Arts & Entertainment

FYI: Opera's silver year shines (and sounds) like a diamond

Magnificent music and outstanding voices will blend for the climax of the FYI: Opera program’s 25th season on Tuesday, March 29, at 7:30 p.m. at Westlake Public Porter Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road. The Westlake-Westshore Arts Council has enriched the community for a quarter of a century by offering FYI: Opera without charge.

The March 29 program previews the Cleveland Institute of Music opera program “Sensational Scenes from Operas – Grand and Light.” CIM Opera Artistic Director David Bamberger promises a potpourri of marvelous selections of great works from the whole history of music theater. 

Accompanying Bamberger will be four stars of recent CIM productions. Caroline Bergan and Matthew Maisano, Susanna and the Count in Mozart’s "The Marriage of Figaro," will reprise selections from “Figaro,” considered a masterpiece of Italian comic opera. They will also present highlights from the opening scene of Jules Massenet’s most popular and enduring opera, "Manon."

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 10:02 AM, 03.15.2016

BAYarts' juried exhibition Best of Show goes to 'Scream of the Butterflies'

Married artists Laura and Gary Dumm took Best of Show in BAYarts' recent juried exhibition. The bold piece juxtaposes film villains against environmental concerns. Their acrylic piece, "Scream of the Butterflies," shows The Bride of Frankenstein (wearing a beauty queen sash reading "Ms. Monsanto") spraying a can of Raid into her mouth, as vividly orange monarch butterflies fly out of frame.

In describing the process, Laura Dumm makes it sound seamless. "First we discuss what subject we want to paint. Then Gary draws out the idea, we discuss it more and do a bit of fine tuning, then he transfers that to the canvas and hands it over to me to paint! It's great working together; we bring our different strengths and the finished painting shows that."

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 10:02 AM, 03.15.2016

Art historian bares colors of the Impressionists

The Westlake-Westshore Arts Council presents a program on “Impressionism from Manet to Monet” by art historian Sean Crum on Tuesday, April 5, at 7 p.m., at Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road.

Four 18th-century artists and their works will be Sean’s focus as he shares his knowledge and experience on Impressionism and its repercussions in the art world. His spotlight will be on Edouard Manet, Pierre August Renoir, Edgar Degas and Claude Monet, contemporaries who were born within a nine-year span – 1831 to 1841, all central figures in the Impressionist Movement.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 10:01 AM, 03.15.2016

Stamps, stamps, stamps

As a budding stamp collector, I received a huge bag of stamps about 40 years ago from the attic of an old house my in-laws bought. I eagerly started to examine them and bought a guide, only to discover that this takes more time than I ever had to do something of this sort. So I stashed them away until recently when we caught the de-clutter bug that is going around – only to find that I had even less enthusiasm for sorting them. There are thousands of stamps, many non-descript U.S. stamps all from the 1920s and '30s. There were some pages where a person sorted and attached them to a catalog page.

Not being sure how to describe them, I read a few articles about stamps. I learned quickly that a stamp collection is quite different from a stamp accumulation.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 10:24 AM, 03.15.2016

Performer woos audience and grandma

Rising star Mike Cefalo displays an energy and talent that easily wins an audience. His musical program of jazz standards, classical and contemporary musical theater songs, as well as pop songs, was sponsored by the Westlake-Westshore Arts Council and presented at Porter Public Library on Feb. 16.

Cefalo’s program took off with his rendition of the upbeat "Volare," followed by the smooth ballad "You’d Be So Easy to Love." His warm, rich voice, expressive delivery and easy communication with his audience reflected Baldwin Wallace Music Theater’s excellent voice and theater training. But his genuinely friendly nature and ready smile enhance his ability to strike a chord with his audience.     

Midway through his program, Cefalo shared that he is from Pittsburgh and some of his family, including his grandmother, surprised him by driving in for the program. His grandmother, Carmella Distazio, was enthusiastically welcomed with applause and Cefalo captured every heart in the room when he sang an Italian ballad for her.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 9:34 AM, 03.01.2016

Clague Playhouse presents 'Miracle on South Division Street'

Clague Playhouse will present Tom Dudzick’s heartfelt and hilarious family comedy "Miracle on South Division Street" as the fourth production of its 88th season.

