Thursday | 15
History: Up Close & Personal
The Western Reserve Historical Society's newly formed Young Professionals group is serving up a great excuse to go drinking tonight after work: Their very first meet & greet is set for 6 to 9 p.m. at the Market Avenue Wine Bar in Ohio City. Spearheaded by a few passionate types who hope to introduce the vast WRHS collections to those not yet old enough to be part of them, the group is actively seeking new members who have an interest in history and their community. Admission to tonight's get-together is $10 and includes a drink and plenty of grub. Reservations are required at the number below, but payment can be made at the door. The group also will be hosting an October murder mystery at the WRHS' Hay House and a Rock Band tournament in December. Find out more on the Western Reserve Historical Society Events page on Facebook. — Cicora
2526 Market Ave., 216-721-5722 ext. 229,wrhs.org.
Italy Gets Its Close-Up
After delighting in the beauty and romance of Rome, Clevelander Joyce Mariani set out to find a way to bring Italy's charm home with her. The result? The Italian Film Festival, the region's first film fest devoted exclusively to award-winning Italian flicks. "One of my greatest passions is giving pleasure to people through the arts," Mariani says. "I find that our filmgoers love to be entertained, escaping into the humor, fantasy, and passion that Italian [films] portray so well." Founded in 2006, the four-week festival is gaining a big following and generally sells out its one-per-week screenings. It all starts tonight with a 7:30 p.m. showing of the 1996 classic Big Night at the Cedar Lee Theatre. Other offerings include Il Gattopardo (September 22), Foccacia Blues (September 29), and Il Cacciatore di Anatre (October 6), which will screen at the Capitol Theatre. Snag your $10 tickets in advance, by phone, at the number below. Visit the film festival's Facebook page for more details.— Logan Boggs
2163 Cedar Rd., Cleveland Hts., 216-456-8117.
Friday | 16
When Worlds Collide
Just as this weekend's Ingenuity Fest is a collision of art and technology, so headliner Squonk Opera is a mashup of music and design. The result is a weird, conceptual performance that founders say exists "outside the rules of mass culture, fashion, or academia." You can figure out what that means Friday and Saturday at 9:30 p.m. when Squonk presents an outdoor performance of Astro-rama, a message to the cosmos delivered by way of a 40-foot radio telescope dish mounted to scaffolding on the west end of the Superior Viaduct. There'll be cherry pickers, scissor-lift platforms, original music and videos, and staging that falls somewhere between a Devo concert and Close Encounters of the Third Kind — not to mention a crashed UFO and more tawdry spectacle than a Republican presidential debate. Naturally, it fits right in with Ingenuity Fest's mission of fostering imaginative collaborations between the realms of art and tech. Also on the three-day Fest lineup: dancer Erica Mott's Victory Project, tech artist Jared Bendis' interactive hunt for the Wumpus, a comedy stage (complete with an interactive Twitter wall), tonight's 8:20 p.m. PechaKucha session, and plenty of live music. (Read all about it in our Music section.) It's all free and happening tonight through Sunday on the lower level of the Veterans Memorial Bridge; the catacombs are open tonight from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. For complete hours, schedules, maps, and performer info, check out the Fest website. — Elaine T. Cicora
Veterans Memorial Bridge, 216-589-9444, ingenuitycleveland.com.
Drop a Dime in Parma
Coins don't usually stay in our pocket long enough to qualify as collectibles. But apparently that's not true for North Coast Coin Club members, who are hosting their 34th annual Cleveland Coin Show today and tomorrow in the U.A.W. Hall in Parma. Promoters are expecting more than 75 nationally known dealers to display their collections. Plus there'll be more than 100 tables filled with rare coins including misprints, ancient coins, and foreign coins. If you think you have a pretty penny or a desirable dime, you can get it appraised for free. And while it goes without saying that you will see plenty of money, there is also some to be made: Dealers will be on hand to buy your scrap gold and silver. Admission and parking are free. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. — Matt Stafford
5615 Chevrolet Blvd., Parma, 216-991-1133.
At the Beck Center
The Marvelous Wonderettes
Hot off one of the best seasons in its history — thanks to smash hits like this summer's Hairspray — Lakewood's Beck Center for the Arts launches its new season tonight with The Marvelous Wonderettes. Written and created by Roger Bean, the rompy, poppy, off-Broadway cutie honors old faves like "Mr. Sandman," "It's My Party," and "The Shoop Shoop Song"; along the way, it also picked up a 2007 L.A. Stage Alliance Ovation Award for best musical. Running through October 16, the Beck Center production is spearheaded by former artistic director William Roudebush and stars Amiee Collier, Elizabeth Riley, Theresa Kloos, and Nikki Curmaci as the members of the titular 1950s girl group. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays except September 18. There is an additional 3 p.m. matinee on Saturday, October 15. Ticket prices range from $10 to $28, plus a three-buck service fee; get them online or by phone. — Cicora
17801 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-521-2540 ext. 10, beckcenter.org.
