George Morris studies his five-card hand as if he's taking a multiple-choice test. To win the weekly Yu-Gi-Oh! Upper Deck Duelist Challenge Tournament, the 14-year-old plunks down his Blindly Loyal Goblin, with its 1,800 attack points. "Here's my pump-spell [card]. So, what are you gonna do about it?" teases Morris, a Rocky River High School freshman. His opponent sighs in disbelief. "Okay. Then I'll attack," Morris proclaims, pumping his fist in victory.
In case you haven't heard, the game -- with its deck of 60 Tarot-like cards -- is a hit with kids. There's a TV show, a movie series, and video games based on the magic-wielding Yugi and his buddies, who battle ancient monsters. Each player tries to bring down his enemy's point total to zero, based on the attack-and-defense values of the cards used in combat.
"You can use tricks and different strategies to confuse your opponent," says Morris, who's been playing for two years. "That's the key -- always play the tomfoolery." The tourney runs from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Compendium Games, 19644 Center Ridge Road in Rocky River. Entry fee is $5. Call 440-895-1224 for more information. -- Cris Glaser
Blossom Festival kicks back with some show tunes.
There's a good reason why nonclassical orchestra concerts are always a hit. "Familiarity is a very powerful tool in music," says Randall Craig Fleischer, the Canton native and Los Angeles resident who's conducting the Akron Symphony at Saturday's Bravo Broadway. "The music is immediate for the audience. The task of conducting is to communicate the heart of the music." The outdoor Blossom Festival program includes such Great White Way faves as Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine," "Be Our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast, and the Chicago showstopper "Mr. Cellophane." "It's nice to take a break from Beethoven and Stravinsky and do a program like this," says Fleischer. "I also love rock, jazz, swing, and gospel music passionately. I'm just a guy who loves music." Bravo Broadway starts at 8 p.m. at Blossom Music Center, 1145 West Steels Corners Road in Cuyahoga Falls. Tickets are $17 to $37; call 216-231-1111. -- Michael Gallucci
There Goes Tokyo!
Go, go, Godzilla -- still kickin' ass at 50.
Godzilla has been destroying Tokyo, whuppin' Mothra's ass, and frolicking with Minya (his Mickey Rooney-looking son) for 50 years now. But the first Godzilla flick -- when he was still a lean, mean, green wrecking machine, and before he started rescuing earth from Mechagodzilla and other laughable creatures -- has never been released in the U.S. in its original form until now. To mark the giant lizard's golden anniversary, the Japanese soundtrack is back, 40 minutes have been restored, and the scenes with a pre-Perry Mason Raymond Burr have been cut. It screens at the Cleveland Cinematheque (11141 East Boulevard) at 9:20 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday, and 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8; call 216-421-7450. -- Michael Gallucci
The Lion Fling
On the African Safari, red-tailed hawks and peregrine falcons scope out a forest filled with snakes, skunks, and chinchillas. Along the trail, a storyteller shares jungle tales as Sisterfire plays her Djembe drum. And at the end, scavengers dine on a fine African delicacy: pizza. It happens from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, 28728 Wolf Road in Bay Village. Registration is required. Tickets are $10, $5 for kids; call 440-871-2900. -- Cris Glaser