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Fresh event picks to keep your week merry

Thursday | 13

Funny Stuff

The Power of Will

Cleveland entertainer Will Power leads two lives: one as a G-rated comic at colleges and corporate retreats, and another as a racy hypnotist, specializing in ultra-suggestive suggestions. It's the naughty Will who will be working the crowd tonight and Sunday at the Improv, and he promises a show you won't soon forget — especially if you can get your date, spouse, or pal to slip under his spell. "You'll see a whole new aspect to their personality," he chuckles. "I wake up their unconscious mind, and they just let their inner self show through." Presumably, that inner self isn't much concerned about things like modesty or decorum. But Power, a professional magician and clinical hypnotist, vows that no real harm will come of it. "People are natural performers," he opines. "They like to show off. And besides, there are laws that keep us from getting too naughty!" Tonight's showtime is 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $12. Snag them online or by phone at the Improv box office. — Cicora

1148 Main Ave. (west bank of the Flats), 216-696-4677,

Spoken Word

The World Poetry SlamHits Cleveland State

More than 70 poets from around the world are taking part in this weekend's Individual World Poetry Slam Championship in downtown Cleveland. According to local wordsmith and event organizer One Truth, the stakes are huge. "The winner gets $1,000 and a guaranteed book deal. We have people from as far off as Albania coming." Preliminary bouts are set for today and tomorrow from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Cleveland State University's Main Classroom Building, 1899 East 22nd St. On Saturday, the finals go down from 7 to 10 p.m. at Waetjen Auditorium, 2001 Euclid Ave. In between the main contests, other events and workshops are spread throughout downtown, including open-mic sessions, erotic readings, and a Bad Poetry Slam. A $75 all-events pass gives you access to almost everything. Admission to the Saturday night finals only will set you back $25. Order online, where you'll also find schedules, venues, and a list of participating poets. — Matt Stafford

Mmm ... Juicy

Take a Taste of Slavic Village

Fine food, fabulous prizes, and live music from Gene's Hot Jazz: Not bad for a Thursday eve in the Cleve. It's all part of the third-annual Taste of Slavic Village, kicking off at 6 p.m. at the Bohemian National Hall. Enjoy ethnic delights from Slavic Village staples like Seven Roses, Krusinski's, R & K Sausage, and Red Chimney. After chowing down, check out the silent auction, featuring packages from some of the area's leading resorts. It's all in celebration of 85 years of service to the Slavic Village community by the University Settlement, a community center founded in 1926 by the former Western Reserve University. Tickets cost a cool $50, and can be purchased in advance at the website. — Logan Boggs

4939 Broadway Ave., 216-429-1182,

Friday | 14

Cleveland Beer Week:

A Celebration of Suds

You might think a week devoted to celebrating craft beer in Cleveland is much like a week devoted to selling snow in Nome: Interesting, but hardly necessary. Apparently, though, you would be wrong — given the fact that a bigger-than-ever Cleveland Beer Week returns today for the third year in a row. Scores of suds-centric events are set for restaurants, pubs, clubs, and stores throughout the city during the next nine days. Some, like next week's Brewzilla — a monster of a beer tasting featuring more than 70 breweries and plenty of beer-friendly apps, set in downtown's Galleria — are flagship events, with all proceeds going to charity. Others, hosted by individual restaurants, feature learned experts, special pairing menus, and rare or hard-to-find brews. According to director Christine Montague, the great community buy-in has helped boost Cleveland Beer Week into the top ranks of such events in the nation. The fun continues through Saturday, October 22. Find the full schedule of events online, along with prices, maps, and contact information. — Elaine T. Cicora


[email protected] at Severance Hall

We live in a fast-paced world, where the idea of spending an entire evening sitting inside a stuffy concert hall strikes many as decidedly old-fashioned. How to acknowledge that reality while reaching out to today's young professionals? Try [email protected], the Cleveland Orchestra's savvy classical music series, featuring a streamlined concert bracketed by informal world-music performances and a cash bar. Tonight's season opener finds Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst conducting an intermission-free performance of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D major, Stravinsky's Agon ballet music, and Ravel's passionate Bolero. Before the concert, check out the Jazz Unit, an 11-piece Cleveland jazz band. Then after the concert, stick around for a polka party with the Eddie Rodick Orchestra in the Smith Lobby, or the hoedown featuring the Back Porch String Band in the Grand Foyer. This is the third year for the concert-and-a-party series, attesting to its appeal. Ticket prices range from $44 to $111. Get them by phone, online, or at the Severance Hall box office. — Cicora

11001 Euclid Ave., 216-231-1111,

From Russia With Love

The State Capella Returns to Cleveland

A crowd-pleasing sellout at last year's Viva & Gala performing arts series, the State Capella (or Choir) of Russia returns to Cleveland this evening for one 7:30 p.m. performance at St. Stanislaus Church. Tonight's show features an all-new program of Russian and Western choral classics, along with a finale of popular Russian folk songs. Since last year's stop in Cleveland, the 50-member touring troupe has given concerts in Italy, Austria, Hong Kong, and throughout the Russian Federation. Those who know about these things use words like "electrifying," "joyful," and "majestic" to describe their sound. "Groups like this don't tour every day," says producer Leonid Fleishaker. "We do hope that last year's fans will return, along with many new concertgoers." General seating is $30 online, by phone, or at the door. — Cicora

