Project/Object isn't merely a Frank Zappa tribute band. Sure, its repertoire consists entirely of songs from Zappa's catalog, but few cover bands could boast of having two former members of Zappa's band -- guitarist Ike Willis and saxophonist Napoleon Murphy Brock -- and a musical philosophy that the late rocker-composer-guitarist would admire. "We've had dancers and jugglers onstage," says Andre Cholmondeley, who founded the New Jersey project. "We try to have his craziness."
For Cholmondeley, the Zappa experience is about more than the aural adventures Zappa led for a quarter of a century. "He put a lot of political satire in his work," he notes. "And there was so much variety. He changed his band every year or two. He wrote orchestral music. He's the most diverse artist we've ever had."
Onstage, Project/Object typically performs one classic Zappa album in full ("Zappa never even did that!" exclaims Cholmondeley). Sunday's Beachland show will feature all of 1973's Over-Nite Sensation. Project/Object plays the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Road) at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $16, available by calling 216-383-1124. -- Michael Gallucci
Girl's Night Out
One-woman play explores hazards of dating.
Before actress Judith Hawking read Bad Dates, she thought it was a chick flick for the stage. But it turned out to be much more. Written by Pulitzer nominee Theresa Rebeck, the one-woman comedy is about a go-getter who needs a date. Instead, she finds herself in trouble with the Romanian Mafia. "She's good-looking, put-together, personable, and lovely," says Hawking. "But she doesn't have a bloody idea about meeting someone." And she's glad that Rebeck is just a call away. "It's not like you can say to Molière, 'It isn't working here,'" says Hawking. Bad Dates is at Cleveland Play House's Drury Theatre (8500 Euclid Avenue) Tuesday through May 15. Show times are 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 and 8 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $34 to $49.50; call 216-795-7000. -- Cris Glaser
Swans' New Song
N.Y.C. noisemaker returns with a more calming sound.
FRI 4/15 The Swans made a beautiful racket in the '80s. Their noisy squawk and roll, while not as catastrophic or as tuneful as the noise created by Sonic Youth, another N.Y.C. underground hero, set the template for a generation of guitar-wielding, art-damaged punks. Leader Michael Gira's latest project, Angels of Light, unplugs and strikes an organic chord on its fourth album, The Angels of Light Sing "Other People. " Gira's backing band on record and on the stage is Akron/Family, whose self-titled debut is a hazy field holler to Gira's urban crawl. Both bands, in their own way, venerate the Swans' raucous legacy. Show time is 9 p.m. Friday at the Beachland Ballroom, 15711 Waterloo Road. Tickets are $14, $12 in advance; call 216-383-1124. -- Michael Gallucci
The fourth annual 50/50 Show, in which 50 pieces of art by 50 different artists sell for $50 each, happens at 1300 Gallery on Friday. Artists include local favorites Bask, Derek Hess, Stephen Kasner, and Sam Mazzola. Cool deal! It runs from 7 to 11 p.m. at 1300, 1300 West 78th Street. Admission is free. Call 216-939-1300 for more info. -- Michael Gallucci
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