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Get Out!

Event picks for this happy week in Cleveland


Thursday | 05

Funny Stuff

Unsuitable Language Alert

Cleveland funny man John Wellington wasn't kidding when he picked a title for tonight's comedy showcase at Kennedy's: The humor really will be unsuitable for some audiences. "Let's just say it's not going to be Two and a Half Men," says the standup guy. "It's not something you'll see on TV." Still, as co-founder of the Cleveland Comedy Festival, Wellington feels pretty confident that most local laff-lovers will dig the in-yer-face riffs from comedians Carey Callahan, Dave Arena, and Michael Ivy. "Cleveland has kind of taken on a comedic style of its own over the past 10 years," says Wellington, who will host tonight's fun. "This city has a perspective that's a little more personal — a little darker in some respects — that comes out in our comedy. It's a little harder, a little edgier, but Clevelanders respond to it." But will they laugh at it? Oh yeah. "It's not going to be funny," Wellington deadpans. "It's gonna be very funny." Tonight's show begins at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 day of show. You'll find Kennedy's beneath the lobby of the Ohio Theatre on Playhouse Square. Needless to say, leave the rugrats at home. — Elaine T. Cicora

1501 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000,

Opening Day!

Baseball & Bikes

Here's a double-header just right for Tribe fans and bike trekkers alike: today's Opening Day Ride for the Tribe, sponsored by Joy Machines Bicycle Shop and Bob's Bike Tours. Riders and their helmets are asked to arrive at the West Side Market at 10 a.m. The 8-mile tour begins at 11 a.m. and passes by sites near and dear to baseball fans — the former League Park at East 66th and Lexington, and the former Municipal Stadium — before winding up at Progressive Field. Once there, riders will receive a lower-reserve ticket, a commemorative T-shirt, and entry into a raffle for gifts and prizes. Cost of all the above is $50, with proceeds supporting the Cleveland Indians Charities. (Need a pre-ride tune up? Head over to Joy Machines at 1836 West 25th St., where participants can get a $10 discount.) "It's a great way to combine your love of Cleveland, your love of the Indians, and your love of biking," says tour company owner Bob Polk, adding that even non-riders are welcome to take part. Tickets are available at Joy Machines (216-308-5022) or by calling Polk at the number below. Check out Bob's Bike Tours on Facebook for more info. — Cicora

1979 West 25th St., 440-681-8262.

Arty Party

Monster Drawing Rally at Spaces

What's black and white and awesome all over? Space's Monster Drawing Rally, which makes a spectacle of the usually private act of artistic creation. Through four hour-long shifts, 30 artists at a time will make everything they can with pencil, charcoal, and blank paper. When each piece is completed, it will be mounted on the wall and displayed for sale. It's the best art deal of the year: All the evening's creations will go for $70 (tax included), and all proceeds will benefit Space's exhibition and residency programs. The roster includes luminaries like Dexter Davis, Matt Dibble, Christi Birchfield, Liz Maugans, and Dana Oldfather — along with nearly a hundred more creatives with styles ranging from the highest of high brows to funny-book pop and abstract avant-garde. If your kid wants to get into the arts, you can give him or her a leg-up by making sure their first exhibit is at Spaces. Just plunk him or her down at the Lil' Monster Drawing Rally, a kids' workstation where the offspring can create and display their own sketches and coloring. Watch the pencils dance from 6 to 10 p.m. tonight. If you can't make it then, works not sold tonight will be on display through April 8. Light refreshments and drinks will be available, and Touch Supper Club's food truck will be parked outside. Admission is $5 for adults and free for anyone 17 or younger. — Joseph Clark

2220 Superior Viaduct, 216-621-2314,

Friday | 06

Paper Chase

Antique Book Fair in Akron

You probably won't discover an 1862 letter from Mary Todd Lincoln at this weekend's Antiquarian Book & Paper Fair in Akron: Unlike the one written to a Cleveland businessman that recently sold for a cool $46K, most of the letters, books, postcards, maps, prints, theater programs, and other ephemera is likely to be somewhat less expensive. But that doesn't mean it's not of value: Organizers expect more than 800 collectors and assorted curious types will cram into the John S. Knight Center to search through the goods from 40 or so dealers. This year's fair marks the 30th annual event for NOBS — the Northern Ohio Bibliophilic Society. Executive coordinator Brian Meggitt says the group was established in 1983 to advance interest in books "both for their content and for their cultural significance." Admission at the door is $5 for adults, $3 for students, and zip for NOBS members. Today's hours are 3 to 8 p.m.; Saturday's hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and include free workshops on collecting at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Check out the website for details. — Cicora

