Boy, George Lucas wasn't kidding when he said Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith (opening today) was going to be dark. Murdered children, slaughtered Jedi, and severed limbs abound in the final chapter of the sci-fi saga. And while newcomers might have a hard time figuring out just what's going on in Sith, which links the two trilogies, fans will be satisfied with the way the film ties up loose ends and answers all those pesky questions (like why do C-3PO and R2-D2 seem to have no clue about their lives prior to Episode IV?) And there's only two (thankfully brief) Jar Jar sightings! See Film for review.
We don't like Coach Carter, the paint-by-numbers movie starring Samuel L. Jackson as the high-school basketball coach who benched squad members of his undefeated team for low grades. But we're almost certain the real Coach Carter is a pretty swell guy. We'll have the chance to find out today, when Ken Carter makes a stop in town to discuss the bridge between academics and athletics, as well as the responsibility educators have to their game-playing students. He's at the Cleveland Convention Center Music Hall (500 Lakeside Avenue) at 7 p.m. Admission is free; call 216-593-0020.
Friday, May 20
Canton artist P.R. Miller's Grizzled Wizard's Yard'n Garden Art Sale and Show turns an Akron warehouse into a menagerie of giant creatures created entirely of recycled junk. The sculptures -- made out of wires, cages, scraps of metal, and anything else you'd find at a flea market -- are of zoo animals, flowers, insects, and a few other things we can't quite identify. It's all pretty cool stuff that changes your perspective on both the size and meaning of the wildlife around us. The warehouse is at 414 Howard Street in Akron. The show runs from noon to 9 p.m. today and tomorrow, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free; call 330-760-4339.
Sarah Curry's tasty new exhibit, Cakes, features paintings by the local artist of, um, cakes! And lots of them. Actually, Curry bases her work on vintage images of the frosting-topped confections. Her use of color and style helps stamp the respective periods. Yummy! It's on view at Nona (2254 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights) through the end of July. It's open from 2 to 6 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Tuesday through Thursday (Sunday and Monday hours are available by appointment). Admission is free; call 216-321-1932.
Saturday, May 21
Thomas the Tank Engine is celebrating his 60th anniversary this year, and the animated train is still a hit with kids, despite stiff competition from newer, sleeker engines like Spencer and Murdoch. Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is marking the choo-choo's six decades with Day Out With Thomas, which includes rides led by an engine made up to look like Thomas. There's also a hands-on Imagination Station, music and storytelling, and photo opportunities with some dude dressed up like station manager Sir Topham Hatt. Thomas rolls into the railroad (1630 West Mill Street in Peninsula) from 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. today, tomorrow, and May 27 through May 29. The 25-minute rides leave every 45 minutes. Tickets are $14, and reservations are recommended; call 866-468-7630.
Sunday, May 22
The Chicago rockers of June have nailed the emo thing. The lilting verses, the raging choruses, the charging bridges -- they're all part of the quartet's sound. Its debut album doesn't come out till August, but the band has been busy on the road for a huge chunk of 2005, gathering support. The guys really don't mess with emo's formula, but if you've ever wanted to say, "I was listening to the band when . . .," here's your chance. June is at the Agora (5000 Euclid Avenue) at 7:30 tonight. Tickets are $10, available by calling 216-241-5555.
Monday, May 23
Wax figures creep us out. And it has little to do with that dreadful House of Wax remake (well, maybe a little; Paris Hilton totally freaks us out in any capacity). At the Ohio Wax Museum (which is in town for another week), famous people from the state -- including John Glenn, Thomas Edison, and Johnny Appleseed -- get the waxy treatment. Best (and by best, we mean creepiest) is the lifelike figure of Margaret Hamilton, who played the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz. Just be thankful none of those flying monkeys are there. The exhibit is on view at Tower City Center (50 Public Square) through May 31. It's open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Admission is free; call 440-886-9291.
Tuesday, May 24
Gearing up for next month's Herbie: Fully Loaded? (We could make a joke here about hard-partying star Lindsay Lohan, but we'll be kind.) Herbie the Love Bug, a decked-out Volkswagen, rolls into the area today for a pair of stops on the Herbie & Friends Cruise Across America tour. Unfortunately, "friends" means other VWs, not Lohan (who's probably too hung over to attend . . . Sorry, we couldn't resist). There will be lots of movie-related giveaways, though. Herbie's at Canal Park (50 West State Street in Akron) at 9 a.m., prior to the Aeros' 10:35 a.m. game against the Erie SeaWolves, and at 11:05 a.m. at Classic Park (35300 Vine Street in Eastlake), during the game between the Captains and the Lakewood BlueClaws. For more information, call 866-664-3724.
Wednesday, May 25
Despite sections of the Cleveland Museum of Art being closed for renovation, a few new exhibits are finding their way into the soon-to-be-expanded building. The most noteworthy is Michaël Borremans: Hallucination and Reality, the first solo exhibition in the U.S. by the Belgian artist. More than 60 small drawings and paintings from the past decade make up the collection, which is cheeky, sort of surreal, and thoroughly fascinating. Hallucination and Reality is at the art museum (11150 East Boulevard) through September 4. It's on view from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Admission is free; call 216-421-7340.