This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

The Barbarian Invasions Cedar Lee Theatre
David Bowie, still looking dapper after all these years - (Wednesday).
David Bowie, still looking dapper after all these years (Wednesday).
Thursday, January 1

There's only one thing to do today: Watch bowl games. Here's an easy-to-follow schedule:

10:55 a.m. -- Crawl out of bed; seek pain relievers and beer.

11 a.m. -- Festivities commence with the Outback Bowl (Iowa vs. Florida) on ESPN.

12:30 p.m. -- Off to NBC to check on the Gator Bowl (Maryland vs. West Virginia).

1 p.m. -- Picture-in-picture time: The Capital One Bowl (Georgia vs. Purdue) kicks off on ABC.

4 p.m. -- Valuable downtime, perfect for bathroom breaks, runs to the kitchen, prying crumbs out of the remote.

5 p.m. -- The Rose Bowl (Michigan vs. USC) on ABC. Order pizza.

8:30: p.m. -- The Orange Bowl (Miami vs. Florida State) on ABC.

11:45 p.m. -- Seek pain relievers and beer.

Friday, January 2

Jean and Paul Ulen went to the Slade School at University College in London in the 1920s to learn to draw. They studied under Henry Tonks, one of the period's most famed instructors. For 40 years after that, the Ulens passed on their education to local kids. Drawn to Perfection: Jean and Paul Ulen and the Slade School Legacy in Cleveland explores the impact the couple had on its apprentices (among the achievements is a long string of National Scholastic Art Awards for the Ulens' students) via a series of portraits and prints. Thoroughly American, yet British in style, their work -- reminiscent of 19th-century graphite drawings -- is a detailed study in old-school proficiency. The exhibit is at the Cleveland Artists Foundation at Beck Center (17801 Detroit Avenue in Lakewood) through February 28. Hours are 1:30 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free; call 216-227-9507.

Saturday, January 3

Reuben Silver knows what we like. "You may be interested in the sexual attitudes of these characters," says the seventysomething star of Ensemble Theatre's production of About Time, opening tonight. "There's a considerable concern with sex." The story is about an old married couple, reflecting on their lives together. Reuben co-stars with wife Dorothy, his partner for more than 50 years. "The play does fit our marriage, up to a point," Reuben says. "It's very, very close to us." And while Tom Cole's one-set, two-act play at times drifts toward the maudlin, the characters' chats about food, kids, and (yes!) sex are life-affirming. "The observations are universal," says Reuben. "There's a lot of probing, a lot of examination of motives and attitudes, and what causes this couple to tick." But "there's no frontal nudity," adds Dorothy. About Time is at the Cleveland Play House's Brooks Theatre (8500 Euclid Avenue) through January 18. Show times are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $18 and $20, available by calling 216-321-2930.

Sunday, January 4

Today's the last day to see sculptor Tara Donovan's site-specific work at the Museum of Contemporary Art. It's part of MOCA's new Curve series, and it's a mammoth piece -- which is to be expected from Donovan, an artist who has transformed electrical cable, toothpicks, and pencils into abstract but astounding pieces. Paper plates figure into the work on display at MOCA, 8501 Carnegie Avenue. It's open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $4. Call 216-421-8671 for more information.

Monday, January 5

The best part of Harry Buffalo's Musicians' Jam Night is that it supplies the basics: mics, drums, amps, etc. The only thing aspiring rock stars need is their primary instrument (we're assuming guitars are the norm here, but don't be surprised if there's a dude honking a saxophone too). Plug in, and be prepared to have your ass rocked off by an impromptu ensemble that's never played together. Note to participants: Stick with familiar songs. Chances are pretty slim that you'll share a stage with half a dozen guys who know Sigur Rós's "Virar Vel Til Loftárása." Musicians' Jam Night starts at 8:30 at Harry Buffalo, 6425 Pearl Road in Parma Heights. Admission is free. Call 440-888-6618 for more info.

Tuesday, January 6

Tonight marks the Ohio premiere of The Dinner Party, a contemporary play by Neil Simon. "It's a very, very dark comedy, exploring new territory," explains director Peter Hackett. "Simon's not afraid to make jokes about some very uncomfortable situations." The playwright's latest comedy is about a gathering of three estranged couples at a fancy-ass restaurant, and the mysterious host at the center of it all. "The play is very perceptive about relationships," Hackett says. "It's very moving, because you get invested in these people. It's entertaining, but it has something to say." The Dinner Party is at the Cleveland Play House's Drury Theatre (8500 Euclid Avenue) through February 1. Show times are 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $12 to $47.50. They are available by calling 216-795-7000.

Wednesday, January 7

While the superslick production (by longtime collaborator Tony Visconti) on David Bowie's Reality is sorta off-putting, the sturdy, rolling-thunder performances are the best on a Bowie record in nearly two decades. The fact that he covers Jonathan Richman's "Pablo Picasso" is indicative of the semi-indie approach taken on his 26th album. Nonetheless, the guy's got more than 30 years of material -- including a recent anniversary edition of Aladdin Sane and a retooled Best of Bowie -- behind him, some of which will make its way onstage tonight at the CSU Convocation Center, where Bowie resumes his A Reality Tour. Opening is Macy Gray, whose third disc, The Trouble With Being Myself, is an underrated R&B gem. Be sure to get there early, because she's quite a trip. Show time is 7:30 at the Convocation Center, 2000 Prospect Avenue. Tickets range from $37.50 to $55. They are available by calling 216-241-5555.

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