01.30-02.07.2018 On The Ground

01.31-02.07.18
On The Ground

Why is it that Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, is still suffering months after Maria’s damage? Clevelander Scott Armour has been on the ground doing mold remediation and he offers a first-hand view of the devastation, contrasted with Elizabeth Warren’s recent visit.

People are upset about the sudden closing, after 27 years, of area mainstay Big Fun. But apparently not enough for them to support Steve Presser’s unique retail shop. And the area dance world is making moves: Dancing Wheels rolls into a new location, while local dancers Antonio Brown and Tommie-Waheed Evans are featured at the Breen Center.

Right under our feet, Medina’s Kitten Crazy rescue will benefit when you buy an adorable photo of Cleveland’s top music photog Joe Kleon. Denis DeVito leaves his Cats on Holiday behind for a night to focus on his songwriting. The DayGloSho lights up Waterloo Arts, the Family Reading Festival cracks open in Akron, Orchid Mania is back at CBG, Pinch & Squeal encore at CPT, and Mansfield comments on LeBron, Oprah and juveline justice. You want a better world? Put your feet on the ground and start walking. –Thomas Mulready

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An outdoor festival in February? That didn’t stop a handful of intrepid organizers from launching Kurentovanje in 2013, based on a popular Slovenian festival in which furry-costumed kurents ring bells to chase away the winter.

The family-friendly festival, with an outdoor parade and an afternoon of indoor fun at the Slovenian National Home on St. Clair, takes place on Sat 2/10. But the growing event also includes a dinner on Mon 2/5, an exhibition on Slovenian women opening Wed 2/7 and the Kurent Jump party Fri 2/9.

Maybe Cleveland doesn’t have all the corporate headquarters it did in its heyday, but it’s still got DayGlo Color Corp, maker of DayGlo paint, located on the edge of AsiaTown. Five years ago, local artist John Saile approached them about donating some of their distinctive fluorescent paint for artists to create an exhibition with.

That exhibition, the DayGloSho, now taking place at Waterloo Arts, is in its 6th year, with DayGlo still contributing paint and prizes. It kicks off with a Mardi Gras-themed party with black lights, glowing cocktails, live music and the chance to play around with some of the paint yourself. Kids are welcome! Fri 2/2.

Terri Pontremoli has the best job in jazz. She is the director of the Tri-C JazzFest, and CoolCleveland correspondent Stephan Haluska caught up with her at Nighttown to hear the details of their 2018 lineup.

The 39th annual Tri-C JazzFest, presented by KeyBank will take place Thu 6/28-Sat 6/30 at Playhouse Square and features the gamut from well-known headliners such as Terence Blanchard and Brian Simpson’s Smooth Jazz All Stars to up-and-comers like 24-year old phenom Grace Kelly.

Surprises include jazz and funk collective Snarky Puppy and Academy Award-, Golden Globe-, Emmy- and Grammy-winning actor and musician Common, plus Jose James, presenting his new project celebrating Bill Withers. Plus the outdoor stage is free all weekend long with regional music, dancing and fun. Single tickets go on sale Mon 4/2, but you can purchase a festival pass (and save $150+) or become a member now.

Clevelander Scott Armour is an environmental health consultant who deals in issues such as mold and bacteria contamination, and remediation of storm, sewage and water damage hazards. So it’s no surprise that since this past October, he’s travelled to Puerto Rico three times to help deal with cleanup and construction there.

Scott paints for CoolCleveland readers a vivid picture of what Puerto Ricans are dealing with in terms we can understand. He likens it to “an area that stretches from downtown Cleveland to Erie, Pennsylvania, and down to Youngstown and over to Canton and on to Westfield and back up to Hopkins Airport, and around every corner there is damage.”

Black History Month isn’t the only time that Cleveland-based Verb Ballets showcases the work of black choreographers. In fact, the four pieces by two choreographers that comprise its program at the Breen Center this week are pieces it’s commissioned and performed previously.

