CMA series brings quartet to Plymouth Church of Shaker Heights WednesdayAlexander Calder's mobiles balance color and form so that the organic shapes move with relation to each other and make for constant visual intrigue. Musical programs assembled by the Calder Quartet are a sound analog to that idea, balancing one piece of music against another so that each reveals something new. The group is known for juxtaposing new works with old ones in a way that helps audiences make sense of where the composers are coming from. "We're a classical quartet, based in Beethoven and Mozart, but we have a strong interest in modern music," says second violinist Andrew Bulbrook in a phone interview. "We found that when we put older and newer pieces together, one changes the way you hear the other.
You can make newer music more accessible. For example, Thomas Ads' 'Arcadiana' is rife with quotes and references to older composers. One movement quotes [Mozart's] The Magic Flute." The group paired that piece with a quartet of Mozart's, his "Dissonant" Quartet, K. 465. The work also has allusions to French rococo painter Antoine Watteau's "The Embarkation for Cythera." "It's this boating party onshore, very merry and ready to go, but you can see a storm boiling," says Bulbrook. "The music mimics that with a light, airy opening, and then a second movement that is much more dark and dramatic." 'Arcadiana' is on the program at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 19 at Plymouth Church UCC, 2860 Coventry Rd. in Shaker Heights, as part of the Cleveland Museum of Art's Viva and Gala Around Town series. Also on the program is Terry Riley's "Cadenza on the Night Plain." $29, CMA members $27. Call 888.CMA.0033 or go to clevemusart.org.
"Now what?" is a question cities find themselves asking as economic crises and changing shopping habits have rendered the bland behemoths known as big box stores useless and empty. They dot the Northeast Ohio landscape, surrounded by parking lots that can be seen from space. Musician, performer and new-media artist Julia Christenson will talk about those buildings and how some communities are renovating and finding new uses for them in "Big Box Reuse" at 6 p.m. at Folk Hall Auditorium in Akron. For information, call the University of Akron Myers School of Art at 330.972.6030, or go to art.uakron.edu.
Anton Bruckner's 8th Symphony was a long time coming, in part because the composer could have used a sabbatical. He worked for three years - mostly in the summer, in between terms at the Vienna Conservatory - before he finished it in 1887, only to decide that it needed revision, which took until 1890. A year later he scheduled the premiere twice, but the conductor who took it on canceled both times, eventually admitting that the music was too hard to master in the time allotted for rehearsal. The next time the premiere was scheduled, it was canceled again - this time because of the threat of a cholera outbreak in Munich. The monumental piece finally got a hearing in Vienna in 1892. Conductor Herbert Blomstedt takes the piece up this week at Severance Hall, rounding out his two-week stay with the Cleveland Orchestra. The big symphony is the only work on the program and it will be performed without intermission. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Tickets cost $31 to $87. Severance Hall is at 11001 Euclid Ave. Call 216.231.1111 or go to www.clevelandorchestra.com. Lord of the
Burgeoning LumberThe title of CWRU digital librarian Tom Hayes' new play is fun to say. Lord of the Burgeoning Lumber begins with a nearsighted forest ranger stumbling on two cowboys camping, then "all manner of surreal gender-bending, shape-shifting, psyche-shattering mayhem erupts." Can the wily ranger counter the campy carnal craziness or will the howling power of the spirits of the eternal forest overcome them all? Only one way to find out. The world premiere production (no surprise there) opens at convergence-continuum. Clyde Simon directs. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, through December 20 at the Liminis Theatre, 2438 Scranton Rd. Tickets: $12 to $15. Call 216-687-0074 or go to convergence-continuum.org.
UADC Fall Concert
The University of Akron Dance Company's fall concert shows off the work of UA dance faculty members Nick Carlisle, Kimberly Lawver, Tom Smith and Cydney Spohn, and one student choreographer. If you suspect that translates into a broad range of dance styles, you will not be disappointed. The works span abstract modern, contemporary ballet and jazz styles. Performances are at 8 tonight through Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday at Paul A. Daum Theatre in Kolbe Hall, 328 Buchtel Commons. Tickets cost $12. Call 330.972.7895 or go to uakron.edu.
Giraffes figure prominently in a new series of monoprints by Scene art critic Douglas Max Utter, on view at William Busta Gallery. The inclusion of the long-necked animals adds whimsy to Utter's expressionist work, which has often included human faces and landscapes. The show opens with a reception from 5 to 9 p.m. The William Busta Gallery is located at 2731 Prospect Avenue. Call 216.298.9071
After almost five years of promoting other artists' work at Local Girl Gallery, and after hosting innumerable benefits for causes ranging from the Cleveland Collectivo to mental retardation, gallerist Linda Goik is finally going to show some of her own work. The exhibit Talking Points will include a collection of her acrylic paintings and hand-painted scarves - "a little bit of Linda," she says. The show also has 16 abstract acrylics by Tom Kochheiser and a collection of functional art: wooden bowls and serving sets painted in a pointillist style by Leslie Moore. Talking Points opens with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m.. Like so many of the gallery's shows, this one has a nonprofit beneficiary: Portions of sales between November 21 through December 19 will be donated to Community Service Alliance, which coordinates job training and housing for homeless people. Local Girl is at 16106 Detroit Ave., Lakewood. Call 216.228.1802.
There's a nexus of time, sustainable ideals and aesthetics in the works at MOCA Cleveland. The annual Artscape event gives you a chance to do some holiday shopping and patronize local artists all at once. This fifth annual art-shopping event is co-produced with Heidi Lingg of Lingg Productions and offers jewelry, home accessories, wearables and one-of-kind gifts from nearly 50 artists. Preview night is from 4:30 to 9 tonight and includes cocktails and snacks. Admission is $5, unless you're a MOCA member, in which case it's free. Admission is free to everyone from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow. MOCA is at 8501 Carnegie Ave. (between East 83rd and 86th streets) on the second floor of the Cleveland Play House complex. Call 216.421.8671 or go to mocacleveland.org.
Beth Henley's little-known Christmas play The Lucky Spot tells of a card sharp named Reed Hooker who won an old house in a game and wants to turn it into the Lucky Spot Dance Hall. Cassidy - a pregnant teenage girl Reed also won in a card game - invites Reed's estranged wife to join them for Christmas, hoping he'll ask her for a divorce. Will the dance hall open as planned? And what will become of Reed and his girls? Ensemble Theater opens the comic drama Friday in the Cleveland Play House Brooks Theater, 8500 Euclid Ave. Performances are at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays through December 7. Tickets: $12 to $24. Call 216.321.2930, or go to ensemble-theatre.com.
Ernie Krivda bridges the generation gap with a performance at Brothers Lounge. The acclaimed tenor man can always be expected to play with local jazz heroes like organist David Thomas and drummer Ray Porrello. For Tuesday's show he's tapped a trio of up-and-comers: Guitarist Tony Pulizzi, trumpeter Aaron Kleinstaub and vocalist Erin Kufel join Krivda for a program of originals, jazz classics and standards from the Great American Songbook. The show starts at 8 p.m. Brothers is at 11609 Detroit Ave. Tickets: $10. Call 216.226.2767 or go to brotherslounge.com.