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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

3/3: Christopher Atzinger at Trinity Cathedral

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 4:27 PM

Composer Judith Lang Zaimont’s early works were written mostly for piano, which isn’t a surprise, since it was her instrument at Juilliard. But over the past 30 years, she’s written for just about every kind of ensemble (opera, orchestra, chamber, wind, choral), winning top prizes along the way. In recent years, her piano compositions have been getting more attention (for starters, she was the featured composer in the 2002 Van Cliburn competition). A new recording of her piano works, featuring Christopher Atzinger at the keyboard, will be released later this year. In the meantime, you can hear Atzinger perform music from the album at Trinity Cathedral’s Brown Bag series today. Music starts at 12:10 p.m. at Trinity Cathedral (2230 Euclid Ave., 216.771.3630). Lunch is $5 (or you can bring your own); the performance is free. — Michael Gill

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3/3: Attack Attack! at Peabody's

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Don’t confuse Columbus metalcore quintet Attack Attack! with the U.K. punk-pop band that boasts an additional exclamation point (Attack! Attack!) and a somewhat less derivative sound. The local version explores synth-addled screamo, balancing the off-kilter trill and bleep of keyboards against thudding breakdowns. The band’s 2008 debut, Someday Came Suddenly, revisits several tracks from the har-har-titled EP, If Guns Are Outlawed, Can We Use Swords, but at least demonstrates a willingness to explore — like on the goofy, album-opening 40-second crunk-punk “Hot Grills and Hot Tops” and debut single “Stick Stickly.” It helps leaven the hoarse screaming and contrapuntal blend of nearly identical da-dum-da-dum-da breakdowns and Nutrasweet-clean electro-punk-pop. If you didn’t jump for 3OH!3 or Brokencyde, you’re probably not going to get far with these guys. But judging from the high-school throngs at 3OH!3’s Warped Tour show last summer, you may not be their demographic anyway. In the past couple of years, Attack Attack! lost both their original singer and his replacement, leaving keyboardist Caleb Shomo to take over vocals. This show at Peabody’s (2045 E. 21st St., 216.776.9999) should offer a peek at their forthcoming second album, Shazam! Breathe Carolina, I See Stars, Asking Alexandria and Bury Tomorrow open at 7 p.m.. Tickets: $15 advance, $17 day of show. — Chris Parker

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3/2: Xanadu opens at Palace Theatre

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Douglas Carter Beane’s book for Broadway’s über-schlocky Xanadu traces its roots to Greek mythology. The story has something to do with Olympian gods and their connection to the world’s first roller-disco, but who cares about that? This send-up of the 1980 Olivia Newton-John movie is all about the music, the hair and the shorts. Elizabeth Stanley stars as Kira, the goddess with the hair, who falls in love with mortal Sonny, who wears the shorts and is played by Max von Essen. The musical is filled with vintage Electric Light Orchestra hits like “I’m Alive,” “Strange Magic” and “Evil Woman.” Xanadu opens at 7:30 p.m., with performances through March 14, at the PlayhouseSquare's Palace Theatre (1615 Euclid Ave., 216.241.6000). Tickets: $10-$65. — Michael Gill

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3/2: New Found Glory at House of Blues

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 4:12 PM

These Florida pop-punks were pop-punk before anyone decided to lazily name the genre. A dozen years into their career, New Found Glory still come off like a bunch of pouty teens on their most recent album, Not Without a Fight. And singer Jordan Pundik still can’t catch a break with girls: They avoid him like he’s a Tim Allen movie, and then he writes songs about how soul-crushing the whole experience is. Still, there’s some considerable snap to the songs this time around, thanks to some help from another pop-punk OG, Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus, who produced. The zippy bursts of chugging guitar riffs and pop hooks make the guys sound like they’re 19, even if they’re all heading into their 30s. New Found Glory play House of Blues (308 Euclid Ave., 216.523.2583), with Saves the Day, Hellogoodbye and Fireworks opening at 7 p.m. Tickets: $19.99 advance, $23 day of show. — Michael Gallucci

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3/1: Eclectica at Nighttown

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 4:10 PM

Eclectica is a funky, groove-heavy trio featuring Bela Fleck and the Flecktones drummer Roy “Futureman” Wooten, Tracy Silverman (hailed by BBC as “the greatest living exponent of the electric violin”) and Nashville bassist Steve Forrest. True to their moniker, they blend a variety of musical genres in their electric — and somewhat warped — music. Their songs pass effortlessly and organically from soul crooning to country fiddling, from hard hip-hop to world beats. Plus, their pop and R&B vocals, supplied by all three, aren’t wasted on lyrical fluff — they bring to life engaging pieces of songwriting that often preach against the technological temptations that, for all their claims of connectivity, regularly serve to keep people apart and compartmentalized. Don’t worry: Eclectica have got the juice under control, grinding futuristic tones into body-moving soul for the new millennium, replete with all the jam-band jazz solos, searing licks and delicious harmonies you can take. They’re at Nighttown (12387 Cedar Rd., Cleveland Hts., 216.795.0550) at 7 p.m. Tickets: $15. — Marshall

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2/28: King Hedley II at East Cleveland Theatre

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 4:08 PM

Playwright August Wilson cataloged African-American life in the U.S. during the 20th century through a series of 10 plays (nine set in his native Pittsburgh), each representing a different decade. His Pulitzer and Tony-winning King Hedley II, set in 1985, depicts the increasingly desperate measures urban residents take to survive as the landscape crumbles around them. Nowhere did that landscape fall into more decay locally than in East Cleveland, where the boarded-up remnants of stately homes and gracious apartment buildings are silent testament to its past as the home of millionaires (like John D. Rockefeller) and its present as one of Ohio’s poorest cities. But some residents see a hopeful future: Nonprofit Windermere Renaissance is working to bring new homes, jobs, shopping and medical services to the community. And the East Cleveland Theater gives residents a chance to enjoy and participate in the arts. Together, they’re presenting a performance of the theater’s production of King Hedley II as a fundraiser to build a new green, sustainable home in the city. It takes place at the East Cleveland Theater (14108 Euclid Ave., 216.229.9125) at 3 p.m. Tickets are $25. There’s also a VIP reception at 2 p.m.; tickets are $100. — Anastasia Pantsios

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2/28: Cosi Fan Tutte opens at Severance Hall

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 4:05 PM

Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte is a social and psychosexual mess, as a man goads two younger friends to test their girlfriends’ fidelity through a series of disguises and lies. Cynical Alfonso wagers that if the girls believe their boys have gone off to war, the ladies won’t last a day before landing in bed with someone else, because, as the title roughly translates, “women are like that.” So the boys dress up as Albanian soldiers, and each targets the other’s girlfriend. Cleveland Orchestra conductor Franz Welser-Möst says the work’s insight into human nature makes Cosi Fan Tutte his favorite opera. He brings Zurich Opera’s 2009 production to Severance Hall this week. Welser-Most also leads a free preview discussion with the cast at 3 p.m. today in Severance Hall’s Reinberger Chamber Hall. Call for reservations. The opera opens at 7 p.m. Tuesday, with performances through March 8 at Severance Hall (11001 Euclid Ave., 216.231.1111). Tickets: $68-$222. — Michael Gill

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