25+ Things To Do This Weekend in Cleveland (Dec. 16-19)

click to enlarge Artists from the CIM-CWRU joint music program will perform at Cleveland Museum of Art. - Rob Muller
Rob Muller
Artists from the CIM-CWRU joint music program will perform at Cleveland Museum of Art.
Our weekly picks of the best things to do in Cleveland this weekend. Also check out our full Cleveland event calendar.

THU 12/16
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.

Tim Bae

A former security guard who used to kill time at his job during his lunch breaks by telling jokes, Tim Bae has become a nationally renowned standup comedian. He performs tonight at 7:30 at the Improv. Check the venue website for more info.
1148 Main Ave., 216-696-IMPROV, clevelandimprov.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 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 the weekend. 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.

John Heffron
After winning Season 2 of Last Comic Standing, comedian John Heffron has performed on The Tonight Show, Chelsea Lately, The Late Late Show, HBO, FX, VH1, A&E and CMT . In addition, he's taped two separate Comedy Central specials and did an hour-long special for Netflix. Heffron likes to joke about his upbringing and how his father would give him advice about putting the fear of god into his kids by kicking them all out of the house at 7 a.m. He performs tonight at 7 at Hilarities, where he has shows scheduled through Saturday. Check the website for more info.
2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com.

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.

Monsters vs. Utica Comets
The Utica Comets come to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse tonight at 7 to face off against the Monsters in a two-game series. The two teams will then play again tomorrow night at 7 at the FieldHouse. Consult the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse website for more info.
One Center Court, 216-420-2000, rocketmortgagefieldhouse.com.

Ohio City Singers
A group featuring some of Cleveland's best musicians, the Ohio City Singers kick off the Rock Hall's three-day Winterfest event tonight at 7 with a ticketed concert at the Rock Hall. There will be live music, seasonal trivia and special in-store offers during the event. Consult the Rock Hall website for more info.
1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., 216-515-8444, rockhall.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 12/17
Chardon Polka Band

Presented as part of the Maltz Performing Arts Center's Something Different at Silver Hall Series, this concert featuring Chardon Polka Band will feature holiday punk polka fun for the whole family. The event begins at 7:30 p.m., and tickets start at $12.
1855 Ansel Rd., 216-368-6062, case.edu/maltzcenter/.

Christmas Ain't Like It Used To Be
This show at the Akron Civic featuring John Di Martino, Andromeda Turre, Wayne Escoffery, Lonnie Plaxico and Willie Jones III celebrates the release of Christmas Ain’t Like It Used To Be, a Christmas album that "takes a step away from the usual holiday standards to bring audiences something fresh and new." The concert begins at 8 p.m. Check the venue website for more info.
182 South Main St., Akron, 330-253-2488, akroncivic.com.

John Henton
Actor, writer, producer and comedian John Henton will stop in Cleveland this weekend to show off his gritty sense of humor. Henton shares his opinions without hesitation and uses comedy to lighten topics like race, politics and even disciplining one's own children. He also jokes about his travel experiences, such as having a terrible seat on a night flight and enduring many bad hotel rooms. The native Clevelander has snatched roles in the sitcoms Living Single and The Hughleys. He performs tonight at 7:30 and 10 at the Improv, where he has shows scheduled through Sunday.
1148 Main Ave., 216-696-IMPROV, clevelandimprov.com.

Holiday Sale at Negative Space
This holiday sale at Negative Space will feature original artwork, prints, mugs, T-shirts, stickers and more. Resident artists' studios will be open as well. The event takes place from noon to 6 p.m. today, tomorrow and Sunday. Live music starts tonight at 7 with the Third Friday Concert Series featuring EPA, I, Defiance, Angelle Sheridan and Nader Roheny.
3820 Superior Ave., 216-470-6092, thinknegativespace.com.

Kenmore Winter Break Music Festival
Today and tomorrow, the Rialto Theatre and the Summit FM will present Kenmore Winter Break, a two-day festival featuring 12 bands and solo artists in the heart of Akron’s music row, home to five recording studios, two guitar shops, and many of Akron’s working musicians. Youngstown-born and bred musician/songwriter JD Eicher and his band headline tonight, and Akron rock/pop/indie sextet Big Pop (whose lineup includes members from Time Cat, Fancy Legs, Free Black! and the Dreemers) has the headlining honors tomorrow night. Single night tickets for Kenmore Winter Break are $15 and weekend passes are $25.
1000 Kenmore Blvd., Akron, 234-525-1956, rialtotheatre.com.

Mike Polk Jr. Show Live
If you’ve seen local comedian Mike Polk Jr., the man behind the Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video, the Factory of Sadness video (parts one and two), Last Call Cleveland comedy troupe and The Mike Polk Jr. Show, perform live, you know he really thrives on having an audience at his disposal. He hosts the Mike Polk Jr. Show Live tonight at 9:30 at Hilarities. Check the Hilarities website for ticket prices.
2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com.

