18 things to do in winter 2019-20 in Greater Cleveland

Compiled by McKenna Corson

‘Shrek The Musical’

Gilgamesh Taggett (Shrek) and Natalie Steen (Princess Fiona) | Photo by Andy Dudik

If you enjoyed the DreamWorks Animation film “Shrek,” imagine it being played out before your very eyes, but this time with musical and dance numbers. “Shrek The Musical” features the characters you know and love performing in a Tony Award-winning fairy tale adventure at the Beck Center for the Arts’ Mackey Theater in Lakewood. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. every Friday until Jan. 5; 2:30 p.m. Saturday matinees on Dec. 7, 14, 21, 28 and Jan. 4; 7:30 p.m. Saturday evenings on Dec. 14 and 28; and at 2:30 p.m. Sundays until Jan. 5. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 216-521-2540 x10. beckcenter.org 


Spend time in the glow of the menorah as the Festival of Lights begins the evening of Dec. 22. For comprehensive listings of Chanukah events and public candlelightings, visit the Cleveland Jewish News online. cjn.org/holidays

Deb Filler’s ‘I Did It My Way In Yiddish (In English)’

Courtesy of Maltz Museum

If in need of a good laugh, attend Deb Filler’s one-woman theatrical performance “I Did It My Way In Yiddish (In English)” at 7 p.m.
Jan. 15 at the Mandel Jewish Community Center, presented by Interplay Jewish Theatre and the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage. Watch as Filler transforms into characters who have influenced her life, such as famous composer Leonard Bernstein. The performance is $25 for general admission and $20 for members of the Maltz Museum or the Mandel JCC. The Cleveland Jewish News is the media sponsor. maltzmuseum.org 

Bootstrap Bash

CJN Photo

Celebrate local entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial spirit at the ninth annual Bootstrap Bash presented by LaunchHouse and the Cleveland Jewish News on Jan. 25 at Red Space in Cleveland. The Visionary Entrepreneur Award will be presented to Warren Anderson, president and CEO of The Anderson-DuBose Company, and the Better Business Bureau Spark Award will be given to honor entrepreneurs in the community. Tickets are $100 if purchased before Dec. 15, and $125 after. launchhouse.com/bootstrap-bash

Israeli film screening

Enjoy a special screening of the Israeli thriller film and 2019 Ophir Award for Best Picture recipient, “Incitement,” which tells the story of Yigal Amir, the man who assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, in the year leading up to the assassination. The screening at 2 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Mandel JCC Stonehill Auditorium is presented by the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in partnership with the Mandel JCC and Case Western Reserve University’s Siegal Lifelong Learning program. It features a talk-back with Dalia Rabin, the prime minister’s daughter, chair of the Yitzhak Rabin Center and former Israeli politician, and joined by Israeli Ambassador Ido Aharoni. General admission is $5, or free with advance registration for members of Maltz Museum, Mandel JCC or Siegal Lifelong Learning program. maltzmuseum.org

Cleveland Orchestra

Take a trip to the Cleveland Orchestra in downtown Cleveland and enjoy concerts like “Shadows, Seas and Sorcerers” Jan. 30 and Feb. 1; “Symphonie Fantastique” conducted by Tilson Thomas Feb. 20 to 23; Bruckner conducted by Herbert Blomstedt Feb. 27 to 29; “Mendelssohn’s Second Symphony” from March 5, 7 and 8 and “Schubert’s Great Symphony” from March 12 and 14. clevelandorchestra.com

Cleveland Museum of Art

Make your way to the Cleveland Museum of Art this winter to view a series of new exhibitions, such as “PROOF: Photography in the Era of the Contact Sheet,” on display from Feb. 2 to April 12; “Signal Noise: Aaron Rothman,” on display from Feb. 15 to May 17; “Golden Needles: Embroidery Arts from Korea,” on display from March 8 to July 26 and “A Graphic Revolution: Prints and Drawings in Latin America,” on display from March 14 to August 2clevelandart.org


Lila Coogan (Anya) and the company of the national tour of Anastasia. | Photo by Evan Zimmerman / MurphyMade

Get lost in the musical story of a young girl in the 1920s trying to discover the secrets of her past and possible tie to the Russian empire, while escaping to Paris from danger alongside a conman. ‘Anastasia,’ a Broadway classic crafted by Tony Award-winning creators, is coming to Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland from Feb. 4-23 at the Connor Palace. playhousesquare.org

