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Naked sushi and more await you in this week's event picks

Thursday | 24

Waiter, There's a Girl in My Nigiri!

Naked Sushi Night at Suite Sixx

As if using chopsticks wasn't scary enough, along comes nyotaimori, the practice of using those chopsticks to eat sushi off a nekkid model. That's the drill at tonight's Naked Sushi event at Suite Sixx in the Warehouse District. Meantime, the minds behind the concept belong to chef-organizers Matt Mytro (Stove Monkeys, Crisp Catering, and Yum), and Dante Boccuzzi, owner of Tremont's eponymous Dante and its soon-to-open downstairs sushi bar, Ginko. Perhaps you wonder what to say to the naked hottie from whose tummy you're dining? Worry not: Nyotaimori is considered an art form, and you aren't expected to engage the artwork in idle chit-chat. Such questions aside, though, the night is shaping up nicely, complete with three lovely lady models, one hunky dude model, plenty of great eats, and music from DJ Kosher Kuts (motto: "Shalomie Homie"). Preceding the 9 p.m. sushi service, a lineup of passed apps will include hoisin-cucumber-glazed pork shoulder, smoked chicken with sweet plantains, salmon-ponzu ceviche with grapefruit chili, and assorted steamed "sticky" buns featuring Asian and Latino flavors. Tickets are $15 at Dante (2247 Professor Ave.) and stovemonkeys.com, or $20 at the door. It's happening from 7:30 to 11 p.m. at Suite Sixx, 1212 West Sixth St. in the Warehouse District. — Elaine T. Cicora

Funny Stuff

Sinbad Sails Into Hilarities

Whatever you call Sinbad, don't call him a "clean" comic. "It makes it sound like I've got no edge," grouses the 30-year comedy vet before clarifying. "I used to be dirty but I got clean. It just appeals to more people. Today, I'd say I'm a healthy mix of (Richard) Pryor and (Bill) Cosby." In fact, Sinbad (born David Adkins) cites both comic legends as his inspiration: Cosby for his ability to deliver devastating lines with avuncular charm, and Pryor for his willingness to be the butt of his own jokes. "Richard was fearless, man. He took his own personal problems and made them funny." Besides his successful stand-up career, Sinbad has had multiple roles in films and television, several of which nabbed him NAACP Image Awards. We reached him in California, where he was wrapping up his newest project, Sinbad's Family Affair, a reality show based on his own life. You can expect to hear all about it — and whatever else has crossed the big guy's mind lately — during his weekend stint at Hilarities. Tonight's curtain goes up at 8 p.m.; tickets are $25 to $30 at 216-736-4242 or online at pickwickandfrolic.com. Hilarities is at 2035 East Fourth St. — Cicora

Taste of History

Victorian Tea in Peninsula

Enjoy finger food, vintage fashion, and a glimpse inside an historic landmark during today's 1:30 p.m. Victorian Tea and Fashion Show at the Peninsula G.A.R. Hall. According to organizer Rebecca Urban of the nonprofit Peninsula Valley Historic and Education Foundation, the $25 affaire will be "divine," with delicacies like herb-cucumber and lemon-radish tea sammies, country ham and biscuits, and scones with Devonshire cream and jam. While attendees sip Darjeeling tea from china cups, they'll be entertained by a period fashion show. Indeed, should you have a spare bustle, whalebone corset, or taffeta cape hanging in your closet, toss it on: Prizes will be awarded for the most stylishly dressed guest, circa 1880. As for the Grand Army of the Republic Hall, the 1850s structure began life as a one-room school house, then was given to the area's Civil War vets as a meeting hall. Restored in 1963, it currently houses an auditorium, bar room, and a collection of 19th-century furniture and decor. Tea tix are available at 330-657-2528; the hall is at 1785 Main St. For more info, check out peninsulahistory.org. — Cicora

