By Thomas Consolo
Silent night? Hardly. The Queen City is filled with the sights and sounds of the holiday season, and the flurry of activity – apparently the closest we’re getting to a white Christmas this year – reaches its peak this weekend. Whether it’s family fun or a grownup date, pick from these options…if you have time.
Cincinnati Ballet | Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-621-5282.
- Through Dec. 24 “The Nutcracker”
Ten lords a-leaping and nine ladies dancing? It’s waiting for you at perhaps Cincinnati’s oldest continuing arts tradition. Cincinnati Ballet tweaks the production every year to keep it fresh, plus this is the first year in renovated Music Hall.
The Mini Microcinema | 1329 Main St., Cincinnati, OH 45202;
- Dec. 21, 7:30 p.m. “Home (Movies) for the Holidays
- Dec. 22, 7:30 p.m. & 10 p.m. “Everything Beautiful is Far Away”
Movies and Christmas go together like wassail and caroling. If you’d like something a little more off the beaten path than the latest space opera – you know what we mean – The Mini might be for you. Thursday night serves up a collection of holiday-themed films from the Kentucky Amateur Film Archives accompanied by holiday music. On Friday are two showings of an award winner from the 2017 Los Angeles Film Festival. An unlikely trio teams up to find a mythical lake that could be the key to their survival on a barren planet.
The Bach Ensemble of St. Thomas | St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 100 Miami Ave., Terrace Park, OH 45174; 513-831-2052
- Dec. 24, 10:30 p.m. “Midnight Mass”
OK, technically, it’s not quite a midnight performance, but the region’s Bach-centric ensemble offers up a Christmas Eve performance of the cantata “Bereitet die Wege” (Prepare the Ways), BWV 132.
Steve Schmidt and Friends | The Comet, 4579 Hamilton Ave., Cincinnati OH 45223; 513-541-8900
- Dec. 20-22, 7 p.m. “Xmas Schmidtacular”
It sounds like another crazy scheme from “New Girl,” but no: It’s one of Cincinnati’s best holiday jazz traditions. Jazz organist Steve Schmidt and friends get together for holiday shows – two sets each night – again at Northside’s venerable Comet. The salsa of the month is verde, so be ready for a hot time.
Cincinnati Landmark Productions | Covedale Center for the Performing Arts, 4990 Glenway Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45238; 513-241-6550.
- Through Dec. 23: “Annie”
Last call on this production of the classic musical based on the long-running comic strip. The sun will come out for three more tomorrows – through Saturday night.
ONGOING HOLIDAY EXHIBITS AND SHOWS
If you still haven’t made your holiday entertainment plans, there’s plenty already up and running through at least the next week. Here’s our short list, but act fast; many of these are nearly sold out.
- “A Christmas Carol”: Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-421-3888.
- Antique Christmas: Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-241-0343.
- Cincinnati Choo-Choo: Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-421-5707.
- “The Dancing Princesses”: Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, 1127 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-421-3555.
- “Every Christmas Story Ever Told”: Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 1195 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-381-2273.
- Holiday Junction: Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45203; 513-287-7000.
- “The Naughty List”: OTRimprov/Know Theatre at Arnold’s, 210 E. Eighth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-300-5669.