This Week's Day-By-Day Picks 

Lock the doors and hide the kids! Extreme Arranging - happens at the Cleveland Botanical Garden - (Thursday).
  • Lock the doors and hide the kids! Extreme Arranging happens at the Cleveland Botanical Garden (Thursday).
Thursday, April 22

It was only a matter of time before the extreme craze infiltrated something girly like flower displays. Extreme Arranging, happening through Sunday at the Cleveland Botanical Garden, takes the typically tranquil task of mixing and matching foliage and pumps it up. "Master arrangers" show people how to twist, turn, and present plants so they end up looking like something found in a museum, not in a backyard. Workshops (which cost between $50 and $125) are planned through Sunday, when all the radical arrangements will be on view. Some of the displays can be seen today, tomorrow, and Saturday at the Cleveland Botanical Garden, 11030 East Boulevard. It's open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; admission is $7, $3 for kids. Call 216-721-1600 for more information.

Tonight's Jazz Party at the art museum includes an appearance by Grammy-winning producer Tommy LiPuma, a look at the exhibit Modern American Masters: Highlights From the Gill and Tommy LiPuma Collection, and live music by the Bill Ransom Quartet and others. A cash bar, serving up martinis and bellinis, will be available to help you dance to all that jazz. It happens 10 p.m. to midnight at the Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Boulevard. Admission is $10; call 216-421-7350.

Friday, April 23

If the title of the Suicide Machines' latest CD, A Match and Some Gasoline, doesn't tip you off to its contents, the songs leave little doubt: "Burning in the Aftermath," "Beat My Head Against the Wall," and "Did You Ever Get a Feeling of Dread?" are just some of the pleasant ditties found on the Detroit punks' fifth album. They're at Peabody's (2083 East 21st Street) at 7 tonight. Tickets are $10 and $12; call 216-241-5555.

Saturday, April 24

No matter what they call it, today's Oberlin College Pagan Awareness Network's Beltaine Festival and Conference is a Renaissance fair with witches. People dressed in period garb will be strolling around the grounds. Busty wenches will be serving meat and mead. And live music and entertainment straight outta ancient history will be performed. Tomorrow's workshop-heavy conference includes the keynote address, "How Pagans Will Save the World." Today's festivities take place 10 a.m. to midnight at Oberlin College's Tappan Square; tomorrow's conference is 12:30 to 8 p.m. at the school's Wilder Hall. Admission is free; call 440-774-6222.

Sunday, April 25

Cleveland Public Theatre's being unusually cagey about The Cult, an original production about the quest for knowledge. Director and co-writer Raymond Bobgan says he wants people to come into the theater feeling as if they're being inducted into a cult. "We're playing with the audience," says Bobgan. "It's a commentary piece." Bobgan likens it to performance art, since the audience is integrated into the work. "I hope people are moved on an emotional level about what it means when we really try to investigate why we are here and how we are supposed to live," he says. "That kind of questioning immediately puts somebody at odds with the life they've lived so far. How do you resolve that?" Find out at Cleveland Public Theatre's Old Parish Hall (6415 Detroit Avenue) through May 8. Show times are 3 p.m. Sunday and 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Tickets are $12 and $15, available by calling 216-631-2727.

Monday, April 26

Spiritual guru Deepak Chopra was a hit among clubgoers a few years ago, when Demi Moore read a poem set to a techno-lite beat that was included on Chopra's album, A Gift of Love. Madonna also really digs the guy. But don't hold that against him. Chopra may have more famous (and annoying) friends than the Dalai Lama, but he's also penned nearly 40 books about alternative medicine, spiritual healing, and living well. He knows his stuff. Chopra is at Severance Hall (11001 Euclid Avenue) at 7:30 tonight. Tickets range from $25 to $50, available by calling 216-231-1111.

Tuesday, April 27

Back in the day, Alberta Hunter was a moderately influential blues and jazz singer. She retired in the mid-'50s and became a nurse. Two decades later -- when she was 82 -- she returned to the New York stage and became a nightclub icon. Cookin' at the Cookery: The Music and Times of Alberta Hunter, opening tonight at the Cleveland Play House, tells her story. "She was a very fascinating woman," explains associate director Roumel Reaux. "I hope that people will get a sense of the history of the woman and her life, and the enormity of what she was able to accomplish." She was such a powerful presence, in fact, that it takes two actresses to portray her onstage. "She had three major careers in her life," Reaux says. "Most people have trouble trying to maintain one." Cookin' at the Cookery is at the Cleveland Play House's Drury Theatre (8500 Euclid Avenue) through May 30. Show times are 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $12 to $47.50, available by calling 216-795-7000.

Wednesday, April 28

As far as we know, Mary Wilson never served time for driving drunk on the wrong side of an Arizona highway. She never felt up Lil' Kim and an airport security guard in the same week either. So she's no Diana Ross. But Mary Wilson was one of the Supremes. And she's just unloaded 40 years' worth of memorabilia at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. The exhibit, Reflections: The Mary Wilson Supreme Legacy Collection, includes more than 50 costumes and personal items. Wilson is in town tonight to open the show. She performs at the Rock Hall (751 Erieside Avenue) at 8. Tickets are $20. Reflections is on display 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily through September 6. Admission is $11 to $20; call 216-781-7625.

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