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Issue Date: September 2005 Issue


ignite + invent + imagine

Kristen Hampshire

One million feet of cable woven through an historic structure. The culmination of one of the biggest and most inventive ideas from two non-profits: A cultural affair designed to light a spark under the Cleveland community and beyond. It’s coming — are you ready to get Wired?

Idea Center at Playhouse Square — the new home for 90.3 WCPN and WVIZ/PBS ideastream and Playhouse Square Foundation’s arts education programs — will open its doors for a gala grand opening celebration Saturday, Sept. 10. And, through the following week, events and public activities are planned to provide Northeast Ohioans a preview of the center’s unique offerings.

Of course, there will be panache.

Bebe Neuwirth, best known for her role as Lilith in Cheers, will sing, dance and set an energetic mood for the grand-opening evening. The two-time Tony Award« winner (for roles in Sweet Charity and Chicago) will be accompanied by a 44-piece orchestra.

There will be plenty of pomp.

Following a red carpet walk and a VIP cocktail reception, the State and Palace theater stages will serve as elegant backdrops for a luxurious sit-down dinner.

And, of course: Star power.

Watch for public broadcasting, and other social and political movers and shakers.

The only dilemma: deciding whether to appear wearing creative or conservative attire. Guests are encouraged to dress either as their favorite Broadway, public television or radio personality — or wear black tie.

“This is not just another party,” says Diann Scaravilli, chairwoman of the Wired! gala committee. Elegance with a twist characterizes “this year’s evening-not-to-be-missed in Cleveland,” she says.

The “twist” leaves plenty of surprises to entertain and delight guests.

“We are making some elements of the evening a surprise so there is excitement every time a guest turns a corner,” says Scaravilli. She hints that a showcase of local artists and entertainers will energize the atmosphere throughout the night, which ends with a grand dessert buffet and dancing in the State Theatre lobby to close the celebration.

For information and tickets to Wired!, contact Michelle Ryan at Playhouse Square Foundation, (216) 348-5267. Or log on to

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