A Very Harry Potter Summer Event: The Cleveland Orchestra Plays "Sorcerer's Stone"

Friday, July 5, 2019

Mike & I really like Harry Potter. Maybe you've heard? I mean, our wedding seating cards were golden snitches made of Ferrero Rocher chocolates; our Kiddush cups read "She's a Keeper" & "He's a Catch"; our pre-ceremony music was the Harry Potter soundtrack; our flowers were made of actual pages from Harry Potter books; & our special drink was apple cider & champagne, which we dubbed "Felix Felicis." 

It occurs to me now that I don't think I ever blogged about any of these things, so here's a quick look back at them for proof of our obsession love.

Wedding photo credit: The Oberports
Told you so.

When I saw, then, that the Cleveland Orchestra was going to be performing the entire score of Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone, I knew Mike & I had to go. I bought us tickets & surprised him with them on our four-year dateaversary. (Really, I like any excuse to buy gifts, especially ones that benefit the recipient and me.) 

The show was at Blossom Music Center, Cleveland's primary outdoor music venue, which is actually in my hometown of Cuyahoga Falls - so beforehand, we had an early, date-night dinner at Crave Cantina in CF. 

The food was so good. The restaurant changed their menu a few weeks ago, & some of the new additions are really interesting & appealing. We split an appetizer of fried plantains with thin-sliced flank steak, guacamole, scallions, & sweetie peppers. I also got the Guava Cabo margarita (guava puree with cilantro & jalapeno), which was half off because weekend happy hour.

Mike got three tacos: smoked brisket with cheddar cheese, Lawson's chip dip, & Fritos; the flank steak banh mi taco with truffled togarashi aioli, pickled veggies, & scrambled egg; & the Nashville hot chicken "taco," which was more like a miniature sandwich, served with cucumber & onion slaw on a white bun. 

As for me, I went with the tofu taco with hoisin sauce, kimchi, pickled ginger, mandarin aioli, & crispy chow mein noodles, & the jerk shrimp taco with grilled pineapple, lime yogurt, scallions, rice, & flakes of toasted coconut. They were both really good; I'd happily order both of them again.

And then we were off to Blossom, where parking is always bananas. Luckily, I'd purchased pavilion seats, with came with a paved-lot parking pass. Woo!

I'd chosen the "best seats" option but never checked to see what those seats were, so I was shocked to discover that we were three rows from the front. The movie played on a huge screen behind the stage, & the orchestra played in front of it - the entire score, just as it is in the film itself, but done live & in person, which makes it even better.

 Oh, & lawn seating was absolutely packed.

It was just such a joyful experience. All around us, people were dressed in Harry Potter tees; the kid in front of us wore Harry-inspired glasses & a black cape, wand in hand. The music swelled & got loudest at all the right places (I especially loved the Quidditch match), & it was appropriately quiet & spooky as needed.

A lot of people left as the credits started to roll, but I'm so glad we stayed through them. They were the best part! The orchestra got to go full HP, playing the music was all know & love, at top volume, all-out. They are so freaking talented, & everything about it had me smiling. 

This was my first time seeing the Cleveland Orchestra play. Would you believe I've never been to Severance Hall?! I was so blown away by this performance, though, that now it's at the top of my Cleveland bucket list.

It was such a fun way to spend the evening - & now I'm more eager than ever to finish my re-read of the Harry Potter series. Accio, Kindle!

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