High-intensity playwright and monologist Eric Bogosian, of Talk Radio and subUrbia renown, returns tonight to his alma mater--Oberlin College (class of '76), where as a senior, he starred in a student production of Georg Buchner's play Woyzeck. This time, he passes through town for the midwestern premiere of his one-man show An Evening with Eric Bogosian. Like Bogosian's previous literary tirades, including Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll and Pounding Nails in the Floor With My Forehead, the fast-paced new work involves a cast of marginal characters--junkies, coke-snorting businessmen, and panhandlers--who speak freely and forebodingly. Bogosian takes the stage with a microphone and a chair at 8 p.m. at Finney Chapel, at the corner of North Professor and Lorain (Route 511) in Oberlin. Tickets are $14, $7 students; call 440-775-8169.
Geronimo Garvey, a crack baby "born full-grown," commands the spotlight in On the Hills of Black America, a series of short plays and monologues by Keith Josef Adkins. So does Hannibal, a young man whose wife has run off to join the aliens, only to return as an apparition who's inhabiting the refrigerator. On the Hills, an African-American take on the apocalypse, arose from Adkins's short play G'Na Monticello Speaks on Historical Landmarks, which centers on a black girl who's forced to dress up in antebellum attire and play a slave for her mother's Thomas Jefferson living history museum (i.e., their home). Tired of tourists paying to go through the family's refrigerator and pee in their bathroom, she decides to blow up the place. Last seen in 1998 as a staged reading at the Cleveland Public Theatre's New Plays Festival, where it won the Chilcote Award for best play, On the Hills touches down today at 8 p.m. and runs through March 6. At Cleveland Public Theatre, 6415 Detroit Avenue, 216-631-2727.
Here's a group for people who get pushed around: the Cleveland Mosh Team, a loose-knit organization that promotes jumping up and down and flailing, preferably to hardcore metal music. Led by Chris Kilcoyne, a car mechanic/mosher who started a concert and band website a few years ago, the group will host the musical Cleveland Mosh Team Benefit tonight at the Agora Ballroom. The noise is provided by six local bands: 216 and Runt, which lean toward punk; the theatrical Goth-rock group Biaxadent, which favors ruffly shirts and whips; two relatively new bands called Intent to Distribute and Canister; and Biastfear, which furnishes the no-frills heavy metal. Crowd surfing will be encouraged; stage diving kept to a minimum. "The big, heavy guys want to get up there, and nobody wants to catch them," explains Kilcoyne. "When they go to jump, everybody clears out, and you can't really blame them." At 8 p.m. at 5000 Euclid Avenue, 216-241-5555. Admission is $6 advance, $7 day of show.
Strikes, spares, and Hail Marys share space at John Cantius Church in Tremont, where a pristine twelve-lane bowling alley (circa 1950) is tucked away in the basement, under the bingo hall. The 101-year-old Polish church, which has doubled as a community center since its inception, hosts public bowling nights every Saturday at its aqua-blue lanes, well-attended by local school children and neighborhood regulars. Tonight, the pins will be lined up for a special Bowling Extravaganza. Ten bucks gets you shoes, a ball, and unlimited hot dogs, beer, and pop. Part of the proceeds will go to senior citizens' programming in the neighborhood. Things get rolling at 6 p.m.; enter through the elementary school at 2357 Tremont Avenue; call 216-575-0920 for more information.
The days when Pappy used to churn the butter and build a house with his bare hands--all at the same time--return for Maple Sugaring Days, Hale Farm and Village's celebration of sap. Armed with a spile--a little wedge for tapping the tree--visitors can wander through the maple grove and collect their own sap, with the help of a historical interpreter. Indoors, they can see how syrup was processed before Mrs. Butterworth went corporate. A pancake breakfast rounds out the battery of activity today and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission with breakfast is $10 adults, $6 kids; $5 and $3 for the tour only. At 2686 Oak Hill Road in Bath Township, 330-666-3711.
Photographer Lori J. Nix grew up in a small Kansas town where nothing much happened, "just one disaster after another. We had two street lights," she says, "one that blinked all the time and one that actually went through all three colors." In the series Accidentally Kansas, Nix re-creates her childhood spent in no-man's land with a series of shoebox landscapes that depict toy planes crashing into train-set water towers and "dead" plastic farm animals lying in black waters. Props include a dust bunny transformed into a tumbleweed, a feather boa dyed to look like wheat, and a dead dragonfly (for a locust infestation). Nix's works are on exhibit as part of the group show Edge of the Image, running through March 29 at Fruit Avenue Gallery, 919 Fruit Avenue in Tremont. Gallery hours are 2-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Monday and Tuesday from 5-7 p.m; call 216-696-6805.
The highly hygienic characters in Live at Eleven, a satire on TV news by former Channel 3 producer Bob Noll, struggle with more than helmet hair. They gotta deal with Important Ethical Questions--like whether to lead with the dead baby in the trash or the minister hiring a hooker. Live at Eleven hits the stage at 2 p.m. on a double bill with The Original Last Wish Baby, a one-act play about a child born without a heart and the ensuing media frenzy. In John Carroll University's Marinello Theater, 20700 North Park Boulevard. Tickets are $7; call 216-397-4428.
Scaly-skinned pea brains chomp down plastic leaves in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, an exhibit of dinosaurs both skeletal and in the film-studio flesh. Visitors can see the Hollywood side of paleontology, with six full-scale reproductions of dinosaurs used in Jurassic Park, including a Mamenchisaurus--a seventy-foot-long plant eater that's almost all neck--as well as skeletal casts and fossils. The exhibit runs through May 23 at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, 1 Wade Oval, 216-231-4600. Admission is $6.50, $4.50 for kids 3-11; the museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.
Flamenco dancer Jose Greco made a living dancing on tables on the Ed Sullivan Show and in the movies (Ship of Fools and Around the World in 80 Days). But he's retired now, and the castanets have been passed to his son, the ballet-trained Jose Greco II, who leads the family's Madrid-based flamenco dance troupe. Known for its flashy stage presence and subtlety of step, The Jose Greco II Flamenco Dance Company also features Jose II's sister, Carmela, and two brothers, who sing and play gypsy-style guitar. They bring their improvised rhythms, velvety costumes, and fancy footwork to the Ohio Theatre at Playhouse Square, 1501 Euclid Avenue, for two performances: a free one at noon and a ticketed full performance ($10, $17, and $25) at 8 p.m. For evening tickets, call 216-241-6000.
Country singer Stacey Earle ditched a chance for a recording contract on her brother Steve's label because she wanted to do things on her own. But that chutzpah isn't reflected in Simple Gearle, her self-released debut CD, a pleasant but rather bland effort with in-strumentation that washes out into sleepy folk. Earle's voice has the prettiness of Emmylou Harris's, though neither the rawness nor depth. She and her band, the Jewels, perform tonight at 8 p.m. at Wilbert's, 1360 W. 9th Street. Tickets are $6, available by phone at 216-241-5555. Opening are local hoedowners Hillbilly Idol.