Saturday | 17
Tremont Arts Fest
This weekend marks the 12th annual Tremont Arts and Cultural Festival in Lincoln Park, a celebration of the neighborhood's diversity. On the to-do list: a juried arts show, noshes and nibbles from local churches and restaurants, and main-stage music and dance performances. For the kids, a children's area offers hands-on arts and educational projects, which should keep them busy while the parental units check out the info booths from community nonprofits. Today's hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; tomorrow's times are noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free, although you'll want to pack a few bucks for the food and some art. — Cicora
1208 Starkweather Ave., 216-575-0920,tremontwest.org.
Chalk Festival at CMA
Descended from the tradition of Renaissance-era Italian charcoal drawings, the Cleveland Museum of Art's annual Chalk Festival has been luring artists of all ages for more than two decades. This year's festivities, held in the Fine Arts Garden, will feature six professional chalk artists sharing both their creative process and their finished products, as well as ample opportunity for amateurs to make their marks. It's a collaborative arts effort unlike any other, says festival founder and artistic director Robin VanLear. "By Sunday afternoon, the garden looks like a colorful outdoor quilt covering the walkways." Also on tap: entertainment from local folk-rock maestros Cats on Holiday and the soulful melodies of the Blues DeVille Band. A large patch of sidewalk real estate will cost you $16, while a smaller artistic area goes for $8. Both price points include a pack of pastels, and registration is accepted at the door. Those more inclined to appreciate than to create get in for free. Today's hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; tomorrow's fun runs from noon to 5 p.m. — Boggs
11150 East Blvd., 216-707-2483, clevelandart.org.
Sustainability's in Style at Crocker Park
Who knew sustainability would become stylish? Apparently, the folks behind this weekend's free Green Factory event at Crocker Park did. Sponsored by the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, the Green Factory features local, regional, and national companies that have figured out how to promote their sustainable practices in smart and artful ways. On the agenda: live musical entertainment, speakers on topics like beekeeping and local foods, and environmental education booths. Also, alpacas will be visiting the show on Sunday because — and we are just guessing here — they are crazy cute. It all goes down today from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. While you're there, check out the arts fair and the wine festival that are also taking place; they're all part of the Crocker Park Fall Festival. — Cicora
25 Main St., Westlake, 440-871-6880, crockerpark.com.
Old-Time Fun at Peddler Fest
Overwhelmed by modern life? Yearning for the good ol' days? Just want to get your kids off the Xbox for a while? If you answered yes to any of the above, head out to this weekend's Village Peddler Festival at Lake Farmpark in Kirtland. Nearly 165 artists and crafters will be on hand selling folk art, candles, quilts, tinware, and the like. To eat, check out offerings like sausage and biscuits, pulled pork, bison burgers, and homemade pies. And don't overlook the harvest market, which sells fresh produce and jams, and the chef demos with tips for cooking with herbs. Also on hand: plenty of folk, string, and Celtic music, along with a corn maze and horse-drawn wagon rides. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, and $4 for kids 2 to 11. Today's hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; on Sunday, the festivities go from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Stafford
8800 Euclid Chardon Rd., Kirtland, 800-366-3276, villagepeddlerfestival.com.
Johnny Appleseed Fest in Brunswick
The Johnny Appleseed Fest at Mapleside Farms has been Brunswick's best-kept secret for 38 years. But with more food, fun, and fall doings than ever, the two-day festival won't fly below the radar much longer. This year's tribute to the legendary nurseryman features more than 100 craft exhibits and food vendors spread out across the farm's expansive campus, where attractions include a restaurant, bakery, gift shop, apple house, and ice-cream parlor. Also in the lineup: a seven-acre corn maze, horse-drawn hayrides, and the chance to pick your own apples. The festivities go from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $4 for adults and less for children and seniors. Tonight at 6 p.m., follow up your fest fun with a free hillside concert by Diamond Mind, a Neil Diamond tribute band. Incidentally, the farm is home to three apple trees grafted from a Johnny Appleseed original, adding some historical flavor to the festivities. — Boggs
294 Pearl Rd., Brunswick, 330-225-5577, mapleside.com.
Slamming at Tri-C
We all know Cleveland's food scene, music scene, and arts scene rock. But the poetry scene? It just may be the city's best-kept secret. So says rapper-turned-poet Tut Almighty, who, together with veteran Cleveland wordsmith One Truth, is hosting tonight's poetry slam at the Tri-C Metro Campus' Black Box Theatre. One Truth, whose most recent album is Expression Sessions, says the 6:30 p.m. Poetry and Spoken Word Invitational is a precursor to a bigger slam in October and leads up to a national invitational in August. Eight local and regional poets will be on stage for tonight's event, engaging the audience with multiple styles and ranges, sprinkled with metaphors and rhymes. Tut Almighty, whose most recent album, Bro Jesus, is available on iTunes, compares poetry to rap. "If you take the beat away from hip-hop, you end up with poetry." Poetry lovers can snag tix for $10 by phone or at the door. — Stafford
