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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Local Indie Rockers Chil to Play Special 10-Year Anniversary Show in April

Posted By on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 at 4:37 PM

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Formed in 2007 by brothers Nick and Ben Batton, the Akron-based indie rock act Chil eventually expanded its lineup to include lead guitarist Ian Minnick, drummer Ben Batton and bassist Justin Solitro.

The band issued its debut, Only Good Karma, in 2012 and followed it up two years later with Keep Us from Sinking. Between 2014 and 2015, the group released three singles produced by Forever the Sickest Kid’s Austin Bello; it hooked up again with Bello for 2016’s No Sleep, No Silence.

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Cleveland.com's Chris Quinn Elevated to "Editor and President" of Advance Ohio

Posted By on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 at 1:27 PM

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Chris Quinn, Vice President of Content for Cleveland.com, has been elevated to President and Editor of Advance Ohio, the site announced this morning.

The release noted that Quinn has successfully spearheaded the news output and strategy at the digital half of Advance Ohio's operation, and that he was a reporter and editor for 17 years at the Plain Dealer prior to his current role.   

"The need for sustainable, high-quality journalism - the mission of Advance Local — has never been more evident in this country," Quinn said in the story. "I'm glad I've been a part of the public service work and digital innovation by the content team at cleveland.com, and I'm excited that I now have a chance to work more closely with the entire Advance Ohio team as we secure the future of journalism in Cleveland."

Randy Siegel, former President of the Free Times, is now the President of Advance Local, Advance Ohio's parent company. He commented to Cleveland.com that Quinn's leadership has resulted in a digital reach of six million viewers / readers per month. Siegel did not immediately reply to Scene's request for comment, via email.

Quinn takes the place of Tim Knight, who became the CEO of the Northeast Ohio Media Group in October, 2015. Knight, who has left the company, ushered in the "Advance Ohio" era, and departs after less than a year and a half at the helm.
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There Are 7,405 Immigrant Entrepreneurs in Cleveland, According to New Report

Posted By on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 at 1:27 PM

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A report released today by New American Economy and Global Cleveland helps paint a vivid picture of how the local immigrant population intersects with the local economy. Among the choice data points: There are 7,405 immigrant entrepreneurs in the Cleveland metro area, and the immigrant population as a whole (113,252 strong) boasts $3.2 billion in spending power.

The entrepreneurial spirit of Cleveland's immigrants is one that local government and businesses should consider closely. Based on data, more immigrants hold bachelor's degrees or graduate degrees than the city's "native-born" population. And while many immigrants here are working in tech and health care, many others are sidelined into administrative support and manufacturing jobs. The workforce and education stats aren't lining up.

One year ago this week, we published an extensive feature on Global Cleveland and its uphill battle. Compared to other similarly sized markets, Cleveland isn't growing its immigrant population as fervently. As co-authors of this new report, it would seem that the organization is still getting its bearings.

“Our current immigration system is broken and does not address the challenges we face in the 21st Century,” Global Cleveland President Joe Cimperman said in a public statement. “This new research proves what we’ve known for years: immigrants are an advantage to our local economy and in every community in America.”

The authors of the report encourage readers to get in contact with Mayor Frank Jackson and to further discuss how immigration reform might look in Cleveland. Our city has a recent history of welcoming immigrants — but Jackson has been noticeably silent on these issues, especially since the election of President Donald Trump. According to 2014 data, there are more than 66,000 eligible immigrant voters in the Cleveland metro area — "a group that could have a particularly important role in coming election cycles, given the narrow margins of victory that have decided presidential elections in recent years," as the New American Economy puts it.

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The Menzingers Emphasize the Pop Side of Their Pop-Punk Sound

Posted By on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 at 12:37 PM

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The pop-punk band the Menzingers formed in Scranton just over ten years ago with modest aspirations. So when the band had the opportunity to sign a deal with Epitaph, a SoCal punk label that has been home to iconic acts such as Rancid and Bad Religion, the guys jumped at the chance.

“Epitaph was our dream label to sign to,” explains singer-guitarist Tom May in a recent phone interview. The band performs at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 1, at House of Blues. “A lot of the bands we grew up listening to — Rancid and Offspring — were on Epitaph. For some of us, it was the first time we were on a plane when they flew us out to California to talk.”

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No Thrills, No Chills in 'Wait Until Dark' at Great Lakes Theater

Posted By on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 at 11:57 AM

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Boo!

Did I scare you? Evidently not, since you’re still reading this paragraph and not shivering and weeping in a corner. Actually, it’s kind of hard to really scare people, which is what the old chestnut Wait Until Dark aspires to do.

