15+ Things to Do in Cleveland This Weekend (April 18-21)

The Rock Hall hosts Taylor Swift Day and Lotus plays two nights at the Beachland

click to enlarge Vertigo Dance Company performs on Thursday at the Mimi Ohio Theatre. - Playhousesquare.org
Vertigo Dance Company performs on Thursday at the Mimi Ohio Theatre.
Our weekly picks of the best things to do in Cleveland this weekend. Also check out our full Cleveland event calendar.

THU 04/18

When it came time to start on Alvvays's third album, 2022’s Blue Rev, singer-guitarist Molly Rankin retreated to the Toronto Islands to focus on songwriting. The resulting songs reflect an intense focus on emulating some of the great indie rockers of the '80s and '90s, and the influence of acts such as Pavement and Sonic Youth is apparent. The group comes to the Agora Theatre tonight at 7 as part of a tour in support of Blue Rev. Spllit opens.
5000 Euclid Ave., 216-881-2221, agoracleveland.com.

Peter Shaffer’s award-winning parable about the famous composer comes to the Outcalt Theatre, where performances continue through April 28. Tonight's performance takes place at 7:30.
1407 Euclid Ave, 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

The Rite of Spring
Acclaimed pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet joins the Cleveland Orchestra tonight at Mandel Concert Hall to perform pieces by Stravinsky and Gershwin. The concert begins at 7:30, and performances take place tomorrow and Saturday as well.
11001 Euclid Ave., 216-231-1111, clevelandorchestra.com.

The Skatalites
The current tour from this terrific old school reggae act celebrates the band's 60th anniversary. While the group only officially existed for a short time in the '60s (it would reunite in the 1980s), it influenced acts such as the Specials, the English Beat, Madness, the Selecter and Bad Manners. The latest incarnation of the group performs tonight at 6:30 at the Kent Stage.
175 E. Main St., Kent, 330-677-5005, kentstage.org.

An eight-member troupe uses matchboxes, wooden poles, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters and hubcaps as this traveling show returns to Playhouse Square for performances at Connor Palace. Tonight's performance takes place at 7:30, and shows continue through Sunday.
1615 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

The classic rock act has a long history with Cleveland. It played the Agora on its very first U.S. tour. The Agora show took place in February of 1979. It was broadcast on both radio and television locally and eventually was broadcast overseas as well on Japanese television. The group returns to MGM Northfield Park — Center Stage. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m.
10705 Northfield Rd., Northfield, 330-908-7793, mgmnorthfieldpark.mgmresorts.com/en.html.

Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons
With his three-and-a-half-octave vocal ranges, more than 100 million records sold and a multi-decade career (that includes Jersey Boys biographical Broadway musical and feature film), Frankie Valli remains a musical superstar. He and his backing band, the Four Seasons, perform tonight at 8 at the State Theatre.
1519 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

Vertigo Dance Company
Tonight's performance by Vertigo Dance Company will feature their new work, Makom. It'll bring audience members on "an almost meditative journey that explores the tension between the center and the extremities, between form and content, between inside and outside, and between construction and destruction, and beautifully dramatizes the striving for unity and wholeness that speaks profoundly to the human condition," as a press release puts it. The performance begins at 7:30 at the Mimi Ohio Theatre.
1501 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

FRI 04/19
CSU Spring Dance Concert 2024

Tonight's concert will include works by CSU dance faculty, featuring performances by the CSU Dance Company, Dance Group and special guests. It starts at 7:30 at the Allen Theatre, where performances take place tomorrow and Sunday as well.
1407 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

Emo Orchestra
Backed by a full orchestra, Escape The Fate will perform its own hits as well as emo anthems by My Chemical Romance, New Found Glory and Panic! At the Disco. The show begins at 8 p.m. at TempleLive at the Cleveland Masonic.
3615 Euclid Ave., 216-881-6350, masoniccleveland.com.

Fayrewether 50th Anniversary Show
In the '70s and '80s, Paul Fayrewether fronted the Cleveland-based band Fayrewether, and the band became known for its renditions of songs by Genesis and Alex Harvey. At the height of the band’s popularity, it filled rooms all over the region from Ohio, New York, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. Fayrewether, who currently lives in the suburbs and doesn't play live often, celebrates his band's 50th anniversary with tonight's show at House of Blues. The concert begins at 7 p.m.
308 Euclid Ave., 216-523-2583, houseofblues.com.

Guardians vs. Oakland Athletics
The Oakland Athletics were one of MLB's worst teams last year, and there is little evidence to suggest they have improved during the off-season. They come to Progressive Field today for a three-game series that concludes on Sunday. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m.
2401 Ontario St., 216-420-4487, mlb.com/guardians.

Jimmie Woody directs August Wilson's Jitney, a play about influence of generations of jitney drivers on their communities. Tonight's performance at Beck Center for the Arts takes place at 7:30, and performances continue through May 5.
17801 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, 216-521-2540, beckcenter.org.

Marion Meadows Group
Contemporary jazz saxophonist Marion Meadows brings his group to the Murphy Theater on Tri-C's main campus for tonight's concert, which begins at 7:30. Local jazz/R&B act Hubb's Groove will open the show.
2200 Community Collage Ave, 216-394-8926, tri-c.edu.

RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles
This popular Beatles tribute act will play tunes from the era of Sgt. Pepper and the Magical Mystery Tour as well as some of the Fab Four's biggest hits at this concert that begins at 8 tonight at the State Theatre.
1519 Euclid Avenue, 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

Record Store Day Soiree
Cleveland Rocks: Past Present Future hosts a special Record Store Day Happy Hour celebrating Cleveland's original music makers and the vinyl they've made. This event features a guest DJ from the local vinyl pressing plant Gotta Groove Records, a raffle full of goods from Cleveland independent musicians and Cleveland independent venues and a specialty cocktail from Tito's Vodka. It begins at 5 p.m.,
 5801 Detroit Ave., 216-651-9474, clevelandrocksppf.org/events/.

In addition to performing at its own groundbreaking, portable Forward Festival, Sybarite5 has appeared at Ravinia, the Caramoor Summer Music Festival, Wolf Trap, the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Interlochen Arts Festival and the Chautauqua Institution. The classical group performs at 7:30 tonight at Cleveland Museum of Art.
11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350, clevelandart.org.

Taylor Swift Fan Day
The Rock Hall has put together a special Taylor Swift playlist that will blast through its hallowed halls today to celebrate the release of Swift's new album, The Tortured Poets Department. Special artifacts will be on display as well, and the Rock Hall store will have Taylor merch for sale. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., 216-515-8444, rockhall.com.

Third Friday
From 5 to 9 p.m., many of the 78th Street Studios resident artist studios and galleries will be open as part of this monthly event. There will be live music, and Local West, a Gordon Square sandwich shop, will serve food. BARneo will have a selection of adult beverages as well. Admission is free. third Friday of every month.
1300 West 78th St., 78thstreetstudios.com.

Benjamin Todd & the Lost Dog Street Band
Lost Dog Street Band comes to the Agora tonight at 7 as part of a tour in support its new album, Survived, which features songs it recorded live. Led by singer-songwriter Benjamin Tod Flipp, the band plays alt-country steeped in bluegrass, as the album's first two singles, “Brighter Shade” and “If You Leave Me Now,” demonstrate. Resonant Rogues;  and Austin Stambaugh open.
5000 Euclid Ave., 216-881-2221, agoracleveland.com.

SAT 04/20
Carbon Leaf

This Celtic/alt-country/folk-rock group that formed in 1993 caught a big break in 2001 when the catchy single "The Boxer," a song that draws from the band's Celtic roots, became a big hit. The group has kept at it over the decades, and it performs tonight at 6:30 at the Kent Stage.
175 E. Main St., Kent, 330-677-5005, kentstage.org.

Cavs vs. Orlando Magic
Though they come into the playoffs a bit banged up (key players such as Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland are dealing with injuries), the Cavs have homecourt advantage for the first round that pairs them against a young Orlando Magic team. The first game of the series takes place today at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Tipoff time is 1 p.m.
One Center Court, 216-420-2000, rocketmortgagefieldhouse.com.

Straddling the line between the more traditional jam band ethos and the burgeoning world of electronic dance music, Lotus finds itself in a unique position with respect to its fan bases: They’re introducing one side to the other, and the blend has proven to be pretty effective. The group performs at 8 tonight and tomorrow night at the Beachland Ballroom.
15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124, beachlandballroom.com.

Dusty Slay
Comedian Dusty Slay likes to say that he "leaves the serious topics like race, religion and politics" to someone who, unlike him, hasn't drank gas out of a water hose. As a result, his jokes tend be about his lower-class upbringing. He says he doesn't like taking off his shoes when he visits other people's houses because it's like they've said that their house is cleaner than his. "I was raised in a dirty house where I felt comfortable," he jokes. Slay performs tonight at 6 at the Agora.
5000 Euclid Ave., 216-881-2221, agoracleveland.com.

Daniel Sloss: Can't
Young comedian Daniel Sloss sounds like he has had years of experience, and he looks and feels more comfortable on stage than some comedians who have been in the game for twice as long. With three performances on Conan already under his belt, Sloss has a bright and hilarious future ahead of him. His act focuses on his personal life and what it is like being a young comedian. He brings his latest tour, dubbed Can't, to the Mimi Ohio Theatre tonight at 7:30.
1501 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

Sonic Symphony
This immersive event celebrates more than three decades of music from SEGA’s Sonic the Hedgehog. Expect to hear classic 8-bit and 16-bit tunes to rock bands and EDM. The show begins at 8 p.m. at the State Theatre.
1519 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

The Virtuoso Viola
Guest Eliesha Nelson plays viola at this special concert for young children. The music begins at 11 a.m. at Reinberger Chamber Hall.
11001 Euclid Ave., 216-231-1111, clevelandorchestra.com.

SUN 04/21
Batman Live in Concert

Tonight at 7 at the State Theatre, a live orchestra, conducted by James Olmstead will perform while the 1989 film Batman screens.
1519 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

KSU School of Fashion Presents the 2024 Annual Fashion Week
A screening of the film Fashion Reimagined at2 p.m. today at Rockwell Hall kicks off Kent State's School of Fashion Fashion Week. Designers in residence work with students to refine their designs, and the week culminates in an awards ceremony. Events continue through Saturday, April 27, and you can find a complete list of events on the website.

On tour to support his latest album, Pinball, underground rapper MIKE brings his Somebody Fine Me Trouble tour to town tonight. The tour will also feature songs from last year's ambitious 24-track album, Burning Desire. The show begins at 8 p.m. at the Grog Shop in Cleveland Heights.
2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights, 216-321-5588, grogshop.gs.

John R. Miller
John R. Miller's 2021 single "Lookin' Over My Shoulder" puts Miller's droll vocals and witty lyrics on full display. It was a big enough success that it gave the singer-songwriter's career a bit of a boost. On tour to support his latest effort, Heat Comes Down, Miller performs tonight at 7 at Mahall's 20 Lanes in Lakewood. The Deslondes share the bill.
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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