15+ Things to Do in Cleveland This Weekend (Dec. 29-Jan. 1)

Tropidelic plays at both Beachland and House of Blues and Tower City hosts a Noon Year's Eve celebration

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Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling. - Beachlandballroom.com
Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling.
Our weekly picks of the best things to do in Cleveland this weekend. Also check out our full Cleveland event calendar.

THU 12/29
The Nick Moss Band Featuring Dennis Gruenling

After the 2018 release of their Alligator debut, the Nick Moss Band toured relentlessly. In the past two years, the band, which often tours and records with harp player Dennis Gruenling, has received five Blues Music Awards, including nods for Band of the Year, Song of the Year, Traditional Blues Album of the Year, Traditional Blues Male Artist and Instrumentalist — Harmonica. It comes to the Beachland Tavern tonight at 8. The Brickhouse Blues Band opens the show.
15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124, beachlandballroom.com.

Elf the Musical

Elf the Musical centers on Buddy, a guy who grew up in the magical North Pole after stowing away in Santa’s bag as an orphaned infant and whose excitable and naive character is in for the culture-shock of a lifetime as he searches for his biological father in New York City. Buddy’s ecstatic nature, and elf suit, leaves him sticking out like a sore thumb in the big city but Buddy must find a way for his family to embrace the spirit of Christmas. Performances take place tonight and tomorrow night at 7:30 at the Beck Center for the Arts.
17801 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 440-933-6210, beckcenter.org.

The George Martins Perform SGT. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

A local band with an affinity for all things Beatles, the George Martins will tackle Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band tonight at 7:30 at Music Box Supper Club. Joining the band on stage to help perform the albumin its entirety will be a host of some of Northeast Ohio’s finest musicians, including David Kay (sax, clarinet, flute, percussion), Evan Kleve (trumpet, violin), Arial Karas (violin), Storey Williams (violin), Ardis Billey (harp), Micaela Murphy (viola), Marla Gigliotti (cello), Mike Allan (double bass), Kiran Ravichandran (tabla), Chuck McHenry (sax, clarinet) and John Richmond (clarinet). Another performance takes place at 8 tomorrow night at the venue.
1148 Main Ave., 216-242-1250, musicboxcle.com.

With book, music, and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, the Broadway hit returns to the State Theatre. Tonight's performance takes place at 7:30, and the play runs through Jan. 15.
1519 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

Steve Hoffstetter
Known as much for his writing as for his standup, Steve Hofstetter is more articulate than your typical comic. At one point, he was even a weekly humor columnist for Sports Illustrated. "I started doing standup to pass the time," he has said. "I'm in the small percentage of people who started doing what they love accidentally." A dorky guy who maintains he looks a bit like actor Michael Rapaport with glasses, Hofstetter tours "perpetually." He performs tonight at 7:30 at the Improv. Check the website for ticket prices.
1148 Main Ave., 216-696-IMPROV, clevelandimprov.com.

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 in the Frolic Cabaret room. John Bruton and Jimmie Graham host the event.
2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com.

Magic of LIghts

A drive-through holiday lights experience featuring holiday scenes and characters of the season using the latest LED technology and digital animations, Magic of Lights returns to the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds this holiday season. Hours are 5:30 through 10 p.m. daily through Sunday. Check the website for ticket prices.
19201 East Bagley Rd., Middleburg Heights, 440-243-0090, magicoflights.com/events/northeastohio/.

Arlo McKinley
Earlier this year, in advance of the release of his new album, This Mess We’re In, singer-songwriter Arlo McKinley jetted off to Europe, where he played in eight different countries in the span of about three weeks. The recent European tour signifies the way McKinley’s profile has risen, but it certainly hasn’t been an easy climb. McKinley initially began singing with his Baptist church when he was 8. He then started playing in punk bands when he became a teenager. Introspective singer-songwriters such as Nick Cave and Nick Drake inspired This Mess We're In, a terrific album that distills all of McKinley's disparate influences. Buffalo Wabs and the Price Hill Hustle open for him tonight at the Beachland Ballroom. Doors open at 7 p.m.
15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124, beachlandballroom.com.

Monsters vs. Charlotte Checkers
The Charlotte Checkers come to town tonight for a two-game series against the Monsters. Tonight's game begins at 7, and the two teams play each other again at 12:31 p.m. on Saturday.
One Center Court, 216-420-2000, rocketmortgagefieldhouse.com.

Shane Torres
The New York Times declares that this comic's style is "warmer" and that he relies on "punchlines with corkscrew turns that have moments of vulnerability and even melancholy." Find out if that's really the case when he performs tonight at 7 at Hilarities.
2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com.

FRI 12/30
Dixon's Violin

A former symphony violinist, Dixon now improvises on a five-string electric violin with a looping system he developed to create an all-live one-man symphony that's "guided by his remarkable personal story of life transformation," as it's put in a press release. He performs tonight at 8 at Music Box Supper Club.
1148 Main Ave., 216-242-1250, musicboxcle.com.

