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by Jac Kern 09.25.2012
Posted In: Events, Fashion, Music, Movies, TV/Celebrity at 08:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough...Emmys

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

The 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards took place Sunday night. Each year I get excited for this one awards show dedicated to television, and every year I forget how boring and predictable it usually is.

First off, there is no booze served at the Emmys (unlike the drink-friendly Golden Globes which honor TV and film), and that just puts a damper on everything. Pre-show red carpet interviews have to be one of the most uncomfortable interactions ever (I swear one E! douche bag actually said, “I don’t really care, ‘cause we’re dudes, but it’s my thing tonight — Who are you wearing?” Gag.) — stars need some hooch to make it all OK.

Then there are the clear academy favorites that are continually nominated year after year for no apparent reason — Can’t we all agree Big Bang Theory lacks any real humor or geek cred? But I suffer through the Emmys just in case there’s a redeeming wardrobe malfunction or surprise winner.

                                      Raise your hand if you're tired of faux nerdery!

Jimmy Kimmel made an entertaining host, playfully poking fun at various celebs and, in a particularly funny bit, showed an “In Memoriam” video of himself, stating that we shouldn’t wait until stars are dead to remember their work.

The big winners of the night were Showtime’s drama series Homeland, the HBO movie Game Change and ABC’s Modern Family (one of those perpetual comedy winners).

Fashion trends for the night (and fall in general) included bold solids and metallics, but I always find it interesting just a few stars sport very similar, striking looks. This year it was apparently good luck to mimic the award statue — all dressed in yellow, Julianne Moore (Game Change), Julie Bowen (Modern Family) and a pregnant Claire Danes (Homeland) each walked away with a golden lady for their respective leading performances.

The good: Tracy Morgan faked a medical issue to generate buzz, Amy Poehler and Julia Louie-Dreyfus “accidentally” swapped acceptance speeches and Jon Stewart kept censors on their toes during his acceptance speech on behalf of The Daily Show (which makes 10 wins in a row for the show). I was happy to see Jessica Lange honored as best supporting actress in a miniseries/movie — and, really, how smart of them to re-define American Horror Story each season, categorizing it as a miniseries. The always-hilarious Louis C.K. was "vindicated" with two Emmys for his writing on Louie and his stand-up special, Louis C.K.: Live at the Beacon Theater. And while the drama category was filled with some of my favorite shows, a very deserving Homeland pretty much swept the category. Aaron Paul was awarded for his role as Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad, to which I say, “Yeah, bitch!” While Paul may have been confused during fashion week, he must have picked up some style tips on the catwalk, because his chocolate suit was sick, and only enhanced by his fiance’s coordinating gown. 

          All together now: Aww!

Season 4 of Breaking Bad was outstanding, and I’m a Jesse fan but…

The bad: Giancarlo Esposito should have won for his performance in Breaking Bad. I will never not be terrified of him after seeing him as the disturbing Gus Fring. I would have liked to see Kristen Wiig win for her last season on SNL. And Jon Cryer? I love ya, Duckie, but Two and a Half Men does not belong in the awards arena.

            "Wait, me? Are you guys sure?"

So, it was mostly a snoozefest, but at least we had the opening skit featuring all the leading ladies and, namely, a “nude” Lena Dunham eating cake in a bathroom stall.

In non-Emmy news, Clint Eastwood’s infamous empty chair assault during the Republican National Convention is old news by now, but that’s not going to stop the folks at Extra from babbling on about it. During an interview about his film Trouble With the Curve, Eastwood had this to say: "If someone's dumb enough to ask me to go to a political convention and say something, they're going to have to take what they get."

Serious question: Is Amanda Bynes the new Britney? With Ms. Spears cleaning off her Cheeto dust to fulfill her duties as “Britney, bitch” on The X Factor, another downward-spiraling starlet must accept the role as train wreck supreme. Sure, Lindsay Lohan is the obvious candidate, but if you’ve been following the “retired” actress of Nickelodeon fame, you know Bynes is barreling to the front of the race. Seemingly out of nowhere, Bynes has recently had her car impounded after facing charges for a DUI, driving without a license (twice) and two hit-and-runs.

