Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

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Cleveland Public Theatre “Pandemonium 2017: Unleash”

 

 

Like Alice through the looking glass, patrons stepped from the familiar Gordon Square curb into the fantastical realm of Pandemonium 2017, an annual celebration of the creative energy that fuels Greater Cleveland. The doors of the repurposed Cleveland Public Theatre’s complex opened into a kaleidoscope of “Unleashed” improvisation, dance, cabaret, theater, draping visual art and roaming giant heads.

Festivities filled 22 stages, into the corners and up the staircases, spilling out into tents of the open lot under a late summer sky. Joe Cimperman, president, Global Cleveland, and Raymond Bobgan, CPT executive artistic director, welcomed the 1,200 attendees, artists and volunteers. Then members of the Student Theater Enrichment Program, an art-based job training program, took to the stage for an emphatic performance of “And Yet We Shine,” the first of myriad artistic expressions of the evening, including the premiere of 50 original works.

This, however, was not a night for starving artists. Carmella Fragassi of La Campagna was just one of several celebrity chefs on hand, offering her paper-thin eggplant parmesan to the delectable array of noshes from nearly four dozen Northeast Ohio restaurants.

This year’s PAN Award, established in 2004 to recognize outstanding contributions to the arts and community, honored Andrew Watterson, a senior vice president and head of sustainability at KeyBank and board member for both CPT and the Gordon Square Arts District. The night’s festivities raised over $300,000 to benefit Cleveland Public Theatre’s artistic work and education program.

STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY PEGGY TURBETT

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