The Rolling Stones may look like last week's leftover chicken cacciatore, but their songs are still burning cigarette holes in young girls' hearts and old men's livers. Maybe they can't play their instruments so hot anymore, but they've got lots of sidemen to pick up the slack. And, though bassist Bill Wyman is gone, he was really just a stage prop all those years anyway. They'll rip things up sideways at 8 p.m. tonight at Gund Arena, 100 Gateway Plaza. Guitar prodigy Jonny Lang opens. Tickets start at $39.50 and go up incrementally to $250; call 216-241-5555.
The Cleveland Orchestra plays its first gig tonight under the twinkly art-deco ceiling of the Allen Theatre, its temporary home while Severance Hall gets a tummy tuck and full-body massage. Tonight's program will have a Scandinavian flavor, featuring the world premiere of a new work by Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg and the Cleveland Orchestra debut of Swedish tenor Gssta Winbergh. But there'll be material from elsewhere in Europe as well, including a performance of Gustav Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde (an unfinished masterpiece that turned out to be finished after all--a complete but shorter score turned up fifty years after his death) and the U.S. debut of Czech mezzo-soprano Dagmar Peckova. Tickets are $24 to $58 for performances tonight, Friday, and Saturday at the Allen Theatre, 1407 Euclid Avenue, Playhouse Square; call 216-231-1111. Show time is 8:15 each night.
Portland, Oregon, may be known for its beautiful mountain views, but it's also a minimecca of animation. Its frame-by-frame handiwork is featured tonight in Animated Worlds: Two Decades of Portland Animation. Some of the fare may look familiar--the levitating lawn mowers and vacuum cleaners in And She Was, Jim Blashfield's late-1980s Talking Heads video, and the malleable masterpieces of Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase, an all-clay survey of modern art. Rarer picks: the flying hands, dancing noses, and floating Donald Duck heads that have been collaged and color-Xeroxed for Suspicious Circumstances, a detective story a la Salvador Dali and Betty Crocker, and Bride of Resistor, a nuts-and-bolts saga of lost love and blown fuses. At 7 p.m. at the Cleveland Cinematheque, 11141 East Boulevard. Tickets are $6; call 216-421-7450.
Cleveland isn't exactly Trout Central--schools of the fish most often arrive here by truck, not fin. But even if they get here in a cardboard box with airholes, you can still pan fry 'em. Every March and April, the Cleveland Metroparks stocks a ten-mile stretch of the Rocky River with about 7,000 trout, shipped in from farms and hatcheries. Parks Fisheries Biologist Ken Halko will talk about how to snag one for supper today at the Stream Trout Fishing Clinic. He'll cover the basics of equipment and bait selection (Larval insects or mealworms? Jigs or maggots?) and share tips on sneaking up on easily-spooked stream fish. The free, all-ages program will take place from 9 a.m. to noon at the Bonnie Park Picnic Area, off Valley Parkway in the Metroparks Mill Stream Run Reservation, off Pearl Road in Strongsville. Call 440-234-9597.
After ten years of writing three-minute pop songs, Milwaukee basement rockers the Frogs have pretty much covered all the touchy topics. Nun rape? Sang about it. Backwards masking? Yeah, and some of those messages were even cruder than the forward ones. Last year's Starjob EP was produced by the Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan; this year things are a little leaner for the boys, who've been dropped from Polygram. They'll crank it up anyway at 9:30 p.m. at the Euclid Tavern, 11629 Euclid Avenue. Tickets are $6; call 216-241-5555.
Herr Hare shows off his thick ankles at Skate with the Easter Bunny. For three bucks admission ($3.50 adults), kids can both crack the whip and pose for pictures with the Big B (bring your own camera). Hightail it on down to Winterhurst Ice Rink, 14740 Lakewood Heights Boulevard in Lakewood (216-529-4400), from 2 to 4 p.m.
Like many Broadway musicals, Sophisticated Ladies involves a lot of tap dancing. So Gordon McClure, who's directing Karamu Theatre's production, really had to start from scratch. Some of his dancers' closest brushes with the boards was watching Stormy Weather on video. The troupe members will show what they've learned in a slightly altered version of the original revue, which pays tribute to the life and music of Duke Ellington. McClure has shifted around the songs and tempered the glitz with a bit of history, framing the sets with period headlines. But he says there's still "lots of neon," plus one special bonus song not seen on Broadway: "Come Sunday," a spiritual Ellington wrote for Mahalia Jackson, who wouldn't sing anything secular. Showtimes are 3 and 7 p.m. today; the show runs through April 11 at Karamu Theatre, 2355 East 89th Street. Tickets are $15 and $17.50; call 216-795-7070.
Today's landfills are tomorrow's ancient ruins in the sculpture of Terry Durst, whose four newest works fill the storefront Southside Gallery in Tremont. In "Stowaway," the classic Grecian urn, which emphasized beauty rather than utility, makes a post-industrial appearance as a cigarette ash can. In "Destiny," the second coming turns out to be just another visit from Godzilla. Poetic interludes aside, Durst says the work is really "all about sex." The free show runs through April 11 at 1028 Kenilworth Avenue; hours are erratic, so call ahead at 216-621-1610.
You can't bottle memories, but you can fold up a roller coaster, load it on a flatbed, and move it to a big arena where it never rains. That's called the Indoor Amusement Park, where the sun never sets and the midway lights are always on, at least for the park's one-month run. Kids can ride on giant strawberries in the Berry-Go-Round, wrassle in the plastic ball pit, and drive a 21st century dune buggy. Admission is $15; the rides come down on May 2. At the I-X Center, 6200 Riverside Drive in Brook Park; call 800-897-3942 for more information. From 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Dirt means soil, not soot, at the Organic Vegetable Gardening Workshop, where city dwellers can learn to harvest more than the empty Four Roses bottles tossed in their front yards. Taught by Joan DeLauro, urban outreach coordinator for the Cleveland Botanical Garden, the free class covers the basics of starting an inner-city crop. (Actual recommended first step: Get the soil tested for lead.) She'll talk about the best places to buy seeds; how to build raised beds in tight corners; companion planting, such as pairing shady tomatoes with shade-lovin' carrots; and the ladybug method of pest control. One more essential: how to deal with people taking your stuff, a lesson DeLauro learned from her satellite chicken coop on Chester Avenue. "We used to lock it in the beginning," she says, until people started stealing fryers in the middle of the night. "The door was practically knocked in on its hinges. So now we keep the door unlocked, and people keep taking chickens, but at least the building isn't ruined." The workshop starts at 7 p.m. at the Learning Garden Center, East 66th Street and Chester Avenue; call 216-721-1600 to sign up.