Now that you all have done your good deeds and donated on #GivingTuesday (You can donate to M&M now; did you know?), we can all celebrate by looking for distractions in the days ahead. Here’s my starter list for you…
BTW, our old friend Tom Consolo will be sitting in the big chair next Wednesday. Please be attentive, won’t you? See you on Dec 15.
Wednesday, Dec. 1
Ensemble Theatre, “Cinderella” | 7 p.m. 1127 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-421-3555. DETAILS: Playwright Joseph McDonough, lyricist David Kisor and composer Fitz Patton bring back this family-friendly update of the classic tale, celebrating book smarts and substituting sneaker for slipper. A great cast is directed by artistic director D. Lynn Meyers. Runs through Dec. 30.
Thursday, Dec. 2
Cincinnati Landmark Productions, “Elf the Musical” | 7:30 p.m. Covedale Center, 4990 Glenway Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45238. 513-241-6550. DETAILS: The holiday musicals keep coming with this stage adaptation of the Will Ferrell movie from two decades ago. Runs through Dec. 26.
Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Dr. Brené Brown | 8 p.m. Virtual. 513-396-8960. DETAILS: Dr. Brown’s book, “Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience”, examines eighty-seven of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. Given how much exposure to other humans we’re likely to having the rest of the holidays, might be a good time for a primer…?
Friday, Dec. 3
The Annex Gallery, “Concord and Discord: Examining Ancient Stories” | 5-8 p.m. 1310 Pendleton St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. DETAILS: Two veteran Tristate artists/educators, Mary Anne Donovan and Cynthia Kukla, have drawn on the rich cultures and mytholoigies of the ancient Mediterranean. This joint exhibit of large-scale paintings, mixed-media wall reliefs and sculptures, and works on paper runs until Jan. 15.
Cincinnati Pops, “Holiday Pops” | 7:30 p.m. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-381-3300. DETAILS: The inimitable JMR brings back this showcase of new takes on traditional holiday tunes, featuring vocalists Aubrey Logan and Michael Preacely, a hybrid Holiday Pops Chorale and more. Continues this weekend and next.
Contemporary Arts Center, “Phil Kline’s Unsilent Night” | 6-7:30 p.m. Washington Park. DETAILS: This “caroling” procession doesn’t require your voice or even the ability to play an instrument – just your phone. The gathered forces will meander through the park and nearby business district, creating a group performance for downtown neighborhoods. Download the app or music in advance.
Saturday, Dec. 4
Clay Alliance, Holiday Pottery Fair | 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Kennedy Heights Arts Center Lindner Annex, 6620 Montgomery Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45213. DETAILS: More than 25 of the area’s top clay artists come together for 11th Annual Holiday Pottery Fair. Offerings include both functional and decorative items: plates, mugs, platters and bowls, plus one-of-a-kind art, garden pieces, ornaments and jewelry. Why not give artful gifts this year?
College-Conservatory of Music, “The Feast of Carols” | 2 & 5 p.m. Corbett Auditorium, University of Cincinnati. 513-556-4183. DETAILS: Known affectionately by CCMers in my time as “The Beast…,” this extravaganza features the choral forces of one of the best conservatories in the U.S., plus guest high school choirs. Capacity will be reduced to 50%, and no doubt the singers will be masked, but we’re all used to that now, right? Repeats, same times, Dec. 5.
Market Bleu Winter Quarter | 6-10 p.m. Contemporary Arts Center, 44 E. 6th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-345-8400. DETAILS: This quarterly event showcases handcrafted products and fine arts items, perfect gifts for your art-loving friends and relatives.
Sunday, Dec. 5
Chamber Music Cincinnati | 4 p.m. Word of Deliverance Ministries, 693 Fresno Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45240. 513-342-6870. DETAILS: Zuill Bailey and CCM’s Awadagin Pratt bring music for cello and piano by Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor to Word of Deliverence Church in Forest Park as part of CMC’s season-long outreach program, taking music to Black churches. Can’t go Sunday? There’s an encore performance at Tuesday, 7:30 p.m., at Memorial Hall in OTR.
Collegium Cincinnati, “Messiah” | Christ Church Cathedral, 318 E. 4th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. DETAILS: Handel’s masterpiece returns in fleet-footed form. Christ Church’s Stephan Casurella takes the reigns this year, leading 16 area professional singers and chamber orchestra.
Cincinnati Song Initiative, “The Belletrists” | 4 p.m. Calvary Episcopal Church, 3766 Clifton Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45220. DETAILS: Heinrich Heine was one of the most influential poets of the 19th century, and a favorite of song composers, most notably, Schumann and Schubert. This is the first in a series of concerts exploring Heine’s impact, and features soprano Elizabeth Marshall and tenor Daniel McGrew with pianists Kelly Kuo and Samuel Martin.
Tuesday, Dec. 7
Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative | 7:30 p.m. Fifth Third Bank Theater, Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-621-ARTS. DETAILS: If you are already sick of all this tradition and need a palate cleanser of shiny newness, here are four short play readings author Roger Brookfield would like you to sink your teeth into: “Fan Appreciation Night,” “Kindergarten Form,” “All Our Tomorrows” and “Take Care of Grandpa”