By Thomas Consolo
For many in the Tri-state, especially those near a river, torrential rains and rising waters made the last week a little stressful. If life has drained your spiritual tank, we have a few ideas for refueling it – most of them on high ground. It’s a particularly rich music weekend.
College-Conservatory of Music | University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221; 513-556-4183
- Thursday-Saturday, March 1-3: Student choreographer showcase
Experience the next generation of choreographers as CCM dance majors take the stage in the Cohen Family Studio Theater in exciting and diverse new works. Andre Megerdichian directs. Three 8 o’clock performances, plus a 2 p.m. show on Saturday. And it’s even free.
Glenwood Gardens | 10397 Springfield Pike, Woodlawn, OH 45215; 513-771-8733
- Wednesday, Feb. 28-March 4: Maple Syrup Days
You’ve seen the snowdrops already, so you know Mother Nature is revving up for spring. That includes getting the sap flowing in maple trees. Explore the process that turns sap into your pancake topping at Glenwood Gardens’ Highfield Discovery Garden. Several demonstrations daily; continues March 7-11.
The Mini Microcinema | 1329 Main St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
- Thursday, March 1, 7:30 p.m.: “La Ciénaga”
- Saturday, March 3, 11 a.m.: Lil’s and Lils/CAC Artplay
- Tuesday, March 6, 7:30 p.m.: “Bamboozled”
The latest eclectic mix from our friends at the Mini starts with Argentinian director Lucrecia Martel’s 2001 visceral take on class, nature, sexuality and the ways political turmoil and social stagnation manifest in relationships. Lil’s bagels and Iris Book Cafe coffee return for Saturday’s animation shorts for children, followed by a kid-friendly filmmaking workshop by the Contemporary Arts Center. (CAC provides the equipment; 20 participant maximum.) Tuesday’s screening of Spike Jones’ 2000 dark satire on culture, commerce and racism is presented by the University of Cincinnati history department and the Zane Miller Symposium.
The Mercantile Library | 414 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-621-0717
- Thursday, March 2, 6 p.m.: John Darnielle, “Universal Harvester”
- Tuesday, March 6, 7:30 p.m.: Min Jin Lee, “Pachinko”
Two authors visit the warm, wood-lined Mercantile this week. North Carolina’s John Darnielle is the writer, composer, guitarist and vocalist for the band the Mountain Goats. Min Jin Lee went to Yale, where she was awarded prizes for writing, and to law school at Georgetown University. “Pachinko” is a National Book Awards finalist.
Memorial Hall | 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-977-8838
- Thursday, March 1, 8 p.m.: Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Most Americans discovered this high-powered South African chorus through “Graceland,” the 1986 Paul Simon album. LBM was around well before Simon, though, and they’re still going strong – with some second-generation members – after him. Experience the energy in person.
Constella Festival | 513-549-7175
- Friday, March 2, 6 p.m.: Constella Digital: Cincinnati Renaissance Project (at 21c Museum Hotel, 609 Walnut St., Cincinnati OH 45202)
- Saturday, March 3, 7:30 p.m.: Not So Classical: “The Story of Love” (at Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202)
The second weekend of the Constella Festival offers two multimedia programs. See Episode 2 of the Cincinnati Renaissance Project, reflecting the Queen City’s urban resurgence, Friday. On Saturday, short films and short classical pieces mix in a live performance. Festival founder Tatiana Berman, violin, and Zhang Zuo, piano, provide the live music. The love theme continues after Saturday’s concert with a special exhibit of art by couples.
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra | 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-621-1919
- Friday-Saturday, March 2-3, 8 p.m.: “German Masters”
If the city’s German heritage means more to you than Bockfest and beer, this all-orchestral program is for you. Wagner’s “Siegfried Idyll” and the Prelude and Love-Death from “Tristan und Isolde” are the warm-ups; the main event is Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4, the “Romantic.” Marek Janowski, music director for 15 years of the Berlin Radio Symphony, conducts.
