By Thomas Consolo
It feels autumnal outside, but it’s still pretty startling to realize that October is already winding to its hallowed end. No surprise, then, that there’s plenty of spooky stuff afoot – and a potent potable to help you through it. Curious? Forge ahead.
What better way to keep warm than to dance? The stars have aligned to make this weekend one of the biggest in dance this season, with three strong contenders for your attention.
Cincinnati Ballet | 1555 Central Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45214; 513-621-5282
Thursday, Oct. 25, through Sunday, Oct. 28: “Peter Pan”
Dancers, choreographers, even top managers have changed at Cincinnati Ballet over the last 50 years, but through it all Carmon DeLeone has been either on the podium or at the drum kit to lead the music. To mark his golden anniversary, the company is mounting its version of “Peter Pan,” setting the J.M. Barrie story to DeLeone’s own music. Who’s the boy who never grew old? Apparently, it’s Carmon.
Contemporary Dance Theater | 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-621-2787 (ARTS)
Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26 and 27, 8 p.m.: ZviDance
CDT presents ZviDance in a multimedia collaboration of contemporary dance and video design, using Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” as its touchstone and its point of departure to meditate on the current American notion of youth, freedom and individualism. At the Aronoff Center’s Jarson-Kaplan Theater.
ZviDance’s Zvi Gotheiner and other company members also will hold a masterclass at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, at CDT’s studio in College Hill (1805 Larch Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45224).
Exhale Dance Tribe | 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-621-2787 (ARTS)
Saturday, Oct. 27, 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.: “Frown Upside Down”
The Aronoff Center’s Fifth Third Bank Theater comes undead for what’s billed as a dance immersion experience and living Halloween museum. Exhale became known for its “Dead Can Dance” Halloween events; this year, it gets an update. (Note that, despite the center’s Walnut Street address, the Fifth Third Theater fronts Main Street.)
There’s no place that we’d rather go to get a good scare than to the movies. The history of cinema has left us a large library of horror classics, and what better time to thread the projector (not that anyone does that any more in this digital age) than the week before our scariest celebration, Halloween. At least, that’s what a handful of local cinemas think. Here are a few showings: Pick the one that matches your desired level of creepy.
Cincinnati World Cinema | 719 Race St., Cincinnati, 45202; 859-957-3456 (FILM)
Saturday, Oct. 27: “The ‘alt’ Scary Movie Marathon”
It’s a full day of cinema scares at the Garfield Theatre. First up, at 4 p.m., is “The Witch” (2015), a Sundance award-winning film by Robert Eggers. A mid-17th century New England family believes the woods around their farm contain some sort of evil, supernatural being – and they’re right. “Hereditary” (2018) follows at 6 p.m. After a family matriarch passes away, a grieving family is haunted by tragic and disturbing occurrences, and they begin to unravel dark secrets. Last is “Only Lovers Left Alive” (2013) at 9 p.m. A depressed musician reunites with his lover in a romance that already has endured centuries. It’s disrupted by the arrival of her uncontrollable younger sister.
Northern Kentucky University | 1 Louie B. Nunn Drive, Highland Heights, KY 41099; 859-572-5421
Thursday, Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m.: “Rosemary’s Baby”
Hard to believe, but NKU is golden this year. Golden as in celebrating its 50th anniversary. As part of the party, the cinema studies program and English department are collaborating on a series of films released in 1968. (I’ll save you the math; yes, that’s 50 years ago.) This week, it’s one of the still-scariest movies around, Roman Polanski’s “Rosemary’s Baby.” Mia Farrow, married to John Cassavetes, finds herself pregnant, and, my goodness, the neighbors are awfully concerned and always checking in. Except that goodness has nothing to do with it. Free, in the Digitorium at Griffin Hall.
Washington Park | 1230 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
Wednesday, Oct. 24, 8 p.m.: “The Nightmare Before Christmas”
If you think the Grinch nearly ruined Christmas, just wait till you see what happens when Halloween Town’s mayor, Jack Skellington, decides to take over for a year to give “Sandy Claws” a break. It’s a spectacular landmark of animation with an inspired score by Danny Elfman (who also sings the lead role). It’s the finale of Washington Park’s Fright Night Flicks series. Dress for the chill, but it’s a great story.
Mercantile Library | 414 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-621-0717
Wednesday, Oct. 24, 6 p.m.: “Two Spirited Women”
Join certified thanatologist Cole Imperi, an expert in the study of death and dying, and Molly Wellmann, Cincinnati’s favorite mixologist and author, about our history with spirits. It may surprise you to discover these two specialties have more in common than you might think. Imperi and Wellmann share what they’ve learned about life and happiness through the rituals associated with death and drinks. Here’s where the aforementioned potent potable comes in: The evening includes a custom punch by Wellmann.
Mayerson JCC | 8485 Ridge Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236; 513-766-3396
Thursday, Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m.: Project Trio
Combining the virtuosity of world-class artists with the energy of rock stars, Project Trio blends classical training with a wide range of musical styles. You can expect to hear an eclectic mix of classical, jazz, salsa, hip-hop, classic rock and everything in between. There’ll also be a tribute to the Bernstein centenary.
