By Thomas Consolo
Friday will be the 172nd day of 2019, the first day of summer and about the 169th day it’s rained in Greater Cincinnati. Let’s hope the new season brings some seasonally appropriate weather. In the meantime, we all can keep dry at an intellectually fulfilling, emotionally engaging event being held indoors. Like most of the following, for example.
American Sign Museum | 1330 Monmouth Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45225; 513-541-6366
Sunday, June 23: Signs & Steins II
The Sign Museum even cares about signs beyond the ones in its collections. Take, for example, all the signs painted on city buildings, those still advertising businesses and services long since gone. Learn about their legacy through this bus tour of historic painted ads and signs led by author Ronny Salerno. To keep you hydrated along the way, the friendly chauffeurs of the Cincy Brew Bus will stop at two breweries for tastings. (Prepaid reservation required, so best not to just show up.)
Taps Tastes and Tunes | Streets of West Chester, West Chester Township, OH 45069
Friday through Sunday, June 21 through 23
The folks in West Chester Township have seen a lot of development in recent years, and that includes places to eat. This is the second year for this showcase of southern Butler County food and fun at the Streets of West Chester. A dozen restaurants, brewers and a nonstop lineup of bands will keep you entertained through the weekend.
Cincinnati Art Museum | 953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-721-2787 (ARTS)
Thursday, June 20, 7 p.m.: “Easy Rider”
Get yer motor runnin’. Head out on the highway. Hippie bikers trip from L.A. to New Orleans in search of the meaning of American freedom. Dennis Hopper’s directorial debut, a Cannes award winner, is set against a 1960s rock score and spectacular Southwest landscapes. It’s also marking its 50th anniversary this year. Combined, it’s worthy of the art museum’s Moving Images series. Stan Corkin, UC Niehoff Professor of Film and Media, will speak briefly before the film.
Cincinnati World Cinema | 719 Race St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 859-957-3456 (FILM)
Starting Friday, June 21: Sundance 2019 Short Films
It’s a touring program of seven short films chosen by Sundance curators. Cincinnati World Cinema notes on the event page that this year’s offerings are more “down to earth” than those of previous years and “more upbeat” than this year’s crop of Oscar-winning shorts. First showing is 7 p.m. Friday; 10 more screening follow through June 30.
The Mini Microcinema | 1329 Main St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
Thursday, June 20, 7:30 p.m.: “All That Jazz”
Another major film marking a big anniversary is Bob Fosse’s “All That Jazz.” Fosse turned the camera on his own life for this musical masterpiece starring Roy Scheider as the Fosse stand-in, Joe Gideon. The Mini is using its Anniversary Series as fundraisers, so admission is higher than usual.
Mercantile Library | 414 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-621-0717
Wednesday, June 19, 6 p.m.: An Evening with Charles Kaiser
Tuesday, June 25, 6:30 p.m.: Harriet Beecher Stowe Freedom Writer Award and Lecture
The Merc has two great evening talks on tap this week. First up tonight (sorry for the short notice) is Charles Kaiser, author of the “The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America.” This groundbreaking work, written in 1997, has been updated and rereleased for this year’s 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. Kaiser will read from and talk about the new edition.
Then, on Tuesday, Karen Attiah will accept the Stowe Freedom Writer award and deliver the namesake lecture. Attiah, global opinion editor for the Washington Post, is accepting the award on behalf of its actual winner, Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi, of course, cannot be here because he was brutally murdered by agents of the Saudi royal family for writing critically of their authoritarian regime.
We remind you, of course, of the many outdoor performances on tap around the region as compiled in M&M’s summer music guide. In addition, assuming it ever stops raining, there also are these outdoor offerings:
Cincinnati Civic Orchestra | 520 W. Columbia Ave, Reading, OH 45215; 513-861-9978
Starting Thursday, June 20, 7 p.m.: Summer Pops concerts
Speaking of anniversary years, the area’s oldest community orchestra is celebrating its 90th year in 2019. Thursday marks the beginning of the orchestra’s annual summer pops tour. There are six performances through the next month across Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, starting with Thursday in Reading’s Koenig Park. Also in the next week is 6 p.m. Sunday at Glendale Village Square (Glendale, OH 45246).
Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra | 1230 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-280-8181
Sunday, June 23, 7:30 p.m.: “Genius + Soul = Jazz”
The return to Washington Park for a free program of high-energy, horn-fueled, new arrangements of music by artists like Ray Charles and Earth, Wind & Fire.
If the forecast has you a little understandably skittish about outdoor concerts, how about?…
Cincinnati Soundbox | 609 Walnut St, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Sunday, June 23, 7 p.m.: “Cincinnati to Beijing”
The Soundbox season finale carries on its mission of showcasing music by living – and in most cases fairly young – composers. Five world premieres are on Sunday’s program at the 21c Museum Hotel, including “Etude” by College-Conservatory of Music graduate Wenhui Xie.
Memorial Hall | 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-977-8838
Thursday, June 20, 8 p.m.: Al Di Meola
He’s a pioneer of blending world music and jazz, and complex rhythm with lyrical melodies and sophisticated harmonies. Al Di Meola has performed or recorded with musical giants as diverse as Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Mingo Lewis, Jean-Luc Ponty, Carlos Santana, Paul Simon and Frank Zappa – which is to say his is a unique, prodigious talent. Which is to say you might want to experience him live on this local leg of his tour.
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company | 1195 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-381-2273
Starting Friday, June 21: Shakespeare in the Park
This is the 10th year that the folks at Cincy Shakes take the Bard to the people in the form of a summer of performances at parks around the Tristate. What better way to kick off the series than with “Midsummer Night’s Dream” on midsummer night in Eden Park? The rude mechanicals take the stage of Seasongood Pavilion (1600 Art Museum Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202) at 7 p.m. Check the web page above for the full schedule.
“Fallen Angels”: It’s the last week for this Noël Coward comedy, show No. 1 of NKU’s summer dinner theater series. Through Sunday In the Stauss Theatre (1 Louie B. Nunn Drive, Highland Heights, KY 41099; 859-572-5421).
The shutter is about to close on this, too:
Photography & Digital Art Competition: The eighth photography and digital art competition at the Middletown Arts Center runs through Thursday. Check out who won. (130 N. Verity Parkway, Middletown, OH 45042; 513-424-2417.)