Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Skyline Chili in Ridge Park Square Has Closed

Posted By on Wed, Jul 17, 2019 at 8:23 AM

  • Courtesy Skyline Chili

You can still grab a 3-way at one of the two remaining Northeast Ohio locations, but pour out a one-pound bag of shredded cheese for the Ridge Park Square Skyline Chili outpost, which has closed.

Though it's unclear exactly when the shop dished up its last coney, the location is listed as permanently closed on Google and has been removed from the Skyline Chili homepage.

Head to Stow or Lyndhurst for your Skyline fix from now on.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Several Local Bookstores to Participate in Bookstores Against Borders Fundraiser

Posted By on Tue, Jul 16, 2019 at 4:26 PM

  • Courtesy of Visible Voice Books
The Trump Administration has been pushing a white nationalist agenda that conflicts with our country's legacy of welcoming immigrants. As a result, the Madison, WI-based bookstore A Room of One's Own launched Bookstores Against Borders earlier this month to counteract policies that many have called racist and divisive.

The campaign aims to donate five to 20 percent of bookstore sales to RAICES, a nonprofit providing legal aid and other resources to refugees imprisoned at the US-Mexico Border. Cleveland area bookstores Loganberry Books, Mac's Backs, Visible Voice and the Learnéd Owl have announced their own participation on Saturday. All bookstores have pledged to donate 10 percent of sales on that day to RAICES via the Bookstores Against Borders fundraising platform.

Continue reading »

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Meadville, PA-Based Voodoo Brewery to Open Taproom in Cleveland Heights

Posted By on Tue, Jul 16, 2019 at 2:17 PM

Don Trivisonno (left) and Cathy Zalocki - DOUG TRATTNER
  • Doug Trattner
  • Don Trivisonno (left) and Cathy Zalocki
When it opens this fall in Cleveland Heights, Voodoo Brewery will offer a unique twist to the local beer brewing scene. Despite the moniker, the business actually will not brew any beer, but instead will function as a satellite taproom for the Meadville, Pennsylvania-based brewery of the same name. The locally owned franchise will be operated by partners Don Trivisonno and Cathy Zalocki.

“We discussed opening a brewery and eventually said, why reinvent the wheel,” Trivisonno explains. “I’m a beer nerd, I’ve brewed for some years, and I ran a couple different retail and restaurant beer programs. I know just from myself and my friends the amount of people who travel out to get their beers, so it makes sense to bring it to them right in their own neighborhood.”

Since launching in 2005, Voodoo has added Pennsylvania locations in Erie, Homestead, Grove City, Lancaster and State College. The franchise arm of the business is new, with upcoming pubs in Washington, D.C. and Cleveland Heights being early adopters. Each is unique in look, feel and location, but all are bound together by the diverse but consistent roster of ales and lagers brewed at the production facility in Western PA.

“The model is all about controlling the product in the absolute best way at our brewery back home,” says Jake Voelker, chief operating officer. “I can’t tell you the amount of people who have been asking us over the years to do something here. I’m a little bit of a data nerd, and if you pull customer data from our Meadville and Erie pubs to see where they’re coming from, I can tell that we have a loyal following here already.”

Those folks invariably are fans of the brewery’s higher-ABV offerings like Good Vibes IPA, Quadfather Belgian quadrupel and Cowbell double chocolate imperial stout. Those core beers and about a dozen others will be on tap at the new Cleveland Height location. Formerly home to Bill’s Dry Cleaning, the 3,000-square-foot double storefront (2279 Lee Rd.) has been gutted to the original shell, a wall separating the two spaces has been removed and a beam has been added to open up the entire space. A new kitchen and restrooms are being installed.

In addition to the house beer, Voodoo will offer wine, cider, cocktails and pub grub like pretzels, pizzas and tacos. A small patio will be added out back.

