this weekend in cleveland: brite winter fest and much more

This weekend, check out the hot lineup at Brite Winter Fest, celebrate comics and everything pop culture at Comic Con, view “The Lives of a Poet” by Ray McNiece at CPT's Big Box and follow life, liberty and the pursuit of style to Playhouse Square for Ru Paul’s "Drag Race, Battle of the Seasons."
The Lives of a Poet
Thursday through Saturday,  Feb. 19-21st 7 pm
Cleveland Public Theatre
$12 - $15

This weekend is your last chance to experience Cleveland Public Theatre’s Big Box series. It’s week seven and the final week of CPT’s annual series that gives local artists the space and resources to produce and perform their own original pieces.

This weekend you can view “The Lives of a Poet,” written by Ray Mcniece and directed by Jordan Davis. "Through linked poems, songs and monologues, McNiece presents a memoir on stage depicting the many facets of his life as a performer," CPT's website states. "Through live music and ancestral images, he tells the tales of a poet whose words have carried him from the rusty crucible of Cleveland across the world." The performance will also honor a wide range of artistic inspirations, including his father -- a would be vaudeville hoofer -- and the legendary Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Keep in mind that Friday is also CPT’s free beer and wine night. 
RuPaul's Drag Race: Battle of the Seasons
Friday, Feb. 20th 7 pm
Connor Palace, Playhouse Square
$35 - $75 (VIP)
Cover girl! Put the bass in your walk. Head-to-toe, let your whole body talk! If you’re a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race, come see your favorite drag superstars come together and take the stage with their multi-talents in one fierce, funny entertaining night. The performance is hosted by head judge Michelle Visage and features Alaska 5000, BenDeLaCreme, Manila Luzon, Ivy Winters, Jinkx Monsoon, Raja & Sharon Needles plus special guest Cary Nokey. It will be an imaginative uplifting night, because as Ru would say, “When you become the image of your own imagination, it's the most powerful thing you could ever do.”
Brite Winter Festival
Saturday, Feb. 21st, 4 - 2 am
W. 25th Street, Ohio City
They’re predicting a balmy high of 35 degrees on Saturday and it’s nothing short of a Brite Winter miracle! The sixth annual music festival is set on W25th and Lorain on multiple large outdoor and indoor stages. This season’s lineup is 60 bands strong with a strong focus on local music. The event will also feature interactive outdoor art installations, and of course, fire pits and plenty of beer to keep warm.
“Brite Winter is an escape from the winter blues and it’s a free way to take a look at tons and tons of local musicians and artists. You can digest a lot in a small amount of time and truly get an idea of the arts community,” says Justin Markert, Brite program director.
Headliners include Chicago-based Maps & Atlases, Baltimore’s Sun Club and Cleveland’s Welshly Arms. The diverse lineup also includes indie rock by the Modern Electric, dance-pop by Sammy Slims, hip hop acts Muamin Collective and Archie Green, pop-rocker band These Knees, newgrass band Honeybucket and Uno Lady, known for her beautifully eccentric vocal loops. Take a look at the schedule and plan which bands you want to see.
Wizard World Comic Con
Friday, Feb. 20th 3 - 8 pm
Saturday, Feb. 21st 10 - 7 pm
Sunday, Feb. 22nd 11 - 5 pm
Cleveland Convention Center 300 Lakeside Ave.
$35 - $75 presale discount
Celebrities, artists, creators, cosplayers, vendors, gamers and programmers come together at Wizard World Comic Con!  This large-scale event hosted by Wizard World travels across North America and it’s here in Cleveland this weekend only. Dress up as your favorite character and nerd out like it’s nobody’s business.
Stars of “The Walking Dead” are scheduled to attend including Seth Gilliam (“Father Gabriel Stokes”) and Scott Wilson (“Hershel Greene”). Other guest celebrities include William Shatner (“Star Trek,” “Boston Legal”), Ian Somerhalder (“The Vampire Diaries”), Karen Gillan (“Doctor Who,” Guardians of the Galaxy), WWE Superstar Dolph Zigler, Bruce Campbell ( “Evil Dead,” “Burn Notice”) and many others.

Full price Wizard World Comic Con Cleveland Attendees will receive 'The Walking Dead #1' Limited Edition Exclusive Variant Cover By Greg Horn that are produced in extremely limited quantities (while supplies last). VIP Fans will receive an additional B&W sketch cover at registration.

Horn is best known for his artwork on Marvel titles Elektra, Emma Frost, and She­-Hulk and was also the regular cover artist on the acclaimed series Ms. Marvel by Brian Reed. “Greg has one of the largest followings of all our touring Wizard World artists, and his table is always among the brightest and busiest,” said John Macaluso, Wizard World CEO. “His work on this limited edition issue reflects that bold, colorful style and it’s a great addition to this popular The Walking Dead #1 series.”

In addition to Horn, Artist Alley in Cleveland will feature Rob Liefeld ("Deadpool," “X-Force"), Neal Adams (“Batman” “X-Men”) , Ron Frenz ("Spiderman") , Renee Witterstaetter (“She Hulk,” “Avengers”), Robert Kurtzman ("Army of Darkness"), Arthur Suydam (“Marvel Zombies,” “Army of Darkness”) and more.

Choose wisely because Comic Con can be as expensive as you make it. There are opportunities for autographs and photo opps (additional fee), Q&A panels, meet & greets, demos, workshops, table top gaming, adult and kids costume contests, and after hour parties. Kids 10 years old and younger are free. View the full schedule here.

Read more articles by Jacqueline Bon.

Jacqueline Bon is a freelance writer that has been contributing to Fresh Water Cleveland since 2014. As a journalist by trade and self-taught photographer, she has a lot of curiosity in people and their stories. She is a graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and has pursued film and digital photography for a decade. She is likely to be the first person on the dance floor, especially if you put on Prince.
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