By Thomas Consolo
The holiday is over, and it’s back to business. At least it is for the region’s arts and cultural community. Its various organizations have cooked up a week full of activities that go great with leftover brats, grilled chicken, corn on the cob and potato salad. Let’s get to it.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Winton Woods | 10245 Winton Road, Cincinnati, OH 45231; 513-521-7275
Friday, July 12, 9:30 a.m.: Kids Outdoor Adventure Expo
It’s the largest free outdoor environmental education event for children in the Midwest. The Outdoor Adventure Expo encourages youngsters’ interest in the natural world and recreational activities. There’ll be more than 30 exhibitors and interactive activities at Winton Woods Harbor. Topics range from exercise and nutrition to recycling tips to encounter experiences with nature. Runs to 3 p.m.
Cincinnati Film Society | 320 Ludlow Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45220; 513-281-8750
Thursday, July 11, 7:30 p.m.: Asbury Short Film Festival
Asbury Shorts USA is the longest running short film exhibition and touring showcase in New York City, and the 38th annual “concert” rolls into the Esquire Theatre on Thursday. The program combines world renowned shorts from the past with current festival award winners, which gives audiences an opportunity to see elite, international films in a real cinema instead of through YouTube on a smartphone. Includes live action comedy, drama and animation.
LITERARY (BUT FILM, TOO)
Mercantile Library | 414 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-621-0717
Wednesday, July 10, 6 p.m.: Adaptation – “In a Lonely Place”
Adaptation presentations, given by The Merc in collaboration with the Mini Microcinema, focus on books and the movies they inspire. The second chapter in the series, today, looks at “In a Lonely Place,” a 1947 noir mystery novel set in post-World War II Los Angeles, which then, in a pretty quick turnaround, became a 1950 film noir classic starring Humphrey Bogart. Lillian Currens and Michael Sweeny from The Mini lead the discussion. The film will then screen next Wednesday, July 17, at The Mini on Main Street in OTR.
There are outdoor performances in the picks that follow, but there are more if you’re the outdoorsy type. Peruse M&M’s summer music guide for more opportunities.
Crown Jewels of Jazz | 4721 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH 45237
Wednesday, July 10, 6:30 p.m.: “Sistas Who Swing”
On Wednesdays in July, Learning Through Art Inc., Bond Hill Roselawn Collaborative and St. Aloysius team up to present live jazz on St. Al’s lawn. Up this week are Kathy Wade, Mandy Gaines (remember that name) and the Jordan Pollard Quartet. There are food trucks and refreshments, too.
Kentucky Symphony Orchestra | 1 Bandshell Blvd., Covington, KY 41011; 859-431-6216
Saturday, July 13, 7:30 p.m.: “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”
Hard to believe, but this is the silver anniversary of Kentucky Symphony’s summer outdoor concerts in Devou Park. In 25 seasons, the KSO has entertained audiences with Civil War reenactors, circus performers, classical solo harmonica music, silent films, and hundreds of classical and pop hits. Kicking off the 2019 series is the KSO’s reliable Boogie Band, this time featuring pop hits by women from Barbra Streisand to Aretha Franklin to Taylor Swift. Among the guest vocalists: Mandy Gaines (see above).
Memorial Hall | 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-977-8838
Monday, July 15, 7 p.m.: The Midwestern Swing
Do you recall who Memorial Hall’s jazz series presented last week? That’s right: The ubiquitous Mandy Gaines. This coming week the vibe rides west as The Midwestern Swing takes over the green room for a night of western swing classics. Think of it as a jam session with Ray Price, Benny Goodman and Django Reinhardt sitting in. Washington Platform returns with the complimentary light bites.
Cincinnati Opera | 108 W. Central Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-241-2742 (ARIA)
Through Sunday, July 14: “Ariadne auf Naxos”
The best thing about Cincinnati Opera’s production of “Ariadne auf Naxos” is that there are enough performances that you have no excuse for not going. Since it’s been 58 years since Cincinnati Opera last mounted a production of the Richard Strauss dramedy, you’d better not miss the chance. To give it a little local flavor, the setting of this mashup of slapstick comedy, tragedy and theatrical-logistics-gone-awry has been moved from Vienna to Pinecroft, the College Hill estate of Cincinnati industrialist, inventor and media mogul Powel Crosley Jr., in the 1950s. Look for lots of local references in the sets and costumes. As befits the work’s relatively miniature scale and orchestration, performances are at the Corbett Theater in the School for Creative & Performing Arts. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday.