Meet the Nowak family, a lovable clan of dysfunctional Polish-American adults on the East Side of post-industrial Buffalo. The family matriarch, Clara, fervently protects the family’s 20-foot-tall shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary, a statue crafted by her father, who claimed to have had a vision of Mary in his barbershop in 1942. But now, a deathbed confession begins to test the family’s faith in miracles.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 9:33 AM, 03.01.2016

BAYarts explores diversity this month

This March, BAYarts is hosting two gallery shows that put an emphasis on diversity.

In the Sullivan Family Gallery is the 2016 BAYarts Juried Exhibition, judged by Corrie Slawson and Susan Squires. Gallery Coordinator Eileen Stockdale says the juried show is exciting because it brings in a variety of local artists and displays media of all sorts, including combinations of mixed media they haven't seen much of before.

In the Diane Boldman Education Gallery is the spring exhibition "Pattern & Design," curated by Darrelle Centuori and Shari Wilkins. The work in this show strives to demonstrate the way patterns connect threads in a purposeful way. Centuori has been passionate about exploring this topic. "Understanding patterns is a matter of perception, and perception is often interpreted as reality. Somewhere between perception and reality is where art lives, and where new patterns may begin to be discovered."

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 9:31 AM, 03.01.2016

Artists of the Westlake Garden Club

Some members of the Westlake Garden Club not only enjoy growing flowers in their gardens, they also paint them. If you visited the Cleveland Museum of Art’s exhibit "Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse," you know that many of the impressionist painters were inspired by their own gardens. 

Four artists of the Westlake Garden Club will exhibit their work in the lobby of Clague Playhouse for the duration of the show “Miracle on South Division Street.” The play opens to the public on March 11 and closes on April 3. The four artists featured are Lillian Bialosky, Bill Hock, Robert Pearl and Jean Smith. Each has their own unique style and works in watercolor, oil and acrylic.

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Volume 8, Issue 5, Posted 9:33 AM, 03.01.2016

Join grassroots effort to bring community theater back to Bay Village

The Citizens for Bay Village Community Theater invite you to participate in their first production scheduled for July this summer. If you have enjoyed seeing a play but can't picture yourself in the spotlight, here's your chance to become involved. Right now we are looking for some key players to work behind the scenes in an organizational capacity. Required skills are a sense of adventure, some common sense and a positive attitude. Optional skills include the use of a telephone, calendar and email.

Two positions are available immediately: production coordinator and box office coordinator. For production coordinator, the group is seeking a detail-oriented person who will act as manager for all elements of the production for our upcoming show in July. He or she will oversee the search for a theatrical director and be a point of contact for all department heads involved in production and may assign duties to department heads. May also assist in locating shop facilities.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:53 AM, 02.16.2016

Clague Playhouse presents free Agatha Christie matinee

Clague Playhouse will present a free performance of Great Lakes Theater’s world-premiere production of Agatha Christie’s classic thriller "The Secret Adversary," adapted by David Hansen and directed by Lisa Ortenzi, on Sunday, Feb. 21, at 2 p.m.

Agatha Christie introduces her young adventurers, Tommy and Tuppence, in this free, 80-minute touring production. Jazz-era hero and heroine Thomas Beresford and Prudence “Tuppence” Cowley decide to become adventurers for hire and swiftly find themselves embroiled in an international plot to bring down the British government.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:34 AM, 02.16.2016

International artist Paul Beel to visit BAYarts

One of Cleveland's own will be returning to Ohio this March. In the early '90s, artist Paul Beel traveled to Italy for a full scholarship at Studio Art Centers International in Florence. And after receiving his MFA degree in painting from Bowling Green State University, he returned to Florence to paint and teach. Since then, he's put down roots overseas, having become a dual citizen of the USA and Italy.

Currently, he lives in the Pfaelzer wine region in Germany, known, he says, as Germany's Tuscany. "The Pfaelzer region is a really great place to live. I live in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse. On the hill above my house I can see Hambacher Schloss, a castle which is credited with the founding of German Democracy. On the other side of us sits a great plain made by the Rhein river. Across that plain on a clear day you can see the town of Heidelberg."

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:31 AM, 02.16.2016

BAYarts offers 2 chances to join a parade

A couple of local parades will benefit from the inclusion of Bay Village's very own BAYarts students and families. Two BAYarts workshops this spring will focus on creating artistic entries in Cleveland's Parade the Circle and Avon's Duck Tape Parade.

