Bryan Lee Emler impersonates so many characters, he's starting to feel like Sybil. "Except I'm prettier," quips the gay comedian, who will headline the Laugh Out Proud competition of gay comics at the Improv on Monday. The winner of an audience vote at the end of the night earns a spot in the Cleveland Pride Festival's June 21 lineup.
After graduating from Ashland College, Emler landed six character roles in the outdoor summer drama Trumpet in the Land in New Philadelphia. Soon after, he toured in the one-man children's show Mr. Wizard's Supermarket Science, then joined the stand-up comedy circuit, opening for funnygals Ellen Cleghorne, Georgia Ragsdale, and Caroline Picard. A subsequent appearance on The Caroline Rhea Show was "the best one minute I ever spent with a woman," he says.
Next month, you can spot Emler in a small role in the horse-racing flick Seabiscuit. It's a long way from his college theater days in Grease, Nuts, and The Sound of Music.
"Sounds like the title of a bad porno movie, doesn't it?"
Laugh Out Proud is at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Improv, 2000 Sycamore Street. Tickets are $5; call 216-696-4677. -- Cris Glaser
Hair Fest '03
You hold the beer, Studio Palmieri holds the scissors.
The haircutters at Studio Palmieri sympathize with the city's creative community. "Local artists have been starving for quite a while now," says manager Jimmy Sharaba. "And we're artists. So this is our way of trying to help the community." He's talking about Cutting Edge, the stylists' annual event that features -- in addition to the serious wig-whacking going on -- a buffet provided by Sushi Rock, Luchita's, and Taste Buds; locally brewed beers and wine; and music. New 'dos cost $35 for men and $45 for women; all proceeds benefit an artists-with-disabilities group. "It's great fun," Sharaba says. Cutting Edge takes place from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday at Studio Palmieri (1388 West Sixth Street). Call 216-344-3200 for more information. -- Diane Sofranec
Slews of Slabs
Parma's Rib 'n Rock Cook-Off brings the meat.
6/5 - 6/8
The Rib 'n Rock Rib Cook-Off attracts rib vendors from Youngstown to Georgia, all competing for the $2,000 top prize. It also draws thousands of folks hungry for meaty slabs and meaty music (Logan Wells and the Bel-Airs are among the country and rock performers scheduled). "Put a little drop of sauce on your tongue," advises rib judge Cheryl McIntosh. "You might need a second drop to verify what you're feeling." It's at 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Parmatown Mall, 7899 West Ridgewood Drive in Parma. Admission is $2; call 440-886-1700. -- Cris Glaser
DJ Farid Ali is known for his sonic soundscapes. The founder of the Washington, D.C.-based Eighteenth Street Lounge and the record label associated with it, Ali is one of the pioneers of downtempo house music. He's working on his third CD, with the help of ex-Thievery Corporation cohort Desmond Williams. Farid Ali spins at 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Touch Supper Club, 2701 Lorain Avenue. Admission is $7; call 216-631-5200. -- Cris Glaser