By Thomas Consolo
Well, good gravy, when did this happen? Did you turn around and notice that it’s suddenly August? Wasn’t it just Memorial Day last week? Never fear. Even though time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still plenty of events waiting to fill your dog days with arts and entertainment. Here we go….
Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra | 513-723-1182
I admit I was among those skeptical about the wisdom of concentrating the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra’s season into one month, and in the summer at that. The model has been working just fine, I’m happy to report, as the CCO combines multiple performance venues, artistic mash-ups and creative collaborations in three series of programs. Weekend 1 has a British accent:
Saturday, Aug. 4, 7:30 p.m. British Invasion. The Mainstage, i.e., full ensemble, series opens with a program of Boyce (You don’t know his symphonies yet? Tsk, tsk.), Handel, Haydn (the “London” symphony, what else?) and John Lunn (he who penned the “Downton Abbey” theme). The emotional centerpiece, though, will be Elgar’s elegiac Cello Concerto, with homegrown soloist Coleman Itzkoff. (Read about his family connection to the local music scene and the CCO in particular.) The CCO’s music director, Eckart Preu, conducts. At the School for Creative & Performing Arts (108 W. Central Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45202).
Sunday, Aug. 5, 2 and 4 p.m. An Afternoon with Jane Austen. Balancing the full-ensemble performances each weekend are the Sunday programs of the (A Little) Afternoon Musik series, each curated by a CCO musician. Sunday’s repertoire features music that America’s favorite British authoress, Jane Austen, would have enjoyed – Pleyel, Gluck, Handel and Haydn – featuring Itzkoff and violinist Manami White. Unfortunately, both shows at the Taft Museum of Art already are sold out.
Tuesday, Aug. 7, 7:30 p.m. MicroBrass @ Fretboard. If you still think classical music is too stuffy, stop by one of the CCO’s Chamber Crawl concerts. This informal series mixes two of civilization’s greatest gifts, music and libation. Tuesday’s program marks the return of MicroBrass, this year with guest soprano Melissa Harvey. The program at Fretboard Brewing (5800 Creek Road, Blue Ash, OH 45242) includes a musical tasting from Monteverdi to Wagner to Queen – and a beer tasting with your ticket.
CELEBRATING PRICE HILL
Price Hill Creative Community Festival | Warsaw and Considine avenues, Cincinnati, OH 45205
Friday-Saturday, Aug. 3-4
Friday, Aug. 3, 7 p.m.: Robin Lacy & DeZydeco
Yes, we know that “Price Hill” is an area that comprises three official Cincinnati neighborhoods – Lower Price Hill, East Price Hill and West Price Hill. Together, they are ready to show off why they’re convinced the West Side is the best side with a two-day, four-venue performing arts and neighborhood festival. Hosted by Price Hill Will in partnership with the Contemporary Arts Center, its purpose is to use performing arts as a tool to build a more creative and inclusive community. Participants include MYCincinnati, the El Sistema-inspired youth orchestra, and an impressive roster of artists in residence. Events are centered around the intersection of Warsaw and Considine. (If the territories west of I-75 are a mystery to you, set the GPS for 3200 Warsaw Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45205, to get to ground zero.)
With a festival already in full swing, Price Hill Will is capping Friday off with the latest in its Concerts on the Square series. Robin Lacy & DeZydeco kicks off its concert at 7 p.m. in St. Lawrence Square (3650 Warsaw Ave., just half a mile west of the festival).
The good news is, it’s all free.
ALL THAT JAZZ
August is a good month for jazz in the Queen City, and it kicks off with a big weekend. Best of all, none of them conflict, so check out all three.
It’s Commonly Jazz | 950 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Thursdays in August, 6 p.m.
