It’s that time of year: Throw a rock and you’ll hit an elf. Or a Santa. But I’m not advocating you throw rocks. Just saying there’s a lot of Christmas-y stuff going on, and it’s super good and cool …ho, ho, however, you might be looking for a something a little different. So this week The Devil Strip dug a tad deeper, finding some of the more offbeat holiday options in Akron.

Friday, December 12

Christine Howey’s “Exact Change”
None Too Fragile Theater, 8 pm ($20)
“Exact Change” is Christine Howey’s one-person show that traces the playwright’s life, starting as a boy in 1945, through his life as a husband and father, and then into the transition as Christine 45 years later. “(H)umorous and poignant,” the play explores gender identity and gender transition from many angles, including the impact the process had on friends and loved ones. This show also runs at 2 pm and 8 pm on Saturday, December 13. Tickets available online. Entry through Pub Bricco in Merriman Valley.

1st Annual “Cups of Plenty” Invitational
Land of Plenty, 5-9 pm
The Land of Plenty gallery hosts a display of cups from some of the most influential ceramic artists in the field today, meaning you have a chance to purchase a unique (and functional) work of art for someone you love this holiday season. Stick around for a (weather permitting) after-hours bonfire. You’re welcome to bring your own refreshments too. (Thanks to for the heads up. Get more of their picks here.)

Saturday, December 13

Chuck’s Nativity Knockout for Akron-Canton Food Bank
Chuck’s Steakhouse, 8:30 pm—midnight
Anytime someone threatens to “punch hunger in the face,” they have our attention. But this is better than an outrageous beef jerky commercial because, at Chuck’s, you’ll get to do good for others while rocking out to Last Day’s Pay, May Day Riots, The Said So and Murphy’s Children. Get in the spirit and put on your ugliest sweater! Donate canned food or money to help the food back. Here’s their Super Six list of most-needed items.

4th Annual Ugly Sweater Party
Jonny J’s at 7 pm
And this one is like unto it—the “it” being Chuck’s Nativity Knockout—because you can don your most repulsive Christmas sweater AND raise much-needed money and books for First Book of Greater Akron. Jonny J’s sweater fest is in its 4th year of good-doing.

Patrick Sweany Band with the Buffalo Killers & Relaxer
Musica, 9 pm ($12)
For a bunch of touring bands, the bill at Musica sure looks local. Patrick Sweany, who got started in Kent, and the Buffalo Killers from Cincy both had albums produced by Dan Auerbach. And Relaxer is an Akron supergroup, an amalgamation of Drummer , White Pines, The Party of Helicopters, Teeth of the Hydra, Royal Bangs and Sofa King Killer. What’s this mean for you? It’s the most Akron way to rock out.

The Mighty Soul Night
Uncorked, 7 pm—midnight
If you missed them at Craftymart, here’s your chance to take in Uncorked’s big monthly secret: 5 DJs spinning all real vinyl.

Bonus: Celebrate ShiSho style in Kent for Vivian Ramone’s B-Day Party

Sunday, December 14

Hands on Holidays
Highland Square Movie Theatre, 1 pm – 5 pm ($10)
This fundraiser for the Akron Children’s Museum offers kid-friendly fun like an indoor “ice” skating rink, face painting, a short movie and sing-along, and a visit from Santa. Plus, organizers are unveiling their first traveling exhibit. Buy tickets online here.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s Wild & Swingin’ Holiday Show
The Tangier at 7:30 pm
Break out your zoot suit and party like it’s 1997—or, 1937—all over again because Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s Wild & Swingin’ Holiday Show returns to Akron.

Tuesday, December 16

Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge
The Balch Street Theatre, 8:00pm
The Boiling Point presents a reading of Christopher Durang’s “Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge”—and what that means exactly, I don’t know. But I am sure Akron’s alternative play reading series is good for the Rubber City’s soul. Stuff your metaphorical stocking with an evening on the fringe of American theatre.

Wednesday, December 17

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)
Weathervane Playhouse, 7:30 pm
You could go see another production of “A Christmas Carol”—or, you could indulge the madness when four actors perform EVERY Christmas story EVER. That includes various Christmas traditions and carols from all over the world. By the way, it’s a PG-13 show, for mild adult language and whatnot. Show runs Through December 20. Check their website for details.

Thursday, December 18

Bah Humbug Bash
Akron Art Museum, 6:30 pm
It’s a one-stop shop for fun! While you’re rocking out to Missile Toe—aka – “Akron’s best holiday band”—dig around the museum store for some of the most interesting gifts in town and then handcraft your own creative wrapping paper so it really stands out. Just make sure you make the time to reward your good decision with a fine holiday brew before you go home. Also: FREE admission to the museum.

Saturday, December 20

Extra Spooky’s Last Christmas Show
Eye Opener, 8 pm ($5)
Pizza Ghost opens for the “four sultry gents” in Extra Spooky for their last Christmas show in Akron before they split for Los Angeles. The Eye Opener is the right place for you to be if you want to find some “haunted dance punk/pirate rock” under your tree this year. Dig on ‘em while the diggin’ is good.

“Die Hard”
Nightlight Cinema
Dude, “Die Hard” is playing at the Nightlight. I repeat: “Die Hard” is playing at the Nightlight. And it runs through Christmas Eve. Yeah, yeah, of course, you want to watch “Love Actually” again. But this is “Die Hard,” man. It’s a young, evil Alan Rickman vs. a young, still balding Bruce Willis in the role that mostly erased most of our weird memories of him in “Moonlighting”… though those were good times. (Dammit, I’ve got to watch “Moonlighting” again!) Plus, it’s a Christmas movie where THINGS BLOW UP! And not like Clark Griswold’s comically large light display either. We’re talking, like whole floors of a building. Because terrorists. And the dad from “Family Matters” is a hero and all those iconic lines. This could be an excellent Christmas tradition.

Bonus: “Jingle Bell Rocks,” a fascinating documentary about a disconnected group of quirky vinyl fanatics who collect bad Christmas albums so they can make mixes of bad but obscure Christmas songs, opens December 12 and runs through Christmas Eve.

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