Phillip Glass at the Ohio Theatre, 8 p.m. Friday, October 3Whether you believe Philip Glass is one of the greatest composers of our time or are more likely to crack jokes about how he writes his scores with a copy machine, you can't deny that his substance comes from repetitive structures.
As the joke from Scott Hicks' film Glass: A Portrait of Philip in 12 Parts goes: "Knock knock, who's there? Knock knock, who's there? Knock knock, who's there? Knock knock, who's there? Knock knock, who's there? Philip Glass."
The man who brought minimalism to the masses and has collaborated with a slew of musicians and literary figures - from Linda Ronstadt to Yo-Yo Ma, and Doris Lessing to Allen Ginsberg - comes to Cleveland, thanks to Cuyahoga Community College, to give a solo performance at 8 p.m. at the Ohio Theatre on PlayhouseSquare. Glass will play his 16 Etudes for Solo Piano, composed in 1994, and other works. Tickets: $15-$30. Call 216.241.6000 or go to tricpresents.com.
The appeal of the dark side is one of those ever-present themes in art and literature, from the Bible to Milton to Spider-Man. Chicago street artist and illustrator Matthew Ryan Sharp deals with that allure head on in Approachable Darkness, a solo show opening with a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday at Artchitecture Gallery (1667 E. 40th St., Unit 1A). "A lot of his paintings are creatures and characters from his imagination that hold personal value to his psyche," says gallerist Bill Rupnik. "Although the images are creepy and a little dark, they are very approachable - not scary, almost enticing." Sharp brings 84 paintings to the exhibit, which consists of four major installations plus a broad collection of individual works, all of which will be shown for the first time in Cleveland. The show hangs through November 14. Free. Call 216.533.5575.
If capitalism is creative destruction, and if the manufacture of steel is a kind of destructive creation, there has to be some pithy twist of phrase to describe the art of capturing the beauty of Northeast Ohio's Rust Belt decay. Photographers Garie Waltzer and Andrew Borowiec answer the call with Grit and Glory: Cleveland Urbanscapes, which opens with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday and continues through November 8 at Bonfoey Gallery (1710 Euclid Ave.). Born in New York, Waltzer developed the photography program at Tri-C, where she chaired the department and taught for years. She says her carbon pigmented inkjet images explore "the convergence of time, place and populace in their views of public gathering places - parks, piazzas, pools and busy streets - as visual witness to a collective narrative of our time." Borowiec, a professor of art at the University of Akron, makes silver gelatin prints of the local industrial landscape that emphasize contrast - foregrounds of weedy, rusty, abandoned factories against a background of the polished steel and glass downtown skyline. For information, call 216.621.0178 or go to bonfoey.com.
Maybe it's surprising that it hasn't happened before, with hits like "Luck Be a Lady" in its list of musical numbers, but the Frank Loesser musical Guys and Dolls has apparently never been performed in concert by a theater company in Northeast Ohio. Chagrin Valley Little Theater is out to remedy that, putting all the emphasis on the music - and a full orchestra on the stage - to perform G & D this weekend only. The show reunites a cast from a CVLT production that was staged more than 35 years ago, including Joanie (Mockrin) Levitt as Sarah Brown, Frank Zeleznik as Sky Masterson, Frank Mularo as Nathan Detroit, Sy Levine as Benny Southstreet and Carol Ernst as Miss Adelaide. Don Edelman will direct, with Stephen Eva as musical director. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. All seats $25. CVLT is at 40 River St. in Chagrin Falls. Call 440.247.8955 or visit cvlt.org.
"What is hip" is not just a line from a song or a question of fashion for New York Times reporter and author John Leland, but a way into the motives and values of contemporary culture. The author of Why Kerouac Matters: The Lessons of 'On the Road' (They're Not What You Think) and Hip: The History, Leland puts hipness and the Kerouac mythos in historical and social context, surveying how his "underground" ideas have shaped American culture - from sex and music, to race, fashion, drugs and business. A columnist at Spin magazine, senior editor at Newsweek and editor-in-chief of Details before joining The New York Times, Leland has written about everything from hip-hop to the foreclosure crisis. His free talk takes place at 2 p.m. in the Louis Stokes Wing Auditorium at the Main Library, 325 Superior Ave. Call 216.623.2881 or go to cpl.org.
The Cleveland Chamber Symphony gets back to music-making this week with a free program of works by Christopher Rouse, Libby Larsen, William Bolcom and Donald Erb. The late Cleveland composer Erb, who passed away August 12, 2008, is on the program twice - first with the "The Devil's Quickstep," a 1982 composition featuring, among its instrumentation, the harmonica and slide whistle, and then, to close the program, "Souvenir," a 1970 composition for "Tape, Instruments and Lighting." Music director Steven B. Smith will conduct the performance at 3 p.m. Sunday in Gamble Auditorium at Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory, 96 Front St., Berea. Free. Call 216.421.1062 or go to clevelandchambersymphony.org
Greek Bronze Statuary: The Birth of the Classical Style
To hear her introduce the idea, you might think she was talking about the digital age: "I want the audience to learn how technology is just as important as style," says Carol Mattusch. "You have to look at the artistic side of things, and you need to consider all the different techniques used to create the figures." But the technology she's talking about has to do with metal and very hot fire. Mattusch, a professor of art history at George Mason University, will give a lecture called Greek Bronze Statuary: The Birth of the Classical Style at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Cleveland Museum of Art. The illustrated talk will show how ancient Greek technology led to the emergence of the Greek classical style, upon which so much of western art is based. The lecture is free, but you need tickets, which will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Dr. Mattusch's books, Greek Bronze Statuary: From the Beginnings Through the Fifth Century B.C. and Classical Bronzes: The Art and Craft of Greek and Roman Statuary,"will also be available for sale before and after the lecture. For information call 888.262.0033 or go to clevelandart.org.