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FRIDAYS@7 — The Cleveland Orchestra / Severance Hall & Nighttown

SINGLE EVENT TICKETS GO ON SALE FRIDAY, August 23rd - Your Members-Only Discount Code is now posted in the RSVP system.

Music Cleveland! presents FRIDAYS@7 - 


Who: Music Cleveland! FRIDAYS@7 

What: The Cleveland Orchestra’s Fridays@7

When: Friday, September 20 @7 p.m

Where: Severance Hall, 11001 Euclid Avenue, 44106

DRINKS: Nighttown on Cedar Hill, 12387 Cedar Road, Cleveland Heights 

The Cleveland Orchestra
Fabio Luisi, Conductor
Hélène Grimaud - Pianist and Maureen McKay, Soprano 

An early start time and an hour-long concert by The Cleveland Orchestra featuring world-class musicians and friends from Music Cleveland! — the perfect way to spend a Friday night. And afterward, more music and more fun in an @fterparty of world music.

Cleveland Orchestra Box Office (click here) or call [masked] and toll free at[masked] from Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. or Email: [masked]

To better accommodate the timing of the concert and @fterparty, we’ll grab some snacks and perhaps a cocktail before the concert at the tables across from the box office and ticket pick-up windows.

A fine selection of light fare and wine is available from the walk-up bar on the ground level.

Then we'll meet members outside the Box Office on the Ground Floor around 6:30 p.m. and head up to our seats by 6:45 p.m. Don't be late as the ushers will NOT seat patrons after the concert begins.  

Since there is no intermission, look for us after the concert close to the performers right in front of the stage in the Grand Concourse for the @fter party!

Depending upon the hour and members inclination, we may head over to Nighttown's patio (12387 Cedar Road, Cleveland Heights,[masked]) for a late dinner and or nightcap after the party. Meet us by the stage and share your thoughts or text to the number provided in our before-concert email.

We always send out a reminder email the day before an event.

KEYBANK FRIDAYS@7 — featuring Hélène Grimaud - Pianist

September 2nd - JUST Announced:  Download a free track from Hélène Grimaud's forthcoming album and listen to the fourth movement from Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2 in its entirety before the album is released. Exclusively on myDG:

Learn more about the album:

At a Glance


Join us for a decidedly different — and fun — concert experience.  Fridays@7 features an early start time, no intermission, and a post-concert world music performance.  Perfect for those trying out a concert by The Cleveland Orchestra for the first time, or for those looking for added musical spice.

For this concert, pianist Hélène Grimaud performed Beethoven's masterfully grand Emperor Concerto. A multi-faceted and charismatic artist, Grimaud is a naturally emotive, spiritual performer who has achieved her professional standing through intense an touring and recording program in which she shares her profound, original interpretations of classical music.  (Grimaud’s critically lauded recording of the Emperor Concerto been chosen by iTunes for its new “Classical Essentials” series.)  Conductor Fabio Luisi concludes the concert with Robert Schumann's early and joyfilled "Spring" Symphony.
The Program: 
BEETHOVEN - Piano Concerto No. 5 ("Emperor")
SCHUMANN - Symphony No. 1 ("Spring")

The Fridays@7 concert series is sponsored by KeyBank, a Cleveland Orchestra Partner in Excellence.

Box Office[masked]

Severance Hall

11001 Euclid Avenue

Cleveland, OH[masked]

Purchase Tickets Beginning Friday, August 23rd!

This event has been very popular with subscribers and has been selling quite fast! A limited number of open seats are available in each price category.  This is a first-purchase, best-seat deal so act NOW for the prime locations!

Tickets are available for a special Members-Only discount of 20 percent off for any price category.

The discount is only available for Orchestra web site, telephone or in-person transactions and cannot be applied retroactively.

Some of the lower priced seats in the first few rows of the Orchestra and Upper Balcony have limited availability. You may go to the Orchestra web site (click here) and view the seat availability in each price range.

Ticket list prices range from $31 to $149 for a Private Box; Music Cleveland! discounts bring them down to as low as $24.80! But please don’t wait!

