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Get Out! The Tall Ships Are Coming 

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Tall Ships

What exactly is a "tall ship?" Yeah, it's a ship that's really tall. But it's more than that. The term encompasses a variety of large sailing vessels, with two or more masts, that are historical reproductions of ships from the 19th century. And about a dozen of them are arriving here for the Tall Ships Festival, which is part of the Tall Ships Challenge race that takes them to all of the Great Lakes, with stops at six ports. The fest opens at 4 p.m. Wednesday with the Parade of Sail, when the ships sweep into the North Coast Harbor at full sail, followed by opening ceremonies at 7 p.m. Then, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day through Monday, visitors can board the ships, talk to the crews, and learn all about the vessels' histories and how they work. The Festival Village at dockside will showcase maritime-related products and services, exhibits related to sailing, and live entertainment. It'll also promote a pair of initiatives: water conservation and youth sailing opportunities. Tickets are $8 to $14; call 216-241-6000. Go to for more information about the festival. — Anastasia PantsiosOur Lady of Mt. Carmel

Italian Festival

Everyone around here knows about Little Italy's Feast of the Assumption, which happens in August. But you don't have to wait until then to enjoy the Italian food, games, rides, and more Italian food that make the festival so popular. This week's 84th annual Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Italian Festival in the burgeoning Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood (6928 Detroit Ave., 216-651-5043) will be ladling out cavatelli and serving up lemon ices. The focus is mainly on fun, but the event culminates with a mass at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, followed by a religious procession. It runs 5 to 10 p.m. today and tomorrow, 5 p.m. to midnight on Friday, 3 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, and 2 to 11:30 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free. — Anastasia Pantsios


Jay Mohr

Jay Mohr is a natural storyteller who can also deliver spot-on impersonations. "Interesting things happen to me all the time, and often celebrities are connected to the story," he says. "I have an Al Pacino story. I have a Tracy Morgan story. I have a Norm MacDonald story. When I tell it, I do an impression of them. It works better that way." Mohr grew up in New Jersey, where he honed his skills as a kid, reenacting scenes from his favorite movies. "I would do parts of Stripes," he recalls. "Back then, I was strictly doing the script. But as I got older, I realized I could be more interesting than scripts." Whether he's riffing about a Hollywood star or making jokes about his family, Mohr swears he doesn't make up any of it. "I don't do bits," he says. "I don't do an act. I think it's more interesting to be real. It's more interesting when your material comes from a real place." Mohr, a huge sports fan, is hoping for a packed house when he performs: "But as Yogi Berra once said, 'If people don't want to come out, you can't stop 'em.'" Mohr performs at 8 tonight, at 8 and 10:15 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday, and at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Improv (2000 Sycamore St., 216-696-4677, Tickets are $30. — Ed Condran

The Taming of the Shrew

The Akron-based Ohio Shakespeare

Festival returns for its ninth season in its lovely summer place: the lagoon at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens (714 N. Portage Path, Akron, 330-673-8761, It opens the season on a light note, with the Bard's bawdy comedy The Taming of the Shrew. (It'll close on a more somber vein with King Lear, which runs July 29 through August 15). Lara Mielcarek and Andrew Cruse, who play the warring lead couple, are old hands at performing opposite each other: They starred in OSF productions of Hamlet and A Comedy of Errors. The show opens at 8 tonight and runs Thursdays through Sundays through July 24. Gates open at 6 p.m. for picnicking on the grounds, and at 7:30, members of the company perform a "greenshow" of dances, skits, and musical numbers before the play. Tickets are $15 to $30. Go to for more information. — Pantsios

Ride the "Tin Goose"

Your plane is so old that from the time you got it until now, 199 other aircraft were produced! Plane humor may not be your thing, but you can check out the butt of this joke at the International Women's Air & Space Museum. The Ford Tri-Motor, or "Tin Goose" as it's nicknamed, has been restored after almost 100 years of service to both the military and civilians. And the best part of it all, you can take a 15-minute ride in it. The Tin Goose was recently seen in last year's Public Enemies. So hop in a piece of history and maybe swipe a strand of Johnny Depp's hair to sell for millions on eBay. Flights take place from 2 to 6 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow through Sunday at the International Women's Air & Space Museum (inside the Burke Lakefront Airport, 1501 N. Marginal Rd., 216-623-1113, Rides are $60. Jordan Zirm


Ales on Rails

Everyone knows you can't hit the road with a brew in hand, even if you're not sitting in the driver's seat. But nobody ever said anything about trains! The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is taking full advantage of this oversight with its Ales on Rails beer-tasting excursions, which combine tasty brews with a train ride through the scenic Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Today's trip includes five samples from Akron's Thirsty Dog Brewery. Passengers will learn all about appearance, bouquet, body, and flavor, as well as which appetizers go best with each beer. After it's all over, souvenir glasses will be handed out. The train departs from CVNP's Akron Northside Station (27 Ridge St., Akron, 800-468-4070, at 7 p.m. Coach seats are $55, first class is $65, and fancy-ass executive class is $80. — Nick Baker

