Eternity is a day wasted in a doctor's waiting room in Bringing the Fishermen Home, a new play by New York writer and performance artist Deb Margolin. When a professor of Freudian thought named Jane is diagnosed with a brain tumor, she must confront her own mortality--and listen to a lot of really bad on-hold music ("Lovely Rita Meter Maid," Sade's "Sweetest Taboo"). Once she actually sees the doc, she tries to get him to see her--as a person, not a piece of flesh. But breaching that clinical distance is none too simple, and both surgeon and patient struggle with the consequences. Bringing the Fishermen Home starts this week and runs through April 3, with preview performances at 8 p.m. today, Friday, and Saturday and at 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8 ($6 students/seniors); call 216-631-2727. At Cleveland Public Theatre, 6415 Detroit Avenue.
Another weekend, another generic ska band (or second helping of meat-and-potatoes heavy metal)? Not this time around, as jungle DJ LTJ Bukem brings his apocalyptic backbeats to town. Bukem got his start in England's rave scene, clearing the floor with metal machine soul music that had a more fast-paced, urban feel than the typical spaced-out techno fare. Touring in support of his fourth CD, Progression Sessions 3, he'll be joined by recording partners DJ Blame and MCs Conrad and DRS starting at 9 p.m. at Trilogy Nightclub, 2325 Elm Street in the Flats. Call 216-241-4007.
Virginia-based writer Richard Peabody had to answer to the Barbie Nazis a few years back, after he co-edited a literary anthology in which Ken underwent a sex change and a young boy felt up his sister's doll. No sooner had Mondo Barbie hit the shelves than attorneys from Mattel Inc. began investigating the whereabouts of the blasphemous tracts (a bookstore near you), and how many had been printed (thousands). Peabody's publisher settled the toy company's lawsuit out of court, and Peabody went on to edit Mondo James Dean and Mondo Elvis. The series rejects, which were compiled but never published: Mondo Royals (Princess Di died during its production), Mondo Manson (Charles, not Marilyn), and Mondo Erotica, in which a woman slept with a porpoise. "There's a lot of bestiality in that book," notes Peabody of Erotica. "We thought it was a sure thing." Sadly, Peabody won't be reading any Mondo material when he appears tonight at 7 at Mac's Back Paperbacks, 1820 Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights. But he will read from his own writings, poems which include "I'm in Love with the Morton Salt Girl" and "The Fourth Stooge," in which he yearns to bean Moe with a pie. The reading is free; call 216-321-2665.
Put on your hip boots: This weekend's Fright Vision Convention in Akron will feature an appearance by none other than Dick "Return of Swamp Thing" Durock, who's rumored to be very approachable when he's not wearing a green bodysuit. Also extending a hearty Martian handshake: Bob May, who played Major Don West in Lost in Space, and Fred Olen Ray, creator of the cone-bra sensation Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfold, a long-forgotten parody that didn't open in theaters everywhere. The usual purveyors of glow-in-the-dark rubber fingers and stink bombs also will make their way to the former oatmeal silos of the Quaker Square Hilton, 135 South Broadway, today from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10; $5 ages twelve and under. Call 330-297-5441.
Geppetto's still making shoes--not pizzas--in the National Marionette Theatre's sequined and shellacked production of Pinocchio. And our hero's still trying to become a real boy, without the aid of prescription hormones. Still, there's something different about this production; it's told with two-foot-tall handmade puppets that look real--at least as real as former tree trunks can look. The veteran, Vermont-based puppeteers will present two shows today, at 1:30 and 4 p.m. at the Cleveland Institute of Music, 11021 East Boulevard. Afterward, they'll talk about how they make their multijointed charges dance for their supper. Tickets are $7 adults, $5 children; call 216-791-5000 ext. 411.
Yesterday's meatloaf is today's party dress at Buzzard Sunday, the celebration of the turkey vultures' annual return to Hinckley for their spring nesting season (the birds have come back every March 15 since the pioneer days, when somebody left a pile of dead deer in an open field). Revelers can dress up as their favorite carcass for the all-ages costume contest, take a hike, or listen to the tunes of official buzzard songsmith Foster Brown (a sampling of the knee-slappin' lyrics: "Rancid raccoon and gangrene gopher/We've been searching high and low for some carrion"). Or just open a can of Spam, sit back, and watch the slush melt. The feasting begins at 11 a.m. and goes till 4 p.m. at the Metroparks Buzzard Roost in Hinckley Reservation, corner of West Drive and State Road in Hinckley Township. Admission is free; call 440-526-1012.
Classical music slips into something a little more comfortable--in this case, leather pants--with Eighth Blackbird, a new music ensemble formed a few years ago by four liberal arts students at Oberlin College. Now based in Cincinnati, the 'Birds have been jetting to Europe for concerts since winning the international Concert Artist Guild competition in New York last year. They're as unpretentious as they are intense; they take chances with their music, tackling difficult works from avant-garde minimalism to Schoenberg. Eighth Blackbird will perform a free concert at 2:30 p.m. today at the Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Boulevard (216-421-7340).
See frogs turn into princesses and fashion designers actually wear their own clothes at the Cleveland International Film Festival's marathon showing of World's Best Commercials 1999. Even better: an arctic ground squirrel tries out his Henny Youngman shtick on a mattress deliveryman, and the evil-clown mascot for Jack in the Box kicks some slacker butt. It's sensory overstimulation at its finest--and some of the irreverent international selections make South Park look like a Mormon convention. The bad-taste meter starts to rise at 7 p.m. at Tower City Cinemas, 50 Public Square. The program repeats for matinees at 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday and 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Tickets are $7.50; $4.75 for matinees; call 216-241-6000.
While Polish Jews starved in the streets of Warsaw's Lodz Ghetto, Walter Genewein, a Nazi accountant and photography enthusiast who was testing a new type of color film, snapped their pictures. Stepping over the bodies, he went home to write detailed letters to a German graphics company complaining of the film quality--the backgrounds had a reddish tint, and the whites were too yellow. Genewein's clinical accounts are interspersed with about four hundred of his snapshots of blue skies and bread lines in Photographer, a documentary film that brings the Holocaust out of black-and-white "history" and into the here and now. It shows today at 7 p.m. and at 2:15 p.m. Wednesday at the Cleveland International Film Festival in Tower City Cinemas, 50 Public Square. Tickets are $7.50; $4.75 on Wednesday; call 216-241-6000.
Artist Todd Slaughter travels to the outer limits and winds up on the living room couch in the unsettling series of sculptural installations Things We Gather: Models of Galaxy Clusters. To create a sense of cosmic disquiet and toy with viewers' sense of place, Slaughter casts familiar objects using far-out materials. Cats made from flesh-colored orthodontic plastic, salt, and human teeth float near the ceiling in a kind of domestic constellation, their playful poses clashing with their alien-baby skin. The free exhibit runs through May 2 at the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, 8501 Carnegie Avenue; call 216-421-8671. The center is open today from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.