An educated guess is that this concert will sell-out well in advance so don’t hesitate and be left out in the cold! Call the Ticket Office at[masked] or[masked], Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for details.

* Your RSVP – As always we will ask you a series of questions in the process – direct email and phone number – that we will consider private and confidential. One of the options will present your Members-Only code. You may purchase as many tickets as you like but please do not share this code with non-members. If you don’t see these questions, please email the event host for assistance.

After your ticket purchase, please return to the Music Cleveland! event page and update your RSVP, answering the questions regarding ticket purchase, number of guests and plans for the after-concert party.

Members Note: Please don’t forget your annual Membership Fees. You may use the PayPal link in the upper left margin of the home page or pay the Organizer/Host in cash at your next event. Your dues help cover the costs of being on and related administrative costs. Organizers are not compensated and do this for their love of music, fine wine and food, and, of course, friendship. And, our sincere thanks to those members who are current with their dues!



by Frank Kuznik (used by permission - Thanks Frank!)

Beethoven never performed his Piano Concerto No. 5. By the time the work was premiered in 1811, his advancing deafness made it impossible.  Nor did he name it the “Emperor” concerto, a title added by his English publisher.

But as the crowning achievement in a set of five piano concertos that redefined the possibilities of the form, itʼs a brilliant opener for the[masked] season.  All of those concertos will be heard at Severance Hall this year, played by virtuosos Hélène Grimaud, Mitsuko Uchida, Radu Lupu,  and Imogen Cooper.

The opening concert will be special:  guest conductor Fabio Luisi will return to the podium, and Grimaud will be at the keyboard.  Luisi is one of the most sought-after conductors in the world at the moment, a European star who has done impressive work as principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera.  Grimaud is a child prodigy who was admitted to the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 13 and started touring internationally four years later, captivating audiences with her fresh, distinctive interpretations of the Romantic repertoire.

For Grimaud, the concert also represents a return to a seminal moment in her career.  She made her orchestral debut in the United States with The Cleveland Orchestra, playing Schumann at Blossom in 1990 under the baton of Jahja Ling.

“It has a lot of significance for me,” Grimaud says.  “I was pretty much in awe of everything that first time.  Number one on the list was – I donʼt even want to say playing with The Cleveland Orchestra, thatʼs such an understatement.  I remember thinking, this is how an orchestra can be. It was so magnificent!”

The experience shaped Grimaudʼs life and career in more ways than one.

“Everyone was so nice to me, friendly and welcoming, not just professionally but from the human point of view,” she recalls.  “It was one of the main reasons I decided a couple years later to make my life in the United States.  I was just really charmed by the entire thing.”

Grimaud went on to become an iconoclastic and sometimes controversial figure, founding a conservation center for wolves, writing books, and showing up for concerts carrying her formal wear in a brown paper bag.  But it was her music that captured the worldʼs attention, highly personal interpretations of Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Brahms, and Beethoven played in the free-spirited tradition of Glenn Gould and Martha Argerich, one of her mentors.

Grimaud first took on Beethovenʼs Piano Concerto No. 5 about 10 years ago, and enjoyed great success with it.  She recorded it with the Staatskapelle Dresden in 2007 and toured the piece extensively, including a European tour with the Dresden ensemble under the direction of then-music director Fabio Luisi.  Given the strong impression she made with a 1999 recording of Beethovenʼs Piano Concerto No. 4, it should have been a natural progression.  But Grimaud admits that she came to No. 5 late, and reluctantly.

“I couldnʼt quite get past the martial quality of the music,” she says.  “I may even have been tainted by the unoriginal terminology of ʻEmperor.ʼ”

Once Grimaud finally put aside her preconceptions and engaged with the piece, she was pleasantly surprised.

“In fact, it has very little to do with martial music,” she says.  “What I find so wonderful is its ability to communicate one of Beethovenʼs strongest beliefs, the ability of the human spirit to transcend its condition.  That is very powerful and pretty much irresistible in No. 5.  It carved out a special place in my heart, and is now one of my closest friends.  I’m always happy to play it.”

Grimaud has been away from the piece for a while, most recently resurrecting it for two performances with the Czech Philharmonic in the UK earlier this year.  Otherwise, she has been playing mostly Brahms and Schumann.  But revisiting an old friend always brings new discoveries.

“Thatʼs what keeps it interesting,” she says.  “Even if you are not actively engaged with a piece of music, it continues to work within you.  So when you go back to it, you find changes, new angles, new life in the interpretation.”

And in this case, Luisi is part of the process.

“There is a beautiful elegance in the way Fabio conducts, the way he phrases the material and draws out the beauty of the sound, that helps me move away from my more combative nature,” Grimaud says.  “I love the dynamic contrasts of No. 5, but Fabio helps me focus more on the regal, noble aspects of the piece rather than its fighting spirit.  Itʼs very much an enrichment.”

In the second half of the opening concert, Luisi will have an opportunity to apply his velvet touch to Mahlerʼs Symphony No. 4, a comparatively light, accessible work by the composer with lovely melodies and few dark moments.  The entire fourth movement is a childʼs vision of heaven, as described in a five-stanza poem that will be sung by American soprano Maureen McKay.  This will be the Cleveland Orchestra debut for McKay, who is in Japan this month, working with Luisi on a production of VerdiʼsFalstaff at the Saito Kinen Festival.

Meanwhile, Grimaud sounds as if she were the one making her Cleveland Orchestra debut.

“It’s not just one of the top orchestras in the country, but for me it’s one of the top worldwide,” she says.  “It’s a privilege to be coming back.  I am extremely looking forward to that week in September.”

What does she hope Cleveland audiences will get from her performances?

“I hope that people are reinvigorated by the music,” she says.  “There’s something in it that reaches so deep in the human spirit and reveals its resiliency, its ability to reinvent itself and come out better and grander than before.  I really do hope that is communicated, and people feel it in a very primal way, and come out of the performance with that renewed sense of energy.”

by Frank Kuznik

Frank Kuznik is a longtime journalist and culture writer covering Northeast Ohio's vibrant arts and entertainment scene.  Born and raised in Cleveland, Frank has worked extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe, most recently in Prague as the editor-in-chief and culture editor of The Prague Post.  He also writes about music on

At a Glance

The Fridays@7 concert series is sponsored by KeyBank, a Cleveland Orchestra Partner in Excellence.

Pre- and Post-Concert Music - Experience why Fridays@7 concerts are being
called “the place to be on Friday nights!”

Begin your evening early, with drinks or food, plus a special pre-concert world music presentation.


Here is a shot we took of Bela Fleck jamming at the @fterparty in 2011.

Béla Fleck jamming  at the @fterParty!

After each KeyBank Fridays@7 concert, there’s . . . more food, drink, and music. Internationally renowned contemporary percussionist Jamey Haddad invites a diverse selection of artists to collaborate for a post-concert musical celebration at Severance Hall. Great music to round out your evening and expand your horizons.

The FRIDAYS@7 Concerts are unique

About the Music

Fridays@7 — a series of early-evening concerts bringing together an electic mix of music. Perfect for thosse who want to experience a Cleveland Orchestra concert for the first time, or those looking to enjoy some extra musical spice. Including a world music presentation after the concert.

@5 p.m. - Doors open for libations, creative cuisine and pre-concert music. We’ll be there early gathering in front of the Box Office on the ground level. Be there no later than 6:30 p.m. as the ushers will not seat you after the performance begins.

@7 p.m. – Promptly at 7 p.m. The Cleveland Orchestra performs. There’s no intermission.
It’s straight-through like a movie. Exciting and to the point.

@8:15 p.m. - After the concert, stay for an after-party complete with live world music, drinks, food, relaxing, and Friday fun. Post-Concert @fter-Party

@9:30 p.m. - The After/After Party - we'll head to Nighttown on Cedar Hill for some late dinner, dessert or a nightcap.  

Abigail Washburn performs at the @fter Party!

After each KeyBank Fridays@7 concert, there’s . . . more food, drink, and music. Internationally renowned contemporary percussionist Jamey Haddad invites a diverse selection of artists to collaborate for a post-concert musical celebration at Severance Hall. Great music to round out your evening and expand your horizons.
@9 p.m. - We’ll head over to Nightown for dinner, drinks and conversation.

