This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

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Mad Hot Ballroom Cedar Lee Theatre
Stars-gazing: Montreal rockers look for love in all the - wrong places on their fine new CD (Wednesday).
Stars-gazing: Montreal rockers look for love in all the wrong places on their fine new CD (Wednesday).
Thursday, June 16

We have no idea why aging cuchi-cuchi girl Charo decided to come to Parma High School, of all places, but we're pumped nonetheless. The '70s talk-show staple -- who was born María Rosario Martínez Molina Baeza (Charo rolls off the tongue a little smoother, doesn't it?) -- displayed little discernible talent during her Tonight Show appearances, unless you count vigorous breast-shaking while cooing something in Spanish. But Charo, who was recently featured on VH1's The Surreal Life, is a prodigious flamenco-guitar player, which we're assuming she'll demonstrate tonight . . . along with, of course, some vigorous breast-shaking. Cuchi-cuchi! Showtime is 7:30 p.m. at Parma High School Auditorium, 6285 West 54th Street in Parma. Tickets are $29.75; call 440-943-5480.

Cain Park kicks off its theater season tonight with The Secret Garden, the classic kids' tale about a resurrected backyard oasis that becomes a metaphor for life, love, and the hopes of childhood. It's presented as a musical, which oughta heighten its magical aspects. It runs through July 3 at Evans Amphitheater (Superior Avenue and Lee Road in Cleveland Heights). Showtimes are at 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Tickets are $12.50 to $20; call 216-241-5555.

Friday, June 17

At the Sarah's Vineyard Summer Solstice Art and Wine Festival, people come for the wine and stay for, well, the wine. But just in case you feel like checking out some homemade jewelry, soap, pottery, and woodwork, there'll be plenty of that there too (along with live music and food). The wines come from some of the state's best vintners, including Breitenbach, Klingshirn, and Maize Valley wineries, all of which offer reasonably priced bottles. Chances are good you'll find a Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, or Pinot Grigio to suit your needs. Vino flows from 6 to 10 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow at Sarah's Vineyard, 1204 West Steels Corners Road in Cuyahoga Falls. (Artwork is on display from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, but alas, there's no wine.) Admission is $5 today, free tomorrow and Sunday; call 330-929-8057.

There's a fine line when it comes to staging campy theater. Dan Marshall, director of Ruthless! The Musical (opening tonight), is pretty sure he stayed on the right side of it in Mercury Summer Stock's production about an eight-year-old actress who'd kill, literally, for a spot in the limelight. "It's a send-up of show-business movies from the '40s and '50s," notes Marshall. "But it also has this dark edge to it, because the [star] is sort of a serial killer." Ruthless! is at Heskett Auditorium (5771 Perkins Avenue in Bedford Heights) through June 25. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Tickets are $12; call 877-212-7185.

Saturday, June 18

Imagine our disappointment when we found out that Art on the Farm really is just an art show on a farm, and not an event where we can pick up velvet paintings of grazing cows and card-playing pigs. Still, there are quite a few bargains to be found at this second annual outing, which features mucho artwork, live music, storytelling, food, kids' activities, and roaming farm animals you can say moo to. It happens from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and noon to 6 p.m. tomorrow at Spring Mist Farms, 697 Pearl Road in Brunswick Hills. Admission is free; call 216-351-4206.

Sunday, June 19

Today's Father's Day, and it's only fair that Dad gets the same treatment Mom did last month on her special day. So Cleveland Metroparks' six golf courses are offering Treat Dad to Golf. Pops plays for free, as long as a paying family member tags along. And since it is Father's Day, how about letting your old man win, OK? The courses -- Manakiki (35501 Eddy Road in Willoughby Hills), Sleepy Hollow (9445 Brecksville Road in Brecksville), Shawnee Hills (18753 Egbert Road in Bedford), Big Met (4811 Valley Parkway in Fairview Park), Little Met (18599 Old Lorain Road), and Mastick Woods (19900 Puritas Road) -- are open from 1 p.m. to dusk. Call 440-232-7247 for reservations.

Monday, June 20

Today's one of our favorite days of the year, and it has little to do with the fact that summer will be here within 24 hours. It's the start of Cleveland Public Library's Summer Used Book Sale! And while the tome-lovin' folks at the library deserve props for their other seasonal house-cleanings, we like this one the best. Why? Because thousands of previously read books in every conceivable category -- science fiction, biographies, chick lit, paperbacks, and super-sized behemoths with lots of pretty pictures that look good on our coffee table -- are up for grabs just in time for summer reading. Library members get a sneak peek from 3 to 6 p.m. today. Stock up at the library (325 Superior Avenue) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow through Thursday, June 23. On Friday, June 24, a bag of books goes for a mere $4 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Admission is free; call 216-623-2821.

Tuesday, June 21

We're intrigued by just how dreadful Inside-Outside Art Gallery's The Worst Art Exhibit in Cleveland really is. While several items are found objects, many artists created some truly awful art. To wit: elephant sculptures, eagle paintings, and a pair of selections from one artist's Burnt Food Series. Plus, "there are many, many unidentifiable things," says owner Erin Kray. They're at the Inside-Outside (2688 West 14th Street) through June 30. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. today and Thursday through Saturday. Admission is free; call 216-623-8510.

Wednesday, June 22

You're not going to find a more deceptively exuberant pop record this year than Stars' Set Yourself on Fire, a giddy, hooky CD that was a hit in its native Canada. But peel away the protective pop layers and you'll discover a record steeped in breakups, romantic entanglements, and plenty of he-said/she-said moments. It's enough to drive one to a life of solitude -- if only the songs weren't so damn catchy. Stars is at the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Boulevard in Cleveland Heights) at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12; call 216-241-5555.

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