By Thomas Consolo
Astronomers and sticklers will tell you that summer does not officially begin until June 21. These people have apparently not experienced either Cincinnati’s arts scene or humid heat in late May and early June. To my allergy-clouded eyes, it looks like summer to me. Judge for yourself.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Nothing heralds summer like outdoor festivals and activities. There have been some already, of course, but this week, the bumper crop starts coming in.
Summerfair | 6201 Kellogg Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45228; 513-531-0050
- Friday-Sunday, June 1-3
More than 300 exhibitors are expected at Coney Island for the 51st annual incarnation of this juried show of works ranging from ceramics and sculpture to painting, photography and stained glass. Organizers also have a slate of music, gourmet foods and family activities lined up. It’s a Top 50 pick of American arts fairs. (Read our preview.)
Cincinnati Museum Center | 1301 Western Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45203; 513-287-7000
- Saturday, June 2, 9 a.m.: The Fernald Preserve
If you’re of a certain age, the name Fernald conjures either the Cold War nuclear arms race or radioactive waste. What a difference a couple of decades (and $4.4 billion in cleanup money) make. The former uranium processing plant in 2006 became a 1,050-acre wetland and prairie area. Visit the preserve Saturday as part of the Museum Center’s Heritage Tours, learn about its past, the cleanup and its wild future. Note: Registration deadline is today, May 30.
Great Parks of Hamilton County | 10245 Winton Road, Cincinnati, OH 45231; 513-521-7275
- Sunday, June 3, 8 a.m.: Free Entry Day
In honor of National Trails Day, you can experience the county park systems 17,500 acres of natural habitat and wildlife, 78 miles of trails and recreation facilities – all for free, thanks to the first of the summer’s free entry days. You won’t need that iconic triangular parking sticker, but they’re such a good deal. Why not pick one up?
Heritage Village Museum | 11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville, OH 45241; 513-563-9484
- Saturday, June 2, 1 p.m.: Base ball games
Nothing says summer in America like baseball. With our modern Reds mired in a dozen games out of first place, though, maybe we should look to the good ol’ days. No, not the 1970s Big Red Machine. We mean the original Big Red Machine – the 1869 Cincinnati Base Ball Club (they of the red stockings). That team went undefeated for a season and a half. Experience that era of base ball – the two-word kind – as the Cincinnati Buckeyes and the Cincinnati Red Stockings welcome the Canton Cornshuckers for a twin bill of original-rules games.
THE FRINGE ELEMENT
Cincinnati Fringe Festival | 1120 Jackson St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
- Through June 10
We told you about this last week and offered a preview; this week, the Fringe Festival is in full swing. As we said before, there’s too much going on to list, so go to the festival’s lineup page and find something that sounds interesting to you. (This week’s options, for example, include “Billy: The Haunting of William Howard Taft” and “The Gospel of Barabbas.”) Sort events to your liking from the (relatively) more traditional Primary Lineup to the more experimental. Trust us, there’s plenty left to experience.
The Mini Microcinema | 1329 Main St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
- Thursday, May 31, 7:45 p.m.: “Salute Your Shorts”
- Saturday, June 2, 7:45 p.m.: “The Pink Egg”
- Sunday, June 3, 7:45 p.m.: “In the Jungle”
- Tuesday, June 5, 7:45 p.m.: “Inhumanwich!”
I know, we said we weren’t going to list Fringe Festival events, but, The Mini is doing its part with these screenings (and more in coming weeks). Friday offers a collection of short films. “The Pink Egg” on Saturday applies the dynamics of insect societies to human actors. “In the Jungle” is billed as a musical essay film full of symbolism and analogies – like what’s really the jungle, nature or human civilization? Tuesday’s “Inhumanwhich!” is … different: All-American astronaut Joe Neumann mutates into an unstoppable blob of meat. It is the Fringe Festival, after all.
Art of the Piano | 2600 Clifton Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45221
- Through June 16
Awadagin Pratt’s “intimate festival” for young pianists continues this weekend with three high-powered performances, including Pratt himself. All the performances are at CCM’s Werner Recital Hall.
- Pratt performs at 7 p.m., Friday, June 1. His program includes Brahms’ “Ballades,” Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 31 (his second to last) and the Franck “Prelude, Chorale and Fugue.”
- Leon Fleisher performs at 7 p.m., Saturday, June 2. The legendary pianist turns 90 in July, but he’s still giving powerful concerts. At Art of the Piano, he appears with his wife, the pianist Katherine Jacobson Fleisher, for a program that includes music for piano left hand (a nod to the years he could not use his right hand), piano two hands and piano four hands. Composers include Bach, Debussy, Schubert and Ravel.
- Alexander Korsantia performs at 4 p.m., Sunday, June 3. The Georgian (country, not state) pianist offers an all-Chopin concert heavy on mazurkas.
For more background on the festival, read our preview from a few weeks back.
Young Professionals Choral Collective | 318 E. Fourth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-381-3300
- Saturday, June 2, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.: “Mosaic”
Greater Cincinnatians love to sing, eat great food, and drink in interesting places, as YPCC’s website points out, so why not combine them all? In “Mosaic,” its final offering of the season, YPCC offers perspectives on the themes of dance, faith, love and nature. The eclectic repertoire is drawn from all around the world – the South Pacific, England, Russia, Brazil and the United States – and features a variety of languages, colors and even animal sounds. Both performances are in the Centennial Chapel at Christ Church Cathedral.
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati | 1127 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-421-3555
- Opens June 5: “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”
ETC charges into summer with this award-winning, genre- and gender-bending musical about an East German punk rock singer. Why is that inch so angry? Well, as ETC warns, it’s a story that may not be suitable for the young’uns. Runs through July 1.
CenterStage Players | 249 W. Forrer Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45215; 513-588-4910
- Opens June 1: “To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday”
From the city’s vibrant community theater scene, the much-traveled CenterStage Players ends its season with this study of grief and the control it has on our lives. The crux: David loves his wife, Gillian, but she has been dead for two years. Their daughter, though, needs a father living in the present.
Manifest Gallery | 2727 Woodburn Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45206; 513-861-3638.
- Opens Friday, June 1, 6-9 p.m.: “Rites of Passage”
Manifest’s annual showcase for emerging artists this year received 229 works for consideration from 79 artists representing 55 academic institutions in 29 states. Of those considered, 13 works by 10 artists representing nine academic institutions in nine states are featured. The best of show winner will be announced in the 14th annual Rites of Passage exhibit. Artists are listed with their academic status as of the dates of their entry into this competition. The best of show award recipient will be announced during the June 1 opening reception.
Running concurrently are two other shows, “Magnitude Seven,” the annual small works exhibit, and “Charlie Goering: Recent Works.” All three shows run through June 29.
- Skirball Museum: “Israel at 70: A History in Art and Artifacts” – Through Sunday, June 3. A wide-ranging exhibition of paintings, lithography, metalwork and photography drawn from the Museum’s core collections and from the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum collection. (3101 Clifton Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45220; 513-487-3098)
- Redtree Art Gallery: “Forever Young III” – Through Friday, June 1. The gallery and coffee shop’s third annual show of artists under age 18. (3210 Madison Road, Cincinnati, OH 45209; 513-321-8733)