By Thomas Consolo
In this season of transition in the arts world, you might notice an interesting phenomenon: Events this week are more clustered than usual in a few disciplines. Don’t get us wrong; there’s still plenty to do (as always). It’ll just be an extra bountiful week if you’re, say, a fan of film. You’ll also notice that the number of outdoor events is ramping up. Bring the bumbershoot along, and all will be well. Off we go….
Appalachian Community Development Association | 6201 Kellogg Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45230; 513-251-3378
Friday, May 10, through Sunday, May 12: Appalachian Festival
It’s the 50th anniversary of this celebration of all things Appalachian, and it’s come a long way from its beginnings as a crafts exhibition in a smaller room at Music Hall. The three-day festival, which has called a handful of venues home along the way, has been based at Coney Island since the 1980s. This year there are more than 80 crafters, music on two stages, a pioneer village, storytelling, dance and, of course, plenty of food.
Asian Food Fest | Freedom Way between Elm and Walnut streets
Saturday and Sunday, May 11 and 12
Speaking of festivals on the move, Cincinnati’s Asian Food Fest has existed for only nine years, but it’s already on its fifth location. One could argue it’s really No. 4, since this is actually its second stint at The Banks. After five years in Washington Park, the event outgrew Over-the-Rhine’s de facto living room and needed more space to spread out. This year there are 67 booths offering everything from Cambodian street food to Thai ice cream to noodles and dumplings to sake. Two stages offer live entertainment both days. Do you hear that? It’s a bowl of pho calling your name.
Cincinnati Film Society | 320 Ludlow Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45220; 513-212-6761
Friday, May 10, through Sunday, May 12: Mother’s Day Weekend
The film society and the Esquire are teaming up this weekend to screen classic films featuring some … unusual … maternal-themed relationships. In celebration of the 80th anniversary of 1939, Hollywood’s most golden year, there’s George Cukor’s “The Women” with its all-star, all-female cast. Then there’s “Mommy Dearest,” with Faye Dunaway as an abusive Joan Crawford (who stars in “The Women,” by the way). Last, there’s “Grey Gardens” – not the more recent Jessica Lange-Drew Barrymore version but the 1975 documentary with the real Edith Bouvier Beale (Jackie O’s cousin) and her daughter, also named Edith, leading a sad, eccentric life in a mansion falling into ruin around them.
Society for the Preservation of Music Hall | Music Hall Ballroom, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-621-2787 (ARTS)
Thursday, May 9, 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.: 130 Years of Chaplin
In their earliest days, cinema really was a performance. That’s because, without a recorded soundtrack, the musical accompaniment was created live at every show. The performers ranged from a lone pianist in small theaters to an ensemble to the organists that manned the mighty Wurlitzers of America’s movie palaces. Cincinnati’s grandest temple to film was torn down to make way for the Westin Hotel, but its organ was saved and is now installed in the Music Hall Ballroom. On Thursday, you can hear it as it was meant to be heard – in the flickering dark as a silent movie rolls. It’s a Charlie Chaplin double bill: “The Kid,” made in 1921, and “Behind the Screen,” a short from 1916.
Woman’s Art Club of Cincinnati | 6980 Cambridge Ave., Mariemont, OH 45227; 513-272-3700
Thursday, May 9, 7 p.m.: “Matisse-Picasso”
It’s the final installment in this year’s ArtFlix series of films about artists at The Barn arts center. Philippe Kohly’s 2002 documentary about the friendly competition between the two giants of 20th-century art is relatively short, so there’ll be a bonus second feature. Admission is free, but the nice folks at The Barn would prefer you pre-register so they know how many chairs to set up.
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra | 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-381-3300
Friday, May 10, 11 a.m.: Mozart and Mahler
It’s become old hat to pair Mozart and Mahler on orchestra programs, but that’s because it’s a really good combination. Both were the greatest composers of their time, summing up the musical achievements of their eras. Louis Langrée leads the CSO in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4, with the CSO’s own Stefani Matsuo as soloist, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. Mahler famously said a symphony should contain “the world.” For emotional range, the fifth may be the best example of that, from the shuddering funeral march that starts its journey to tender intimacy to overflowing joy. Program repeats at 8 p.m. Saturday, but it’s officially sold out, so call first to see if there have been any cancellations.
Kentucky Symphony Orchestra | 1140 Madison Ave., Covington, KY 41011; 859-431-6216
Saturday, May 11, 8 p.m.: “Viva Vivaldi”
It’s that season when a concert could be indoors or outdoors. How about both? That’s James Cassidy’s solution. The KSO performs an all-Vivaldi program at Covington’s St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption. First, indoors, is the “Gloria,” with the KSO joined by the KSO Chorale and VOCE. Then everyone moves outdoors for “The Four Seasons,” with KSO concertmistress Manami White as soloist. So why outside? In a collaboration with local photographers, the concertos will be accompanied by images of Northern Kentucky through the seasons projected on the basilica’s north face. (Yes, I’ll be in the band, so come say hello.)
Cincinnati Soundbox | 609 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-941-5088
Sunday, May 12, 4 p.m.: “Music for Three”
If the CSO and KSO sound a little, well, BIG for you, the new music fans at Soundbox have a suggestion. They’re offering a program of world premieres (all four works were actually written this year) performed by three vocalists: soprano Jackie Stevens with mezzo-sopranos Lauren McAllister and Ellen Graham. At the appropriately cutting edge 21c Museum Hotel.
Cincinnati Music Theatre | 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-621-2787 (ARTS)
Opens Friday, May 10: “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”
“Notre Dame de Paris” – the actual title of Victor Hugo book – got the Disney treatment in 1996, which meant cutting the underlying message about saving historic architecture and adding songs by the studio’s musical superstars, Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz. That’s the version that provided the gist (including the songs) of this stage adaptation. There’s extra poignancy to the timing here, of course, given the devastating fire that ravaged the Paris landmark. Seven performances through May 18 in the Aronoff Center’s Jarson-Kaplan Theater.
Memorial Hall | 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-977-8838
Saturday, May 11, 2 p.m.: “Five Little Monkeys”
This family-friendly play recounts a zany day in the life of the silly simians of Eileen Christelow’s “Five Little Monkeys” books. It’s billed as fun for ages 3 and up.
• “Mercury”: It’s a comedy … about revenge. In the second of his “planetary” plays, Steve Yockey takes on the heat of Mercury and the odd things that happen when the mercury rises. Through Saturday, May 11, at Know Theatre (1120 Jackson St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-300-5669).
• “Skeleton Crew”: In Detroit in 2008, a tight-knit group of autoworkers faces tough decisions about the future in this regional premiere by Dominique Morisseau. Through Saturday, May 11, at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (1127 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-421-3555).
Greenwich House Gallery | 2124 Madison Road, Cincinnati, OH 45208; 513-871-8787
Opens Friday, May 10, 5-8 p.m.: “Elements”
Six female artists bring their latest work in their element – hence the title – of choice. Two are from Cincinnati – Shelby Hine and Donna Talerico. Those elements include acrylic, glass, paper and steel. Through June 8.
• “Paris 1900”: Sadly, the Belle Époque is about to end again. Exhibition features more than 200 works from the turn of the 20th century by the likes of Claudel, Pisarro, Renoir, Rodin and Toulouse-Lautrec. Through Sunday, May 12, at the Cincinnati Art Museum (953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-721-2787).
• “Tearassin’ Like a Slug Outta Heaven”: Thought-provoking works by Manal Kara, a self-taught, Moroccan-American artist. Through Saturday, May 11, at BasketShop (3105 Harrison Ave | Cincinnati, OH 45211; 469-774-5656).