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Event picks for the week to keep you busy

Thursday | 06

Comedy

Proops Podcasts From Hilarities

The name of his iTunes podcast notwithstanding, Greg Proops is not "the smartest man in the world." "It was a joke," the comedian admits during a phone call from the West Coast. "My friend said, 'You know what you come off as? The smartest man in the world. You should do a show and let people ask you questions, and then we'll see how smart you are!" That's exactly what Proops will do tonight as he podcasts from downtown's Hilarities. Perhaps best known for his work on Whose Line is It Anyway?, the sharp-dressed Proops is among the leading edge of comics bringing their humor straight to their audiences via the internet. "It's free, it's immediate, and it's intimate," he says in explaining its appeal. "And my fans know that it isn't a commercial product." Not only will tonight's podcast feature Proops' rapid-fire, stream-of-consciousness wordplay (inspired, at least in part, by Firesign Theatre): It also will include a chance to put Mr. Smarty Pants to the test with your most challenging questions. This isn't Proops first stop at Hilarities, but it is the first time he's done his podcast from there. ("They are really nice people, but they didn't know what a podcast was. I have to bring these clubs up to speed!" he teases.) Set for 10 p.m., the podcast will follow Proops' 8 p.m. standup performance, which he calls "a blend of pop culture, politics, and my personal pain and bitterness." Additional standup shows are tomorrow night and Saturday. Podcast tix are $10; the standup performances are $20 by phone or online. 21-and-over only, please. — Elaine T. Cicora

2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425,

pickwickandfrolic.com.

Spooky Stuff

Face Your Fears at the Science Center

If it seems there are no good days for having the crap scared out of you, think again: Tonight is your chance to come to grips with exactly why those snakes and spiders freak you out so. Ki Goosens, a most excellently named brain investigator from MIT, will lead a free talk tonight on "Making Memories in a Dangerous World: How Scary Experiences Shape the Brain." It's all part of the Great Lakes Science Center's new exhibit Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear. And what is there to fear, you might ask? More than 20 hands-on exhibits that "help" you come to grips with your aversion to creepy animals, electric shock, falling, and many other experiences we're actually perfectly comfortable being terrified of. Tonight's talk is at 7:30 p.m.; Goose Bumps! continues daily through April 29. Exhibition entry is $14 for adults and $12 for kids, and includes access to the rest of the Science Center. (Bonus round: Kids 18 and under are free with an adult every Tuesday.) Check out the museum's website for additional scare-centric events on the horizon, including Mad Scientist Camp and Sleepover at the Science Center. — Burnett

601 Erieside Ave., 216-694-2000,

greatscience.com.

Open Mic Night

Jam With the Band at Arts Collinwood

Let your Rock Band fantasies come to life tonight at Arts Collinwood Cafe, as you jump onstage and jam with real live Cleveland guitarist Jeff Powers and his band. According to Arts Collinwood director Cheryl Carter, no musical experience is required: Just bring your favorite instrument and your hottest licks, and prepare to boogie down. Variety is encouraged. "It would be really cool if we could build it with people who play anything from rock, to jazz, to alternative, to classical, and get a variety of instruments from fiddle to harmonica," says Carter. Not a musician? Then sing, do poetry, or bust a move along to the music. The free jam runs from 7:30 to 10 every Thursday. — Matt Stafford

15606 Waterloo Rd., 216-696-9500, artscollinwood.org.

Friday | 07

Halloween Hauntings:

