- Dipping into nostalgia with Smokey Joes Cafe.
Jerry Leiber once said (about himself and songwriting companion Mike Stoller), "We didn't write songs. We wrote records." That they did. And plenty of hit ones. Their rock-and-roll catalog is the centerpiece of Smokey Joe's Café, a 40-song revue of the pair's classic R&B and rock hits from the '50s and '60s, including "Hound Dog," "Yakety Yak," "Stand by Me," and "Love Potion #9." By the early '60s, not only did Leiber and Stoller have the clout to write whatever they wanted; they also arranged their tunes and hand-picked their favorite artists (like Elvis Presley and the Coasters) to record them. Smokey Joe's Café opens Wednesday and runs through February 29 at the Carousel Dinner Theatre, 1275 East Waterloo Road in Akron. Shows are at noon and 6 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday; 6 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $25.50 to $46, available by calling 330-724-9855. -- Cris Glaser
Bette Midler's Kiss My Brass Tour is the road version of the Divine Miss M's latest CD, Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook. She swings into Gund Arena (1 Gateway Plaza) at 8 p.m. Monday. Tickets range from $42.50 to $153, available by calling 216-241-5555. -- Cris Glaser
Singer-songwriter Steve Poltz is best known as the guy who co-wrote "You Were Meant for Me" with Jewel. On his own, he's released two fine solo albums, including the new Chinese Vacation. He plays the Beachland (15711 Waterloo Road) at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are $14; call 216-383-1124. -- Michael Gallucci