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This week's events picks, including drag softball



Crayfish Safari at the Metroparks

Think of crayfish, and you probably think of the formerly plentiful supply of small crustaceans from the Gulf of Mexico that are a staple of Louisiana's regional cuisine. But they're also lurking in our own backyards, and without the crude-oil marinade courtesy of BP. On today's Crayfish Safari, Cleveland Metroparks naturalists will lead you right to them in the local streams and ponds they call home. Wear grubby clothes and plan on getting wet as you turn over rocks and logs in search of the little lobsters. The free event happens from 1 to 2:30 p.m., beginning at Jackson Field at the South Chagrin Reservation in Moreland Hills, off Chagrin River Road. To learn more about it, call

440-247-7075. — Anastasia Pantsios



Dundee Outdoor Concert Series

If you haven't been out yet to the summer-long Dundee Outdoor Concert Series, you've been missing out on some serious after-work good times. Each month, the beer meisters from J.W. Dundee (think Honey Brown Lager) have been presenting shows on Star Plaza at Playhouse Square, featuring everybody's favorite summer treat — cheap drinks and food — along with games, prizes and giveaways. Tonight's show features Mifune, a funky afro-beat-heavy septet in the vein of Fela Kuti, blending drum-and-bass grooves with smooth harmonies. Grab yourself a Dundee Summer Wheat, get down at Playhouse Square (1501 Euclid Ave.), and kick off your weekend early. It happens from 5-8 p.m., and it's free. — Nick Baker


Ancient Screwball Comedy at CPT

Leave it to Cleveland Public Theatre to update a 2,000-year-old Indian screwball comedy attributed to an ancient king — and make it work for a family audience. CPT's Student Theatre Enrichment Program (STEP) presents an adaptation of The Little Clay Cart, the story of a love triangle involving "courtesans" — female entertainers skilled in the amorous arts. Members of royalty, soldiers, priests, and commoners, in addition to said highly trained courtesans — all get drawn into the action. CPT's version, Song of the Seekers, is a family-friendly remix with a cappella singing, dance, beatboxing, and plenty of rhythm and rhyme. They're performing free in parks around town, starting at 7 p.m. Thursday at Herman Park (West 58th and Herman; rain location at CPT). Additional performances are at 7 p.m. Friday at Ohio City's Fairview Park (West 38th and Franklin; rain location: Westside UCC); 7 p.m. Saturday at Harmody Park (Irving Ave. at South Hills Drive); 7 p.m. Saturday at the Warszawa Music Festival in Slavic Village (3649 East 65th St.), and 7 p.m. Tuesday at Kerruish Park (Lee Rd. and Tarkington) during the Mayor's Night Out Against Crime. Performances run through August 8. For more information contact Cleveland Public Theatre at 216-631-2727 or cptonline.org. Free. — Michael Gill



Terrible Twos PJ Party

The wonderful website Metromix Cleveland is set for its second birthday. And like any small child with four teeth, drool, and a sippy cup, pajamas are the outfit of choice most of the day. That's why Metromix is throwing a pajama party for grown-ups, complete with bounce houses, Twister, and a liquid nitrogen ice cream cake (!?). The only rule: You gotta wear your jammies to get in. Come party like a kid — complete with adult beverages — at BarRoom Cleveland, 300 Euclid Ave. The event is free and open to the public. Visit cleveland.metromix.com for more information. — Jordan Zirm


German Poets U.S. National Tour

With Japanese kids dressing like Michael Jackson and heavy metal flourishing in Scandinavian countries, it should be no surprise that slam poetry has caught on in Germany. That’s right: In the land of techno and divinely engineered automobiles, slam poets are spittin’ them some snappy syllables competitively, just like the kids here in America. You could go to Berlin if you want to hear what that sounds like, or you could stop at Visible Voice Books at 7 p.m. Friday night, when three German poets stop on their way to the U.S. National Poetry Slam next week in St. Paul, Minnesota. Warming up in Cleveland are poets Wolf Hogenkamp, who organizes the slam scene in Berlin; Lars Ruppel, who at age 25 is the youngest professional slam poet in Germany; and Sebastian 23, a German national champion who was a special guest at the U.S. National Slam last year. Their performance is free; Visible Voice is at 1023 Kenilworth; contact them at 216-961-0084 or visiblevoicebooks.com. — Gill


Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure

The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Foundation is perhaps the most prominent of the countless races/walks/runs/rides taking place to raise money and awareness for an array of diseases. Now in its 27th year, it has sponsored hundreds of events across the U.S. to fight breast cancer; its annual Race for the Cure takes place downtown September 11. But those who are really passionate about the cause can devote three days and walk 60 miles as part of the group's 3-Day for the Cure events. In Ohio, that entails a walk along Lake Erie's shores, starting today and winding up on Sunday. Learn more and find out how you can support the walkers at the3day.org. — Pantsios


