What to Do/Hear/See | Jan. 24-30

By Thom Mariner

The spectrum is overflowing this week, to mix my metaphors. From the history of Jews in China to live cinema, from an operatic superstar to a masterpiece of 20th century orchestral music and the minting of a brand new art gallery, there is no excuse for sitting on your couch in the days to come. Don’t succumb! Explore!


Cultural Events

Skirball Museum | Hebrew Union College, 3101 Clifton Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45220. 513-221-1875

  • Jan. 28, 4 p.m. “Holocaust Remembrance Day: Jews of China,” with guest speaker Dvir Bar-Gal

Bar-Gal is an Israeli journalist who, since 2002, has led tours in Shanghai illuminating the history of Jews in China’s largest city. Another insightful presentation by the folks at the Skirball.



Contemporary Arts Center | Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-345-8400

  • Jan. 27, 7:30 p.m. “Brent Green & Sam Green: Live Cinema”

This collaborative event combines the energy of a rock show with the storytelling of cinema, plus narration, as the filmmakers present a selection of their short works. The New York Times described the experience as “‘Koyaanisqatsi’ being filtered through an episode of ‘This American Life’”



Joseph-Beth Booksellers | 2692 Madison Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45208. 513-396-8960

  • Jan. 27, 6 p.m. “A Good Cry: What We Learn from Tears and Laughter,” author Nikki Giovanni
  • Jan. 30, 7 p.m. “Blind Injustice: A Former Prosecutor Exposes the Psychology and Politics of Wrongful Convictions,” author Mark Godsey

Nikki Giovanni

Two excellent excuses to buy books this week (as if you needed them!): Iconic, award-winning poet Giovanni, one of the nation’s most potent voices on the topic of social justice, discusses and signs copies of her new autobiography. And speaking of social justice, Godsey’s work on behalf of the Ohio Innocence Project has shone a light on flaws in our legal system and continues to right wrongs. Check out Julie Kemble Borths’ profile of Godsey, included in this email blast.



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

  • Saturday, Jan. 27, 8 p.m. “Beethoven + Bartók” Louis Langrée, conductor
  • Sunday, Jan. 28, 2 p.m. Encore
  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 (1801)
  • Koussevitsky: Concerto for Double Bass (1902)
  • Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra (1943)

CSO bassist Owen Lee

This concert inaugurates a three-season exploration of Beethoven’s symphonies “paired with pieces that cast light on his genius,” according to the CSO website. As much as I like Beethoven, it’s the other two pieces here that attract my attention. The rare programming of a double bass concerto provides a chance for the ultra-talented Owen Lee, CSO principal, to strut his stuff in a true Romantic showpiece. The Bartok was my personal introduction to live orchestral music, and I could not have asked for a better baptism. It is one of the great showpieces, allowing each section to shine, with one of music’s most thrilling finales.

concert:nova | Streetside Brewery, 4003 Eastern Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45226

  • Wednesday, Jan. 24, 9 p.m. ”New Year:New Music”

This iteration of concert:nova’s Late:Night Series features their Next:Generation Ensemble called All of the Above. Fresh off their Carnegie Hall debut, AOTA will perform contemporary music by Robert Honstein, Missy Mazzoli, Tristan Coelho, CCM’s Douglas Knehans and more. And being in a brewery, there will be beer. Huzzah!

Matinee Musicale | Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-977-8838

  • Friday, Jan. 26, 7:30 p.m. Jamie Barton, mezzo-soprano

This venerable series existed for more than a century presenting mostly mid-week, mid-day concerts of up-and-coming classical artists. Jamie Barton: she’s already arrived. She’s what they call “the real deal,” so much so that MM reserved a Friday evening for this special occasion. You might want to secure seats ASAP. More about Jamie, care of Ray Cooklis.



Soprano Amy Johnson sings ‘Turandot’

Kentucky Symphony Orchestra | Greaves Hall, Northern Kentucky University. 859-431-6216

  • Saturday, Jan. 27, 7:30 p.m. “ ‘Turandot’ in Concert,” James R. Cassidy, conductor

Yet another master collaboration spun out of the mind of JR Cassidy, the most imaginative programmer in the region. This concert links arms with UC’s College-Conservatory of Music opera faculty, alumni and current students to share the power and beauty of Puccini’s music in his final, unfinished opus.


Darnell Pierre Benjamin in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (photo by Mikki Schaffner)

Darnell Pierre Benjamin in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (photo by Mikki Schaffner)


Cincinnati Shakespeare Company | 1195 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-381-2273

  • Friday, Jan 26-Feb. 17, 2018. “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?”

Both timeless and timely, this tale was shocking in 1967, and sadly remains relevant today. Early performances have already sold out. Don’t dawdle.


Visual Art

Art Beyond Boundaries | 1410 Main St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-421-8726

  • Friday, Jan. 26, 6-9 p.m. “Chapter 11”

Jymi Bolden continues to hold court at 14th and Main, having provided artistic opportunities to a broad base of diverse artists for more than a decade. Much has happened in OTR in that span, and, as usual, the artists came first. This opening coincides with Final Friday, so the neighborhood will be jumping. Happy Anniversary, Jymi! Exhibit runs through March 9.

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

  • Friday, Jan. 26, 6-9 p.m. “Jens Jensen Modernist Painter: Exhibition and Sale”

Jensen came to Cincinnati from Denmark in the 1920s and worked at Rookwood Pottery until 1948. In addition to his acclaimed work as a potter, he became one of CIncinnati’s best-known modernist painters, passing away in 1978. Gallery Talk: Jan. 27, 1 p.m. Exhibit runs through March 3.

Arron Foster 'Lost in the Sand'

Arron Foster ‘Lost in the Sand’

Manifest Gallery | 2727 Woodburn Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45206. 513-861-3638

  • Friday, Jan. 26, 6-9 p.m. “Characterized,” works based on invented people and characters • “Imaginarium,” works with invented places or things • “Imprint,” contemporary printmaking

Manifest is unique in Cincinnati in that it brings the best from across the country, and beyond, to East Walnut Hills. Openings are an event in and of themselves, and are a central feature of Walk on Woodburn, the neighborhood gallery and pub crawl that has evolved along Woodburn Avenue. Explore. Imbibe. Repeat. Exhibits run through Feb. 23.

West End Art Gallery | 1721 Baymiller St., Cincinnati, OH 45214. 513-449-0144

  • Wednesday, Jan. 24, 5-8 p.m. Grand Opening

As Art Beyond Boundaries forged the development of the north end of Main Street, this new gallery intends to bring art and art making to the West End. The reception will feature a ribbon cutting and live music from Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra musicians. Join in and make some history.

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