Look for Voodoo Brewery to open in the next few months.
  • Doug Trattner
  • Doug Trattner

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Here's a Super Well-Adjusted Driver Cursing Out a Cyclist in Detroit-Shoreway

Posted By on Tue, Jul 16, 2019 at 12:49 PM


In video that has now been widely shared on social media, a local cyclist named Tyler captured his interaction with a super well-adjusted and not-at-all-enraged driver on Detroit Ave. in Gordon Square.

Tyler had been heading east on a section of Detroit where there is no bike lane, just street parking. Cycling along, sharing the road as the law allows, he was passed by a driver who clearly did not obey the law that says cars need to give three feet clearance to cyclists while passing. When they arrived at a red light at West 65th, Tyler took the opportunity to tell the man he didn't give him enough space, which precipitated a scary conversation as the man exited his car and told him he'd knock his teeth out, that he should have been (?) cycling in the parking spots (?), and generally displayed an utter lack of understanding on the laws of the road.

The interaction ends thusly:

"This is a camera recording everything you just said."

"This is a dick," the gentleman replied, "suck it."

Check out the video here.

Councilman Matt Zone and the Cleveland police have both since responded to Tyler promising a followup. As anyone who bikes around Cleveland knows, this isn't an isolated incident, even if they're more often subjected to hollers of, "Get off the road!" through open windows instead of face-to-face.

"It feels very unsafe, very dangerous which is part of the risk you take on as a cyclist knowing that people aren't aware of the laws and how they affect them," Tyler told Channel 5. "I want more people to be aware of the laws and practice safe driving, safe cycling so that more people are able to enjoy these things."

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Greater Cleveland Sports Commission to Distribute 150 Bicycles to Cleveland Youth

Posted By on Tue, Jul 16, 2019 at 10:47 AM

  • Courtesy of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission
Earlier today, the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission announced that its Youth Education through Sports (YES) program will host its sixth annual Distribution Day for City of Cleveland youth on Friday at Cleveland Metroparks Acacia Reservation.

The top 150 scorers from YES’s energy-themed Field Day that was held earlier this week will receive a new bicycle, helmet, lock and lessons on bicycle education and safety.

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A Fantastical 'Matilda' at the Beck Center

Posted By on Tue, Jul 16, 2019 at 9:59 AM

  • Photo by Andy Dudik

Surrounded by chalkboards decorated with colorful letters and numbers, Matilda is opened by costumed children exaggeratedly singing about their magnificence, all backed by an orchestral cacophony.

And that’s only the first song in a show that renounces the mundane and celebrates the fantastical.

The cast and creatives at the Beck Center for the Arts have successfully embraced the whimsy, exaggerated character traits and, of course, the humor that characterizes the beloved story of Matilda.

This seven-time Oliver Award-winning, five-time Tony Award-winning and Grammy Award-nominated show has been wowing audiences since its first performance in 2010. Based on Roald Dahl’s novel of the same name, Matilda follows a 5-year-old girl who is unloved by her self-absorbed, cruel parents. When Matilda begins school, her love of literature and remarkable intelligence is embraced by her teacher, Miss Honey, but is despised by the horrid headmistress, Miss Trunchbull. As she suffers under the hands of authority, Matilda begins to find the courage to stand up for herself and others.

Scott Spence took a quite traditional approach in his direction of Matilda, the show that marks his 100th time directing a show at the Beck Center. Beck’s show is a classic production of the original work adapted by Dennis Kelly, with Tim Minchin’s music being nailed by musical director Larry Goodpaster’s eight-piece orchestra.

While the set of Matilda has in the past been decorated with books or children’s wooden block letters, designer Trad Burns has opted to use chalkboards of various sizes and shapes as the setting for the show. Beautiful projections co-designed by Burns and Jason Taylor adorn the chalkboards, rendering them as school lockers, flowers, a funky wallpaper and more. Lighting by Ben Gantose is used to isolate characters when need be, but it is for the most part a colorful execution that imbues the show with a sense of whimsy and fun.