I will go as far as calling my dad in from the 'burbs to chauffeur my ass around (or, in dire situations, dealing with the living hell that is Ron’s Cab) to avoid traffic stops and drunk driving. Can’t these child stars payroll a driver to be available at their every whim, or call a damn taxi? Also, people are saying she's crazier than one of those silly characters she played when she was 12.

              AMANDA PLEASE

Apple sold more than 5 million iPhone 5s over the weekend, completely running out of stock. Those who didn’t camp outside Apple stores or take advantage of pre-sale offers will have to wait until October for the newest iPhone, but I borrowed my boyfriend’s I tested one out all professional-like over the weekend. Here’s the rundown. “Fastest, thinnest, lightest iPhone ever?” Yes. It's so light, it feels like a toy phone that should have chiclets inside or something.

                 iPhone 5 prototype

The phone itself is more compact, but the screen surface is actually larger. It’s equipped with 4G LTE and features a new smaller, reversible charger. Siri remains pretty inessential to those of us with the ability to look out windows, although I’ve found it moderately entertaining to ask it existential questions and see how well it can decipher fake accents. And the cool, easy-to-use panoramic camera feature is sure to set the Instagram world on fire.

 
 
by Jac Kern 06.07.2013
Posted In: Events, Movies, Arts at 12:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 6/7-6/9

The 2013 Cincinnati Fringe Festival wraps up this weekend with final performances Friday and Saturday. If you still haven’t checked out any of the freaky, funny, unique performances in this 10th annual fest, go here to check out show reviews and find a full schedule and festival guide.

Cincinnati Rollergirls host their last home game of the season at the Cincinnati Gardens Saturday. The 'girls face Kitchener, Ontario’s Tri-City Roller Girls in a double-header that kicks off at 7 p.m. And it’s Fan Appreciation Night, so expect plenty of free CRG goodies throughout the night! Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door ($15/$17 for courtside seats). Happy Hour (dolla dolla beers, y’all) starts at 6 p.m. Find tickets and more info here.

Last weekend, teams of filmmakers throughout Cincinnati (and across 125 other participating cities throughout the world) participated in the 48 Hour Film Project, requiring them to write, shoot and edit a movie in just two days. On Friday, they received a movie genre, character, prop and a line of dialogue to include in the short film and the rest was up to them — the finished product had to be completed by Sunday. This Sunday, the public can check out the eclectic mix of results at the Thompson House. Screenings take place at 1:30 p.m., 4:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and admission is $10 for a single screening group, $30 for the whole day.

Short Vine in Corryville is on its way to becoming the next happenin’ spot in the local arts scene. Don’t believe me? Check out the opening of 71 Gallery (2609 Vine St.) 5-10 p.m. Friday. Local artist Tony Dotson has created the space for outsider artists like himself as well as graphic designers. The gallery’s debut artist is Eye Candy Design agency’s Janet Berberich, who also works on Short Vine. Berberich also helped develop Artbeat on Short Vine, a monthly event that also kicks off Friday. Check out our feature on Dotson and Berberich here.

Date Night Movies return to Washington park Saturdays this Summer but don’t let the event name fool you — anyone can enjoy these free, open-air films. The movies run 9-11 p.m. every Saturday through Aug. 17 (no movies Aug. 3-10). This week’s selection is the 1954 mystery classic, Rear Window. Go here for a full lineup of summer events at Washington Park.

For more stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks full calendar and Rick Pender’s Stage Door for weekend theater offerings.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.20.2012
Posted In: Drinking, Events, Fun, Music at 12:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Tuesday To Do List

Spring is here! Celebrate the official start of the season (even though it feels like we skipped forward to summer) with live music, cold drinks and a lovely patio at Neon's. Tonight from 6-9 p.m. Singer-songwriter Tracy Walker will join Adam Sanregret on bass for a night of original music. Find tons more happy hours here.

