20+ Things To Do in Cleveland This Weekend (Sept. 23-26)

click to enlarge Big Freedia looking fabulous. - Grogshop.gs
Big Freedia looking fabulous.
Our weekly picks of the best things to do in Cleveland this weekend. Also check out our full Cleveland event calendar.

THU 09/23

Grog Shop Anniversary Weekend

The Grog Shop turns 29 years old this month, and the club will host a series of special shows this weekend to celebrate. Tonight, Big Freedia brings bounce music to the club. She'll tear the roof off with support from Me::You and DJ Zoe Lapin. Tomorrow, Actual Form, the Missed, Kill the Hippies, Slug Fest — indie rock bands from Northeast Ohio — will perform a free show, and Goddamn Gallows headline on Saturday with Public Squares and Hawkbaby opening the show. And finally, rapper Theophilus London will bring his Bebey, It’s Never Too Late tour tour to the club on Sunday with Unknownphrazes, DJ Eso and Jung Speedboat. Find more info about the Grog Shop's Anniversary Weekend on the club's website.
2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights, 216-321-5588, grogshop.gs.

Cleveland Stories Dinner Party
Cleveland Stories Dinner Party is a weekly series that pairs fine food with storytelling. Through it, the folks at Music Box Supper Club hope to raise awareness of the mission of the Western Reserve Historical Society's Cleveland History Center. The goal of the Cleveland Stories Dinner Party is to "bring to life some of the fun, interesting stories about Cleveland's past — from sports, to rock 'n' roll, to Millionaires' Row," as it's put in a press release. Tonight, Janice Mitchell, a retired federal investigator, a private investigator, an adjunct professor in the criminal justice department of Tiffin University and a lifelong Beatles fan, talks about Beatlemania. Admission is free, with no cover charge, although a prix fixe dinner, designed to complement the night's theme, is $20. Doors open at 5 p.m., dinner is served at 6, and the storytelling starts at 7.
1148 Main Ave., 216-242-1250, musicboxcle.com.

Indians vs. Chicago White Sox
The Indians take on the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox today at 1:10 p.m. at Progressive Field in a game that's a make up for a game cancelled earlier this season. The two teams will then square off again at 6:10 tonight. The series, the last homestand for the Indians this season, concludes on Sunday. Tickets start at $15.
2401 Ontario St., 216-420-4487, clevelandindians.com.

Brandon T. Jackson
Straight outta Detroit, which he refers to as "the bankrupt city," comedian Brandon T. Jackson started performing when he was only 14 years old. He's had roles in numerous films since then; he had a significant role in the terrific comedy Tropic Thunder that helped launch his acting career. Jackson, who relies on urban slang and makes references to racial stereotypes in his routines, performs tonight at 7:30 at the Improv. Check the Improv website for ticket prices.
1148 Main Ave., 216-696-IMPROV, clevelandimprov.com.

FRI 09/24

The Afterparty

The cast of The Choir of Man bid farewell to Cleveland with "an intimate night of song and dance." They'll provide a behind-the-scenes look at the international hit show that reopened Playhouse Square this summer. The performance begins at 7:30 at the Outcalt Theatre. A show takes place at the venue at 7:30 tomorrow night too. Check the Playhouse Square website for ticket prices. Sept. 24.
1407 Euclid Ave, 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

Bogey's Comedy Club Grand Reopening
After an 18-month absence from the entertainment scene, Bogey’s Comedy Club at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Beachwood reopens tonight. Club owner and comedian Kirk Bogos has done standup nationally for over 20 years, and in 2008, he opened Bogey's Comedy Club in Willoughby. A month after the club opened, the Recession hit, and the club didn’t survive. In 2019, he partnered with the Embassy Suites Hotel in Beachwood and opened Bogeys Comedy Club again. The club was only open seven months when Covid hit, and the club had to shut down. A grand re-opening will take place at 8 tonight, and Bogos will serve as host and MC and local favorite Marc Jaffe will perform along with national act Bill Boronkay, host of the Bally Sports Ohio show Cruise-In. Tickets cost $15 and are available through the website at or at the door.
3775 Park East Dr., Beachwood, bogeyscomedyclub.com.

