The Suburbanite
  • On the Beat: A hometown gig before college for The Big Sweet

  • Regular readers of Ticket probably know about The Big Sweet, the remarkable young original local indie-rock band that won The Repository’s Battle of the Bands in 2010.

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  • Regular readers of Ticket probably know about The Big Sweet, the remarkable young original local indie-rock band that won The Repository’s Battle of the Bands in 2010.
    Comprised of Jackson High School seniors Sam Regas, Brad Berbari and Drew Watson (and Matt McDonald of Cleveland), The Big Sweet has opened shows for Cracker, The Smithereens, The Lemonheads, Will Hoge and Ra Ra Riot at major venues in Akron and Cleveland.
    Surprisingly, though, the guys haven’t played a hometown show since June 2011 at The Auricle in downtown Canton.
    “I guess we thought maybe if we play less, then when we do play it will be a bigger-deal type thing,” singer-guitarist-songwriter Regas said casually.
    “We’re really excited about it,” guitarist Berbari said. “We’re treating it as a last-hurrah type of gig, not that we’re breaking up the band, but it’s a big transition going from being a band in high school to an independent band playing the college scene. Plus, we’re headlining at a real music venue. Just that will give us an extra spark.”
    On Aug. 10, The Big Sweet will return to the Auricle to headline their last concert before they head off to college (Regas, Watson and McDonald to Ohio University; Berbari to Ohio State).
    The Big Sweet’s set will feature songs from the band’s two fine albums, “Ultraviolet Rain” and “Shot of Bliss” — both played on Akron radio station The Summit — along with new songs from a forthcoming EP.
    “I wouldn’t say the new stuff is a departure as much as an extension,” Regas said about the new songs. “It’s classic melodic pop with a lot more emphasis on harmonies and more strings and piano. It’s a lusher sound, but still weird.”
    Even with its members heading off to college, the band is solidly together.
    “We’re going to start working on college circuit-type stuff,” Regas said.
    “We’re definitely planning on keeping it together,” Berbari said. “I’m not sure exactly how we’re going to go about practicing but the worst-case scenario would be us playing every two or three weeks. We’re not concerned about band drama and fighting or anything.”
    Growing older (and taller) has helped bring more respect to The Big Sweet, which formed when the guys were boyish high-school freshmen.
    “We looked really young until recently, and it was hard to be taken seriously by older music fans,” Regas said. “ ‘You sound good for your age’ was the backhanded compliment we were always getting. I haven’t heard that in awhile, which I like.”
    Good Hours will open the Big Sweet’s all-ages Auricle concert at 8 p.m. Advance tickets, at www.ticketweb.com, are $6 for 21 and older, $8 for 20 and younger.
    Page 2 of 2 - VINTAGE SATIRE
    The musical-comedy revue “Tomfoolery,” which will be presented next weekend at downtown Canton’s Kathleen Howland Theatre, collects 28 satirical songs by Tom Lehrer, including “The Vatican Rag,” “The Wiener Schnitzel Waltz,” “The Masochism Tango” and “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park.”
    “It is sometimes politically incorrect, but Lehrer got away with this in the ’50s and ’60s because of it being satire — and really, really funny. You just can’t believe how topical it is to today,” said director Scott Bernhardt, who has assembled a cast of Kerry Bush, Tom Bryant, Shane Daniels, and Jeremy Gilpatric.
    “I am really pleased with the incredibly talented cast and so happy to have Tim Shilling as our musical director,” Bernhardt said. “Tim had performed in this show over 25 years ago and literally begged me to let him music direct this. We’ve been having such a blast with us. It’s such a collaborative project. Everybody in the cast has been bringing something to it.”
    “Tomfoolery” performances will be Aug. 10 and 11 at 8 p.m., and Aug. 12 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets, $15, are available at 2nd April Galerie at 324 Cleveland Ave. N (the theater is downstairs) and by calling 330-451-0924. There is a $5 discount at the Sunday matinee for seniors 65 and older military personnel and veterans.
    Visitors to First Friday tonight are invited to stop at the Howland Theatre to observe an open rehearsal of “Tomfoolery” starting at 7:30.
    A trio of Stark County-based artists will talk about their work and their creative processes in an informal gathering at 7 p.m. Sunday at Elemental Arts at 236 Walnut Ave. NW in downtown Canton.
    They are furniture designer John Strauss, fashion designer Colette Wasdahl and painter Steven McCallum, who creates large-scale, neon-colored geometric paintings.
    “Ships of the Great Lakes,” an hour-long documentary directed and produced by Canton-based filmmaker Len Brown of Beacon Productions, will air at 4 p.m. Sunday on Cleveland PBS station WVIZ-TV.
    The program takes viewers on a seven-day journey aboard a 1,000-foot Great Lakes freighter, on a visit to the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, and through a storm on Lake Michigan.
    Joe Siebert, a graduate of Sandy Valley High School and Malone University, is directing a feature-length documentary about Cleveland street musician, Maurice Reedus Jr., who plays sax on the sidewalk outside Playhouse Square Center and various sporting events.
    “It’s intriguing to me what an icon he’s become in the city, how many people recognize him, but have no idea what his story really is,” Siebert said. “You could call him the man everyone knows who no one really knows.”
    Siebert is seeking donations to complete the film at www.saxmanmovie.com. He already has raised more than $11,000.

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