The Clebut: The Curtain Goes Up In Cleveland

Share |

"Our Greatest Year," a multimedia play about Cleveland sports and the sadness they bring to all those who dare to care about them, made its well-received New York City debut at the Comic Book Theater Festival at The Brick during the summer of 2011. But the play, a collaboration between playwright (and Classical contributor) Robert Attenweiler and artist/animator/writer Scott Henkle has yet to be performed in the city that is both its setting and its protagonist. That changed on Thursday night, when Our Greatest Year made its Cleveland debut at the Dobama Theater. Attenweiler and Henkle will file dispatches from Cleveland during the debut week. The first one is here.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Tavern Co.

Time: 9:55pm

Local Food Consumed: 1 Polish Boy, 1 Panini’s Sandwich (not a panini, but both sandwiches served with fries and cole slaw on top)

Drinks: 2 Great Lakes Brewing Company Burning River Ales, 2 Peroni, shot of Marker’s Mark.

Performances Completed: 1

This has been a terrible week in Cleveland. Which is to say that it’s been 70 degrees and sunny every day we’ve been here. A.) I don’t like competing with nice weather. It seems a little unfair, even: I mean, Cleveland resembles the inside of a black box theater for much of the year anyway. But to ask people not to go outside when the weather's actually nice—and so add to their risk of melanoma! and other things!—is a pretty tall order in these parts. That’s A.

And 2.) Much of the success of this play is about exploiting the Clevelander’s sense of constantly being on the brink of soul-crushing disappointment and everything I’m hearing since getting here is not disappointment, but an oddly positive astonishment. Like the Grinch peering down on Whoville, I’m left befuddled over the fact that everyone’s just so damn happy. They sing without winning. They sing without jobs. They sing without floo-floos, pimandoes and wahs.

But then it all turns. What began the week as “This day is so beautiful” slowly morphs into “You know it’s supposed to suck this weekend, right?” And, just like that, I’m back in.

This is the “homecoming” show—our Cleveland show about Cleveland but, much like my attempts to get Bernie Kosar to come to the show (because we talk about him and a fictional fight he had with Muhammad Ali), there is a wrinkle here. We’re trying to sell our audience on the fact that this play is about them. And it’s not them. But it is them, after a fashion.

Bernie Kosar, I finally relented, probably does not want to see our imagining of him, or hear about this fight that we came up with as Bernie’s clear self-flagellation in atonement for the ways he failed the local sports populace. It takes place the spring following Ernest Byner’s The Fumble and Kosar insists on a fight with the retired Parkison’s-stricken champ to prove that he could stand there and take a punch from The Greatest of All Time. The punch he really needed to prove that he could take was from Cleveland fans.

A big section of Scott’s comics—the one that still knocks me out (ahem) when I see it—focuses on The Fumble, when Ernest Byner lost the ball at the 2 yard line on first and goal. It was the 1987 AFC Championship game against the Denver Broncos. And Bernie (we were reminded by our guest, Marla Ridenour, columnist for the Akron Beacon Journal who has been covering the Browns since 1981) had gone nuts in the second half just to get the Browns back to a point where they might have won the game. It wasn’t Bernie’s fault. So, I get why Bernie wouldn’t want to come see my play. Sucks to relive suck, clearly.

But what worried me was if this was true for Clevelanders too. I’d ridden this project for so long on the platform of “It’s about you guys” when trying to get people interested that I was petrified at the prospect of resistance to it. That there would be a feeling, however slight, that I had exploited the suffering-ness of a population and I could walk myself back to my fancy 20-square-foot Manhattan apartment now, thank you very much.

And our first show was for 90% college-age students who, while alive in 2007 (except for this really brilliant 4-year old we met, accounting major, story for another time) hadn’t lived through The Drive, The Fumble and The Shot or, as I sometimes call it, “The 1980s backbone of how we destroy anything that’s ever good in life.”

But no one resisted our take on Cleveland misery. In fact, they laughed. They laughed more than any other audience we’ve had. They laughed at the saddest parts of the play, knowing them to be sad, but seeing the absurdity of their own obsessions—or the obsessions of people they knew very well (but, really, let’s face it, theirs) given a public outing.

So, Bernie Kosar, if you’re reading this, the invitation still stands. Yes, The Fumble will still hurt. It still hurts me and I’ve seen the play about 35 times by this point. But maybe you won’t sue the pants off us for libel or misrepresentation. Maybe you’ll laugh. Or maybe you’ll just keep signing those 8x10s I brought you for $25 a pop. Either way.

Share |


I experience considerable difficulties my musings on substance, yet I truly felt I ought to here. Your article is truly extraordinary. I like the way you composed this data.

Exceptionally helpful information. Want to see more posts soon!. Stop de bankiers

I am all that much satisfied with the substance you have said. I needed to thank you for this extraordinary article. National AAC

Exceptionally pleasant article, I appreciated perusing your post, extremely decent share, I need to twit this to my adherents. Much appreciated!. lien

I am upbeat to discover this post exceptionally helpful for me, as it contains part of data. I generally want to peruse the quality substance and this thing I found in you post. A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing.

Besides, unlike many other mediums of advertising, you can re-use these yard. cheap campaign yard signs

Your articles are purely enough for me. search engine optimization Singapore

I dispatched your articles links to all my contacts and they all mate it including me. Make Him Desire You

much obliged to you for an incredible post. atlanta locksmiths

It is, indeed, a difficult and complicated vibration for the soul, for this Sun Sign experience is fraught with temptation for the Pisces man or woman consultation voyance par telephone

After relegation from the most efficient League the season earlier than closing, they spent £50 million to try and soar immediately again up. however, they completed 13th after a negative campaign.

