Axios Cleveland

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Thursday is upon us. And so is World Heritage Day.

  • 🗽 What are your favorite monuments and historical sites in Cleveland?

🌤️ Today's weather: Partly sunny. High of 63.

🦇 Sounds like: "The Batman Theme" by Danny Elfman

Today's newsletter is 928 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Abortion and the November election

Republican Bernie Moreno says he supports a federal 15-week abortion ban. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Abortion will be a key topic in the presidential election and crucial statewide races, including the one between Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown and Republican opponent Bernie Moreno.

Why it matters: Democrats hold a slim majority in the U.S. Senate, but Republicans are eyeing several vulnerable incumbents, including Brown, for seats they could flip.

What they're saying: "The race between Brown and Moreno is going to be a tight one, I can imagine," Robert Alexander, professor of political science at Ohio Northern University, tells Axios.

  • "A major issue like abortion could swing it one way."

Flashback: Last August, Ohio voters rejected Issue 1, which anti-abortion rights advocates hoped would make it tougher to pass an abortion rights amendment in the state constitution.

  • Then, last November, voters adopted an amendment guaranteeing a person's right to an abortion and other reproductive care up until fetal viability.

The intrigue: Following Moreno's victory in the Republican Senate primary last month, Ohio Democrats released statements and ads calling a vote for Moreno "a vote for a national abortion ban," while asserting he's donated "hundreds of thousands of dollars" to anti-abortion rights causes.

Meanwhile, Brown has touted his record of supporting abortion access.

  • "I know where my opponents stand, too. [They] would overturn the will of Ohioans by voting for a national abortion ban."

The other side: Moreno has said he would vote for a national abortion ban of 15 weeks with "commonsense restrictions that again eliminate late-term abortions."

Reality check: Even though conservatives have advocated for a national abortion ban, former President Trump — the presumptive GOP presidential nominee — has said he thinks the issue should be left to the states to decide.

The bottom line: "The Democrats have to thread a pretty tight needle in order to get control of the legislature, and Brown's seat is a critical piece of that," says Alexander.

Go deeper...

2. Playhouse Square announces Broadway Series

Lorna Courtney in "& Juliet." The hit musical is coming to Connor Palace next March. Photo: Matthew Murphy via Playhouse Square

Playhouse Square this week announced the seven theatrical productions for the 2024-25 KeyBank Broadway Series.

Why it matters: The enduring popularity of Broadway shows in Cleveland allows Playhouse Square to attract some of the biggest and most in-demand productions.

  • Cleveland has more season ticket holders than any other touring Broadway venue in the country, with at least 44,000, per Playhouse Square.

State of play: This year's slate includes "Kimberly Akimbo," which took home Best Musical honors at the 2023 Tony Awards; "Parade," which won best musical revival; "Life of Pi," based on the 2001 bestselling novel by Yann Martel; and "& Juliet" a modern Shakespeare adaptation bursting with pop anthems.

  • Also on tap — the Neil Diamond story "A Beautiful Noise," the new musical comedy "Shucked," and the song-and-dance spectacular, "Some Like it Hot."

If you go: Playhouse Square advises that season tickets are the only way to guarantee your seats.

Zoom in: Here's the full schedule. All shows will be at Playhouse Square's Connor Palace.

3. The Terminal: A local headlines overhaul

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🎓 A proposed $86 million overhaul of Cleveland State University's Rhodes Tower includes new student dormitories and a new entrance on Chester Avenue. (Signal Cleveland)

🎭 Lili Reinhart ("Riverdale") and Isabela Merced ("Dora and the Lost City of Gold," "Madame Web") were friends and community theater co-stars as kids in Cleveland. (The Cut)

🍦 Cleveland councilman Kris Harsh is offering free ice cream to the resident who collects the most "We Buy Houses" signs in Old Brooklyn and Slavic Village. (Cleveland Scene)

🏳️‍🌈 In Broadview Heights, more than a hundred residents attended a City Council meeting this week to oppose a city-backed Pride Festival scheduled for June 8. (Cleveland.com)

4. 👍 See it or skip it 👎

Photo: Murray Close/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images

🎸 Toto

The intrigue: The popular 1970/1980s pop rock band brings its "Dogz of Oz Tour" to MGM Northfield Park at 7:30pm tonight. Tickets start at $59.50.

💭 Our thought bubble: Skip it, unless you're really intent on holding the line.

🍺 Cellar Night

The intrigue: Great Lakes Brewing Co. biggest barrel-aged event of the year returns at 7pm Friday with a tap list of aged stouts, porters and barley wines. Tickets start at $70.

💭 Our thought bubble: See it. A one-night-only tasting from Cleveland's best-known brewery is a can't-miss for beer lovers.

🦇 "Batman" in concert

The intrigue: Celebrate the 35th anniversary of Warner Bros' original "Batman" film as it's accompanied by a live orchestra at 7pm Sunday at KeyBank State Theatre. Tickets start at $48.50.

💭 Our thought bubble: See it. Composer Danny Elfman's original score for the 1989 movie is iconic.​​

5. 1 World Heritage site to go

The Hopewell Mound City Group earthworks in Chillicothe. Photo: Edwin Remsberg/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Here's a feather in Ohio's cap: We've got one of only 25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the United States.

Catch up quick: The Hopewell Earthworks, a network of mounds built near Newark and across Southern Ohio, was christened as such by UNESCO last fall.

  • The Earthworks were built between 1,600 and 2,000 years ago by the Hopewell Culture and served as sacred ceremonial sites.
  • The National Park Service and Ohio History Connection now maintain them.

Driving the news: In honor of World Heritage Week, the Earthworks are hosting tours and events all week.

Stop by: If you're up for a day trip this weekend, Fort Ancient Earthworks and Nature Preserve is open for hikes, archaeological tours, and cooking and gardening demonstrations.

  • Yes, but: It's in Oregonia, about a three-hour drive from Cleveland.

Thanks to our editor Lindsey Erdody and copy editors Rob Reinalda and Yasmeen Altaji.

Our picks:

🤩 Sam knows it's not a monument, but one of his favorite historical sites in town is the Old Arcade, Cleveland's "Crystal Palace."

📺 Troy is rewatching 1990s drama "NYPD Blue," and the shaky camera still makes him a little queasy.