Friday | 25

For the Farmers

Winter Thaw Party at Lava Lounge

Spring's finally here. Really. Of all the good things that means, here's one especially for foodies: The Tremont Farmers Market will be setting up in Lincoln Park for its sixth season beginning on May 3. Tonight from 6 to 9 p.m., you can get a jump on things with the second-annual Winter Thaw Party at Lava Lounge. It's a fund-raiser for the market, as well as an ice-breaking social soirée for the 2011 season. Chef Ricardo Sandoval and staff will be cooking up a menu of tasty all-you-can-eat appetizers. Tickets for the party are $25 in advance (or $30 at the door) and include two drinks to go with; all proceeds will benefit the Tremont Farmers Market. Call Kristen Trolio at 216-575-0920 for tickets and more info. Lava Lounge is at 1907 Auburn Ave. in Tremont. — Bill Delaney

Saturday | 26

Spoken Word

'She Speaks'at Arts Collinwood

After launching almost a year ago at Tremont's Visible Voice Books, She Speaks — a once-a-month evening of poetry by and for women — has relocated to larger digs at Arts Collinwood's Cafe, with a goal of inspiring, empowering, and cultivating community among females of all ages. (Men are welcome to attend, but only as audience members.) Tonight's edition runs from 7 to 10 p.m. with a poetry workshop, an open-mic session, and a slam hosted by local poets Blaire Miller Bommer and Kisha Nicole Foster. (The winner becomes part of the She Speaks slam team, headed for a national competition). Except for the small donation required from each slammer, the evening is free and open to the public; additional She Speaks events are slated for the fourth Saturday of every month at Arts Collinwood, 15605 Waterloo Rd. in Collinwood. For more information, check out shespeaksup.org. — Cicora

Saturday | 26

Big Dog Theater Babymakers Bring the Funny

Comedians Dana Quercioli and Colleen Doyle — alumni of the Cleveland improv scene now living and working in Chicago — take the Big Dog stage tonight at 8 p.m. with Babymakers, their original, unscripted, and completely improvised two-woman show. Since it's improvised, we can't actually tell you what it's about. But we can say that Big Dog's intimate performance space on the second floor of the former Centrum movie theater is just the right size for shouting out your own weird improv suggestions. Regardless, tickets are $8 in advance (or with college ID) at 216-472-3636 or online at bigdogtheater.com; buy them at the door, and the price goes up to $10. Big Dog Theater is at 2781 Euclid Heights Blvd. in Cleveland Heights. — Cicora

Free Concert

Pianist Joe Augustine in Painesville

Lake Erie College artist-in-residence Joe Augustine will give a free piano concert tonight at the college. A natural talent, Augustine picked up the piano at age 15 (metaphorically speaking, of course), then went on to develop a unique smooth-jazz style that has served him well for 30 years, 51 albums, and innumerable concerts across the country. Tonight's show will find him accompanied by his drummer Glen Schaft and bass player Dave Morgan; together, the trio gives improvisational performances that rely heavily on the audience's energy flow and "vibe." (If there's ever been a good excuse to get your mellow on, there you have it.) Mellow or no, the music begins at 7 p.m. in the Morley Music Building. Seating is limited, so an RSVP is required at 440-375-7230 or PR@lec.edu. For directions and more information, go to lec.edu. — Cicora

Sunday | 27

Bakin' With the Boss

Buddy Valastro Takes the Cake to Akron

He may talk like a wise guy, but Hoboken baker Buddy Valastro is sweet as powdered sugar. Then again, we would expect nothing less of the star of TLC's hit series Cake Boss, a close-up look at Valastro, his wacky-but-lovable Italian family, and some of the most awesome cakes ever to hit the screen. A fourth-generation baker, Valastro owned and operated Carlo's Bake Shop long before the TV crews came calling. But he's adjusted well to national acclaim: His show is in its third season, a spin-off is in the works, he has a cookbook coming out in November, and he's launched a nationwide tour — Bakin' With the Boss — that pulls into the Akron Civic Theatre tonight at 7 p.m. Look for stories, cakes, Q&A, and even some audience participation. Tickets start at $25.75; snag 'em at 330-253-2488 or online at akroncivic.com. The Akron Civic Theatre — a downtown landmark since 1929 — is at 182 South Main St. in Akron. — Cicora

