What to Do/Hear/See | Sept. 4-10

Retailers may be ready for us to hand over our iced tea for pumpkin lattes and scarecrows, but the local arts scene is still running summer hot. So put that PSL down – it’s still too early for that anyway! – and head out for a refreshing sip of enlightenment and entertainment.


Great Parks of Hamilton County presents "Weekend in 1800s"
Great Parks of Hamilton County presents “Weekend in 1800s”

Weekend in 1800s

Saturday, Sept. 7, 2-6 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 8, 2-5 p.m. | Shawnee Lookout, 2008 Lawrenceburg Road, North Bend, OH 45052

Transport yourselves to early Ohio at the park’s Springhouse School and log cabin. See how early settlers lived, see what they did for fun, interact with period re-enactors and meet members of the Society of Northwest Longhunters. This interactive event has something for the whole family. greatparks.org, 513-521-7275


2019 Cindependent festival feature winners

Saturday, Sept. 7, 5 p.m. | Esquire Theatre, 320 Ludlow Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45220

You’ll recall that last week we told you about the Cindependent Film Fest. Well, the 2019 edition is now in the books, and we know the winners. (See a complete list at the festival’s Facebook page.) Last weekend the Esquire screened the short subject winners; this week it’s the feature-length films that were recognized for their excellence. Cindependent’s director, Allyson West, will be on hand, too. 513-281-8750 or esquiretheatre.com

Indian Film Festival of Cincinnati

Opens Thursday, Sept. 5, 7 p.m. | “Monsoon Wedding,” Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202

And as one film festival ends, another is about to light the silver screen. Well, six silver screens, to be more precise. Sponsored by Cincinnati Sister City (India) – yes, Cincinnati has a sister city in India; it’s Mysore – the Indian Film Festival of Cincinnati presents 20 programs of Indian films in six venues across the city. First up is the mainstream hit “Monsoon Wedding” at Cincinnati Art Museum’s Fath Auditorium. Then it’s a dizzying variety of shorts and features covering the gamut of human experience that a country of about a billion people can call upon: comic, tragic and thoughtful. indiacincinnatisistercity.org

Read about all three of Cincinnati’s upcoming film festivals.

Claire Danes as Juliette and Leonardo di Caprio as Romeo
Claire Danes as Juliette and Leonardo di Caprio as Romeo

‘Romeo + Juliet’ at the Mercantile Library

Wednesday, Sept. 4, 6 p.m. | 414 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202

No, the Mercantile’s Canon Club doesn’t discuss artillery – unless you mean the big guns of English theater. The club discusses all 38 of Shakespeare’s plays in a cycle lasting several years. They’re on their second go-round now, and this year opens with a showing of Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 unique, contemporary take on the star-crossed lovers. It’s an A-list cast, with Leonardo di Caprio, Claire Danes and John Leguizamo. Check out the movie, then hear about the original in October. 513-621-0717 or mercantilelibrary.com


‘Impossible Dreamers’ – Reading ‘Don Quixote’

Tuesday, Sept. 10, 6 p.m. | Mercantile Library, 414 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202

Shakespeare isn’t the only classic getting a spotlight at the Merc this year. Miguel de Cervantes and his masterpiece, “Don Quixote,” are the subject of a four-part series of evenings – and here’s the important part – as you read along. (Don’t worry. It’s a translation.) On Tuesday, get an introduction to the world of Cervantes and the edition that’s being used. Note: The series must be purchased as a full, four-night subscription. 513-621-0717 or mercantilelibrary.com


Stewart Goodyear will play all 32 of Beethoven’s piano sonatas at Memorial Hall
Pianist Stewart Goodyear

Beethoven ‘Sonatathon’ – Chamber Music Cincinnati

Saturday, Sept. 7, 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. | Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202

If you were wondering if Chamber Music Cincinnati’s 90th season would be something special, you may relax. They’ve got it covered – and they’re starting with a bang. Stewart Goodyear takes the stage of Memorial Hall for Beethoven’s piano sonatas. Which ones, you ask? Well, in fact, all 32 of them. It’s a staggering undertaking that Goodyear has proven in previous Sonatathons that he can accomplish. He’s also programmed the day so you can’t cheat and come later for the more famous ones. “Pathetique” is in Part 1, beginning at 10 a.m. “Moonlight,” “Waldstein” and “Appassionata” are in the next part, beginning at 3 p.m. “Le Adieux” and the sublime final three are in the 8 p.m. evening set. Trust us, you will not have many chances to take this kind of journey. 513-342-6870 or cincychamber.org

For more fabulous fall music, check out Ray Cooklis’s MUST-SEE faves.