Patrice O'Neal

It's a scientific fact: The larger the comedian, the funnier he becomes. At 6 foot 5 and more than 300 pounds, Patrice O'Neal is one large — and therefore funny — man. O'Neal was a regular panelist on Comedy Central's Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn and has appeared on the critically acclaimed series Arrested Development and Chapelle's Show. He also adds his hilarious insights on America's ridiculous fascination with pop culture on VH1's I Love the '70s and I Love the '80s. With a penchant for audience interaction and child-rearing humor, O'Neal's comedy is perpetually relevant and always hilarious. Catch O'Neal at the Cleveland Improv Comedy Club, 2000 Sycamore St., tonight through August 1. Performance times are 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. tonight and Saturday, and 7 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $20. Call 216-696-4677 or visit www.clevelandimprov.com for more information. — Zirm


The World's Most Perfect Fundraiser

Beer plus bratwurst multiplied by all you can consume — it is a simple and perfect equation that requires no analysis, only your welcoming maw. And it's all you need to know when it comes to tonight's Beer and Brat Festival at the historic Sachsenheim Hall on the West Side. Sponsored by Fat Head's Brewery in North Olmsted, the event features all-you-can-eat homemade bratwurst and all-you-can-drink microbrews — and yes, you are reading this right. There'll be live music from Carolina Jazmine and the 3 MustHaveBeers. The Beer and Brat Festival happens from 6-11 p.m. at West Side Sachsenheim (7001 Denison Ave.); the memories will last a lifetime. Tickets are $30. — Baker


Co-Ed Beer Pong Tournament!

Like baseball, hot dogs, and Paris Hilton, beer pong is an American tradition that never wears out its welcome. And in some ways, it takes more skill than even basketball or football — sober basketball or football, anyway. How would the Cavs do if they slammed a shot of vodka during each timeout? Yet the strange phenomenon of progressive improvement with each beer only elevates the sport's awesome factor. Well, Around the Corner Saloon and Cafe in Lakewood invites you to relive your college glory days — and maybe make a very twisted love connection in the process — at its co-ed, double-elimination beer pong tournament. Simply find a sharpshooter of the opposite sex and come drink some beer and win some money. A $40 entrance fee per team gets you two guaranteed games of beer pong and all you can drink at the bar. To register, head out to Around the Corner Saloon and Café, 18616 Detroit Ave., and fill out a registration form. Teams must be co-ed. Call 216-521-4413 or visit www.atccafe.com for more information. — Zirm



Drag Ball V

What do drag shows and softball have in common? For starters, both rely heavily upon leather accessories, and both offer good fodder for pitcher-catcher jokes. But the annual Drag Ball game sponsored by North Coast Softball — the region's only GLBT softball league, as far as we know — is seriously silly business. The fifth annual tilt will go heavy on the campy, adult-themed jokes and in-game entertainment, plus a DJ and a 50-50 raffle for prizes we probably couldn't mention here. This year's theme is "Beauty v. Beast," but don't count on no Disney show. First pitch gets tossed at 5 p.m. at Gordon Park (767 E. 72nd St.). Donations of $5 are requested. Visit northcoastsoftball.org for more information. — BakerCHILD'S PLAY

The Ohio State Yo-Yo Contest

The finest in Ohio yo-yoing will be on display at the 2010 Ohio State Yo-Yo Contest. And you can count yourself among them or simply spectate. Beginners compete in longest sleeper, longest walk-the-dog, and most loop-the-loops, while more advanced competitors throw down in contests of two-handed looping and two-handed string, offstring, and counterweight tricks (yeah, it might be better to sit back and watch those rounds). Of course, anyone is welcome to drop by and just watch the loopy fun. The 2010 Ohio State Yo-Yo Contest happens at the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Rd.) from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Entry is $5 for contestants and free for spectators. Visit ohioyoyo.com for the lowdown. — Baker


Terminal Tower Observation DeckClosed since the attacks of 9/11, the Terminal Tower observation deck has finally reopened this summer, allowing visitors to head up to the 42nd floor to gaze upon our fair city from more than 500 feet skyward. See Lake Erie, the Rock Hall, Cleveland Browns Stadium, street people, and other Cleveland landmarks in ways you've never seen before. You might even get to hang out with one of the famed Peregrine falcon that has called Terminal Tower home for years. Today and tomorrow mark the last two summer dates that the observation deck will be open. Hours are noon to 4 p.m., and admission is $5 per person; free for kids under 5. The Tower is the big old pretty building at 230 W. Huron Road. More information can be found by calling 216-623-4750 or visiting downtowncleveland.org. — Zirm


