Get Out!

This week's event picks

Thursday | 19

Diversity Dance

Eclectic Circus

Swings at Bounce It's been one year since Zoe Renee Jackson launched the Eclectic Circus at Bounce Nightclub, with the goal of creating a monthly dance party where patrons can leave their labels at the door. "You can expect to share the dance floor with burlesque performers, go-go dancing drag kings and queens, club kids, heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals, transsexuals, and whatever the heck else people want to be," she promises. Tonight's 18-and-older installment begins at 10 p.m. with a mix of house, electro, pop, hip-hop "and anything else you may or may not expect on a hot dance floor." Upcoming Eclectic Circus parties continue on the third Thursday of every month. In honor of the first anniversary, tonight's Circus is free. For more info, call Bounce at 216-357-2997 or check out the Eclectic Circus page on Facebook. Bounce is at 2814 Detroit Ave. — Niehaus

Friday | 20

House of Blues

Alan Cox Comedy Tour

"I'll put this show up against anything going on in Cleveland," says comedian and radio personality Chad Zumock. You can judge for yourself tonight as the Alan Cox Comedy Tour stops at the House of Blues with stand-up, music, and a few funny surprises. Zumock and Cox (co-hosts of The Alan Cox Show on 100.7 WMMS) will be joined by Cleveland comics Jim Tews, Bill Squire, and Mike Polk (recent winner of this rag's estimable Best Comedian award), in what Zumock calls a night of "pure insanity." Also on the bill: local rap-rock mash-up band StarMonkey, Zumock's own I Can't Believe It's Not Hall and Oates cover band, and other surprise guests. Although a 7 p.m. show is sold out, a 9:30 p.m. show has been added. The $12 tix are available through and or by calling 216-523-2583. Ages 18 and older, please. The House of Blues is at 308 Euclid Ave.; for more information, visit — Max Hayden

Smart Talk

Nature is Nurture at the History Museum

If Mom told you once, she told you a thousand times: "Go outside and play!" Well, according to Yale University's Dr. Stephen R. Kellert, Mom was onto something. The professor emeritus will lecture tonight about the theory of biophilia, or how our need for nature influences our experience, learning, and culture. He'll also talk about biophilic design — a building strategy that incorporates nature into architecture, creating positive connections between people and the great outdoors — and will examine the impact of letting kids linger on their laptops instead of sending them outside to get muddy. The lecture, part of the museum's Explorer Series, begins at 7:30 in the Murch Auditorium; however, doors open at 5:30 with live music and a chance to explore the museum's galleries and exhibitions. General admission is $10, less for members, students, and seniors. The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is at 1 Wade Oval Drive in University Circle. For more information, check out or call 216-231-1177. — Hayden

Free Opera

Menotti and More in Brecksville

"The time to bring back opera is now," says local stage manager, director, and playwright Matty Sayre, referring to the cancellation of Opera Cleveland's 2011 season. So Sayre and producer Don Albainy are putting on two one-act operas at Brecksville's Theatre on the Square tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. "We're bringing it right to people's doorstep," Sayre says. "By putting on two shows back-to-back, people will get a good example of real opera without it being too long." Just don't expect dying gypsies or chubby viking gals: Sayre's choices are far more modern. On the double bill: The Telephone, by Gian Carlo Menotti, and Edison Invents, by Robert S. Cohen. The first, a comedic love triangle, features Mark Wanich and Rebecca Freshwater in the leading roles. The second explores the personal and professional life of the inventor, with James Love playing the title role. "This is the first time Edison Invents has been done in Ohio and only the third or fourth time it's been done ever," Sayre says. "In the opera, they slam Alexander Graham Bell, which we kind of tied back to The Telephone, which I've done previously in Cleveland." The Brecksville Theatre on the Square is at the intersection of Routes 21 and 82 in the town's historic Old Town Hall. Both nights' shows are free, but attendees are encouraged to reserve tickets at — Hayden