77 East Mill St., Akron,

Absolute Intense Wrestling

Ganging Up at Turner's Hall

Can't make it out to south L.A.? Tonight, the action comes to you with Straight Outta Compton, a multi-member "street fight" from the well-muscled gang at Absolute Intense Wrestling. Waging the no-rules war in and out of the ring: Chest Flexor, Bobby Beverly, and The Chad versus Tim Donst, BJ Whitmer, and Gauntlet for the Gold winner Johnny Gargano. After they've settled the score, you can ogle two of the fastest-rising stars in indie wrestling — Uhaa Nation and AR Fox — as they bounce each other off the rubber mat in a 30-minute Ironman Match. It all goes down at Turner's Hall starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15. Snag 'em online or at the door, but note: Online purchasers get first dibs on seats. — Cicora

7325 Guthrie Ave.,

Saturday| 07

Kid Stuff

An Egg Hunt in the Garden

Hopping into multiple venues around the region today, the Easter bunny is one busy dude. Take this morning's egg hunts in the Hershey Children's Garden. Part of the Cleveland Botanical Garden, the space already boasts a kid-friendly plant maze, old-fashioned farmhouse water pumps, and a giant tree house. Today it gets even cooler with the addition of crafts, games, story time, photo ops with Ol' Floppy Ears, and nearly 3,000 well-hidden eggs. This is the 10th year for the popular egg hunt; staffers say that a typical turnout is 300 youngsters — or close to 800 people when you count the kids' entourages. Youngsters ages 2 to 10 can take part in hunts at either 10:45 or 11:15 a.m.; the other fun stuff happens between 10:30 a.m. and noon. Cost is $15 for kids, and $9.50 for adults. Garden staffers expect a sellout, so register online or by phone asap. — Cicora

11030 East Blvd., 216-721-1600 x 100,

At Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens

Fun for Some Bunny

Do you suppose the Easter eggs at Akron's Stan Hywet Hall come from rubber chickens? After all, the fabulous estate was built by F.A. Seiberling, founder of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Sorry — the point is that kids 9 and under are invited to hunt for thousands of eggs hidden on the grounds of the circa-1912 mansion today between 10 a.m. and noon; start times depend on age, to ensure fairness. Meantime, the peripatetic Easter Bunny will be roaming the grounds with pals Little Red Riding Hood, Little Bo Peep, and Mother Goose. Refreshments will be served, and there should be plenty of time to stroll the 70 acres of budding trees, blooming flowers, and the beautiful Corbin Conservatory too. Tickets are $12 for kids and $8 for everyone 10 and older. Reservations are required; make yours online or by phone. And don't worry about the weather: The festivities go on, rain or shine. — Cicora

714 North Portage Path, Akron, 330-315-3287,

Family Fun

Breakfast With the Bunny

There still may be time to snag tickets for today's popular Breakfast With the Easter Bunny at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. On the agenda: an egg hunt, face painting, photo ops, an up-close animal encounter, and a bountiful buffet breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, spuds, freshly made waffles, yogurt parfaits, and more. Because it all goes down in the Primate, Cat, and Aquatics Building, you can burn off some of those calories by communing with the snow leopards, lemurs, and Western Lowland gorillas. Doors open at 8 a.m., and breakfast is served from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Tickets are $22.50 for adults and $18.50 for kids ages 2 to 11. Make reservations by phone at the number below. — Cicora

3900 Wildlife Way, 216-635-3300,

Yuri's Night

Like No Party on Earth

Since 2001, an international community of scientists, researchers, and geeks has been celebrating manned space flight with Yuri's Night, a festive commemoration of where we've been and where we yet may go. Cleveland joined that federation in 2009. Tonight at the Great Lakes Science Center, flighty types will have another chance to tip their helmets both to namesake U.S.S.R. cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin and to the brave crew of the first U.S. space shuttle mission. The cosmic cocktail party launches at 8 p.m. with hors d'oeuvres, dancing, space-related exhibits from NASA Glenn, a trivia contest with a real live astronaut, and a midnight showing of the Omnimax movie Hubble. You also can get a load of the Stormtroopers from the 501st Legion — we told you geekiness was involved — as they parade around in their Star Wars finery. Your $60 entry fee gets you unlimited beer and wine; the Jell-O shots and specialty cocktails cost more. For tix and more info, check out the website. — Cicora

