Night Out At Great Lakes Theater

Martinis, etiquette, thrusts and ghosts – some of those things don’t sound like they go together, but they do!

Special thanks to my friend Julie, AKA Wearing Mascara for filling me in about a fun social media evening hosted by the Great Lakes Theater this past Friday. I got to meet some lovely Cleveland social media influencers and enjoy a dry martini with a side of etiquette in one of Cleveland’s classical theaters. Not a bad way to kick off a weekend if you ask me.

The Great Lakes Theater reaches over 75,000 adults and students each season – “The mission of the Great Lakes Theater is to bring the pleasure, power and relevance of classic theater to the widest possible audience.” Many stars even contribute their start to the Great Lakes Theater and festival, including the always impeccable Tom Hanks who started out as an intern at Great Lakes!

The Hanna Theater

The Hanna Theater

One of many things that I thought was awesome about the Great Lakes Theater is that they offer any seat in the theater to students for only $13. I have always been in love with the theater from a young age and I think that it will be up to my generation and those to come to keep the arts alive in the future. So I love the fact that they make their shows so available to students and make it a priority to foster their future theater patrons now. Visit their site to read more on the Great Lakes Theater Education Programming.

Now onto the evenings events…

The night started with a  demonstration on the art of making the perfect cocktail from an expert mixologist.  We learned how to make a proper dry martini. The key is to stir or swirl, depending on your container, but not violently. Remember that.

Great Lakes Theater Social Media Night

Great Lakes Theater Social Media Night

Dry Martini Demonstration

Learning how to make the perfect dry martini.

Next we learned a few tricks to keeping it classy when navigating a modern cocktail party from Colleen Harding, a Cleveland School of Etiquette consultant.

Etiquette Tips in Action.

Etiquette tips in action.

Etiquette Class

I am cocktail party ready.

Here are just a few of the cocktail party etiquette tips I learned:

  • You can put someone off  within 7 seconds without opening your mouth or even knowing it.
  • When trying to remember someones name when meeting them for the first time try to say it in conversation a few times to help you remember it – “It is nice to meet you, Lisa” or “What do you do Lisa?”
  • Stemless wine glasses are only appropriate in a dinner setting where you do not have to hold the glass for an extended period of time.
  • Red wine glasses are both rounder and wider to allow more air to come in contact with the liquid. You can hold red wine glasses by the stem or by the bowl since it does not normally make a difference if the temperature of the wine changes from the warmth of your hand.
  • White wine glasses are generally thinner glass, and have taller and smaller mouths which reduces the area of contact the wine has with the air, reducing the rate of oxidation. White wine glasses are meant to be grasped by its stem to avoid both finger prints on the bowl as well as prevent the wine from being affected by that of your body temperature. If you hold the glass by the bowl you will be drinking swine soon.
  • In order to keep it classy rotate between cocktails and mocktails. Mocktails are exactly what they sound like, mock cocktails, or drinks that do not contain any alcohol. They are often fruit juice combinations over ice. Crystal Light even makes mocktail mixes now.
  • When you need to leave a conversation never leave someone high and dry (AKA alone) at a cocktail party. They may not know anyone and you will have put them in a very awkward and uncomfortable position by abandoning them. Either walk them over to a bar or food station and then excuse yourself or make sure someone else has joined the conversation before excusing yourself.

I hope these tips help you out at for your next cocktail party!

Next, Chris Fornadel, the Great Lakes Theater Audience Engagement Manager took us on the tour of the theater, filling us in on all of the theaters fascinating history.

Great Lakes Theater Tour

Love the red coat ushers.

Great Lakes Theater Chandelier

I’m a sucker for a chandelier.

Great Lakes Theater Tour 2

Learning about the unique stage.

Great Lakes Theater Box Seats

Box seats.

The Great Lakes Theater is a unique theater that blends all the feelings of a historic theater with bold contemporary designs (including a very accessible bar) which make it “one of the most innovative theater spaces in the country.”  The stage is fashioned after Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London, which I actually had the pleasure of seeing a show at, back in 2008. The three sided 550-seat thrust configuration of the Hanna Theater gives everyone in the  audiences an intimate viewing experience no matter where you are sitting. The furthest seat from the stage is only twelve rows back. Speaking from experience, there literally is no bad seat.

Now besides all that other fun stuff I got to learn and do I actually did see a fabulous show too, “Blithe Spirit.” I could try to describe the play in a way that would give it the justice it deserves, but I figured I better let the professionals do that:

“After a “spirited” séance goes decidedly wrong, the cantankerous novelist Charles Condomine suddenly finds himself face to face with the ghost of his deceased wife, Elvira…much to the chagrin of his current spouse, Ruth.  Love and marriage devolve into laughter and mayhem when Ruth is accidentally killed and united with Elvira on the “other side.” Together the paranormal pair of blithe spirits haunt their hapless husband with hilarious consequences.” More info here.

It was a fantastic show that had me laughing through all three acts. The actors truly did a phenomenal job bringing it to life on stage, I particularly loved the maid. She was a quieter character that made a big impact. You will have to see the show to find out what I mean!

Blithe Spirit

Click to view the interactive playbill.

Great Lakes Theater Thrust

Sitting in the thrust.

Great Lakes Theater Social Media Night

The whole social media crew.

I highly recommend you go see Blithe Spirit. You can check out the beautiful Great Lakes Theater, have a great laugh watching a fantastic show and support the arts. If you are still undecided this may help – you can save $10 on your ticket if you use the promotional code “NEO” at checkout. So what are you waiting for, spend your next special night out at the theater. If you do go see it, be sure to let me know how you like the show and don’t forget to tweet @GLTFCleveland too!

Special thanks to Great Lakes Theater for a wonderful evening. I will most definitely be back soon with the husband for Much Ado About Nothing!

Have you reveled at the arts lately? I am always interested in new and interesting  experiences and would love to hear what arts you dabble in.

The Reveler