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This Week's Day-By-Day Picks

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Elvis has left the building, but his theme music - remains at Thursday's Cleveland Orchestra - performance.
  • Elvis has left the building, but his theme music remains at Thursday's Cleveland Orchestra performance.

Thursday, March 17

After spending the day partying like your name was Fergus O'Feennaghty, why not spend the night taking in a Cleveland Orchestra concert? David Robertson (who joins the St. Louis Symphony as music director soon) conducts Richard Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra -- which you may recognize from the bone-throwing-apes scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey or as the entrance music that ushered Fat Elvis onto the stage. It's also an incredibly vibrant piece to hear live. Some complementary work -- including pieces by Haydn and Vivier -- will also be performed. We're sure Elvis and those 2001 monkeys would approve. Show time is at 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at Severance Hall, 11001 Euclid Avenue. Tickets are $27 to $75; call 216-231-1111.

Friday, March 18

People just can't get enough of Ray Charles. First they lined up to see Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx play the blind soul singer in a movie. Then they bought the Grammy-winning duets CD the real Ray recorded before his death last year. Tonight, Ron Shy performs a Tribute to Ray Charles, in which the native Clevelander (who spent 40 years in L.A. and knew Charles) leads his three-piece band through a repertoire of Brother Ray's greatest hits. Expect to hear rousing versions of "I Got a Woman," "Hit the Road Jack," and "What'd I Say?" It starts at 8:30 p.m. at the Winchester, 12112 Madison Avenue in Lakewood. Tickets are $8, available by calling 216-226-5681.

It Came From Outer Space is not a great movie. Hell, it's not even a good movie. But the 1953 flick was one of the first to give space aliens the super-cool ability to transform themselves into humans. And while the narrative doesn't really touch on the commies-are-everywhere subtext of other sci-fi films from the era, the mood is still kind of creepy. The Cleveland Cinematheque is screening a new print this weekend. Best of all, it's showing the original 3-D version. And you know what that means: goofy glasses for everyone! It shows at 9:30 tonight and 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Cinematheque, 11141 East Boulevard. Admission is $8, $5 for kids and members. Call 216-421-7450 for more information.

Saturday, March 19

Sure, the 100 exhibits (featuring the latest products to keep little ones both safe and happy) at the American Baby Faire are pretty cool. The live entertainment -- musical productions of Pinocchio, Aladdin, and others -- is pretty boss too. And don't forget the tons of free samples and coupons! But it's the hourly Baby Derby Races that get us every time. "It's incredibly competitive," Baby Faire director Aija Erglis says of the races that pit tot against tot for Babies "R" Us gift cards. "[Adults] know what to do when they hear that race whistle. Unfortunately, babies haven't been conditioned yet." It happens at the I-X Center (6200 Riverside Drive) 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow. Admission is $8, kids and grandparents get in free; call 877-959-2229.

Sunday, March 20

There's no better way to celebrate the first day of spring than with an Italian ice. Actually, a free Italian ice would be even better. So props to Rita's Ices, Cones, Shakes, and Other Cool Stuff and its First Day of Spring Italian Ice Giveaway. Everyone who walks into the store today gets a free 10-ounce Italian ice. And there are plenty of flavors to choose from -- 33, to be exact -- including lemon, cherry, bubblegum, passion fruit, and the newly concocted fudge brownie. Yummy! Get on over to Rita's (8587 Mentor Avenue in Mentor) from noon to 9 p.m. Visit www.ritasice.com for more info.

Monday, March 21

Chicago sculptor Richard Hunt recently chose 33 Ohio artists (from a field of more than 100) for On a Pedestal, a Sculpture Center exhibition. The pedestal-sized sculptures feature pieces made of wood, glass, ceramic, stone, and metal. Best of all, many of them are for sale, ranging from $250 to a bank-account-busting $30,000. On a Pedestal is at the Sculpture Center (1834 East 123rd Street) through April 15. It's open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free; call 216-229-6527.

Tuesday, March 22

There was a time not too long ago that Beauty and the Beast was heralded as the future of animation. It was the first cartoon flick to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Then Toy Story came along. Then Shrek. Then Finding Nemo. And then The Incredibles. These days, Beauty looks like a quaint reminder of what hand-drawn animated films used to look like . . . in 1991. However, the stage show, Disney's Beauty and the Beast, is still a pretty impressive spectacle -- maybe not as grand as the company's Lion King, but pretty close. It opens at the Carousel tonight, complete with award-winning songs, dancing candlesticks, and a ballroom set that never fails to wow. It runs through May 14 at Carousel Dinner Theatre, 1275 Waterloo Road in Akron. Show times are 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 8:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday, and 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $27 to $47.50, available by calling 330-724-9855.

Wednesday, March 23

Michael Burks has been around the blues most of his life. His dad owned a music club in Arkansas and played bass regularly with Sonny Boy Williamson II as well as many other seminal blues musicians. The young Burks, who picked up his first guitar when he was five years old, saw and heard many of the greats when they came through town in the '50s. He brings all those experiences together on his latest album, I Smell Smoke, a mix of slick urban blues and the more gritty, rural version. He's at Wilbert's (812 Huron Road) at 9 tonight. Tickets are $12, available by calling 216-902-4663.

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