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Thursday | 14

Funny Stuff

Matt Braunger Plays the Improv

Matt Braunger wants you to know the man behind the funny stuff. "I don't pander to the audience," says the former MADtv trouper. "I want you to see who I am and my observations" — even if those observations include the belief that late-night taco runs should be exempt from DUI charges. ("It should really be a run for the border: If you make it to the drive-through, you're safe!") Braunger's stand-up began with "whatever made my friends and me laugh; and then somehow, it became bankable." Bankable enough, in fact, that he is currently shooting a pilot for a Comedy Central show that will allow his own brand of humor to shine through. You can sample it for yourself tonight at 7:30 at the Improv (1148 Main Ave., in the Sugar Warehouse on the west bank of the Flats). Tickets are $15. Additional shows are scheduled through Sunday. Snag your seat by calling 216-696-IMPROV or visit clevelandimprov.com. — Ryan Young

Give Pez a Chance

Collectors' Bash in Independence

"I don't know anyone who can look at a Pez dispenser and not smile," says collector Linda Gliha. "It's the colors, the faces ... they just make you happy!" Gliha will share the happiness with more than 1,000 fellow Pezheads today through Saturday as Pezamania 21 takes over the Independence Holiday Inn. Organizer Gliha, a New Yorker, says the collectors' convention — which she calls "the world's oldest and largest" — attracts as many 45 international Pez dealers, along with collectors from around the world. Today's "by registration only" events focus on informal room hopping, a 7 p.m. swap party, and a War tournament with Pez-related prizes; Friday brings a collecting forum, kids' activities, and assorted games. Saturday's main event — the sale of Pez-related products — runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the grand ballroom. To register for the full conference, call Gliha at 813-507-4485 or go to pezamania.com; cost is $55. Admission to the Saturday sale only is $5 at the door or $10 for the whole family. The Holiday Inn is at 6001 Rockside Rd. in Independence. — Cicora

TGI Thursday

Party in the Park

Got a bad case of the after-work blahs? The folks at the Downtown Cleveland Alliance feel your pain. In response, they've revived the once-popular Party in the Park after a 20-year hiatus, presenting a summer-long series of Thursday-afternoon happy hours complete with food, cold beer, and hot licks from local bands. "The Party in the Park offers workers a chance to unwind after a hard day on the job and meet new people," says Lisa Krieger, DCA's special events manager. "We are so happy to bring the event back to the city." Today's stress relief begins at 4:30 on the PNC North Plaza, at East Ninth and Vincent Avenue. Bringing the eats will be StrEAT Mobile Bistro and Seti's Polish Boys; Cats on Holiday provide the tunes. The bash will be bumping until 7 p.m., and admission is free. To learn more, visit downtowncleveland.org or call 216-736-7799. — Phil Barnes

Friday | 15

Ingenuity Speakeasy 2.0

More Bars in More Places!

Organizers were stunned — in a good way — when the turnout at last year's inaugural Ingenuity Speakeasy topped 1,200. This year, they're ready with more acts, more fun, and a lot more drink stations. Among the entertainment, you'll find Vance Studio's Syncopated Sin Swing Jazz Band, Uno Lady, and screenings of Pandora's Box with live jazz, along with the neo-vaudeville duo Pinch and Squeal. "This year we're tapping more into vaudeville and burlesque, because that's started to come back," says James Krouse of Ingenuity Cleveland, which will present its annual IngenuityFest in September. "You get a sense of fun and things you wouldn't normally see at a typical bar or nightclub in downtown Cleveland." Tonight's festivities are pegged at three different price levels and starting times: $100 for 6 p.m. entry, which includes dinner, entertainment, and an open bar; $30 for 8 p.m. entry, with gourmet snacks, live entertainment, and two drink tickets; and $15 for 10 p.m. entry, which snags you entertainment and two beer tickets. If available, at-the-door tix will be slightly higher. It's all happening in the tunnels and catacombs of the Veterans Memorial Bridge, at 2429 Superior Viaduct. Visit ingenuitycleveland.com for tickets and more info. — Courtney Kerrigan

