By Thomas Consolo
Last week’s oppressive heat has broken (we’ll remind you of it in January when you insist you’d rather have warm weather), so you have no excuse not to head out and enjoy the ongoing summer bounty sown by our local arts and cultural institutions. Didn’t realize there was so much in store? Let us help you plan your outings.
Esquire Theatre | 320 Ludlow Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45220; 513-281-8750
It’s a weekend of sci-fi on Ludlow Avenue. Just checking the website for show times will be easiest. On the marquee are “In Bright Axiom,” billed as a docu-fantasy adventure from director Spencer McCall; “Dune,” the sprawling 1984 epic that proves Frank Herbert’s landmark book probably is too complex for a single film; and “A.I.,” directed by Steven Spielberg to fulfill the vision of a project by Stanley Kubrick.
More interestingly, though, check the (live) theater section below.
Before you ask: No, I don’t know who’s to blame for the conflicting timing of these two compelling events. It’s just your personal Sophie’s choice to make.
Mercantile Library | 414 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-621-0717
Thursday, July 25, 6:30 p.m.: “Say Nothing – An Evening with Patrick Radden Keefe”
Keefe, a New Yorker staff writer, will discuss “Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland,” his book about the 1972 killing in Northern Ireland of Jean McConville, a widowed mother of 10, and its devastating repercussions for the community where she lived.
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center | 50 East Freedom Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202; 513-333-7500
Thursday, July 25, 7 p.m.: “Wrongfully Convicted – Stories from the Ohio Innocence Project”
The Ohio Innocence Project is center stage this month, thanks to the world premiere of “Blind Injustice” at Cincinnati Opera. You can hear more about cases like the ones that inspired the opera as attorneys and exonerees from the Ohio Innocence Project tell their stories and talk about OIP’s efforts to free those who have been wrongfully convicted.
Have we mentioned M&M’s summer music guide to answer your outdoor music craves? We have? Good.
Collegium Cincinnati | 318 East Fourth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-428-2224 (BACH)
Saturday, July 27, 7:30 p.m.: SummerSing Masterworks Choir
Last week we told you about SummerSing’s Chamber Choir. This week, the larger Masterworks Choir performs, giving singers of all ages and abilities an opportunity to come together, prepare and perform choral masterworks in a condensed schedule. Michael Ciavaglia, a College-Conservatory of Music graduate and music director designate of Asheville Lyric Opera, leads Saturday’s program comprising Vivaldi’s “Gloria” and Rutter’s lovely “Requiem.”
Crown Jewels of Jazz | 4721 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH 45237
Wednesday, July 24, 6:30 p.m.: Julian Vaughn
St. Al’s lawn once again is the place to be tonight as the jazz concerts, co-sponsored by Learning Through Art Inc., Bond Hill Roselawn Collaborative and St. Aloysius Orphanage, continue. This week, it’s Julian Vaughn, an electric bass player with as much finesse as funk. The food trucks and refreshments will be back, too.
Memorial Hall | 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-977-8838
Monday, July 22, 7 p.m.: Society Jazz Orchestra
You know the routine: It’s another Monday of jazz at Memorial Hall. This week, the eight-piece Society Jazz Orchestra pays homage to its founder, Ed Moss. Washington Platform of course supplies complimentary light bites.
Cincinnati Opera | 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-241-2742 (ARIA)
Through Sunday, July 28: “Porgy and Bess”
First, the good news: There are six Cincinnati Opera performances of two shows over the next five days, making Music Hall a vibrant, versatile cultural hub for the region. The bad news: Half of those shows – the performances of “Blind Injustice” – have been sold out for months. Don’t fret, though. You can still take advantage of performances Thursday, Saturday and Sunday of “Porgy and Bess,” a strong contender for the title The Great American Opera.
