I try to be eclectic in these selections, to make sure I’m covering many tastes and interests, but I think this week I might have outdone myself. Or maybe Cincinnati is simply outdoing itself? You get to decide.
Seasons ending: thru Sunday only…
Cincinnati Ballet, Bold Moves Festival | Procter & Gamble Hall, Aronoff Center. 513-621-5219. DETAILS: Final performances of Victoria Morgan’s amazing, 25-year tenure as artistic director…
- May 18, 7:30 p.m. Dance Theatre of Harlem
- May 19, 21, 22: Axis Dance Company, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, “Our Story” and “Boléro”
- May 20, 21: “Petal,” “Nine Sinatra Songs,” “Minus 16”
- May 22: 11 a.m. “Graphic,” walking dance tour of ArtWorks murals, with Pones, Heroes Rise Street Dance Academy, Exhale Dance Tribe, Yarroway Productions, Revolution Dance Theatre and Q-Kidz Dance Team
Playhouse in the Park, “School Girls: Or, the African Mean Girls Play” (Marx Theatre) | Marx Theatre, 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-421-3888. DETAILS: Last chances to see a play in the Marx Theatre before it is replaced by the new theater next spring.
Wednesday, May 18
Lighthouse Youth & Family Services, Light Up with Art! | May 18, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The Peterloon Estate, Indian Hill. DETAILS: This event provides several benefit: a spectacular venue (especially if you’ve never been to the former Emery-family estate before), works by more than 35 artists on display, and knowing that a portion of whatever you purchase goes to support the broad range of services Lighthouse provides. Make an afternoon of it. Free admission. From 6-8 p.m., a VIP Cocktail Party with the Artists includes live glass blowing demonstrations, live music and valet parking. Continues Thursday, 1-8 p.m., with a special paid brunch that precedes the open galleries, and Friday, 10 a.m.-noon.
OTR International Film Festival, Program Announcement Party | 6 p.m. Somerhaus 1415 Republic Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202. DETAILS: Get in on the scoop as the 2022 film festival line-up is revealed. Local WLWT News anchor Megan Mitchell hosts an evening of announcements and performances by award-winning guest artists. You can also check out this new venue right in the heart of our neighborhood, OTR. The festival is scheduled for July 7-10.
Studio Kroner, Ben Brabson: “The Science Behind the Art” | 6 p.m. 130 W. Court St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. DETAILS: Gallery owner Paul Kroner is taking a holistic approach to addressing climate change with an art exhibit that opened last week, performance art this past weekend, and presentations this coming week about climate science (this evening), local climate action (Saturday afternoon) and poetry about climate issues (next Wednesday). An impressive undertaking worth supporting.
- May 21, 1 p.m. Oliver Kroner: “Climate Action in CIncinnati”
- May 25, 6:30 p.m. Elaine Olund: “Poetry About the Environment”
Thursday, May 19
ArtsWave, CincyJams | 7 p.m. Hard Rock Cafe. DETAILS: Pre-pandemic, ArtsWave staged a battle of the corporate a cappella groups as a way to engage the support of area companies and their employees, but this year things are being amped up to the full rock band experience. Bands representing some of the regions biggest companies will compete with the top two receiving the opportunity to perform at this year’s BLINK in October.
Mercantile Library, The Hearth & Home Lecture | 6 p.m. 414 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-621-0717. DETAILS: Vivian Howard is a mom, cook, author, occasional TV host and restaurant owner from Deep Run, North Carolina. In presentations such as “Ruralness and What Home Means,” she works to blend family, food and storytelling in a way that touches people and reminds them of where they came from. Registration required: Lecture only: Free to members/$20 nonmembers. Additional option: Deep Run Roots inspired reception: 5:30 pm; $15 members/$25 nonmembers
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, “America on Fire” | 6 p.m. Harriet Tubman Theater, 50 East Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-333-7500. DETAILS: This presentation is by Dr. Elizabeth Hinton, associate professor of history and African American Studies at Yale University. She is one of the nation’s leading experts on criminalization and policing, and the author of several books and articles on the persistence of poverty, racial inequality and urban violence. In her latest book, “America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s,” she illustrates how Black rebellion was born in response to poverty, exclusion and police violence. The lecture will be preceded by a reception with light fare. Free, but registration is required.
