What to do, hear, see | Feb. 15-21

By Thom Mariner

Whether you are young parents just wanting to get your kids exposed to creativity in action, or seasoned veterans daring to be challenged and moved, Cincinnati has something for you this coming week. Read on…


Macy’s and ArtsWave share their annual arts sampler weekend, Saturday and Sunday.

Macy’s and ArtsWave share their annual arts sampler weekend, Saturday and Sunday.

ArtsWave’s Macy’s Arts Sampler Weekend

31st Annual Macy’s Arts Sampler | Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 18-19, various locations

Having just announced their 2017 campaign fundraising goal of $12.6 million, ArtsWave offers its weekend cornucopia of the arts, sponsored again by Macy’s. Touching on every art form, the annual sampler delivers dozens of FREE arts opportunities across the region Saturday. Then the focus turns to downtown Sunday, with a day full of interactivity and performances at the Masonic Center and Taft Theatre.


Jewish and Israeli Film Festival

  • “Mr. Gaga” | Wednesday, February 15, 7:30 p.m., Kenwood Theatre
  • “Wounded Land” | Thursday, February 16, 7:30 p.m., Mariemont Theatre
  • “Time to Say Goodbye” | Tuesday, February 21, 7:30 p.m., Mariemont Theatre

Month-long festival continues with three varied offerings in the coming week.

Memorial Hall

The Found Footage Festival | Friday-Saturday, Feb. 17-18, 1225 Elm St. 

Joe Pickett (“The Onion”) and Nick Prueher (“The Late Show with David Letterman”) present newly unearthed VHS gems found at thrift stores across the country, featuring:

  • a collection of satanic panic videos from the 1980s
  • outtakes and on-air bloopers from over t0 years of North Dakota local news
  • a star-studded Desert Storm parade sponsored by Taco Bell
  • highlights from David Letterman’s video collection

Sounds like a hoot!

Black Folks Make Movies 

Film maker and activist Marlon Riggs

Film maker and activist Marlon Riggs

The Screening Room, Marlon Riggs’, “Black is…Black Ain’t.” | Sunday, Feb. 19, 2 p.m., Mini Microcinema,1329 Main St., Cincinnati, OH 45202

At this new film venue on Main Street, a piercing 1994 examination of what it meant then, depending on one’s perspective, to be black in America, and all the complexities therein.

Cincinnati World Cinema 

“Valentine’s Dinner & Movie,” featured movie “Picnic,” | Saturday, Feb 18, 7 p.m. (cocktails and dinner buffet: 5:45 p.m.), Highland Country Club, 931 Alexandria Pike, Ft. Thomas, KY 41075

Take your Valentine (if you dare) to see the smoldering, shirtless William Holden and the tantalizing temptress Kim Novak in this award-winning 1955 drama directed by Joshua Logan. A special fundraiser for the nonprofit cinema.



Mercantile Library

“The Underground Railroad: A Discussion with Dhani Jones & Polk Laffoon” | Wednesday, Feb. 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 414 Walnut St., downtown.

Act quickly to hear what should be a fascinating conversation between former Bengal/now TV personality Jones and the wonderful local writer Laffoon. The subject is Colson Whitehead’s “The Underground Railroad,” winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction, in which the metaphorical “railroad” is fictionalized as an actual underground subway. I have to read this book.



Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra

“The Sound: Stan Getz Revisited,” featuring Harry Allen | Thursday, Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m., The Redmoor, 3187 Linwood Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45208

“CCJO and CAC: Art + Improv, Nearest Neighbors,” a musical response to CAC exhibit “Nearest Neighbor” | Saturday, Feb. 18, 1-1:45 p.m., Contemporary Arts Center, 44 E. Sixth St., downtown.

CCJO Chamber Ensemble: “A Tribute to Stan Getz,” featuring Harry Allen | Sunday, Feb. 19, 2 p.m., First Unitarian Church, 536 Linton St., Cincinnati, OH 45219

The CCJO returns with not one, but three programs this weekend. The whole big band channels legendary saxman Getz on Thursday. Then a CCJO chamber ensemble takes a different look at the master on Sunday, in the intimate sanctuary where the Linton Music Series hosts its concerts. Sandwiched in between is a musical response to new art at the CAC. Love it.

