15+ Things to Do in Cleveland This Memorial Day Weekend (May 26 to May 30)

click to enlarge Berea's annual Rib Cook Off returns this weekend. - Emanuel Wallace
Emanuel Wallace
Berea's annual Rib Cook Off returns this weekend.
Our weekly picks of the best things to do in Cleveland this weekend. Also check out our full Cleveland event calendar.

THU 05/26
The Legend of Georgia McBride
A celebration of identity and inclusion as it champions dressing in drag, The Legend of Georgia McBride opens with a preview performance tonight at 7:30 in the Beck Center's Studio Theater as part of the 2021-2022 Professional Theater Season. Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets range from $10 to $34.
17801 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-521-2540, beckcenter.org.

Otello in Concert
At 7:30 tonight and at 3 p.m. on Sunday at Mandel Concert Hall, the Cleveland Orchestra takes on Giuseppe Verdi's operatic adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy. Consult the orchestra's website for more info.
11001 Euclid Ave., 216-231-1111, clevelandorchestra.com.

Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles contributes the songs to Waitress, a musical based on a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam) and directed by Tony-winner Diane Paulus (Pippin, Finding Neverland). The action centers on Jenna, a waitress and pie maker who aspires to find a way out of the small town where she lives with her unloving husband. She finds just that when she participates in a baking contest and meets the town's new doctor. Tonight's performance takes place at 7:30 at the Hanna Theatre. The play runs through June 26.
2067 East 14th St., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

FRI 05/27
Berea's National Rib Cook-Off and Beerfest

This annual event that takes place at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds will feature 10 rib teams competing for Best Ribs, Best Sauce and People's Choice Awards. The event runs from noon to 11 p.m. today and continues through Monday. Check the website for more info.
19201 East Bagley Rd., Middleburg Heights, 440- 243-0090, berearib.com.

Breaking Convention: Program I
Inspired by the themes of Verdi's Otello, Cleveland Orchestra presents two Breaking Convention concerts this weekend to "highlight composers who have courageously charted their own artistic paths with little allegiance to convention." Tonight's performance features pieces by Reinvere, Walker and Gubaidulina. The concert begins at 7:30 at Mandel Concert Hall. A special concert honoring Black composers takes place at 6:30 at the Reinberger Chamber Hall. A separate program dubbed Breaking Convention: Program II takes place tomorrow night at 8. That concert will also be preceded by a special concert honoring Black composers. Consult the orchestra's website for more info.
11001 Euclid Ave., 216-231-1111, clevelandorchestra.com.

Golden Hour
A rooftop happy hour concert series for artists, entrepreneurs and other creative endeavoring people moves to various private rooftops around the city, feature pop-up dinner features, artisan makers, designers and local craft makers as well as curated live music performances and twilight DJ sets. Tickets cost $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Check the website for more info, including location and times.

Jay Pharoah
When Jay Pharaoh was on Saturday Night Live, he did very funny impersonations of President Obama, Jay Z, Denzel Washington, Kanye West and Daniel Frye. At one point, he nailed a sketch impersonating rappers at the "secret rappers meeting" wherein Jay Z consulted friends like 50 Cent, DMX, Lil Wayne and Drake on what to do since Beyoncé aired his dirty laundry on Lemonade. Each impression Pharaoh did was spot-on and hilarious, so you're not going to want to miss him at Hilarities, where he performs tonight at 7 and 9:30. He has shows scheduled through Sunday. Check the club's website for ticket prices.
2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.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 like pastitsio, moussaka (Greek-style lasagna), dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) and lamb shanks. But the crowd favorite is always the gyro — and they don't get much better than they are here. Be sure to save some room for baklava or loukoumades (fried dough with honey). If you want something to wash it all down with, try the Greek beer Mythos or some Greek white wine. Hours are noon to midnight today, tomorrow and Sunday. Hours are noon to 8 p.m. on Monday. experiencetremont.com.

SAT 05/28
Reggae Fest Cleveland

The Ark Band, the Flex Crew, Mighty Mystic, Pato Banton and Carlos Jones and the Plus Band will play this event that takes place at Voinovich Park in downtown Cleveland. No outside food or beverage are allowed, but chairs and blankets are welcome. It all starts at noon.  Check the website for ticket prices.

Whole Lotta Love Live Band Burlesque Revue
Burlesque returns to Beachland Ballroom tonight with Whole Lotta Love Live Band Burlesque Revue, a celebration of rock 'n' roll with the Beams playing the music as performers strut on the stage. The event will feature music from Led Zeppelin, the Pretty Reckless, Melissa Etheridge, AC/DC and Jefferson Airplane. The cast includes local luminaries Lola Loveletter, Poppy Poison, Ms. Holly Grail, National starlets Scarlett Chaton, Ruby Rabbit, Empress Dupree and Bella Sin. The Master of Ceremonies is Ken Schneck. Consult the Beachland for more info.
15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124, beachlandballroom.com.

SUN 05/29
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 Bill Squire host the event. Last Sunday of every month.
2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com.

The influential German techno band intended to take its show on the road in 2020, but the pandemic put those plans on hold. The group — Ralf Hütter, Henning Schmitz, Fritz Hilpert and Falk Grieffenhagen — will bring together music, 3-D visuals and performance art for this concert that takes place tonight at 8 at Connor Palace. Check the venue's website for more info.
1615 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

Ray LaMontagne
LaMontagne got his start nearly 20 years ago when he recorded 10 songs for a demo album that he sent to out to music venues in the attempts to get gigs as an opening act. He succeeded and opened for John Gorka and Jonathan Edwards. That gig led to others, and LaMontagne would ink a record deal and issue his major label debut, Trouble, in 2004. LaMontagne has steadily toured and recorded ever since; his latest effort, 2020’s Monovision, shows off his raspy vocals and bluesy sensibilities. Up-and-coming singer-songwriter Sierra Ferrell opens the show. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Akron Civic.
182 South Main St., Akron, 330-253-2488, akroncivic.com.

Pink Mountaintops
Led by Black Mountain's Stephen McBean, this indie rock band just released its first album the first Pink Mountaintops album in eight years, and McBean found inspiration from all sorts of places, including the sci-fi body horror of David Cronenberg, Disney Read-Along Records from the 1970s, early Pink Floyd and mid-career Gary Numan. The show begins at 8 p.m. at the Beachland Ballroom. Consult the club's website for more info.
15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124, beachlandballroom.com.

MON 05/30
Guardians vs. Kansas City Royals

The Guardians began the 2022 season in Kansas City, and now the Royals come to Cleveland for the first time this season for a three-game series. First pitch is at 6:10 p.m., and it's Dollar Dog night so bring an appetite to the game. Check the Guardians' website for more info.
2401 Ontario St., 216-420-4487, mlb.com/guardians.

Movie Mondays
Every Monday, Cleveland Cinemas hosts $5 Movie Mondays, where film fans can catch up on the latest Hollywood flicks for significantly reduced prices. Bring your friends and family and make Movie Mondays a weekly tradition — many theaters even offer discounted concession stand items. Participating theaters include Apollo Theatre, Cedar Lee Theatre and Chagrin Cinemas. Additional charges apply for 3-D movies.
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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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