Spooky Tours Friday | 07

The annual Halloween walking tours of West Clinton Avenue grew out of residents' passion to create something together that would showcase their little-known gem of a community. "It was about introducing the neighborhood to Cleveland," says Judith Allen, spokeswoman for West Clinton Historic Haunts, which steps off for a fifth consecutive year this weekend in the heart of Cleveland's Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. Lighting out from Cleveland Public Theatre's Parish Hall, the guided tours feature nine skits performed on porches, in parks, and at other stops along the route, each one highlighting a true-life tale of the neighborhood's most eccentric, dubious, and downright creepy former residents. This year's lineup features eight new tales, plus one held over from last year by popular demand. Actors are supplied by Near West Theatre, with additional fun served up by the performers of St. Ignatius High School's Circus Company. It takes a cast of dozens — and a street that oozes with sordid history — to pull off each annual tour. "I'm sure any neighborhood can do this," says Allen. "You just don't realize what's been going on next door until you look." Shamble over to Parish Hall, then await your lantern-toting guide. Tours depart every 15 minutes from 6 to 8:45 p.m. tonight and tomorrow. There are no advance ticket sales, so bring your five bucks and expect a stampede of action both nights: Last year's rain-soaked proceedings still thrilled some 1,200 visitors. — Erich Burnett

6205 Detroit Ave., on Facebook at West Clinton Historic Haunts.

Halloween Hauntings

Walking Tours Bring History to Life

The annual Halloween walking tours of West Clinton Avenue grew out of residents' passion to create something together that would showcase their little known gem of a community. "It was about introducing the neighborhood to Cleveland," says Judith Allen, spokeswoman for West Clinton Historic Haunts, which steps off for a fifth consecutive year this weekend in the heart of Cleveland's Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. Lighting out from Cleveland Public Theatre's Parish Hall, the guided tours feature nine skits performed on porches, in parks, and at other stops along the route, each one highlighting a true-life tale of the neighborhood's most eccentric, dubious, and downright creepy former residents. This year's lineup features eight new tales, plus one held over from last year by popular demand. Actors are supplied by Near West Theatre, with additional fun served up by the performers of St. Ignatius High School's Circus Company. It takes a cast of dozens — and a street that oozes with sordid history — to pull off each annual tour. "I'm sure any neighborhood can do this," says Allen. "You just don't realize what's been going on next door until you look." Shamble over to Parish Hall, then await your lantern-toting guide. Tours depart every 15 minutes from 6 to 8:45 p.m. tonight and tomorrow. There are no advance ticket sales, so bring your five bucks and expect a stampede of action both nights: Last year's rain-soaked proceedings still thrilled some 1,200 visitors. — Erich Burnett

6205 Detroit Ave., on Facebook at West Clinton Historic Haunts.

Psych!

Illusionist Is Beyond Belief

Entertainer Joshua Seth has forged a career combining principles of cognitive science with a finely honed intuition, resulting in an act he calls "psychological illusion." And while he admits it's a skill — not magic — it's still pretty amazing to watch, as many Clevelanders discovered last winter when Seth performed several shows at Kennedy's. The nationally known illusionist grew up in Kent, the son of two psychologists. "That provided me with a deep understanding of the human psyche," he says, which he augments by reading the subtleties of face and body language — probably with a little sleight-of-hand thrown in for good measure. The result really is Beyond Belief, an intimate, interactive evening of mind reading and game playing that Seth brings to the East 14th Street Theatre in Playhouse Square. Tonight's 7:30 performance will be repeated tomorrow and again on October 21 and 22, January 6 and 7, and January 27 and 28. Seats are $20. — Cicora

2037 East 14th St., 216-241-6000,

playhousesquare.org.

Retro Rave

Mega '80s at House of Blues

The mere mention of a 80s throwback extravaganza can conjure up clichéd images of DayGlo spandex, teased hair, and overproduced, synthesized beats. Disclaimer: A Mega '80s show is all that and more. For starters, the Detroit-based band relies heavily on crowd participation, along with dancers, video projections, and a very cool light show. Then there's the unique, and frighteningly accurate, hair-metal costume segment that has quickly become a fan favorite. Just don't bring the kiddies: The night can get "adult" in nature. The bash begins at 9 p.m. at downtown's House of Blues. Tix are $12 in advance and $14 at the door. — Logan Boggs

308 Euclid Ave., 216-523-2583,

houseofblues.com.

