CROOKSTON, MINN.: A Minnesota snowplow operator who drove a $200,000 loader into a frozen river has been fired.
Mike Raymond was clearing snow from county parking lots early Monday when he decided to also clear off a boat ramp on the frozen Red Lake River in Crookston.
Raymond says he wanted to make it easier for people who pull fish houses on trailers onto the river. He so happens to have a fish house on the river himself — but told the Grand Forks Herald that’s not why he wanted to clear the area.
The John Deere 544 loader slid down the cement ramp, through the ice to the river bottom.
Emergency workers quickly helped Raymond out, but it took hours to retrieve the loader.
Raymond told the newspaper that he was fired Tuesday after 28 years on the job.
Information from Grand Forks Herald, http://www.grandforksherald.com.
PARIS: France has summoned the Iranian ambassador for talks to protest pressure on Nobel Peace Prize winner Shahin Ebadi.
A French Foreign Ministry statement says the European Union has ”real fears” for Ebadi’s safety after a search of her law offices in Tehran and the closure of a human rights group she led. France is president of the European Union until today ends.
The statement says the Iranian ambassador was summoned today and that the EU considers ”the threats weighing on Madame Ebadi and her colleagues unacceptable.”
Ebadi’s offices were searched Monday. Her Center for Protecting Human Rights was closed down last week.
Ebadi, a human rights campaigner, won the Nobel prize for promoting women’s and children’s rights.
The Christmas card Christopher Hoffman prepared to give to his wife, Heidi, will have to remain in defense attorney Eddie Sipplen’s possession.
Judge Patricia Cosgrove further cemented a no-contact ruling between the Hoffmans at a pretrial hearing this morning in Summit County Common Pleas Court.
The Hoffmans face numerous charges, including aggravated murder, in connection with the Dec. 10, 2007, death of their infant son, Nathan Lee.
”There are all kinds of ways to influence, including a Christmas card between Mr. Hoffman and Mrs. Hoffman,” Cosgrove said. ”There is to be no contact, directly or indirectly, between the two defendants.”
Cosgrove also ruled that Christopher Hoffman, who is free on a $1 million bond, is to have no one-on-one contact with the couple’s next child. Heidi Hoffman, who remains in Summit County Jail, is seven months pregnant with a due date of Feb. 24.
Greg Peacock, an assistant Summit County prosecutor, had requested the no-contact ruling between Christopher Hoffman and the newborn because of the ”numerous injuries on his [Christopher Hoffman’s] last child.”
The Hoffmans were arrested Dec. 17, 2008, after a yearlong investigation by the Cuyahoga Falls Police Department and the findings of the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The medical examiner’s office said Nathan Lee, who was 10 weeks old, had sustained 20 rib fractures and a freshly fractured collarbone.
Sipplen said that ”the nature of the injuries still has to be determined. They [Hoffmans] love each other and don’t pose a risk to their unborn child.”
Cosgrove, however, said Christopher Hoffman ”is to have no contact with the newborn child unless it is supervised by a third party, child services or another neutral agency.”
Nicholas Brevetta, who is representing Heidi Hoffman, requested the court reduce his client’s bond, which was set at $750,000.
Both Hoffmans are charged with aggravated murder, murder, involuntary manslaughter and child endangering.
”For the safety of the [unborn] child, it is not a good idea for her to be in jail,” Brevetta said. ”Her family is under economic hardships.”
Brevetta said he will file a motion Friday for reduction of bond. Cosgrove requested documentation that Heidi Hoffman was a high-risk pregnancy in respect to the reduction request.
”She will not have the baby in jail,” Cosgrove said. ”She will have the baby in a local hospital with all the amenities and technology that is possible.”
Cosgrove also admonished the defense attorneys for staging a news conference in their South Main Street offices Friday at which Christopher Hoffman read a prepared statement declaring his love for his wife and their innocence in Nathan Lee’s death.
Sipplen and Brevetta both reiterated that the Hoffmans, each 26, immediately sought help, first calling their physician’s office and then 911.
Nathan Lee died of asphyxia due to a blockage in his airway.
Christopher Hoffman has said Nathan Lee sucked a tissue into his mouth as the father tried to wipe the infant’s mouth after a 2:30 a.m. feeding in the couple’s apartment on Russell Street in Cuyahoga Falls.
Cosgrove, however, didn’t care what was said.
”We are going to try this case in a court of law,” Cosgrove said, ”not a court of public opinion.”
Cosgrove set the next pretrial for 1:30 p.m. Feb. 19. Sipplen had requested a 35-day extension ”due to the extensive amount of discovery.”
Bill Lilley can be reached at 330-996-3811 or [email protected].
Two college head coaches rumored to be candidates for the Browns’ head coaching job, Jim Tressel of Ohio State and Kirk Ferentz of Iowa, have both denied a possible future with the Browns.
“No, I’m not an NFL guy,” Tressel told the Plain Dealer. “I don’t know that much about their world and all the nuances that you have to do there, so I wouldn’t be a good fit.”
In preparation for the Outback Bowl, Ferentz was asked if he was called to replace Romeo Crennel, who was fired Monday.
“Not that I know of, and I don’t expect to,” he told the DesMoines Register.
Browns owner Randy Lerner is expected to interview former New York Jets head coach Eric Mangini for the position sometime soon.
University of Akron Trustee Jack Morrison Jr. pleaded not guilty today to seven misdemeanor charges of ethics violations related to his son’s sale of a rental house to the university.
Morrison was arraigned before Summit County Common Pleas Magistrate John Shoemaker.
He made no comment and was released on a $1,000 signature bond. A pretrial hearing was set for 9 a.m. next Wednesday.
Afterward, defense attorney Paul Adamson said he welcomed the public scrutiny.
”I’m convinced he did nothing wrong in this transaction here,” he said. ”Jack took every appropriate step [to avoid a conflict of interest], and I think the university did, too.”
The charges allege that the elder Morrison had an unlawful interest in the home on Spicer Street that his son, Jack W. Morrison, agreed to sell to the university last year for a 43 percent profit.
The elder Morrison did not vote on the purchase and asked the Ohio Ethics Commission to examine the issue.
He also did not stand to gain personally from the sale, Adamson said. The sale price of the house was based on independent appraisals, he said.
”He made every effort to do everything right,” Adamson said.
The elder Morrison was indicted earlier this month by a county grand jury after an investigation by the Ethics Commission.
The university has not paid for the house, which continues to be owned by the younger Morrison. The university has said no decision has been made about what to do with the property.
The university, which could not immediately be reached for comment, is building a multiplex stadium around the house and will break ground for a residence hall next to the house this winter. UA won’t need the Morrison property until it expands the residence hall in about two years.
The elder Morrison is president of the Amer Cunningham law firm in Akron. His son is an associate attorney for the same company and the owner of Braymor Development, which buys, fixes and rents homes near the university to students.
The elder Morrison also serves as chairman of the county Board of Elections and as law director for Munroe Falls.
Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or [email protected].
When choreographer Teresa Buck asked for volunteers to come on stage at the Akron Civic Theatre, Tom Zeimanis responded — with a little nudging from his mother.
The 2-year-old Latvian child was among a couple of dozen would-be dancers to try their hand — make that heels — at the Irish jig with the O’Hare Irish Dance Troupe during Akron’s annual First Night celebration on New Year’s Eve.
The child and his parents are in the country for one year because his father is an exchange teacher at North Olmsted Middle School.
The family came to the family-friendly, alcohol-free event to soak up American culture. His mother watched as her son clapped, jumped and applauded for himself onstage.
