A Night At 'Club Cassidy' Coming April 28

Rick Haase.

A major benefit for our local community theatre is happening this spring and you’ll want to be a part of it. “A Night at Club Cassidy,” a benefit evening for the Cassidy Theatre will take place from 6-11 p.m. Saturday, April 28 at the Theatre, 6200 Pearl Road, in the Greenbrier Commons complex. The evening will raise funds to improve the theatre’s lighting and sound systems and finance future production design. Honorary co-chairs of the benefit are Parma Heights Mayor Michael P. Byrne and Cassidy Theatre Managing Director Bob Stoesser. The evening will begin with cocktails and a Silent Auction with food stations and heavy hors d’oeuvres at 6 p.m. in the newly-renovated community rooms on the lower level of the theatre, which will be transformed into a night-club atmosphere.

At 8 p.m. there will be a special production on the theatre’s main stage with several terrific vocalists, and special V.I.P. on-stage seating (remember Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris on Playhouse Square)? Post show desserts and coffee will be enjoyed in the theatre lobby. Tickets are $37.50 per person or $75 per couple.  Break out your cocktail attire.

The benefit planning committee – Amy Banner, Christine Hnat, Sharon Joyce, Michael Larochelle, Kate Leigh Michalski, Tom Moran, Georgia Muttillo, Jean Peracchio, Louis Petrucci, Kenny Slaughter, Dan Tomon and Kristina Zielinski -- promises a good time will be had by all.

Many individuals who’ve been involved with the theatre since it opened in 1974 are being invited back for the evening, including former Managing Directors David Jecmen, Joe Tal, and Christine Hnat  and husband Joe, the retired Parma Schools teacher and artist, who built many a Cassidy set, along with the city’s former Recreation Director Tal and his wife, Mary Beth, currently the Interim Director of University Hospitals Parma Medical Center Seidman Cancer Center, and former Cassidy Technical Director Richard Moore, as well as theatre veteran Katie Del Vichio, the Greenbrier Middle School teacher and possessor of a powerhouse set of pipes.

Maureen Kyle, the WKYC-TV 3 reporter, will emcee the event. Kyle has a special and personal connection to the Cassidy Theatre. She is the granddaughter of the late Parma Heights Mayor Paul W. Cassidy, who founded the theatre in 1974 with wife, Elise. Kyle’s father, St. Ignatius High School Head Football Coach Chuck Kyle, will also be on hand along with his wife, Patricia Cassidy Kyle. We anticipate that the late Mayor’s other children, Maureen Cassidy Foran, Michael Cassidy and Steven Cassidy also will attend. 

Elise Cassidy, who resides at an extended care facility in Westlake, will turn 102 years young in April, but is unable to attend, her granddaughter said.

As there are 12 Cassidy grandchildren, the event could prove to be a bit of a Cassidy family reunion.

For reservations to the benefit, call the Cassidy Theatre Box Office at 440.842.4600.

MORE THEATRICAL FUN –Two alumni of Parma Heights’ Cassidy Theatre – and it’s well-known Youth Theatre program - are really making names for themselves in the show business world.

Corey Mach, who just finished starring as “Quasimodo” in the Hunchback of Notre Dame at both the Great Lakes Theatre Festival on Playhouse Square this past holiday season, as well as at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, is now playing “Harry,” and understudying the lead role of “Charlie” in the Broadway production of “Kinky Boots,” now in its fifth year on the Great White Way at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.

“Kinky Boots” is the winner of every major Best Musical award, including the Tony, the Grammy and London’s Olivier Award.

Mach is the founder of Broadway Sings, (he started the acclaimed concert series in 2011). Broadway Sings takes a pop icon and flips their music to create brand new, unique arrangements and orchestrations. Each installment gathers over a dozen Broadway stars to belt out new versions of the songs we love, backed by a full jazz band.

Mach will produce and perform in Broadway Sings Rihanna, which will be at NYC’s Highline Ballroom at 8 p.m. March 26.

