January

The new performance venue Live Music Now! opens in Kenmore.

Copley native Carrie Coon kicks off the year with a bang, as Steven Spielberg's "The Post" hits Northeast Ohio theaters. Coon, coming off accolades for "Fargo" and "The Leftovers" on TV, plays Washington Post scribe Meg Greenfield. With write-ups in Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, and more films on the way, the question for the 37-year-old actress is: What do you do for an encore? The answer: have a baby, with husband Tracy Letts. (Son Haskell is born in March.)

February

Gospel Meets Symphony, an Akron Symphony concert that brings classical and gospel musicians together to perform, marks its 25th anniversary.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham tells NBA superstars LeBron James and Kevin Durant to just "shut up and dribble" after they offer political thoughts for James' Uninterrupted website while cruising around snowy Akron in an SUV. It ignites backlash against James and Ingraham, and her comments would later be borrowed for a documentary series title. (See November.)

The Akron Symphony, Neos Dance Theatre and the University of Akron Dance Institute collaborate on a world premiere production of “Petrushka.”

Cleveland’s Playhouse Square is the launchpad for the touring production of “Hello, Dolly!” starring Betty Buckley.

March

Turmoil continues at Akron’s Coach House Theatre, which acrimoniously parts ways with its artistic director and hires another couple to finish its 90th anniversary season.

Local artist Don Drumm, in cooperation with a local funeral business, creates urns for cremains after hearing of people being buried in his casserole dishes. In May, a slightly less macabre Drumm product line also comes on the market: a series of tables, consoles and other furniture integrating his artwork, designed by Rosemary Hamed. Also this year, a Drumm sculpture goes up at the entrance of the new I Promise School.

Proving he still has that stand-up touch, Jerry Seinfeld earns lots of laughs from a packed house at the Akron Civic Theatre.

Members of Rubber City Cosplay give fans a thrill at the Wizard Word Comic Con in Cleveland with their versions of Captain America, Batgirl, Beetlejuice, Poison Ivy and Rey and Kylo Ren from "Star Wars."

Producer Mark Mitten, a Firestone High School alumus, heads to Hollywood in hopes of scoring gold at the 90th Academy Awards for "Abacus," up for best documentary. Brandon Chrostowski, owner of Edwins, the Cleveland restaurant that helps rehabilitate felons, is also on hand to cheer on the Thomas Lennon-directed "Knife Skills" (up for best documentary short). Alas, neither film wins, though Chagrin Falls native Lee Unkrich does score an Oscar for the best animated feature: "Coco."

Former Ohio Ballet dancers Damien Highfield and Felise Bagley retire from GroundWorks DanceTheater after 11 and 17 years respectively with the Cleveland-area modern dance company, giving a farewell performance at E.J. Thomas Hall. Highfield moves on as the new owner of Stage Center dance store in Akron's North Hill.

April                            

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame holds its induction ceremony at Cleveland’s Public Hall, honoring Bon Jovi, the Cars, Dire Straits, the Moody Blues and Nina Simone along with early influence Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

Former KSU art student and Akron Art Museum intern Heather Lenz screens her years-in-the-making "Kusama: Infinity" in the 42nd Cleveland International Film Festival. The documentary, about legendary Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, also serves as a preamble to the wildly popular "Infinity Mirrors" touring exhibition, which lands at the Cleveland Museum of Art in July, attracting a sellout crowd of more than 120,000 visitors from all 50 states and 23 countries.

May

University of Akron student Maxx Davidson wins a contest to become the first Master Model Builder for Legoland in Columbus.

Firestone High School/Akron School for the Arts senior Reyna Moran wins a Playhouse Square Dazzle Award for the second year in a row. Moran is named best actress for playing Velma Kelly in "Chicago" and goes on to compete at the high school musical theater "Jimmy Awards" in New York.

James Mismas retires after 27 years as organist and music director at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Akron.

Children's Concert Society celebrates its 70th anniversary of bringing the arts to Akron-area schoolchildren through annual concerts and in-school performances.

Cedar Point opens for the season on a Saturday morning and shuts down its newest attraction, the Steel Vengeance roller coaster, early in the afternoon. The long-anticipated revamp of the Mean Streak coaster has a rough start when two of the trains collided in the station. No one is seriously hurt, but the coaster runs with just two trains for several weeks.

July

The blockbuster musical “Hamilton” finally comes to Northeast Ohio, selling out six weeks of performances at Playhouse Square.

Blossom celebrates its 50th anniversary with several special events, including a performance of “Tommy” with the Who's Roger Daltrey. "It's a fabulous, fun experience," Daltrey tells the Beacon Journal about performing with a live orchestra. "It's a really good show. You never know with these things until you try them, but it's worked out great. It's a dream come true for me."

In conjunction with Blossom's big anniversary, Porthouse Theatre, on the grounds of Blossom, also celebrates its 50th season of producing summer theater by mounting "Anything Goes," "Next to Normal" and "Oklahoma."

The first "FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art" opens, packed with artist commissions, performances, films and public programs, presented in about two dozen museums, civic institutions and alternative spaces across Cleveland, Akron and Oberlin. The shows feature artists from local to international, at various points in their careers, who "examine the ever-changing and politically urgent conditions of an American city."

Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium hosts two megawatt touring acts, Beyonce and Jay-Z’s “On the Run II” and Taylor Swift.

Terry Walker of the Bizarros, a seminal band of the “Akron Sound” era, dies at age 66.

September

The first Highland Square Film Festival features short films about Akron. Comedian Rhea Butcher, an Akron native, serves as host.

Foodies mourn as West Point Market, which reopened in Fairlawn in 2016 after selling its longtime home in the Wallhaven neighborhood, closes its doors. Third-generation owner Rick Vernon cites tough competition in the fine-foods business, and repeated delays in getting all phases of the new store up and running.

October

For the first time, Devo is nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s part of a revival of interest and appreciation of the band, which also included a massive retrospective book released in July. The Akron band does not make the final list of inductees, which are announced in December and include Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Stevie Nicks, Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies.

Akron Comicon celebrates the 80th anniversary of Superman.

The Akron Fright Fest, a new “extreme” haunted house, opens at the former Lake Kim Tam Park and quickly draws large crowds. Authorities investigate and workers are fired after some patrons complain of mock rapes, but no charges are filed.

November

Elton John's "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" tour stops at Quicken Loans Arena. It's not really farewell yet; he will return in 2019.

LeBron James’ “Shut Up and Dribble,” a three-part documentary series about the activism and social influence of NBA players, premieres on Showtime.

Akron contemporary theater company None Too Fragile presents the world premiere of “Boogieban,” a drama about soldiers from two different generations dealing with PTSD, which the company will take on the road in 2019 for monthlong runs in Chicago and New York.

December

The Akron Woman's City Club cancels the remainder of Coach House Theatre's 2018-2019 season after announcing it will not offer contracts to co-artistic directors Cassandra Capocci and Sergio Iriarte for the last three shows. The move marks the third departure of artistic directors from the theater in 19 months.