25+ Things To Do in Cleveland This Weekend (Dec. 9-12)

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Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco. - Peggy Sirota
Peggy Sirota
Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco.
Our weekly picks of the best things to do in Cleveland this weekend. Also check out our full Cleveland event calendar.

THU 12/09
Sebastian Maniscalco
Sebastian Maniscalco is one of the few comedians who can fill arenas. Expect a capacity crowd to be on hand tonight at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse for his brand new Nobody Does This tour. Long-time opener and fellow Chicago native Pat McGann will continue as the opener on the cross-country trek. Not one to let a pandemic knock him down, the comedian held down a two-night run last year as guest host of Jimmy Kimmel Live! and has kept acting and performing as much as possible. Tonight's concert begins at 7. Check the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse website for ticket prices.
1 Center Court, 216-420-2000, rocketmortgagefieldhouse.com.

A Christmas Carol
This Great Lakes Theater production of Charles Dickens' classic never fails to engage and delight. Framed cozily as a story within a story in this Gerald Freedman adaptation, the production really comes alive once the ghost of Jacob Marley appears, dragging his chains and creaking eerily with every movement. This annual tribute to knee-jerk liberal sentiments, like compassion for the downtrodden, is always a must-see — whether you've seen it before or not. Tonight's performance takes place at 7:30 at the Ohio Theatre. Consult the Playhouse Square website for more info and for COVID protocols.
1501 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

Cleveland Orchestra Holiday Concerts
Each year, the Cleveland Orchestra plays a string of special concerts to usher in the holiday season. Tonight's concert takes place at 7:30 at Mandel Concert Hall, and performances continue through Sunday. Consult the orchestra's website for a complete schedule and for ticket prices as well as COVID protocols.
11001 Euclid Ave., 216-231-1111, clevelandorchestra.com.

Disney on Ice Presents Mickey and Friends
The pandemic put this annual tour on pause last year, but Disney on Ice returns to Covelli Centre this year for a series of special shows. Tonight's event begins at 7, and events continue through Sunday. Check the Covelli Centre website for more info.
229 East Front St., Youngstown, 330-746-5600, covellicentre.com.

Holiday Lunchtime Music Series
Young artists from the CIM-CWRU joint music program will present a lively mix of seasonal chamber music today at noon at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Admission is free, but seating is limited.
11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350, clevelandart.org.

Light It Up!
Cleveland Play House presents this brand new, family-friendly musical set in Cleveland that, as it's put in a press release, "illuminates the power of love, kindness and each person’s ability to make every day brighter. The world premiere musical features original pop, rock, gospel and jazz holiday tunes as well as new arrangements of Christmas favorites by Tony Award-winning composer Jason Michael Webb. Tonight's performance takes place at 7:30 at the Allen Theatre. Check the Playhouse Square website for information about more upcoming shows as well as ticket prices and COVID protocols.
1407 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

Lil Rel
A comedian, actor, writer and producer, Lil Rel Howery has had scene stealing roles in films such as Vacation Friends and Free Guy. He performs tonight at 7 at the Improv. Check the venue website for ticket prices and more info.
1148 Main Ave., 216-696-IMPROV, clevelandimprov.com.

New Soft Shoe
Nine years ago, on what local singer-songwriter Brent Kirby calls a drunken dare, a group of Cleveland friends and musicians showed up at the Happy Dog to play a couple sets of tunes by the late, great Gram Parsons. Dubbed the New Soft Shoe, the group has been at it ever since, spreading the gospel of what it refers to as "Gram's Cosmic American Music." Anything that Parsons played, the New Soft Shoe covers. As a result, the group plays tunes from the International Submarine Band, the Byrds and Flying Burrito Brothers. It also plays songs from Parsons' solo album GP/Grievous Angel. Tonight at 8, the band performs in the Waldorf Hall at Forest City Brewery. Tickets cost $12.
2135 Columbus Rd., 216-228-9116, forestcitybrewery.com.

