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Hot Picks

Northeast Ohio produces more events each week than it would be possible to attend, even if you had a full-time maid, chef, and/or babysitter. Hot Picks: This Week’s Smart Stuff sorts through the lists of concerts, festivals, exhibits, plays, readings and all sorts of other events and pulls out a few that seem out-of-the-ordinary. There will be new things each week, with the list updating each Monday.

Even though we like to think of ourselves as “in the know,” there will always be things that escape our notice. Please feel free to make suggestions to (be aware, we make no promises and the final decision rests with us). Enjoy!

Dr. Mary Russell to Speak About Historical Fiction Novel Doc Chautauqua-in-Chagrin
July 22 at 6:30 p.m.
United Methodist Church 20 S. Franklin St., Chagrin Falls

Travel back in time to the Wild West with internationally acclaimed American novelist and author of Doc (2011), Mary Doria Russell. She will be speaking about her novel and how a seemingly ordinary shootout became romanticized, ultimately going down in American legend as one of the most famous gunfights in the history of the Old West.

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Huron Playhouse Presents Camelot
July 22 through July 26 at 8 p.m.
Huron Playhouse, McCormick School, 325 Ohio St., Huron

Step into the magical and medieval realm of King Arthur’s Camelot! Seated among the finest knights in the world at the Round Table, King Arthur establishes a perfect kingdom and seeks the hand of kind Queen Guinevere. Soon the notorious French knight, Sir Lancelot, comes to Camelot and proves himself by becoming the King’s best friend and a leading knight of the Round Table. All is well in Arthur’s kingdom until Lancelot falls into an affair with the Queen. Tensions rise when the King’s illegitimate son threatens to unravel all the work Arthur has achieved for Camelot! With timeless music and an outstanding performance, Camelot wraps up the 66th season of the Huron Playhouse.

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Jah Messengers Reggae Band Wade Oval
July 23 at 6 p.m.
Wade Oval 10820 East Blvd., Cleveland

Cleveland’s signature summer concert series is back with performances every Wednesday. On July 23, reggae band Jah Messengers brings its musical talents to Wade Oval. The band began its journey in the late ’70s when six Jamaican brothers came together as a unit to represent the voices of the oppressed themselves by expressing their reggae roots.

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Horns and Things Downtown@Dusk
July 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
The Akron Art Museum One South High St., Akron

Downtown@Dusk presents the powerhouse contemporary jazz ensemble, Horns and Things, on Thursday, July 24. With more than 20 years of performances, the band has shared the spotlight with a who's who list of legendary performers, from Dexter Gordon and Freddie Hubbard to Joe Sample.

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Akron Arts Expo at Hardesty Park
July 24 through July 27
Hardesty Park 1615 W. Market St., Akron

The Akron Arts Expo fine arts and craft show will feature more than 160 artists, delicious food, an interactive children’s area and fun the entire family can enjoy! From the Children's Tent to the Silent Auction, the Akron Art Expo is jam packed with activities from July 24 through July 27. Admission is free.

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Porthouse Theatre Presents Oliver!
July 24 through Aug. 10
Center for the Performing Arts 1325 Theatre Dr., Kent State

Starring Brian Johnson as Bill Sykes and Eric van Baars as Fagin, Charles Dickens' novel comes to life in the musical production of Oliver! Featuring outstanding musical numbers, Oliver! will leave the audience wanting more. The show begins on Thursday, July 24 at Porthouse Theatre.

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Neos Dance Theatre Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival
July 25 through July 26
Hardesty Park 1615 W. Market St., Akron

Neos Dance Theatre Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival will perform at the Akron Arts Expo fine arts and craft show on Friday, July 25 and Saturday, July 26 at Hardesty Park. Continuing Akron’s unique 41 year tradition of presenting free dance performances in the parks during the summer, The Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival has been established to honor the legacy of the legendary founding Artistic Director of Ohio Ballet, presenting unique dance experience and reflecting the common thread of Poll's commitment to the highest artistic standards.

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Cleveland Orchestra Presents 'Beethoven and Liszt' at Blossom
July 26 at 7 p.m.
Blossom Music Center 1145 W Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls

The Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by John Storgårds, with pianist Stephen Hough performs Beethoven's Overture to Fidelio, Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1 and Sileblius's Symphony No. 2. The Kent/Blossom Chamber Orchestra performs selections by Ravel and Wagner at 7 p.m. The Cleveland Orchestra concert begins at 8 p.m.

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Cain Park Presents Verb Ballet
July 26 at 8 p.m.
Evans Amphitheater 14591 Superior Rd., Cleveland Heights

Verb Ballets will dazzle the audiences with a spectacular performance in Evans Amphitheater on Saturday, July 26 at 8 p.m. Under the direction of Dr. Margaret Carlson, Verb Ballet dedicates itself to performing works by contemporary choreographers from across the nation. The program will feature the premier of 'Similar' by Cincinnati Ballet principal and co-artistic director for Kansas City Dance Festival, Anthony Krutzkamp.

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UA’s Tuba Summer Concert Marks 15th Year
July 27 at 7 p.m.
Guzzetta Hall 157 University Ave., Akron

Returning to the University of Akron for its 15th year, TubaSummer, a free concert, features tuba, baritone and euphonium performances at Buchtel Common on July 27. The concert will be on the grass amphitheater adjacent to Guzzetta Hall and near the renowned artist Dale Chihuly’s towering blue polymer sculpture. Pack a tasty picnic and feast while spread along blankets to enjoy summer favorites.

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