Programming director Erin Stack is thrilled to be able to offer these parade experiences to students and families alike. "I believe we not only have a great facilitating team, but we also have the interest from BAYarts families. I think it's pretty cool that we can get kids out of the classroom and on the streets to showcase their creations in a fun and engaging way."

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:30 AM, 02.16.2016

BAYarts' latest exhibitions explore transformations

Artist Timothy Joyce doesn't believe in waste, and his method of using recycled materials was born out of a desire to show there's no aspect of human life that doesn't have some continued worth and message to express.

The components of the art vary in the exhibition "Facing Forward." Joyce says, "I use materials found in junk shops, painting over cheap reproduction pictures, house paint, spray paint, you name it." The purpose of this is rooted in renewal. "It pleases me to give what is discarded a new life. My single intent is to make the viewer feel what the expression of  the pictures contain. I don’t look away from all kinds of human life. Every single person on earth matters."

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 9:53 AM, 02.02.2016

Huntington Playhouse Stories: In the Darkness

Mary Kahelin dims the lights after Act 1, then slowly fades the sound of the siren as the darkness sets. Unseen in the tech booth at the Clague Playhouse, she listens for the cue that the actors performing the play "Proof" are ready to proceed. The stage manager, in a distant part of the theater, lets her know through a headset that the actors are ready. The theater brightens, this time looking like morning sunlight rather than the late evening illumination from the first act.

Mary now follows along in the script because her cues will come from the actors' dialogue rather than the stage manager. Her clothing is dark and the color melts into the walls of the room behind the window where she sits. The only illumination is from the computer screens and a pair of tiny flexible desk lights that shine on the pages she watches. The dialogue from the actors on stage comes through a tiny speaker mounted over the window that allows a view of the stage.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 9:49 AM, 02.02.2016

Multi-talented rising star to perform in Westlake

For a fourth year the Westlake-Westshore Arts Council is sponsoring “Catch a Rising Star: Baldwin Wallace Music Theater in Recital.” On Tuesday, Feb. 16, BW Music Theatre major Mike Cefalo presents a musical program that showcases his innate talents, his polished skills and a love for his art form. Cefalo will perform at 7 p.m., at Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road.

Jazz standards and music of the '40s and '50s have a special appeal to Cefalo. He enjoys performing songs made famous by Frank Sinatra, Frankie Valli and other “amazing artists” of that era. But all aspects of theater, singing, acting and dancing, specifically tap dancing, are to his liking. “Performing for me is just as much about telling a story as it is to entertain anyone and everyone,” he said.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 9:50 AM, 02.02.2016

Clague Playhouse auditions for 'Panache'

Clague Playhouse, 1371 Clague Road, will hold auditions for Don Gordon's quirky romantic comedy, "Panache," on Feb. 9 and 10, at 7:30 p.m. This heartwarming play pairs Harry, a short-order cook from Brooklyn, with Kathleen, a Scarsdale socialite – two people from different backgrounds who, in search of life’s intangibles, find that they are not so different after all.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 9:49 AM, 02.02.2016

Clague Playhouse presents 'Proof'

Clague Playhouse's third production of its 88th season is underway: David Auburn’s compelling drama "Proof."

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best Play, "Proof" is the story of Catherine, a troubled young woman who has spent years caring for her brilliant yet mentally unstable father. Upon his death, his two daughters and a gifted protegé struggle to identify the author of a ground-breaking mathematical proof discovered among his papers, raising questions of how much of her father’s genius Claire may have inherited, and how much of his madness. The intellectual, familial, and amorous tensions among these finely-drawn characters weave a suspenseful story of duty, loyalty and the pursuit of truth.

"Proof" is directed by Anne McEvoy. The cast includes Nicholas Chokan, Robert Hawkes, Rachel Krolls and Renee Schilling.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 10:19 AM, 01.19.2016

Local photographers' work on display at Porter Library

Eleven photographers from the Lakewood Photographic Society are displaying over 40 photographic enlargements in the art gallery at Westlake Porter Public Library throughout the month of January. The photographers in the show include: Peggy Thompson, Peter Nintcheff, Donna Seemuth, Andre LeBlanc Sr., Linda Nellis, Judy Medina, Annabelle Keller, Jack Seemuth, Lloyd Keller, Robert Parry and Michele Schneider.

