Best Spring 2014 Theater Productions In Cleveland

March 10, 2014 9:00 AM

The Palace Theatre, Cleveland, Ohio (Photo By Mark Horning)

Live theater is absolutely vibrant in Cleveland. PlayhouseSquare in downtown Cleveland boasts the second largest number of seats in the United States with its nine theaters. Add to this over a dozen local and regional theater companies that perform on a regular basis and you have three or four shows opening every week. From one-act, intimate plays to grand 3,000-seat extravaganzas, Cleveland’s fine arts is very much alive and well. Here are some of the more notable shows being produced in the area this spring.

The Allen Theatre (Photo By Mark Horning)

The Allen Theatre (Credit, Mark Horning)

Maurice Hines Is Tappin’ Thru Life
Cleveland Play House
The Allen Theatre
1407 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115
(216) 771-4444

Date: May 30 – June 22, 2014

The Allen Theatre began in 1921 as a spectacular 3,080-seat movie theater. In September of 2011 (after extensive renovation), it opened again as an intimate 500-seat venue. May 30th will have dance legend Maurice Hines star in this celebration of his life as a premiere tap dancer of our time.

Dobama Theatre
2340 Lee Road
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
(216) 932-6838

Date: April 25 – May 25, 2014

Dobama started in 1956 and each season strives to produce five to six Main Stage productions of which 98 percent are Cleveland, American or World premieres. “Kin” is a love story between Anna (an Ivy League Poetry Scholar) and Sean (an Irish personal trainer). The play focuses on the couple’s extended group of family and friends from around the world who despite cultural differences, manage to knit themselves into a unit of support for the pair.

The Palace Theatre, Cleveland, Ohio (Photo By Mark Horning)

The Palace Theatre, Cleveland, Ohio (Credit, Mark Horning)

Playhouse Square
The Palace Theatre
1615 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115
(216) 771-4444

Date: April 1-13, 2014

Able to seat over 2,000, the Palace Theatre is one of two huge production facilities in downtown Cleveland (the other is the State Theatre that boasts a 3,400-seat capacity). This is where the grand shows come to play. The first week of April sees “FlashDance” coming to the Palace Theatre. The show is based on the story of Alex Owens, a female Pittsburgh steel mill welder by day and bar dancer by night who dreams of becoming a professional performer.

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Beck Center for the Arts
17801 Detroit Ave.
Lakewood, OH 44107
(216) 521-2540

Date: May 30 – June 29, 2014

The Beck Center for the Arts has been a community arts organization that has been producing professional theater for over 60 years. The complex has two theaters. There is the larger theater is the Mackey Main Stage as well as the more intimate Studio Theatre.  “Seminar” is the biting comedy about four aspiring novelists who sign up for a professional writing course. Tempers flare, people fall in and out of love and battles ensue over their writing, relationships and futures.

This is Not the Play
Cleveland Public Theatre
6415 Detroit Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44102
(216) 631-2727

Date: May 15-31, 2014

Known throughout Cleveland for being on the cutting edge of modern drama, Cleveland Public Theatre brings original productions to the stage, many that have been written by local playwrights and use local actors and directors. “This is Not the Play” deals with a black playwright who is attempting to write a play about white people. In the course of his writing, he finds that the characters seem to have a mind of their own.

Beyond The Horizon
Ensemble Theatre
2843 Washington Blvd.
Cleveland, OH 44118
(216) 321-2930

Date: April 18 – May 11, 2014

Ensemble Theatre got its beginnings in 1979 with the mission to celebrate the human spirit through the rich collection of American theatrical works. The plays are presented in either of two theaters on the premises (a larger 200-seat venue as well as the smaller 60-seat venue). “Beyond the Horizon” is Eugene O’Neill’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play that explores the conflict that occurs when two men discover they are in love with the same woman as well as what each man is willing to sacrifice in order to win her favor.

The Hanna Theatre (Photo By Mark Horning)

The Hanna Theatre (Credit, Mark Horning)

Great Lakes Theater Co. – As You Like It
The Hanna Theatre
2067 E. 14th St.
Cleveland, OH 44115
(216) 241-6000

Date: April 4-19, 2014

Truly one of the best theater companies in Cleveland, Great Lakes Theater is billed as Cleveland’s Classic Theater Company. Over the course of the season, it performs a pair of Shakespeare’s plays as well as great musicals. “As You Like It” is one of Shakespeare’s best-known romantic comedies that includes a clandestine, gender-bending courtship that results in lovers trying to keep up with the ever-changing challenges. This is Shakespeare at his best and done in a way that a newcomer to the bard’s works will understand.

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The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
Karamu House Theater
2355 E. 89th St.
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 795-7070

Date: March 14 – April 6, 2014

In 1915, Karamu House was started “to establish a common ground where people of different races, religions, social and economic backgrounds could come together to seek and share common ventures.” This tradition lives on as Karamu House Theater continues to provide top entertainment with original productions. “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity” is a comedy about three professional wrestlers who are forced to portray stereotypes in the ring, much against their principles.

Mark Horning is a freelance writer covering all things Cleveland. His work can be found on

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