Saturday | 08

Century Village

Get Buttered Up in Burton

Copper kettles simmer over open fires this weekend at Burton's Century Village, as the pretty little outdoor history museum welcomes guests to the 63rd annual Apple Butter Festival. Along with a chance to see apples magically transformed into a thick, sweet-and-spicy bread spread, the festivities include a quilt show, crafters, pony rides, local bands, and freshly baked Amish breads and cookies. Cost is $7 for adults and less for children, and includes a chance to check out the two-dozen-or-so historically significant structures situated on the property. That includes the Geauga Crossroads Store, an old-timey general store complete with plank floors, a potbelly stove, and a collection of penny candy. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and tomorrow. — Cicora

14653 East Park St., Burton, 440-834-1492, geaugahistorical.org.

Smell This!

Herb Fair at the

Botanical GardenThey scent your soap, season your soup, and even scare away pests: When it comes to making life sweeter, spicier, or more fragrant, herbs really are our friends. You can immerse yourself in all things herbal today at the Western Reserve Herb Society's 66th annual Herb Fair, with a merch lineup that includes teas, breads, spreads, jams, mustards, and confections infused with herbs. Also for sale: wreaths, dried arrangements, bath salts, soaps, pressed flower cards, bookmarks, and lavender wands to scent your surroundings. Once you're all shopped out, take a tour of the Society's elegant, formal herb garden or catch a presentation by well-known local herb authority Kathleen Gips. It's all happening from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Cleveland Botanical Garden. General admission is $8.50, and less for kids and members; onsite parking is free with purchases totaling $20. — Cicora11030 East Blvd., 440-247-8495,

westernreserveherbsociety.org.

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

Akron Civic Hosts Rubber City BeatleFest

John Lennon would have been 71 tomorrow. Yet somehow, he and his fellow Beatles still manage to inspire today's music lovers. Take guitarist Rick Montanari, leader of the ReBeats, a six-member Beatles tribute band from Akron. "There's just something about the music that never grows old," he raves. "You can't listen to it without tapping your foot and bobbing your head!" That's why Montanari decided to share the joy with others via tonight's Rubber City Beatlefest, a Fab Four extravaganza featuring rock photog George Shuba, authors Mike Olszewski and Dave Schwensen, a memorabilia show and sale, and four of the region's most popular Beatles tribute bands: Revolution Pie, the Liverpool Lads, the Nowhere Men (getting by with a little help from their friend Jim Bonfanti, formerly of the Choir and the Raspberries), and the ReBeats. "This region really loves the Beatles," says Montanari. "If we have a good enough turnout, we'd like to do this every year." Doors open at 5:45 p.m., and the music begins at 6:45. Ticket prices range from $12 to $25. — Cicora

182 South Main St., Akron, 330-253-2488, akroncivic.com.

Sunday | 09

Fresh Air

Bird Hike in Twinsburg

As anyone who has soldiered their way through Jonathan Franzen's Freedom knows, birds are pretty amazing — especially when it comes to their grueling annual migration. You may not find any cerulean warblers during today's autumn bird hike in Twinsburg, but chances are that you'll spot other migratory types packing their bags for the long flight south, including fox sparrows and hermit thrushes. Naturalists Sarah Matheny, Meghan Doran, and Stanley Stine will be on hand to guide you through the fields and forests surrounding the Stone House in Liberty Park; binoculars and field guides will be provided. Dress for the weather, wear sensible shoes, and expect to be outdoors for two to three hours. The 2 p.m. walk is free and open to novices and experienced birders alike. — Cicora

9207 Liberty Rd., Twinsburg, 330-865-8065, summitmetroparks.org.

Family Fun

Harvest Fest at Hale Farm

It's food, fun, and frolic today at Hale Farm and Village, as the outdoor history museum wraps up its weekend-long Harvest Festival. Topping the list of old-timey fun: a chance to help grind corn, make sauerkraut, and press apple cider using antique implements. There's also pumpkin painting, wagon rides, and a fall scavenger hunt. Costumed staffers will be on hand to interpret the life and times of the Hale family, who tamed this patch of Western Reserve property. That includes a visit from old C.O. Hale himself, whose nickname was "Apple Hale" because of his love for the essential autumn fruit. The rain-or-shine rumpus runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10, and less for children and Western Reserve Historical Society members. — Cicora

