No sooner had the teen comedy Rushmore hit theaters everywhere than it vanished; it played on local screens for barely two weeks. But now the Disney-financed feature, which stars newcomer Jason Schwartzmann as Max, a high school misfit smitten with a widowed first-grade teacher, is living a more exotic second life as an arthouse flick. Wearing its eccentricity on its sleeve, the film is rare in the sense that its over-the-top humor turns out gentle after all. Max takes elaborate measures to win over The Older Woman: wearing a beret to school because she's British, hiring a team of engineers to build an aquarium in the baseball diamond, and organizing a stakeout at a local Chinese restaurant. If that's not love, well, there's always takeout. Rushmore screens today at 7 p.m. and Friday at 9:20 p.m. at the Cleveland Cinematheque, 11141 East Boulevard. Admission is $6; call 216-241-7450.
Art is underfoot in Floored, an exhibit of works that are laid, not hung. Viewers will have to tiptoe around Sheila Moss's oriental carpet made of dirt (which will have a date with a broom once the show's over) and Wendy Hanson's canvases composed of stitched-together rose petals. Robert Kalka's miniature terrariums are portable penicillin farms; he's created a hundred tiny "rainstorms" in plastic wristwatch boxes, each filled with a layer of plaster and a seedling. (When they're watered, condensation forms and mold proliferates.) The carpet unfurls tonight from 5 to 9, with an opening reception at SPACES, 2220 Superior Viaduct. Admission is free; call 216-621-2314 for more information.
They're rolling up the carpet at the Lakewood Masonic Temple to make way for the World Class Swing Weekend, where you can brush up on moves you haven't practiced since Amelia Earhart's plane went down. Let loose with the Lindy Hop and the St. Louis Shag, or pick up a few party steps like bunny hops and fall off the log ("It's a kick step, kick step, then you act like you're falling off a log," explains instructor Joel Plys). Local teachers will wear out their soles with Santa Barbara-based swing professors Jonathan Bixby and Sylvia Sykes for this intensive three-day workshop, which costs $100 (or $25 per session). Bring your two left feet (one per partner) on down to the Temple, at 15300 Detroit Avenue in Lakewood. Call 216-883-4519 to register.
The Near West Theatre was started to provide a diversion for the idle youth of Ohio City. "There were a lot of teenagers and kids in the neighborhood sniffing glue and doing petty vandalism," says director Paula Kampf. "We were trying to find a way to empower them." Twenty years and countless intact nasal passages later, the theater just has to find a way to fit them all on the stage. Its latest production, the 1950s musical Bye, Bye, Birdie, features 35 kids and fifteen adults. Performances are at 8 p.m. on Friday through Sunday; tickets are $5, which includes all the mom, God, and apple pie you can eat. At the St. Patrick's Club Building, corner of West 38th Street and Bridge Avenue; for reservations, call 216-651-2828.
Jesus hoofed it through the streets of Jerusalem. But in Twinsburg, he gets to take the wheel for the Blessing of the Bikes, a motorcycle parade led by several local Christian motorcycle clubs: the Righteous Riders from Akron, Streetsboro's Sons of God, and holy roadhuggers from the Akron Bible Church. You don't have to be born again--just born to be wild--to participate in the two-hour procession, which winds through Portage County streets to a cemetery where participants will pray for the souls of dearly departed gearheads. They'll then rally to Brimfield Township (south of Kent) for a steak fry. The gates of Hog heaven open at noon at the Carlton Harley-Davidson, 11771 State Route 44 in Mantua. Admission is $5; call 330-425-7830 for more information.
If your favorite pastime is beer, and lots of it, then drag your sorry ass on down to the Midwest Brewfest. For $15, you can suck down unlimited suds from forty microbreweries, then burp for free to Cleveland swing band Jump, Jive & Wail and Chicago funksters Liquid Soul. The partying starts at 1 p.m. and runs till midnight at the Cleveland Convention Center, East Sixth Street and Lakeside Avenue. For more information, call 440-247-4386.
Even on his deathbed, seventeenth-century comedy writer Moliere was cracking people up. He wrote The Imaginary Invalid with the grin reaper at his doorstep, then died soon after it made it to the stage. The play's main character, a hypochondriac, wants his daughter, Angelica, to marry a medical student named Thomas, not for love but for his unlimited stash of tongue depressors. Pure, lovely, and true, Angelica is more interested in the bedside manner of Cleante, who doesn't know a fibula from a funny bone. The Cleveland Play House's production of The Imaginary Invalid runs through June 5; today's performance is at 2 p.m. The Play House is located at 8500 Euclid Avenue; tickets, which range in price from $25 to $38, are available by calling 216-795-7000.
Dinosaurs in a downsized era, big bands haven't made a comeback like swing ensembles have. But local trumpeter Jack Schantz, best known as the leader of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, hasn't been thinking small. Since 1994, he's been composing and arranging works for a side project: a thirteen-piece big band called The Jazz Unit. The veteran Cleveland musicians in the unit religiously blow their horns at the Bop Stop, East Sixth Street and Lakeside Avenue, on Monday nights for the price of a few drinks. They'll perform tonight at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $5; call 216-664-6610 for more information.
Nobody's accusing Lenny Kravitz of being original. Wandering far from his initial metal leanings, the tracks on his 1998 release 5 borrowed from a new set of sources, from smooth soul to new wave. But despite any stabs at versatility, all manage to fit squarely into the urban contemporary, a.k.a. "music to sleep to," category. Kravitz performs tonight at 7 with the Black Crowes, Everlast, and waif-in-training Cree Summer at Blossom, Steels Corners Road in Cuyahoga Falls. Tickets are $25 and $45; call 216-241-5555.
Ska bands too often sound tone-deaf, like a bunch of frat brothers gathered around a tape recorder, each honking louder and more off-key than the next. But The Smooths have subtlety and musicianship on their side. On their latest release, No Brakes, layered melodies prevail over artificial glee--and reggae and punk influences make the sound a little darker than the usual Doc Martens stompers. The Bay Area skanksters perform tonight at 9 at the Agora Ballroom, 5000 Euclid Avenue. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 the day of the show. For more information, call 216-241-5555.