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FEBRUARY 7-13, 2018 • VOLUME 48 NO 32 Dedicated to Free Times founder Richard H. Siegel (1935-1993) and Scene founder Richard Kabat Group Publisher Chris Keating

CONTENTS

Publisher Andrew Zelman

Upfront

Associate Publisher Angela Nagal

7

Editor Vince Grzegorek

Kucinich portrait might ďŹ nally be hung at City Hall, plus an Ohio bill that could target pipeline protests

Editorial Music Editor Jeff Niesel Senior Writer Sam Allard Staff Writer Brett Zelman Web Editor Laura Morrison Dining Editor Douglas Trattner Stage Editor Christine Howey Visual Arts Writers Dott von Schneider Copy Editor Elaine Cicora

Feature

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Advertising Senior Multimedia Account Executive John Crobar, Shayne Rose Multimedia Account Executive Kiara Davis Events and Marketing Coordinator Maggie Lilac

After 18 years covering executions in Ohio, a reporter on what it’s like watching 21 men die

Creative Services Production Manager Steve Miluch Staff Photographer Emanuel Wallace

Get Out!

Business Sales Assistant/Receptionist Megan Stimac Controller Kristy Dotson

All the best things to do in Cleveland this week

23

Circulation Circulation Director Don Kriss Euclid Media Group Chief Executive OfďŹ cer Andrew Zelman Chief Operating OfďŹ cers Chris Keating, Michael Wagner VP Digital Services Stacy Volhein Digital Operations Coordinator Jaime Monzon www.euclidmediagroup.com National Advertising Voice Media Group 1-800-278-9866, voicemediagroup.com

Stage

31

Knife Skills documents the run-up to the opening of Edwins on Shaker Square

28

A Sondheim gem glitters in Lakeland’s Merrily We Roll Along

Film

31

Oscar-nominated shorts arrive at Cleveland Cinemas

Cleveland Scene 737 Bolivar Rd, #4100 Cleveland, OH 44115 www.clevescene.com Phone 216-241-7550 Retail & ClassiďŹ ed Fax 216-241-6275 Editoral Fax 216-802-7212 E-mail scene@clevescene.com

Eat

33

David Hridel puts the ďŹ nishing touches on Judd’s City Tavern, plus Bookhouse Brewing’s summertime arrival in Ohio City

Cleveland Scene Magazine is published every week by Euclid Media Group. VeriďŹ ed Audit Member Cleveland Distribution Scene is available free of charge, limited to one copy per reader Copyright The entire contents of Cleveland Scene Magazine are copyright 2018 by Euclid Media Group. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Publisher does not assume any liability for unsolicited manuscripts, materials, or other content. Any submission must include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. All editorial, advertising, and business correspondence should be mailed to the address listed above. Subscriptions $150 (1 yr); $80 (6 mos.) Send name, address and zip code with check or money order to the address listed above with the title ‘Attn: Subscription Department’

Music

39

Anti-Flag’s anti-Trump tour, Rachael Yamagata’s solo tour stops by the Music Box, plus all the other shows to see this week

Savage Love

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UPFRONT CLEVELAND POLICE OFFICERS CLEARED IN 2014 DEATH OF TANISHA ANDERSON

THIS WEEK

A GRAND JURY LAST WEEK declined to bring charges against Cleveland police officers in the death of Tanisha Anderson. The grand jury had begun hearing testimony in the final week of September 2017. The case itself dates back to Anderson’s death in police custody more than three years ago, on Nov. 13, 2014, nine days before the shooting death of Tamir Rice. Anderson, 37, was involved in a family dispute on Ansel Road on Cleveland’seast side.Police were called and, after discussion with the family, officers handcuffed the woman, who was suffering a mental health episode. They escorted her to a cruiser to be taken to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. After she resisted, officers used a take-down move. Anderson then went limp, according to police officers on the scene. Internal use-of-force investigators handled the case at first, passing it to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. Tim McGinty, then prosecutor, handed it to the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department for an investigation. That wrapped up in 2016, and it was then handed back to the prosecutor’s office, which then handed it to the Ohio Attorney General, who assigned a special prosecutor in the case. An initial autopsy by the Cuyahoga County medical examiner ruled Anderson’s death a homicide. But a Cuyahoga County judge ordered the first page of that autopsy stricken from the record — it contained “Garrity” material drawn from an internal affairs interview. The first page is where the cause and manner of death was listed, which is why the

Photo courtesy Matthew Hunt

“It’s an emotional time for her,” they said. New police policies relating to the handling of mental health cases are now on the books as well. Virtually all officers underwent training in 2017, and the city is forming a specialized team responsible for crisis intervention calls. — Vince Grzegorek

At Last, Dennis Kucinich Mayoral Portrait Will Be Installed at City Hall

Ohio Attorney General’s Office had to get another one. The second autopsy found Anderson died of heart disease and other health reasons. Internal affairs has already determined the officers — Scott Aldridge and Bryan Myers — failed to provide medical assistance. Now that they’ve been cleared of any criminal charges by the grand jury, the department will evaluate what, if any,

LET ME OFF OF THIS RIDE Plans continue apace for a Cleveland or Cuyahoga County “Beer Trail” connecting breweries and offering incentives. Organizers say that, with current expansions and openings, a single tour might well continue uninterrupted forever.

punishments will be doled out. The City of Cleveland, for its part, agreed to a $2.25 million settlement with her family, who had filed a wrongful death lawsuit, almost exactly one year ago. “Money is one issue,” Cassandra Johnson, Tanisha Anderson’s mother, said at the time. “Justice is another.” A call last week to Johnson was answered by another family member.

EXTRA LARGE, DOUBLE PEP Ohio awards $1 million to company that will run a medical marijuana help line for patients, doctors and growers. Opponents argue it’s a helluva lot of money for simply redirecting calls to the nearest Dominos.

PARALYSIS YOU CAN BANK ON Frank Jackson tells Cleveland. com that hundreds of city jobs went unfilled in 2017 because employees “were just stuck in the old way of doing things.” Asked if that’s “action you can trust,” Jackson said it is what it is.

After years of uncertainty, Akron artist Matthew Hunt has been fully paid for his Dennis Kucinich mayoral portrait, funds for which were raised in 2002 and which Hunt completed in 2014. The painting will at last grace the Mayor’s Red Room at city hall, where Kucinich is the only modern mayor in Cleveland’s history not to have his portrait on display. Hunt delivered the painting to Cleveland’s M Gentile Studios in early January. Together with the AFL-CIO’s Harriet Applegate, he selected a frame for the portrait. A city hall unveiling date has yet to be coordinated with mayor Frank Jackson, but Applegate said she is shooting for May or June. Kucinich is currently running for governor of Ohio. He’ll be on a crowded Democratic primary ticket on May 8, along with his running mate, Akron city councilwoman Tara Samples. He served as Cleveland’s mayor from 1977 to 1979, a tumultuous term in which he was

QUALITY OF LIFE Your office may be dysfunctional, but just remember it could be worse: At least Isaiah Thomas isn’t your coworker and Dan Gilbert isn’t your boss.

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constantly at odds with the region’s business community. To punish Kucinich, business leaders refused to pay for his portrait, as they’d done with mayors past. Former councilman Joe Cimperman and others organized a kielbasa-andpierogi fundraiser to generate roughly $12,000 to pay an artist. Hunt had been paid for half of his work, but was still owed more than $7,000 as of this fall, when he contacted Scene desperate for closure (and his paycheck). Applegate managed to track down the remaining funds which had been languishing in a dormant fund. — Sam Allard

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5.1% Chance of a Clevelander in bottom ďŹ fth of income reaching the top ďŹ fth, according to a new study on poverty and upward mobility. The city ranks almost dead last in the Midwest.

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Blocks a stray bullet ďŹ red by a Heartless Felon gang member traveled in March 2017, before killing David Wilder, a 61-yearold CSU professor, in his car. A 15-year-old teen also died in the drive-by. The man who purchased the guns for the gang was sentenced last week to life in prison.

$600,000 Stipe Miocic’s payday from his title-defending victory in UFC 220. That number will surely go up for his next bout on July 7 against Daniel Cormier in UFC 226.

Ohio Senate Bill Would Target Pipeline Protesters A proposed Ohio bill, introduced by Ohio senator Frank Hoagland, mirrors attempts in seven other states to target pipeline protesters. Ohio is home to both the Nexus and Rover pipelines, which have faced stiff opposition from residents and which have already produced damaging environmental effects, including multiple spills. Hoagland, a Republican representing District 30 (much of the state’s southeastern border), is on the Ohio Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. In announcing the bill during the last week of January, a release from his ofďŹ ce claimed there had been “a number of reports of tampering with valves and controls at pipeline facilities that can create extremely dangerous situations.â€? Senate Bill 250 — short title: “Protect critical infrastructure facilities from mischiefâ€? — would amend several sections of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) to “prohibit criminal mischief, criminal trespass, and aggravated trespass on a critical infrastructure facility,â€? and “impose ďŹ nes for organizations that are complicit in those offenses, and impose civil liability for damage caused by trespass on a critical infrastructure facility.â€? If you think that sounds like an attempt to deter protesters, and possibly unduly punish those who protest anyway, you’re not alone. Following Trump’s election and expansive protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, lawmakers are keen to tamp down the opposition. Ohio’s proposed bill, like those in several other states, is a virtual replica of model legislation written by the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which has close ties to the fossil fuel industry. Their model policy, titled the “Critical Infrastructure Protection Act,â€? calls for more severe punishment for those who trespass on facilities like oil pipelines, petroleum reďŹ neries, liquid natural gas terminals, and railroads used to transport oil and gas. (It’s worth noting that suspects who’ve attempted to turn off pipelines are already facing felony charges in various states.) At an Ohio Democratic gubernatorial debate in December, both Dayton mayor Nan Whaley and former State Rep. Connie Pillich identiďŹ ed ALEC as the most dangerous special interest group working in Columbus, for whatever that’s worth.


Energy Transfer Partners, the company that owns the Rover pipeline, was part of the group that crafted a similar bill in Iowa. Here are some of the bill’s nuts and bolts: Maximum days in jail for trespassing on critical infrastructure property would increase from 30 to 180. Fines would be raised to $1,000. From coverage of the bill in The Intercept : “While Ohio’s aggravated trespassing law currently only applies to individuals trespassing with plans to harm or threaten another person, the bill would make a new crime out of trespassing with intent to impede a critical infrastructure facility’s operation. Violators would face sentences of nine months to three years and up to $10,000 in fines, even if they ultimately did no damage.” The laws would also apply to drone pilots. Tampering with or damaging critical infrastructure would carry a first-degree felony charge with between three and 11 years in prison and an additional $20,000 fine. As for the vague “those found guilty of complicity,” penalties would be even harsher than for offenders when it comes to fines, to the tune of 10 times more. “Critical infrastructure facility” includes, by way of definition, pretty much any energy-related physical facility enclosed by a fence. It specifically encompasses the following: petroleum refineries, electricgeneratingfacilities,chemical manufacturing facilities, water or sewage facilities, telecom facilities, ports, dams, railroads and more. As for natural gas and oil, the bases are broadly covered. All of the following is considered a critical infrastructure facility: “A natural gas company facility or interstate natural gas pipeline, including a pipeline interconnection, gas compressor station, city gate or town border station, metering station, aboveground piping, regulator station, well, valve site, delivery station, fabricated assembly, or any other part of a natural gas storage facility involved in the gathering, storage, transmission, or distribution of gas.” — GRZEGOREK

Jackson. Almost all of the funds were used on political advertising and consulting. Dubbed “Cleveland Forward,” the PAC received contributions from 11 individual donors. They are as follows: Jason Lucarelli, of Minute Men Staffing, who contributed $100,000, the largest individual contribution. Al Ratner, co-chairman emeritus of Forest City, who contributed $65,000, and then loaned the PAC an additional $40,000. Dan Gilbert’s Jack Ohio LLC, which gave $50,000. Morton Mandel, the industrial magnate and Cleveland philanthropist whose name graces many a Cleveland institution. He gave $25,000. Jimmy Haslam and Dee Haslam, who each contributed $10,000. The Samuel H. Miller Rev. Trust: $10,000. Wesley Finch (real estate developer): $5,000. First Interstate Properties Ltd. (real-estate developer): $5,000. Keycorp Advocates Fund: $5,000. Chris Ronayne (president, University Circle Inc.): $500. Wesley Finch (The Finch Group) and Mitchell Schneider (First Interstate) are developers. The Finch Group is developing the Innova Project near the Cleveland Clinic. First Interstate is behind such projects as Steelyard Commons and One University Circle. Both are regular contributors to the Council Leadership Fund as well. Cleveland Forward was the brainchild of Al Ratner himself, bond attorney Fred Nance (of recent Q Deal negotiating fame), construction czar Dominic Ozanne, and former mayor Mike White. Thanks to an increase in contribution limits, Frank Jackson’s fundraising advantage was already insurmountable when the PAC was formed. But Jackson’s lackluster performance in the September primary convinced Cleveland’s elites, who control the direction of city policy via their elected stooges at city hall, that a cash infusion was necessary. They flooded the airwaves with Zack Reed attack ads in the weeks preceding the November general.