Many of the photographs have won awards in local club competitions and at juried shows. The Lakewood Photographic Society serves the western suburbs. The club meets the first three Tuesdays of each month at 7 p.m. at 16024 Madison Ave. in Lakewood. Meetings include programs on improving photography and judged competitions.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 9:56 AM, 01.19.2016

BAYarts displays local woman's memories of Maine

Eliza Wing has lived in Bay Village since 1994, but ask her to talk about Maine and she admits, "I have always considered Maine my true home." It is this strong sense of home that Wing has conveyed in her artwork for the BAYarts exhibition, "Memory Served."

There's a reason why Maine is so cherished by Wing. "I've been going every summer for as long as I can remember and my father and grandparents before that," she shares. "It's in my heart. Monhegan Island, which has long been an artist retreat (since the early 1900s), was always a magical, faraway destination for me. We sailed the coast for weeks at a time and the island (which is about 10 miles off the coast) was always this faraway, alluring beacon. In recent years I've been lucky enough to be able to spend time out there plein-air painting and just capturing images that I want to use later in my studio." And the inspiration proved plentiful for her exhibition in the Diane Boldman Gallery.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 9:53 AM, 01.05.2016

Huntington Playhouse Stories: 'Nicely' done, Pat Miller

Recent reviews about Pat Miller in the lead of the critically acclaimed "Bat Boy: The Musical" at Blank Canvas Theater were full of compliments like, "an actor who is willing to throw himself bodily and every other way into the role," "creates a completely believable character" or "the ever-intriguing Pat Miller."

Pat began taking classes at Huntington Playhouse in the summer of 2003. He played Nicely Nicely Johnson in "Guys & Dolls Jr." under the direction of Tom Castro, featured recently in my story, "On Angel's Wings," published in the Nov. 17 issue of the Observer. 

Pat enjoyed the experience and resumed classes the following summer while playing the role of Drake in "Honk Jr." I had seen that production and can attest Pat had a focus and intensity one would expect in a seasoned actor, but was surprising in someone so young. By 2006 he graduated from "Jr." shows and was in the ensemble of Neil Simon's "Sweet Charity" under the direction of Tom Meyrose.

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Volume 7, Issue 24, Posted 9:44 AM, 12.15.2015

BAYarts annual holiday trunk show in review

The annual BAYarts Trunk Show took place on Dec. 11 and was highly attended. Vendors included Lake Girl, The Leaf, Alchemary, Bellatrix Jewelry and Images in Bloom. With festive music, lights, and handmade goodies, the BAYarts campus was a destination for all community members that night. For those who were unable to attend, or still need gifts, the Tall Walls exhibition of affordable wall art, and the holiday shop, are both open at BAYarts until Christmas Eve.

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Volume 7, Issue 24, Posted 9:38 AM, 12.15.2015

Youth Challenge honors top volunteers

The Youth Challenge Dance and Drama program celebrated the season with a holiday show on Dec. 13 at the St. Ignatius High School Breen Center for Performing Arts. The event also included a volunteer recognition to honor the year’s top teen volunteers and the adult Volunteer of the Year.

Youth Challenge, which is headquartered in Westlake, offers free, year-round programs to 180 participants throughout the Greater Cleveland area. The participants are children with such disabilities as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and hearing or vision impairments. Transportation to and from programs is also provided at no charge. 

Dance and Drama is one of almost 350 programs that Youth Challenge offers each year thanks to the help of over 450 teen volunteers who gave close to 10,000 hours of service. The teen volunteers are trained to work with children with physical disabilities and are paired one-on-one with participants at each program.

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Volume 7, Issue 24, Posted 9:42 AM, 12.15.2015

Clague Playhouse auditions for 'Miracle on South Division Street'

Clague Playhouse, 1371 Clague Road, Westlake, will hold auditions for Tom Dudzick's comedy-drama, "Miracle on South Division Street," on Dec. 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. This is the story of the Nowak family, a lovable blue-collar clan of four dysfunctional adults from Buffalo, New York, whose matriarch, Clara, fervently protects the family’s 20-foot-tall shrine to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The statue was built by her father, who claimed to have once had a vision of Mary in his barbershop. But now, a deathbed confession begins to test the family’s faith. 

