Culture FIX: April 6-12

This is a bunched-up week with big bunches of events: a five-day festival, four days of dance and movies and the CSO, three theater openings, two movie double bills and a two-day symposium, plus one of J.S. Bach’s grandest compositions, capped off by the bigger than life Fran Lebowitz. Good luck keeping up…

Wednesday-Sunday, April 6-10

Contemporary Arts Center, This Time Tomorrow Performing Arts Festival | CAC and other venues. 513-345-8400. DETAILS: This five-day festival features cutting-edge performances (music, theater, dance…) by artists from around the world. Most are CAC commissions or world premieres. See daily specifics below. for Wednesday, then check website for other days and events.

This Time Tomorrow: Wednesday (See website for additional events Thursday-Sunday)

  • 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Britni Bicknaver: “Special Collections: Reflections on the Mercantile Library” (Mercantile Library)
  • 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Goetta-Institute: In-depth conversation with creator, Cincinnatian Jay Bolotin, about his “The Darktown Sermons” with The Carnegie’s Matt Distel (Art Academy)
  • 4-5 p.m. Mikrokosmos: “One Giant Step” (CAC)
  • 6:30 p.m. Alice Ripoll and Cia REC: “aCORdo” (CAC)
  • 7:30 p.m. Jay Bolotin: “The Darktown Sermons” (The Carnegie)
  • 8 p.m. Juni One Set: “Boy mother / faceless bloom” (CAC)
  • 9 p.m.-midnight. Late Night Hub: “Red Light Jazz Room” (CAC)

Wednesday, April 6

Dr. Mary Frances Berry

Woman’s City Club, National Speaker Forum and Fundraiser | 7:30 p.m. Memorial Hall. DETAILS: Dr. Mary Frances Berry, one of the most visible and respected activists in the cause of civil rights, gender equality, and social justice for more than four decades, addresses the topic: “Race, Protest and Politics: Where Do We Go From Here?” Tickets: $50.

Thursday, April 7

Cincinnati Ballet, “Snow White” | 7:30 p.m. Proctor & Gamble Hall, Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-621-5219. DETAILS: At just over an hour long, this narrated, fully-staged ballet, featuring Cincinnati Ballet Second Company – CB2 dancers, is the perfect introduction to dance, even for the youngest members of your family. Here’s your chance to find out just who is the fairest of them all. Good seats available. Continues through Sunday.

Cincinnati World Cinema, “Le Havre” and “France” | 7 p.m. Garfield Theatre, 719 Race St., Cincinnati 45202. 859-957-3456. DETAILS: A touching story about everyday working people, the prize-winning “Le Havre” is an homage to French culture and French cinema; it is also about community and responsibility and how we regard and react to the changes wrought by immigration. Repeats Sunday at 3:30 p.m. In “France,” the movie’s roller-coaster style mixes genres and pacing, as satire, comedy, romance and tragedy overlap in a behind-the-scenes media drama. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.

“Sunday in the Park with George”
(Image by Mikki Graf)

College-Conservatory of Music, “Sunday in the Park with George” | 7:30 p.m. Cohen Family Studio Theater, University of Cincinnati. 513-556-4183. DETAILS: Inspired by Georges Seurat’s painting, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” this iconic Stephen Sondheim musical paints its own picture of the past and present truths about life, love, and the creation of art. Directed and choreographed by Vincent DeGeorge, with music direction by Julie Spangler. Runs through Sunday.

Friends of Music Hall, Silent Movie Double Bill | 10:30 a.m. & 7 p.m. Music Hall Ballroom. 513-621-2728. DETAILS: “The Cameraman” (1928) features stone-faced Buster Keaton trying to win Sally’s heart by pretending to master a new skill. In “Mabel at the Wheel” (1914), Mabel Normand — who also directed — encounters cad Charlie Chaplin, who kidnaps her race car driver boyfriend and puts Mabel “at the Wheel.” Organist Clark Wilson will accompany both silent films on the Mighty Wurlitzer.

Cornelius Bynum, Van Gosse and Kellie Carter Jackson

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Unmasking the Realities | 6 p.m. Virtual. 513-333-7500. DETAILS: In “Reconstructing the Truth of Ourstory,” a forum of scholars will address what they see as the miseducation and falsehoods students have been taught in schools in relation to social studies. Panelists are Cornelius Bynum, director of African American studies & associate history professor at Purdue University; Van Gosse; history professor at Franklin & Marshall College; Kellie Carter Jackson; associate professor of Africana studies at Wellesley College.

Friday, April 8

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, “The Comedy of Errors” | 7:30 p.m. 1195 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-381-2273. DETAILS: Shakespeare’s “silliest” comedy returns to the CSC stage, but with a Sin City twist. The music-filled production will have cool cats, showgirls and more, inspired by golden era Las Vegas. Check out showtimes for special performances including Q&A with the cast and a sign-language-interpreted performance. Runs through April 30.

