Scene july 27, 2016

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| | July 27 - August 2, 2016

| cl eves ev escene esce cceenee.ccom m | July 27 - August 2, 2016


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Dedicated to Free Times founder Richard H. Siegel (1935-1993) and Scene founder Richard Kabat Publisher Chris Keating Associate Publisher Desiree Bourgeois Editor Vince Grzegorek


Editorial Managing Editor Eric Sandy Music Editor Jeff Niesel Staff Writer Sam Allard Writer-at-large Kyle Swenson Web Editor Bliss Davis Dining Editor Douglas Trattner Contributing Dining Editor Nikki Delamotte Stage Editor Christine Howey Visual Arts Editor Josh Usmani Interns Hannah Borison, Maddie Capron, Cecilia Ellis, Danielle Immerman, Tucker Kelly, Austin Linfante, Phoebe Potiker, Eli Shively, Alexis Wohler


Bike cops are here to stay, the RNC says thank you




Scene’s fourth annual People Issue

Advertising Senior Multimedia Account Executive John Crobar, Shayne Rose Multimedia Account Executive Kiara Hunter-Davis

Dozens of events spanning the next week in Cleveland

Creative Services Production Manager Steve Miluch Layout Editor/Graphic Designer Christine Hahn Staff Photographer Emanuel Wallace Business Asst. To The Publisher Angela Lott Sales Assistant/Receptionist Megan Stimac Staff Accountant Kristy Dotson


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Sondheim’s Assassins impresses at Near West Theatre

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Woodstock BBQ in Lakewood joins the Northeast Ohio barbecue scene

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Nashville’s Hillbilly Casino and local rockers Whiskey Daredevils square off at the Beachland

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UPFRONT TRUMP’S WORD DUMP Pricey talk and cheap feelings at the #RNCinCLE By Peter Pattakos


IN THE RUSH TO DECLARE “winners and losers” of the Republican National Convention, the city of Cleveland came out overwhelmingly on top in the headlines. “We were promised a riot, we got a block party instead,” wrote the Washington Post, while the L.A. Times documented the post-RNC “victory lap” taken by Cleveland’s business and political leaders. “Mistake on the Lake no more,” grandly proclaimed. And the New York Times hailed the “loud exercise” of First Amendment rights on the newly renovated Public Square, causing The City Club of Cleveland to swoon on its Facebook page: “We [heart] free speech.” If it weren’t for questions about a five-million-dollar fundraising shortfall in covering conventionrelated costs, and the loss of regular business by establishments located outside the eye of the RNC hurricane, it would be impossible to say that hosting the convention was a bad thing for the city in and of itself. The Trump campaign’s orgy of demagoguery had to be broadcast from somewhere, and was otherwise mostly contained by the walls of Quicken Loans Arena. Downtown Cleveland looked as good as ever and the streets had an undeniably positive feel, even despite the at-firstjarring presence of massive security fences and armies of police imported from all around the nation. (“[The


Photo by Emanuel Wallace

RNC] is like ‘It’s a Small World’ for cops,” noted one visiting journalist.) All else equal, it’s nice to leave your troubles behind, get dressed up, and have folks pay some attention to you every once in awhile. In this sense, Cleveland was properly dressed to the nines and painted the national consciousness red. But what about the other 98 years per century when a major political party won’t host its national convention here? And what’s so good about free speech on Public Square when it has little to no chance of influencing the public policy set by those inside the arena? Here, the layers of security that radiated from the convention floor, effectively isolating protesters from the convention’s participants, served as an apt metaphor for the resounding success of the Republican Party’s sustained effort to replace the vote with the dollar as the fundamental unit of American democracy. With limits on campaign spending having been obliterated by the Republican project, the barriers between citizens and politicians, politicians and accountability, have never been so impenetrable. And now that only the most expensive speech is “heard” in any

politically meaningful sense, words mean less than ever in the political context. As the cost of political speech skyrockets, its availability and diversity naturally plummets, and a billionaire demagogue can be increasingly sure that the few with the means to counter his emotional appeals with logic will be increasingly less inclined or less able to do so effectively. Which explains as well as anything Trump’s rise to the Republican nomination, culminating in his display in Cleveland last week. “The crime and violence that afflicts our nation today will soon come to an end.” “Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.” “We are going to build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration.” “I’m going to bring our jobs back to Ohio and to America – and I am not going to let companies move to other countries without consequences.” “We are going to Make America Great Again.” The implausibility of Trump’s claims mattered much less than the context in which they were proclaimed and the feelings they aroused as a result. As Nathan J. Robinson recently pointed out at Current Affairs, “global inequality has risen to the point that nearly




City receives nearly unanimous praise following Republican National Convention. Most common compliment: “That black metal fencing was so very ‘Rust Belt chic!’”

Cavs Coach Tyronn Lue agrees to fiveyear extension. Team inserts unusual clause that contract will be shared with David Blatt, who will coach first half of each season.

Developer proposes outlet mall for Burke Lakefront parking lot. Planning Commission sarcastically applauds effort to build something that would attract even less traffic than that shitty airport.

| | July 27 - August 2, 2016

all wealth is controlled by a tiny minority of the super-rich, and labor power is in decline.” Yet, the Democratic Party—as beholden as ever to this “tiny minority”—has been largely confined in responding to Trump with an argument that “America is already great.” In the absence of “a compelling alternative vision and program,” says Robinson, “of course people will be susceptible to demagoguery about crime and immigration.” While “Trump ... may have a racist and delusional explanation for the cause of the world’s troubles, [at least he has] an explanation.” And in today’s profoundly warped market for political speech, any old explanation might do. In Donald Trump’s America, you can [heart] free speech all you want, but the speech that really counts is anything but free. And in the absence of meaningful speech, feelings will naturally take over. Regardless of whether Hillary Clinton can figure out how to stir enough emotion to beat him in November, if the barriers to meaningful political participation remain as constructed there will be plenty worse to worry about than a President Trump.

QUALITY OF LIFE Sshhh… It’s just us now.

UPFRONT Photo by Emanuel Wallace


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The Cleveland Division of Police will see its bicycle units hitting the streets post-RNC.

THE CLEVELAND POLICE DEPARTMENT will continue to utilize the bicyclemounted unit recently formed for the Republican National Convention. Though the horses from Cleveland and Fort Worth’s mounted units were the most malodorous of last week’s extreme law-enforcement presence and the paramilitary-outfitted officers hanging out of black vans with tinted windows were the most mysterious, the bicycle-mounted unit was the most visible and effective. Over the course of the four-day convention -- in which 50,000 people were estimated to have descended on the city -- only 24 arrests were made. In this chicken-or-the-egg situation, officers were many, arrests were few, and nearly $61 million of federal and municipal moneys were budgeted (funds will continue to be disbursed until the end of the year), but it is certain that alternative policing techniques used by bicycle-mounted officers were essential as they maneuvered in and around crowds to de-escalate potential conflicts between various vocal protest groups. When Police Chief Calvin D. Williams consulted the Charlotte Police Department on their approach to policing during the 2012 Democratic Convention in their city, they suggested a bike unit. Bicycle-mounted officers began training back in 2015. Officers completed a 32-hour training program taught by Ben Kaufman of the Clermont, Fla., Law Enforcement

Bicycle Association, followed by an additional six days of training. In addition to that program, police brass from Cleveland attended the Nuclear Summit in Washington, D.C., and May Day in Seattle to practice with and observe local police departments. For the RNC, CPD purchased 300 bicycles from Safariland, a Jacksonvillebased company. Safariland won the contract for $386,800, beating out Volcanic Bicycles, a Seattle-based company favorited to win the contract. Only one local company bid for the contract and was disqualified. Safariland is a member of the International Police Mountain Bike Association, and offer discounts of 10 percent off the $1,400 MSRP to departments. The Safariland/Kona model purchased with all accessories— siren, disk brakes, front and rear gear bag, and more (no streamers, though)— clocked in around $2,200 per bicycle. Disassembled bicycles were shipped and assembled by bicycle shops across Greater Cleveland and the Ohio City Bike Co-op. Bicycle-mounted officers will not continue patrolling in units of 30-40 as seen at the RNC. Rather, units will “probably be two or four guys together working as teams doing things in the neighborhood,” bike patrol head Capt. Thomas Mandzak told the Northeast Ohio Media Group. That’s perhaps the most invaluable benefit of the bicycle-mounted unit: better community-police relations. In


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Al Stewart & Gary Wright

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DIGIT WIDGET 16 Minimum number of confirmed cases of Norovirus among the California delegation; sick staff members were quarantined at Kalahari Resort in Sandusky for the remainder of the RNC.

$251,389 Four-seventeenths of Browns WR Josh Gordon’s salary, what he’ll surrender during his four-game suspension next season. BUT THEN HE’S BACK!

4 Consecutive days that Cleveland’s high temperature was above 90 degrees. It’s a bona fide heat wave.

700 Number of jobs that will be created in Toledo when Jeep pours $700 million into its assembly complex there for production of the dope new Wranglers.

Every Sunday

contrast to utilizing patrol vehicles, CPD hopes to increase stealth when approaching crimes in progress and visibility in neighborhoods. This vision falls in line neatly with what many members of the Cleveland Community Police Commission (CleCoPoCo) have been urging. The International Police Mountain Bike Association points out that bike units are incredibly effective at “reactive policing” and surveillance, two silos of law enforcement that are starting to get the consent decree touch-up they’ve so badly needed in Cleveland.

CLEVELANDERS FOR PUBLIC TRANSIT CALL FOR STATE FUNDING INCREASE The crew from Clevelanders for Public Transit, together with representatives from the local service workers and transit workers unions, rallied Tuesday morning for greater investment in public transit. If this sounds like a familiar story, it is. Coming up in August, of course, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) will raise fares and cut a small number of routes in response to a projected $6 million budget hole at the end of the year. But that’s not what the rally was about.

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Earlier in July, Federal regulators stepped in at the state level and did away with Ohio’s practice of collecting sales tax on managed health care services (Medicaid). That means transit agencies around the state, which are largely funded by salex tax revenue, will take a big hit. In a memo to RTA staff on July 6, Joe Calabrese lamented the forthcoming change to Ohio tax law, which would reduce sales tax receipts for the RTA by 8.2 percent, or $18 million. “It would be a huge hit,” wrote Calabrese. “It could result in a significant 10 percent reduction in RTA services, which would impact both our customers and our employees.” Calabrese noted a silver lining, though: Because the impact would be felt statewide, he was confident that “someone in the State Legislature” would aggressively seek a solution. Clevelanders for Public Transit might isn’t so confident. They’ve seen the resolve from Ohio’s elected representatives when it comes to funding public transit, and it is limp.

RNC HOST COMMITTEE PARTY WANTS TO SAY THANK YOU The RNC 2016 Host Committee wants to thank the city of Cleveland

for its patience and unwavering support last week. So naturally they’re throwing a party. The Community Thank You Party will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday on Public Square, which glistened like a gem after its unveiling a few weeks ago -- iconic! -- and through last week, despite its constant occupation by police forces from states near and far. The party will feature live entertainment, giveaways, familyfriendly fun and ice cream from Mitchell’s. “We hope people from across the region will come downtown throughout the weekend to commemorate the unprecedented effort that went into hosting this Convention,” RNC Host Committee President David Gilbert said. (Gilbert, meanwhile, is sure to be on pins and needles after his cloak-anddagger 11th-hour RNC fundraising efforts.) In addition to the party, the Rock Hall will also be free all day (10 a.m. to 9 p.m.) for residents with zip codes beginning with 440, 441, 442 and 443. t @clevelandscene

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| cl leevves ves esce cen ce nee.ccom om | July Julyy 27 Ju 27 - August Auugguust A s 2, 2, 2016 2 16 20 16

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very year when the time comes around to plan the annual People Issue, we are awash in reminders of just how beautiful this city and region really are. The issue

is a chance to highlight Clevelanders who are working every day to make the city better, to drive it forward, to contribute to its successes and rectify its shortcomings. This year, the fourth annual edition, is no different. From every corner of the city – from dining to music, from arts to education, from neighborhood development to the courtroom, from the silver screen to the waterfront – we met Clevelanders who shine brighter than the Playhouse Square chandelier. As Cleveland enjoys a year in the national and international spotlight, it is through their work, commitment, and unending friendliness that it is possible. They are 29 of your neighbors, and we’re proud to introduce you to them. | | July 27 - August 2, 2016


Photo by Ken Blaze



The Tit for Tat Podcast Crew


ust about a week after Lizz Winstead, comedian and co-creator of “The Daily Show,” appeared as a guest on the Tit for Tat podcast, she was in Cleveland for the RNC and an event with Lady Parts Justice, a group of comedians and writers using their particular skillsets to fight for women’s rights. In the middle of the madness though, she took time out of her busy schedule to reconnect with the team behind Tit for Tat and take them to dinner. It’s a high compliment for the environment and conversation they’ve created in just a year with the program. “We hear all the time that this or that celebrity or figure doesn’t do podcasts, and then we get them,” says Thomas, one of the co-hosts. “And then they tweet at us or tell us afterward that they had a great time. Now we’ve got guests asking us to come to Nashville or Los Angeles to meet them in person.” The show is only 17 episodes into its short but vibrant existence. It was a team effort of sorts and a common sensibility that brought the trio together. There’s Veranda L’Ni, the tallest drag queen in Cleveland (clocking in at seven feet-tall); Thomas, the gay co-host; and then Producer Kenny, the straight foil. “I’ve known Kenny forever – we grew up together – and because a lot of radio shows used to have gay producers, we thought it’d be fun to flip the script and have a straight guy.” Thomas had also known Veranda for years, working on charity events together, and they’d talked about doing… something, for a very long time. The show, eventually, became a natural outlet for those conversations. Thomas had a background living and working in New York and some connections that meant it wouldn’t be hard to mine his friendships for reality stars and celebrity guests. The guests really were a dedicated angle from the start, and back in the summer of August 2015, when Tit for Tat launched, they’d ask and ask and get some yesses and some nos. Now, they have guests coming to them. Recently, they’ve chatted with Margaret Cho, Lisa Lamapanelli, Frank DeCaro, country singer Ty Herndon, and New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice. If it seems like an odd mix, that’s by design. Each member of the team comes up with a dream list of sorts, and by product of their different interests and backgrounds, the roster is a mixed bag. “We try to be as diverse as possible,” says L’Ni. “We’ve had straight, gay and lesbian guests and people of all colors across the board. And knowing the conversation is coming from the perspective of a drag queen, a gay man and a straight man, we’re all chatting and bringing something different to the table. I listen to the morning shows, like Elvis Durant, and you have six people but they’re all bringing something very specific to contribute. We try to parse that out amongst ourselves so there’s a dynamic.” Though the podcast is, obviously, based in Cleveland – and Kenny makes sure local bands are featured on each episode (All Dinosaurs was on the Winstead edition) –


| | July 27 - August 2, 2016

the audience locally pales in comparison to the national and international reach. It’s a credit to and byproduct of the format and guests. “We get emails from Syria, Japan, Egypt… places where you probably could get in trouble for listening to the show. That blows my mind,” says Thomas about the audience. “And we have a big gay audience but we’re reminded that we have a straight audience that loves us too. So you might have this preconceived notion that it’s going to be EDM and club music, but then you have punk metal and then you’re reminded there are a ton of gay people who love metal. We all bring something different and so does the audience and that’s why it stays fresh.” “We just have fun,” says Kenny. “We love our Titty Tats – that’s what we call our fans – and in the process, we’ve gotten to know each other so much better and the conversations that happen, it just comes from us naturally just enjoying each other’s company.” “There are episodes where I can’t even talk because I’m laughing so hard,” Thomas chimes in. At the heart, it’s all Cleveland, no matter the reach. “Cleveland is fantastic,” says L’Ni. “There is so much diversity here and to pull all of that into the fold is amazing. I’m out and about and I get a ton of people asking about the show. Even though we don’t get a ton of local emails, there’s a ton of local feedback, and worldwide feedback too. It’s just so amazing to me. I never thought in a million years this little podcast from Cleveland would be getting this type of response.” — Vince Grzegorek

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| | July 27 - August 2, 2016



INDIGO BISHOP Action Strategist, ioby Cleveland


raining for legal observers. Community gardens. School uniforms. A documentary film about hunger and poverty. Feminine hygiene products for underserved girls and women. Accredited CPR training. Exterior home improvements. All these projects are currently being funded in Cleveland through ioby (“In Our Backyard”), a nonprofit crowdfunding platform that brings community projects to life, in the organization’s words, “one block at a time.” In Cleveland, the on-the-ground team organizing ioby’s efforts is comprised of one woman: Indigo Bishop. She lives in Buckeye/Shaker, where ioby is also headquartered, in the renovated St. Luke’s Manor on Shaker Boulevard, and right now, she’s deciding whether to grab a cup of coffee at Dewey’s, her favorite local haunt on Shaker Square, or down at the Perfect Cup on East 116th.

“They do free doughnuts on Fridays,” Bishop tells Scene, “So I may have to do that.” Bishop is a Cleveland native. She grew up on the westside — she played sports at Cudell Rec Center, where Tamir Rice was gunned down in 2014 — but moved to the Larchmere area after her first year at Laurel. “That was too long of a commute from the westside,” she jokes. She did both undergrad and graduate work at Case, studying sociology and anthropology and then social work, and then went on to work at Neighborhood Connections for almost five years doing community organizing. Ioby, she says, was a natural extension of the work she had already been doing. “I’m really about finding leaders and innovative people who not only recognize things need to change, but have the drive to make things change,” she says. With ioby, Bishop says, people are empowered to make their communities better places in the ways they see fit. “That element is super important,” Bishop says. “They have autonomy over their projects. A lot of people know about GoFundMe or other crowdfunding sites, but the big difference with ioby is that it’s a nonprofit. It’s mission-driven


Photo by Ken Blaze

and all about supporting residents in communities that need extra support and resources. These communities have the drive, but if they have the right coaching and capacity-building around fundraising, along with the tech tools to mobilize resources, they can make a lot of great things happen.” Any notable upcoming projects? Scene wanted to know. “There’s one, a woman is creating a healing center where folks can come do culturally appropriate healing practices,” Bishop says. “There’s yoga, meditation, reiki, things like that, and they’re used as ways to combat social ills and the injustice of living a marginalized life. I

| | July 27 - August 2, 2016

really want that to be successful, partly because I want to go!” A community center for expectant mothers is also in the works, and that’s a particularly important resource for a community ravaged by infant mortality, where young mothers don’t have the opportunity to take classes to prepare for motherhood from and with people who look like them. Bishop says that the fundraising, thus far, has been hyper-local, and the reasons are obvious: “You get to see the community garden that you contributed to,” she says. “Or you know that your grandma will get to

go to the computer lab.” Ioby started in Brooklyn, New York, in 2009 and has since raised more than $2.5 million for more than 700 projects nationwide. In Cleveland, if you have an idea for your neighborhood, Bishop says the first thing to do is go to Every project goes a long way to improving Cleveland’s communities. “In general, I’d like to see resources and accolades going to more than just one or two neighborhoods in the city,” she says. “It’s an uphill battle, but these neighborhoods have a lot to offer that really should be highlighted.” — Sam Allard






Major Le League Thursday, July 28 – 7:30pm

Saturday, July 30 – 7:30pm

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Saturday, July 30 – 2:00pm

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| | July 27 - August 2, 2016



Photo by Ken Blaze

JON STAHL Owner, LeanDog


few days before Scene meets up with Jon Stahl on the roof of his office-boat on Lake Erie, he was crawling beneath a cemetery in Erie, Pennsylvania, eating spiders and trying to locate a geocache item. This is not an unusual weekend story for the adventurous Cleveland businessman. Here on the boat, Stahl runs LeanDog, a software design company that accomplishes much more than that tagline would suggest. His active-living mindset translates into how he runs his company. Stahl takes us on a spin through the office, where engineers and designers work in open-office environments and invent new solutions to recognized problems, all while sitting atop the lovely waters of Lake Erie. At a time when Northeast Ohio is striving to re-engage the waterfront, or at least engage it in ways the city hasn’t in decades past, the floating office is something of a novelty but also a firm step in the right direction. As an employee at Nationwide Insurance a while back, Stahl began researching Agile, Lean working habits, a movement of high-performance work that mirrors startups. His studies influenced Nationwide,


| | July 27 - August 2, 2016

and the workflow grew into a passion. Employees tend to be happier — and thus granted more freedoms, like, say, access to jetskis when the workday allows — and the company tends to be more innovative and successful. Not a bad path to travel. LeanDog is just one facet of Stahl’s story, though. You might remember his name from the Cleveland Skylift project that was bandied about town a few years ago, the project that would have ski lift-type cars transporting people from, for example, the Flats to FirstEnergy Stadium. Like many ideas floated at City Hall in the past few years, the RNC kind of sidelined this one. But Stahl says that the Skylift will return to the local discourse in time, and he’s been fine-tuning the project. And yet that still is just one singular part of the story. Here’s where Stahl’s work is really going to shine: Rock the Lake, a new waterfront unity organization that will guide residents and visitors to everything that Cleveland’s lake and riverfront have to offer (recreation, dining, sightseeing: 64 “attractions” in all). Once a month, Stahl would host a happy hour on his

boat that brought together developers and leaders from Geis Cos., Cleveland Metroparks, Cumberland and elsewhere to talk about big ideas like this: the Skylift, Rock the Lake and beyond. In that way, Stahl and the group took the city’s penchant for talking about the water to doing something about it. Each stakeholder ponied up $5,000 to form the Lakefront Collaborative. (The group’s next project will loop in the sewer district to tackle water pollution issues.) “Most cities that have a waterfront have a separate brand for their waterfront,” Stahl says. “Riverlife Pittsburgh, Navy Pier, and you could go on. We just didn’t have that individual brand for our water sites … And we love the river, but our Great Lake is our asset.” The Lakefront Collaborative plans to give its work to Destination Cleveland, furthering the local network. “There’s an energy, having a lot of people moving downtown and living downtown,” Stahl says. “When I hang out with my developer friends — the Geises and Paces — it’s not only young, it’s the older people who live in the suburbs and want a walkable lifestyle. It’s an amazing time to be in Cleveland.” — Eric Sandy

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Photo by Ken Blaze

ERIN HUBER Founder, Drink Local. Drink Tap.


hen we caught up with Erin Huber, she had just landed in Tanzania and was waiting to take a 9-hour bus ride to continue her trek to Uganda.

