Danni Tennant has a sure-fire way to keep customers from flocking to the malls this holiday season: He slips some smooth jazz into the CD player and uncorks a bottle of Corte Vigna Merlot. "If they're waiting for us to get [an order] together, I ask, 'Could I offer you a glass of wine?'" says Tennant, who runs the gift shop Out-on-the-Street. "I'm not telling anyone to get smashed in here, but everybody's welcome to it."
With wineglasses in hand, shoppers are also invited to walk into the shop's 39-degree cooler to pick out carnations, dahlias, and daisies for floral arrangements, which are the bulk of Tennant's business. But he also peddles "cool and funky things from around the world."
These include boxes of hand-painted Christmas ornaments, African jewelry, and vivid watercolors from a seven-year-old painting prodigy named Eleanor Warner. "I like the color and style she uses," says Tennant. "I hear a lot of compliments on them, because you don't see a lot of children's artwork that's professionally framed and hung." Out-on-the-Street is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at 10431 Clifton Boulevard; call 216-281-7565. -- Cris Glaser
A Few Hot Men
Gay bar hosts reality-show viewing party.
Lisa Cantelli and Bobby Richard have two things in common: They both go to Cleveland State, and they're both on a Manhunt at Union Station. When they're not on campus studying guys, Cantelli and her gay friends plant themselves in front of wide-screen TVs to cheer on the finalists on Bravo's "search for America's most gorgeous male model." So far, contestants have pitched a seaweed-drink ad in Japanese, jumped out of airplanes to the musical backdrop of "It's Raining Men," and posed in a cold swimming pool with supermodel Marisa Miller. "If you've started watching, it's addictive," says Cantelli, who's pulling for a 20-year-old Arkansas lifeguard named Hunter. She won't get any argument from Richard. "Usually, I don't get caught up in this reality-show B.S.," he says, after admitting that he's rooting for 25-year-old Rob, a gay law student from Texas. "But for this, any day." It starts at 10 p.m. Tuesday at Union Station Video Café, 2814 Detroit Avenue. Admission is free; call 216-357-2997. -- Cris Glaser
Sister Is Doin' It for Herself
New theater company debuts with one-nun show.
After Aaron Patterson read Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You, he was certain that the one-act comedy would be perfect to open the Other Theater Project, which launches Friday. Sister Mary's catechism classes are filled with "Church Lady"-like admonitions about sinful indulgence. "The name [of the play] will fool you, because the road to hell is paved with good intentions," says Patterson, who created the troupe with Russel Stich (an ex-castmate from Tony 'n Tina's Wedding) to stop local actors from moving to L.A. and New York. "When you go there, you're one in a million," says Patterson. "It makes sense to stay here." Show times are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday through December 5 at the Cleveland Black Box Theater, 1210 West 6th Street. Tickets are $10; call 216-696-4242. -- Cris Glaser
DJ Dampdry Was Taken
With a new name and venue, DJ Jerry Szoka vows to "move faster than the speed of sound" at Saturday's Quantum Leap. For seven hours, the ex-Grid/Orbit turntablist will spin signature tribal-dance beats and give away mix CDs to everyone who pays to get in. But this time, he'll introduce his new persona: DJ Spincycle. Quantum Leap runs 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. at Modä, 1871 West 25th Street. Admission is $5; call 216-781-3805. -- Cris Glaser