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The Other Schubert Falls 

Dead composer gets a new-millennium overhaul.

Red {an orchestra} kicks off its season with a little - Schubert.
  • Red {an orchestra} kicks off its season with a little Schubert.
SAT 10/23

Even though he's credited with writing nearly 1,000 musical compositions by the time he died at age 31, Austrian composer Franz Schubert remains an enigma to Jonathan Sheffer.

So, in Franz Schubert: Unfinished/Refinished, the conductor and artistic director of Red {an orchestra} gives Schubert's two-movement Unfinished Symphony a 21st-century overhaul. "I've always been fascinated by the idea of an unfinished life, an unfinished symphony," says Sheffer. "This is a chance to explore his legacy, but do it in a very rad way."

The drama unfolds onstage, where soprano Arianna Zukerman delivers a story line about Schubert's life between songs. The result is a first act that resembles a music video. After the intermission, cellist Darrett Adkins weaves some of Schubert's pieces into a solo work by Italian composer Luciano Berio. It's a "refractory mirror" between Schubert's 19th-century symphonies and Berio's music, written nearly two centuries later, says Sheffer. "I think anyone who dies so young begs the question, What if he had lived? How would his music have been different?" Unfinished/Refinished is at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Masonic Auditorium, 3615 Euclid Avenue. Tickets are $15 to $59; call 440-519-1733. -- Cris Glaser

Shall We Play a Game?
Tech show recalls when DOS and NES ruled the earth.

SAT 10/23

Anyone who fondly remembers typing long strings of commands in DOS, loading a program from a 5.25-inch floppy disk, or blowing furiously into the bottom of a Nintendo game cartridge will probably get a little misty-eyed at Saturday's 2004 Classic Computing and Gaming Show. The free outing features dozens of dealers selling and displaying anything and everything that involves old-school computers and video games -- including a replica of the first personal computer, the Apple I, and games for the once insanely popular Nintendo Entertainment System. "When kids play [these old games], they realize that the '80s and early '90s weren't some kind of dark ages," says spokesman Adam Barrow. "There was a lot of really cool stuff going on back then." The show is 4:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, 5885 Hopkins Road in Mentor. Visit -- Andrew McMillan

Presidential Reflection
Jimmy Carter takes an objective look at history.

THU 10/21

Christmas in Plains, Jimmy Carter's 2001 book of holiday memories, was a surprisingly amiable and readable account of the 39th President's early years. It set him up for his first work of fiction last year, The Hornet's Nest, a hefty novel about the Revolutionary War that juggled myriad plots and characters. Interestingly, it empathetically observed the struggle from both sides. It's an appealing tale, told in erudite and smart terms. Let's see Dubya do that. Carter signs his books (both recently released in paperback) at 1 p.m. Thursday at Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 24519 Cedar Road in Lyndhurst. Admission is free. Call 216-691-7000 for more information. -- Michael Gallucci

Pumpkin Ride


Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad's Halloween Express chugs its way to a pumpkin patch, where riders get to choose a giant orange orb to take home. Afterward, activities like face-painting, a scavenger hunt, and mazes keep the kids busy. The train departs from Rockside Station (on Old Rockside Road in Independence) at 10:15 a.m. Saturday and Sunday through October 31. Tickets are $21, $14 for kids; call 800-468-4070. -- Chris Miller

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