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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Gigantic Cleveland Whale Mural Off I-90 is Getting a Fresh Update This Week

Posted By on Tue, Oct 1, 2019 at 5:07 PM

PHOTO VIA WYLAND FOUNDATION
  • Photo via Wyland Foundation
Update: The giant mammal-themed mural, seen on the Cleveland Public Power Plant just off I-90, is getting that previously-announced paint-job this week.

Artist Robert Wyland starts the freshening-up process on his whale-themed work Wednesday.

“This year marks the 50th anniversary of 1969 Cuyahoga River fire,” said Wyland Foundation president Steve Creech in a statement. “The Wyland murals have always been intended to raise awareness about clean water and healthy oceans, so we couldn’t think of a better time to restore the mural than this year.”

The large artwork will also be rededicated upon completion on Friday. People are encouraged to stop by and watch the artist at work during the restoration process. 

***
(Original Story 4/4/2019): Muralist Robert Wyland arrived in Cleveland yesterday to announce intentions to update his giant mammal-themed mural "Song of the Whales," which can be viewed on the Cleveland Public Power Plant just off I-90.

Painted in 1997, the whales (which there are none of in Lake Erie) have faded with age. The mural update is estimated to cost around $30,000, about a dollar per square foot.

“I’ve been touching up quite a few lately,” Wyland recently told Ideastream. “If I can’t do it, I encourage local artists and painters to get together to try and save as many of these murals as I can.”

The artist also talked about efforts to improve water conservation in Northeast Ohio through his Wyland Foundation. People can donate to the project through Wyland's foundation.

Check out all 100 of Wyland's whale murals, which are found on sides of buildings throughout the world, right here.

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Friday, September 20, 2019

The Kent Barrio Location is Now Officially Open

Posted By on Fri, Sep 20, 2019 at 1:46 PM

PHOTO VIA BARRIO/FACEBOOK
  • Photo via Barrio/Facebook
Update: The newest Barrio location opened near Kent State University earlier this week, with a line out the door.

As the goal was to open sometime this summer, the 295 S. Water St. spot did so right in the nick of time (summer hits officially Sept. 23).

The taco company also recently announced plans to open a Strongsville location, and are still underway to bring tacos to the Michigan State University campus sometime this fall.

***
(Original article 4/16/2019): Kent State University students, and all other residents of Kent, Ohio, can finally stop worrying about driving all the way up to Cleveland for their late-night Barrio taco fix.

Today, the neighborhood build-your-own taco chain with the cult-like following (and queso that haunts dreams) announced plans to open a new spot on 295 S. Water St. in downtown Kent.

Barrio already has locations in various Cleveland neighborhoods, suburbs and Progressive Field as well as an outpost in New Hampshire. Late last year, they announced a new location was opening on the Michigan State University campus this fall. This new move to Kent will be the restaurant chain's ninth location.

An exact date has not been set for the Kent spot, but opening sometime this summer is the goal.

As we noted last year, it's still unclear where yet another Barrio location might open next, but after only being open since 2012, the company is on pace to take over the Midwest. 
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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Pet Iguana Used as Weapon During Bizarre Confrontation at Painesville Perkins Will Be Reunited With Its Original Owner

Posted By on Thu, Jul 11, 2019 at 12:20 PM

PAINESVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT
  • Painesville Police Department

Update: A happy ending to the age-old tale of iguanas used as weapons at local Perkins chain restaurants...

Back in April police responded to the Perkins on Mentor Ave. after a 49-year-old man, during a confrontation with the restaurant's manager, pulled his pet iguana out of his shirt, twirled it around his head, and launched it at the employee.

Poor Cooper, which is the name the police gave the little bruised and battered iguana after the incident, walked away with a broken leg and the man was arrested for disorderly conduct and cruelty to animals.

Well, the Lake Humane Society, based out of Mentor, heard from a woman in June who said Cooper was actually her iguana and had escaped back in the summer of 2018. Using photos and records, the good folks were able to corroborate her claims and Cooper will be reunited with her rightful owner later this week.

“The organization was thrilled to have Copper’s owner come forward in order to reunite her with her family,” the Lake Humane Society told Fox 8.


