Get Out!

Event picks for this lovely week in Cleveland

Thursday | 26

This Sporting Life

Bicycle Dreams at Big Dog

Think the 60 miles you put on the Schwinn last weekend make you a tough guy? Get a load of some real hardasses — the men and women who ride across the entire friggin' nation in less time than it takes us to get a flat tire fixed. Those driven souls are at the heart of Stephen Auerbach's Bicycle Dreams, a 2009 flick that tells the tale of the annual 3,000-mile Race Across America. First held in 1982, it's one of the most grueling competitions in the world, as contestants endure the heat of the Mojave Desert, the altitude of the Rockies, and the switchbacks of the Appalachians before winding up in Atlantic City — all in 10 days or less. Auerbach's cameras capture action far beyond the roadways and deep into the internal struggles of the contestants. Must be why the movie rode off with awards at fests from Yosemite to Grand Rapids. You can catch it at 7 p.m. tonight at Big Dog Theater in Cleveland Heights. Tickets are $11 online or $15 (cash only) at the door. — Cicora

2781 Euclid Hts. Blvd., Cleveland Hts., 216-472-3636,

Friday | 27

Born to Be Wild

The 'Cycle Show Returns

Just in time for your annual onset of cabin fever, the 2012 Progressive International Motorcycle Show roars into the IX Center with its unmistakable call to the open road. Of course, open roads are still several months away — but in the meantime, this weekend offers you a chance to catch a stunt show, ogle rare and unique luxury bikes, and take in the Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Competition. Expect 20 motorcycle manufacturers to be on hand, along with hundreds of bikes and a bunch of seminars on maintenance, gear, apparel, and technique. Today's hours are 3 to 9 p.m. The show continues through Sunday. Tickets are $15 at the door or online, where you'll find a full schedule of events; for a $2 discount, enter the promo code SHOW at checkout. — Cicora 1 I-X Center Dr., 216-265-7005,

A Different Drummer

A Cleveland Legend Kicks It at Nighttown

When we reached legendary jazz artist Greg Bandy last week at his home in Harlem, our first question was: How does it feel to be legendary? The amiable 61-year-old laughed: "Man, it really makes me know I'm getting old!" But there's no denying that the revered drummer, mentor, and educator is a world-class talent: discovered by Charles Mingus at 20, acclaimed at performances around the globe, and invited to record with international jazz stars like Pharoah Sanders, Jimmy Ponder, and Olu Dara. Plus, he's a Cleveland native: a Glenville High grad who calls his days in the marching band "the most fun I ever had." Bandy was also an occasional student at Baldwin-Wallace College, where the self-styled black militant "got put out twice" because of, uh, disagreements over the curriculum, let's say. This weekend, Bandy is back on home turf for a gig at Nighttown, where he's always a popular draw. He'll be appearing as part of an all-star jazz trio that includes Reuben Wilson on the Hammond B-3 and Marvin Horn on guitar. Bandy and his cohorts perform tonight and tomorrow at 8:30 p.m. Seats are $20; reserve yours by phone at the number below. "It's gonna be a good time," he says. — Cicora

12387 Cedar Rd., 216-795-0550,

Saturday| 28

Feather Your Nest

Annual Sample Sale at the Ohio Design Centre

This weekend marks the annual floor sample sale at the Ohio Design Center: one of the few times amateurs get access to the exclusive 100,000-square-foot showroom collection in Beachwood. You'll find more than 400 premier lines of lamps, rugs, fabrics, custom furniture, and decorative doodads available for ogling. Participating showrooms include Atelier Lapchi, Bello Design, A.E. Monroe & Co., R.W. Shea, and Gregory Alonso. With deals of up to 70 percent off, the savings can be significant. Keep in mind, though, that everything is sold as-is, all sales are final, and delivering that 300-pound armoire is gonna cost you extra. Admission is $5, which goes to support the Cleveland Furniture Bank. Today's hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The shopping continues tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Cicora

