera House in Mount Vernon, Ohio.

  • Open Saturday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and on select events
  • Location: 107 South Main Street in Mount Vernon, Ohio
  • Phone:  740-392-6142
  • Web: http://www.thewoodward.org/

The Woodward Opera House is located in downtown Mount Vernon and is listed as a national landmark. The Woodward opened in 1851 and is America’s oldest authentic 19th century theater still in existence today. A popular theater in the late 1800’s, the Woodward is associated with Mount Vernon native, world famous musician, Dan Emmett. Currently, the historic Woodward Opera House is open for tours and is being restored to its 19th century appearance but with all the 21stcentury services needed for operating a theater. Tours of the opera house are available during the Dan Emmett Music & Arts Festival, First Fridays events, and Mount Vernon’s Christmas Walk. Special group tours can be arranged by calling.

More Things to do This Month in Ohio

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