To get his fellow funnymen out of their stand-up rut, Joe Hannum is pitting them against each other at a Ninja Comedy Death Match on Thursday. The competition starts with 10 comedians drawing topics from a champagne bucket; then each goes onstage for a three-minute routine. While nobody knows what subject he'll pick, general themes -- like sports or politics -- were divulged a week ago. "Traditionally, if you go first, it's a disadvantage," says Hannum. "But in this contest, if you're last, you gotta take whatever's left." After the first round, three judges will pare down the field to four comics, who'll once again draw topics. For the final round, a pair of comedians will battle for the $100 prize and the title of Ninja Comedy Master. And all 10 comics will have debuted their new jokes by the end of the night. "It's intended to get them out of their comfort zone and force them to write new material," says Hannum. Laughs start at 10 p.m. at Bassa Vita, 1572 West 117th Street in Lakewood. Admission is $2; call 216-521-4386. -- Cris Glaser
In Torremolinos 73, a broke door-to-door encyclopedia salesman and his wife get roped into making "educational" sex films for the Scandinavian market. Before they know it, they become inadvertent porn stars in this droll Spanish comedy, set in 1973, when Super-8 filmmaking was at its zenith. The husband, tiring of shooting his wife in various outfits and positions, gets bigger aspirations. Inspired by Ingmar Bergman (whose megaphone he inherits and brandishes onset), he pens a metaphysical screenplay, based on Bergman's playing-chess-with-Death classic, The Seventh Seal. He's tapped to direct and insists on filming in artsy black-and-white. But the film's investors want to spice up his vanity project, and conflict ensues. Torremolinos 73 plays at the Cleveland Cinematheque (11141 East Boulevard) at 9:30 p.m. Friday and 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $8. Call 216-421-7450 for more information. -- Michael Gallucci
Tastes Like Fancy Chicken
We're not exactly sure if A Taste of Hudson is any healthier than A Taste of Cleveland (see Urban Experience), but we do know there's an appetizing lineup of events. Three stages of live entertainment (featuring local favorites Hillbilly Idol, Ernie Krivda, and Anne E. DeChant) complement the 15-plus restaurants (Marcelita's Mexican Restaurant and Old Whedon Grille, among them) that'll dish up eats. Kids' activities, a classic-car show, and cooking demos round out the free action. Take a bite from noon to 9 p.m. Sunday and from noon to 6 p.m. Monday at First & Main Street in downtown Hudson; call 330-650-4212. -- Michael Gallucci
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