By Thom Mariner
Tour guide Thomas Consolo is otherwise engaged this week (making music with the KSO), so I’m honored to share with you the lay of the land for lovers and other strangers in the seven days ahead. Let’s start with the former…
Queen City Cabaret | Bromwell’s Härth Lounge, 125 W. Fourth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
Feb. 14, 8:30 p.m.: “Cincy is for Lovers”
Vocalist Sarah Folsom and pianist Matthew Umphreys developed this cabaret show, crossing all sorts of musical borders to share their love of all things song. And speaking of love, they are saluting Valentine’s Day with a little help from singer Eric Byrd, associate artistic director of Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati. There are special “couples” packages available for you lovebirds (or just show up with your proud, sassy self), and all takes place at the lush and oh-so romantic Härth Lounge.
The Mini Microcinema | 1329 Main St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
Feb. 14, 7:30 p.m.: “Singin’ in the Rain” (1952)
Given the weather this past two weeks, the only way for anyone to sing (or dance) outside would be in the rain, but no one has ever done it better than the great Gene Kelly. Take someone you love to see this, then dance and sing all the way home. (Please share selfies!)
Cincinnati Museum Center | 1301 Western Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45203; 513-287-7000
Feb. 14, 6 p.m.: Opening reception: “Egypt: The Time of Pharaohs,” U.S. premiere
The first major show in the “new” Museum Center, opening to the public on Feb. 15, promises to be spectacular, and of special interest to those fascinated by the mysteries of ancient cultures. The exhibit features more than 350 original artifacts dating back over 4,500 years, stunningly detailed models of once-lost cities and landscapes, and vivid interactive multimedia spaces. “Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs” also opens at the OMNIMAX Theater. Through Aug. 18.
At Thursday’s reception, get an early look at the exhibit, meet curators and archaeologists, and enjoy a Valentine’s Day celebration with light bites, cocktails and valet parking. Tickets are $100. Pharaohs in Love after-party is 8-10 p.m. Tickets are $50.
Cincinnati Ballet | Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-621-5282
Feb. 14-17: Tchaikovsky/Petipa (adapted Carney): “The Sleeping Beauty”
Sometimes, having a “Nutcracker” in our midst on an annual basis, we may sometimes forget that Tchaikovsky wrote more than one ballet. His other masterful works in the genre – “Swan Lake” and this week’s “Sleeping Beauty” – are more often heard as suites in the concert hall. Here’s a rare chance to experience what some have called the “most symphonic” of these three with the CSO under the baton of Carmon DeLeone. Six performances, so one is bound to fit your schedule.
Cincinnati World Cinema | Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 859-957-3456
Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 16-17, 4 & 7 p.m.: Oscar Short Docs
Every year, watching the awards for short films, I repeat the same question: “Where can I watch these?” Here’s the answer. More coming in March. Note: At larger Memorial Hall, not Garfield Theatre.
Mayerson JCC Jewish & Israeli Film Festival | 1301 Western Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45203; 513-761-7500
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 7 p.m.: “Who Will Write Our History? The Secret Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto”
The closing week of this three-week exploration of films about Israel and the Jewish experience begins with this story of resistance fighters who chronicled eyewitness accounts of tragedy and survival within the Warsaw Ghetto. Presented in cooperation with the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center, here’s an opportunity to experience the HHC’s raved-about expanded new space at Union Terminal.
Tuesday, Feb. 19, 7 p.m.: “Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds: The Conductor Zubin Mehta”
Next Tuesday, a special presentation at the Kenwood Theatre will showcase a film about the life of legendary conductor Zubin Mehta, the face of the Israel Philharmonic for more than four decades, along with tenures at the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics. Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra music director Louis Louis Langrée will lead a discussion with Gillian Benet Sella, CSO principal harp, who previously played under Mehta in Israel. CSO musicians will also perform. (7815 Kenwood Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236)
College-Conservatory of Music | 290 CCM Blvd., Cincinnati, OH 45221; 513-556-4183
Feb. 17, 4 p.m.: Winter Choral Showcase
CCM pulls out all the choral stops for this show, packing the stage with everything from kids to kettledrums. With extended works by English composer Jonathan Dove (the 20-minute “The Passing of the Year”), Stravinsky (his “Rite of Spring”-influenced “Les Noces,” with four pianos!), plus shorter works from other CCM ensembles, along with the top of the crop of the Cincinnati Youth Choir, this is a cavalcade of choral music. In Corbett Auditorium.
