Shoe-filling am I, (again) for the multi-talented Thomas Consolo, who’s spending time this week both fiddling with and waving his arms at the Kentucky Symphony (more below). This week is another monster, with a widely diverse array of choices ahead. No Netflix excuses this time around. Get yourself out and experience all this city has to offer. And take a friend, someone new to experience whatever you’d like to share. Who knows? You might make a convert.
And so the Holidays begin…
Two premiere holiday family attractions open this weekend, each perfect for a family excursion. Both exhibits close Jan. 5.
“Holiday Junction,” featuring Duke Energy Holiday Trains
Opens Friday, Nov. 8, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45203
The popular train exhibit returns to Union Terminal, a staple of Cincinnati holidays for more than 70 years. Watch the display from Tower A above or get a track-level view of hundreds of model trains along thousands of feet of track.
513-287-7000 or cincymuseum.org
“A Zinzinnati Holiday”
Opens Saturday, Nov. 9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Krohn Conservatory, Eden Park, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Krohn brings a German flair to its annual display of evergreens and poinsettias this year, adding historical representations of Cincinnati’s buildings amidst Atlas Cedar, Lawson Cypress, and an array of Amaryllis.
513-421-4086 or cincinnatiparks.com/krohn
Radouan Mriziga: Architectural dance at the CAC
Saturday, Nov. 9, 8 p.m. & Sunday, Nov. 10, 6 p.m. | Contemporary Arts Center, 44 E. Sixth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
It seems appropriate that one of the most important architectural structures in Cincinnati should host a dance program created using architectural shapes and constructs. This is the North American premiere of “7,” adapted to function within the CAC’s unique lobbies and its lower-level Black Box Theatre. This piece, as described by the CAC, “places six dancers and one musician within the mythology surrounding the seven wonders of the world and their disproportionate relationship with the human body.” The city seems a bit starved of contemporary dance, as of late, so take advantage of this bold programming to experience the cutting edge of movement and stagecraft.
513-345-2941 or cincycac.org
Women Breaking Boundaries
Thursday, Nov. 7, 7 p.m. | Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45202
Directed, produced and edited by women, “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry” (2014) is a provocative look at the birth of the women’s liberation movement in the late 1960s. Focusing on local and lesser-known activists, and grassroots organizations across the country, it includes never-before seen archival footage, music from the period, and artful re-enactments. The film includes the voices of women of color and struggles over issues of class and lesbian rights.
513-721-2787 or cincinnatiartmuseum.org
Beethoven for cello and piano
Thursday, Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m. | Chamber Music Cincinnati, Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202.
Two of the most accomplished and expressive chamber musicians active today – cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Inon Barnatan – grace us with not one, but all five of Beethoven’s sonatas for cello and piano in one evening. Composed over a nearly 20-year span – from his mid-20s to mid-40s – these works provide a unique opportunity to understand how his style evolved. Another tribute to Ludwig Van in anticipation of his 250th birth year – 2020.
513-342-6870 or cincychamber.org
“Petrouchka” + Tchaikovsky
Friday-Saturday, Nov. 8-9, 8 p.m. | Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
This concert has so much going for it: Maestro Louis returns to conduct arguably the most exciting violin concerto ever written, played by one of the world’s top virtuosi (Gil Shaham); the most rhythmic and infectious of Stravinsky’s three seminal ballets; and a world premiere by a Pulitzer-prize winner (Julia Wolfe). Your only decision? Whether to attend Friday or Saturday.
513-381-3300 or cincinnatisymphony.org
“Blessing or Curse”
Saturday, Nov. 9, 7:30 p.m. | Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Notre Dame Academy, 1699 Hilton Drive, Park Hills, KY 41011
This concert offers three respected composers who overcame serious physical disabilities to achieve notoriety. So were these difficulties a hindrance or motivational? Beethoven’s deafness couldn’t silence his music, for example. Besides his Symphony No. 6, the “Pastoral,” there’s the blind Joaquin Rodrigo’s masterpiece, “Concierto de Aranjuez,” with Grammy-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux. Symphonic Movement was written by the all-too-neglected Allan Pettersson, whose severe arthritis trapped him for years in his Stockholm apartment. Cassidy and your usual best bets-meister, Thomas Consolo, split the conducting duties.
859-431-6216 or kyso.org
“Sentimental Journey: An Evening with Doris Day”
Sunday, Nov. 10, 4 p.m. | Queen City Cabaret, Ascension & Holy Trinity Episcopal, 334 Burns Ave., Wyoming, OH 45215
We all need something fun and frothy to finish up our weekends, right? These CCM alumni, soprano Sarah Folsom and pianist Matthew Umphreys, apply their conservatory skills to stylish pop, jazz and music theatre, and have a blast doing so. In this case, the focus is Evanston’s pride and joy, Doris Mary Anne Kappelhoff, better known to us as Doris Day, who passed away just this past May.