The Northeast Ohio native and Detroit-Shoreway resident was once again on a journey to Africa, one that really began some seven years ago. “My first few weeks of graduate school at Cleveland State’s College of Urban Affairs, I was paired up with a man that would change my life forever – Dr. Nicholas Zingale,” Huber says. “At the same time, Mayor Jackson held the first Sustainable Cleveland summit in 2009 and all of a sudden, my water life truly began.” That water life became Drink Local. Drink Tap., an organization Huber founded with an initial mission to encourage people to reduce plastic pollution and reconnect with tap and local water, but one that has grown since then, including work in Uganda to educate and provide sustainable access to safe water. It all comes at a time when water has become a national and international focus point, from droughts in California to algae growth on the Great Lakes to lead-tainted water in major American cities. And that’s just in the United States. “I think it’s important to understand the problems of today do not end at borders, especially with water,” says Huber. “It’s all connected. The work is hard, rewarding and challenging, but I truly hope our work is no longer needed someday.” Years ago, a small workshop was a sort of genesis for the idea. There was a summit and a bunch of people broke out into groups. Water was one of the topics. A group of 50 suddenly became a group of 10. “We realized it would be hard to talk about big algae blooms and invasive species and lakefront development and combined sewer overflows if people weren’t thinking about the water they put in their body everyday,” says Huber. So Drink Local. Drink Tap. was born, but the mission quickly seemed narrow.


| | July 27 - August 2, 2016

“We adopted Edgewater state park [at the time] and joined forces with other groups who were caring for the park on a monthly basis,” she says. “Then teachers started hearing our message and wanted their students to learn about pollution and water.” Subsequently, Huber started the Wavemaker Program, which works within schools to help educate youths on all issues pertaining to water. During one classroom session, she met a teacher from Uganda who told Huber there were 700 kids without water in her village. “That’s when I knew I could tie it all together,” Huber says. She went to Africa, along with her friend Laura Blake, to try and learn about the situation firsthand. They teamed up with another friend, Tom Kondilas, to make a documentary about the children and the water and the village. “The things I saw that first trip…,” Huber says, “I can never unsee.” Since then, they’ve become a registered NGO in Uganda and are headquartered in Hingetown as a non-profit. It’s a natural progression stemming from her compassion and drive – she started her first organization, Covering Cleveland, at just 18 years old. That program helped provide blankets, food and conversation to Cleveland’s homeless population. “When I was a teenager, I got so overwhelmed with the world’s problems – I peaceful protested drilling in the Arctic, for animal rights – but I finally decided to go to college and try to tie the many things I cared about together and make a career out of it.” While taking night classes at Tri-C, before CSU, she talked with Nina Turner, a mentor Huber says might not have any idea the sort of impact she made on her, about her future. “My father, who passed away when I was 12, taught us to root for the underdog, to speak up for things and people that couldn’t speak for themselves,” Huber says. “And I recognized, in part from my father’s passing, that environmental and pollution issues had so much injustice tied to them. I also realized my passion for water, which as we all know, is life.” — Vince Grzegorek


Photo by Ken Blaze

JACQUELINE GREENE Attorney, Friedman & Gilbert


ike many Clevelanders, Jacqueline Greene is catching her breath a little bit after the conclusion of the RNC, but just for a moment.

plauded the city for making it through the week relatively unscathed, we were still concerned at what we saw was a successful attempt to chill protests.”

As a coordinator for the National Lawyer’s Guild Ohio chapter, Greene worked through the convention, and will continue working beyond, to help ensure that civil rights remain protected as they intersect with politics and police. When it came to the RNC, there were a few dozen arrests, far fewer than many had expected, but there was plenty to be concerned about nonetheless.

But enough about the RNC. Greene’s role there was laudable and necessary, but so too is her work with the firm of Friedman & Gilbert, where she and the team work on correctional and institutional misconduct cases that cut right to the heart of some of Cleveland’s longstanding problems. For instance, she was on the team that represented the family of Kenny Smith in their civil case against the city of Cleveland and police for Smith’s wrongful death at the hands of an officer. (The family was awarded a $5.5 million judgment by a jury, all this despite Prosecutor Tim McGinty finding the shooting to be justified.) They also work on policy issues stemming from the consent decree with the Department of Justice.

“Since 1968, the reason we’re there, at large-scale political events like the RNC, is because very frequently there are massive civil rights violations occurring,” she says. “What was interesting here was that the number of protestors seemed to have been lower than other recent nominating conventions, however, we saw a militarized police presence, a number of different agencies involved, and the types of weaponry they were carrying was a show of force. They engaged pretty strongly with the crowd and it became evident that there was some preemptive law enforcement going on -- there were FBI door knocks before and during the event, there was an intimidation factor that played into the presence of protestors. It’s a chilling effect. While many people ap-

It’s the sort of work that brought Greene, a Northeast Ohio native, back to Cleveland in 2014. After graduating law school in 2011, she worked in London at the International Bar Association, spent a few months in Cambodia working on the criminal defense team for Nuon Chea (a.k.a. Brother Number Two, one-time second in command to Pol Pot) -- “If you deny rights to those seen as by society as the worst of the worst, that means those

rights can be denied to anyone” -- and worked in D.C. at the American Bar Association, among other things. But on a trip back to Cleveland she met up with noted civil rights lawyer Terry Gilbert and soon got a job offer to work at his firm. “When I was younger, I did not intend on sticking around the Greater Cleveland area,” she says. “Eventually I came to the realization that if I really wanted to be engaged in the work in a meaningful way, I needed to be at home, where I had an intimate understanding of the area and thought the work was of value. I feel really fortunate to do my job with people are passionate and compassionate at the same time. And I feel really fortunate to be in a place where the work with the people in the city makes a difference in community interests, whether individually or in a larger context.” Greene, who’s lived on the near west side off and on since 2009, otherwise enjoys the hobbies many Clevelanders do -- exploring the growing food and drink scene, attending gallery openings -- but can also be found at monthly salsa dances around the city. “It’s a very social dance,” she says. “You meet new people, and they teach you a little something you didn’t know.” — Vince Grzegorek | | July 27 - August 2, 2016



| clev evve en evesce nee..ccom m | July July Ju ly 27 27 - August A gguustt 2, Aug Au 2, 2016 2016

| | July 27 - August 2, 2016





hen he was just 15 years old, Youssa Ben’s family and friends and neighbors knew the best place to get their hair cut wasn’t up at the corner barbershop, it was at Ben’s house. More specifically, it was in Ben’s mother’s basement, where he began chopping hair partly because of his little brother. “I picked it up because of him,” Ben says. “I didn’t want him looking raggity going to school, wanted to keep him well groomed. It just kind of went from there.” From there meant a word of mouth-sort of business that led everyone to the

basement in Westpark and a future as a professional barber, even if his mom might have initially hoped her son would be a doctor or lawyer. But she saw her son making money and staying out of trouble, so he got her blessing. Ben is 33 years old now and has spun through barbershops across Cleveland after getting his license about five years ago after finishing up at the All-State Barber College in Ohio City. There was Santana’s barbershop and then Frank’s, a shop downtown that shut down after police came looking for one of the owners on drug charges. “Yeah, I guess there was some drug money or

laundering,” says Ben. No matter. By then Ben had pretty much figured out how to network and market himself, and though he works out of the B Loft Barbershop down in the Flats near Stonebridge, more often than not he’s at his clients’ homes making house calls to some names you definitely know. “I started off with the social media, Instagram and whatnot, and I jumped on early and pretty much figured out how to network,” Ben says. “The first person I was trying to get was Swish.”

And Swish, of course, is J.R. Smith of the Cavs. “He hit me up for a haircut when he came to town,” he says, and thus Ben was introduced into the small network of folks taking care of Cavs and Browns players, the kind of work that has you keeping a travel pack with all your tools in the car and making odd-hour arrivals at their houses to keep them looking good. “I’ve done Channing Frye, Kyrie once, Joe Haden once, a few of the Browns players,” he says, including onetime Brown Phil Taylor.

The first celebrity or athlete, he means.

Photo by Ken Blaze

He’s basically working straight by appointment these days and trying to continue to grow his network. But chopping up Joe Haden can’t be the same thing as cutting your little brother’s hair in a basement, right? The skills and experience are there, but the singular opportunity to do so and, however slightest the possibility, maybe screw it up. How nerve wracking. Ben laughs when the idea is brought up. First of all, he’s really good. And second of all, when you’re that good, you know how to fix things so no one ever knows anything was wrong in the first place. “Once you get to a certain point in the barbering game,” he says, “you might mess up but there’s always a way to fix it. To understand hair, how it looks and how you cut it a certain way, if you accidentally put a line in a fade, for example, there are ways to fade it right back out.” What’s Ben up to when he’s not cutting hair? Well, first, “I’m always cutting hair,” he says. “I’m up at 7 a.m. and I leave for work and I do housecalls after that and then I crash.” He’s been working for the privilege of doing so for a decade and a half now. “The only thing, I think, that people don’t understand -- they think I just started when I went to school four years ago and then started doing amazing shit. What they don’t understand is I’ve been doing it for 16 years now. It’s been a lot of hard work, countless hours of haircuts, pulling 12-hour days in my mom’s basement. I just wasn’t going to stop.” —Vince Grzegorek


| | July 27 - August 2, 2016


3rd scene

shot glass IN THE SERIES



Guests receive drinkk speccials, light apps and a present from Santa

| m | July 27 - Augus Augustt 2, 2016




Dancer, Verb Ballets


efore he came to Cleveland for the 2015 International Association of Blacks in Dance conference, Omar Humphrey didn’t even know Verb Ballets existed. He grew up in Dallas; he graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in modern dance earlier in that year; he’d done tours in Austria; he’d spent time living in New York. So when it came to his audition and the offers her received after the conference, Verb was something new to consider, in more ways than one. “I had a unique process. I saw Verb perform during the conference, and it was the host company for the conference. And I had about eight offers but mainly for modern dance,” he says after rehearsal one weekday morning in July. “I decided, if I want to do this thing called dance, I should really stretch my ballet skills.” At Oklahoma, he’d been in the modern rep and ballet companies, but he’d never pushed himself when it came to ballet, at least not in the classical sense. Now, at the age of 23, he’s in his second season with Verb. “I’ve grown a lot,” he says. “I dove into it.” Verb Ballets is a contemporary ballet company located on the east side. Not only do the members of the company, who come from prestigious schools all across the country, perform, they also train and teach youth groups. It makes for a grueling and busy, but rewarding, weekly schedule. There’s class from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. Rehearsal from noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Weekend performances. And a teaching schedule from about 4 to 8:30 p.m. every Monday through Friday. For Humphrey, he’s teaching various talent and age levels, working out the students’ steps in technique classes, few of which are actually ballet. “In addition to teaching modern jazz, I also teach at two gymnastic schools.” “It’s grueling,” says Humphrey “ but pure magic.”

Photo by Ken Blaze

Over the past year, there have been many standouts, but for Humphrey, the production of Peter Pan was perhaps the most meaningful professionally and personally. “I got to work with a choreographer named Pamela Pribisco,” he says. “She’s inspired me so much since I’ve been here -- artistically, socially, in a business sense. She’s inspired me to differentiate personal from business when it comes to being an artist. She reminds me when you’re in front of a room, the people will react to how you act. So if you want them to have a specific reaction, you have to act that way. She’s taught me so much. You’re an employee first and you do the work you’re paid to do. And try not to beat yourself up; you are trying to be as expressive and vulnerable as you can, and sometimes that comes off in social situations too.”

The pinnacle of that magic comes onstage. “It’s joyful,” he says, to put it simply. “It’s a high incomparable to anything else. Your heart is racing, the lights are shining, and once you walk off the stage, you ask yourself what the hell just happened. You don’t even remember until something knocks you out of that dreamlike world. You try to get it in the studio but there’s nothing like being on stage. All your endorphins are just running wild.”


| | July 27 - August 2, 2016

That’s a lot from one production, and Humphrey speaks in monologues, which is not surprising given his profession. While he asks a co-worker to double check the spelling of Pribisco’s last name -- he wants to make sure she gets a shout out -- he talks about the rest of his life, which mainly fall into the category of things he can do in his house. He loves Cleveland, but, “I’m a homebody. I like to hang out with my cat. I’m a huge cook. I crochet. I’m a homebody.” — Vince Grzegorek


JASON ESTREMERA Director of Business Services, Northeast Ohio Hispanic Business Center; Owner, Trunk clothing store


ason Estremera attributes his keen fashion sensibilities to his mother.

“My mom is the quirkiest lady you’ll ever meet,” says Estremera, who grew up in the Chicago suburbs. We’re talking one afternoon at Trunk, his men’s clothing store in Detroit-Shoreway. “We were the kids in the minivan being dropped off at school, and my mom was listening to Prince and Violent Femmes and the Cure. I was inspired by the sense of rebellion in not only the music but their clothing. I would emulate that. In the ’90s, shock rock and grunge was popular and so different. For someone who felt different on the inside, I thought I could use fashion and style to reflect that on the outside. My mother wore bolo ties and she kind of went through this Annie Lennox phase where she wore men’s clothes. I felt comfortable being ‘weird’ at that time.” In 2010, he moved to Cleveland with JP Morgan Chase as an assistant branch manager in the Gordon Square Arts District. He immediately fell in love with the area and put down roots, purchasing a house and contributing to the neighborhood’s economy. Just last year, he opened Trunk, a small storefront that sells used and new men’s clothing, accessories and lifestyle products. “I’ve always wanted to open a men’s clothing store,” he says adding that he grew up shopping at flea markets and secondhand stores because “you could embrace your own style without buying into an image.” It doesn’t hurt that he also earned a Bachelor’s of Science in textiles, apparel and merchandising while in Chicago. “I love the idea of dressing up a space. I didn’t want to design. I wasn’t strong at that, but give me a pile of clothes, and I can create something amazing. I love shopping. I like studying store layouts, branding and merchandising. I’m fascinated by the story that’s being told through all of that.” Being a small business owner certainly helps give him credibility with his Northeast Ohio Hispanic Business Center and Chamber of Commerce clients. The organization’s outreach and impact within the local community has increased, and Estremera hopes that the forthcoming El Mercado, a collection of Hispanic shops, will help define La Villa Hispana, an area along West 25th St., as Cleveland’s Latino epicenter. “It’s been one hell of a journey going from corporate America to a nonprofit. You have to work 50 times harder to prove yourself, but the payoff is so

Photo by Ken Blaze

tremendous,” he says of working at the organization. “The Hispanic Business Center is a community of entrepreneurs who are getting started or growing. We meet at this intersection of idea and passion. There’s also a spiritual element in that you’re pushing yourself and there are these magical connections that lead to opportunities.” His ultimate goal? To promote and embrace Cleveland’s rich cultural diversity. “I’m fascinated with Cleveland because we live in a city

where people are hungry for cultural exchange,” he says. “I want people to see how beautiful the diversity is here. Our Hispanic-owned businesses are creating jobs and tax revenues and persevering through the hard work that goes into being a minority in America. The work that the center has put into La Villa Hispana has provided a stage for these businesses to show Cleveland what they got. It’s about preserving the heritage of an immigrant community through creating meaningful, tangible change. It’s about showing our future leaders that they can make it past expectations.” — Jeff Niesel | | July 27 - August 2, 2016



Photo by Ken Blaze

STEFAN WAS Owner, Porco Lounge & Tiki Room


hree years ago a guy with zero restaurant experience decided to open a bar in a habitually vacant building a half mile from civilization. To say the odds were stacked against him is an understatement of grand proportions. But that bar — Porco Lounge & Tiki Room — is approaching a million dollars in annual sales, a testament to the vision, passion and dedication of owner Stefan Was. “I was confident that it could be something, but my biggest insecurity laid in not knowing the business,” Was recalls. “But we had a passion for tiki and we wanted to help spread what we loved about the quality and lifestyle of having an awesome experience. People will get it, if you give it.” At a time when craft cocktail bars — lounges — were popping up across town, Was went down a connected but divergent path. His bar would serve craft cocktails every bit as complex as those mixed in posh clubs but, unlike most of those haunts, Porco would be a blast. “We take the pretention out of it — not just the cocktails but the whole experience,” says Was. “Our bartenders are wearing Hawaiian shirts, we’re listening to fun


| | July 27 - August 2, 2016

music, we’re having fun. If anybody is having more fun at work than we do, I want that job.” But don’t mistake Was for the ditzy social director of the S.S. Tiki. Step inside the fantastical world of Porco and you’d be hard-pressed to identify the owner, who either is in the kitchen making tacos, bussing tables in an apron, or otherwise supporting his staff in any way possible. Was is the anti-celebrity owner, a trait that makes him the best kind of owner. “I don’t like to be an interesting guy; this whole thing is very uncomfortable for me,” he says of being selected for inclusion in this issue. “I’m humbled and I’m happy, but I don’t like celebrity and recognition. When you start swinging your owner dick around, the business and the experience becomes about you and not the guest.” When Team Porco was invited down to the South Beach Wine and Food Festival to compete in the Art of Tiki Cocktail Showdown, Was did the unthinkable: He shut down Porco for an entire weekend and brought the whole crew with him, paying the way of 18 staffers as a thank you for hard work.

“My philosophy has always been: my staff, my customers and my products all go before me. If I do all of those things right, the rest just falls into place.” When money does roll in — Was calls Porco “the house that Painkillers built” — it doesn’t go to fine threads and fancy rims; it goes right back into the business. Every visit to Porco reveals some physical improvement, whether it’s the towering backbar, the picturesque urban patio, or the colorful new hand-drawn menu. But even those decisions are not solely management’s to make. “We do everything by committee here,” he says. “I gear the money to the staff and around their opinions. I don’t say this lightly, but we have the best in the business. With their talent, these guys could be making way more money in a nightclub. What they get to keep here is their soul.” So how is all of this success weighing on the shoulders of the reluctant big wheel? “I’ve literally been proud with tears,” he says. “When it stops being like that I’ll look at myself and ask what am I doing wrong.” — Douglas Trattner

BlUe PoInT BrEwInG CoMpAnY

ToAsTeD ToUr heading your way with a

boatload of beer

JuLy 30

FlAtS EaSt BaNk ClEvElAnD, Oh live music by givers, THE lighthouse and the whaler, and brother starrace

| | July 27 - August 2, 2016





arlier this July, Marcus Alan Ward performed an album release show at Beachland Ballroom to celebrate the new material on Little Sunshine. The show sold out, and the album, performed in its entirety, is a highlight for the local music scene this summer. Listen: Ward is a forward-thinking guy in a town that increasingly rewards that sort of work ethic. But the music scene here can sometimes be a bit stodgier. He came up in rock bands and screamo bands when he was younger, so the “progressive pop” tag that he wears on his sleeve with this latest material presents something of a contrast, something less easily digestible. It’s even a far cry from more recent electronic music that he released under the moniker Freeze-Tag. But Ward keeps his eyes on the horizon, and he watches out for auspicious signs on his path.

