It looks as though last week’s bounty was not entirely a post-BLINK fluke. Indeed, while the prominent disciplines may have changed this week, there’s nearly as much to experience this weekend as last – i.e., unfortunately too much for you to experience everything. You’ll no doubt need some input to help winnow your prospects, so read on for our expert assistance.
Books by the Banks
Saturday, Oct. 26, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. | Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
This is the 13th year for the free, annual daylong festival. As usual, you can expect national, regional, and local authors and illustrators (more than 100 this year); book signings; panel discussions and author talks; and activities for the entire family (including the Kids’ Corner and the Teen Scene). Come downtown and celebrate the simple joy of literacy.
More information and detailed schedule at booksbythebanks.org.
‘The Wizard of Oz’
Friday, Oct. 25, through Sunday, Nov. 3 | Procter & Gamble Hall, Aronoff Center. 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
Follow the yellow brick road to downtown’s Aronoff Center for this adaptation of the L Frank Baum classic as filtered through the equally classic 1939 MGM film. Septime Webre did the choreography to the music of Matthew Pierce. There are 11 performances, including an added show at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 3 – and most of them are already close to sold out.
513-621-5282 or cballet.org
‘A Fool There Was’
Wednesday, Oct. 23, 7 p.m. | Esquire Theatre, 320 Ludlow Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45220
Theda Bara was one of the biggest stars of the silent era of movies. One can’t even say “in Hollywood” because most film production in her career was still on the East Coast. She never appeared in a talkie, and most of her performances were lost when the decaying, poorly stored nitrate film on which her films were printed burst into flame in a 20th Century-Fox warehouse in 1937. Bara made her career playing “vamps” – exotic, sexually aggressive women often clad in skimpy pre-Hays Code costumes. Her breakout role was in 1915’s “A Fool There Was,” in which she played the Vampire, the original wanton woman role that coined the term vamp. It’s appropriate for the Esquire to keep her memory alive: Born Theodosia Goodwin in Avondale, she was a Walnut Hills grad and a University of Cincinnati student before heading to New York to become a star.
513-281-8750 or esquiretheatre.com
Fall Preservation Forum
Friday, Oct. 25, 11:30 a.m. | Hilton Netherland Plaza Hotel, 35 W. Fifth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
It’s the annual big event for the Cincinnati Preservation Association. In “Women, Architecture and ‘The Most Modern Hotel in America’,” author and architectural historian Gabrielle Esperdy will speak at the appropriately historic Hall of Mirrors on overlooked women who helped shape the course of modern architecture. Front and center in her presentation (and supplying the local connection) will be the work of Natalie de Blois, who designed many of Skidmore Owens & Merrill’s iconic mid-century buildings … including our very own and very endangered Terrace Plaza, downtown’s first major post-World War II development and a milestone in modernist design.
513-721-4506 or cincinnatipreservation.org
The Niehoff Lecture: Bob Woodward
Saturday, Oct. 26, 7 p.m. | Hyatt Regency, 151 W. Fifth Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
The Niehoff Lecture is the Mercantile Library’s signature event, bringing the greatest and most respected current writers to the city. Last year’s event featured Margaret Atwood; this year – the 32nd in the annual series – it’s legendary journalist Bob Woodward. From breaking the Watergate story to his 2018 book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” he has written or co-written 19 best-sellers. His address comes as the stakes of journalism reach unprecedented heights.
513-579-1234 or mercantilelibrary.com
Festival of Words
Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 26 and 27 | multiple downtown venues
It’s a bit of a coin toss deciding whether to categorize this as literary or musical. The creative folks at concert:nova have organized three events to complement Books by the Banks. They encompass both words and music. On deck are:
• “Ferdinand the Bull”: WGUC’s Naomi Lewin and violinist Yan Isquiderdo, one of the Cincinnati Symphony diversity fellows, present this adaptation of the famous story about the bull who just wants to smell the flowers. It’s actually part of Books by the Banks programming. (3 p.m. Saturday; Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St., Cincinnati OH 45202.)
• “BespokenLive”: Concertgoers are led in a storytelling workshop. Crafted musical prompts get you to tell stories you didn’t know you had. (3 p.m. Sunday; 708 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202)
• “It’s Not Magic”: 2018 National Poetry Series winner Jon Sands performs from his latest book, “It’s Not Magic,” along with curated music. (First Lutheran Church, 1208 Race St., Cincinnati, OH 45202)
‘1959: The Year that Changed Jazz’
Sunday, Oct. 27, 2 p.m. | First Unitarian Church, 536 Linton St., Cincinnati, OH 45219
It’s the 60th anniversary of three landmark jazz albums – Miles Davis’s “Kind of Blue,” John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” and Dave Brubeck’s “Time Out.” The Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra marks the occasion by letting you experience these classics live as part of the CCJO’s Jazz at First series. Joining the Phil DeGreg Trio are trumpeter Eric Lechliter and saxophonist Josh Kline.
513-280-8181 or cincinnatijazz.org
‘400: An Afrikan Epic’
Friday, Oct. 18, 11 a.m. | National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 50 E. Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202
I hope you’ve not only heard that this year marks the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first African slave to North America but read some of the outstanding historical reporting about it (here and here are excellent places to start). It’s not an anniversary just about looking back, though, as the latest concert in the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s Multicultural Awareness Council Series shows. Mark Lomax and the Mark Lomax Quartet come together with CSO members for a special performance of the “400 Years Suite,” an excerpt of Lomax’s “400: An Afrikan Epic.” (Free with admission to the museum.)