Scribble Showdown
Five YouTube animators compete head to head in this improv animation game show. Arin Hanson (Egoraptor) and the audience will put Odds1Out, JaidenAnimations, Rubber Ninja and Domics through a series of competitive drawing games, old and new. It all begins at 8 at the Agora. Check the venue website for ticket prices.
5000 Euclid Ave., 216-881-2221, agoracleveland.com.

Ryan Sickler
Host of The HoneyDew Podcast, which features stand-ups and storytellers, Ryan Sickler has also appeared on several other major podcasts, including The Joe Rogan Experience and Your Mom’s House. He performs tonight at 7 at Hilarities, where he has shows scheduled through Saturday. Check the club's website for ticket prices.
2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com.

Wicked, the Broadway musical based on The Wizard of Oz, has been through town a few times already. Yet every time it comes back around, it puts up huge numbers. While it might seem better suited to Halloween, the play, which details how the Wicked Witch of the West came to develop her deep-seated hatred for Glenda the Good, appeals to the entire family. So with some free time over the holidays, why not take the whole brood to Playhouse Square to check it out? Tonight's performance takes place at 7:30 at the State Theatre, where performances continue through Jan. 2. Consult the Playhouse Square website for more info.
1519 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

FRI 12/10
Akron Symphony Orchestra: Christopher Wilkins - Home for the Holidays

A holiday concert featuring the Akron Symphony Orchestra comes to E.J. Thomas Hall tonight at 7:30. Check the venue website for more info.
182 South Main St., Akron, 330-253-2488, akroncivic.com.

Whitney Cummings
Comedian Whitney Cummings brings her Touch Me standup comedy tour to the Agora tonight. The tour's title is a play on Cummings most recent Netflix special, Can I Touch It, and will "destigmatize and celebrate the importance of being together again after over 14 months of isolation." The show starts at 8. Consult the venue's website for more info.
5000 Euclid Ave., 216-881-2221, agoracleveland.com.

Remember that 7Up guy? Good. Because he's in town tonight. Godfrey, who got his start during a 1980s viral soda campaign, is showing off at the Improv. Cast as the token black friend in every comedy ever made, he's best known as the token Black friend in 2001's Zoolander. Godfrey's hot right now, touring the country and making regular appearances on Comics Unleashed. His shows start at 7:30 and 10 tonight at the Improv, and he has additional shows scheduled through Sunday.
1148 Main Ave., 216-696-IMPROV, clevelandimprov.com.

Honky Tonk Holiday Extravaganza
Local singer-songwriter Ryan Humbert’s band the Shootouts will return to Akron Civic Theatre at 8 tonight and tomorrow night to headline their annual Honky Tonk Holiday extravaganza. The 13th holiday celebration will take place in the Civic’s new Knight Stage space, an intimate 200-seat venue. Part of a nine-city Honky Tonk Holiday tour, the show will feature holiday classics as well as songs from Shootouts catalog. The Steel Blossoms from Nashville will open both of the shows.
182 South Main St., Akron, 330-253-2488, akroncivic.com.

Rick Springfield
Grammy-winning musician and actor Rick Springfield stops at MGM Northfield Park tonight at 8. Springfield, who’s sold 25 million albums and had 17 Top 40 hits during his career, has also had some success as an actor. He famously starred on the soap opera General Hospital and recently played Pastor Charles on American Horror Story. Check the venue website for ticket prices.
10705 Northfield Rd., Northfield, 330-908-7793, mgmnorthfieldpark.mgmresorts.com/en.html.

The Uncle Louie Holiday Variety Show
The Uncle Louie Variety Show that features two Italian-American comedians, Carlo Russo and Lou Greco, comes to the Hanna Theatre tonight at 8. For many years, these guys have delivered their unique brand of comedy about what it's like to grow up as an Italian. Consult the Playhouse Square website for ticket prices and more info.
2067 East 14th St., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

Walkabout Tremont
Walkabout Tremont, which takes place on the second Friday of every month from 5 to 9 p.m., showcases the best of this smart neighborhood, with art openings, extended hours at galleries and shops, restaurant and bar specials, street performers, live music, pop-up vendors, neighborhood walking tours and much more.