Collegium Cincinnati

“CantataFest” | Saturday, Feb. 18, 4 p.m., Christ Church Cathedral, 318 E. Fourth St.

Bach wrote more than 209 cantatas in his lifetime, having to crank out new ones for each Sunday and every holiday while at Thomaskirche in Leipzig. He was a busy boy! In another Cincinnati Early Music Festival concert, you have the chance to experience five cantatas, thanks to Chris Eanes and Collegium Cincinnati, with special guests: Cincinnati Boychoir, Christ Church Cathedral Choir, Walnut Hills High School Chamber Choir and Edgecliff Vocal Ensemble of Xavier University. A cantata smorgasbord.

Legendary baroque cellist Jaap term Linden comes to the Cincinnati Early Music Festival, Sunday, at Christ Church.

Legendary baroque cellist Jaap ter Linden comes to the Cincinnati Early Music Festival, Sunday, at Christ Church.

Catacoustic Consort

“The Baroque Cello,” Jaap ter Linden | Sunday, Feb. 19, 3 p.m., Christ Church Cathedral, 318 E. Fourth St.

One of the leading figures in early music for the past several decades, Jaap ter Linden makes what I think is his first solo Cincinnati appearance as part of the Cincinnati Early Music Festival. Earlier in his career, he was principal cellist for such iconic ensembles as Musica Antiqua Köln, The English Concert and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra. You get to hear his warm, lush sound in the gracious acoustics of Christ Church, downtown. What a treat.



It’s hard to imagine this much coincidental Shakespeare without someone at the helm. Not only do you have the baddest dude in English history starring at Cincy Shakes (“Richard III”), there are also competing “Complete Works of…” at Sunset Players and Xavier, and “historical”/hysterical playwrights actually competing with Shakespeare in “Something Rotten!” at the Broadway series. To top it all off are all the Shakespearian twists and turns – and cross-dressing – in that most famous of all midnight musicals, “Rocky Horror” at the Incline Theater. What a week!

“Rocky Horror” opens this week at Warsaw Federal Incline Theater. Photo by Mikki Schaffner

“Rocky Horror” opens this week at Warsaw Federal Incline Theater. Photo by Mikki Schaffner

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

“Richard III” | Wednesday, Feb. 15-March 11, 719 Race St.

Cincinnati Landmark Productions

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” | Thursday, Feb. 16-March 5, Warsaw Federal Incline Theater, 801 Matson Place, Cincinnati, OH 45204

Xavier University

“The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]” | Thursday-Sunday, Feb. 16-19, 3800 Victory Pkwy., Cincinnati, OH 45207

Sunset Players

 “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]” | Friday-Saturday, Feb. 17-18, plus Feb. 24-26 & March 2-4, 1945 Dunham Way, Cincinnati, OH 45238

Broadway Across America 

“Something Rotten!”| Tuesday, Feb. 21-March 5, Procter & Gamble Hall, Aronoff Center, downtown. 



Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum

“Transformation V,” part of “Currents,” an exhibit by Michelle L. Martin McDulin

“Transformation V,” part of “Currents,” an exhibit by Michelle L. Martin McDulin

Currents” by Michelle L. Martin McDulin | Friday, Feb. 17, 5:30-8:30 p.m., 1763 Hamilton-Cleves Rd., State Route 128, Hamilton, OH 45013

If you haven’t visited the impressive Pyramid Hill park yet, here’s an interesting opportunity. Artist McDulin is inspired by the rhythms of nature. This is one of a monthly series of art openings throughout the year.

Woman’s Art Club

Tuesday Night Painters | Thursday, Feb. 16, 6-8 p.m. Runs through Feb. 28. 6980 Cambridge Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45227

This is the first exhibit following two years of preparation by a group of emerging artists. The Barn is a beautifully restored historic barn built at the request of Mariemont founder Mary Emery in 1924. It now serves as the Woman’s Art Club Cultural Center. Who knows, maybe you’ll get inspired…?

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