Burlesco at the 9
Burlesco at the 9 at The Alex Theater, a burlesque show that takes place at the Metropolitan 9 hotel, returns tonight after a long layoff. The return of Burlesco marks the beginning of the 2021 production season for the local burlesque production company Cleveland Burlesque LLC. The new format will be a hybrid of live performances and pre-recorded performances on the big screen. “This one-of-a-kind burlesque revue is like no other in the city,” reads a press release about the event’s return. “[It's] a lavish theatrical interactive piece of timeless entertainment that fills the senses and gets you in the spirit for all things shiny and burlesque.” The event is 21 and up, and tickets cost $20. VIP tickets are also available, and the show starts at 8 p.m.
Metropolitan at The 9, 2017 East 9th Street, 216-239-1200.

Diana Chittester
Earlier this year when patio season started, local singer-songwriter Diana Chittester announced that she'll hold down a Friday night residency throughout summer at Western Reserve Distillers in Lakewood. Known for its delicious hand crafted cocktails that rely upon homemade bourbon and vodka and a farm to table menu, the distillery offers a terrific venue for Chittester's singer-songwriter material (think Ani DiFranco-meets-Sheryl Crow). Chittester performs from 9 to 11 p.m. Admission is free, but reservations are recommended.
14221 Madison Ave, Lakewood, 216-333-9291, westernreservedistillers.com.

Eric Church: The Gather Again Tour
Known for epic, Springsteen-like concerts, country singer-guitarist Eric Church brings his Gather Again Tour to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse today. For the first time in his career, Church will adopt an in-the-round set up with the stage at the center of each arena floor in order to accommodate as many fans as possible. The show starts at 8 p.m. Check the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse website for more info.
1 Center Court, 216-420-2000, rocketmortgagefieldhouse.com.

Shawn Maxwell Quartet
Saxophonist Shawn Maxwell returns to the Bop Stop tonight for a live concert and live stream. Maxwell has released nine albums of original compositions that draw from rock, funk, hip hop, R&B and classical. The show, which starts at 8, celebrates the release of Maxwell's latest two albums, Millstream and Expectation & Experience. The latter features 30 musicians from around the world. Check the Bop Stop website for ticket prices and more info.
2920 Detroit Ave., 216-771-6551, themusicsettlement.org.

Karlous Miller

Karlous Miller claims to be the only comedian to ever come out of Oxford, Mississippi, and he might be right. Miller, who moved to Atlanta in 2005 to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian, was featured on season two of Bill Bellamy's "Who's Got Jokes?" and has been a guest on The Mo'nique Show. He performs tonight at 7:30 and 10 at the Improv, where he has shows scheduled through Sunday. Check the Improv website for ticket prices.
1148 Main Ave., 216-696-IMPROV, clevelandimprov.com.

Kevin Nealon
A former star on Saturday Night Live, comedian Kevin Nealon created some of the shows more memorable characters. He was responsible for the Subliminal Man and played one half of Hans and Frans. Unlike many comics, Nealon doesn't scream and shout. Rather, he takes a subtler approach, spinning narrative stories about things like the assumption that he smokes pot — he says he doesn't. He performs tonight at 7 at Hilarities, where he has shows scheduled through Sunday. Check the Hilarities website for ticket prices.
2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com.

Rod Wave: SoulFly Tour
Rapper and songwriter Rod Wave adroitly mixes R&B and hip-hop on his latest offering, SoulFly, an ambitious 19-track release that finds him offering insights into his "pain." A consummate storyteller, Rod Wave elevates his game with his narrative lyrics and soulful vocals. NoCap and Rubi Rose open the show, which begins at 8 p.m. at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica. Consult the Live Nation website for ticket prices and more info.
2014 Sycamore St., 216-861-4080, livenation.com.

World Gorilla Day
MCPc’s Go Green! Machine will make its debut from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today (it's World Gorilla Day) at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, where the MCPc Gorilla Experience is located, to accept old, unused and broken electronics to be recycled. Columbite-tantalite, or coltan, is a mineral found in the earth that is an important component used to power small electronics, like cell phones. It takes about 75 pounds of mined minerals to make one smartphone, and the mining of some of these minerals can contribute to gorilla habitat destruction and military and economic conflict. Zoo admission is not required to attend — the event will take place in the parking lot.
3900 Wildlife Way, 216-661-6500, clemetzoo.com.