Third Friday

50/50 Show at Smartspace

Bring 50 bucks to Smartspace tonight and go home with original artwork from one of 50 local artists. Yes, the popular 50/50 Show returns as part of the monthly Third Friday celebration at the 78th Street Studios. (The Studios, by the way, are an artful collection of work and display space nestled inside the former American Greetings digs in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood.) Among the respected artists represented at tonight's show: Karl Anderson, Rich Cihlar, Mallorie Freeman, Derek Hess, Bob Peck, William Rupnik, and many more, in a one-night-only exhibition curated by Martin Geramita, Cleveland art-scene mainstay and former owner of 1300 Gallery, where the 50/50 Show was always a big draw. Meantime, DJ Bradley P will be spinning tunes, and many of the building's other galleries will be holding openings and artist receptions. Find it all from 5 to 9 p.m. at 1305 West 78th St. For more information, check out the 50/50 Show page on Facebook or go to — Elaine T. Cicora

Saturday | 21

Day Out With Thomas

Leader of the Track

Thomas the Tank Engine was created by an English clergyman and his son more than 65 years ago. Ever since, the little locomotive's smiling face and blue physique have been loved by kids and adults alike — in books, on television, and as a shiny wooden (and now plastic) toy. But the star of Day Out With Thomas ain't no trifling plaything. It's a fully operational, 15-ton replica of the storybook engine, pulling into the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad's Boston Mills Station this morning with a five-day cargo of fun. Junior conductors can take 25-minute rides in cars pulled by Thomas, complete with a visit from the Controller of the Railway, Sir Topham Hatt. (Trains depart every hour.) In addition to the train ride, Thomas-themed activities at the nearby Imagination Station will include inflatable bouncers, miniature train displays, videos, storytelling, and live music. The Day Out fun chugs along from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today, tomorrow, and next weekend, May 27 through 29; tickets for kids 2 and older are $18. Reserve yours by calling 866-468-7630 or online at The Boston Mills Station is at 7100 Riverview Rd. in Peninsula. — Chrissy Niehaus

Family Fun

Asian Festival Returns

More than 10,000 Clevelanders dropped in on last year's inaugural, one-day Asian Festival at Asian Plaza. This year, the event has been expanded to a full weekend, providing plenty of time to take in the lineup of cultural performances, children's activities, and samosa-eating contests. Today's highlights include a noon lion dance by the locally lauded Kwan family, a 1 p.m. Korean fan dance, and appearances at 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. by Vietnamese comedian Dat Phan, 2003 winner of NBC's Last Comic Standing, who can be expected to riff on tough times, his heritage, and the mindless stereotypes that confine Asian-Americans. While you're in the hood, be sure to check out the 24 fiberglass rabbit sculptures installed in front of area businesses and restaurants. Signifying the Chinese Year of the Rabbit, the bunnies have been decorated by a score of local artists, including Gary Dumm and Anna Arnold; you can find a complete list of locations and artists at The festival is free, open to the public, and takes place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and tomorrow. Find it at Asian Plaza, 2999 Payne Ave. For more info, including a complete schedule of activities, go to — Cicora

You Are What You Eat

Planeat Serves Up Food for Thought

Carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores alike are welcome to join members of the West Shore Unitarian Universalists' vegetarian group tonight for a screening of the British indie documentary Planeat. The 87-minute flick follows the journey of three medical researchers — including the Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn — as they search for a diet that is good for health, the environment, and the future of the planet. Also taking part: pioneering chefs who lay down some of the most mouthwatering cooking that you've ever seen on film without once resorting to lettuces and lentils. The upshot is a challenge to our love affair with meat and dairy, and a meditation on how our food choices contribute to environmental degradation. The movie begins at 7 p.m.; tickets are $5 at the door or $3 for members. Afterward, stick around for healthy refreshments and tasty conversation. The West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church is at 20401 Hilliard Blvd. in Rocky River; go to for more information. — Niehaus

Healing the Globe

Harmonicity Sings the World's Praises

Can song help heal the world? You can find out tonight at Harmonicity, a multigenerational, multicultural, interfaith musical extravaganza at the Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood. Featuring choirs from four community organizations — Antioch Baptist Church, Cleveland School of the Arts, St. Raphael Catholic Church, and the temple's own Congregational Choir — the 7:30 p.m. concert is free and open to the public, although donations will be accepted to benefit the Cleveland FoodBank. Harmonicity is part of the temple's larger weekend festival of Judaism and the arts, FestAviv '11: The Art of Tikkun Olam. According to arts programming coordinator Rob Ross, that Hebrew phrase means repairing the world. "According to our teachings, the world was shattered at creation. It's our job as humans to help put it all back together again. Doing that by bringing together various social-justice organizations for events like tonight's concert just seemed like a no-brainer." The sanctuary holds 500 seats, and Ross says his goal is to fill every one; getting there early would seem like a good idea. Afterward, stick around for the dessert reception. If everything tastes a little better and looks a little brighter, you know whom to thank. The temple is at 26000 Shaker Blvd. For more information, call 216-831-3233 or visit ttti.orgCicora

