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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 13

CLASSICAL MUSIC IN A NIGHTCLUB?!

Orchestral Manoeuvres at the Dog

Classical music played in rock clubs isn't exactly a new idea, even if it's almost unheard-of around these parts. A quintet of Cleveland Orchestra players — and not one of them is a drummer — gave it a shot at the Happy Dog last June. The idea was to take the music down from its marble pedestal and bring it to the people. As if to prove that it's not just a novelty gig, the same five players — flutist Joshua Smith, violinist Amy Lee, violist Joanna Patterson, cellist Charles Bernard, and oboist Frank Rosenwein — return to the realm of beer and tater tots this week for what they're calling a "second movement." The free show happens at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Happy Dog (5801 Detroit Ave.). Call 216-651-9474 or go to happydogcleveland.com to learn more. — Michael Gill

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14

THE Akron SCENE

Actors' Summit Breaks in a New Home

It's a brand-new era for Actors' Summit, the professional theater ensemble that has performed in downtown Hudson since 2001. But eviction from its most recent home there proved to be a bittersweet blessing in disguise: The Summit has a new home at Greystone Hall (103 South High St.), a former Freemasons' hall in downtown Akron. The troupe will take over the sixth and seventh floors in the elegant 1917 building. Not only is it more centrally located, but the space offers room for luxuries it never had before — including actual dressing rooms, and costume and scene shops. Actors' Summit breaks in its new digs with the sort of lighthearted musical/historical play the company does so well: A Murder, a Mystery, and a Marriage. A homespun musical based on a short story by Mark Twain, it debuted in 2006, complete with bluegrass-style music written by Oberlin Conservatory grad James Sugg. It opens at 8 tonight and runs through November 7. Tickets are $17 to $30; call 330-374-7568 or go to actorssummit.org. — Anastasia Pantsios

COMEDY

Craig Shoemaker Hits Hilarities

Craig Shoemaker is all for getting personal onstage — he won't shy from family talk or politics or much of anything else. But his favorite topic is obvious after two minutes on the phone with the Los Angeles-based entertainer: Sports. "When you think about Cleveland you think of LeBron James," he says. "The coverage of James' [move to Miami] was like a Presidential race. The only thing that I guarantee you is that LeBron James lost the state of Ohio." The hoops-addicted Shoemaker does his own thing these days, but he once was Magic Johnson's sidekick for about five minutes, back when the NBA legend had a talk show a decade ago. "That was not a good experience," Shoemaker recalls. "I've never gotten a bad review in my life, and I'm on this show doing awful jokes." Shoemaker would take a crack at humor, only to have his co-host run for cover. "'Craig, you bad,'" Shoemaker remembers hearing. "'Remember folks, Craig Shoemaker said that, not me.' He let me hang out to dry." Shoemaker will be hanging out to dry all weekend at Hilarities, at 2035 East Fourth Street downtown. Showtime is 8 p.m. tonight and 7:30 and 10:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday; tickets range from $15-$25 (hint: Shoemaker's act gets more costly as the weekend wears on). For more information, call 216-736-4242. — Ed Condran

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15

KICKOFF TO BEER WEEK

Victory Part at the Wonder Bar

Ice-cold cruzers, brewskies, broemans, bruzers, redheads, deadheads, sudzies, floozies, yoodles, doodles, dandycats, and breakfast — whatever you call your beer, there'll be plenty of it this week. Because it's Beer Week. Beer Week? Beer Week. A week devoted to beer. Beer. BEER! So drink early and often, that you might sample the panoply of breweries and brews ringing your tongue's veritable doorbell. Start the week off right with the Unofficial Kickoff Victory Party at Wonder Bar on East Fourth. Victory beer will be on tap and sold at preposterously low Happy Hour rates from 5-7 p.m. Swing by later on to catch a soulful set from Terminal Blues playing from 9-11 p.m. Or just do what you're expected to do at Beer Week events: celebrate the glorious beverage with all due pomp and ceremony, sleep it off, and then come back for more. Reservations are recommended for the event, so e-mail kayakandrea8@gmail.com to secure a spot. Learn more about all of Beer Week's majesty at clevelandbeerweek.org. — Sam Allard

FILM FEST

Chagrin Falls Honors Documentaries

Chagrin Falls has really upped the ante in the Cleveland suburban cultural poker game. Though it may be a stretch to call Chagrin the international locus of documentary filmmaking, the Documentary Festival all week has certainly elevated its status. If you haven't caught any of the films yet, check out Drew Carey's "Reason Saves Cleveland" tonight at South Franklin Circle. Carey's project originally aired in March 2010 as a series of 10-minute episodes that chronicle Cleveland's descent into post-industrial doom and gloom. The then-portly Carey is an unlikely auteur, but his attempts to bring national attention to the Cle can't be undervalued. Festival details can be found at chagrindocumentaryfilmfestival.org or by calling 440-247-0137. — Allard

