What to Do/See/Hear | Sept. 5-11

By Thomas Consolo

Don’t worry. That ringing in your head from Sunday’s fireworks will fade over the next few days. Labor Day, of course, marks the symbolic end of summer and, by extension, the ramping up of the “regular” season. It’ll take a few weeks to get all the area’s arts groups up and whirring – there are a lot of them, after all – but already there’s a taste of the smorgasbord to come (plus a few reminders that summer technically runs for almost three more weeks).


No part of Greater Cincinnati knows how to celebrate fall like the West Side. That includes hosting the region’s oldest fall festival, two Oktoberfests and some newer celebrations. If you don’t often venture west of I-75, this season is a great time to discover what you’ve been missing.

Harvest Home Fair | 3961 North Bend Road, Cheviot, OH 45211; 513-662-0524

Thursday, Sept. 6-Sunday, Sept. 9

The granddaddy of harvest festivals in town traces its root to the 1860s. Under the aegis of the Kiwanis Club of Cheviot-Westwood since 1939, it’s grown into what’s billed as the “Biggest Little Fair in Ohio.” If you need even more incentive, this year’s is a double celebration: It’s also Cheviot’s bicentennial.

It all kicks off at 6 p.m. on Thursday with the annual Harvest Home Parade. The parade’s arrival at Cheviot’s Harvest Home Park starts a weekend of food, fun and music. Activities include such county fair-like staples as art, horse and livestock shows, plus contests in crafts, food and wine-making.

Westwood Art Show | 3017 Harrison Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211

Saturday, Sept. 8, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Just down the street – exactly 1 mile away, according to the interwebs – Cincinnati’s Westwood neighborhood marks its 10th annual art show. Arrayed around Westwood Town Hall, there will be, besides art works and art demonstrations, live music, food and, because it is the West Side, beer. The show has a website, but you’ll get more information from their Facebook page, linked above.



Indian Film Festival | 513-886-5817

Wednesday, Sept. 5-Monday, Sept. 10

If you’ve thought lately that it feels like New Delhi outside, it’s just Mother Nature’s way of getting you ready for this year’s Indian Film Festival. If the details above seem a little sparse, it’s because the festival’s whopping 13 screenings are spread across nine cinemas – from the Freedom Center to Blue Ash. The films take on topics as varied as India’s colonial past (remember, that ended just 70 years ago), sex work, feminism, overcoming disabilities and even a love story. There are also two programs of shorts, a dozen each. There’s too much to list here, so check the website for details.

Cincinnati Art Museum | 953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-721-2787 (ARTS)

Thursday, Sept. 6, 6 p.m. “Frankenstein”

In 1815, the cataclysmic, weeklong eruption of Mount Tambora in what is now Indonesia – the most powerful observed in recorded history – created a volcanic winter around the world, turning 1816 into the Year Without a Summer. Stuck in a cold, rainy vacation on Lake Geneva, then, what better for writers to do that summer than to craft ghost stories? Young Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, just 18, outdid her companions, Percy Shelley (her future husband) and Lord Byron, with a tale of a monster created by misguided (“mad” is so judgmental) scientist Victor Frankenstein.

“Frankenstein” was published in 1818, and to help mark that bicentenary, the Art Museum is offering a free showing of the classic, 1931 film adaptation starring Boris Karloff. A panel discussion follows the screening. If nothing else, it’s worth it to hear the Romantic-Expressionistic score by Bernhard Kaun.



Mercantile Library | 414 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-621-0717

Wednesday, Sept. 5, 6:30 p.m. Syd Nathan

Cincinnati holds a proud place in music history, but hardly just in the classical world. From the 1940s into the 1970s, the Queen City’s musical ambassador to the world was King Records, founded in 1943 by Syd Nathan. Through its family of labels, particularly Federal, it gave the world James Brown and Billy Ward’s “Sixty Minute Man.” Tonight’s event at the Merc brings author Randy McNutt and Steve Halper, Syd Nathan’s nephew, together with local music experts and historians Darren Blase and Brian Powers for a panel discussion about Nathan, King Records and Nathan’s place in music history. Reception begins at 6 p.m.