***

(Original story 4/17/19): The lunch rush at a Painesville Perkins Restaurant (700 Mentor Ave.) grew positively wild yesterday when police were called to the scene for an incident involving a disgruntled customer and his spiky pet

It's unclear what exactly got the diner in such a confrontational mood, but whatever set him off caused the unnamed 49-year-old to unleash an iguana from under his shirt, swing it around by the tail like a lasso and toss it directly at the Perkins manager on duty, Painesville police report.

The suspect did flee the scene, but police were able to catch up with him shortly after.

The iguana, which police have dubbed Copper, is now safe with the Lake County Humane Society, and a veterinarian has assessed the extent of the reptile's injuries.

Meanwhile, the suspect was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and animal cruelty.Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.

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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

‘A Bronx Tale’ is a Softened Gangland Experience at Playhouse Square

Posted By on Tue, Apr 30, 2019 at 4:20 PM

JOAN MARCUS
  • Joan Marcus

When you picture 1960s New York City gang life, the image that pops into your head may be that of gambling, fighting and, of course, fedora-wearing, baseball bat-wielding thugs.

Now imagine those same thugs singing showtunes.

Such is the case in the Broadway touring A Bronx Tale at Playhouse Square, a well-performed, entertaining production that tells a softened version of a true-story gangland experience.

A Bronx Tale began as a one-man show written and performed by Chazz Palminteri in 1989. Based on his own childhood, the story follows Calogero, a young Italian-American boy in the Bronx who becomes friends with Sonny, the neighborhood mob boss. Sonny takes Calogero under his wing, much to the dismay of Calogero’s father, Lorenzo, a hard-working man who tried to establish honest values within his son.

As Calogero grows older and begins a controversial relationship with an African-American woman, Jane, he must decide whether to continue on his criminal path or to become an honest man.

Robert De Niro saw Palminteri’s play in 1990 and acquired the rights for the 1993 film that would become his directorial debut. With a book by Palminteri, De Niro also co-directed with Jerry Zaks the musical adaptation that premiered on Broadway in 2016.

While the core of A Bronx Tale remains the same, the story loses some of its intensity when converted into a musical.

This story is centered around a child growing up in a very dangerous environment—but add lighthearted singing into the mix, and any feelings of danger, suspense and foreboding are greatly lessened. The true danger Calogero has put himself in isn’t translated as effectively in musical format as it would be in a film or play.

Though there are a few gunshots, the grimy, gritty elements one relates with New York gang life are muted in this musical, especially since the songs are often fluffy and sometimes corny.

A good bunch of the music, with lyrics by Glenn Slater, center around heart, whether that be following your heart, looking to your heart or whether a girl sends your heart whirling.

In addition, the music by Alan Menken, who is responsible for the scores of “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast” and many more Disney hits, doesn’t contain a single stand-out catchy tune. The music doesn’t leave a song resounding in the audience’s head (or heart) as they exit the theater, despite musical director Brian P. Kennedy’s fine orchestra.
While it may be true that a musical adaptation means the story has lost elements of intensity, its cute and sometimes cliché nature is still highly entertaining thanks to a top-notch cast.

Joey Barreiro plays a charming and cool Calogero. His voice contains just the right amount of rasp and bite that fits the character very well, which is especially true during the song “Hurt Someone.” Calogero has many funny quips that mostly poke fun at Italian-American stereotypes, and Barreiro delivers them effortlessly, resulting in a mirthful audience.

Young Calogero was played on opening night by Shane Pry, a smooth dancer and enthusiastic performer. Pry portrays all the right characteristics of a young Calogero: fun, playful, innocent and easily corruptible.

Joe Barbara is the quintessential actor to be playing Sonny. As soon as he steps on the stage, from his facial expression, to his posture, you can tell that he is a mob boss who’s not to be reckoned with. Barbara allows the softer sides of Sonny to show while also maintaining his inner menace, which is well exemplified in the song “Nicky Machiavelli.”

Young Lorenzo and Lorenzo eight years later are played by Joshua Michael Burrage and Richard H. Blake, respectively. Both actors portray the father figure with a sense of wisdom and absolute affection toward Calogero. The same can be said for Calogero’s mother, Rosina, who is played by Michelle Aravena.