Then, he will produce and perform in Broadway Sings Stevie Wonder at 7 p.m. May 14 at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

Mach, a Baldwin Wallace University graduate, hails from Strongsville. Cassidy patrons will remember him as the Director and Musical Director of the sold out Teen Theatre production of “Seussical.”

Meanwhile, 2011 Parma Senior High School and Ohio Wesleyan University graduate Ryan J. Haddad was recently seen playing the Jury Foreman in TV’s “Bull,” which stars Michael Weatherly as Dr. Jason Bull in a drama inspired by the early career of Dr. Phil McGraw, founder of one of the most prolific trial consulting firms of all time, and who, of course, is known for the talk show that bears his name.

Beginning March 10 through March 26, Haddad will perform an excerpt from his solo show, “Hi, Are You Single?” and play the role of Hadi in “Noor and Hadi Go to Hogwarts,” by Lameece Issaq, at the Jeffrey and Paula Gural Theatre on West 53rd Street in the Big Apple.

Haddad is physically disabled with cerebral palsy, but does not let his disability define him. He is recognized as a champion for the disabled.

ROCK-N-ROLL IN THE HEIGHTS -The Parma Heights Library, 6206 Pearl Road, will host Jason Hanley of the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and Director of the Center for Popular Music Studies at Case Western Reserve University Daniel Goldmark for a discussion of this year’s 2018 Rock Hall Inductees.

They’ll fill us in on why these artists deserve the significant honor of induction into the Rock Hall as well as share with us some fun Rock-N-Roll History.

The program takes place from 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, March 8 in Meeting Room C of the library.

The 2018 Rock Hall inductees are Bon Jovi, The Cars, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues, Nina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

Here’s an interesting tidbit, speaking of the Cars.

Singer and bassist Ben Orr of the group grew up on Maplewood Road in Parma Heights. He passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2000 at 53.

Orr was born Benjamin Orzechowski in Cleveland. It was there in the late 60s that he met Ric Ocasek, a musician and college dropout. Orr was working as a session musician and producer at a local studio. Previously, he fronted the house band of the WEWS-TV (5) rock show Upbeat, hosted by Don Webster, and was leader of a local group, The Grasshoppers. That group split when some members were drafted to Vietnam, though not before Orr had earned a reputation as a versatile musician who could sing or play drums, bass and guitar.

Orr and Ocasek began collaborating in an assortment of bands. In 1972, they were part of the folk trio Milkwood, and released an album on Paramount featuring future Cars keyboardist Greg Hawkes. But it wasn't until 1976 that Orr and Ocasek formed The Cars, bringing in ex-Modern Lovers drummer David Robinson and Hawkes. The lineup was completed by guitarist Elliot Easton, who had also played with Orr and Ocasek in the Boston-based Cap'n Swing.

The 33rd annual Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony will take place April 14 at Cleveland’s Public Auditorium, downtown. The ceremony will again premiere on HBO.  Tune in!

WEDDING BELLS Thomas I. Moran, II, the attorney with the Cleveland law firm of Friedman & Nemecek, and Erica Virzi, marketing coordinator for the accounting firm Cohen and Company, are engaged and planning a February 2019 wedding.

Moran is the son of Parma Heights Recreation Director Tom Moran, and wife, Joan.

Erica Virzi is the daughter of Joseph and Kim Virzi of North Royalton.

Moran popped the question during the President’s Day weekend, while the happy couple were on a hike. The wedding ceremony will take place at Cleveland’s St. Colman Catholic Church. Reception venues are still being considered.  350 guests are to be invited.

Virzi is a graduate of Padua Franciscan High School and Miami University, while Moran is an alum of St. Ignatius High School, Hiram College and the Cleveland Marshall College of Law, from which he graduated in May 2017.

Meanwhile, U.S. Bank Performance Operations Analyst Trisha James, and Drew Trecokas, who works for Lifeline Screening, will tie the knot next June 1. Parents of the bride are Jesse and Carol James.  Stepmother is Parma Heights City Hall Mayor’s Court Clerk Trish James, who, just like Britain’s Royal Family, will be celebrating two weddings in 2019.

