PlayhouseSquare, the largest theatrical complex between New York and Chicago, will add to its luster and become even brighter on May 2.
On that night, Dazzle the District, just the latest in a string of fabulous PlayhouseSquare parties, will present Cleveland with a 44-foot tall crystal chandelier to be permanently hung at the corner of Euclid Ave. and E. 14th St., the heart of the Square. This is not just any chandelier but may be the largest outdoor chandelier in the world and has already been proposed for the Guinness Book of World Records.
To make the event even more spectacular, there will be four elegant gateways defining the neighborhood plus “PlayhouseSquare” in nine-foot letters and rising to a height of 44 feet (taller than the famous “Hollywood” sign) plus new lighting all around the Square including the theater marquees. The PlayhouseSquare sign will sit atop the buildings at the corner of Euclid and E. 13th.
Dazzle the District will be just the latest PHS party chaired or co-chaired by K.K. Sullivan and Diann Scaravilli and a whole other group of women, all but three of whom were gathered together for the cover of this month’s issue of “Currents.” Diann and K.K. have been known to put a party together in less than a month as they did when Michael J. Fox was in town in 1987 for the movie, “Light of Day” and we all had dinner on the stage of the State Theatre. The parties are always packed with at least 800 to 1,000 people and yet they never feel like a mob scene.
“People wanted to come, they wanted to celebrate and share in the excitement of the openings. It was unbelievable how excited people were to be a part of it,” said Diann of those early parties. Of Dazzle, she said, “The chandelier will make outside as exciting as inside.” She expects at least 1,000 people to purchase tickets for the event. “We never turn down anyone who wants to come,” she added. “We find a way to find a place.” She recalled the box suppers on the Mezzanine for the opening of the State Theatre. “We tucked them in.”
It was Diann’s experience as an actress that drew her into PlayhouseSquare while K.K. chose to get involved because, as a newcomer to Cleveland in 1960, “I noticed that a lot of locals didn’t go downtown.” And she worked hard to make that happen. “I met so many interesting people on committees I never would have met otherwise and I always told them to bring friends. It was fun.” No one can make committee work more fun than these two and I speak from experience.
Included in the indoor activity for the party will be a VIP cocktail reception, a seated dinner, dessert and dancing and a VIP viewing area during the lighting festivities or the opportunity to view via satellite in the State Theatre lobby. The outdoor festivities on Euclid and Prospect Avenues will be, as they say, free and open to the public throughout the day and evening.
To be known as the GE Chandelier, the enormous landmark will consist of more than 4,200 crystals. Watching the installation should be fascinating. The Barnycz Group of Baltimore, Maryland, led by chief creatologist Danny Barnyzs, is the design firm which created the whole concept. The proceeds from Dazzle the District will be used for PlayhouseSquare’s educational programs.
For tickets or tables, call Mary Winchester at 216.640.8412 or Michelle Ryan Stewart at 216.640.8410. Tickets start at $350. For
an idea of how far your money can go consider the fact that $650 engages 90 students during interactive workshops with actors,
choreographers and professional artists during an “Explore the Performing Arts” field trip.