Dark Money: Frank’s “Cleveland Forward” Donors Revealed

Ohio Joins Group in Support of Federally Funded Project to Block Carp from Great Lakes

A political action committee formed in October of 2017, between Cleveland’s primary and general elections, raised nearly $300,000 to support the campaign of Frank

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Lakes Basin Partnership to Block Asian Carp, a group backing a plan by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to construct a $275 million project to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. It would include electrical barriers, locks to ush out ďŹ sh and larvae, and sound technologies. Yet to join the partnership are Quebec, New York, Minnesota, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Indiana. The federally funded invasive carp barrier could be completed by 2025, the Corps says. The sooner the better, after all: Invasive species, and Asian carp speciďŹ cally, present a unique and potentially catastrophic threat to the Great Lakes, environmentally and ďŹ nancially speaking. Some $7 billion of economic activity is directly tied to the largest body of freshwater in the world, including recreational sports, shipping and commercial ďŹ shing. One might brush off the threat, but it’d be foolish to do so. Carp don’t dilly dally: They mature quickly and can eat up to 20 percent of their body weight daily, and their exploding populations along the Mississippi basin have already wreaked havoc on that ecosystem. That they haven’t already entered the Great Lakes en masse is a minor miracle, as various agencies and groups have battled over the degree to which the threat exists. Once they do, it’ll be too late. Just last year a silver carp was found in Chicago only nine miles from Lake Michigan. It’d somehow evaded electrical barriers installed to prevent the ďŹ sh from making its way upriver. Money from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is being earmarked in Ohio to prevent carp,

which have already reached the state’s river system, from entering the Lake Erie basin. “No single state, province or government jurisdiction should have to bear the sole responsibility of keeping invasive carp out of the Great Lakes,� Michigan governor Rick Snyder said last week. — GRZEGOREK

Amazon Wasn’t First Tech Firm to Get Ohio “Code Nameâ€? Treatment On July 31, 2017, state ofďŹ cials approved $37.1 million in tax incentives for a Facebook project that would bring a data center and 50 to 100 permanent jobs to New Albany, a Columbus suburb that Cleveland.com once called “tony.â€? The deal was hashed out in secret over four months by the state’s privatized economic development agency JobsOhio. And in public communications about the deal, including press releases up until the day of the groundbreaking, Facebook was referred to by a silly code name: “Sidecat.â€? Governor John Kasich was shoveling ceremonial dirt for a photo op with other development executives before the public had any clue what was going on. What was going on: Facebook landed subsidies to the tune of $742,000 per guaranteed job in one of the state’s most afuent communities. Parts of this arrangement should strike a familiar chord with Cleveland residents. We learned, last month, that the region’s bid for Amazon’s second headquarters also had a silly code


name: “Conway.” The use of code names is, in large part, a measure to shield companies’ identities and obscure public disclosures on their business dealings when they seek tax breaks and other incentives that the public might reasonably question. It’s also in keeping with a disturbing regional preference for secrecy and a larger trend in which big companies — specifically tech giants — control and restrict the dissemination of public information. A report last week in the Columbia Journalism Review about the New Albany Facebook deal showed how big tech companies skirted public records laws to avoid scrutiny. The use of code names and subsidiaries was just one obvious example. “When Amazon negotiates to open a data center, it is rarely, if ever, identified directly as Amazon,” wrote reporter Mya Frazier, a native Ohioan. “Instead, the tech giant negotiates with local officials through its wholly owned subsidiary Vadata, Inc. This makes it difficult for local citizens to immediately know that Amazon, a company worth $656 billion, is the real beneficiary of such generous tax breaks.”

In the Ohio Facebook deal, Frazier was particularly concerned with public records policies. Facebook’s contracts included provisions requiring that the public entity (the state of Ohio) make Facebook aware of all records requests when they were filed. The public entity was also required to give Facebook three days before it filled the request. Amazon has made similar “heads up” demands in its contracts. Records experts and policy analysts described these provisions as “hostile” and “fundamentally wrong.” But in Cleveland, eyelashes remain unbatted at provisions like these. Elected officials have been far too willing to submit to private demands in the interest of so-called economic development. Whether at Amazon’s behest or on their own, leaders intentionally gave control of the HQ2 bid to private agencies — Team NEO and the Greater Cleveland Partnership, the region’s chamber of commerce — in order to circumvent public records requests. Though Cleveland was not named as one of the 20 finalists for HQ2, the public and private agencies still have refused to release the bid, claiming its contents are protected trade secrets.

Meanwhile, Amazon has clamped down on its finalist cities, requiring that they be even more secretive about ongoing negotiations. In Pittsburgh, one of the 20 finalist cities, members of the team working to attract HQ2 were required to sign new non-disclosure agreements. Further, Amazon requested to only speak with one person moving forward, limiting information flow further still. — Allard

Students Refurbish Police Cruiser Totaled During 2016 Cavs Championship Revelry During the joyous, raucous celebration of the 2016 Cavaliers championship on the streets of downtown Cleveland, fans destroyed a police cruiser. This was small potatoes compared to the revelry and mayhem in Philadelphia Sunday night, but the Cleveland cruiser damage was nevertheless considered extensive and beyond repair. Two people were arrested. But the story has a happy ending. As originally reported by Fox 8, Max Hayes High School teacher Greg Boykin saw the busted cruiser on the news and saw a potential

project for his students. Max Hayes, formerly a vocational high school, now gives students opportunities to learn high-tech skills in the fields of construction, engineering, manufacturing and mechanics. Boykin approached the city about letting his auto body students try their hand at repairing the damaged vehicle. For the past one-and-a-half years, students have worked on a complete refurbishing: sanding, painting and buffing the exterior; replacing its roof, hood and side panels. Materials were donated by Sherwin Williams, Safelite Auto Glass, Meguiar’s, Dollar Bank and United Sales. And last week, the students completed the repair and returned it to the Cleveland police. It’ll reportedly be put back into service as a zone car. The city’s Division of Motor Vehicle Maintenance commissioner Jeff Brown was ecstatic. He’d pegged the vehicle as totaled and said the city had planned to scrap it for parts, and that the Max Hayes students’ work saved the city about $10,000. “It’s absolutely fantastic,” he said. — Allard

scene@clevescene.com t@clevelandscene

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FEATURE THESE EYES HAVE WATCHED 21 MEN DIE A former journalist on 18 years of reporting on Ohio’s executions, a role he had to fight for, and one he’s relieved to be done with By Alan Johnson THE MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA are the first witnesses to arrive in the Death House, a small, squat, nondescript brick building in a courtyard of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility near Lucasville. It is shortly before 10 a.m., the time the state of Ohio conducts executions. No one speaks as we enter. When we are ushered in, the condemned man, execution team, prison warden, medical technicians and the director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction are already there, behind the scenes in the Death House. The media representatives, usually three to four of us from newspapers, television and radio, are instructed to take places standing at the back of two witness rooms, each about 8 feet by 9 feet, divided by a wall with a doorway to move between them. There are three chairs in each room, and they are reserved: on the right side for witnesses for the victim’s family, and on the left for the inmate’s witnesses, including the condemned man’s family. The witness rooms are cramped, crowded with family members and prison staff. A prison staffer identifies the witnesses for the media, one of the few whispered conversations in the room. We are gathered to watch someone die. It’s an old ritual dating back to the days of public beheadings and hangings. This is the final step of society’s ultimate punishment. While it’s called an execution in state law, the certificate signed by the coroner in Ohio lists the cause of death as homicide. Legal homicide. Of the 55 men who have been put to death by the state by lethal injection over the past 18 years, I have personally witnessed 21 of those as a reporter for the Columbus Dispatch, and reported from Lucasville, hearing from the witnesses, for most of the others. Wilford Berry, known as “The Volunteer” because he waived years of legal appeals to hasten his execution, was the first. He was executed on Feb. 19, 1999, almost 10 years after he murdered his boss,

Photos courtesy Ohio Department of Corrections.

Clockwise from top left: Raymond Tibbetts, Ronald Phillips, Alva Campbell and Dennis McGuire.

Cleveland baker Charles Mitroff. I was not a witness, but I was there. Ohio’s first execution in 36 years was big news locally and nationally. A reporter who did witness Berry’s death said he died with his eyes open. That was how I started my story, which dominated the Dispatch’s front page the next day. No execution since then has been accorded such extensive coverage. My responsibility in covering them, however, didn’t lessen. Sometimes it hits me hard that I have watched so many people die. I have heard their last words, seen them take their final breath, watched their lips turn purple, and in one case, give the world the finger (with both hands). I have seen tears from condemned men and their children who watched, and heard curses from the victim’s loved ones. People are fascinated when I tell them I witnessed executions. A few are repulsed. A common reaction is, “I don’t know how you do it.” More often, however, people want to hear details, stories and anecdotes about executions. When I do public speaking, especially to students, most don’t care about my 30 years of political coverage experience, but they are quick to ask questions about executions.

I rationalize that what I did was part of my job as journalist, because it was. At one time, the Columbus Dispatch was written into state code as a required witness when executions were carried out via the electric chair at the old Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus. When executions shifted to Lucasville, a new policy required witnesses to be selected from media in the county where the murder took place. The Associated Press is invited to cover all executions and a final witness is selected by the Ohio Legislative Correspondents Association, the organization representing media covering state government. Over the years, as executions continued and became regular events in Ohio, my editors at the Dispatch and their counterparts at other news organizations began to see less news value in execution stories, especially if they were not local cases. Stories that had been on the front page began a slow, steady move to the Metro section and then inside the newspaper. Where I had once covered clemency hearings, in which convicted killers get a final chance to make a plea for life to the Ohio Parole Board and ultimately the governor, I was told it was no longer worth the time from a news point of

view. I stopped going. I argued then, as I do now, that media coverage of executions is more than just a job duty. I consider it a critical societal responsibility to have an independent observer watch, from beginning to end, what goes on when the state puts someone to death. My experience has shown time and time again why news media must continue upholding this paramount responsibility. Sometimes things go wrong, as in the executions of Rommel Broom, Joseph Clark and Dennis McGuire. Other times, things are said or done in the execution chamber that are newsworthy, as when Michael Beuke spent 17 minutes reciting the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostle’s Creed and the Catholic Rosary. Even when everything goes as planned, it is vital that there is an independent record of executions. There is always news at Lucasville, always a story to tell.

Death Up Close The Death House is 42 feet by 26 feet, but the Death Chamber within it takes up just 17 feet by 9 feet, about the size of an average bedroom. The chamber once contained both the electric chair and the lethal injection bed, but the chair was removed a decade ago when the General Assembly took away electrocution as an option. Were it not for the large plates of glass between the Death Chamber and the witness rooms, witnesses could almost reach out and touch the condemned man. It is that close. The lighting in the chamber is dim, giving the scene a surreal purplish glow. It is a very Spartan room. There is a clock on the wall at the back of the chamber. A microphone hangs on the wall, poised to capture last words. Clear tubes snake out of the wall of the adjoining room where the machinery of death, the syringes of heart-stopping chemicals, are located. There is a one-way glass between the chamber and the equipment room. | clevescene.com | February 7 - 13, 2018

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FEATURE It is a somber task to watch a man be put to death. It tests the limits of my professionalism, stamina and religious faith. One way I dealt with it was by writing down everything I saw and heard, from the moment I entered the Death House until the warden announced the time of death. No cameras, cellphones or recording devices are allowed, so reporters must rely on note-taking skills, using a stenographer’s notebook, pen and pencil supplied to us by the state while witnessing an execution. The state is thrifty; we are expected to return the writing utensils and the unused portion of the notebook. These are my notes from the execution of Marvellous Keene on July 21, 2009, as he was put to death for a murderous rampage in Dayton in 1992.

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House. The hearse is already stationed outside. • 9:59 – Witnesses for the victim and inmate enter. • 10:05 – Defense attorneys are in place. • 10:06 – Monitor comes on, showing view from ceiling camera of inmate on execution table. • 10:08 – Technicians working (to insert IV line) on left arm. • 10:10 – Working on both arms; inmate motionless. • 10:13 – 12 people in the victim witness rooms. • 10:15 – Blood drips from IV on right arm. • 10:16 – Blood on left arm too. • 10:19 – IV procedure done. • 10:21 – Inmate moves to chamber; monitor off. • 10:22 – Inmate strapped down to execution table. • 10:25 – Inmate is asked for a final statement. “No, I have no words.” • 10:26 – Chemicals begin flowing. • 10:27 – Lifted his head, turned left, closed his eyes. • 10:28 – No motion; technician checks IVs. • 10:30 – No motion. Total silence. • 10:32 – No motion. • 10:35 – No motion; warden looks toward equipment room. Curtain is closed (shielding witnesses from Death Chamber). • 10:36 – Curtain is reopened. Warden announces time of death: 10:36 a.m. Some inmates, like Keene, fade away without a word. Others make statements. Before his execution on July 12, 2006, Rocky Barton apologized to his stepchildren for

murdering their mother. “I’m sorry for killing your mama. I’m not asking you to forgive me. Not a day goes by that I’m not trying to forgive myself.” “Don’t let your anger and hate for me destroy your lives. I’m sorry.” “Mom, Dad, Larry. I’m sorry for the embarrassment and shame I brought on the family. I love you all.” “As Gary Gilmore said, ‘Let’s do it.’” Lawrence Reynolds could have expressed remorse for killing an elderly widow when he was executed on March 16, 2010. He did not. Instead, Reynolds used his final statement to blast “the flagrantly flawed system we have today. Stop the madness!” “Yeah, yeah. It’s gonna stop now, right now,” said Denise Turchiano, murder victim Loretta Foster’s niece, who watched Reynolds’ execution.

