A holiday event about Clevelanders, by Clevelanders, for Clevelanders.  Brimming with memories and laughter, this heartwarming world premiere is a timeless message of hope, love, and the true meaning of the holidays.

Content Advisory: Recommended for ages 8 and up.


A Carol for Cleveland

December 7 - December 23, Allen Theatre

a new play by Eric Coble
based on the novella by Les Roberts

directed by Laura Kepley


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Play Video Stephen Spencer in the Cleveland Play House production of  Charles Kartali as Ed Podolak in the Cleveland Play House production of Cleveland Play House production of From left: Charles Kartali and Elliot Lockshine in the Cleveland Play House production of Charles Kartali as Ed Podolak in the Cleveland Play House production of  Stephen Spencer in the Cleveland Play House production of   Cleveland Play House production of From left: John Cugel, Charles Kartali, Anjanette Hall, Madison Wayt in Cleveland Play House production of From left: Mia Knight, Charles Kartali, Bernard Bygott in the  Cleveland Play House production of  From left: Charles Kartali, Elliot Lockshine, Lena Kaminsky in the Cleveland Play House production of  Cleveland Play House production of
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Thanks, I really enjoyed "A Carol for Cleveland." I found it to be more a very authentic, honest and heart-warming story for anyone who ever felt lost, that is to say, all of us.

- Kevin, Cleveland

Modern spin on classic Dickens' tale. Speaks to our times - then and now.

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Great narrative and great acting...

- Pamela, Fairview Park

What a wonderful holiday show! Charming story set in our own home town...very heartwarming.

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Very enjoyable.

- Venetia, Strongsville

The show was just great, perfect to get you in the Christmas spirit.

- Andrea, Misdleburg Hts

It is truely a story that could only be set in Cleveland. The projections more brought back the downtown of the 70's, not only the square & Higbees, but the back streets also.

I repeatedly found myself with tears in my eyes. It blows a Christmas Carol & the Nutcracker out of the water.

- Gregg Leach, Richfield

We have enjoyed the CPH performances for years and this play lived up to their more high standards. The set design, singing and acting were all top notch. Good acoustics/audio - we heard every word even though in the top row. A heartwarming story with a Cleveland view.

- Nancy Boothe, Tallmadge, Ohio

We saw this show last night and thought it was great! Heartwarming and real more with a hometown look at Christmas and the true meaning.

The theater looked great as well !

- Diane, Lakewood

A Carol for Cleveland was very moving and just the right play for the holidays. more It was wonderful seeing and hearing so many memories of downtown Cleveland at Christmastime.

- Audrey Bashian, Solon

I took my 5th grade son and we both really enjoyed the performance. The more combination of emotional and financial reality, humor and an overriding positive message was easy for my son to understand. It was also just the right length.

- AN, Shaker Heights

I hear it's destined to become an every-year production. I surely hope so. more I love Scrooge and Tiny Tim, but I think I like Ed and Charlie better, and I'm sure Cleveland is a better character than London ever was.

- Bob Speer, Lakewood

We thoroughly enjoyed this play. Its overall tone captured the flavor and feel of more the 1970's and the impact of the economy at the time. At the same time, it showed the optimistic hope of the residents of Cleveland at Christmas, even during those unsettled times.

- Carol, Aurora

A charming play and just right for the holiday season. Extremely well staged

- ds, Cleveland Hts.

Some very strong performances in this show. I especially enjoyed the work of Stephen Spencer, more Lena Kaminsky, Elliot Lockshine & Bernard Bygott (who tricked with some skillful doubling).

- Alvin G., Beachwood

Enjoyed this holiday play a lot. Fun to watch for echoes from other classic more Christmas literature. Needed tissues at the end. Nice addition to our holidays.

- J Grant, Rocky River

I thoroughly enjoyed the play. It was top notch in all regards, from author, more playwright cast and theater. Thanks again Les Roberts. !!

- Jim Stanforth, Cleveland

A must see!!! Put me in the Christmas spirit!!

- Debbie, Mentor, OH

Loved it, very heart warming story. Also, the set decorations are marvelous at the more Allen, kudos to your staff Merry Christmas to all

Mark and Joyce

- Mark, Broadview Heights

Thoroughly enjoyed this play. Actors defined characters very well. Singing was amazing! more Particularly liked the family dinner scene - cold have been a page out of my experiences.

- Emily, Novelty, Ohio

What a wonderful show. We saw it Friday with three generations of my family. Everyone more thought it was truly uplifting. Several very familiar looking props and holiday traditions made it feel like home! Thank you!!

