Great Lakes Theater Festival turns to Oscar Wilde for the second production of its 2010-11 season. Though penned more than a century ago, this comedy proves that blackmail, romance and biting wit never go out of style.
DON'T CALL ME FAT
Oct. 7-30, Cleveland Public Theatre, cptonline.org
Turkish playwright Ozen Yula has created a satire for our size-obsessed culture. The Cleveland Public Theatre will host the world premiere of his tale of a morbidly obese man and his unusual rise to fame.
Dec. 18, State Theatre, playhousesquare.org
Get into the holiday spirit and be part of a milestone as Mannheim Steamroller celebrates its 25th anniversary. The band performs classic Christmas carols such as "The First Noel" and "Carol of the Bells" with a modern rock twist. But it goes one step further by bringing a multimedia show complete with lights, video screens and images synced to the group's seasonal songs.
LEO LIONNI'S SWIMMY, FREDERICK & INCH BY INCH
Oct. 23, Ohio Theatre, playhousesquare.org
Lovers of Leo Lionni's colorful life lesson-filled children's books can see his stories come to life courtesy of the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia. Using puppets, the troupe tells the famed stories of the small fish who loses his family but gains confidence in himself, a quiet mouse who saves his family by using his gift of storytelling, and an inchworm who delights in measuring everything.
THE KITE RUNNER
Oct. 15-Nov. 7, Cleveland Play House, clevelandplayhouse.com
It began with Khaled Hosseini's best-selling book that took us into the streets of Afghanistan. From there, the story of two childhood friends facing a country on the verge of war was developed into a major motion picture. Then, the 2009 premiere of Matthew Spangler's stage adaptation added another dimension to the unforgettable tale. Fans of The Kite Runner will be pleased to know Spangler's adaptation closely follows the plot of Hosseini's book.
PAGLIACCI & LA VOIX HUMAINE
Nov. 11-14, State Theatre, operacleveland.com
Opera Cleveland will serve up a double dose of drama this fall when it brings two emotion-packed tales to the State Theatre stage. Pagliacci explores the jealousy of a husband who finds out about his wife's affair, while the one-act La voix humaine delivers the desperation of a jilted lover set over the course of a telephone call.
BILLY ELLIOTT THE MUSICAL
Nov. 19-Dec. 12, State Theatre, playhousesquare.org
With Elton John churning out the tunes for this Tony Award-winning show, it's no surprise Time magazine named it "Best Musical of the Decade." Set against the backdrop of a small town during a coal miner's strike, Billy Elliott tells the inspiring story of a young boy who trades punches for pirouettes and discovers a passion that changes his life.
Enjoy a concert of cosmic proportions as the Cleveland Orchestra presents melodies and harmonies inspired by the galaxy we call home. View images from NASA projected on a giant screen while classical pieces such as Holst's The Planets, Mozart's Symphony No. 41 (Jupiter) and Saariaho's "Asteroid 4179: Toutatis" provide the atmosphere for a journey through outer space.
WALKIN' TO NEW ORLEANS: THE MUSIC OF FATS DOMINO AND DAVE BARTHOLOMEW
Nov. 8-13, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, rockhall.com
By honoring Fats Domino and his songwriting partner Dave Bartholomew in its American Music Masters series, the Rock Hall is paying homage to "the soulful, funky New Orleans beat, the shuffle beat that was a big foundation of the origins of rock 'n' roll," says CEO Terry Stewart. The museum and Case Western Reserve University will host talks and events focused on the duo.
ROGER WATERS: THE WALL LIVE
Sept. 28, Quicken Loans Arena, livenation.com
Prior to this tour, Waters had performed The Wall just 31 times, including Pink Floyd's 1980-81 tour. That number also includes his elaborate solo performance of his band's famous album to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall in July 1990. But The Wall's theme of personal isolation is as current now as it was in November 1979. Maybe that's why Waters has finally decided to step out and bring new life to his famous spectacle.
CHRIS CASTLE & THE WOMACK FAMILY BAND
Sept. 15, The Winchester, thewinchester.net
Chris Castle could've blown in from the Dust Bowl. His songs are packed with the sort of longing that defines American roots music. He'll be joined by the Womack Family Band for this fall's Drenched Earth Tour — a "musical production set in three acts" that features songs from Castle's latest release, Of God and Man (Beneath the Sun), and the Womack Family Band's excellent debut.
BAND OF HORSES
Oct. 4, House of Blues, hob.com/cleveland
Band of Horses' soaring sound often seems too big for the room. Singer Ben Bridwell makes every verse grab hold like a chorus, but his band, which has changed shape three times over the course of three excellent albums, is the secret to the group's huge sound. The group's latest release, Infinite Arms, is big-sky rock inspired by the great and varied land that is North America. Now based in South Carolina, Band of Horses has infused its sound with the ghosts of Southern rock while never abandoning its Pacific Northwest roots. Following a stint opening for Pearl Jam this spring, the group is headlining once again, including a fall stop at Cleveland's House of Blues. Don't miss it. The room won't be this small for very long.