3649 East 65th St., 631-656-0929,

Fit for Foodies

Feast of the Deceased

Just when you think your Halloween food choices are limited to doughnuts, cider, and bite-sized Snickers bars, along comes Emerging Chefs with tonight's gourmet-style Feast of the Deceased. Featuring the culinary creativity of chef Brian Doyle, and set in Ohio City's suitably creepy Monroe Cemetery, the evening promises to be horrific — in a good way, of course. Doyle — a chef, urban farmer, and owner of the recently launched Sow Foods — is psyched. "I've long been fascinated by Halloween as a culinary event. And having the mystique of the Monroe Cemetery as a backdrop is going to be amazing." The menu was still a work in progress when we heard from Emerging Chef partner Michael DeAloia, but already it was filled with otherworldly stuff: True Bloody Mary oyster shots, "raw flesh" carpaccio with tombstone crostini, and rabbit-liver ravioli served with fava beans and a nice Chianti reduction. Also on the bill o' fare: DJ mashups and a costume contest with frightful prizes. It all happens from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $90 for chef's table seating or $80 general admission. Get them online. — Cicora

Calling All Knifs!

Ghoulardi Fest in Parma

What this town lacks in jobs we make up for in nostalgia: for deceased department stores, ex amusement parks, and canceled TV shows. This weekend it's Ghoulardi Fest, the annual adulation of the creepy, funny, and irreverently hip character created by the late Ernie Anderson. Anderson's Friday-night creep show, Shock Theater, ran on WJW from 1963 to 1966, warping impressionable young minds with trash talk ("Turn blue!"), Parma jokes, and bad sci-fi flicks. Cleveland, of course, ate it up. You can pay homage to Anderson and all his successors — "Big Chuck" Schodowski, "Lil John" Rinaldi, and Bob "Hoolihan" Wells — at this three-day bash at the UAW Hall in Parma. Also on the schedule: the WIXY 1260 Band, ghost whisperer Mary Anne Winkowski, Plain Dealer TV critic Mark Dawidziak, and local pop authors Mike Olszewski and Richard Berg, who will be debuting their new book, WIXY 1260: Pixies, Six-Packs and Supermen. There's lots of other stuff too, including memorabilia and merchandise sales. Today's hours are 5 to 9 p.m., Saturday's hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday's hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult admission is $15 per day; kids 12 and younger are free. Check out the website for a complete schedule and more information. — Cicora

45615 Chevrolet Blvd., Parma, 440-888-7776,

Saturday | 15

Family Fun

Scarecrow Day in Akron

Need something to crow about? Head to Scarecrow Day at F.A. Seiberling Nature Realm, where you'll find face painting, marshmallow roasting, scavenger hunting, and a chance to craft your very own scarecrow. Make him funny enough, goofy enough, or ghastly enough, and you just might score a prize. Plus, the three mightiest scarecrows get to decorate the Nature Realm's grounds. (Do you suppose they'll hold a straw poll to decide?) Those who want to take part in the contest must register in advance by phone. Armatures, straw, markers, twine, and a cloth bag for the head will be provided; clothes and creativity are up to you. Hours are 1 to 4 p.m., and it won't cost you a dime. — Cicora

1828 Smith Rd., Akron, 330-865-8065,

Call of the Wild

Wolf Awareness Day at the Zoo

Bring your pack to the zoo today to learn all about Mexican wolves: their habits, their status as an endangered species, and what makes them so dog-gone cute. The zoo's six Mexican wolves (a.k.a. lobos) are sisters who came to Cleveland in 2009 from the Wild Canid Survival and Research Center in Missouri. The gals belong to the smallest, rarest, and most genetically distinctive wolf species in North America, and — with only 50 others known to exist in the wild — are at real risk of extinction. If you want to prevent that, drop by the Wolf Conservation Station, where you can learn how to help. (Hint: Money is probably involved.) Meantime, the small fry can hone their love of nature with a wolf-related craft and special activities. It all happens from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Metroparks Zoo. Admission is $11 for adults, less for children, and parking is free. — Cicora

3900 Wildlife Way, 216-661-6500,

Road Trip

Greet the Ghosts of Zoar

It's that time of year: Everyone's getting their ghost on. Luckily, we're just a little more than an hour away from the little town of Zoar, where the streets are filled with tales of hauntings, apparitions, and ghostly spirits. Settled in 1817, the German Separatist village in the Tuscarawus Valley was home to an early experiment in communal living. The residents gave up on the model in 1898. But according to journalist, author, and local historian Betty O'Neill-Roderick, their spirits have stayed behind. "A lot of people share stories of creepy things happening," she says. "Things like lights flicking off and on, windows opening and shutting on their own. Other people say they hear voices." (O'Neill-Roderick has collected many of these tales in a book, The Ghosts of Zoar.) Every Friday and Saturday evening through October, O'Neill-Roderick hosts tours of the town by lantern light, the better to emphasize her spooky tales. Tonight's one-hour stroll begins at 8:30 p.m. from the Zoar Store. Admission is $17; make reservations by phone at the number below. — Stafford

