Thursday | 21
Jon Lovitz Brings the Love
You know him from his Emmy-nominated roles on Saturday Night Live ("Yeah, that's the ticket!") and countless performances in films like The Wedding Singer. And then there was that recent Hot in Cleveland guest spot. But now the comedian with the distinctive nasal whine brings his standup routine back to Hilarities for five shows over the course of three nights. His last stop here came about a year ago, but clearly the dude digs us. "It's the strangest thing," he says. "I know the economy there is rough, but the people are just so nice. That's the reason I wanted to come back." As for his shtick, Lovitz says his standup goes "from clever to childish. Anything that makes me do a double-take or that I think is ridiculous, I just throw in: sex, religion, politics. Plus, I play a little piano and sing too!" Tonight's extravaganza starts at 8 p.m. and is for the 21-and-over crowd only. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online at pickwickandfrolic.com or by calling 216-736-4242. Hilarities is inside the Pickwick & Frolic entertainment complex at 2035 East Fourth St. — Maxwell Hayden
Ingalls' Librarian Tells All
Know why the Cleveland Museum of Art's Ingalls Library collection is so important? Well, Ingalls' senior librarian Louis Adrean sure does, and he'll tell you all about it tonight in a public forum sponsored by the Northern Ohio Bibliophilic Society. Turns out, Ingalls' collection of books, mags, auction catalogs, and images makes it the third-largest art museum library in the country. Adrean will speak about the history of the collection, which dates back to 1913, as well as the unique resources it offers the community — including access to a complete collection of books from William Morris' Kelmscott Press, perhaps the most famous of all private presses. The forum is free, open to the public, and begins at 7 p.m. at Loganberry Books, 13015 Larchmere Blvd. For more information about the event and the Northern Ohio Bibliophilic Society, check out nobsweb.org. — Hayden
Friday | 22
Vaudeville at the Speakeasy
Tickle Your Fancy With Pinch & Squeal
Benny Hill meets Hee Haw tonight in Ohio City, as local vaudevillians Pinch (Jason Tilk) and Squeal (Danielle Muad'Dib) serve up a hilariously tasteless helping of bawdy entertainment, complete with ukuleles, accordions, and dirty ditties. Squeal, whose background is in musical theater, credits Groucho Marx and other "bottom-rung" humorists for inspiring the duo's repertoire of bad jokes, worse magic, and lame acrobatics. Still, the past year has seen an upsurge in their bookings, sending them to gigs across the Midwest, including one at House of Blues in Chicago. "With the economy so bad and people feeling so blue," Squeal says, "it seems like everybody is just looking for a little lighthearted entertainment." Joining the dirty duo will be New York-based ragtime pianist, poet, and joke teller Sabrina Chap ("She's like Phyllis Diller with a keyboard!") and the HilarAtease, a quartet of fan-dancing beauties from Squeal's own burlesque school. It all happens tonight at 10 p.m. at the Speakeasy, at 1948 West 25th St. below the Bier Markt. Admission at the door is $5. "Just look for the feathers and the snakes." — Elaine T. Cicora
The Lure of Sake at CMA
In a sneaky move to get young professionals to see the new Lure of Painted Poetry exhibition, the Cleveland Museum of Art presents Nihonshu Night, a TGIF'ing toss of sake, fusion fare, and seven centuries' worth of transcendent art from Japan and Korea. (For more on the exhibit, see this week's Art Around Town.) An $18 ticket snags you three sake samples, three tastings of fine fare from Sasa Japanese bistro on Shaker Square, and a chance to check out the talent while saying smart things to Associate Curator Seunghye Sun. Also on hand, music from Beat Matrix's Darrell Stout, who will be spinning ambient and downtempo tracks, and a cash bar — just in case three sake samples aren't enough. It happens from 5 to 8:30 p.m. For more info, visit clevelandart.org or call 216-421-7350. The museum is at 11150 East Blvd. in University Circle. — Cicora
Saturday | 23
Halfway to Halloween
Zombie Walk in Akron
Halloween may still be some six months away, but that doesn't mean you can't stagger through the streets like a menacing, brain-chowing zombie. (Hell, some of us do that every Saturday!) Here's your opportunity to dress like the undead for a worthy cause: Since 2006, Akron's Zombie Walk and Festival has raised more than 5,000 pounds of food for the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, a number organizers hope to increase via today's repeat event. What do the zombies get out of all this, you may ask? Besides the obvious thrill of pretending to eat your buddies' eyeballs, you can count on an afterparty at the venerable Akron wateringhole Annabell's, featuring live music, contests, giveaways, and plenty of fun. Cost is $5 and two cans of nonperishable food. Registration begins at noon, and the zombies stagger off at 3 p.m. (Get there early, and makeup artists will help you apply professional-quality gore for cheap.) Annabell's is at 782 West Market St. For more info and photos from last year, check out Oldschool Sinema on Facebook. — Chrissy Niehaus
Minor League Football
Meet the Cobras
