This year's Party in the Heights series, a revolving music festival at locations around Cleveland Heights, offers up to four nights of entertainment each week. The next few weeks feature open-mic poetry, jazz, and a street fair. Tonight's performance on Coventry is by the Trail Hawgs, whose blend of American roots music -- bluegrass, country, blues, and folk played on banjo, mandolin, and harmonica -- should go well with the outdoor setting. It takes place at 7 "under the arch" at the corner of Euclid Heights Boulevard and Coventry Road. Admission is free. Call 216-371-3344 for more information.
Friday, July 4
The Boston Mills Artfest celebrates the holiday without all the rocking and booming. The weekend-long gathering, at Boston Mills Ski Resort in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, offers juried work by more than 150 artists, with pieces including paintings, jewelry, woodwork, and furniture. There's also live music, craft demonstrations, and food and drinks, and parents can drop off the kids at an "art and play" tent while they browse. Boston Mills Ski Resort is at 7100 Riverview Road in Peninsula; the fest takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and tomorrow, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $6 and $7.50. Call 330-467-2242 for more information.
Saturday, July 5
Philip Seymour Hoffman is the best working actor right now. Even in slight films (such as Next Stop Wonderland), he commands attention. In good movies (such as Boogie Nights), he elevates the ensemble. Up till now, though, his roles as a leading man have been sketchy (Flawless, anyone?). In Love Liza, he plays a website-designer-turned-gas-huffer after his wife commits suicide. It's a strong showcase for Hoffman, even if the film (written by brother Gordy) is a bit uneven. Go see this one for Hoffman's riveting performance. Love Liza is at the Cleveland Cinematheque (11141 East Boulevard) at 9:30 tonight. Tickets are $7, $4 for members. Call 216-421-7450 for more info.
Sunday, July 6
The Sensuous and the Sacred: Chola Bronzes From South India, opening today at the Cleveland Museum of Art, is the first major exhibition to review Chola dynasty temple sculptures. Consisting of about 60 pieces dating to the 17th century, the exhibit is divided into three sections, including detailed looks at the Hindu gods Shiva and Vishnu. "These are among the most spectacular artifacts ever produced," says curator Stanislaw Czuma. "This is religious art. It's set up on the basis of iconography." The Sensuous and the Sacred is at the art museum (11150 East Boulevard) through September 14. It's open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (except Monday). The museum is free; admission to the show ranges from $3 to $7. Call 216-421-7340 for more info.
Monday, July 7
The Sculpture Center is paying tribute to its late founder with extensive exhibitions displayed at 28 locations around town. Monumental Spirit: A Celebration of David E. Davis showcases 87 mostly whimsical, abstract works by the artist at the Sculpture Center, the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve (which Davis also founded), City Hall, the Free Clinic, and Beck Center, among other sites. "Although David was a serious artist, he also had a wonderful sense of humor," says curator William Martin Jean. "That playfulness is visible in his designs and use of materials. And, as a public sculptor, we wanted his work to be visible all over the city. This is going out to the people." Demonstrations, lectures, and family-friendly activities are taking place through July 27. For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit www.sculpturecenter.org.
Tuesday, July 8
Ohio Chautauqua lands in Oberlin today, and state pioneers Johnny Appleseed, Mary Draper Ingles, and Simon Kenton will be there. (Rather, people dressed like them will be there.) This year's theme is "The Ohio Frontier," which has pretty much been the theme of every single Ohio Chautauqua since it started five years ago. No matter. The statewide celebration (six communities host the summer roadshow; Oberlin is the only local one) is living history at its most complete. Over the next five days, music, food, games, presentations, storytelling, and reenactments will pay tribute to Ohio's past. Most events take place on the grounds of Oberlin College on North Professor Street in Oberlin. Activities begin at 10 a.m. daily through July 12. Admission is free. Call 440-774-6262 for more information.
Wednesday, July 9
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Summer in the City weekly concert series is a showcase for local bands to share an outdoor stage with like-minded groups. Each band plays a set of its own material and follows it with a set of songs from one of its influences. In the coming weeks, Rosavelt, Abdullah, Cobra Verde, and Disengage are scheduled to play. Tonight's show features punk rockers the Sign-Offs (paying tribute to Aerosmith), the Vacancies (covering the Rolling Stones, Joan Jett, and Elvis Costello), and the Favors (playing music of the Sex Pistols). It runs from 6 to 9 at the Rock Hall (1 Key Plaza). Admission is free. Call 216-515-1930 for more information.
The natural lagoon setting of Stan Hywet is an appropriate backdrop for the Shakespeare Festival's production of The Tempest, says artistic director Terry Burgler. "It's such a nice, isolated little area," he explains. "It's a wonderful environment to stage a play set in a lush, green [region]." The Bard's final work, about a wizard on a desert island, actually gains depth by being staged alfresco, Burgler says. "It's an accessible and very playable play. It's got so many elements in it. The outdoors aren't a burden for this show." Performances of The Tempest take place at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday (through July 27) at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens (714 North Portage Path in Akron). Tickets range from $6 to $16. For more information, call 330-836-5533.