Ward ended up at a show in Detroit a while back, he says, watching a DJ spin funk all night. “I just remember dancing by myself all night -- and I dance by myself all the time, because I like to -- but I remember dancing by myself, people looking at me, and I’m like, ‘Wow, this shit is awesome,’” he tells Scene. “There was a moment when a song came on, and it was an old funk song from the 1970s, and the dude was like, ‘My name is Marcus! And I’m a Capricorn!’ That was in the song. And I’m Marcus and I’m a Capricorn. It was a moment of synergy, and I felt like I needed to be there in that moment in time.” From there, Ward took a deep dive into the funk world and began blending his new influences with older vibes like garage rock (White Stripes) and moodier post-rock stuff (Interpol). This hybridization is a motif in Ward’s creative pursuits. “I’m blessed to have parents who let me do anything I wanted,” Ward says. “And especially as an African-American, a lot of times I saw my peers and kids I grew up with be super limited because they felt they had to be a certain way or listen to a certain type of music -- or live up to an image that’s been sold to us by someone from outside our culture.” Ward tried on all sorts of creative influences, and he happened to land on the guitar, which came as a Christmas gift when he was 14. (He learned the “Jingle Bells” melody that day.) And another thing: Ward cites something of an entrepreneurial spirit, even as far back as age 8 and 9 or so. He kept lizards and snakes as pets while he was growing up, and he created fascinating little worlds for them -- creative terrariums -- and found ways to sell them to other prospective pet owners. He really ran with that sense of ambition. “When I was able to take that guitar and create something out of thin air, that was super attractive to me,” Ward says. Everything has been a building block for this young son of Cleveland, and he’s quick to point out that there’s something larger at work here -- something he wants to show this city. “‘I’ve said it before: Whenever I tell somebody that I make music, they just assume and they ask, ‘How long have you been rapping?’ That’s exactly what they ask me every time,” he says. “Being a black rock musician is very important to me, because first of all rock is my favorite genre. I think that it holds within its spirit the old world where African-Americans came from -- the vibrations with gospel and blues and soul, that’s all present in rock music -- and I think it needs to be preserved. I’m built to do it. “For Cleveland, it’s been hard to break through the mold of the typical black artist that makes rap music. Some publications here still write ‘hip-hop alternative artist’ or ‘hip-hop electronic artist Marcus Alan Ward does this or that…’ I see it, and it’s just crazy to me.” — Eric Sandy


| | July 27 - August 2, 2016

Photo by Ken Blaze


RAFAEL “EL ALCALDE” HERNANDEZBRITO Bilingual Announcer, Spanish Voice of the Cleveland Cavaliers


eople think Hispanics only love soccer,” says a laughing, smiling Rafael Hernandez-Brito, by way of introducing his career. Hernandez-Brito, also known affectionately as Rafa El Alcalde — “The Mayor” in English, a name he received from a colleague — has been the Spanish voice of every professional sport under the sun and stadium lights: soccer, boxing, mixed-martial arts, bowling, golf, hockey, football, basketball. “From the beginning I didn’t want to marry myself to one sport,” he says. “I’ll call any game, in any language.” Before he became the Spanish voice of the Cavaliers two years ago, El Alcalde covered the ’05 World Series when the White Sox defeated the Astros. He covered the Super Bowl in 2008 when Eli Manning and the Giants ended Tom Brady and the Patriots’ perfect season. He has covered the last five World Cups. This year he covered the Cavaliers’ historic win over an equally historic Warriors team in the Finals.

Photo by Ken Blaze

James. Both of their paths led them far from home to Miami, then to Cleveland at the beginning of the 2014-2015 season. For both men, the past two years have come to define their careers. “It is the biggest moment of my 20-year broadcasting career, not only because of what it means personally but also because of what it means to all Cavs fans in Cleveland, Northeast Ohio and everywhere,” he says.

His fascinating path to the microphone has been equal parts serendipity, talent, and deviation from the script. “At first, I wanted to build jet engines,” he says with a shrug. “Don’t ask me why.”

engineering from Boston University, but, because of his status as a permanent resident, his options were limited. He’d always been a sports fan and, further, always an active consumer and student of how games were broadcast. So, Brito went back to school for broadcasting. His first announcing job came for the St. John’s University’s men’s basketball the day of graduation. A month into his first gig, by what he says was pure luck, Brito found himself at a black tie dinner sitting and chatting with Muhammad Ali. After sports casting for St. John’s, the New Jersey Nets, and covering boxing matches in Las Vegas in Spanish, he and a colleague joined a broadcasting company that eventually merged with Univision. He spent 12 years with the company acting as its director of sports and Spanish voice of the NFL for the majority of his tenure.

He received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical

Since then, El Alcalde’s story mirrors that of Lebron

Yes, we certainly do. — Tucker Kelly

“If you go to the movies and watch the Cavaliers’ 2015/2016 season and you see the ending, you’ll come out and say, ‘C’mon. Did that really happen?’” Only seven NBA teams bring their Spanish-speaking sportscasters on road trips: the Mavericks, Rockets, Spurs, Heat, Magic, Lakers (TV only), and, of course, the Cavaliers. Once he came to Cleveland, Brito became the first and only Spanish-language sportscaster to cover the finals of the holy trinity of professional sports: the MLB, the NFL and the NBA.

Uncharacteristically lowering his voice for a second, Brito says, “I ran into someone who had gone to the cemetery the day before the parade to celebrate with his father, because his father passed away and never got a chance to see the Cavaliers win a championship. Cleveland has a champion now.”

| | July 27 - August 2, 2016



Photo by Ken Blaze

SETI MARTINEZ Owner/Operator, Seti’s Polish Boys


he outside temperature is 91 degrees Fahrenheit and Seti Martinez is standing, as he has been almost daily for 15 years, inside a metal box on wheels. That would be brutal enough, but that metal box also happens to contain a smoking-hot griddle and two bubbling deep fryers, causing the internal temps to climb well above 100 degrees. No joke: The upbeat sounds of Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer” play over the sound system. Martinez, a Marine vet wounded in Vietnam, dresses in a spotless white T-shirt, camouflage pants and dark shades. He’s trim, tan and wears his silver hair closely cropped. Behind him, Marsha, his wife of 39 years, tries to keep cool by fluttering a small folding fan across her face. In the face of such challenging physical conditions, conditions exacerbated by his disability and long hours on his feet, Martinez soldiers on. “I just concentrate on what I’m doing,” he says. What he’s doing is trying to get established in his first new spot in a decade. For the past 10 years, everybody knew that Martinez and his Polish Boy truck would be parked outside Dean Supply, a restaurant supply warehouse near Cleveland’s produce terminal. But that relationship went south recently, forcing Martinez to release the parking brake and move on.


| | July 27 - August 2, 2016

“We’ve always had a long line wherever we go, but now we have to get established at this new spot,” he says. That new spot is on Lorain Avenue near West 42nd Street, a spot selected because it meets his requirements of a “good spot.” There’s foot traffic, car traffic, and plenty of homes and businesses in the area. Seti’s Polish Boys is on Facebook, but Martinez admits to being lax about updating the page. He says that after cooking all day, cleaning the rig, shopping for and restocking ingredients, social media is easily overlooked. “I know I need to let the people know where I’m gonna be,” he says. Martinez first got the idea to do a food truck after seeing one in a catalog at Dean. That was way back in 2001, a decade before the food truck revolution would invade Cleveland. “There were no food trucks around and I had no idea about them,” he says. Martinez worked with the V.A. to secure a bank loan, teaching himself how to use a computer at the library to draft a business plan and scour the marketplace for a rig. When he took possession six months later, he said Polish Boys were an obvious choice. “All the barbecue joints were doing Polish Boys because they had the slaw, the barbecue sauce, the

sausages,” he says. Martinez starts with quarter-pound, all-beef hot dogs, which get a quick dunk in the deep fryer before a hot roll on the griddle. The tube steak is topped with slaw, fries and a homemade barbecue sauce. “You have to know how to work the grill, which is not that hard, but it has to be done the right way,” Martinez says between customers. “It’s not just throwing dogs on the grill; you have to know when they’re right because everything has to come out the same way all the time — nothing overcooked or undercooked, over-salted or under-salted. And you have to work the window.” Martinez, who splits his time between his weekday perch and weekend events like festivals, weddings, graduation bashes and bar mitzvahs, says his dream is to open a small restaurant. “I worked in some of the best restaurants in Cleveland, so I know how to handle myself,” he says. Does Martinez eat Polish Boys? “You know what, nobody ever asked me that! I eat chili dogs, mostly.” — Douglas Trattner


Photo by Ken Blaze

KELLY NOVAK Director of Education and Outreach, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio


efore she worked for Planned Parenthood, Kelly Novak was a patient. In fact, after her very first visit to a clinic, she knew she was destined to be a part of this organization: “In the rear-view mirror I saw the logo on the side of the building. I decided right then and there that I was gonna work for Planned Parenthood because this is how people should be treated.” The atmosphere surrounding her job and the organization’s place in state and national politics has grown increasingly contentious in recent years, but Novak is more determined than ever. “What I hope to see is the continued destigmatization of all things sexual and reproductive health,” she says. “It is ridiculous the vast difference in language, in protocol, in ethos around everything sexual and reproductive health [compared to other areas of health].” This means working across all areas of life for the patients and all areas of Ohio, and beyond. What does that mean in practical terms? In her time working with Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, Novak has led the department through myriad educational programs throughout 68 of Ohio’s 88 counties. That involves a dozen currently active programs including providing free HIV testing, STI education, birth control information, as well as programs like PREP (Personal

Responsibility and Education Program) and Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies, which works to address the high infant mortality rate in Ohio by aiding pregnant women and new mothers in their travels through various stages of motherhood. It all started with a grant making her department the exclusive provider of comprehensive sex education for the Cleveland school district. It included STI and birth control information, as well as education on healthy relationships and consent. Training peer health educators at high schools in Cleveland and other cities across Ohio is another aspect of Novak’s work, placing the students themselves in the role of educator. Novak remembers one woman in particular, when asked about her favorite experiences on the job. The woman had just left a rehab facility and was working to stay clean. “She was so young and she had been through a lot — more than most of us will go through in a life,” Novak says. “She just looked at me and said, ‘This was the only place I knew I could come and be honest about my life and not be judged.’ I think about her every single day.” The memories are proud even in moments of great distress. The state of Ohio recently voted to defund Planned Parenthood across the state — the

organization is currently in the middle of a lawsuit against the action — and Novak had a moment when she saw all of the services the organization provides listed in the official complaint. It struck her: “Just seeing one after the other, after the other, it was a great moment to step back and say, ‘Wow. This is really what we do. We really serve all these tens of thousands of people.’” Sexual health isn’t the only topic on which Novak is educating the community; she’s also a certified yoga instructor. With several regular classes each week, she’s been teaching in Cleveland for more than six years: “I have a couple regular gigs; it keeps me sane and accountable,” she says. She recently collaborated with an organization called ZenWorks Yoga that works to host yoga and mindfulness exercises for underserved children and families; they seek out yoga teachers from the area and host donation-based sessions in order to raise money and get the community involved. “My grandma asked me one day, sort of bewildered, ‘How do these two things relate to each other?’” Novak says. “Both tie to my core belief that we should all be in charge of ourselves and we should all be a whole person. Both of these aspects of my life address that in different ways.” — Cecelia Ellis | | July 27 - August 2, 2016



Photo by Ken Blaze

LISA MALANIJ Pattern Maker, Fashion Designer


etroit-Shoreway was the perfect atmosphere to foster the creativity of 29-year-old Lisa Malanij when growing up. The neighborhood, of course, looked a little different back then, in the 1980s and 1990s, before it was home to the Gordon Square Arts District. But Malanij had plenty of inspiration at home. Her paternal grandfather, Bohdan Malanij, was a painter and art teacher from the Ukraine, and her father, Paul Malanij, worked as an art director and graphic designer. For the budding designer, who was inspired by Alexander McQueen, expressing herself meant carefully choosing what to wear to school. “I always got compliments on my outfits, by the big seventh- and eighth-graders,” she says. “I was also notorious at Westside Baptist Christian School and Lutheran West High School for my alternative style. Going to private school meant certain dress codes and no fun hair colors or extreme styles. I was jealous


| | July 27 - August 2, 2016

of my public school friends who could wear whatever they wanted and color and cut their hair anyway they wanted to.”

facturers. Malanij works under Sean Bilovecky of Wrath Arcane, Dredgers Union, Whiskey Grade and Reverence Co. design fame.

Malanij’s journey next took her to the fashion school at Kent State University, where she graduated in 2009. Sure, she’d seriously considered studying psychology and pursuing a career in the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit, but her passion was fashion. So she spent time learning the industry in New York City, where she completed an internship with Soundgirl during her junior year, building up her portfolio, experimenting and working with clients. She then spent seven years post-grad working for local designers, freelancing and creating her own garments and labels — hard work that has paid off.

“We started in a basement, then to the back of the Whiskey Grade store office on West 25th Street and Jay Avenue with a rad see-through window so customers could watch us pattern make and design,” she says, “I had been wanting to work with him ever since I discovered Wrath Arcane my junior year of college.”

For the past year and a half, Malanij has been the lead pattern maker at The Pattern Makers, one of the leading pattern making companies in America and the top pattern factory on Maker’s Row, an online marketplace that helps clients pair up with American-based manu-

“My future goals are to establish my own brands or be a creative director of an already existing brand,” she says. “So, keep your eyes out and check back on me in a couple years. I will probably have new accomplishments under my belt.” — Bliss Davis

In June, the company moved again to partner with FORMA MFG Apparel and Design, a new apparel factory in Beachwood. There have been ups and downs but Malanij always has her eye on what’s next.

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STEVEN CAPLE JR. Director, The Land fter a glitzy premiere scheduled for Aug. 3, The Land will hit local theaters, and audiences should be prepared for the illest film about Cleveland ever made. Have you heard of it? The Land chronicles the life and times of four teenage skateboarders who turn to slinging drugs to escape their dead-end lives.


“An adult sees a sad abandoned warehouse; a kid sees a playground.”

It’s directed by Cleveland native Steven Caple Jr.

“It was always ball,” Caple says. (He played at John Marshall High School, too.) “But when I wasn’t playing basketball, or at school, I was making movies with my mom’s camcorder.”

Right now, Caple’s back in town filming a music video for Ezri Walker’s latest track “Goodbye.” Walker (the actor/artist known as Ezzy) stars in the film, alongside Machine Gun Kelly, Erykah Badu, The Wire’s Michael Kenneth Williams, up-and-comers like Jorge Lendeborg Jr., who’s set to appear in Spiderman: Homecoming, and the city of Cleveland itself. “I wanted to tell a story about Cleveland,” Caple tells Scene, “because the Cleveland that you see on TV, and the urban communities you see on TV — that’s not how I grew up.” His version has all the gritty urban landscapes you’d expect — deserted warehouses, crumbling infrastructure, graffiti-vined convenience stores — but Caple says The Land isn’t just “another gritty hood film,” especially because it’s told from the perspective of kids. “And that gives it a different sort of gloss,” Caple says.


| | July 27 - August 2, 2016

Caple grew up on the playgrounds of the near-westside. He moved around a lot, but much of his youth was spent on the basketball courts of Michael J. Zone and Cudell.

Some of his early hits: Scary Movie 5, Bad Boys III.

shots but would come back with a full short film. That work ethic, and his artistic vision centered on humanity’s “dark edge,” got him into USC’s film school — one of the country’s most highly regarded. There, he continued to grow as a writer and as an artist. In the meantime, Cleveland was blowing up as a location for Hollywood films. Caple came home to intern and be a production assistant on sets, but says the experience wasn’t all that gratifying. “I thought this was my chance,” he says. “I’m going to work in the movies. But they’d be like, ‘You can stand there and make sure no one passes the line.’”

“I was a huge Will Smith fan,” Caple says. When he got the opportunity to go to BaldwinWallace on a scholarship, he took it, even though the film program at that time was still in its infancy. “It wasn’t even a major until my junior year,” Caple recalls. But Caple’s not dissing the program. He double-majored in marketing and says he enjoyed the attention of the faculty who recognized his ambitions. Besides, he was doing post-secondary coursework at Tri-C and had access to their film equipment over the summer. Caple says he was the sort of student who, in a cinematography class, would be assigned to collect a couple of specific

So when Caple got the opportunity to make The Land — he’d enticed investors with a short film, to prove that a movie about multi-racial skateboarding kids in an ethereally shot Rust Belt city, a city where, during snowy winters, kids practice skateboarding in basements, is actually dope — he balked at filming elsewhere. “They pushed hard for Michigan,” Caple tells Scene. “But was I really going to come here and shoot B-roll and then go back up to Michigan? I’d be like those dudes recreating New York City for Spider-Man.” Not on Caple’s watch. — Sam Allard


MYRA ROSARIO Host, Yo Soy Latino Cleveland


ic check: 1 ... 2 ... 3,” Myra Rosario says into the mic clipped onto the collar of her blue-and-white summer dress. Seated on the stage in Studio B at WKYC, she is preparing for an interview of a local non-profit for her show, Yo Soy Latino Cleveland. The guest is late and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Rosario steps off of the stage and leaves the room in search of the producer. She returns, but leaves the room again briefly to get some air. Every time the heavy, soundproof door opens, the anxious crew glances in its direction. Nervous glances give way to relief when the guest finally walks in. After a brief prep for the interview, they take their seats and the production assistant begins the countdown to taping. “5, 4, 3, 2, and …” Rosario is a natural in front of the camera, but initially didn’t want to be the host of her show. After being selected for a Civic Innovation Lab grant in 2010, and having already done consulting, promoting, writing, sales and running her website,, she figured one of the best ways to get her message out and actually connect with the community would be a TV show. Now, she’s the brain, heart and face of the operation.

“It’s the first Hispanic American show dedicated to the local Hispanic community on a network station in the country,” Rosario says. “Not only is it owned by a Latina — I’m the sole owner — I might be the only Latina who owns a show on a network station.” Her story is an immigrant’s story — a wholly American story. Rosario began on the street level, promoting events by passing out fliers in the city’s westside Hispanic community where she grew up. The daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants who did not speak English when they arrived, and raised by a single mother, Rosario has taken serious risks and undertaken serious responsibility for herself, her family, and for her community. “You deal with some serious lows as an entrepreneur,” she says. Despite the trials of getting a media, promotional and consulting company off the ground, the entrepreneur has received a warm Cleveland welcome. “People have given me a chance,” she says in reflection. Seventy to 80 percent of her show is presented in English, and the rest in Spanish. All guests are local and Latino. It’s for them she has created this platform. And every week at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, the show and her guests are seen across Cleveland on Channel 3. (The shows can also be found on her website.) Rosario’s vision is to be an envoy from the Hispanic community and a teacher in the non-Hispanic community. “ Yo Soy Latino Cleveland and LatinoCleveland. com should be a destination for non-Latinos to know all the Latino nonprofits, organizations, doctors, accountants, what’s happening in Hispanic communities, what’s going on.” With her culture lies her passion. “I know that I can never give this up,” she says. “I didn’t give all this blood, sweat, tears, time and sacrifices in relationships — all this stuff — for no reason. Ain’t no going back.” — Tucker Kelly Photo by Ken Blaze

| | July 27 - August 2, 2016



JOHN DOUGLAS Bouncer, Grog Shop


f you’ve been to the Grog Shop in the past 11 years, you’ve seen John Douglas. Often sporting a sleeveless T-shirt, backwards ball cap and grizzled goatee, Douglas holds court as security detail at the storied eastside music venue. The Grog Shop has gotten out ahead of a lot of big names. “We had Bruno Mars before he had a stylist,” Douglas says. “He was a really nice kid.” (He remembers the pop superstar trying to sneak some cigarettes inside the venue and having to direct him behind the curtain. “Here, I’ll join ya,” he told him.) Douglas cites a 9 Shocks Terror and Subhumans concert as the first night of his employment. “My boss at the time, she grabbed me and, ‘Just get on the stage and keep them off!’ And I found I had some aptitude for it. Everybody still talks about that show. The 9 Shocks fans set off a smoke bomb, which set off our fire alarm five seconds into the set. The band is playing, the lights are out, the sprinklers are going, and I’m pulling Steve in and out of the damn audience and I’m still blocking the audience, then they emptied the whole club, and somehow we were able to continue. People are a lot easier to deal with 11 years later. “I just take these shows one at a time,” he says. He and his co-captain Terry work together to keep the peace; they bring an attitude of calm and community to shows. “We like to be bored,” Douglas says. “I don’t enjoy tossing people. We just want things to go as they are.” And, indeed, he maintains a friendly vibe with Grog regulars and the bands who roll through town on the reg. When asked what sort of music he digs, he avers that there’s not much out there that he’s interested in. “Anybody I want to hear is dead,” Douglas says, citing Cash, Haggard, Jennings. He gets to throw out the fact that he caught those concerts to young kids showing up at the Grog. “I have to get something for being old!