SAT 09/25

Blackberry Smoke Spirit of the South Tour

Blackberry Smoke originally intended to hit the road with fellow Southern rockers Allman Betts Band in 2020 as part of its Spirit of the South: A Celebration of Southern Rock and Roll Music tour. The pandemic forced the group to cancel the tour, but it's managed to reschedule the jaunt, which arrives tonight at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica. The Allman Betts Band and Cordovas open the show, which begins at 6 p.m. Consult the Live Nation website for ticket prices and more info. Sept. 25.
2014 Sycamore St., 216-861-4080, livenation.com.

Jimmy Buffett
When Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band played Blossom back in 2018, we wrote that Buffett “radiated positivity and good feelings and regularly giggled and kicked beach balls into the crowd” during a performance that was the equivalent of a “beer-drenched tropical booze cruise.” Expect something similar when Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band return to the venue tonight as part of Jimmy Buffett’s Life On the Flip Side Tour 2021. The concert begins at 8 p.m. at Blossom. Consult the Live Nation website for ticket prices and more info. Sept. 25.
1145 W. Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, 216-231-1111, livenation.com.

Live @ The Lighthouse Music Festival Series
The final [email protected] Lighthouse Music Festival Series concert, which takes place at 2 p.m. today at the Lighthouse Amphitheater behind the Fairport Harbor Marine Museum and Lighthouse, has evolved into an even bigger bash than what was originally planned. Dubbed Funktoberfest, the event will feature performances by Pillars of Rome, Jul Big Green, Willie Phoenix and Broccoli Samurai. It now also includes a beer festival. Food trucks will be available. Alcohol will be for sale, and beer sampling tickets can be purchased as well. Ten breweries will be on hand, and there will be more than 16 beers to sample. The brewery lineup includes Fat Heads, 3 Floyds Brewing Co., Jackie O's Pub & Brewery, Left Hand Brewing, MadTree Brewing, Hoppin' Frog, Bearded Iris, Revolution Brewing, Brick and Barrel Brewing, and Urban Artifact. Admission is free.

Monica Bill Barnes & Company
Described as “one of the most influential people in dance today,” Monica Bill Barnes will make her Akron debut today with The Running Show. Presented by DANCECleveland in collaboration with the University of Akron Dance Program, the performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. at EJ Thomas Hall. Choreographed by Barnes and written by Robbie Saenz de Viteri, The Running Show documents the life of a dancer through movement, interviews and stories. Barnes will perform on stage alongside local dancers, including the University of Akron Dance Program dancers. Tickets range from $25 to $35. Groups of five or more can call DANCECleveland at 216-991-9000 for more information about discounted group tickets.
198 Hill St., Akron, 330-972-7570, ejthomashall.com.

SUN 09/26

Browns vs. Chicago Bears

The Browns take on the always-tough Chicago Bears today at 1 p.m. at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Bears are coming off a season that found them finish at 8-8 and lose early in the playoffs. Check the Browns website for more details about ticket prices.
100 Alfred Lerner Way, 440-891-5000, clevelandbrowns.com.

Half Gringa/Fig
As the Chicago-based indie rock act Half Gringa, singer-songwriter Isabel Olive raised eyebrows with last year's Force To Reckon, an album that Vice named one of "22 Essential Albums You May Have Missed in 2020." The beefy guitars in the album's opening track, "1990," suggest Olive's aggressive approach. On ballads such as "Binary Star" and "Afraid of Horses," she proves equally capable of taking things down a notch. Fig and Strobe Light Casualities open tonight's show, which starts at 7 at Mahall's. Tickets cost $8.
13200 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-521-3280, mahalls20lanes.com.

Jokes on You
Inspired by crowd work clinicians like Dave Attell, Ian Bagg, and Big Jay Oakerson, Jokes On You makes the audience the center of the show by "pushing comics to avoid prepared material or written jokes and instead focus on organic interaction with the audience," as it's put in a press release about this event, which takes place tonight at 7 at Hilarities. John Bruton and Bill Squire host the event. Last Sunday of every month.
2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com.

Maker Town Market
Maker Town and Saucy Brew Works have teamed up to present free outdoor markets every Sunday at Saucy's Vibe Garden. The weekly event will feature handmade jewelry, home decor, wall art, fashion, pet products, wellness items, furniture and paper goods. Located at W. 28th St. and Church Ave., Saucy's Vibe Garden features picnic tables and an outdoor bar. Food can be ordered from the brewery via an app. The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It's free.
2807 Church Avenue, 216-666-2568, makertownusa.com/market/.