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Event picks for the week, and they are bound to make you smile and thank us

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America knows Dave Coulier best for his eight-year run as Joey Gladstone on Full House, but the sitcoms on his résumé are greatly outnumbered by cartoons. Coulier has lent his voice to shows ranging from The Muppet Babies to Cartoon Network's Robot Chicken. He brings his voices to Hilarities this weekend for five shows, Friday through Sunday — and unlike his Full House co-star Bob Saget, Coulier's act is safe to bring your kids to. "When I started, I came up in the ranks of The Tonight Show,' says Coulier, who describes his standup as an eclectic mix of impressions, music, and physical humor. "And if you wanted to get on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson, you had to be clean. I just never really altered that style. I felt no need to throw f-bombs and use filthy language on stage." Hilarities is located at 2035 East Fourth St. Call 216-736-4242 or visit for show times and tickets. — Nathaniel Maund


Dog Days

Crown Classic at the IX Center

Cleveland's canine enthusiasts can stop drooling now: The Cleveland Crown Classic Dog Shows return to the IX Center today through Sunday. More than 3,000 dogs representing 165 AKC-registered breeds will be on hand each day, competing for titles in confirmation, agility, and obedience. Thanks to sponsorship from four area kennel clubs, each day is an entirely different show with new competitors and prizes. Judging starts daily at 8 a.m. and continues until the Best In Show announcement around 5 p.m. There are also special events such as "Meet the Breed" on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and more than 100 retailers selling everything from art to jewelry for both you and your pampered pooch. Adult admission is $8, with discounts for children, seniors, and toddlers. IX Center parking will set you back another eight bucks. The IX Center is at 1 IX Center Drive in Cleveland. For more information, call 216-265-7005 during show days or visit — Aaron Vilk

Thrill of the Hunt

Antique Rug Auction at Gray's Auctioneers

Thrills, chills, and excitement galore: That's what you'll find at an auction, according to Serena Harragin. Along with business partner Deba Gray, Harragin owns Gray's Auctioneers, the only licensed, bonded, and insured auction house in Cleveland. Since its 2007 launch inside a former Citroen dealership, Gray's has handled a stunning array of antiques, collectibles, and fine art, ranging from African tribal masks to a first edition of Ian Fleming's Moonraker. Then there was that piece of gold jewelry, a nondescript trinket that Harragin guessed would go for its melt weight — around $800 — but that ultimately sold for $12,000. "The audience was gobsmacked," she recalls in her charming British accent. Today's auction centers on more than 100 antique Oriental carpets. But even if you don't have $20,000 to lay down on a gilt-embroidered panel depicting Mohammed's tomb, you are welcome to attend. "Auctions are for everyone, not just for the elite," says Harragin. "They're informative, educational, and an awful lot of fun!" Today's fun begins at 1 p.m. at 10717 Detroit Ave.; call 216-458-7695 or go to — Cicora


A Punk Legend Visits Lakewood

Fans of reggae and classic hardcore punk will be lining up tonight to catch legendary Bad Brains frontman HR at Lakewood's punk hangout Now That's Class. Back in the '80s, HR was a seminal punk rocker in Washington, D.C.'s hardcore scene. He has since delved deeper into the same Rastafarian spirituality (and herbal communion, no doubt) that he explored with Bad Brains, using his reggae solo act Human Rights as a vehicle for worship. However, adherence to rasta is not a requirement to enjoy what HR has to offer. Showgoers can simply dig the spectacle, as HR reigns over the crowd like a high priest. Never content to limit himself to one style of music, he'll cover a career-spanning range of material, including new and old cuts from his solo reggae catalog and classic Bad Brains tunes. The show starts at 9 p.m., and tickets are $8 — which, combined with the cheap drinks and inevitable contact high, makes for a mellow and affordable night on the town. Frank & Jesse and Fangs Out open. Now That's Class is at 11213 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood. Call 216-221-8576 or visit for more info. — Vilk