But given that both Antonio Brown (pictured), a graduate of the Cleveland School of the Arts, and Tommie-Waheed Evans, are exciting young artists doing fresh and groundbreaking work, Clevelanders are lucky to have a chance to see them again. Sat 2/3.

Cleveland’s top music photographer Joe Kleon loves cats even more than he loves his favorite band, Rush. In fact his two cats are named Geddy and Alex.

Joe volunteers at Medina’s Kitten Crazy rescue, photographing the residents to share their adorable adoptable faces. And for the 3rd year, he’s offering some of his prime concert shots – 50 of them – for an annual auction to benefit the rescue. You can also purchase a limited edition T-shirt with Geddy’s mug on it – Geddy the cat, that is. Through Tue 2/6.

Big Fun patrons received the shocking news this week that the popular Coventry Village vintage toy and novelty store with be closing when its lease expires in June. At least owner Steve Presser is dropping intriguing hints about future projects he’ll take on.

* The Dancing Wheels ensemble learned last summer that it was being evicted from its 20-year home in the Masonic Performing Arts Center. It’s just announced its location- and it’s very nearby. The company will move in May.

The Akron Public Library brings back its Family Reading Festival for the 11th year with a free fun day that features music by local singer/songwriter Jim Gill, Outback Ray’s animal show, the Bubble Lady and a visit from Curious George. Sat 2/3.

Click here for more CoolCleveland Kids events

Growing season will be here before you know it. So a coalition of Summit County organizations is holding a Let’s Get Growing Community Garden Workshop and Expo in downtown Akron to get things started. Sat 2/3.

* Gail Bellamy, author of Cleveland Food Memories, will reminisce about the tastes of Cleveland past as part of the Cleveland Stories series at the Music Box Supper Club. Wed 2/7.

Read more of CoolCleveland’s picks for Eats and Drinks.

Singer/songwriter Alexis Antes returns to the Music Box with ex-members of her ’90s folk rock group Odd Girl Out and an evening of songs old and new. Thu 2/1

* The BlueWater Orchestra strings play compositions inspired by the night at Plymouth Church UCC. Sat 2/3.
* Denis DeVito and Conor Standish step out of their bands to focus on their songs at the Music Box. Fri 2/2.
* Jason Vieaux, head of the classical guitar program at CIM, performs a recital at John Knox Church in North Olmsted. Fri 2/2.

Read more picks by Anastasia Pantsios here

Read more of CoolCleveland’s picks for Cool Events.

WED 1/31
If you’ve got a film project in the works or you’re interested in seeing what other people in the media re working on, you’ll want to be at the Greater Cleveland Film Commission’s monthly mixer and networking event at Ohio City’s Bier Markt.

* Maltz Museum presents program on the history of Cleveland’s Mt. Sinai Hospital.
* Orchid Mania is back at the Cleveland Botanical Garden with 1,000 varieties of plants and flowers, through Sun 3/11.

Click here for more events on Wed 1/31

THU 2/1
Eileen Burns is is best known for rocking dance floors with her swing band Red Light Roxy. She and some of her band members are doing a special program at Nighttown, paying tribute to classic movie music from films such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Swingtime and Casablanca.

* Artist Emily Sullivan Smith talks at the Akron Art Museum about her contribution to its Heavy Metal exhibit.

Click here for more events on Thu 2/1

FRI /2/2
Pinch & Squeal brought their freewheeling vaudeville Wizbang! Circus to Cleveland Public Theatre in December for two shows and both sold out. So they’re doing two more nights – tonight and tomorrow.

