Cleveland Play House's artistic director Michael Bloom thinks it's appropriate that the theater will launch its 90th season this weekend with the 70-year-old backstage farce Room Service. "It's a celebration of the theater, but it's also about surviving in the theater, which is what we're doing," he laughs.
John Murray and Allen Boretz's classic comedy centers on a cash-starved theater producer who stows his entire cast in his hotel room. Over the course of a night, dozens of people visit the close quarters -- from hotel staff to a collection agent. Bloom finds the offstage themes quite relevant. "People are more obsessed with movie grosses and what goes on behind the scenes than they are the actual movies these days," he says.
And if your only acquaintance with Room Service is the subpar 1938 film version, you're in for a shock, says Bloom. "They miscast the Marx Brothers in that movie," he says. "It's a real stinker. The play is 10 times funnier." See for yourself when Room Service plays the Play House's Bolton Theatre (8500 Euclid Avenue) Friday through October 30. Show times are 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 to $49.50; call 216-795-7000. -- Michael Gallucci
Velvet Dog makes merry with martinis.
Give Dominic Warstler a choice at Velvet Fox's Grey Goose Martini Party, and he'll order the Back Nine every time. "But it can kick your butt real fast if you don't pace yourself," says the 25-year-old paralegal. The Back Nine is easy to make: In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, mix two parts each of Grey Goose Citron vodka and sweetened ice tea with one part of the Italian lemon liqueur Limoncello. Strain into a martini glass, and garnish with lemon zest or mint leaves. "I like it in the summer, when you're sitting on the deck and looking at the lake," says Warstler. "But it sucks when you go overboard and you've got your head in the john, puking your brains out." Get shaken and stirred from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Velvet Dog, 1280 West Sixth Street. Admission is free; call 216-664-1116. -- Cris Glaser
Buffalo metalheads rise from the Gutter.
Not only do we love the ass-rattling hardcore that Buffalo's Every Time I Die plays; we love the song titles on its blistering new CD, Gutter Phenomenon: "Apocalypse Now and Then" and "Guitarred and Feathered," especially. Thankfully, the tunes don't waste much time with buildup. They launch at full speed, spiraling to the point of mayhem, before ending up exactly where they started -- amps at 11 and vocal cords shredded. It all makes for some fast and furious metal, which oughta be even more ferocious onstage. Hear for yourself when Every Time I Die plays Peabody's (2083 East 21st Street) at 7 tonight. Tickets are $17, $15 in advance, available by calling 216-241-5555. -- Michael Gallucci
Work in Progress
Watch more than 60 artists laboring away at this weekend's City Artists at Work -- Serving the Superior Arts Corridor, which takes place at over a dozen sites (including the Tower Press Building and Shovelworks). Art happens 5 to 9 p.m. Friday and noon to 6 p.m. Saturday along and adjacent to Superior Avenue, between East 18th and East 40th streets. Admission is free. Visit www.cityartistsatwork.com for info. -- Michael Gallucci