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Issue Date: October 2013

An Unpopular View

by Chuck Bowen

No, it's not practical. It's not supposed to be. It's a chandelier that hangs above one of our most prominent streets. It's supposed to be loud, louche and a tad gaudy.

Have you ever even been to a play?

Cleveland has an eternal blast-furnace flame in the Flats and a Jazz Age train station that changes color when you tweet it. Why not have an ostentatious look-at-me light hanging above Euclid Avenue?

What's PlayhouseSquare about if not drama and delight and over-the-top performances? It's about glitz and glitter. It's a bright spot in the darkness that lets us pretend for a little while that things maybe aren't as bad as they seem.

Build it. Spend $6 million on it. Turn it orange during the Browns home opener. Dim the lights when they lose. We can't let our history of missteps scare us away from something new. Let's keep trying stuff and seeing what works. That's what makes Cleveland great — not that everything we do is awesome, but that we keep trying.

The show must go on. Light it up.

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