By Thomas Consolo
Hey, who stole June? It’s already almost gone, but there’s still a weekend left to enjoy its arts and culture offerings. Heck, we might even get to enjoy some outdoor events. Fingers crossed.
Krohn Conservatory | 1501 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-421-5707
Opens Saturday, June 29: “Il Giardino – A Garden of Tuscany”
The butterflies have flitted away, so it’s time for the conservatory’s summer show, this year evoking the traditional sights, sounds and smells of a Tuscan garden. Let cypress trees, fragrant herbs, splashing fountains and brilliant summer blooms at take you to the Mediterranean – at least through Aug. 18, when the show closes.
Cincinnati Nature Center | 4949 Tealtown Road, Milford, OH 45150; 513-831-1711
Saturday, June 29, 9 a.m.: Garden tour
The Nature Center presents its first garden tour, dubbed “Noteworthy Natives,” Saturday. Ten private gardens across the eastern part of the city – Hyde Park, Mount Lookout, Indian Hill, Terrace Park, Loveland and New Richmond – are featured in addition to those at Cincinnati Country Day School and the nature center itself. The stars, though, are native plants that have been incorporated in the gardens. Three important footnotes here: It’s not free, you must register by 4 p.m. Friday and, important this summer in particular, it’s a rain or shine event.
Moving Arts Cincinnati | 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-621-5282
Friday and Saturday, June 28 and 29
This Cincinnati Ballet-sponsored project pushes the envelope of cutting-edge dance in Cincinnati. Each summer, the ballet cross pollinates Cincinnati’s artists with other national and international professional dancers, then combine them with choreographers on the forefront of dance. In addition, the artists lead educational efforts, like master classes or lectures, in local schools. Performances in the Aronoff Center’s Jarson-Kaplan Theater at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday.
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center | 50 East Freedom Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202; 513-333-7500
Thursday, June 27, 6 p.m.: Bob Moses and Dave Dennis lecture
Another in the series of events marking the 55th anniversary of Freedom Summer, the historic black voter-registration drive in Mississippi. Bob Moses directed the Mississippi Voter Registration Project for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee from 1961-1964 and was co-director of the Council of Federated Organizations from 1962-1964. Dave Dennis was part of the first Freedom Bus ride in 1961 and worked with Moses in the summer of 1964. It’s not often you get to hear crucial U.S. history from the people who lived it – and made it.
This week, we not only remind you, but even encourage you, to review the many outdoor performances on tap around the region as compiled in M&M’s summer music guide. (’Cause it actually might not rain all week!)
Memorial Hall | 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-977-8838
Indoors this week, Memorial Hall is the center of our music scene. First up is Jimmie Vaughan, who was handed a guitar when he was sidelined at age 13 by a football injury. It was love at first touch and the seed for a decades-long, Grammy-winning career. (Along the way he inspired his younger brother, Stevie Ray, to take up guitar, too.) His latest album, “Baby, Please Come Home,” came out this year, so expect to hear a healthy chunk of it on Thursday.
In 1969, the year Jimmie Vaughan’s band opened for Jimi Hendrix, the U.S. Army formed what’s come to be known as America’s big band. The 19-piece Jazz Ambassadors offers programs that range from classic big-band standards, instrumental and vocal solo features, patriotic favorites, contemporary jazz works, and original arrangements and compositions by its members. They play two shows Sunday afternoon.
On Monday, it’s the latest in the Jazz at the Memo series. Trumpeter Mike Wade is joined by Keigo Hirakawa on piano, Reggie Jackson on drums and Mike Sharfe on bass for “Straight-Ahead.” It’s a tribute to the jazz sounds inspired by Art Blakey and carried on by such performers as the Marsalis brothers, Kenny Garrett, Kenny Kirkland and Stephen Scott.
Cincinnati Opera | 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-241-2742 (ARIA)
Thursday and Saturday, June 27 and 29, 7:30 p.m.: “Roméo et Juliette”
Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers take center stage this weekend at Music Hall for the second production of Cincinnati Opera’s 2019 season. Nicole Cabell and Matthew White star in Charles Gounod’s retelling of the classic tragedy. Spanish conductor Ramón Tebar leads from the podium.
Village Players | 8 N. Fort Thomas Ave., Fort Thomas, KY 41075; 859-781-3583
Friday, June 28, through Sunday, Jun 30: “Life Story”
The Village Players of Fort Thomas boasts a New Works group, dedicated to staging original works from local writers. As the group puts it, this weekend includes “Six Plays About Birth, Death and the Stuff In Between.“ The group’s website isn’t entirely clear, but it looks like every performance includes all six. Those performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.
“The Wolves”: It’s not a high school girls soccer team; it’s a pack of female warriors. This Pulitzer finalist is a powerful reflection on society, sex, and soccer. Through Saturday at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (1127 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-421-3555).
Cincinnati Art Galleries | 225 E. Sixth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-381-2128
Opens Friday, June 28: “The Legacy of the Art Academy of Cincinnati”
The local arts community continues its celebration of the Art Academy’s sesquicentennial with this exhibition of works by AAC faculty or alumni from across the decades. Opening reception begins at 5 p.m. Friday. Exhibition runs through Aug. 28.
Cincinnati Art Museum | 953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-721-2787 (ARTS)
Thursday, June 27, 7 p.m.: Akiko Fukai lecture
Opens Friday, June 28: “Kimono – Refashioning Contemporary Style”
Friday, June 28, 5 p.m.: Art After Dark
Like music at Memorial Hall, the Cincinnati Art Museum is a nexus this week for visual inspiration. It’s all tied to the museum’s latest exhibition, which celebrates the enduring influence of the kimono on fashion. It was assembled in cooperation with the Kyoto Costume Institute and Asian Art Museum, San Francisco. You’ll see kimonos side by side with western couture from the 1870s to today. A dozen items are from CAM’s own collection.
Hear a preview lecture on Thursday in the museum’s Fath Auditorium. Akiko Fukai is director of the Kyoto Costume Institute.
On Friday, it’s a couture-crazy edition of Art After Dark. “Kimono My House” – how many attendees will actually get that reference? – will include J-pop music, food from Fusian and Graeter’s, and a presentation on kimono culture, history and etiquette from Toledo’s Ohio Kimono. Attendees also will enjoy free admission to both the new kimono exhibit and the recently expanded “Art of Burning Man” exhibition. It’s always a big draw, but expect this one to be even bigger, so get there early.
Weston Art Gallery | Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-977-4165
Friday, June 28, 6-8 p.m. Opening reception: “Andrew Leicester: Cincinnati Gateway Revisited”
A 30th anniversary celebration and artistic examination of the public art project created as the entry to Cincinnati’s Bicentennial Commons in 1988 by award-winning artist and sculptor Andrew Leicester, which sparked controversy and launched the flying pig phenomena in Cincinnati. The exhibit undertakes an extensive look at the public sculpture through original drawings, architectural plans, press clippings, and photographic documentation. Show runs through Aug. 25.