250 Main St. (State Route 212),

330-874 2002,

Sunday | 16

Cleveland Beer Week

Tailgate at Market Garden

Market Garden Brewery is taking over the West Side Market parking lot from 1 to 8 p.m. today for an all-out extravaganza that includes food, drink, and projection-screen viewing of the Browns' 4 p.m. tilt with the Oakland Raiders. On the menu: a variety of grilled delights from chef Michael Nowak, along with four of the brewery's own beers, including Viking Pale Ale, Pumpkin Ale, Old Zahm Oktoberfest, and the limited-release Dawg Pound Lager. Admission is $15 in advance or $20 at the door; your ticket entitles you to one beer and one pass through the food line. (Seconds are available a la carte.) The fun is open to fans of all ages, parking is free behind the market, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to bring your own chairs. — Boggs

1979 West 25th St., 216-621-4000,


Swing Music Party

Music to Be Broke To

Tri-C's Metro Campus' Main Stage Theater offers a peek at a golden era in musical theater history this afternoon. "Swing's the Thing," a multimedia concert, celebrates the sounds of composers like Irving Berlin, Johnny Mercer, and brothers Ira and George Gershwin. According to artistic director Bill Rudman, their music carried vast cultural clout — particularly as the soundtrack for the Great Depression and World War II. "Swing was a major part of the music scene of the time," he says. "It was the music everyone listened to." Tickets for the 3 p.m. show are $20; get yours in advance by phone or online. The performance will be repeated at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, October 19, at the Fine Arts Association in Willoughby. — Stafford

2809 Woodland Ave., 216-987-4444,

Monday | 17

Act Up

Casting Call at Nighttown

It's complicated, but try to keep up: Followers of Broadway theater are doubtlessly familiar with Jim Caruso's Cast Party, a wildly popular weekly soirée and variety show that features the talents of pros and wannabes alike. (Some say it's the kind of shindig that would happen if David Letterman and Ed Sullivan threw a hip house party around a nine-foot grand piano.) Caruso rarely takes the show on the road, but he's bringing the party to Nighttown on Thursday, October 20. But first — and here's the point — organizers are holding an open casting call at 7 p.m. tonight, seeking local talent: singers, comedians, and novelty acts of all kinds. If you've ever dreamt of sharing the stage with the pros, this is your big break: Bring your own sheet music and prepare to wow the judges with three minutes of razzle dazzle. Not a performer but like to watch? The casting call is open to the public sans cover charge. — Cicora

12387 Cedar Rd., Cleveland Hts.,


Tuesday | 18

On the Wall

Polar Obsession at the History Museum

Joy and sorrow compete in the works of Paul Nicklen, a National Geographic photojournalist who captures stunning images of the disappearing polar environment. Nicklen, who grew up in a small Inuit village in the Canadian Arctic, considers himself an ambassador for polar life, and has traveled from pole to pole in pursuit of rare, close-up photos of endangered species and threatened ecosystems. An exhibition of his works, Polar Obsession, opened this month at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. On display are nearly 60 images from his 2009 book of the same name. "The polar regions are disappearing quickly, and I want my photo essays to stand as a reminder of what is at stake," he writes in the book's intro. The exhibition continues through January 22 and is included in regular museum admission: That's $10 for adults and less for children, students, and seniors. — Cicora

1 Wade Oval, 216-231-4600,

Wednesday | 19

Chucklefck Presents

Rory Scovel at Reddstone

L.A. comedian Rory Scovel is all about being in the moment. "I'd prefer to have the entire show be spontaneous," he says. "Sometimes it really hits, and the connection with the audience is amazing." It doesn't hurt that the dude is a student of improv, knocking down audiences at festivals in towns like Chicago, Philly, and Vancouver. You can catch him tonight at Reddstone in the intimate upstairs lounge; performances are set for 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. The show is hosted by Cleveland comic and producer Ramon Rivas II, and also features funny guys Adam Richard and Quinn Patterson. Tickets are $15 at the door or via the website below. — Boggs

1261 West 76th St., 216-651-6969,

Cleveland Beer Week

Sample Japanese Brews at Noodlecat

You don't need Beer Week to toss back the brewskis. If, however, you yearn to discover new brands, sample new styles, and generally polish up your beer-snob cred, Beer Week is full of golden opportunities. Take tonight's food and beer dinner at Noodlecat: six courses of Jonathon Sawyer's sassy Japanese-influenced cuisine paired with six styles of Hitachino Nest Beer. According to brew guru David Frost, from importer B. United International, the beer is "state of the art" among Japanese craft brews. "The Kiuchi family has been in business for almost 200 years and were among the first people to earn international acclaim for the quality of their product." Pegged at $44 (or $20 for the designated driver), the beer dinner can be enjoyed anytime between 5 and 11 p.m. Frost will be on hand from 4 to 7 p.m. to talk more about the brewery and its products. Get your tix at the website below, where you will also find the complete menu. — Boggs

234 Euclid Ave., 216-589-0007,

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