15+ Things to Do in Cleveland This Memorial Day Weekend (May 25-28)

The Guardians take on the St. Louis Cardinals at Progressive Field and the Steve Morse Band plays Music Box

click to enlarge Berea’s National Rib Cook-Off & Beer Fest is back at Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds starting on Friday. - Courtesy of All Media Design Group
Courtesy of All Media Design Group
Berea’s National Rib Cook-Off & Beer Fest is back at Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds starting on Friday.
Our weekly picks of the best things to do in Cleveland this weekend. Also check out our full Cleveland event calendar.

THU 05/25
Cleveland Stories Dinner Party

Cleveland Stories Dinner Party is a weekly series that pairs fine food with storytelling. Through it, the folks at Music Box Supper Club hope to raise awareness of the mission of the Western Reserve Historical Society's Cleveland History Center. The goal of the Cleveland Stories Dinner Party is to "bring to life some of the fun, interesting stories about Cleveland's past — from sports, to rock 'n' roll, to Millionaires' Row," as it's put in a press release. Admission is free, with no cover charge, although a prix fixe dinner, designed to complement the night's theme, is $20. Tonight, locally based mystery writer Les Roberts talks about his latest novel. Doors open at 5 p.m., dinner is served at 6, and the storytelling starts at 7.
1148 Main Ave., 216-242-1250, musicboxcle.com.

John Mellencamp
The veteran rocker comes to Connor Palace tonight at 8 for the first of two shows (Mellencamp also performs at the venue at 8 tomorrow night). Expect to hear songs such as "Paper in Fire," "Small Town," "Pink Houses" and "Jack & Diane" in what will essentially be a greatest-hits set. If you’re thinking of attending both shows, you might want to look at setlists from previous shows. It appears Mellencamp simply plays the same set each night.
1615 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

Ugly Kid Joe
This hard rock band formed in 1987 and experienced a degree of commercial success as the group benefited from an early ‘90s tour with Ozzy Osbourne. Like many heavy metal bands of the era, the group would break up in 1997 when album sales saw diminishing returns. It subsequently reunited in 2010 and just released Rad Wings of Destiny last year. The retro-sounding album draws from the hard rock of the ’80s (think Judas Priest or Motley Crue) and includes a rousing cover of the Kinks’ classic “Lola.” Doors open at 7 tonight for the band’s concert at the Agora.
5000 Euclid Ave., 216-881-2221, agoracleveland.com.

FRI 05/26
Beautifica 360

Featuring a 360° journey through worlds real and imagined, this film is designed to "promote joy with fantastic imagery in a full-dome planetarium experience." It screens tonight at 6, 7:30 and 9 at the Great Lakes Science Center.
601 Erieside Ave., 216-694-2000,  tickets.beautifica.show/cleveland/.

Berea’s National Rib Cook-Off & Beer Fest
At this annual four-day event at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds, 12 rib teams will compete from all over the United States in hopes of garnering one of the three major awards: Best Ribs, Best Sauce and People's Choice. There will also be a kids activity wall with a rock climbing wall, a super slide and swings. Admission is free from noon till 5 p.m. today and then just $10 all weekend long (today after 5 p.m., Saturday, Sunday and Monday) and kids under 12 are admitted for free. On Monday (Memorial Day), all retired and active military personnel showing military ID will be admitted for free to the event. Berea’s National Rib Cook-Off & Beer Fest is a rain or shine event. As always, parking is free all weekend long.
19201 East Bagley Rd., Middleburg Heights, 440- 243-0090, berearib.com.

Doubt: A Parable
Written by John Patrick Shanley, Doubt: A Parable centers on a story of suspicion and morality set in a Catholic school in the 1960s. When a popular priest is accused of misconduct, a determined nun becomes convinced of his guilt, despite having no evidence to support her claim. The play has won numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2005, and has been called a modern classic. The play explores themes of power, authority, and the dangers of certainty in the face of ambiguity. Tonight's performance takes place at 7:30 at the Beck Center for the Arts, where the play runs through June 25.
17801 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, 216-521-2540, beckcenter.org.

Gianmarco Soresi

Gianmarco Soresi has been featured on Comedy Central, Netflix, PBS, Amazon (Comics Watching Comics ) and Real Housewives of New York. His first special, Shelf Life, was nominated for three NY Emmy Awards and was selected as an NPR 2020 comedy pick. He performs at 6:30 and 9:30 tonight and tomorrow night at the Frolic Cabaret room at Hilarities.
2035 East 4th St, 216-241-7425, hilarities.com.

Guardians vs. St. Louis Cardinals
While their record so far this year might not reflect it, the St. Louis Cardinals have consistently been one of the best teams in the National League. They come to Progressive Field for a weekend series that begins with tonight's game. First pitch is at 7:10.
2401 Ontario St., 216-420-4487, mlb.com/guardians.

Shuler King
When he isn’t on the road performing at comedy clubs and special events across the country, Shuler King, who holds a degree in mortuary science, works as a licensed funeral director and embalmer in Georgia and South Carolina at his family’s funeral business in South Carolina. Hard to imagine a story or two from the day job won't be part of the set when the comedian performs at 7 and 10 tonight at the Improv, where he has shows scheduled through Sunday.
1148 Main Ave., 216-696-IMPROV, clevelandimprov.com.