The Year of Magical Thinking
An adaptation of Joan Didion's memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking "transforms the story of the sudden and unexpected loss into a stunning and powerful one-woman play," as it's put in a press release. Tonight's performance takes place at 8 p.m. at Kennedy's Cabaret, where performances continue through the weekend. Check the Playhouse Square website for more info and COVID protocols.
1501 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

SAT 12/11
Daniel Bennett Group

The Daniel Bennett Group plays a special CD release concert today at 2 p.m. at the Cleveland Public Library. Expect to hear tunes from the New York-based band's new album, New York Nerve. Master percussionist Koko Bermejo and bassist Kevin Hailey will join Bennett, who plays flute, saxophone, clarinet and oboe, for the gig. Admission is free.
325 Superior Ave., 216-623-2800, cpl.org.

Cavaliers vs. Sacramento Kings
Neither the Cavs nor tonight's opponent, the Sacramento Kings, have been to the playoffs in some time. Both teams hope that they end that streak this year. They'll play one another tonight at 8 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Check the arena's website for ticket prices.
One Center Court, 216-420-2000, rocketmortgagefieldhouse.com.

Donnie Iris & the Cruisers
Based in Pittsburgh but hugely popular in Northeast Ohio, classic rockers Donnie Iris & the Cruisers will return to MGM Northfield Park — Center Stage at 8 tonight. Iris found his early success while performing with The Jaggerz and Wild Cherry, which had a massive hit with the single “Play that Funky Music.” Iris released his first album, Back on the Streets, in 1980 through Cleveland-based Midwest Records. Thanks to the track "Ah! Leah!" receiving airplay, MCA Records took notice and signed Iris to a five album deal before re-releasing the album., Since then Donnie Iris & the Cruisers have gone through lineup changes but have soldiered on, releasing 11 studio albums, one EP, two live albums and two compilation albums.
10705 Northfield Rd., Northfield, 330-908-7793, mgmnorthfieldpark.mgmresorts.com/en.html.

Jingle Bell Rock Shop
In conjunction with the Coventry Village Winter Festival, the annual Jingle Bell Rock and Shop will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at the Grog Shop and B-Side Liquor Lounge. The event will feature more 30 unique local craft and artisan vendors, DJs spinning holiday music and a full bar (including spiked hot cocoa and spicy Bloody Marys). Artists such as the NEO Collective Boutique, Water Bear Clay Co., Smoke and Sugar, Mercutio’s Ghost, Blush Boutique and Mac’s Backs are scheduled to participate. Admission is free.
2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights, 216-321-5588, grogshop.gs.

North Coast Men's Chorus Presents Holidays With You
The North Coast Men’s Chorus under the direction of Richard Cole will present this special holiday concert featuring traditional carols, holiday standards, lush arrangements and "quirky surprises." Tonight's concert takes place at 8 at the Maltz Performing Arts Center. There's a repeat performance tomorrow at 3 p.m. at the venue as well. Tickets cost $10 to $60 in advance, and $15 to $65 the day of the show.
1855 Ansel Road, 216-368-6062, case.edu/maltzcenter/.

North Union Holiday Markets
This special North Union Holiday Market that takes place at the Van Aken Market Hall will feature artists, farmers, local food, and gifts for holidays. Admission is free.
3441 Tuttle Rd., Shaker Heights, 216-491-8800, thevanakendistrict.com.

