Thursday, September 29, 2016

Nighttown to Host Tribute to Singer-Songwriter Laura Nyro

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 7:45 AM

New York-based singer-songwriter Christine Spero fell in love with singer-songwriter Laura Nyro’s music when a friend of hers gave her a copy of Nyro's Eli and the Thirteenth Confession.

A Rock Hall Inductee, Nyro became one of the most covered artists in the 1960s and 1970s with tracks such as “Eli's Coming,” “Stoned Soul Picnic,” “And When I Die” and “Wedding Bell Blues.”

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Great Lakes Theater's 'My Fair Lady' Sticks to the Fundamentals — And That's Good

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 7:14 AM

One of the pleasures of seeing a classic Lerner and Loewe musical such as My Fair Lady is in seeing how it can be restaged, or even reimagined, some 60 years after it opened on Broadway. In this Great Lakes Theater production, directed by Victoria Bussert, very few liberties are taken with the material. And that’s a good thing, since the material is so damn good all by itself.

Of course, back in the day other Broadway teams took a run at musicalizing George Bernard Shaw’s story of Pygmalion—including Rogers and Hammerstein. Richard and Oscar worked on it for more than a year before giving up, What threw them was the lack of a strong romantic through line, since the stern taskmaster, phonetician Henry Higgins, and the poor flower girl Eliza Doolittle never seem to really hit it off.

In this production, Eliza is played by Jillian Kates, and she handles her chores with professional aplomb, even though the “r” sound is barely noticeable in her tender rendition of “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly.” Still, she is a properly rough and tumble gal as the early Eliza, joking and dancing with the other denizens of the gutter. And she shows some real spirit in “Just You Wait,” her rant against the dominating presence of ‘enry ‘iggins. When Eliza is transformed as a proper lady, Kates shows off her powerful singing voice in the amusingly repetitive “I Could Have Danced All Night.” But once this Eliza gets her rap together, her character becomes a bit too flat, the spirit refined out of her.

As Higgins, Tom Ford brings a tense, rapid-fire, no-nonsense approach to a role that was made famous by Cyril Richard’s talk-singing profundity and slow burn. Ford’s take is quite amusing throughout, especially in “I’m An Ordinary Man,” but it sacrifices something in the connection that is supposed to grow between Higgins and Eliza. Since Ford’s machine-gun nastiness seems reflexive rather than inspired by the specific presence of the Cockney lass, it makes his eventual softening towards her less personal, and thus less meaningful, than it might otherwise be.

There are particular delights in the smaller roles. M.A. Taylor has never been better than he is as Eliza’s scoundrel father Alfred P. Doolittle. His takes on “With a Little Bit of Luck” and “Get Me to the Church on Time,” augmented by energetic dance numbers choreographed by Gregory Daniels, are little gems. And Colton Ryan as Freddy loads plenty of yearning into “On the Street Where You Live,” making his reprise laugh-out-loud funny. And Laura Perrotta manages to cadge some laughs from the rather drab role of Mrs. Higgins, Henry’s mom.

The scenic design by Jeff Herrmann is to drool for, with simple rotating panels indicating the locations and a virtually monochromatic color scheme of whites and off-whites giving the production a lush feel. The orchestra under the direction of Joel Mercier is spot on.

My Fair Lady is a treasure and this production does it full justice.

My Fair Lady
Through October 29 at the Great Lakes Theater, Hanna Theatre, 2067 E. 14th St., 216-241-6000.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Local Hip-Hop Act Clapper the Rapper Releases New Music Video

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2016 at 4:42 PM

Locally produced by Steven Turner and directed, edited, and filmed by Mike Moline, the new music video for Clapper the Rapper’s bluesy “Diss Tracks” finds the rapper delivering his rapid-fire rhymes in what appears to be an abandoned warehouse.  

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Prog Rockers Coheed and Cambria Deconstruct Most Recent Album, 'The Color Before the Sun'

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2016 at 2:20 PM

  • Golightly Media
When Coheed and Cambria came through town in 2014 to play a sold out show at House of Blues, the prog rock band was touring in support of the reissue of 2003's In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3.

The current tour, which includes an Oct. 10 date at the Agora, comes in the wake of the reissue of 2015’s The Color Before The Sun: Deconstructed.

