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The CIM Orchestra Launches a New Season

At 31, Croatian pianist Martina Filjak is hardly the young debutante of the classical piano scene. But since winning the Cleveland International Piano Competition a year ago, she's been globetrotting for concerts and recitals in the way hot young stars do — performing in great and not-entirely-great venues from Bilbao to Chile, but just about always performing. This week she's back in Cleveland to help the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra kick off its concert season with a performance at Severance Hall. She'll perform the Schuman Piano Concerto in A Minor, and the CIM Orchestra will finish the evening with Mahler's Symphony No. 1. Carl Topilow conducts. It's at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Severance Hall (11001 Euclid Ave., 216-231-1111, It's free, but tickets are required. — Gill


Bert Kreischer, Bumbling Family Man

Bert Kreischer scored his first 15 minutes of fame courtesy of a 1997 Rolling Stone article that crowned him the nation's No. 1 party animal. Nowadays, the comic comes off more like Louis C.K. on Zoloft. Each comic is married with two young daughters, but the affable Kreischer doesn't demonize his wife and tykes the way Louis does. He surely goofs on family life, only he's usually the fall guy. The beleaguered dad admits that he has no advice for girls, but loads of wisdom for guys ... which he is happy to share when he sees you. He'll appear tonight through Sunday at Hilarities, (2000 Sycamore St. in the Flats). Tickets are $12 Thursday and Sunday, $17 Friday, and $18 Saturday. Show times are 8 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 7 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 216-696-4677. — Ed Condran



Vino With Benito at the Cedar Lee

Buongiorno Principessa! And also, buongiorno Cedar Lee aficionados! Cleveland's flagship venue for indie cinema is hosting three consecutive Thursdays of award-winning Italian films. (After which that rococo upstart the Capitol Theatre will take over on October 7.) The pre-movie parties are already sold out, but feel free to enjoy an Italian wine or imported beer on your own before coming down for what promise to be really lovely subtitles. Tonight's screening features the gripping historical saga Vincero, which chronicles the little-known story of Benito Mussolini's first wife. The film begins at 7:30; tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling 216-456-8117. The Cedar Lee is at 2163 Lee Rd. in Cleveland Heights. — Sam Allard



Free Party at Progressive Field

It would have been just like Glenn Beck hosting his rally on Martin Luther King Day, only without the racist overtones: On the same day ODOT was expected to announce its chosen designer for the new Inner Belt Bridge, a group of bicycle and alternative-transport advocacy groups decided that, rather than mope about the fact that said bridge will not include a bike and pedestrian lane, they should instead throw a party. ODOT picked its winner early, but the party is still on today: Organizers booked Progressive Field and musical guests Carlos Jones and the PLUS Band and the future-punk trio Filmstrip. Besides fine music and the spectacle of Cleveland's alternative-transit community being swallowed by the baseball stadium, they promise bargain beer, food, and drinks. Best of all: You won't have to avert your eyes from the baseball diamond below — the woeful Tribe is out of town tonight. It happens from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, September 17, at Progressive Field, Gate C. Admission and bicycle valet parking are both free. — Michael Gill


Grape Escape on the Railroad

If you're anything like us, your wine purchases are more or less 100 percent determined by the aesthetic strengths of the labeling. (You've also used the word "bouquet" more than once to describe a wine, without having the foggiest idea what the term connotes.) If you're over 21 and happen to have $55 available for discretionary spending this weekend, venture down to the Akron Northside Station (27 Ridge Street in Akron) at 7 p.m. for a two-hour tour and five sensuous Napa Valley wines. Appetizers will also be served. Learn more at or by calling 800-468-4070. — Allard


To the Bat Cave!