Performance dates will be March 11 through April 3. There are parts for three adult females and one adult male. All four characters are beautifully developed and nuanced. Clara, the mother, is in her 60s and her children, Beverly, Ruth, and Jimmy, are in their 30s. Auditions will involve readings from the script. Hope to see you there!

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Volume 7, Issue 24, Posted 9:42 AM, 12.15.2015

Huntington Playhouse Stories: End, middle and beginning

Update: "Christmas at Aunt Ida's," the final show scheduled to run at Huntington Playhouse, has been canceled due to production issues.

It's December and the Huntington Playhouse will close this month. One more show is scheduled, "Christmas at Aunt Ida's," then it's time to sell off any remaining items of value, pay some bills, turn off the lights and hand over the keys. The end.

The middle of this story is the end of one story and the beginning of another. 

The announcement came in August to close the theater. The current managing director, Tom Meyrose, decided to continue operation until the end of the year. Meanwhile Bay Village resident John Hnat decided to try and keep community theater alive in his city.

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Volume 7, Issue 23, Posted 9:49 AM, 12.01.2015

BAYarts' Tall Walls exhibit offers easy art shopping

Quite literally using the entire towering expanse of the gallery walls, the BAYarts Tall Walls exhibition will be showcasing generous handfuls of art from many of the organization's artists.

BAYarts Artistic Director, Karen Petkovic, is excited for this inaugural year of the concept. "The idea is that an overflowing amount of art will be filling the walls up to the high ceilings and down to the floors." And there's a large amount of artists who will be supplying the art.

Featured artists include: Chad Cochran, Al Fuchs, Larry Kasperak, Christopher Gray, Mary Burkhardt, Susanne Dotson, Angela Oster, Jack Koch and many more.

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Volume 7, Issue 23, Posted 9:52 AM, 12.01.2015

BAYarts Holiday Shop experience has expanded

BAYarts' annual Holiday Shop begins this month with a two-day open house on Nov 21 and 22 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The shop is then open through December.  

Familiar names represented include Freckle Face jewelry, Images in Bloom and Allie M. Designs. In addition, newer names that will be on display, such as Bellatrix Jewelry, Chart House Candles and Shabby Shore.   

"We are always so proud to put on our Holiday Shop," says BAYarts' artistic director Karen Petkovic. "It's a great way to bring the Westside community together in showcasing local artists and letting people discover amazing, personalized gifts. The first two days of the open house weekend are huge, so you don't want to miss that." 

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Volume 7, Issue 22, Posted 9:08 AM, 11.17.2015

Huntington Playhouse Stories: On angels' wings

Part three of a multi-part series reflecting on the history of Huntington Playhouse, which will close at the end of this year after nearly six decades as the home of community theater in Bay Village.

The director, Tom Castro, called three hours before curtain. "Can Moira be an angel tonight?" he anxiously asked my wife, Eileen.

Friday, Dec. 16, 2005, began the last weekend of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," the holiday show at Huntington Playhouse. My son Jack, who was 11 at the time, had been cast as Ollie Herdman, one of a family of "rotten" children that bully their way into a church Christmas pageant, but to the surprise of everyone, their disastrous interpretation of the Christmas story turns out to be quite touching.

This was Jack's second show at Huntington after my wife had seen him through the children's theater program there the previous summer. His sister Moira, who was four years younger, had actually been "acting" longer than her brother. She appeared as a mouse, two different lions and a frog at various times in a show that ran 24/7 from the time she was 3 until my wife had the brilliant idea to buy her a "school kid costume" so she wouldn't wear a tail to kindergarten.

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Volume 7, Issue 22, Posted 9:22 AM, 11.17.2015

Huntington Playhouse Stories: O Captain! My Captain!

Part two of a multi-part series reflecting on the history of Huntington Playhouse, which will close at the end of this year after nearly six decades as the home of community theater in Bay Village.

Who is Keith Stevens and why is there a pirate ship in his yard?

"O Captain! My Captain! Our fearful trip begun; This demon vessel in our path, was placed here just for fun."

The poet Walt Whitman might have used these words to describe the Halloween display, in a Bay Village neighborhood, that looks as if had been created by Walt Disney.