Street Food Fest

C-Town Chow Down in Lincoln Park

Whether you're a connoisseur of fine food or a regular Joe who just loves a good bite, today's C-Town Chow Down sounds like a rare opportunity: the city's best food trucks, all parked in one place! Cakes Plus owner Diana Dumitru came up with the idea of corralling Cleveland's mobile-meals providers within the confines of Lincoln Park. A peek at the event's Facebook page attests to its righteousness: More than 1,000 food fans had signed up to attend by press time. Among the comestible convoy: Pranzo Forno's fresh, wood-fired pizza; Dim and Den Sum, with their Asian-accented comfort foods; the big, new StrEat Mobile Bistro; and, of course, the sweet treats of Dumitru's own Cakes Plus. Local musicians including Summer Solstice, the Mame Daiko Japanese Drumming Ensemble, and the Latin Conga Group have signed on to provide the musical backdrop to this day of deliciousness. You can grab your share from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lincoln Park, at the corner of Kenilworth Avenue and West 11th Street in Tremont. — Chrissy Niehaus

Cabin Fever Reliever

Artful Objects in Peninsula

Today is the last day to catch the third annual Cabin Fever Reliever Exhibit at the Log Cabin Gallery in Peninsula. Nestled into a lovingly restored 1850s log cabin, the cliffside gallery features dozens of artful objects of desire, including pottery, nature photography, beach-glass jewelry, wooden boxes, and stuff crafted from found objects. Better still, many of the participating artists are holding inventory reduction sales — meaning the bargains will probably abound. (Afterward, be sure to stroll the streets of this picturesque canal town, and check out the lovely homes and buildings.) The Log Cabin Gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. during exhibits only. It is located behind a private residence at 1671 Main St.; access it from North Canal Street and look for the sandwich-board sign. To learn more, call 330-657-2670 or go to thelogcabingallery.com. — Terry Jozwiak

Funny Stuff

Comedy Night at Reddstone

This week's invasion of Chicago comedians continues tonight at Reddstone with the appearance of Comedians You Should Know, a Windy City collective of stand-up comics that includes Marty DeRosa, Danny Kallas, Joe Kilgallon, Mike Lebovitz, Drew Michael, and Michael Sanchez. Founded in 2008, the sextet has made its mark by relying on brutal honesty and uncensored observations. Apparently, there's a market for that kind of thing: Their self-titled album debuted last month as the comedy top-seller on iTunes. Tonight's Reddstone appearance marks their Cleveland debut. Doors open at 7, the show starts at 8, and the $10 tickets include a bracelet for those 21 and up, entitling them to half off on selected drinks. As always, show organizer and local funny man Ramon Rivas II sums it up succinctly. "Opting for drink specials rather than drink minimums, Comedians You Should Know provide the authentic voice and lack of restraint that keeps stand-up comedy relevant at a price their scumbag fans can afford." We'll drink to that. Reddstone is at 1261 West 76th St.; check out reddstonecleveland.com for more info. — Cicora

Monday | 28

Great Lakes Science Center

Spring Break Camp

School may be out for the week, but that doesn't mean the kids have to stop learning. Of course, it also doesn't mean that they need to be cooped up in some stuffy classroom either. That's why the Great Lakes Science Center has organized a week-long camp for all of your little scientists, kindergarten through eighth grade. The fun starts today with Twister, the mechanics of tornadoes, and the OMNIMAX film Tornado Alley. As the week continues, explore everything from LEGOs and robot construction to the secrets of optical illusions. Cost for one camp day is $42; additional days are $38 each. For more information or to register, go to glsc.org or call 216-621-2400. The Great Lakes Science Center is at 601 Erieside Ave. — NiehausMusic to Hug Trees To