Local Authors Dann Woellert and Don Heinrich Tolzmann will discuss and sign their respective Cincy-centric books tonight at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Pavilion. Woellert's Cincinnati Turner Societies details the locally-founded American Turners organization, created by area German-Americans to influence a growing nation in education, progressive thought, politics, human rights, health, literature and the arts. Tolzman's Over-the-Rhine Tour Guide is an interesting companion to the German Heritage Tours he leads. The book gives a history lesson on the geographical and architectural importance of the area over the years. The event runs from 7-8:30 p.m.

Drinking Liberally is an informal progressive social group, a project of Living Liberally, with chapters across the U.S. and world. The Cincinnati chapter meets at 7:30 p.m. every Tuesday: at Cilfton's Fries Cafe the first and third Tuesday each month, and at Dutch's Bar and Bottle Shop in Hyde Park on second and fourth Tuesdays. Share your opinions and ideas in a relaxed, welcoming setting. Get there by 7:45 p.m. to place a food order from Cactus Pear. Go here for more info on Drinking/Living Liberally.

The Playhouse's Tigers Be Still and Ensemble Theatre's Time Stands Still both have productions tonight. Check out our To Do page for more daily recommendations, and our music blog for nightly shows.

 
 
by Jac Kern 08.16.2013
Posted In: Events, Fun, Music, Arts at 01:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 8/16-8/18

Most cops discourage partying and street art — not The London Police. The British art duo has been leaving their precision-meets-cartoony signature pieces across Covington throughout the past week and tonight, from 7-11 p.m. at BLDG, The London Police will reveal the sites of their work, which includes several small-scale pieces and one mural. Meet the duo, purchase their work and see them perform live as TLP Dog Singers.

The 25th Annual Midwest Black Family Reunion takes places this weekend, bringing more than 50,000 people to Sawyer Point — making it one of the city’s largest family-focused annual festivities. Events include a parade Saturday, Sunday morning service, food and retail vendors, live music, town hall meetings and much more. Go here for a full event schedule.

As students across the Tri-state prepare to head back to school, you can do your part to ensure safe, accessible sex education is available through Planned Parenthood. The organization’s fundraiser, Summer’s Over – What a Drag…Show features two drag shows with lots of performances Saturday night at The Cabaret, above Below Zero in Over-the-Rhine. The shows — featuring drag queens and kings, including RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Mystique “Bitch, I am from Chicago” Summers — begin at 7 and 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for students, $20 GA or $30 for both shows if purchased online ($5 at the door). All proceeds go toward sex education through Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region.

Washington Park will be abuzz this weekend, as per usual. The City Flea sets up Saturday, fulfilling all your quirky shopping needs (plus eats and drinks from local foods trucks and vendors) from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Later that night at 9 p.m., it’s Date Night Movie time with Julie and Julia (which sounds more like a Date Night with Mom Movie, but we’re not judging). And Sunday is full of free performances, starting with ArtsWave’s Sundays in the Park. Cincinnati Ballet Second Company will present a free performance and dance-along at 2 and 3 p.m. To really make the most out of your day (without opening your wallet), stick around for Shakespeare in the Park at 7 p.m., where Cincinnati Shakespeare Company will present a free performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

For more art openings, summer festivals, theater shows and other stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks and full calendar.

 
 
by Jac Kern 07.19.2013
Posted In: Events, Fun at 12:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 7/19-7/21

Sawyer Point turns 25 this weekend, celebrating with a big birthday bash Saturday. The party will feature live music, food and beer, a kids entertainment area with Cincinnati Circus and inflatable rides and all the other playgrounds and park features Sawyer Point has to offer. The Sawyer Point Rockin' Birthday Bash runs noon-10 p.m. Saturday and admission is $3.