2809 Woodland Ave., 216-987-4444, tricpresents.com.
Black Is Back at Playhouse Square
Everyone's favorite Jewish ranter Lewis Black brings the apoplexy to Playhouse Square tonight for one 8 p.m. performance. The author, actor, and award-winning comedian first gained national note in 1996 as a regular on the The Daily Show; he's since gone on to earn two Grammys, pen a couple of best-selling books, and log about 200 live standup gigs per year. Why work so hard at his level of success? "Mainly because I still love doing it," Black says via a pretty funny e-mail. "Remember, I am only working 75 minutes a day, and that's not a lot. The real work is all of the press and having to go to the airport and deal with that madness." Currently on Black's hit list: "The idiotic debt-ceiling crisis. Not taxing the rich or corporations. And the slate of Republican candidates who would have been great during, oh, let's say the time of the Salem witch trials!" Other intriguing topics of discussion will likely include Donald Trump "and when he decided to become an asshole," Richard Nixon "the socialist pinko president," and, of course, "Obama and hopelessness." Black's Cleveland stop is part of his In God We Rust tour; tonight's State Theatre material will eventually find its way into a CD and comedy special. Tickets are $35 to $70; get them at the Playhouse Square box office, online, or by phone. — Cicora
1519 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.
Sunday | 18
Rocks of Ages
Meet the Other Slabs at Lake View Cemetery
Cemeteries can teach us many things besides the usual lessons in mortality. One of them is geology — which is written not only in the natural and man-made landscapes, but in the headstones and inscriptions as well. You can learn to read the geologic record on a walking tour of Lake View Cemetery today from 2 to 4 p.m. Leading the lesson will be Dr. Joseph Hannibal of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. The tour concentrates on the northern section of the historic cemetery, an area that contains the Garfield Monument, the Wade Memorial Chapel, a dam, and the grave sites of two famous Cleveland geologists. Cost is $7 per person; make your reservations by calling cemetery staffers at the number below. The tour steps off from the Garfield Monument. — Cicora
12316 Euclid Ave., 216-421-2687, lakeviewcemetery.com.
Monday | 19
Taste of Autumn Falls on the Beachland
You can support local foods and dig up some good eats too at tonight's Taste of Autumn benefit for the Coit Road Farmers Market. Your $35 ticket gets you live music and samplings of savory tidbits from Superior Pho, Arts Collinwood Café, Sow Food, Umami, and personal chef Eric Wells, among others. Also on the menu: a raffle, a cash bar, and a chance to hobnob with television personality and slow-foods supporter Fred Griffith, who will be hosting the night's festivities. Proceeds will go toward keeping the non-profit market — and the local farmers who rely on it — in business during the slow winter months. It's all happening at the Beachland Ballroom from 6 to 9 p.m. Score tix by phone or online at the Beachland, or via the market's website. — Cicora
Tuesday | 20
Natural Elements in the Cuyahoga ValleyNot every day is a walk in the park. But if today is one of them, then leave time in your trek to drop by the Seiberling Gallery inside the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park offices. A new photography exhibition, Natural Elements, provides an homage to Midwest living and a nod to park founder and gallery namesake John F. Seiberling. Akron artist Arnold Tunstall is a fan of the former congressman and conservationist. "I wanted to honor his legacy by looking at my past images of the natural world," Tunstall says. "He's probably the main reason this beautiful park even exists." Tunstall, collections manager at the Akron Art Museum and board member at SPACES, often works with a 1960s plastic camera, resulting in images that he describes as "traditional, timeless, and sentimental." Sounds just right for a prelude to an afternoon with Ma Nature. The exhibition is free and open to the public weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends by appointment. The show continues through November 4. — Cicora
1403 West Hines Hill Rd., Peninsula, 330-650-2909, conservancyforcvnp.org.
Wednesday | 21
Bird Tornadoes Hit Burton
Nature is funny. Tonight you can catch one of its craziest acts as gazillions of chimney swifts plummet down a Burton chimney as if on cue. Why do they do it? And how can the folks at the Geauga Park District be sure it's going to happen? According to senior naturalist Dan Best, it's all in the programming. At sundown this time of year, it's predictable that local birds will be joined by "travelers" seeking a migratory hotel for the night — generally an uncapped chimney of an older home or institution. The birds gradually swell in the sky, swirling in ever-tightening circles until, one by one, they begin to drop swiftly into the chimney. "They make several close passes before actually entering," Best says, "either waiting their turn based on some unknown fact of avian etiquette or just taking a while to decide when to enter." Birdwatchers are invited to observe the spectacle tonight at 7:30. Just gather at the gazebo on the Burton Town Square, where park naturalists will emcee the performance. It's free, suitable for all ages, and no reservations are required. — Cicora
At the intersection of State Routes 87 and 168, 440-286-9516, geaugaparkdistrict.org.