What to Do/Hear/See | March 13-19

By Thomas Consolo

Whether you’re excited about celebrating the wearin’ of the green or would rather open a cultural window on centuries past, there’s something afoot for you this week. No need to dawdle. Let’s get right to it.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center


National Underground Railroad Freedom Center | 50 East Freedom Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202; 513-333-7500

It’s been 55 years since Freedom Summer, the 1964 drive to register black voters across the South. Volunteers received much of their training in Oxford, Ohio, at Western College (now part of Miami University). To commemorate that landmark year, the Freedom Center is sponsoring a series of Freedom 55 events. This week:

Thursday, March 14: Charles Cobb lecture

Charles Cobb left Howard University to join the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Mississippi and created the idea of Freedom Schools. Hear him speak about his experiences and his book, “This Nonviolent Stuff Will Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible.” Reception begins at 6 p.m.

Sunday, March 17, 3 p.m.: “Standing on My Sister’s Shoulders

The civil rights movement was not a male-only endeavor, and this documentary recounts the stories of the many brave women who took part. Among them, Unita Blackwell, a Mississippi sharecropper who rose to become the state’s first black female mayor; Joan Mulholland, a white woman who attended an all-black university; and three women who challenged Lyndon Johnson at the 1964 Democratic National Convention.


Contemporary Dance Theater | 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-621-2787 (ARTS)

Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16, 8 p.m.: Everett

CDT’s Guest Artist Series continues with “Good Grief,” a new work by Providence, Rhode Island-based Everett. The work is the result of Everett’s work with students and police officers suffering from trauma and explores how we tap into emotions to heal. At the Aronoff Center’s Jarson-Kaplan Theater.


Fountain Square | Fifth and Vine streets, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Saturday and Sunday, March 16 and 17, noon: St. Patrick’s Day Weekend

What with the German accents at Bockfest, Oktoberfest and [insert holiday here]fest, we sometimes forget that there are other immigrant communities in town. This week, the sons and daughters of Ireland take center stage in the heart o’ the city. Enjoy live music from Celtic rock bands, face painting, Irish food and beer (both green and Guinness, of course) at this two-day celebration of all things Americans think are Irish.

On Saturday, start your celebrations at The Banks with the Cincinnati St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which in 53 years has never been postponed or canceled – rain, sleet or snow.


Cincinnati World Cinema | 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 859-957-3456 (FILM)

Saturday and Sunday, March 16 and 17: 2019 Oscar-nominated short films

The celebrity hubbub to keep some awards – including the live short-subject winner – in the Oscars telecast was all well and good, but that doesn’t mean the average cinemagoer has a chance to see them. Cincinnati World Cinema gives you that opportunity, showing all the short-subject nominees – both animated and live-action – both Saturday and Sunday. They’re swapping the order so you can go either to both shows (4 p.m. and 7 p.m.) on either day, or both time slots across the weekend. (Pretty clever, eh?) If you didn’t see the awards, we won’t spoil it by revealing the winners.

If the address looks odd, CWC expects a bigger crowd than their Garfield Theatre home will hold, so they’re moving on up to Memorial Hall.

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

Wednesday, March 13, 6:15 p.m.: “Treblinka” and “Borders”

Sorry for the short notice on this one. The CAC’s Cinema and the Center series screens these two films in conjunction with the UC European Film Festival. The feature film is Sérgio Tréfaut’s “Treblinka,” which fictionalizes the experiences of survivors of the Treblinka concentration camp into the modern day to see how (and if) we still register images of horror. It’s paired w­­ith the short “Borders,” which takes on Europe’s current humanitarian quandary, immigration.

Sarah Smarsh


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

Thursday, March 14, 6:30 p.m.: Memoir Lecture – Sarah Smarsh


In her memoir, “Heartland,” Sarah Smarsh weaves her life story and a socioeconomic analysis of the country’s working class, particularly in her native Kansas. Smarsh, whose reporting credits include work for the New York Times and New Yorker, won Best Book of 2018 from NPR and from Buzzfeed for “Heartland,” and the book was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award. Reception begins at 6 p.m.



Catacoustic Consort | 2366 Kemper Lane, Cincinnati, OH 45206; 513-772-3242

Sunday, March 17, 3 p.m.: Trobár

If you’d already done your homework and were ready for a program dedicated to the tenor viol, well, the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley. Instead, Catacoustic presents a rare medieval concert by Trobár, a Cleveland-based women’s ensemble. They’ll offer a look at the world of Christine de Pizan and women of her time – the later 14th and early 15th centuries – through her writing and contemporaneous music.