At this year’s 13th annual event, the emphasis was on audience participation. So, the 93 performances and projects offered almost three dozen interactive activities throughout downtown Akron.
Participants had their video-game play projected on a big screen at the John S. Knight Center, waxed poetic with the Poetry Machine and showcased their talent with the return of the popular First Night Idol singing competition.
Most events were indoors, given Ohio’s unpredictable weather, with Metro buses ferrying partygoers from venue to venue as the temperature dipped into the teens.
At the Civic Theatre, the O’Hare Irish Dance Troupe gave three spirited performances under the twinkling lights of the atmospheric theater’s ceiling.
Twenty-three dancers ages 7 to 19 demonstrated the slapping, tapping and kicking precision of the traditional art before the appreciative audience.
These were the best of the students at the O’Hare School of Irish Dance in Coventry Township, one of three such schools nationwide.
For Amanda Drouhard, one of the troupe’s four dance captains, it was yet another public appearance. She has been dancing for 15 of her 19 years.
Her grandmother encouraged her to dance as a way to get involved in her Irish culture. Amanda, the seventh of eight children, was quick to follow the lead of many of her older siblings.
”They were always going away to competitions,” she said. ”I didn’t want to be left out.”
While the Akron resident is majoring in nursing at the University of Akron, she’s minoring in dance and music with an eye on teaching Irish dance when she’s not helping patients.
The other dance captains are Molly McCreary, a senior at Stow-Munroe Falls High, Gabrielle Lanshe, a student at UA, and Bridget Linton, a Green High senior, who qualified for the World Irish Dancing Championships in Philadelphia in April.
It will be the first time the championship will be held outside of Ireland or the United Kingdom.
In addition to dancing, tonight’s show in Akron included performances by dance team member Tyler Kemerer, a fiddler, and Katie Wagner, a flautist.
First Night is sponsored by the Downtown Akron Partnership.
A Look At First Night
Stow Heritage Ringers
Carol Biliczky can be reached at 330-996-3729 or [email protected].
I have tried to live by Leon Russell’s maxim of “slipping into Christmas, sliding into New Year’s Eve.” No such luck. This morning has been spent compiling information about the latest examples of media companies playing “where’s the money,” both in the MTV Networks/Time Warner Cable flap, which is of major import in these parts, and the local WOIO/Wadsworth Cable situation regarding retransmission. Story online here. (UPDATE: Wadsworth has gotten an extension that will keep WOIO and WUAB on it until at least Jan. 12.) Barring an announcement earlier in the evening, I will go directly from watching the ball drop to seeing if there have been channels dropped, too.
By the way, a Time Warner rep tells me that the phone number MTVN is using in its crawl for complaining about TW goes to the company’s Road Runner operations. And my attempts to get through have been greeted by a nonstop busy signal.
It has been interesting to see commenters over on Ohio.com saying that folks could switch to AT&T U-verse. Nice idea, if you can get U-verse. But that’s a money issue, too. AT&T’s rollout pattern here appears to favor higher-income neighborhoods, and I don’t live in one of those.
In today’s Beacon Journal I have an overview of 2008, somewhat heavily focused on Northeast Ohio, but with a few notes about things I loved on the national scene. Of course, with a piece like this, things come to mind after I wrote which I somehow overlooked. I did manage to go back and squeeze in the dinner-party episode of “The Office” and the “Midnight Train to Georgia” segment on “30 Rock.” But I should also have made room for Holly Hunter’s performance on “Saving Grace,” and Jon Hamm’s hosting of “Saturday Night Live.” (Jon Hamm’s john ham, still a priceless bit of nonsense.)
I did have one of those gotta-love-modern-media moments last night. Catching up with the previous season of “Lost” on the main TV. (Episodes of the new season are now available for preview, and I expect to get to it over the weekend.) Cavs game via Slingbox on my laptop. Paperback book to read when things got slow. All available while stretched on the big couch. If only the Cavs hadn’t lost. …
Time Warner Cable and MTV Networks reached a tentative agreement early this morning that kept 19 of MTV’s channels telecasting on Time Warner systems, including in Northeast Ohio.
The two companies’ old agreement was set to expire at midnight. Seemingly stalled talks about a new deal could have taken channels like MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and VH1 off of Time Warner systems. But MTV Networks agreed to a one-hour extension of the old agreement shortly before midnight, and talks went on until the new agreement was reached.
In a separate cable issue, Wadsworth Cable TV managed to avoid losing WOIO (Channel 19) and WUAB (Channel 43) when its current agreement to carry the stations ran out last night. Raycom Media, the stations’ owner, agreed to extend the deal with Wadsworth until Jan. 12 so the two sides could continue negotiating.
But the impact of that situation was modest compared to what could have come from the Time Warner/MTV impasse, which affected more than 13 million Time Warner subscribers nationwide
If a new deal had not been reached, fans of programs like The Daily Show and SpongeBob SquarePants have been sent in search of online presentations, recent DVD releases — or a new provider that still has the MTV channels.
While terms of the new deal were not clear this morning, MTV had been seeking about a 25-cents-per-month increase per subscriber on Time Warner systems. Companywide, that’s a bump of about $39 million a year. Time Warner said it already pays ”hundreds of millions” for the MTV channels.
MTV contended that Time Warner has traditionally undervalued its channels. A statement said: ”Americans spend more than 20 percent of their TV viewing time watching our networks, yet our fees amount to less than 2.5 percent generated from their average customer.”
Time Warner, meanwhile, argued that the proposed rate increase was 15 percent more than it currently pays, and unreasonable.
”Christmas is over, but Viacom is still playing Scrooge, threatening to pull its MTV Networks off of Time Warner Cable at midnight tonight unless we ask our customers to pay exorbitant price increases,” Time Warner Cable President Glenn Britt said in a statement.
Available online Some MTV Networks shows are available online, so viewers do not need cable to see them and the programs may therefore be less valuable as a cable asset. And rough economic conditions, especially for media companies, may be driving both MTV’s push for more money and Time Warner’s resistance. MTV owner ”Viacom has been hammered by a stagnant ad market this year, meaning it must rely more than ever on robust fee increases to maintain growth,” Advertising Age reported. The intensity of the Time Warner-MTV dispute took some observers by surprise. Locally, Time Warner planned to run a rather routine legal notice on Friday which noted that its agreement with the MTV Networks channels expired ”soon” but ”we are usually able to obtain renewals or extensions of such agreements, and carriage of programming services is discontinued only in rare circumstances.” But MTV Networks on Wednesday ran newspaper ads, online notices and a televised crawl about the Time Warner dispute. Over the course of the day Wednesday, rhetoric from both sides was increasingly heated and hopes of a settlement or at least a contract extension were fading. Time Warner even said late Wednesday that it would be issuing automatic credits to customers if the MTV networks went off the Time Warner systems, although the amount of those credits had not been set. Then a deal was made. Wadsworth issue Over at Wadsworth, the cable system was dealing with another money issue: getting permission to rebroadcast WOIO, the local CBS affiliate, and WUAB, the MyNetworkTV affiliate. Local stations can either demand that cable companies carry them — and not receive a fee — or negotiate for compensation in the form of cash or other services. Relatively unpopular stations usually opt for must-carry while those which have a strong viewer base will use that as leverage for compensation. Again, money is at the heart of the issue. Media organizations have had a rough year, and retransmission compensation is one way to generate more income. John Madding, cable TV programming and access manager, said that under its previous retransmission agreements, the system was paying WKYC (Channel 3), WOIO and WUAB. Under its new deals, it is also paying WJW (Channel 8) and WEWS (Channel 5). Raycom is asking for about 25 cents per month per subscriber for the two channels — ”less than a penny per day per subscriber,” the stations said in a Q&A on their Web site.