With the Family I wasn’t in the Death Chamber for every execution. I spent one morning waiting in a small, smoke-filled prison conference room with the family of John W. Byrd Jr. during his execution. For an agonizing 90 minutes, Byrd’s relatives cried, cursed, prayed, smoked cigarettes and drank coffee as they huddled in a cramped, stuffy room in the prison’s business office. A tray of pastries in front was untouched. Elsewhere in the prison, the family of Monte B. Tewksbury, who was murdered 18 years earlier in Cincinnati, waited out Byrd’s final moments. A prison employee came into the room where the Byrd family waited. “It’s done.” Mary Ray, Byrd’s mother, wailed, an otherworldly cry of pain and sorrow the likes of which I had never heard before or since. “They just did it. Oh, baby. My baby’s at peace,” Mary Ray screamed in a raspy voice. “God, no!” Outside the room, some people labeled Byrd unrepentant, a coldblooded killer who deserved to die. Inside, he was declared innocent, a brother, nephew and son whose “laughter just makes me smile,” his mother said. I have thought many times since then that Byrd’s mother had committed no crime, had done no wrong to the Tewksbury family. The only thing she had done was bring a son into the world who would later be convicted for murder. That is the way it goes when the law harkens back to an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. As former Ohio Attorney General


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17


FEATURE Betty Montgomery said on the night of Wilford Berry’s execution, “There are no winners here tonight.” I’ve also sat with the survivors of the killers’ victims. I spent the last few hours before the execution of David M. Brewer with the family of his victim, Sherry Renee Byrne. Minutes before watching Brewer executed, Joe Byrne, the murdered woman’s husband, slipped on headphones, punched a button on his portable CD player, and listened to Bruce Springsteen’s “Thunder Road,” one of Sherry’s favorite songs. Byrne put his head in his hands and sobbed. Ed Byrne of Urbana, Joe Byrne’s uncle, expressed his sentiments on a white T-shirt: “No more tears. The lying, murdering bastard is dead.”

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| clevescene.com | February 7 - 13, 2018

The public seems to have both great interest and distaste for the discussion of an inmate’s last meal, or as the prison agency calls it, the “special meal.” It is the meal served the evening before an inmate is executed. It’s technically not the last meal since the condemned is offered the same breakfast meal as everyone else in the prison on the morning of their execution. Most don’t eat it. The rule for last meals is that inmates can have pretty much anything that can be purchased nearby and prepared in the prison kitchen. No restaurant or carryout food is allowed. Inmates occasionally refuse a last meal, though some go all out. Here’s just a sampling: John Glenn Roe (02/03/04): T-bone steak, onion rings, macaroni and cheese, ham, roast beef sandwiches, two kinds of ice cream. Robert Buell (09/25/02): single black olive (done, he said, so an olive tree would grow from his grave as a sign of peace). William Garner (07/13/10): Porterhouse steak, fried shrimp, barbecued ribs, a large salad, potato wedges, onion rings, sweet potato pie, chocolate ice cream and Hawaiian Punch. Mark Wiles (04/18/12): large pepperoni pizza with extra cheese, hot sauce, garden salad with ranch dressing,Cheetos,strawberries,vanilla wafers, cheesecake and Sprite. Donald Palmer (09/20/12): chipped ham, Velveeta cheese, wheat bread and mayonnaise, Cool Ranch Doritos, peanut M&Ms, hazelnut ice cream, cheesecake and a Coke.

Victims I learned early on how important it is to try, as much as humanly possible, to balance an execution story between the news, which is the execution itself, the crime and the victim. A victim’s family members (and some readers) often complain that an inmate’s death was “too easy” compared to the horrendously brutal murder of the victim. They are right. Ohio law does not call for executions to be as violent and senseless as the murder, no matter how angry grieving family members might wish that was so. The U.S. Constitution prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment,” so executions must be as humane as possible. Much of the court litigation in such cases focuses on the lethal injection process and whether it causes inappropriate suffering. Mary Lutz was dissatisfied after watching Daniel Wilson’s rather peaceful exit on June 3, 2009. Wilson had killed her daughter, Carol Lutz, by locking her in the trunk of a car and setting it on fire. “I know today his suffering was nothing like Carol’s,” Lutz said. When the suffering of victims really hit me was after watching the execution of serial killer Alton Coleman on April 26, 2002. There were so many survivors of his eight victims present that prison officials allowed some of them to watch via an in-house television connection. It was the first and only time that happened in 18 years. About 30 minutes after Coleman’s execution, some of his victims’ relatives began filing into the media briefing room, one after another in a seemingly endless procession of pain. In all, 28 people from three states gathered uncomfortably behind a prison lectern, united forever by the deadly swath Coleman carved into their lives. “It’s over, and I’m glad,” said Juanita Wheat of Kenosha, Wisconsin, whose 9-year-old daughter, Vernita, was the first of Coleman’s eight victims. “Thank God Almighty we can get justice and peace.”

The Last Execution, For Awhile The most troubling execution I witnessed in 18 years was when a gasping, struggling Dennis McGuire was put to death on Jan. 16, 2014. McGuire did not go easily. Things appeared to be going as planned until about five minutes after the chemical cocktail began flowing


| clevescene.com | February 7 - 13, 2018

19


FEATURE into his veins. The state was using a two-drug combination that had never previously been tried in the U.S. Suddenly, McGuire began to gasp, cough and choke. A minute later, he gasped so deeply that his stomach heaved up and down. It continued for nearly 15 minutes. McGuire clenched his fists repeatedly and several times appeared to try to rise up off the table, only to be prevented by the restraints on his chest, arms and legs. His grown son and daughter looked on in horror, sobbing uncontrollably. The family members of Joy Stewart, the pregnant, 22-year-old victim, watched in stunned silence. “Is this what’s supposed to happen?” one whispered. My own anxiety grew by the minute, as McGuire tried in vain to stay alive. I found myself wondering if it was too late for prison officials to call it off, to end the death drama playing out on the other side of the glass. There was no way to unring the bell. “Please die. Just die,” I remember thinking, thoughts that still haunt me. At 10:52 a.m., about 23 minutes

20

after the deadly chemicals began flowing, the curtain was pulled. Unseen, a physician listened for a heartbeat and found none. In the weeks and months that followed, controversy swirled about what had happened and why. The state said that an execution took place, as planned. Capital punishment opponents called it torture. The state quickly abandoned the two-drug combination, but that triggered a search for new killing drugs. They were difficult to obtain because of the reluctance of drug manufacturers to sell drugs for use in executions. The General Assembly scrambled to pass a law allowing the state to make anonymous purchases from small “compounding pharmacies” that mix drugs to customer specifications. No Ohio pharmacies were interested in the state’s business. Gov. John Kasich was forced to push back all scheduled executions.

An Untested Combination The state, without disclosing the source, was eventually able to acquire a supply of three drugs with the following amounts

| clevescene.com | February 7 - 13, 2018

to be used for each execution: 500 milligrams of midazolam hydrochloride, a strong sedative; 1,000 milligrams of rocuronium bromide, a muscle relaxer; and 240 milligrams of potassium chloride, which stops the heart. The new, previously untried combination was successfully used on Ronald Phillips, 43, of Akron, on July 26, 2017. It was Ohio’s first execution in three and a half years. Phillips received the death sentence for raping, beating and murdering 3-year-old Sheila Marie Evans, the daughter of his girlfriend at the time, on Jan. 18, 1993. The day before his execution, Phillips’ “last meal” request included a bottle of grape juice and a piece of unleavened bread for a prison-cell communion, in addition to a bell pepper and mushroom pizza, strawberry cheesecake and two-liter bottle of Pepsi. In stark contrast to McGuire’s troubled death, Phillips died quickly and quietly at the prison near Lucasville. The process took just 22 minutes, including 12 minutes after a chemical combination began flowing into his veins. By the official time of death, 10:43 a.m., Phillips

had lain motionless and not apparently breathing for several minutes. Phillips gave a final statement choked with emotion, apologizing to the Evans family for his “evil actions” and thanking his family for their “support and faithfulness.” Phillips closed his eyes and a few minutes later appeared to be sleeping. His stomach heaved slightly and his mouth fell open, but there were no dramatic reactions. A single tear fell from his left eye. The reaction from witnesses afterwards differed sharply. Donna Hudson, the slain girl’s aunt, said, “It was too easy. I don’t know if God forgave him, but I don’t think I can.” William Phillips, the condemned man’s brother, watched his sibling die, but did not speak to media after it was over. However, Allen Bohnert, a federal public defender who represented Phillips, said an extremely high dose of a drug midazolam acted like a “chemical curtain” to prevent Phillips from showing pain he was feeling. “Ohio once again experimented with an undisputedly unconstitutional drug,” Bohnert said.


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A Botched Attempt and a Retirement Phillips’ execution was the last I would witness or cover prior to my retirement from the Columbus Dispatch on Sept. 22, 2017. At that point, I had witnessed 21 executions and written about the majority of the 34 others to that point during a 33-year career. While I had had enough of the “machinery of death,” as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry S. Blackmun called it in 1994, the state of Ohio continued forward, lethally injecting Gary Otte of Parma on Sept. 13, 2017. Otte, 45, robbed and murdered Robert Wasikowski, 61, and Sharon Kostura, 45, at an apartment in Parma in 1992. The Associated Press reported that Otte’s stomach “rose and fell repeatedly” for several minutes after the first drug, midazolam, was administered. One of Otte’s public defender attorneys hurriedly called a federal judge in Dayton, seeking to stop the execution, but the request was refused. Ohio’s capital punishment process stumbled again with the aborted execution of Alva Campbell of Columbus on Nov. 15, 2017. Campbell’s lethal injection was called off after members of the prison execution team were not able to find intravenous access to administer the lethal drugs. The Columbus Dispatch reported the execution team attempted for more than a half hour to find suitable veins on Campbell’s arms and one leg, before Gary Mohr, director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, who was on the scene, halted the process. Campbell, who was sentenced to die for killing Charles Dials, 18, during a carjacking in Columbus on April 2, 1997, had a host of health

problems. He was allowed to have a wedge-shaped pillow behind his back on the injection gurney for the execution to assist his breathing. Campbell’s attorneys asked the state to allow him to be executed by a firing squad, but a federal judge turned down the request since state law allows only one method, lethal injection. The General Assembly would have to approve adding a new means of execution. Kasich set a new death date for Campbell of June 5, 2019. Ohio has four executions scheduled this year (out of 27 slated through 2022). First up on Feb. 13 is Raymond Tibbetts, 60, a Cincinnati man who killed his wife, Judith Crawford, and Fred Hicks, for whom Crawford was caregiver, on Nov. 5, 1997. Unlike Campbell, Tibbetts has no serious health problems, although his attorneys argue he should receive clemency because of an abusive childhood and an opioid dependency acquired as an adult. The Ohio Parole Board disagreed, recommending 11-1 against clemency, but Kasich has the final word. My direct involvement with capital punishment in Ohio has come to an end. I won’t miss Lucasville, but I continue to think about the price it extracts from the families of victims and inmates, on prison employees, and on the public at large. Being a witness to death is an important job, but I don’t mind that someone else will be watching from here on out.

A version of this article originally appeared in Columbus Monthly, August 2016, and on ColumbusMonthly.com. Portions of that work are republished here with permission.

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GET OUT everything you should do this week Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

WED

THEATER

02/07

Marie and Rosetta Now a Rock Hall inductee, the late Sister Rosetta Tharpe is the subject of Marie and Rosetta , a musical presented by the Cleveland Play House, that pays tribute to “the Godmother of Rock ’n’ Roll” who influenced rock icons such as Elvis Presley and Jimi Hendrix. You can catch a performance tonight at 7:30 at the Allen Theatre; additional performances continue through Feb. 11. Tickets are $25 to $105. (Niesel) 1407 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

SPORTS

Cavaliers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves Thanks to the off-season addition of Jimmy Butler, the Minnesota Timberwolves have become a playoff contender. The team has competed well against other Western Conference squads and even handed the Cavaliers a loss when the two teams played each other earlier this year. Expect tonight’s game at the Q to be a tight one. Tipoff is at 8. Tickets start at $22. (Jeff Niesel) 1 Center Court, 216-420-2000, theqarena.com.

