Mitch Albom is carving out quite a niche with warm, fuzzy stories about how sentimental he gets around old guys. His 1996 memoir, Tuesdays With Morrie, was a long-standing best-seller that recounts his relationship with his dying mentor. His new book, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, is a novel about a guy who dies saving a child, unaware of his own importance. "We die without getting those big why questions answered," Albom says. "If heaven is really this wondrous, redemptive place, then it will be a place where you get your questions answered." Heaven is inspired by Albom's Uncle Eddie. "I always wanted to write about him," he explains. "He was a grizzled World War II vet who never thought his life amounted to anything. I always felt bad that I could never express to him how special I thought he was. He died before I learned to talk like that." Albom is at Joseph-Beth Booksellers (13217 Shaker Square) at 7 p.m. Friday. Admission is free. Call 216-751-3300 for more info. -- Michael Gallucci
Cleveland's art community is lighting up the early nightfall with the Autumn Lantern Walk. The one-hour, self-guided stroll up and down Euclid Avenue is the final installment of Sparx in the City, a five-month series of "art movements" meant to "illuminate the darkness going into the fall," says Joan Perch, owner of the Art Metro gallery and the walk's organizer. Along the route, you'll see larger-than-life lanterns, singing ensembles, and dance troupes. It happens from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday on Euclid Avenue between East 6th and 14th streets. Admission is free; call 216-696-1942. -- Cris Glaser
Thai That Binds
The Legend of Suriyothai is a two-and-a-half-hour epic about the history of Thailand. It spans almost half of the 16th century. And it features a climactic battle set atop charging elephants. It's also the most expensive production in Thai film history, with much of the budget going toward the incredibly lavish sets and thousands of scene-filling extras. Francis Ford Coppola is one of the executive producers, but Suriyothai's star is M.L. Piyapas Bhirombhakdi, who plays the Thai queen from precocious child to raging warrior. Without ever breaking a sweat (not even when she's wielding a spear from her perch on a pachyderm), Bhirombhakdi effortlessly pulls together a history lesson that rarely plays like one. The Legend of Suriyothai plays at the Cleveland Cinematheque (11141 East Boulevard) at 9:35 Friday, 7 Saturday, and 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $7, $5 for members; call 216-421-7450. -- Michael Gallucci
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