An overview of arts events happening in Akron
by Andrew Leask
March 17- April 3 at Weathervane Playhouse
Though it takes place in the fictional town of Mesalia, Ohio, this play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart could easily have been set in Akron. The three-act comedy, which originally premiered in 1939, tells the story of a meddlesome houseguest who overstays his welcome in the home of a wealthy factory owner. Tickets are available online at weathervaneplayhouse.com
Wandering Aesthetics Storytelling
March 20 at ACAMP
Wandering Aesthetics and the Akronist invite the public to tell a true story at their monthly series, Full Circle Storytelling: An Open Mic for Community Storytellers. This month’s theme is “strong women,” but if you don’t have a story to tell, you can always sit back and enjoy the show. Admission is free. To register as a storyteller, email email@example.com
Barberton Fourth Friday
March 25 at Barberton Arts District, 5 pm
The last weekend in March brings with it the second installment of downtown Barberton’s new monthly arts event, Barberton Fourth Friday. The event, conceived by three high school seniors, combines live performances, food, art and promotional discounts by retailers on West Tuscarawas Avenue.
Freedom of Speech Tuesdays
Every Tuesday at VE Poetry Cafe, 7 pm
How do you make it clear that anything goes at a poetry reading? Give it the name “Freedom of Speech,” for starters. Stop by VE Poetry Café at 2539 Romig Road for open mic poetry presented by Versified Expressions every Tuesday. Doors open at 7 pm, open mic starts at 8 pm. Admission is $7.
March 5 at Downtown Akron, 5-10 pm
Enjoy Akron’s monthly celebration of local art throughout the downtown area with free trolley service provided by the city. And don’t forget to check out Crafty Mart’s Pop Up Market at Summit Art Space featuring food and drink by Western Fruit Basket and Thirsty Dog Brewing, as well as handmade gifts by local artisans. It’s art! Plus walking!
March 5-6 at Akron Civic Theatre, 2 pm
Presented as part of Ballet Excel Ohio’s 40th anniversary season, this retelling of the classic children’s story about a puppet brought to life by magic sets the action in 1930’s Akron. The family-friendly show includes music by Gershwin, Tchaikovsky and Grieg, among others. For tickets and information, visit akroncivic.com
Flashdance: The Musical
March 8-9 at EJ Thomas Hall, 7:30 pm
Broadway in Akron brings to town the national tour of Flashdance: The Musical. Though reviewers haven’t always been kind to this story of a Pittsburgh welder/exotic dancer, this stage adaptation of the 1983 movie boasts catchy pop tunes, a talented cast, and tons of high-energy ’80s dance action. Tickets available through ticketmaster.com
The Fantastic, Fruitylicious Shrimp Cocktail
March 9 at Jilly’s Music Room, 7:30 pm
Each month, Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School does its part to keep Akron weird by bringing together cabaret acts and artistically inclined locals for a highly unconventional life-drawing session. This month’s session features Cleveland burlesque performer Shrimp Cocktail, for a “celebration of tropical temptation.” Admission is $10.
9th Annual Art & Ale
March 11 at Akron Art Museum, 6 pm
What would be the best beer pairing to complement a Warhol? Would William Sommer have preferred an IPA or a chocolate stout? You can ponder these questions and more as you wander the Akron Art Museum during its 9th annual Art & Ale, a showcase of Ohio’s best brews served alongside some tasty local cuisine. Come for the food and beer. Stay for the art—and also for the food and beer. Tickets available at akronartmuseum.org
March 11 at EJ Thomas Hall, 7:30 pm
Renowned violinist and conductor Joshua Bell joins the Akron Symphony Orchestra and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields chamber ensemble for a world-class performance. The concert will include compositions by Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Mozart and Beethoven. A pre-concert lecture begins at 6:30 pm. Tickets are available through ticketmaster.com.
Big Love 2016: Building Bridges
March 12 at Summit Artspace, 11 am-10 pm, After party at Musica
Big Love is a yearly family-friendly cultural festival that brings together artists, performers and other engaged locals to help foster a vibrant Akron community. Highlights include art installations, live performances, food and community engagement workshops. Admission is free, though donations are encouraged.
Violinist Jinjoo Cho at Western Reserve
March 13 at Christ Episcopal Church
Since graduating from the Cleveland Institute of Music, Jinjoo Cho has traveled the country and the world, collecting prizes and acclaim for her virtuosic violin performances. For the second time, she will headline a concert as Music from the Western Reserve’s Featured Young Artist. Cho will be accompanied by HyunSoo Kim, staff pianist at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Kent State University. Tickets are available for purchase at The Learned Owl Book Shop in Hudson, as well as at the door on the night of the concert. Learn more at mftwr.org