Cheap FUN

Trivia Night at the Grog

In case you didn't know, the night before the weekend's official kick-off is widely known as Thirsty Thursday. And for anyone looking to commemorate Thirsty Thursday on the cheap, the Grog Shop is offering Trivia Night: an awesome blend of stupid fun and free stuff. It kicks off at 8 p.m. with a film, which will probably be themed to the holidays. The trivia begins at 9:30, with winners scoring such prizes as Grog Shop show tix or coupons to nearby joints like Big Fun and Melt. Expanding on the cheap and thirsty themes: All drinks are a buck off, including the bar's stock of domestics, popular imports, and local brews. Best of all, admission is free! The Grog Shop is at 2785 Euclid Heights Blvd. in Cleveland Heights. Call 216-321-5588 or visit for more information. — Maund


Funny Stuff

Dave Coulier at Hilarities

America knows Dave Coulier best for his eight-year run as Joey Gladstone on Full House, but the sitcoms on his résumé are greatly outnumbered by cartoons. Coulier has lent his voice to shows ranging from The Muppet Babies to Cartoon Network’s Robot Chicken. He brings his voices to Hilarities this weekend for five shows, Friday through Sunday — and unlike his Full House co-star Bob Saget, Coulier’s act is safe to bring your kids to. “When I started, I came up in the ranks of The Tonight Show,’ says Coulier, who describes his standup as an eclectic mix of impressions, music, and physical humor. “And if you wanted to get on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson, you had to be clean. I just never really altered that style. I felt no need to throw f-bombs and use filthy language on stage.” Hilarities is located at 2035 East Fourth St. Call 216-736-4242 or visit for show times and tickets. — Nathaniel Maund

Fit for Foodies

Farmers' Market at Downtown's Arcade

If you can't imagine a holiday feast without at least a few locally grown ingredients, today's Downtown Farmers' Market is for you. Launched last summer on Public Square, the 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. market moved indoors to the Arcade in November. Today's crop of local farmers and producers is expected to offer a lineup that includes fresh fruit and veggies, cheeses, eggs, meats, maple syrup, salsas, preserves, pierogi, and more. The move indoors is a boon for buyers, but it also helps vendors by establishing a reliable year-round outlet. "As the small, sustainable farm movement grows, it is vital for the farmer to maintain consistent and constant market opportunities," says Kevin Leamer of Por-Bar Farms. "It's even more crucial for us during the late fall and winter seasons where presently very little market opportunity exists." Keeping that ball rolling is a win-win situation for everyone. You'll find the market inside the rotunda area of the Arcade near the 401 Euclid Ave. entrance. For more info go to — Cicora

Pro Wrestling

"Handicapped Hero"

Takes to the Ring He doesn't mind if you call him "The Crippled Crusader" or "One-Armed and Dangerous," but Gregory Iron is best known as "The Handicapped Hero." The 24-year-old's right arm is impaired by cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that leaves a third of affected children developmentally delayed and another 11 percent blind. But Iron's disability never dampened his enthusiasm for wrestling. In fact, it became his escape from a troubled home life and teasing at school. "The one thing that always took my brain off from all the negative things was wrestling," he says. Iron often receives fan mail from other disabled fans telling him he's an inspiration. "I'm just a regular guy doing what I love, so I guess if that inspires people, then that's a beautiful thing." You can catch Iron tonight at St. Gregory's Byzantine Hall, 12920 Madison Ave. in Lakewood. His bout for the Intense Division Title is one of ten that makes up this evening's Nightmare Before Xmas 4, presented by Absolute Intense Wrestling. VIP admission is $15 and general admission is $10. Order at — Maund


Oompah Oompah Oompah

TubaChristmas at E.J. Thomas Hall

O Christmas tree: You’re nothin’ compared to TubaChristmas, with its lineup of 100-plus tubas, sousaphones, and assorted low-brass instruments decked out in tinsel, garland, and shiny lights. Founded in 1980 by University of Akron music professor Tucker Jolly, the annual TubaChristmas concert is a gift to the community from the university’s School of Music. Over the years, it has grown in popularity to the point that it is now among the largest events of its kind in the country. (And yes, oddly enough, there are other events of its kind in the country.) In any case, listening to all those tubas blurting out an assortment of Christmas songs and carols — many of them as sing-alongs — is an unforgettable bit of family fun. Plus, the concert is free for audience members — although musicians have to pony up five bucks to participate. See it, hear it, and believe it today at Akron’s E.J. Thomas Hall (198 Hill St.) at noon and 2:30 p.m. Parking is free. Would-be performers should contact Tucker Jolly at 330-972-6641 or at [email protected] For audience info, call 330-972-7570 or visit — Cicora