Cincinnati’s longest-running, free, summer jazz series is now in its 33rd year, and it’s gearing up for its 11th summer in Eden Park’s Seasongood Pavilion. Opening night (Aug. 2) features the hometown team of the Five Little Bears: Brent Gallaher (saxophone), Michael Mavridoglou (trumpet), Steve Schmidt (piano), Aaron Jacobs (bass) and Jim Leslie (drums). Expect classic and newer tunes by Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Wayne Shorter and other greats, not to mention some originals. Backstage food area opens at 5 p.m.
The Mini Microcinema | 1329 Main St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
Sunday, Aug. 5, 7:30 p.m. “Homage To A Sound” and other short films about jazz
The evening explores jazz through moving images. The title short, a documentary by Matthew Davis, focuses on photographer Melvin Grier’s passion for shooting the musicians who play his beloved jazz. Mr. Grier’s name alone ought to be enough to get you there. The screening also includes 1959’s “The Cry of Jazz,” which connects jazz to African-American history and has been selected for preservation by the Library of Congress in the U.S. National Film Registry.
Memorial Hall | 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-977-8838
Monday, Aug. 6, 7 p.m. “The Music of Latin America”
At the next installment of Jazz at the Memo… Carlos Vargas, guitar; Andrew Haug, piano; Justin Dawson, bass; and Charlie Schefft, drums, lead a tour, north to south, of the music of Latin America. Washington Platform again provides bites.
Cincinnati Art Museum | 953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-721-2787 (ARTS)
Thursday, Aug. 2, 6 p.m. “Robert McCloskey’s Homer Price Stories”
No, we didn’t forget to change the header. This evening of short films runs in conjunction with the exhibit (through Sept. 9) of Robert McCloskey’s illustrations. Follow the adventures of Homer Price in “The Doughnuts” and “The Case of the Cosmic Comic.” The art museum’s Emily Holtrop, director of learning, hosts.
Kentucky Symphony Orchestra | Devou Park, 1201 Park Drive, Covington, KY 41011; 859-431-6216
Saturday, Aug. 4, 7:30 p.m. “Sombreros vs. Lederhosen”
The mind of KSO music director James Cassidy is at it again. Think Mexican mariachi and German oom-pah music have nothing in common? You may be surprised. If you remember nothing else from this evening, please remember it’s “Lederhosen,” not “Liederhosen.”
Know Theatre | 1120 Jackson St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-300-5669
Sunday-Tuesday, Aug. 5-7, 8 p.m. “Cincinnati One-Minute Play Festival”
The good news is that, if you don’t like one of this year’s offerings, it’ll be over soon. The good news is that, if you love one of them, it may stay with you forever. The fourth annual festival runs in Know’s Underground cabaret area.
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company | 513-381-2273
“Shakespeare in the Park”
The troupe is back in town with five shows this week. All three plays are now on the boards; all performances are at 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug 1: “Romeo and Juliet” at Norwood’s Upper Millcrest Park (1702 Mills Ave., Norwood, OH 45212).
Friday, Aug. 3: “Julius Caesar” at Deerfield Township’s Cottell Park (5847 Irwin Simpson Road, Mason, OH 45040).
Saturday, Aug. 4: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Summit Park (1000 Summit Place, Blue Ash, Ohio 45242).
Sunday, Aug. 5: “Julius Caesar” at Miami Township’s Community Park Performance Pavilion (5951 Buckwheat Road, Milford, OH 45150).
Tuesday, Aug 7: “Romeo and Juliet” at downtown’s Smale Park (100 E. Mehring Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202).
Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum | 1763 Hamilton-Cleves Road, Hamilton, OH 45013; 513-868-1234
Opening Friday, Aug. 3. “Chromatic Curves”
Cedric Michael Cox is best known for paintings and drawings that fall between surrealism and representational abstraction. His work expresses themes ranging from mythical literature to the relationships between the body, musical allegories, and natural and man-made landscapes. He’s a former University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning student who went on to study at Scotland’s Glasgow School of Art (sadly in the news lately when its historic library, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, was gutted by fire.) Opening reception at 5:30 p.m., Friday. Runs through Sept. 14.