But in this misbegotten production at Great Lakes Theater, there are virtually no thrills and a remarkable absence of chills. Written by Frederick Knott in the 1960s, the play has not aged well for a number of reasons. And there are so many gaping holes in the plot, it looks as if it had been mounted on a shooting range for semi-automatic rifle practice.

As you probably know, it’s all about some bad guys who learn that a doll loaded with heroin has been acquired unknowingly by Sam Hendrix. And it’s now in his apartment, which is also occupied by his blind wife Susy, so a big meanie called Roat and his two henchmen decide to find drug-stuffed dolly. When they can’t, instead of acting like gangsters and trashing the joint, or torturing Susy, they come up with an elaborate con that has so many moving parts it looks like a Rube Goldberg drawing that Rube himself rejected for being way too complicated.

To wit, the henchmen (played by a fitfully amusing David Anthony Smith and a flat-lining Nick Steen) pose as, respectively, a cop and a friend of Sam. And they set up signals for each other involving opening and closing blinds in Susy’s basement apartment, while Susy establishes her own secret signals (two rings on a phone, pounding on the pipes) to communicate with a young girl (an uncomfortably strident Elise Pakiela) in an upstairs apartment, who plays a pivotal role because—

Oh never mind. It goes on. Of course, these are flaws that have always been in the script, and have been overcome, particularly in the movie version starring fragile Audrey Hepburn as Susy.

In this telling Jodi Dominick takes on that role and her immense strength as an actress actually works against the effectiveness of the play. As Dominick interacts with her mostly absent husband Sam (Jonathan Dryud) and the gangsters, she displays plenty of pluck and determination. Dominick’s Susy is so capable, with a ready wit, that it’s difficult to believe that she would be reduced to tears and whimpering later on.

In the role of Roat, Arthur Hanket is initially rather sly and slimy, which works well. But as the climactic scene progresses, he takes his characterization so over-the-top it becomes more laughable than terrifying. Director Joseph Hanreddy doesn’t help much, since this scene is played in shadows and the audience can’t quite follow what’s happening. As a result, the supposedly shocking final coup de grace is about as compelling as opening a refrigerator door in pitch-blackness and confronting…an old jar of mayo.

Scenic designer Scott Bradley has created a very serviceable space for this play to occupy, but lighting director Rick Martin never solved the problem of how to stage a long scene in the dark. And that’s a problem when the play has the D-word in its title. Perhaps a better name for this production would be: Wait Until The Next Show.

It’s Hamlet, by the way. No plot holes there.

Wait Until Dark
Through March 12 at Great Lakes Theater, Hanna Theatre, 2067 E. 14th St., 216-241-6000.


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Now Open: Water Garden Cafe in Lorain Avenue Antiques District

Posted By on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 at 11:33 AM

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The on-again, off-again project known as the Water Garden Café is not only on again, it is open. The restaurant (7646 Lorain Ave., 216-417-8553), located within the Lorain Avenue Antiques District, began serving customers this week. It has been under construction since last summer.

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“I run four other businesses,” owner Mike Colenich says with respect to the delays. “My other businesses build my projects.”

Colenich owns a number of properties in the area as well as a demolition business and The Other Woman, which he describes as “a shot and a beer bar.”

“We bought the building to relocate the bar and then we thought, why move the bar for the same amount of people?” he adds. “So we decided to put a restaurant in there.”

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Over the course of the buildout, Colenich and business partner Irene Fanara salvaged materials from various construction projects for use at Water Garden. Guests who visit will see repurposed wood floors, marble counters, tin ceiling, kitchen equipment and various other fixtures.

Chris Antes, the third chef attached to the project, has put forth a menu that combines vegan breakfast, lunch and dinner items with non-vegan dishes. In the morning, items like hot cakes with berry coulis and “aquafaba butter,” a vegan substitute, join avocado toast with fruit, breakfast tacos filled with crumbled tofu and mushrooms, a vegan Spanish omelet and a vegan biscuits and gravy.

For lunch and dinner, vegan “beet burgers,” “neatballs” and squash noodle “pasta” with marinara join more mainstream items such as Ohio ground beef burgers, a Cubano stuffed with pork and bacon, and an oven-roasted salmon with basil mashed potatoes.

No item on the menu is priced higher than $12.

There is no liquor license.
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R&B Singer Chris Brown to Bring His Party Tour to the Q

Posted By on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 at 11:17 AM

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Earlier today, Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum-selling R&B singer-songwriter Chris Brown announced his upcoming the Party Tour will feature a multi-act bill that includes 50 Cent, Fabolous, O.T. Genasis and Kap G.

The seven-week run commences on Friday, March 31, in Baltimore, and Brown and crew come to Quicken Loans Arena on April 6.

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