Rich Heldenfels can be reached at 330-996-3582 and [email protected].
ART BEST BETS
Jean-Pierre Gauthier: Machines at Play — Through Sunday in the Mary S. and David C. Corbin Foundation Gallery at the Akron Art Museum, 1 S. High St. Also, Toying With Imagination: A Plastic Camera Exhibition through Jan. 11; Dreamland: Recent Paintings by Neil MacDonald through Feb. 22; Heresies: A Retrospective by Pedro Meyer through Feb. 22. Admission: $7; $5 seniors and students. 330-376-9185.
Montrose Drive-In Flea Market 1986 — Through Jan. 14 at the Mustard Seed Cafe, Montrose. 330-836-7758.
Northside Art Walk — 5-10 p.m. Saturday. Galleries taking part are: Red Light Galleries, Akron Glass Works, Millworks Gallery Inc., Zeber Martell Clay Studio, Troy Myers Studio, Summit Artspace, and Mocha Maiden. 330-671-3792.
Kaleidoscope 2008 — Through Saturday at Summit Artspace, 140 E. Market St., Akron. 330-376-8480.
Polly Gilmore with Hand & Breath — Through Saturday at Millworks Gallery, 106 N. Main St., Akron. 330-606-3683.
Michael Lapides Photo Exhibit — Through Jan. 14 at the Mustard Seed Market Cafe, 3885 W. Market St., Montrose area, Bath Township.
Akron Rubber Industry Photo Exhibit — Through today at the Daniel Mainzer Gallery, 2473 State Road, Cuyahoga Falls. 330-923-5522.
In the Wild Photographic Exhibit — Through Jan. 15 at the Seiberling Gallery, 1403 W. Hines Hill Road, Peninsula. Featuring works by Akron Beacon Journal writer Bob Downing. 330-657-2909.
Cups of Kindness — Through Jan. 10 at Peninsula Art Academy, 1600 W. Mill St. 330-657-2248.
Belle Epoque Brides — Through Sunday at Kent State University Museum, South Lincoln and East Main streets. Also, Great American Glass: The Roaring 20s and Depression Era. Admission $5; $4 seniors; children 7-18, $3. 330-672-3450.
Michele Waalkes: Next — Through Jan. 18 at the Massillon Museum, 121 Lincoln Way E. Also, Stark County Artists Exhibition, through Feb. 8; The Greatest Generation through Feb. 5. 330-833-4061.
Fine Art Exhibit featuring Pam Neff — Through Sunday at the Little Art Gallery, 185 N. Main St., North Canton. 330-499-4712, Ext. 312.
Barbara M. Drennan: A Place in Time — Through Monday at the Canton Museum of Art in the Cultural Center for the Arts, 1001 N. Market Ave. 330-453-7666.
Colours — Through Jan. 10 at 2nd April Gallerie, 324 Cleveland Ave. NW, Canton. 330-451-0924.
Clyde Singer: A Retrospective — Through Sunday at the Butler Institute of American Art, 524 Wick Ave., Youngstown. Also, Doris Vila: A Survey through Sunday; and Ana Maria Nicholson: Portraits in Laser Light through April 5; Pastel Society of America Members Show through Jan. 11. 330-743-1107, Ext. 123.
Don Drumm Exhibit — Through Jan. 10 at Trumbull Art Gallery, 196-198 E. Market St., Warren. 330-395-4876.
Zap! Pow! Bam! The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938-1950 — Through Jan. 25 at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, 2929 Richmond Road, Beachwood. 216-593-0575.
Big Top Boulevard Exhibit — Through Jan. 11 at the Western Reserve Historical Society, 10825 East Blvd., University Circle. 216-721-5722.
Stephen Pentak: Counting Water — Through Saturday at the Bonfoey Gallery, 1710 Euclid Ave., Cleveland. 216-621-0178.
Cleveland Rocks: The Birthplace of Rock and Roll — Through Sunday at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, 1100 Rock and Roll Boulevard, Cleveland. Also, Sparkle & Twang: Marty Stuart’s American Musical Odyssey through March 1. 216-781-7625.
RACE: Are We So Different? — Through Sunday at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, 1 Wade Oval Drive, University Circle. Also, A Passion for Nature: The Art of William E. Scheele Jan. 11. $6.50; $4.50 ages 7-18, college students with ID and seniors; $3.50 children ages 3-6. 800-317-9155 or 216-231-4600.
Hyper-Nature — Through Jan. 16 at Spaces Gallery, 2220 Superior Viaduct, Cleveland. Also, Martin Papcun and Katie Hargrave through Jan. 16. 216-621-2314.
Artistic Luxury: Faberge, Tiffany, Lalique — Through Jan. 18 at the Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Blvd. 888-262-0033.
Plan of NE Ohio Art Exhibit — Through Jan. 31 at Heights Art Studio, 2340 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights. 216-371-3344 or http://www.planneohio.org.
The Ohio Plein Air Society Annual Members Exhibition — Through Jan. 30 at the Zanesville Art Center, 620 Military Road, Zanesville. 740-452-0741.
Tyrannosaurus rex — The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, 1 Wade Oval Drive, Cleveland. Closed major holidays. $9 adults; $7 ages 7-18, college students with ID’s and seniors 60 years of age or older; $6 children 3-6; free for toddlers 2 and younger. 216-231-4600 or 800-317-3155.
The 2009 Window to Sculpture Emerging Artist Series — Accumulations Retraced/Recent Work by Susan McClelland and In Fluid Space/Sculpture by Don Henson, 5:30 p.m.- 8 p.m. Jan. 9 at the Sculpture Center, 1834 E. 123rd St., Cleveland, in the Main Gallery. 216-229-6527.
Body Maps — Bambanani Women’s Group of Cape Town, South Africa, Jan. 13-March 1 at the College of Wooster Art Museum, Ebert Art Center, 1220 Beall Ave., Wooster. 330-263-2495.
VIVA! & Gala Around Town Series: Messiaen Centenary — 2 p.m. Sunday, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd., Cleveland Heights. Featuring: Karel Paukert, organ. Program: Messiaen, La Nativite du Seigneur. Free. 888-262-0033 or http://www.clevelandart.org/tickets.
Travis Scott — 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Guzzetta Recital Hall, University of Akron, 157 University Ave., Akron. Richard Shirey, will accompany on the Piano. Program includes music by Vaughan Williams, Resanovic, Weber, and Jan Bach. Free.
Canton Symphony Orchestra Aultman Cameo Series — 1 p.m. Jan. 8, Cable Recital Hall, Cultural Center of the Arts, 1001 Market Ave. N., Canton. Program: Haydn, Overture to Armida; Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major; and Schubert, Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major. $20, $14 for seniors and students. 330-452-2094 or http://www.cantonsymphony.org.
The Cleveland Orchestra — 8 p.m. Jan. 8, Severance Hall, 11001 Euclid Ave., Cleveland. Featuring Measha Brueggergosman, soprano, Franz Welser-Moest, conductor. Program: Wagner, Wesendonck Songs; and Shostakovich, Symphony No. 7 (Leningrad). $31-$87. 216-231-1111 or 800-686-1141.
Frank Mileti — 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Lolli’s, 4801 Dressler Road NW, Jackson Township. Free.
Jazz Jam Session — 7 to 10 p.m. Sunday, Whiskey Dick’s HUE Bar, 1 W. Exchange St., Akron.
