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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!

Brentano String Quartet
Sunday, April 26, 2015 at 3:00 p.m.
Gault Recital Hall, Wooster

The Brentano String Quartet, founded in 1992, has performed all over the U.S. and Europe. Earning exceptional reviews from all quarters, the Quartet has been praised for its remarkable command both of the great classics and of contemporary music.

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Fire in The Heartland Film & Half Cleveland
Friday, May 1, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.
The Kent Stage, Kent

This is a unique double event featuring a documentary film and a live musical performance commemorating the 45th anniversary of the shootings at Kent State University. Half Cleveland will be performing from Chris Butler’s stirring “Easy Life” CD. The live music will be in conjunction with the debut of the final cut of the documentary film, “Fire in the Heartland." which is all about the days and events leading up to, and following the death of four students on the Kent State campus, May 4th, 1970.

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Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type
Friday, May 1, 2015 - Sunday, May 9, 2015
Barberton High School Theatre

Magical Theatre Company presents Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type. The cows on Farmer Brown’s farm have had enough! Underappreciated, they request electric blankets for the drafty barn, and so begins this delightful and hilarious musical about cows, hens and ducks going on strike. A modern classic of children’s literature and also a Caldecott Honor winner!

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Front Country
Friday, May 1, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.
Happy Days Lodge, Peninsula

As part of the Heritage series concerts, Front Country comes to Happy Days Lodge. Since forming in 2011, Front Country has worked to expand their repertoire and push the boundaries of bluegrass. They have won the Rockygrass band competition in Colorado and followed up with a win at Telluride, becoming just the third band in history to win both contests.

(more )
Friday, May 1, 2015 - Sunday, May 31, 2015
Cleveland Playhouse theatre, Cleveland

“Peace. Love. Respect for all.” So goes the motto of Fairfield Elementary, a public school located in a diverse, liberal district. But when a young teacher’s misguided attempts at celebrating Black History Month take a hilariously dark turn, chaos erupts and it seems it may be impossible to safely reach the ‘CelebrEthnic Potluck.’ Fairfield is a razor-sharp, insightful comedy from Cleveland playwright Eric Coble.

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Ballet Theatre of Ohio presents Sleeping Beauty
Saturday, May 2, 2015 and Sunday, May 3, 2015
Akron Civic Theatre, Akron

The majestic theatre, “The Jewel on Main Street” is the perfect fairy-tale castle setting for such a ballet. Children are welcome to come dressed up as their favorite princess or prince or their finest dress-up clothes. Attendees will feel like royalty as they enter the theatre designed to resemble the lavish gardens of a Moorish castle complete with twinkling stars and drifting clouds traveling across the domed ceiling.

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Dar WIlliams
Saturday, May 2, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.
Music Box Supper Club, Cleveland

Every new album from Dar Williams represents her thoughts and feelings about both her own life and larger forces in the world. But her ninth studio record, “Emerald,” marks a particularly dramatic confluence between her experiences and broader contemporary culture,and what it means to be a songwriter at this moment in history—which will be exemplified in her live performance.

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Arlo Guthrie
Saturday, May 2, 2015 - Sunday, May 3, 2015, at 7:00 p.m.
E.J. Thomas Hall, University of Akron

Best known to generations as a prolific songwriter, social commentator, master storyteller, actor and activist, Arlo Guthrie brings his "Alice's Restaurant 50th Anniversary Tour" to Thomas Hall for two shows. The tour will feature the full Alice's Restaurant Massacree along with many favorites from Arlo's catalog.

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Ira Glass Appearance
Saturday, May 2, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
PlayhouseSquare, Cleveland

A funny, lively “talky” evening of stories and dance. “3 Acts, 2 Dancers, 1 Radio Host” is the brainchild show of Public Radio’s This American Life host Ira Glass and Monica Bill Barnes & Company dance group. It combines two art forms that—as Glass puts it—“have no business being together…dance and radio!” What makes it a hit is the shared sensibility of the Glass signature wit and the dancers as relatable and funny storytellers without words.

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Rachmaniinoff's Vespers
Sunday, 3 May, 2015 at 3:30 p.m.
St. Sebastian Church, Akron

Blending the pure beauty of ancient Russian Orthodox chant with the late Romantic language that was Rachmaninoff’s natural voice, the All-Night Vigil is unsurpassed in all the choral literature. Its inspired tone is at once majestic and ecstatic.

(more )


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