Kentucky Symphony Orchestra | One Nunn Drive, Highland Heights, KY 41076; 859-431-6216
Saturday, Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m.: “American Pie”
Thomas Consolo is busy this week prepping for his upcoming gig with the KSO (program notes, with a little violin on the side), but he couldn’t resist sharing some tidbits …
No, there won’t be any stories about band camp, but there will be a full serving of made-in-the-USA music. From a regional premiere – “Mothership” by Mason Bates – to old favorites like Grofé’s “Grand Canyon Suite,” conductor James Cassidy is serving up a slice for every taste. Violinist Sandy Cameron, who has made a specialty of collaborating with rocker-turned-composer Danny Elfman, performs a suite from “Edward Scissorhands” and the melodious concerto by Samuel Barber, which ironically also boasts one of the repertoire’s great oboe solos. Come on down to Greaves Hall at NKU and say hello.
Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati | 317 E. Fifth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-569-8080
Feb. 16-17, 22-24: “Disney’s The Jungle Book KIDS”
Theater FOR kids, not BY kids. A superb opportunity to expose your young ones to the wonders of live performance at the Taft Theatre. Be advised, these shows are great, but often full, thanks to the work of talented people like Eric Byrd. (See Valentine’s Day, Queen City Cabaret, above.)
College-Conservatory of Music | 290 CCM Blvd., Cincinnati, OH 45219; 513-556-4183
Wednesday-Sunday, Feb. 13-17: “Our Country’s Good,” by Timberlake Wertenbaker
Based on the true story of convicts and captors producing Australia’s first play in 1780, against the background of the brutality of their daily lives, the original play’s creator sought to illustrate that there could be more to prisoners’ lives than crime and punishment. Winner of numerous English theater awards, the production is described by The Guardian as “a tribute to the transforming power of drama. … It is heartening to find someone standing up for theatre’s unique spiritual power.” (In Corbett Theater.)
THEATER: Last chance…
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company | 1195 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-381-2273
Thru Saturday, Feb. 16: “Fences”
Ensemble Theatre | 1127 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-421-3555
Thru Saturday, Feb. 16: “Ripcord”
Playhouse in the Park | 962 Mount Adams Circle, Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-421-3888
Thru Sunday, Feb. 17: “In the Heights”
Bunk Spot Gallery | 544 E. 12th St., Cincinnati OH 45202
Feb. 15, 7-11 p.m.: “HeArt”
New spaces for art are always a gift to the city. Here’s a relatively new haunt, just a few blocks away from the M&M mother ship, in the pulsing Pendleton district. This show is built around recent submissions celebrating a well-known theme of the season ;-). Check it out, then explore the cool watering and fueling spots nearby. Tell them M&M sent you. Show runs for just one week, through Feb. 22.
Cincinnati Art Museum | 953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-721-2787
Opens Feb. 15: Giorgione’s “La Vecchia” (circa 1502-08)
The CAM welcomes a recently restored painting by the Venetian master Giorgione (1477-1510), the first time a work by this rare and influential artist has been on view in Cincinnati. The painting is on loan from one of Europe’s greatest paintings collections, the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice. While you’re there, visit the exhibit celebrating the Art Academy’s 150th anniversary. Nothing like a leisurely, wintry afternoon at the CAM. Runs thru May 5.
The Red Door Project | 1195 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-381-3510
Tuesday, Feb. 22, 6-9:30 p.m.: Five-year anniversary show and sale
Barbara Hauser has been putting up her occasional art seller shingle for five years now, each time choosing a new locale, a fresh theme and showcasing local artists. This time ’round, in partnership with Cincy Shakes, artists will share their impressions of the season in honor of the upcoming production of Shakespeare’s “A Winter’s Tale.” Thankfully, Mother Nature has cooperated recently, providing some, no doubt, vivid inspiration. At Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.
Taft Museum of Art | 316 Pike St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-241-0343
Thru May 19: “From Winslow Homer to Georgia O’Keeffe: American Paintings from The Phillips Collection”
In case you haven’t sampled this sumptuous show yet (it just opened last weekend), this exhibit showcases 55 works by American masters, from the 1860s through the 1960s, including paintings by Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe and Helen Frankenthaler.
Visionaries & Voices | 3054 Madison Road, Cincinnati, OH 45209; 513-861-4333
Friday, Feb. 15, 6-8 p.m.: Courttney Cooper Map Viewing
Courttney Cooper is a marvel. His work would be amazing even if he didn’t generate all this detail from memory, mapping his physical and emotional experiences. Then add the fact that his tools of choice are a Bic pen and found scraps of paper, and things get really impressive. You have to see for yourself … especially if you love maps. Note: This show is at the new V&V Visionarium in Oakley, not Northside. Runs through March 29.