Keith lives with his wife, Carol, on Elmwood Road and works as a senior lung transplant coordinator at the Cleveland Clinic. When this father of two is not working his regular job, he likes to volunteer.

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Volume 7, Issue 21, Posted 10:13 AM, 11.03.2015

Huntington Playhouse announces final production

The current show at Huntington Playhouse is the musical “The Addams Family.” Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. with a matinee on Sunday, Nov. 15, at 2 p.m.

This musical features an original story, and it's every father's nightmare. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family – a man her parents have never met. And if that weren't upsetting enough, Wednesday confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams must do something he's never done before – keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday's "normal" boyfriend and his parents.

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Volume 7, Issue 21, Posted 10:11 AM, 11.03.2015

Clague Playhouse presents 'Nuncrackers: The Nunsense Christmas Musical'

Clague Playhouse will present Dan Goggin’s comedy "Nuncrackers: The Nunsense Christmas Musical" as the second production of its 88th season.

The Little Sisters of Hoboken are back! The nuns of Mount St. Helen are preparing for their first Christmas television show in the convent basement, but when things don’t go as planned, mayhem ensues. Packed with parodies of favorite holiday carols, this light-hearted romp offers a high-spirited spoof of all things Christmas.

"Nuncrackers" is directed by Kim Mihalik, with musical direction by Jayne Kacik. The cast includes Ian Atwood, Marthan Brown, Grace Davis, Kate Miller, Sarah Rish, Philip Sutherland, Abby Twining and Susan Weber.

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Volume 7, Issue 21, Posted 10:09 AM, 11.03.2015

BAYarts hosts 'Ornithological Photographs' during November

The images from Todd. R. Forsgren's "Ornithological Photographs" exhibition display birds that have been momentarily caught in mist nets. Scientific research is then able to be collected and applied by biologists.

Forsgren says he is drawn to the idea of seeing birds before they become "known" by the measurement numbers that scientists will use to define it. "My photographs are ... a reflection on our desire to name, classify, and quantify diversity."

Mist nets act like huge, invisible spider webs to detain birds. Much like fences, the nets catch birds but inflict no physical pain. "During this moment, the birds inhabit a fascinating conceptual space between our framework of ‘the bird in the bush and the bird in the hand.’" Forsgren's works has allowed him to study a detailed emotional component. "The captured creatures are embarrassed, fearful, angry, and vulnerable."

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Volume 7, Issue 21, Posted 10:06 AM, 11.03.2015

Porter Library to host watercolor art show

The West Shore Aquarelle Watercolor Society is displaying its annual art show of original watercolor paintings at Westlake Porter Public Library through Nov. 28. The art show consists of paintings by the members of the Society. Many of the paintings are for sale by the members. Any sale includes a commission for the library services. The gallery is open every day that the library is open during business hours.

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Volume 7, Issue 21, Posted 10:10 AM, 11.03.2015

Huntington Playhouse Stories: View From The Tower

Part one of a multi-part series reflecting on the history of Huntington Playhouse, which will close at the end of this year after nearly six decades as the home of community theater in Bay Village.

On Saturday evenings, John enjoyed looking through his telescope from his perch on the water tower that had been built to irrigate the vineyards and orchards located on the 100-acre parcel of land where he would spend weekends. He looked over the gray-green water speckled with seagulls that appeared like white dots on the surface. Even on clear days, he could not view the shore that was miles past the horizon in front of him.

The winds shifted and the water moving as if breathing deeply, reminded him of the voyage he had taken after his 20th birthday with his brother Hugh. Together the Huntington brothers left their family home in England and started a roofing business in America. Turning his telescope away from the sunset, John could see the city where he became a wealthy man.

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Volume 7, Issue 20, Posted 10:15 AM, 10.20.2015

A cast of Halloween characters

One of my hobbies, evolving over the past 10 years or so, is making figures of various characters to display on my front porch on Sperry’s Forge Trail in Westlake for Halloween month. Many people have been kind enough to tell me that they look forward to them so I continue, usually adding a new figure or two each year.