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company | 1195 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-381-2273
Continuing: Shakespeare in the Park
We felt a little worried for CSC’s touring troupe last weekend. Shakespearean costumes and a heat index above 100 do not a good mix make. Having survived, the group takes on one of its busiest weeks, including three nights in the Bluegrass:
• Thursday, July 25, 7 p.m.: “Romeo and Juliet” (35 E. Second St., Maysville, KY 41056)
• Friday, July 26, 7 p.m.: “Romeo and Juliet” (126 Karl Brown Way, Loveland, OH 45140)
• Saturday, July 27, 7 p.m.: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Keehner Park (7411 Barrett Road, West Chester Township, OH 45069)
• Sunday, July 28, 8 p.m.: “Romeo and Juliet” at Louisville Central Park (1340 S. Fourth St., Louisville, KY 40208)
• Tuesday, July 30, 8 p.m.: “Romeo and Juliet” repeats in Louisville.
CAST | 2400 Memorial Parkway, Fort Thomas, KY 41075; 859-957-1940
Friday, July 26, through Sunday, July 28: “Spring Awakening”
Final weekend of the year’s final production by the Commonwealth Artists Student Theatre. (Want to know more? Read M&M’s own feature on them.) Wendla, Melchior and Moritz are discovering themselves, each other, love and heartbreak in the strict world of Germany in 1891. Performances at Highlands High School.
Cincinnati Landmark Productions | 4990 Glenway Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45238; 513-241-6550
Opens Thursday, July 25: “Legally Blonde”
The West Side’s theater provider will be firing on both cylinders – i.e., with shows at both of its theaters – when this musical stage adaptation of the 2001 Reese Witherspoon film opens at the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts. Through Aug. 4.
Esquire Theatre | 320 Ludlow Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45220; 513-281-8750
Thursday and Friday, July 25 and 26, 7 p.m.: “The Flick”
If the play is set in a cinema, why not perform it in one? Annie Baker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play takes us to a past-its-prime movie theater in Massachusetts and the de facto family of employees that keeps it running. The moral: You may feel like the odd man out, but there’s always someone a little odder … waiting to be your friend.
Know Theatre | 1120 Jackson St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-300-5669
Opens Friday, July 26: “Girl in the Red Corner”
It’s Round 1 of Know Theatre’s 22nd season, collectively dubbed “The Fight.” In “Red Corner,” unemployed, Halo is fresh off a dead-end marriage and searching for a way to take control of her life. She walks into a gym, signs up for mixed martial arts lessons and discovers the similarities between life and the cage. Through Aug. 17.
Cincinnati Art Museum | 953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-721-2787 (ARTS)
Friday, July 26, 5 p.m.: Art After Dark – “Life’s a Beach”
From our summer heat to the Black Rock Desert, it’s a party inspired by the art museum’s Burning Man exhibition, “No Spectators.” You’ll have free access to it and the concurrent “Kimono: Refashioning Contemporary Style” exhibition, and docent-led tours of the museum; music from the venerable Cliftones; food from Eli’s BBQ, Graeter’s and Macaron Bar; and of course some appropriate potent potables.
Miller Gallery | 2715 Erie Ave., Cincinnati OH, 45208; 513-871-4420
Thursday, July 25, 6-8 p.m.: “Weightless – The Fine Art Photography of Christy Lee Rogers”
Sony recently named Rogers the 2019 Open Photographer of the Year, and her work has been featured in magazines including Vogue, Casa Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle Decor and Photo Korea. She’ll be at Miller from 6-8 p.m. Thursday for an exhibition-opening reception, at which you can learn about her obsession with water as a medium in photography. Exhibition runs through Aug. 31.
Wash.Park.Art | 1215 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-291-3626
Friday, July 26, 6-9 p.m.: “Virtuosity 2”
This is the second edition of the aural-visual collaboration inspired by the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra’s Summermusik festival (it’s only a week away!). Six visual artists and a luthier have created instrument-based pieces that will be auctioned to benefit the CCO; each is inspired by a CCO program in this year’s season. They and other work by the artists will be on display at Wash.Park.Art through Oct. 18.
• Read more about the instrument art and the MusikArt collaboration in M&M’s preview story.