Eric Jerome Dickey was nominated for an NAACP Image Award three years ago for his novel Liar's Game. His latest, The Other Woman, is another tale of men, women, and the relationships that consume their lives. The couple at the center of it -- a workaholic television producer and a schoolteacher -- find their already rocky marriage tested when he has an affair (that sort of shenanigan usually does put a damper on things). Dickey's greatest trick is getting into the minds of female characters -- a skill few male authors can pull off without seeming clueless or condescending. Dickey signs copies of The Other Woman at Joseph-Beth Booksellers (13217 Shaker Square) at 7 p.m. Admission is free; call 216-751-3300.
Friday, May 23
Jim Carrey is always best when he lets his ass do the talking. The funnyman has spent the past few years reaching for dramatic credibility with box-office stinkers like Man on the Moon and The Majestic. He's back in theaters today with Bruce Almighty, a comedy in which he plays a TV reporter unhappy with his life (despite having Jennifer Aniston as a girlfriend) who curses God after one particularly dismal day. The Lord, who looks an awful lot like Morgan Freeman, hands him the reins and dares him to do better. Hilarity ensues. And hopefully, so will some of that butt-talking. See Film for review.
Rockin' on the River, Cuyahoga Falls' outdoor summer festival, kicks off today with a performance by the Spin Doctors. The free weekly fests focus on live music and also feature car shows, children's activities, and plenty of food vendors. Upcoming concerts include Highway 101 and the Sugar Daddies. Rockin' on the River takes place from 5 to 10 p.m. Fridays (though August 22) in downtown Cuyahoga Falls, just off Route 8. For more information and a concert schedule, visit www.rockinontheriver.com.
Saturday, May 24
Stan Hywet's The Beginning: AA Gate Lodge Program details the local origin of Alcoholics Anonymous, but it also provides a rare tour of the hall's Gate Lodge, where the first AA meeting took place. "People usually don't have an opportunity to walk though the first floor," explains Macy Kaplan, Stan Hywet's education director. "And very few people know that [AA] is part of Akron's history." In addition to everything you've always wanted to know about the recovery group's modest start (Goodyear founder F.A. Seiberling's daughter-in-law Henrietta brought together a pair of drunks in her home 68 years ago to talk about their struggles), the program includes a presentation by Congressman John Seiberling. The Beginning: AA Gate Lodge Program starts at 11 a.m. at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens (714 North Portage Path in Akron). Admission is $6 and $8, available by calling 330-836-5533.
Sunday, May 25
There's 19th-century warfare and family fun too at the Civil War Encampment at Century Village this weekend. "It's wonderful for children, because they can approach these people, who are very well-versed in this period of time," says Bonnie Jemison of the Geauga County Historical Society. "You really do get a feeling what it was like to live with so little back then." There'll be re-creations of famous battles, people in era-accurate clothing toting vintage weapons, and music of the 1800s, as well as an Old Time Scavenger Hunt for kids, and a visit from Abraham Lincoln. It all takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today (it runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday) on the grounds of Century Village (at the intersection of State Routes 168 and 87 in Burton). Admission is $5, $3 for kids. For more information, call 440-834-1492.
Monday, May 26
She's an uptight third-grade teacher. He's a cuddly-bear tattoo artist. And even though you know where Tattoo, a Love Story is going 10 minutes into it, this opposites-attract romantic comedy has its charms. When Virgil meets Sara, he's the "show" part of one of her students' show-and-tell projects. Of course, her stick-up-the-ass ways immediately clash with his laid-back, biker lifestyle. But it turns out he's the type of guy who rents movies like Pillow Talk and is schooled in the sophisticated jazz of Thelonious Monk, and she's a control freak whose on body art dates back to the '50s. They're both just waiting for their turns to defy expectations, but the leads (Megan Edwards and Virgil Mignanelli) are thoroughly likable. Tattoo, a Love Story is part of the Film Forward series at Madstone Centrum (2781 Euclid Heights Boulevard in Cleveland Heights). It screens at 1, 5, and 9 p.m. through Wednesday. Tickets are $4.50 and $7.50; call 216-321-1000.
Tuesday, May 27
The Lost Songs of Lennon & McCartney aren't really lost. They're the more obscure tunes composed by the ex-Beatles, as opposed to the "I Want to Hold Your Hand"s and "We Can Work It Out"s that blast out of oldies radio hourly. Graham Parker, Buffalo Tom leader Bill Janovitz, and B-52 gal Kate Pierson take on such tunes as "Come and Get It" (made popular by Badfinger), "Bad to Me" (Billy J. Kramer), and "A World Without Love" (Peter and Gordon). It's a solid forum for some good overlooked songs in one of the finest catalogs known to man. Parker, Janovitz, and Pierson are at the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Road) at 9 tonight, performing songs from the recently released CD. Tickets are $18.50 and $20, available by calling 216-383-1124.
Wednesday, May 28
Graham Nash is in town tonight to take part in Classical Nash, the third in the Contemporary Youth Orchestra's series of rock-music adaptations. And unlike the music of the Doors and Led Zeppelin (who got the orchestral treatment in the past), the work of Nash seems a little more suited to reinterpretation. Expect string-heavy versions of "Our House," "Marrakesh Express," and "Cathedral," among other songs written by the onetime member of Crosby, Stills & Nash and the Hollies. Nash is slated to perform "Teach Your Children" with the orchestra tonight. Classical Nash is at Waetjan Auditorium (2001 Euclid Avenue) at 7:30. Tickets are $15, available by calling 216-241-5555.