The Kent Stage, which is housed in a building constructed in 1927 for the Flannigan and Steele Theater, is the only remaining vintage downtown theater in Portage County. The venue is operated by the Western Reserve Folk Arts Association, a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to supporting traditional music and arts through education, concerts, festivals, outreach programs, and workshops. This staff of friendly music enthusiasts is committed to providing a place for music lovers to mingle, appreciate the auditory arts, and get funky.
The defending Mid-American Conference champion Kent State Golden Flashes men’s basketball squadron looks to continue their run of success during 2010–2011’s challenging slate of home games. Two upper reserved seats at an upcoming home game afford views of the whole court as head coach Geno Ford—last year’s MAC coach of the year—leads a team with NCAA tournament ambitions. High-flying forward Justin Greene and speedy guard Rod Sherman will lead the Golden Flashes as they take on teams such as the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks, the South Florida Bulls and their deadly 3-point shooting centaur directed by former coach Stan Heath, and the Youngstown State Penguins. Don a poodle skirt and Cold War fears for the Dec. 2 game’s ’50s theme night, or simply immerse yourself in the school songs, boisterous student section, and monster jams of Kent State basketball.
Western Reserve Playhouse is a nonprofit organization currently in its 54th season of entertaining Akron-area audiences with intimate, high-quality live drama. Settle into the Playhouse's comfortable confines for a night of nerve-wracking diversion with a performance of Postmortem. Set in April 1922 (the same month Warren Harding auctioned off lower Wyoming to settle his competitive-milk-chugging debts), Postmortem centers on an off-duty Broadway musical cast who has assembled for a night or two of sanctioned bacchanalia at a medieval castle owned by William Gillette, who stars in the Broadway cast as an exceptionally clean-shaven Sherlock Holmes. Like all good parties, theirs has a séance penciled in, but things go downhill when it becomes clear that someone among them is trying to murder Gillette.
With this deal, movie buffs can scarf down popcorn while watching action-packed celluloid at one of seven different locales, including Cleveland Heights' Cedar Lee Theatre, which won a Scene magazine readers' poll for Best Movie Theater. Catch a flick at the historic Capitol Theatre, nestled in the Gordon Square Arts District, a renovated three-screen spot featuring Hollywood, specialty, and 3D films. Arty cinephiles can catch an independent or foreign film at the Cedar Lee Theatre, where the concession stand slings out tasty baked goods, sandwiches, specialty coffees, and more. Many of Cleveland Cinemas' other theaters boast multiple screens, digital sound, a Groucho Marx robot that quips one-liners from the balcony, and stadium seating for ideal movie gawking.
The Beach Boys pick up sterling vibrations and mass excitations as Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks share the stage for the first time in more than two decades on their highly anticipated 50th-anniversary tour. One of the most celebrated and influential bands in pop-music history, The Beach Boys entrance fans and baffle meteorologists as their chipper instrumentation and multilayered vocal harmonies evoke endless summers. To commemorate an upcoming album and the half century since their debut LP, Surfin’ Safari, changed the musical climate, the SoCal brotherhood hops in their woody to treat the nation's ears to a timeless and diverse catalog of hits. Expect to hear the band’s signature odes to surfing ("Surfin' U.S.A.”), girls ("California Girls"), and girls who surf ("Surfer Girl"), along with more introspective tracks from the baroque-pop masterpieces Pet Sounds and last year's long-awaited Smile. Though The Boys will brandish their own instruments, their wall of euphony will be further bolstered by actor, multi-instrumentalist, and adoptive band uncle John Stamos, as well as members of Brian Wilson's crack backing group, The Wondermints.