A variety of parking options are available for concerts at Severance Hall, including guaranteed pre-paid parking passes purchased through the Ticket Office or website. 

Parking* - see end of post for details


Conducting The Cleveland Orchestra this evening:

Fabio Luisi (born 17 January 1959, Genoa) is a Grammy Award-winning Italian conductor. He has served as Principal Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera since September 2011,[1] and he launched his tenure as General Music Director of the Zurich Opera, with an initial contract of 5 years, in September 2012.

As a child, Luisi suffered from asthma.[2] Luisi attended the Conservatorio Nicolò Paganini and was a student of Memi Schiavina. After receiving his degree in piano studies, he continued piano instruction with Aldo Ciccolini and Antonio Bacchelli.

Luisi developed an interest in conducting while working as a piano accompanist, and he studied conducting at the conservatory in Grazwith Milan Horvat. He worked at the Graz Opera as an accompanist and conductor. His first conducting appearance was in Italy in 1984. From 1990 to 1995, he was principal conductor of the Graz Symphony Orchestra. From 1995 to 2000, he served as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Tonkünstlerorchester in Vienna. From 1996 to 1999, he was one of three main conductors (Hauptdirigenten) of theMDR Symphony Orchestra (Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester) in Leipzig, along with Marcello Viotti and Manfred Honeck. From 1999 to 2007, he was sole principal conductor of the MDR orchestra. He was the principal conductor of l'Orchestre de la Suisse Romandefrom 1997 to 2002.

In January 2004, Luisi was named chief conductor of both the Staatskapelle Dresden and of the Semperoper, Dresden. He assumed both posts in September 2007. With the Staatskapelle Dresden, Luisi conducted commercial recordings of music by Richard Strauss[3] andAnton Bruckner.[4] Luisi was originally scheduled to step down as chief conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden in 2012, at the expiration of his contract.[5] However, he resigned from both Dresden posts in February 2010, with immediate effect, after reports that the Staatskapelle's management had secured a contract with the ZDF network for a scheduled televised concert on New Year's Eve, 2010 with Christian Thielemann as conductor, without consulting him at all in his capacity as the orchestra's GMD.[6]

Luisi served as Chief Conductor of the Vienna Symphony from 2005 through the[masked] season, concluding his tenure with four programs in March 2013,[7] and is scheduled to step down from the VSO chief conductorship after the[masked] season.[8] In his new position at the Zurich Opera, Luisi is conducting an increasing number of orchestral concert performances with the newly renamed Philharmonia Zurich, formerly known as the Orchester der Oper Zurich.[9]

In the United States, Luisi made his Metropolitan Opera conducting debut in March 2005, with Giuseppe Verdi's Don Carlos.[10] In April 2010, Luisi was named the Met's principal guest conductor, for an initial contract of three years, effective with the[masked] season. Luisi is the second conductor to be named to this post at the Metropolitan Opera, afterValery Gergiev.[11] He was elevated to the post of Principal Conductor in September 2011, when Music Director James Levine withdrew from his scheduled fall 2011 performances.[1]

Luisi has also conducted several opera recordings, including Giuseppe Verdi's AroldoJérusalem and Alzira,[12] and Gioacchino Rossini's William Tell.[13] He won a Grammy Awardfor his leadership of Siegfried and Götterdämmerung on a Deutsche Grammophon DVD release of Richard Wagner’s operatic cycle, Der Ring des Nibelungen. This was recorded live at the Metropolitan Opera and named Best Opera Recording of 2012.

Luisi and his wife Barbara, a photographer and former orchestra violinist, have three sons. The family recently relocated from Vienna to New York City.[8]

Fabio Luisi web site (click here)

Featured performances by Hélène Grimaud

Hélène Grimaud

Biography - Hélène Grimaud - Pianist

Hélène Grimaud was born in Aix-en-ProvenceFrance. On her mother's side, she is descended from Italian-Sephardi Jews on Corsica; and, on her father's side, from Algerian Jews.[1][2] She has stated that, as a child, she was often "agitated".[3] She discovered the piano at seven. In 1982, she entered the Conservatoire de Paris, where she studied withJacques Rouvier. In 1985, she won 1st Prize at the Conservatory and the Grand Prix du Disque of the Académie Charles Cros for her recording of the Sergei Rachmaninoff Piano Sonata No. 2. In 1987, she launched her professional career with a solo recital in Paris and a performance with the Orchestre de Paris under Daniel Barenboim.