THEATER

MUSIC

Chamber Music in the Galleries This monthly concert series at the Cleveland Museum of Art places young musicians from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University in the CMA galleries. Now in its sixth season, the series features “mixed programs of chamber music” for “a unique and intimate experience.” The performances often feature instruments from the museum’s keyboard collection. Tonight’s concert begins at 6 and lasts for about an hour. Admission is free. (Niesel) 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350, clevelandart.org. SPOKEN WORD

Cleveland Stories Dinner Parties Cleveland Stories Dinner Party is a weekly series that pairs fine food with storytelling. Through it, the folks at Music Box Supper Club hope to raise awareness of the mission of the Western Reserve Historical Society’s new Cleveland History Center. The goal of the Cleveland Stories Dinner Party is to “bring to life some of the fun, interesting stories about Cleveland’s past — from sports, to rock ’n’ roll, to Millionaires’ Row,” as it’s put in a press release. Admission is free, with no cover charge, although a prix fixe dinner, designed to complement the night’s theme, is $20. Doors open at 5 p.m., dinner is served at 6, and the storytelling starts at 7. Tonight, Gail Bellamy, author of Cleveland Food Memories, talks about “food we miss.” You’ll find chicken paprikash soup, fresh kielbasa, and a Napoleon on the menu. (Niesel) 1148 Main Ave., 216-242-1250, musicboxcle.com.

DJ Yella of N.W.A will kick off the Rock Hall’s Black History Month celebration. See: Wednesday. MUSIC

SPOKEN WORD

Hall of Fame Series with DJ Yella and Lil Eazy-E A Rock Hall inductee, N.W.A.’s DJ Yella will sit down with Lil Eazy-E, the son of rapper Eazy-E, and the Rock Hall’s Dr. Jason Hanley to discuss their careers tonight at 7 p.m. at the Rock Hall. An audience Q&A session and DJ demonstration will follow the discussion. The event is free but an RSVP is required. The event will also be streamed live on the Rock Hall’s Facebook page, and the online audience can submit questions via the web. (Niesel) 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., 216-515-8444, rockhall.com.

Keep Talking Keep Talking is an exciting storytellers program where locals can share their real-life experiences on a theme. The monthly series offers attendees the chance to grab a drink and a dog while listening to some of their Cleveland neighbors tell tall tales. The theme for tonight’s storytelling is “Dating,” and the hosts are Adam Richard and Zachariah Durr. The program starts at 7:30 p.m. sharp at the Happy Dog. Admission is $5. Want to be a storyteller at a future session? See details on the website. (Niesel) 5801 Detroit Ave., 216-651-9474, happydogcleveland.com.

SPOKEN WORD

COMEDY

February Poetry Workshop Local poets Claire McMahon and Ray McNiece lead tonight’s poetry workshop at Visible Voice Books in Tremont. Bring a handful of your poems to the event, and profit from some friendly suggestions. The free workshop takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. Tonight is part of a monthly series set for the first Wednesday of every month. (Niesel) 2258 Professor Ave., 216-961-0084, visiblevoicebooks.com.

Carmen Lynch Comedian Carmen Lynch likes to joke that she gave up on online dating and now just goes outside and “hopes.” “It’s how people used to date,” she says in her distinctively deadpan delivery. A regular on the late-night talk show circuit, Lynch performs at 8 tonight at Hilarities; additional shows are scheduled through Saturday. Tickets are $18 to $28. (Niesel) 2035 East Fourth St., 216-241-7425, pickwickandfrolic.com.

Stomp Stomp, a U.K. percussion group that dates back to the early ’90s, won all sorts of awards when it first toured the world after a successful run on London’s West End theater district. The group, which makes instruments out of matchboxes, wooden poles, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters and hubcaps, continues to tour the globe and arrives in Cleveland tonight for a series of Playhouse Square shows. Tonight’s performance starts at 7:30 at the Palace Theatre, where the show goes on through Feb. 11. Tickets start at $10. (Niesel) 1615 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

THU

02/08

FILM

On the Beach at Night Alone On the Beach at Night Alone, a South Korean movie about an actress who has an affair with a married film director, makes its Cleveland premiere tonight at 8:45 at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque. South Korean director Hon Sang-soo drew from personal experience for the film that The New Yorker magazine proclaims has a “fierce intensity.” It also screens at 7:30 tomorrow night. Tickets are $10, or $7 for Cinematheque members and students. (Niesel) 11610 Euclid Ave., 216-421-7450, cia.edu. COMEDY

Jay Stevens “Laughter is a healing medicine,” says comic Shawn D. Stevenson (aka Jay Stevens), a native Clevelander. Originally, Stevens didn’t intend | clevescene.com | February 7 - 13, 2018

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GET OUT to pursue a career in comedy. But after he had a religious awakening nearly 20 years ago, he felt the need to share his gift with others to help them relieve their stress and possibly heal them with laughter. A clean comic, Stevens performs in both comedy clubs and churches. He performs at 7:30 tonight at the Improv. Tickets are $17. (Niesel) 1148 Main Ave., 216-696-IMPROV, clevelandimprov.com.

FRI

at 7:30 and 10 at the Improv, where she has shows scheduled through Sunday. Tickets are $15 to $17. (Liz Trenholme) 1148 Main Ave., 216-696-IMPROV, clevelandimprov.com. THEATER

Flanagan’s Wake No one knows grief and mourning like a Catholic, let alone an Irish Catholic. Now in its eighth year in Cleveland, Flanagan’s Wake

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t U o DJ Yella (N.W.A) & Lil Eazy E D ol S

Conversations & DJ Demo FEB 7TH • 7PM • FREE w/RSVP

Let it whIp! KINSMAN DAZZ BAND & DJ ELLERY FEB 9TH • 8PM (Doors 7pm) • TIX $10

FILM

Includes admission to tour Museum

Bending the Arc A 2017 documentary, Bending the Arc centers on three activists who establish a medical clinic in rural Haiti during the 1980s. That clinic, in turn, leads them to create a global network of health care for poor people all over the world. The film makes its theatrical debut tonight at 7 at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Admission is $10, or $7 for CMA members. (Niesel) 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350, clevelandart.org.

Rock Hall Film Series

Something from nothing: The Art of Rap FEB 21ST • 7PM • TIX $5.50 • Free for Members

©

CTRL|ALT|BEAT

Happy Hour & Innovator-led discussion on diversity & inclusion in music technology & business

COMEDY

Dominique Comedian Dominique thinks about the weighty things in life: what her funeral will be like and what Jesus would want her to do in certain situations. Church taught her to pray about things that are bothering her and then let them go, so that’s exactly what she did when she got a big credit card bill in the mail. Other funny topics include ways to tell if he’s the right guy for you, the wrong way to fry up a chicken and the politics of preachers. Dominique tells it like it is, and that’s why she’s funny. She performs tonight

24

SPORTS

Sunday is Kids Day, so the first 2,500 kids under 14 will receive a Sully toothbrush holder, and the first 2,500 kids under 12 will receive a Castaway Bay kids’ day pass. There will also be a postgame autograph session with the team and a postgame skate. Tickets to the games start at $10. (Niesel) 1 Center Court, 216-420-2000, theqarena.com.

Black History Month

02/09

Be My Valentine: Dinner with the Chef As a special Valentine’s Day treat, Music Box Supper Club’s Chef Dennis will prepare a special meal that includes duck confit risotto, bleeding heart salad, oyster chowder, pork filet and a chocolate-covered strawberry dessert. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m. in the club’s private dining room. Tickets are $65, or $55 for Music Box VIPs. The price of admission includes a ticket to the Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials concert that takes place in the supper club after the dinner. (Niesel) 1148 Main Ave., 216-242-1250, musicboxcle.com.

guests are treated as the friends and family of the deceased. Tonight’s show starts at 8 and repeats tomorrow night at 8 at Kennedy’s Theatre. Performances continue weekends through April 28. Tickets are $26. (Patrick Stoops) 1501 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org.

FEB 28TH • 5:30PM UNTIL 9PM • FREE w/RSVP rockhall.com/onstage to purchase tickets or RSVP. 1100 Rock and Roll Boulevard, Cleveland, OH 44114 | rockhall.com | 216.781.ROCK

transports the audience to an Irish wake where villagers tell tales and sing songs for their dearly departed Flanagan. Finding the humor in life and death, the wake acts as a dark backdrop to an otherwise hilarious show in which alcohol fuels the humorous reminiscing. The interactive and improvised show engages the entire audience as the

| clevescene.com | February 7 - 13, 2018

series against the Manitoba Moose today at 7 p.m. at Quicken Loans Arena. The two teams face each other again on Sunday at 3 p.m. As part of a 1-2-3 Friday promotion, today’s concession specials include $1 Pepsi products, $2 hot dogs and $3 beers. There will also be a special auction and raffle benefiting the American Heart Association.

Walkabout Tremont During this month’s Walkabout Tremont, dubbed the Winter Warmer, you can stop by any of the Tremont art galleries to see their current and/ or new exhibits. Of course, there are also plenty of bars, restaurants and specialty shops in the neighborhood that participate in Walkabout Tremont too. The stroll takes place from 6 to 9 tonight. Check out the website for a schedule, maps and food and drink specials. (Niesel) walkabouttremont.com.

SAT

02/10

MUSIC

22nd Annual Tri-C High School Rock Off When the annual High School Rock Off launched some 20 years ago at the Odeon, the promoters at the local Belkin Productions (now Live Nation) saw it as a way to reach out to area high schools and provide students with the kind of musical outlet that they might not have. Two decades later, the event, which takes place again this year at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on four Saturdays, before concluding with a “final exam” on Saturday, Feb. 17, continues to thrive. Tonight’s concert begins at 6 p.m., and tickets are $10. (Niesel) 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., 216-515-8444, rockhall.com. BURLESQUE

The Seventh Annual Sweetheart Showcase The seventh annual Sweetheart Showcase — Strip-O-Rama! — takes place today at the Beachland Ballroom. The show aims to pay tribute to old burlesque films. It’ll feature performances by Lily Von Matterhorn, Miss Holy Grail and Bella Sin, as well as students from the Cleveland Burlesque Academy. The doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8. Tickets start at $17. (Niesel) 15711 Waterloo Rd., 216-383-1124, beachlandballroom.com. SPOKEN WORD

Cuffing Season Book Release Javon Bates, the co-host of the Top


5 Radio Show on 1490AM WERE, celebrates the release of his new book, CufďŹ ng Season, with a book signing today from 1 to 3 p.m. at Half Price Books in MayďŹ eld Heights. The bookâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s love poems center on Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day stories. The ďŹ rst printing will be a deluxe package edition that includes a relaxation kit, containing a poster, chocolate, candles, rose petals, bath bomb and a music soundtrack. (Niesel) 1607 Golden Gate Plaza, MayďŹ eld Heights, 440-461-9222. FILM

The Other Side of Hope A Finnish movie, The Other Side of Hope, which focuses on a Syrian refugee who befriends a Helsinki restaurateur, explores the human side of the European refugee crisis. The movie makes its local debut tonight at 6:50 at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque, where it shows again at 8:25 tomorrow night. Tickets are $11, or $8 for Cinematheque members and students. (Niesel) 11610 Euclid Ave., 216-421-7450, cia.edu. FILM

Program Three: Decodings The Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque continues its four-part celebration of the 50th anniversary of the San Franciscobased Canyon Cinema with tonightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s program, Decodings, named after Michael Wallinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1988 foundfootage masterpiece of the same title. Tonightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s selection of ďŹ lms also includes Lawrence Jordanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Duo Concertantes and Will Hindleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Billabong, anâ&#x20AC;? impressionisticâ&#x20AC;? documentary of a boysâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; youth camp. The program begins at 5 p.m. Tickets are $11, or $8 for Cinematheque members and students. (Niesel) 11610 Euclid Ave., 216-421-7450, cia.edu. COMEDY

Bob Saget Actor, writer, director and standup comedian Bob Saget, 61, is perhaps one of the humblest personalities in the business. He somehow doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t consider himself a celebrity despite dominating the â&#x20AC;&#x2122;90s as Danny Tanner in Full House and hosting Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Funniest Home Videos (which, it can be argued, was like a rough draft of todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s internet, with its own viral and cringeworthy videos). He also describes his stage act as â&#x20AC;&#x153;a 9-year-old who just learned a bunch of bad words.â&#x20AC;? He also recently directed and stars

in the forthcoming Benjamin, a dark, independent ďŹ lm. In sum, the man proves to be more than either loveable Danny or dirty-mouthed Bob. See for yourself tonight at 8 at Hard Rock Live. Tickets start at $25. (Breanna Mona) 10705 NorthďŹ eld Rd., NorthďŹ eld, 330-908-7771, hrrocksinonorthďŹ eldpark.com.

SUN

02/11

SHOPPING

Now Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a Classy Pop Up Today at 3 p.m, the indie rock/punk club Now Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Class hosts Now Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a Classy Pop Up, a special shopping op featuring wares from local vintage shops such as Cattitude Vintage, Another World Vintage and Planet Claire. Admission is free. (Niesel) 11213 Detroit Ave., 216-221-8576, nowthatsclass.net. FILM + MUSIC

Paddle to the Sea Today at 2 at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Third Coast Percussion will perform its original score to Paddle to the Sea , a ďŹ lm that follows a childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hand-carved Indian as it travels in a canoe through Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s waterways. The Oscar-nominated 1966 ďŹ lm is based on the 1941 childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book by American author and illustrator Holling C. Holling. Tickets are $30, or $27 for CMA members. Children 17 and under will be admitted free with the purchase of an adult ticket. (Niesel) 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350, clevelandart.org.

