Fall Arts Preview 2005

DANCECleveland Silver Anniversary ...

Strap on your party hat, break out a bag of confetti: There’s a lot to be celebrated this fall at DANCECleveland. It’s the modern dance organization’s 50th-anniversary season, which will be commemorated (in partnership with Cuyahoga Community College) with visits from the José Limón Dance Company (on its 60th anniversary) and Bebe Miller Dance Company (on its 20th anniversary).

“The José Limón Company is the first company we presented in 1956,” explains Sally Michael Keyes, DANCECleveland’s director of marketing and outreach. The Limón company, known for its balance of classic works and contemporary choreographers, comes Sept. 24 to the State Theatre and features a sneak preview of choreographer Lar Lubovitch’s “Chiaroscuro Project,” influenced by the Mexican visual arts of the early 1950s.

Bebe Miller Company, whose dance blends constant motion with raw human emotion, comes to the Ohio Theatre Nov. 5, bringing its new work “Landing/Place,” which delves into cultural, spatial and sensory separation through dance, digital technology and video projection. (440) 914-0744 — Lindsey Lelak


Only in Dreams

“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” So wrote Edgar Allan Poe, whose dreams, as we all know, hardly made for a good night’s sleep.

Beginning Sept. 18, the Cleveland Institute of Art’s Cinematheque will indulge the idea of Poe’s poem with a monthlong lineup of dream-sequence films. Highlights include Dr. Seuss’s story “The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T,” Akira Kurosawa’s “Dreams,” Federico Fellini’s “8½” and Alfred Hitchcock’s “Spellbound.” The sequence will conclude Oct. 30 with a Halloween chiller: an outdoor airing of the 1922 German silent film “Warning Shadows.”

Cinematheque Director John Ewing promises his audience the entire range of dream themes: “In these films, sometimes dreams are used to exorcise demons. Sometimes they’re just escape or fantasy. Sometimes it’s your worst fears being materialized.”

Warning: Viewer response may range from floating on clouds to waking up in a cold sweat. (216) 421-7450— Lydia Navatsyk

Sparx are Flying

Cleveland-area artists are painting the town red — and turquoise and magenta and just about every other color on their palette. From Sept. 16 through 18, see what’s been happening on their canvases during Sparx in the City’s third-annual Gallery Hop. It’ll feature 100 galleries, studios and festivals in eight neighborhoods and include works from masters whose names echo in museum halls to the local starving artist living off pizza crusts.

And the best thing is, you don’t have to walk to the dance parties and performances, live music, cocktails, sidewalk chalk art and food fests. Trolleys will connect visitors to all the weekend’s destinations — from Little Italy to Ohio City and downtown. (216) 426-7335

— LN

If You See White Light

On Sept. 14, the stage at the State Theatre will go minimalist. Think White Stripes.

The indie rock duo from Detroit is touring to promote its fifth album, “Get Behind Me Satan.” The title may be a lofty command, but Meg and Jack White are powerful enough to back it up, with the hit single “Blue Orchid” and an album that opened at No. 3 on Billboard’s pop chart.

One of modern rock’s most successful names, the White Stripes has added more experience and experimentation since their last visit to town, moving beyond the comfort of drums and electric guitar. The new album features marimba, piano, tympani, xylophone and maracas, with Jack White’s voice whispering and howling over the whole mélange.

With a heavy dose of rock and blues, a little acoustic balladry and a lot of energy, an evening with this black-haired pair won’t disappoint. (216) 771-4444 — LN

A Googlewhackin' Good Time

What do you get when you type “baffle crow” into Google? A Googlewhack! Basically, a Googlewhack is what happens when two unrelated words are entered into the Google Internet search engine and it returns only one hit. This strange pastime also has brought British comedian Dave Gorman to the Hanna Theatre Sept. 13 through 25 for his one-man show, “Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack! Adventure.”

After a stranger told Gorman that his Web site was a Googlewhack, Gorman became obsessed with the Internet word game, circling the globe three times in search of other Googlewhack-site owners, meeting several hysterical people. “Googlewhack! Adventure,” winner of the 2004 HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival Jury Award for best one-person show, recounts every comical detail. (216) 348-5272 — LL

Blind Boys Bring Faith and Gospel

Imagine an Alabama winter 60 years ago. The cadence of a gospel boys choir singing “Go Tell It On The Mountain” lulls its way over the hills.

Fast-forward to Cleveland in 2005, as the Grammy Award-winning Blind Boys of Alabama bring their Christmas celebration to the Palace Theatre Dec. 4. Joined by Grammy Award winner Mavis Staples, the group will perform holiday classics in gospel style.

Of the original Blind Boys, formed at the Talladega Institute for the Deaf and Blind in 1937, three remain: George Scott, Clarence Fountain and Jimmy Carter. Today, with members Joey Williams, Eric McKinnie, Caleb Butler and Tracy Pierce, the group’s traditional gospel sound has breathed new life into even contemporary classics. Staples’ legendary status and 40-plus years in the business make this recipe as good as Southern cooking. (216) 771-4444 — LN

A Home for Jewish History

The man who built WMMS, helped establish the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and created Washington, D.C.’s International Spy Museum, Milton Maltz, is opening a museum on Richmond Road in Beachwood to celebrate Jewish history. The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage debuts Oct. 11. Six years in the making, it will celebrate Jewish culture, personal stories, achievements and history from the time the first Jewish immigrants arrived in the Cleveland area in 1839 to today.

Part of the museum’s interior is designed to look like a turn-of-the-century Cleveland city street. The permanent exhibit at the museum, “An American Story,” includes interactive stations dealing with Jewish entertainers, the Holocaust, Jewish soldiers and ties between Israel and Cleveland. “We wanted to tell a story about the Jewish contributions to Cleveland,” Maltz says. “So, let’s tell it all — good, bad and indifferent. Let’s make it an American story.”

