15+ Things to Do in Cleveland This Weekend (June 9-June 12)

click to enlarge The War on Drugs. - Courtesy of AEG Presents
Courtesy of AEG Presents
The War on Drugs.
Our weekly picks of the best things to do in Cleveland this weekend. Also check out our full Cleveland event calendar.

THU 06/09
The War on Drugs

When indie rockers the War on Drugs last played Cleveland in 2018, we wrote that the band successfully “toggled between raging walls of sound and somewhat calmer, more Americana-laced songs like ‘Arms Like Boulders’ and ‘Eyes to the Wind’ in delivering a great mid-summer show.” The group will likely be in good form again when it returns to town tonight. The concert begins at 6:30 p.m. at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica. Check the venue's website for more info.
2014 Sycamore St., 216-861-4080, jacobspavilion.com.

Kenny Chesney
While country music superstar Kenny Chesney is known for his stadium shows, the songwriter from East Tennessee also likes his amphitheater gigs. The jaunt that brings him to Blossom tonight is part of a special small hall summer tour. Chesney, the only country artist in the Top 10 of Billboard’s Top 25 Live Artists in 25 Years, performs at 7:30 tonight at the venue. Check the website for more info.
1145 W. Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, 216-231-1111, livenation.com.

Drink and Draw with Dr. Sketchy Akron
Founded in 2005 in a dive bar in Brooklyn, Dr. Sketchy’s has now spread to more than 100 cities around the world. Dr. Sketchy Akron, a monthly drink and draw event that takes place on the second Thursday of each month at Jilly's Music Room in Akron, gives patrons the opportunity to "draw glamorous underground performers in an atmosphere of boozy conviviality." The fun begins at 7 p.m.; it costs $10 to draw.
111 N Main St., Akron, 330-576-3757, jillysmusicroom.com.

Adekunle Gold
International Afropop star Adekunle Gold is considered an Afropop pioneer. Since releasing his first single "Sade," a love song which samples One Direction's "Story of My Life," Adekunle has gone on to release four albums, including 2016's Gold, which debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard World Albums Chart. His Catch Me If You Can — The Tour comes to town tonight. The concert begins at 7 p.m. at House of Blues Cambridge Room. Tickets cost $30. 308 Euclid Ave., 216-523-2583, houseofblues.com.

Guardians vs. Oakland Athletics
Earlier this season, the Guardians played the always-tough Oakland Athletics in Oakland and came away with a sweep. Now, the A's come to Cleveland for the first and only time this season. Tonight's game begins at 7:10, and games continue through Sunday. Consult the Guardians' website for more info.
2401 Ontario St., 216-420-4487, mlb.com/guardians.

Mike Paramore
"My material has always been life observations," says this local comedian, who admits he'll down a Long Island or two before hitting the stage. A rising star on Cleveland's crowded comedian scene, Paramore performs tonight at 7 at Hilarities, where he has shows scheduled through Saturday. Consult the club's website for more info.
2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com.

Masked Singer National Tour
The live show based on the popular TV show The Masked Singer will feature celebrity guest hosts from the TV show as well as one local celebrity at your hometown show in a top-secret disguise. The audience will attempt to decipher the clues to guess the identity until the local celebrity is unmasked at the end of the night. The evening will feature fan-favorite masked characters from the TV show. The event begins tonight at 7:30. Check the venue's website for more info.
198 Hill St., Akron, 330-972-7570, ejthomashall.com.

My Fair Lady
Featuring classic songs as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “The Rain in Spain,” “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” and “On the Street Where You Live,” My Fair Lady, a musical about a young flower seller and a linguistics professor arrives in town for an extended run at Playhouse Square. Tonight's performance takes place at 7:30 at the State Theatre, where performances continue through June 26.
1519 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

New Soft Shoe
Nine years ago, on what local singer-songwriter Brent Kirby calls a drunken dare, a group of Cleveland friends and musicians showed up at the Happy Dog to play a couple sets of tunes by the late, great Gram Parsons. Dubbed the New Soft Shoe, the group has been at it ever since, spreading the gospel of what it refers to as "Gram's Cosmic American Music." Anything that Parsons played, the New Soft Shoe covers. As a result, the group plays tunes from the International Submarine Band, the Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers. It also plays songs from Parsons' solo album GP/Grievous Angel. Tonight at 8, the band performs in the Waldorf Hall at Forest City Brewery.
2135 Columbus Rd., 216-228-9116, forestcitybrewery.com.

