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Lily Tomlin Plays The Palace Thursday, February 5 And Leads This Week's Events Picks

Now that there's a new face in the Oval Office, Lily Tomlin has been scrambling to switch up her standup act. Problem is, she's been having a tough time finding anything funny about Obama. "You want him to succeed so badly that I'm a little bit loath to say anything when he's only been in office such a short time," says Tomlin. "All you can say right now is that he has big ears." Since leaving her native Detroit for New York's comedy clubs in the early '60s, the 69-year-old Tomlin has scored five Emmys, two Tonys, a Grammy and a Golden Globe. She even snagged an Oscar nod in 1975 for her role in Robert Altman's Nashville. But Tomlin gives props to Laugh-In for catapulting her to stardom as wise-cracking telephone operator Ernestine. "I was the new blip on the radar," she says. "The producer said it would never happen again. And he was right." Tomlin goes onstage at 7:30 p.m. at the Palace Theatre (1519 Euclid Ave.). Tickets: $10-$52.50. Call 216.241.6000 or visit playhousesquare.com. - Cris Glaser

COLLIN MOULTON -- Thursday 2.5

After frustrating jobs as a mechanic, piano repairman and hula-hoop salesman, California native Collin Moulton leapt into comedy after a buddy egged him on nearly 10 years ago. A career that started as a series of three-minute sets at open mics has since mushroomed into U.S. tours, with the latest bringing him to Bogey's this weekend to rag on the people and places he sees every day. "Some comics have a natural knack for it," says Moulton. "Anything that's happened in your life is fair game. Whatever happens to me, that's what I think is funny. It's a long process, but I think anything worth doing is about a 10-year curve to be really good at it." Showtimes are 8 p.m. tonight, and 8 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Bogey's Comedy Club (28060 Chardon Rd. in Willoughby Hills). Tickets: $8-$15. Call 440.944.9000 or visit bogyscomedyclub.com. - P.F. Wilson

ANIMAL ATTRACTIONS -- Thursday 2.5

Blue Canyon, Paladar and the Cleveland Cupcake Company headline a smorgasbord of eight Northeast Ohio restaurants and caterers that will dish out delectable dishes at tonight's Animal Attractions fundraiser for the Cleveland Zoological Society. With gourmet samples in hand, foodies can tour the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's toasty RainForest to hear wildlife experts talk about critters that inhabit the forests and deserts of South America, Asia and the South Pacific. Director Marc Ancrenaz of the Kinabatangan Orang-utan Conservation Project will update everybody on his agency's efforts to save the apes in the Malaysian state of Sabah on the island of Borneo. And Joe Keiper will give the latest 411 on the invertebrate-zoology department at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Talk to the animals and their keepers from 6-9 p.m. at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (3900 Wildlife Way). Tickets: $50-$65. Call 216.661.6500 or visit clevelandzoosociety.org. - Glaser

JOE VITALE -- Friday 2.6

Longtime session drummer Joe Vitale puts down his sticks this weekend long enough to sign copies of his new book, Joe Vitale: Backstage Pass. The autobiography recounts more than 40 years of memories on the road and in the studio with rock legends like Neil Young, Joe Walsh and Linda Ronstadt. Vitale also talks about the backstage stories behind some of the songs he co-wrote, like Walsh's classic "Rocky Mountain Way" and "Pretty Maids All in a Row" from the Eagles' Hotel California. He also includes 750 photos from his personal collection to accompany the stories. With a forward written by Crosby, Stills & Nash, the book has been called "a must-read" on one Eagles fansite. Vitale signs his book at 7 p.m. today at Borders-North Canton (6751 Strip Ave. NW) and tomorrow at Borders-Fairlawn (3737 W. Market St.). Admission: free. Call 330.494.4776 or visit borders.com. - Glaser

BOW BALL -- Friday 2.6

The Cleveland Rowing Foundation celebrates its 20th anniversary tonight at its Bow Ball benefit. But the group's origin actually dates back to 1985, when Cuyahoga River rowers Ed and Jennifer Ford bought the four-person Alumni Victorious. The couple believed that if they had a boat to loan, more rowers would join them in their beloved sport. These days, the club boasts 500 members who regularly meet at their clubhouse to plan regattas, including the popular Head of the Cuyahoga competition in the fall. They'll party tonight with supporters over hearty hors d'oeuvres, silent auctions, 50/50 raffles and DJ Erik Murdell. "The Cleveland Rowing Foundation has overcome many obstacles to remain a positive and vibrant force in downtown Cleveland," says director Theresa Gang. The blowout goes from 7:30 p.m.-midnight at Windows on the River (2000 Sycamore St. on the West Bank of the Flats). Tickets: $55. Call 216.621.6277 or visit clevelandrows.org. - Glaser

PECHA KUCHA -- Friday 2.6

Even architects will tell you that if you give them a mic, you'll be trapped for hours listening to them ramble on and on about their latest projects. That's why designers meet at Pecha Kucha sessions in more than 160 cities around the world to talk about their art, architecture, fashion and furniture obsessions. Tonight it's Cleveland's turn, with 14 presenters giving quick seven-minute lectures, each with a 20-image slide-projector show. They'll live up to the workshop's name - pecha kucha means "the sound of conversation" in Japanese - at 8:20 p.m. at House of Blues' Cambridge Room (308 Euclid Ave.). Admission: free. Call 216.523.2583 or visit pecha-kucha.org/cities/cleveland. - Glaser