Cincinnati Symphony, “Bronfman & ‘La Mer’ “ | 7:30 p.m. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-381-3300. DETAILS: This concert kicks off an amazing five day span at Music Hall. Pianist Yefim Bronfman, a Cincinnati favorite, brings his Beethoven chops this weekend, tackling the composer’s Piano Concerto No. 3, which turned the page from Classicism to Romanticism. Louis Langrée also leads a world premire by Julia Adolphe, “Paper Leaves on Fields of Clay,” and Debussy‘s spectacular sonic portrait, “La Mer” (The Sea). Concert repeats Saturday evening. Unfortunately, Sunday’s recital by Itzhak Perlman is sold out, but you can hear Bronfman again, solo, in recital on Tuesday evening. (See below)

Wash Park Art, “Inside Out: The Pandemic Portraits” | 5-8 p.m. 1215 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-291-3626. DETAILS: You may know Matthew Zory as a (soon to retire) member of the CSO string bass section. Or you may have seen his book of photos conveying the transformation of Music Hall. What does a classical musician do when isolated during a pandemic? Play a lot of Bach. What does a photgrapher do in the same situation? Turn the camera around, in very creative ways. Exhibit runs through April 30.

Saturday, April 9

Kevin Schmidt, EDM House (still), 2014. HD video, 17 min. © Kevin Schmidt.
Courtesy of Catriona Jeffries Gallery.

FotoFocus Symposium, “Telephotography” | Memorial Hall (9 a.m Saturday) and Garfield Theatre (2 p.m. Sunday). DETAILS: World-renowned speakers from the fields of architecture, art, fashion, film, psychology and media will share their thoughts on the past, present and future of sharing images over long distances — both physically and digitally — via a series of panel discussions, lectures, and film screenings. Saturday’s sessions will cover a wide range of subjects across the history of capturing and transmitting images. Sunday will feature multiple film shorts and a screening of “El actor principal.” (The Leading Actor). Full schedule here.

Samantha Russell (“I Shall Not Be Moved”) and Torie Wiggins (Your Negro Tour Guide”)

Ensemble Theatre, Double Bill | 7 p.m. 1127 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-421-3555. DETAILS: An evening of one-woman shows: The play “I Shall Not Be Moved” was written by Cincinnati native Isaiah Reaves. It recalls Reave’s grandmother — nationally recognized Civil Rights pioneer Betty Daniels Rosemond  —and her beautiful yet horrifying story through the American South as one of the first Freedom Riders during the 1960’s. “Your Negro Tour Guide” derives from columns of National Public Radio commentaries collected in CityBeat columnist Kathy Y. Wilson’s book, “Your Negro Tour Guide: Truths in Black & White.” This play shines light on misguided notions of Black beauty, Black homophobia, and other cultural stereotypes. The plays run until May 7.

Playhouse in the Park, “Becoming Dr. Ruth” | 7:30 p.m. Shelterhouse Theatre, 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-421-3888. DETAILS: Many know Dr. Ruth Westheimer as America’s favorite sex therapist in the 1980s and 1990s, but not many know of her journey. This humorous and affectionate one-woman show highlights Dr. Ruth’s hardships in life, including details of her separation from family during the Holocaust to her struggles of balancing work, education, and single motherhood in America. Limited seats remain for this performance. The show will run until May 15.

Xavier Music Series, Shai Maestro | 8 p.m. Gallagher Center Theater, Xavier University. 513-745-3161. DETAILS: Polina Bespalko continues to showcase fresh talent in her series, and this week’s example is a genre-bending classically trained pianist who is comfortable in chamber jazz and shines in front of an orchestra. As you can hear in the sample above, Maestro is indeed a master arranger, and an emerging creative force.

Sunday, April 10

Johann Sebastian Bach

Knox Music Series, St. Matthew Passion | 3 p.m. Knox Presbyterian Church, 3400 Michigan Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45208. DETAILS: Music Director Earl Rivers celebrates our post-pandemic re-emergence with a masterpiece of the Lenten and Easter season — J.S. Bach‘s most expansive setting of the Passion story. Professional soloists and orchestra augment the 32-voice Knox Chamber Choir. (You can catch a cameo by Yours Truly, typecast as the villainous Pilate.) Admission is free, so arrive early.

Tuesday, April 12

Cincinnati Arts Association, An Evening with Fran Lebowitz | 7:30 p.m. Procter & Gamble Hall, Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-621-2787. DETAILS: The legendary journalist, author and social observer comes to Cincinnati for a live event, including an interview with  Lucy May, host of WVXU’s “Cincinnati Edition”, followed by a Q&A session with the audience and a book signing. Lebowitz’s latest, Emmy-nominated documentary series, “Pretend it’s a City,” in which she is hilariously interviewed by her friend Martin Scorcese, is available on Netflix. Limited seats remain.

Yefim Bronfman
(Photo by Dario Acosta)

Cincinnati Symphony, Yefim Bronfman in recital | 7:30 p.m. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-381-3300. DETAILS: Bronfman offers more Beethoven this evening (Sonatas 11 and 22), Chopin‘s Sonata No. 3, and Sonata No. 4 (1957) by visionary Shostakovich pupil Galina Usvolskaya. What a way to cap off a CSO week unlike any other. Co-sponsored by Linton Chamber Music.

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