Ratings as appeared in Beacon Journal film critic and wire-service reviews:♥=Weak
♥♥♥♥=Shouldn’t Be Missed
AUSTRALIA — ♥♥1/2
(PG-13 — some violence, scene of sensuality, brief strong language) — Set in northern Australia before World War II, an English aristocrat (Nicole Kidman) who inherits a sprawling ranch reluctantly forms a pact with a stock man (Hugh Jackman) to protect her new property from a takeover plot. 2 hours, 40 minutes.
Independence 10, Interstate Park Cinemas 18, Macedonia Cinemark 15, Tinseltown USA
BEDTIME STORIES — ♥
(PG — mild language) Adam Sandler plays a hotel handyman named Skeeter, fighting it out for a promotion and a girlfriend with the son of the hotel owner. He tells bedtime stories to a niece and nephew, and the stories seem to come true the following day. From Disney with Guy Pearce, Keri Russell, Courteney Cox. 1 hour, 35 minutes.
Carnation Cinema, Cinemark Aurora 10, Garrettsville Cinemas, Great Oaks Cinema, Highland Theatre, Hudson Cinema 10, Interstate Park Cinemas 18, Kent Plaza Theatre, Macedonia Cinemark 15, Plaza Cinemas at Chapel Hill, Tinseltown USA, Tower City Cinemas, Wooster Movies 10
BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA — No star rating
(PG — some mild thematic elements) While on vacation in Mexico, Chloe (Drew Barrymore), a pampered Beverly Hills chihuahua, finds herself lost and in need of assistance in order to get back home. 1 hour, 31 minutes.
Jackson Township Movies 10
BODY OF LIES — ♥♥1/2
(R — strong violence, including some torture, and for language throughout) Leonardo DiCaprio is a lone ranger who operates in three countries, fabricates a fictitious terrorist organization and survives explosions, gunfights and brutal torture. Co-starring Russell Crowe. 2 hours, 8 minutes.
Jackson Township Movies 10
BOLT — ♥♥1/2
(PG — some mild action, peril) Bolt (voice of John Travolta) is a celebrity dog and the star of a hit TV show where his amazing feats and powers draw big ratings. But when a mailroom mix-up finds him roaming free on the streets of New York City, the wonder dog will have to learn to rely on his actual strengths — as well as his new friends, an abandoned house cat and a starry-eyed hamster — in order to find his way back home to his owner and co-star, Penny (voice of Miley Cyrus). 1 hour, 36 minutes.
Cinemark Aurora 10, Independence 10, Interstate Park Cinemas 18, Massillon 12, Tower City Cinemas, Tinseltown USA
CADILLAC RECORDS — ♥♥
(R — pervasive language and some sexuality) Chicago’s Chess Records roster included Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Etta James, Willie Dixon, Chuck Berry and Little Walter. A film of the great Chess years, heavy on the music, that stars Beyonce Knowles, Jeffrey Wright, Gabrielle Union, Cedric the Entertainer and Mos Def, with Adrien Brody as the enigmatic Leonard Chess, who gave his musicians shiny new Cadillacs but never a good look at their royalties. 1 hour, 47 minutes.
Tower City Cinemas
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON ♥♥♥
(PG-13 — brief war violence, sexual content, language and smoking) — A man is old when he is born and an infant when he dies. Good performances by Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, others. 2 hours, 39 minutes.
Cinemark Aurora 10, Hudson Cinema 10, Interstate Park Cinemas 18, Kent Plaza Theatre, Macedonia Cinemark 15, Massillon 12, Plaza Cinemas at Chapel Hill, Tinseltown USA, Tower City Cinemas, Wooster Movies 10
THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL — ♥1/2
(PG-13 — some sci-fi disaster images and violence) Aliens land on Earth with an important message for its citizens. A remake of the classic 1951 sci-fi film directed by Robert Wise. Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly and Jaden Smith star in the new version. 1 hour, 44 minutes.
Cinemark Aurora 10, Hudson Cinema 10, Independence 10, Interstate Park Cinemas 18, Kent Plaza Theatre, Macedonia Cinemark 15, Massillon 12, Shaker Square Cinemas, Tinseltown USA, Tower City Cinemas, Valley View 24, Wooster Movies 10
DOUBT — ♥♥1/2
(PG-13 — thematic material) In a Catholic grade school in 1964, a stern nun (Meryl Streep) rules with severe perfectionism. The new parish priest (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is gentler and more progressive. A sweet young nun (Amy Adams) suspects something that places them all on a collision course. And the mother (Viola Davis) of the school’s only black student faces up to Streep in an unexpected way, in a towering supporting performance. 1 hour, 44 minutes.
Independence 10, Interstate Park Cinemas 18, Kent Plaza Theatre, Macedonia Cinemark 15, Tinseltown USA
EAGLE EYE — ♥♥1/2
(PG-13 — intense sequences of action and violence, and for language) Two strangers (Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan) become the pawns of a mysterious woman they have never met, but who seems to know their every move. 1 hour, 48 minutes.
Jackson Township Movies 10
FIREPROOF — Not rated
(PG — thematic material and some peril) A fire captain (Kirk Cameron) is called a hero in public, but faces marital burnout at home. He and his wife undertake a 40-day challenge to save their marriage.
Jackson Township Movies 10
FOUR CHRISTMASES — ♥1/2
(PG-13 — some sexual humor, language) A couple (Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn) struggle to visit all four of their divorced parents on Christmas Day. 1 hour, 22 minutes.
Cinemark Aurora 10, Hudson Cinema 10, Independence 10, Interstate Park Cinemas 18, Kent Plaza Theatre, Linda Theatre, Macedonia Cinemark 15, Massillon 12, Tinseltown USA, Tower City Cinemas, Wooster Movies 10
FROST/NIXON — ♥♥♥
(R — some language) The famous 1977 interviews between Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) and David Frost (Michael Sheen), played as a duel with both men troubled by private agendas. Nixon wants both to conceal and reveal. Frost wants to be liked, but he has gambled all his money on wringing a Watergate confession out of Nixon. Begins as an inside look at the TV news business, tightens into a spellbinding thriller. 1 hour, 58 minutes.
THE HAUNTING OF MOLLY HARTLEY — No star rating
(PG-13 — strong thematic material, violence, terror; brief strong language; some teen drinking) Molly Hartley (Haley Bennett) looks to put her troubled past behind her with a fresh start at a new school, where she sparks with one of the most popular students (Chase Crawford). But can her secrets stay buried, especially as she learns more about the horrific truth that awaits her once she turns 18? 1 hour, 50 minutes.
Jackson Township Movies 10
HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3: SENIOR YEAR — ♥♥
(G) All those winsome East High School students are back from parts one and two of the freakishly successful Disney Channel franchise. Movie follows young lovebirds Troy (Zac Efron) and Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) as they stress out over leaving each other after graduation. 1 hour, 48 minutes.
Jackson Township Movies 10
MADAGASCAR: ESCAPE 2 AFRICA — ♥1/2
(PG — some mild crude humor) Same characters, same challenge: Can wild animals survive in the wild? Our heroes tape together a crashed airplane and try to fly it home, but end up dealing with volcanoes and drought. 1 hour, 29 minutes.
Interstate Park Cinemas 18
MARLEY & ME — ♥♥
(PG — thematic material, some suggestive content and language) Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston play a married couple who find their lives dramatically changed by a not-so-obedient yellow Labrador retriever. The family film is based on the best-selling book of the same name. 2 hours, 3 minutes.
