Saturday, August 18th, 2018

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Near West Theatre You Can?

Doreen and Michael Andrews-Hinders
(Near West Theatre)

Oliver Deak and Maggie Holm
(Near West Theatre)

Nigeria Goulv and Roderick Cardwell II
(Near West Theatre)

Chuck and Char Fowler
(Near West Theatre)

  Near West Theatre
You Can’t Stop the Beat!

                        Near West Theatre celebrated 35 years with an unusual party at Cleveland’s Trinity Cathedral. The 1950s-themed “You Can’t Stop The Beat!” echoed the theater’s joyous spirit with a multi-generational sock hop. Hairspray’s Edna Turnblad (Jordan Cooper) served as hostess, greeting each of the 500 guests. The first guests to arrive entered the sanctuary of Trinity and saw dozens of cast members from this year’s theater’s productions smiling, dancing, and inviting guests to do the same.
    Many partygoers wore 1950s-themed clothing. This included the night’s honorees, philanthropists Chuck and Char Fowler. They, and their grandchildren, were always on the dance floor. Near West Theatre and Trinity Cathedral are in the heart of Cleveland, and the partnership made for a unique party. Concert sound and lighting trusses, multiple stages, and video projection created an enticing environment for the event. Theater Executive Director Stephanie Morrison-Hrbek and Artistic Director Bob Navis, Jr. staged a short program that featured the season’s cast members and the theater’s professional creative team.
    “You Can’t Stop the Beat!” had plenty of food, from shrimp to mac and cheese and a silent auction. It also raised more than $50,000 for the theater which recently broke ground for a new permanent home in the Gordon Square Arts District. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY ART THOMAS


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