MON

Unwritten History: A Grays Lecture Series PRESENTED BY

02/12

NIGHTLIFE

Monday Night Trivia Do you have tons of obscure music knowledge? Are you a student of fast food menus and their nuanced histories? What say you about the geographic evolution of Scotch whisky? Tonightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your chance to wow your friends, make yourself instantly more desirable to someone youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re newly dating, and hang with Clevelandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s headiest hipsters and hot dog lovers. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the Happy Dog Monday Night Trivia. Starting at 8 p.m., expect themed rounds and general knowledge questions that seem considerably trickier than some of the other live trivia locales in town. Obviously, have a hot dog and a craft brew while youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re at it. And arrive early: Seats ďŹ ll up fast. (Sam Allard) 5801 Detroit Ave., 216-651-9474, happydogcleveland.com.

CHAPTER 19

FREEDOM, CITIZENSHIP, AND EQUALITY: THE STORY OF THE UNITED STATES COLORED TROOPS Speaker: Anthony Gibbs

FEBRUARY 19, 2018 AT 7:00PM RSVP by February 15, 2018 Almost 200,000 black soldiers fought for the Union during the Civil War. Their VWRU\LVDXQLTXHFKDSWHULQWKH$PHULFDQFRQĂ LFW7KHVHPHQZHUHIUHHGRP Ă&#x20AC;JKWHUVZKRIRXJKWIRUHPDQFLSDWLRQDQGIRUIXOOFLWL]HQVKLSULJKWV0U*LEEV GLVFXVVHVHYHQWVVLJQLĂ&#x20AC;FDQWWRWKHVHPHQWKDWOHGXSWRWKH&LYLO:DUDQG ZKDW PDGH WKHVH PHQ GLIIHUHQW IURP WKH RWKHU WKRXVDQGV ZKR IRXJKW DQG GLHGLQWKH:DU%HWZHHQWKH6WDWHV

COME AND CELEBRATE 181 YEARS WITH THE CLEVELAND GRAYS.

PLEASE RSVP BY FEBRUARY 15th AND LET GRAYS ARMORY KNOW YOU WISH TO HAVE DINNER TO RSVP YOU CAN CALL (216) 621-5938 OR EMAIL GRAYS1837@YAHOO.COM | clevescene.com | February 7 - 13, 2018

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convergence-continuum presents: in association with the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts consortium

2018 NEOMFA PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL Four World-Premiere Plays By Area Graduate Student Playwrights Thu-Sat, Feb 8-10 at 8 pm: Sexless in Seattle by Jonathan Wlodarski 10-minute comedy. A lonely, lovelorn romp in a Seattle apartment.

Murder at the Palace Theater by Robert M.K. Daniels Two-act comic, vaudeville murder mystery. A satiric look at the extremes people will go through for their art, and the cost of being famous.

Thu-Sat, Feb 15-17 at 8 pm: Rendezvous Point by Adam Rounick 10-minute comedy. Clueless crooks race against the clock to salvage a half-baked scheme.

Contradictionary Lies by Katie Wallace Two-act part dark comedy, part docudrama that follows failed rocker Jimbo and his estranged wife as they sort through the remnants of their failed marriage. As nostalgia kicks up old emotions, Jimbo is visited by his guardian angel in the form of his idol, Kurt Cobain.

MUSIC

GET OUT SPOKEN WORD

Science Cafe Tonight, and the second Monday of every month, Music Box Supper Club hosts Science Cafe, an informal lecture series that brings scientists from throughout the region to the club to talk about science topics. Tonight at 7, Wyatt Newman, a professor in the Electrical Engineering & Computer Science program at the Case Western Reserve University’s School of Engineering, will discuss the background of the new artificial intelligence dubbed “deep learning,” from its roots in neuroscience to its emergence in today’s headlines. Heady stuff! Admission to the talk is free, but bring some money for the bar and the restaurant. (Niesel) 1148 Main Ave., 216-242-1250, musicboxcle.com. FOOD + BEER

Liminis Theater 2438 Scranton Rd | Cleveland 44113 | in the historic Tremont neighborhood TICKETS: $10 general admission, $5 students at convergence-continuum.org and 216-684-0074

SEE WHAT THE NEXT GENERATION OF PLAYWRIGHTS IS UP TO!

Wing Ding Doodle Blues icon Howlin’ Wolf famously covered “Wang Dang Doodle,” the old blues tune penned by Willie Dixon. Prosperity Social Club in Tremont has adopted that slogan, calling its wing night Wing Ding Doodle. The weekly event features specials on Buffalo wings and cold brews. Prosperity will not only serve up substantial, $1 whole wings, but it’ll also offering meatless Monday “wing” baskets for vegans. Discounted drafts and a playlist of vintage-electric blues and soulful R&B curated by local musician Clint Holley will be on tap as well. Wing Ding Doodle takes place every Monday from 6 p.m. to midnight. (Niesel) 1109 Starkweather Ave., 216-937-1938, prosperitysocialclub.com.

TUE

02/13

FILM

David Hockney at the Royal Academy of Art Considered one of Britain’s most important living artists, 80-yearold painter, stage designer and photographer David Hockney talks about two recent exhibits of his work in the 2017 documentary film David Hockney at the Royal Academy of Art. The movie screens today at 1:45 p.m. at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Tickets are $14, or $10 for CMA members. (Niesel) 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350, clevelandart.org.

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| clevescene.com | February 7 - 13, 2018

Open Turntable Tuesday Tonight from 6 to 9, the Winchester hosts its weekly Open Turntable Tuesday. DJ Kris Koch offers 20-minute slots to people who want to bring their own vinyl and spin their favorite songs or deep tracks. Turntables are provided; you can play three to five songs during your time slot; and a mic is available to talk about the selections. (Niesel) 12112 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-600-5338, facebook.com/ thewinchestermusictavern. SPOKEN WORD

Steve Pemberton Before joining the Massachusettsbased Globoforce, a social recognition provider for companies worldwide, Steve Pemberton served in executive positions at Walgreens, where he was the drugstore’s firstever “chief diversity officer.” Today at 4:30 p.m. at the Tinkham Veale University Center on Case Western Reserve’s campus, he delivers the Power of Diversity lecture series’ keynote lecture, “One America: The Micro Cultural Changes to Bring the ‘United’ Back into the USA.” Admission is free. You can register on the website. 11038 Bellflower Rd., 216-368-5681, case.edu/diversity/programs/power-ofdiversity-lecture-series. THEATER

Riverdance A huge hit that’s now celebrating its 20th anniversary, Riverdance comes to the State Theatre as part of a celebratory world tour. The dance performance draws upon Irish traditions to tell the story of an Irish emigrant. Tonight’s performance takes place at 7:30. Performances continue through Feb. 16. Tickets are $10 to $75. (Niesel) 1519 Euclid Ave., 216-241-6000, playhousesquare.org. MUSIC

Vinyl Night Jukebox owner Alex Budin has described his 1,350-square-foot music-focused bar in the Hingetown ’hood as “a place where people can expect to hear and learn about music of multiple genres, all of which is concentrated in a constantly evolving jukebox.” The club hosts a vinyl night every Tuesday that serves as a listening party for new releases, partnering with Loop in Tremont so patrons can hear a new album on vinyl. You can bring your own vinyl and spin it too. It all starts at 5 p.m. (Niesel) 1404 West 29th St., 216-206-7699, jukeboxcle.com.


Tickets Start at $15! Restrictions, exclusions and additional charges may apply. Subject to availability.

QUICKEN LOANS ARENA FEB 17 & 18 WJW.CLEVELAND

1708301

Competitors shown are subject to change. © 2017 Feld Motor Sports, Inc.

MonsterJam.com | clevescene.com | February 7 - 13, 2018

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STAGE IDEALS AND FRIENDSHIPS GO SOUTH … MUSICALLY! A Sondheim gem glitters in Lakeland’s Merrily We Roll Along By Christine Howey AT SOME TIME IN THE FUTURE (assuming we all have a future), a composer who also happens to be an inveterate anti-Trump resister may write a musical about this era with a title something like What a Dandy Time! And we will all recognize that title for what it is, a deeply sad and ironic commentary on a miserable stretch in our lives. So when you peruse the title of the wonderful show now at the Lakeland Civic Theatre, Merrily We Roll Along, do not be deceived. This isn’t a jolly romp, and yet it is masterfully entertaining. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the show is a gloriously nasty bath in the venal proclivities of a Broadway composer who jettisons his values and dumps on friends and spouses, all for glory and greed. In other words, it’s absolutely luscious. Director Martin Friedman, a Sondheim scholar and devotee, has poured all his substantial knowledge into this production, and it shows. If you’re not familiar with this work, it’s probably because it closed on Broadway in 1981 after 16 performances. Since then, it has only been produced now and then, with many audience members and critics objecting to the structure — it tells its story in reverse, beginning in 1976 and ending in 1957 — and the aforementioned acidic tone. Well, boohoo. It’s time for all of us to pull up our socks and recognize this musical for the work of brilliance it is. Indeed, many consider this score one of Sondheim’s finest. And although this professional production on the campus of Lakeland Community College isn’t perfect, it has enough strong and juicy elements to give this oft-ignored gem a gleaming local showcase. Based on the eponymous play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, Merrily tells the tale of three friends: the composer Franklin Shepard, his buddy and lyricist Charley, and their gal pal and aspiring writer/critic Mary. Frank’s

28

Photo by Kathy Sandham

life is further complicated by the constant presence of his first wife, Beth, and second wife, Gussie. When we meet them, Frank is on top of the world, but his pals are in various states of distress. While Frank has adoring groupies abounding, Charley and Mary are bummed. You see, there has been a lot of emotional carnage for others on Frank’s road to stardom, and that is expressed with particularly spiteful delight in “Franklin Shepard, Inc.” when Charley sings, “The telephones blink/And the stocks get sold/And the rest of us/ He keeps on hold.” Because the chronology of the characters’ lives is reversed, we don’t know yet what happened in the past. But here we are in

ride for the audience, and there are some superb performances to help the process along. As the cynical and pissed off Charley, Trey Gilpin is terrific. His disappointment in his friend Frank oozes from his pores, and he handles his songs, particularly “Franklin Shepard, Inc.,” with fierce energy. Absolutely matching him is Aimee Collier as Mary, the songwriting duo’s third wheel who drowns her frequent sorrows in sarcasm fueled by whatever’s in the nearest bottle. Collier’s powerful voice is a particular enhancement in tunes such as the various iterations of “Old Friends.” Neely Gevaart as Beth applies her substantial vocal talent to her songs, and Kelly Elizabeth Smith

MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG THROUGH FEB. 18 AT LAKELAND CIVIC THEATRE AT LAKELAND COMMUNITY COLLEGE 7700 CLOCKTOWER DR., KIRTLAND, 440-525-7134

the future, and so the musical reprises come first. In Act 1, we are treated to Beth’s bitter version of “Not a Day Goes By,” after she has been dumped for stylish, ditzy Gussie. It isn’t until the second act, happening years before, that we hear Beth, Mary and Frank sing a more heartfelt version of the song, when they were young and innocent. This makes for a compelling

| clevescene.com | February 7 - 13, 2018

is consistently amusing as Gussie, a woman with all the depth of a ladybug’s wading pool. The ensemble handles its duties well, particularly when they’re lumped together as “The Blob,” when Gussie and her equally fatuous guests pay tribute to themselves: GUESTS: “Albee! Warhol! Kurosawa!!” GUSSIE: “They read the books/And go to the shows/And swamp the saloons/

Wearing all the clothes …” GUESTS: “Heavy! Miltown! Gestalt!” This is witty stuff packaged in a format that, for all its challenges, is ultimately quite rewarding. Oddly, the one element that doesn’t quite work is the lead character of Frank, played by Eric Fancher. Frank’s storyline is the arc that drives the show, but Fancher, a strong singer, never fully develops a clear and involving character. Carrying his head tilted down for much of the time, it seems Frank is more often depressed than registering his various challenges and triumphs. It’s a confusing interpretation that doesn’t add the extra spice that could truly take this production to another level. But thanks to the talented company of actors, crisp musical direction by Jordan Cooper, a lavish-sounding 11-piece orchestra, and Friedman’s thorough understanding of Sondheim’s theatrical impulses, it all works. By the end, we get a glimpse of how friendships evolve and devolve. Just like the stylish scenic design by Austin Kilpatrick, featuring a backdrop of suspended sheets of paper (scores and lyrics?) that have been crumpled and then flattened out, we have to live our own lives with the wrinkles we create.

scene@clevescene.com t@christinehowey


| clevescene.com | February 7 - 13, 2018

29


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Knife Skills, photo by Lara Talevski

MOVIES OSCAR SHORTS COME TO CAPITOL THEATRE Animated, live-action and documentary programs to screen all week By Sam Allard THE ANIMATED, LIVE-ACTION and documentary short films nominated for Academy Awards will screen in three separate programs at Cleveland Cinemas’ Capitol Theatre, Chagrin Cinema and the Apollo Theatre beginning Friday. They will run in staggered showings throughout the week. (See the full schedule, below.) Most noteworthy for locals is the short film Knife Skills. Directed by Thomas Lennon, this 40-minute documentary recounts the harried six weeks before the grand opening of Edwin’s Restaurant and Leadership Institute on Shaker Square. Featuring founder Brandon Chrostowski (who later ran for Cleveland mayor) and several of his inaugural cohort of former inmates, the film has the flavor of a culinary reality show: kitchen instructionals, lavish French ingredients, close-

ups of cuttings boards, and more. Virtually none of the participants in the Edwin’s program, which aims to curb recidivism by providing culinary work for ex-cons, had restaurant experience. The film is thus both redemptive and occasionally exhilarating. Will these folks who can’t utter a single word of French become, in a mere six weeks, hosts and chefs at one of the region’s fancier restaurants? The animated shorts program is likely to draw crowds as well. Among other things, it features the short film Dear Basketball, conceived by Kobe Bryant and scored by John Williams. Portions of it have appeared in TV spots already. Pencil drawings by artist Glen Keane animate the NBA superstar’s basketball origin story. While incredibly hokey — hasn’t Kobe said farewell enough? — the Williams score may move you to tears.

