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Event picks that will make you giddy, we promise

Thursday | 10

Funny Stuff

Dom Irrera Hits Hilarities

If, like South Philly funny man Dom Irrera, you grew up in a home jam-packed with hardcore-Italian relatives, you'd likely have a career's worth of funny stories to share too. The Italian-American comic got his start in 1988, working with Rodney Dangerfield on the HBO special Nothin' Goes Right. Since then, Irrera has built his rep on comfortable, conversational delivery of hilarious stories about his ethnic upbringing. Though he's mostly kept to the stage, the comic has delivered memorable bits on Seinfeld and with a cameo in the cult classic The Big Lebowski. Irrera will be at Hilarities throughout the weekend, with his first show set for tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets are $23; visit pickwickandfrolic.com or call 216-241-7425. Hilarities is inside the Pickwick & Frolic entertainment complex at 2035 East Fourth St. — Bill Delaney

Friday | 11

Nrityagram Dance Ensemble:

They Move in Mythical Ways

One of India's foremost dance companies — the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble — weaves its way into the Gartner Auditorium tonight at 7:30 with a program of mythical tales told through sensuous moves and luminous costumes. The troupe, which resides and studies in a "dance village" near Bangalore, consists of both dancers and musicians. Together, they blend classical Indian dance forms with contemporary influences garnered from the assorted choreographers, movement specialists, and actors who come to Nrityagram to study with them. Tonight's performance includes works drawn from both worlds: those reflecting sacred ritual and those influenced by modern choreography. Live music and song form the exotic and evocative soundtrack. Tonight's performance is part of the Cleveland Museum of Art's VIVA! & Gala series; tickets are $35 to $39 with discounts for students and members. Snag some at 216-421-7350 or clevelandart.org. The museum is at 11150 East Blvd. in University Circle. — Elaine T. Cicora

That Time of the Month

Tremont ArtWalk

In 1993, pals Jean Brandt and Sandy Rutkowski got together and hatched a notion that would grow into a Tremont tradition: the ArtWalk, slated for the second Friday of every month. What started off modestly, with seven local artists, has now grown into one of the region's most popular arts events: Across its 18 years, the ArtWalk has showcased more than 1,000 artists at 100 local venues. Tonight's edition continues with stops at the Brandt Gallery, Lava Lounge, and Robert Hartshorn Studio, among others. Featured artists include photographer Virginia Cirino and sculptor and spooky-marionette maker Scott Radke. It all happens from 6 to 10 p.m. For maps, venues, and more information, go to tremontartwalk.org. — Chrissy Niehaus

Family Fun

Extreme Science: Mars Edition

Instead of sending the kids — pow! — to the moon, take 'em to the Great Lakes Science Center tonight for a dose of Extreme Science, a family-friendly evening filled with hands-on activities, high-energy demos, and a screening of the Omnimax-movie Hubble, in the museum's awesome domed theater. There'll also be plenty of time to explore the new Facing Mars exhibit and check out the new NASA Glenn Visitor Center, with more than 50 exhibits and space artifacts, including the actual spacesuit worn by astronaut Paul Weitz during his 1973 spacewalk. You can do all that and then some from 6:30 p.m. to midnight, at 601 Erieside Ave. Cost is $24 per person or $85 for a family four-pack. Registration is required at 216-621-2400. For more info, go to greatscience.com. — Cicora

Beer Here!

Art & Ale On Tap in Akron

In a move designed to appeal to your inner art lover and your outer Homer Simpson, the popular Art & Ale evening returns to the Akron Art Museum. Even if the blockbuster M.C. Escher exhibition hasn't been enough to draw you in, tonight's lineup of local craft beers, paired with carefully chosen carbs, meats, and cheeses, just might do the trick. Among the brewers, you'll find such acclaimed crafters as Hoppin' Frog, Thirsty Dog, and Indigo Imp; among those providing the beer-worthy noshes will be Kent's Lucky Penny Creamery, and Akron's DeVitis Italian Market and Posh Pierogies. In addition to eating and drinking, you can talk to the brewers about your own home beer-making experiments and hear from Akron Beacon Journal reporter Rick Armon, who wrote the soon-to-be-released book on Ohio brewing. Plus, there will be giveaways and a chance to vote on your favorite brew house, with the winner's beers showcased during the museum's Downtown@Dusk summer concert series. It all goes down from 6 to 9 p.m. at 1 South High St. in Akron. Tickets are $25 for museum members and $50 for nonmembers; the nonmember price includes a one-year membership. Get yours by calling 330-376-9186 ext. 222 or visiting akronartmuseum.org. — Cicora