Carnation Cinema, Cinemark Aurora 10, Garrettsville Cinemas, Great Oaks Cinema, Hudson Cinema 10, Interstate Park Cinemas 18, Kent Plaza Theatre, Macedonia Cinemark 15, Massillon 12, Plaza Cinema at Chapel Hill, Shaker Square Cinemas, Tinseltown USA, Tower City Cinemas, Wooster Movies 10
MILK — ♥♥♥1/2
(R — language, some sexual content and brief violence) Sean Penn stars as Harvey Milk, the first self-identified gay person to win public office in America. Following him from a personal turning point to the leadership of a powerful political and social movement, the film never objectifies him as a hero, but as an ordinary man: kind, funny, flawed, shrewd, idealistic, yearning for a better world. 2 hours, 8 minutes.
NIGHTS IN RODANTHE — ♥1/2
(PG-13— some sensuality) Richard Gere plays a surgeon. Diane Lane plays a mother of two, separated from her snaky husband. To help out a friend, she is taking care of a rustic inn on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. He is the only weekend guest. A hurricane is approaching. True love is also approaching. 1 hour, 38 minutes
Jackson Township Movies 10
QUANTUM OF SOLACE — ♥♥♥
(PG-13 — intense sequences of violence and action, and some sexual content) Following the death of Vesper Lynd, James Bond (Daniel Craig) makes his next mission personal. The hunt for those who blackmailed his lover leads Bond to ruthless businessman Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric), a key player in the organization that coerced Vesper. Bond learns that Greene is plotting to gain total control of a vital natural resource, and must navigate a minefield of danger and treachery to foil Greene’s plan. 1 hour, 46 minutes.
Interstate Park Cinemas 18, Tower City Cinemas
THE READER — ♥♥1/2
(R — sex, nudity, language) A postwar German affair between a woman in her 30s (Kate Winslet) and a boy of 15 (David Kross) connects to her past and his future as a cold, frightened man (Ralph Fiennes). Not simply about her past as a Nazi murderer, but about his decision to keep secret information that would be relevant at her trial. 2 hours, 3 minutes.
ROLE MODELS — ♥1/2
(R — crude, sexual content; strong language, nudity) Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott play teammates who drive a super truck from school to school, touting a Jolt-like energy drink. They get into trouble, are sentenced to community service, and are assigned two problem kids. 1 hour, 37 minutes.
Jackson Township Movies 10
SEVEN POUNDS — ♥♥1/2
(PG-13 — thematic material, some disturbing content and a scene of sensuality) Will Smith plays an IRS agent whose badge allows him into lives he takes a curious interest in. Rosario Dawson is one of his cases. They fall in love, but strangely, he doesn’t act on it. He is cruel to a blind man (Woody Harrelson), but why? His motives remain deeply hidden until the graceful, moving revelations at the end. 2 hours.
Carnation Cinema, Cinemark Aurora 10, Hudson Cinema 10, Independence 10, Interstate Park Cinemas 18, Kent Plaza Theatre, Macedonia Cinemark 15, Massillon
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12, Shaker Square Cinemas, Tinseltown USA, Tower City Cinemas, Wooster Movies 10
SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE — ♥♥♥
(R — some violence, disturbing images and language) Bridges the two Indias, cutting between poverty and the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. The story of an orphan born into a brutal early existence. A petty thief, impostor and survivor, he improvises his way up through the world and remembers everything he has learned. From Danny Boyle, winner of the Audience Award at Toronto 2008. 1 hour, 52 minutes.
Cedar Lee, Plaza Cinemas at Chapel Hill
THE SPIRIT — ♥♥
(PG-13 — intense sequences of stylized violence and action, some sexual content and brief nudity) Based on a series of comics by Will Eisner, The Spirit stars Gabriel Macht as a masked crime fighter who likes to ogle dames, have fistfights and stand on tenement rooftops spouting tough-guy poetry about his city. 1 hour, 35 minutes.
Cinemark Aurora 10, Hudson Cinema 10, Independence 10, Interstate Park Cinemas 18, Kent Plaza Theatre, Macedonia Cinemark 15, Massillon 12, Tinseltown USA, Tower City Cinemas, Wooster Movies 10
THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX — ♥1/2
(G) The story involves a big-eared mouse named Despereaux, a sniffy rat named Roscuro and other members of the animal and vegetable kingdoms. It’s a joy to look at frame by frame, but the plot is muddled and could involve us more. 1 hour, 34 minutes.
Carnation Cinema, Cinemark Aurora 10, Hudson Cinema 10, Independence 10, Interstate Park Cinemas 18, Kent Plaza Theatre, Linda Theatre, Macedonia Cinemark 15, Massillon 12, Tinseltown USA, Tower City Cinemas, Wooster Movies 10
TWILIGHT — ♥♥1/2
(PG-13 — some violence and a scene of sensuality) Teenager Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) falls for her alluring and mysterious classmate, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). As it turns out, Edward belongs to a lineage of vampires, although he doesn’t fit the typical vampire mold. As their passion reaches dizzying heights, can Edward resist his natural urges and will he be able to defend Bella from his family members who have come for her? 2 hours.
Hudson Cinema 10, Independence 10, Interstate Park Cinemas 18, Kent Plaza Theatre, Massillon 12, Tinseltown USA, Tower City Cinemas
VALKYRIE — ♥♥♥
(PG-13 — violence, brief strong language) A meticulous thriller about a conspiracy within the German army to assassinate Hitler. Tom Cruise is perfectly satisfactory in the leading role, as Col. Claus von Stauffenberg, and a good supporting cast includes Kenneth Branagh and Tom Wilkinson. 1 hour, 54 minutes.
Cinemark Aurora 10, Hudson Cinema 10, Independence 10, Interstate Park Cinemas 18, Kent Plaza Theatre, Macedonia Cinemark 15, Shaker Square Cinemas, Tinseltown USA, Tower City Cinemas, Wooster Movies 10
YES MAN — ♥♥1/2
(PG-13 — language, brief sexual content, nudity) Jim Carrey stars as a bank loan officer who attends a lecture by a self-help guru and agrees to say ”yes” to everything. The problem is, this new policy makes scenes into obvious setups with entirely foreseeable consequences. Zooey Deschanel is bewitching as his new love, and Terence Stamp is darkly Stampian as the Guru of Yes. 1 hour, 45 minutes.
Carnation Cinema, Cinemark Aurora 10, Garrettsville Cinemas, Hudson Cinema 10, Interstate Park Cinemas 18, Kent Plaza Theatre, Macedonia Cinemark 15, Massillon 12, Plaza Cinema at Chapel Hill, Shaker Square Cinemas, Tinseltown USA, Tower City Cinemas, Wooster Movies 10
ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO — ♥♥1/2
(R — strong crude sexual content including dialogue, graphic nudity, pervasive language) Lifelong platonic friends Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) look to solve their respective cash-flow problems by directing and starring in their own adult film. 1 hour, 41 minutes.
Jackson Township Movies 10
Lineups for Big Picture, Hickory Ridge Cinema 8, Huntington Street Cinema 16, Lake Cinemas 8, Montrose 12 and Valley View 24 were not available at press time.
MOTOWN: The Sound of Young America Turns 50 — Opens today at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd., Cleveland. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily (until 9 p.m. Wednesdays). $22, $17 for seniors (60+), $13 for children (9-12) and children younger than 8 and museum members are free. 216-515-1215.
Disney’s High School Musical: The Ice Tour — 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Chevrolet Center, 229 E. Front St., Youngstown. $12-$42. 330-746-5600, 330-945-9400 or http://www.ticketmaster.com.