- Teri, Westlake

I enjoyed the performance. The acting and sets were great. I loved how the play more dealt with a very serious matter, and used a child's mind to have ahappy ending. Enoyable performance all around

- Cheryl K, Hinckley

Wonderful story, very nice affects and well staged, actors/actresses (and little ones) were GREAT! more We really enjoyed it.

- Carol, North Ridgeville

The play was excellent!!!! The whole cast did an outstanding performance. The fact more that there was no intermission kept the play moving along. It was really interesting to see the scene changing done in a very professionally manner. June and I will be telling everyone we can how much we enjoyed this wonderful life story . The timing of having it performed at this time of the year really added to the enjoyment. Please extend our "appreciation" to the entire production staff and the cast for a terrific performance.

- Ed and June Puwal , Middleburg Heights, Ohio

The show was touching and I absolutely loved the lighting and amazing visual effects. more The Cleveland references were fun, and the carolers at the beginning were great.

- Grace, Cleveland

Great show! I have already recommended it to others. I am also considering more seeing it again in the next year or two.

- Jack W, Concord

We saw A Carol for Cleveland on Sunday afternoon and LOVED it. It was more so heart warming!!! And being set right here at home made it even better. A trip down memory lane to 1970's Cleveland.

- Angela, Westlake

Four of us friends have had a Playhouse season subscription for many, many years. more This was one of our all time favorites! From the luscious, gorgeous stage set to the hopeful message to the superb acting to the faithful references to regionalism (Pittsburgh "Stillers"--perfect!) we were enthralled, entertained and hooked. Thank you, Les Roberts, for loving our major city as we all do, and for not succumbing to maudlin sentiment, and thanks to all involved for setting the tone just right. We left with tears in our eyes and warmth, love and hope in our hearts.

- Carol K, Lodi

Thanks to Cleveland Play House for putting on a show that speaks to all Clevelanders, more especially those who have fallen on hard times, great job by the actors and writers!

- Sharon, Lakewood

What a marvelous adaptation of the novella. And the backdrop with scenes of Cleveland is more so moving with just the right amount of nostalgia.

- Linda, Cleveland

The production & the actors were first class; the children were phenomenal; Ed was outstanding; more the story is powerful and moving and perfect for Christmas. It is made for Cleveland--gritty and realistic, hopeful & ultimately believing the best in people. London has Dickens & that was fine for the time. Cleveland has Coble & Roberts, "a classic for Cleveland". Highly recommended.

- Virginia Goetz, Cleveland

Eric Coble did Cleveland (and Cleveland Hts) proud with his adaptation for A Carol for more Christmas for the Cleveland Play House and the Cleveland audience. A delightful evening! I love the intimacy of the Allen Theater!

- Helen, Cleveland Hts

Very well done. Enjoyable and important subject matter, the devastation that unemployment causes to more families.

- T. Nowel, Cleveland

Great to see a play about Cleveland that both the author & playwright are Cleveland more locals. It was moving & exciting! Loved it!!!!!

- Pamela, Richmond Hts

A wonderful adaptation of Les Roberts' short story. I took 8 high school students more who were mesmerized by the story and special effects. A great story that highlights not only our fine city, but also a tale that is thought provoking and befitting the holiday season. Very realistic and well performed.

- Marie, Newburgh Heights

we are big fans of les roberts. have read most of his books and thoroughly more enjoyed this play which was very touching and different from his other works. acting was great!!

- sv, mayfield hts

aims true and feels very real, like a story that could actually happen, unlike a more like of schmaltzy holiday shows that provide false cheer. I cried and so did the older gentleman in front of me. The scenery and set are beautiful and the actors are amazing (kids were dynamite!). GO SEE THIS SHOW! It is so heart warming and makes you love our grity town even more

- Margy, Cleveland

Absolutely loved this play! A Christmas Carol is one of my all time favorite more stories, and this unique, modern spin was wonderful. Loved the Cleveland setting and references. The cast was great, and we loved the intro! The theatre is beautiful, and we always enjoy our time at the Playhouse!

- Maggie, Wellington,OH

A Carol for Cleveland is Charles Dickens meet "A Christmas Story." Eric Coble's staging of more Les Robert's novella is not to be missed. A heartwarming story, well acted, with wonderful sets. What more could anyone ask?