Maybe it's time we all got to know the Cleveland Cobras better: The minor league football team, part of the Heartland Football League, finished last season with an 11-2 record, just two games shy of a national championship. When they launch their sixth season May 21 at Garfield Middle School in Lakewood, it will be with the realistic goal of snagging that title. You can get up close and personal with the team today at Five Guys Burgers and Fries, when the Cobras hold their first-ever meet & greet session. Players and staff will be on hand from 1 to 3 p.m. to sign autographs, pose for pictures, and literally chew the fat with fans of all ages. Why? Because they love the game: As minor league players — mainly local talent drawn from area high schools and colleges — they don't earn a single dime for their efforts. On the other hand, Cobras don't pay league fees either. "That lets kids of all income levels become part of the team," says co-owner and coach Jessie Caldwell. "We help lots of them move on to the next level, whether that's arena play or becoming part of a college team." Catch today's minor-league heroes — and the possible big-league stars of tomorrow — at 15012 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood. Find out more about the Cobras, including their complete season schedule, at clevelandcobrasfootball.com. — Cicora
Night Ride on the Towpath Trail
In yet another sure sign of spring, this evening marks the resumption of Century Cycles' popular night rides on the Towpath Trail. Led and supported by bike-store staffers, the family-friendly outings are casual, go-at-your-own-pace affairs that cover between 12 and 15 miles on the crushed-limestone trail. The rides were launched in 1994 as staff rides, but now regularly attract more than 100 bicyclists of all ages and abilities. To join them, just bring your bike, a headlight, and a helmet to the Century Cycles parking lot at 1621 Main St. in Peninsula. (Kids under 16 should also bring an adult.) The ride begins at 8 p.m. and is free. Afterward, tradition calls for riders to gather at the nearby Winking Lizard Tavern to swap stories and recount past adventures. For more information on what to expect, go to centurycycles.com or call 330-657-2209. — Cicora
Sunday | 24
Opera on Screen
Puccini Goes West
Like many Europeans, composer Giacomo Puccini was fascinated by the American West. Unlike many Europeans, he wrote an opera about it, complete with a corrupt sheriff, a charismatic bandit, and the hapless beauty just trying to make her way in a man's world. The result — The Girl of the Golden West — premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in 1910, and several film versions followed. Now along comes director Nikolaus Lehnhoff, who has paired with the Netherlands Philharmonic Opera for an updated film production with a funky, futuristic twist. Recorded in HD and surround sound, and starring soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek in the role of the hapless beauty, the flick makes its Cleveland debut today at 2 p.m. at the Cedar Lee Theatre, 2163 Lee Rd. in Cleveland Heights. Tickets are $20 at the box office or online at clevelandcinemas.com. Learn more at 440-528-0355. — Cicora
Fit for Foodies
Easter Brunch at Table 45
Put down the Easter basket and step away from the peeps: Executive chef Zack Bruell is serving an Easter brunch buffet at Table 45 that will make you forget all about jelly beans and hard-boiled eggs. The biggest problem is knowing where to begin. The raw bar, with its lineup of shrimp cocktail, oysters on the half shell, and ceviche? Or maybe the cold buffet, for smoked salmon, antipasti, fresh fruits, cheeses, and a wild-mushroom salad? Then there's the omelet station, the made-to-order waffles, and the carving station featuring glazed ham and prime rib. No matter what, be sure to save room for the hot line, where you'll find the eggs Benedict, grilled flank steak, and chicken breast with smoked ham and fontina cheese. Finally, there's dessert: housemade cherry and apple pies, flourless chocolate cake, New York cheesecake, and profiteroles among them. Brunch is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Price is $35 for adults, $15 for kids 6 to 10, and free for small fry five and younger; call 216-707-4045 for reservations. Table 45 is at 9801 Carnegie Ave. in the InterContinental Hotel. For more info, go to tbl45.com. — Cicora
Monday | 25
Great Lakes Science Center
Baby Animals in the Omnimax
Get your motor runnin' and head out to the Great Lakes Science Center's Omnimax Theater for Born to be Wild, a new cockle-warming flick about orphaned orangutans and elephants and the people who care for them. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, the film details the efforts of world-renowned primatologist Birute Mary Galdikas and celebrated elephant authority Daphne Sheldrick, who rescue, rehabilitate, and return the babies to the wild. (Fun fact: The music is composed by Devo's own Mark Mothersbaugh.) The movie will be playing throughout the summer, but you can catch it today at 11 a. m., 1 p. m., or 3 p. m. Flick tix are $9.95 for adults and $7.95 for kids 2 to 18; snag 'em online at greatscience.com, by phone at 216-694-2000, or at the museum box office at 601 Erieside Ave. — Terry Jozwiak
Tuesday | 26
Know Your Lincoln!
