If you’re willing to venture outside of your cozy house and brave the drooping temperatures, activities abound in the Funcoast area this weekend. Theater of every flavor populates this weekend’s schedule, from classic to modern musicals, jazz bands to straight-up Motown and plays to poetry. Peppered among the performances you’ll find other goodies like motorcycles and craft fairs, so there’s something for everyone, as per usual.
The Temptations – Give your weekend an early start on Thursday with one of Motown’s original and finest groups: The Temptations. These guys are the real deal, y’all. “My Girl,” “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg,” “Papa Was A Rolling Stone?” These guys performed them, and this is your golden opportunity to see living legends. Also, they have flashy matching suits, which should be enough motivation on its own.
“Cats” – Based on a book of T.S. Eliot’s poems (because why not?), “Cats” is one of the modern generations of theater’s most (in)famous shows. You’d probably recognize some of the songs, whether you realize it or not (“Memory,” anyone?), but regardless, the songs in the show will probably be stuck in your head until the withered leaves collect at your feet and the wind begins to moan. Love it or hate it, “Cats” is a show that everyone should see at least once, and the production at the Sandusky State Theatre may be your best opportunity.
“Get Smart” – The story of the paragon of bumbling secret agents, the play “Get Smart” harkens back to the original television series with it’s playful and absurd antics. Timelessly funny, Agent Smart has been described as a combination of James Bond and Inspector Clouseau, and the physical comedy and endless stream of sight gags characterize “Get Smart” as a classic. Edison High School has a strong drama program, and they’re sure to do an excellent job bringing to life this comedic marvel.
“A Don't Hug Me Christmas Carol” – A modern take on Charles Dickens’ classic “Christmas Carol” tale, “A Don’t Hug Me Christmas Carol” sheds new light on Scrooge and his holiday capers. Including songs like “The Wheel Is Turnin' But the Hamster Is Dead,” “Grandma Cut the Christmas Cheese,” and “What Would Barbra Streisand Do?” If song titles like that don’t sell you on this one, I don’t even know what to tell you.
2nd Annual Holiday Craft Fair & Flea Market – It’s never too early to start thinking about the holidays, just ask Angela Lansbury, and what better place to find potential “hey I was thinking about you enough to invest in this cute thing that wasn’t very expensive” gift than at a craft fair? Homemade crafts and jewelry, among scores of other items will be available for purchase, and activities for kids will be run throughout the entire event.
Harley's Heroes – Motorcycles and fundraisers may not seem like a match made in heaven, but it works surprisingly well at the Harley’s Heroes fundraiser to benefit Disabled American Veterans. With an entire day of activities planned, this fundraiser is sure to help a lot of people. The first 50 people in the poker run will receive a free collectors' pin, which is pretty cool, so plan on arriving early. The vast array of events includes a chili cook-off, military displays, raffles, a DJ and rides in a Humvee.
Coffeehouse Reading Series – It is well documented that coffee shops and poetry are forever entwined; maybe it’s the chill atmosphere, maybe it’s the kind of people, maybe it’s that coffee gives people the energy to write more poetry. Whatever the case may be, Mr. Smith’s Coffee House in Sandusky is hosting an afternoon of poetry and reading. Author Mark Hersman, a well-known poet throughout Ohio and beyond, will read some of his work, after which the coffee house will host an open-mic session with the Firelands Writing Center. In any instance, it sure beats Dot’s Poetry Corner.
Big Band Matinee II – Come on all you jazz babies, swing and feel the rhythm of a truly noteworthy visiting ensemble. An Ohio State University jazz ensemble will trek up to Norwalk High School, and as someone who has sat through many a jazz concert on campus, I must say that the jazz ensembles from Ohio State are top-notch. Full of personality and life, the band promises present a fun evening full of incredibly skilled musicians. So let’s go, all you babes of jazz; let’s make the parties longer, make the skirts shorter, go to hell in a fast car and check out some high quality jazz, man.
Firelands Symphony Orchestra presents Broadway's Best – In the orchestra’s second official concert of the season, Firelands Symphony presents a night full of musical theatre’s finest songs. Soprano Margo Watson and baritone Gregg Busch will perform with the ensemble regular, and trust me, these two are the real deal. A talented bunch of people, some truly classy music and the gorgeous Sts. Peter and Paul Church? Who could ask for anything more!