Her son, Emmett Litten, who works in logistics with the Schaeffler Group, a German car parts company in Strongsville, will marry Brittany Feda, manager of content and community strategy with ERC Cleveland.

The pair will wed in fall 2019. Wedding details are not yet finalized. What are the chances that Litten, the son of the aforementioned Trish James and her ex, former Parma Heights Recreation Director William “Bill” Litten, and Moran, the son of the city’s current Recreation Director, would get engaged on the same day?

SPECIAL RECOGNITIONDr. Michael Schubyn will be the recipient of a Special Recognition Award at the 2018 Parma Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s Gala, which takes place beginning at 5 p.m. March 10 at Holy Spirit Church and Party Center, 5500 W. 54th St., Parma.

Dr. Schubyn’s efforts in the City of Parma Heights represent an example of the rewards of public-private partnerships that benefit the entire community.

Involved in medical equipment research and development, Dr. Schubyn has been working with the Parma Heights Department of Community and Economic Development since late 2016 and in 2017 purchased two commercial sites on Pearl Road: a 60,000-square-foot office building known as the Heritage Building at 6500 Pearl Road, as well as a commercial strip center located at 6573 Pearl Road.

The City of Parma Heights has helped facilitate two economic development loans from the Cuyahoga County Department of Development for the acquisition and development of both properties and is currently facilitating a third loan from the NOPEC Pace Program to further enhance the buildings for medical office readiness.

Dr. Schubyn is the owner of Doc’s Medical Repair and IMS Medical Supply, which sells new and high-quality refurbished medical equipment.

He has personally committed to creating 25 new high-paying technical and sales positions in the community and pledges to work to attract other medical companies and provide space to incubate medical business start-ups in Parma Heights.

Dr. Schubyn will not be in attendance at the Gala, as his wife is due to deliver their first child.

Accepting the honor on his behalf will be Parma Heights Director of Community and Economic Development Joseph E. Sebes.

Other Pride Award Recipients include Rudy’s Strudel in the Business category – owner Lidia Trempe; Retired insurance executive J. Howard Flower, who for years was the driving force behind Western Reserve Insurance Agency on Ridge Road, in the individual category; and Cuyahoga Community College Western Campus, whose President is Dr. Donna Imhoff. And, just in case you didn’t know, a small portion of Tri-C’s Western Campus rests within the city limits of Parma Heights.

FOOD4FINES - Mark your calendars. Beginning March 1, you can reduce your library fines up to $4 per visit when you donate any of the Super Six food items - peanut butter, cereal, canned soup, canned vegetables, canned beef stew and canned tuna fish - to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank's Harvest for Hunger campaign. The library’s annual Food4Fines food drive will be held through Saturday, March 31 at all branches of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, including the Parma Heights branch, headed by Branch Manager Nicholas Cronin.

EAGLE EYED – The Student Council and Staff of Parma Park Elementary School recently voted on a name for their official school mascot.

Parma Park is the home of the Eagles, and the new mascot’s name is Parker.  Wendy Jewell serves as Parma Park Principal.

HISTORICAL FUNDRAISING -The Parma Heights Historical Society will host a fund-raiser from 7-9 p.m. Friday, March 2 at Flyers Bar and Grill, 6298 Pearl Road.

Tickets are $25 per person and include unlimited servings of flyer’s famous wings and pizza, salad, draft beer and well liquor. Also, with each purchased ticket, you can participate in a 50-50 raffle and silent auction.

Tickets can be purchased in advance of the event by calling Fred Koch at 216.402.1241. They will also be available at the door the evening of the event.

All proceeds benefit the Parma Heights Historical Society.

President of the PHHS is Barb Pacino.

For additional information, call her at 440.885.9767.

DIABETES PREVENTION – Mark your calendars for this one.

