Get Out: Everything You Should Be Doing in Cleveland This Long Christmas Weekend

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation shows at the Capitol Theatre. See: Wednesday.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation shows at the Capitol Theatre. See: Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

WED 12/19

A Christmas Carol

This Great Lakes Theater production of Charles Dickens' classic never fails to engage and delight. Framed cozily as a story within a story in this Gerald Freedman adaptation, the production really comes alive once the ghost of Jacob Marley appears, dragging his chains and creaking eerily with every movement. This annual tribute to knee-jerk liberal sentiments, like compassion for the downtrodden, is always a must-see, whether you've seen it before or not. Tonight's performance takes place at 7:30 at the Ohio Theatre. Tickets are $15 to $75. Performances continue through Dec. 23. (Christine Howey)

1501 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000,

A Christmas Story

The Cleveland Play House's production of Jean Shepherd's beloved Christmas Story rides a two-hour wave of intricate details to unerringly establish the period and to help even the youngest patrons make the leap back to a time before televisions were omnipresent and cowboy hero Red Ryder was king of the wireless. See it tonight at 7:30 at the Allen Theatre. Performances continue through Dec. 23. Tickets are $25 to $97. (Howey)

1407 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000,

Cleveland Stories Dinner Party

Cleveland Stories Dinner Party is a weekly series that pairs fine food with storytelling. Through it, the folks at Music Box Supper Club hope to raise awareness of the mission of the Western Reserve Historical Society's Cleveland History Center. The goal of the Cleveland Stories Dinner Party is to "bring to life some of the fun, interesting stories about Cleveland's past — from sports, to rock 'n' roll, to Millionaires' Row," as it's put in a press release. Admission is free, with no cover charge, although a prix fixe dinner, designed to complement the night's theme, is $20. Tonight, Kevin Dugan, a guy who's worked backstage for various bands, including such local groups as Rainbow Canyon, the James Gang and the Raspberries, will talk about life on the road and behind the stage. Dinner includes Cream of 'Shroomies, Pot Roast, and Cosmic Brownies. (We're sensing a theme, here.) Doors open at 5 p.m., dinner is served at 6, and the storytelling starts at 7. (Jeff Niesel)

1148 Main Ave., 216-242-1250,

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

A Christmas classic, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation stars Chevy Chase as the hapless Clark Griswold, a guy who causes a power outage when he overdoes it with the Christmas lights and then proceeds to berate his boss for not providing him with the Christmas bonus he desperately needs. The movie screens tonight at 7 at the Capitol Theatre. Part of the Happy Hour Classic Series, the screening comes with a complimentary cocktail or soft drink and light appetizers during a reception that takes place an hour before the movie starts. Admission is $10. (Niesel)

1390 West 65th St., 216-651-7295,

Dave Waite

Funnyman Dave Waite isn't your typical comedian. His odd catchphrases and honesty distinguish him from the competition. He lives in the moment and improvises some of the content in his shows. Clips from his album Kaboom! regularly get played on Pandora Internet Radio and Sirius XM. He's been featured on Comedy Central's Live at Gotham and The Bob and Tom Show. He performs tonight at 8 at Hilarities, where he performs again at 7 p.m. on Sunday with co-headliner Brad Wenzel. Tickets are $13 and $18. (Niesel)

2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425,

THU 12/20

Cleveland Orchestra Christmas Concert

The Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus celebrates the holidays with their annual series of Christmas concerts at Severance Hall. You'll find sing-alongs, guest choruses and a "surprise visitor" as the orchestra variously teams up with the Cleveland Orchestra Children's Chorus, the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus, the Cleveland State University Chorale and the College of Wooster Chorus for these seasonal performances. Tonight's concert begins at 7:30; the holiday concerts continue through Sunday. Consult the website for ticket prices. (Niesel)

11001 Euclid Ave., 216-231-1111,

Falling for Make Believe

Actor and writer Ryan J. Haddad returns to Cleveland for a hometown performance of his new cabaret show, Falling for Make Believe, which offers a "witty and whimsical" portrait of his show-business family. When he couldn't join the traditional youth theater, Haddad created the Haddad Theater, a non-actor acting troupe. Tonight, Haddad will sing and talk about his unconventional theater training. The performance starts at 8 p.m. at the Music Box Supper Club. Tickets are $15. (Niesel)

