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Hot Picks

Northeast Ohio produces more events each week than it would be possible to attend, even if you had a full-time maid, chef, and/or babysitter. Hot Picks: This Week’s Smart Stuff sorts through the lists of concerts, festivals, exhibits, plays, readings and all sorts of other events and pulls out a few that seem out-of-the-ordinary. There will be new things each week, with the list updating each Monday.

Even though we like to think of ourselves as “in the know,” there will always be things that escape our notice. Please feel free to make suggestions to (be aware, we make no promises and the final decision rests with us). Enjoy!

David Finckel, Wu Han, and Philip Setzer
Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
EJ Thomas Hall, The University of Akron

Join us for the first concert in a two-part series exploring the complete Beethoven piano trio cycle. Named Musical America's 2012 Musicians of the Year, cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han rank among the most esteemed and influential classical musicians in the world today. Philip Setzer remains a member of the Emerson String Quartet. Their appearances take them to the world's most prestigious concert series and festivals.

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Ben Caplan and the Casual Smokers
Tuesday, March 31, 2015, at 8:30 p.m.
Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland

Rugged, raspy, and roaring with charisma, Halifax's Ben Caplan is to folklore whatsmoke is to bourbon. Perfectly coupled. Ben's songwriting is as bold in range as it is in ferocity. Fueled by a quality of melodrama and powerful lyricism, it's the romance and the manhood crashing with his voice that gives Caplan a truly innovative and experimental artistry. A sound that bridges the gap between controlled composition and unruly passion.

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Wedesday, April 1, 2015, at 7:00 p.m.
Morley Lecture Hall, Cleveland

Directed by Don Boyd and Jonathan Bloom. With Souleymane Cissé, Gaston Kaboré, et al. For 45 years Ouagadougou’s Pan-African film festival, FESPACO, has been the chief meeting place for African filmmakers. Every two years they come to Burkina Faso to showcase their new works and discuss the state of cinema on the continent. This new documentary profiles the festival and its guests during its 2011 edition. Cleveland premiere.

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Mike Olszewski and WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia with Cleveland TV Tales
Thursday, April 2, at 7:00 p.m.
96 Library St., Hudson

Mike Olszewski, author of Cleveland TV Tales: Stories from the Golden Age of Local Television, and WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia will take a time trip back to the days of Ghoulardi, Barnaby and Dorothy. These pioneers invented television before our eyes, and Olszewski and Bhatia will discuss the book and share clips from Cleveland's TV past. Register by calling (330) 653-6658

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4th Annual U.S. Poetry Laureate Reading: Rita Dove
Thursday, April 2, 2015, at 7:30 p.m.
Kiva Auditorium, Kent State University

Rita Dove served as Poet Laureate of the United States and Consultant to the Library of Congress from 1993 to 1995. She has received numerous literary and academic honors, among them the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and the 1996 National Humanities Medal from President Clinton. In 2011, President Barack Obama presented her with the National Medal of Arts. Ms. Dove was born in Akron, OH.

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Artist Recital Series: John Relyea, bass-baritone with Warren Jones, piano
Thursday, April 2, 2015, at 8:00 p.m.
Finney Chapel, Oberlin College

Bass-baritone John Relyea appears regularly with such orchestras as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic. Called "flawless" and "utterly ravishing" by the Boston Globe, Warren Jones was named 2010 Collaborative Pianist of the Year by Musical America.

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Kent Dance Ensemble
Thursday, April 2, 2015 - Saturday, April 4, 2015, all performances start at 8:00 p.m.
E. Turner Stump Theatre, Kent

The Kent Dance Ensemble marks a milestone, its 25th Anniversary with performances featuring choreography by Kent State University faculty and special guest choreographer, Tony Award winner Garth Fagan.

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Akron Art Museum presents: Night at the Museum
Thursday, April 2, 2015
Akron Art Museum, Akron

No, Ben Stiller has not taken up residency at the museum, waiting for the paintings and sculptures to spring to life. The Akron Art Museum’s Night at the Museum program invites schools and community organizations to hold one-night-only art shows at the Akron Art Museum, featuring the work of their students or clients.

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The Suffers & Travis Haddix Blues Band
April 3, 2015, at 8:00 p.m.
Music Box Supper Club, Cleveland

The Suffers are a ten-piece band from Houston who are redefining the sound of Gulf Coast soul, intertwining elements of classic American soul with rock & roll. Both sonically and visually arresting, The fiery, award-winning blues guitarist Travis “Moonchild” Haddix moved to Cleveland, OH, in 1959, where he joined the D.L. Rocco Band and achieved regional notoriety that led to a prominent spot with the Little Johnnie Taylor group.

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2015 NOBS Akron Antiquarian Book & Paper Fair
Friday, April 3, 2015, and Saturday, April 4, 2015
John S. Knight Center, Akron,

Approximately 40 dealers will be on site, offering selections that are: “Old and Rare, Readable and Collectible, First Editions, Children’s Books, Americana, Maps, Prints, Illustrated Books, Mysteries, Science Fiction, Cookbooks, Civil War, Aviation, Art, Literature, Travel and More!”

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