You've got a few more weeks before haunted house season, but Bat Cave Extravaganza can give you the creeps with no waiting. Tag along with Cleveland Metroparks naturalist Tim Krynak for a guided lantern tour of a cave inhabited by active bats — by which we mean the kind that will scare the crap out of you, and consequently them. Ramp up for Halloween but try not to scream; the point, after all, is to have some fun and find beauty in their grotesquerie. Call 330-657-2752 to register and learn about the ultra-secret bat cave location. — Rebecca McKinsey



The 8-Pound Burger Bout at Cleats

Scott Bickel is a Cleveland renaissance man for all times: noted author, former Marine, self-taught magician, piano maestro — and tonight, world-class power eater. Inspired by the festivities at this summer's annual hot-dog-eating barf fest at Coney Island, Bickel has rededicated himself to making buffet lines fear his presence. You know Adam Richman from Man vs. Food? Bickel took on the same challenge at Melt Bar & Grilled and made TV boy look like a toddler hiding his green beans. Tonight he's seeking new glory at Cleats in Westlake: Beginning at 7 p.m. — and finishing before 7:20, mind you — Bickel will down Cleats' imposing eight-pound burger. Why? Because he can. "You will never meet a human being as determined as I am," 20-year-old Bickel helpfully informs us. "One day I will go on TV and win the Nathan's hot-dog contest and bring Cleveland victory." Live the dream along with him tonight at 27200 Detroit Rd. in Westlake. Call 440-250-0200 for all the gory details. — Erich Burnett


Tremont Arts and Cultural Festival

Tremont has been a hotbed of artistic activity for a couple of decades, with hundreds of artists, actors, dancers, and writers calling the historic near-West Side neighborhood home. That makes the Tremont Arts and Cultural Festival — now in its 12th year — feel like an unmistakably organic happening. Lincoln Park (at East 14th St. and Starkweather Ave.) provides a lush backdrop for the visual and performing artists — from the neighborhood and from other parts of Northeast Ohio — showcasing their wares and their talents. Photographers, painters ceramicists, and jewelers will be showing their work in booths along the park's paths; they'll be joined by neighborhood groups, nonprofits, and advocacy groups offering information about their work. Music and dance performances take place on a stage along Kenilworth Ave. There will also be food from the area's celebrated restaurants and ethnic churches — two more things that make Tremont so distinctive. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and noon to 5 p.m. tomorrow. It's free. Call 216-575-0920 or go to for more information. — Anastasia Pantsios

The 21st Annual Chalk Festival

Be a Sidewalk Artist

Wall Eye gallery co-owner Dante Rodriguez looks to the old masters for inspiration — even when he's drawing with chalk on the sidewalk. One of the featured artists at this weekend's Chalk Festival at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Rodriguez expects to work for five hours today and tomorrow at the 21st annual celebration. "I'm thinking of drawing my cat, Tehn-Tehn, and maybe putting her into one of the old masters' works that is on view in the museum," Rodriguez says. "If Caravaggio was alive today and I had the money to commission him, it would be sweet to see how he would paint my Tehn-Tehn!" Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. It's free to come watch and listen to bands (DubFlex Saturday, Cats on Holiday Sunday), but if you want to draw on the sidewalk it'll cost you $16 for a large square and 24-color box of chalk (or $8 for a small square and 12-color box). Artists under 15 must be accompanied by an adult. You can register when you get there at the Cleveland Museum of Art (11150 East Boulevard). Call 216-421-7350 or got to to learn more. — Gill


Morning Hike to the Winery

What could be better on a beautiful fall Saturday morning than to get up and go hiking? How about taking a nature walk guided by knowledgeable naturalists from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, followed by a stop at a boutique winery to sample some locally grown and made wine? As part of its Wine Tastings with a Wild Side series, the museum will lead participants on a walk through Beech Maple Forest at Groves Woods to look for salamanders, crayfish, and other wildlife. The group then proceeds to LaLeure Vineyards in Parkman, in the heart of Geauga County's Amish country to relax, drink wine, and tell tall crayfish tales. It starts at 10 a.m.; tickets are $35. To register, go to — Pantsios


Escape From New York at the Capitol

Don't you love those preposterous sci-fi narratives where the American landscape of the not-so-distant future looks positively bonkers? (Back to the Future Part II is a notable case in point: In an alleged 2015, citizens are decked-out in Teletubbie ensembles and flying around on neon airboards.) In the 1981 Kurt Russell vehicle Escape From New York — screening at midnight at the beautiful Capitol Theatre (1390 W. 65th St.) — NYC is portrayed in distant 1997 as a maximum-security prison. Excusé moi? That's right, folks. Director John Carpenter has created a masterpiece here — never mind his subsequent efforts The Thing, In the Mouth of Madness, and the unwatchable Ghosts of Mars (Ice Cube's heroic turn obviously notwithstanding). It's five measly bucks. Bring friends — late movies are really fun. Learn more at — Allard



