Patrick Shepherd is known as the political dynamo of the gay Stonewall Democrats. But once a year, he lets loose as one of the four hosts of the Tremonsters Ball (one of more than 40 parties in the TaDa! dinner series for the Lesbian-Gay Community Center of Greater Cleveland).
At host Brooke Willis's house in Tremont, night owls will chug beer, sip wine, and devour hors d'oeuvres and desserts. "Some drop by before they go to the bars," Shepherd says. "Some make the party the focal point of their evening, and we definitely serve as an after-hours for others. It's definitely a crowd that's laid-back, fun, and likes to party."
They'd better. The TaDa! brochure says the home is "famous for strippers, politicians, and media." "There will definitely be some hot, gay guys acting as servers for food and beverage," Shepherd offers. "Some of our political friends might drop by, as well as a bunch of my posse of WCPN [radio] folks, but I don't think that you'll see strippers grinding against Councilman Joe Cimperman." Unless he asks nicely. The ball runs from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday at Brooke Willis's house, 2590 West 15th Street. Tickets are $25; call 216-651-5428. -- Cris Glaser
Hit the Decks
Amateur DJs turn the tables.
Okay, so it sounds like the beats are matching and the pitch is spot-on -- in the bedroom. But what happens at the club is a whole other story. Such issues as dealing with audio difficulties and being nervous about playing in front of living, breathing people are the highest hurdles, says Damien Epstein, whose Renaissance Productions promotes 9 Volt, an open-turntable contest taking place every Monday at Wish. "It's a place where you don't have to hold anything back," he says. "You can play whatever you feel, and if you mess up, no one really cares." It's all a learning process -- one that Damien wishes had been available to him seven years ago, when he first started spinning. "You just want to be seen and make an impression." 9 Volt starts at 8:30 p.m. at Wish, 621 Johnson Avenue. Admission is free. Call 216-650-4425 for more information. -- Melody Caraballo
Death brings together two divided siblings.
In Son Frère, estranged brothers reunite after one of them contracts a terminal blood disease (in a nice twist on the expected, it's the straight sibling of the pair -- not the gay one -- who's dying). Patrice Chéreau, the French director who helmed Queen Margot, rarely gets sentimental. The matter-of-fact nature (and acceptance) of the illness serves the real story of the brothers' fractious relationship (the one's homosexuality is partly to blame) and the tentative repairing of it as the end approaches. It's a moving, honest exploration of cautious reconciliation during a tragic time. Son Frère plays at the Cleveland Cinematheque (11141 East Boulevard) at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 9:10 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $8; call 216-421-7450. -- Michael Gallucci
Over the past 15 years, the Coffee Festival has brewed into quite an event. So much so that native Puerto Ricans make the annual trek to Cleveland for the salsa bands, traditional rice-and-beans menu, and, of course, Caribbean coffees. It happens from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at Club Alma Yaucana, 2674 West 25th Street. Tickets are $5; call 216-241-7641. -- Cris Glaser