Also included is the PIXAR short LOU, which envisions the assorted items in a playground lost and found box as a sentient, friendly being. Though each film is unique — distinguished by the style and medium of individual artists — my favorite is probably Garden Party, an impressive little French film that finds a number of exquisitely animated frogs hopping around the (presumably Floridian) mansion of a drug lord after a violent crime. The juxtaposition of the frogs themselves and the mansion’s interiors make for wondrous viewing — and a killer finale, too. The live-action program features a touching story about a deaf 4-yearold who learns sign language ( The Silent Child); an Aussie head trip about a psychiatrist treating a patient who believes that he, too, is a psychiatrist (The Eleven O’Clock);

a tense school-shooting drama (DeKalb Elementary); the story of Emmett Till’s uncle, Mose Wright, as his home is invaded in 1955 Mississippi, (My Nephew Emmett); and the story of a Christian girl on a chartered Kenyan bus that is stopped by the terrorist group Al-Shebbab; its largely Muslim passengers are forced to identify the Christians (Watu Wote). Seeing the Oscar shorts programs is a must for Academy Award completists, but recommended for everyone. These films are wonderful — they were nominated for a reason. Along with 12 Hours of Terror, it’s one of the more appreciated annual traditions at the Capitol Theatre.

sallard@clevescene.com t@scenesallard

PROGRAM SCHEDULE FRI., FEB. 9 1:00 - ANIMATED 3:00 - LIVE ACTION 5:15 - ANIMATED 7:30 - DOCUMENTARY

SAT., FEB. 10 1:00 - ANIMATED 3:00 - LIVE ACTION 5:15 - ANIMATED 7:30 - LIVE ACTION 9:45 - ANIMATED

SUN., FEB. 11 1:00 - DOCUMENTARY 5:15 - ANIMATED 7:30 - LIVE ACTION

MON., FEB. 12 1:00 - ANIMATED* 3:00 - LIVE ACTION* 5:15 - ANIMATED 7:30 - LIVE ACTION

TUES., FEB. 13 1:00 - ANIMATED* 3:00 - LIVE ACTION* 5:15 - ANIMATED 7:30 - LIVE ACTION

WED., FEB. 14 1:00 - ANIMATED* 3:00 - LIVE ACTION* 5:15 - ANIMATED 7:30 - DOCUMENTARY

THURS., FEB. 15 1:00 - ANIMATED* 3:00 - LIVE ACTION* 5:15 - ANIMATED 7:30 - LIVE ACTION

* NOT PLAYING AT APOLLO THEATRE

SPOTLIGHT: PETER RABBIT

BRITISH AUTHOR BEATRIX Potter could have had no idea back in 1902, when she published The Tale of Peter the Rabbit, that it would one day become a major motion picture with computergenerated graphics, a cutting-edge alternative rock soundtrack and a popular late-night TV show host as the star. And yet, as much as the new live action/CGI film Peter Rabbit takes some liberties with Potter’s story, it retains the original’s charm, delivering a movie that viewers of all ages can appreciate. The film opens areawide on Friday.

A late-night TV show host, actor and comedian James Corden is perfectly cast as the voice of the furry fellow. The sarcastic Corden gives the silly rabbit some real personality. That much is apparent right from the film’s start as we see Peter scurrying through Mr. McGregor’s (Sam Neill) garden, ripping the old man’s vegetables and tossing them to his pals waiting outside the garden. The old man tries to whack Peter with a rake and then nearly captures him before falling dead of a heart attack. Peter and his sisters Flopsy (Margot Robbie), Mopsy

(Elizabeth Debicki) and Cottontail (Daisy Ridley) celebrate by trashing the guy’s place and throwing a noholds-barred party. The celebration, however, comes to a halt when McGregor’s anally retentive relative Thomas (Domhnall Gleeson) moves into the place and kicks Peter and his pals out. He scrubs the place clean and instigates a war of sorts with the wild things — much to the chagrin of his beautiful neighbor Bea (Rose Byrne), an animal lover who looks after the rabbits and other creatures like she’s some kind of modern-day James Herriot.

The plot trajectory here might be a predictable one — Thomas falls for Bea and then tries to trick her into thinking he loves rabbits even as he installs an electrical fence and buys some dynamite he can toss into their burrow — but the fast-talking Corden turns Peter into a flawed hero you can’t help but love. Gleeson and Byrne have enough chemistry to make their relationship, topsy-turvy though it might be, believable and compelling too. — Jeff Niesel

jniesel@clevescene.com t@jniesel | clevescene.com | February 7 - 13, 2018

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| clevescene.com | February 7 - 13, 2018


EAT WESTSIDE OASIS David Hridel readies Judd’s City Tavern, a new bar with an old feel By Douglas Trattner FROM THE OUTSIDE, JUDD’S City Tavern looks like every other blue-collar corner bar, a gruff brick exterior offering few hints as to what lies behind those cloudy glass-block windows. If Judd’s was indeed like every other corner bar, the inside would likely possess tattered vinyl booths, wobbly bar stools, a janky jukebox and grizzled regulars making poor decisions. Judd’s is everything and nothing like the typical corner bar. Step inside the phantasmagorical interior and you’re immersed in what appears to be a perfectly preserved relic from another era. Suspended above the bar is a vintage Budweiser carousel sign, its Clydesdales hauling beer-laden wagons in a perpetual loop. A back corner is devoted to an old-timey service station tableau, complete with gas pump, wall-mounted tire inflator and pyramid of faded oil cans. And what’s that? A signed photo of boxer James “Cinderella Man” Braddock hanging in the corner? That assortment doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the beer, sports, toy, automotive, postal and first-responder collectibles on display inside this 40-seat corner bar. They were amassed by owner Charles Judd, a Cleveland police officer who has been collecting for years. The building has been around for 80-plus years, but it hasn’t seen a paying customer in about seven. Over the past four months, Judd’s first and only employee has been quietly working inside to ready the bar for opening day, which should occur this month. That person is David Hridel, who hasn’t professionally poured a drink since he left Spice Kitchen two years ago. Before that, he was a conspicuous presence behind the stick at ABC Tavern and Flying Fig. “Pound for pound, I still feel that I’m one of the most tenacious bartenders out there,” he says. “I’ve had so many people reach out to me over the past year asking if I’d come work for them. I decided after Spice that I wasn’t going to bartend until I had my own place. But I want to have some fun. I miss the hell out of the people. That’s what it was always about.”

Photo by Douglas Trattner

The bar sits in a hospitality no-man’s land. It’s on Madison Avenue where it crosses Berea, which is east of Lakewood, south of Edgewater and west of Detroit Shoreway. The nearest signs of life are a welding shop, metal plating facility and Frank’s Tackle, home of the freshest bait in town. “Everybody says ‘location, location, location,’ and that’s true, but there are plenty of great locations that are going under,”

on the place, it had even more memorabilia. “The walls were covered with collectibles,” he notes. “We took everything down off the walls, sold some, and tried to showcase some of the best stuff. When the sun goes down and you lose the light from the windows, the bar has a really cool glow inside.” A visitor could spend days inside and still not closely examine every relic, many of them high-

JUDD’S CITY TAVERN 10323 MADISON AVE. 216-675-4316

Hridel points out. “We’re stuck between two neighborhoods. There’s nothing around here. But this is the way a lot people go back and forth to Lakewood.” It’s no coincidence that the sign out front is in the shape of a policeman’s badge. Both Judd and his son, Sgt. Tim Maffo-Judd, are on the force. Since taking possession of the building about eight years back, Judd has used it primarily for private social gatherings, the ultimate man cave. Hridel says that when he first started working

ticket items. There are elevated tracks supporting antique push and pedal cars, gorgeous old fire extinguishers are buffed to a high gloss, and an artistic grouping of aged church keys is mounted right above an old brass cash register from the Harbor Inn. Restroom visits are made more entertaining thanks to a punch clock, a workplace sign above the urinal counting the days “since the last accident,” and walls plastered floor to ceiling with vibrantly hued comic book pages.

There will be four beers on tap, a few good but affordable wines, and Hridel’s signature cocktails. Happy hour will run from 8 to 11 p.m. Food will be added down the road. “I will be doing the cheapest cocktails in town,” he says. “Drinks are really getting up there: $12, $14, $16. I don’t think I’ll have a cocktail over $8 or $9. Everybody pays the same price for booze in town and our overhead is nonexistent; I am the only fixed cost that isn’t a utility.” Hridel says that despite the outof-the-way locale, the bar will see more than its share of life. “Between police, fire and EMS people, coupled with my regulars and neighborhood people, I think it’s going to be one of the most eclectic crowds in town,” he predicts. “This was something Chuck always wanted to do in his retirement years. He is truly invested in the city, but what I think he’s most excited about is opening a place in his neighborhood where anyone and everyone can come grab a drink, a bite to eat (eventually), and enjoy some of his collectibles.”

dtrattner@clevescene.com t@dougtrattner

| clevescene.com | February 7 - 13, 2018

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Photo by Douglas Trattner

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| clevescene.com | February 7 - 13, 2018

BOOKHOUSE BREWING TO JOIN OHIO CITY’S BUBBLY BEER SCENE IN SUMMER By Douglas Trattner VAUGHN STEWART AND LUKE Brevoort are old friends who met at college and bonded over similar sentiments about the importance of strong neighborhood hubs, whether they be bookstores, coffee shops or the corner pub. Four years ago they put pen to paper and began sketching out plans for a neighborhood hub of their own. When Bookhouse Brewing opens this summer it will be a brewery and taproom, yes, but it will also be a cozy and convivial haven for neighbors to connect and commune over a few pints of fresh-brewed beer. “We really want to differentiate ourselves in terms of the vibe of the place, to sort of be the calm within the storm,” says Brevoort. “Places can get a little crazy on weekend nights and we want to be a place that’s a little lower key.” Bookhouse Brewing is currently taking shape on the ground floor of the West 25th Streets Lofts complex at 1526 West 25th St., one block south of Detroit Road. Auspiciously, the 3,500-square-foot space was once the site of Baehr Brewing, which operated here from the 1860s until 1901, later as Cleveland and Sandusky Brewing Company. “There’s a lot of history in here,” says Stewart. “We like the fact that

it was a former brewery, and that it’s also fairly small for a brewery. We look at that as a positive; we feel like we can have real control over our four walls.” Stewart, who brewed at Portside for the last 18 months of that brewery’s life, as well as at Arcadia Brewing in Kalamazoo, Michigan, will be brewing on a seven-barrel system from Bridgetown Brew Systems in Portland. The brewhouse will be visible but separate from the rest of the pub, which will be broken up into three separate, cozy spaces. There will be the barroom, a room with a small stage for “low-volume live music,” and the “book lounge.” While Stewart spent much of his career minding the brewhouse, Brevoort operated a bookstore. There will be no televisions and seating for 85. Stewart says he “likes to brew what I like to drink,” which runs the gamut from less common ales to crowd-pleasing session beers. “I like classic English styles and obscure European styles,” he says. “There’s nothing wrong with very classic porters and very classic IPAs, but we want to do something just a little different to kind of stretch the idea.” They hope to have 14 taps


Photo by Douglas Trattner

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pouring mainly their own beers but might plug holes with guest beers. They intend to brew mainly for onsite consumption as opposed to distribution. There will be no kitchen. Guests are welcome to bring in outside food or order from a very simple menu of snacks. When it opens this summer, Bookhouse will be located about 1,000 feet from Saucy Brew Works and less than a mile from eight or so other Ohio City breweries. Those numbers have the ring of good fortune to Stewart. “There’s a lot to be said about being close to competition,” he notes.