601 Erieside Ave., 216-621-2400,

Sunday | 08

Fit for Foodies

When Chocolate Bunnies Aren't Enough

For many of us on the North Coast, today is that sacred time of year when we curl up in our bathrobes and stuff our faces full of marshmallow peeps and chocolate bunnies. But if your gustatory ambitions exceed that venerable tradition, you'll be thrilled to know there are a number of restaurants where you and the family can chow down on actual food. For instance, Hudson's Restaurant is dishing out à la carte Easter fare like eggs Benedict, blueberry-lemon ricotta pancakes, Bananas Foster French toast, and sliced ham in a Maker's Mark glaze. Brunch is served from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. For a more urbane experience, check out the gourmet brunch buffet at Table 45, where highlights of the $38 spread (less for kids) include shrimp cocktail, smoked salmon, soba noodle salad, glazed ham, prime rib, eggs Benedict, and chocolate brownies. Brunch hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There are other options today too: A good place to start tracking them down is on the Cleveland Independents website. — Cicora

80 North Main St., Hudson, 330-650-1955,

9801 Carnegie Ave., 216-707-4045,

Monday | 09

Happy Dyngus Day!

Polish Pride in Gordon Square

Sure, Dyngus Day is fun for you: What's not to love about a post-Lent celebration of Polish pride complete with polkas, accordions, and a festive parade? But for Justin Gorski (aka DJ Kishka), it hasn't been all pierogies and beer. "Really, I never realized all it would take to do something like this," laughs the event's affable organizer. Gorski introduced Cleveland to Dyngus Day in 2011, with support from Norm Plonski at the Parkview, Sean Kilbane and Sean Watterson from Happy Dog, "and a bunch of my goofball friends." At first, the notion of an Easter Monday celebration was a hard sell, he recalls. "But through a combination of luck and ethnic pride, we managed to put it together and draw in 1,500 people!" The upshot? This year's Dyngus Day has gotten enthusiastic buy-in from Gordon Square spots including Reddstone, Stone Mad, XYZ the Tavern, YOLO Wine Bar, and Spice Kitchen + Bar. That's turned the fest into a neighborhood-wide celebration, complete with free trolley service between venues and an expected turnout of 5,000. The highlight of today's festivities will be the 5 p.m. Accordion March from the Parkview to Happy Dog. "If you own an accordion, a guitar, a tuba, or even pots and pans, please come out and join us! We'll all be playing "Roll Out the Barrel" about 45 times — and it'll be great!" Festivities are set for noon to 2 a.m. throughout the Gordon Square Arts District. For a full schedule — and an application for the Ms. Dyngus Day Contest — check out the website. — Cicora

Tuesday | 10

Spoken Word

Homegrown Pain in Lakewood

Mystic, poet, and patron saint of the American alternative press, d.a. levy remains one of the most intriguing figures to emerge from the Cleveland underground in the 1960s. That levy committed suicide at the age of 26 — after publishing works like the North American Book of the Dead, Cleveland Undercovers, and Suburban Monastery Death Poem as well as getting busted for distributing obscenity to minors — just adds to his cred as a cultural lighting rod. Happily for levy fans, tonight's 7 p.m. program at the Lakewood Public Library will try to apply some scholarship to the poet and his times. On the panel: New York poet-publisher Tod Thilleman, former library director Kenneth Warren, and poet-professor Richard Blevins, who has recently completed a major new work inspired by levy entitled Medieval Ohio: a Poem for d.a. levy. The free program is part of the library's ongoing celebration of National Poetry Month. No registration is required. — Cicora

15425 Detroit Ave., 216-226-8275 x 127,

Wednesday | 11

An Imaginary Empire

Artist Arabella Proffer at Loganberry Books

Cleveland painter Arabella Proffer never imagined that her surrealistic portraits of punks, goths, and rockers garbed in the raiment of royalty would spawn an empire. "But people kept asking me who they were," says the 33-year-old artist. "So eventually I started giving them backstories." Over the years, those backstories evolved into a complete mythology that Proffer finally pulled together in a book. Featuring 40 portraits painted between 2000 and 2011, along with imaginary maps, life stories, and family trees, the 104-page project — The National Portrait Gallery of Kessa: The Art of Arabella Proffer — sometimes seemed all-consuming. "Those family trees had me cross-eyed," she laughs. "I kept asking myself, 'Why did I have to make it so complicated?'" But fans of fantasy and art will be delighted that she did: What the artist calls the "marriage of the highbrow and the lowbrow" is crammed full of charming visual surprises. Proffer is celebrating the end of the project tonight with a 7 p.m. book-release party at Loganberry Books. Expect an informal talk, a short reading, and some time for Q&A. A few of Proffer's smaller portraits will be on display, and a free mini-print will be given away with the purchase of every $31.50 book. Just don't ask her to paint your portrait: "I only work from my imagination," she says. "I get stressed out if it has to look like someone real." — Cicora

13015 Larchmere Blvd., Shaker Heights, 216-795-9800,

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