The YMCA of Greater Cleveland will host an informational session for the Parma Heights community at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 4 about the Y’s Diabetes Prevention and Education program, as well as another program on how to help you deal with having high blood pressure.

The meeting will take place at the Cassidy Theatre, 6200 Pearl Road, Parma Heights and will be led by the Y’s Executive Director of Health Initiatives, Linda McVey.

The Y will begin offering this important program at the Parma Heights Senior Center in later April. Times are to be determined.

A LITTLE BIT OF THE PACIFIC – The American Asian Pacific Islander Organization will present an afternoon of dance, including Hawaiian, Polynesian, Samoan, Phillipine and New Zealand dances performed by dancers from the Manivic Dance Company, 6684 Fernhurst Avenue, Parma Heights.

Dances will be accompanied by live ukulele music, and participating dancers are ages four to 70.

Refreshments will be available for purchase and there also will be door prizes.

The event will be held from 2-4 p.m. March 3 at the Cassidy Theatre, 6200 Pearl Road, Parma Heights. Tickets are $10 per person. Seniors age 65-plus are $5, and children 12 and under are free.

For reservations or more information, call (440) 638-4991.

Mani Cancelliere is the driving force behind Manivic’s Dance Company.

KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION – Parma City School District Superintendent Carl Hilling reminds Parma Heights residents who have children starting Kindergarten in the fall of 2018 that they can beat the August registration rush and stop by the district’s Kindergarten Registration event March 7 and 8 at the Cuyahoga County Public Library Parma Branch, 6996 Powers Blvd. 

Many documents are required to successfully register a student.

For more information, visit www.parmacityschools.org/studentservices.

IN CONCERT – The Parma Symphony Orchestra will present their winter concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 11 in the auditorium of Valley Forge High School, 9999 Independence Boulevard, Parma Heights.

Music Director Dr. Randolph P. Laycock will will present Max Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 featuring soloist Andrew Sords. Also on the program will be Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty Suite,” and Rossini’s “William Tell Overture.”

The orchestra, now in its 49th season, is made up of 75 members from across the Greater Cleveland area. They rehearse weekly and present four concerts each year.

General admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. Family passes are available for families of up to two adults and their children for $20.

Tickets will be available at the door on the afternoon of the concert, beginning at 2:30 p.m. For additional information, visit www.parmasymphony.org or call Business Manager Joe Germana at (440) 882-2012.

PATRIOT PRIDE – The Valley Forge High School Class of 2018 After Prom Committee is seeking donations for a planned March 3 Wing Ding Fund-raiser which will be held at Bleachers Sports Grill, 6855 Ridge Road. They are especially looking for gift cards and items for baskets.

If you have a donation you need to be picked up, call Pam Redmond (440) 296-0017 or Wendy Laudo (440) 382-8296.

PLAY BALL – Recreation Director Tom Moran said the city of Parma Heights will host registration for Youth Baseball and Softball programs from 9 a.m. to Noon on Saturday, March 10 on the lower level of the Cassidy Theatre, 6200 Pearl Road.

Cost is $35 for Parma Heights residents and $55 for non-residents. Payments should be made with cash or checks only. If you sign up after March 10, a $10 late fee will be charged.

ARTS IN ACTION – The Arts in Action group of Divinity Lutheran Church, which is dedicated to community outreach through the arts, will host a family breakfast from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Sunday, March 18 in the Church Fellowship Hall, 11877 Blossom Avenue.

Founders are Fred and Marlene Dray, residents of Greenbriar Drive.

Marlene Dray is the talented local organist and pianist, who retired from the Parma Schools. Cost is $5 for adults. Children under 12, $3.  Kids under 3 get in free.

For more information, call (440) 845-2060.

Want to be featured in this column?  Send items to haase@parmaheightsoh.gov.

Rick Haase

Rick Haase handles Public Relations and Special Projects in the Office of Parma Heights Mayor Michael P. Byrne

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 12:48 PM, 03.02.2018