Photo by Ken Blaze

“I honestly don’t listen to anything now,” he says. “The radio in my car don’t work, and I kinda like the silence.” In between runs of shows at the Grog, the silence is indeed welcome. Douglas hangs out at his place in the Heights, laying low with his dog, a ferocious hunter and a loving friend. “She never really had a name. I say ‘Come on,’ and she comes,” he says. “I couldn’t imagine life without dogs.” Beyond that, Douglas, whose past includes an array of laborious blue-collar gigs, takes life one show at a time. He adopts a meditative, Zen-like approach to this work, all couched in a self-effacing Cleveland grace. — Eric Sandy


| | July 27 - August 2, 2016


AMY SCHNEIDER Instructor, Cleveland Yoga


ith Cleveland’s burgeoning renaissance comes a natural affinity for healthy living and active lifestyles. Cleveland Yoga, in Beachwood and Cleveland’s Uptown neighborhood, has been on the forefront of the revolution, as more Northeast Ohioans adopt active living practices and seek personal improvement. The yoga studio, which includes dynamic teacher Amy Schneider, is leading the charge into the city’s new ethos. “I never really planned on being a yoga teacher,” Schneider says. “I always liked practicing yoga, and then when I graduated from college — I went to the University of Michigan — I was working in Chicago and I went to a yoga teacher training just kind of for fun, with no intention to really teach.” And so she had some Baptiste training under her belt when Cleveland Yoga came calling in 2008. (Baptiste is a style of power Vinyasa yoga.) It was a natural fit, and Schneider soon found herself on the schedule more and more often — and liking the gig more than she thought she would. “It wasn’t some big dream of being a yoga teacher,” she says with a laugh. “It was fun.” It was organic. Schneider was fortunate enough, as well, to catch something of a wave here in Northeast Ohio (and elsewhere) that saw yoga classes suddenly boasting waiting lists and studios sprinting to offer expanded services. Cleveland’s own intersection with a new generation’s healthy living was on its way. Classes sprung up east to west, morning to night, with a roster of students who represented huge swaths of Cleveland’s population. It was a big change for an activity that, not too many years earlier, was little more than a niche hobby. “It was an exciting time to be a part of that,” she says. “And also at my age, to do something like that as a job. You know, you think of a ‘job’ and you think of sitting at a desk and wearing business-casual clothes. I got to show up in yoga pants and play fun music and be a part of this business that was flourishing. And I was part of this community y that was flourishing, and you could feel it. There was this energy there that was exciting. I came home at a great time when all that was happening.” By now, Schneider has mostly branched off into her own style of yoga; Baptiste was a “good foundation to grow from,” she says. Her students have really taken to her approach. And she and Cleveland Yoga have really taken to Cleveland’s new identity. Earlier this month, Schneider hosted a yoga class at FWD Day + Nightclub. “I think all of the studios are kind of branching outside their walls, doing events that grab the public’s attention,” she adds. It seems to be working quite well.

Photo by Ken Blaze

But beyond the studio and beyond the city, yoga is also something that has helped lead Schneider onto her own path in life. She’ll be going back to school to accent her part-time gig as a yoga teacher and to study interior design. (Schneider previously worked for an interior designer.) Her longterm goal is to blend those two passions into one formidable and joyful career. — Eric Sandy

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ALI MCCLAIN Director, Summer of Sisterhood, West Side Community House


put myself in three boxes,” says Ali McClain from the conference room of the West Side Community House, where she runs a summer camp for girls. “I’m a poet. I’m a youth advocate. And then I’m also an arts coordinator.” In that third box, McClain co-founded the local artists’ collective, Acerbic. She describes it as a youth-focused group that champions artists of color with installations and programming throughout the city. Its work has been featured at Slavic Village’s Rooms to Let Program for two years running. “The first year, we had been talking about the idea of feeling out of place. And we wanted our audience to feel what we feel, especially as artists of color in Cleveland’s arts scene. And so we turned the basement into a prison.” Right now, McClain’s in her “Ms. Ali” box, running the Summer of Sisterhood program she designed when she started working at the West Side Community House. After college, the Euclid native spent a few years in Michigan before returning home. At the moment, she’s taking a short break to talk to


| | July 27 - August 2, 2016

Scene while the 41 10- to 18-year-old girls participating in the camp are upstairs watching a movie. She’s got her camp T-shirt on too. It’s gray with a silhouette of a black girl in the center. On Aug. 5, the camp will conclude with a blowout performance at Tri-C, featuring original music performed by the campers. One year, the girls performed for a United Methodist Church national conference in Louisville where the keynote speaker was Hillary Clinton. “It’s always incredible to see these girls,” McClain says. “Many of them have no experience in performance, but it always comes together and it’s always powerful.” Though the content of the campers’ work tends to be, in McClain’s words, “girl-empowerment focused,” this year they’re talking about the national climate: about police brutality and about guns. “They’re trying to create music that addresses that stuff, but also offers some kind of solution, and then remembering that because there’s so much badness, this should be a good. If Eric Garner was, ‘I Can’t Breathe,’ what can I do? Can I show the world that

I am beautiful and brave and brilliant? At the same time, we have to realize that we are living in a really ugly time.” That’s part of why McClain has fused her work to include both art and advocacy. “For me, it just comes naturally,” she says. “Art should do something. It should move people. It should be teaching people and it should be helping people discover who they are. Art is activism.” In the fall, McClain will return to the Northeast Ohio MFA program, where she’ll soon receive a degree in poetry. (She’s already received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from the University of Toledo.) And if her schedule wasn’t full enough, McClain is working on a book of poetry. She also has work forthcoming in Belt Magazine’s Race Anthology, and one of her poems recently won a prize from the Academy of American Poets. “Yeah,” McClain admits, glancing at her watch, “I guess I’ve got a lot going on.” — Sam Allard


RONNIE DUNN Professor of Urban Studies, Cleveland State University


arely do we talk about it, or our public officials acknowledge it,” says Ronnie Dunn.

“It” is probably one of the dirtiest words in the American English lexicon. “It” is race. Dunn, a veteran, professor of urban studies at Cleveland State University and Cleveland native, has spent a lifetime studying race. His knowledge is encyclopedic — names, events, dates, figures, he recalls it all. He’ll finish your sentence, especially if you’re quoting someone else. “Cleveland and the Greater Cleveland region, this Metropolitan Statistical Area, is one of the most racially segregated in the country,” he says. “We consistently are. You always hear them talk about our diversity. Yes, there is ethnic diversity, but we are still racially isolated. We live in segregated communities.” It was Dunn’s research on racial discrimination in traffic stops that prompted the city to install traffic cameras. “I recommended cameras because they provide an objective means of determining who was violating traffic laws,” Dunn said in 2013. By this point, Dunn had been researching discrimination in ticketing in Cleveland for 20 years. He literally wrote the book on it. To Dunn’s dismay, 21 of 26 stationary cameras were installed on the eastside, where the city’s population of African Americans is most concentrated. It was Dunn and James Hardiman, at the time the legal director of the Ohio ACLU and chair of Legal Redress for the Ohio NAACP, who helped mobilize African American leaders to write the Department of Justice following the 2012 chase in which 137 shots were fired into the vehicle of Timothy Russell and Melisa Williams. The DOJ answered their call and spent nearly two years investigating the Cleveland Police Department, the second time the federal department had examined the city’s law enforcement in 10 years. “The thing that is really striking about [the D.O.J.’s report] is that they only mentioned race once,” Dunn says. That mention was on page 49 of a 58-page report. “It’s really a shame that these issues are allowed to persist when you consider the history of this city, particularly the racial-political history. [Cleveland]

Photo by Ken Blaze

was the first major American city to elect an African American mayor with Carl Stokes in 1967, having had three African American mayors, and black leaders at the highest levels of municipal government.” Despite Dunn’s calm demeanor and edifying ways, years of work studying the history and modern incarnations of racial discrimination have taken their toll on his worldview. “I’m less optimistic now that we’ll see the substantive reforms come out of this process as I initially thought,” he says. He has not been deterred, however. And his work continues, including consulting on reforms of the city’s

citizen complaint of police officers review process. It’s an area on which he’s focused recent studies, and an area the federal monitor in charge of the city’s consent decree with the Justice Department found fault. For instance: Cleveland has more than 300 citizen review complaints still open. A fifth of those are from two years ago. “We must believe things can get better or they won’t,” Dunn says. “Although it might not seem that way, I do maintain a sense of hope and optimism in spite of the evidence to the contrary. And truthfully, it is my students and young people of today’s openness to differences and diversity that gives me hope for the future.” — Tucker Kelly | | July 27 - August 2, 2016



Photo by Ken Blaze

LOUNG UNG Author/Activist


hen award-winning writers describe themselves, it’s best to step aside and listen.

“I’m tiny,” says Loung Ung. “On a good day with short heels, I’m 5-foot-2, and after a lot of beers I come in at a buck-fifteen, so it’s really hard to make an impression among the people in Washington, D.C. I only have a B.A. in political science — not a Ph.D. or double Ph.D. — but what I had was passion and a desire to work and speak about the big issues of war and peace.” In 1998, Ung was working in the campaign for a Landmine Free World in Washington and senators weren’t exactly flinging open their chunky wooden doors to meet with her. So she hatched a plan to turn diaries and journals about her childhood into a book that could serve as a sort of calling card. “I started the book with the hope that maybe if I could get 15 minutes — or even five minutes — with a senator, at least I would have something to leave behind so they hopefully remember me.” That book — and Ung’s face — soon appeared on the cover of USA Today, and suddenly every door in town opened to greet her. That book is “First They Killed My Father,” which recounts Ung’s experiences as a child surviving the Cambodian genocide. Later this year, the film version of that book will be released on Netflix. It is directed by Angelina Jolie-Pitt from a script that she and Ung adapted and co-wrote. The book became the first in a trilogy of memoirs, each with a unique story to tell, stories that address big issues like war and peace, deprivation and


| | July 27 - August 2, 2016

survival, adaptation and fulfilment. “The first book is my desire to tell the story of what it takes to survive a war. That’s not as easy as saying I survived, but what does it take as a family, as an individual. It actually takes a lot of work to survive a war. For the second, the activist in me wanted to tell the story of what it takes to survive the peace after it’s declared over and the press stops writing about it. And Lulu in the Sky tells the story of what it takes to go from surviving to thriving after you’ve survived the war and landed in a peaceful place.” Spoiler alert: Ung landed in Cleveland, where she lives with husband (and college sweetheart) Mark Priemer. On top of Ung’s roles as best-selling author, human rights activist, world traveler and polyglot, she is a business owner, founding with her husband and others the Market Garden family of bars, restaurants and breweries. When she isn’t drinking beer and practicing yoga, Ung is savoring life in Cleveland. “I’ve lived in Burlington, Vermont; Portland, Maine; and Washington, D.C.; and I’ve traveled to Nepal, Paris, Germany and Asia,” Ung explains. “Cleveland is a great place. We have great museums, theaters and orchestras, and I can do it all without having to wait in three-hour lines and pay twice as much money.” Ung also appreciates the long, deep history that many families — including her husband’s — enjoy here in the Midwest. “Where I came from, having to leave my country and family, it’s nice to have family roots. As a former refugee, I really enjoy seeing that and being in that environment.” — Douglas Trattner

Photo by Ken Blaze


TREVOR ELKINS Mayor, Newburgh Heights


s Newburgh Heights’ mayor Trevor Elkins a radical?

It’s worth asking of the 44-year-old politician, a man who has been mayor of the small blue-collar community just south of Cleveland since 2011, and a man who plans on being a name to know in politics for many years to come. As a member of the regional Mayors and City Managers Association, Elkins was the lone dissenting voice when that body voted to endorse the Sin Tax in 2014. Recently, as a board member for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, Elkins was the lone nay vote when the board adopted fare hikes and service cuts this summer. He’s an outspoken advocate for his constituents, but he rejects the radical label with a chuckle. “So many of my friends are moderate Democrats, even Republican- lites,” he says, seated at a table in the ghostly quiet of the Newburgh Heights village council chambers. “And they all kind of laugh at me, but I don’t think taking a stand makes you a radical. To be honest, there were 35 mayors in that room when we voted on the Sin Tax, and I voted no, but I bet there were 10 to 15 others who felt the exact same way as I did.” So why didn’t they? “They just didn’t have the balls,” Elkins says. “It’s the path of least resistance, or at least the perception of the path of least resistance. Anyway, how can you label me a radical when I’m the speed camera nazi?” True enough. Elkins ardently defends the speed cameras, even though he knows people roll their eyes at them, and continue to roll their eyes when Elkins tells them they weren’t installed to raise money. “We have 120-some-thousand cars traveling through this community every day,” he says, “and no matter how aggressive we were, we just

couldn’t control speeds. This is a safety issue. Now, do I recognize that they generate revenue? Absolutely. Do I apologize for that? No.” (Especially, Elkins says, because on I-77, where the speed limit is 60 mph, citations aren’t issued until a vehicle hits 74 mph.) Elkins isn’t from Cleveland originally, but he spent summers in Slavic Village with his dad, after his parents split up when he was a kid. “The first bar I ever drank in was right here on East 42nd,” the mayor admits with a visible twinkle in his eye. “Bar Tunek’s. I was 16 years old, and I was looking for a place to play pool.” Elkins got his start in politics early, winning a seat on the school board in his small town in upstate New York, immediately after he graduated high school. A couple years later, he worked on the campaign of a friend running for state assembly. “After that, I was hooked,” Elkins says. Elkins moved to Cleveland in ’95 and to Newburgh Heights in ’98, but didn’t get involved in the local political scene until ’03, when he ascended the ranks of the Kucinich-for-President campaign and eventually became the New Hampshire state director. He planned to run for state senate but, in 2005, the mayor of Newburgh Heights asked him to run for council. He was the top vote-getter in that election. After a stint as the village’s finance director, he was elected mayor in 2011. And he’s nowhere near done. “It’s cliched, but I’m in politics because I want to make the world a better place,” Elkins says. “And if I can make the world an even better place in a higher office, then I will explore that. Do I think my political career ends in Newburgh Heights? Probably not.” — Sam Allard | | July 27 - August 2, 2016



Photo by Ken Blaze

DEIDRE MCPHERSON Curator of Public Programs, MOCA Cleveland; Founder, Sistah Sinema, Cleveland chapter


s a self-proclaimed museum geek, someone who collects coffee mugs and magnets from the museums that she visits, it’s little wonder that Deidre McPherson found a career that matches her passion. Since just after MOCA Cleveland opened its beautiful new home on Euclid Avenue in the Uptown neighborhood, McPherson has served as the organization’s curator of public programs, engaging the public through thoughtful programs and workshops that supplement the exhibitions that dot the galleries. “I develop and execute exhibition-related programs, performance-based experiences and culturally relevant social activities for adult audiences,” she says. But what does that actually mean, in layman’s terms? “I spend time learning about what ideas, events and experiences are trending and what we can bring to MOCA that’s innovative, collaborative, participatory, interdisciplinary and embodies our brand. On a given day, I’m managing the details of a program from booking performers, corresponding with organizational partners and working internally across departments to make sure programs are carried out smoothly.” A proud alum of Cleveland Heights High School, McPherson jumped at the chance to come back to Cleveland after studying violin on a full scholarship


| | July 27 - August 2, 2016

at Miami University in Ohio and bouncing around the United States (including the University of Maryland for her MBA, Boston and northern Virginia).

mas, comedies and documentaries. The screenings take place at nonprofit arts venues such as Spaces, Waterloo Arts and, of course, MOCA.

And the bat signal to return home came in the form of a position in the marketing department of the Cleveland Orchestra.

McPherson wasn’t done putting her imprint on the city she loved so much.

“Sistah Sinema was founded in 2011 in Seattle, as a monthly film and dialogue event for queer women of color. After hearing about the events, I began talks with the founder about bringing a chapter to Cleveland. I was interested in connecting with queer women locally and interested in using film as a way to create dialogue around our unique challenges and opportunities. Events provide a much needed space for attendees to gather safely and have their voices expressed, heard, and supported. It’s pretty rare to go to a film and see a queer woman of color as a character, much less the lead character. Growing up, seeing The Women of Brewster Place, The Color Purple, or Watermelon Woman were the only onscreen images of queer women that I ever knew, and it’s important for all people to see themselves represented in mainstream media.”

Four years ago, she founded the Cleveland chapter of Sistah Sinema, a monthly film series focusing on the stories of LGBT women of all minority groups. Since 2012, Sistah Sinema has screened dozens of dra-

Needless to say, the museum geek has become an indispensable member of the Cleveland arts community; for that we say welcome back, and please don’t leave again. — Josh Usmani

“Every time I came home to visit family, I realized I missed them and wanted to live near them again,” she remembers. “When I met up with friends who were living here, they showed me a Cleveland that I didn’t know growing up, a Cleveland that was fun, yet affordable. I was tired of living in the expensive D.C. area, and started to recognize I could have a quality life here in Cleveland. I have deep roots here: family, friends, networking opportunities and a love for how Cleveland has bounced back and reinvested in itself over the last 10 to 15 years.”

| | July 27 - August 2, 2016



THE VERY REV. TRACEY LIND Dean, Trinity Cathedral


stained glass sign that hangs outside Tracey Lind’s office at Trinity Cathedral simply reads, “The Dean.” The Very Rev. Lind, however, isn’t your ordinary dean, and Trinity Cathedral isn’t your average church. Rather, Lind acts more like a community liaison, and, since her arrival at Trinity in 2000, the church has been so much more than a place for services. For example, in 2014, Trinity started hosting rock and pop concerts, all with Lind’s blessing. “We’re working with [the local promoter] Elevation on a project called Cathedral Concerts and the idea is to find the intersection between sacred space and popular music,” she says one afternoon from her spacious office that looks out on Prospect Avenue. “The world is changing and the fastest changing demographic among Americans is called ‘nones,’ people with no affiliation. The concerts for us are a way to introduce people to our sacred space and allow them to experience the holy on their own terms. Some people experience the divine in contemporary music and in traditional rock ’n’ roll and jazz and bluegrass and Americana.” She says a band like the alt-rock group Airborne Toxic Event, which played at the church last year, represents the “psalmists of today” and that the songs they write are like the psalms attributed to David in the Bible. The church even hosted Sandra Bernhard, a comedian and actress known for her lewd sense of humor. “What we say is that this is not your grandmother’s Episcopal church,” says Lind. “But there are some wonderful grandparents at this congregation. We want to move from generation to generation. We knew Sandra can


Photo by Ken Blaze

be edgy and irreverent and raunchy. We wanted her to honor the fact that she’s in a house of prayer and she did. Every time she wanted to say a word that wouldn’t be acceptable, she put her middle finger in the air and I just thought it was hysterical.” The church also hosts themed masses. On Sundays, it holds an “early bird special” at 8 a.m. That service doesn’t involve much music. But at 9 a.m., a local cover band comes to the church to play the Mostly Jazz Mass, where you can hear gospel, rock and Americana. Periodically, the church will also present services featuring the music of acts such as Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and the Beatles. And for the past two years, the church has hosted a tribute to Rock Hall inductees.

| | July 27 - August 2, 2016

Before coming to Cleveland, Lind, who holds a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from the Honors College at the University of Toledo, a master’s of community planning from the University of Cincinnati and a master’s of divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York, served as associate rector of Christ Church in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and then as rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in multi-cultural Paterson, New Jersey. That work prepped her well for the move to yet another urban environment. “It was a big, old, stone church in the middle of a very, very poor city,” she says of St. Paul’s. “We developed a community development corporation. We ran a shelter. We ran programs for

commercial sex workers and did a lot of work with immigrants from all over the world. We did citizenship classes and English as a Second Language classes. We had a food pantry that was like a small supermarket.” Her intention: to literally open the church up to everyone. “The idea is that the people are on the inside of the church, but I like to say, ‘Here’s the church and here’s the steeple, open the doors and see all the people on the outside,’” she says, motioning with her hands. “I always put glass doors on the front so you can open the big beautiful wood doors, so people can see in, and we can see out. Our focus is on facing outward.” — Jeff Niesel


Photo by Ken Blaze

TIM TRAMBLE Executive Director, Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc.


ecause he’s only 45 years old, it should come as a shock that Tim Tramble has been the executive director of Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc. for 16 years. It’s the community development corporation in Kinsman, ground zero of Cleveland’s “forgotten triangle” on the eastside, and Tramble has devoted his life to its resuscitation.

particularly dangerous block, where three children had been poisoned, he worked with Union-Miles Development Corporation to abate as many homes as they could.