• Read more about the production in M&M’s interview with the opera’s director, Omer Ben Seadia.
The Barn | 6980 Cambridge Ave., Mariemont, OH 45227; 513-272-3700
Wednesday, July 10, 7 p.m.: Readers Theater Project – “Painting Churches”
It’s the first go-’round for this event: Plays are written, but they come alive only when they’re heard. Some of the region’s top actors and actresses come to The Barn today (I know, more short notice) to read an important play, in this case “Painting Churches.” It’s a Pulitzer finalist by Tina Howe about coming to terms with family, children becoming adults … you know, life. The always delightful Pam Myers, Lisa DeRoberts and Mike Roberts take the leads.
Cincinnati Landmark Productions | 801 Matson Place, Cincinnati, OH 45204; 513-241-6550
Opens Wednesday, July 10: “Pippin”
When you’re the son of Charlemagne, being “great” comes with some preconceived expectations. But what happens when power, military glory and material indulgence still don’t bring happiness? CLP offers an answer in the form of Stephen Schwartz’s “Pippin,” as revamped for its 2013 Broadway production. Runs through Aug. 4 at the Warsaw Federal Incline Theater.
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company | 1195 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-381-2273
Continuing: Shakespeare in the Park
After a brief Fourth of July hiatus, CSC’s mobile thespians are back at it, bringing The Bard to a community near you. Up this weekend:
• Friday, July 12, 7 p.m.: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Stubbs Park Amphitheater (255 W. Spring Valley Pike, Centerville, OH 45458).
• Saturday, July 13, 7 p.m.: “Romeo and Juliet” at McDonalds Commons (7451 Dawson Road Madeira, OH 45243).
• Sunday, July 14, 1 p.m.: “Romeo and Juliet” at the Carnegie Center of Columbia Tusculum (3738 Eastern Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45226).
Contemporary Arts Center | 44 E. Sixth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-345-8400
Opens Friday, July 12: Three exhibitions
It’s a big week at the CAC, where a trio of exhibitions opens Friday. An opening celebration runs 6-11 p.m. Friday (8-11 p.m. for nonmembers). The shows are:
• Saya Woolfalk, “A Cabinet of Expectation”: Woolfalk incorporates African American, European American, and Japanese cultural influences in her work, while alluding to science fiction, feminist theory, mythology, anthropology, archaeology, Eastern religion and fashion. She was born in Gifu, Japan, a Cincinnati sister city, to a mixed race family. Runs through Oct. 27.
• Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, “All my seven faces”: Botswana-born, Toronto-based artist Phatsimo Sunstrum is interested in the overlap between mythology and science. She uses video, animation, and avatars named Asme (“as me”) to explore surprising parallels across modern science and ancient texts. Sunstrum’s work sits within the context of African futurists who similarly hone in on postcolonialism, neocolonialism and transcultural identities. Runs through Oct. 27.
• Bubi Canal, “Into the Gloaming”: 18 photographs and accompanying video, were shot in New York and Santander, Spain, during the transitional time between day and night – gloaming (one of my favorite words). Canal combines elements of pop culture with intuition, using bright, colorful subjects set against otherworldly landscapes. Runs through Sept. 15.
Manifest Gallery | 2727 Woodburn Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45206; 513-861-3638
Opens Friday, July 12: Three exhibitions
Not to be outdone, Manifest opens its own triple exhibition on the same day. Good thing all this contemporary art will be on display long enough to see it all, in this case, Aug. 9.
• “Master Pieces”: It’s the 13th annual exhibit of works by current and recent graduate students, a sort of reflection of Manifest’s undergraduate-focused “Rites of Passage” shows. A dozen artists from 10 academic programs (none local, sadly) are represented by 18 works.
• “Kindred”: The world pays a lot of attention these days to human differences, to turning groups into “them.” These 11 works by eight artists tackle the concept of human common ground.
• “Void”: What we don’t know is far more than what we do – as individuals or a society. Uncertainty is the focus of these 25 works by 16 artists.