They're trying really hard . . . they're the Hairy Apes, a band from Austin, Texas, that's striving for a rainbow swirl of rap, reggae, and psychedelia--but amounting to brown mush. Maybe if they stuck to one genre, they'd shine. They'll perform at 10 p.m. with the Crackhouse Jazz Quartet at the Grog Shop, 1765 Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights. Tickets are $5; call 216-321-5588.
The creeps come out, in living black-and-white, for Universal Horror, a screening of eleven monster movies from the 1930s and '40s. Tonight at 7, the dark curtain rises on the original Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi, and 1936's Dracula's Daughter, which features a female neck-biter who prefers girl jugular. At 9:45, Karl Freund's The Mummy climbs out of his 3,000-year-old crypt in search of a little nooky, and Boris Karloff's satanic architect goes head-to-headless with a doctor played by Lugosi in The Black Cat. Other highlights and creaky stairs: on Saturday at 9:30 p.m., director James Whale's The Old Dark House has a bunch of old coots scaring the bejabbers out of a wide-eyed young couple, and at 7 p.m., The Bride of Frankenstein blows an electrode. The series runs through Sunday; see Film Repertory listings for a complete schedule. At the Cleveland Cinema-theque, 11141 East Boulevard. Admission is $6 for each set of films (two sets per night); $10 for the whole night. For more information, call 216-421-7450.
Fairies take wing with cuff links and starched collars in the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival's outdoor version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which has the sprites dressed as butlers, speaking the Queen's English. The play's been pared down to ninety minutes for this production, but the actors are still doing double time, playing multiple roles. It's directed by Brian Zoldessy, the head of Tri-C's theater department and a guy who was famous for two seconds as one of John Travolta's gang members in Saturday Night Fever. "I'm trying to get into the club, but I'm being carded," he recalls of the role. "And there's a girl looking at me like I'm some kind of geek." Geeks, and everyone else, get in free to A Midsummer Night's Dream performances at 6:30 tonight and Saturday. Bring blankets, chairs, and if you're really domestic, a picnic dinner, to the Mather Memorial Quad, corner of Ford Drive and Bellflower Road. For more information, call 216-732-3311.
Pomaded singer Dean Martin, who died on Christmas Day 1995, lives large in the hearts of the coupon-clipping townsfolk of Steubenville, Ohio--a sentiment manifested by the 21-by-35-foot Dino mural they just painted on the façade of the new Kroger grocery. But that's not all--the city has also thrown an increasingly elaborate annual party for its native son, the Dean Martin Festival. This year, three Martin impersonators--one from Las Vegas, one from Florida, and one from Wisconsin--bend the octaves at the festival, which runs from noon to 10:30 p.m. today and includes a rib cook-off and antique car show. Immediately following, fans can tippy tippy tay on over to the nearby Jaggin' Around restaurant for the amateur Dean Martin impersonation contest. Admission is free. Steubenville is seventy miles south of Youngstown--take the Turnpike east to Route 11, then go south to Route 7, to the Steubenville town center. For more information, call 740-283-4935. If you're too ripped on martinis to make the trip, Dino impersonator Jerry Lee will also be performing in Eastlake at the Croatian Lodge, 34900 Lake Shore Boulevard, on Tuesday at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; call 216-946-3366.
Two more outrageous excuses to party hearty: the release of the Austin Powers sequel, The Spy Who Shagged Me, and the return of the seventeen-year cicadas. Watch bugs have hot sex at the Cicada Invasion! celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cleveland Metroparks Shelterhouse Picnic area in South Chagrin Reservation, off Hawthorn Parkway in Bentleyville (440-247-7075). Besides nature running its course, they'll have a seventeenth birthday cake, silk-screening, folk music, a cicada pinata, and picture-taking with a lovable six-legged mascot with beady red eyes. At 8 p.m., the Odeon hosts an evening of intrigue, espionage, and undercover backrubs with a CD release party for The Spy Who Shagged Me soundtrack. Wear your burgundy smoking jacket made from the living room drapes and get in free; otherwise, admission is $5. At 1295 Old River Road; call 216-574-2525.
In Paris, even the orange barrels wear pearls. French artist Stephane Couturier portrays the city as a work in progress in Urban Archaeology, a series of photographs juxtaposing postcard sights--the river Seine, the Eiffel Tower--with construction sites. Although many contemporary photographers routinely address ancient vs. throwaway, Couturier's exacting abstract compositions transform raw visual materials (tangled wires and rows of pipe) into design elements. Urban Archaeology is on exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Boulevard, through August 11. Admission is free; the museum is open today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 216-421-7340.
Eighties evil-mansion music hasn't gone the way of suspenders and hairspray. It's just taking up residence in the mixing boards of Bailterspace, a dark and stormy band of New Zealanders who mostly sound like the Jesus and Mary Chain--same lush vocals, same bicycle-chain-on-a-chalkboard reverb. After a steady diet of space-rock bands recently, it's refreshing to hear noise that isn't just background. Bailterspace performs at 9:30 p.m. at the Euclid Tavern, 11629 Euclid Avenue. Tickets are $6; call 216-241-5555.
That roasted squirrel dinner sure looks tasty, but it could use a little cilantro to bring out the flavor. Oops, we're out of cilantro--how about some dandelion greens, or perhaps some pigweed? Fine dining is as close as the ditch behind the shack at Edible Weeds, a one-night class in which students can cleanse their palates with a sprig of lamb's-quarters and learn how to make dandelion pizza sandwiches. But how to tell the lemony oxalis from the deadly digitalis? Herbalist Judi Strauss takes the class on an identification hike, then shares some of her favorite grassy recipes. The class starts at 7 p.m.; cost is $15. At Crown Point Ecology Center, 3220 Ira Road in Bath, 330-666-9200.
Contrary to current lore, the phrase "from sea to shining sea," wasn't originally referring to a Home Depot. There's still one or two wilds left, even in Parma, which has about ninety re-maining acres of wetlands--but not for long, since the Ohio EPA recently cleared the way for Geis Companies to build an industrial park there. Tonight's your last chance to voice your vote for frogs and cattails at the final public hearing on the Parma wetlands. At 6:30 p.m. at the Parma Heights Library, 6206 Pearl Road; call 440-886-5598.