Family Unity in the ParkWhat if residents of Cleveland's East Side thought of themselves as one big family? That's the dream of Family Unity in the Park, an all-day celebration at Luke Easter Park (3090 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.) that encourages everyone to forget their differences and share a day together. Starting at noon, people of all ages and all family configurations are invited to bring blankets, lawn chairs, picnics, and grills, and enjoy an all-day lineup of soul, funk, R&B, jazz, reggae, and blues acts, with headlining performances by Morris Day & the Time (6:15-7:15 p.m.) and the Temptations Review with Dennis Edwards (8:05-9:20 p.m.). Councilman Zack Reed's fireworks display wraps it all up. There'll be vendors on hand for those disinclined to tote your eats from home. The point of it all? To build a stronger community in many ways, including health screenings, voter registration, and information booths. It's free. Go to thefamilyunityinthepark.com for information. — Pantsios



Wrestlution 3

All year, Pro Wrestling Ohio's performer/athletes bluster, threaten, shout, and sneak-attack each other with "illegal" objects. They play out feuds and vendettas in cards around the region and on a SportstimeOhio cable show seen across the state. Once a year, Johnny Gargano, Jason Bane, M Dogg20 (Matt Cross), Krimson, and the rest of the gang bring their seething resentments to a head at PWO's signature event, Wrestlution 3. This year, popular PWO champion Gargano defends his title against Cross, who has been staging attacks on himself and blaming them on Gargano. He even stole Gargano's championship belt, claiming that it rightfully belongs to him. Both will be hungry to demonstrate who the real champion is. PWO promoters always bring in guest superstars for the event, and this year they've got a pair who made their reputations in the big time: 2x4-wielding big man Hacksaw Jim Duggan, who will face "Megastar" Marion Fontaine and the scary-looking Raven, who squares off against the equally intimidating Bane. Youngstown metal band Relic will play during intermission, and all the wrestlers will be on hand in the merchandise area to sign autographs. The Cleveland Police Athletic League is a sponsor, so you know things won't get too far out of hand. Gates are at 2; first bell is at 3 p.m. at Nautica Pavilion (2014 Sycamore St.) in the Flats. Tickets range from $10 to $40. Go to pwowestling.com to learn more. — Pantsios



Free Mondays at the Zoo

What's better than a trip to the zoo? A free trip to the zoo. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is one of the finest in the land, and if you happen to live in Cuyahoga County, then you are lucky to have free rein over this majestic kingdom every Monday. And for the summer, the zoo features all kinds of eye-catching exhibits: You can scope out a virtual world of prehistory in the Dinosaurs! exhibit, which teems with state-of-the-art animatronic creatures. Or test your knowledge of Turd Trivia (their words, not ours) at The Scoop on Poop excrement exhibit. Today also features Professor Wylde's Animal Show, a bit of edutainment for everyone. And again, we can't emphasize enough that it is all free (well, except the RainForest, which will run ya 5 bucks). The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (3900 Wildlife Way) is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, till 7 on weekends. Baker



Hidden Story Hike

There are tons of little hidden places in Northeast Ohio where significant things occurred — and then were forgotten. The Metroparks hold some of that secret history, which park officials will share with visitors from 9:30-11:30 this morning on a Hidden Story Hike through the Bedford Reservation (off Egbert Rd. in Walton Hills). After gathering at the Egbert Picnic Area, curious hikers will be led through four miles of trails into the gorge to discover what kinds of nefarious doings took place there. Any ghost stories should be less scary in broad daylight. It's free. Call 440-526-1012 for information. — Pantsios


Akron's Bridgestone Invitational

The Bridgestone Invitational golf tournament takes place this week at Firestone Country Club in Akron. It's a great opportunity to see your favorite golf stars completely ignore you from a distance, while course officials demand your obedient silence. A better bet might be the tourney's practice rounds, two relaxed days on the links that take place today and Wednesday before things get serious on Thursday. Tiger Woods, mired in the biggest rut of his life but thriving on the singles scene, hopes to defend his title from last year on a course he has dominated throughout his career. There will be plenty of competition, including freshly crowned British Open champ Louis Oosthuizen. Firestone Country Club is at 452 E. Warner Rd. in Akron. General admission tickets begin at $28 for practice rounds and $58 for single rounds on Thursday through Sunday; there's also a $252 six-day pass. Check out worldgolfchampionships.com for more information. — Baker

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