Nov 14, 2019

The Best Part of Cleveland

It's no secret that Cleveland is a city full of passion. Whether it’s for the sports teams, the food scene, or our world class museums, there is truly something to love for everyone and tons of stories to tell.

Recently, a group of Clevelanders were asked by Destination Cleveland what the best part of Cleveland is. We loved hearing the amazing stories of the people who live here and love it! And, one particular story caught our eye...

Mike Karban is a personal trainer, family man and big fan of theater. Such a big fan, in fact, that his pick for the best part of Cleveland was Playhouse Square! Check it out!


We’ve never filmed in a city full of such energy, love, and celebration...

Posted by SoulPancake on Monday, October 28, 2019


We were so excited to reach out to Mike to learn more about his story, and invite him and his family to be our guests at a recent performance of The Band's Visit. Thank you, Mike, for making Playhouse Square your pick for The Best Part of Cleveland. See you at the theater!


Tell us about yourself! What do you do for a living, and how long have you lived in Cleveland?

I've lived in Cleveland my whole life. I own a personal training company (Totally Toned Personal Training) and we have locations where we train clients in Strongsville, Seven Hills, Euclid, and Downtown Cleveland. I also had the pleasure to teach senior exercise segments on Golden Opportunities on Ch. 3 from around 2009 to 2017. This lead to me getting the chance to take part in a lot of local commercial and film work.  And in 2017, I got a chance to be like my Playhouse Square heroes and played the part of "Big Six" in City of Angels at the Beck Center for the Arts.

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Mike at The Band's Visit

Why is Playhouse Square your pick for being the best part of Cleveland?

Playhouse Square was my pick for the best part of Cleveland for a number of reasons. Reason number one has to be family, at least for me. It's something the whole family can do and there's something for everyone. Whether it be the show itself, the chandelier and the theater decor, or just a night on the town with loved ones! Number two would be the history of the theaters. The fact that we as Clevelanders get to enjoy these amazing performances in beautiful theaters that have been around for 100 years is truly something special!! Last, but not least, as a business person I can appreciate what a theater system of this size does for the local economy. I read it draws more than 1 million visitors annually and that's pretty amazing! Cleveland as we all know has had its ups and downs but through it all Playhouse Square remains and thrives.         

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Mike with his family at The Band's Visit 

What is your favorite memory that you've made at Playhouse Square?

My favorite memory of the theater has to be a tour I took with my grade school. I remember we got to tour one of the theaters and go "behind the scenes". We saw the stage, some wardrobe, and some of what goes into each production. We then got to see the show performed and I was in awe of how it all came together. I believe that was the day I fell in love with Playhouse Square.


To find out more of The Best Part of Cleveland series, click here.