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After Historic Performance on Sunday, Terrelle Pryor Still Has a Huge Chip on His Shoulder

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2016 at 2:19 PM

click image ERIK DROST, FLICK CC
  • Erik Drost, Flick CC

Terrelle Pryor had himself a day on Sunday. With 144 receiving yards, 35 passing yards and 21 rushing yards, Pryor became the first player since Hall of Famer Frank Gifford in 1959 to put together a statline like that.

And to think, almost exactly a year ago Pryor was waived by the Browns in favor of a then-injured Robert Turbin, who missed time before playing in just three games, gaining a scant 60 yards on 18 carries, before himself being waived that November.

Now, Pryor is one of the Browns' starting wideouts and on Sunday lined up as the top receiver after Corey Coleman's broken hand left him sidelined. Not bad work from a guy who announced only last summer that he'd be switching positions, an almost unheard of move for someone who'd already spent four seasons in the league as a quarterback.

But here he was almost single-handedly carrying the Browns to victory and gaining praise from some of the all-time greats at the position in the aftermath.

Carter wasn't the only one.

"I heard from the people that really support me a lot," Pryor said during a break from workouts on Tuesday. "Randy Moss, Charles Woodson, my route coach Tim Cortez. I played with Charles [Woodson] before so he knows my work ethic, and I learned a lot from Randy Moss, he taught me everything I know besides my coaches here."

Moss was instrumental in Pryor's position change. Pryor hooked up with him through Antonio Brown, who was holding a weeklong camp the week after Pryor made his announcement last summer. 

"They were cutting me for bums at quarterback, guys with no reason to be on the team over me," Pryor said about the switch. "At the end of the day I know what it is, it's a lot of politics. So I knew I was playing the politics game and it wasn't working out in my favor so I might as well try to do something different.

"[Randy's the greatest], the greatest of all time," Pryor said. "I stayed down there for a week last year, then I flew down and spent three weeks in North Carolina with him, and ever since then I flew down there and learned."

It was no small undertaking, and one that even Moss estimated would take two or three seasons.

"I think that he was a little discouraged coming out, because there were so many things that he had to be able to somewhat perfect," Moss told the Sporting News last September. "I just told him, 'You're not going to learn everything in two to three months, you know?' It’ll probably take him about two offseasons, maybe three for him to really get things down pat, for him to really hone in on the skills that really maintain year in and year out." 

One year ago, no one besides the Browns wanted to take a chance on that experiment or process, sure that Pryor wasn't ready, sure that if he were to be ready one day, it wouldn't be for years to come. But one year later — an eventful year of fits and starts, to be sure, including a hamstring injury, a single catch in 2015, and being waived —  here we are, Terrelle Pryor and Frank Gifford in the same sentence.

And unlike a year ago, were he to hit the open market now, the Browns certainly wouldn't be the only interested suitor. 

Asked how he feels now knowing that half the league would probably happily scoop him up, Pryor corrected the question before answering.

"Everybody would. Everybody," he said. "Now, after what happened last year, when I play those teams, I'm trying to make everyone pay. I want to make them look bad, because they made bad decisions, period. I should have been on somebody's team, period. I got a big chip on my shoulder. I want to embarrass them, these teams, these corners, these guys I'm battling against. It's all I want to do, to win, compete, battle my butt off, make these teams look bad. I put it in my head. I got a lot of work to do."

Next week, the Redskins. And the Browns with the second straight start by the same person at quarterback (which, sadly, is actually news: the Browns haven't had the same person under center in back to back games since Johnny Manziel in weeks 14 and 15 of the 2015 season) and a good chance of Pryor being behind center at some point in some package, if not this week, then at some point again during the season.

"It's just doing what your coaches ask you to do, that's all that matters," Pryor said. (He doesn't seem to quite enjoy talking about playing quarterback, which is something you might have noticed during interviews.) "Just try to get the job done and that's to win games. If that's playing quarterback or receiver or running the ball, I'm all for it, it's all to win the game and bring a win home to the city of Cleveland."

That win hasn't come yet in 2016. And Pryor seemed to wear Sunday's loss especially hard.

"I don't like losing, man," Pryor said. "It doesn't matter what I'm doing, whether it's football or playing with my son, me and him battling. That's why we compete. We compete to win games; you don't get comfortable with losing. I think the whole standard for us is a lot higher. I try to hold guys I'm in communication with to a high standard. You hope it's going to rub off on everyone — you give the best of your ability all the time."

Not only has a win not come yet this season, but plenty expect that not many, if any, will come the rest of the year. The question then becomes if that high standard for all 53 guys on the roster lasts through 16 games, if Hue Jackson can keep the locker room together, if the locker room can keep itself together.