Winter Session I karate Class — 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays through Feb. 21 at the Natatorium, 2345 Fourth St., Cuyahoga Falls. For ages 7 to 9. $39 for residents and $59 for others. 330-971-8080.
Teen program: Annual Madden NFL ’09 XBOX 360 Competition — 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Akron-Summit County Public Library, Nordonia Hills branch, 9458 Olde Eight Road, Northfield, 330-467-8595; 11 a.m. Saturday at the North Hill branch, 183 E. Cuyahoga Falls Ave., Akron, 330-535-9423; and 11 a.m. Saturday at the Goodyear branch, 60 Goodyear Blvd., Akron, 330-784-7522. Play Madden NFL ’09 on the big screen.
Second Annual Skate-thon Benefiting the Akron-Canton Regional FoodBank — 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Lock 3 Park, South Main Street, Akron. Also, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., pancake breakfast. For information, visit http://www.lock3live.com.
Do the Mu! — Noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Massillon Museum, 121 Lincoln Way E. January’s theme is Celebrating the New Year. Participants will learn about the celebrations of other countries through a talk and an arts activity. 330-833-4061.
Book signing — 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 4015 Medina Road, Bath Township. Sharon Kaye, author of the Black Market Truth: The Aristotle Quest, will discuss and sign copies of her book. 330-665-5199.
New Year’s Revolution — 2 p.m. Saturday, Akron-Summit County Public Library, 60 S. High St., Akron. Dance Dance Revolution. 330-643-9000.
Super Saturday Family Event: Dogs in the House — 2-2:30 p.m. Saturday, Canal Fulton Public Library, 154 Market St. NE, Canal Fulton. 330-854-4148.
Akron Glass Works artist demos — 6-11 p.m. Saturday, Akron Glass Works, 106 N. Main St., Akron. Glass-blowing demonstrations. Free. 330-253-5888.
Teen Program: Annual Madden NFL ’09 XBOX 360 Competition — 4 p.m. Tuesday, Akron-Summit County Public Library, Highland Square branch, 807 W. Market St., Akron. Play Madden NFL ’09 on the big screen. 330-376-2927.
Family history — 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Akron-Summit County Public Library, 60 S. High St., Akron. Getting Started in Family History. 330-643-9000.
Musical Open Mic — Sign-up begins at 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday at Erewhon Gallery & Studios, 111 N. Main St., Akron, above the Northside bar. 330-920-4221. Free.
Old Time, Celtic and Bluegrass Music Jam — 7-10 p.m. Tuesday, College of Wooster snack bar, Mom’s Truck Stop, Lowery Center, Wooster. The College of Wooster Scottish Arts Society along with local community players sponsors musical jam sessions where guests may sit in. Information: Kim Tapie, 330-345-5208, or Charlene Adzima, 330-263-6504.
New Main Library Book Discussion Group — 7 p.m. Wednesday, Akron-Summit County Public Library, 60 S. High St., Akron. 330-643-9000.
Aurora Farms Premium Outlets — 549 S. Chillicothe Road, Aurora. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. New Year’s Day. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. 330-562-2000.
Chapel Hill Mall — 2000 Brittain Road, Akron. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. New Year’s Day. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday. 330-633-1131. Open 8 a.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 11 a.m. Sundays for walkers.
Summit Mall — 3265 W. Market St., Fairlawn. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. 330-867-1555. Open 8 a.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 9 a.m. Sundays for walkers.
Westfield Belden Village — Interstate 77 at Everhard Road, Jackson Township. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. 330-494-5490. Open 9 a.m. daily for walkers.
A CHANCE TO DANCE
Akron2Cleveland New Ballroom Dancers — 7-9 p.m. Friday at Goodyear YMCA, 110 Goodyear Blvd, Akron. 330-573-9453 or 330-631-5299.
CamJamz Dances & Events Teen Dance — 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Cuyahoga Falls Natatorium, 2345 Fourth St., Cuyahoga Falls. CamJamz will offer club-style lighting and sound, as well as Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution on giant video screens. $10, $12 for a jump pass. 330-971-8080.
Dance Fever Open Dance — 7:30-10:30 p.m. Friday at the Quirk Cultural Center, 1201 Grant Avenue, Cuyahoga Falls. Swing, waltz, cha cha, tango, line dances and more. $8 per person, $5 for students.
Kuzman’s Oldies Night Dancing — 8 p.m. Friday at Kuzman’s Lounge, 1025 S. State St., Girard. $2. 330-545-8521 or 330-545-8995.
Urban Contemporary Line Dance Classes (beginners) — 10 a.m.-noon Saturday at Goodyear YMCA gymnasium, 110 Goodyear Ave. (park on Kelly Avenue and go through the double brown doors), Akron. $3 adults; $2 youth. Classes are on-going. Wear comfortable soft-soled shoes and clothing. Dance to all kinds of music. Dance partner not needed. New dances taught monthly. For more information, call 330-867-2093.
Kuzman’s Polka Night Dancing — 8 p.m. Saturday at Kuzman’s Lounge, 1025 S. State St., Girard. $2. 330-545-8521 or 330-545-8995.
Dance With Me — 10 a.m. Saturdays at Kent Le Mar Dance Studio, 2738 Hudson Drive, Cuyahoga Falls. For ages 30 and older. $10 per class. 330-923-5225.
Swing-a-Lings — 8-10:45 p.m. Saturday at Church of the Lakes United Methodist Church, 5944 Fulton Drive NW, Jackson Township. A caller and a cuer. $9 per couple members; $10 per couple nonmembers. 330-492-7559.
First Sunday Country Line Dance — 6-8 p.m. Sunday at the Quirk Cultural Center, 1201 Grant Ave., Cuyahoga Falls. $5 per person.
Ballroom Dance Club — 7-10:30 p.m. Sunday at Springfield Lake Ballroom, 1200 Main St., Lakemore. Dance to music by area orchestras. Snacks and beverage are provided. $6. 330-733-0748.
Ballroom Dancing — 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Sherwood Dance Club, 960 Jacoby Road, Copley Township. $6. 330-864-4484.
Singles Dance — 7:30 p.m. to midnight Sunday, Guy’s Party Centre, 500 E. Waterloo Road, Akron. Disc jockey plays Top 40 music for dancing. $7. 330-724-6373.
Top 20 Line Dances — 6-7 p.m. beginner lessons, 7-9 p.m. intermediate lessons Mondays at Manchester Administrative Building, Room 24, 6075 Manchester Road. Learn the top 20 line dances. $5 per class. 330-848-3750.
RYGT Step Dance — 6:30-8 p.m. Monday at the Summa Health System School of Nursing gymnasium, 41 Arch St., Akron. $3, $2 Summa Health System employees, senior citizens and students. 330-990-4500.
Infinity Dancers of Akron Line Dance Classes — 6:30-8:30 p.m. Monday at Balch Street Fitness Center, 220 S. Balch St., Akron. $3 adults; $2 seniors/youth. 330-836-4544.
Ballroom Classes — 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays at Manchester Administrative Building, Room 24, 6075 Manchester Road. Jitterbug, cha cha and waltzing. $5 per class. 330-848-3750.
Country Line Dance Lessons — 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, advanced class, Tallmadge Community Center, 80 Community Road. $5. 330-699-1386.
Sounds of Yesterday — 2-5 p.m. Wednesday at Fraternal Order of Police, 2610 Ley Drive, Akron. Ballroom music. Information, call 330-724-7414 or 330-753-6679.