Saturday | 12

Pretty Things

GemStreet U.S.A. Leads to Berea

Shaker Heights resident Jennifer Gerard began her travels through southeast Asia in the early '90s. She wasn't going sightseeing: She was at the beginning of a never-ending quest for the most exotic jewelry, statues, and artifacts she could find. In 1993, Gerard began selling her discoveries through her company, A World of Good, making it her mission to share her profits with those in need. Gerard brings that mission to the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds this weekend, along with scores of other jewelry artists and collectors, as part of GemStreet U.S.A., a major gem and jewelry show featuring everything from rare fossils to faceted gemstones, not to mention pearls, silver, gold, and beading supplies. Gerard will be selling Tibetan pendants, sterling silver cuff bracelets, and prayer-box necklaces; true to form, much of her sales proceeds will go toward buying books for a Nepalese library. You can shop for those and other pretty things today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult tix are $7 and are good for the entire weekend. The fairgrounds are at 164 Eastland Rd. in Berea. Learn more at gemstreetusa.com. — Niehaus

Burlesque

Royal Revue Bumps Into the Beachland

Le Femme Mystique burlesque troupe returns to the Beachland tonight with their biggest revue yet: an old-fashioned, vaudeville-style romp featuring local funny man Ramon Rivas II, tunes from DJ Saint, a lineup of alt vendors, and girls, girls, girls — all the usual local talent plus out-of-towners from Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Dayton. Doors open at 7:30, and the 18-and-over show starts at 8. Le Femme Mystique founder Bella Sin promises this will be the best show yet. "And for ten bucks? It's gonna be the cat's meow," she purrs. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Cleveland's Domestic Violence Center and LGBT Center. Get your tickets at the door, or order online at beachlandballroom.com. The Beachland is at 15711 Waterloo Rd.— Cicora

Burning River Roller Girls

Roller Derby Wheels into the Wolstein Center

We aren't holding our breath for the day our big-name sports teams deliver a championship. Still, we just might get those heroes we're craving with tonight's launch of the Burning River Roller Girls' fifth season. BRRG is Cleveland's first all-gal, skater-owned, flat-track derby league, fielding four home teams, two traveling teams, and a farm team. The result is more than 100 skaters and officials, every one of whom has volunteered her talents for your entertainment. (Not to mention that all that yelling, shoving, and fast-paced skating looks hella fun!) Tonight's season opener — a double-header — starts at 6 p.m. at the Wolstein Center. The doors open at 5 p.m., and ticket prices range from $6 to $17. Pick them up at the box office, at 877-468-4946, or online at wolsteincenter.com. To learn more about the Burning River Roller Girls — our last, best hope for sports domination — check out burningriverrollergirls.com. — Shanette Buford

Sunday | 13

On Screen

Best of the Fest in Chagrin Falls

See as many as four award-winning documentary films today in Chagrin Falls, as the town's Documentary Film Festivalreprises its top flicks from 2010. The screenings come in two parts, although both will be held at the Chagrin Falls High School Performing Arts Center, at 400 East Washington St. First, from 12:30 to 4 p.m., you can catch National Geographic's Africa's Lost Eden, Drew Carey's Reason Saves Cleveland, and House of Bones, directed by Victoria Campbell; a $10 ticket at the door gains you admission to all three. Then at 4:30 p.m., the festival's Best Documentary winner — Mzungo: White Wanderer — hits the screen, followed by a 6 to 8 p.m. reception at the nearby Burntwood Tavern (504 East Washington St.) Tickets for that soirée will set you back $30, at 440-247-0137, but include food, wine, and a chance to trade bon mots with your fellow filmophiles. For more info and online reservations, go to chagrindocumentaryfilmfestival.org. — Cicora

Sunday | 13

Hot Wheels

Motorcycle Swap at the I-X Center

It's been a long, cold, Cleveland winter, and chances are you've dug the jalopy out from beneath a snowdrift at least a few times. But spring is nearly here, which means time to break out the chopper, the hog, or the Honda and hit the open road. Not coincidentally, Ohio's largest motorcycle swap meet roars into town today, and it's a can't-miss opportunity to sniff out hot deals from custom builders, painters, parts vendors, and area retailers, along with tattoo artists, leather craftsmen, and more. It's also the perfect chance to sell or swap all those spare bike seats, tanks, fenders, and gauges that have been piling up on the workbench. Plus, there will be beer — and a slew of door prizes. It all happens from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the I-X Center in Cleveland. Adult tickets are $10; kids 6-12 get in for $3. For ticket orders and more information, go to motorcycleswap.com. — Delaney

Monday | 14

Town Hall Series

Journalist David Brooks Brings His 'Bobo'

