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Probable Paws 

Support orphaned pets — and maybe take one home — at the Pets 4 a Cause Adopt-a-thon, Saturday

Imagine a park turned into a mine field of wagging tails and hopeful whimpers. Now imagine getting out of that park without a new four-legged friend of your own. The Public Animal Welfare Society, a nonprofit dedicated to rescuing, caring for, and (here's where you come in...) finding new homes for abandoned pets, is betting you can't. Saturday marks their 6th annual Pets 4 a Cause Adopt-a-thon and Family Fun Day to raise funds and find homes for animals in need. Even if you aren't in the market for a pet, there's plenty to do, including fund-raising dog walks at 10:15 a.m. (registration $25 advance, $30 day of event, which includes a T-shirt and "doggie bag") and a "parade of adoptables" at 11:15 a.m. There'll also be animal-related vendors, raffles, and dog-obedience demonstrations. It happens from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Cleveland Metroparks Polo Field (Chagrin River Rd. and S. Woodland Rd., Moreland Hills) in the South Chagrin Reservation. It's free. Go to pawsohio.org for more information. Anastasia Pantsios

Thursday, May 13

CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA

Argentinean composer Osvaldo Golijov's Eastern European Jewish heritage inspired "The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind." The piece mines the writings of 12th-century scholar Rabbi Yitzhak Saggi Nehor — specifically his belief that everything stems from the combination of different letters in the Hebrew alphabet. The work was originally created for string quartet and klezmer clarinet, but Golijov says that Aramaic, Yiddish, and Hebrew all figure into its three movements. The Cleveland Orchestra will perform a version for clarinet and string orchestra featuring the ensemble's mighty clarinetist, Franklin Cohen, in the solo part. Also on the program are Johann Strauss Jr.'s Overture to Die Fledermaus and Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique. Tito Muñoz conducts. Showtime is 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday at Severance Hall (11001 Euclid Ave., 216-231-1111, clevelandorchestra.com). Tickets: $25 to $98. Michael Gill

SEXY JAZZ AT NIGHTTOWN

Jazz singer Robin McKelle is an unabashed throwback to the '60s. Infused with R&B, her new album, Mess Around, is a bit of a departure from her two previous releases, which were essentially straight-up jazz records. Sultry songs like the Ray Charles-inspired title track and "I Just Want to Make Love to You" emphasize McKelle's sensual side. The New York native also covers tunes by Leonard Cohen and Doc Pomus, belting them out as she stretches her big voice. She'll be backed by a trio for tonight's show at 8 at Nighttown (12387 Cedar Rd., Cleveland Hts., 216-795-0550, nighttowncleveland.com). Tickets: $20. Jeff Niesel

CPT STAGES THE UNSTAGEABLE

Sheila Friedman was the impetus behind Open Mind Firmament, an adaptation of plays by Irish poet William Butler Yeats opening tonight at Cleveland Public Theatre. The wife of late Cleveland State University professor Barton Friedman had seen CPT performances and thought the company would be an ideal match for a collection of five plays interpreted by Barton, a Yeats scholar. "The plays are all considered unstageable, therefore we had to do them," says CPT artistic director Raymond Bobgan. True to form, Bobgan took some liberties with the material. Open Mind Firmament includes three key figures — a poet, scholar, and Irish hero Cuchullain — who represent Yeats, Friedman, and the warrior hero, Ireland's answer to Hercules. They look to one another in hopes of gaining an understanding of themselves. Bobgan directs the world premiere, which opens at 7 p.m. with performances through June 5 at Cleveland Public Theatre (6415 Detroit Ave., 216-631-2727, cptonline.org). Tickets: $10 to $21. Gill

KID ART GETS SERIOUS

The St. Clair-Superior neighborhood is working its collective butt off to live up to its nickname "The Art Quarter." And with so many artists' studios and galleries cropping up in its old warehouses, that's not so hard. Today marks the unveiling of its latest project: an eight-foot sculpture called "Windows," created by students at Case Elementary School under the guidance of local artist Melissa Daubert. She's known for her distinctive, interactive multimedia sculptures, which frequently incorporate movement. "Windows" features tiles that were created using a complex, multi-step process and depict the experiences of the students. It will be installed at Sterling Recreation Center Park (1380 E. 32nd St.) at noon. The kids will be there to talk about their work, and there will be refreshments. For more information, go to stclairsuperior.org or call 216-881-0644. Anastasia Pantsios