Green Keys Tour

in Rocky River

Toronto pianist and music teacher Frank Horvat is nearing the end of his odyssey: a 13-month, 60-stop concert tour that has taken him to every Canadian province and seven American states promoting his music and spreading environmental enlightenment. In one of his final Green Keys Tour performances, he brings his solo self to Rocky River's West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church. Expect to hear Horvat's own dreamy piano compositions, including the 60-minute Earth Hour, performed entirely in the dark. Kilowatt savings aside, the tour supports the release of Horvat's second album, A Little Dark Music, which he describes as "a soundscape that would bring peace, joy, and contentment for listeners." Not surprisingly, the CD will be for sale at the otherwise free concert, with 25 percent of the profits going to the World Wildlife Fund. Still, with tsunamis, nuclear meltdowns, and Republicans on the loose, we'll take our peace and joy anywhere we can find it. It starts at 7:30, at 20401 Hilliard Blvd. in Rocky River. To learn more about the artist, go to frankhorvat.com. For venue details and other information, check out wsuuc.org. — Cicora

Tuesday | 29

Family Fun

Small Stuff at the Children's Museum

Being "home with the kids" doesn't mean you can't get outta the house. Today, give in to the pleas for something to do, and spend the day at the Children's Museum. The adventure kicks off at 11 a.m. with Polar Babies, a free-with-admission exploration of the polar ice caps designed for the small fry. At 1:30 p.m., it's time for Puppet Playhouse, an interactive story time with hand puppets; afterward, tiny crafters can make their own puppets and create a story to share with their playmates. The day draws to a close at 3:30 p.m. with Egyptology: Nefertiti's Mirror, a craft session focused on pharaohs, mummies, and take-home headdresses. Museum admission is $7; both Puppet Playhouse and Egyptology require an additional $1 supply fee. For more information, go to clevelandchildrensmuseum.org or call 216-791-7114. The Children's Museum is at 10730 Euclid Ave. in University Circle. — Niehaus

Staggering Genius

Dave Eggers

at Playhouse Square

If you like your literature with a dash of oddball humor, author Dave Eggers is either someone you know or someone you ought to know. The founder and editor of California-based publishing house McSweeney's, Eggers is perhaps best known for his 2000 memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, which chronicled his time spent raising his younger brother in the wake of their parents' almost-simultaneous deaths. (Trust us: It's funnier than it sounds.) Tonight, Eggers will speak at the Ohio Theatre as part of its Writers Center Stage Program. The show will be followed by a Q&A session and a book signing. The talk starts at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $30 at 216-241-6000 or online at playhousesquare.org. The Ohio Theatre is at 1511 Euclid Ave. in Playhouse Square. — Delaney

Wednesday| 30

I-X Center

Rides of Spring

Forget robins and crocii: The North Coast's surest sign of spring is the return of the I-X Center's Indoor Amusement Park, with all the fun and games you can cram into 20 climate-controlled acres. Among the attractions: Thrill City, with its popular Spinning Coaster; Kidzville, home to gentler rides for the pipsqueaks; and, of course, that year-round crowd-pleaser, the 35-foot Ferris wheel. Tonight and Thursday, the park is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; hours extend until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. General admission is $21 at the door, or grab $18 advance tickets at local Marc's stores. (Kids under 3 are free.) For more information and hours of operation through May 1, check out ixindooramusementpark.com. — Delaney

Dances With History

Tango @ the Tavern

Dancers have been cutting the rug at the Tavern of Richfield's ballroom for the past 125 years. You can join this venerable tradition tonight and every Wednesday as Cleveland dance instructors Greg Messina and Donna Voller take tango to the suburbs. The combo of the circa-1886 Taverne and the 150-year-old dance form makes for an inspiring partnership, says Donna. Plus, the hardwood-floored ballroom is a beauty, top to bottom. "The builder built the ceiling to resemble a ship's hull, and it's magnificent!" Starting at 6:30 p.m., ten bucks gets you a half-hour beginners' lesson, followed by a one-hour "all levels" lesson, followed by dancing from 8 to 11 p.m. (If you already know your stuff, skip the lessons and come dance for only $5.) Meantime, participants can stoke their inner fires with an assortment of drink and appetizer specials from the Taverne's kitchen. The Taverne of Richfield — a registered historic site — is at 3960 Broadview Rd. For more info, call 330-217-4302 or check out neotango.net. — Cicora

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