National Council of Jewish Women

A cocktail dress from 1954. | Photo by NCJW/Cleveland

To celebrate its 125th anniversary, the National Council of Jewish Women/Cleveland will host a winter brunch and fashion show focusing on a future of fashion that reflects on social justice issues. From flappers to hippies, from voters’ rights to gay rights and more, the issues of the times have influenced the styles of the eras. The event at 11 a.m. Feb. 5 at Landerhaven in Mayfield Heights will feature Kent State Fashion Museum director Sarah Rogers and curator Sara Hume. Pop-Up Shoppes will feature fashion for sale from the KSU Museum store with one-of-a-kind creations by students and professors, as well as items from other popular retailers and designers. Tickets are $40 for members and $45 for non-members. ncjwcleveland.org

Tu b’Shevat

Enjoy one of your favorite new fruits and celebrate the new year for trees starting at sundown Feb. 9. The ground might be too frozen to plant a tree, but enjoy the foliage at the Cleveland Botanical Garden or Holden Arboretum to observe the holiday, or make a donation to the Jewish National Fund to plant a tree in Israel. jnf.org

Mandel JCC’s indoor triathlon, biathlon

Photo by Mandel JCC

Grab your running shoes and swimsuit but leave the parka at home for Mandel JCC’s 13th annual Indoor Triathlon and Biathlon and Kids Tri, Feb. 9 at the Beachwood facility. The event is timed and winners are determined by the number of laps swum in the indoor pool in 15 minutes, miles biked on stationary bikes in 20 minutes and laps run on the indoor track in 20 minutes. Children ages 7-13 have running, row machine and strength components with 10 minute heats at the same time as the adult’s triathlon. The event raises funds for the center’s assistance program to help families in need take part in the JCC’s programs. mandeljcc.org/triathlon

Dessert Festival

Cleveland’s first Dessert Festival, featuring treats from over 20 of Cleveland’s sweets makers, is coming to sate everyone’s sweet tooth from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 16 at The Madison in Cleveland. Participants must purchase tickets and will receive 20-plus samples and can vote for their favorite dessert. Treats can be purchased to bring home. bit.ly/CLEDessertFest


Pull out your costumes and noisemakers, and head to your synagogue March 9 to hear the readings of the Megillah. 

Cleveland International Film Festival

CIFF43 audience at a 2019 screening. | Photo by Cleveland International Film Festival

Enjoy the newest films showcasing culture and art, and learn something along the way – all without leaving Cleveland. The Cleveland International Film Festival is making its 44th grand return from March 25 to April 5, at Tower City Cinemas in downtown Cleveland, with hundreds of films made by filmmakers across the globe. The Cleveland Jewish News and Canvas magazine, sister publications to Jstyle, are media partners. clevelandfilm.org

Indians 2020 season

Cleveland Indians’ Francisco Lindor | AP Photo / Nick Wass

The Cleveland Indians will be back after their winter hibernation to start the season at home against two of their division rivals. But will Francisco Lindor be back? The Indians will take on the Detroit Tigers for a three-game series March 26, 28 and 29 at Progressive Field. They will then play the Chicago White Sox March 30 to April 1mlb.com/indians


Gather with family and friends at sundown April 8 over a seder dinner and retell the Passover story. Browse through the CJN Archives for kosher-for-Passover recipes. cjn.org/archives

‘Ultimate Dinosaurs’

Want to experience the world of dinosaurs? Head to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History for its new exhibition “Ultimate Dinosaurs” featuring full-size reconstructions, real touchable fossils and augmented reality showing dinosaurs of the Southern Hemisphere, like Giagnotosaurus, a relative of T. rex. The exhibit is on display until April 26cmnh.org

‘Unfolding Nature: Dancing Through Waves’

“Composition 7767,” by Shony Rivnay (2017). Acrylic on paper, 150 x 250 cm. | 

Take in a series of vibrant paintings filled with characteristic biomorphic shapes deliberately exaggerated and infused with harmony. Exhibit “Unfolding Nature: Dancing Through Waves” by Israeli artist Shony Rivnay is on display at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s Roe Green Gallery in Beachwood until May 2020jewishcleveland.org

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