In 1991, at age 21, Grimaud moved to Tallahassee, Florida, to be near a boyfriend who taught bassoon at Florida State University.[4] In 1997, she settled in Westchester County, north of New York City. After some time spent in Berlin,[5] she currently resides in Switzerland.[6] She has a passion for wolves, which she studies and raises. She now divides her time between her musical career and the Wolf Conservation Center, which she co-founded with her former companion, photographer J. Henry Fair.[7] She also experiencessynesthesia, where one physical sense adds to another, in her case seeing music as color.

She performed at the Last Night of the BBC Proms in London in September 2008, playing the piano part of Beethoven's Choral Fantasia.

Critics have praised Grimaud's willingness to reinterpret works and take chances, and compared her to Glenn Gould:

Grimaud doesn’t sound like most pianists: she is a rubato artist, a reinventor of phrasings, a taker of chances. “A wrong note that is played out of élan, you hear it differently than one that is played out of fear,” she says. She admires “the more extreme players . . . people who wouldn’t be afraid to play their conception to the end.” Her two overriding characteristics are independence and drive, and her performances attempt, whenever possible, to shake up conventional pianistic wisdom. Brian Levine, the executive director of the Glenn Gould Foundation, sees in Grimaud a resemblance to Gould: “She has this willingness to take a piece of music apart and free herself from the general body of practice that has grown up around it.”[8]


With a performance by Maureen McKay - Soprano

Maureen McKay - Soprano


Following performances of Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, the Washington Post hailed soprano Maureen McKay as the "undisputed star of the show," and further exclaimed, "Armed with a silvery, precisely aimed voice, natural stage presence and the kind of beautifully detailed acting you don't see often enough on the operatic stage, McKay turned in a smart, sexy and thoroughly charming performance." In the[masked] season, she returns to the Komische Oper Berlin for Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, both new productions, as well as for Mozart's Requiem conducted by Henrik Nánási and further performances of Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, and Musetta in La bohème. She also sings Lisa in La sonnambulawith Washington Concert Opera. Future seasons include her debuts with the Bayerische Staatsoper in one of her most frequently performed roles, Gretel inHänsel und Gretel, Cleveland Orchestra for Mahler's Symphony No. 4 and Saito Kinen Festival as Nannetta in Falstaff, both under the baton of Fabio Luisi, and Washington National Opera as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte as well as debuts with Opera Colorado and San Diego Opera. Last season, she sang Schmidt'sDas Buch mit sieben Siegeln with the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and at the Komische Oper Berlin, sang her first performances of Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier in addition to reprising Blanche in Calixto Bieito's production of Dialogues des carmélites and Musetta in La bohème. She also joined Central City Opera as Laurey in Oklahoma! and returned to the Metropolitan Opera roster for Hänsel und Gretel.

As a member of the ensemble at the Komische Oper Berlin, Ms. McKay has previously sung Blanche in a new production of Dialogues des carmélites as well as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Norina in Don Pasquale, Musetta in La bohème, and Marzelline in Fidelio. Other previous engagements are Gretel inHänsel und Gretel with Opera Company of Philadelphia, Portland Opera, and Tulsa Opera in addition to joining the Metropolitan Opera roster for the same title, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Cleveland, a return to the Opera Company of Philadelphia for Eurydice in Gluck's Orphée et Eurydice, Lightfoot McLendon in Cold Sassy Tree with Atlanta Opera, Lilla in Una cosa rara and Elisa in Il re pastore with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Zerlina in Don Giovanni with New Orleans Opera, Despina in Così fan tutte and Caroline Gaines in Richard Danielpour's Margaret Garner with New York City Opera, Musetta in La bohème with Opera Omaha, and Norina in Don Pasquale with Anchorage Opera. She joined Seiji Ozawa for the Dew Fairy and the Sandman in Hänsel und Gretel in his Ongaku-juku Opera Project throughout Japan and made her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Papagena in Die Zauberflöte conducted by Leonard Slatkin at the Hollywood Bowl.