‘The Empire Strikes Back’ – Cincinnati Pops Orchestra

Friday, Sept. 6, 7 p.m. | Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202

With Episode IX of what fans call the canon saga of “Star Wars” coming out in December, one can easily write off this Pops season opener as just smart marketing. It surely is that, of course, but, of the eight movies in this series so far, “Empire Strikes Back” remains the gold standard. That goes for plot, dialogue and especially music. The John Williams score is his most emotional and inventive of the lot, and hearing it live will simply be pretty darn cool. Program repeats at 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. 513-381-3300 or cincinnatisymphony.org


The curtain has definitely gone up on the area’s theater season. Take a look:

Leslie Bratt as Violet Weston in “August – Osage County” at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
Leslie Bratt as Violet Weston in “August – Osage County”

‘August – Osage County’ – Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

Opens Friday, Sept. 6 | 1195 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202

The Shakespeare Company is calling their 2019-20 campaign the Season of the Woman, and they’re jumping out of the gate with a strong play about a strong woman. “August: Osage County,” written in 2007, won both the Pulitzer and Tony and spawned a film adaptation that starred Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. It’s a family story, although one hopes you don’t see too much of your family reflected in the interactions with Violet, the manipulative matriarch. 513-381-2273 or cincyshakes.com

‘Driving Miss Daisy’ – Cincinnati Landmark Productions

Opens Thursday, Sept. 5 | 4990 Glenway Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45238

With a film adaptation as good as the Morgan Freeman-Jessica Tandy tour de force in 1989, it’s easy to forget that the Alfred Uhry story was originally a play, that being part of a partly autobiographical trilogy about the 20th-century Jewish experience in Atlanta. It’s that original version that opens CLP’s season at the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts. Runs through Sept. 29. 513-241-6550 or cincinnatilandmarkproductions.com

‘Side by Side by Sondheim’ – Cincinnati Music Theatre

Friday, Sept. 6, 7:30 p.m. | Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202

It’s the mid-’70s revue of Sondheim songs, featuring heavy doses of “Company,” “Follies” and “Gypsy” with smatterings of other shows. At the Aronoff Center’s Fifth Third Bank Theater. Repeats Saturday, Sept. 13 and Sept. 14. 513-621-2787 (ARTS) or cincinnatimusictheatre.org

"Once on this Island" at Playhouse in the Park
“Once on this Island”

‘Once on This Island’ – Playhouse in the Park

Opens Saturday, Sept. 7 | 962 Mount Adams Circle, Cincinnati, OH 45202

The Playhouse goes calypso to open its season with the Tony-winning “Once on This Island.” Think of it as a kind of Caribbean “Midsummer Night’s Dream”-“Orpheus” mashup: On an island, peasant girl Ti Moune rescues and falls in love with wealthy Daniel, but the island’s pompous gods make a bet with one another over which is stronger, love or death. The stakes are Ti Moune’s life. 513-421-3888 or cincyplay.com


‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’

Closes Sunday, Sept. 8 | Warsaw Federal Incline Theater, 801 Matson Place, Cincinnati, OH 45204

This Cincinnati Landmark Productions adaptation of the Oscar-winning 1954 movie musical dances off into the sunset this weekend. 513-241-6550 or cincinnatilandmarkproductions.com


New selections from the Ashland Inc. collection
New selections from the Ashland Inc. collection

New selections from the Ashland Inc. collection – Cincinnati Art Galleries

Opens Thursday, Sept. 5 | 225 E Sixth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202

After last year’s success, it’s the second round of art for sale from the holdings of Ashland Inc. (you probably remember it as Ashland Oil). Included are more than 75 paintings, prints, etchings, woodcuts, silkscreens and sculptures. Runs through Oct. 18. 513-381-2128 or cincyart.com

‘First Edition – A Celebration of the Medium of Printmaking’ – 1628 Ltd.

Opens Thursday, Sept. 5 | 11 Garfield Place, Cincinnati, OH 45202

The downtown coworking space – named for the year the word “coworking” first appeared in print features 14 local and regional printmakers in its latest art exhibition. Several techniques are represented. Opening reception at 6 p.m. Thursday; reserve a (free) spot at 1628ltd.com. Runs through Nov. 22.

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