It was more than a decade ago that journalist, news analyst, and author David Brooks coined the term "bobo" — short for "bohemian bourgeoisie" — to describe the educated, affluent, liberal elite: Those folks who think vertically, strive ever upward, and believe that intelligence, education, and water-purification work in Zambia pave the road to happiness. Since then, Brooks has mined that territory with books, articles, and lectures that tread the line between wicked satire and true psycho-social insight. Today, he brings his insightful self to the Ohio Theatre for what promises to be a funny-but-true talk entitled Success Story: A Modern Tale of Love, Neurons, and Fulfillment. His 6 p.m. presentation is part of the annual Town Hall of Cleveland speakers series: Founded in 1931, the organization has the lofty aim of enriching the depth and quality of public discourse essential to a free society. You can enrich your own discourse for $45 (less for students); order tix at 216-241-1919 or online at townhallseries.org. The Ohio Theatre is at 1511 Euclid Ave. in Playhouse Square. — Cicora

Tuesday | 15

To Market, To Market

Farmers, Food, and Fun in Tremont

It's time again for the monthly Winter Farmers' Market in Tremont, where local bakers, farmers, and vendors come together to peddle their affordable wares inside the cozy warmth of the Pilgrim United Church of Christ. Among the vendors will be Hickory Acres, Red Basket Farm, and even No Whey Vegan Chocolates — you know, in case you've grown weary of the smoked sausages and creamy organic cheeses. While it's hard to say exactly what will stock today's shelves, market manager Jody Lathwell says you can count on an array of "really, really yummy" pies, breads, hot sauces and salsas, and fresh apple cider. Incidentally, the final indoor market of the season will be April 12; on May 3, the fun returns to Lincoln Park each and every Tuesday. Today's hours are 4 to 7 p.m., but remember: The early bird gets the best pie. Pilgrim UCC is at 2592 West 14 St. — Niehaus

Tuesday | 15

Fit for Foodies

'Green' Beer Dinner at the Grovewood

In the run-up to St. Paddy's Day, you can be forgiven for thinking that a "green" beer is one that's been doused with food coloring. But no. When the Grovewood Tavern gang talks about "green" beer, it means brews that have been crafted with an eye toward sustainability. That includes suds like Pinkus Jubilate (which is organic), Anderson Valley Oatmeal Stout (made in a solar-powered brewery), and Victory Headwaters Pale Ale (where 5 percent of sales benefit a water-conservation program). Together with three similarly green brewskis, they star tonight in the Grovewood's Green Beer Dinner, where they will be matched with six imaginative courses of creative cuisine: yummies like locally sourced pulled chicken and Gouda quesadillas, pacu fish ribs, coffee-crusted steaklets with espresso baked beans, and apple crisp topped with housemade stout ice cream. The dinner bell rings at 6:30 p.m., and your seat at the table will cost $50, plus tip and tax. Make your reservations at 216-531-4900, and get complete menu details at grovewoodtavern.com. The Grovewood is at 17105 Grovewood Ave.— Cicora

Wednesday | 16

Purim Fun

A Rabbi Walks into the Maltz Museum ...

Purim is a Jewish festival marked by games, merriment, and laughter. So what better way to celebrate than by holding a stand-up comedian contest — for rabbis? Yes, indeed: Tonight the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage launches its first-ever Cleveland's Funniest Rabbi Contest. Rabbis from throughout the area will perform short skits, and at the end of the evening the audience and a panel of judges will award one victor the prestigious title of Cleveland's Funniest Rabbi. So far, the comedic hopefuls include Rabbi Edward Bernstein of Congregation Shaarey Tikvah, Rabbi Matt Eisenberg of Temple Israel Ner Tamid, and Maltz Museum Docent and retired — but not retiring! — Rabbi Bud Frankel, among others. To help keep the hilarity level high, a cash bar and complimentary hamantaschen (the three-cornered pastries symbolic of Purim) will be available. It all kicks off at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15, and are available by calling 216-593-0587; for more information, go to maltzjewishmuseum.org. The Maltz Museum is at 2929 Richmond Rd. in Beachwood. — Delaney

Free Flick

North by Northwest at the Institute of Art

Who knew that Cleveland was on the Road to Hollywood? But sure enough, Turner Classic Movies' touring film festival is stopping tonight at the Cleveland Institute of Art, with a free screening of Alfred Hitchcock's North by Northwest. It doesn't get more "classic" than this 1959 thriller, starring Cary Grant as a hapless New York advertising executive mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies. Playing the role of Grant's blond love interest was Academy Award-winner Eva Marie Saint — who will be hosting tonight's screening along with TCM's Robert Osborne. To snag a ticket to tonight's 7:30 showing in the Aitken Auditorium, go to tcm.com/roadtohollywood and print your free pass. Just remember: Seating is limited, and admission is first come, first served. The Cleveland Institute of Art is at 11141 East Blvd. in University Circle. — Cicora

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