This Week's Day-By-Day Picks 

Jolly Old Saint Nick's about to kick some ass in - Santa Claus vs. the Snowman (Tuesday).
  • Jolly Old Saint Nick's about to kick some ass in Santa Claus vs. the Snowman (Tuesday).
Thursday, November 25

What better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than being away from the family all day? That's why we give thanks for Cleveland Metroparks' Golfing Through Thanksgiving, where three courses are open from dawn to dusk. Of course, that means missing football, feasting, and falling asleep in front of the TV. But it also means missing a houseful of nagging in-laws, hyperactive kids, and funky-tasting potatoes. Again, we give thanks to the Metroparks . . . Tee up at Big Met (4811 Valley Parkway in Fairview Park; call 440-331-1070), Mastick Woods (19900 Puritas Road; call 216-267-5626), and Shawnee Hills (18753 Egbert Road in Bedford; call 440-232-7184) golf courses.

Friday, November 26

Contemporary-dance festival Danceworks 05 is hosting three weekends of holiday performances by such troupes as Neos Dance Theater and MorrisonDance. The winter series kicks off tonight with a performance by African Soul Theater, which incorporates live drumming and the Kombe Acrobats. Show times are 8 p.m. tonight and tomorrow and 3 p.m. Sunday at Cleveland Public Theatre, 6415 Detroit Avenue. Tickets are $10 to $24, available by calling 216-631-2727.

Saturday, November 27

Many of the area's finest dealers gather this weekend at the Dunham Tavern Museum Antiques Show, which is celebrating its 109th anniversary. And it couldn't come at a better time than in the middle of the busiest three-day shopping stretch known to man. Among the 65 vendors offering everything from old furniture to obsolete maps are Boar's Head Antiques (for the stuffed-dead-animal buff in your life), the Gryphon's Nest (for those who like their mythical beasts to resemble both lions and birds), and Big Beaver Antiques (we can only imagine what they have for sale). It's open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow at Shaker Middle School, 20600 Shaker Boulevard in Shaker Heights. Admission is $7, which is good for both days; call 216-431-1060.

It's Horton Foote's words that get Bernice Bolek excited. "I just love this story!" she exclaims. "It's very, very poetic." Bolek stars in Ensemble Theatre's production of Foote's The Trip to Bountiful (which opens tonight) as an aging widow who lives with her son and daughter-in-law, but desires to return to her old home. So she makes the long journey and soon realizes that things have changed drastically. "She's stubborn and determined and has this vision and never gives up," says Bolek. "It's really nice being her." The Trip to Bountiful is at the Cleveland Play House's Brooks Theatre (8500 Euclid Avenue) through December 12. Show times are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $12 to $24, available by calling 216-321-2930.

Sunday, November 28

In Last Life in the Universe, a suicidal, obsessive-compulsive librarian -- who has the bodies of his dead brother and the guy who murdered him stashed in his apartment -- hooks up with a careless, chaotic woman, who accidentally ran over and killed her sister during an argument. The pair makes an odd couple indeed, but it's the subtle, languid direction by Pen-ek Ratanaruang that drives this meditative film, which plays, at turns, as a surreal drama and a black comedy. It screens at 6:45 tonight and 9:20 p.m. tomorrow at Cleveland Cinematheque, 11141 East Boulevard. Admission is $8; call 216-421-7450.

Monday, November 29

While we cherish our copies of the Nirvana boxed set, our Lord of the Rings: Platinum Series Special Extended Edition DVDs, and for that matter, anything else we can pick up at Best Buy, there's something to be said for homemade gifts (besides, of course, that the giver is a cheap bastard). Art House is holding a bunch of Holiday Gift-Making Workshops over the next month, including sessions on how to make your own jewelry and sun-catchers. Tonight's outing features a card-making class for teens and adults. Fee is $40, which is considerably more than something from American Greetings, but how often does Ziggy really get that sentiment just right? It happens from 7 to 9 p.m. at Art House, 3119 Denison Avenue; call 216-398-8556.

Tuesday, November 30

With nods to The Empire Strikes Back, self-referential CGI jokes, and a bloopers reel inspired by Pixar, Santa Claus vs. the Snowman obviously wants love from grown-ups. And the half-hour movie -- showing on the Great Lakes Science Center's ultra-huge Omnimax screen -- does charm both big and little kids. Credit co-producer Steve Oedekerk, the man behind Jimmy Neutron. He plants Santa's workshop in a high-tech environment closely monitored by gun-carrying goons. He makes Santa's adversary a cute, malicious ice ball. And he turns the North Pole into a battleground of giant nutcrackers and hairdryer-wielding elves (the better to combat the invading snowman army, of course). It's at the Great Lakes Science Center (601 Erieside Avenue) through January 2. Screenings are at 1 and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $8.95, $6.95 for kids; call 216-694-2000.

Wednesday, December 1

Big Business has a neat twist on that whole guitarist-and-drummer-duo thing, which is so 2003. The Seattle-based twosome consists of a drummer and a bass player. On their debut, Head for the Shallow (which comes out next month), they mix sludgy punk (hey, they're from Seattle) and murky metal. Take that, Jack White! They're at the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Boulevard in Cleveland Heights) at 9 tonight. Tickets are $7; call 216-241-5555.

Speaking of Highlights

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