23533 Mercantile Rd., Beachwood, 216-831-1245,

Family Fun

Celebrate the Year of the Dragon

Seems like you can't swing a carryout box around town these days without hitting another Chinese New Year celebration. But today's fête in the Shaker Heights Middle School auditorium seems especially notable — for its variety as well as its $12 price tag. "It's our way of reaching out to the community," says Shou Chun "Esther" Seday, the event's organizer and a teacher at the Chinese Academy of Cleveland. "We try to involve a number of different schools in our programming and make this a real cultural event for everyone." Among other things, that means you'll find demonstrations of traditional music and dance, martial arts, and Chinese yo-yoing, along with a dragon dance. Performers come from Shaker Middle School, the Wu Tang Center, Cleveland State University, the Music Settlement, and the Chinese Academy, among others. The fun begins at 4:30, but stick around for the 6 p.m. buffet dinner, featuring traditional Chinese delicacies made by the academy's students. For tickets, contact academy president Jon Fan by phone or e-mail. Learn more about the non-profit academy at the website below. — Cicora

20600 Shaker Blvd., 440-542-2410, [email protected],

They Had Us at "Cheap Beer"

It's the Corn Hole Classic at the Ohio City Temple

Live music, cheap beer, and lots of corn hole: If that sounds like your perfect summer's day, surprise yourself with a trip to Ohio City Sonic Temple tonight for the Mid-Winter Corn Hole Classic. Organizers are hoping to host 32 teams competing for a top prize of $500; online registration is $40 per team. If you just wanna watch, that can be arranged for $5 at the door. The venue, incidentally, is the historic Halcyon Masonic Temple, rebranded for events by the Woo Who Foundation, a nonprofit that provides support to the local breast-cancer community; all profits from tonight's classic go to the cause. The evening kicks off at 7 p.m. Find out more at the website or on the Ohio City Temple page on Facebook. — Cicora

2831 Franklin Blvd., 216-548-7912,

Sunday | 29

Family Fun

Slip Away at Wade Oval

This is the final day for ice skating on the outdoor rink at Wade Oval. If it seems like the polymer playground is closing a little earlier than usual this year, Chris Ronayne, president of University Circle Inc., confirms your suspicions. "We noticed a big dropoff in attendance after January in years past, and it just made sense to close up a little bit earlier." Still, the attraction once again proved a significant draw, garnering nearly 500 visitors each week it was open. Ronayne says that number is on par with previous seasons. "We're definitely planning on doing this again next year." As always, admission is free and skate rental is just $3. Today's hours are noon to 7 p.m., but it never hurts to double check by calling the info line below. — Cicora

10820 East Blvd. in University Circle, 216-707-5033,

Sunday | 29

Absolute Intense Wrestling

It's Girls Night Out

What better way to spend a wintry Sunday afternoon than at Girls Night Out: a wrestling event featuring a bevy of bulked-up babes duking it out inside the Puritas Lutheran Church? Topping today's card is women's champ Mickie Knuckles defending her title against "Queen of Wrestling" Sara Del Rey. Also on the lineup: Canada's Cherry Bomb versus Allysin Kay, the "Blasian Barbie Doll" Mia Yim versus Marti Bell, and Veda Scott facing Kimber Lee. Just to prove this ain't no sexist throwdown, today's action kicks off equitably enough with a Guys Night Out preshow featuring three manly match-ups. Doors open at 3, and the bell is at 4. Tickets are $15 at the door or online; seating is first come, first served. It's all brought to you by Cleveland-based Absolute Intense Wrestling. — Cicora