Skirball Museum, opening of two exhibits | 4-7:30 p.m. Hebrew Union College, 3101 Clifton Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45220. DETAILS: It is ironic that HUC is hosting these exhibits celebrating rabbinical “firsts” so soon after the recent announcement that the Cincinnati campus will no longer train rabbis. But it is also an opportunity to call attention to what this groundbreaking institution has brought to the region and to the Jewish community at large. Sally Priesand was the first North American woman rabbi and she was ordained at HUC in 1972. Her exhibit will remain on display until May of next year. In “Holy Sparks,” open through Sept. 4, works of 24 contemporary Jewish women artists depict 24 pioneering rabbis and their lives. I
Friday, May 20
ARTclectic Gallery, Grand Opening | 5-8 p.m. 6249 Stewart Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45227. 513-822-5200. DETAILS: Another new gallery opens this week. This time near The BMW Store just off I-71 in Silverton. Curating the gallery is watercolorist Starr Shebesta. The opening exhibit will highlight the work of eleven local artists, including still-life watercolors by Chris Krupinski, pool scenes by Baker-Hunt Foundation’s artist-in-residence Ken Landon Buck, and bronze, stone, and wood sculptures by John Leon.
Cincinnati Art Galleries, “By Surprise” | 5-8 p.m. 225 E. 6th St. #1, Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-381-2128. DETAILS: You likely noticed the work of painter Leslie Shiels if you dined at the sadly-departed Jean-Robert’s Table. Now here’s an opportunity to view more, and maybe take one home of your own. A special attraction here is Shiels’ work, “Birds of Ukraine,” above, a tribute to the small creatures in the crossfire of war. On display through July 2.
Cincinnati International Wine Festival, Grand Tastings | 7-9:30 p.m. Duke Energy Convention Center. DETAILS: The Wine Festival makes its return for the first time since 2019, and the Grand Tastings are always the main attraction. Whether you know what you’re doing with wine or not, this is a super way to sample a wide variety of really good wines. But bring your patience hat – the lines can be a bit long – pace yourself, and hydrate. Tasting sessions include wine sampling, a keepsake Riedel wine glass (valued at $15), food samplings and access to wine industry representatives and experts from around the globe. Repeats Saturday afternoon, 2:30-4:30 p.m., and Saturday evening, 6:30-9.
Clifton Cultural Arts Center, “The Hidden Thicket” | 6-8 p.m. 2728 Short Vine St., Cincinnati OH 45219. 513-497-2860. DETAILS: Art is stuffy, you say? Not at the CCAC this month. This show by artist Leah Joy presents watercolor scenes paying homage to classic illustrators, such as Maurice Sendak and Beatrix Potter. Beyond this reception, bring the kids in for a random coloring session during the week. The exhibit is up until June 17.
May Festival, “John Adams Conducts El Niño” | 7:30 p.m. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-381-3300. DETAILS: Premiered in 2000, written to celebrate the new millenium, this “nativity” oratorio is a setting of the Christmas story in two parts: leading up to the birth of Jesus, and the aftermath. (“El Niño” refers both to the “little boy” and the storm the story of his birth created across the world.) Texts are a fascinating mix of Biblical excerpts, apocrypha, medieval sources, and Spanish-language poetry from Mexico, Chile, and Nicaragua. “Messiah” it is not, but worth exploring? You betcha.
Saturday, May 21
ArtsConnect, Artisan Fair | 9150 Winton Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45231. 513-522-2108. DETAILS: Art fair season is in full swing with some shopping adventure every weekend. Several dozen arts and crafts vendors will display their works and wares, along with food, live music, and a beverage or two. Just remember: Buying art is much more durable than another new pair of shoes.
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, “Pride and Prejudice” | 1195 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-381-2273. DETAILS: No doubt Cincy Shakes will put its own twist on this beloved tale. The website warns of “tongue in cheek,” so gird your Bebbet-sister-loving loins. Also, this show sets things up beautifully for the Taft Museum Jane Austen-inspired costume exhibit opening June 11. Immerse yourself in the Regency period for the summer, if you like. Just a few tickets remain for this performance of “P&P,” but there are plenty more ahead; the show runs through June 18.