2686 Oak Hill Rd., Bath, 330-666-3711, halefarm.org.

Monday | 10

Fresh Air for Fido

Frohring Meadows Goes to the Dogs

Pity the poor pooch who has to enjoy nature from the end of a leash. The good folks at the Geauga County Park District have heard Fido's whines, and have responded by establishing a brand-new dog park at Frohring Meadows, where your four-legged friend can reconnect with his inner wolf. Within the borders of the two-acre dog park, pooches with owners are permitted off leash under common-sense rules. Among them: Collars are required, leashes must be kept in hand, and no aggressive dogs, sick dogs, or baby dogs are allowed. After Rex runs himself out, slip the leash back on and stroll some of the park's other 298 acres, where you'll find a prairie, woodlands, and a picnic area. — Cicora

16780 Savage Rd., Bainbridge Township, 440-286-9516, bit.ly/gpdfrohring.

Tuesday | 11

Lake View Cemetery

Walk on the Wild Side

While Lake View Cemetery may be home to some of Cleveland's most famous corpses, tonight's moonlight walk spotlights another type of resident: the furry, four-legged kind. As one of the largest expanses of greenery in a vast urban area, the 285-acre cemetery naturally plays host to hundreds of species of critters — including the deer and red fox that are the focus of this evening's program. Aided by both the light of the full moon and the informative prowess of a naturalist guide, tonight's attendees will search for signs of the animals' presence, while learning all about their habitat. The walk happens from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Cost is $7, and phone reservations are required. Participants are asked to enter the cemetery through the Cleveland Heights entrance at Mayfield and Kenilworth Roads; the walk steps off from the Community Mausoleum just inside the gates. — Boggs

Mayfield and Kenilworth Rds., Cleveland Hts., 216-421-2687, lakeviewcemetery.com.

Wednesday | 12

School of Rock

Grrrl Power

We all know about the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and the Rolling Stones. But what about the Supremes, the Crystals, or the Shangri-Las? If you want to learn more about the women of rock, then tonight's free program at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is for you. Part of the museum's ongoing Rock and Roll Night School series, tonight's curriculum is dedicated to female rockers of the '60s: everyone from the early girl groups to singer-songwriters like Carole King and counterculture queens like Janis Joplin. The program begins at 7 p.m., and includes a presentation by rock historians, music and video clips, and plenty of time for group discussion. It all dovetails nicely with the museum's groundbreaking Women Who Rock exhibition, which illustrates the important roles women have played in the genre since its beginning. Just don't be tardy: Seats in the Foster Theater are first come, first serve. — Stafford

1100 Rock and Roll Blvd.,

216-515-1215, rockhall.com.

Good Sports

Dine Like a Pro at Morton's Steakhouse

Like sports? Like steak? Then our local Morton's Steakhouse has you covered. The downtown restaurant hosts a regular lineup of lunches and dinners with local coaches and players, giving fans a chance to chew the fat with some of the most savvy sportsmen in town. Tonight's Dinner with a Legend stars Byron Scott, head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Gary Waters, head coach of the Cleveland State Vikings. Joining the party are Cleveland's local ESPN radio hosts Michael Reghi and Kenny Roda. From 6 to 6:30, Scott, Waters, Reghi, and Roda will be fielding questions. Your dinner — a Caesar salad, filet mignon, shrimp, mashed spuds, green beans, and cheesecake — will be served upon your arrival. And after dinner? Why, autographs and photos, of course. At an all-inclusive 80 bucks, tickets aren't cheap. But for a fine steak and a chance to rub elbows with the pros, it might just be a bargain. Reservations are required, and can be made at the website listed below. — Boggs

1600 West 2nd St., 216-621-6200,

mortons.com/cleveland.

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