FRIDAY, MAY 14

FOR LOVE OF PORN

Word is that most people get their porn fix online these days. So consider the DVDs and magazines you'll find at Adultmart a throwback to the days of good old-fashioned handheld porn. Of course, if holding hands isn't what you had in mind, there's also a plentiful selection of lingerie, lubricants, toys, and other unmentionables. But the big reason to head to the Mansfield Adultmart tonight is an appearance by Jenna Jameson, the former adult actress who recently made news after her boyfriend beat her up. But let's dwell instead on the good times Jameson had in I Dream of Jenna, Wicked One, and The New Devil in Miss Jones. She'll chat up fans and sign things like DVDs and dildos — she may even ask you to help with her comeback. Just kidding; sorry to get your, um, hopes up. Jameson is at the Mansfield Adultmart (2400 Interstate Circle, Mansfield, 419-756-2000, adultmart.com) from 7 to 9 p.m. tonight. Admission is free. Michael Gallucci

REAL MEN, REALLY COOKING

There's little doubt that real men cook. After all, a majority of prominent chefs in local restaurants are guys. So it couldn't have been too hard for the Women's Alliance for Recovery Services to line up the more than 100 celebrity chefs for its annual Real Men Cook benefit, taking place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel (1111 Lakeside Ave.). Among the real men on hand making and serving a variety of foods are County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones, Channel 3's Fred Griffith, and former Browns running back Tim Manoa. For $15 (or $14 in advance), you get all you can eat. Call 216-575-9120 or go to womensalliancerecovery.org for information. Pantsios

ROOM TO EXPLORE AT SPACES GALLERY

Sculptor Josh Parker has made some weird things, including a life-sized "Mailman" constructed out of 8,500 envelopes. His portfolio reveals an artist who isn't too concerned with the material he's working with, as long as it serves the idea at hand. As Spaces Gallery's latest Spacelab artist, Parker has created a gallery-sized multimedia installation, Sometimes an Entrance Is Actually an Exit, which pretty much amounts to a labyrinth that fills the room with passages, doorways, and other details — all possibilities for visitors to explore. Hopefully, Parker's work will get you thinking about boundaries, space, and control. The show opens with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. and continues through July 16 at Spaces Gallery (2220 Superior Viaduct, 216-621-2314, spacesgallery.org). Admission is free. Gill

SATURDAY, MAY 15

PAT METHENY

Guitarist Pat Metheny has been influencing generations of jazz fans and musicians for years. He's at it again on Orchestrion — fusing old and modern technology to make his guitar sound like a piano and various other instruments. "This project allows me to focus on aspects of things that sort of define my thing over the last 30 years," he says. "Playing solo isn't better or worse, but it does get you to a place that you wouldn't likely get to any other way." On his latest tour, Metheny creates a virtual jazz orchestra with pedals. "Playing all the instruments myself and being able to communicate the details of these harmonies, and the certain type of counterpoint that happens throughout the suite, was the main challenge," he says. "Once that was in place conceptually, the execution of it was mainly a matter of following through and putting in the hours to get it done correctly." So far, audience response has been "crazy," he says. "I have never gotten a reaction quite like this. I think it is because it is something that people have not seen before. It is new territory." Metheny plays the Lorain Palace Theater (617 Broadway Ave., Lorain, 440-245-2323, lorainpalace.com) at 8 p.m. Tickets: $47.50-$59.50. Ernest Barteldes

RIVER CLEANUP DAY

Once upon a time it was famously on fire. Now the Cuyahoga River is rapidly becoming a regional centerpiece, and at today's River Day 2010 celebration, you can be part of it. Up and down the river — from Wendy Park at the river's mouth on Lake Erie to Akron on the south — people will gather to work, learn, and relax at dozens of different spots. Feeling energetic? Help clean up trash in Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Broadview Heights or pull invasive garlic mustard in Cuyahoga Falls and Kent. The more sedentary can take in a concert by the Clear Fork Bluegrass Quartet at Mill Creek Falls in Slavic Village, watch dragon-boat rowing in the Flats, or see the sunrise while listening to nature-themed poetry readings at Wendy Park (6 to 7:30 a.m.). Activities take place at various times until 8 p.m. They're all free. Go to cuyahogariver.net for a full schedule. Pantsios

