The five-comic Friends With Benefits improv troupe pimps for laughs and a few bucks tonight in the Flats, to help the Shaw High School Marching Band pony up $300,000 to play at the Summer Olympics in Beijing this summer. The plan just might work: In January, the ensemble raised $1,000 to send to the Dominican Republic, which Hurricane Olga ravaged the country last year. Fund-raising fever peaked again after the comedians read about the band's struggle to pay for 150 students' plane tickets. "You can imagine if you're a 17-year-old kid in China for the first time," says organizer Kimberly Pride, whose grandmother directed Shaw's choir "a million years ago." "It makes you feel proud about Cleveland. If we can contribute a couple dollars, let's do that. We're doing this to give them a wee boost." The curtain goes up at 8 tonight at the Powerhouse Pub, 2000 Sycamore Street on the West Bank of the Flats. Tickets are $10. Call 216-255-2651 for details.
Fri., March 21, 8 p.m., 2008
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