Cincinnati Opera closes its summer season with Aida, Giuseppe Verdi's grand opera about an Ethiopian princess mixed up in an epic love triangle. Aida is onstage Saturday at Music Hall and continues next week. Find tickets and more info here

Considering how much time most of us spend typing on a computer at work or school, on a phone texting friends — the average kid today probably types faster than a professional secretary 50 years ago. Think you’ve got the fastest fingers in the city? Test ‘em out in the Cincy Typing Challenge. Typists and texters will compete in the qualifying round Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Cincinnati Museum Center. Finals are July 25 and the grand prize is $500, so register now, as same-day registration is limited.

Let your Francophile flag fly Saturday at Montgomery’s annual Bastille Day celebration. Montgomery’s sister city is Neuilly-Plaisance, France and for 24 years the city celebrates this relationship with food, beer and wine, kids activities and lots of live entertainment. The free fête is noon-11 p.m. Saturday along Montgomery Road between Remington and Cooper roads. Bonne Bastille!

Butler County, Warren County and Kenton County all host their respective fairs this weekend. Rides, games, animals and tractor pulls abound!

For more art openings, theater shows, summer festivals and other stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks and full calendar.

 
 
by Jac Kern 06.21.2013
Posted In: Events, Fun at 11:19 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 6/21-6/23

It’s the 12th annual Paddlefest weekend, when more than 2,000 locals and visitors will descend onto the Ohio River on kayaks and canoes to paddle along the scenic route. It’s an all-around nature weekend with the Ohio River Music & Outdoor Festival Friday; the second annual Pedalfest (a part bike-part paddle ride) Saturday; and Global Water Dances Saturday — check out feature on this culture choreography event here.

Constella Festival, a local chamber music and fine arts collaboration organization, celebrates the official start of summer with a night of Jazz, art and food Saturday. Constella Summer Solstice features music from the Benjamin Thomas and Peter Gemus Jazz Duo and violinist Tatiana Berman, an exhibit from Essex Studios’ The Art Circle and bites from Silverglades, S&J Bakery and Madisono’s Gelato. The party runs 6-9 p.m. Saturday at Venue 222 in Over-the-Rhine. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.

Has Pinterest got you starting crafty projects that never seem to make it to completion? Bring your D.I.Y. supplies, incomplete projects and inspiration along as Fabricate and Crafty Supermarket join forces to present an Etsy Craft Party Saturday. Meet fellow creatives at the patio behind Fabricate in Northside from 4-7 p.m. Saturday and work on your own project or make Girl Scout-style crafter badges with provided materials. It’s free to join, but RSVP here.

Concert:nova returns with its annual Food + Music festival, pairing international music with creative dishes at some of the city’s best restaurants. This Sunday at Kaze, chefs Cameron Bloomer and Hideki Harada will prepare a Japanese-style brunch following a c:n performance of Takemitsu and Debussy. Cocktails and appetizers will be served at noon, followed by music at 12:45 p.m. and brunch at 1:30 p.m.; go here for tickets.

For more art openings, summer festivals and other stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks, full calendar and Rick Pender’s Stage Door for weekend theater offerings.

 
 
by Jac Kern 05.31.2013
Posted In: Events, Fun, TV/Celebrity, Arts, Culture at 10:56 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 5/31-6/2

Photography’s bad boy, Tyler Shields, returns to Cincinnati for another exhibit at Miller Gallery, kicked off with an opening reception in Over-the-Rhine Friday. Known for his controversial celebrity photos, Shields last exhibited at Miller Gallery in October as part of FotoFocus. Now he’s back showing off his latest collection of photos, Suspense, featuring images of people falling, floating and flipping across striking backgrounds. Friday’s opening is a pop-up gallery party at the Hanke Building (1130 Main St., OTR). VIP $50 tickets grant 8 p.m. admission, free valet parking, an open bar and photo op with Shields. General admission from 9 p.m.-midnight is $10 and includes three drink tickets. It’s sure to be a super party and a great chance to brush shoulders with the “who’s who” of the art community. Proceeds benefit Flashes of Hope, a national nonprofit with the mission to photograph every child with cancer until every child is cured. Buy tickets here or bring cash at the door.