DOUG STANHOPE PLAYS DIRTY

You won't find a whole lot of irony in comedian Doug Stanhope's bellowed and direct observations on politics, religion, drugs, and sex. He doesn't circle around a subject looking for a way in; he goes at it like a Stanhope-to-surface heat-seeking missile with a kill radius of about a mile. Fans like to call it "cringe humor," and that's a fairly apt description. Nothing tightens a person's butthole quicker or makes them wince harder than the truth. And Stanhope tells the truth in an alcohol-and-nicotine-fueled frenzy. Bring your political correctness and your sense of decency, and watch him nail you up like cheap drywall. In fact, think of the most depraved thing you've ever done, multiply it by 10, add beer, Ecstasy, a swing set, and a one-legged hooker, and Stanhope has done it and written it off as a tax deduction because he included it in his act. He performs at 8 p.m. at the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Hts., 216-321-5588, grogshop.gs). Tickets: $20. Brian Baker

SUNDAY, MAY 16

CLEVELAND MARATHON

Are marathon runners admirable or simply crazy? Maybe they're both. And apparently there are a lot of crazy/admirable folks around here. In response to increased interest, this year's 33rd Rite-Aid Cleveland Marathon has already closed registration for the 26.2-mile race — so if you haven't signed up, consider yourself a lucky spectator. Runners take off from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at 7 a.m. and cover a course that winds along the lakefront from Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to Edgewater Park. All along the course, there will be neighborhood parties (Tremont alone has five scheduled) where you can hang out, enjoy some refreshments, maybe listen to music (there'll be a drum corps and cheering section at E. 62nd St. and St. Clair Ave.), and wave to passing runners, all the while congratulating yourself for having made the better choice. Go to clevelandmarathon.com for more information. Pantsios

THE REVEREND HORTON HEAT

The blues may have had a baby called rock and roll, but there was a white-trash hepcat in the lineage called rockabilly: a rhythm-mad variant of country music that shares commonality with urban blues — namely booze, snazzy cars, and women with moral flexibility. Modern-day rockabilly was represented by the Cramps (gnarly) and the Stray Cats (slick). Then came the Reverend Horton Heat. The right Reverend (a.k.a. Jim Heath) was relatively in-between, not as cartoony as the Cramps and more raw 'n' sizzling than the Stray Cats. Since 1985, Reverend Horton Heat has been making the world safe for un-PC good times, a heavy backbeat, hot guitar licks, and Texas pride. His latest album, Laughin' & Cryin', finds the Rev tipping his hat to old-school country ("Little Bit of Everything in Texas") and resting his tonsils with class (the snazzy instrumental "Spacewalk"). Heath and his bandmates still got it, and you can share it at 7 p.m. at the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124, beachlandballroom.com). Split Lip Rayfield and Cracker open. Tickets: $26.50 advance, $27 day of show. — Mark Keresman

MONDAY, MAY 17

BUTCH WALKER AND THE BLACK WIDOWS

Butch Walker's latest album, I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart, starts with a bang. "Trash Day" (which is also the record's first single) is a power-pop gem from a guy who's been writing and producing chunky pop nuggets like this for 20 years. (He's worked with Avril Lavigne, Katy Perry, Pink, and Weezer, to name a few.) The rest of the album doesn't hit this hard, but Walker is a pro at juggling moods and genres. I Liked It Better ... includes more rootsier, acoustic-driven songs than usual — Walker got his start in the post-grunge band Marvelous 3, which had a radio hit in 1998 with "Freak of the Week" — and it pays off with his best record. The relatively unknown singer-songwriter caused a stir last year when he covered Taylor Swift's megahit "You Belong With Me" on banjo. Before you could say "She wears short skirts, I wear T-shirts," the song and video went viral, and Walker ended up onstage with Swift at the Grammy Awards earlier this year. The dude knows solid pop hooks, and you'll hear plenty of them when Walker and his band the Black Widows play the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124, beachlandballroom.com) at 8 p.m. Locksley open. Tickets: $18 day of show, $17 in advance. Gallucci

TUESDAY, MAY 18

CRASH TEST DUMMIES

Best known for their 1993 Top 5 hit "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" (from the platinum-selling God Shuffled His Feet), Canada's Crash Test Dummies have somehow persevered despite their one-hit wonderhood. They've even seemingly embraced their status as a novelty act by writing songs for their new album, Oooh La La!, using only '70s analog musical toys. Producer Stewart Lerman helped the band with the orchestral flourishes in "And It's Beautiful" and "Songbird" — a good match for frontman Brad Roberts' distinctive baritone. Even though he sounds a little out of place crooning country ballads ("What I'm Famous For") and Tin Pan Alley songs ("Now You See Her"), Oooh La La! comes together in the end. Crash Test Dummies play the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124, beachlandballroom.com) at 8 tonight. Nicholas Megalis opens. Tickets: $15. — Niesel

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