Search Location

Account Login

Forgot password?



Posted May 26, 2017 in Press Releases

Media Contact: Lisa Sands

Cell: (330) 322-5424

Cleveland Play House’s 2017 Benefit


To Take Place June 3 at Allen Theatre

CLEVELAND, OH (May 26, 2017) Guests will be transported to a magical place of spectacle and imagination at Cleveland Play House’s 2017 Benefit Grand Illusion – A Magical Odyssey on Saturday, June 3 in the Allen Theatre Complex. Presenting Sponsor KeyBank, Honorary Co-Chairs Sally and Bob Gries, and Benefit Co-Chairs Kathy Hogg and Rick Knapp, ensure a fantastical gala to celebrate the significant artistic contributions and educational programs of Cleveland Play House (CPH).

About the Event

Grand Illusion will arouse the senses with a highly experiential and immersive theme, visually stunning décor and lively entertainment. Shaker Heights interior designer Christopher Kascsak has conceptualized several of CPH’s memorable galas and will bring his artistry to the Allen Theatre spaces to transport guests to multiple locales—the desert sands of an exotic faraway land, a woodland faerie haven and a mysterious underwater world. Guests will dress in cocktail or black tie attire, or will opt for playful, thematic ‘magical’ attire.

An array of entertainment will grace the Allen Theatre stage and other lobby spaces within the complex headlined by Cleveland native Elijah Rock. Rock, a multi-talented touring performer, will sing well-loved standards that include selections from his recently released album “Gershwin For My Soul.” Guests will enjoy dancing after dinner to the sounds of the Bluewater Kings Band. Inlet Dance Theatre performers will engage guests at multiple spaces throughout the theatre complex.

A live auction conducted by Mark Schroeder of Auction brio llc. will include creative packages for avid fans of theatre and entertainment. Guests will bid on items such as a Vinyl Record Party hosted by CPH Board Member Sally Stewart and her husband Terry Stewart, retired CEO and President of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum; a Windy City Odyssey that includes tickets to Hamilton at The PrivateBank Theatre and several other iconic theatres; and a one-of-a -kind photographic print of the gargoyle exterior of the original Cleveland Play House building, taken by the legendary Joel Grey. Also available for bidding will be a Home Plate Magic package donated by CPH Board Member Bob Gries and his wife Sally that includes an intimate dinner at their home with Indians legend Jim Thome and his wife Andrea, and a pair of autographed Indians jerseys.

One of the most anticipated activities of the annual CPH gala is the presentation of the Cleveland Play House Centennial Star Award. This year, the esteemed award will be presented to Sally and Bob Gries for their significant contributions to Cleveland Play House.

“Sally and Bob Gries have been ardent supporters for many years,” said CPH Managing Director Kevin Moore. “We are a better organization because of their leadership, generosity and wise counsel, and could not be more proud to honor them with the Centennial Star Award for 2017.”

The annual benefit is CPH’s signature fundraising event and all proceeds help support nationally recognized artistic productions and ground-breaking educational programs like CARE—Compassionate Arts Remaking Education—established in several schools within the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.


CPH is grateful to the sponsors of Grand Illusion – A Magical Odyssey.

Presenting Sponsor


Illustrious Illusionists

Char & Chuck Fowler

Roe Green

Sensational Sorcerers

Sally & Bob Gries

Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park

Wondrous Wizards

Huntington Bank

Jean & Walt Kalberer

Magical Marvels

Monte & Usha Ahuja


Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University College of Arts & Sciences

Cleveland State University

DLR Group | Westlake Reed Leskosky

Fairmount Santrol

Nancy Hancock Griffith

Kathy & Jamie Hogg

Rick Knapp & Ellen Mattingly

Martin & Sandra Kiely Kolb

The MetroHealth System

Panzica Construction Company

Beth & Clay Rankin

RPM International Inc.

Ralph & Luci Schey Foundation

Shaker Investments

University Hospitals

WCLV Classical 104.9

About Cleveland Play House

Cleveland Play House, recipient of the 2015 Regional Theatre Tony Award® and founded in 1915, is America’s first professional regional theatre. Throughout its rich history, CPH has remained dedicated to its mission to inspire, stimulate and entertain diverse audiences in Northeast Ohio by producing plays and theatre programs of the highest professional standards. It has produced more than 100 world and/or American premieres, and over its long history more than 12 million people have attended more than 1,600 CPH productions. Today, CPH celebrates the beginning of a second century of service performing in three state-of-the-art venues at Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland.

CPH is funded in part by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. Additionally CPH receives support from the residents of Cuyahoga County through a grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

# # #

Go back to newsroom

Don't miss a thing. Sign up for our newsletter.

Get behind the scenes info, sneak peeks, show news and more.

  • facebook
  • twitter
  • instagram
  • flickr
  • youtube
  • pinterest

Our Theatres

Allen Theatre

Allen Theatre

Helen Theatre

Helen Theatre

Outcalt Theatre

Outcalt Theatre

The Allen, Helen and Outcalt theatres are located at Playhouse Square
1407 Euclid Avenue Cleveland, OH 44115

Administrative Offices and Education Center
1901 E. 13th Street, Suite 200 Cleveland, OH 44114 (216) 400-7000

Production Center
7401 Detour Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44103