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Roy Lichtenstein's "Study for 'Artist's Studio With - Model,'" part of the art museum's Drawing Modern - exhibit (Tuesday).
  • Roy Lichtenstein's "Study for 'Artist's Studio With Model,'" part of the art museum's Drawing Modern exhibit (Tuesday).
Thursday, October 30

The Cleveland Play House's Next Stage Festival of New Plays is back up and running for a full month again, after being cut in half last year. The program -- a celebration of playwrights as much as plays -- is designed to gauge audience reaction to new works, which are read onstage by professional actors. Eight plays, including comedies, mysteries, dramas, and musicals, are slated through November 22. The festival kicks off tonight with Leading Ladies, a comedy by Ken Ludwig that throws two aspiring young actors into dresses and makeup, as they pursue an inheritance reserved for two English lasses. It starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Play House's Brooks Theatre (8500 Euclid Avenue). Tickets are $8. Call 216-795-7000 for more information.

Friday, October 31

Canton offers two types of Rocky Horror action for Halloween tonight. The Players Guild performs Richard O'Brien's campy tale of garter-belt-wearing Transylvanian transsexuals, while the Canton Palace Theatre screens the 1975 film version. Both shows are preceded by costume contests and both come complete with prop kits, which include all the requisite items -- squirt guns, toilet paper, newspapers -- needed to make a big mess. The Rocky Horror Show is at the Players Guild Theatre (1001 Market Avenue in Canton) at 6:30 and 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 (prop bags are $5); call 330-453-7617. The Rocky Horror Picture Show shows at the Canton Palace Theatre (605 Market Avenue in Canton) at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 (prop kits are $7); call 330-454-8172.

Saturday, November 1

Today's Buckeye Book Fair features the work of more than 100 Ohio-bred writers, illustrators, and photographers -- each of whom will be available to discuss their books and sign copies. Authors taking part in the annual gathering include Andrea Cheng, Terry Pluto, and Karen Harper. Fiction, nonfiction, and kid lit are all represented. The Buckeye Book Fair happens from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fisher Auditorium at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (1680 Madison Avenue in Wooster). Admission is $2. Call 330-262-3244 for more information.

Red {an orchestra} starts its second season tonight with It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad King, the story of King George III, set to music by J.C. Bach, Haydn, and Maxwell Davies. "It takes you into the mind of a crazy person," says conductor Jonathan Sheffer. "The concert follows the arc of his health. You really take this journey with him." The Cleveland orchestra's purpose is to redefine not only classical music, but also the classical-music concert experience. "This concert sums up all my feelings about classical-music programming in one evening," Sheffer says. "Music should take you on a journey, [while] respecting tradition but trying to change the way it's presented. We want to up the ante. We want the audience to know that they will be constantly surprised and challenged." It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad King plays at 8 p.m. at the Masonic Temple Auditorium (3615 Euclid Avenue). Tickets are $10 to $55; call 440-519-1733.

Sunday, November 2

The Ohio Independent Film Festival begins today, with more than 100 short and feature films being screened over the next week. Among the highlights: Flight From Death: The Quest for Immortality, a documentary narrated by Gabriel Byrne; Kid Avenger, a fantasy about a comic-book-lovin' kid; Love in a Straitjacket, a romance set in a mental hospital; and Art of Revenge, which stars Third Eye Blind's Stephan Jenkins as a philandering husband. "The festival is filled with work that is controversial, compelling, and distinctive," says co-artistic director Bernadette Gillota. "The films are for [people] on the pulse of the latest, most innovative, and refreshing aspects of media art." The festival runs through November 9 at Cleveland Public Theatre (6415 Detroit Avenue). Visit www.ohiofilms.com for a complete schedule of films, times, and ticket prices.

Monday, November 3

Not so surprisingly, the Western Reserve Historical Society's Cinderella Goes to the Movies exhibit pretty much fills all of your evil-stepsister-attire needs. There are more than 30 costumes from movies like Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Ever After, and Toothless, as well as the gown Brandy sported in Disney's TV version of the fairy tale. And the creators aren't above stretching Cinderella's classifications a bit: Costumes from Pretty Woman -- which starred Julia Roberts as a streetwalker who gets a princess-like makeover -- are also included. Accompanying artists' renderings of Cinderella through the ages put it all into historical perspective. Cinderella Goes to the Movies runs through April 8 at the Western Reserve Historical Society (10825 East Boulevard). It's open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission ranges from $5 to $7.50. Call 216-721-5722 for more information.

Tuesday, November 4

The art museum's Drawing Modern: Works From the Agnes Gund Collection is an impressive array of postwar drawings garnered from the local philanthropist's collection. Many of the 20th century's top artists -- Paul Klee, Roy Lichtenstein, Bruce Nauman, and Robert Rauschenberg among them -- are featured; more than 65 pop, minimalist, and abstract pieces are included. Drawing Modern is at the Cleveland Museum of Art (11150 East Boulevard) through January 11. It's open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (closed Mondays). Admission is $3 to $7; call 216-421-7340.

Wednesday, November 5

Firewater's new album, The Man on the Burning Tightrope, sounds sorta like a carnival bound for hell. Calliope, carousel organ, and accordion mesh with the New York combo's typically skewed musical droppings. Coupled with leader Tod A's complementary lyrical view (songs in the band's four-album catalog include "Mr. Cardiac," "I Still Love You, Judas," and "The Man With the Blurry Face"), they form the group's most bizarre and challenging listen. Onstage, Firewater throws it all out haphazardly, surprising themselves as much as the audience whenever something sticks. The band plays the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Boulevard in Cleveland Heights) at 9 tonight. Tickets are $8. They are available by calling 216-321-5588.

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