Noir Night at the Cinematheque

Need an antidote to Christmas cheer? Check out tonight's three films at the Cleveland Cinematheque. "If you want a noir holiday, we've got it for you here," promises assistant director Tim Harry. The show begins at 5:15 p.m. with 1961's Blast of Silence. Written by, directed by, and featuring Allen Baron, the movie is said to have influenced Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver. That's followed at 6:55 p.m. by Parade, a dark comedy by Jacques Tati that was originally distributed in 1974, but not in the United States. If vintage flicks aren't for you — and you're over 18 — then Room in Rome, released this year with subtitles, might hold more appeal. Starting at 8:40 p.m., the film follows two women as they meet and mix it up in an Italian hotel room. Admission for each movie is $6 for members or $9 for non-members. Or catch two flicks for $12 (members) or $15 (non-members). For more info, visit or call 216-421-7450. The Cinematheque is at 11141 East Blvd. on the Cleveland Institute of Art campus. For more film happenings, check out our weekly Movies section. — Alyse Lamparyk

Cleveland Jazz Orchestra

Nutcracker Suite Swings at the Hanna Theatre

The big draw on the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra's program tonight is certainly Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite. With its swinging rearrangements of Tchaikovsky's familiar tunes — like "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" recast as "Sugar Rum Cherry" — it's a whole lot sassier than most of what passes for holiday music. But the bigger deal for the big brass band is music director and trumpet virtuoso Sean Jones' plan to debut some smaller ensembles, including one that features electric instruments. "This will be the first concert where we break the band down, featuring a quintet, a sextet, an octet," Jones says. When he became CJO's director last year, Jones promised to shake things up and bring the big band into the present. Plugging in some amps seems like a step in that direction. They perform tonight at 8 p.m. at the Hanna Theatre, 2067 East 14th St. at Playhouse Square. Tix are $20 to $40; snag them at 216-241-6000 or at — Michael Gill

Seasonal Shopping

Last Minute Market in Lakewood

Reward your tendency to procrastinate with a stop at today's Last Minute Market. Now in its third year, this arts and crafts extravaganza has grown to more than 80 artists and craftspeople offering an array of photography, painting, ceramics, metalwork, glassware, jewelry, toys, and more. A collaboration among three regional artist collectives, the show is nestled inside the Lake Erie Building (a.k.a. the Screw Factory) at Templar Industrial Park. The historic building once was home to the Templar Motors Corp., a maker of "superfine small cars." Today, its occupants include dozens of artists whose studios will be open for touring and shopping during market hours. "This market is unique because everything is made by hand, and everything was made by the person standing in front of you," says Kathy Patton of Cleveland Handmade Markets. "Last year, we had a great crowd. So many people were relieved to have a place besides the mall to go." The Lake Erie Building is at 13000 Athens Ave. in Lakewood. Early birds can snag 9 a.m. admission for $5, with proceeds going to the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland. Or get in for free from 10 a.m. 6 p.m. For more information, visit And word to the wise: Do it now. — Rebecca McKinsey


Family Fun

Baking Cookies at the Children's Museum

Sure, you can make cookies at home with the kids — assuming you want to spend the next week picking dough out of the carpet. Or you can do it the easy way and head to the Holiday Cookie workshop at the Cleveland Children's Museum. Aimed at families with children ages three and up, the workshop is part of an ongoing series of cooking classes offered by museum staffers. In today's seasonal edition, you and the little ones will be making sugar cookies from scratch, including the frosting. The workshop begins at 12:30 p.m.; depending on your pre-existing talents, you should be done within an hour. It's great family fun, and best of all, someone else will clean up the mess! Cost is $5 per person in addition to regular museum admission; preregister at 216-791-7114. The Children's Museum is at 10730 Euclid Ave. in University Circle; go to for more information. — Cicora

Bolshoi Ballet

Nutcracker Simulcast at Cedar Lee Theatre

Most of us won't be jetting off to Moscow this week to catch the Bolshoi Ballet's performance of the Nutcracker. But thanks to the fine folks at the Cedar Lee Theatre, we can still expose ourselves to culture while skipping the whole-body scan. Today at 11 a.m. the Cleveland Heights movie house presents a live HD simulcast of the world-renowned company performing Tchaikovsky's classic Christmas fantasy. Starring Nina Kaptsova as Marie and Arten Ovcharenko as the Nutcracker/Prince, the ballet will feature the choreography of iconic dancer and artistic director Yuri Grigorovich, who famously first produced the ballet at the Bolshoi in 1968. (Now in his 80s, this living legend is credited with creating some of the most spectacular ballets of the Soviet era. The Bolshoi, by the way, is in its 235th season.) If you go, you will be one of thousands of fans in 300 theaters across 22 countries watching the performance, which begins at 7 p.m. Moscow time. Tix are $20 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under; snag them at the box office at 2163 Lee Rd. in Cleveland Heights or online at — Cicora



Images of Hospice in Lakewood

Dignity in the face of death is a gift worth celebrating. That's the thinking behind Images of Hospice, a surprisingly uplifting photo installation now on view at the Lakewood Public Library's second floor. Notre Dame College students Aurelia Nuber, Ralph D'Alessio, Sarah Nank, and Dominic Schiavoni worked for four months to compile an extensive collection of photos of patients and family members at Hospice of the Western Reserve. According to Beth Schindler, communications specialist for the agency, it was a life-affirming experience. "Through the camera lens, the students learned that even when facing a serious illness, there is life to be lived." The exhibit will be on display through January 26, during regular library hours. The Lakewood Public Library is at 15425 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood. For information, visit or call 216-226-8275. — Lamparyk


Holiday Fun

Deck the Hall at Akron's Stan Hywet

It's A Dickens of a Christmas at Stan Hywet Hall this month, as Akron's historic landmark decks its halls and throws wide its doors to a host of holiday activities. Among tonight's attractions: the nightly tree lighting, Santa in his workshop, and the fully decked-out Manor House done up in the spirit of A Christmas Carol. The lawn, gardens, and conservatory are adorned as well, with what we're told is a half-million lights. Ooh, ahh, and listen to live music in the Manor's Music Room; then stroll over to the Carriage House for shopping and cocoa-sipping inside Molly's Shop & Café. The festivities continue tomorrow and Thursday, and December 26 through 30, from 5 to 8 p.m. Adult tickets are $17 with discounts for members, students, and children. Visit or call 330-836-5533 for info and ticket purchases. Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens is at 714 N. Portage Path in Akron. — Lamparyk


Ferrante Winery

Red & White on a December Night

Wouldn't it be great to shuck the holiday stress and escape to Wine Country? Not Napa: Harpersfield, in Ashtabula County, where award-winning Ferrante Winery is offering a tasty timeout. Dubbed "Red & White on a December's Night," the great escape features food, drink, and a cozy wine bar where you and a friend can unwind for only $15 per person. In return, each twosome gets a choice of two hearty apps — items like fried ravioli, shrimp diablo, and a well-appointed romaine-and-chicken salad — created by Ferrante's veteran chef Nina Kaczinsky; wash them down with two three-ounce pours per person of the winery's first-rate wines. Best of all, it's all served up in an intimate space complete with a massive stone fireplace, comfy couches, and fabulous Christmas decorations. ("We go all out with the decorating," confides marketing director Alyssa Sekerak.) Red & White on a December Night continues tomorrow and Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Ferrante Winery, 5585 State Route 307 in Harpersfield. For more information, call 440-466-8466 or go to FerranteWinery.comCicora

Burning River Brass

Sounds of the Season at Severance Hall

Severance Hall ends its season of Christmas concerts tonight with a ceremonial blast from Burning River Brass. Led by the husband and wife team of trumpeter Heather Zweifel and percussionist Feza Zweifel, BRB is a Cleveland-based group of top-notch horn players. Since their 1996 debut in the Arts Renaissance Tremont series, members have built a career with annual tours, recordings, and the occasional trip abroad. Tonight at Severance, they can be expected to deliver the most refined version of "The Little Drummer Boy" you've ever heard, augmented by traditional carols, tunes from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite, and holiday pops in the form of Christmas movie tunes. It's at 8 p.m. at Severance Hall, 11001 Euclid Ave. Tickets are $26 to $60; call 216-231-1111 to order or go to — Gill

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