By Thomas Consolo
Are you still with us? Last weekend’s blast of heat and humidity was enough to melt anyone … or at least drive us all inside. No doubt our summer has more tandoori days in store, but this weekend promises a more merciful climate. That’s good, because there are many outdoor events worth your time in the next seven days. Indoor ones, too, for the once-burned-twice-shy among you.
Cincinnati Opera | 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-241-2742 (ARIA)
- Wednesday and Friday, June 20 and June 22, 7:30 p.m.: “La Traviata”
- Opening Thursday, June 21, 7:30 p.m.: “The Coronation of Poppea”
It’s one of its biggest weeks at the opera’s summer festival as the well-received production of Verdi’s “La Traviata” heads into its second (and final) week. Based on the flash-sale emails the opera is sending out, Wednesday is your best bet for a good seat. Friday’s performance is followed by the 12th Pride Night celebration in Corbett Tower.
Overlapping with “Traviata” are the first performances of Claudio Monteverdi’s “The Coronation of Poppea,” one of the first operas written. Though rebuilt Music Hall is more welcoming to the smaller scale of baroque works like this 1642 gem than it was before, it’s still better suited to a more intimate venue – like the School for Creative and Performing Arts’ Corbett Theater. Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo sings Roman Emperor Nero; members of the Cincinnati Symphony and Catacoustic Consort, the city’s early music specialists, perform in the pit. Performances this week are 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Saturday and Tuesday (that’s June 21, 23 and 26). SCPA is at 108 W. Central Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45202.
For more background on the season, read M&M’s season preview.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company | 1195 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-381-2273
- Starting Sunday, June 24, 7 p.m.
One of the great new(er) traditions in town is the Shakespeare Company’s annual tour of outdoor performances. This year the company offers “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Julius Caesar” and “Romeo and Juliet” in repertory through Sept. 1. The more than three dozen shows venture as far afield as Portsmouth and Louisville. The series starts at 7 p.m., Sunday, at Eden Park’s Seasongood Pavilion (950 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202) and continues Tuesday in Madisonville (6300 Bramble Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45227). It being the 20s of June, both shows are fittingly “Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Check the Cincy Shakes website to see when they’ll come trouping to your neck of the enchanted wood.
Cincinnati Pops Orchestra | 9001 Mount Hope Road, Harrison, OH 45030; 513-621-1919
- Saturday, June 23, 8:15 p.m.: “Pops in the Parks”
There was a time (those of a certain age will recall) when the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra took its music to the masses in a series of outdoor performances at several regional parks. Only two such shows are slated this year, and the first is Saturday at Miami Whitewater Forest. John Morris Russell leads an all-American program from Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” and Bernstein’s “West Side Story” to recent “Star Wars” scores (“The Last Jedi” and “Rogue One”) and Copland’s “Tender Land.”
As is the tradition, bring a blanket, chairs and a picnic basket.
The Betts House | 416 Clark St., Cincinnati, OH 45203; 513-651-0734
- Saturday, June 23, 1 p.m.: Betts-Longworth Historic District Walking Tour
Take a guided tour of Cincinnati’s original suburb, now the Betts-Longworth Historical District in the West End, starting from the Betts House. Built in 1804, it’s the oldest surviving brick building in Cincinnati.
Cincinnati Civic Orchestra | 30 Village Square, Glendale, OH 45246
- Sunday, June 24, 6:30 p.m.: “Music of the Silver Screen”
The patriarch of the city’s community orchestras dates to 1929. It’s scheduled to perform its summer program through Aug. 2 from Cold Spring (June 21) to Colerain (July 13). Sunday’s performance is outside at Glendale’s Village Square. On the playlist are excerpts from Golden Age classics (“Robin Hood,” “The Wizard of Oz”) and current favorites (“Frozen,” “Star Wars”).