HALLOWEEN FUN

Boo at the Akron Zoo

Once upon a time, Halloween was a one-day affair. Maybe the kids got to wear their costumes to school if it fell on a weekday. Other than that, it was a few hours of trick-or-treating, maybe a few more hours of bellyache, then on to drafting Christmas wish lists. Now there's an entire Halloween season packed with "come in your costume" events, and it starts somewhere around Memorial Day. This weekend, the Akron Zoo launches its Boo at the Zoo events (FYI: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's Boo festivities start next weekend). Bring the kids in costume, and when they get there, they can grab a goodie bag and hit a dozen themed trick-or-treat stations. The zoo will be decorated for the holiday, and you can visit all the animals while you're there. Akron's Boo runs from 5:30 to 8 tonight, and 3 to 8 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday. It also happens October 22 through 24 and October 29 and 30. Tickets are $10 for trick-or-treaters, $6 for observers. Grab dinner at the zoo too: An all-you-can-eat pizza buffet, open until 8:30 each night, costs $4.99 for kids and $6.99 for adults.The zoo is at 500 Edgewood Ave. in Akron; go to akronzoo.org to buy tickets. — Pantsios

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16

IMPROV COMEDY

Something Dada Turns 16

Cleveland has seen a lot of improv groups come and go, including a branch of Chicago's mighty Second City. But Something Dada, a sextet of quick-witted actor-comedians, keeps chugging along. In 16 years, many members have passed through and moved on to seed other comedy and theatrical efforts in Cleveland and elsewhere (company manager Russ Stich is the only original member). Each year on its anniversary, the group brings back as many former members as possible, and tonight's Sweet 16 is no exception. Doors open at 8 p.m. for old friends to catch up with each other and for audience members to mingle with the cast over refreshments. The show — as always, skits based on audience suggestions — starts at 9 p.m. Afterward you can join the cast in a trip over to Becky's Bar and Grille (1762 East 18th St.) to unwind. The reception and show take place in the Wooltex Gallery at the Tower Press Building (1900 Superior Ave.). Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 day of show. The last two anniversary shows have sold out, so it would be wise to script your own ticket-buying plans through somethingdada.com. — Pantsios

FAMILY FUN

WOLF FEST AT THE ZOO

No, they're not just big German Shepherds — and you don't want one in your house. But if you leave them alone and keep a safe distance, there's little to fear about wolves. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, zookeepers will shatter myths and serve up the real scoop on these fascinating critters. The stars of the show are the zoo's six Mexican gray wolves, all of them sisters. It's estimated there are only 42 of their kind in the wild, so the zoo is doing its part to help them survive. Learn how they're doing it and what you can do to help at the Wolf Conservation Station. There'll also be wolf-themed crafts and games for kids. It's free with zoo admission: $10 for adults, $7 for kids 2-11. The zoo is at 3900 Wildlife Way; call 216-661-6500 or go to clemetzoo.com for information. — Pantsios

ADVENTURE

Canoeing the Metroparks

All too soon, it'll be time to tote the canoes back to the boathouse and pack them away for winter. But this weekend, Hinckley Metroparks Reservation gives you one last shot to imagine yourself as a mighty hunter of 19th-century Ohio, gliding down wilderness waterways in search of tasty game. Its final Voyager Canoe Paddles are scheduled for 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. today and tomorrow. Each ride takes up to 18 people for an hour-long trip on a 34-foot canoe. You'll help paddle, learn French-Canadian songs to sing, and hear stories about the fur trade in the Great Lakes region, back when Ohio was still a frontier. The rides launch from the Hinckley Lake Boathouse (at West Dr. between Bellus and State roads in Hinckley Township). Cost is $5, and reservations are required. Call 216-206-1000. Go to clevelandmetroparks.com to learn more. — Pantsios

MICHAEL FEINSTEIN AND THE ORCHESTRA

American Classics Meet Classical

Michael Feinstein's parents seem to have made the right call back when he was five years old. He preferred playing piano by ear to learning to read sheet music, and so the folks ditched the frustrated teacher and let the kid play the way he liked. Fast forward 47 years to this week, and the five-time Grammy nominee — having become one of the best-known belters of American classics by Sinatra and Gershwin — sings for the first time at Severance Hall. He's bringing a program named for his 2008 CD, The Sinatra Project, as part of the orchestra's "Celebrity" series. Assistant conductor James Feddeck will do his level best to make the Cleveland Orchestra cut loose and swing like a big band. It happens at 8 p.m. Saturday at Severance Hall (11001 Euclid Ave., 216-231-1111, clevelandorchestra.com). Tickets are $41 to $108. — Gill