1148 Main Ave., 216-242-1250,

Nikki Glaser

One of the stars of MTV's The Nikki and Sara Show, comedian Nikki Glaser cracks crude jokes about ways to get out of speeding tickets and how you can get through a breakup by listening to Will Smith's music. Her jokes come out of left field as she draws upon everyday experiences but then adds a twist. She performs tonight at 8 at Hilarities where she has shows scheduled through Saturday. Tickets are $23 to $28. (Niesel)

2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425,

Leonard Ouzts

South Carolina native Leonard Ouzts likes to talk about his family life. He says his parents never divorced; they just argued a lot. "I didn't mind that until it started messing up my life," he says, adding that his mother stopped cooking, and he and his father had to eat baloney sandwiches for a week. The portly comic also regularly jokes about his size, noting that he'd be a literally "unfit" parent if he were to have kids. He performs tonight at 7 at the Improv, where he has shows scheduled through Saturday. Tickets start at $17. (Niesel)

1148 Main Ave., 216-696-IMPROV,


The more successful something is, the more likely it is that someone, somewhere, will want to take the piss out of it with a parody. That would explain Spamilton: An American Parody. Created and performed by a versatile cast of seven, it pokes fun at Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway hit about Alexander Hamilton. Just in time for Christmas, the musical comedy created by Gerard Alessandrini, the comic mastermind behind the popular spoof Forbidden Broadway, arrives tonight at the Hanna Theatre for a 7:30 show. Performances continue through Jan. 6. Tickets start at $39. (Niesel)

2067 East 14th St., 216-241-6000,

FRI 12/21

78th Street Studios Third Friday Art Walk

Time again for the Third Friday Art Walk at the cavernous 78th Street Studios. More than 50 studios and galleries will participate in this popular indoor art walk; be sure to check out spots like the Derek Hess Gallery, Tregoning & Company and Hilary Gent Studio for a chance to shop and interact with artists. Look for food trucks out front and live music on the first floor. Hours are 5 to 9 p.m. and admission is free. (Niesel)

1300 West 78th St.,

The Bigamist

As part of a series devoted to British-American actress Ida Lupino, who would've turned 100 this year, the Cleveland Museum of Art will screen her 1953 film The Bigamist tonight at 7. Lupino helmed low-budget movies about issues that Hollywood tended to avoid, and The Bigamist, focused on a traveling salesman who falls in love with two women, was one of them. It screens again at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $10, or $7 for CMA members. See the website for details. (Niesel)

11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350,

Monsters vs. Belleville Senators

As part of a seasonal promotion, Cleveland Monsters fans can score a $1 Pepsi, $2 Sugardale hotdog and $3 select 12-ounce beer tonight, as the team takes on the Belleville Senators at the Q. The game begins at 7; the teams face off again tomorrow night at 7. Tickets start at $10. (Niesel)

1 Center Court, 216-420-2000,

Scuba Claus & the Seas'N of Play

Scuba Claus & the Seas'N of Play continues today, tomorrow and Sunday at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. Kids get a temporary tattoo, an activity book and the chance to expend some of their excess holiday spirit by learning about and imitating the movements of crabs, archerfish, frogs, frilled lizards and other Aquarium residents. Guests of all ages can participate in an aquarium-wide scavenger hunt and/or talk to and snap a selfie with Scuba Claus, who dives in the Aquarium's 230,000-gallon shark exhibit from 1 to 2 p.m. Aquarium hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Check the website for ticket prices. (Niesel)

2000 Sycamore St., 216-862-8803,

SAT 12/22

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas By Chip Davis

In various press releases and articles, Mannheim Steamroller's Chip Davis proudly recalls trying to shop his New-Age Christmas concept in the early '80s and meeting with rejection from all the major labels and distributors. Released in 1984, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas went on to sell some 9 million albums, proving the record label execs wrong (again). The Ohio-born Davis then developed a larger-than-life touring ensemble to bring the synth-heavy tunes to life. In 2009, Mannheim celebrated the 25th anniversary of that first Christmas album with a special two-CD set that included its renditions of tunes such as "Joy to the World" and "The First Noel." The live show is a multimedia extravaganza — which is a good thing, since these smooth jazz renditions of yuletide tunes will often put you to sleep. Tonight's concert takes place at 7:30 at the State Theatre. Tickets start at $10. (Niesel)