HOT WINTER NIGHTS INDOOR BEACH VOLLEYBALL TOUR -- Saturday 2.7

When beach volleyballer Todd Rogers returned from the Beijing Olympics in August with a gold medal around his neck, the 35-year-old SoCal native couldn't believe how heavy it was. "It always brings me back up to a high," says Rogers, who teamed with Phil Dalhausser to beat a Brazilian duo for the top prize. "I'm sure it's going to die down, but it makes me feel good to put all that time, effort and planning to make a victory come to fruition." Tonight, Rogers is on the Hot Winter Nights Indoor Beach Volleyball Tour at the Q to warm up a Cleveland winter with a couple hours of California sun. "You have pretty good-looking men and women who are scantily clad and easy on the eyes," he says. "If you like that sexiness, have a margarita and a beer, and watch us do stuff in the sand and make it look easy." First serve is at 7:30 p.m. at Quicken Loans Arena (100 Gateway Plaza). Tickets: $20-$65. Call 216.420.2200 or visit theqarena.com. - Glaser

HOME & GARDEN SHOW -- Saturday 2.7

Ooh la la! The I-X Center transforms into the streets of Paris for the 66th annual Home & Garden Show, which starts this morning for a nine-day stretch. With a "Romance of France" theme, the show is anchored by 17 French-inspired landscapes, including a 16,000-square-foot garden that was modeled after painter Claude Monet's backyard. There will also be 750 home-improvement vendors, 24 designer showcases and a "green pavilion" featuring ecologically friendly gadgets and gizmos. The show wraps up February 15, when gardening items go up for sale at 75 percent off retail cost. The show runs from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Friday, through Sunday, February 15, at the I-X Center (6200 Riverside Dr.). Admission: $13 ($4 for kids). Call 216.529.1300 or visit homeandflower.com. - Glaser

TACKLE THE TOWER -- Saturday 2.7

Construction has forced the powers that be to move this year's Tackle the Tower benefit from its usual spot at the Terminal Tower to the Galleria. Despite the venue change, the 646-step climb will still challenge athletes. "This event attracts all kinds of levels of fitness buffs," says organizer Neal Neroni, who runs the Hermes Cleveland athletic association. "Runners, walkers, firefighters, you name it. Some people will finish the stairs in six minutes; others will walk them in 30." After the race, competitors can stick around for breakfast, raffle prizes, music and an awards ceremony. "Just like any other race, we put a lot of preparation into this yearly tradition," says Neroni. "Everyone loves it because it's something different and new." Step off at 8:45 a.m. at the Galleria at Erieview (1301 E. Ninth St.). Race fee: $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Call 216.623.9933 or visit hermescleveland.com. - Chad Felton

FOR THE LOVE OF CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL -- Saturday 2.7

Just in the time for Valentine's Day, candyholics can get a sugar high at today's For the Love of Chocolate festival in Medina. More than 30 chocolatiers will hand out samples that range from truffles, brownies and fudge to chocolate-covered strawberries, pretzels and Oreos. There will also be a Children's Candyland exhibit where kids can play games. Plus, bakers will square off in the "Decadent Chocolate Dessert Competition." How Dominic's Pizza managed to cop booth space is beyond the point, since the fest's profits benefit the American Red Cross of Medina County. The fest runs from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Medina County Fairgrounds' Community Center (735 Lafayette Rd. in Medina). Admission: $5-$10. Call 330.723.4565 or visit medinaredcross.org. - Glaser

BEV SHAFFER -- Saturday 2.7

In her latest book, Cookies to Die For!, culinary teacher and chef Bev Shaffer credits her Hungarian mother and Italian father for a kitchen full of childhood memories. She'll tell you all about it today, when she signs the book at Akron's Mustard Seed Market (where she runs the cooking school). Shaffer will recall her family's holiday tradition of baking Hungarian kiflis, which were made with milk, sugar, lemon zest and prune butter imported from the motherland. "When I think back, it was of course all done with a mixing bowl and a wooden spoon," says Shaffer. "No electric mixers, no food processors. The only thing that plugged in was the oven. It was all lovingly handmade." Meet Shaffer from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Mustard Seed Market & Café (3885 W. Market St. in Akron). Admission: free. Call 330.666.7333 or visit mustardseedmarket.com. - Glaser

RECESSION ACTION PLAN -- Tuesday 2.10

Kevin Myeroff has been doling out financial-planning tips for more than 20 years. So, as the economy continues to tank, it's only fitting that the CEO of Cleveland's NCA Financial Planners will walk investors through a Recession Action Plan during three nights' worth of workshops. "This is the worst economic climate in 80 years," says Myeroff. "As a result, many people are questioning their financial planning and concerned how their investments will affect their ability to put their kids through college or to retire when they want. This seminar will give individuals the tools to make informed investment decisions." The workshop runs from 7-8:30 p.m. at Corporate College West (25425 Center Ridge Rd. in Westlake), tomorrow at Corporate College East (4400 Richmond Rd. in Warrensville Heights) and Thursday at Lakeland Community College (7700 Clocktower Dr. in Kirtland). Fee: $25. Call 440.473.1115 or visit ncafinancial.com. - Glaser

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