Weez-a-palooza is cancer benefit in singer’s memory

Assorted ramblings from the world of entertainment:

l Louise Hathaway, known in the local music scene as Madam Weez, played many benefits for many causes during her lifetime.

Hathaway died last November after a long batter with cancer, but her friends and fellow musicians are continuing that tradition with Weez-a-palooza on Sunday at Jack’s / Y-Two in Howland.

Scheduled to perform are Neutron Falls, Peacework, Fetish, Hat Trickz, Crooked House, Blue Siren and Gold Dust Woman, the Stevie Nicks tribute band that Hathaway fronted.

Doors open at 11 a.m. and the music starts at noon. Admission is a donation of $10, and there also will be a Chinese auction and 50/50 raffle. Proceeds will benefit the Hope Center for Cancer Care in Howland.

l Youngstown native Donna J. Huntley will be part of the cast when “Menopause the Musical” returns to the Mahoning Valley tonight at Powers Auditorium.

Huntley, who was a member of the R&B group Company B, has played both the Professional Woman and the Soap Star in the nationally touring show off and on since 2004. She also has appeared in several Youngstown Playhouse productions in recent years, including “Chicago,” “The Shadow Box” and “Our Lady of 121st Street.”

Tickets for the 8 p.m. show range from $27 to $57.

l A national tour of “Rent” is playing at Playhouse Square’s Connor Palace in Cleveland, and one tradition from the original Broadway production is continuing.

The producers of the original production made $20 tickets available when “Rent” moved to Broadway from a smaller Off-Broadway location in 1996.

A ticket lottery for seats in the first two rows of the theater will take place before each Cleveland show. Sign-ups begin 2 1/2 hours before each performance, with names being drawn two hours before curtain. Winners must be present at the time of the drawing in order to purchase the $20 tickets, and winners are limited to two tickets per person.

The top tickets in Cleveland are $109 and even the cheap seats in the balcony are $29, so those who have some time kill might want to gamble on the lottery.

“Rent” runs through March 25, and show times are 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

l The Dead Boys, the ’70s punk band fronted by Girard native Stiv Bators, is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of its Sire Records debut, “Young, Loud & Snotty,” with a tour that will play the Beachland Ballroom on June 29.

Bators, who died in 1990 after being struck by a car in Paris, obviously won’t be there, but co-founder and guitar player Cheetah Chrome and original drummer Johnny Blitz are part of the current lineup.

Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door and are available through TicketWeb.

l The 42nd Cleveland International Film Festival announced its opening and closing night films last week.

“The Drummer and the Keeper,” an Irish film about a reckless bipolar drummer and a teenager with Asberger’s Syndrome, will open the festival on April 4 at Tower City Cinemas. Director Nick Kelly, producer Kate McColgan and actors Dermot Murphy (who plays Bob Geldof in the upcoming Freddie Mercury biofilm “Bohemian Rhapsody”) and Jacob McCarthy (who can be seen on the NBC sitcom “A.P. Bio”) will be in attendance.

Closing the festival on April 15 will be “Borg vs. McEnroe,” which focuses on the rivalry between tennis stars Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. Shia LaBeouf plays McEnroe and Sverrir Gudnason is Borg in a drama that culminates at the 1980 Wimbledon Championship.

CIFF will release its entire lineup of 214 features and 253 short film at 11 a.m. Friday online at www.clevelandfilm.org. Tickets will go on sale to CIFF members starting at 11 a.m. March 16 and to the general public at 11 a.m. March 23.

Andy Gray is the entertainment writer for the Tribune Chronicle. Write to him at agray@tribtoday.com