- Ladyfriend and Free Advice creator Christa Donner brings her Interactive Zine Tour to town Friday.
Ever notice how Irish festivals always emphasize the music? We suspect it's because either folks aren't too crazy about boxty or Irish music is just so damn good. Looking over the lineup for Irish Summerfest of Euclid -- the Saw Doctors, Blackthorn, and the Fenians top the list -- we think it's probably the latter. Still, the Irish Mall and Irish Kitchen (which includes pints of Guinness, cups of Irish coffee, and, yes, heaping portions of potato-based boxty) add that touch of green. The fest runs from 6 to 10:30 tonight, 5 to 11:30 p.m. tomorrow, noon to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Sunday at Euclid Memorial Park, 585 East 222nd Street in Euclid. Admission is $8 (except Friday, when it's $12); kids 12 and under get in free. Call 440-942-0938 for more info.
Friday, August 13
"I like using the zine format, as opposed to, say, radio or the internet, [because] there's the potential for people to come across it in unexpected places," says Christa Donner, who's bringing the Ladyfriend/Free Advice Interactive Zine Tour to town tonight. "You can leave copies on a park bench, or you might come across them on a friend's coffee table or even in their bathroom reading stash." In addition to Donner discussing her pair of zines -- Ladyfriend is a gal-friendly mix of comics and essays; Free Advice dispenses guidance culled from people on the street -- performance artist Miss Melvis and writer Leslie Nichols will be there, adding to the DIY fun. Zines "reach outside an audience that's actively looking for [them]," Donner says. "And from that you can make connections with a lot of interesting new people." The show starts at 7 at Mac's Backs Paperbacks, 1820 Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights. Admission is free; call 216-321-2665.
Saturday, August 14
Ever since Hartville's flea market renamed itself the Hartville MarketPlace, our Saturdays have become even more consumed by looking through aisles and aisles of other people's unwanted stuff. Comic books, Star Wars memorabilia, baseball cards, somebody's old spoon collection -- all these treasures are up for grabs at one of the area's biggest and best swap meets. The draw is the 800-plus outdoor vendors unloading the contents of their garages and attics, but the 175 indoor shops offer everything from fresh produce and jewelry to furniture and medieval armor. Today's bonus is a cruise-in, featuring plenty of classic cars on display from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hartville MarketPlace, 1289 Edison Street in Hartville. Admission is free; call 330-877-9860.
Don't head to tonight's Super Star Party hoping to see Halle Berry, Lindsay Lohan, and Will Smith. They won't be there. The Perseid meteor show will be, however. As will NASA speakers, wildlife programs, kids' games and crafts, an inflatable planetarium, and a bunch of astronomers armed with telescopes. It happens from 8 p.m. to midnight at Penitentiary Glen Reservation, 8668 Kirtland-Chardon Road in Kirtland. Admission is $4, $3 for kids (registration is required); call 440-358-7275.
Sunday, August 15
Today's Dog Days celebration at the history museum gives props to guide dogs, search dogs, rescue dogs, and police dogs -- pooches that punch the clock. Plenty of canines will show off their skills at demonstration centers, and their owners will tell you all about the great things their pets can do (no doubt making your own dog's talent in licking himself seem quite pedestrian). There'll be crafts and other hands-on activities there, and it all culminates in a doggy parade. Curiously, your pet isn't invited, so leave Sparky at home. Dog Days is at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History (1 Wade Oval Drive) from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $7, $4 for kids; call 216-231-4600.
Monday, August 16
Chefs from some of the area's top restaurants -- including Parker's New American Bistro, Flying Fig, and Luchita's -- will be serving up the eats at tonight's Farm to Table Benefit, where they must prepare seasonal dishes using fresh and organic local produce. Dinner is served at 6:30 at the Cleveland Botanical Garden, 11030 East Boulevard. Tickets range from $42 to $67, available by calling 216-707-2847.
Tuesday, August 17
The 125 paintings that make up the art museum's Nature Sublime: Landscapes From the Nineteenth Century cover a lot of ground: Romanticism, realism, impressionism, post-impressionism, and symbolism. The goal was to "express the different character that each school associated with the landscape," explains curator Heather Lemonedes, "be it sublime vistas or an intimate personal connection with nature." Works by William Blake, John Ruskin, Edgar Degas, and other 19th-century masters are on display, but don't expect to see the usual canvas creations. "I looked for beautiful examples that visitors wouldn't be familiar with," Lemonedes says. "I wanted to show as broad a range as possible, to bring out how varied the notion of landscape can be." Nature Sublime is on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art (11150 East Boulevard) through November 14. It's open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (except Monday, when it's closed). Admission is free. Call 216-421-7340 for more information.
Wednesday, August 18
Bluesman Jimmy Thackery swings hard on his new album, Whiskey Store Live, a collaboration with fellow guitar-slinger Tab Benoit. He plays vintage rock, soul, and blues tunes with an effortless ease, gracing each note with a slight twist and twinkle. He also manages to find a workingman's ethos in such songs as Bob Dylan's "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat" and his own "Freddy's Combo." The former Nighthawk has slid into Chicago-style grandstanding in recent years, which makes his live shows all the more exciting. Thackery plays Wilbert's Food & Music (812 Huron Road) at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and $12, available by calling 216-902-4663.