Across the river in Newport, Powerhouse Factories celebrates music festival season with a Summer Shindig Friday. Enjoy live music from The Pinstripes, a great view from Powerhouse’s patio, great deals on the factory’s excellent assortment music posters (BOGO half-off) and frosty beers from MadTree Brewery. The free party runs 6 p.m.-midnight.

The Fringe Festival continues this weekend (through June 8), with plenty of original, unusual and just plan weird theater performances throughout the city. Go here for performance reviews, a complete festival schedule and the official festival guide. And getcho Fringe on!

The 46th annual Summerfair takes over Coney Island Friday-Sunday. This festival, one of the oldest continuous art fairs in the country, features more than 300 fine artists, crafters, youth arts organizations and performers exhibiting and selling photographs, pottery, textiles, jewelry and much more.

Are you a Shark or a Jet? A Greaser or a Soc? A Mod or a Rocker? Do you rock a scooter or a motorcycle? Either way, folks from “both sides of the tracks” will come together this weekend for the Queen City Mods & Rockers Rally, a weekend-long event to promote unity between both types of motor enthusiasts. Events include family-friendly rides, a pin-up girl contest, a bike rally, happy hour, a group breakfast and more. A $30 pass gets you admission to all the three-day events. Go here for more info.

For more art, shows, festivals, concerts and events to check out this weekend, peep our To Do picks full calendar.

 
 
by Jac Kern 05.01.2012
 
 
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Your Tuesday To Do List

Happy May Day! The holiday has various meanings across cultures with Christian, pagan and labor-related celebrations. Today in the U.S., the holiday is widely known as International Workers’ Day and observed by labor unions. The local Occupy movement will celebrate this tradition by demonstrating to raise awareness about the importance of increasing the minimum wage. Meet at Senator Rob Portman’s office (36 E. Seventh St., Downtown) from 4-5:30 p.m. today to show your support and learn more about the various benefits of fair living wages.

The Reds take on the Cubs at 7 p.m. tonight in the first of three games against the Chicago crew. Bronson Arroyo looks to continue his strong performance against the last-placed Cubs. Find last-minute tickets here.

Antonelli College hosts a free seminar tonight featuring tips on getting the most out of social media. Learn secrets from the pros as a panel discusses simple ideas and insider tricks on benefiting from Facebook, Twitter and other social media services. The discussion runs 6-7:30 p.m. at the West Chester campus.

The Cincinnati Metropolitan Orchestra teams up with the College of Mount St. Joseph tonight for a special concert, Simple Gifts. Students will perform a variety of work, including "Porgi Amor," "O Mio Babbino Caro," "Fanfare for the Common Man" and "Variations on a Shaker Melody." The free concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at Mount St. Joe.

The infamous Second City comedy troupe returns to Cincinnati this week with more locally-inspired sketches. Catch a preview show of Less Pride...More Pork tonight at Playhouse in the Park and be sure to bring your sense of humor — remember, they're laughing with us. Also at the playhouse tonight, one of our Critic's Picks, Thunder Knocking on the Door.

And since it is May Day, stop by the Northside bar of the same name for trivia night. Round one begins at 9 p.m.; the second starts at 11 p.m.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.30.2012
Posted In: Arts, Concerts, Culture, Drinking, Events, Fun, Performances, Music at 11:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 3/30-4/1

Final Friday, Rollergirls, CSO and more

Happy Final Friday! If you're hitting up the monthly gallery/bar hop, stop by Yes (Primaries, 6-10 p.m.), Clay Street Press (The Revolution Says, 6-9 p.m.) and The Art Academy of Cincinnati (Sub-Surfaced, 5-8 p.m.) in addition to the several other participating venues. Read more about these featured exhibits here.