513-381-3300 or cincinnatisymphony.org
Sunday, Oct. 27, 4 p.m. | Christ Church Cathedral, 318 E. Fourth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
If you think 400 years is a long look back, try 900 years. It’s been nearly that long since the astonishing Hildegard of Bingen, a German abbess who also was a pioneering scientist and philosopher, wrote her ecstatically mystical music. Her “Ordo Virtutum,” a massive musical morality play that comprises 82 songs, is the earliest surviving musical drama not attached to a liturgy. Collegium Cincinnati gives you a rare opportunity to hear it live and complete in the sublime space of Christ Church Cathedral. Krista Cornish Scott conducts.
513-428-2224 (BACH) or collegiumcincinnati.org
Woolley-Chertock BAMSO benefit
Sunday, Oct. 27, 3 p.m. | Peterloon Estate, 8605 Hopewell Road, Indian Hill, OH 45242
Aside from being two of the greatest virtuosos of the early 20th century, Fritz Kreisler and Sergei Rachmaninoff gave joint recitals. Those great performances were the inspiration for a collaboration by Stacey Woolley, CSO violinist, and Michael Chertock, the pianist who also serves as the Blue Ash-Montgomery Symphony Orchestra’s music director. The pair will offer some unfairly unknown gems, like Rachmaninoff’s “Hungarian Dance” and Grieg’s violin sonata, along with more famous showpieces by Kriesler. CSO principal cellist Ilya Finkelshteyn will join to help the duo bring Kreisler’s and Rachmaninoff’s writing to life, and he’ll play the Rachmaninoff cello sonata, too. It’s a benefit, so expect heftier prices … and worthy performances, too.
513-549-2197 or bamso.org
Stephen Costello: An Evening of Bel Canto Arias
Tuesday, Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m. | Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
It’s not often that we’re touting a Cincinnati Opera event in October, but you turn 100 only once, and the company is spreading the birthday cheer across an entire year (leading to 2020’s summer festival). The impressive tenor Stephen Costello comes to town with highlights of the repertoire that has made him a veteran regular at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Covent Garden and Dallas Opera. That’ll include arias from “The Elixir of Love,” “Rigoletto,” “Lucia di Lammermoor” and maybe even one of the Donizetti Tudor operas. The Richard Tucker Award winner is no stranger to the Queen City, but it’s been a while since his last Cincinnati Opera appearance – 2012 in “La Traviata.”
513-241-2742 (ARIA) or cincinnatiopera.org
Thursday, Oct. 24, through Sunday, Oct. 27 | CCM Corbett Auditorium, 290 CCM Blvd., Cincinnati, OH 45221
CCM takes on the “Lullaby of Broadway” in one of the great inside-show-biz musicals. Can chorus girl Peggy Sawyer be a star when the leading lady takes “break a leg” a little too seriously? Plenty of famous tunes in this show, mounted with the resources that, these days, only a place like CCM has (especially in the orchestra pit). Five performances through Sunday.
513-556-6638 or ccm.uc.edu
Thursday, Oct. 24, 8 p.m. | Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
Both Republicans and Democrats will be happy to tell you what the Mueller Report said – even if they’ve never read a word of it. Why not find out for yourself? Know’s SecondStage series presents a one-night, 70-minute, staged reading of the Mueller Report, called “The Investigation: A Search for the Truth in Ten Acts.” The dramatization is by Pulitzer and Tony-winning writer Robert Schenkkan.
513-300-5669 or knowtheatre.com
• “Alias Grace”: Based on the novel by Margaret Atwood, it’s the real story of Grace Marks, imprisoned for life at age 16 for murder in 1843. Through Sunday, Oct 27, at Playhouse in the Park’s Shelterhouse Theatre. (962 Mount Adams Circle, Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-421-3888)
• “Sex and Education”: When the star jock writes a lewd note to his girlfriend instead of his focusing on his final exam, his scholarship is in jeopardy. Retiring teacher Miss Edwards devises an original solution in writer Lisa Levin’s “valentine to English teachers.” At Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati through Sunday, Oct. 27 (1127 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-421-3555)
‘Treasures of the Spanish World’
Opens Friday, Oct. 25 | Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Spain’s history has taken it from distant Roman province to bastion of Christendom to seat of immense empire and to its inevitable decay. It’s inspiration for a wealth of art, over 200 works of which comes to the art museum from the Hispanic Society of America in New York City – the premier collection of Hispanic arts and culture in the United States. The exhibition includes everything from artifacts of ancient Rome to art nouveau paintings to art from Spain’s New World colonies. Through Jan. 19.
513-721-2787 (ARTS) or cincinnatiartmuseum.org
• Contemporary Arts Center: A powerful trifecta of exhibitions winds up Sunday, Oct. 27. There’s Saya Woolfalk’s “A Cabinet of Anticipation,” Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum’s “All My Seven Faces” and Jens Schwarz’s “Displaced.” (44 E. Sixth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-345-8400)
• Manifest Gallery: Another triptych of exhibitions, this set closing Friday, Oct. 25. About to leave are “Painted 2019,” a survey of contemporary painting, “Aquachrome,” contemporary watercolors, and “Stay and Remain,” paintings by Joe Morzuch. (2727 Woodburn Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45206; 513-861-3638)