Sex Money KISS. There couldn't be a more appropriate title for Gene Simmons's new memoir. The tongue-wagging, blood-spurting KISS bassist claims to have bedded thousands of women, and his band's endless farewell tour is more about the Benjamins than the music. The book itself reads like a self-help manual, with Simmons dropping tips like "The harder you work, the luckier you will get" and "One can make things happen, even if one has no money." There's very little in there about how to shrewdly market a lackluster rock band for more than 30 years. Maybe you can ask Simmons himself when he signs copies of his book at 2 p.m. today at Joseph-Beth Booksellers (13217 Shaker Square). Admission is free. Call 216-751-3300 for more information.
Friday, September 5
Zoo Zoo, which opens today at Dead Horse Gallery, is a 30-artist collection of paintings, collages, and sculptures about animals. "Some of the work has a little political touch," says Dead Horse co-owner Kim Schoel. "But most of it [reflects] the artists' fantasy, preference, or relationship to animals." Look for pieces featuring rhinos, bats, dogs, and ants. "There are paintings that [run the gamut from] representational to very expressionistic," Schoel says. "This is a show that deals with the whole idea of the animal kingdom and zoos. It's just another way to make people more aware of the positive function zoos have these days." Zoo Zoo is at Dead Horse Gallery (14900 Detroit Avenue, #311, in Lakewood) through October 4. It's open from noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Admission is free. Call 216-228-7214 for more information.
Saturday, September 6
The 10th annual Canine Fun Days and Greyhound Reunion is really just a weekend-long excuse for Rover to feel special (as if that whole being-able-to-lick-himself thing isn't special enough). Cash and trophies will be handed out for Best Trick, Prettiest Eyes, and Dog/Owner Look-Alikes, and there are tons of games, like Basset Hound Races and Dunking for Dogs (hot dogs, that is). And Skidboot -- a celebrity dog that's been on Leno, Letterman, and Oprah, and snagged $25,000 on Animal Planet's Pet Star competition (think American Idol for canines) -- will be there, undoubtedly making your dog's Frisbee-catching skills seem pretty darned pathetic in comparison. It takes place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow at the Metroparks Polo Field (Route 78 and Chagrin River Road at South Chagrin Reservation in Moreland Hills). Admission is $3 to $5. Call 800-269-1148 for more info.
Today's Soap Box Derby for Big Kids gives adults the chance to squeeze into tiny cars and compete in a race. Little kids can tag along as passengers, but drivers must be at least 16 years old. Winners will receive trophies at a concluding awards ceremony. There's also an auction, a buffet-style pig roast, and beer and wine to round things out. It all runs from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Cleveland Area Soap Box Derby (on Angelo Martin Drive, off the West Shoreway). Admission is $75, $25 for kids. Call 216-941-9326 for more information.
Sunday, September 7
Cleveland Cinematheque is kicking off its month-long "Not a Pretty Picture: Classics of Transgressive Cinema" series this weekend with Triumph of the Will. Leni Riefenstahl's notorious 1934 cinematic portrait of the Nazi party was commissioned by Hitler to show off the strength of his army (specifically, it documents the Third Reich's Nuremberg Party rally from that year). And while there's no getting around the propaganda, the movie is a stunning, mesmerizing, and horrific account of the allure of evil. Triumph of the Will shows at 7 p.m. at Cleveland Cinematheque (11141 East Boulevard). Admission is $7, $4 for members. Call 216-241-7450 for more information.
Monday, September 8
While you can step outside and see the real thing in a couple weeks, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History's photography exhibit, Fall Colors Across North America, offers some mighty pretty pictures. There are 44 of 'em, in fact, by photographer Anthony E. Cook. And his skewed views of leaves and trees almost make it worth staying indoors. Fall Colors Across North America runs through February 1, 2004, at the museum's Fawick Gallery (1 Wade Oval Drive). Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission to the museum is $4 to $7. Call 216-231-4600 for more info.
Tuesday, September 9
Trampoline is a fiction anthology edited by award-winning author Kelly Link. Tonight, she and three of Trampoline's writers will read their work. "There are stories about the devil, there are stories about taxidermists," says Link. "I wanted to throw in as many different kinds of stories as possible." Two of the Trampolinists -- Maureen McHugh and Christopher Barzak -- are local. "We just wanted to publish writers we like a lot, but do it in a traditional format," Link says. "We picked stories we liked, regardless of what kinds of stories they were, whether they were genre or mainstream." The readings start at 7 p.m. at Mac's Backs (1820 Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights). Admission is free; call 216-321-2665.
Wednesday, September 10
My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra features 90 of Ol' Blue Eyes' songs. Two guys and two gals perform the musical -- which opens Weathervane Playhouse's new season tonight -- and work their way through many of Sinatra's best tunes from his Columbia ("Night and Day"), Capitol ("Come Fly With Me"), and Reprise ("Strangers in the Night") years. No word on whether the oft-spun anecdote about the Chairman eating breakfast off a hooker's chest will be told. My Way plays at Weathervane Playhouse (1301 Weathervane Lane in Akron) through October 5. Show times are 7:30 p.m. tonight and Thursday, 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $16 and $18, available by calling 330-836-2626.