Nov. 5 was opening night of “The Band’s Visit” in Cleveland, yet the show’s producer was nowhere near Playhouse Square. Instead, Cleveland-native and Tony Award winner Orin Wolf graciously spent his evening at Temple Israel Ner Tamid in Mayfield Heights. As part of the Temple’s 10th annual Speaker Series, Wolf’s conversation with Rabbi Matt Eisenberg was enjoyed by a packed house filled with congregants, theater enthusiasts and his kvelling mom, Svetlana Schreiber, sitting front and center.

Topics discussed ranged from Wolf’s memories of performing in the Heights Youth Theatre at Wiley Junior High School to his determined pursuit of actor Tony Shalhoub to what to expect when watching, “The Band’s Visit.” “It’s not ‘CATS.’ It’s not a show that you sit back and let it wash over you. You have to listen,” Wolf said.

Presenting Wolf with a “Be a Mensch” baseball hat, Eisenberg said, "It is besheret. Our 10th speaker with 10 Tony Awards!”

Afterward, attendees mixed, mingled and discussed how lucky Cleveland is to have a rich theater scene while enjoying a custom cake baked and decorated by Susie Strom. Two lucky raffle winners received pairs of tickets to a performance.

The event was chaired by Linda McMullen and money raised will go to the temple’s Tzdakah Fund.

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