“Back when I started,” he tells Scene, “I didn’t even have a computer at my desk.”

In terms of upcoming projects, Tramble says he’s most excited about a community radio station, 95.9 FM.

The choreographer of Kinsman’s recovery is short and slim, and he speaks of community development as the stuff of personal vocation. “There’s a lot of blight in this city,” he says from Bridgeport Cafe, the neighborhood coffee shop, culinary learning center and fast-food alternative next to BBC on Kinsman Road and East 72nd Street. “But redeveloping these neighborhoods would solve so many of our problems. A lot of the dysfunction would subside. Economic integration is the key, and if we work together and commit ourselves to it, it can happen.” Tramble was a teen parent living on East 89th and Quincy, but that didn’t make him put his life on hold. He’s been striving to be a model neighbor since he was a young man. “When I came back home after freshman year of college and saw Cleveland through the eyes of a visitor for the first time, I recognized things that needed changing,” he says. “I hadn’t seen it before because I was born in it — the tall grass, the litter. When I was a kid, a blighted home was just a club house. An abandoned lot was just a shortcut.” Tramble was a science major, but he knew he wanted to utilize his education to help the community in some capacity. After a job with an environmental engineering firm in Willoughby, he landed a position with Cleveland’s health department. There, he performed home inspections to identify lead hazards. After finding a

“When I saw the rehabilitation of that street,” Tramble says, “I knew that this is what I wanted to do.”

“I want it to be the WCPN for the African-American community,” Tramble says. “There will be something for everyone.” In addition to his work in the neighborhood, Tramble has been active in the various groups contributing to Cleveland’s police reform. First, he was tapped to serve on the selection panel that assembled the Cleveland Community Police Commission and now he serves on the Monitoring Team’s committee for community engagement. “One of the pillars of the consent decree is making sure it’s an all-inclusive process,” Tramble says. “But a lot of people don’t understand who all these groups are. The Police Commission? The Monitor? The DOJ? The city? What are their roles? There are so many pieces and parts to this. And if you’re looking in from the outside, it’s like a blur. So we try to be educators and give people a Consent Decree 101.” Back when the city was analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of various proposals from firms that wanted to serve as the Monitor, one of the weaknesses of the ultimate winner, the Police Assessment Resource Center — “Matthew Barge is a guru, by the way,” says Tramble, of the Monitor himself — was that PARC didn’t have many locals on its proposed team. Enter Tim Tramble. They couldn’t have found a better candidate. — Sam Allard | | July 27 - August 2, 2016



Photo by Ken Blaze

SOMARA THEODORE Meteorologist, Good Morning Cleveland omara Theodore doesn’t think of weather forecasting in terms of simply predicting highs and lows. Rather, she’s interested in it as an applied science.


Atmospheric Administration. The NASA project, dubbed Discovery AQ, involved testing ozone levels in Washington, D.C. During her time at Penn State, she also analyzed data related to lightning.

And her interest in the weather actually dates back to her youth.

After graduating three years ago, she took a gig at the Fox affiliate in Savannah. It was a learning experience unlike anything she’d been through.

“I saw the movie Twister and said, ‘Mom, I want to be inside the storm too,” she says one morning from the Channel 5 WEWS studios on East 30th Street and Euclid. “That was it. That and watching thunderstorms. I was always fascinated with the weather.” But because primary and secondary schools don’t offer much in the way of weather-related curriculum, she had to wait until college before getting a chance to get further education in her passion. Initially, Theodore, who attended Penn State University, struggled with the hard science she had to study. “I didn’t know how to add fractions well when I got to college,” she says. “I was at a severe disadvantage. I also had to take calculus, level one. It’s a math- and physics-based science.” While at Penn State, Somara conducted extensive fieldwork with NASA and the National Oceanic and


| | July 27 - August 2, 2016

“It was scary because I had never taken a television course,” she says of the experience. “So outside of appearing on the college TV station, I had never learned how to be on TV. They just threw me in there. People misconstrue this, but meteorology is applied physics in a way. It’s an actual science, and the TV aspect is because a few of us have good personalities. I think TV fits my personality dynamic. I love the science and I still practice the science. I want to be the liaison between the science and the general public. I feel the difference I’m making every day.” On her personal website,, she provides a “Fashion Forecast,” a “digital closet” that provides tips on what to wear based on the weather, and something a little more than you’ll get by tuning into Good Morning Cleveland. She started the blog a few months ago. “I like getting dressed and wearing clothes,” she says.

“I’m interested in different materials for the season. Fashion is a manifestation of personality.” Recently, Somara, a first-generation American, presented a TEDx Talk on her ethnic background. “It was one of the defining moments of my life because it forced me to face a reality that was very prevalent but I never evaluated because it was just the norm,” she says of her TEDx Talk. “Being a first-generation American can be interesting. We’re riding this line between worlds. I can switch and talk in my native tongue. The words I choose, like ‘bombastic,’ are ones that my grandmother used to use. They’re not just my native words either. It’s also like a time capsule. The people there now have a new lingo. Her cultural gift was encapsulated in time. I’m the essential 1950s Trinidadian. I think that’s pretty awesome.” In the States, most people look at her as AfricanAmerican, but that’s not necessarily the culture with which she identifies. “I might have something more in common with someone from India than I do with my fellow black African-Americans,” she says. “I think it’s important to highlight that we are a country that’s beautifully mixed and we have so much to learn from one another.” — Jeff Niesel


Photo by Ken Blaze

JUNE RYAN Commander, U.S. Coast Guard 9th District


ear Adm. June E. Ryan is the top dog in the U.S. Coast Guard’s 9th District, an eight-state region that stretches from Massena, New York — right on the Canadian border — to Lake of the Woods, North Dakota, up past Duluth. Though there are several women in leadership positions in the Coast Guard, Ryan is the first woman to command the 9th District and the first woman to ascend from the enlisted ranks to flag officer. At the City Club last month, when Ryan delivered the annual State of the Great Lakes address, she was asked whether or not any limit had been imposed upon her success because she was female. “In my current position, no,” Ryan responded. “Because I’m the admiral.” The crowd immediately applauded. And mic thus dropped, she elaborated. “I think every working woman in this room could give one or two or three or 10 examples of times they’ve encountered difficult individuals … No matter where you go or what you do, you are going to have jerks, and I’ve been very fortunate that when those folks have challenged me, I’ve been able to prove them wrong with my professionalism, prove them wrong with my skills, or prove them wrong with my wit.” On a recent sunny afternoon at Cleveland’s Coast Guard station on East Ninth Street, across from the

Rock Hall, Ryan tells Scene about her illustrious career with the Coast Guard. She enlisted in the Reserves in 1982, while she was a biology student at Bowling Green; she was a commanding officer on two boats (one of which, the cutter Neah Bay, was based in Cleveland); she was the military aid to President Bill Clinton for two years and, most recently, the military advisor to Jeh Johnson, the United States Secretary of Homeland Security. Now she’s back in Cleveland. “My family and I are big Food Network people,” Ryan tells Scene, “and when I got my orders, we said, ‘That’s where Michael Symon is from!’ So our first stop was Lola, and then we realized how many other great restaurants there were downtown; we very rarely go back to the same place.” Ryan lives in Lakewood with her husband and 14-year-old daughter and she says Cleveland has changed significantly since she was here 20 years ago, commanding the Neah Bay. “Back then, Cleveland was a place where you worked and then left. That was it,” she says. “Now, it’s a legitimate nighttime destination. I’ve got staff who live downtown. I can go to Heinen’s for lunch and people watch. It’s a stark difference.” One of the big issues locally, in Ryan’s world, has been the controversy over the dredging of the Cuyahoga River. Ryan rejects the idea that the Army

Corps — which would like to dump dredged material in Lake Erie — are the villains, out to sabotage Northeast Ohio’s water supply. “We’re responsible for looking after the environment and also for facilitating commerce,” she says. “So it’s our job to find common ground and find the safest way to do that.” On the safety front, Ryan says one of the biggest challenges right now is simply convincing paddle craft users to wear life jackets. She says that many people just don’t recognize the hazards of being out on the water. “If you were next to a train track, would you sit there and touch the train as it went by?” she asks. “People think it’s fun to be out on a paddle craft and touch the sides of these big boats. But they could get sucked right in.” But safety is always front of mind for Ryan, especially as she and her staff prepared for the RNC. Ryan says she was impressed by the level of commitment and cooperation she saw in Cleveland — by community leaders, government officials, the nonprofits, the restaurants, the citizens. “You hear ‘whole of government’ all the time, but this was really ‘whole of community,’” she says. “Everyone, I think, wants people to come here and see Cleveland for the gem that it is.” — Sam Allard | | July 27 - August 2, 2016


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| | July 27 - August 2, 2016

everything you should do this week


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30 Years of Garbage: The Garbage Pail Kids Story For two nights only, Gordon Square’s Capitol Theatre presents screenings of 30 Years of Garbage: The Garbage Pail Kids Story. Originally a simple parody of the Cabbage Patch Kids, the Garbage Pail Kids has developed a following all its own. This new documentary discusses the hilariously grotesque collectible cards with the artists who created them, as well as with some of the fans who collected them. Tonight’s screening takes place at 7:10 p.m. Tickets are $9.50 for adults, $8.50 for students and military and $6.50 for children and seniors. The film is not rated. (Josh Usmani) 1390 West 65th St., 216-651-7295, SPOKEN WORD

Cleveland Stories Dinner Party The Music Box Supper Club plays host again tonight to Cleveland Stories Dinner Party, a weekly series that pairs fine food with storytelling. The series aims to “bring to life some of the fun, interesting stories about Cleveland’s past — from sports, to rock ’n’ roll, to Millionaire’s Row,” as it’s put in a press release. Each week features a guest speaker and a custom prix fixe menu — a full three-course meal for only $20. (The talk, by itself, is free with no cover charge.) Dinner is served at 6 p.m., and the storytelling starts at 7:30 p.m. Tonight, several well-known Cleveland musicians talk about the years they’ve spent on the local music scene. The menu includes shredded romaine salad, pot roast with pomme frites and peanut butter pretzel ice cream. (Jeff Niesel) 1148 Main Ave., 216-242-1250, SPORTS

Indians vs. Washington Nationals In the wake of the All-Star game, the Cleveland Indians took a long ninegame road trip (probably scheduled to avoid any conflicts with the Republican National Convention). They’ll get a good test today as they return home to face the Washington Nationals, one of the best teams in the National League. The two teams square off at 12:10 p.m. for the second of a two-game interleague battle. Tickets start at $13. (Niesel) 2401 Ontario St., 216-420-4487,

celebrate its 100th anniversary, other museums are lending masterpieces to CMA. In return, the art museum is hosting a series of Centennial Chats with CMA’s curators and educators. At 2 p.m. today and tomorrow, the discussion focuses on Barnett Newman’s Onement IV, on loan from the Allen Memorial Art Museum. Meet in Gallery 227. It’s free. (Usmani) 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350, MUSIC

Scene’s Alefest returns to Tremont. See: Saturday. FOOD

Pig + Whiskey Wednesdays The patio season is in full swing in Northeast Ohio and chefs like Ben Bebenroth over at Spice Kitchen are finding every excuse in the book to move culinary operations out of the restaurant and under the clear blue skies. He and his crew have created Pig + Whiskey Wednesdays; Bebenroth and his chef Josh Woo fire up the smoker and cook up a mess of barbecue. The items vary based on whim and weather. There’s always a seasonal whiskey cocktail or two to wash it all down. The events run from 5 to 10 p.m. and there will be live music at some dates. No reservations are required. (Douglas Trattner) 5800 Detroit Ave., 216-961-9637, MUSIC

Red Stage Summer Music Series Locals now have one more place to hear music this summer. On select Wednesdays, including today, Beck Center for the Arts presents the outdoor Red Stage on the front lawn and patio of Beck Center’s main building, from 6 to 8 p.m. The free series features local artists. (Niesel) 17801 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-521-2540, MUSIC

Summer in the City Each summer, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame hosts a variety of indie and alternative rock acts on its outdoor plaza. Tonight, area reggae acts Umojah Nation and Jah Messengers will perform. The concert takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. and, prior to the concert, the Rock Hall will host a Q&A with the acts slated to play. The concerts are free — as a bonus, local

residents and college students can purchase admission to the Rock Hall for a mere $5. (Niesel) 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., 216-515-8444, FOOD

Walnut Wednesday You know it’s summer when Walnut Wednesday returns. Today from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Perk Plaza at Chester Commons — at East 12th and Walnut streets — food trucks gather to serve up lunch to area residents and employees. Follow the Downtown Cleveland Alliance on Facebook for weekly updates on vendors, entertainment offerings and more. Admission is free, but the food will cost you. (Niesel) downtownclevelandalliance.




Jeff Blanchard Nothing is out of bounds for comedian Jeff Blanchard. Topics of merriment include kiddie porn, some pretty hilarious John McCain impressions, ragging on the Browns and the lovely town of Elyria. Some of the things he says may offend, but it’s all in good fun as this Cleveland native brings in that trademark sense of ironic humor. (You have to be tough, after all.) He takes the stage tonight at 7:30 at the Improv, and tickets are $12. (Liz Trenholme) 1148 Main Ave., 216-696-IMPROV, SPOKEN WORD

A Centennial Chat To help the Cleveland Museum of Art

Edgewater Live Two years ago, the Cleveland Metroparks launched its extremely popular Edgewater Live Thursdaynight happy hour concert series. The event returns this year; the concerts take place from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. every Thursday night. In addition to featuring a performance by a local band, the events feature yoga, standup paddleboarding and cornhole. And those ubiquitous food trucks will be on hand as well. It’s free. (Niesel) 6500 Cleveland Memorial Shoreway NW, DANCE

Inlet Dance Theatre’s Kids Matinee Inlet Dance Theatre is one of the region’s most exciting professional dance companies, so you won’t want to miss this Kids Matinee performance at Evans Amphitheater at Cain Park from 1 to 2 p.m. today. Admission is free. (Danielle Immerman) 14591 Superior Rd., Cleveland Heights, 216-371-3000, FILM

The Life Aquatic In conjunction with Mark Mothersbaugh’s Myopia exhibition at MOCA Cleveland, the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque hosts The Life Artistic, a series of screenings of Wes Anderson films, each scored by Mothersbaugh between 1996 and 2004. At 6:45 tonight, MOCA and CIA present The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Tickets are $8 for members and those 25 and under, and $10 for non-members. Beforehand, MOCA hosts Summer Thursdays: Myopiawesome Art Studio, an afternoon of experimental creativity inspired by Myopia. The museum will also provide guided tours of the exhibition. Drop in between noon and 3 p.m. Myopiawesome is free with museum admission. The Cinematheque will also show The Life Aquatic at 9:15 p.m. tomorrow. (Usmani) 11610 Euclid Ave., 216-421-7450, | | July 27 - August 2, 2016



Outdoor Movies at Crocker Park Seeing a film indoors, cooped up with hordes of sweating, texting teenagers, is hardly an optimal way to be entertained, especially given the lovely breezes and picnic-able lawns of Northeast Ohio in June, July and August. Watching a movie outside’s the way to go. Drive-ins no longer have the cachet, nor the presence, that they enjoyed in the 1950s, but plenty of local cities and organizations are helping to fill the void. For instance, every Thursday evening at 9 p.m. through August 25, Crocker Park screens a film behind the GameStop store. Tonight’s feature is the animated movie Ratatouille. It’s free. (Sam Allard) 143 Crocker Park Blvd., Westlake, FILM

Outdoor Movies at P.E.A.C.E. Park For outdoorsy movie fans on the other side of town, never fear: P.E.A.C.E. Park in the Coventry neighborhood will be the eastside analog to Crocker Park, showing free films on Thursday evenings through July. Tonight’s feature is the kids flick The Good Dinosaur. The screening begins at 9. (Allard) 2843 Washington Ave., Cleveland Heights, 216-556-0927, .




