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Fans of country music -- and country hunks -- will want to head to Cleveland's Gund Arena. 1 Center



Published: Thu, August 4, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Fans of country music -- and country hunks -- will want to head to Cleveland's Gund Arena. 1 Center Court, in to hear the rockin' refrains of one of country's kings, Kenny Chesney. Concert starts at 7:30.

If you missed the movie that catapulted Chesney's new wife -- Renee Zellweger --to the big-time, now's your chance to see the play. "Chicago" will play a limited two-day engagement -- Friday and Saturday -- at State Theater on Cleveland's Playhouse Square. Both shows are at 8. After touring in Japan, the cast will return for a week of performances in Pittsburgh. Stay tuned.

If you're more into high-brow entertainment, "Shakespeare In the Park" will present "Julius Caesar" at 8 p.m. in Salem's Waterworth Memorial Park. Admission is free, but donations are gladly accepted.

Boomers can revisit their youth today at the Pink Floyd tribute concert at 4 in downtown Akron. Check it out at www.lock3live.com.

Round up the kids today and head to & quot;Kidsfest 2005 & quot; from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 'Kidfest' at arts center at the Ashtabula Arts Center. This free fun day features a parade theme and kids can try walking on stilts, making masks, instruments and banners and learning to juggle. Hot dogs and popcorn will be sold for 50 cents each and pop for $1 a bottle. Picnic lunches are welcome.

The annual Firestone Park Festival of the Arts opens at 10 today at Firestone Recreational Park in Columbiana. Support our area artists. Ka-ching.

Ready for some romance? Grab your sweetie and head to Blossom Music Center at 8 tonight to hear the swaying refrains of Gershwin in the night. Presented by Blossom Festival Band, with some extra string players.

For some more powerful, inspirational music -- and the inevitable hand-clappin' and foot-stompin' -- check out the third annual Gospel Fest starting at 3 at Lock3Live, downtown Akron. Details can be found at www.lock3live.com.

Take your pick -- Boardman or Warren -- for concert music today. Boardman Community Orchestra will play in the high school auditorium, 7777 Glenwood Ave., and the W.D. Packard Concert Band, with euphonium soloist Tim Shade, will play at Packard Music Hall, 1703 Mahoning Ave., Warren. Both shows start at 7.

Pat Benatar will grace the House of Blues stage at 7 at 308 Euclid Ave., Cleveland. And you Neil Diamond fans should head to the Gund at 8 tonight to hear his concert. Ticketmaster has the seats.

A Reptile & amp; Raptor Exhibit will be open from 11-5 today at the MetroParks Farm, 7574 Columbia-Canfield Road, Canfield.

For a more serene, inspiring afternoon, try the Gospel Lunch Cruise from 2-4 on Pittsburgh's Gateway Clipper Fleet. Catch the ride at 350 West Station Square Drive. Call (412) 355-7980 for directions.

On Thursday, catch Coldplay with Black Mountain at 7:30 at the Post-Gazette Pavilion in Burgettstown, Pa. Or head for the wild side with the Carnival of Sins Tour featuring Motley Crue and Sum 41, starting at 6 at Blossom. "The Loudest Show on Earth" promises firebreathing midgets, aerial displays and "assorted freaks and geeks," according its press release. And this tour brings back all of Crue's original members.

Friday presents a couple jammin' concert choices: Brooks & amp; Dunn at 8 at Blossom or Destiny's Child at 7 at the Gund, Cleveland.

For some sports spectator fun, check out the AND 1 Mix Tape Tour features the best playground BB players battling it out on the court with specially invited local street players. 7 Saturday at the Gund. The event will be filmed for later release on ESPN.

The Backstreet Boys will have the girls screaming again at 7:30 Aug. 17 at the Post-Gazette Pavilion, but the easy listening crowd will opt for Tony Bennett that night. 8 at the State on Playhouse Square, Cleveland.

Lookin' for a little country? Clay Aiken will sing at 8:30 Aug. 24 at Scene Pavilion, 2014 Sycamore St. in the Cleveland Flats (Ticketmaster) and Alan Jackson will perform with Sara Evans and The Wrights at 7:30 Aug. 25 at the Post-Gazette pavilion (www.postgazettepavilion.com).

Also Aug. 25, "Summer Storm" featuring Norman Brown on guitar with the sweet vocal sounds of Peabo Bryson and Everette Harp on sax at 8, State Theater, 1501 Euclid, Cleveland. Call (800) 766-6048 or visit playhousesquare.com.




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