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 17

CELEBRATING A TREMONT LEGEND

Civilization Turns 20 Today

A good coffeeshop is a neighborhood cornerstone: a place to hang out with friends, meet up for appointments, score a fabulous free newspaper — even grab a cup of coffee. Tremont's Civilization (2366 West 11th St.) adds a beautiful location and atmosphere to the usual java-house assets. It's ensconced across the street from the neighborhood's expansive green space, Lincoln Park, in a restored 1881 building that still retains some of the ambiance of the old pharmacy it used to be. It offers coffee roasted locally by City Roast Coffees, as well as a menu of teas, pastries, soups, and sandwiches. And since Civilization is celebrating its 20th year in business, it's inviting friends and neighbors — that's you — to stop in for free hors d'ouevres and refreshments from noon to 5 p.m. today. Go to cafecivilization.com or call 216-621-3838 for more information. — Pantsios

MONDAY, OCTOBER 18

MONDAY NIGHT FOOLISHNESS

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

When it comes to movie/alcohol pairings, none rivals the pure delight of beer — any beer really — and the cinematic masterwork that is Monty Python and the Holy Grail. And tonight, the mad geniuses at the Tremont Tap House deliver both in style: They’ll be screening the comedy classic on their enormo patio screen and pairing it with heaping helpings of Black Sheep Brewery’s vaunted Holy Grail Ale. Better still: You can get it served up in a limited-edition (we’re guessing here) goblet that earns you the right to discounted refills. Eurobrew meister Larry Fletcher will pay a visit to lay out the storied history of this fine product. The Tap House is at 2572 Scranton Rd.; call 216-298-4451 or go to clevelandbeerweek.org to learn more. — Erich Burnett

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 19

BEER TASTING

On Tap: Brooklyn Brewery's

Mike Vitale

Mike Vitale has worked for the fabulous Brooklyn Brewery since its inception 23 years ago — back when the beer was brewed in Utica and hand-labeled in the Brooklyn brownstone of one of the founders. But it's grown and grown, and it now operates an expansive brewery in Brooklyn's red-hot Williamsburg neighborhood. Vitale's coming to town for a talk and beer tasting at the Flying Fig (2523 Market Ave.), right across the street from Cleveland's premier craft brewery, the Great Lakes Brewing Company. And like Great Lakes, Brooklyn Brewery is big on sustainability, generating all its electricity via wind power. Will there be a showdown in the middle of Market Avenue? Stop by and see. Vitale will talk about the secrets of Brooklyn Brewery's success (no heckling from you Great Lakes guys!). And oh yes: He's bringing five samples for tasting to go with munchies provided by the Fig. The talk is free; there's a minimal fee for beer tasting. Call 216-241-4243 or go to theflyingfig.com for more information. It's all part of Cleveland Beer Week, a celebration of all things brewskie, taking place at dozens and dozens of venues all around town; learn more at clevelandbeerweek.org. — Pantsios

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20FAMILY FUN

The Circus Returns to Town

When the circus comes to town, everybody gets the ol' VIP treatment: Any ticket for one of this week's shows grants you access to the fabulous pre-show — your chance to mingle on the floor with the performers and animals, and maybe learn a trick or two along the way. "Barnum's Funundrum," the latest installment of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, takes over Quicken Loans Arena beginning tonight through Monday, October 25. This year's festivities honor the 200th birthday of founder P.T. Barnum, the fabled Greatest Showman on Earth. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Monday, with 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. matinees sprinkled in on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets range from $15 and $20 all the way up to $85, and are available at ringling.com or by calling 888-894-9424. Quicken Loans Arena is at 1 Center Court in downtown Cleveland. — Burnett

HAUNTED CLEVELAND

Ghost Writer Charles Cassady

Cleveland writer Charles Cassady Jr. is internationally renowned for his contributions to the Scene film-review empire, but he's got a gift for creepy stuff too: Cassady's 2008 book, Cleveland Ghosts, celebrates legends from around Northeast Ohio — chilling tales that locals have been talking themselves into believing for decades. His 2009 follow-up, Paranormal Great Lakes, takes the scary stuff out on the water: ghost ships, haunted lighthouses, and the ever-popular weird creature sightings. In honor of Halloween, Cassady is offering a series of talks based on the stories featured in his books. In the words of the estimable Mr. Cassady himself: "Mr. Cassady will attempt to entertain visitors with his wit, insight, and intelligence, or at least convince them to buy his books so maybe he'll shut up." Tonight at 6:30, he'll be scaring up business at the Euclid Public Library (631 East 222nd St.). Call 216-261-5300 or go to euclidlibrary.org for more information. Cassady will rise again for an October 28 visit to the Oberlin Public Library (65 S. Main St., Oberlin). Learn more at 440-775-4790. Both events are free. — Pantsios

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