Butler Philharmonic | 1 High St., Hamilton, OH 45011; 513-895-5151
Saturday, Oct. 27, 8 p.m.: “Viva Italia”
Besides its Mozart festival, the Butler Phil’s marquee concert each season is the Tillmann Memorial Concert. This year’s is an Italian-flavored abbondanza, featuring artists from Cincinnati Opera and marching off into the blazing dawn with Respighi’s “Pines of Rome.” Paul John Stanbery leads the troops (St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, 5720 Hamilton-Mason Road, Liberty Twp. 45011).
Xavier University | 3800 Victory Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45207; 513-745-3000
Saturday, Oct. 27, 8 p.m.: Christian McBride
Cincinnati may not have a particularly big quantity of jazz, but what it has is pretty strong. One of the jewels in the city’s jazz crown is the Xavier Jazz Series. This year’s series kicks off with one of America’s great bass players. Christian McBride is equally comfortable leading his own bands; sharing the stage with the likes of Sonny Rollins, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock or Pat Metheny; accompanying pop giants like James Brown, Sting or The Roots; or collaborating with classical masters like Kathleen Battle, Edgar Meyer or the Shanghai Quartet. At the Gallagher Theater.
Ariel Quartet | 290 CCM Blvd., Cincinnati, OH 45221; 513-556-6638
Tuesday, Oct. 30, 8 p.m.: Haydn, Zemlinsky and Mendelssohn
Those who have been around town long enough will remember the LaSalle Quartet as the longtime quartet-in-residence at the College-Conservatory of Music. If so, you might remember that, besides championing new music, they led a rediscovery of the late Romantic quartets of Alexander Zemlinsky. These days, the Ariel is CCM’s quartet-in-residence, but on Tuesday they’ll pay their predecessors tribute with a program the LaSalle might have approved: Zemlinsky’s Quartet No. 2 framed by Haydn (Quartet No. 55) and Mendelssohn (Quartet No. 3). In Corbett Auditorium.
Cincinnati Landmark Productions | 4990 Glenway Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45238; 513-241-6550
Opens Thursday, Oct. 25: “The Wizard of Oz”
The 1939 movie version of “The Wizard of Oz” is hardly a faithful adaptation of the L. Frank Baum children’s books, but thanks to the eternal music of Harold Arlen and “Yip” Harburg, it became a classic in its own right. John Kane took the film as his source when he created his stage adaptation for the Royal Shakespeare Company. You can skip down the yellow brick road, too, at CLP’s production at the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts. Runs through Nov. 18.
Northern Kentucky University | Fine Arts Center, 100 Nunn Drive, Highland Heights, KY 41099; 859-572-5421
Through Sunday, Oct. 28: “Marisol”
This Obie Award winner follows Marisol Perez, a young, book-smart copy editor in Manhattan. (A copy editor! My kind of heroine.) After narrowly escaping a vicious attack, her guardian angel visits and informs her that she can no longer serve as Marisol’s protector. The angel has been called to lead an angelic campaign – a struggle that throws the human world into complete chaos. At the Stauss Theatre.
- “St. Nicholas”: A jaded theater critic spins a tale beginning with obsession and ending with a descent into a macabre world of vampires. It’s a one-man tour-de-force for Bruce Cromer. Through Saturday, Oct. 27, at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (1127 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-421-3555).
… or … the Ghost of FotoFocus. We’ve shared with you over the past several weeks the breadth of offerings around town tied to the biennial photography-driven festival known as FotoFocus. Now, some of the longer-running shows are starting to wind down. In case you’ve missed these so far, here are a few good bets to catch before the shutter closes for two years.
- “Archive”: A comparison between photographic and nonphotographic approaches that inspires thought about the role of visual art in the process of housing, presenting and preserving primary source information. Through Friday, Oct. 26, at Manifest Gallery (2727 Woodburn Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45206; 513-861-3638).
“Domus Oculi”: A freestanding structure housing a collection of camera obscura viewing devices made from lenses repurposed from film cameras and slide projectors by Cincinnati artist Erin Taylor. The name translates to “House of Eyes.” Through Sunday, Oct. 28, at Studio Erin Taylor (2868 Colerain Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45225).
- “Jason Hailey and Mount Community Response”: Abstract interpretations of commonplace products and discarded objects increase visual awareness and heighten our sensitivity. At Mount St. Joseph University’s Studio San Giuseppe Art Gallery through Sunday, Oct. 28 (5701 Delhi Road, Cincinnati, OH 45233; 513-244-4314).
- “Joel Armor: #cloudingjudgements”: Exhibition analyzes the impact that photographic accessibility and infinite storage have as we constantly point and shoot with our smartphones. Through Monday, Oct. 29, at the Baker Hunt Art & Cultural Center (620 Greenup St., Covington, KY 41011; 859-431-0020). Closing reception at 6 p.m. Monday.
- “Remembering 1975–1980” and “Flyover Country”: Twin shows at the Xavier University Art Gallery. There’s a collection of prints by P.J. Sturdevant created between 1975 and 1980 using the Bromoil process – popular in the first part of the 20th century – on 35 mm film. Then there’s a juried collection of photographs by local artists illuminating America’s interior regions and their cultural, political and economic vitality. Through Saturday, Oct. 27 (1658 Musketeer Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45207; 513-745-3000).
- “Time, Space and Place”: Photographs from the archives reflecting the experience of about a dozen diverse artists at different time periods and locations. At Mary Ran Gallery through Saturday, Oct. 27 (3668 Erie Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45208; 513-871-5604.