Programs include “Even Jews Get the Blues,” a concert featuring a group of local Jewish blues musicians who will highlight styles and influences of legendary Jewish performers, and “Kid’s Comic Club,” a four-session program that introduces young people to Cleveland’s comic-book greats. (216) 593-0575

— Rebecca Turman

Don’t Shoot Your Eye Out

Take the edge off your holiday shopping headache with a night at the Cleveland Play House.

Share the joys and woes of 9-year-old Ralphie Parker during his all-American Christmas in Cleveland. The Play House’s premiere of “A Christmas Story” runs Nov. 25 through Dec. 18. A neighborhood bully, an evil Santa and a heartless school teacher — the forces that threaten to crush youthful optimism — stand no chance against Ralphie’s enduring hope for a Red Ryder BB gun in shiny paper under the tree.

If you’re looking for even more irreverent laughs, catch “Santaland Diaries,” showing Dec. 2 through 17 as part of the Play House’s Club Cabaret Series. “Diaries” chronicles best-selling author David Sedaris’ struggle to earn rent money as a green-tights-wearing Macy’s Santland elf. Discover what one man learned about the true meaning of Christmas as he confronted undignified Santas, obnoxious customers and commerce at its best. (216) 795-7000 — LN

Real Dali

Sixteen years after his death, Salvador Dali’s artwork is more popular than ever, debuting at eight museums in the past year. His pieces from the Argillet Collection will be on display at Salvador Dali: The Argillet Collection at The Contessa Gallery in Legacy Village, Nov. 11 through Dec. 11.

Dali worked on 202 etchings between 1960 and 1972 for Pierre Argillet, a famous art collector and book publisher in France. Some of the etchings were used to illustrate poetry and other literary works, says Steve Hartman, Contessa’s owner. Even though Dali is one of the world’s most imitated and counterfeited artists, the authenticity of his work in the Argillet Collection is unquestioned, says Hartman. In fact, 45 years after being printed, the works in the show are still in impeccable shape, Hartman says.

The collection consists of more than 60 works, including originals, Aubusson tapestries and limited-edition prints by the Spanish curly-mustached surrealist. Pierre Argillet’s daughter, Christine, will speak at the opening of the collection Nov. 11 and 12. (216) 831-7800 — RT


Dig up some fun — and a few bones — at The Children’s Museum of Cleveland’s SANDasaurus exhibit, opening Nov. 18. Children 8 and under attend a base camp where they’ll learn what it takes to be a paleontologist and pick up tools they’ll use to dig for cast replicas of fossils in more than 70 tons of sand. “We hope that the combination of sand and dinosaurs will be a can’t-miss combination,” says Leland Merk, director of museum operations and marketing. (216) 791-KIDS

Step from prehistory into the future with the Great Lakes Science Center’s LEGO Mindstorms, coming Oct. 15. With the help of an education specialist, children 8 and older can drop into a workshop to design, engineer, program and test a robot using high-tech Legos. These robots, such as a Mars rover and a robo-sports model, are programmed to sense their environment and navigate through it. (216) 694-2000 — LL

Moments Captured

Cleveland’s contemporary dance troupe SAFMOD bulldozes the boundaries of dance, music and visual arts this fall as it performs at Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Cleveland on Sept. 29 and Cleveland Public Theatre on Oct. 13 through 16. For the past 12 years, the group has incorporated musical, visual and performance art from many cultures into its performances, including stilt dancing, Afro-Brazilian martial arts, fire dancing, trapeze performance, sculpture and original music.

This fall, as part of MOCA Cleveland’s MOCA Mix program, SAFMOD will present “Spectrum,” performances from CPT’s DanceWorks ’05, along with older acts. Cleveland Public Theatre will see the brand-new performance “Moment Captured,” in which the dancers are accompanied by live video and live digital music manipulation. (216) 631-2727; (216) 421-8671— LL

CIM Lets Loose

Imagine a Cleveland Institute of Music student shaking nervously before a show. Dressed in his finest attire, he smiles at the audience, takes a deep breath and blows on the blade of grass he has come to master. The crisp, musical sound of the freshly picked grass fills the room as the audience stares in amazement. Doesn’t sound like your typical CIM performance? That’s because it’s not!

On Sept. 24, CIM students will showcase their quirky hidden talents and their known skills at the CIM benefit “A Night In New Orleans.” It’s hosted by The Hermit Club, housed in an eerie-looking building behind Playhouse Square Center that’s normally a secretive private club dedicated to the performing arts.

The performances may get a little crazy, ranging from country fiddling to break dancing, but don’t expect to see any Mardi Gras beads fly. To get the N’awlins masquerade feel, the guests will don masks and Cats on Holiday will deliver a Cajun-inspired performance later in the evening. The money from this let-loose benefit will go toward the Young Artist Program at CIM. (216) 791-5000— RT

Wade Oval Lights Up

If you’re looking for a new holiday tradition, and you’ve already spent enough money spreading holiday cheer, consider University Circle’s Holi-day CircleFest. This annual free open house, including access to 20 of the area’s museums and other attractions, takes place from 1 to 6 p.m. on Dec. 4. The music, special exhibits, treats and decorations will put you in the mood for the holiday season.

Later in the evening, take in the magic of the lights at The Cleveland Museum of Art’s Winter Lights Lantern Festival on Wade Oval. No need to be a Grinch about the cold weather, since the Holiday CircleFest shuttle will take you from place to place for free. (216) 791-3900 — RT

Share this story: