Cain Park plans another summer of music and shows

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones headline Cain Park's summer 2016 season, along with Ziggy Marley, Melissa Etheridge and others.

Cain Park will be presenting another summer of great shows, starting in June with the musical "The Toxic Avenger," which will be presented June 2–26. Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Ziggy Marley, Melissa Etheridge, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy will be among the artists performing in Cain Park this summer.

"The Toxic Avenger" won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical. It’s a charming love story and hilarious musical that includes an unlikely hero, his beautiful girlfriend, a corrupt New Jersey mayor, a nun, and stiletto-wearing back-up singers. Melvin Ferd the Third wants to clean up Tromaville, the most polluted town in New Jersey. Foiled by the mayor’s bullies, Melvin is dumped in a vat of radioactive toxic washer, only to re-emerge as the Toxic Avenger. His goal is to save New Jersey, end global warming and woo the blind librarian in town.

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones will appear on June 10. This show is part of a two-week reunion tour, featuring the band’s original lineup. The group formed in 1988 and performs primarily instrumental music that draws equally on bluegrass, fusion and post-bop.

Six days later, on June 16, Ziggy Marley will appear at the park. The son of reggae legend Bob Marley, Ziggy will release his sixth solo album, Ziggy Marley, on May 20. His previous album, Fly Rasta, won the 2015 Grammy for Best Reggae Album.

The following day, June 17, native Cleveland pianist Jim Brickman will perform at the park, and a week later, on June 24, Melissa Etheridge will appear there. Since launching her career in the early '90s, Etheridge has received 15 Grammy Award nominations, and, in 2007, won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “I Need to Wake Up” from the film "An Inconvenient Truth."

The annual Cain Park Arts Festival will take place July 8, 9 and 10. The Arts Festival is a juried fine-arts and fine-crafts event, featuring the work of up to 150 artists.

On July 23, the park will present the Summer of Love Concert. The show brings back memories of the Woodstock generation, and includes live music performed by a wide range of musicians who will perform songs by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, the Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Jefferson Airplane and numerous other artists.

Starting on Sunday, July 24, the park will present free Sunday jazz concerts. The lineup was not finalized at press time.

On Aug. 11, the Cleveland Stage Alliance will present Feel the Noize: The 80s Rock Concert Cabaret. Some of Northeast Ohio’s top theater talent will come together to perform new and familiar arrangements of '80s rock hits accompanied by a live band.

Other concerts and shows are planned for the summer, but complete information was not available at press time. For more information, and updates, visit

Cleveland Heights residents will be able to purchase tickets for the summer’s shows beginning on May 21, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Cain Park ticket office. The ticket office will open to the general public on May 28.

James Henke

James Henke, a Cleveland Heights resident, was a writer and editor at Rolling Stone magazine for 15 years. He is also the author of several books, including biographies of Jim Morrison, John Lennon and Bob Marley. He is on the board of FutureHeights, and is co-chair of the Heights Observer Advisory Committee.

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Volume 9, Issue 4, Posted 10:43 AM, 03.15.2016