Cardio Hoop Dance It’s like Zumba, but better. That’s the tagline advertising Cardio Hoop Dance, a hula hoop workout that takes place at 11 a.m. on Fridays at U.S. Bank Plaza. If you don’t own a hoop, it’s no big deal. The event’s organizers will have a few you can use free of charge. New hoopers should arrive early to receive lessons. The event is free. (Niesel) East 14th St. and Euclid Ave., 216-771-4444, COMEDY

Adele Givens Known as the “Queen of Comedy,” Adele Givens turns her crass sense of humor on everyday situations such as going to the gynecologist, marriage, double standards and baby naming. She performs tonight at 7:30 and 10 at the Improv, where she has shows scheduled through Sunday. Tickets are $22. (Hannah Borison) 1148 Main Ave., 216-696-IMPROV,


Cedar Point will be open until 11 p.m. weeknights and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays through August 14 for Cedar Point Nights. You can ride Valravn, the “tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster” in the world in the dark, and vibrant state-of-the-art LED lighting will illuminate the park’s rides and coasters. Tonight from 6:30 to 8, you can also enjoy a Lakeside Clambake that features fresh clams and shrimp served with corn cobbettes,


Indians vs. Oakland Athletics The Indians have played so well this season, they don’t need to lure fans with ridiculous promotions. But tonight they’ve got a good one: Ugly Christmas T-Shirt Night. Thus, the first 10,000 fans will get a hideous shirt as part of the Tribe’s tribute to the ever-tacky Christmas in July. At 7:10 p.m., the Tribe takes on the Oakland Athletics, a team that’s

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| | July 27 - August 2, 2016

Santa’s Bar Blast Downtown Willoughby features a great collection of bars. At tonight’s Santa Bar Blast, you can visit a number of them on a pub crawl that includes stops at Willoughby Brewing Company, the Morehouse Willoughby, Burgers-N-Beer, the 1899 Pub, Frank and Tony’s Place, Mullarkey’s Irish Pub, Ballantine, Sol, the Wild Goose and Nickleby’s Rounder. In keeping with the event’s theme, participants will be divided into nine groups —Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen or Rudolph — and each group will start at a different bar. The event starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $20 on the day of the event. (Niesel) MUSIC

Star-Spangled Spectacular Because Public Square construction wasn’t completed by July 4, the Cleveland Orchestra had to postpone its annual Star-Spangled Spectacular. Tonight at 9, the free community concert finally takes place at the newly renovated Public Square. A Jumbotron program and food truck service begin at 6 p.m. The orchestra’s festive program features Sousa marches, a group of Gershwin tunes, selections from The Sound of Music, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and baritone Norman Garrett singing “Ol’ Man River” from Showboat and “Joey, Joey, Joey,” from The Most Happy Fella. Fireworks follow. (Niesel) FOOD

On sale now at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame box office, or online at

having a so-so season. Tickets start at $13. And if that T-shirt giveaway weren’t tempting enough, it’s also Dollar Dog Night. (Niesel) 2401 Ontario St., 216-420-4487,


potatoes and sausage. The meal includes one clambake bag plus an all-you-can-eat buffet of hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, cookies, Toft’s ice cream and Coca-Cola beverages. It costs $25; as an alternative, guests can enjoy the Lakeside Buffet, only, for just $16. (Niesel) 1 Cedar Point Dr., Sandusky, 419-627-2350,

Tastings on the Terrace Provenance, at the Cleveland Museum of Art, continues its popular summertime Tastings on the Terrace series tonight from 5 to 8 with a specially selected beverage tasting menu on the openair terrace above the restaurant. Tonight’s focus is Signature Summertime Cocktails. In addition, guests can enjoy specially priced craft beers and fine wines, as well as the spectacular views of the museum gardens. No reservations are required, and beverage tasting flights range from $8 to $10. The series continues through September. In case of rain, the event will take place in the interior upper allee that overlooks the CMA’s atrium. For a complete list of weekly tasting themes, visit the website. (Usmani) 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350,



Van Aken Beer Garden Held bi-weekly in the parking lot of Van Aken Center in Shaker Heights, the Van Aken Beer Garden celebrates summertime with music, food, beer, wine, cocktails, retail vendors, and activities for the kids. This year, the series runs through Sept. 9. Admission is free and the event is both bike and pet friendly. It takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. In case of rain, revelers can head inside Club Rock. Local singer-songwriter Tom Evanchuck will perform at tonight’s event. A portion of the proceeds go to a hosting non-profit. (Niesel)

Scene Alefest Much like last year’s sold-out event, the eight annual Scene Magazine Ale Fest will feature over 100 beers. The promoters boast that your favorite porters, stouts, pilseners, ales, wheats, Belgians, ciders and lagers will all be on tap. In addition, local acts Joe Moorhead Band and Walk of Shame will perform, and there will be interactive games, food booths and local vendors. You must be 21 to attend. Feel free to bring lawn chairs and pets. The event runs from 1 to 7 p.m. in Tremont’s Lincoln Park. Tickets are $35 for general admission, or $55 for VIP, which includes all-day admission, 15 drink tickets, a souvenir cup, exclusive beer only available in VIP area, access to a full bar, complimentary food, VIPonly bathrooms and tented seating. (Niesel) Starkweather Avenue and West 14th Street, 877-280-1646,


Webster, Carr and Custy in Concert The Shaker Arts Council 2016 Aha! Series presents Webster, Carr and Custy in concert, an acoustic trio not to be missed. Joined by sax/ flute player Tom Abersold, the trio is presenting “In a Garden So Green: Timeless Love Songs, Past and Present.” With music from the Beatles to Jason Mraz, this night is perfect for people of all ages. And as if the tunes weren’t attraction enough, you’ll be able to enjoy the music in a magical Shaker Heights garden. The concert starts at 7. Tickets are $30 and include light refreshments and a wine and beer reception. Call 216-916-9360 for the location. (Immerman)




Blue Point Toasted Tour Famous for its tasty Toasted Lager, Blue Point Brewing Company brings “laid-back East Coast flair” to town today for its Toast Tour. Live music, seafood and beer pairings are featured. Event proceeds help support A Kid Again, a local nonprofit dedicated to giving children with life-threatening illnesses a fun adventure. The Givers, along with indie rockers the Lighthouse and the Whaler and Brother StarRace, will perform. Brewer Mike Stoneburg will show patrons how to tap a firkin. The event takes place from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Flats East Bank. Tickets are $5, or $25 for a VIP ticket that includes three beer tokens, a food voucher and Blue Point swag. (Niesel) 1055 Old River Rd., blue-point-toasted-tour-clevelandtickets-26061594932?aff=ehomecard.

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Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique” The Kent/Blossom Chamber Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra have teamed up for Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique,” tonight’s Blossom Music Festival concert. Beginning at 7 p.m., the Kent/Blossom Chamber Orchestra performs; at 8 p.m., the Cleveland Orchestra takes the stage to play one of Mozart’s most loved violin concertos with soloist Pinchas Zukerman. Then, both orchestras will sit side-by-side to play Tchaikovsky’s final symphony, the “Pathétique.” Tickets start at $24. (Niesel) 1145 West Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, 216-231-1111,


August 23-28 Call 216-241-6000 Group Sales 216-640-8600 KINKYBOOTSTHEMUSICAL.COM



Art and Stories from Mughal India Continuing its 100th anniversary celebration, the Cleveland Museum of Art presents its latest centennial exhibition, Art and Stories from Mughal India. This large-scale exhibition, which opens today, includes more than 100 paintings from the CMA’s collection, as well as jewelry, textiles, costumes, architectural elements, decorative arts and arms and armor from the Mughal Empire. Stretching from the Indian subcontinent to Afghanistan, the Mughal Empire ruled for more than 300 years, until the arrival of British colonial rule in 1857. The exhibition continues through Oct.

With Special Guest Georgia Me

August 4 8 p.m. Connor Palace

Tickets at and 216-241-6000 | | July 27 - August 2, 2016


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GET OUT 23 in the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Hall. Admission is free. (Usmani) 11150 East Blvd., 216-421-7350, MUSIC

Michael Feinstein’s Broadway Way back in 1983, singer-pianist Michael Feinstein served as musical consultant for the Broadway show My One and Only, a musical that featured Gershwin tunes. Since then, he’s become the ultimate interpreter of the Great American Songbook. Tonight at 7 at Blossom, he joins the Cleveland Orchestra to perform selections from the likes of Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, Gershwin and many more for “an unforgettable evening of Broadway hits and classic songs.” Tickets start at $35. (Niesel) 1145 West Steels Corners Rd., Cuyahoga Falls, 216-231-1111,




Indians vs. Minnesota Twins The Indians have played well within their division this year, kicking the crap out of a pretty good Detroit Tigers team on a regular basis. But for some reason, they’ve struggled against the last place Minnesota Twins. Tonight at 7:10 at Progressive Field, the Tribe takes on the Twins before a crowd that finally realizes the Indians have a playoff caliber team. Maybe that advantage will lead them to a sweep of the four-game series. Tickets start at $13. (Niesel) 2401 Ontario St., 216-420-4487, TRIVIA

Lunch Hour Live Trivia A live hosted trivia event during which teams compete for prizes, Last Call Trivia takes place every Monday throughout the summer at U.S. Bank Plaza. Designed to be “a spirited competition,” the event lasts an hour. The games also include a point wagering system that gives teams the ability to choose their own strategy. The fun begins at noon. Admission is free. (Niesel) East 14th Street and Euclid Avenue, 216-771-4444, NIGHTLIFE

Trivia Pursuits Do you have tons of obscure music knowledge? Are you a student of


| | July 27 - August 2, 2016

fast food menus and their nuanced histories? What say you about the geographic evolution of Scotch whisky? Tonight’s your chance to wow your friends, make yourself instantly more desirable to someone you’re newly dating, and hang with Cleveland’s headiest hipsters and hot dog lovers. It’s the Happy Dog Monday Night Trivia. Starting at 8 p.m., expect themed rounds — it’s a crapshot — 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 you’re at it. And arrive early. The tables fill up quickly. (Allard) 5801 Detroit Ave., 216-651-9474,




Outdoor Movies in Old Brooklyn We’ve already testified that watching a movie outside is way better than in a stuffy theater. Interested? Old Brooklyn’s Loew Park has dibs on Tuesdays, in its second annual “Cleveland Summer Cinema” series that runs through August 9. The screenings begin at dusk. Tonight’s film is the animated flick Zootopia. Get there early for the local farmers market (5 to 8 p.m.) and food from Old Brooklyn’s own Green Machine Food Truck. (Allard) 4711 West 32nd St., 216-664-2561, MUSIC

Vinyl Night While sales of CDs continue to decline, vinyl has seen a resurgence. In fact, the recent Jack White album became the fastest-selling vinyl album since Nielsen Soundscan began compiling vinyl sales figures in 1991. 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.” In keeping with that spirit and recognizing the burgeoning popularity of vinyl, the club hosts a vinyl night every Tuesday that serves as a listening party for new releases. The place has partnered with Loop in Tremont so that patrons can hear a new album on vinyl. You can bring your own vinyl and spin it too. 7 p.m. (Niesel) 1404 West 29th St., 216-206-7699,

Find more events @clevelandscene





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| | July 27 - August 2, 2016



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SHOOT TO THRILL Sondheim’s Assassins impresses at Near West Theatre By Roy Berko “THERE’S ANOTHER NATIONAL Anthem, folks. For those who never win ... for the ones who might have been.” A line from a Trump election advertisement? No, it’s from the Stephen Sondheim, John Weidman musical, Assassins, now on stage at Near West Theatre. Assassins seems an ideal script for this time of year, as the Republican National Convention has just left town and a general feeling of discomfort and mistrust is sweeping the nation. Political conflicts, racial distrust, police shootings, and left/ right disagreements are running rampant. Assassins is based on a concept of Charles Gilbert Jr. It examines, in musical revue style, men and women who have attempted to assassinate presidents of the United States. The musical score parallels the music popular at the time of each president. Never noted as one of Sondheim’s great musicals, it has some interesting ideas and does contain a signature song, “Everybody’s Got the Right to Be Happy.” The defining song is a common element in Sondheim musicals. Think, “Agony” (Into the Woods), “Tonight” (West Side Story), “Another Hundred People” (Company) and “Johanna” (Sweeney

Todd). They keynote a major element of the script. The musical opened offBroadway in 1990 and ran only 73 performances. A review stated, “Assassins will have to fire with sharper aim and fewer blanks if it is to shoot to kill.” There have been productions in London and numerous other cities. None of them seemed to have completely dealt with the show’s problems. There are three competing versions of the script: original, London and Broadway. The major difference is the treatment of the song, “Something Just Broke,” which was added for the London production, but dropped from the 2004 Broadway revival. (The Near West production includes this song.)

members and audience tweens and teens. It is therefore surprising that they chose to do Assassins, which contains mature content, gun use, representations of death and violence, and very strong language. It is bold, disturbing and alarming. But director Bob Navis Jr. decided to put aside the possible negatives, confront the issues of today, accept the language and subject matter of the script, and the result is that he has staged a winner. The interpretation, singing, stage movements, choreography and, most importantly, the quality of the acting that makes real people, not caricatures, of the assassins, is impressive. Cameron Caley Michalak’s massive set works well. Matthew


Also, in some scripts the Balladeer and Lee Harvey Oswald are blended into a single role. Near West has them as separate characters, alleviating some confusion as to the relationship between Oswald and the Balladeer. Near West is a family-oriented theater, with many of the cast

Dolan’s musical direction has the cast singing impressively and the orchestra in good tune. Rob Wachala has created unique and appropriate lighting that aids the tone of the staging. Same for Josh Caraballo’s sound design. Sarah Russell has dressed the very large cast in era-correct designs.

The cast is strong, and considering they are high school and college students, they are nothing short of amazing. Strong performances were given by Marco Colant as Lee Harvey Oswald, Molly Walsh as Sara Jane Moore, Anna Parchem as Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, Leah Windahl as the Proprietor, Patrick Hanlon as Leon Czolgosz, Edward Gale as John Hinckley, Peter Bradley as Charles Guiteau, Antonio DeJesus as Giuseppe Zangara, Dylan Toth as Samuel Byck and Michel Knobloch who persevered in a long, important speech when his microphone went out. The Balladeers—Clye Black, Jabri Johnson, Scott Pyle and Nick Sobotka — sang and danced well, bridging the segments of the show nicely. Though the almost two-hour intermissionless play stressed the attention and bladder span of some, the long sit was worth it. Assassins runs at Near West Theatre’s handsome new home on Detroit Avenue through July 31. Valet parking is available Friday and Saturday for $6; lot and street parking is also available. t@clevelandscene | | July 27 - August 2, 2016






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Please note: Passes are limited and will be distributed on a first come, first served basis while supplies last. No phone calls, please. Limit one pass per person. Each pass admits two. Seating is not guaranteed. Arrive early. Theater is not responsible for overbooking. This screening will be monitored for unauthorized recording. By attending, you agree not to bring any audio or video recording device into the theater (audio recording devices for credentialed press excepted) and consent to a physical search of your belongings and person. Any attempted use of recording devices will result in immediate removal from the theater, forfeiture, and may subject you to criminal and civil liability. Please allow additional time for heightened security. You can assist us by leaving all nonessential bags at home or in your vehicle.

IN THEATERS AUGUST 5 Soundtrack Available on Atlantic Records


| | July 27 - August 2, 2016


MOVIES A RETURN TO FORM FOR WOODY ALLEN Ensemble cast combines for prolific filmmaker’s best effort since Midnight in Paris By Sam Allard IN CAFÉ SOCIETY, SEXUAL predator Woody Allen’s 47th feature film, opening Friday in limited release, young Bobby Dorfman (Jesse Eisenberg) arrives in Hollywood hoping to score a gig in the film industry with his hot-shot agent Uncle Phil (Steve Carell). It is the glamorously sunlit 1930s, and Uncle Phil is forever away on business or detained on momentous phone calls with the A-list deities of the era. And so, still jobless in an early scene, Bobby engages the services of a prostitute at the encouragement of his gangster brother Ben (Corey Stoll), back home in the Bronx. But the prostitute arrives late and at the wrong room, and Bobby is so bothered by the circumstances — the fact that the hotel’s other patrons have seen her, for instance, and the fact that she is Jewish and this is her first job — that the mood is sullied beyond repair. Bobby and the hooker spend a lengthy scene — a scene which has zero impact on the major arcs of the film — fighting about whether or not they ought to go ahead and do it. Eisenberg stutters and stammers and sort of whinnies as he’s prone to do, and though he’s an imperfect surrogate for Allen himself, the scene is finally reassuring in its evocation of vintage

Woody Allen: bantery, neurotic, wholeheartedly Jewish. Vintage Allen is on display all over Café Society, down to the jazz score and the voiceover (narrated by Allen himself). Like some of Allen’s finest work, it flashes back to an era of elegance and flare, rendered exquisitely by the cinematography of Vittorio Storaro who, among other projects, was director of photography for Apocalypse Now. The colors and textures, to say nothing of the costumes and props, paint a rich and loving portrait of Los Angeles. The story is less kooky and cartoonish than some of this particular writer-director’s more recent efforts, too — let us not

speak of the queasy Magic in the Moonlight — and is brought vividly to life by several actors in unexpectedly luminous performances. Kristen Stewart, most notably, who has tended to do little but pout and mumble as she’s portrayed a spectrum of damaged teens, here plays Vonnie, Uncle Phil’s assistant and Bobby Dorfman’s love interest. To our thrill and surprise, she actually conveys a personality worthy of being sought after, and conveys, no less, the struggle of being sought after by multiple suitors. It’s her finest turn yet. Eisenberg, Carell, Parker Posey, and even Blake Lively — so ravishing it

almost hurts — rarely dip into the overbroad comedic performances required of many an Allen script. Though the circumstances are often absurd, these characters feel like real people. When Bobby is jettisoned, by Vonnie, for the opposing vertex in their love triangle, he returns to New York and manages a new club operated by his brother. He hobnobs with the rich and famous — the café society the title references — until one day Vonnie and her new husband pay the club a visit, and they spend an evening together, a part-joyous, part-devastating stagger down memory lane. The movie is not without its Allen pitfalls. A writer as prolific as he is doesn’t care much about polishing drafts, and so the script is home to a few very weak minor storylines involving the Dorfman family and some nonchalant tonal shifts. But this one’s a winner, as Woody Allen goes. Perhaps with him, there’s a great deal more magic in the sunlight. Still: Woody Allen = Sexual Predator. t@scenesallard

SPOTLIGHT: AMERICAN GHOST HUNTER FILMMAKER CHAD CALEK NOW HUNTS ghosts for a living. But he wasn’t initially obsessed with paranormal activity. “I grew up in a family where [the paranormal] wasn’t spoken about,” he says in a recent phone interview with Scene. “I was a complete atheist. I had no belief in the other side.” In the film American Ghost Hunter, which he released last year on Hulu, he tells the story of how he started to experience paranormal activity after his family moved to a small town in Iowa. “My parents found a great deal on a house that was away from the public,” he says. “We heard from the gentleman who sold it to us that it was haunted. That meant nothing to us. We thought, ‘Tell it to go away. Who gives a shit?’ “I quickly learned the reality of a haunting. I was the last person in my family to experience anything. At first I honestly thought [the rest of the family was] going crazy, bro, I really did. Then I had a series of traumatic events happen to me. It’s not something you brush off and keep

moving on with life. In the beginning, it was about trying to validate my own experiences and know that I wasn’t crazy.” Currently on a 17-city summer tour that includes a stop at the Agora on Wednesday, Calek aims to “deliver what all other paranormal documentaries have failed to produce: authentic paranormal evidence that proves the existence of ghosts.” His Paramerican Tour will feature Q&A sessions, paranormal presentations and the premiere of the new film, Sir Noface, the “documented true story” of Craig Powell and the team of Australian investigators who tried to debunk his claims of paranormal activity at Cockatoo Island, a former convict prison before reopening as a state park. Prior to the screening of Sir Noface, Calek, who served as co-star and director of the hit A&E Network reality series, Paranormal State, will host “a paranormal evidence presentation” and provide a first look at his upcoming documentary, Blacksheep.

