Phantom of the Opera at Playhouse Square

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Last night Tony and I went out with our friends Alan and Jenna to see Phantom of the Opera. They were celebrating five years of marriage and we were celebrating ten years, which was actually on the tenth of this month. We had a fantastic night planned, dinner out, then right across the street to the State Theater.

I actually didn’t realize until recently that Playhouse Square was made up of several theaters, all on one stretch. It’s an amazing setup!

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A fun thing about plays, both of them that I’ve been to now, is the wide variety of people you’ll see. From the amazingly stylish couple above (aren’t we cute?) to a punk rock couple I saw, including platform boots, chains and a six inch mohawk.

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The seats we had were fantastic, up in the mezzanine, which afforded us a great view of the entire stage.

Even though I’ve never seen a live performance of this show, I feel like I knew every line, I definitely knew all the lyrics of the songs! The performers were amazing, bringing the story to life before our eyes.

I think the most shocking part of this show was the special effects. From the chandelier lighting at the very beginning, to our first visit to the Phantom’s lair, continuing to the chandelier falling just before the intermission, all I can say is wow! The set design itself was fantastic, with beautiful backgrounds. The work they had to have put into each one is amazing, especially considering the different performances put on within the show itself.

The pyrotechnics were very shocking too! Almost blinding at some points. You’re in a darkened theater, then suddenly the candles on stage flare up to 5 feet high, very bright as well! There was a scene with a gunshot too, Tony and I both jumped.

The website said they had made some updates to the show itself, but all I saw was the show I loved with amazing effects!

If you have the chance to see this show, take it! It’s a classic that has only been made better!

Hard Rock Café in Cleveland

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We’ve eaten here several times. Usually when my parents are in town, because mom is a Hard Rock All Access member. She collects the pins and loves the assorted merchandise they sell. She is, in a way, the ultimate consumer. We love her for it though because it leads to good times and great food!
It occurred to me recently that, although I have a collection of Hard Rock glasses, from hurricane to high ball, I don’t have one from the Cleveland restaurant, and I only live a half an hoir away! When mom suggested dinner there after our zoo trip, I was completely on board with the idea.
For those of you who have never been to a Hard Rock, it is a rock n’ roll memorabilia place that serves what I consider real American food! Giant hamburgers, tasty salads and really excellent alcoholic beverages. The great part about the alcohol is that if you order one in a souvenir glass, yes it is a little more expensive, but you get a clean glass to take home. That’s how I have built my collection. Now I have a really fantastic, limited edition high ball glass from Cleveland. Awesome!
This was also my cousin Ben’s first trip to a Hard Rock, so this was a little more fun this time around. The kids always love the experience too. The staff is always friendly, the food is delicious, so we give them two thumbs way, way up!
Only question mark when visiting Cleveland anything, including the Hard Rock, is parking. You can pay $10 for valet or hit a parking garage. No free parking in Cleveland! Still worth it, at least to try it!
Happy eating!
Hard Rock in Cleveland is located at 230 West Huron Road, Cleveland, Ohio – 230 W Huron Rd, Cleveland, OH 44113
Original pin can be found at http://rickzimmerman.hubpages.com/hub/Hard-Rock-Cafe-Cleveland-Ohio

Dinosaurs at the Zoo

Dinosaurs at the Zoo

Usually when people think of Cleveland, Rock and Roll is what comes to mind. It’s home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the beautiful glass pyramid on the water, and of course, we have our own Hard Rock Café.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that we are also home to an amazing zoo. The layout is fantastic and we have a lot of fun animals. I think the only thing I’m sad we don’t have, is penguins. Our elephant exhibit is new and absolutely stunning. Anytime you have a chance to visit the Cleveland Zoo, it’s definitely worth your time!
It’s not the first time, and I’m sure they’ll do it again, but at least for this year (2013), they have Dinosaurs about from May 9 – September 15. This was quite the discussion with my son, since he insisted Dinosaurs were at Universal Studios, not zoos.
The dinosaurs they built are absolutely amazing! They move, make noise and apparently can scare a certain 3-year-old girl half to death! Tony ended up having to take her through quickly while Arthur and I lingered and checked them all out.
There are over 20 dinosaurs, from the T-rex to smaller raptor like dinos. They even have a massive pterodactyl. It really puts into perspective how gigantic these things are!
This is another awesome place to visit in the U.S.. The Cleveland area is worth a visit, and when you do make it, don’t forget to stop at the zoo and see the dinosaurs, presented by Dollar Bank with support from Discount Drug Mart.