We have only a vague notion of what nanobiotechnology is -- something involving tiny robots and bodies. We think. HealthSpace Cleveland's new exhibition, It's a Nano World (opening today) hopefully will fill us in with all of its hands-on activities, displays, and presentations. Fun exhibits like a Magnification Station (loaded with amplification instruments) and Adventures in Tiny Things (which gives the 411 on germs, dust, and pollen) oughta make the learning process enjoyable. It's a Nano World is at HealthSpace Cleveland (8911 Euclid Avenue) through January 9. It's open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $7, $3 for kids; call 216-231-5010.
In the revenge thriller I'll Sleep When I'm Dead, vengeance is slow. And not particularly sweet. After his brother is sodomized by a scowling Malcolm McDowell, retired gangbanger Clive Owen tries to get to the bottom of his sibling's subsequent suicide. Much of the film details Owen's pursuit of the truth (which the audience knows from the start). And because Sleep is a British revenge thriller (helmed by the original Get Carter's Mike Hodges), it's not so much a movie about retribution as it is a character study of a one-time killer reluctantly drawn back into a world he long ago abandoned. It's at the Cleveland Cinematheque (11141 East Boulevard) at 9:05 tonight, 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, and 9:35 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $8. Call 216-421-7450 for more information.
Friday, October 15
Tony Kushner's pretty hot shit these days. His brilliant '80s AIDS drama, Angels in America, snagged a bunch of Emmys last month, and his plays -- stinging indictments of the foibles of right-leaning governments -- seem more relevant every day. A Bright Room Called Day, about a group of artists and political activists struggling for survival in 1930s Berlin, opens at Cleveland Public Theatre this weekend. See if you can spot similarities between its portrait of a fascist regime and the Bush administration. A Bright Room is at Cleveland Public Theatre's Gordon Square Theatre (6415 Detroit Avenue) through October 30. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 to $24; call 216-631-2727.
Saturday, October 16
Calm down. Today's Wild Ohio event has nothing to do with drunken college girls flashing their breasts. You might, however, get to see a few naked animals, since the natural history museum shindig is being touted as "A Celebration of Ohio's Wildlife Diversity." In addition to a menagerie of live creatures (like birds and otters), crafts, games, and tours featuring fish, fowl, and mammals will also be on hand. Critters go wild from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and noon to 5 p.m. tomorrow at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, 1 Wade Oval Drive. Admission to the museum is $7, $3.50 for kids; call 216-231-4600.
Sunday, October 17
Indie-pop foursome AM60 was facing a dilemma: Frontman Chris Root assembled the group in New York City, cut a demo, and shipped the music overseas for consideration. A small U.K. company bit. In the meantime, his other band, the Mosquitoes, landed a record deal and started touring with Air and Sugar Ray in the States. Then the BBC started playing AM60, and the guys were suddenly in demand in the land of bangers and mash. What to do? Root juggled both projects for a while, but is now centering attention on AM60, which just released its U.S. debut, Big as the Sky. Root and his band are at the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Boulevard in Cleveland Heights) at 9 tonight. Tickets are $7, available by calling 216-241-5555.
Monday, October 18
There are very few things in town as wonderful as the Cleveland Public Library's Fall Used Book Sale. Doesn't matter what you're looking for -- biographies, thrillers, memoirs, short-story collections, photography collections, children's books -- because this annual outing pretty much has it all. Best is the final day's bag-of-books-for-$4 offer. Can't beat that. The sale takes place from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today through Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, October 21, at the Cleveland Public Library, 325 Superior Avenue. Admission is free; call 216-623-2821.
Tuesday, October 19
Todd Taylor, one of the readers at tonight's Perpetual Motion Roadshow (a caravan of poets, writers, and performance artists), says punk "is still a vital force." That's why he wrote a whole book about it, Born to Rock, which explores the culture -- from its politically fueled beginnings to its modern-day status as skateboarders' soundtrack of choice. "It's a very active thing," insists Taylor. "There are tons of bands that aren't on MTV or on a national level that are just as good as the bands that have been commodified and deified." The Roadshow rolls into Mac's Backs Paperbacks (1820 Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights) at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Call 216-321-2665 for more info.
Wednesday, October 20
What do these strings of words have in common? "Mother weep the years I'm missing/All our time can't be given/Back," and, "I am breath/Wasting into teacups/Signaling leave so I run forever." Both stabs at profundity are the work of erstwhile Smashing Pumpkin Billy Corgan. The former comes from Siamese Dream's "Mayonaise"; the latter is part of Blinking With Fists, Corgan's new poetry collection. Imagine the Pumpkins without searing guitars, nasally howls, and fist-pumping choruses, and you've got a pretty good idea what Corgan the poet has to offer. Still, since he's currently without a band (his post-Pumpkins project, Zwan, split last year), your only chance to see Corgan in person in 2004 will probably be at Joseph-Beth Booksellers (24519 Cedar Road in Lyndhurst), where he'll sign his book at 7 tonight. Admission is free; call 216-691-7000.