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Stonetown Closes Downtown, to Reopen in March as Zanzibar Stonetown (627 Prospect Ave.), which opened downtown in 2012, closed its doors for good three weeks ago. The restaurant, originally opened by the Angie’s restaurant group, had changed hands and closed before coming back into the parent company portfolio, just in time for the RNC circus downtown, which included a safety perimeter outside its front door. “That was like a kick in the face and an uphill battle,” says Willy Jackson, executive chef and kitchen operations manager for Zanzibar and Angie’s Soul Cafe restaurants. But the lights inside the downtown restaurant space will not be dark for long; come March, the restaurant group will open a second location of its popular Southern fusion concept Zanzibar, which opened on Shaker Square (13225 Shaker Sq., 216-752-1035) seven years ago. “We’re going to see if we can’t brand that concept and do multiple ones,” Jackson adds. “We need to stay focused on what’s working for us right now other than our Angie’s Soul Cafes, and Zanzibar will be the next one up.” Following some cosmetic interior changes, the downtown restaurant will open with a nearly identical menu and format. That means diners can look forward to delicious Southern-style starters like fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, and soul rolls, those egg roll-like snacks filled with collard greens, black beans and corn. For dinner, there’s gravy-smothered pork chops,

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Tributary Aims to Bridge Detroit Shoreway, Ohio City with Approachable Neighborhood Bar For evidence that the communities of Detroit Shoreway and Ohio City are inching toward inevitable unification at the hands of development, one need only look at Tributary. This cocktail bar is currently taking shape at West 54th and Detroit, in a squat brick building that sits near the border of those two neighborhoods. John Burens, a former Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court bailiff, has been working since spring to transform the Bruno Casiano Gallery (5304 Detroit Rd.) building into an attractive and distinctive neighborhood bar. He’s working with Jonathan Sin-Jin Satayathum and Matt Clark, a pair of skilled designers and builders who have put their creative stamps on the interiors of Spotted Owl, Greenhouse Tavern, Fat Cats, and

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Giant in Chicago, among others. Burens is very cognizant of the rapidly changing community outside his front door, and he hopes to fashion a bar that welcomes neighbors old and new. “I hope to reclaim the neighborhood bar, which has kind of gotten a bad rap over the years, especially when you have a neighborhood that’s kind of being built up,” he says. “I’m trying to get back to the true meaning of the neighborhood bar.” Burens says that he’s a fan of both the humble corner bar and the fancy cocktail lounge, but sometimes he wishes the two could be married as one. “The kind of place where you can get both a Pabst and a French 75 without having to explain to the bartender how to make it,” he says. “Just a good, comfortable place to sit and have a drink.” The 1,800-square-foot tavern is anchored by a beefy threesided bar, the bartop of which is constructed of untreated oldgrowth fir salvaged from a turnof-the-century home. A colorful backbar is a collage of handpainted windows in weathered frames. High-top tables are fixed in place thanks to industrial steel channel legs. “We wanted to make something with clean lines but not overly industrial,” Clark explains of the dark, masculine interior. The 50-seat bar will have a small kitchen that turns out straightforward but high-quality snacks like dips and flatbread pizzas. There will be four draft beers —one of which will be Pabst — and a cocktail list. Burens hopes to open the doors of Tributary by St. Patrick’s Day.

“I love this neighborhood,” Burens says. “My mom grew up in this neighborhood. We would always drive down this road all the way from Lakewood to downtown. That’s also the basis of the name, in addition to the nod to the Cuyahoga, this street is a tributary into the city.” A planned Detroit Avenue Streetscape project, to be completed by 2019, will extend to West 52nd Street and include public art, landscaping and widened sidewalks and pedestrian walkways.

Pizza (216), Shuttered Since Summer, Reopens Next Month The morning of July 5 was not a good one for the owners of Pizza (216). Upon walking into their spot on Euclid (401 Euclid Ave., 216-741-7992), the sky appeared to be falling. The ceiling, which had been enduring a slow leak, had collapsed. Worst of all, on its way down to the floor, it decided to open the beer taps. Beer flowed and flowed. After months of tedious repair, including the removal and replacement of the entire ceiling, Pizza (216) will soon be back in the business of slinging pies. “We have confirmed a date of Feb. 12 for the official open date,” says owner Brad Wiescinski. “Can’t wait to see the space full of people again!” Stop in to see and support owners Johnny Lis and Wiescinski as they’ve had a pretty brutal summer, fall and winter.

dtrattner@clevescene.com t@dougtrattner


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MUSIC SANE THINKING Anti-Flag singer talks about the band’s Anti-Trump tour By Jeff Niesel IN A STATEMENT ABOUT THE Silence=Violence tour that brings it to the Grog Shop at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, the political punk band Anti-Flag says, “The mission of the Trump regime has been clear from day one, the normalization of bigotry. Dangerous rhetoric has become dangerous policy that has put countless in harm’s way. It is the responsibility of all to be on the side of the marginalized and scapegoated and that is the aim of the Silence=Violence Tour.” In a recent phone interview, singer Justin Sane expands on that statement. “The idea behind the tour is that anytime you see injustice and don’t speak out against it, it makes you complicit and guilty,” says Sane. “Right now, with the current presidential regime, where there’s xenophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia and bigotry on a daily basis, when people don’t speak out against it, it makes them complicit and part of the problem. We’re encouraging people to stand up and speak up when they see injustice. The reason I think it’s so important is that when we don’t push back against the tendencies of Donald Trump, the things that he supports start to become normalized. I think it’s really important to push back against those things.” Though Anti-Flag has endured while other punk acts have fallen by the wayside, the band played only one show after initially forming in 1988 and immediately split up. It would reform a few years later and continue unabated to the present day. “We were in high school,” Sane says when asked about that first show. “It was an early incarnation and a very different version of what the band would become. There were a number of years in between the very first show and when we played as Anti-Flag again in 1993 or 1994.” At the time that Anti-Flag came together, Pittsburgh’s punk scene had a strong political dimension to it. Sane attributes that to the city’s blue-collar ethos. “If you weren’t a political punk band in Pittsburgh, you were a

Photo by Jake Stark

poser,” he says. “Everyone was political at that time. It went beyond electoral politics. It was around issues like police brutality and animal rights and sexism and homophobia. Punk in our scene was challenging those issues.

about living your life in a way that you feel true to, and it was about being true to yourself and not being afraid to step outside of the mainstream and swim against the current. There was a lot of that in the punk that wasn’t political. In

ANTI-FLAG, STRAY FROM THE PATH, THE WHITE NOISE, SHARPTOOTH 7:30 P.M. THURSDAY, FEB. 8, GROG SHOP, 2785 EUCLID HEIGHTS BLVD., CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, 216-321-5588. TICKETS: $18 ADV, $22 DOS, GROGSHOP.GS

When we got out of Pittsburgh, we realized every band wasn’t political, and we were really surprised by that.” Sane doesn’t think every band has to be political. He cites the Descendents as one of his favorite acts and says their songs about “being yourself and dealing with being an outsider” had a significant influence on him. “When we crossed paths with bands that were doing things that weren’t political, we could still relate to it,” he says. “It was still

a way, that is a political statement. There’s nothing more political than talking about how you’re going to live your life. My favorite band as a teenager was Social Distortion. They were about rebelling against the constructs of society and what they are telling you that you have to do and what you want to do.” From the start, Anti-Flag took an anti-war stand. Released in 2003, The Terror State, an album produced by Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, opens with the incendiary “Turncoat,” a tune

that features gang-style vocals as the guys yell out “liar,” in a blatant attack on the commander-in-chief. “In Pittsburgh, we lost our industrial base, and our town became this Rust Belt town,” says Sane. “For a lot of our friends, one of the only options, as far as escaping the poverty they saw, was joining the military. They ended up in Iraq. We looked at the war and saw it as a classic case of politicians starting a war for greed and for oil, and our friends had to go there and bleed for it. We saw a corrupted patriotism to gain people’s support for the way. That was a big part of what inspired the band and the name. In Pittsburgh, some of our friends in the punk scene were in the National Guard. They joined to get money to go to college. They were some of the main people who led the protests in Pittsburgh. They felt the war was unjust.” Last year, the band began writing songs for what would become its latest album, American Fall. At the time, Sane & Co. didn’t think Donald Trump would become | clevescene.com | February 7 - 13, 2018

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president. When Trump won the election, the group scrapped the songs it had written and began to pen material about what his presidency represents. “We have written songs about every president since we started the band,” says Sane. “One thing we learned early on is to not hold your presidents up as role models. They’ll let you down. For us, it started with Bill Clinton and then George W. Bush and Barack Obama. We wrote songs about all of them and the things we saw as shortcomings with all of them. I believe as an artist, it’s your job to speak truth to power. That said, I thought Hillary Clinton was going to win. It seemed inconceivable that we would elect someone who is openly misogynistic and probably a sexual predator and had made racist statements.” Sane says the track “Racists” represents one example of a tune that wouldn’t have been written if Clinton had become president. “Once Trump was elected, I had to have a discussion with these people [who say racist things but don’t think they’re racist],” he says. “The first part of the song is to start that dialogue and let people know that what they’re saying is racist. If you think it’s okay, it’s not. The second part is that we could have a discussion, or maybe you just need to go fuck yourself because you’re a piece of shit. I need to draw a line in the sand about where I stand. You’re on my side or not on my side. Either way, I will hold you accountable.” Much like acts such as Bad Religion or Rise Against, Anti-Flag brings a sense of urgency to its music. Songs such as the surging “American Attraction,” a tune that benefits from stuttering vocals and a beefy guitar riff, and the rollicking “Trouble Follows Me” possess a real intensity. “Certain times create an atmosphere where something does feel more urgent or important,” says Sane. “In that respect, I feel like we were feeling it. Ironically, it wasn’t a hard record to write. The inspiration was right there. I’m really proud of all the records we’ve made, but this record practically made itself.” The group nicely shifts musical gears for the rowdy, ska-tinged “When the Wall Falls,” and the tune features a groovy mid-song

organ solo. “We were playing it in half time, more in the vein of ‘London Calling,’” says Sane when asked about the track. “[Producer] Benji [Madden] came in and wanted us to put a ska beat on it. Once we tried it, we loved it. It picked the song up in a way that breathed life into it. It made it a fun song even though it’s a heavy issue. We had the idea of putting organ on because of the kind of song it is. Our friend Kevin [Bivona] from the Interrupters, who plays organ in Rancid, was in the studio one day. We had a guitar solo where the organ solo was and someone had the idea of putting an organ solo there. It’s one of my favorite parts of the record.” As much as the songs on American Fall are about what’s wrong, an optimism runs through the album with songs such as “Finish What We Started.” “I guess we’ve been lucky enough in the face of ugly times to be surrounded by people who never give up and activists who are out there trying to make the world a better place,” Sane says. “When you see there are people like that out there, it gives you hope. We know there’s ugly shit out there. We have overcome things in the past and can do it again. Many of the songs sound poppier than our last record, and that was a conscious choice. When every fucking day something really heavy is rolled out, it’s such a downer. We thought there was enough out-and-out bullshit going on that we wanted people to come away from the record feeling good. If I’m playing these songs all the time, I want to feel good at the end of the day. There was a conscious choice to write songs that feel unifying.” Sane says he hopes the shows on the current tour become “rallying points” for people who feel hopeless. “[I hope] you leave [the concert] feeling positive and good because there are good people out there and that things are going to be okay,” he says. “That’s an important environment we try to create at our shows. We’re all in here together. Things outside might be fucked up. But the idea is that all of us in here still have each other. I’m really excited about this tour because I need that feeling too.”

jniesel@clevescene.com t@jniesel


308 EUCLID AVE. CLEVELAND, OH 44114 216.523.BLUE Complete listing at houseofblues.com/cleveland

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| clevescene.com | February 7 - 13, 2018

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MUSIC IT’S JUST HER Rachael Yamagata brings her stripped-down solo tour to the Music Box By Jeff Niesel SINGER-SONGWRITER RACHAEL Yamagata originally began performing with the Chicago-based band Bumpus before leaving that group to pursue a solo career. The move marked a significant change to her approach. “The music I did in [Bumpus] was so different,” says Yamagata, who adds that she grew up listening to Joni Mitchell, Carole King and Cat Stevens, in a recent phone interview from her New York home. She performs with Sandy Bell at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Music Box Supper Club. “Musically, that was an easy transition because I was moving toward something that I thought was my own voice for so long. In terms of the weight of things on your shoulder as a solo artist, that was a different experience. I went from having a band family to having to create a new backdrop for it. It was all organic in how it came together. I didn’t intend to go solo, and I never expected to have a solo career.” Initially, Yamagata issued a self-titled EP and then released her full-length debut, Happenstance, in 2004. Happenstance songs such as “Be Be Your Love” and “Letter Read” show off Yamagata’s soulful voice and established her as a significant talent. “That album was the most fun to make,” Yamagata says of Happenstance. “It was back in the days when I wasn’t nervous about anything. My second gig ever was playing at Madison Square Garden, opening for David Gray. I thought, ‘Oh, this is how it is.’ I remember sitting in a Kinkos with my producer. I told him that we should work together. We looked up studios on the ocean and found a studio in the Bahamas. That was my first record. It was fantastic.” With the followup album, 2008’s Elephants…Teeth Sinking Into Heart, Yamagata explored deeper and darker emotions. “The intensity and craziness of the first record and that first twoyear touring cycle all over the world had the greatest highs and lows,” she says when asked what took her in a different musical direction. “It was extremely frenetic and lonely, so