Calogero’s love interest, Jane, is played by the sweet-voiced Brianna-Marie Bell. Her singing and persona are super lovable, and her dancing of Sergio Trujillo’s choreography during “Webster Avenue” is wonderful.

Calogero, Sonny and his gang are dressed in 60s gangster attire by designer William Ivey Long, fedoras and long suit jackets included. They execute Robert Westley’s fight choreography with great believability.

Beowulf Boritt’s set design consists of pieces of fire escapes, light posts and free-standing doors and windows to create a conceptual image of New York. This is often backed by complex painted backdrops, which lighting designer Howell Binkley bathes in a rather stagnant red shade.

While singing gangsters renders the show less hard-hitting or suspenseful as you would expect a true-life gangland story to be, A Bronx Tale is still an incredibly well-performed production that is fun, enjoyable and often times funny.

Through May 12 at the Connor Palace, 1615 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

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Blue Water Chamber Orchestra Channels Classic Stories and the Rest of the Classical Music to Catch This week

Posted By on Tue, Apr 30, 2019 at 1:40 PM

PHOTO BY ROGER MASTROIANNI, COURTESY OF THE CLEVELAND ORCHESTRA
  • Photo by Roger Mastroianni, Courtesy of The Cleveland Orchestra

Tchaikovsky dedicated his popular Violin Concerto to Leopold Auer, who originally declined to play the work, though he performed a revised version later in his career. In an interesting link to history, Auer’s very own 1690 Stradivarius will make an appearance at Severance Hall this weekend in the hands of Israeli violinist Vadim Gluzman, who will play the Tchaikovsky work with Michail Jurowski and The Cleveland Orchestra. Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 11, subtitled “The Year 1905” — written in the aftermath of the Soviet invasion of Hungary — fills out the program. Performances are on Thursday, May 2 at 7:30 pm, Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4 at 8:00 pm, and Sunday, May 5 at 3:00 pm. Click through to the Severance Hall box office for tickets.

The John Knox Performance Series hosts Shuai Wang’s Ars Futura Ensemble for a concert of contemporary music for flute, cello, and percussion by Osvaldo Golijov, Jacob Druckman, György Ligeti, Geoffrey Peterson, and Andrew Rindfleisch on Friday, May 3 at 7:30 pm. The concert at John Knox Presbyterian Church in North Olmsted is free, but donations are welcome.

Blue Water Chamber Orchestra would like to tell you stories this weekend at Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights. Daniel Meyer — just named Music Director of the ensemble — will lead music by John Corigliano, David Diamond, Edward Elgar, and Maurice Ravel. Their pieces were inspired by classic tales ranging from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to Mother Goose. Tickets can be reserved online for the concert on Saturday, May 4 at 7:30 pm.

Music of the early English church dedicated to the Virgin Mary fills two concerts by Quire Cleveland this weekend. Jay White will lead the 22-voice professional ensemble in the program “Ave Maria: England’s Rose,” featuring pieces by John Dunstable, Leonel Power, William Cornysh, William Byrd, Richard Dering, Peter Philips, Robert White, and Robert Parsons.

Performances are on Saturday, May 4 at 7:30 pm at Lakewood Congregational Church and Sunday, May 5 at Historic St. Peter Church in downtown Cleveland — freewill offerings at both concerts. You can also hear the music being polished during a free open rehearsal at the Lakewood venue on Friday, May 3 from 6:45 to 9:30 pm — online reservations required.

Duo pianists Luis Magalhães and Nina Schumann will play the season finale of the Tri-C Classical Piano Series on Sunday, May 5 at 2:00 pm in Gartner Auditorium at the Cleveland Museum of Art. The free program includes music by famous composers arranged by other famous composers — Mozart by Grieg, and both Chopin and Liszt by Saint-Saëns.

Another season finale on Sunday, May 5 includes a personnel change. Arts Renaissance Tremont will host the Paul Ferguson Jazz Quintet with vocalist Evelyn Wright at Pilgrim Congregational Church. The 3:00 pm concert is free, but donations will be appreciated.

And on Tuesday, May 7 at 7:30 pm, soprano Gabrielle Haig will team up with pianist Randall Fusco and Cleveland Orchestra hornist Jesse McCormick in “An Unpredictable Nature.” The concert in Tucker Hall at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights will feature music by Purcell, Schubert, Berg, Bizet, Respighi, Barber, and Johann Strauss. A freewill offering will get you in.

