Thursday | 20
Comix and Cookies
A bakery might seem like an unorthodox venue for one's first solo art exhibition, but underground comic artist Kevin "Czap" Czapiewski finds Blackbird Baking Company suits him just fine. "The problem of showing comics in a gallery is something I've struggled with before, because it's a portable form. I like having a space where you'd normally sit and eat; nobody reads just standing there. It's pretty ideal for what I'm doing," says Czap. And allying with art has its benefit for the confectioners too. "Exhibiting makes us more present in the community, in a way other than feeding it," says baker Danielle Schroeder. Best known for his sprawling, cosmic, fantastic, and introspective web comic Spoilers, Czap will be exhibiting mounted prints from his recent works, "Lesson on Brain Sweats" and "Magic Bullet," and distributing free, limited-edition previews of his upcoming Velvet Ants, a series following the exploits of the titular fictional band. (To go with, Schroeder recommends Blackbird's popular chocolate chip cookies.) The opening reception is tonight from 7 to 9:30 p.m. The exhibition runs through December 4. To see more of Czap's work, go to kevinczap.com. — Joseph Clark
1391 Sloane Ave., Lakewood, 216-712-6599, blackbirdbaking.com. Thursday| 20
Cleveland Beer Week Rolls On
New Brews Debut at Stamper's
Cleveland Beer Week continues with scores of suds-centric events throughout the region, including tonight's special keg-tapping at Stamper's Grill Pub. On the work order: the Cleveland debut of three brews from Sierra Nevada, including Fritz & Ken's Stout (aged 14 months in bourbon barrels), 2x4 (a blend of two beers from the Ovila Belgian-style series), and Kellerweis (a wheat beer made via the traditional Bavarian process of open fermentation). The first two beers reflect barrel aging — a trend that's hot, says director of ops Jimmy Stamper. "Brewers are finding that putting beer in bourbon barrels adds distinctive tones of vanilla, oak, and of course bourbon." The kegs get tapped at 6 p.m.; there's no admission fee, and samplers of any four Sierra Nevada brews will set you back just $10. — Elaine T. Cicora
21750 Lorain Rd., Fairview Park, 440-333-7826, stampersgrillpub.com.
Booze School Is in Session
Irish native Declan Synnott has owned and operated Parnell's Pub in Cleveland Heights for almost 15 years: long enough, in other words, to take heed of the growing interest in fine scotches and Irish whiskeys. His response: a series of guided tasting sessions happening monthly right up till St. Patrick's Day. Tonight's lesson focuses on blended, vatted, and single-malt varieties, from Johnnie Walker Black to Laphroaig 10. Guiding you through this smoky, peaty, floral, and honeyed world will be local libations expert and raconteur Joe DeLuca. "I really don't know how he does it," laughs Liz Synnott, "but Joe knows way too much about whiskey!" You can put DeLuca — and your taste buds — to the test tonight at 8 p.m. Cost is $25; reserve your space via eventbrite. — Cicora
2167 Lee Rd., Cleveland Hts., 216-321-3469,
Pop! Goes the Concert Hall
For Haitian-American violinist and composer Daniel Bernard Roumain, the divide between the dance floor and the concert hall is artificial. He'll make his musical case for that notion this weekend at the Tri-C Metropolitan Campus Theater, with four performances of his innovative Symphony for the Dance Floor. "It speaks to an equality between concert hall and dance floor traditions," says the classical musician, who borrows heavily from pop and hip-hop. "Growing up in South Florida, I went to school, played in the orchestra, and danced in clubs. So to me, they're all equal." Centered around D.B.R.'s violin playing, Symphony features choreographed dancers, photography and videos by Cleveland native Jonathan Mannion (known for his portraits of Jay-Z, Mos Def, and Eminem), and actor/rapper Lord Jamar as emcee. Onstage seating adds to the club vibe. Performances are at 7 and 9 p.m. today and tomorrow. Seats are $20, and less for seniors and students. — Cicora
2809 Woodland Ave., 216-987-4444, tricpresents.com.
Art Attack in Willoughby
The Fine Arts Association in Willoughby launched its 54th theater season earlier this month with Art, a 1998 Tony Award-winning comedy that raises questions about life, friendship, and the meaning of what we hang on the wall. Authored by a French female playwright, Art debuted in Paris in 1994. But if a comedy revolving around three ultra-sophisticated Frenchies discussing aesthetics sounds like a stretch for you, the Association's Wanda Wareham says it isn't so. "We have such a pool of talent to choose from in this area. Our three leads — Tom Hill, Carl Simoncic, and Greg Gnau — have real chemistry." You can see for yourself tonight at 7:30. Tickets are $22 for adults, and $20 for students and seniors; get them by phone or online. Performances continue through Sunday. — Cicora
38660 Mentor Ave., Willoughby,
440-951-7500 ext. 104,
Drink & Dab at CMA
With the brush in his right hand and a glass of wine in his left, modern Chinese master Fu Baoshi often painted while drinking as a way to express his true feelings. You can try the technique for yourself tonight at Bamboo Grove, a young professionals' event at the Cleveland Museum of Art. A celebration of the recently opened exhibition Chinese Art in an Age of Revolution: Fu Baoshi, the 21-and-over bash includes grown-up art activities, a chance to hobnob with the experts, and exhibit admission. Your $18 ticket also includes Chinese takeout and access to the cash bar. Hours are 6 to 8:45 p.m. Reserve your spot by phone at the museum box office. And watch where you put that paintbrush, buster. — Cicora
11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350, clevelandart.org. Friday| 21
A Nano What?