Fit for Foodies

Local Chef Brings Field to Fork

Tonight's Earth to Table Dinner at the Culinary Vegetable Institute features signature flavors from Cleveland chef Jeff Jarrett, along with a true taste of springtime's bounty. Blossoming on the multi-course menu you'll find dishes like celery root soup, rosemary flatbreads, a salad of baby beets and goat-cheese feta, pancetta-wrapped pheasant, chocolate-braised short ribs, stuffed squash blossoms, and a medley of fresh beans. Among the sweet endings, the offerings sound even more delicious, with dishes like rosewater soup, blueberry cake, and something the chef calls "dirt, only sweeter." Jarrett, chef-owner of Palate in Strongsville, is passionate about seasonal goodness. "When we are aware of how to eat what's in season, we get the best of both worlds — flavor and health — for ourselves and our entire family." It all begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Culinary Vegetable Institute, 12304 State Rt. 13 in Milan. Reservations are $65; get yours at 419-499-7500. For more info, check out — Cicora

Sunday | 22

Chilling & Grilling

Guy Fieri Rocks the Palace

In case you ever doubted that chefs are the rock stars of the 21st century, along comes Guy Fieri — chef, author, restaurateur, and Food Network's spiky haired "culinary rock star " — with his coast-to-coast roadshow. A Columbus native, Fieri will be parking his par-tay at the Palace Theatre tonight at 7:30. On the side, he'll be serving up Australian flair bartender Hayden Wood, L.A.'s DJ Cobra, and a zany, unscripted roundup of recipes, cooking demos, and food talk. Tickets range from $39.50 to the $250 "off da hook" package which includes a pre-show meet and greet, a copy of Fieri's soon-to-be-released Guy Fieri Food tome, onstage seating, and a chance to sample the chef's cooking (which may be heavy on the pig products, since the tour is being prominently sponsored by the National Pork Board). Food fans can snag their seats at or by calling 216-241-6000. The Palace Theatre is at 1615 Euclid Ave. in Playhouse Square. — Cicora

Cleveland Philharmonic

Season Finale Features the Almeda Trio

The Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra closes its 2010-2011 season today with a 3 p.m. concert in Parma. Music Director Victor Liva will conduct a program featuring the Almeda Trio in a performance of Beethoven's Triple Concerto for Piano, Violin, and Cello. Also on today's bill: full orchestral performances of Claude Debussy's Nocturnes for Orchestra and Paul Hindemith's Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber. Since their debut in 2008, the Almeda Trio — Robert Cassidy on piano, Cara Tweed on violin, and Ida Mercer on cello — has been wowing audiences with its insightful and energetic playing. As trio in residence at Cleveland's Music Settlement, the group also engages in an ambitious schedule of outreach programs for schools and community groups. This afternoon's performance is at the Tri-C Western Campus Theater, 11000 West Pleasant Valley Rd. in Parma. Ticket are $10 for adults, and less for students and seniors; order in advance at or snag them at the door. To find out more, call 216-556-1800. — Kelly Maile

Curator Tells All

Calling All Rasikas

For art lovers, there's nothing quite as exciting as getting the inside scoop straight from a curator's mouth. Today, Cleveland Museum of Art visitors have that rare opportunity: Guest curator Deepak Sarma, an Associate Professor of South Asian Religions at Case Western Reserve, will shed light on the museum's recently mounted exhibition of Indian Kalighat paintings. "These paintings were a brilliant and marginalized artistic movement," Deepak says. "They depict a fleeting moment in Bengali, Indian, and Colonial history and may have been important in the movement for Indian independence." Rich in style and color, Kalighat paintings also are considered to be the beginning of modernism in Indian art. During her talk, Sarma will reveal the unknown history of the art form, along with its spiritual and emotional significance. "In Indian aesthetic theory, artists are believed to evoke rasa, essence or flavor, in the rasika or connoisseur," Deepak tells us. Come to her talk and you, too, can become a rasika of these vibrant and innovative art form. The free talk happens at 2 p.m. in the Recital Hall. For more info, call 216-707-2483 or go to — Maile

Monday | 23

Go Tribe!