If you're thinkin' you know everything there is to know about Abraham Lincoln, think again. Drawing from its extensive collection of Lincoln memorabilia and artifacts, the Western Reserve Historical Society has crafted a detailed exhibition on the life and times of the 16th President, especially as it relates to his connections with Cleveland. At the heart of the exhibit is a quiz to test your knowledge. No cheating allowed, but questions might include things like "Who was Salmon Chase?" and "What was Lincoln's occupation before he came into office?" Overall, this will be the biggest Lincoln remembrance the city has known since April 28, 1865, when his funeral train rolled into town at 6:55 a.m. Admission, which includes access to the history museum and the Crawford Auto Aviation Museum, is $8.50 for adults and less for seniors, veterans, and kids. The exhibition continues through December 31. For more information, call 216-721-5722 or go to wrhs.org. The museum is at 10825 East Blvd. in University Circle. — Niehaus
Spring in the Garden
Spring is fleeting, and so is the blanket of blossoms now covering the grounds of the Cleveland Botanical Garden. Last fall, staffers planted a record 30,000 bulbs — tulips, daffodils, grape hyacinths, and more — which are at their peak now through Sunday, May 8; grounds admission is included in the general $8.50 adult ticket fee. If all that natural beauty inspires you to commune more closely with Ma Nature, consider becoming one with the Spring Yoga in the Garden program: a series of six Hatha yoga sessions performed among the beauty of the spring blooms. The series begins tonight at 5:45 p.m. and continues every Tuesday through May 31. Cost is $72 for members, $90 for non-members. Register online at cbgarden.com or call 216-721-1600 for more information. The Cleveland Botanical Garden is at 11030 East Blvd. in University Circle. — Niehaus
Wednesday | 27
Cavani String Quartet Bests Beethoven
Beethoven composed 16 string quartets. As of tonight, the Cavani String Quartet can truthfully claim to have performed every one of them. It's a feat that has been compared to climbing Mt. Everest or performing all of Shakespeare's plays. In residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music since 1988, the award-winning foursome began their musical quest in the fall of 2009, performing many of the pieces in local public libraries. The final curtain rises tonight at 8 p.m. in Kulas Hall. The concert includes a performance of both Beethoven's first quartet, published in 1801, and his last quartet, composed just before his death in 1827. Also on the bill is the quartet in D Major, Op. 18, No. 3. The performance is free and will be broadcast live on WCLV-FM 104.9. Kulas Hall is at 11021 East Blvd. in University Circle. Call 216-791-5000 or visit cim.edu for more information. — Cicora
Library Lunch & Learn
Glenn Beck is going off the air, and we hear the economy is improving. But with wars, water bills, and budget deficits, there's still plenty of stuff to fret about. Cleveland-based speaker and writer Robin J. Sacks feels your pain. Better still, she wants to help you learn to redirect it. To that end, she will present a free inspirational talk — How to Stay Positive in a Negative World — today at the Independence branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library. The one-hour talk begins at noon. It's free, and you're welcome to bring a bag lunch to enjoy during the lecture. Register in advance at 216-447-0160 or online at cuyahogalibrary.org. The library is at 6361 Selig Dr. in Independence. — Cicora
A Jew Grows in Brooklyn
Writer, actor, and comedian Jake Ehrenreich's autobiographical play, A Jew Grows in Brooklyn, opens tonight at the Hanna Theater for seven performances through May 1. Fortunately, you need not be Jewish or Brooklynish to enjoy it. A 2006 smash hit in N.Y.C., the multimedia musical tells the story of the son of Holocaust survivors who wants nothing more than a slice of the American dream. Videos, photos, and a live band belting out everything from Louis Prima to the Mamas & the Papas keep A Jew from becoming just another coming-of-age tale. Instead, The New York Times called its story "funny ... touching ... and beautiful." See for yourself tonight at 7:30; ticket prices range from $10 to $42.50. Get them by phone at 216-241-6000 or order online at playhousesquare.com. The Hanna is at 2067 East 14th St. — Cicora
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