When I began, I used a real pumpkin as the head of each of my homespun statues – these included: Elvis, Lincoln, Toy Story’s Woody, Spider-Man, The Joker, Captain Jack Sparrow and several more. However, as time passed, I grew more and more reluctant to have to eventually toss their decaying heads into the trash each year. I then used artificial pumpkins, switching in recent years to various other construction as I made full bodies and not just heads on stands. This way I get to keep the figures and they get to return every year.

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Volume 7, Issue 20, Posted 10:16 AM, 10.20.2015

Opera preview program served cake, history, gifted voices and inspired acting

Twenty-five years ago, David Bamberger presented the first FYI: Opera program sponsored by the Westlake-Westshore Arts Council and earlier this month he happily presided over a celebratory cake cutting, prior to narrating a program marking the beginning of FYI: Opera’s 26th year.               

Bamberger, who is the artistic director of the Cleveland Institute of Music Opera Theater, is a name synonymous with opera in Northeast Ohio. As founder and director of Cleveland Opera for 28 years, he and other music authorities have presented entertaining and informative FYI: Opera programs on upcoming productions around the area.

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Volume 7, Issue 20, Posted 10:13 AM, 10.20.2015

BAYarts' first Farm + Art Market season a success

This summer, BAYarts hosted its first season of the Farm + Art Market. The event was coordinated by Pam Mills. Having been employed at BAYarts for several years, Mills' passion for cooking and local produce was what compelled her to tackle this new project. With the support of Executive Director Nancy Heaton, the market was launched with high hopes.

The market was a popular weekly event on Thursday evenings throughout the summer and into fall, with a steady supply of consistent vendors and community locals. The market was so popular that many new vendors are already asking to be added to the rotation.

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Volume 7, Issue 20, Posted 10:07 AM, 10.20.2015

'Drawing into Nature' unveiled at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center

A new exhibit at Lake Erie Nature & Science Center will draw visitors even closer to wildlife thanks to a local artist inspired by the Center’s living collection.

Danielle Cammuso, an artist working in soft pastels, has created “Drawing into Nature” which showcases the wildlife of the Center in Cammuso’s bold and beautiful style.

“We know that the Center has a powerful impact on those who are part of our community,” says Executive Director Catherine Timko. “Visitors often share stories about coming to our programs as children and how the Center has encouraged their educational path and career decisions. Danielle also found great inspiration in Lake Erie Nature & Science Center which she is now using to inspire others through passionate and vivid art. This exhibit is a celebration of her talent and ability to capture the fascinating qualities of wildlife.”

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Volume 7, Issue 19, Posted 8:54 AM, 10.06.2015

Clague Playhouse to host 'Two Mediums at Large'

Clague Playhouse, 1371 Clague Road, Westlake, will host “Two Mediums at Large” on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 8 p.m. As Halloween approaches, come for an evening of “spirited” fun!

Have you ever seen a live demonstration of mediumship? In a group setting, many spirits are able to “get through” – join us to participate in a gallery-style message event! Your guides, Susan Averre and Marjorie Rivera, are multi-faceted, Lily Dale-trained professionals.

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Volume 7, Issue 19, Posted 8:54 AM, 10.06.2015

BAYarts pop-culture trio shines this month

A humorous, pop-culture-loving trio of artists present "Triple Lindy" at BAYarts this month. Randy Crider, Ryan Finley and Jim Giar are three popular teachers of cartooning and comics that BAYarts provides for young children and teens. They have joined up to present an art exhibition which features individual artwork as well as collaborations.

The three all find inspiration from their students. Crider explains, "Everything I am putting in this show was executed with the help and influence of my students. Over the past year, they've been a very powerful engine in choosing what to draw, and honing the hand drawn style that until this year I was too afraid to try."

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Volume 7, Issue 19, Posted 8:51 AM, 10.06.2015

BAYarts' Moondance still the party of the year

What rain? In spite of the wet forecast, more than 1,200 guests filled the BAYarts campus on Sept. 12 for the ninth annual Moondance benefit, raising over $90,000 for the non-profit. Funds raised by this event make it possible for BAYarts to keep other events free throughout the year, including gallery exhibitions, summer concerts, the new farmer's market and the annual art festival. The event chair is Mary Conway Sullivan, vice president of BAYarts' board and development chair; it is executed by Diana Brewer and BAYarts' special events team.

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Volume 7, Issue 19, Posted 8:59 AM, 10.06.2015