Psych Ward Whacker

Murder and Mayhem at the Frolic Caberet

"They're very fun," playwright Michael Rogaliner says about performances of his new murder mystery, Psych Ward Whacker. While "fun" might not immediately come to mind in the context of mental hospital mayhem, Rogaliner promises it is all done in jest. Whacker is the fourth piece that Rogaliner has written for the annual Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre at Pickwick & Frolic's Frolic Cabaret. The three-act whodunit puts the audience inside the walls of the hospital, where they must solve the disappearance of the Naughty Nurse — all set to a soundtrack of ... Billy Joel songs. "It's very wacky," says Rogaliner, who also directs. Psych Ward Whacker premieres tonight at 7:30 p.m. and continues on select Fridays and Saturdays through July 23. Tickets, which include a full dinner, begin at $52.63 and can be purchased online at pickwickandfrolic.com or by calling 216-241-7425. Pickwick & Frolic is at 2035 East Fourth St. — Max Hayden

Theatrical Debut

A Rock Icon Helps Forge a New Show

The 13-year-old GroundWorks Dance Theater has a well-deserved reputation for unique and unconventional performances. Tonight's world premiere of Hindsight should be no exception. Created and choreographed by the internationally renowned Lynne Taylor-Corbett and set to music by rock legend Chrissie Hynde, Hindsight incorporates video from North Carolina filmmaker Adam Larsen. Balancing the three elements has been a creative challenge, says artistic director David Shimotakahara. But the audience's reward comes in associating the music to events in their own lives. "I see the piece as a celebration of self," Shimotakahara says. "Through time and all its changes, it helps us remember who we are." Tonight's Alma Theater performance is at 7 p.m.; tickets start at $18 and can be ordered at 216-371-3000 or online at cainpark.com. Performances continue through July 17; the program moves to Akron's Glendale Cemetery on August 5 and 6. For more information, visit groundworksdance.org. or call 216-691-3180. Cain Park is at 14591 Superior Rd. in Cleveland Heights. — Cicora

Saturday | 16

Pirates of the Caribbean at Blossom:

Swash, Buckle & a Really Big Band

When Grammy Award-winning conductor Richard Kaufman was approached by a friend at Disney Music Publishing, it was with a novel concept: a screening of 2003's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl accompanied by a live soundtrack. "It's a terrific film, recalling the great swashbucklers of the 1940s," Kaufman says from his home in L.A. "So the idea of screening it in a way that makes it extra special for audiences was very appealing." Kaufman debuted the performance to a sold-out crowd at the Krakow Film Music Festival in May. Tonight he brings the show to Blossom Music Center for its U.S. debut. "The Blossom Festival Orchestra is a great orchestra, and I am very excited to do this with them," says Kaufman, who spent 18 years supervising music for MGM's television projects. "They plant their feet and play with great enthusiasm." The visuals won't be too shabby either: The high-def print will be projected onto jumbo screens visible from both the pavilion and the lawn. "Music does a lot of good things for films," says the conductor. "This one, it lifts right out of the water!" Curtain is at 9 p.m. Tickets are $21 to $88; under-18 lawn passes are free with an adult pass. For tickets, call 216-231-1111 or visit clevelandorchestra.com. Blossom is at 1145 Steels Corners Rd. in Cuyahoga Falls. — Elaine T. Cicora

Fit for Foodies

Veggie U Celebrates Food & Wine

Tonight marks a high point on the culinary calendar: The ninth-annual Food & Wine Celebration at Milan's Veggie U. Among the attractions at the $145 Grand Tasting: celebrity chef demonstrations, wine classes with a master sommelier, artisanal food vendors, ten wine-tasting stations, and more than 30 food stations manned by local luminaries like Brandt Evans (Blue Canyon Kitchen, Pura Vida), Shawn Brozic (Encore at the Playhouse Square Wyndham), and Jonathon Sawyer (Greenhouse Tavern, Noodle Cat). Plus, up to 50 hardcore foodies can cough up $500 for an exclusive pre-Tasting VIP party from 4 to 5:30 p.m., where they can mingle with nationally known hotshots like award-winning author, editor, and producer Ruth Reichl, Chipotle founder Steve Ells, and chef Lee Anne Wong of the Cooking Channel and Bravo! While live and silent auctions are always part of fund-raisers, the offerings here are pretty spectacular — including a dinner for 20 cooked up by celebrity chef Robert Irvine, star of the Food Network's Dinner Impossible. Snag your tix online at veggieufoodandwine.com or by calling 419-499-7500. The celebration takes place on the grounds of the Culinary Vegetable Institute, 12304 State Route 13 in Milan. Be sure to pack your appetite. — Cicora