The Nutcracker 2021
This weekend, the Beck Center for the Arts will present a limited engagement of The Nutcracker that'll take place in the Recital Hall in the Music & Dance Building at 4 and 7 p.m. today and at 1 and 4 p.m. tomorrow. Tickets for the live, in-person performances are $10 for children and $12 for adults. Tickets for the virtual Saturday evening performance are available to purchase at ShowTix4U.com. Tickets for the streaming performance only are $15 for one person, $30 for two or more, $50 for two or more for those wishing to make a donation. Patrons attending The Nutcracker 2021 over the age of 2 must be masked at all times inside Beck Center buildings, and patrons over the age of 12 must show a vaccination card (or copy, or image on a smart phone), or proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to entering the theater.
17801 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-521-2540, beckcenter.org.

Patton Oswalt
Comedian, actor, and writer Patton Oswalt brings his new tour, Patton Oswalt Live: Who’s Ready to Laugh?, to town tonight. The very prolific Oswalt recently created M.O.D.O.K., the new Marvel stop-motion animated adult comedy series for Hulu, and he currently co-stars as Principal Durbin on the NBC Universal comedy A.P. Bio, which is produced by Seth Meyers, Mike O’Brien and Lorne Michaels. Oswalt performs at 7 at the Agora. Consult the venue's website for more info.
5000 Euclid Ave., 216-881-2221, agoracleveland.com.

Snow Day in Detroit Shoreway
Snow Day in Detroit Shoreway, an event featuring live music, performing and visual arts, treats, hands-on activities, and a Kid Zone, takes place from 2 to 6 p.m. today along three blocks of West 65th Street and Detroit Avenue. A morning Welcome Walk for residents will kick off the event at Miriam Ortiz-Rush Park. Drag performer Kimmy Katarja will greet fellow neighbors with free winter gear, masks, movie passes, and noisemakers as well as free hot drinks from local business Scoot! Cold Brew. The Capitol Theatre will host free showings of Coming to America and A Christmas Story. Musical performances will follow. A free shuttle will circulate the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood, helping attendees to move through the arts district and start or end their day at Miriam Ortiz-Rush Park.

The Woodchopper's Ball Benefit for the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless
Brian Henke, Patrick Woods, Andy Poxon, Helen Avakian and Dave Irwin, Matt Thomas, Jesse Smith, the Night Travelers (James McKinney and Niki Portman), Bill Russell and Mark Sganga will perform at 7 tonight at the Kent Stage as part of the Woodchopper's Ball benefit for the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless. Check the Kent Stage site for ticket prices and more info.
175 E. Main St., Kent, 330-677-5005, kentstage.org.

SUN 12/12
Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens

The Browns come off their bye week to face division rivals the Baltimore Ravens today at 1 at FirstEnergy Stadium. Expect this to be a real battle as the two teams have fought to win the division all year long, and the Ravens, who're led by the always dangerous Lamar Jackson, have had the upper hand. Consult the Browns website for ticket prices and more info.
100 Alfred Lerner Way, 440-891-5000, clevelandbrowns.com.

Brunch with Santa
Santa will be on hand today from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for brunch at StoneWater Golf Club. All seatings are one hour and 30 minutes, and reservations are required. Igloos are available for reservations for up to eight people. There will be letters to Santa and pictures with Santa can be taken with your smart phone. Brunch is served family style with a dessert buffet. Adults cost $36, kids 12 and under cost $18 and kids under 2 are free (beverages not included).
1 Club Dr., 440-461-4653, stonewatergolf.com.

Straight No Chaser
Straight No Chaser, a musical group that features the "sound of nine unadulterated human voices coming together to make extraordinary music that is moving people in a fundamental sense," as it's put in a press release, comes to Connor Palace today for shows at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Consult the Playhouse Square website for more info.
1615 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

Irene Tu
Singled out as an “artist on the brink of fame,” comedian Irene Tu, who likes to make jokes about the gender confusion she causes, has performed at numerous festivals including SF Sketchfest, Clusterfest, RIOT LA, Bridgetown Comedy Festival and Outside Lands. Tu performs tonight at 7 at Hilarities. Check the venue website for ticket prices.
2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com.

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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