By Thomas Consolo
It’s getting better. As I was driving on a recent sunny evening, I glanced at the clock and was surprised to see that, at a few minutes after 6 p.m., there was still light in the sky. For me, the noticeable return of daylight is something worth celebrating. But what to do for the occasion? Glad you asked, because I have a few suggestions.
Cincinnati Museum Center | 1301 Western Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45203; 513-287-7000
Sunday, Jan. 27, 1 p.m.: Holocaust & Humanity Center grand opening
You might not know that the recently completed restoration of Union Terminal resulted in the creation of thousands of square feet of newly usable space. (Modern HVAC systems are a lot smaller than their 1930s counterparts.) That means there’s plenty of room to welcome the Museum Center’s newest constituent institution. In less than 20 years, the Holocaust & Humanity Center has outgrown two homes, starting with Hebrew Union College in Clifton, and it was again looking for a bit more space.
This weekend, it celebrates the opening of that third home, in the terminal, with a full afternoon of activities. The ceremonies start at 1 p.m. with a procession of Holocaust survivors and their descendants, followed by the official ribbon-cutting. There’ll be a special Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra performance at 3 p.m. and a roundtable discussion on “The Making of Cincinnati’s Newest Museum.”
There’s a gala the night before, too, but it’s sold out. Our recent story offers more information about the center and its opening. And look for more in our February issue of M&M, publishing Jan. 30, a week from today.
Holiday Junction: It’s not as fun for me as it was in the lobby of CG&E’s downtown headquarters, but it’s still the region’s biggest and most famous model train display. End of the line is Sunday.
American Sign Museum | 1330 Monmouth Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45225; 513-541-6366
Thursday, Jan. 24, 6:30 p.m.: Signs and Suds
If you’re a firm believer that history is best served with a beverage, head to Camp Washington on Thursday for the sign museum’s collaborative event with Rhinegeist Brewery. Get a VIP tour of the museum’s exhibits and enjoy paired, often small-batch, Rhinegeist tastings.
Mercantile Library | 414 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-621-0717
Thursday, Jan. 24, 6 p.m.: Six@Six – “Moby-Dick” Through a Nigerian Lens
The Six@Six lecture series is the most public undertaking of the Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement. Based at Northern Kentucky University, the center’s goal is to develop a sense of stewardship and citizenship in the community. The lecture series generally features NKU students and faculty talking about their research and creative activity. This week, in a trip north of the Ohio, NKU professor Bob Wallace, a noted Melville scholar, and student Onyinye “Onyi” Uwolloh explore “Moby-Dick through Ishmael na my name,” the sequence of haiku in the Pidgin English of Ony’s native Nigeria. They’ll then explore “Benito Cereno,” Melville’s story about an African slave revolt, from a Nigerian perspective. (And, yes, “Moby-Dick” has a hyphen.)
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra | 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-381-3300
Saturday, Jan. 26, 8 p.m.: Mozart “Requiem”
It’s hard to go wrong with Mozart’s last, great piece. Mozart was deathly ill as he wrote his “Requiem,” and he didn’t live to complete it. What he did complete is profoundly beautiful, and what was completed from his sketches isn’t so bad, either. David Robertson takes the podium at Music Hall. Robertson, a master of saying a lot with minimal fuss, is also a genius with more contemporary repertoire, like Boulez’s “Rituel,” which opens the program. Repeats at 3 p.m. Sunday.
Kentucky Symphony Orchestra | 1 Nunn Drive, Highland Heights, KY 41076; 859-431-6216
Saturday, Jan. 26, 7:30: “Stop the World – I Want to Get Off”
The British musical team of Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse is underappreciated in the United States. The KSO does its part to rectify that with a semi-staged production of the duo’s first musical. Includes the songs “Once in a Lifetime,” “Gonna Build a Mountain,” and the showstopper “What Kind of Fool Am I,” which later became a hit for Sammy Davis Jr. Local actors and real-life couple Joshua and Brooke Steele star. Repeats at 3 p.m. Sunday.
Chamber Music in Yellow Springs | 314 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs, OH 45387; 937-374-8800
Sunday, Jan. 27, 7:30 p.m.: JACK Quartet
The JACK Quartet has been dubbed the “go-to quartet for contemporary music.” It also was named Musical America’s 2019 Ensemble of the Year and has performed in the great halls of the world. They bring a trademark program to Yellow Springs, including Eliott Carter’s String Quartet No. 4 and John Zorn’s “The Alchemist.” Preconcert lecture begins at 6:45 p.m.