* A tea reception opens the Katharine Hepburn exhibit at the Kent State Museum which returns after seven years on the road.
* Meet an African-American woman commercial pilot at the Women’s Air & Space Museum Slice of History dinner.
* Acres and acres of vendors, exhibits and demos fill the IX Center or the Great Big Home & Garden Show through Sun 2/11.
* Art on Madison offers video game-inspired art by painter Timothy Gaewsky. Through Fri 3/2.
* The Cleveland Museum of Art’s monthly Mix party takes on a soulful look for February.
* Work by ceramicist Sharon Grossman goes on view at Heights Arts. Through Sun 3/18.
* Sondheim “flop” Merrily We Roll Along opens at Lakeland College. Through Sun 2/18.

Click here for more events on Fri 2/2

SAT 2/3
For the 15th year, Kent’s Standing Rock Cultural Arts hosts the International Shorts Festival, with short films, all under 12 minutes, from Japan, Italy, Germany, France, the UK – and northeast Ohio.

* Drag artist Lady J Martinez hosts a “Heavy Metal” birthday party for herself at Cocktails Cleveland.
* Wild & Scenic Film Festival touches down at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
* Faculty recital at Baldwin Wallace reflects on life in musical theatre.
* L.A. thriller novelist Gregg Hurwitz visits the South Euclid library.
* Soup’s on at BAYarts’ SOUPerbowl fundraiser. Also great bread!
* For Black History Month, the Baseball Heritage museum looks at Negro Leagues player Ted Toles Jr.
* Vocal quartet Under the Streetlamp joins the Cleveland Pops Orchestra for an evening of nostalgia.
* All are welcome to join the Super Bowl of Darts in Garfield Heights.

Click here for more events on Sat 2/3

SUN 2/4
Fiddler Bruce Molsky has been making music for four decades. Now, with his trio Molsky’s Mountain Drifters, he’s joined with two younger players to bring a new twist to bluegrass/Appalachian folk. They’re performing at CVNP’s Happy Days Lodge.

* Apollo’s Fire offers sneak peak at its upcoming Bach program at Nighttown.

Click here for more events on Sun 2/4

MON 2/5
Join the musicians from the Musical Theater Project as they perform an intimate “Cocktail Cabaret” show at PlayhouseSqaure’s Cibreo with a theme of yearning and desire.

* Check out one of Cleveland’s best bands, Seafair, at a Cleveland Sessions taping at the Music Box.

Click here for more events on Mon 2/5

TUE 2/6
Mappy Hour, a social event for outdoors-minded urbanites, comes to Cleveland. Its launch event at Terrestrial Brewing Company, features Dan Sahli of the Cleveland Metroparks talking about cross country skiing.

* Foreign affairs series Happy Dog Takes on the World looks at the troubled history of Venezuela.
* Two Oberlin-based poets read at this month’s Brews + Prose at Market Garden Brewery.

Click here for more events on Tue 2/6

WED 2/7
Is the 1988 cartoon The Land Before Time about baby dinosaurs scientifically accurate – or is it just cute? Find out at a screening at the Capitol Theatre, followed by a conversation with a paleontologist.

* Playwright and mixed-media artist talk about their drone-themed projects at SPACES.
* Celebrate Bob Marley’s birthday with an evening of reggae at the BOP STOP.

Click here for more events on Wed 2/7

Send your cool events to: Events@CoolCleveland.com

We have to face the fact that these are ill-raised young criminals, and for all of the bleeding hearts that posit that these are merely misguided youth, I say to them…

* Is It Tme for LeBron to Pack it In? Now, before folks start heating up the tar, breaking out the feathers and finding a sturdy rail on which to run my ample ass out of town…

* Oprah, Quit Being So Selfish If Oprah were to run for president, she probably would lose. We’re still one of the more misogynistic nations on the face of the earth…

Read other stories from Mansfield Frazier here

A look back at the last week
Submit your own review or commentary to Events@CoolCleveland.com

THEATER REVIEW: Marie and Rosetta @ Cleveland Play House by Roy Berko

THEATER REVIEW: Marie and Rosetta @ Cleveland Play House by Laura Kennelly

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