What to Do/Hear/See | Nov. 29-Dec. 5

By Thom Mariner

First full week of the Advent season, and there are, indeed, a lot of opportunities coming your way. Here are some suggestions for the coming days…

(Planning ahead? Here are more selections for later in the month.)


College-Conservatory of Music | Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221. 513-556-4183

  • Thursday-Sunday, Nov. 30-Dec. 3. “The Art of Motion,” co-directed by Jiang Qi and Deirdre Carberry

The CCM Dance department presents a late fall smorgasbord of movement styles, from classic 19th century ballet (an excerpt from “Paquita”) to new choreography to John Adams’ “Shaker Loops,” performed live by CCM’s Café MoMus ensemble, and more…


Del la Dance’s “Nutcracker Jazzed Up”

Del la Dance’s “Nutcracker Jazzed Up”

De la Dance Company | 5141 Kennedy Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45213. 513-871-0914

  • Thursday-Sunday, Nov. 30- Dec. 3. “The Nutcracker”

Miami Valley Ballet Theatre | Fairfield Community Arts Center, 411 Wessel Drive, Fairfield, OH 45014

  • Friday-Sunday, Dec. 1-3 & 8-10. “The Nutcracker”

School for Creative & Performing Arts | 108 W. Central Pkwy., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-363-8100

  • Thursday-Sunday, Nov. 30-Dec. 3. “The Nutcracker”

Looking for something more seasonal? There are (count ‘em) three varied companies staging “The Nutcracker” this weekend – in Fairfield, Kennedy Heights and Over-the-Rhine. De la Dance shakes things up a bit with half of their show set to Duke Ellington’s wondrous arrangements of Tchaikovsky’s best tunes.



Ohio Explored | Urban Artifact, Northside

  • Sunday, Dec. 3, 1-6 p.m. Holiday Maker Mart

Urban Artifact in Northside

If you are looking for unique, artful shopping opportunities, here’s your chance to choose among 100-plus Ohio-based artisans and makers. While you’re there, take a break to sample fare from area food trucks, locally made treats, and craft beer made on-site.



Cincinnati World Cinema | Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 859-957-3456

  • Tuesday, Dec. 5, 7 p.m. “Rare Exports, a Christmas Tale” from Finland (2010)
“Rare Exports, a Christmas Tale”

“Rare Exports, a Christmas Tale”

This award-winning, dark, comedic fable takes a quite different look at the Santa side of Christmas. If you’re looking for an antidote to the usual holiday fare – where Mr. Claus might be something other than a jolly old elf – this is for you.



Mercantile Library | 414 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-621-0717. reservations@mercantilelibrary.com

  • Thursday, Nov. 30, 6 p.m. “Poetry, Prose & Piano Quintet”
Poet Elese Daniel at The Mercantile

Poet Elese Daniel at The Mercantile

This event blends music of Benjamin Britten, Peter Lieberson and Johannes Brahms with poetry by Alexandr Pushkin, Pablo Neruda and a new poem by Cincinnatian Elese Daniel, hers in response to the amazing Brahms Piano Quintet, which closes the program. Performers include soprano Shareese Arnold, mezzo Stacey Rishoi, pianist Brianna Matzke and the 4-Way String Quartet.



Christ Church Cathedral | 318 E. Fourth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-621-1817

  • Dec. 3, 6 p.m. Advent Procession with Lessons and Carols

St. Peter in Chains Cathedral | 325 W. Eighth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-421-5354

  • Dec. 3, 3 p.m. Advent Lessons and Carols

Two of the region’s very best choirs kick off the Advent season this weekend. Stephan Casurella (CCC) and Anthony DiCello (SPC) lead their professionally trained singers in special musical presentations reflecting the anticipation of Christ’s birth. (Yours Truly will have the pleasure of subbing in at SPC.)

Cincinnati Boychoir | Procter & Gamble Hall, Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-396-7664 

  • Saturday, Dec. 2, 5 p.m. “Extraordinary Stories: A Christmas Carol”

We are blessed to have two long-established, dynamic children’s choir programs in the region. Here’s a chance to catch one in action as Christopher Eanes leads the 200-strong Boychoir in its annual Christmas concert, featuring emcee Chris Riva of WCPO and guest jazz vocalist Kathy Wade.

Cincinnati Symphony | Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-381-3300

  • Saturday, Dec. 2, 8 p.m. & Sunday, Dec. 3, 2 p.m. “Pictures at an Exhibition,” Andrey Boreyko, conductor. Tine Thing Helseth, trumpet

Trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth

Here comes the biggest test yet for how the CSO brass sound in the new Springer Auditorium. The brilliant color spectrum Maurice Ravel used in orchestrating Mussorgsky’s “Pictures” piano suite will be on full display, led by the dynamic emerging Russian conductor Boreyko. Helseth, a gifted young artist from Norway, plays a true trumpet showpiece by the 20th-century Armenian composer, Alexander Arutunian. Plus, your first chance to hear live the recently rediscovered Stravinsky “Funeral Song,” lost for more than a century.

College-Conservatory of Music | Corbett Auditorium, CCM, University of Cincinnati. 513-556-4183

  • Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 2-3. “Feast of Carols”

Earl Rivers leading CCM’s “Feast of Carols”

The one, the only, true cavalcade of choirs in the Tri-state takes place this weekend, featuring eight choral groups, including each CCM vocal ensemble, two top high school programs and the Southern Gateway Barbershop Chorus. There are four performances, 2 and 5 p.m. each day. A family event everyone should experience at least once.