I want plenty of articles and blogs please upload shortly. kiwi

HCQS is a leading supplier for Apple, Samsung, HUAWEI cell phone parts such as iPhone/Samsung/HUAWEI LCD. We offer quality-assured services for all users. iPhone LCD

I am cheerful to discover this post Very helpful for me, as it contains parcel of data. I Always want to peruse The Quality and happy I discovered this thing in you post. Much oblig Work from home

Much thanks to you a cluster for offering this to every one of us you really acknowledge what you are discussing! Bookmarked. It would be ideal if you additionally look for exhortation from my site =). We could have a hyperlink change contract between us! kelime oyunu

I wish more writers of this sort of substance would take the time you did to explore and compose so well. I am exceptionally awed with your vision and knowledge. mill creek dentistry

The ever expanding demand for postcard save the dates affordable has resulted in the steady rise of various designs and templates Postcard Save Dates Cheap

This site is truly extraordinary. The data here will without a doubt be of some help to me. Much appreciated!. website onderhoud

based totally regionally proper right here in the heart of Manchester, united kingdom, we are overjoyed to satisfaction ourselves on many years of revel in. followers instagram

A debt of gratitude is in order for imparting pleasant data to us. i like your post and all you impart to us is uptodate and very useful, i might want to bookmark the page so i can come here again to peruse you, as you have made a superb showing. brain supplements

Playing games on your mobile has become extremely popular in the last few years and you will be hard pressed to find a pay by phone casino site that is not mobile compatible. pay by phone casino

For all your postcard printing needs, visit online today for more information. cheap postcard prints

Axiatraders is a company full of professionals who have skills and knowledge to specialize in achievement of targeted results and marketing effectiveness. mobile

Some of these devices support Java ME and others support SIM Application Toolkit, a WAP browser, or only SMS. how to make bob credit card payment

What’s the secret to this relationship-building strategy? It’s a simple process of including the following 3 must-have features on your website:1. bamboo sheets

As the power of PageRank is getting lower, flow metrics matter. Google gives a huge importance to metrics like domain authority, trust flow or citation flow as a ranking factor. high trust flow backlinks

However, you should be careful at this thing and store the footage that you want to keep because, you will lose it otherwise. rexing v1p review

Much thanks to you such a great amount for sharing this awesome blog.Very moving and accommodating too.Hope you keep on sharing a greater amount of your ideas.I will love to peruse. assisted living placement in glenn allen

As the power of PageRank is getting lower, flow metrics matter. Google gives a huge importance to metrics like domain authority, trust flow or citation flow as a ranking factor. high trust flow backlinks

Our group of workers is properly-prepared to revolutionize your account’s rankings forever, and reason them to skyrocket to the pinnacle. instagram likes kaufen

FFXIV Gil also are essential for gamers to to play games, the better degrees, the higher objects, both of them want gil. Have sufficient final delusion xiv gil to revel in video games now! Final Fantasy XIV,Guide

I beyond dubiety revalue your articles and blogs gutter cleaning Charleston SC

Wonderful learning guys I’m a fan of your website. tint a car

Nice blog and absolutely outstanding. You can do something much better but i still say this perfect.Keep trying for the best. How To Kiss A Man To Make Him Fall In Love

i truly like this article please keep it up. poker online terpercaya

ly recently raised approximately $2 million in venture funding, Digg just launched its URL shortener, and StumbleUpon is coming out with its own as well. kort länk

possibly you visit this web page, because you now not go with out jewels or gemstones at clash Royale. With this clash of clans hack German ( it's far a trick to earn jewels! ) clash of clans hack

I can set up my new thought from this post. It gives inside and out data. A debt of gratitude is in order for this profitable data for all,.. domino q

Recent times when internet has so much gossiping and stuff, your content really refreshes me.

Succeeding, you may decide as fountainhead a display screen to your postcard from a number of the extra unbound card templates that can be observed on our hot Printsb web site. low cost brochures

I’m flattened for your blogs writings and blogs as well. Zum Testsieger

The scholarly study of pocketpussyworld, drastically in cultural research, is restrained, perhaps because of the debate approximately the topic in feminism. The first peer-reviewed instructional journal approximately the observe of pocketpussyworld, Porn studies, become published in 2014... launch kiiroo flesh light

Great blog you people have maintained there, I totally appreciate the work. fly fishing in charlestonsc

As a seo troupe committed to honorable seo offerings, all our strategies are a person hat. We submit our trade relationships critically and intention to throw long lineament.. Cheap SEO prices

Much thanks for this extraordinary post.

As a result, this is why countless numbers of people, consisting of celebrities and key international agencies purchase Instagram followers, Instagram Likes, Twitter fans and even fb likes for their agency/profile pages. Instagram Abonnenten kaufen

This is really the sort of data I have been attempting to discover. Much obliged to you for composing this data. find this

This is only the data I am discovering all around. A debt of gratitude is in order for your website, I simply subscribe your online journal. This is a decent blog.. Discover More

A debt of gratitude is in order for the blog entry pal! Keep them coming... spinning classes melbourne

whether or not it has wheels to be moved without difficulty, that it can be folded to make it as portable as it can be or that it has audio system for gambling calm sounds on your infant, some of those capabilities have to be taken in be counted. bassinet for girls