What to do, hear, see | May 24-30

Company in town for the upcoming holiday weekend? Desperate for things to do? We have you covered, rain or shine! Enjoy!


Cincinnati Museum Center | Union Terminal, Queensgate. 513-287-7000

  • Opens Thursday, May 25. “Star Wars and the Power of Costume”

This highly anticipated exhibit was announced with great fanfare (Literally, I was there!) last winter. The exhibit displays and examines the process of designing more than 60 original costumes from all seven films in the series. Pulled from the collection of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, the exhibit is a partnership of the museum, the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and Lucasfilm. If you are a fan, that’s about all you’ll need to hear. If you’re not, May the Force Be With You… Runs through Oct. 1.



Taste of Cincinnati | Fifth Street, downtown, east of Main Street

  • Saturday, May 27, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 28, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • Monday, May 29, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Shifting its location just slightly to allow the streetcar to function throughout (good, easy solution), this massive testament (500,000 people) to gastronomic excess extends throughout the coming weekend. Skirt the crowd and skip the stuff you can grab via the drive-thru – try something new. Be bold! For beer lovers, the selection of craft beers seems to be better than in the past. Enjoy … but not too much. (And wear your sunscreen!)



The Mini Microcinema | 1329 Main St., Over-the-Rhine

  • Thursday, May 25, 7:30 p.m. “Up This Hill”
‘Up This Hill’ at The Mini

‘Up This Hill’ at The Mini

This is the first feature-length documentary from Cleveland-based Paul Sobota, as he follows a group of Cleveland teens who travel to Harlan, Kentucky, to build homes for low-income families. The film captures both the tribulations and eventual triumphs these kids experienced through physical effort and generosity.



Art of the Piano | Werner Recital Hall, College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati

  • Tuesday, May 30-June 17. “Art of the Piano”
Art of the Piano faculty member Barry Douglas

Art of the Piano faculty member Barry Douglas

Awadagin Pratt doesn’t do anything halfway. If you’ve ever watched him play the piano, you understand – an assault weapon with 10 fingers – and artistic sensibilities. So when he decided to create this festival of teaching the piano, he reached out to the very best, and the result is two weeks of recitals and masterclasses by 14 world-class faculty artists – classical, jazz and in between. Care to learn more? Read our May feature article here

Blue Ash/Montgomery Symphony | Blue Ash Towne Square. 513-549-2197

  • Monday, May 29, 6 p.m. “American Memories/Heroes and Outlaws”
Conductor Michael Chertock

Conductor Michael Chertock

Michael Chertock is one of the most gifted musicians in this part of the country. First and foremost he is a spectacular pianist (CSO and beyond), but also a university professor (CCM), organist (St. Barnabas), composer/arranger and longtime conductor of this fine orchestra made up of some of the best freelancers in the region. His patriotic programs for our three summer holidays are always a treat for the whole family. This concert features works by Vivaldi (with mandolin players Evan Marshall and Brian Oberlin), Copland and Mussorgsky. In case of rain, head to Sycamore Junior High.

May Festival | Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., downtown. 513-381-3000

  • Friday, May 26. Elgar, “The Dream of Gerontius.” Michael Francis, conductor
  • Saturday, May 27. J.S. Bach, “Mass in B Minor.” Harry Bicket conductor

Weekend No. 2 of the 2017 May Festival offers two dramatic evenings from completely different aesthetics, and led by masterful British conductors. Elgar’s “Gerontius” is steeped in late Romantic grandeur. As Part 2 of the Festival’s “Dream Project,” this Victorian should be ripe for Gerard McBurney’s multimedia enhancements and theatrical flair. Bach’s masterpiece is considered by some (e.g. Paavo Järvi, Robert Porco) to be the greatest composition in Western music. Go find out why.



Isaac Selya of Queen City Opera

Isaac Selya

Queen City Opera | Arts Center at Dunham, 1945 Dunham Way, West Price Hill. 513-503-8323

  • May 26, 8 p.m. “Don Giovanni,” by Mozart
  • May 28, 3 p.m. Encore of previous

What was founded by conductor Isaac Selya as Queen City Chamber Opera in 2012 has now morphed into Queen City Opera. As the company repertoire has evolved from lesser-known smaller-scale works to scaled-back presentations of the standard repertoire over the past few years, this name change makes sense. Selya is intrepid and talented, and he attracts the best talent CCM, current and recently graduated, can provide, onstage, offstage and in the pit. Here’s a chance to hear Mozart’s infamous dramedy about the man we all love to hate, sung by those soon to shape the future of opera.



‘Damn Yankees’

‘Damn Yankees’

Cincinnati Landmark Productions | Warsaw Federal Incline Theater, East Price Hill. 513-241-6550

  • Wednesday, May 24-June 18. “Damn Yankees”

Not too far away, in East Price Hill, is an immensely different tale with spookily sinister operatic tendencies. Instead of the devilish Don Juan of Mozart, this is a modern twist on Goethe’s tale – a baseball-playing Faust sells his soul to the devil. But this time love wins out. Perfect summer fare. Play ball!

Fringe Festival | Over-the-Rhine, and environs

  • Tuesday, May 30-June 11
'Pones’ ‘Place/Setting’ part of The Fringe

Pones’ ‘Place/Setting’ – part of The Fringe

If “Kinda Weird. Like You.” speaks to your inner quirky, Fringe is for you. The festival transforms Over-the-Rhine into a nightly theatrical scavenger hunt played by hundreds at a time. “What show are you seeing next?” is the ongoing mantra of devotees as they pass on the street, longing to pack in as many shows as possible. Sound like fun? It is. Come on down. We hope to see you.



Art Beyond Boundaries | 1410 Main St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-421-8726

  • Friday, May 26, 6-9 p.m. “Doorways to the Soul”

Jymi Bolden has been displaying art created by and in support of artists with disabilities for going on a dozen years now. The gallery operates as the centerpiece of the arts program for the Center for Independent Living Options (CILO) Inc. These openings are always eclectic (paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures) and vibrant, with a fun, diverse crowd, and you get to check out the unique, emerging scene that is Main Street/OTR. Grab a boozy shake next door at The Buzzed Bull! Runs through July 10.

Cincinnati Art Museum | Eden Park. 513-721-2787

  • May 26, 5-9 p.m “Art After Dark: Cin City”

Celebrate the “naughty nineties” with cocktails, music from the very hot Hot Magnolias, dance performances by the always fresh and surprising Pones, and a talk by local blogger and former UC information officer Greg Hand. Free admission and free parking. And yes, you get to view fantastic art, as well. An outstanding way to kick off your holiday weekend.

‘Evening Serenity,” by Chuck Marshall

‘Evening Serenity” by Chuck Marshall

Mary Ran Gallery | 3668 Erie Ave., Hyde Park. 513-871-5604

  • Friday, May 26 5-8 p.m. Paintings by Chuck Marshall

Mary Ran has one of the city’s longest-running galleries, specializing in representational art, which continues to see a resurgence. Chuck Marshall is a contemporary American impressionist whose art he says focuses on the “dialogue of shapes, tones, colors, textures, edges, and line.” Runs through June 16.

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