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Thursday | 03

Apollo's Fire

Mysteries Sacred & Profane

When we tally up this region's cultural assets, Apollo's Fire is always near the top of our list. Whether the baroque orchestra is performing Acadian reels at a country estate or Handel's Messiah in a cathedral, the players, under the direction of the ever-animated Jeannette Sorrell, deliver an evocative combination of passion and technical perfection — usually while playing period instruments. This weekend, they apply those qualities to a series of 17th-century German chamber music concerts, including works by Heinrich Biber and Johann Christoph Bach. Like the music, the concerts' aim is to expound upon the great mysteries of the church and bring the listener to a state of personal devotion. Helping achieve those lofty aims are violinist Veronika Skuplik and vocalist Jeffrey Strauss. The series launches tonight at 7:30 at the Fairlawn Lutheran Church. On Friday and Saturday, the orchestra moves to Cleveland Heights; Sunday, you'll find them in Rocky River. Tickets start at $21. For venue info and ticket orders, call 216-320-0012 or go to apollosfire.org. — Cicora

Friday | 04

Something Pretty

Look What I See!

Old-fashioned fan dancing meets the traveling side show tonight in Akron, as the Pretty Things Peep Show takes the stage with striptease, sword swallowing, and the diminutive Li'l Miss Firefly — aka, the "Midget of Mischief" — who escapes from straitjackets and walks on broken glass, although maybe not in that order. In any case, it's all in a night's work for this traveling troupe out of N.Y.C. Other than emcee Donny Vomit, whose talents include juggling and fire eating, all the members are gals, giving rise to the "pretty things" sobriquet. The girls plus Donny have performed at more than 300 shows in the past two years, including Ozzfest 2010. Tonight, they'll be joined by local lovelies Bella Sin and Terra Incognita from Cleveland's Le Femme Mystique burlesque troupe for an 18-and-over show that should be as arousing as it is arresting. Tickets are $10; snag 'em at the door or online at akronmusica.com. Musica is at 51 East Market St., in Akron; for more information call 330-374-1114 or get a preview eyeful at prettythingspeepshow.com. — Elaine T. Cicora

Funny Stuff

Something Dada at Big Dog

The improv impresarios of Something Dada have been making Clevelanders laugh for more than 16 years, with sketch comedy performances created entirely from audience suggestions. Tonight, the fast-paced, in-your-face company comes to the newly launched Big Dog Theater in Coventry, with a show that they promise will be "all new, all different, just like always." The troupe, incidentally, will be on the road a lot in coming months. In April, they'll leave their home in the Tower Press Building in favor of venues around town. But don't worry: "The only difference is that Something Dada will be bringing the funny to you," says general manager Russel Stich. Doors for tonight's show open at 7 p.m. and the funny starts at 8. Tix are $10 for adults and $8 for students with ID. It's cash only at the door, or snag your tickets in advance by phone at 216-472-3636 or online at bigdogtheater.com. Big Dog Theater is at 2781 Euclid Heights Blvd. in Cleveland Heights. — Chrissy Niehaus

Fish Fry & Free Concert

St. Paddy's Day Preview

It's fried fish and free Celtic folk music tonight at the West Side Irish-American Club. The group's popular Friday-night fish fries are now in full swing, with a menu of battered cod, steamed mussels, and a weekly non-fish special; depending on your appetite, an à la carte dinner generally will set you back around $8. According to club spokesman Ben Clingain, it's good family fun. "The place is usually mobbed with all ages — kids to grannies — and there's even a table where the children can draw and paint." Tonight's fry unfurls from 5 to 7:30 p.m.; after the dishes are cleared and the tables tucked away, Lake County band Loch Erie launches into a free concert of Irish folk, maritime tunes, and Christy Moore covers. Non-members are welcome, and reservations are not required; call 440-235-5868 for more information. The club is at 8559 Jennings Rd. in Olmsted Township. — Cicora

Saturday | 05

Family Fun

Pancakes and Herons

They don't call blue herons "great" for nothing. Most guys we know could get a clue from the male of the species, who schleps up from sunny climes this time of year to his frigid northern nesting grounds, just to make sure the family home is in tip-top form for when his girlfriend finally flies into town. You can salute the standup fellow (and his lucky lady, too) this morning at Old Trail School, with a pancake-fueled celebration of herons, the impending springtime, and the virtues of good housekeeping. The fun kicks off at 8 a.m. with an optional morning hike to the nearby Bath Road rookery. Pancakes are served from 8:30 to noon. Afterward, the kids can check out the activity stations to learn more about herons and their habitats through stories and crafts. Cost is $8 for adults and $6 for kids 6 to 12; wee ones 5 and younger are free. Old Trail School is at 2315 Ira Rd. in Akron. Call 800-642-3297 ext. 100 or visit cvnpa.org to learn more. — Cicora

Hale Farm & Village

All Aboard the Underground Railroad!

