What to Do/See/Hear | Sept. 26-Oct. 2

By Thomas Consolo

The warm-up period is officially ended, so stand back. There’s about to be an explosion. Of art, that is. No time for an extended introduction. Let’s get to it.

BCM Clothes Encounter

“No Nuisance” by Melvin Grier


Say cheese! FotoFocus, Cincinnati’s biennial (that’s the one that means every other year if you’re not sure) festival of all things photographic is about to begin. Not this week, technically (watch this space!), but very, very soon – so soon that venues across the region are jumping the gun to get a little exposure. Many are partners in the fairly self-explanatory Open Archive series.

Here’s a snapshot – yeah, I went there – to give you an idea of the scope of what’s in store. (Also see our overview of FotoFocus plus our TOP PICKS for this year’s Biennial, the cover story of our October edition.)

Thursday, Sept. 27:

  • 6 p.m.: Free screening of “Small Towns & Long Views” at the Esquire Theatre (320 Ludlow Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45220). Presented by Clifton Cultural Arts Center; 513-497-2860.

Friday, Sept. 28:

  • 9 a.m.: Opening of “50 at 50,” images of 50 years at NKU, and “Record/Off Record.” (Fine Arts Center, Northern Kentucky University, Nunn Drive, Highland Heights, KY 41099; 859-572-5148)
  • 6 p.m.: Opening reception for “Sharonville +5: Then, Now and Interpreted,” work by five photographers. (Sharonville Cultural Arts Center, 11165 Reading Road, Sharonville, OH 45241; 513-554-1014)
  • 5 p.m.: Opening reception for “Replace with Fine Art” and “Body Doubles.” (Art Academy of Cincinnati, 1212 Jackson St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-562-6262)
  • 5 p.m.: Opening reception for “Timescapes.” (Wash.Park.Art, 1215 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202)
  • 5:30 p.m.: Opening reception for “Out of the Stacks” and “A Year on the Edge: A Photographic Narrative of the Edge of Appalachia Preserve.” (Lloyd Library and Museum, 917 Plum St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-721-3707)
  • 6 p.m.: Opening reception for “Clothes Encounters,” fashion photography by Melvin Grier. (Behringer-Crawford Museum, 1600 Montague Road (Devou Park), Covington, KY 41011; 859-491-4003)
  • 6 p.m.: Opening reception for “Frame Rate,” photography by Joshua Kessler. (Dick Waller’s ArtPlace, 130 W. Court St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-281-7726)

Monday, Oct. 1:

Tuesday, Oct. 2:

  • 7:30 p.m.: Screening of “pure&magicalpussypower,” documentary on Joanie 4 Jackie. (The Mini Microcinema, 1329 Main St., Cincinnati, Ohio 45202)


OTR International Film Festival | Various venues; 513-487-3939

Wednesday, Sept. 26, through Sunday, Sept. 30

Last fall, the six-year-old Cincinnati Reelabilities Film Festival decided to broaden its programming and its name. Founded with a focus on films about people with disabilities, the newly minted Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival includes films on all kinds of “otherness” – race, gender, sexuality, identity and faith. It’s still sponsored by LADD, Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled Inc., with the help of a million-dollar grant. There are dozens of events scheduled at venues all across Over-the-Rhine. For the full schedule and to order tickets, see the festival website above. Read our interview with four of the festival’s leaders here.


Akropolis Reed Quintet


Collegium Cincinnati | 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-428-2224 (BACH)

Sunday, Sept. 30, 4 p.m.: Cocktails and Concertos

Collegium is dedicated to breaking the barriers between great music and audiences. That often includes nonstandard venues and, in this case, cocktails, the key to millennials’ hearts. Sunday’s program at the Aronoff Center’s Weston Art Gallery puts countertenor Michael Maniaci, a CCM grad who’s sung at Met in New York, and Collegium oboist Mark Ostoich in the spotlight.

Joshua Bell

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

Friday, Sept. 28, and Saturday, Sept. 29, 8 p.m.: Joshua Bell

After last week’s French gala, the season proper kicks off with the help of violinist Joshua Bell, a perennial audience favorite, playing the Sibelius concerto. The program offers plenty of orchestral fireworks, too, in this case opening with Stravinsky’s early piece “Fireworks” and concluding with the still revolutionary-sounding “Rite of Spring.” Louis Langrée conducts.

Matinée Musicale | 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-231-0964

Sunday, Sept. 30, 3 p.m.: Akropolis Reed Quintet

Founded by a group of the city’s leading women musicians, Matinée Musicale has been a showcase for up-and-coming talent for more than a century. The 2018-19 season starts with the Akropolis Reed Quintet, founded in 2009 by, obviously, five reed players – oboist, clarinetist, saxophonist, bass clarinetist and bassoonist – at the University of Michigan.

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


Falcon Theatre | 636 Monmouth St., Newport, KY 41071; 513-479-6783

Opens Friday, Sept. 28: “Yankee Tavern”

Good theater doesn’t stop at the Ohio River, and here’s proof. Falcon Theatre opens its 2018-19 season with this award-winning Steven Dietz drama about the agony of uncertainty. Just when you thought you’d heard every crazy 9/11 conspiracy theory, a stranger walks into the crumbling Yankee Tavern and orders two beers … . Runs through Oct. 13.

Northern Kentucky University | Corbett Theatre, Nunn Drive, Highland Heights, KY 41099; 859-572-5464

Opens Thursday, Sept. 27: “Big Fish”

Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney starred in “Big Fish,” the 2003 Tim Burton film about a frustrated son who tries to determine the fact from fiction in his dying father’s life. It’s since been adapted for the stage, and NKU’s School of the Arts picked it to open its theater season. Runs through Oct. 7.

Last chances:

  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”: Cincinnati Shakespeare Company mounts its first musical – the original Broadway toga party, with desperate lovers, scheming neighbors and scandalous secrets – through Saturday, Sept. 29, in the still-new Otto M. Budig Theater (1195 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-381-2273 [BARD]).
  • Fly By Night”: A gypsy prophecy propels melancholy sandwich-maker Harold and two bewitching sisters through a star-crossed journey in this darkly comic rock-fable musical. Through Saturday, Sept. 29, at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (1127 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-421-3555).
  • Misery”: Novelist Paul Sheldon meets his No. 1 fan. Through Saturday, Sept. 29, at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park (962 Mount Adams Circle, Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-421-3888).


Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum | 1763 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton, OH 45013; 513-868-1234

Saturday, Sept. 29, and Sunday, Sept. 30: 16th Annual Pyramid Hill Art Fair

Seventy artists come together for a juried show and sale set among Pyramid Hill’s monumental sculptures. The fair also offers live music, food vendors, family activities and a community pavilion.

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