The Star of 2001

Keir Dullea Lands at the Cinematheque

Actor Keir Dullea may be best known for his role as astronaut David Bowman in Stanley Kubrick's 1968 sci-fi classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. But what is often overlooked is his performance in 1962's David and Lisa, an art-house classic set inside a mental hospital. It's that film, he says, that put him on the acting map. The Cleveland-born star will be on our map tonight with screenings of both flicks at the Cleveland Cinematheque. "Those two films are favorites of mine," says Dullea. "David and Lisa, in particular, was a very intimate, wonderful experience." A Q&A session with the actor follows each film. David and Lisa screens at 5:30 p.m. and 2001 follows at 8:15 p.m. Tickets are $10 ($8 for members). For information on other Dullea film screenings read At the Art House on page 37. The Cinematheque is at 11141 East Blvd. in University Circle; call 216-421-7450. — Kerrigan

Burlesque

It's a Circus Circus at Akron's Musica

"For this show, you can literally expect magic," says Bella Sin, founder of Le Femme Mystique Burlesque and producer, promoter, and performer in Circus Circus, an old-school style burlesque show tonight at Akron's Musica. "We are going to make the audience take a moment to forget the outside world and be taken to a new one for a couple of hours." Expect a little bit of everything: flappers, burlesque, human oddities, female illusionists, glass walkers, and more. "The acts are what makes the show a circus," says Sin. "We expect that the people coming to this show will have a blast from the point that they walk in those doors." There will also be drawings of burlesque beauties by Akron's Dr. Sketchy, the premiere of the trailer for the locally made film Chill, and DJ Saint from Electric Circus laying down high-energy music all night. "This show is a new way to rediscover old Americana with a twist," says Sin. It all begins at 7 p.m. at Musica, 51 East Market St. in Akron. Tickets are $7 in advance at akronmusica.com or $12 at the door. — Kelly Maile

Sunday| 17

Foodie Fun

It's Time Again for a Taste of Tremont

If you plan on skipping today's Taste of Tremont, you just might be the only one. One of Cleveland's most eagerly awaited summer events, Taste of Tremont transforms the neighborhood's restaurant district into a bustling festival of food, art, and entertainment. From noon to 8 p.m., you can stuff your face with grub from favorites like Michael Symon's Lolita and Rocco Whalen's Fahrenheit, discover local artistry for your home or yourself, and bop along to all-day music. Now in its ninth year, the rain-or-shine festival is set to attract more than 15,000. Admission is free, but cash is required for food, beer, and vendors. It's all happening on Professor Street, between Starkweather and Fairfield; for more information, visit tasteoftremont.com. — Kerrigan

Arty Party

Sound & Noise at Bela Dubby

Lakewood's Bela Dubby, the coffeehouse-slash-beer joint that is a favorite haunt for some of Cleveland's best poets and underground musicians, will host a "sound and noise" art show tonight. Sound art combines electronica with sounds harvested from the noise of everyday living, mixed together in a (nearly) musical way. Tonight's performance features Fat Worm of Error, Metalux, Reverse Vampire, and Amanda Howland. The noise begins at 6 p.m. — but come an hour early for vegan treats! While you're at it, have a cup of Phoenix coffee or take advantage of Bela Dubby's selection of microbrews. For more information, visit beladubby.blogspot.com or call 216-221-4479. Bela Dubby is at 13321 Madison Ave. — Lydia Munnell