Tremont Greek Festival
Held in Tremont every Memorial Day weekend at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, the annual Greek Festival features Greek music, Greek food, Greek drink and even antiques (Greek or otherwise). Visitors will find a mouth-watering assortment of homemade Greek specialties. Hours are noon to midnight today, tomorrow and Sunday. Hours are noon to 7 p.m. on Monday.

Honeypocket, Mellowman Funk, Obnox, Duby Rodgers and DJ Teddy Eisenberg are slated to perform alongside headliner Skuff Micksun at this show that takes place at 8:30 tonight at the Grog Shop in Cleveland Heights.
2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights, 216-321-5588, grogshop.gs.

Welcome Home 017 Featuring Jimpster & Smooth Talk
Jimpster has become one the most revered deep house artists operating on the scene today. His labels Freerange and Delusions of Grandeur continue to help break new music. From his UK base, Jimpster has become a custodian of the authentic house sound. He performs tonight at 9 at Crobar. Cleveland's Smooth Talk opens the show.
3244 St. Clair, 216-771-4727, crobar1921.com.

SAT 05/27
Big Hoke
A few years ago, local musician Justin Gorski released Home, an alt-country album he recorded as Big Hoke, a long-running solo project of his that dates back nearly 20 years. Written and performed by Gorski and produced by Gordy Quist at his studio in Austin, TX, the album was mixed by Grammy-winning engineer Tom Schick. Gorski has followed that album up with a new EP, People, a terrific collection of tunes that includes the Randy Newman-like single “Bill Murray.” Gorski will have a 10-piece band in tow when he plays tonight at 7 at Forest City Brewery. Singer-songwriter Bethany Joy opens the show.
2135 Columbus Rd., 216-228-9116, forestcitybrewery.com.

A woman goes through various struggles during a particularly tough year in her life in this film from local director Nick Muhlbach. The film premieres tonight at 7:30 at Atlas Lakeshore 7 in Euclid. A question-and-answer session featuring the cast and crew will follow the screening.
22624 Lake Shore Boulevard, Euclid, 216-731-1700, atlascinemas.net.

Cleveland Celtic Ensemble
This group blends Scottish and Irish bagpipes, so you can expect to hear whistle, flute, fiddle and harp during bagpipe duets, harp airs and fiddle tunes in a chamber music ensemble setting. The concert begins at 7:30 at the Hanna Theatre.
2067 East 14th St., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

Reggae Fest Cleveland
Food trucks such as Wild Spork, SWAT BBBQ, Jamaican Kitchen and Original Steaks and Hoogies will feature special menus that have a Caribbean/Jamaican theme for this annual local reggae showcase that takes place today and tomorrow at Voinovich Park. This year will also feature a new tequila sampling tent. There will be 10 different tequilas that you’ll be able to sample while learning more about the drink. reggaefestcleveland.com.

Summon the Heroes: American Salute
Tonight at 8 at Mandel Concert Hall, the Cleveland Pops Orchestra and Pops Chorus pay tribute to the Armed Forces as well as the police and fire departments and first responders.
11001 Euclid Ave., 216-231-1111, clevelandorchestra.com.

SUN 05/28
Jokes on You
Inspired by crowd work clinicians like Dave Attell, Ian Bagg and Big Jay Oakerson, Jokes on You makes the audience the center of the show by "pushing comics to avoid prepared material or written jokes and instead focus on organic interaction with the audience," as it's put in a press release about this event, which takes place tonight at 7 at Hilarities. John Bruton and Jimmie Graham host the event.
2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com.

Steve Morse Band
Reunited and performing together for the first time in over 10 years, the Steve Morse Band has returned to the road. Led by guitar hero Morse (the Dixie Dregs, Deep Purple), the band performs tonight at 7:30 at Music Box Supper Club. Expect to hear tracks from throughout the hard rock group's 30-year history.
1148 Main Ave., 216-242-1250, musicboxcle.com.

Led by Ravenna native Maynard James Keenan and British singer Carina Round, this art-rock group comes to MGM Northfield Park — Center Stage tonight at 8. The group takes a theatrical approach to its live shows, and you can expect to see anything from dancing aliens to artsy video treatments.
10705 Northfield Rd., Northfield, 330-908-7793, mgmnorthfieldpark.mgmresorts.com/en.html.

Rio Romeo
A 23-year-old self-described "non-binary butch lesbian" who works as an interdisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles, Rio Romeo writes songs based on true events. Storytelling and theatricality are part of Rio's background, and Rio started playing the piano at age 17 and eventually got an acoustic piano in the summer of 2020. An internet sensation, Rio creates content about the day-to-day of their life as well as bigger issues such as discrimination in medicine against LGBTQ+ people and queer activism. Rio performs tonight at 7 at Mahall's 20 Lanes in Lakewood.
13200 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-521-3280, mahalls20lanes.com.

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Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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