There are few movie images as badass as Robert Mitchum sporting "love" and "hate" tattoos on his knuckles in The Night of the Hunter. The 1955 thriller -- about a psychotic preacher stalking two children who have knowledge of a stash of stolen cash -- is a moody rumination on religion and evil. Tonight, Robert Gitt, preservation officer at the UCLA Film and Television Archive, brings nearly three hours' worth of outtakes, alternate takes, and other recently uncovered footage to the Cinematheque for Charles Laughton Directs The Night of the Hunter. It's a studied course in filmmaking, as well as an appraisal of an American goth classic. Gitt screens the footage at 7; the Cinematheque is at 11141 East Boulevard. Tickets are $10, $7 for members; call 216-421-7450.
Friday, October 17
Tonight's Singer-Songwriters Tour gathers four of America's finest female troubadours: Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin, Patty Griffin, and Dar Williams. Unlike other multiartist tours, where one performer follows another onstage, the members of the quartet share space, play each other's songs, and accompany one another. And while only Williams has something new to push (and Griffin recently released a live disc), their list of accomplishments -- including Colvin's Grammy-winning "Sunny Came Home" and Griffin's sadly neglected catalog of rustic folk -- is enough to spark the stage. The ladies play the Palace Theatre (1519 Euclid Avenue) at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $25 to $55, available by calling 216-241-6000.
The image of Bats in Pajamas is pretty good for a giggle, but the only flying mammals present at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center party are the mounted ones on display at its Bats in My World exhibit. The family sleepover includes pizza, Halloween costume-making, bat-centric arts and crafts, a planetarium movie, and breakfast in the morning. (Be sure to bring your own pillows, sleeping bags, and other bedding.) Festivities start at 6:30 tonight and wrap up tomorrow morning at 9:30 at the Nature & Science Center (28728 Wolf Road in Bay Village). Admission is $17 per person. Call 440-871-2900 for more information.
Saturday, October 18
Kimberly Blaker says there's no greater threat to this country than religious fundamentalists. And in her book, The Fundamentals of Extremism: The Christian Right in America, she details every single thing she finds wrong with them. "They're a threat to our democracy, because they oppose a number of different issues pertaining to civil rights," she says. "And some of their beliefs and practices lead to high rates of poverty, teen pregnancy, and a number of other social issues." And while the whole ordeal can get a bit too scholarly and schematic (the essays are followed by nearly 30 pages of endnotes), Blaker backs up some solid points. And instead of just bitching about things, she offers solutions. "Creating a greater awareness among the general public is a start," she says. "We're always going to have to deal with fundamentalism. But people should realize the underlying motive of the Christian right." Blaker discusses and signs her book at Mac's Backs (1820 Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights) from 5 to 7 p.m. Admission is free. Call 216-321-2665 for more information.
Sunday, October 19
You loved her as the sultry Anita in West Side Story. You dug her striptease in Marlowe. And you got off on her sex talk in Carnal Knowledge. She's Rita Moreno, and you can hear her chat about books at the library today as part of the Afternoon for Writers and Readers series. (Moreno's narrated several audiobooks, which apparently qualifies her somehow for the gig.) It's also Hispanic Heritage Month at the Cleveland Public Library, and Puerto Rico native Moreno -- who's lent her pipes to works by Oscar Hijuelos and Carson McCullers, among others -- is a worthy subject: She's one of the few people ever to have snagged an Emmy, a Tony, a Grammy, and an Oscar. Her first step on the road to a Pulitzer takes place at the Louis Stokes Wing Auditorium at the Cleveland Public Library (325 Superior Avenue) at 2 p.m. Admission is free. Call 216-623-2869 for more information.
Monday, October 20
Neil Folberg, a student and colleague of Ansel Adams, learned a lot from his mentor. In Celestial Nights, which features more than 40 landscape photographs, Folberg illuminates, frames, and shoots the dark land and skies of Israel in a manner that suggests Adams abroad. And like Adams, Folberg often deifies his lifeless subjects. Rocks and shrubbery never looked so momentous. Celestial Nights runs through November 30 at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History (1 Wade Oval Drive). It's open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $4 to $7. Call 216-231-4600 for more information.
Tuesday, October 21
The Cleveland Museum of Art's African Gallery closed a year ago and recently resurfaced as the Art of Sub-Saharan Africa. It's been renamed "to clarify the scope of the museum's African collection," explains Constantine Petridis, associate curator of African art. "The new presentation makes the collection more accessible. It elucidates the objects' meanings and contexts." More than 60 wood, terra-cotta, brass, ivory, and cloth objects are on view. Many of them are masks and figures made in West and Central Africa in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Artifacts are now grouped according to region, and helpful gallery cards detail cultural, geographical, and anthropological similarities and differences. The art museum is at 11150 East Boulevard. It's open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (closed Mondays). Admission is free. Call 216-421-7340 for more information.
Wednesday, October 22
Of all the Wu-Tang Clan solo discs out there, Raekwon's 1995 opus, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, is the time-tested champ. He's also the crew's most dexterous rapper, capable of spitting rhymes fast and furious. He has a new record -- The Lex Diamonds Story -- due next month. He's generating buzz by hitting the road and performing some of its tunes, as well as tracks from Linx and 1999's underperforming Immobilarity. C-Rayz Walz joins him on tour, which stops at the Agora (5000 Euclid Avenue) at 8 tonight. Tickets are $16, available by calling 216-241-5555.