The soprano's concert performances include Mozart's Requiem and Debussy's La demoiselle élue with the Utah Symphony, a program of Viennese music by Lehár and Johann Strauss with the Saint Louis Symphony, Carmina Burana with the National Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, and Utah Symphony, Mahler's Symphony No. 4 with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic under the baton of Gerard Schwarz (to be released on a commercial recording), Grieg'sPeer Gynt with the Oregon Symphony, and Louis Andriessen's The New Math(s) with the Seattle Chamber Players. With Seattle's Music of Remembrance, she premiered Lori Laitman's song cycle I Never Saw Another Butterfly for soprano and clarinet and sang Aninku in Tony Kushner's adaptation of Hans Krasa's Brundibár; a recording including both Brundibár and Laitman's song cycle is available on the Naxos label. She also performed Simon Sargon's song cycle, Shema, with Music of Remembrance.

A former member of Seattle Opera's Young Artists Program, Maureen McKay was seen as Flora in Britten's The Turn of the Screw and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. As a Filene Young Artist with Wolf Trap Opera Company, McKay was seen in the roles of Johanna in Sweeney Todd, Ismene in Telemann'sOrpheus, and Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. She earned her Bachelor of Music at Columbus State University in Georgia (summa cum laude) and her Master of Music at The Ohio State University.


A variety of parking options are available for concerts at Severance Hall, including guaranteed pre-paid parking passes (purchased through the Ticket Office or via the website).

The Case Western Reserve University Campus Center Garage is located directly adjacent to Severance Hall (parking entrance is off East Boulevard), with stair and elevator access to Severance Hall. Event parking in the Campus Center Garage can be purchased for $10 per vehicle when space permits. However, the garage often fills up well before concert time and only patrons who purchase pre-paid parking passes are ensured a parking space.

Pre-Paid Parking for the Campus Center Garage can be purchased in advance for $15 per concert by calling the Ticket Office or through the website. Pre-paid parking guarantees you a space, but availability of pre-paid parking passes is limited.

Alternatively, if you have already purchased tickets, you can purchase pre-paid parking online through the concert Event Calendar. Above the calendar, check the box “for ticket holders who wish to purchase tickets only” under Select a Type of Event. The calendar will then show available parking.

Parking can also be purchased through the Ticket Office by calling[masked]-1111.
Limited additional event parking is available in the Case Western Reserve University Lot 1 off Euclid Avenue across from Severance Hall, or at the University Circle Lot 13A on Adelbert Road, and at the Cleveland Botanical Garden parking garage on East Boulevard. Space at these lots may be particularly limited during weekday daytime hours. Some on-street parking is also available, but often fills up well before curtain time.

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  • Alan

    Barbara - It appears that you failed to read the organizer's several e-mails as to where he would ba before and after the concert at Severence Hall. If you had read them, you would have learned of his cell phone number where you could have called him to inquire as to his whereabouts. Both Courtney and her guest as well as I were with the organizer, whose name is Bill. Due to lack of participation, Nightown was cancelled which you would have learned about before heading off on your own. In short, there was a meetup with an organizer however you failed to adequately search for him.

    1 · September 22, 2013

  • Alan


    September 21, 2013

  • Bill J.

    This will be our third year of FRIDAYS@7. The food before the concert is akin to boxed lunches. I'll be in the lower lobby just around the box office by 6 p.m. There isn't food at the after party just drinks. I'm going to wait and eat after at Nighttown for our after after party. Hope you can join us there.

    September 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Got my tickets and looking forward to it! Thank you do much for the discount code! Has anyone ever been to this? About how much does the food cost at this event during the pre and post parties?

    September 11, 2013

8 went

  • Bill J.
    Event Host
  • A former member
  • A former member
    +1 guest
  • A former member
    +1 guest
  • A former member

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