The Sparks Fly Upward
Composer and librettist Cathy Lesser Mansfield teaches Holocaust and the Law as well as other courses at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. She spent decades researching and writing her new opera, Sparks Fly Upward, which follows three German families in Berlin—two Jewish and one Christian—during the Holocaust. The drama is taken from the stories of those who were there. The cast of 35 professional actors and musicians features Cleveland cantor Kathryn Wolfe Sebo and a live 36-piece orchestra. Tonight's performance takes place at 7:30 at the Maltz Performing Arts Center, where performances continue through Sunday.
1855 Ansel Road, 216-368-6062, case.edu/maltzcenter/.

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 piemaker 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.

New York-based Wet just released its third full-length album, Letter Blue. For the album, the group reunited with founding guitarist Marty Sulkow; the disc also features contributions from Toro y Moi's Chaz Bear, Buddy Ross (Frank Ocean's go-to keyboardist), and Dev Hynes on "Bound." While possessing an edgy indie rock vibe, songs such as "Larabar" show off singer Kelly Zutrau's soulful voice. A new EP features five new tracks created in the same sonic universe as their latest full-length. The group performs tonight at 8 at the Grog Shop. Hannah Jadagu opens. Tickets cost $22.
2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights, 216-321-5588, grogshop.gs.

FRI 06/10

A tribute to the music of ABBA, this tribute group will deliver hits by the Swedish sensations. Expect to hear songs such "Waterloo," "Fernando," "Honey Honey" and "Dancing Queen" in all their cheesy glory. Tonight's performance takes place at 8 at the Ohio Theatre.
1501 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

The Avett Brothers
The Avett Brothers entered the mainstream with their 2009 major label debut, I and Love and You, and the North Carolina group has continued to be a major draw ever since. While they don't have a new album to promote, expect them to draw a big crowd tonight. The concert begins at 6 at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica. Consult the venue's website for more info.
2014 Sycamore St., 216-861-4080, jacobspavilion.com.

The Dancing Wheels Company Presents: Beyond Barriers, Boundaries & Belief
Now in its 41st season, the Dancing Wheels Company is back on the road with its latest production, Beyond Barriers, Boundaries & Belief!, a gala performance like no other. Two additional physically integrated dance companies, Karen Peterson Dance and Heidi Latsky Dance, will join the group for tonight's performance that takes place at 8 at the Allen Theatre. The concert will feature three world premieres by choreographers Brian Murphy, Mark Tomasic and Donald Byrd.
1407 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

Dave Matthews Band
When Dave Matthews Band visited Blossom back in 2018, we wrote that the veteran jam band delivered a "thrilling, high-energy show that was anchored splendidly by a sprawling 'Crush' and a 'Typical Situation' that moved through several distinct parts." Expect something similar tonight when the band returns to the venue. The concert begins at 7:30. Check the venue website for more info.
1145 W. Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, 216-231-1111, livenation.com.

Front Porch Concert Series
Each Friday through July 29, the Lakewood Public Library hosts a "front porch concert" featuring a local musician., The 2022 edition will include everything from reggae to rock to soul and pop. All concerts start at 7 p.m. and will be performed on the front steps of Lakewood Public Library. Admission is free. Continues through July 29.
15425 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-226-8275, lakewoodalive.org.