It's nightfall, March 5, 1859. The place: The woods and fields of rural Northeast Ohio, a hotbed of abolitionist activity. The plot: Runaway slaves make a break for freedom via the Underground Railroad. The players? You and your fellow visitors to Hale Farm & Village, the outdoor living history museum in Bath. That, in a nutshell, is what's in store tonight at Hale, as costumed interpreters lead visitors down A Fugitive's Path: Escape on the Underground Railroad. Now in its 12th year, the acclaimed 90-minute program brings history up close and personal in a way no textbook can. Tonight's adventure begins at 6 p.m.; participants are advised to dress warmly and wear sturdy shoes. Admission is $18, and advance reservations are required at 330-666-3711. The program continues weekends through April 16. For more information, go to wrhs.org/index.php/hale. Hale Farm & Village is at 2686 Oak Hill Rd. in Bath. — Niehaus

Sunday | 06

Cleveland Public Theatre

Big [BOX] Closes With a Bang

Two provocative plays close out the current season of Big [BOX], Cleveland Public Theatre's award-winning residency program focused on the independent artist. The first, Voice Over, is a collaboratively written, one-act theater piece conceived and directed by Pandora Robertson. Approximately 50 minutes in length, it features five Cleveland actors delivering deeply personal monologues that are then reinterpreted by the ensemble in ways that challenge the audience's assumptions. The second, Side Effects May Include, was authored by former Seinfeld writer Marc Jaffe and Cleveland playwright Eric Coble, and serves as a one-man vehicle for examining such issues as sex, pills, aging, and whether or not our personalities are anything more than chemical reactions inside our brains. This weekend's final performance is at 3 p.m. today in the James Levin Theatre. Tickets are $15, with discounts for students and seniors. Snag them at 216-631-2727, online at cptonline.org, or pick them up at the box office, at 6415 Detroit Ave. in the Gordon Square Arts District. — Cicora

On Screen

The Art Museum Honors A Beat Legend

Founding a cultural movement ain't for sissies. Just look what wild man William S. Burroughs (1914 to 1997) had to go through on his way to becoming a legend: government censorship, drug addiction, a murder charge, and the price to be paid for his homosexuality. Yet the author of Naked Lunch is now widely regarded as the godfather of the Beat generation, influencing artists all the way from Jack Kerouac and Andy Warhol to Kurt Cobain and Patti Smith. You can learn more about the guy who, in the words of John Waters, "was the first person to become famous for doing things you were supposed to hide," this afternoon at 1:30 p.m., as William S. Burroughs: A Man Within makes its Cleveland debut at the Museum of Art. Admission is $9 at the door, with discounts for seniors, students, and museum members. For more information, call 216-421-7350 or go to clevelandart.org. The Cleveland Museum of Art is at 11150 East Blvd. in University Circle. — Cicora

Monday | 07

Fit for Foodies

It's Carnivale at Paladar

Whether you call it Mardi Gras, Carnivale, or Shrovetide, the lead-up to Lent is a wild ride of food, drink, and music. Luckily, while the North Coast lacks the balmy temps of New Orleans or Rio, Cleveland restaurateurs are no slouches when it's time to get a party on. For instance, check out the fun at Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar, where the special Brazilian-themed menu features street foods like sugarcane-skewered beef and queso blanco empañadas, as well as full-sized entrées like the delicious Brazilian stew, feijoada. To drink, bottles of South American wine are half off tonight. And tomorrow night — Fat Tuesday — you'll find live Latin music, half-price mojitos and caipirinhas, and complimentary masks. For more information, call 216-896-9020 or go to paladarlatinkitchen.com. The restaurant is at 28601 Chagrin Blvd. in the Eton Collection. — Niehaus

Tuesday | 08

Spoken Word

Nia Coffeehouse @Karamu

Whether it's a hot riff or a cool rap, you can share your stuff tonight before a live audience at Nia Coffeehouse@Karamu. The monthly open-mic night is a collaboration among Karamu House, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and The Lit: Cleveland's Literary Center, created to support Northeast Ohio's jazz and poetry in all its varied forms. From classical sonnets to beat and hip-hop jams, anything goes. Tonight's evening of original entertainment is hosted by slam poet and jazz musician Vince Robinson; attendees are welcome to perform or just to sit back and enjoy the show. Besides the entertainment, coffee and hors d'oeuvres are on the menu; while the evening is free, a $4 donation would be appreciated. It all happens tonight from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Karamu House, 2355 East 89th St. in Cleveland. — Shanette Buford

The Harmony Game

Simon & Garfunkel Flick Debuts

File this under "Time Flies": It's been 40 years since folk-rockers Simon & Garfunkel released their Bridge Over Troubled Waters album, an artistic triumph that also marked the end of their career as a duo. Tonight at the Cedar Lee Theatre, you can get a behind-the-scenes peek at the creation of the record and the dissolution of the relationship at the U.S. premiere of The Harmony Game: The Making of Bridge Over Troubled Water. Featuring never-before-seen interviews with Simon, Garfunkel, Charles Grodin, and others, the feature-length documentary also includes scenes from Songs of America, the controversial (for news footage of social unrest) CBS television special that hasn't been seen since its initial airing on November 30, 1969. The flick screens tonight at 7 p.m., with giveaways of the soon-to-be released CD/DVD box set. Tickets are $10, or $8 for WKSU members. Snag 'em online at clevelandcinemas.com or at the box office, 2163 Lee Rd. in Cleveland Heights. — Cicora

Wednesday | 09

Lake Farmpark

Cuddle Up to the Quilt Show

There's still time to catch the 20th annual Quilt Show at Lake Metroparks Farmpark, showcasing more than 200 colorful, quilted works of art. No pedestrian blankets here: The works on display include wall art, apparel, and magnificent hand-stitched bed covers featuring vibrant colors, striking contrasts, and patterns both traditional and contemporary. In addition to the exhibition, the event includes quilting workshops, artist lectures, and other special activities — all in addition to the Farmpark's regular lineup of livestock, antique tractors, and farm-related displays. Today's hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; admission is $6 for adults, with discounts for seniors, children, and members. The show continues through March 23 at 8800 Euclid Chardon Rd. in Kirtland. For a full schedule of activities, call 440-358-7275 or go to lakemetroparks.com. — Cicora

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