Xavier University Jazz Series | 3800 Victory Pkwy., Cincinnati, OH 45207; 513-745-3000
- Sunday, March 4, 7 p.m.: Jason Moran and the Bandwagon
If a weekend plate of heavy Teutonics isn’t your cup of tea, how about some jazz? Pianist and composer (including ballet and film) Jason Moran brings along his trio, the Bandwagon (Tarus Mateen and Nasheet Waits), to the Gallagher Theater.
Knox Presbyterian Church | 3400 Michigan Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45208; 513-321-2573
- Sunday, March 4, 3 p.m.: “The Creation”
Just one of Cincinnati’s embarrassing artistic riches is the breadth of its church music offerings. Hyde Park’s Knox Presbyterian Church has long been a mainstay, offering choral masterworks in artistically fulfilling performances by the Knox Choir and the area’s finest freelancers. This pre-Easter season, it’s Haydn’s “The Creation,” Parts I and II, conducted by Earl Rivers.
Miami Opera Theater | 501 S. Patterson Ave., Oxford, OH 45056; 513-529-3079
- Thursday-Saturday, March 1-3: “Ghost Stories”
Opera is generally a summer sport in Greater Cincinnati, but there are welcome exceptions. Miami University’s Opera Theater takes the stage of the Gates-Abegglen Theater to offer a pair of not-so-well-known, one-act chamber operas whose focus is death. It’s worth the trip north just for Gustav Holst’s rare “Savitri,” about as far from the bombastic world of “The Planets” as possible. Rounding out the double bill is Gian Carlo Menotti’s drama “The Medium.”
It’s another big opening week on the boards of Cincinnati, with four new productions at four theaters:
- Cincinnati Shakespeare Company: “Othello” – Jealousy and revenge cast “the net that shall enmesh them all.” (Opens Friday, March 2, in the Otto M. Budig Theater; 1195 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-421-3888.)
- Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati: “Red Velvet” – A perfect bookend to CSC. What happens when a black actor steps in to the lead role in an 1830s London production of “Othello”? The net threatens to enmesh them all, too. (Opens Tuesday, March 6; 1127 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-421-3555.)
- Know Theatre of Cincinnati: “Kill Move Paradise” – Newly deceased Isa, Daz, Grif and Tiny try to make sense of the world from which they were ripped and their new Netherworld paradise in this new, racially charged, expressionistic drama. (Opens Friday, March 2; 1120 Jackson St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-300-5669.)
- Playhouse in the Park: “Marie and Rosetta” – The musical story of the Sister Rosetta Tharpe-Marie Knight duet. Tharpe was a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee who played and sang Gospel by day and swing by night. (Opens Saturday, March 3, in the Marx Theater; 962 Mount Adams Circle, Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-421-3888.)
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center | 50 E. Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-333-7500
- Through Saturday, March 3: The Kinsey Collection
Over four decades of marriage, Bernard and Shirley Kinsey have amassed one of the largest collections of African American art, artifacts and documents, spanning 400 years. This week is your last chance to see it in town.
Plus, two openings of note…
The Carnegie | 1028 Scott Blvd., Covington, KY 41011. 859-491-2030
- Friday, March 2, 5-8 p.m. “Not to Scale” and “It’s a Beautiful Mess”
“It’s a Beautiful Mess,” curated by Krista Gregory, focuses on the way in which an artist’s studio process is translated into a gallery setting. In “Not to Scale,” artists Anissa Lewis and Mary Clare Rietz explore neighborhoods, the people that inhabit and activate those neighborhoods and the challenges they face. Shows run through April 29.
Caza Sikes | 3078 Madison Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45209. 513-290-3127
- Friday, March 2, 6-9 p.m. Works by Patrick Adams and Rick Koehler
This show features the detailed realism of Rick Koehler and the free-flowing abstraction of Patrick Adams. Both artists focus on the deep serenity and beauty of nature. Through March 31.