CROSBY, STILLS AND NASH
Sept. 14,Time Warner Cable Amphitheater, livenation.com
This folk rock act has been going strong for more than four decades for a reason. The trio's classic songs and complex harmonies are still as powerful today as they were at Woodstock.
This Philadelphia-based rock group has been making noise on the indie scene since the mid-2000s with its compelling arrangements and retro vibe. The five-piece is on tour in support of its newest release, Shame, Shame, and the best way to hear these guys is live.
A GRAND NIGHT: THE MUSIC OF RICHARD RODGERS
Nov. 13, Akron Civic Center, akronsymphony.org
With a career stretching from Broadway to Hollywood, composer Richard Rodgers' contribution to American popular song is unrivaled. The Akron Symphony joins forces with vocalists to perform selections from The King and I, The Sound of Music and more.
You've never seen a city skyline like this before. These oil paintings and replica prints of thoughtful Cleveland vantage points from area artist Phyllis Seltzer flaunt colors that send tie-dye to the cleaners.
Like artists spray painting under bridges, Mark T. Smith's graffiti-esque, street-culture-inspired drawings and paintings reveal his perception of current events and city life through layers of intricate colors and shapes.
HEATHER MCGILL: THE LAST TIME I SAW RICHARD
Sept. 24-Dec. 18, Sculpture Center, sculpturecenter.org
California artist Heather McGill uses laser-cut paper and lacquer-based automotive paint known as candies in this complex installation meant to engage the mind as much as the eye. From intricately shaped aluminum painted in pink and purple plaid to elaborate paper patterns that swirl around images of vultures and snake charmers, McGill's work presents layers of illusion and interest.
Oct. 23-Jan. 23, Akron Art Museum, akronartmuseum.org
Annie Leibovitz, Richard Avendon, Anton Corbijn and other iconic rock 'n' roll photographers lend 175 vivid images to this exhibit that captures the genre's larger-than-life personalities in a variety of ways. Divided into six sections, the collection includes behind-the-scene images, photos of musicians at the beginning of their careers, and powerful portraits of artists such as Tina Turner, Madonna, one-hit-wonder Bow Wow Wow (above) and many more. For passionate rock 'n' roll fans, these photographs are music for the soul.
KATHARINE HEPBURN: DRESSED FOR STAGE AND SCREEN
Oct. 2-Sept. 4, 2011, Kent State University Museum, kent.edu/museum
Katharine Hepburn's classy demeanor and acting skills made her a legend on screen and off. Her keen sense of fashion made her an icon. Check out costumes from her movies, such as the 1962 film Long Day's Journey Into Night.
EXTREME MAMMALS: THE BIGGEST, SMALLEST AND MOST AMAZING MAMMALS OF ALL TIME
Nov. 6-April 17, 2011, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, cmnh.org
From pencil eraser-sized mammals to legged sea monsters, this exhibit flaunts history's greatest extinct warm-blooded creatures, including Indricotherium, an ancient rhinoceros relative that was the largest mammal to walk the earth.
New York City-based Keigwin + Company returns to Northeast Ohio for its third year of collaboration with DANCECleveland, E.J. Thomas Hall and the University of Akron. A highlight of the partnership here will be Bolero: Akron, which will feature anywhere from 50 to 100 volunteer performers from the community.
CLEVELAND FLATS SYMPHONY & THE MYTH AND THE MADNESS OF EDGAR ALLEN POE
Oct. 1 & 2, Breen Center for the Performing Arts, verbballets.org
Choreographer Diane Gray's 16-minute journey up the Cuyahoga River finds Verb Ballets dancers doing the breast stroke against a projection of the river's mouth. As the action moves upstream in the world premiere of Cleveland Flats Symphony, they climb atop one another's shoulders to form buildings. The evening concludes with choreographer Christopher Fleming's abstract story of Edgar Allen Poe's spiral into insanity.
Metropolis, Fritz Lang's silent sci-fi epic about workers enslaved in a towering, futuristic city, has fascinated and haunted viewers since its 1927 debut. But the film was like an unfinished puzzle, a quarter of it ruthlessly cut out and lost soon after its premiere. No more. On Sept. 23 at the Capitol Theatre, the Cleveland Cinemathèque presents a new restoration of Metropolis featuring 25 minutes of recently unearthed footage. The Alloy Orchestra, a three-man experimental ensemble described by Roger Ebert as the world's best silent-film accompanists, will perform their original score for Metropolis, updated to fit the restored length.
Jeannette Walls' parents had big dreams, but they also had big problems such as alcoholism and depression. The author told the tale of her dysfunctional family and harsh childhood in her 2005 book, The Glass Castle, which went on to become a New York Times best-seller for more than three years. Walls will discuss her famous memoir as well as her newest book, Broke Horses: A True Life Novel.