Want to enjoy a more cosmic experience this weekend? Stop by the Cincinnati Astronomical Society in Cleves for the Mars Returns program. Mars is visible from Earth this time of year, and with CAS's powerful telescope, you'll get an excellent glimpse of the famed red planet (weather permitting). Learn about the myths and mysteries that surround Mars and the latest info from NASA. This free program takes place from 8-11 p.m. Saturday. Consider making a small donation on your way out to create more astronomical opportunities at the center.

If you missed legendary composer Philip Glass' MusicNOW performance with eighth blackbird Thursday, you can still check him out this weekend thanks to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. The world premiere of Glass' Second Cello Concerto will be performed by cellist Matt Haimovitz tonight and Saturday at Music Hall. Go here to get last-minute tickets to the show.

The Cincinnati Rollergirls take on the Demolition City Roller Derby from Evansville, IN. in the third annual College Night Saturday. Students, faculty and staff just need to show school IDs at the door for $10 tickets — the first 300 get free CRG bottle openers. If you missed the girls' season opener, be sure to check out this match, the second home double-header of the 2012 season. Doors open at 6 p.m.with the first bout rolling off at 7 p.m. As always, enjoy $1 happy hour beers from 6-7 p.m. and stick around after the game to meet those badass chicks!

Quick Notes: Stage Door breaks down this weekend's theater offerings; find upcoming concerts and club shows here; Prairie Gallery's Airstream and the Contemporary Arts Centers' Dasha Shiskin exhibit are among this week's visual art suggestions; find even more events on our To Do page.

Check out our Best of Cincinnati issue for reader picks and staff tips on where to get your eats, drinks, arts and shopping on.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.15.2012
Posted In: Drinking, Events, Fun, Northside, Music at 11:19 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your (Thirsty) Thursday To Do List

I suppose with one of the biggest drinking holidays right around the corner, it would only make sense that tonight's events all take place at bars!

If you've read our Swizzle Bar Guide, you know we've got a handle on a ton a great area bars and clubs. To celebrate these excellent establishments, we've launched our Swizzle Happy Hour Series: on the third Thursday of every month, we'll host after-work drinks at a different bar. Tonight is our kick-off at Mynt Martini downtown. From 5-7 p.m., we'll get our March Madness on and party St. Practice Day-style with $1 green beers, $2.50 domestics, $3 imports and well drinks, and $5 martinis and flatbread. If drink specials and basketball aren't enough, we'll be giving away tons of prizes: movie passes, tickets to Borgore with Document One and Paul M. at Bogart's, and a $50 gift certificate to Funny Bone on the Levee. Come hang out with us!

Arnie's on the Levee is also hosting some March Madness festivities, benefiting Northern Kentucky's Brighton Center. For every person that comes in between 6-9 p.m. tonight, Arnie's will donate $1 to the center, which works with area individuals and families to create opportunities for self-sufficiency through support services, education and leadership. In addition to basketball, there will be a wing-eating contest featuring Mark Collier of "Fort Thomas Matters," Highlands football players and radio personalities.

If NCAA is a foreign language to you, head over to Northside's Mayday for the competitive awesomeness that is The Slurring Bee. You don't need a bracket to partake in this party! If auto-correct hasn't completely ruined your ability to spell by memory, this is your game. Just pay $5 to compete, and you'll be given a drink, then a word to spell. After each round you complete, you'll be given another drink! You must finish the drink before the next round, and keep churning out those vocab words. The Queen or King Bee receives a prize and enrollment in the tournament of champions. The run runs from 8-11 p.m.

So spelling isn't everyone's talent. That's OK. Claddagh in Newport is hosing a weekly singing competition for those more vocally-inclined. Claddagh's Got Talent kicks off tonight at 9 p.m. with a qualifying competition. Each Thursday, a winner will be picked to compete in the finals in 10 weeks. The winner of it all will walk away with $5,000!

For arts, theater and comedy shows, check out our To Do recommendations. As always, follow our music blog for the latest on lives shows and local bands.

 
 

 

 

 
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