1519 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000,

SUN 12/23

Cavaliers vs. Chicago Bulls

Much like the Cavs, the Chicago Bulls got off to such a dismal start this season that they've already fired their coach. Both teams have lost way more games than they've won and are currently locked in a battle for the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Sad to see such storied franchises sink to such lows. Regardless, it should be a close game when the two teams play each other tonight at 6 at the Q. Check the Cavs website for ticket prices. (Niesel)

1 Center Court, 216-420-2000,

Mark Reedy

Veteran comedian Mark Reedy likes to claim Cleveland as his home, even if he wasn't born here. He's been nicknamed "Mr. Positive" because his set aims to uplift and inspire the crowd rather than degrade anyone or anything. Most of his material is based on his own experiences. He wants people to know that they always have a chance to start over — he grew up around the wrong crowd and managed to completely turn his life around. He performs tonight at 7 at the Improv. Tickets are $15. (Martin Harp)

1148 Main Ave., 216-696-IMPROV,

Bill Squire's Christmakwanzakah

In what we assume is the attempt to be inclusive, comedian Bill Squire, co-host of the local radio program The Alan Cox Show, headlines tonight's event at the Agora that he's calling Christmakwanzakah. Squire's comedy regularly touches on his "life as a stepparent, divorce, dating and leaving the Mormon church in his early 20s," as it's put in a press release. Comedians Al Jackson, Mary Santora and Ryan Dalton will join him for the performance, which takes place at 6. Tickets are $15 to $25. (Niesel)

5000 Euclid Ave., 216-881-2221,

Sunday Beat

As part of a Sunday Beat promotion at Visible Voice Books, if you purchase a New York Times at the store, you'll receive a free cup of coffee or tea and a Jim Alesci's Place pastry. An added bonus: A jazz, Americana, samba or bossa nova band will perform from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Anyone who shows a Sunday receipt from Music Box, Prosperity Social Club or any of the Tremont restaurants that offer brunch can enter a same-day drawing for a $30 Visible Voice gift certificate and a $25 Visible Voice Loyalty Card. They'll also receive 10 percent off any Visible Voice book purchase. The bookstore is open today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Niesel)

2258 Professor Ave., 216-961-0084,

MON 12/24

Christmas Eve Hermit Club Symphony

An annual tradition that puts performances from the historic Hermit Club in the festive atmosphere of the Hofbräuhaus Bier Hall, Christmas Eve Hermit Club Symphony features a 40-piece symphony orchestra that'll occupy the bier hall for an old-fashioned sing-along of traditional Christmas carols. Admission is free, but the beer and food will cost you. It all begins at 1 p.m. (Niesel)

1550 Chester Ave., 216-621-2337,

Movie Mondays

Every Monday — including today, Christmas Eve — Cleveland Cinemas hosts $5 Movie Mondays, where film fans can catch up on the latest Hollywood flicks for significantly reduced prices. Many theaters even offer discounted concession stand items. Participating theaters include Apollo Theatre, Capitol Theatre, Cedar Lee Theatre, Chagrin Cinemas, Shaker Square Cinemas and Tower City Cinemas. Unfortunately, additional charges apply for 3-D movies. (Alaina Nutile)

TUE 12/25

12 Assholes of Christmas

It's a tradition that, at noon on Christmas day, the punk-rock club Now That's Class opens its doors to welcome "those who don't have anywhere to go or don't wanna go anywhere" for an event dubbed 12 Assholes of Christmas. From noon to 3 p.m. today, the bar will offer specials on select Great Lakes beers, selling them for only $1. The price goes up by increments as the day goes on: the brews will cost you $2 from 3 to 6 p.m., and $3 from 6 to 9. Acts such as Blimp, Obnox, Roobydocks, Swindella, Prostitutes, Scum Guppies, Party Plates, Live from the Garage, Basement Boi, Beckett & Friends, DJ Krissy Krass, DJ Sadie and DJ Depeww will provide the tunes. It's free, but bring along something for the potluck dinner. (Niesel)

11213 Detroit Ave., 216-221-8576,

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