"Hue instills that in us. He talks a lot about high standards," Pryor said, "every day of practice, no matter what we're doing. He wants to win. You can see it. It's a burning desire. It's very, very important to him, and he's trying to instill that in us. We're known as the Browns of the past. We're known for losing, for not having a chance. But this year we've realistically had a chance to be 3-0 instead of 0-3. A snap goes over a head. We're up by 18 points in a game we should have won. And then this week with damn three seconds left... We've just got to finish. When we learn to finish, our record will show that."
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Four Local Photographers Show Latest Work in Cleveland Print Room Exhibition

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2016 at 2:17 PM


As October approaches, the Cleveland Print Room begins its fall schedule with a group exhibition challenging four Cleveland-based photographers in terms of both content and process. Perpetual Ephemera includes new work by local artists Preston Buchtel, Ryn Clarke, Hadley K. Conner, and Raheleh Mohammad. The artists explore their personal histories through a variety of media, including both traditional and alternative photographic processes.

“All four artists work primarily in digital and analog photographic mediums, and while some utilize digital collage, collectively their work has been traditional in presentation regarding mats, glass, and frames,” says Shari Wilkins, director of the Cleveland Print Room. “The exciting new work will debut at the Cleveland Print Room with each artist given a great deal of latitude. Photographer Hadley K. Conner curated the show.”

Preston Buchtel earned his Bachelor of Architecture from Kent State in 1992, after receiving his Bachelor of Fine Art from the Cleveland Institute of Art 1988. Last year, Buchtel presented a solo show at Kenneth Paul Lesko Gallery on the second floor of 78th Street Studios. Last year, in addition to his solo show, Buchtel exhibited in group shows at the Butler Institute of American Art, Artists Archives of the Western Reserve and the Cleveland Print Room. In 2011, Tremont’s former Brandt Gallery hosted his first solo exhibition.

Ryn Clarke experiments with photography on various materials, including paper, metal, acrylic, encaustic and alternative processes. Clarke studied fine art at Marymount University from 1967 to 1969.Her work has been exhibited in various galleries, private collections and corporate and medical permanent collections throughout the United States. Locally, her work resides in the Cuyahoga County Building, University Hospitals, General Electric, Southwest General Hospital and much more.

Hadley K. Conner is an artist, teacher and musician. Using film and darkroom processes exclusively to create her images, Conner teaches high school level darkroom photography full time, as well as classes and workshops for adults at local colleges and the Cleveland Print Room. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art and Art Academy of Cincinnati, she considers herself both a photographer and printmaker.

Raheleh Mohammad is a native of Tehran, Iran. Since moving to Cleveland, Mohammad’s work has been exhibited in group shows at the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve, BAYarts, Cleveland Print Room and Twinsburg Public Library, as well as PhotoPlace Gallery in Middlebury, Vermont and twice at PH21 Gallery in Budapest, Hungary.

Perpetual Ephemera opens with a reception from 5 to 9 p.m. this Friday, Sept. 30 and remains on view through Nov. 5. Although the artists will be in the gallery for informal discussion during Friday’s reception, CPR hosts a gallery talk with Buchtel, Clarke, Conner and Mohammad at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22.

(Cleveland Print Room) 2550 Superior Ave., 216-401-5981,

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Giant Indoor Entertainment Complex Coming to Brunswick

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2016 at 12:42 PM

An enormous indoor entertainment complex with laser tag, bumper cars, inflatable bounce gyms, arcade games, food, drinks, and more is coming to Brunswick.

Scene75 — no relation to Scene magazine — which already has locations in Cincinnati and Dayton, will open its facility on the Center Road site of Buehler's Fresh Foods, which announced that it plans to close in October.

Though the Buehler's closing will result in the loss of about 125 jobs, the Brunswick economic development team seem pleased as punch with the new use of the 80,000-square-foot space.

"This is going to give Brunswick a lot more opportunity," Brunswick's Economic Development director Grant Aungst told the Pee Dee. "That's the real story." 

A lot more opportunity for Brunswick residents to to pretend they're at Dave and Buster's, that's for darn sure. Yelp critics tend to prefer D&B's, and aren't wild about Scene75's price point, but they're appreciative of the variety of entertainment options at the Cincinnati location, which includes an indoor putt putt course and a "4D shooting experience." 

Buckle up, Brunswick. 
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