Check out details of these and other events on our Concert Listings page.

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Cleveland's Proposed $12 Million "Investment" in nuCLEus Looks Like a Plain Old Corporate Handout

Posted By on Tue, Apr 30, 2019 at 12:20 PM

nuCLEus, architectural rendering - STARK ENTERPRISES
  • Stark Enterprises
  • nuCLEus, architectural rendering
Cleveland City Council last night got the ball rolling on what should be the swift and frictionless process of giving $12 million in public funds to Stark Enterprises for the Gateway nuCLEus project.

The city's contribution, alongside $6 million from Cuyahoga County, $6 million from the state of Ohio and more than $200 million in a witches' brew of advanced financial instruments known as "Private Debt," will put the financing for the $350 million mixed-use development project over the finish line. That's according to the legislation's sponsor, Ward 3 Councilman Kerry McCormack. 

Here's the "Capital Stack," from the legislation's attachments

4.29_nucleusfinancing.png

Yeesh.

The city's $360,000 contribution listed above is from two Vacant Property Initiative Loans. The towering "Private Debt" line-item includes an estimated $19 million from a non-school Tax Increment Financing (TIF) arrangement. This is tax revenue that the city will forego, because it allows Stark to pay what it would pay in taxes on the increased value of the property back into the project itself.

The city contribution to nuCLEus now being "weighed" — lol — is also, of course, foregone tax revenue for the city, though it would never be described that way. In the legislation's supporting documents, and in comments by McCormack in a distributed press release, the $12 million in proposed assistance was characterized as an investment, as a loan.

"The city’s investment gets the project over the finish line," McCormack said, with the guaranteed protection that the City will be paid back 110 percent of the dollars put into the project, on top of the many other positive economic impacts NuCLEus will have.”

Sounds like a no-brainer. 110 percent? Hell yes! Free money!  Except the money being used to pay back the city's "loan" is just tax revenue.

4.29_nucleusfinancing2.png

It's not like Stark will be paying off this loan. It's not clear that this is even an official loan, as it's commonly understood, though the ordinance (561-2019) refers to the city's assistance as "forgivable loan agreements." What will be forgiven? When? Under what circumstances? There's no term lengths or payback structure described in the legislation beyond the above. 

For now, it might be better to think of the money as a regular old handout, or as a grant, if you like, which the developer has promised will be worth it because nuCLEus will generate enough taxes, from parking spaces and from the (presumably impressive) incomes of all the new employees occupying the 400,000 square feet of Class-A office space to "pay back" the city.

But remember: The first $12 million in tax revenue will merely be getting the city back to zero. Once the 110 percent benchmark (13.2 million) has been reached — however long that takes — I'm not sure if anything will change. The city may just keep collecting its taxes, after acknowledging that nuCLEus made good on its "guaranty," (unless of course, as with the Q's admission tax, it is immediately repurposed for another private project). 

Some of this stuff may get ironed out during council committee hearings, though it'd be naive to expect anything of substance to change. The decision has already been made. The "legislative process" is just a formality. Ezra Stark told Scene last month that he's not expecting any opposition or delay as the legislation moves through city and county council, and there's no reason why he should. Stark has said he intends to break ground in August. 

NuCLEus will be located at the corner of East 4th and Prospect and will include two 24-story structures and a built-in six-story parking garage. The mixed-use project includes 277 residential units, (with the potential for luxury condos for sale), 400,000 square-feet of premiere office space and 77,820 square-feet of retail space.

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Angels & Airwaves to Play House of Blues in September

Posted By on Tue, Apr 30, 2019 at 10:55 AM

COURTESY OF BWR
  • Courtesy of BWR
Earlier today, Angels & Airwaves, the alternative rock band that features Blink-182 founder Tom DeLonge, announced the dates of its first tour in seven years.

The band will perform at House of Blues on Sept. 18.

The group has just released “Rebel Girl,” the lead track from an upcoming Angels & Airwaves album and feature film project. It’s the band’s first new music since 2016’s Chasing Shadows EP.

Continue reading »

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