As a filmmaker, Calek says he finds inspiration in the work of other noted directors. “When it comes to visuals and music, I’m a big fan of Paul Thomas Anderson,” he says. “Everything he does is so epic. He has a way of making everything seem larger than life. I’m a fan of Oliver Stone’s editing style. People have said my editing style shows that. I am a fan. When you like things, you have a natural tendency to borrow from them and make them your own. Those two are big ones. The most obvious comparison that has been made before is Stanley Kubrick. I’m into the ultra-spooky. He can take a single piano note and have it linger over a scene for two-and-a-half minutes and have it chill the shit out of you.” He says the response to the Paramerican tour, which will include a ghost hunting expedition at the Agora, has been positive. “The tour has been mind-blowing,” he says. “People show up skeptical, as they should, but they leave as believers.” — Jeff Niesel | | July 27 - August 2, 2016


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FIRST LOOK Woodstock BBQ in Lakewood joins the Northeast Ohio barbecue scene By Douglas Trattner BEFORE SPEAKING TO THE media about Woodstock BBQ, owner Robert Togliatti said he wanted to have his ducks in a row. That’s probably why you haven’t read — or likely even heard — much about his new restaurant, despite the fact that it will open its very conspicuous Lakewood doors in less than two weeks. – k, Woodstock began life as Smo with initial estimates targeting a late 2015 opening. But given the amount of renovations that Togliatti had planned for the former Trio’s Bar (13362 Madison Ave.), that timeline turned out to be tremendously optimistic. “If you saw it before, this place was a real dive,” he says. Togliatti purchased the 100-yearold building a year and a half ago and has since poured a ton of time and money into the renovation project — and it shows. The overall space is bright, open and welcoming, the exact opposite of its dive bar days. The main spaces, connected years ago by the previous tenant, flow easily from barroom to dining room. A façade of accordion-style windows opens up and folds away, uniting the sidewalk patio to the interior. The building’s exterior was restored to its original brick shell and the structure’s first real kitchen was installed. Though the owner and his crew

did almost all of the work, nothing looks like it was cobbled together to save money. The walls are clad in blonde wood. The tabletops are built from pallet wood and mounted atop bases fabricated from jet-black plumbing conduit. Light fixtures, though made from electrical supplies, are hip and appropriate for the space. Items inherited with the space include a towering cigar-store Indian and an old telephone booth. A circa-1900 cash register sits atop the backbar. Woodstock will seat 60 diners indoors and another 15 on the front patio. Togliatti might be the third guy to open a barbecue joint in Cleveland this year, but he likely began working on the concept long before any of them. This is a plan years in the making, he says, one cultivated

thing about it.” One thing that Togliatti says he has gleaned from his years on the road is that every barbecue restaurant has its own style — and that’s not even getting to the food. Some of the best barbecue he’s ever had was from a carryout-only joint, while others are a bit more elaborate. His will be somewhere in the middle. “I like the easy vibe of barbecue restaurants,” he explains. “There’s all different levels and styles of places. This is a bar with barbecue. We’re still going to keep it super simple, but we’re also going to have a full bar, appetizers, sides and desserts.” Pitmaster Tommy Chambers will be smoking brisket, pulled pork, turkey, rib tips and sausage yearround on a pair of Old Hickory pits in


from many miles of travel. “I’ve spent a lot of time in Memphis, a lot of time in Nashville, and a lot of time in Kansas City, and everywhere I went I sought out barbecue places,” he explains. “I didn’t choose barbecue because it’s hot, I chose it because I love it. It’s pretty simple — it’s not over-cheffed food — and that’s the fantastic

an open-air smoke shack behind the building, Lakewood’s only outdoor commercial smokers. The menu will likely rotate daily, with three meats and three sides available on any given day. Starters will include smoked chicken wings, smoked cream cheese-stuffed jalapenos, barbecue loaded nachos, and barbecue loaded french fries. Sides will include spicy

slaw, broccoli salad, mac and cheese, collard greens and plenty of sweet and hot pickles. Dessert is sweet potato pie. Everything will be made onsite except for the sausages, which are coming from Fresh Butcher Deli in Broadview Heights. Togliatti says that he scrapped the original name for a couple of reasons. “I was originally going to call – k, but it was hard for me to it Smo even type and it was hard for people to say,” he quips. “People were pronouncing it like ‘smock.’ Plus, there are a lot of other barbecue places called Smoke. We’ve got all this wood, so Woodstock just worked.” Togliatti might be new to the restaurant business, but he isn’t new to Lakewood. In fact, he has lived and worked within four blocks of the restaurant for nearly two decades, he says. “Everybody in the neighborhood is excited. It’s obviously taken a lot of money and it’s taken a lot of time. I just hope we’ll be busy. As long as the food and service is good, we should be fine. The key is to keep the menu very simple and execute very well. The food has to match all the work I’ve done on the building.” Look for Woodstock to open in early August. t@dougtrattner

| | July 27 - August 2, 2016



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| | July 27 - August 2, 2016

RISING STAR CHEF Bridget Austria, sous chef at AMP 150 By Nikki Delamotte BRIDGET AUSTRIA HAS FOUND a place she can always come home to. Before stepping into her role two months ago as sous chef at AMP 150 at the Marriott (4277 West 150th St., 216-706-8787,, Austria broke away from the restaurant more than once. It continued to call her back. “I left the nest, but sometimes the grass isn’t always greener,” she admits. “I feel like I have a second family here. Every time I’ve come back, they’ve welcomed me with open arms.” Austria began working as a prep cook at AMP at 18. Two years later, she followed her former supervisor, who she describes as one of her greatest mentors, to AMP’s sister restaurant in Texas, Asador. Southern and Southwestern cooking has seeped into her repertoire. Its heat-heavy influences continue to make their way into her Northeast Ohio crafted dishes today. She has learned a lot about meat cookery, especially by working with a woodburning grill. “There’s something about making your own fire,” she says. “It’s my favorite thing I’ve ever cooked on.” She learned about farm-to-table cooking through regular staff trips to the nearby farmer’s market. Today, she gets her hands in the soil of AMP 150’s kitchen garden, where she plucks fresh zucchini, squash, peppers, tomatoes, pumpkin and potatoes. A year later, she returned to AMP, but soon left for the opportunity to help run the Sterle’s Country House food truck for a summer. Working on the inventory and business side was an eye-opening experience that she carried over to her sous chef position at AMP. She was also responsible for creating the wildly popular Schnitzelwich, a schnitzel sandwich with horseradish and red pepper

tapenade. At AMP, such sauces and spreads with a kick have become a staple for Austria. “To me, the most basic things are the most important things, and the most basic things get overlooked sometimes,” she says. Those items add intensity to one of her favorite dishes, deviled eggs, which she describes as old-school but classic. Her take, appearing on the summer menu, is made with horseradish, Dijon mustard, lemon aioli, chives and smoked bacon with crispy fried onions. Even a slaw created for AMP’s brisket sandwich has Tabasco and Worcestershire for a little heat to counter the cilantro and lime. Pickled red onions rest on top. Chimichurri, a sauce she learned to make in Texas and brought back to Ohio, also has hits of Tabasco and Worcestershire. She’s used it at AMP on a flatiron steak with au gratin potatoes stuffed with horseradish and Gruyere cheese. It currently comes on a half-chicken. “It’s one of the simplest recipes,” she says of chimichurri, “but you can put it on almost anything.” The young chef’s next goals are to learn the Filipino cuisine of her father’s heritage and to tackle desserts. Her newest sweet creation is a panna cotta created with kiwi lime sugar mix for the base layer and cream and vanilla bean for the second layer before being topped with diced kiwi and sliced almonds. She describes her new task of developing desserts as just one more lesson in broadening her horizons. “I think I thrive under pressure,” Austria says. “I like to be that person wearing all the hats.” t@clevelandscene

EAT EASTERN EXPANSION Mad Greek to close; Barrio to take over space By Douglas Trattner THE YEAR WAS 1976 WHEN LOKI Chopra opened up the Mad Greek restaurant at the Coventryard Mall in Cleveland Heights. The owner had an idea to combine the foods of his native India with the family recipes of his former wife, who was Greek. The result was a restaurant with a dual personality, a rarity then and still. Mad Greek moved to its current spot at Cedar Road and Fairmount Boulevard (2466 Fairmount Blvd., 216-421-3333, a few years later. Since 2002, when Chopra passed away, his son Chris Chopra has been running the show. All that ends this summer when Mad Greek, after an impressive four-decade run, will close its doors. The popular spot at the top of Cedar Hill has been “on the market” off and on for years, and it finally has been snatched up. This fall, Barrio Tacos will open its fourth fullservice location (fifth, if you count Progressive Field). “We’ve been looking to go to the eastside for a long time and just haven’t found the right spot,” says owner Sean Fairbairn. “We’ve looked in Coventry and Lee Road and we just feel like the Cedar-Fairmount area is a great area.” Fairbairn recently submitted his plans for the space to the City of Cleveland Heights. Those plans call for expanding the bar, opening up the dining room and adding a rear garage door to better unite the back patio with the interior. The Mad Greek already has two front garage door panels that open up to the sidewalk. The final plans call for approximately 100 indoor seats and another 30 out back. Fairbairn also says that he intends to work with the city on updating the façade. Mad Greek will continue to operate in the space until the plans are accepted and Barrio gets the keys. “Once we get in there, we can do the work in 30 to 60 days,” he says. “We’re getting pretty good at doing these things.” Considering that Barrio launched in Tremont only four years ago, the company’s growth trajectory is pretty impressive. In addition to that southside location, Barrio added a spot in Lakewood and another one downtown on Prospect. The crew also

operates three food trucks. To help support all that growth and expansion while maintaining quality and consistency, Barrio recently hired veteran chef Pete Joyce to oversee the food. Also, Barrio is wrapping up construction on a central commissary that will deliver fresh food to each store daily. Fairbairn thinks that Barrio will be a great complement to the neighborhood and he couldn’t be more thrilled to join those already in the area. “We always look to help build up neighborhoods and feel that the Barrio concept is a great fit for that neighborhood.” Owner Chris Chopra was reached but declined to comment on the transition.

ON THE RISE BAKERY UNVEILS EXPANSION THAT DOUBLES FOOTPRINT It’s been a little more than a year since we first reported on the expansion project that would double the size of On the Rise bakery in Cleveland Heights. Last spring, Adam Gidlow, owner of the 15-yearold bake shop, took possession of an adjacent space to make room for a full commercial kitchen and a greatly expanded lobby for retail sales and dine-in seating. This week, the brown craft paper finally came down off the windows and the two spaces were united as one. One final inspection is all that separates chef Brian Evans from his shiny new kitchen equipment. “We’re inching our way closer day by day,” he says. The physical changes were inspired by the success of the bakery’s relatively new lunch service, which features nearly a dozen sandwiches and generates a line out the door. Sandwiches like the banh mi with braised pork, Vietnamese pate and pickled veggies on a crusty baguette, and the ham and gruyere with herbed butter, have fostered the need for more space in which to prepare those sandwiches but also to enjoy them. Seating has jumped precipitously, going from literally a handful of seats at a lone table to approximately 25 at counter seats, high tops, standing

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| | July 27 - August 2, 2016


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EAT tables and standard tables. Outside, another 25 seats await guests. Coming online next month will be a new espresso program thanks to a barista and La Marzocco espresso machine. The expanded kitchen, visible from the dining room, will allow Evans to step up his game in terms of menu items. Guests will start seeing new items on the lunchtime roster. For now, the hours will remain the same, with breakfast and lunch being the raisons d’etre for the shop. But Evans hints at the possibility of evening activities down the road. “We don’t plan on offering a dinner service out of the gate,” he says.

NOW OPEN: PARKER’S DOWNTOWN AT THE KIMPTON SCHOFIELD HOTEL The Kimpton Schofield Hotel has been renting rooms for about three months now, but doing so without the support of the property’s flagship restaurant. That finally changed last week when Parker’s Downtown

On the Rise

(2000 East Ninth St., 216-357-3250) opened up at the corner of East Ninth and Euclid Avenue. The restaurant is an offshoot of Parker’s Grille & Tavern in Avon Lake, which is operated by James and Victoria Mowbray. The downtown location is a 4,700-squarefoot, two-level, 120-seat restaurant that will provide food service to walk-in customers, the complex’s 122 hotel rooms and, eventually, 52 luxury apartments upstairs. Executive chef Andrew Gorski,

a CIA grad who worked at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, MIX by Alain Ducasse and locally at Butcher & the Brewer and Tremont Tap House, presides over a menu of “Northeast Ohio favorites updated with a modern twist.” Dinner starters include smoked whitefish served with warm sourdough; potato pierogi garnished with crème fraiche, pistachios and pear; and lamb meatballs with Korean red pepper paste. Main courses might include smoked pheasant with grilled

peaches, polenta and port; chicken pot pie with creamed leeks and wild mushrooms in puff pastry; and mac and cheese with Gruyere, smoked ham and veal jus. A separate bar menu is loaded with cocktail-friendly snacks like shrimp cocktail with horseradish custard, sliders with caramelized onions and Thousand Island, salumi flatbreads and pickled eggs. Breakfast offers staples like omelets, waffles and eggs Benedict as well as more creative fare like flatiron steak and eggs, a Croque Madame with smoked ham, Gruyere and a fried egg, and house-cured gravlax served with cream cheese, pickled shallots, capers and bagel chips. Lunchtime is heavy on the soups, salads and sandwiches, with items like cauliflower soup with King crab, beet salad with whipped goat cheese, Korean fried chicken sandwich, a Cleveland-style Cuban starring shaved bologna and Stadium Mustard, and porchetta with celery root slaw and buttermilk dressing. The restaurant is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. t@dougtrattner

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Whiskey Daredevils

A COWPUNK COMPETITION Nashville’s Hillbilly Casino and Whiskey Daredevils square off at the Beachland By Jeff Niesel LAST YEAR, NASHVILLE’S Hillbilly Casino opened a nationwide tour for rapper Yelawolf. Though the rockabilly band plays with a punk DIY edge that would make Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent proud, the group went over like gangbusters. Local rockers the Whiskey Daredevils, who just completed a new album with producer John Smerek (Detroit Cobras, Reckless Kelly, Paybacks, Electric Six, Sea and Cake) will join Hillbilly Casino for an upcoming Beachland show billed as the “2016 Greaser Championship.” Local rockabilly outfit Bomb City Royals will also play. In a recent phone interview, we spoke to Whiskey Daredevils singer Greg Miller, who promises to have confetti canons on hand for the gig, and Hillbilly Casino singer Nic Roulette.

Talk about how you two know each other. Miller: We played a show in Cincinnati in the late 1990s. Nic was in a band out of Fort Wayne called the Blue Moon Boys. I was in the Cowslingers. I think the first band was the Drive By Truckers. We had not heard of each other’s bands. We

played and came up to each other afterward and did that junkyard dog thing and then started playing shows together shortly after that. Roulette: I remember it differently. The Cowslingers totally sucked, and we told them that we hated them. No, Greg is right. It’s always cool to be on the road and see a band you think is awesome. I vividly remember those guys walking in. We thought that they looked so cool. You’ve dubbed the show at the Beachland the “Greaser Championship.” Talk about what the level of competition will be like. Miller: It’s not that often that you get three really good bands in this genre all playing together at the same time. Having Hillbilly Casino come up from Nashville is great. They don’t play up here that often. People often think of rockabilly as freeze-dried retro music. We’re all getting after it. It’s an update of a musical form we like. We do it in our own way. We have a country influence and the Bomb City Royals have a punk rock thing. In my mind, Hillbilly Casino is the best band that can be labeled rockabilly. It’s the best night of music for anything in the

Americana genre this summer. Roulette: If Americana music wasn’t boring, it would be this show. A lot of times Americana artists are trying so hard to be so deep and so real and trying to take it back from poppy bubblegum music that they forget that music is fun to play. Greg likes to write songs. I’m a songwriter. Americana is like going to Catholic church and we’re like going to a crazy Pentecostal church. Miller: Nothing is worse than a dude in a beard who’s singing a song about a coal mine when he’s actually from a suburb. I wear a stupid cowboy outfit because it’s fun to wear. I’m not a cowboy. Roulette: Heavens, no. Miller: What gives it away? Is it my soft girly hands? Roulette: It’s just the way you walk. Talk about the rockabilly scene in the city you’re from. Miller: Cleveland has a decent number of bands who play this type of music. I don’t see it as a huge scene, but it’s very protective and supportive, which is great. I remember in the past being the only band that did this type of thing in the region. It’s way different than

Nashville where every single person you meet — a bartender or waitress or guy selling you a car — are better than you. Here, it’s people playing the music you love. Roulette: I don’t know if there’s a rockabilly scene here. There’s a promoter here who brings roots bands to town, but they’re not supported by people from Nashville. When he puts on a festival, the people who come are from all over the place. They’re not from Nashville. I couldn’t say there’s a definitive rockabilly scene. There’s a music scene. There are people who see us and think we’re just another bullshit rockabilly band, but they don’t delve into it. If they did, they’d know that’s not true. You each have new albums out. Talk about your respective new releases. Miller: We finished this one called The Good Fight. I’m still waiting for it to get pressed. It’s a Whiskey Daredevils record. It’s country and punk rock and rockabilly and garage rock all mashed into one thing. It’s more twangy than our last couple of records. I’m proud of the songs. [Guitarist] Gary [Siperko] played some great guitar. [Bassist] Sugar | | July 27 - August 2, 2016


MUSIC Hillbilly Casino

and [drummer] Leo [P. Love] were in the pocket. I’m excited for it to come out. Roulette: We have a live album out currently. We have five albums out and four of them have a different drummer on them. We wanted to get our new drummer on an album. It’s called Live in the U.S.A. It’s pretty much songs off our other albums re-recorded with a couple of covers, including “Hot for Teacher.” It also has three songs that will be on the album we’re currently recording. We know this artist Yelawolf who is a protégé of Eminem. He’s a white rapper on our album, which is something that no rockabilly bands do. Some rockabilly fans might hate us for that. Dude is a nice guy and it’s not what you think. He took us on a seven-week tour with him last summer. We exposed his fans to the American rockabilly music that we play. We converted his fans into liking live music. We grew our

players in both our bands. Both bands have a long history of scraping by. What motivates you to keep going? Miller: We’ve been a significant regional club draw forever. When you play music like this, it’s not the top of the charts. We know that we’ll have a small but super loyal fanbase. We know we’ll sell all the records we press. It’s the enthusiasm of the people that let you know you’re doing something special. Just today, I took orders from France, Germany, Florida and a suburb of Cleveland. They’re all people who like what we do. They’re from completely different cultures, but it’s touched them in some way and they’re enthusiastic. It’s cool there are people out there who can keep the process rolling. Roulette: I play music because it’s what I do. I remember when I was a kid. I would hear people my age now and they would tell me that I’ll feel it


fanbase with people who came out and are music fans. That’s what we want. Miller: People get scared off by this. They think it’s something else. They think it’s some bullshit Sha Na Na thing. It’s rock ’n’ roll. There isn’t enough good guitar-based rock ’n’ roll out there. Do you anticipate another “Greaser Championship” in 2017? Miller: Absolutely. We’re already in discussions about having a face-toface knock-down battle in Columbus this fall. We’re also talking about playing Cincinnati. Roulette: Guitars! People who like guitar players will like this show. Period. Gary and our guitarist teach people to play guitars and make money doing it. They’re guitar-player guitarists. They’re awesome. If you like guitar players, there you go. If you like bass players, there are good


| | July 27 - August 2, 2016

some day. I said to myself, “No way.” I have to tell you, I’m tired and my body aches. I have pinched nerves, but once I hit the stage, I don’t think about that shit at all. My body says, “This is what you do, Nic, go do it.” And I’m able to do it. I have better moves than I had when I was in my 20s. I make enough money doing this that I’m not hurting. I recently graduated from barbershop training and I cut hair to supplement my income. Since I was a little boy at a 4-H fair in Kansas on the back of a flatbed truck singing “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” I knew this is what I was put on this earth to do. I will never stop doing it. If I’m not on stage singing songs, I’m not happy. I’m a song and dance man to my core, brother! t@jniesel


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BOOK OF LOVE CAMBRIDGE ROOM leon bridges w/lianne la havas LIVE at masonic auditorium finish ticket cambridge room Back to the 80’s featuring the Molly Ringwalds w/Moving in Stereo–Cars Tribute • Pop Fiction wish you were here - tribute to pink floyd death from above 1979 & black rebel motorcycle club w/deap vally

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| | July 27 - August 2, 2016


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MUSIC GOOD VIBRATIONS A guide to this year’s Mid West Reggae Fest By Jeff Niesel FEW FESTIVALS LAST FIVE years, let alone 25 years. And yet, this year the annual Mid West Reggae Fest, which lays claim to the title “The Only MultiDay Reggae Festival East of the Mississippi River,” celebrates its 25th anniversary. That’s a quarter century of good vibrations on the North Coast. “After 25 years, this has been an enormous undertaking,” says promoter Packy Malley, who holds down a day job at Malley’s Chocolates. “People wait to the end to buy tickets. I have all this money laid out and I don’t have corporate sponsorship. I’ve been doing it for 25 years, and I’m not sure I’ll be doing this much longer. One of the mottos at Malley’s Chocolates is to make the chocolates as if you were making them for yourself. I apply that to the festival and make it something I would like to go to. There is camping and swimming and you can bring your own coolers and food. It’s perfect. The people who have their minds blown are the ones who come here from out of state. They can’t believe what a great experience it is.” This year’s festival, which takes place from Friday, July 29, to Sunday, July 31, at Clay’s Park in North Lawrence, features acts from around the world, and some from right here in Northeast Ohio. There will also be arts and crafts and Caribbean food. We asked Malley to tell us a bit about the bands slated to play this year’s event.

FRIDAY Lungu Vybes 5:30-6:30 p.m. They are a band from Africa who make their home in Columbus. It’s a whole family that plays in the band. They’re fastly becoming a popular reggae group in Ohio. They played last year’s festival, and they really wowed the crowd. Ark Band with Deighton Charlemagne 7-8:30 p.m. They’re St. Lucians who make their home in Columbus. They’ve

been around for a long time. I’ve known them for 30 years. Deighton Charlemagne is signed to Island. I’m putting them together as a special thing because we’ve known each other for so long. It’s a rare thing. It’s a Mid West Reggae Fest thing. They played together a couple of years ago, and it was really great. Marty Dread 8:30-9:30 p.m. He’s from Hawaii. He has played at the reggae fest numerous times. He just put out two new albums. Kris Kristofferson has called him the best songwriter he’s ever met. He’s a fabulous entertainer. I fly him in, and he’s really good. I met him in Hawaii in 2005. He’s very popular there. Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime 10:30 p.m.-midnight They’re super popular here in Northeast Ohio. They sell out the House of Blues every year on weeknights in February. They bring in a different crowd. They bring a young, rock crowd, which is great. They play Sublime’s music, which is a hybrid of rock and reggae. I’m really looking forward to their set.