13812 Bellaire Rd.,

Monday | 30

Dance of Love

It's Tango Time at Kan Zaman

It takes two to tango, and tonight dancers Donna Voller and Greg Messina will be your designated duo. The Clevelanders have been teaching and performing the Argentinian love dance since 2006, and they report that regional interest in tango remains strong. In fact, one of their most popular classes happens each Monday at Kan Zaman, a Middle Eastern restaurant in Ohio City where as many as 40 tango-philes turn out for the weekly dance. "Our classes are all drop-ins," says Donna, "and you really don't need a partner. So we get both a core of regulars and lots of people who are just traveling through town for either business or pleasure. The result is a really nice group of tango lovers from just about everywhere." Students can learn the basics beginning at 7 p.m. tonight. A "building on the basics" class follows at 8, and the dance party launches at 9 — all for $10. Find out more about the local tango scene at the website below. — Cicora

1616 West 25th St, 330-217-4302,

Tuesday | 31

Chill Out

Meditating With the Master

If you think the era of the Renaissance Man is over — and after watching the current crop of presidential candidates, who could blame you? — then you obviously have never met Larry Terkel. Among the multitude of titles on this Hudsonite's business card: minister, bar owner, yoga instructor, author, and CEO. "I am very complicated," Terkel deadpans. While Terkel's full bio could fill a book, suffice it to say that the co-owner of Hudson's new Blue Rock Café — a family-friendly venue focusing on live music — has been a practicing yogi and meditation instructor since around 1971. In that time, he's authored two books about the mind-body connection and has developed something he calls "Meditation Plus," a system that combines aspects of both mindfulness and mantra-based techniques. He'll take you through it tonight at the Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library. The free workshop begins at 7 p.m. and includes a complete meditation session. Register by phone or at the library information desk, and be sure to wear comfy clothes. — Cicora

3512 Darrow Rd., Stow, 330-688-3295 ext. 4,

Wednesday | 01

Don Giovanni Gets Schooled

An Acclaimed Conductor Returns to Cleveland

Local opera fans have been on short rations since Opera Cleveland went on hiatus more than a year ago. But this weekend, Baldwin-Wallace College has laid out a feast. The main course is the production of Mozart's beloved opera Don Giovanni. Dessert is the return of Seattle-based Dean Williamson, Opera Cleveland's former artistic director and an internationally acclaimed conductor and pianist. Williamson will serve as guest maestro for a cast of Baldwin-Wallace students accompanied by members of the B-W Symphony Orchestra. Benjamin Wayne Smith, director of opera at B-W, is overseeing the production, which is sung in Italian with English subtitles — and set on a 1950s college campus! (Consider that your amuse.) Tonight's curtain is at 7:30 p.m. Performances continue through Sunday, February 5. Tickets are $15 for adults and less for students and seniors; get yours by phone at the number below. It's all happening at the college's Kleist Center for Art and Drama; check out the website for directions. — Cicora

95 East Bagley Rd., Berea, 440-826-2240,

Karaoke Comeback

It's Song Time at the Savannah

Like pinching babies or farting in public, karaoke is a guilty pleasure for many greater Clevelanders. Too bad good shows can be so hard to find, says entertainer Ross Mesnick. As owner of Karaoke Express, Mesnick's goal is to breathe some life back into Cleveland's often-stale karaoke scene. "One of the problems is when the jocks try to insert themselves into the singing" he says. "Even if they have a good voice, it puts people off: They didn't come there to see the help, if you know what I mean." Another problem? Bad sound systems. "You can't have a good time if you don't sound good." As you might suspect, Mesnick says he's licked both problems during his regularly scheduled Wednesday-night gig at the Savannah Bar & Grille: His sound system is fit for a band, and he promises he'll never exercise his own pipes. Plus, he has thousands of songs in all genres awaiting your warbling pleasure. Apparently, that's a winning formula: 29 guests took the mic on a recent Wednesday "and they all sang multiple songs," he reports proudly. You can do the same tonight and every Wednesday night from 8 to midnight. There's no cover charge, and for those whose singing is directly tied to their blood-alcohol level, the Savannah's bar comes fully stocked. — Cicora

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