Jeff Dye
Comedian Jeff Dye's career got a good bump after he starred in NBC's comedy adventure series Better Late Than Never, a program that found Dye traveling with celebs such as Henry Winkler, William Shatner, Terry Bradshaw and George Foreman. The mild-mannered Dye doesn't get too animated during his standup routines even though he likes to joke about how immature he is and the simple enjoyment he gets out of watching birds walk. He performs tonight at 7 and 9:45 at Hilarities. He's at the club tomorrow too, performing at 7:15 and 10:15.
2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com.

Happy Endings End of 2022 Celebration
To bring the year to a close with a bang, the DJ crew behind Happy Endings, a monthly dance party held the last Saturday of the month (usually at Cent's Pizza), will host a blowout event tonight at 9 at Lake Affect Studios. The three local DJs who usually perform at Happy Endings — NicNacc, DJ Eso and Theo — will perform. Tickets cost $5.
1615 E. 25th St.,

Guy Torry

Comedian Guy Torry likes to joke that he used to get kicked out of class for telling the kind of jokes that he now gets paid to tell on TV. His material ranges from talking about the "stand-in-line-rage" he experiences when he goes to the bank, to the generational differences he sees in the world of sports ("You don't see any black players in baseball anymore — too many games!"). All the while, he delivers his narrative-based jokes with frenetic energy. He performs tonight and tomorrow night at 7:30 and 10 at the Improv. Check the Improv website for more info.
1148 Main Ave., 216-696-IMPROV, clevelandimprov.com.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra
This year’s Trans-Siberian Orchestra tour will feature an updated presentation of Ghosts of Christmas Eve. The second set will feature an assortment of other TSO hits. Expect the usual quotient of lasers and pyro during the highly theatrical performance. Performances take place at 3 and 7:30 p.m. today at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
One Center Court, 216-420-2000, rocketmortgagefieldhouse.com.

Tropidelic & Friends
The local group warms up for tomorrow's NYE show at House of Blues with this show that takes place at the Beachland Ballroom. The veteran reggae act Passafire opens. The concert begins at 7 p.m.
15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124, beachlandballroom.com.

SAT 12/31
Akron Pride Festival Presents the NYE Rainbow Ball

Tickets to this event at the Akron Civic include food by Ernie’s Catering, hosted beverages, and performances by local musicians and drag artists. There will be a champagne toast at midnight. The party gets started at 8 p.m.
182 South Main St., Akron, 330-253-2488, akroncivic.com.

Beachland's Free & Chill AF NYE!
DJs Chris & Heidi Kulscar, Boof Reynolds, Mr. Fishtruck and Advance will spin at this special NYE party at the Beachland Tavern. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124, beachlandballroom.com.

Kwanzaa Celebration

This program at Western Reserve Historical Society is free for members and all other guests with paid or gift museum admission. Guests are invited to wear African-inspired attire. Activities will include music, crafts, refreshments and more. It all goes down from noon to 3 p.m.
10825 East Blvd., 216-721-5722, wrhs.org.

New Year's Eve Concert & Party: Casino Royale
Cleveland Pops Orchestra plays music from various James Bond films at tonight's special NYE concert that takes place at 9 p.m. at Mandel Concert Hall. Vocalists Morgan James and Hugh Panaro will be on hand for the festivities.
11001 Euclid Ave., 216-231-1111, clevelandorchestra.com.

Red Wanting Blue
The Columbus-based rock band plays its annual NYE show in Northeast Ohio tonight at 9 at the Goodyear Theatre. JD Eicher and Angela Perley open the show. Expect to hear RWB's hard-driving new single as well as tunes from its extensive career that dates back to the late '90s.
1201 East Market St., Akron, goodyeartheater.com.

Tower City Center’s Noon Year’s Eve
This special Noon Year's Eve event at Tower City Center will feature a balloon drop, character meet and greets, dance parties, New Year wearables, balloon twisters and face painters. The fun begins at 11 a.m. and lasts until 3 p.m. Admission is free.
230 W. Huron, 216-771-0033, towercitycenter.com.

The local jam band plays a special NYE show at House of Blues with Passafire, Palmer Squares and Mooky. Doors open at 7 p.m.
308 Euclid Ave., 216-523-2583, houseofblues.com.

A Very Disfunktional NYE 2023
Disfunktional is a multi-cultural three-piece DJ crew that plays true house music with passion, skill, respect and reverence. Founder DJ Mike One is flanked by DJs Red Tailed Hawk Luna and Andre Leone. Collectively the trio represents Newcastle (UK), Cleveland, Chicago and Maui. The group will ring in the New Year at Foundation Room Cleveland. There will be champagne and food throughout the night. The party goes from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.
308 Euclid Ave., 216-523-2583, houseofblues.com.

SUN 01/01
Harlem Globetrotters

Some might say that if you’ve seen the Harlem Globetrotters once, you’ve seen them a hundred times, but the spectacular Globetrotters bring their unrivaled ball-handling wizardry, high-flying dunks and gut-busting comedy to the Covelli Centre this afternoon and this evening. This basketball-entertainment bonanza is fun for the whole family. Today's game begins at 2 p.m.
229 East Front St., Youngstown, 330-746-5600, covellicentre.com.

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About The Author

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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