Just over a week to go to fulfill your quota of holiday events for 2016! Music, theater and visual art openings still abound. Check out this week’s full slate of one-time happenings and join the excitement…
Many ongoing plays and displays run through the New Year and beyond. Visit our full Arts / Culture Calendar for the complete list.
Handel: “Messiah Sing-Along,” Part I and other excerpts | Dec. 19 & 21, 7:30 p.m. St. Thomas Episcopal Church
With some of Cincinnati’s premier young soloists and the excellent Bach Ensemble, led by Carlton Monroe, this sing-along has become so popular this year, a second performance has been added! Bring your score and join in with the choruses.
“A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” | Nancianne Parrella, organ, Dec. 18, 5:30 p.m.
Britten, “A Ceremony of Carols” | treble voices of Cathedral Choir, with Elizabeth Motter, harp, Dec. 20, 12:10 p.m.
No one does Christmas like the Anglicans, and here are two chances to understand why. The simplicity of a lessons and carols service is high church at its finest – readings conveying the messages of the season, enhanced by music of Bach, Brahms, Buxtehude, Dandrieu, Dupré, and others. And Benjamin Britten’s “Carols,” with it’s treble voices and the gifted Ms. Motter at the harp, may be one of the most otherworldly settings in all of music.
“Over the Rhine Christmas with the Pops” | John Morris Russell, conductor, Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m., Taft Theatre
A collaboration with Cincinnati favorite Over the Rhine. The alt-folk singing-songwriting duo typically produces its own holiday show at the Taft during the week before Christmas, so this should be an interesting experiment, melding the group’s laid-back attitude with John Morris Russell’s high-energy enthusiasm.
“Christmas Miniature Masterworks.” | Earl Rivers, conductor. Knox Choir, soloists and chamber orchestra, Dec. 18, 4 p.m., Knox Church
The excellent Knox Choir and professional soloists consistently deliver solid performances, and this should be no exception. Explore some lesser-known Christmas music by Bach (his “Christmas Oratorio” and cantata excerpts), the underappreciated Gerald Finzi, Vaughan Williams’s sublime “Fantasy on Christmas Carols” and mass excerpts by French baroque composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier.
“Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some)*” | Dec. 14-31
CincyShakes own website portrays this evening vividly: “Imagine all your fondest holiday memories in one big blender.” Things begin in straight-forward fashion, only to disintegrate into comic chaos as references pile onto one another and characters collide along the way. Every sacred cow gets slaughtered, affectionately, of course. Not a kids show, but mostly because they just won’t get the jokes! Always sells very well, so get tickets while you can.
Tyler Shields: book signing | Dec. 14, 6-9 p.m.
Creative and often controversial Hollywood photographer returns to Miller Gallery for a first visit under new owner Jayne Menke, and brings along a new book to sign. But it happens tonight (!), so get your skates (and glam) on. All the cool kids will be there. The show continues through Jan. 7.
Manifest Gallery and Walk on Woodburn
“7th Annual TAPPED”, “One 7”, the Manifest Prize, Minnesota Regional, Texas Regional and Mark Pomilio | Dec. 16-Jan. 13.
Jason Franz and crew bring a wide range of fascinating art to Cincinnati from elsewhere in new shows every month or so. Their openings are always a happening, and the centerpiece for Walk on Woodburn, the East Walnut Hills neighborhood gallery walk – and now also pub crawl – with new places in which to imbibe along the block. Go for the outstanding art. Stay for a cocktail or a pint!