As I began to write this on Sunday morning it was 19 degrees. By the time you read it, temps will be closer to 70. Ahh, spring in Cincinnati. Spread your wings, go see some butterflies, and explore any other adventures below that strike your fancy. With very little local involvement in March Madness this year, we can focus on the excitement here in town…
Closed due to virus (the other kind)
NOTICE: Due to a computer virus attack, both the Cincinnati Museum Center and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center have experienced an overall systemwide electronic failure and will remain closed until the middle of next week. No personal data seems to have been compromised. Your patience is requested. Check their websites for updates.
Contemporary Arts Center, “The Regional” | 44 E. 6th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-345-8400. DETAILS: This epic show featuring diverse artists from across the Midwest is intended to dispel the myth of our region as artistic fly-over country. And it succeeds. Read more about Lorena Molina, Cincinnati’s Ecuador-born representative in the exhibit. and our December cover profile. Thru Sunday.
Wednesday, March 16
Barnes & Noble, Dolly Parton and James Patterson “Run, Rose, Run” | 6 p.m. Virtual. Deerfield Towne Center, 5175 Deerfield Blvd., Mason, OH 45040. 513-972-5146. DETAILS: The opening of this new B&N store in Mason provides exposure to national authors and thought leaders, some via virtual presentations like this one. Dolly’s contributions to this novel actually came significantly through songs she wrote in reaction to the proposed storyline – an upcoming singer/songwriter on the run, escaping her past.
Cincinnati Zoo, Barrow Conservation Lecture | 7 p.m. Vitrual. 513-281-4700. DETAILS: Corina Newsome is the community engagement manager at Georgia Audubon and a recent graduate from Georgia Southern University with an MS in Biology. She is an avian conservationist and connects people with birds across the state of Georgia. In “Environmental Justice and Wildlife Conservation,” she will reflect on the hurdles faced by historically marginalized communities in wildlife conservation, and discuss the importance of bringing BIPOC perspectives to the realm of preservation.
Northern Kentucky University, “Art as Mayhem, Joy, Rebellion and Home” | 7:30 p.m. NKU Corbett Theatre, 100 Nunn Dr., Highland Heights, KY 41099. 859-572-5464. DETAILS: In this free presentation, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes, author of “Water By the Spoonful” and co-author of “In the Heights,” talks with students about the creative process of writing and storytelling in various media.
Thursday, March 17
Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Big Band Series | 7 p.m. The Redmoor, Mt. Lookout Square. 513-280-8181. DETAILS: Songstress Mandy Gaines has delighted audiences around the world, but thankfully she comes home in between so we can have a taste. She joins the prodigious CCJO Big Band to help us understand why many consider her Cincinnati’s First Lady of Song. See you there?
Cincinnati Landmark Productions, “On the Town” | 7:30 p.m. Covedale Center 513-241-6550. DETAILS: CLP returns to the Covedale Center with this terrific, high-energy show that features sensational music by Leonard Bernstein and clever lyrics and book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Three soldiers on shore leave in New York City; what could go wrong? (“New York, New York, it’s a helluva town…”) Thursdays through Sundays until April 10.
Joseph-Beth Booksellers, “Things Past Telling” | 7 p.m. 2692 Madison Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45208. 513-396-8960. DETAILS: This is beginning of Sheila Williams season in Greater Cincinnati, as the Northern Kentucky author is set to discuss her new novel, loosely based on the author’s real-life female ancestors, spanning from the mid-eighteen-century to the end of America’s Civil War, and from what is now southern Nigeria to the Caribbean to land bordering the Ohio River. And this summer, Williams and composer William Menefield debut “Fierce,” at Cincinnati Opera, for which she wrote the libretto. This will be the hit of the season (You heard it here first.) and you can learn more about the creative team in our June magazine.
Friday, March 18
Cincinnati Pops, “Respect: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin” | Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-381-3300. DETAILS: Four powerhouse vocalists join JMR in tribute to the Queen of Soul: Tamika Lawrence, Shaleah Adkisson, CoCo Smith and Blaine Krauss. What more needs to be said? Everybody bow. Continues Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.
