18 things to do in spring 2023 in Greater Cleveland

Compiled by Courtney Byrnes

‘Becoming Dr. Ruth’

While well-known for her hit 1980s radio call-in show, “Sexually Speaking,” Ruth K. Westheimer has a storied history told in “Becoming Dr. Ruth,” a play performed at Outcalt Theatre in Playhouse Square through April 23. The show is put on by Cleveland Play House and features only one cast member, Naomi Jacobson, as Westheimer. The solo show takes the audience through moments in Westheimer’s life from escaping Nazi Germany as a child on the Kindertransport, becoming an Israeli sharpshooter in the 1940s, to being a single mother in America and becoming a global celebrity sought out by presidents. clevelandplayhouse.com

Yom Hazikaron 

As the Jewish Federation of Cleveland commemorates the legacy and sacrifice of Israel’s fallen soldiers and terror victims on Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, it invites the community to join in a meaningful event at 7 p.m. April 24 at Congregation Shaarey Tikvah in Beachwood. Songs and prayers will honor the lost lives, and show gratitude and respect. The Cleveland Jewish News, Jstyle’s sister newspaper, is a media sponsor. jewishcleveland.org

Cleveland Ballet

New Image Photography

The Cleveland Ballet will close its eighth season in April as it makes history with its first performance of George Balanchine’s world-renowned “Serenade”; the world premiere of Israeli composer Anna Segal’s “Symphony of Life,” choreographed by Ilia Zhivoi; and the company’s first performances with the newly formed Cleveland Ballet Orchestra. Audiences have two chances to see the Cleveland Ballet’s closing performance as it graces the stage of Playhouse Square’s Connor Palace at 7 p.m. April 21 and April 22.  clevelandballet.org

‘An Evening with Itzhak Perlman’

Photo courtesy of Tuesday Musical

To round out the 2022-2023 Akron Concert Series, Tuesday Musical will host “An Evening with Itzhak Perlman,” featuring the internationally recognized and 16-time Grammy Award-winning Israeli-American violinist with his longtime friend and collaborator, Rohan De Silva. The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. April 27 at the University of Akron’s E.J. Thomas Hall in Akron. tuesdaymusical.org

City Club of Cleveland Forum

While many have stored their face masks away and gone back to gathering in large crowds, the reality is the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic still linger. The City Club of Cleveland in downtown Cleveland will hold a youth forum titled “It’s Not Over: The Lasting Socioeconomic Impact of COVID-19” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 25 to discuss the present situation and the foreseeable future. cityclub.org

Yom Ha’atzmaut 

To celebrate Israel’s 75th birthday, the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and community partners will host two major events in May. “A Concert for Yom Ha’atzmaut with The Shalva Band” at the Mimi Ohio Theater in Cleveland’s Playhouse Square will take place at 7:30 p.m. May 9. And, marking the date David Ben-Gurion signed the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948, the Federation will host its IsraelFest! carnival from 2 to 5 p.m. May 14 at the Mandel Jewish Community Center’s Safran Park in Beachwood. The Cleveland Jewish News is a media sponsor. playhousesquare.org jewishcleveland.org

Cleveland Guardians

The Cleveland Guardians 2023 season has begun at Progressive Field. Look for opportunities to cheer on the Guardians and participate in several home game kids’ fun days and fan promotional giveaway opportunities. mlb.com/guardians

‘The Year My Mother Came Back’

Interplay Jewish Theatre will return from its winter break with two staged readings of “The Year My Mother Came Back” by Alice Eve Cohen at 7 p.m. May 7 and May 8 at Dobama Theatre in Cleveland Heights. Thirty years after her mother’s death, Alice’s mother appears to her – and continues to do so – during the hardest year Alice has faced. She learns she must walk in her mother’s shoes to understand her, forgive her and rediscover her love for her. Catherine Albers directs the dynamic cast of Lara Mielcarek and Heidi Harris. Reservations are requested to interplayjewishtheatre@gmail.com or via voice message at 216 393-7529.