Fitton Center, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: A Tribute to Elton John” | 7:30 p.m. 101 S. Monument Ave., Hamilton, OH 45011. 513-863-8873. DETAILS: Conceived in 2019 and originally scheduled for 2020, this tribute to Elton John’s iconic album finally sees the stage this Friday. According to Executive Director Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, this is a tribute to the music rather than the performer. Expect all the hits and some surprises. Music is provided by Danny Manning and the Just Strange Brothers band.
Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, “Studio 54 Revisited” | 7:30 p.m. Newport Car Barn. 859-431-6216. DETAILS: ALERT: More ’70s nostalgia. Never short of ideas, or jutzpah, KSO Music DIrector J.R. Cassidy is creating what he calls as a “symphonic dance party,” harkening back to the disco era and and its symbolic home base, Studio 54. And he is staging it, using the KSO Boogie Band, in an abandoned car barn. Could be fun…?
Think TV, 14.1, Maurice Mattei & The Tempers | 7 p.m. PBS: “Song of the Mountains.” DETAILS: The prodigiously and diversely talented Mattei (an illustrator and graphic designer, as well) graces the small screen this weekend, with his colleagues, drummer Debbie Immesoete and bassist Bryan Berwanger. Their original tunes stem from “roots” music and Americana, but are much more varied, incorporating country, jazz and rock & roll. Expect a new album later this year. Check your local PBS listings for future airings. Congrats, Maurice!
PAR-Projects, “Tunnelitis” | 6-10 p.m. 1662 Hoffner Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45223. DETAILS: Austin-based photographer Raymond Thompson Jr. has worked as both a photojournalist and as a visual artist. His current exhibition examines the 1930’s Hawks Nest Mining Disaster in West Virginia that led to the death of nearly 800 workers. Thompson’s dramatically lit photographs give off a sense of quiet, seeming to highlight the human void. As with the image above, dust suffuses the image, obscuring the figures or objects depicted. Thompson will speak briefly at the beginning, followed by the reception. The show runs through June 23.
Sunday, May 22
Caracole Cincinnati, AIDS Walk + 5K/10K Run | 9 a.m. Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum. DETAILS: What better way to kick off a cool, late-spring Sunday than an on-foot tour of Spring Grove. Run, if you’re inclined, or walk and search along the way for famous local names among the headstones. The course is 5K, but you can double it if you are ambitious. Medals and prizes will be awarded at the end of the event. But most important, yor’re out there supporting Caracole and those afflicted with AIDS.
DAAP Galleries, Directors’ Choice Show 2022 | Reed Gallery, DAAP Building, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221. 513-556-2839. DETAILS: Directors’ Choice specifically highlights the outstanding capstone projects from all four schools within DAAP (Design, Art, Architecture and Planning) that demonstrate exceptional knowledge, creativity, and skill that has been applied to a focused idea and then most effectively communicated by visual means. These young creatives are often amazing. View all DAAPWorks projects here. On display through Aug. 7.
May Festival, “Bernstein’s Candide” | 2 p.m. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-381-3300. DETAILS: Some say it’s an opera, some an operetta and some a musical. I call it spectacular. Bernstein messed with this piece for a couple of decades, but the core of its brilliance remains. And if you aren’t swept up by the famous overture, twisted into knots by “Glitter and Be Gay,” and moved to tears by the final chorus, “Make Your Garden Grow,” well then… (Hope to see you there.)
Monday, May 23
Washington Park, Jazz at the Park | 6-9 p.m. Over-the-Rhine. DETAILS: Excellent and distinctive Chicago-based vocalist Petra van Nuis and guitarist-husband Andy Brown return to town this weekend, also playing at Caffe Vivace Friday night. Her they are teaming with local jazzers bassist Chris Berg and drummer Jim Leslie to crank up this popular summer series on the Wash Park Porch. Bring a lawn chair to assure a seat, grab a cold one, and forget about Monday.
Tuesday, May 24
Clifton Cultural Arts Center, Sunset Salons | 6-7:30 p.m. Civic Garden Center, 2715 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH 45206. 513-497-2860. DETAILS: Herbs are art too, right? At least that seems to be the contention of this final Sunset Salon of the CCAC season. Local herbal experts will impart their wisdom on easy-to-manage herb gardens, reveal practical herbal remedies to common maladies, and share some recipes for pairing with ingredients from your own backyard.
- Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD of Sound Bites Nutrition
- Brian Grubb, University of Cincinnati Horticulture Program
- Carol Mundy, Herb Society of Greater Cincinnati
- Peachy Seiden, Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist