It’s another first for Near West Theatre as we turn our new performance space into a dance floor from 8 p.m. to midnight this Saturday, March 14. If you’re 18 or over, we hope to see you there for this latest in our series of opening events in the Gordon Square Arts District. Your $20 ticket and anything you spend inside helps support our mission of building community and changing lives through an amazing process and great theater.
We’re really looking forward to getting some crazy energy going as one way of imbuing the place with the fun, communal spirit of Near West Theatre. Here are five tips on what to expect and how to enjoy the evening:
- Hot band, hot DJ. Wondering about the music you’ll groove to? Check out this article (with video) on Wesley Bright and the Hi-Lites, and sample some DJ Donkis mixes here. They’ll alternate throughout the evening on the Bob Navis Jr. Stage in the Morrison Hrbek Theater, on the main floor.
- What to wear? This is Near West Theatre, after all. Go crazy. Funky. Ordinary. Formal. Casual. Business. Glam. Costume. Drag. Uniform. Preppy. Industrial. Whatever. It’s all good! We just want you. Dancing.
- Bring a photo ID. We’ll check ages at the door for this 18-and-over event. We have a system to make sure that only those 21 and older will be sold alcohol.
- Food! Drink! Souvenirs! You’ll find them upstairs and down, as follows: Snacks, soft drinks and coffee, $1 each, will be available in our lower-level concession area. The snack menu includes hot dogs, nachos, popcorn and pretzels. Alcoholic beverages for those of age will be available for purchase both there and at a bar in the theater dance area. Drink tickets, available at specially designated tables, are $4 each. Beer and wine are one ticket each. Selected mixed drinks will be available for two tickets each. When you visit the lower level, visit our gift shop for a special opening-event T-shirt or mug featuring the artwork from our colorful lobby mural. Great way to tell your friends, “I was there!”
- Plan your parking or transit strategy. There’s free parking scattered around the neighborhood. We’re expecting a crowd, so share a ride and give yourself time to hunt for a spot. Public transit is also a good option. RTA buses stop at W. 65th and Detroit: Route 26 twice each hour on Saturdays, and Route 45 once an hour. Hardy winter bicyclists will find bike racks on Detroit Avenue.
This map shows lots and streets where you can park free (our theater is the blue square!). You can also use the parking lots at Neighborhood Family Practice, W. 65th and Franklin; or Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 6928 Detroit Ave.
Drop-offs: Here’s how you can help when dropping off passengers: (1) Choose one of two places named below; (2) get your riders ready before you arrive; (3) have them get out the right-hand (curb) side of your vehicle; and then (4) pull away promptly to avoid backups. The two drop-off locations are in front of our still-under-construction plaza, in front of the fence with the Grand Opening signs; and West 67th Street, on the right-hand (east) curb, across from the theater, north of Detroit Avenue. NOTE: West 67th is a one-way street, northbound, and narrowed because of a construction fence that is still there so we’ll really need to work to keep traffic moving!
Enjoy the District: And, of course, we hope you’ll visit one or more of the many neighboring shops, restaurants, galleries and theaters. Say hello to them from their new neighbor, Near West Theatre!
Ready to party, then? Good. In honor of our soon-to-be-staged opening show, let your freak flag fly and dance your, uh — dance your donkey off! See you there. — Hans Holznagel
Near West Theatre is grateful for ongoing operating support from the Ohio Arts Council, Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, and Greater Cleveland Community Shares, and for special support from Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeastern Ohio for equipment used by young people in technical workshops and other backstage experiences.