Holiday music reaches its crescendo this weekend, so get out there and grab some. Plus, a certain little dance number from the Ballet returns to the new Music Hall…and so much more from which to choose…
Cincinnati Ballet | Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-621-5219
- Dec. 14-24. Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker”
This latest production of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” (premiered in 2011) has been a huge success, thanks to its sumptuous beauty and playful choreography by artistic director Victoria Morgan. This remains an iconic tradition of the Queen City – a must-see if you haven’t, and worthwhile even if you have, especially now that the show has returned to the grandeur of renovated Music Hall.
City Flea | Washington Park, Over-the-Rhine 45202
- Dec. 16, 5-10 p.m. Holiday Market
This curated eclectic fair features a wide range of top quality arts and crafts, items you’ll never find at the mall. So bundle up and join other brave souls for some brisk browsing before dinner or after happy hour.
Price Hill Will | Warsaw Avenue Firehouse, 3120 Warsaw Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45205. 513-251-3800
- Thursday, Dec. 14, 7 p.m. Price Hillharmonic in concert
- Friday, Dec. 15, 6-9 p.m. Price Hill Las Posadas
This emerging neighborhood continues to impress with an array of events celebrating the heritage of it residents. Las Posadas is based on the 400-year-old Mexican holiday festival that honors the inn where Christ was born. The neighborhood orchestra (Doesn’t yours have one? 😉 was inspired by and includes students from MYCincinnati, the highly successful after-school music program, as well as adults. The party on Friday features traditional piñatas, food, music and dancing.
The Mini Microcinema | People’s Liberty, 1805 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
- Thursday, Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m. The Best of Mini Microcinema
The Mini returns to its birthplace for one night only, with a selection of previously programmed short films curated by director of The Mini, C. Jacqueline Wood. Only an hour long, the program includes work by Roger Beebe, Tony Buba, Kelly Gallagher, Marc Governanti, Terence Nance, Terri Sarris and Frank Pahl, Mónica Savirón and Charles Woodman.
Women’s Art Club / ARTflix | 6980 Cambridge Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45227. 513-272-3700
- Thursday, Dec. 14, 7 p.m. “Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict” (2015 documentary)
This is a cinematic profile of one of the most fascinating and eccentric personalities of the 20th century, a dynamic presence in the world of contemporary art who amassed one of the great private collections, of both art and artists.
School for Creative & Performing Arts | 108 W. Central Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45202
- Dec. 15, 7 p.m. Alton Fitzgerald White: “My Pride: Mastering Life’s Daily Performance”
In collaboration with Joseph-Beth Booksellers, SCPA presents distinguished alum White discussing and signing his new book, which details his journey from the housing projects of Cincinnati to the heights of Broadway. He’s the only African American actor to have played a lead role in five hit shows: “Miss Saigon,” “Smokey Joe’s Café,” “Ragtime,” “The Color Purple” and “The Lion King.” (Maybe you can convince him to sing?) Tickets
Bach Ensemble of St. Thomas | St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 100 Miami Ave., Terrace Park, OH 45174. 513-831-2052
- Monday, Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m. “Messiah Sing-Along,” Handel’s Messiah, Part 1 and other excerpts
If you long to sing “Messiah,” but haven’t time or talent to join one of the area’s top-notch choirs, here’s your chance to “Hallelujah.” Bring your own score, or they will provide you with one. Carlton Monroe leads members of the excellent Bach Ensemble, a cast of soloists and, possibly, you!
Christ Church Cathedral | 318 E. Fourth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-621-1817
- Tuesday, Dec. 19, 12:10 p.m. Britten: “A Ceremony of Carols”
This 11-part song cycle, accompanied by harp, is Britten’s holiday gift to the world, a wondrous blend of ancient and new. The treble voices of the well-schooled Christ Church choir have been performing this work for many years during the week before Christmas. How about making this one of your own traditions, followed by a festive lunch downtown?
Cincinnati Arts Association | Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-621-2787
- Friday, Dec. 15, 4 p.m. & 8 p.m. “98° at Christmas”
- Sunday, Dec. 17, 7 p.m. Mannheim Steamroller
Pop icons take over the Aronoff this weekend. Cincinnati’s own 98° brings music from its latest release, “Let it Snow.” “Let it Snow.” SCPA grads Nick Lachey, Drew Lachey, Justin Jeffre and Jeff Timmons perform a wide range of seasonal pop hits with their signature tight harmonies and R&B stylings. The 4 p.m. show was added to serve as a fundraiser for Lachey’s employee Ellie Richardson, who is recovering from a gunshot wound suffered while leaving work.
Mannheim Steamroller, led by Chip Davis became a sensation four decades ago, and still tours to large crowds each December with its synthesized symphonic treatments of holiday tunes.
Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra | The Redmoor, 3187 Linwood Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45208 513-280-8181
- Thursday, Dec. 14, 7 p.m. “Nutcracker Remix”
Inspired by Duke Ellington’s classic arrangements of Tchaikovsky’s melodies, several members of the CCJO have taken their own turns at twisting “Nutcracker” tunes to fit the talents of their outstanding big band, joined by vocalist Aida Dobbins.
Contemporary Arts Center | 44 E. Sixth St., Cincinnati, OH 513-345-2941
- Wednesday, Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m. Ivo Dimchev: Live In Concert
Bulgarian choreographer and performer Dimchev makes his Cincinnati debut, performing his new album “Sculptures.” While his voice is legendary, Dimchev’s performances go beyond singing. Immersive and multisensory, they combine dance, theatre, performance art, music, drawings, and photography.
Salon21 | Weston Art Gallery, Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-977-4165
- Wednesday, Dec. 13, 7 p.m. “Shifting Conversations”: Rebecca Culnan, violin; Jill Jantzen, piano
Rebecca Culnan retired this past year from the Cincinnati Symphony so she could say “yes” to opportunities like this one, and play more chamber music – a real treat for us. BONUS: You get to peruse the current exhibits at the Weston Gallery.
St. Rose Church | 2501 Riverside Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-871-1162
- Dec. 17, 4 p.m. “On Earth Peace,” Trevor Kroeger, conductor
You know St. Rose; its steeple rises up from the north bank of the Ohio along Riverside Drive, about halfway between downtown and Lunken Airport. Organist/choirmaster Trevor Kroeger has assembled a fine 16-voice ensemble consisting primarily of CCM students and recent grads. The centerpiece is the seldom-heard “In Terra Pax,” by 20th century British composer Gerald Finzi, for choir and chamber orchestra.
Vocal Arts Ensemble | Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-381-3300
- Friday, Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m. “A Candlelit Christmas”
- Saturday, Dec. 17, 4 p.m. Encore
VAE has been at the pinnacle of choral singing in the Queen City for nearly four decades. Emeritus music director Earl Rivers returns to lead these concerts spanning the centuries, from sacred to, well, even a little silly, in the best possible way! The fine Canterbury Brass add to the experience. VAE is now ensconced in its new concert home – the lovingly restored and upgraded Memorial Hall.
OTRImprov | Arnold’s Bar and Grill, 210 E. Eighth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-300-5669
- Dec. 13-14, 19-21, 26-28, 7:30 p.m. “The Naughty List,” an improvised dinner show
In collaboration with Know Theatre, OTRimprov takes over the patio at Arnold’s to “celebrate, skewer, lament, embellish, and extol everything we love, and love to hate, about the holidays.” The beauty of improv is that you’ll see a unique show each night…
Additional theatrical holiday offerings are in progress at several area theaters.
Clifton Cultural Arts Center | 3711 Clifton Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45220. 513-497-2860
- Friday, Dec. 15, 6-8 p.m. “Beyond the Lens”
Cincinnati-based photographers Lynn Arnsperger, Rob Beckham and Marc Wavra offer their individual investigations of landscape, rural and urban, both natural and as affected by human contact. The exhibit runs through Jan. 12.
Dick Waller’s Art Place | 130 W. Court St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
- Friday, Dec. 15, 5-7 p.m. Holiday Open House:
The seemingly ageless former CSO clarinetist Waller extends his “second act” with new abstract paintings. This show also includes large-scale light sculptures by Indianapolis artists Owens + Crawley, wall-sized oil paintings by Lexington’s Joyce Garner, and a display by Cincinnati Region Origami Art Society.
Walk on Woodburn | Intersection of Madison and Woodburn avenues, Cincinnati, OH 45206
- Friday, Dec. 15. 6-9 p.m. Gallery, boutique and pub crawl
This neighborhood happening, and perhaps the resurgence of this several block area, developed out of the successful art openings at Manifest Gallery, of which there are four separate small shows this time around.
The “8th Annual Tapped” exhibit shares paired works by artists and their teachers. There are regional showcases of work from artists in both Illinois and Pennsylvania, and Manifest showcases the winner of its annual prize, “One 8.” The winner, selected after multiple levels of jury review – 1,060 works by 335 artists from 44 states and 15 countries by a total of 18 volunteer jurors from across the U.S. – will be announced at a preview event, Thursday, Dec. 14, 6-9 p.m.
In addition, to Manifest, Ledge Gallery presents a one-evening show at 2718 Woodburn Ave. entitled “Authenticity of Abstraction: The Triadic Structure’s Synthesis through Photosynthesis,” works by Tiffany Hudson – deconstructions of the botanical works of James Audubon.
There are numerous shops nearby, including M&M supporter Indigenous, which just moved to East Walnut Hills from O’Bryonville, plus several inviting restaurants and drinking establishments.