Give that man a throat lozenge. After surviving a nasty bout with laryngitis, singer Billy Joel is on the road again. Last summer, he had to cancel gigs with Elton John and postpone a handful of tour dates, including a visit to Cleveland, because of illness. But the piano man, who's pushing fifty, still managed to release a three-volume Greatest Hits collection last year. This tour is in support of that CD, so don't go changin' to try and please him: Feel free to request that fifteen-minute version of "Just the Way You Are." Tickets are $38.50. Showtime is 8 p.m. at Gund Arena, 100 Gateway Plaza, 330-945-9400.
Though he was a better singer than an actor, Frank Sinatra did register a few memorable performances in the more than fifty films he made. One was as Bennett Marco, a Korean war soldier brainwashed by Chinese communists in The Manchurian Candidate. In the film, Marco and fellow soldier Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) return to American soil only to be caught in a web of mental and psychological manipulation. The film was released in 1962, a year before JFK was shot, making its plot twists about espionage and presidential assassination especially prescient. Angela Lansbury gives a rattling performance as an evil stepmom. The film screens today at 7 p.m. as part of the Cleveland Museum of Art's Cinema Sinatra series. Admission is $6. At 11150 East Boulevard, 216-241-7340.
No "wear your galoshes" finger-wagging for weather forecaster Dick Goddard. If flurries are on the way, he'll describe the formation of a snowflake, born as a "microscopic seed of ice no larger than a speck of dust." And he knows his way around a cirrostratus, which is a milky veil of clouds, according to the new Dick Goddard's Weather Guide and Almanac. The locally published volume brings together much of the weather wisdom Goddard's shared for over 37 years, along with anecdotes about his years on TV (he's made national bloopers shows three times, once for predicting a "cold mare's ass" instead of a "cold air mass"). Tellingly, the book includes a chapter on the area's worst blizzards. Wanna know why you're so miserable? In winter, cloudy Cleveland gets only 26 percent of potential sunlight. Goddard makes two appearances today: 12:30 p.m. at Waldenbooks in SouthPark Center (I-71 and Route 82 in Strongsville, 440-846-8890) and 3 p.m. at Borders Westlake (30121 Detroit Road, 440-892-7668).
If the eye of the storm wears a red contact lens, it must belong to Marilyn Manson. The Dark Master himself, this time with silver skin, glitter makeup, and questionable genitals, brings "The Dope Show" tour to town tonight at Music Hall. Recently departed guitarist Zim Zum has been replaced with John 5 of Two, the band formed by ex-Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford. Manson (formerly Brian Warner of Canton, Ohio) has left a trail of hand-wringing parents, torn scriptures, and one nearly dead chicken in his wake, and there are sure to be more headlines on the horizon. But the music's what matters--and Manson's just released his best gut-ripper yet. The sold-out show starts at 8 p.m. at Music Hall, 500 Lakeside Ave.
Bringing new meaning to the term "dinner dance" is the Ohio Ballet's performance of The Match Girl. The pre-yuletide ballet--choreographed by artistic director Heinz Poll and based on Hans Christian Andersen's story of the poor street urchin, shivering at a window while a hearth fire blazes inside--includes a comic dance by none other than the headless roast turkey on the rich family's table. David Shimotakahara, a sixteen-year veteran of the company, portrays the doomed gobbler. He's joined by newcomer Felise Bagley as the neglected girl who lights matches to warm her hands. This is one of your last chances to see the Ohio Ballet--named by the New York Times as one of the nation's exemplary small companies--while it's still under Poll's direction. He retires at the end of the season after 31 years as its guiding light. Poll's Concert Dances, choreographed to the music of Franz Schubert, are also on the program. Today's production is at 2 p.m.; see Stage listings for other times. At the Ohio Theatre in Playhouse Square, 216-241-6000.
Sports Illustrated senior writer Steve Rushin spent years gazing at the American landscape through the bubble of an airplane window. But in honor of his fast-approaching thirtieth birthday, he ditched the plane in favor of a road tour of America's sports shrines, fabled or otherwise. "I was living out of my car, eating nothing but ballpark nachos," Rushin says of the yearlong trip, which became the basis of his new book, Road Swing. "I returned a changed man--at least my cholesterol level had changed." It was an eventful year: Rushin was in Cleveland when the Browns left town ("It made me realize how much sports meant to people, and how they meant too much to people") and in New York when Mickey Mantle died. He stopped at the Pro Football Hall of Fame "shortly after O.J.'s bust had been stolen, recovered, and bolted back in place," and chatted with Browns legend Lou Groza. Rushin's two biggest discoveries: Ole's Big Game Lounge near Ogallala, Nebraska, America's oldest sports bar (it opened one minute after Prohibition ended), and the "official" Graceland revelation that Elvis's death was actually sports-related--the result not of bathroom misadventures but of an especially strenuous racquetball game. Rushin makes an appearance tonight at 7:30 at Borders Westlake, 30121 Detroit Road, 440-892-7667.
Now that they've blown up all the neighborhood jack-o'-lanterns, kids are on the lookout for new forms of entertainment. The Great Lakes Science Center has got what they're looking for, and it's even educational (though not in the area of heavy explosives). At the center's Science in Toyland exhibit, rugrats ten and under can build a house with foam-rubber parts, make and race their own spinning tops, and learn about kinetic energy through the mother of all Hot Wheels tracks, a giant "car roller coaster." Older siblings jonesing for a cigarette can calm their nerves with an all-ages area set aside for K'nex building sets; sort of like Legos with more angles, they can be fashioned into animals, buildings, or entire rooms (but who has the space?). Museum admission is $5.25 for kids and $7.75 for adults. At 601 Erieside; hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.
Just when you thought it was safe to sleep in the gutters, they're back--Suicidal Tendencies, on the heels of their new EP Six the Hard Way. The bandanaed hardcore rockers disbanded two years ago after trying to remake themselves as an alternative rock band. But this year, frontman Mike Muir decided to piece together a reunion, merging members of the original lineup and his side band, Infectious Groove. Dropped from Epic Records in June, they're hoping to release a full album in 1999. And, while heavy metal has hit some hard times (note: Black Sabbath appearing at the Mentor Mall!), good ol' Cleveland still has plenty of fist-raisers to carry it through. Jughead's Revenge opens at 8 p.m. at the Odeon, 1295 Old River Road in the Flats, 216-241-5555. Tickets are $15.