"" Writer's Wanderings: Cleveland's Playhouse Square - Tidbit of Trivia

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cleveland's Playhouse Square - Tidbit of Trivia

We are subscribers to the Broadway Series at Cleveland's Playhouse Square and each year enjoy six traveling musicals that visit our city. This year, Cats came to the stage here but not as a part of the series. As we realized we couldn't use a set of our tickets (we would be on a trip-imagine that!), we turned them in, paid a small fee, and secured tickets for Cats--a show we hadn't been able to see yet.

Normally before a show, we go to what is called the Broadway Buzz and listen to a talk from Joe Garry who explains how the musical came to be, gives a few pertinent things to look for, and makes you feel much more intelligent about what you are about to see. Since this was not a series show, there was no Buzz and we arrived way too early at the theater.

I ended up reading the program cover to cover and found some interesting tidbits of trivia such as: Before dryers, the Palace Theater had a "drying" room for the actors clothes that circulated warm air through the lines of wet clothes and there was also a room where women could go and smoke in the 1920s since women smoking in public was frowned upon.
The one that really made me smile though was the story of George Burns and Gracie Allen's marriage in Cleveland, January 7, 1926, while they had a booking at the Palace. They stayed at the Statler Hotel for their honeymoon and were constantly interrupted by George's good friend, Jack Benny, calling on the phone. George kept pretending it was room service and hanging up on him. Finally at 2:30 a.m., room service showed up at the door with two orders of ham and eggs, "Compliments of Mr. Jack Benny from Omaha!"

After the early breakfast, Gracie turned to George and said, "George, this was the high point of the night."

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