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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!

A Christmas Carol: The Musical
Novmeber 24th- December 20th
Weathervane Playhouse

Ebenezer Scrooge and his ghostly encounters come to life in this lavish and thrilling musical adaptation. Broadway heavy hitters Alan Menken (Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Disney's The Little Mermaid, Little Shop of Horrors) and Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime, Seussical, Once on This Island) breathe fantastic new life into the classic tale of A Christmas Carol. Scrooge is a prosperous curmudgeon who believes personal wealth is far more valuable than the happiness and comfort of others. With an infuriated "Bah! Humbug!" Scrooge wants nothing to do with Christmas tidings and charitable giving — but he's forced to face his selfish ways when three ghosts on Christmas Eve lead him through his own past, present and future. Thanks to their guidance, Scrooge recognizes his faults and greets Christmas morning with a cheerful "Happy Christmas!" before spending the day reconnecting and sharing love with those that mean the most to him.

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Guys on Ice
November 25th- December 22nd
Actor's Summit

Comedy, fishing stories, music, laughter, and a “Half-time” show! Guys On Ice is one of our most popular shows, and great fun for the whole family! Lloyd and Marvin brave the cold as they dream big dreams about catching big fish, while enjoying the simple pleasures of a fishing-pole and a warm snowmobile suit, all the while hoping Ernie the Moocher won’t stop by! Laugh out loud with your whole family!

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English Beat
November 27th 8 p.m.
Music Box Supper Club

When the Beat—which hailed from working class, industrial Birmingham, England—rushed on to the music scene in 1979, it calmed the waters during a time of social, political and musical upheaval with a simple message of love and unity. The group toured relentlessly around the world—with artists such as David Bowie, The Police, R.E.M., and The Pretenders—released three studio albums and scored hits such as 'Mirror in the Bathroom.'

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The Cleveland Museum- Symphony Fantastique
November 27th- November 29th
Severance Hall

In his “Fantasy Symphony,” the young Berlioz bared his soul in music — torturing himself with the extreme passion he had once felt for his beloved. Through visions of dreams, opium-induced nightmares, and tender musical kisses, this masterpiece includes a riveting “March to the Scaffold” you won’t soon forget. Also featured on this concert weekend is a rare treat, with the world premiere performances of a newly-commissioned concerto for the english horn.

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Deck the Hall
November 27th- January 2nd, 2016
Stan Hywet Hall

Bring the whole family to enjoy one of Ohio’s largest and most spectacular holiday traditions, Deck the Hall. The estate is illuminated inside and out with over 800,000 lights and the historic Manor House is decorated and inspired by the theme of “Home for the Holidays.” DAZZLE is a fantastic outdoor light show animated to new music each year and Gingerbread Land, our popular Playgarden 'dressed up' for the holiday season!

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A Christmas Story
November 27- December 23
Cleveland Play House Playhouse Square

He’s back! One boy. One holiday wish. And a world that seems to be conspiring to make certain it doesn’t come true. The record-breaking show returns to the CPH stage in all its pink-bunny-suit, glowing-leg-lamp, triple-dog-daring glory. The perfect holiday treat for the entire family.

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The Nutcracker Presented by Ballet Theatre of Ohio
November 28th- December 6th
Akron Civic Theatre

Voted Akron's #1 Holiday Show by Akron Beacon Journal readers, this classic has become a treasured holiday tradition for families of all ages. BTO's 'Nutcracker' is a holiday 'must do'. Roger Durbin of the West Side Leader wrote,"... the production levels in Artistic Director Christine Meneer's version - as well as her engaging choreography - capture the audience and transport it for a couple of hours into a magical, wonderful, escapist wonderland!

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Annual Crafty Mart
November 28th- 29th
Downtown Akron

Crafty Mart's purpose is to provide creative and engaging opportunities for artists and community members to foster artistic, thoughtful, and community-focused lifestyles. Crafty Mart has the specific purpose of conducting events which (a) allow artisans to showcase their goods to community members; (b) provide artisans the opportunity to collaborate with others to advance the state of the arts locally; (c) showcase regional commitment to the arts; (d) foster discussion and education about the arts; and (e) educate the public about the high degree of effort, skill, and artistry involved in creating handmade goods.

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Great Lakes Theatre Company Presents: A Christmas Carol
November 29th- December 23rd
Playhouse Square, Cleveland

Open your heart to Charles Dickens’ classic tale of one man’s ultimate redemption. One of northeast Ohio’s favorite holiday traditions, A Christmas Carol is a perfect gift of theater for children and adults of all ages. Celebrate the season with the ones you love.

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Cleveland Pops: Happy Holidays!
November 29th 2 p.m.
The Palace Theater, Cleveland

Let the merry bells, and horns, and strings, and flutes, and drums of the Cleveland POPS Orchestra bring a sparkle of magic to the most wonderful season of all. The POPS Chorus and guest artists will add to the festivities, as will the fun activities in the Connor Palace Lobby. Adorable, adoptable pets from local rescue shelters, along with a visit from jolly old Santa Claus, add to this beloved annual Sunday Matinee Yuletide Celebration.

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