Ballroom Dancing — 6:30-9:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Polish Legion of American Veterans Post 32, 383 Dayton St., Akron. Music by the Delci Tones. $5. Information, 330-253-0542.
Ohio’s Northcoast Jitterbug Connection — 7-10 p.m. Wednesday at Quirk Cultural Center, 1201 Grant Ave., Cuyahoga Falls. Jitterbug dancing. Free lesson included from 7-7:30 p.m. Couples or singles welcome. $5 for nonmembers. For information: http://groups.msn.com/ONCJCNews.
Akron Pops Orchestra — Seeking musicians, especially violinists, bassists and other strings, for the volunteer orchestra, which performs a variety of concert music. Most rehearsals and concerts are on Thursday evenings, with a few weekend concerts. 330-645-6211.
ANTICs Inc. — Auditions for the winter production of Cinderella will be 7-9 p.m. Friday and Jan. 9; 2-4 p.m. Saturday and 2-3 p.m. for dancers on Jan. 10 at the Quirk Cultural Center, 1201 Grant Ave., Cuyahoga Falls. Seeking cast of 25-30 adults, teens, children and dancers age 6-8. For information, call 330-971-5665.
Camp Chase Fifes & Drums — The historically authentic music group is seeking men and mature male teenagers who play fife, flute, piccolo, snare and bass drums and are interested in the rudimental style. Music and uniforms from the Civil War period. Call Bill Maling, 330-645-9173, or e-mail [email protected].
Canal Fulton Players — Auditions for On Golden Pond will be held at 7 p.m. Monday at the United Methodist Church of Canal Fulton, 363 W. Cherry St. Need three men, two women and one child 12 or 13 years old. Call David Van Gaasbeek, 330-494-1022 or 330-854-4387.
Canton Hall of Fame Chorus — Auditions for men who enjoy singing harmony will be at regular weekly rehearsals Wednesday evenings at Trinity United Church of Christ, 3909 Blackburn Road NW, Plain Township. Call Don Shoop at 330-499-9343 or visit http://www.hofchorus.org.
City of Flags Chorus — Active show chorus is seeking women who enjoy singing a cappella, four-part harmony. Rehearsals are at 7 p.m. Mondays at Greenwood Christian Church, 44th Street Northwest and Frazer Avenue, Canton. 800-793-3805.
Cleveland Dance Theatre — Ongoing auditions by appointment only for ballet and modern dancers age 13 through
adult. Contact Margaret Holden, 216-749-4228.
Cleveland Play House — Seeking choruses, choirs and ensembles to sing in the lobby before performances of Mahalia: A Gospel Musical, running Jan. 30 though Feb. 22 . This is a nonpaid opportunity but ticket discounts are available to those choir groups who want to stay and enjoy the show. For more information call Cosandra Wheeler at 216-795-7000, Ext. 180, or Kathleen Faulkner at Ext. 238.
Cuyahoga Falls Community Chorus — The chorus has openings for all voice parts and will accept adults of all ages from Cuyahoga Falls and surrounding communities. It is a family friendly and fun atmosphere. Rehearsals are at 7 p.m. Mondays at Summit Christian School at Newberry Park, 2800 13th St., Cuyahoga Falls. E-mail, [email protected] or call Ted Shure, 330-920-8598.
Derbytown A Cappella Men’s Chorus — Seeking new members who want to sing four-part harmony. Practices are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays at St. Bernard’s Hall, 47 E. State St., Akron. Call Chris Eitman, 330-468-6547.
ETC School of Musical Arts — Open enrollment is available for boys and girls in grades three through six to have the opportunity to sing and dance in the show choir program. Rehearsals begin 1-3 p.m. Jan. 17 and continue through May 9. They are held at 1932 Akron-Peninsula Road, Akron. No auditions, but a nominal tuition fee of $50. E-mail, [email protected] or call 330-923-2000.
Forever Harmony Singers of the Akron Area — Seeking women 16 or older to sing a cappella, four-part harmony 7 to 9:30 p.m. Mondays at the Tallmadge Oaks Pool House, 120 North Ave. 330-633-9684 or 330-784-2756.
Heart of Ohio Women’s A Cappella Show Chorus — Ongoing auditions/rehearsals for women interested in singing and performing in a barbershop chorus led by master director David Wallace will be at 7:30 p.m. Mondays at the Twin Falls United Methodist Church, 60 N. River Road, Munroe Falls. Call Phyllis Falkenstein, 330-633-8705, or visit http://www.heartofohiosings.org.
Laurel Lake Chorale — Seeking adults 50 and older to join the 40-member chorale that performs a large range of musical styles, from classical to jazz. Participation is free and open to the public. Rehearsals are held at 3 p.m. on Tuesdays at Laurel Lake Retirement Community, 200 Laurel Lake Drive, Hudson. Interested singers should call director Donna Anderson at 330-655-1436.
Massillon Lions Club Chorus — Seeking males high-school age and older to participate in the all-volunteer cast to perform at the annual talent show. Talents include chorus songs, solos, dancing, skits and jokes. Practice begins 1:30 p.m. Sunday in the Lions Club meeting room, 156 Lincoln Way E., Massillon. For information, contact Rudy Turkal, 330-832-9873.
North Canton Playhouse — Auditions for the youth musical Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. will be held at 2 p.m. Jan. 10 and 4 p.m. Jan. 11 at the playhouse mainstage, 525 Seventh St. NE, North Canton. Ages 12-18 welcome. Come prepared with a short song to sing without music or with a karaoke CD. There will also be readings from the script and a dance audition. For more information call 330-494-1613 or e-mail [email protected].
Tyron Hoisten Presents — Seeking adult actors and actresses for Jack Knife Preacher. Rehearsals begin this month. For information, call 330-958-3980.
Weathervane Community Playhouse — Open call auditions for Intimate Apparel will be held at 7 p.m. Monday at the playhouse, 1301 Weathervane Lane, Akron. Auditioners should prepare any monologue up to 2 minutes in length. Scripts and audition scenes available at the playhouse. For information, call 330-836-2626.
Need performers or behind-the scenes specialists? Send details — two weeks before the date — to Auditions, Features Department, Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309-0640; fax to 330-996-3033 or e-mail to [email protected].
The Bang and The Clatter — Sometimes in the Silence . . . Theater Company — (224 Euclid Ave., Cleveland; 330-606-5317) Final performances of David’s Redhaired Death, 8 tonight-Saturday. $15. All seniors and students have the option to ”pay as you go.”
Beck Center for the Arts — (Studio Theatre, 17801 Detroit Ave., Lakewood; 216-521-2540) Final performances of Peter Pan, 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. $28, $25 for seniors and $17 for students.
Carousel Dinner Theatre — (1275 E. Waterloo Road, Akron; 330-724-9855) Final performances of All Shook Up, 8 tonight, 8:30 p.m. 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday. Dinner service begins two hours before curtain. $37.50-$58.
Cleveland Play House — (8500 Euclid Ave., Cleveland; 330-795-7000) Around the World in 80 Days opens Jan. 9 and continues through Feb. 1. 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays; 3 p.m. Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays; 1:30 p.m. Jan. 22 and 7 p.m. Jan. 27. $42-$51.
Coach House Theatre — (732 W. Exchange St.,. Akron; 330-434-7741) The Ohio Shakespeare Festival will present the Ohio premiere of The Upstart Crow opening Jan. 9 and continuing through Jan. 18. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2:30 p.m. Sundays. $25 for dinner and show, or $10 for show only.
Firestone Theatre — (Firestone High School, 333 Rampart Ave., Akron; 330-873-3408) One-Act Play Festival will be held at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 8. $5.