Nelson Mandela (Photo by Matthew Willman)

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center | 50 E. Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-333-7500

Saturday, Sept 8, 3:30 p.m. Ubuntu, colonialism and imperialism

If all you know of Ubuntu is the eponymous open-source computer operating system, here’s a chance to widen your horizons with this discussion of white supremacy and Ubuntu, the philosophy of sharing and connection among all humanity.


“Star Wars” comes to Cincinnati Pops


Cincinnati Pops Orchestra | 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-381-3300

Friday, Sept. 7-Sunday, Sept. 9: “Star Wars: A New Hope”

For those not part of the sci-fi nerd-o-verse, “A New Hope” is the revised title of the original “Star Wars” film from 1977. You may have forgotten that it actually was nominated for an Oscar as best picture, but what it won, besides five technical Oscars, was for best original score, courtesy of John Williams. “Star Wars” excerpts have since become a staple of orchestral pops programs, but now Disney and Lucasfilm have upped the ante: Watch the movie with the score performed live. The Cincinnati Pops under John Morris Russell cues up three performances over the weekend. Act now, because Music Hall is smaller these days, and these shows could well sell out.

The Carnegie | 1028 Scott Blvd., Covington, KY 41011; 859-491-2030

Saturday, Sept. 8, 7:30 p.m. “Felix and Fingers”

Dueling pianists face off, keyboard to keyboard, in this high-energy, all-request based, interactive special event. Expect such songs as “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” “Shut Up and Dance,” “The Way You Look Tonight,” and “Friend Like Me” in this show that thrives on engagement through music and comedy.


Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”


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

Opens Friday, Sept. 7: “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”

A comedy tonight! It’s Broadway’s original toga party, with desperate lovers, scheming neighbors and scandalous secrets. The Shakespeare troupe takes on musical comedy for the first time in this Tony Award-winning show. Shenanigans, hijinks and tomfoolery abound as the slave Pseudolus schemes to win his freedom in this romp through ancient Rome with desperate lovers, scheming neighbors and scandalous secrets behind every toga. The show was inspired by classic theater, the farces of Plautus, so I suppose it’s OK for The Bard’s band to perform.


“Open Source 1.1” at The Carnegie


The Carnegie | 1028 Scott Blvd., Covington, KY 41011; 859-491-2030

Opening Friday, Sept. 7: “Open Source 1.1”

On the other side of the building from the concert hall, the Carnegie delivers on its other mission: visual art. Its Open Source exhibits invite guest curators to engage with artists from the region to present objects and installations in a continuously evolving gallery environment. This season gets under way with “Open Source 1.1,” which includes works by 22 artists assembled by five curators. There also are two special projects. “Unreadable: Books as Objects” features selections from the collection of Linda and George Kurz, while “Forealism Tribe” presents the “collected documents, artifacts and images from a group of interdimensional travelers.”

Artist Raquel André at the Contemporary Art Center

Contemporary Arts Center | 44 E. Sixth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-345-8400

Thursday-Friday, Sept. 6-7, 8 p.m. “Collection of Lovers”

Throughout Portugal, Brazil and Norway, Raquel André has “collected” over 160 meetings. People of all nationalities, genders and ages have agreed to meet her at someone’s flat and, for an hour, construct a fictional intimacy to be captured in memory and photographs. “Collection of Lovers” is the result of André’s obsessive fascination with the terabytes of information that exist in each minuscule movement of another person. It is a reflection on intimacy that is explored one-to-one and constructed for the stage, all real and all fake. Part of the CAC’s Black Box Performance Series.

Last chance:

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

Through Monday, Sept. 10: “Uncomplicated”

Works by Cincinnati-based abstract painter Mary Barr Rhodes.

Cincinnati Art Museum | 953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-721-2787 (ARTS)

Through Sunday, Sept. 9: “Make Way for Ducklings: The Art of Robert McCloskey”

More than 100 pieces celebrating writer and illustrator Robert McCloskey, recipient of two Caldecott Medals and three Caldecott Honors for children’s literature. Emphasis is on McCloskey’s classic, “Make Way for Ducklings” of 1941 and “Centerburg Tales” of 1951, which recall his youth in nearby Hamilton.

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