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

Friday, March 15, 11 a.m. and Saturday, March 16, 8 p.m.:  “American in Paris + Amériques,” Louis Langrée, conductor. Augustin Hadelich, violin

The Concorde has taken its last flight, but you can travel to both Paris and New York this weekend with the CSO. Impressions of the City of Light by a New Yorker – Gershwin’s ” American in Paris” – are paired with a Gaul’s contemporaneous take on the Big Apple – Edgar Varèse’s “Ameriques” with its 150 musicians. Hadelich plays both sides of the Atlantic, too, with Barber’s lyrical concerto (the slow movement is worth the price of admission) and Ravel’s gypsy-inspired “Tzigane.”

Aeolus Quartet

Miami University Performing Arts Series | 10 S. College Ave., Oxford, OH 45056; 513-529-6333

Monday, March 18, 7:30 p.m.: Aeolus Quartet

Founded in 2008 at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Aeolus Quartet has racked up a long list of prizes for their performances. More important, though, the now-New York-based group is dedicated to bringing music into the community. (That means they’re on the road a lot.) This week, they make a stop in bucolic Oxford for a brief residency at Miami and Monday’s performance at the Oxford Community Arts Center. Program is TBA.


CenterStage Players | 249 W. Forrer Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45215; 513-588-4910

Opens Friday, March 15: “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”

Chekhov is alive and well in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where adult siblings Vanya and Sonia reside in their old family home, mourning their lost dreams and missed opportunities.

But, wait, this is a comedy. Christopher Durang blends Chekhov with modern-day toils, the troubles of celebrity, social networking and age. Through March 24 at Lockland High School Auditorium.

Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative | 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-621-2787 (ARTS)

Tuesday, March 19, 7:30 p.m.: “All Decked Out” and “Road Trip”

Of all the performing arts, drama has been the most successful at connecting with audiences through new works. Here’s a great opportunity to experience a unique point in the creative process. The nonprofit Playwrights Initiative is presenting staged readings of two new works in the Aronoff’s Fifth Third Theater (that’s the one that fronts Main Street).

Playhouse in the Park | 1 Aquarium Way, Newport, KY 41071; 513-421-3888

Friday, March 15: “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”

The Playhouse and the Newport Aquarium are teaming up for a theatrical experiment as part of the Playhouse’s Off the Grid series. The play is based on Jules Verne’s underwater, sci-fi classic, but the theater comprises the entire aquarium, and the audience will be part of the action. (The Playhouse warns that there’s no seating and, if you go, you’ll have to stand and walk a fair amount, although it’s also wheelchair accessible.) If that sounds like a great time for the kids, you’re right. It’s definitely kid-friendly, although at least age 10 is recommended. Three shows on Friday, but 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. are officially sold out. There are (so far) some tickets left for 10:15 p.m.


BasketShop | 3105 Harrison Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211; 469-774-5656

Opens Saturday, March 16: Danny Floyd, “Nothing Can Surpass”

The title of this exhibition by Danny Floyd in taken from e.e. cummings’ “Poem 42” and continues the artist’s “Paper” series. Like the poem, this chapter focuses on stillness – in the form of animated frames from “The Simpsons” that contain the characters’ eyeballs in complete darkness. We’re asked to reflect on how distance and time affect our perception. Opening reception 6 p.m. Saturday.

“Radical Visibility” at the Carnegie

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

Friday, March 15, 5-8 p.m.: Open Source 1.3, opening reception

It’s the third incarnation of the Carnegie’s evolving, season-long exhibition. Version 1.3 features a project with Chicago-based artist Sky Cubacub. “Radical Visibility” explores handmade, non-gender conforming garments and accessories for people of all genders, sizes and abilities.

Last chances:

Dirty Dozen”: An anniversary show that celebrates 12 years of showcasing the talents of artists with disabilities in Over-The-Rhine. Through Friday, March 15, at Art Beyond Boundaries (1410 Main St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-421-8726).

Faces of Addiction”: Multimedia exhibition of 50 black-and-white portraits of local opioid addicts by photographer Eric Hatch. Through Thursday, March 14, at Christ Church Cathedral’s Gallery South (318 E. Fourth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-621-1817).

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