The Screw Factory Holiday Market
Expect to find ceramics, paintings, glass artwork, jewelry, sculptures, original prints and more at the annual Screw Factory Holiday Market. Consider it a great opportunity to pick up some hand-made art that could serve as a gift. The event takes place from 6 to 10 tonight, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday at the Screw Factory. Admission is free.
13000 Athens Ave., Lakewood, screwfactoryartists.com.

Winter Solstice Luminary Walk
Held from 6 to 8 tonight, this free event allows families, neighbors and friends to walk down an illuminated South Park Boulevard lined with luminaries to the boardwalk of the All People’s Trail as well as the drive of the Shaker Historical Society. At the Nature Center you will find a bonfire and the fireplace. At the Shaker Historical Society you can warm your hands on the grounds by the heated outdoor area or while taking a free tour of the Shaker Historical Society Museum. Warm alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages as well as food items will be available for purchase at both locations courtesy of the Picnic Hill Market Cafe.
2600 S. Park Blvd., Shaker Heights, 216-321-5935, shakerlakes.org.

SAT 12/18
Candlelight Concerts: Holiday Special Featuring the Nutcracker
According to a press release about these concerts, the walls of the Maltz Performing Arts Center will be "flickering" by candlelight to create a "magical atmosphere" for performances of wintertime classics from Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi and other master composers. Today's concerts take place at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $30 to $50.
1855 Ansel Rd., 216-368-6062, case.edu/maltzcenter/.

Holiday Flea Market
The Beachland Ballroom will host its annual Holiday Flea today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Several vendors who specialize in music-centric items such as vinyl, band merchandise and art will be on hand. There will also be vendors selling vintage clothing, jewelry and more. The Beachland will have its own table selling Beachland branded merchandise with many new additions. The club will also sell posters from past Beachland shows, and the venue will serve up a special holiday brunch.
15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124, beachlandballroom.com.

Machine Gun Kelly
As part of his nationwide tour to support his latest album, Tickets to My Downfall, rapper and actor Machine Gun Kelly returns to Cleveland tonight to play Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Since MGK used to call Cleveland home, you can imagine he'll have friends and family on hand for the festivities and is likely to play Clevland-centric songs such as "Till I Die." The concert begins at 7:30. Consult the venue website for more info.
One Center Court, 216-420-2000, rocketmortgagefieldhouse.com.

North Union Holiday Markets
This special North Union Holiday Market that takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 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.

REO Speedwagon
Formed in 1967, signed in 1971, REO Speedwagon delivered a huge hit with its 1980 album High Infidelity, which featured singles such as “Keep On Loving You” and “Take It on the Run.” That landmark album spent 15 weeks atop the charts and has since earned the RIAA’s 10X Diamond Award for surpassing sales of 10 million units in the U.S. As of today, REO Speedwagon has sold more than 40 million albums around the globe, and singer Kevin Cronin and bandmates still steadily tour. Th group performs at 8 tonight at MGM Northfield Park — Center Stage. Check the venue website for more info.
10705 Northfield Rd., Northfield, 330-908-7793, mgmnorthfieldpark.mgmresorts.com/en.html.

Scuba Claus Meet & Greet Days
See Scuba Claus and discuss holiday cookie preferences, ask your diving questions or just wish him a merry “fish-mas” during the special Scuba Claus Meet & Greet Days that take place today and tomorrow from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. The event includes full aquarium access and tickets, available by advance purchase only, are $24.95 for guests ages 13+, $18.95 for children ages 2 to 12. Adult and child annual Passholders ages 2+ can reserve tickets for $5 each. Admission is always free for children younger than 2.
2000 Sycamore Street, 216-862-8803, greaterclevelandaquarium.com.

SUN 12/19
Pull Back the Curtain Speaker Series

Bridie Srsen Carroll, a musical theater performer who's toured with Wicked, will be its guest today's Pull Back the Curtain speaker series. Carroll will share her stories from 3 to 4 p.m. at Fairmount Center for the Arts. An IRNE Award Winner for her role as Tracy in Hairspray and a soloist at Boston Symphony Hall. Carroll will talk about her experiences and sing a song or two. Masks are required for all audience members for this in-person program. Admission is free, but reservations are requested. Reservations may be made by visiting fairmountcenter.org/special-events/ or by calling 440-338-3171.
8400 Fairmount Road, Novelty, 440-338-3171, fairmountcenter.org.

Andy Woodhull
Clean-cut comic Andy Woodhull jokes that after 10 years of marriage, he only has had one fight with his wife. The argument centered on his attempt to bring another woman's dishes into her home when he moved in. "I'd like to remind you that my wife has two daughters — I don't think I'm being unreasonable. My dishes don't kind of look like my ex-girlfriend or go to my ex-girlfriend's house every other weekend and talk about how much more fun it is to be in her cabinets." The clever comic performs at 7 tonight at Hilarities. Check the website for more info.
2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com.
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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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