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Photo by Laura Crosta

I turned inward a lot. My stepmother passed away, and that was the first experience I had with somebody close to me dying. There was that coming into the mix and intense love relationships that ended. It was a different me at that time.” On her most recent album,

clanging percussion, vocal samples and something that sounds like a distorted banjo as Yamagata adopts a husky growl. “That was a crazy one,” she says when asked about the song. “That has three drummers on it. The storyline was that someone said

RACHAEL YAMAGATA, SANDY BELL 7:30 P.M. FRIDAY, FEB. 9, MUSIC BOX SUPPER CLUB, 1148 MAIN AVE., 216-242-1250. TICKETS: $25 ADV, $30 DOS, MUSICBOXCLE.COM

2016’s Tightrope Walker, Yamagata experiments to the point that each song sounds wildly different from the previous one. “They’re all over the map,” she admits. “That was the first record where I was a full-fledged coproducer. We tracked everything at my house. It was a smorgasbord of playing. The production spans the spectrum of just how I was feeling in the moment. I didn’t have a strategy at the onset; it was just a soundscape to serve whatever story was happening. There are a lot of different stories on it.” The track “EZ Target” features

| clevescene.com | February 7 - 13, 2018

something that caught me off guard and was so offensive to my soul. I was in a situation where I couldn’t move on. I translated that into the song. Because the emotion was so extreme, I knew I wanted angular, jarring songs on it. That led to me hitting drum patterns. We worked with these amazing drummers. Each drummer gave something super fantastic, but none of it hit each section like I wanted. I edited three different drummers. It has that uncomfortable feeling running through the whole thing, which I love.” The music video for the tune “Let

Me Be Your Girl” features actress Allison Janney as a woman who puts on layers of makeup and dons a frizzy wig that makes her look like a clown. “She was already a fan, which helps a lot,” Yamagata says of Janney. “A good friend of mine is a really good friend of hers. She had always said, ‘We need to get Allison into a video of yours.’ I was like, ‘Fuck yeah, that’d be amazing. Make it happen.’ Josh Radnor had been directing music videos, and I knew he worked with Allison before. I called him and asked him if we could get her into the video if he would direct it, and he flipped out. It was a perfect storm. She was unbelievable. She does all the dancing. She was like one-take Allison. She is incredible.” For the current tour, dubbed the “Songs. Stories. Solo” tour, Yamagata has stripped things down. She won’t have a backing band, and she plans to play only tunes that lend themselves to the simpler format. “Yeah, it’s just me,” she says. “I’m taking this giant road trip. For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea. I’ve done several years of full band tours with lots of bells and whistles. They’ve been really fun. This is the last round before I go in and making another record. I wanted to do one round of livingroom intimacy and that kind of experience. I’ve never done a tour like this in the U.S. I think it will be an interesting experience for myself and the audience. There are certain songs that are really, really moving when not fully produced, and they’re more powerful when it’s just a voice and an instrument. There are other songs that rely more heavily on production. I’m leaving those out.” Though Yamagata acknowledges she is due for another studio release, she says she’s not made much progress toward coming up with the material. “I started writing some songs,” she says. “I know I need to make one. That’s as far as I’ve gotten.”

jniesel@clevescene.com t@jniesel


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LIVEWIRE

all the live music you should see this week SKH Music

WED

02/07

10 X 3 Singer Songwriter Showcase hosted by Brent Kirby: 8 p.m. Brothers Lounge. Alyssa Boyd Quartet/Reginleif: 8 p.m., $5 ADV, $8 DOS. Beachland Tavern. Greensky Bluegrass/Joshua Davis: On 2016’s Shouted, Written Down and Quoted, the band’s latest album, Greensky Bluegrass took lessons from the stage and applied them to the studio. Instrumental sections stretch out like improvised jams, and mandolin player Paul Hoffman breathes emotion into his already introspective lyrics. It feels grander, in some way, than previous outings. Of course, in jam band world, the past is complemented by the future. There’s always something new on the horizon, and Greensky is already working on the initial sketches of a new album. One imagines that those early stirrings will become more pronounced as the year’s touring schedule, which includes tonight’s show at House of Blues, gets under way. (Eric Sandy) 8 p.m., $24-$35. House of Blues. Bob Marley Celebration/Mighty Mystic: 8 p.m., $7. Bop Stop.

THU

02/08

Anti-Flag/Stray From the Path/The White Noise/Sharptooth: 7:30 p.m., $18 ADV, $22 DOS. Grog Shop. Avatar/The Brains/Hellzapoppin’: 7:40 p.m., $19 ADV, $24 DOS. House of Blues. Mari Black: 7 p.m., $15. Bop Stop. BØRNS/Charlotte Cardin/Mikky Ekko: 8 p.m., $26 ADV, $28 DOS. Goodyear Theater. Chris Hatton’s Musical Circus (in the Wine Bar): 8 p.m. Brothers Lounge. Hot Djang! (in the Supper Club): 7 p.m., $5. Music Box Supper Club. Jam Night with the Bad Boys of Blues: 9 p.m., free. Brothers Lounge. Donnie Lynee Release Party/FC OnTheBeat/Daniel Gray-Kontar: 8 p.m., $8 ADV, $10 DOS. Beachland Tavern. Northeast Ohio Drum & Music Jam: 9 p.m., free. Beachland Ballroom. Tom Paxton with the Don Juans: 7:30 p.m., $32 ADV, $38 DOS. Music Box Supper Club. Elijah Rock: 8 p.m., $20. Nighttown. Trapped Under Ice/No Warning/ Wisdom in Chains/Significant

3 Doors Down brings its acoustic tour to Hard Rock Live. See: Friday.

Loss: 7 p.m., $16 ADV, $20 DOS. Now That’s Class.

FRI

02/09

1000mods/Sierra/Sweaty Mammoth: 9 p.m., $13 ADV, $15 DOS. Grog Shop. 3 Doors Down: Acoustic Back Porch Jam: Formed in 1995, the Mississippi-based rock band 3 Doors Down has sold some 20 million albums over the course of its lengthy career. The single “Kryptonite” became a huge hit on commercial radio back in the ’90s. Earlier this year, it launched its Back Porch Jam tour, which features acoustic “interpretation” of the band’s hits as well as fan favorites and deep album cuts. Expect to hear hits such as “Kryptonite,” “It’s Not My Time” and “I Don’t Want To Know” as well as deep tracks at tonight’s show. (Jeff Niesel) 8 p.m. Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park. Bluestone Union: 9 p.m., $5. House of Blues. Norman Connors: 8 p.m., $40. Nighttown. Hello/Bandit/Goldleaf/The Skies Above Us: 9 p.m., free. The Euclid Tavern. In This Moment/P.O.D./New Year’s Day/Ded: 6:30 p.m., $35 ADV, $40 DOS. House of Blues. Into the Blue: Grateful Dead Revival: Regardless of your take on the Grateful Dead, the group maintains important stature in the rock ’n’ roll canon. Into the Blue, an ensemble of local musicians revives that spirit and lends it the respect Jerry & Co. deserve. Anyone interesting in hearing — and seeing — great music flow from the stage should

check out what these guys are doing. Fellow musicians and artists will glean inspiration. (Sandy) 8 p.m., $12. Beachland Ballroom. Kalimba/The Spirit of Earth, Wind and Fire: 9 p.m., $15-$40. The Winchester. Kinsman Dazz Band and DJ Ellery: $10. Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials (in the Supper Club): 8 p.m., $15. Music Box Supper Club. M. Moody Album Release w/Top Hat Black and Madeline Finn: “Cigarette,” a new song from this self-described “funk-rock” local act’s self-titled debut, shows off the group’s jam band tendencies with jazzy guitar and mid-tempo melody. The band expertly shifts tempo and successfully delivers a space-y jam at its conclusion. Expect to hear it at tonight’s release party. (Niesel), 9 p.m., $7 ADV, $10 DOS. CODA. Orange Animal: 9 p.m., free. The Euclid Tavern. Steve Roberts (in the Wine Bar): 9 p.m. Brothers Lounge. Runaway Brother Release Show/The Sonder Bombs/Dolfish: 8 p.m., $10. Mahall’s 20 Lanes. Moss Stanley: 10:30 p.m., free. Nighttown. Tim and Chewsticks J. Dilla Tribute Night: 9 p.m., free. Now That’s Class. Herb Wilborn Jr.: 8 p.m., $15. Bop Stop. Rachael Yamagata/Sandy Bell: 7:30 p.m., $25 ADV, $30 DOS. Music Box Supper Club.

SAT

02/10

Cheers Cleveland: 9:30 p.m., $5. Brothers Lounge.

Norman Connors: 8 p.m., $40. Nighttown. Paulo Costa Trio 2018 Carnival: 9 p.m., $10. The Euclid Tavern. Fayrewether: 9 p.m., $12 ADV, $15 DOS. House of Blues. Forager EP Release/Sweepyheads/ Mild Animals: 9 p.m., $5. Happy Dog. McStarKatz: An Evening with Ed McGee, Cliff Starbuck and Dave Katz/John Welton: 9 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Beachland Tavern. Megachurch/Eye/Actual Form: 9 p.m., $10. Grog Shop. Greg Mendez/Neil O’Neil/Two Hand Fools/Youth Pallet/Deep Sigh (in the Locker Room): 7 p.m., $8. Mahall’s 20 Lanes. Neck Deep/Seaway/Speak Low If You Speak Love/Creeper: 6 p.m., $22 ADV, $25 DOS. Goodyear Theater. The OuterWaves/Ally and The AlleyCats/Third Floor Underground: 6:30 p.m., $10-$12. Odeon. Thor Platter (in the Wine Bar): 9 p.m. Brothers Lounge. Radio Moscow/Amplified Heat/ Burning Loins/Exploding Lies: 8 p.m., $15. Now That’s Class. A Tribute to Bob Marley Featuring the Andy Shaw Band: 8 p.m., $7. Mahall’s 20 Lanes. The Turbos/King Buu/Womantra: 9 p.m., $4 ADV, $7 DOS. CODA. Jackie Warren: 10:30 p.m., free. Nighttown.

SUN

02/11

2nd Sundays with Jim Davis: 4 p.m., free. Now That’s Class. Badfish: 8 p.m., $20 ADV, $25 DOS. House of Blues. Charlie Mosbrook & Friends: 7 p.m., $10. Nighttown. Mike Petrone: 5:30 p.m. Brothers Lounge. Pulse: 7 p.m., $15. Bop Stop. School of Rock: 3 p.m., free. CODA. They Might Be Giants: 8 p.m. Beachland Ballroom.

MON

02/12

Skatch Anderssen Orchestra: 8 p.m., $7. Brothers Lounge. Haunted Summer/N6664: 9 p.m. Now That’s Class. Shit Show Karaoke: 10 p.m. B-Side Liquor Lounge & Arcade. ValenRhymes Day: Gold Rose/Ricki Rich/B the Lyricist/DJs Coco Z/ NicNacc/La Riches/Hosted By Jazz | clevescene.com | February 7 - 13, 2018

45


LIVEWIRE Prevo: 8 p.m., $10. Grog Shop. Velvet Voyage (in the Wine Bar): 8 p.m. Brothers Lounge.

TUE

02/13

Daddy Longlegs Homegrown Revival: 8 p.m., $10. Brothers Lounge. The Dustbowl Revival: Given that Los Angeles is a city best known for its heavy metal and indie rock, it’s a credit to the Dustbowl Revival, a swing band out of Venice, California, that it snagged “Best Live Band” honors in 2013 from the LA Weekly, a paper known for focusing on whatever hip sounds are coming out of places like Echo Park and Silverlake. The band, a selfdescribed “mini circus,” plays a bit of everything — bluegrass, gospel, pre-war blues and New Orleans swing — and features fiddle, mandolin, trombone, guitar and washboard. Expect the setlist to include tracks from the group’s new self-titled album. (Niesel) 8 p.m., $18. The Kent Stage. Fossil Youth/Rarity/Unturned/The Spectators/Maybe Later (in the Locker Room): 7 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Mahall’s 20 Lanes. Hubb’s Groove Pre-Valentine’s Celebration: 7 p.m., $20. Nighttown. The Infamous Stringdusters/ Horseshoes & Hand Grenades: The era of “jamgrass” bands — as dubiously as that term tends to roll off the tongue — is well under way, bearing fruit in a dynamic rock ’n’ roll sense. These bands bring heat and, though their roots are clear as crystal, there’s something different about them compared to more traditional outfits. The Infamous Stringdusters lean more toward improvisation. In a 2015 show at the Beachland, when the composed sections of their songs wrapped up, Andy Hall nudged his dobro into open-ended territory, and the mood shifted entirely. The band is here to jam, after all. And they do it exceedingly well. (Sandy) 8 p.m., $20 ADV, $22 DOS. Beachland Ballroom. Kollision/Graveside/Scavenger of Death/Lacerate: 9 p.m., $7. Now That’s Class.

46

| clevescene.com | February 7 - 13, 2018

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