Music for All Seasons | Peterloon Estate, 8605 Hopewell Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45242. musicseasons@zoomtown.com

  • Sunday, Dec. 3, 2 p.m. “Happy Holidays with Kimberly Daniel and Friends”

Here’s an eclectic celebration of the season with tunes ranging from bluegrass and folk, to world music and jazz, classical and musical theater. Recently retired Daniel invites friends and fellow faculty members from CCM to grace the lovely Peterloon living room. The event will also include a silent auction, benefitting CCM scholarships, with custom jewelry and art, plus much more.



Broadway Across America | Procter & Gamble Hall, Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-721-3344

  • Tuesday, Dec. 5-10. “A Christmas Story”

You’ve seen the movie, right? Learned NOT to put your tongue on frozen poles…? Now you can experience the story set to music through this seasonal touring production. Will Ralphie receive his Red Ryder rifle? Will his eye survive?

Cincinnati Arts Association | Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-621-2787

  • Thursday, Nov. 30, 7:30 p.m. “Brain Candy,” hosted by Adam Savage and Michael Stevens

Adam Savage and Michael Stevens

This sounds like something really cool. Savage, an industrial designer and special effects designer/fabricator, actor, educator, and television personality, was co-host of Discovery Channel’s “MythBusters” and “Unchained Reaction.” Stevens is an educator and entertainer best known for creating and hosting the YouTube education channel “Vsauce.” Together, they implement toys, tools and demonstrations in a celebration of curiosity that’s an “interactive, hands-on, minds-on theatrical experience.” Creativity can be messy, but that’s half the fun.

Cincinnati Landmark Productions | Covedale Center for the Performing Arts, 4990 Glenway Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45238. 513-241-6550

  • Thursday, Nov. 30-Dec. 23. “Annie”

The tale of Little Orphan Annie is woven around Christmas in a way that makes it a charming choice for holiday viewing. Heartwarming and hopeful rules the day!

Ensemble Theatre | 1127 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-421-3555

  • Wednesday, Nov. 29-Dec. 30. “The Dancing Princesses”

“The Dancing Princesses”

ETC has a tradition of yuletide musicals in the style – loosely – of British pantomimes, comical send-ups of fairy tales and the like. This is another original show from the creative team of Joseph McDonough and David Kisor (“Cinderella”), based on the 1812 Brothers Grimm tale “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” Perfect for the whole family.


Visual Art

Cincinnati Art Galleries | 225 E. Sixth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-381-2128

  • Friday, Dec. 1, 5-8 p.m. Opening reception: Panorama of Cincinnati Art

This 32nd anniversary exhibit features more than 150 works by “Cincinnati’s most famous artists.” Proceeds benefit the Cincinnati Art Museum. The show continues until Jan. 20.

Essex Studios | 2511 Essex Place, Cincinnati, OH 45206. 513-476-2170

  • Friday-Saturday, Dec. 1-2, 6-10 p.m. Holiday Art Walks

Last chance this late fall to wander the open studios of one of Cincinnati’s largest collection of working artists. And maybe do some shopping…what better gift than art?

Skirball Museum / Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion | 3101 Clifton Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45220

  • Sunday, Dec. 3, 1-3 p.m. Panel discussion: “Re-Art: The Many Faces of Israel,” works reflecting Israel by five artists from Netanya, Israel and five from Cincinnati
  • Monday, Dec. 4, 5 p.m. “Drawing from the B’nai B’rith Klutznick Collection,” 18 acrylic and colored pencil drawings by Mark Podwal

Two new shows at the Skirball intersect this week, with an artists’ talk Sunday – a discussion across two cultures about Israel, art, and the process of re-arting. The next day features the opening of another show drawn from the extensive Klutznick collection. Both shows run through Jan. 7.

Wave Pool Gallery | 2940 Colerain Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45225 

  • Saturday, Dec. 2, 6-9 p.m. Opening for “Tracing the Ground” and “One Line Over the Other”

Courtney Cooper: “Cincinnati Map III 2015,” ball point pen on collaged found paper

Calcagno Cullen and crew continue to carve out their own niche in Camp Washington with interactive workshops, creative happenings and thematic shows such as these, involving maps and grids as both artist inspiration and tools. Shows run through Jan. 13.

Weston Art Gallery | Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-977-4165

  • Friday, Dec. 1, 6-8 p.m. Opening for three exhibits. “Doug McGlumphy: Regular Guy Monuments” • “Frank Hermann: New Works” • “Sanctuary: Kathy Y. Wilson Living in a Colored Museum.” Gallery Talks: Saturday, Dec. 2, 2 p.m., Doug McGlumphy (and Tuesday, Dec. 12, 7 p.m., Frank Hermann)
Frank Herrmann: "Buoyant-7 The-Slippage”

Frank Herrmann: “Buoyant-7 The Slippage”

Long among the premiere art spaces in the city, the Weston welcomes three new shows to its two-tiered space this weekend. Doug McGlumphy uses everyday and salvaged materials to create large-scale sculptures in “tribute to the working class.” Award-winning Cincinnati painter Frank Herrmann shares new acrylic paintings and watercolor works on paper that explore “mysterious bulbous forms suspended in primordial landscapes.” And curator Emily Buddendeck borrows from the extensive collection of thought-provoking writer, performer, educator, and art collector Kathy Y. Wilson to explore the “depth of character” of this singular Cincinnati personality. These shows run through Jan. 28.

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