Clifton Cultural Arts Center, “Oblivion” | 6-8 p.m. 2728 Short Vine St., Cincinnati OH 45219. 513-497-2860. DETAIILS: Emerging artist Jackson Wirth uses the uncertainty of hazy, sometimes unfocused, yet evocative images to explore the slippery reality of memories and how they may shift in the time from experience to recollection. Exhibit runs through April 15.
Gallery 708, “The Leaf Thief” | 5-8 p.m. 2643 Erie Ave. #3, Cincinnati, OH, 45208. 513-551-8171. DETAILS: The richly detailed watercolor foliage of Angela Mascolino‘s work in this show was inspired by long walks absorbing the sights and sounds around her. These are beyond still-life, however, turning toward abstact imagery. Exhibit continues until March 31.
Saturday, March 19
Krohn Conservatory, “Butterflies of the Nile” | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Eden Park, Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-421-4086. DETAILS: Always one of our most sure signs Spring has arrived, the beloved Krohn Butterfly Show brings winged creatures from Northeast Africa this time around. Watch with joy as these gentle creatures gently rest on your kids’/grandkids’ arms, shoulders and noses. Runs through June 19.
Memorial Hall, “Aqualung: 50th Anniversary Tour” | 8 p.m. 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-977-8838. DETAILS: Jethro Tull was a HUGE influence on my eternal quest for more interesting music than what I heard on pop radio in the 1960s and ’70s. Lead singer and flautist Ian Anderson became an icon to me. But the rest of the band was outstanding, and I’m intrigued by what guitarist Martin Barre has to share in this 50th year tribute to “Aqualung,” one of the truly great rock albums of all time.
Playhouse in the Park, “Steel Magnolias” | 7:30 p.m. 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-421-3888. DETAILS: This is the original play on which the 1989 movie was based. A tight-knit group of Louisiana women gather regularly at Truvy’s beaty parlor to bond, dish and offer advice on everything from motherhood and marriage to tragedy and loss. You remember gathering and gossiping, right … in the before times? Come get your fill. Continues through April 17 in the Marx Theatre.
Xavier Music Series, Johan Smith, classical guitar | 2 p.m. Bellarmine Chapel, Xavier University. 513-745-3161. DETAILS: Winner of the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America Competition in 2019, this young Swiss-born guitarist has toured the world with his own extreme metal band since the age of 15. He brings a slightly more sedate, yet intriguing, program this afternoon, offering Bach, Britten, Mozart, Rodrigo and Pat Metheny. Note: This is at Bellarmine Chapel, not the Gallagher Theater.
Sunday, March 20
Cincinnati Animal CARE, Mutt Madness | 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Washington Park, Over-the-Rhine. DETAILS: 3CDC-hosted event features adoptable dogs, local dog-centric vendors and animal food donation. You know you want one…
Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Jazz@First Series | 2 p.m. First Unitarian Church, 536 Linton St., Cincinnati, OH 45219. 513-280-8181. DETAILS: This second of two CCJO concerts this week shows off the range of this organization, this time having the Phil DeGreg Trio and masterful percussionist Rusty Burge explore the genius of the late Chick Corea. And this is one of the best acoustic music venues in the city, also home of the Linton Chamber Music Series.
Monday, March 21
concert:nova, Timo Andres | 7 p.m. Woodward Theater, 1404 Main St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. DETAILS: Rescheduled from January, this world premiere, “Communal Effort,” from pianist/composer Andres is a chamber ensemble work featuring the musicians of concert:nova and students enrolled in the Ben Carlson-Berne Scholarship program, which provides classical music instrument lessons by high-level professionals teachers to underserved and economically disadvantaged youth.
Memorial Hall, Jazz at the Memo | 7 p.m. 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-977-8838. DETAILS: I am an unabashed fan of these two – pianist Matthew Umphrys and vocalist Sarah Folsom – because they are musicians with very serious technical chops who do not take themselves too seriously. In other words, Queen City Cabaret is both good and fun, and a great way to lead off your work week.
Tuesday, March 22
Joseph-Beth Booksellers, “The Next Thing You Know” | 7 p.m. Rookwood Commons, 2692 Madison Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45208. 513-396-8960. DETAILS: One of Cincinnati’s favorite author-daughters, Jessica Strawser discusses her soon-to-be-released novel (March 22) set completely in the Queen City. A musician facing the untimely end of his career meets an end-of-life doula with everything, and nothing, to lose.