Apollo's Fire, a.k.a. the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra, kicks some sackbut this week, opening its fall season with Monteverdi's Vespers of the Blessed Virgin. The venerable sackbut--a period British instrument from the trombone family--will be joined by lutes, strings, cornetti, and vocalists when the orchestra performs the seventeenth-century sacred work. At a time when church music was often ponderous, the colorful rhythms of Vespers shook the cobwebs off the Byzantine tradition. In this century, Apollo's Fire has done its part to rattle the rafters, presenting baroque music as a living music. This week, the ensemble is joined by guest artist Jean Tuberty, a world-renowned cornettist who teaches at the Paris Conservatory. Tickets are $18 and $27; call 216-378-2850. Performances are today at 7:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Angels Church, 3644 Rockside Rd.; Friday at 8 p.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1361 W. Market St., Akron; Saturday at 8 p.m. at St. Paul's Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd., Cleveland Heights; and Sunday at 3 p.m. at St. Peter's Church, 1533 E. 17th St.
Eye of newt, toe of frog--and a bellyful of greed and murder--are what's cooking at Beck Center this week, as Shakespeare's Macbeth takes the low road to the Scottish crown with the help of his mother and three soothsaying witches. Donald A. Squires, a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, makes his directorial debut at Beck with this production. It's hard to believe that this is the first staging of the Bard's plays in the organization's 69-year history. The play runs through November 15 at the Center, 17801 Detroit Ave., with performances at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays. Call 216-521-2540.
Outfitted in a football helmet and an umpire's chest protector, the stocky David Dorfman looks more like the inside of a school gym closet than the classical idea of a dancer. And because he combines the coordinated grace of athletics with the refinement of dance, that's exciting to a lot of people. A New York choreographer and former high school athlete, Dorfman has a reputation for bringing dance to the boardroom and ballfield as well as the box office. During a residency in Burlington, Vermont, he taught a "movement workshop" for loan officers and secretaries at a local bank. And while in Cleveland this week, he and his six-member company will spend three days collaborating with athletes from Cuyahoga Community College and Hathaway Brown High School. (The students furnish the raw energy; Dorfman lassos it all into a coherent work.) The partnership will culminate in "Athletes Feat," a free performance today at 11:15 a.m. at the Ohio Theatre, 1591 Euclid Ave. in Playhouse Square; a free performance by the Dorfman company follows at noon. For paying customers (tickets range from $10 to $33), the Dorfman troupe will perform three additional works Saturday at 8 p.m., including "A Cure for Gravity," which features a score written by genteel rocker Joe Jackson, and a new work titled "What I Know About Cats." Call 216-241-6000.
Cheer for your favorite breakfast cereal--er, indoor soccer team--tonight as the Cleveland Crunch takes on the Milwaukee Wave. The Crunch opened its home season a mere two weeks ago, so there's plenty of time to become a true-blue fan before the playoffs in April. In 1996 the team won the National Professional Soccer League championship, but last year wasn't so hot, with the list of injuries nearly as long as the list of victories. Hector Marinaro, indoor soccer's top goal scorer, is back this year, as is his second in scoring, Zoran Karic. Kickoff is at 7:35 p.m. at the Cleveland Convocation Center, 2000 Prospect Ave. Tickets range from $11 to $18. Call 216-241-5555.
Doomsday preachers and Nike messiahs are the bread and butter of Ted Daniels, the director of the Center for Millennial Studies at Boston University. Daniels edits the Millennial Prophecy Report, a newsletter that tracks the universal fascination with triple zeroes. He'll share some of his findings about humankind's 1,000-year itch tonight at the Lakewood Public Library as part of the Thinking Through the Millennium series. In an attempt to bring perspective to tabloid headlines, Daniels will address millennial legends from ancient to modern times, exploring the Christian version of the apocalypse, the New Age movement, UFO cults, and charismatic leaders. Daniels speaks at 4 p.m. in the library's Main Auditorium, 15425 Detroit Ave. Call 216-226-8275.
Why are the streets so empty? Because everybody's on stage for the Original P-Funk All-Stars at the Agora Theatre. Tonight's 9 o'clock show is being billed as an "up close and personal" event. The electro-terrestrial George Clinton will be joined onstage by Calvin Simon, Clarence "Fuzzy" Haskins, Grady Thomas, and Raymond Davis--all distinguished alums from 1970's classic album Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow--and, by the end of the night, probably the entire audience. Life hasn't always been a bed of bedclothes for Dr. Funkenstein, who in 1997 was involved in a court hassle over $1.5 million in back rent on his Adrian, Michigan, farm. But you throw a party with what you got. The Agora is at 5000 Euclid Ave.; tickets are $15 and $18. Call 216-241-5555.
The Cleveland Museum of Art surveys the recent past for a change with Cleveland Collects Contemporary Art, an exhibition of works owned by area corporations and individuals. The sculptures, photos, paintings, photographs, and mixed-media pieces in the show were created between 1982 and 1997, a heated period when art became a business investment and lifelong collectors rubbed elbows with fly-by-nights. Among the seventy works in the show are Kiki Smith's "Iceman"--a sculpture influenced by the 1991 discovery of a 3,500-year-old corpse frozen in an alpine glacier--a hellish landscape by Sandro Chia, and a twisted still life by David Salle. Plus works from Northeast Ohio artists, including painter Craig Lucas and mixed-media artist Michael Loderstedt (the guy who built a wooden sailboat for the Museum's Urban Evidence show a couple of years ago). The show runs through January 10. The Museum of Art, 11150 East Blvd., is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Friday. Call 216-421-7340.
Quick, what comes to mind when you hear the Kennedy name? If you answered "monkey-eating eagles" (and not Marilyn Monroe in the Lincoln Bedroom), you must be an ornithologist. Dr. Robert Kennedy of the Cincinnati Museum of Natural Science, an expert on birds of the Philippines, has closely studied the carnivorous eagles of that island country. He and colleague Pedro Gonzalez have also discovered two species of birds (the pandy-striped babble and Lin's sunbird), a rare accomplishment these days. Kennedy gives a free lecture on exotic birds at 8 p.m. at the Audubon Society of Cleveland, 140 Public Square. Call 216-861-5093
Garbage is a lot cleaner than it used to be, since the rock group of that name skimmed the cream off the Seattle sound. Led by Nirvana producer Butch Vig, Garbage has a history dating back more than a decade, to collaborations in bassist Steve Marker's Madison, Wisconsin, basement. But the days of living on cheap beer, potato chips, and peanut butter are long gone. Today the band has two alterna-pop albums to bite into (the first went platinum), plus a 1995 hit custom-made for Cleveland ears, "Happy When It Rains." Opening act Girls Against Boys takes the stage at 8 p.m. at the Agora Theatre, 5000 Euclid Ave. Tickets are $20. Call 216-241-5555.
Civil War doctors didn't have the luxury of anesthesia, but one look at the tools of their trade was probably enough to knock their patients out cold. Surgical instruments with hatchet blades and saw teeth--often beautifully carved and tooled in leather, since aesthetics took precedence over sterilization at that time--are among the artifacts included in the Cures and Curiosities exhibit, on display through January 10 at the Western Reserve Historical Society. The exhibit chronicles the methods of treatment in Cleveland from 1810--when the Western Reserve's first doctor, David Long, arrived on horseback--to 1960, when organ transplants were still several years away. The show is interactive (sorry, no hands-on appendectomies), with ethical and practical questions accompanying each section. The Historical Society, 10825 East Blvd., is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday. Call 216-721-5722.