Move It! For Menorah Park

The starting line at Menorah Park’s annual race in 2022.
Photo / Menorah Park 

Move It! For Menorah Park is the annual 5K run/walk and 1 mile fun family walk to raise funds to support Menorah Park in Beachwood. Hosted May 7 at Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, registration is at 8:30 a.m. and the race and walk start at 9. There will also be family-friendly activities and a performance by Jesse Jukebox. The Cleveland Jewish News is a media sponsor. bit.ly/3KIwzAK

‘The Tudors’ at CMA

The Cleveland Museum of Art’s “The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England,” opened in February.
Photo / Amanda Koehn

The Cleveland Museum of Art’s latest major exhibition, “The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England,” provides an exclusive insight into the life and art of the Tudor dynasty of Renaissance England. On view through May 14, it is the first American exhibition to explore change through art during this time. Reigning from 1485 to 1603 over three generations, England transformed during this period. That change is depicted across artwork through major moments and portraits of reigning leaders, and through depictions of daily life, lesser-known figures and precious household items. Through paintings, armor, extravagant furnishings, tapestries, written materials and more, this exhibit allows the viewer to step into this singular time and place filled with drama, religious change, violence and artistic wonder. clevelandart.org

Van Aken District ‘Bloom and Buzz’

The Van Aken District in Shaker Heights will kick off an early start to summer with its annual Bloom and Buzz event May 12. It includes activities and programming for all ages as they enjoy food, music and shopping experiences at Van Aken. thevanakendistrict.com

US Holocaust Memorial Museum Luncheon

As the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. commemorates its 30th anniversary, Clevelanders will have a chance to support the museum at its 2023 Cleveland Luncheon on May 17 at Landerhaven in Mayfield Heights. Check-in begins at 11 a.m. with lunch scheduled for 11:30, and the program beginning at noon. It will feature Yair Rosenberg, a staff writer at The Atlantic who covers the intersection of politics, culture and religion, and Edna Friedberg, senior program curator at the museum. bit.ly/3ZT0VEU

‘Dear Evan Hansen’

Anthony Norman as Evan Hansen in the 2022-2023 North American Tour of “Dear Evan Hansen.”
Photo / Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

Don’t miss the chance to see the award-winning “Dear Evan Hansen” when it takes the stage at Playhouse Square’s Connor Palace May 16 through May 21. First taking Broadway by storm in 2016, before being adapted for the screen in 2021, “Dear Evan Hansen” has won six Tony Awards including Best Musical, and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album. The musical is a deeply personal and profoundly contemporary musical about life and the way we live it, according to Playhouse Square. playhousesquare.org

Cleveland Marathon

Runners, on your mark as the countdown to the 46th Annual Union Home Mortgage Cleveland Marathon is underway. Whether you’re up for the challenge or there to cheer on friends and family, runners will take to the starting line in downtown Cleveland at 7:30 a.m. May 20 for the 5K and 10K races, and 7 a.m. May 21 for the full and half marathons.

North Union Farmers Market

Looking for fresh and locally-grown food while enjoying the fresh air? The North Union Farmers Market has begun its outdoor Saturday morning farmers markets in Cleveland’s Shaker Square and Crocker Park in Westlake. Several other markets will open on various days beginning in June as the North Union Farmers Market manages seven outdoor and two indoor winter markets across Northeast Ohio.

Park Synagogue Mitzvah Day

Erin Shuller and her daughter, Elle, at Park Synagogue Mitzvah Day in 2022.
Photo / Park Synagogue

For Park Synagogue’s Mitzvah Day, volunteers can make a difference by partaking in 25 different projects, including the Mitzvah Day Fair from 10 a.m. to noon May 21 at Park Synagogue East in Pepper Pike. Donations to the Mitzvah Day Collection Project are also welcome. parksynagogue.org


Starting the evening of May 25 and through May 27, the Jewish community will observe Shavuot, celebrating the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai and the spring harvest. You and your loved ones can honor the holiday with your own harvest by going strawberry picking at a local farm. Or, take a hike and enjoy one of the many Cleveland Metroparks trails. clevelandmetroparks.com

Parade the Circle

The Cleveland Museum of Art’s Parade the Circle will once again fill Wade Oval in Cleveland’s University Circle June 10, as the parade kicks off at noon at the north entrance of the museum. This cultural event will fill the oval with lively sounds and colors, innovative costumes, giant puppets and handmade masks created by artists, families, schools and community groups. bit.ly/3LYzCVV

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