Cain Park Arts Festival

The annual Cain Park Arts Festival is a visual feast, with 150 booths stuffed with art and fine crafts. There's not much you won't find here — sculpture, ceramics, glass, photography, prints, watercolors, jewelry. You name it, it's probably here. The artists at this juried event come from all over the country, but you'll also discover talent you didn't know existed in our backyard. More than half of the exhibitors are new each year, so there are always some surprises along Cain Park's leafy, meandering paths. Live entertainment runs all day tomorrow and Sunday, with zydeco star Terrance Simien making his traditional festival appearance at 8 p.m. tomorrow. Local restaurants and caterers serve up food on the terrace overlooking the concert amphitheater. The festival runs from 3 to 8 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at Cain Park (14591 Superior Rd., 216-371-3000, It's free to get in tonight, but it's $5 tomorrow and Sunday. Kids 12 and under get in free all weekend. Pantsios

Tom Green

Tom Green's standup set is as uncompromising and unpredictable as his online talk show. He's been hosting Tom Green's House Tonight since 2006 (right around the time his acting career tanked) and is excited to be hitting the road for his first full-length tour. "Doing standup is a lot like what I do on my show, because there are no gatekeepers," he says. "I get to express myself to the fullest, and that's the greatest thing for a performer." The Ontario native will share personal stories, riff on pop culture, and deliver straight-up jokes onstage. "It's different every night," says Green. "Everything is potential fodder." His rehearsed bits are amusing, but Green is at his best when he wings it. The director, co-writer, and star of the cult flick Freddy Got Fingered comes off a lot like another Canadian funnyman: Howie Mandel. "Howie is certainly one of my favorites," admits Green. "I loved how he lived in the moment. I also loved how physical he always was. I identify with comics like Howie and Steve Martin and Robin Williams. They're all silly — very high energy. That's me. I'm no talking head when I step on a stage. It's all high-speed with me." Green performs at Hilarities (2035 E. 4th St., 216-241-7424, at 7:30 and 10:15 p.m. tonight and tomorrow night, and at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $28. — Condran

Patton Oswalt

If you only know Patton Oswalt from his gig on The King of Queens, then you rightly believe he's a pretty funny guy and one of the greatest second bananas in TV history. If you've seen Oswalt stalking onstage with a veritable cartridge belt of comedy material, then you know he has an arsenal of pop-culture and English-lit references ready to fire. Simply put, Oswalt is one of the funniest guys on the planet. If you require proof, check him out on YouTube or pick up any of his albums, like last year's Grammy-nominated My Weakness Is Strong, where he rants about auditioning for movie roles. Forget the parental advisory: The American Medical Association should have a warning sticker on anything remotely related to Oswalt, because you're going to laugh your ass off. He plays House of Blues (308 Euclid Ave., 216-523-2583, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $29.50 advance, $32.50 day of show. — Brian Baker

St. John West Shore Hospital Festival of THE Arts

More than 200 artists show off their work at the 18th annual St. John West Shore Hospital Festival of the Arts this weekend. Local and national craftsmen will display everything from paintings to baskets to wearable art. There'll also be face-painting and balloon-sculpting for the little ones, and live music and a cash bar for the bigger ones. Plus, the medical center will hold blood-pressure and cholesterol screenings. And just in case you need to get that blood pumping first, take a turn in the Mega Money Machine, where one lucky person will snag $102,000. You can buy a lot of things for your wall with that kind of scratch. It all goes down on the hospital grounds (29000 Center Ridge Rd., Westlake, 440-835-8000, from 3 to 9 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Nick Baker


Great Lakes Medieval Faire

The king doth decree that the best place for jousting, fair maidens, and giant turkey legs is the annual Great Lakes Medieval Faire. Take a trip to the 13th-century village of Avaloch, where you can beat your friends to hell with fake swords, take in a living, breathing chess match, listen to the hottest hits of the period, and pay a visit to the washing-well wenches. Artisans and craftfolk will peddle their wares, and jesters will be on hand for comic relief. There's also an old-school medieval feast. Admission includes romance and chivalry. The faire (3033 State Route 534, Rock Creek, 440-474-4280, is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every Saturday through August 15. Tickets are $22; kids 5 through 12 get in for $8. Nick Baker