- L.R. Pacini, Shaker Heights, Ohio

Wow! Don't know how you do it but your always out doing your last more performance. An emotional rollercoaster of laughter and tears. Bring some tissue for a wonderful holiday classic in the making.

- SAL, Willoughby

Saw the production Saturday night and thought it was wonderful - a real old-fashioned, feel-good more show. It brought tears to a lot of attendees. Go see it!

- cmhteach, Middleburg Hts.

I saw the show Thursday afternoon and could not believe how touched I was by more it. I could have sobbed, my friends were amused. I loved the modernization of A Christmas Carol which I seen often. I especially enjoy the Ed & This Guy but all of the actors did a wonderful job. CPH keep up the good work.

- Fran, Akron

great fun family show---the scenery was incredible really felt like you were rinding down Chester more ---in the snow

thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing

- Bob & Vicki Curtis, Mentor

Awesome real life version of age old story. Excellent cast. Very touching and more heart-wrenching at times. I recommend it. Thank you.

- Mary, Gates Mills

Bravo!!! We loved the play and, it is perfect for the Christmas season. more Loved the singing introduction and the staging and acting. It was all wonderful. A great evening.

- Susan, Shaker Heights

I thought A Carol for Cleveland was fantastic. It was a great story and more I really enjoyed the performance.

- tmw, Parma

I thought the acting in the play was fantastic! I am also glad that I more was able to get the student price tickets or else I wouldn't have been able to attend. Great job, I would recommend it to friends (and I have!)

- Sarah, Akron OH

We LOVED a Carol for Cleveland and hope to make it a yearly event. The more story, acting and scenery were superb! Thank you,Les Roberts, and all that made this possible.

- Kathy, Cleveland

The actors did a credible job with the script (especially the understudy for Ed more Jr and Ed's wife) but the material was less than subtle. I enjoyed both of the

previous plays much more


We liked the idea of "A Carol for Cleveland" and the production values, and it more was well acted. But I'm sorry to say that we thought that the play itself needs a lot of work, both on drawing the characters and on the local color. You can get to Broadway from Carnegie, not Chester, but if you want a residential neighborhood off Broadway you would not so either from Public Square in 1979.

- Mike Dowell, Hudson

This show is so very well crafted that we didn't really notice there was no more intermission. We all loved the courtesy announcements done with humor and song. The scenery was wonderfully effective and the cohesiveness of the actors resulted in flawless scenes of "then" and "now" BRAVO to the cast and crew!!!

- L.R., Richfield

attended the Tuesday preview. Loved it. A little quirky but a believable story.

- dp, parma hts

At the CPH Gen.Now event before the show, we were asked to write down our more favorite Christmas memory. After the show, I had a new one; seeing A Carol for Cleveland. It's a heart-warming production that you can't help but love. It's just what I needed to get into the Christmas spirit.

- BN, Cleveland

I thought the story was heartwarming and the cast tremendous. I will say that I more felt sad for a lot of the play- you have to be prepared for that. I took my daughter and thought we were up for a mystery/heartwarming tale- quite a bit of reality going on instead. More sad than we expected. Based on most of the reviews, most people seemed to enjoy. Good ending-but a tough road to the happy ending.

- M, Shaker Heights

For the past 4-5 years, and especially after moving downtown, CPH productions have been a more terrific; some have been as good as any I've seen. CPH is a treasure.

"A Carol for Christmas" just doesn't work very well. There are a few very good scenes. Unfortunately, a few scenes shouldn't have to carry an entire play.

I hope you'll find a new holiday play for next season.

- MLM, Cleveland

I was looking for a bit more comedy vs the dark message it sent even more though it ended well...

- PM, Lyndhurst,Ohio

Although this is a heart-warming play in the best of Christmas traditions, it lacks some more polish in facts and presentation. I speak as a Pittsburgher now living in Cleveland who worked in the steel industry in both cities.

If the 1970's setting of the play is to be true to facts, then the reference to LTV Steel should be replaced with Republic Steel. LTV Steel was not created until 1984. Secondly, Krogers were long gone from the Pittsburgh area by he late 70's. And lastly, Ed Podolak, as a first generation American living very near to Pittsburgh lacked a noticeable regional accent. The use of "Stillers" isn't enough.

- Sam D, Cleveland

Cleveland Play House reserves the right to edit any content due to length, tone, redundancy with other reviews, and/or appropriateness, and to reject or omit any review, in whole or in part.

Thanks, I really enjoyed "A Carol for Cleveland." I found it to...

- Kevin, Cleveland

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