Tom Segura
Best known for his Netflix specials Ball Hog, Disgraceful, Mostly Stories and Completely Normal, Tom Segura recently performed to sold-out audiences on his 100-city Take It Down tour. The comedian brings his latest venture, dubbed I'm Coming Everywhere, to Connor Palace tonight at 7. Check the venue's website for more info.
1615 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

Jay Stevens
"Laughter is a healing medicine," says comic Shawn D. Stevenson (aka Jay Stevens), a native Clevelander. Stevens didn't initially intend to pursue a career in comedy. But after he had a religious awakening nearly 20 years ago, he felt the need to share his gift with others — to help them relieve their stress and possibly heal them with laughter. A clean comic, Stevens performs in both comedy clubs and churches. He performs at 7:30 and 10 tonight and at 6:30 and 9 tomorrow night at the Improv.
1148 Main Ave., 216-696-IMPROV, clevelandimprov.com.

Summer of 1989: An All Taylor Swift Dance Party
Mahall's 20 Lanes in Lakewood will serve up special Taylor Swift-inspired cocktails for this dance party featuring the pop star's biggest hits as well as deep cuts including the 10-minute extended version of "All Too Well." The fun starts at 9 p.m. Check the Mahall's website for more info.
13200 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-521-3280, mahalls20lanes.com.

Walkabout Tremont
For this month's installment of Walkabout Tremont, there will be 20+ pop-up vendors along Professor Ave., food and drink specials at Tremont restaurants and bars, and art on display. Plus, street performers Dr. U.R. Awesome and his record-breaking bubbles are back. David Bays (singer/songwriter), the Cleveland Kiltie Band and Tribe Ostara Tribal Belly Dance will perform, and the ornate St. John Cantius Church will be open for tours. Kaiser Gallery presents Handful of Dream-Dust, a solo exhibit by Cleveland artist Jonah Jacobs, and the BIG Photography Show is at 818 Studios.

SAT 06/11
Art by the Falls

Just a short drive outside Cleveland, Chagrin Falls hosts its 38th annual Art by the Falls from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow. While the pandemic caused a two-year pause in this flagship event, art lovers and festival goers can expect an impressive array of artists this year in addition to the mural project and other interactive activities, including a mural by Pam Spremulli, an artist who's widely known for her brightly colored murals. Art by the Falls attendees can grab a brush and paint in sections to complete the mural, which will then reside permanently on display at Valley Art Center for all to enjoy. A Chagrin Falls resident and professional graphic illustrator, educator, and muralist, Pam recently won round two of public voting in the “Paint the District” mural competition in Cleveland. She was also selected as one of three Cleveland artists to paint six murals celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Cleveland Public Auditorium and is an adjunct professor at Cleveland Institute of Art.

Legacy Live
One of Northeast Ohio's most popular free concert series, Legacy Live has become a tradition that families and couples look forward to each summer. The concerts, which take place on the Legacy Village lawn at 5 each Saturday night throughout the warmer months, feature local bands that play everything from blues to jazz and rock. Admission is free.
25333 Cedar Rd., Lyndhurst, 216-382-3871, legacy-village.com.

MoCa's Game On Benefit Party
For tonight's annual benefit, moCa galleries and classrooms will transform into game spaces for artist-designed or influenced experiences including “hand-crafted” ping pong, quirky casino gaming, life-sized Mad Libs, pop culture paint-by-numbers, gingham-on-gingham foosball, “iconic” scavenger hunts and video gaming mash-up by artists including Thu Tran and Lena Chen. One-night-only artworks and installations include new and recent works by Lauren Yeager, Glenn Kaino & Tommie Smith, Cory Arcangel, Michelle Grabner, Kevin Jerome Everson, Jordan Wong, Fischli & Weiss, Perry Cooper, Justin Michael Will, Kota Ezawa, Tim Laun and others. VIP tickets get you in at 6 p.m. Other ticket holders can enter at 7 p.m.
11400 Euclid Ave, 2164218671, mocacleveland.org.

