- Ultimus Veneficus gets medieval on kids butts at the Powerhouse.
There are no round tables or Holy Grails in this Camelot. But magic and sorcery abound in the kids' play Ultimus Veneficus. Translated as "Last of the Sorcerers," it's a modern-day Arthurian tale about a boy named Timothy. When his grandmother catches him fighting with his snotty older brother, she breaks them up and tells them a fable about a good sorcerer named Corinthian and his nemesis, Revel. "They're equal in power, as long as one doesn't cross the line," explains playwright and director Fred Taylor, who also plays Revel.
As Grandma spins her yarn, she puts Timothy in the middle of it by having him find a pair of magic keys that unlock the doors to a secret kingdom. When Revel discovers that Timothy possesses the keys, he and his equally evil mother go after the boy. Then Corinthian is called on to save the day in a dramatic sword fight. "It's sorta like the Excalibur kind of thing," Taylor says.
The production's goal is to bring life to the lesson about holding the key to your own destiny, Taylor says. Ultimus Veneficus plays at 2 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Powerhouse Pub & Cabaret, 2000 Sycamore Street. Tickets are $15; call 216-241-5555. -- Cris Glaser
Strange but True!
Hower House explores a time when kids loved gifts of fruit.
Wanna make sure the kids really appreciate that Xbox or Hello Kitty TV Santa's bringing? Take 'em to Hower House Victorian Holiday and show them what Christmas was like 100 years ago. "Children got fruit and nuts for Christmas, and they were excited about it," says Hower House's Rita Klein. The 28-room mansion is decorated with the theme "Through the Eyes of Children." "We have a lot of toys and things that excited children [back then]," Klein says. Among them are dolls and trees draped in peanut-and-raisin garlands. Tours are noon to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday through December 28 at Hower House (60 Fir Hill in Akron). Admission is $2 to $5; call 330-972-6909. -- Diane Sofranec