Snickerfritz Collard Green Festival

Sculptor Edward E. Parker shows his work at his EEP Creative Arts Complex and Snickerfritz Gallery (13240 Euclid Ave., 216-851-6910), a colorful oasis of creativity in struggling East Cleveland. Come visit and see his work from 4 to 7 p.m. today, when the gallery hosts the 4th Annual Snickerfritz Collard Green Festival and Jazz Concert. For only $15, you can enjoy collard greens, that hardy staple of southern cooking, and the music of a notable local jazzman, organist Eddie Baccus. Call 216-681-6511 for more information. — Pantsios


Puss in Boots Goes Bilingual

Puss the charismatic kitty erupts onto the Ohio Theatre stage like you've never seen him before, transforming the French classic into two versions delivered in English and Spanish. Moisés Kaufman — the founder of Tectonic Theater Project and the mastermind behind The Laramie Project — got a hold of Puss in Boots and reenvisioned it along the way. You'll see stunning creations from London's Blind Summit Theater and hear five singers go to town on a grandly magnificent libretto. This rags-to-riches adventure is free, and will be performed in English at 11 a.m. and Spanish at 2 p.m. Tickets can be reserved online at or at the Playhouse Square ticket office. — Allard


Baking Pies at the Children's Museum

Have you sired an aspirant culinary maestro? Eager to foist kitchen duties upon your offspring sooner rather than later? Have you an occasional and irrepressible jonesin' for apple pie? Sleep soundly! The Children's Museum of Cleveland welcomes families today to a Mini Apple Pie cooking workshop — which ought to satisfy any hunger as well as fantasies of master chefdom. Totally worth the $5 admission. The pins begin to roll at 12:30 p.m. and won't last much longer than an hour. The Children's Museum is at 10730 Euclid Ave.; learn more at or by calling 216-791-7114. — Allard

Dog Party in Geauga County

Woofstock 2010

Maybe today's the day you do something for your dog: Snap on that leash and head out to Holden Arboretum (9500 Sperry Rd., Kirtland) for the Geauga County Humane Society's annual Woofstock fundraiser for the work they do at their no-kill Rescue Village in Russell Township. Warm-up doggie activities start at 8 a.m., followed by the blessing of the animals at 8:45 and a one-mile dog walk at 9. From 10 a.m. till 3 p.m., there'll be all kinds of things for humans and their canine friends to do — everything from games to music, and from animal experts to vendors. It's all free, but you can earn various prizes depending on your level of fundraising, ranging from T-shirts and water bottles to a Kalahari stay for four for the top earner. Go to or call 440-548-2818 for more information.— Pantsios



Irish rockers Remma at Wilbert's

Two exciting opportunities await you tonight at Wilbert's. For starters, you'll be seeing Remma, a band that sounds an awful lot like bands you probably already love — they've been compared to the Smiths, the Killers, and Coldplay — and then being able to brag about seeing them before they got huge. Plus, you'll get a leg up on your holier-than-thou music comrades by telling them about the Irish four-piece that was signed by Morrissey and the kick-ass EP they made. All domestic bottled beer is $2 at Wilbert's tonight, so you can cultivate whatever Irish ancestry you may have in more ways than one. Showtime is 9 p.m. at Wilbert's (812 Huron Rd., 216-902-4663, Admission is free. — Allard



Weekly Improv Jam in Lakewood

Always wanted to try out improv but couldn’t stomach the cost of intro classes (or the fact that the instructors have the audacity to call your payment “tuition”)? New and gently used improvisers join forces with veterans in this weekly smash at Lakewood’s serviceably retro Bela Dubby. It all starts with an improv workshop at 6:45 p.m., followed by games at 8 p.m. — and it’s all free and open to the public. Local teams are welcome and can reserve a time slot for performance. Hipsters are also welcome, and can take heart in the fact that Brooklyn Lager is on tap. Bela Dubby is at 13321 Madison Ave. Call 216-221-4479 to learn more. — Allard

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