Louisville Community Theater — (The Kathleen Howland Theatre, 324 Cleveland Ave. NW, Canton; 330-451-0924) Welcome To Broadway, 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $10.
PlayhouseSquare Palace Theatre — (1519 Euclid Ave., Cleveland; 216-241-6000) Rent opens Tuesday and continues through Jan. 11. 7:30 p.m.Tuesday-Jan.9; 5 and 9 p.m. Jan. 10; 1 and 6:30 p.m. Jan. 11. $10-$60.
Akron Zoo — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, 500 Edgewood Ave., Akron. The zoo features more than 400 birds, mammals and reptiles from all over the world. It’s a Wild World Animal Show will be at 12:30 and 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays at the Time Warner Nature’s Theatre in the Lehner Family Zoo Gardens. Cost is $1. Closed New Year’s Day. Winter admission: $5.50. Parking, $1.50. 330-375-2550 or http://www.akronzoo.org.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo — 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, 3900 Wildlife Way. Home to one of the largest collections of primate species in North America. Thousands of animals roam the zoo’s 168 acres and two indoor acres of the RainForest. Closed New Year’s Day. Winter admission $7; $5, kids ages 2-11. 216-661-6500 or http://www.clemetzoo.com.
A Christmas Story House and Museum — 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Closed today. House is at 3159 W. 11th St., the gift shop is at 3166 W. 11th St. and the museum is at 1103 Rowley Ave., all in Cleveland. The house pays tribute to the holiday classic film and its fictional characters. Tickets are $7.50; $6.50 for seniors; $5.50 for children over 6 years; free for children 6 and younger. 216-298-4919 or http://www.achristmasstoryhouse.com.
Festival of Trees — Through Sunday, Cleveland Play House, 8500 Euclid Ave. Closed today. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Features locally sponsored and professionally decorated holiday trees, which are exhibited throughout the lobbies and halls of the Play House. Funds go toward education programs. http://www.clevelandplayhouse.com. Free admission.
”Holly”wood Christmas Movieland — Closed today. Hours are noon to 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 5001 E. Royalton Road, Broadview Heights. Mark Klaus’ collection of authentic Christmas movie props, costumes and memorabilia. $7, $5 children 16 and under. 440-453-5889 or http://www.christmasmovieland.com.
Ice Rink at Falls River Square — Noon to 9 p.m. today-Saturday. 2-9 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, Jan. 8-Feb. 27. Noon to 9 p.m. Saturdays, Jan. 10-Feb. 28. Noon to 8 p.m. Jan. 19 and Feb. 16. Free for residents, $3 for others; skate rental $3. 330-971-8135 or http://www.cityofcf.com.
Lock 3 Ice Skating Rink — 200 S. Main St., Akron. Through Feb. 1. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays. Closed Mondays, except 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 19 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day). Admission is free, skate rentals $2. http://www.lock3live.com.
Ninth Annual Tommy’s New Year’s Day Pancake Breakfast — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, Tommy’s, 1824 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights. $7, $5 children 12 and under. All proceeds benefit HeightsArts. 216-321-7757 or http://www.heightsarts.org.
The Rink at Wade Oval — East
Boulevard and Wade Oval, just behind the Cleveland Museum of Art. The Rink is open through Feb. 16: noon to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Special hours through Jan. 4: noon-5 p.m. Sundays-Wednesdays, noon-7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The Rink will be open noon to 5 p.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Presidents Day. Free admission, $3 skate rentals. 216-707-5033 or http://www.universitycircle.org.
Third Annual Blossom Holiday Lighting Festival — 6-11 tonight through Sunday at Blossom Music Center, 1145 W. Steels Corners Road, Cuyahoga Falls. Carloads, $12; shuttle buses and limousines, $30; buses, $100. http://www.ticketmaster.com: 330-945-9400.
If it’s Thursday, it’s a new year for the mailbag . . .
Q: How can someone request or acquire older movies? Like ”The Hunchback of Notre Dame” with Charles Laughton and Maureen O’Hara or ”Robin Hood” with Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland? These two classics seem to have disappeared. I would like to watch these great movies again sometime.
A: Turner Classic Movies, still the best repository of classic movies shown on TV, has a ”Suggest a Movie” page on its Web site (http://www.tcm.tv). Its movie database will also tell you if a title is already available on DVD, how to buy it and whether a telecast is scheduled. The Errol Flynn Adventures of Robin Hood and the Laughton Hunchback are both available on DVD. And TCM plans to show the Laughton Hunchback on Jan. 13.
Other sites you can search for movies include the Internet Movie Database (http://www.imdb.com), which indicates if titles are available in authorized versions, and online retailers like Amazon.com, Moviesunlimited.com and Deepdiscount.com. And I do a lot of online keyword searches through Google and other means.
Unfortunately, I cannot find everything, as the next question and answer indicate.
Q: A number of years ago I saw ”Hotel Splendide,” a movie starring Daniel Craig and Toni Collette and have been searching ever since for a format that will work on my DVD or video. This, from Yahoo! Movies: ”After an absence of five years, Kath, a spirited young sous-chef, returns to the Hotel Splendide in the hope of reconciling with Ronald, the most level-headed of the three siblings who run this spectacularly dilapidated resort on a desolate stretch of English coastline.” It is a dark comedy with vivid visuals. Can you help?
A: The movies of Daniel Craig have generated more interest since he became the current James Bond, and some of the older titles are making their way to DVD. Unfortunately, the only authorized copies I found of Hotel Splendide were in overseas DVD formats and may not work in your DVD player. I did see a VHS for sale at http://www.robertsvideos.com but cannot vouch for the source or quality.
Q: After watching ”The Shield” since its inception, I was unable to watch the final show. Do you know if it will be rerun or put on DVD? If not, where can I find out how it ended?
A: I am sorry you missed the finale, which ranks among the best endings for a TV series ever. So as not to spoil it for people who still have not watched, let me refer you to my notes and comments in the November 2008 posts in the HeldenFiles Online (http://heldenfels.ohio.com). My colleague Alan Sepinwall’s blog, http://sepinwall.blogspot.com, has an even more detailed summary and review of the finale, as well as an extensive interview with Shield creator Shawn Ryan.
I would expect that last run of episodes to come to DVD, since all of the rest of the series has, but do not yet have a release date.
Q: I saw a movie starring Gene Wilder as a rabbi in a western who hooked up with a gunslinger (can’t remember the actor’s name). It was a comedy. I can’t remember the name of the movie. What is it, and is it available on VHS or DVD, preferably DVD?
A: That’s The Frisco Kid, with Wilder and Harrison Ford. It is available on DVD.
Q: I am looking for the movie ”Ulysses” with Kirk Douglas. I think it was made in 1954.
A: The Italian big-screen telling of The Odyssey was indeed released in 1954 and is on DVD. If your local retailer cannot find it, I have seen it for sale on Amazon.com.
Q: Do you think the movie ”This Is Elvis” will be on TV again? It was made in 1981. I am interested in viewing Dana MacKay, the actor who played Elvis at age 35.
A: I do not know of an upcoming showing of the film. But it is available on DVD. If you do not want to buy it, you may want to see if your local library has it.
Do you have a question or comment about movies, TV and other popular culture? Write to [email protected] or the Akron Beacon Journal, 44 E. Exchange St., Akron, OH 44309. Please mark the note for Mailbag and do not phone in questions.
Letters may be edited. Individual replies cannot be guaranteed.
Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal and in the HeldenFiles Online blog at http://heldenfels.ohio.com.