Derek Deane's STRICTLY GERSHWIN to Make Its Cleveland Premiere in October at Playhouse Square

Performances will run October 3-6.

By: Jun. 17, 2024
Derek Deane's STRICTLY GERSHWIN to Make Its Cleveland Premiere in October at Playhouse Square
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Derek Deane’s Strictly Gershwin will make its Cleveland debut at Playhouse Square October 3-6, 2024. Featuring the Tulsa Ballet, members of Cleveland Ballet, Cleveland Pops Orchestra, and local independent artists, this distinctly American celebration of song and dance will delight audiences with a performance unlike any they have seen before. This presentation is made possible by support from Kulas Foundation.

“I can’t wait to share this incredible production with Cleveland audiences,” said Hassall. “Strictly Gershwin requires an enormous cast – more than one ballet company can provide on its own, plus a live on-stage orchestra, tap dancers, and singers. This will be an epic collaboration between Cleveland artists and the Tulsa Ballet, and we are so grateful to Kulas Foundation for helping us bring Strictly Gershwin here.”
Tulsa Ballet Artistic Director Marcello Angelini said, “We are thrilled to be touring Strictly Gershwin to Playhouse Square in Cleveland. This is such a prestigious theater complex, one with a rich history and an international reputation. Performing on the stage of the KeyBank State Theatre, a 3200-seat house, will be a magnificent and unforgettable experience for our dancers. I want to thank the leadership of Playhouse Square, especially Craig Hassall and David Greene, for inviting us there.”

Strictly Gershwin takes the audience on a journey through the George and Ira Gershwin songbook while recreating the opulent era of big bands, the spectacle of Broadway, the glamour of Hollywood musicals, and the panache of Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, and Ginger Rogers. Featured songs include “Summertime” from Porgy & Bess, “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “I Got Rhythm,” “Strike Up the Band,” “An American in Paris,” and “Rhapsody in Blue.”

Strictly Gershwin will feature more than 55 dancers, a 48-piece orchestra, 11 tap dancers, and four singers. Noted West End composer, conductor, and musical director Gareth Valentine, who arranged the music for Strictly Gershwin, will conduct the Cleveland Pops Orchestra.

Tickets for Strictly Gershwin will go on sale to the public on this Friday, June 21 at 10 a.m. at or by phone at 216-241-6000.

The evening performance of Strictly Gershwin on Saturday, October 5 will be part of the Center Stage Benefit presented by Kulas Foundation to raise funds for Playhouse Square’s not-for-profit mission and arts education programming. Tickets for the benefit include the performance, a cocktail reception, seated dinner, and a post-show reception with desserts and dancing. Center Stage Benefit tickets may be purchased by contacting Mary Winchester at 216-640-8412.


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