College-Conservatory of Music | 290 CCM Blvd., Cincinnati, OH 45221; 513-556-6638
Tuesday, Jan. 29, 8 p.m.: Ariel Quartet
If a road trip to Yellow Springs is too big a commitment for you, how about a road trip to University Heights? The Ariel, CCM’s quartet in residence, offers a program from the heart of Europe (albeit separated by a century or so). It opens with Beethoven’s final quartet, No. 16. (Muß es sein? Es muß sein!) Following are Zemlinsky’s Quartet No. 2 and Brahms’ Quartet No. 3. You might remember that the Zemlinsky quartets were rescued from obscurity thanks to the efforts of the Ariel’s predecessors at CCM, the LaSalle Quartet.
It’s a big week on the stage. Better start working on your schedules now.
Cincinnati Landmark Productions | 801 Matson Place, Cincinnati, OH 45204; 513-241-6550
Opens Thursday, Jan. 24: “The Graduate”
One word: plastics. Next up at the Warsaw Federal Incline Theater is Terry Johnson’s adaptation of the classic 1967 film and its namesake 1963 novel by Charles Webb. You remember the story: Benjamin Braddock is adrift upon his college graduation and increasingly alienated from his upper-class, suburban world. An affair with the wife of his father’s business partner (here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson) leads him to her daughter, Elaine, and true love.
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company | 1195 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-381-2273
Opens Friday, Jan. 25: “Fences”
August Wilson’s American Century cycle is one of the greatest achievements of American theater, with a play dedicated to each decade of the 20th century as seen through the eyes of the residents of Pittsburgh’s Hill district. (It’s where Wilson was born, too.) “Fences,” the play for the 1950s, tells the story of Troy Maxson, a one-time Negro baseball league star and now a garbage man. When his son Cory wants to pursue his chance to play ball, his father’s bitterness and resentment at never making the big leagues threaten to tear their relationship apart. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and four Tony awards, including Best Play. Runs through Feb. 16 at the Otto M. Budig Theater.
Falcon Theatre | 636 Monmouth St., Newport, KY 41071; 513-479-6783
Opens Friday, Jan. 25: “The Exonerated”
The death penalty may seem like a perfectly reasonable thing given the savagery or scope of some crimes, but, if you’re a proponent, you’d better make sure you’ve got the right suspect. That’s been a problem through American history, especially when race is added to the mix. In “The Exonerated,” the stories of six wrongfully convicted death-row inmates are told through their own words, thanks to interviews, letters, transcripts and public records. The effects these egregious miscarriages of justice had on their victims make for powerful stories of survival.
• “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”: Victor Hugo gets the Disney treatment in this adaptation of the animated film. Through Sunday at the Carnegie (1028 Scott Blvd., Covington, KY 41011; 859-491-2030).
• “Second City – It’s Not You, It’s Me”: The famed improv comedy troupe offers its take on, as they put it, “the mire of human relationships.” Through Sunday at Playhouse in the Park’s Shelterhouse Theater (962 Mount Adams Circle, Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-421-3888).
• “Rabbit Hole”: Becca and Howie Corbett have everything a family could want, until a life-shattering accident turns their world upside down. Through Sunday from CenterStage Players at Lockland High School (249 W. Forrer Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45215; 513-588-4910).
Art Beyond Boundaries | 1410 Main St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-421-8726
Opens Friday, Jan. 25: “Dirty Dozen”
The gallery’s anniversary show celebrates 12 years of exhibiting the work of artists with disabilities in Over-the-Rhine. Opening reception 6 p.m. Friday. Runs through March 15.
Cincinnati Art Museum | 953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-721-2787 (ARTS)
Friday, Jan. 25, 5 p.m.: “Art After Dark”
Dance the winter blues away at “Ice Ice Baby,” a ’90s themed evening featuring performances from Pones, food for purchase from Django Western Taco, specialty cocktails and docent-led tours. Remember, as Mr. Robert van Winkle put it: “Deadly when I play a dope melody/Anything less than the best is a felony” While you’re there, be sure to take a few moments for “Collecting Calligraphy: Arts of the Islamic World.” The exhibit closes Sunday.
Manifest Gallery | 2727 Woodburn Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45206; 513-861-3638
Opens Friday, Jan. 25: “Similitude”
Throughout art history, the ability of an artist to capture not only a recognizable likeness but also the subject’s character and spirit has defined whole careers. What does that mean in the era of Facebook and the selfie? Manifest shows the answer according to 29 works by 24 artists from 10 states. Running concurrently through Feb. 22 are:
• “Utility”: Works in which artists use their creative skills to create functional art.
• “Sinks and Chairs”: These everyday objects are often the inspiration for art that reflects on how humanity fits into the world.