This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

The Motor City Madman slays onstage, in the kitchen, - and at the bookstore (Sunday).
The Motor City Madman slays onstage, in the kitchen, and at the bookstore (Sunday).
Thursday, May 15

Butterfly Magic was so popular last year that it's returning to the zoo today. The exhibit, featuring hundreds of flying insects that are shipped weekly from Costa Rica in chrysalis form, is also a haven for tropical plants and flowers. As you make your way through the greenhouse, feast on these butterfly facts: A caterpillar's first meal is its own eggshell, they eat 20 times their weight daily, and a butterfly's taste buds are in its legs. Crazy! Butterfly Magic is at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (3900 Wildlife Way) through September 1. It's open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $4 for kids and $9 for adults. Call 216-661-6500 for more information.

Friday, May 16

Thirteen years ago, three high school kids -- all African American, all from broken and impoverished families -- made a promise to each other to turn their spiraling lives around. Today, the men -- George Jenkins, Sampson Davis, and Rameck Hunt -- are doctors. And authors: Their book, The Pact: Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfill a Dream, details their struggles with peer pressure, lack of guidance, and the draw of the streets. "If we have succeeded at all in helping to turn even a single life around or in opening a window of hope, then this book was well worth our effort," they write. Jenkins, Davis, and Hunt discuss and sign copies of The Pact at the Cleveland Heights Borders (3466 Mayfield Road) at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Call 216-291-8605 for more information.

Saturday, May 17

MayFair, happening this weekend at Stan Hywet, is a combination of a garden show and antiques show -- with the venue's Needlework Guild tossed in there for those who don't like growing things or old stuff. It's the launch of a spring fete that Stan Hywet hopes will become an annual affair. "It's a new concept for us," says the hall's Judy Mills. "People will be able to watch cooking demonstrations, take a basket, and go buy some herbs to plant." MayFair is at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens (714 North Portage Path in Akron) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and tomorrow. Admission ranges from $2 to $7. Call 330-836-5533 for more information.

Sunday, May 18

Ted Nugent titled his cookbook Kill It & Grill It, which is exactly what you'd expect from a guy who spends his free time hunting down elephants and other soon-to-be-extinct-if-he-keeps-this-up animals. The Nuge's book is full of hunting anecdotes, recipes, and handy tips for field-dressing game; expect more of the same when he visits the Westlake Borders today before his Cleveland show with fellow grizzled rockers ZZ Top. Nugent will sign copies of Kill It & Grill It between 3 and 5 p.m.; it's free, but line numbers will be distributed starting at 9 a.m. Borders is at 30121 Detroit Road in Westlake. Call 440-892-7667 to learn more.

Monday, May 19

More than 50 years after Albert Krehlik died, his wood carvings and clocks, molded from twisted tree roots and branches, were found in a family barn near Madison. Those that survived the termites and rot are on display at the Western Reserve Historical Society's The Root of the Matter: Art by Albert Krehlik. "This represents a work of a man who was a fine craftsman," says curator Suzanne Buchanan. "This is great folk art." Among the 30-plus items on display is a carving of Hitler twirling a swastika. The Root of the Matter is at the Western Reserve Historical Society (10825 East Boulevard) through September 21. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 to $7.50. Call 216-721-5722 for more information.

Tuesday, May 20

Glen Matlock was kicked out of the Sex Pistols and replaced by the punk caricature Sid Vicious. Never mind that Matlock was the group's only competent musician and its brightest member (he's the one who noticed that manager Malcolm McLaren was skimming money from the band). Matlock will touch on these and many more subjects when he takes part in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Legends Series tonight. Matlock was part of the Pistols' 1996 reunion tour, so maybe you can ask him what it was like to sell out whatever integrity the band had left, before he launches into solo performances of "God Save the Queen" and "Anarchy in the U.K." Matlock is at the Rock Hall (1 Key Plaza) at 7 p.m. Tickets are $18, available by calling 216-241-5555.

Wednesday, May 21

Fiddler on the Roof seems helplessly archaic, with its creaky story of poor milkman Tevye and the five daughters he's doing his best to raise in 1905 Russia. But when you strip it down to its core message -- persecution and poverty in a hostile environment can be overcome (spiritually, at least) by sticking to one's beliefs -- the tale is a timeless one. And Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick's songs (among them, "Sunrise, Sunset" and "If I Were a Rich Man") are still tops on the revue circuit. Carousel Dinner Theatre's rousing production is always a highlight of its season. Fiddler plays through July 6 at the Carousel (1275 East Waterloo Road in Akron). Show times are 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $24.50 to $45, available by calling 330-724-9855.