Cincinnati Museum Center | 1910 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-287-7001
- Thursday, June 21, 7 p.m.: “Back from Extinction”
The Children’s Museum is open again, but most of the Museum Center’s displays are still closed during the renovation of Union Terminal. That’s led to some entertaining, if nontraditional, partnerships. Case in point: Jurassic Geist. With their cavernous taproom, the folks at Rhinegeist Brewery were happy to host a complete Galeamopus dinosaur skeleton. (When I was a kid, they called that a Diplodocus, but it was reclassified in 2015.) Rhinegeist introduced Bittlebrain, a limited-edition brew, for the occasion.
That combination makes it the perfect venue for the latest CurioCity event, a series that mixes potent potables and science. On Thursday at Rhinegeist, “Back from Extinction” takes a lighthearted look at the science of dinosaurs washed down with the aid of Rhinegeist’s many taps. Open only to age 21 and over.
No Response Festival | 1404 Main St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
- Thursday, June 21, and Friday, June 22
If the Fringe Festival was cool but a little tame for you, we’ve got the perfect event for you: The No Response Festival brings two nights of experimental music to the Woodward Theater. For a taste of how experimental, watch this brief video. As part of the festival, our friends at the Mini Microcinema (across the street from the Woodward at 1329 Main St.) are screening largely unseen but vital pieces of regional video experimental art and music history: “Johnny Vortex Presents D Street: Avenue of Fear” and “Jud Yalkut Music Videos for Dementia Precox.” The films start at 5 p.m., Friday.
The Capitol Steps at Memorial Hall | 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-977-8838
- Sunday, June 24, 2 & 7 p.m.
It’s become more difficult than ever in the past year and a half to be a political satirist. The job, after all, is to come up with material that seems crazy compared to real life. That bar has been raised, but the veterans at the Capitol Steps are ready to give it a go. They’re in the middle of their third decade poking fun at the D.C. circus on both sides of the aisle. Come on down for some nonpartisan laughter.
Weston Art Gallery | 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-977-4165
- Opening Friday, June 22
Two concurrent shows juxtapose Cincinnati’s artistic and commercial legacy with the city’s dynamic present. The legacy portion is supplied by “Winold Reiss: Studies for the Union Terminal Worker Murals,” which features photographic, gouache, and crayon studies of the murals Reiss created in the 1930s for Union Terminal. (They’re now outside downtown’s Duke Energy Convention Center.) They represented the Queen City’s proudest industries of the day. The exhibition, presented in collaboration with Cincinnati Museum Center, also features a series of color photographs by Gregory Thorp who documented the 14 murals when he encountered them on a trip to Cincinnati in 1971.
The modern counterpoint is provided by “Matt Lynch & Curtis Goldstein: Work/Surface.” Lynch, of Cincinnati, and Goldstein, of Columbus, combined their respective backgrounds (in alternative applications for industrial materials, and collage and mural painting) to create these laser-cut, high-pressure laminate mosaics. The murals represent a range of contemporary Cincinnati industries and their workforces.
Both shows run through Aug. 26.
BLDG Art | 30 West Pike St., Covington, KY 41011; 859-491-4228
- Opening Friday, June 22: “Vibrant Minds Colorful Lines”
This collaborative project features artists Manoela and Gray, of Brooklyn-based collective KiiK Create, local artists Jenny Ustick and Lindsey Whittle, and regional artist Natalie Lanese. Experiences include a gallery show and interactive performances; live mural painting and an artist talk at Cincinnati’s 21c Museum Hotel; a limited-edition print release; and a treasure-hunt style social media challenge. The exhibition facet runs through July 27; opening reception is 6 p.m., Friday.
YWCA Greater Cincinnati | 898 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-241-7090
- Opening Friday, June 22: “Women of Strength”
Sculptures by Hei-Kyung Byun and paintings by Eunshin Khang inspired by influential women of the past and present, from Olympic medalists to everyday heroines. Opening reception 6 p.m., Friday. Runs through Sept. 20.
Taft Museum of Art | 316 Pike St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-241-0343
- Through Sunday, June 24: “Eternal Blooms: Chinese Painted Enamels on Copper”
A selection of rare treasures from a 2014 bequest to the Taft from the Rev. Compton Allyn, on display for the first time.