Lakewood Gets a Taste of the Harvest
Just when we thought we'd figured out the diff between craft beer, boutique beer, and the stuff that passes for beer in a Bud bottle, along comes Taste of the Harvest, a local-foods dinner featuring a lineup of "ultra-local nanobrews." Turns out the description applies to a roundup of beers and ales brewed exclusively for this dinner by members of the Cellar Rats, a home-brewing club headed up by professional beermaker Jerome Welliver. You'll get to meet Welliver and his fellow hop heads — and sample the suds and vote for your faves from a field that includes Russian Stout, Belgian-style Wit, Apple-Lemon Shandy, and Paw Paw Rye, among others. Each brew will be paired with an app from Dante, Crop Bistro, ABC Tavern, Dragonfly, Light Bistro, or another fine kitchen. And afterwards, there's a decadent dessert buffet provided by the city's top bakeries. Tix are $55 by phone, online, or at the door, with proceeds benefiting the Covenant, a treatment program for chemical-dependent adolescents. It all happens from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at the Lake Erie Building in Lakewood. — Cicora
13000 Athens Ave., Lakewood,
Donnie Darko in Lakewood
If you've seen one group of teens get hacked up by a lunatic, you've pretty much seen them all. But tonight, Lakewood Public Library is screening a fine alternative: the smart, surreal, and decidedly creepy Donnie Darko, written and directed by Richard Kelly. Released in 2001, the indie film stars a young Jake Gyllenhaal. Figuring prominently in the plot: death, redemption, time travel, and a demonic bunny named Frank. While Darko never achieved financial success, it intrigued critics and went on to develop a cult following. It's easy to see why: It was a breath of fresh air ten years ago, and it remains that way today. The screening starts at 6 p.m. in the library's Main Auditorium. It's free — but rated R, so don't bring the kids. — Stafford
15425 Detroit Ave., Lakewood,
Scary With a Side of History
Lest you think of ghosts as mainly urban dwellers, please note that — with its long history of pioneers, farmers, and canawlers — the Cuyahoga Valley National Park is rife with spooks and haints. You can meet several of them on tonight's guided Ghost Walk and get a side of history too. The characters, costumes, and stories are well researched, giving an educational twist to the usual scare fest. Historically minded ghost hunters should meet at the Kendall Lake Shelter at 6:30 p.m. for hot chocolate; the guided 1-mile lantern walks set off soon thereafter. Each walk lasts about 30 minutes, and both the frights and the facts are free. — Stafford
Truxell Rd. (one mile west of Akron-Cleveland Rd.), Peninsula, 330-657-2752, dayinthevalley.com.
Steel Drum Band at the Civic
If you're inclined to think of steel drums as merely the soundtrack to your piña colada binges, dig this: The University of Akron's steel drum band is a critically acclaimed musical ensemble, with 30 years, five CDs, and one Grammy nomination to its credit. Founded in 1980 by Dr. Larry Snider, and composed of grad and undergrad percussion students, it is one of the most highly lauded steel drum bands in the country. Nine band members will be hauling their pans to the Akron Civic Theatre today for a family concert at 2:30 p.m. Adult admission is $8 in advance or $10 at the door. Kids' admission is $5. Get your tickets online or at the Akron Civic Theatre box office. — Logan Boggs
182 South Main St., Akron, 330-253-2488, akroncivic.com.
At the Rock Hall
Italian Superstar Zucchero
Possibly the most famous, successful, and beloved Italian rock star you have never heard of, Zucchero makes a rare U.S. concert appearance today at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In his multiple roles as singer, songwriter, guitarist, and keyboard player, the dude has collaborated with fellow superstars ranging from Sting and Eric Clapton to Miles Davis and Pavarotti. Today's 7 p.m. performance is one of only a handful of national appearances Zucchero is making in support of his new CD. There may still be time to snag tix at the Rock Hall website, where prices start at $37.50. — Cicora
1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., 216-781-7625, rockhall.com.
Michael Pollen at PHS
One of the nation's top proponents of conscientious eating, author Michael Pollen stops at Playhouse Square today. The prolific journalist and writer may be best known for his 2006 book The Omnivore's Dilemma, which landed him on The New York Times Best Sellers List and snagged him a prestigious James Beard Award. But he's also crafted three other bestsellers and has blossomed into an influential lecturer on topics of food, agriculture, health, gardening, and the environment. Witty, concise, and insightful, Pollan brings his earthy self to the Ohio Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online or by phone. — Cicora
1511 Euclid Ave., 216-664-6051,
Comics Work It Out at Touch
"I know a lot of people, and I knew there was a need for someplace where both locals and national touring acts could go to work out their routines," says local funny man Mike Ivy. His recent solution? The Touch Comedy Show, happening every Tuesday night in the basement lounge at Touch Supper Club. Tonight's show features John Wellington ("He can talk about farts and other awful things and make them sound really appealing!" Ivy says), singer-songwriter Mallory Sanmarco, and comic Bill Squire. Doors open at 7:30, and the fart jokes start at 8. Best of all, there's no cover charge. Learn more on the Touch Comedy Show page on Facebook. — Cicora
2710 Lorain Ave., 216-631-5200,
Cleveland Institute of Music
Free Faculty Recital
One of the perks of living in a town with a world-class orchestra is the spinoff of classical music programming. That includes today's free faculty recital of works by Brahms at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Featured musicians include violinists Mari Sato and Kirsten Docter, among others. The music begins at 7:30 p.m. at CIM's Mixson Hall. The concert is free, but seating passes are required by calling the box office Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. — Cicora
11021 East Blvd., 216-791-5000 ext. 411, cim.edu.