“Great Music in a Great Space”: Voces8
Friday, Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m. | St. Peter in Chains Cathedral, 325 W. Eighth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
It’s not likely that you’ve ever heard the terms “YouTube darlings” and “classical vocal group” in the same sentence, but Voces8 is not your typical choral ensemble. For example, the video above has more that 1,755,000 views since 2016. And there is nothing gimmicky about this octet to attract attention, beyond a breathtaking sound and exceptional musicianship. Bravo to Tony DiCello and the cathedral for bringing back this important concert series and hosting this special ensemble. Go hear this performance.
513-421-5354 or stpeterinchainscathedral.org
Friday, Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m. | Cincinnati Music Theatre, Jarson-Kaplan Theater, Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
A not-so-sunny, somewhat sleazy, but certainly substantial and entertaining look at the world of cabaret, this classic from Kander and Ebb takes place in a turbulent Berlin between the wars, as the Nazis are rising to power. “Willkommen, bien venue, welcome …” Just be careful. 😉 Repeats Nov. 9-10 and 13-16.
513-621-2787 or cincinnatimusictheatre.org
“Castaways” and “Six Little Love Stories”
Tuesday, Nov. 12, 7:30 p.m. | Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative, Fifth Third Bank Theater, Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
CPI presents staged-readings of brand new plays by Cincinnati authors. In this double bill, Elizabeth Coley shows us Ginger and Mary Ann far away from what we knew on “Gilligan’s Island,” and then introduces six very odd couples dealing with the complexities of love. Here’s a chance to be the first kid on your block…
513-621-ARTS or cincyplaywrights.org
“2 Hands, 4 Pianos”
Saturday, Nov. 9, 7:30 p.m. | Shelterhouse Theatre, Playhouse in the Park | 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Cincinnati, OH 45202
This unique theatrical experience combines live music and storytelling, staged in the round, as pianists Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt share tales of their individual quests to become concert pianists. Full of humor and characterizations of themselves as children, their teachers, parents, this evening is designed to make you laugh, but also provide a window into what it takes to reach the top. Runs through Jan. 5.
513-421-3888 or cincyplay.com
“The Sloppy Show”
Friday, Nov. 8, 5-8 p.m. | Art Academy of Cincinnati, 1212 Jackson St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
Sloppiness here – rather than a product of carelessness – is born of resistance to what are seen by the curator as “capitalistic” values of excellence, order and precision. Curated by AAC assistant professor Loraine Wible, the works offer a range of media: installation, video, performance and sculpture. At the center of Aaron Delamatre’s exhibition – “The Artist and the Demon with No Particular Name” – are two wooden marionettes who perform, and serve as elaborate drawing tools that both make and erase their own drawings. This we gotta see, right? Runs through Dec. 6.
513-562-6262 or artacademy.edu
“Bits N’ Pieces”
Friday, Nov. 8, 5-9 p.m. | Caza Sikes, 3078 Madison Road, Cincinnati, OH 45209
Cincinnati artists Jo Ann Berger and Suzanne Fisher collaborated for over a year to create an interactive and playful exhibition featuring mosaic work, paintings, toys and more. You can go play through Dec. 3.
513-290-3127 or cazasikes.com
The nature of light
Friday, Nov. 8, 6-9 p.m. | Manifest Gallery, 2727 Woodburn Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45206
Four new shows at Manifest featuring artists from North America and Europe who have explored spectral extremes of light, dark and beyond: “Transcendence,” “Light,” “Dark,” and ”Umbra,” photographs by Jess Holz. Through Dec. 6.
513-861-3638 or manifestgallery.org
“The Blue Tarp”
Saturday, Nov. 9, 6-9 p.m. | Wave Pool Gallery, 2940 Colerain Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45225
Blue tarps are often used within the context of crisis, as a roof or floor – a building band-aid. This group show explores the expressed and implied meanings of tarps amidst system collapse. Participating artists include Lorena Molina, Migiwa Orimo, Edward Victor Sanchez, Stephen Smith, Cristina Victor, and the aforementioned Loraine Wible (See Art Academy, above.). Through Dec. 21.
513-600-6117 or wavepoolgallery.org
One-day only: 13th annual “Local Ink”
Saturday, Nov. 9, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. | Tiger Lily Press, NorthChurch, 4222 Hamilton Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45223
Not your average arts and crafts show, this sale featuring some of the “best printmakers in the city,” according to event organizers. All prints are limited-edition, hand-made, created by exhibiting artists. Here’s your early chance for those one-of-a-kind holiday gifts.
859-760-6070 or tigerlilypress.org
A change of scenery…
Friday, Nov. 8 | Gallery 708, 2643 Erie Ave. #3, Cincinnati, OH, 45208
The former space at 708 Walnut Street is now closed, but this collaborative gallery of some 30 artists is now set to re-open in the heart of Hyde Park Square late this week. Stop by and check it out.