Leanne Morgan
Having toured as part of the comedy trio Country Cool along with headliners Karen Mills and Trish, Suhr, comedian Leanne Morgan has a comedy special currently streaming on VidAngel and her videos on Dry Bar Comedy have gotten more than 50 million, views. Dubbed Big Panty Tour, her first headlining tour comes to Connor Palace tonight at 7.
1615 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

James "Murr" Murray
Best known as “Murr” on the hit television show Impractical Jokers on truTV, James Murray is also one of the stars of the TV show The Misery Index on TBS along with his comedy troupe, the Tenderloins. He is the owner of Impractical Productions and is the author of international bestselling novels too. He performs at 4 p.m. today and tomorrow at Hilarities. Check the venue's website for more info.
2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com.

Pride Martian 5K
This 5K event takes place today outside Platform Beer Co. and is named for Pride Martian, a Pride-themed sour ale with summery hints of watermelon, cherry and pineapple. Participants are encouraged to wear their flashiest, most unique Pride-related ensembles or their finest futuristic Martian attire. The winning costume will score a $250 Platform Beer Co. gift card. All participants will receive a race shirt and Platform Beer Co. brew at the post-race party. A portion of proceeds from every 5k registration fee will benefit the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland, which offers programming, events and services to Northeast Ohio’s LGBTQ+ community. The race starts from Platform Beer Company at 9 a.m. Consult the brewery's website for more details.
4125 Lorain Ave., 216-202-1386, platformbeerco.com.

Summer Arts Fest: Dance with Giants
The Cleveland Museum of Art and University Circle Inc. have partnered to create Summer Arts Fest: Dance with Giants, a free, daylong summer arts festival that takes place today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wade Oval. The event will include larger-than-life art installations created by local artists. There will be live music, artistic projects and games featured in activity tents, and food and beverages available for purchase. Admission is free.
10820 East Blvd., universitycircle.org.

Ron White
You won't get any nonsense from straight-talking, hard-drinking comic Ron White, who appears tonight at 7 at MGM Northfield Park — Center Stage. White, who rose to fame on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, embraces a redneck sensibility. A classic storyteller, he regularly talks about growing up in a small town in Texas. The guy's sold over 14 million albums (solo and with the Blue Collar Comedy Tour); he's also been nominated for two Grammys. Consult the venue's website for more info.
10705 Northfield Rd., Northfield, 330-908-7793, mgmnorthfieldpark.mgmresorts.com/en.html.

SUN 06/12
Geoffrey Asmus

Geoffrey Asmus began performing standup in 2013 immediately after college. He went on to win Comedy on State’s Funniest Person in Madison 2015 and Penguin Comedy Club’s Funniest Person in Iowa 2015. He's performed at the Laughing Skull, Bridgetown, Limestone and Boston comedy festivals. He performs tonight at 7 at Hilarities.Check the venue's website for more info.
2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com.

Crocker Park Block Party
This annual event at Crocker Park begins at 9:30 a.m. with the Crocker Bark 5K and 1-Mile walk. Then, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., attendees can enjoy the Crocker Park Block Party all throughout Crocker Park. There will be meet and greets with Westlake Police Department law enforcement officers, SWAT, Bomb Unit, and University Hospital, K-9 demonstrations, live music, a chalk zone and face painting. Admission is free.
189 Crocker Park Blvd., Westlake, crockerpark.com.

The Musical Box
Acclaimed for its ability to play early Genesis material, the Musical Box has reportedly played to more than a million spectators during the course of its career. For the current tour, the group will perform the Genesis album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway in its entirety. The concert takes place at 7:30 tonight at Connor Palace. Consult the venue's website for more info.
1615 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

Reggae Sundays
This special Reggae Sunday Happy Hour Concert series is a summertime tradition at the Music Box Supper Club The indoor/outdoor concert series will take place rain or shine with live music from 4 to 7 p.m. Music Box will also offer food and drink specials exclusive to the series. Continues through Sept. 4.
1148 Main Ave., 216-242-1250, musicboxcle.com.

Taste of Lakewood
This event featuring some of Lakewood's best restaurants takes place from 1 to 7 p.m. at Madison Park in Lakewood. Admission is free, but a VIP experience that includes reserved parking, seating, a personal waiter, food and drink tokens, a special dessert and a raffle ticket is available too.
13029 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-529-6650, lakewoodalive.org.
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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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