- Thousands of naked Clevelanders take to the streets, all in the name of art (Wednesday).
Thursday, December 2
In Good Bye, Dragon Inn, a Taiwanese movie theater is showing its final film, a martial-arts pic from the '60s. A small audience has gathered to watch the flick, look for love, and aimlessly wander the cavernous halls. This meditative film is mostly silent (the movie's half over by the time the first line of dialogue appears), but the use of natural sound is striking: The crunching of peanut-eating patrons, the steady rain falling outside the theater, and the shuffling limp of the venue's melancholy owner provide a moody elegance to the long, unblinking scenes. It's a movie clearly in love with movies and the moviegoing experience. Good Bye, Dragon Inn is at the Cinematheque (11141 East Boulevard) at 9 tonight, 7:15 p.m. tomorrow, and 6:15 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $8; call 216-421-7540.
Friday, December 3
Black Nativity, opening tonight, is possibly the most joyous holiday production you'll see this season. Langston Hughes's musical is the story of Jesus's birth, told with gospel music, frenetic dance numbers, Hughes's lyrical narrative, and color-bombed sets and costumes. It's the best birthday party a messiah could ask for. It's at Karamu House's Jelliffe Theatre, 2355 East 89th Street, through December 30. Show times are 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $15 to $25, available by calling 216-795-7070.
Enjoy tonight's Friday Night Live -- Art, Music, and More at Spaces. Because the next few weeks are gonna be filled with brain-numbing office holiday parties, more relatives than you care to see in a two-week period, and long, long waits at the mall just to get one of those damn Robosapiens. You deserve an evening of live music, dance and theater performances, art displays, and most important, alcoholic drinks. Best of all, admission is a mere $5. It happens from 8 to 11 p.m. at Spaces, 2220 Superior Viaduct. Call 216-621-2314 for more information.
Saturday, December 4
In the early '80s, when the Michael Stanley Band still mattered, Breathless rode its association to some regional success. Formed by former MSB member Jonah Koslen, Breathless got quite a bit of local airplay and was a reliable concert draw. The band reunited for a gig late last year. Koslen apparently liked it so much, he's bringing the meat-and-potato rockers (featuring two other original members, plus MSB's Tommy Dobeck on drums) back for another show. Tune up the air guitar for "Takin' It Back" and "Glued to the Radio" at the Odeon (1295 Old River Road) at 9 p.m. Tickets are $20, $18 in advance, available by calling 216-241-5555.
Another band of heartland rockers, Buffalo Nickel, is also performing tonight, albeit with a more twangy and acoustic approach to its musical stew. The quartet combines pieces of old-school honky-tonk, '70s-era country-rock, and soft rock in its rustic set of covers and originals. It's at Wilbert's (812 Huron Road) at 9:30. Admission is $5. Call 216-902-4663 for more info.
Sunday, December 5
Nearly 20 University Circle venues are opening their doors today for the annual Holiday CircleFest, which is packed with free strolls through area museums, gardens, and churches. Live music, hands-on activities, and of course, plenty of stuff to buy will be there. Among the places participating are the Children's Museum, the Botanical Garden, the Museum of Natural History, and the Western Reserve Historical Society. It all culminates in the Museum of Art's Winter Lights Lantern Festival on Wade Oval. CircleFest is from 1 to 5:30 p.m. at University Circle. Call 216-707-5033 for more information.
Monday, December 6
Talk about patience. For five years, David Bergholz snapped Polaroids in his garden every morning before he left for work. The result is In and Around Our House, a photography exhibit consisting of 30 pieces featuring such subjects as flowers, rocking chairs, and "Birdbath and Ferns" (a two-foot collage made up of more than 60 images documenting the way sunlight fell on the items). It's a detailed study in both contrast and obsession. The photos are on view from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at the Botanical Garden (11030 East Boulevard) through January 9. Admission to the Garden is $7, $3 for kids; call 216-721-1600.
Tuesday, December 7
Ordinarily, the super-square Forever Plaid bores us to tears. But since it's the holidays (and we're angling for a place on Santa's Nice List), and they did tweak the production to skew more seasonal, we're gonna give props to Plaid Tidings and its quartet of harmony singers. While dead old guys like Perry Como and Ed Sullivan still abound (in spirit and on video screens), creators have updated the pop-culture jokes to include such current newsmakers as, um, Britney Spears. Plaid Tidings is at the Cleveland Play House's Bolton Theatre (8500 Euclid Avenue) through December 19. Show times are 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $42 to $49.50. They're available by calling 216-795-7000.
Wednesday, December 8
Psst . . . Wanna see a bunch of asses? The Cleveland Museum of Art now owns Spencer Tunick's "Ohio 1 (Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland) 2004," the super-huge color photograph of a couple of thousand nude Clevelanders. Tunick -- who's done this kind of thing before in other cities -- gathered more than 2,700 buck-naked volunteers for the shot, which was done along the East 9th Street Pier on June 26. In addition to a wonderful city skyline in the background, the photo features the greatest number of unattired folks ever corralled for one of Tunick's pics. It's on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Boulevard. It's open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (except Monday, when the museum's closed). Admission is free; call 888-262-0033.