The Other Party in the Park

Music Roams Free at Painesville Fest

Smart music shoppers will find their wallet-friendly groove in Painesville this weekend at Ohio's largest free music festival. At 31, Painesville's Party in the Park has earned a rep as the ultimate something-for-everyone destination: more than 40 food vendors, a Great Lakes Brewing Company beer garden, and three stages hosting more than 30 musical acts ranging from rock and pop to Latin, soul, and bluegrass. There's family fun too, with bouncy castles, live shows featuring animal entertainer Jungle Terry, and, of course, face painting. Today's events include a noon-to-4 p.m. country-rock music block and a classic car show at 12:30 p.m. In keeping with tradition, Cleveland reggae veteran Carlos Jones closes the show at 9:30 p.m. This year, with backup singers the Sweets, the grand finale is shaping up to be a very roots-oriented reggae show. The fun goes down all weekend long in Painesville's Veterans Park, 7 Richmond St. For more info, visit parkpartyinfo.com. — Young

Monday | 18

Funny Stuff

No LeBron Jokes Here

You may not recognize his name, but you certainly know his work. Comedian Neal Brennan's fingerprints are all over the business — from his co-creation of the film Half Baked and the hit series Chapelle's Show to appearances on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Brennan also directed the 2009 film The Goods and wrote material for this year's Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood. Tonight, you'll hear his jokes in Cleveland. "I only talk about the things that I find interesting, so pretty much just Obama, race, technology, and girls," Brennan says. Brennan makes his Cleveland debut tonight with two shows (7:30 and 9:30 p.m.) in the upstairs lounge at Reddstone. "I won't mention LeBron at all," he promises. "I'll wear his jersey onstage, but I won't say a word." Tickets are $15 at 216-651-6969. For more info, visit chucklefck.com. Reddstone is at 1261 West 76th St. in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood. — Hayden

Tuesday | 19

Sit. Stay.

It's Yappy Hour at the Tremont Tap House

There is nothing like winding down a long summer's day with your best friend and a cold brew. Assuming your best friend has four furry paws, you can do just that today at the Tremont Tap House, when PAWS Ohio presents Yappy Hour: the best excuse yet to drink like a thirsty dog. Bring your pooch out for a drink on the patio from 4 to 9 p.m.: Whether Fido prefers Flying Dog, Brew Dog, or Dogfish Head, the Tap House has you covered. The pups are great guests (i.e., cheap dates, friendly drunks, and unlikely to mock your choice of footwear); and a dollar from the sale of every draft beer will be donated to PAWS, a non-profit cat-and-dog rescue group. Yappy Hour continues on the third Tuesday of the month through September 20. The Tremont Tap House is at 2575 Scranton Rd. Visit tremonttaphouse.com or PAWSOhio.org for more info. — Maile

Beauty and the Beach

Paddle Into the Sunset in Rocky River

Chances are you've seen one of those crimson Lake Erie sunsets from a park bench or pier. But have you ever witnessed the nightly spectacle from the water? Unless you own a boat (or have rich, generous friends who own boats), your answer is probably something like, "No, but that would be really cool!" Well, lucky for you, there is an alternative: 41 Degrees North Coastal Kayak Adventures offers several affordable options for viewing the sunset from the water, all of which (no surprise) involve kayaks. For instance, tonight's 6 p.m. tour launches from Rocky River's Emerald Necklace Marina and takes you past Lakewood's cliffs, coves, and impressive coastal homes before turning back toward the setting sun. No experience is necessary, but be prepared for a five to six-mile journey that can last up to three hours. Forty bucks is all it takes to register for one of the weekly sunset tours, but spots fill up fast; planning ahead can avoid disappointment. For more information, go to kayak41north.com or call 866-KAYAK41. The marina is at 1500 Scenic Dr. in Rocky River. — Barnes

Wednesday | 20

Happy Hump Day!

One for the Ladies

There has to be some reason to be a working gal — beyond the paycheck, the 401(K), and the free coffee, that is — and this just might be it: Working Women's Wednesdays at Panini's in Westlake. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., the midweek happy hour features 90 minutes of drink specials, complimentary apps, and entertainment — anything from live music to yoga demonstrations. Throw in prizes, giveaways, and a chance to network, and you have a perfect excuse to not go home and cook. The fun goes down at 23800 Detroit Rd.; call 440-250-5550 or check out Working Women's Wednesdays on Facebook. — Cicora

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