It’s easy to fall in love with the titular character, especially when she is played by the super-sweet voiced, relatively tiny Sophia Tsenekos. Sharing the character with Ella Stec, Tsenekos on opening night displayed just the right amount of attitude, precociousness and lovability as Matilda.

Her young voice shows through strongest during the number “Quiet,” which just so happens to be the song where Matilda shuts out the world and finds a strength within herself.

The same lovability is projected from Samantha Lucas in her role as Miss Honey. Miss Honey often struggles with her self-confidence, which is a result of an upbringing closely resembling that of Matilda’s. Lucas has an incredible voice that shines in her songs “Pathetic” and “This Little Girl.”

She is surrounded by talented, young, school uniform-clad students, played by Owen Hill, Colin Willett, Nolan Tiech, Grace Mackin, Clara Endleman, Marissa Dingess and Ellie Ritterbusch. Leading the class is the entertaining Finn O’Hara as the belching, troublesome Bruce. Thankfully, the belches, along with other supplementary noises, are provided by sound designer Angie Hayes rather than O’Hara himself.

All of the actors on stage use a British accent for the night, and—based on grumblings of both young and old audience members during intermission—it was sometimes difficult to discern what the younger actors were saying.

However, there was rightfully no quibbling about the choreography by Martín Céspedes, whose movements were of a proper complexity for the differing ages and capabilities on stage. While 9-year-old Tsenekos’ choreography was justifiably more simple, older members of the ensemble, as well as dance teacher Rudolpho and Matilda’s ball room dancing mother, Mrs. Wormwood, had more complicated moves.

Along with fine dancing, Olivia Billings brings a great voice to her character of Mrs. Wormwood. In this role, Billings is shrill, slightly dim-witted and annoying—which is a proper portrayal for this mother we should all hate.
Opposite of Billings is Timothy Allen as the tyrannical Mr. Wormwood. Allen is exquisitely animated in his movements, and, thanks to his green striped suit designed by Inda Blatch-Geib, he resembles a springy cartoon character.
Alongside his dense son Michael, played by Lee Price, Allen’s song “Telly,” in which Mr. Wormwood renounces books and praises the television, is a real crowd-pleaser.

Also a crowd-pleaser, and practically a show-stealer, is the fantastic Trey Gilpin as Miss Trunchbull. Gilpin’s song “The Smell of Rebellion,” wherein Trunchbull subjects children to a grueling physical-ed class, complete with a mini trampoline and matted pommel horse, is a hilarious look into Trunchbull’s belief that “children are maggots.” The character is cold-blooded and callous, however, Gilpin’s casting as the discordant, strict, Olympian woman added an immense amount of humor to the stage and story.

The Beck Center for the Arts’ Matilda is a loud, outlandish and wild production with sensational characters and a far-fetched story—and you wouldn’t have it any other way.

Through Aug. 11 at the Beck Center for the Arts’ Mackey Theater, 17801 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, Tickets $10-33, or call 216-521-2540.

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Cleveland Museum of Natural History is "Live-Tweeting" Apollo 11 Exactly as it Happened 50 Years Ago

Posted By on Tue, Jul 16, 2019 at 9:53 AM

  • Wikipedia
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History (CMNH) is "live-tweeting" the events of the NASA Apollo 11 mission to the moon exactly as they transpired 50 years ago. The astronomy team at CMNH followed the NASA mission timeline to precisely recreate history as it unfolded in real time.

Space-themed coverage has been abundant in the days preceding the 50th anniversary of the mission that took Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins to the moon — even earning a hashtag: #Apollo50 — and these live-tweet sessions tend to be pretty gimmicky, but still: It's cool to get sense of the actual pace of events on July 16, 1969, and imagining families huddled around their radios and TVs, following along with bated breath.

(May we also recommend Damien Chezelle's overlooked 2018 gem, First Man.) 

Follow along at @goCMNH.

Recent highlights here: 

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