The Orchestra at Blossom

For the next few months, Severance Hall will be virtually silent, as the members of the Cleveland Orchestra pack up and head south for the summer — all the way to Cuyahoga Falls, where they're in residence at Blossom Music Center (1145 W. Steels Corners Rd.) until the fall. At 8 tonight, they'll play the opening concert of their summer season with Stéphane Denève, music director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, making his Cleveland Orchestra conducting debut. The program will feature familiar works written by French composers of the 19th and early 20th centuries (Ravel, Debussy, Berlioz) or inspired by French themes (Stravinsky's Suite from The Firebird). Tickets range from $19 to $83. Call216-231-1111 or go to for info. Pantsios

Festival on the Lagoons

You'll find no creatures at this lagoon, but you'll definitely catch a few clowns, jugglers, and storytellers at Mentor Lagoons' annual fest on the water. There's lots of family-friendly entertainment going on here, including kayak rides, arts and crafts sales, sand-sculpture contests, nature walks, and hayrides. There's even a 72-foot navy landing craft you can ride. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve and Marina (8365 Harbor Dr., Mentor, 440-974-5720, Admission is free. Nick Baker

Burning River Roller Girls Championship

Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center What do you get when you combine roller skating with elements of football, track racing, and pro wrestling? Probably some blood, maybe a few broken bones. You’ll also find monikers like Morbid Cherub and Magic Lee Malicious at Burning River Roller Girls bouts. Cleveland’s all-female derby league holds the final game in its Battle for Hazard Cup championship series today, when the Hellbombers battle the Rolling Pin-Ups for the title. It starts at 6 p.m. at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center (2000 Prospect Ave., 216-687-9292, Tickets are $17, $12 in advance, and $6 for kids. — Nick Baker


James McMurtry

Singer-songwriter James McMurtry lives in Austin, and his characters project a dusty, windblown working-class presence consistent with Texas. But his music trends toward folksy, heartland rock informed by Bob Dylan and John Mellencamp. McMurtry was fresh from a win at the Kerrville New Folk Festival songwriting competition in 1987 when he slipped a demo to Mellencamp, who was filming a script by McMurtry's writer dad Larry. Rather than cover one of his songs, as McMurtry had hoped, Mellencamp offered to produce McMurtry's 1989 debut, Too Long in the Wasteland. His deep gruff baritone unfolds stories with plainspoken authority against easygoing mid-tempo roots rock. But it was a rare diversion into politics that provided McMurtry's biggest break. His Bush-bashing hard-luck anthem "We Can't Make It Here" earned him 2006's song- and album-of-the-year accolades from the American Music Association. McMurtry plays the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124, at 8 p.m., with Jonny Burke opening. Tickets are $18 advance, $20 at the door. — Chris Parker

20 Years to Life Fashion Show

If you wake up every morning and throw on a pair of sweatpants and a UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs hoodie, then maybe it's time for you to rethink your wardrobe. Today's 20 Years to Life event will give you plenty of chances to gawk at the latest styles at two fashion shows, a Designer of the Year competition, and a Next Top Runway Model of the Year contest. So take off that mustard-stained shirt and get educated. It all starts at 6:15 p.m. at the Embassy Suites (5800 Rockside Woods North Blvd., Independence, 216-544-7779). Tickets are $30 and $40. Zirm


Bon Jovi

It's debatable whether or not Bon Jovi deserve a place in the Rock Hall. The band has sold more than 100 million albums in a career that stretches back to the early '80s, when "Runaway" launched the working-class Jersey boys. By the end of the decade, Bon Jovi were one of the biggest bands in the country. But detractors claim the group's music doesn't have the depth or artistic integrity expected from a Rock Hall inductee. Decide for yourself when Bon Jovi play Blossom (1145 W. Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, 330-920-8040, at 8 p.m. Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes open. Tickets range from $30 to $175. — Jeff Niesel

Lily King

Writer Lily King says her career began in the fifth grade, when a friend told her she was writing a book. So King cranked out a story inspired by the Partridge Family. The prize-winning author just published her third novel, Father of the Rain, about a father-daughter relationship. It all started with a scribbled thought in King's notebook: "The way we were treated by our father is the way we expect the world to treat us." King will read from and talk about her book at 7 p.m. at Joseph-Beth Booksellers (24519 Cedar Rd., Lyndhurst, 216-691-7000, Admission is free. Michael Gill

Tuesday, JULY 13

Brewmaster's Dinner

What's not to love about the Great Lakes Brewing Company's Brewmaster's Dinner? Locally made beer paired with a delectable dish from the kitchen, followed by a tour of the brewery — it's like a Willy Wonka experience for beer lovers. As you stare at the rivers of brew flowing lusciously before your eyes, you'll learn about the history of Cleveland brewing and why Great Lakes' offerings are just so damn good. It starts at 6:45 p.m. at the Great Lakes Brewing Company, 2516 Market Ave. Admission is $50. Call 216-771-4404 or visit to register. Zirm

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