SATURDAY Outlaws I&I Noon-1:30 p.m. They’re from Cleveland and Lorain. They have a very energetic lead singer named Butchie B. The rest of the guys are the former [local reggae act] First Light band.

in Cleveland. They just played in the Flats last weekend. They are awesome. I really like them. I was at their firstever gig at Peabody’s and liked them from the start. Sowflo 6:30-8 p.m. I love those guys. They begged to get on the reggae fest a few years ago. They came up and played for free and just killed it. They were the talk of the show. They’re from Fort Meyers, in southwestern Florida. They’re a young rock reggae band. They’re not a traditional reggae band. They just put out a brand new CD a few weeks ago. Carlos Jones & the P.L.U.S. Band 8:30-10 p.m. What’s interesting is that he’s not just the most popular reggae band in Northeast Ohio, but he’s by far the most popular band. Everyone loves him. He’s a great entertainer. People who have never seen him before — he can have all of them dancing. He knows how to bring it every time. He wins over crowds every single time


They’re really accomplished. Butchie is a great frontman. I’m a big fan of theirs. Jah Messengers 2-3:30 p.m. They’re a great band with a lot of Jamaican immigrants who live

he plays. As great a musician as he is, he’s an even better guy. I can’t say enough positive things about him. The guys in the band are great too. They put their time in here in Cleveland. They’re fantastic. They’ve played almost every one. A couple of years I sat him out because I didn’t

want him to have to play every festival. I’ve learned it’s best to have him. Bunny Wailer 10:30 p.m.-midnight I am thrilled that he is going to be part of this festival. To me, he is the most important living reggae artist in the world. He started the Wailers with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. It’s rare that he even plays. It’s even more special that he’s playing here. He’s never played Ohio. I don’t even recall him playing the Midwest before. He’s 69 years old, but he is doing a little bit of touring this year. It’s a big deal.

SUNDAY Devil’s Lettuce Noon-1:30 p.m. They’re another band out of Columbus. They were recommended by a reggae promoter. They’re also a rock reggae band that should fit in with the other rock reggae bands playing this year. Sol Tribe 2-3:30 p.m. They’re out of Texas. They’re a touring reggae band that wanted to be part of the festival. I appreciated their enthusiasm. No one here has ever seen them before. That’s fun too. I’m looking forward to seeing them for the first time. t@jniesel | | July 27 - August 2, 2016



all the live music you should see this week 7/27

G-Eazy/Logic/Yo Gotti/YG: G-Eazy, in a way, is sort of an anti-Macklemore. A polished white pop-rapper just the same, he tends to focus on the more mainstream-friendly aspects of his image as opposed to his indie roots. The formlua’s paid off in spades so far — he’s managed to produce two chart-topping records in These Things Happen and When It’s Dark Out, as well as build a dedicated fan base with his fratty-yet-intelligent charm. Expect his fans to embrace the party just as much as the music. Openers Logic and YG will draw more serious hip-hop fans, the former with his lightningquick delivery and sharp lyrics, and the latter with his bold, brash attitude and street-rap reputation. (Eli Shively), 6:30 p.m., $33-935. Blossom. Lyle Lovett and His Large Band: 7:30 p.m., $44.50-$65. Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park. 10 X 3 Singer Songwriter Showcase: Hosted by Brent Kirby (in the Wine Bar): 8 p.m. Brothers Lounge. The Big Nasty: 8 p.m., $12. Bop Stop. Diego Figueiredo: 7 p.m., $15. BLU Jazz+. Marcus Dirk/Eric Everett Jazz Ensemble/Drew Gibson: 6 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern. John Pizzarelli Quartet: 7 p.m., $40. Nighttown. Jounce/Punch Drunk Tagalongs: 9 p.m., $5. Happy Dog. Louis Prima Jr./Rio and the Rockabilly Revival: 7:30 p.m., $22 ADV, $25 DOS. Music Box Supper Club. Chris Milam/AJ & the Woods: 9 p.m., $5. The Euclid Tavern. Nothing But Thieves/The Unlikely Candidates/Weathers: 8:30 p.m., $13 ADV, $15 DOS. Grog Shop. Of Earth and Sun/Apocryphos/Dead Peasant Insurance/Lupus Sol/ Black Bloc: 9 p.m., $5. Now That’s Class. Danny Schmidt/Charlie Mosbrook: 8 p.m., $12. Beachland Tavern. Seaway/Coldfront/Rarity/Sudden Suspension/LIfe Lessons: 5:30 p.m., $13 ADV, $15 DOS. Mahall’s 20 Lanes.



The Cactus Blossoms/Rodney & the Regulars: 8:30 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Beachland Tavern.


Guitar slinger Zakk Wylde comes to the Agora. See: Friday.

Miranda Lambert/Kip Moore/ Brothers Osborne: 7:30 p.m., $31$65.75. Blossom. Los Lobos: 8 p.m., $65. Music Box Supper Club. 90th Birthday Tribute to Tony Bennett (in the Supper Club): 8 p.m., $10. Music Box Supper Club. Blu Jazz Jam with Theron Brown: 8 p.m., Free. BLU Jazz+. Paulinho Costa and Brazilian Songs: 9 p.m., $5. The Euclid Tavern. Chris Hatton’s Musical Circus (in the Wine Bar): 8 p.m. Brothers Lounge. Hillbilly Idol/Michael McDonald: 8 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern. Roger Hoover: 9 p.m., Free. Happy Dog. Jam Night with the Bad Boys of Blues: 9 p.m., Free. Brothers Lounge. James Durbin/7Horse/Mister Moon: 8 p.m., $10-$40. Beachland Ballroom. John Pizzarelli Quartet: 7 p.m., $40. Nighttown. Bob Niederriter Duo: 8 p.m., $10. Bop Stop. Outdoor Music: The Stone Crowes: 5 p.m., Free. Music Box Supper Club. Pollen Rx/The Painbirds/Death Bee: 9 p.m., Free. Now That’s Class. The Record Company/The Shadow Division: 9 p.m., $12 ADV, $14 DOS. Grog Shop. Riff Raff: The Peach Panther Tour/ Dollabillgates/Trill Sammy/Dice SoHo: 8 p.m., $25-$35. House of Blues. Yes: The Album Series: 7:30 p.m., $48-$88. Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park.



Moonshine & Wine/You’re Among Friends CD Release: The prototypical “local band with a lot

| | July 27 - August 2, 2016

of heart,” Cleveland’s You’re Among Friends is no stranger to relentless gigging and self promotion around the area. Despite the work ethic, however, the music gives off a much more mellow vibe. Their new record As We Watch The Years Go… is rollicking blues at its core with a sugary coating of power pop, doused in more than just a little bit of ’90s alt-rock nostalgia — basically, what 311 would sound like if they tried to write Black Keys songs. The unpretentious innocence of songs like “A Way To Get Away” and “Dumb Complaints” reveal a simple truth about You’re Among Friends: They just enjoy playing music, and want nothing more than for you to sit back and relax. (Shively), 9 p.m., $5. The Euclid Tavern. Zakk Wylde/Tyler Bryant and The Shakedown/Jared James Nichols: Hard working singer-guitarist Zakk Wylde has already had one helluva 2016. The year isn’t half over yet, and he’s toured as part of both the Hendrix Experience Tour and Steve Vai’s Generation Axe Tour. Now, Wylde comes to town in support of Book of Shadows II, the follow-up to 1996’s Book of Shadows. Book of Shadows II kicks off with “Autumn Changes,” a somber tune that sounds like a cross between Alice in Chains and Eric Clapton. The rest of the album sustains the opening number’s serious mood with baritone vocals and bluesy guitar riffs. (Jeff Niesel), 7 p.m., $25 ADV $30 DOS. The Agora Theatre. Blues Benefit for Elton “Smokey” Rose with The Vernon Jones Blues Cartel and more: 8 p.m., $10. Beachland Tavern. DJ Paul Weaver: 6 p.m., Free.

Happy Dog. Dynamo: 8 p.m., $12. BLU Jazz+. Justin Townes Earle/Corey King: 9 p.m., $20. Musica. Rik Emmett of Triumph: 8 p.m., $35 ADV, $40 DOS. Music Box Supper Club. Hillbilly Casino/Whiskey Daredevils/Bomb City Royals: 9 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Beachland Tavern. In Training: July Salvation/Sold/ Eris Drew/Kiernan Paradise/ ADAB: 9 p.m., $8. Now That’s Class. The Jack Fords: 9:30 p.m., $5. Brothers Lounge. Julien Labro: 8:30 p.m., $20. Nighttown. Late Nite Lounge: Drag Bingo (in the Supper Club): 10:30 p.m., Free. Music Box Supper Club. Meg & the Magnetosphere: 8 p.m. Brothers Lounge. Outdoor Music: Blues Chronicles: 5 p.m., Free. Music Box Supper Club. Popa Chubby (in the Supper Club): 8 p.m., $15 ADV, $18 DOS. Music Box Supper Club. Scientist/Axioma/SPARROWMILK/ Telstar: 9 p.m., $10. Grog Shop. Jake Shimbaukuro: 8 p.m., $20-$33. Cain Park. The Smokin Fez Monkeys/Crash Coffin and the Pallbearers: 8 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern. Moss Stanley: 10:30 p.m., free. Nighttown. Tonawandas/Part Time Lover: 9 p.m., $5. Happy Dog.



Blaire Alise & The Bombshells/ Heaven’s Gateway Drugs/New Planet Trampoline: 9 p.m. Happy Dog. Beachland Summer Fest with The Modern Electric/Ottawa/Polars/ The Whiskey Hollow/Jivviden: 3 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Beachland Ballroom. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy: 8 p.m., $20$35. Cain Park. Bloodshot Bill/45 Spider/Shouting Thomas: 9 p.m., $10. Beachland Tavern. Bossa Nova Night with Luca Mundaca (in the Supper Club): 8:30 p.m., $7. Music Box Supper Club. Brit Floyd: 8:30 p.m., $20.15-$55. Jacobs Pavilion. Brett Dennen/Esme Patterson: 8 p.m., $20. The Kent Stage. Gage Brothers/Haint Blue: 9 p.m., $5. The Euclid Tavern.

| cl clev levves esce sceen nee.cco om m | July Jul ulyy 277 - August Augusst 2, 2, 2016 2016

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Heaven’s Gateway Drugs/New Planet Trampoline: 9 p.m. Happy Dog. Hubb’s Groove: 8 p.m., $15. BLU Jazz+. Masses/Pleasure Leftists/Vanilla Poppers/Frustrations/DJ Ninja Man: 9 p.m., $7. Now That’s Class. Tatsuya Nakatani: 9 p.m., $10. Bop Stop. Outdoor Music: Chris Hatton: 3 p.m., Free. Music Box Supper Club. The Scintas: 8 p.m., $32.50-$50.50. Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park. Skin & Bones: 9 p.m., $7. Grog Shop. Sounds of Jazz Featuring Nancy Redd (in the Wine Bar): 8 p.m. Brothers Lounge. Tom Stahl (performing solo)/Rio Neon: 8 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern. Stroke 9: 9:30 p.m., $15. Brothers Lounge. Jackie Warren: 10:30 p.m., free. Nighttown. Worship This: 9 p.m., $5. Musica.



Marianas Trench/Skylar Stecker: 8 p.m., $25. House of Blues. The Supposed So CD Release/The Singulars:7 p.m., $10. Bop Stop. Powerful Pills/Chris Hatton/Dead Ahead (Ohio): 8 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Beachland Tavern. DJ Special K: Free. Brothers Lounge. DJ Topgun Birthday Bash: 7:30 p.m., $15 ADV, $20 DOS. Grog Shop. Heaven is in You Compilation Release Party with DJ Eso/ Obnox/Mourning a BLKstar/ Glacial23/Holy/Connor Musarra/ DJ ADAB: 5 p.m. Now That’s Class. InGroovement: 3 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern. Irish Sundays: The Auld Pitch: 3 p.m., Free. Music Box Supper Club. Kidz Bop Kids: 4 p.m., $25-$100. Jacobs Pavilion. Mike Petrone (in the Wine Bar): 5:30 p.m. Brothers Lounge. Rock Salt & Nails: 6 p.m. Barking Spider Tavern. Diana Ross/Rhonda Ross: 7:30 p.m., $74-$129. Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park. The Summer Slaughter Tour featuring Cannibal Corpse/Nile/ After the Burial/Suffocation/ Carnifex/Revocation/Krisiun/ Slaughter to Prevail/Ingested:



Skatch Anderssen Orchestra: 8 p.m., $7. Brothers Lounge. Dum Drum: 8:15 p.m., $12. Bop Stop. Austin Jones/Trophy Wives/Run 2 Cover/Curses: 6 p.m., $15 ADV, $20 DOS. Agora Ballroom. Skatch Anderssen Orchestra (Big Band Jazz): 8 p.m., $7. Brothers Lounge. Velvet Voyage (in the Wine Bar): 8 p.m. Brothers Lounge. The Way Down Wanderers with Crooked: 8 p.m., $10. Beachland Tavern. The Way Down Wanderers/Crooked: 8 p.m., $10 ADV, $12 DOS. Beachland Tavern.



Heart Attack Man/The Superweaks/ The Obsessives/The Scuzzballs/ Los Ojos: If simple, heart-onsleeve rock tunes are your thing, Heart Attack Man may be the local punk export you’ve been waiting for. Triple Crown partner You Did This Records has signed on to release their upcoming fulllength, which was produced by Ian Farmer of Modern Baseball — two high-profile co-signs the band is undoubtedly deserving of. A quick listen-through of their 2014 EP Acid Rain reveals why: No one makes open chord progressions sound quite as heavy, simple vocal melodies quite as catchy, or such vulnerable lyrical content quite as apathy-drenched. In the realm of bored twentysomething pop punk, Heart Attack Man is a gem slowly rising to the top of the vast sea of average. (Shively), 7 p.m., $10. Mahall’s 20 Lanes. ACO - Afro Cleveland Orchestra: 8:30 p.m., $10. Grog Shop. CJO Octet Featuring Bill Dobbins: 7 p.m., $20. Nighttown. Gaelic Storm: 8 p.m., $20-$28. Cain Park. Halsey: 8 p.m., $29.50-$39.50. Jacobs Pavilion. Those Darn Accordions with The Chardon Polka Band: 8 p.m., $7. Beachland Tavern. Two Set Tuesday featuring Jerry Popiel (in the Wine Bar): 7 p.m. Brothers Lounge. t@clevelandscene

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THE DEL RIOS By Jeff Niesel MEET THE BAND: Dean Cohen (guitar), Skylar Keffer (bass), Austin Latare (drums), Will Robinson (guitar) DEAN’S LIST: The Del Rios were formed in 2013 from the Del Rio Bandits, an instrumental cover band that had come together in 2008. The Bandits came together as a band that would cover a wide range of late ’50s and early ’60s instrumentals. “We had a larger lineup at the time and would do stuff like [the Booker T. & the M.G.’s tune] ‘Green Onions,’â€? says Cohen. “It was fun for a while. We would do four hour gigs in bars, but we discovered that doing instrumental rock covers wasn’t that conducive to building an audience.â€? After members drifted away, the band morphed into Del Rios, and the guys decided to write and record original music with a retro feel but with an updated sound. The band also decided to tour regionally. SURF’S UP: Band members share an afďŹ nity for the music that came out during rock’s early days. “Since I’m the oldest one and I go back many years, that’s the pre-Beatles stuff I started listening to,â€? he says. “It piqued my interest in ’61, ’62 and ’63. It’s raw and rough and it’s just rock ’n’ roll boiled down to its purest form. There’s no real tradition nowadays of popular instrumental music, but we want to tell a story without using words. That’s always appealed to me.â€? Cohen says he’s tried, but he simply


| | July 27 - August 2, 2016

can’t write lyrics. “I write lyrics and then show them to the guys, and they tell me they’re gibberish,� he says. “I’m lucky to have these three young guys who came out of heavy duty rock backgrounds. Their fathers were involved in the local rock ’n’ roll scene.�

WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: The band recorded its new album, Baptized in Reverb, in a friend’s basement with “really nice equipment.â€? Band members helped him ďŹ nish building the studio in exchange for recording time. Locally based Cauliower Audio mastered the LP and Gotta Groove pressed the album. Album opener, “Dual Quads,â€? features Ventures-like guitar riffs and a beefy bass riff. The disc’s songs feature a decidedly retro vibe and showcase intricate guitar work. The tunes would make surf guitar king Dick Dale proud. WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM: WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: The Del Rios perform at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 29, at Lakewood Public Library’s Front Porch Concert series and with Beach Stav and Leroy’s Frosted Rocks at 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 30, at the 5 O’Clock in Lakewood. t@jniesel

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SAVAGE LOVE INTERABANG By Dan Savage Dear Dan, I’m 28 years old and live in the Midwest. I’m intersex, but I identify as female. I am not out about being born intersex. Due to surgeries and hormones, I look like a fairly attractive female. I have been hanging out with a chill hetero guy, and things are getting very flirty. Is it unethical of me to not disclose my intersex-ness to him? In New Terrific Erotic Romance

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“We all have to make decisions about what we disclose to partners or potential partners and when we disclose it,” said Alice Dreger, historian of medicine and science, sex researcher, and author. Dreger, for readers who may not be familiar with her, is the founding board chair of the Intersex Society of North America and the author of Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and One Scholar’s Search for Justice. Intersex, for readers who may not be familiar with the word, is an umbrella term covering dozens of different inborn conditions. “They all involve someone having something other than the standard male or standard female body as those are defined by doctors,” explained Dreger. “There are lots of different ways to be intersex, including some so subtle that you might never even know you had that particular variation of development.” So that chill hetero boy you’re thinking about disclosing your intersex-ness to, INTER? He could be intersex himself and not know it. But you do know it, and does “knowing it” obligate you to disclose? “Lying is a bad idea, of course, but she’s not lying by presenting herself as a woman and identifying as a woman,” said Dreger. “She is a woman, just one whose body came with some parts that aren’t common to most women, or maybe lacking some parts that are common to most women (depending on her particular intersex condition).” Dreger suggests making a mental list of the things a long-term partner might want, need, or a have a right to know about your history and your body. Then using your best judgment, INTER, decide what to share with him and when to share it. “For example,” said Dreger, “if this chill hetero guy talks about wanting kids someday, and the letter writer is infertile, she might want to mention sooner rather than later that she was born with a condition that left her infertile. Do her genitals look or work differently than he might be expecting? If so, she might think about when it would be best to give him some guidance about how her body is a little different and what works best for her.” Each of us has to balance our partner’s

legitimate right to certain information, INTER, with our right to medical privacy as well as our physical and emotional safety. “There’s no reason for her to feel like she has to announce, ‘I’m an intersex woman.’ She could opt to say, at some point, ‘I was born with congenital adrenal hyperplasia,’ or ‘I was born with androgen insensitivity syndrome,’ or whatever her specific condition might be, and then answer his questions,” said Dreger. “If the label ‘intersex’ were part of her core identity—a critical part of who she feels she is—then she might want to tell him early on, just as someone might talk about her ethnicity if that’s really important to her. But otherwise, she can disclosure just like non-intersex people do with regard to fertility, sexual health, sexual sensation, sexual preferences, and sexual function—at a pace and in a way that promotes a good relationship and makes you feel honest and understood. And no one can tell her she has to use term ‘intersex.’ That’s entirely up to her.” Follow Alice Dreger on Twitter @ AliceDreger.

Dear Dan, My husband looks at porn… porn of women with a body type almost the polar opposite of mine… Example: big boobs and tattoos… Does that mean he’s no longer attracted to my body? I’m so confused… He says I’m hot and sexy, but what he looks at does NOT make me feel that way. Personally Offended Regarding Nudes Is it possible your partner is attracted to… more than one body type? Example: Your body type and its polar opposite? And if your partner were looking at porn that featured women with your exact body type… would you feel affirmed? Or would you be writing to ask me why your husband looks at porn of women with your exact body type when he can look at you? And is your husband sharing his porn with you… or are you combing through his browser history? Either way, PORN, if looking at what he’s looking at makes you sad… maybe you should stop looking at what he’s looking at? And if he’s not neglecting you sexually… if he isn’t just saying he finds you hot and sexy but showing you he does… why waste time policing his fantasies? People enjoy what they have and fantasize about what they don’t. So long as we don’t take what we have for granted… it’s not a problem… unless we decide to make it one.

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