The Indians Take On the Red Sox

Tonight is the first game in the Tribe's three-night stand against the Boston Red Sox, and it's fair to say that, between the crappy weather and the crappier economy, Clevelanders haven't been giving our boys of summer all the lovin' that their up-to-this-point performance deserves. As we write this, in fact, the Tribe continues to lead the American League in wins, while the BoSox are only just now clawing back to .500 respectability. Statistically speaking, then, odds seem to favor a hometown win — which also ups the odds you'll have a fine time relaxing in the stadium beneath the city skyline. But if a rain delay looms, use that as an excuse to check out some of the new and improved offerings from the stadium's concessionaires: sauerkraut and kielbasa pizza (Section 152), gluten-free hotdogs (Section 163), and Your Dad's Beer (Section 118) with throwbacks like Black Label, Stroh's, and Iron City. Tickets to tonight's 7:05 game start at $8. Snag yours at or at the main ticket office adjacent to Progressive Field's Gate A on Ontario Street, in downtown's Gateway District. — Cicora

Tuesday | 24

Fresh Air

Get Back on the Trail

Late spring's long stretches of daylight mean there's no excuse to sit at home when you could be out taking a walk. Making it even easier to burn off the midday pastrami, two area park systems have come together to offer Spree for All, an easy-going hiking opp for people of all ages and abilities. Taking place now through June 30, Spree for All focuses on easy-to-navigate trails in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Metroparks Serving Summit County. To receive hiking rewards, complete five hikes on five different trails, the same trail, or any combination thereof. (A complete list of Spree for All trails and mileages can be found at Then turn in a completed hiking form (also available on the website) and gather up your lanyard and commemorative pin. The hiking is free for all; non-Summit County residents pay a small fee for the rewards. Additional information can be found at the Visitors Center at Akron's F. A. Seiberling Nature Realm (1828 Smith Rd.) or by calling 330-865-8065. — Cicora

Wednesday | 25

Funny Stuff

Hannibal Buress Brings It to Reddstone

Writer, actor, and all-around stand-up guy Hannibal Buress performs two shows tonight in Reddstone's intimate upstairs lounge as part of his recently launched My Name Is Hannibal tour. A native Chicagoan, the comic presently resides in N.Y.C., where his day gig involves working with Tina Fey as part of the writing crew for the Emmy Award-winning 30 Rock. (Look for him in occasional cameos as a homeless guy.) As for his stand-up routine, Buress says it depends on the crowd, although he is likely to talk about music. "I'm not a musician, but I've done some rapping, and I am always intrigued by the lyrics," he says. Just don't expect him to wear out his welcome. "Generally, I'm on about 60 minutes, which seems just about right: People don't want to see too much of me!" Tonight's shows are being presented by Chucklefck, the production arm of local comic Ramon Rivas II's burgeoning comedy empire. Along with Jim Tews, Rivas will be opening for Buress' 7:30 p.m. show. The 9:30 show will kick off with comics Bill Squire and Mike Polk. Rivas says the $15 tickets are selling fast; snag yours at Reddstone is at 1261 West 76th St. — Cicora

Arty Party

Artwood Derby at Spaces

Come for the aroma of pine and stay for the smell of glory: Spaces presents the Artwood Derby, a boxwood racing derby held in honor of the gallery's 33rd birthday. Watch in awe as five monstrous ounces of bone-crushing madness careen down the track at breakneck speeds ... or something like that. Made in advance from Spaces-supplied kits, entries will be judged in four categories: Fastest, Hottest Mess, and Best in Show, along with Old Skool for the best vintage models saved from childhood. A live, Nintendo-inspired soundtrack from the Cleveland duo _node will complete the night's Mario-Kart ambiance and give guests a reason to get up and dance. Admission is free, the beer will be flowing, and fun is most certainly on tap. Spaces is at 2200 Superior Viaduct; call 216-621-2314 or go to — Joseph Clark

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