As quiet as last week was (Independence Day in the way), this must be make-up time: Cincinnati Opera, OTR Film Festival, Art of the Piano and the new Ascent Music Series. Plus, a handful of art openings, some new theater, and much more. Get out and explore!
Wednesday, July 6
Cincinnati Landmark Productions, “Jerry’s Girls” | Warsaw Federal Incline Theater, 801 Matson Place, Cincinnati OH 45204. 513-241-6550. DETAILS: This salute to Jerry Herman by his “girls” features selections from “Hello, Dolly!,” “Mame,” “Dear World,” “Mack and Mabel” and “La Cage Aux Folles,” and hits such as “Before the Parade Passes By”, “We Need a Little Christmas”, “The Best of Times”, “Mame”, “Hello Dolly” and more. Continues Thursday-Sunday through July.
Cincinnati Opera, “Fierce” | 7:30 p.m. Corbett Theater, SCPA, Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-241-2742. DETAILS: In October 2019, your M&M publishers attended Opera Fusion: New Works, excerpts from two works-in-progress originally scheduled for summer of 2020, and that will finally see their premieres this month. One of the operas was “Fierce,” with music by Cincinnati native William Menefield and libretto by Northern Kentucky novelist Sheila Williams. We were captivated by the freshness, rhythmic vitality and, well, un-operatic-ness of “Fierce.” Other than the skill needed by the young singers, “Fierce” does not “sound” like opera; it sounds like today, and that’s exciting. I hope it’s not too late to get tickets. “Fierce” repeats Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. and Sunday evening. Read more here, as related by David Lyman.
Thursday, July 7
Cincinnati Opera, “The Pirates of Penzance” | 7:30 p.m. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-241-2742. DETAILS: While one cast has been busy down the block preparing “Fierce,” Music Hall has been a-buzz with 19th-century British silliness a la Gilbert & Sullivan. Four decades ago, Cincinnati Opera included a musically “lighter” piece in its summer season; I was in “Music Man,” “The Merry Widow” and “Carousel” in the early 1980s. (Yes, I’m THAT old.) “Pirates” (1879) marks the first return of G&S to Music Hall since 1985. It might be just the tonic for all the drama the world is throwing at us right now. Repeats Friday evening and Sunday at 3 p.m.
OTR International Film Festival | Various venues, mostly in OTR. DETAILS: This annual festival returns full-strength this summer in its ability to showcase films that speak to our shared humanity, regardless of the challenges life sticks in our way. Most events are at the Woodward Theater or the Art Academy. There are multitude offerings from which to choose, from now through Saturday evening. Pick one or immerse yourself. There are five films today, plus an opening night gala. See below…
- July 7, 4 p.m. “Not a Hero” (Woodward Theater)
- July 7, 4:30 p.m. “Feeling Through” • “Connecting the Dots” (Art Academy of Cincinnati)
- July 7, 4:30 p.m. Award Winning Film (Harriet Beecher Stowe House)
- July 7, 5:30 p.m. “Leylak” • “Eggshells” • “Our Baby Knows” • “Paper Geese” (Woodward Theater)
- July 7, 6-8 p.m. Opening Night Gala (Art Academy of Cincinnati)
- July 7, 8 p.m. “Poppy” (Art Academy of Cincinnati)
Friday, July 8
Art of the Piano, Conrad Tao | 7 p.m. Werner Recital Hall, College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati. DETAILS: Conrad Tao is both a throwback and a revelation. He is the rare composer equally gifted as a performer. And he glides between eras and styles with ease. This recital ranges from Bach, Beethoven and Schumann to John Adams and his own music, including an opening improvisation. Oh, and a little jazz composed by Cincinnati native Fred Hersch to top things off. Tao’s playing matches his creativity. For more from AOP, see Sunday.
Cincinnati World Cinema, Sundance Short Film Festival | Garfield Theatre, 719 Race St., Cincinnati 45202. 859-957-3456. DETAILS: This 95-minute program showcases seven jury award winners and official selections from this year’s Sundance Film Festival, a mix of fiction, documentary, and animation. Only 59 of 10,374 submissions were chosen for the festival. These are the best of those. Repeats twice on Saturday, twice on Sunday and next weekend.
Mariemont Players, “Harvey” | 4101 Walton Creek Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45227. 513-684-1236. DETAILS: Long known as one of Cincinnati’s best community theaters, Mariemont Players blessedly does a summer show to slake our theater appetite. “Harvey” is the story of a perfect gentleman, Elwood P. Dowd, and his best friend – a six-foot tall, invisible rabbit. When Elwood begins introducing Harvey around town, his embarrassed sister and her daughter are determined to commit Elwood to a sanitarium. A mistake is made, hijinks ensue, and a frantic search begins for Elwood and the invisible Harvey. Don’t you just love hijinks in July? Runs through July 24.
Friday art openings…
ARTclectic Gallery, Chris Krupinski | 5:30-8:30 p.m. 6249 Stewart Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45227. 513-822-5200. DETAILS: The very first featured artist exhibit for this new gallery shares the work of watercolorist Chris Krupinski, whose work has been jury-selected to exhibit in China, Turkey, Taiwan, Greece, Holland, Italy and Russia. Show is on display through Aug. 31
Cincinnati Art Museum, “Unlocking an Art Deco Bedroom” | 953 Eden Park Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-721-2787. DETAILS: The bedroom in question was designed 90 years ago by Austrian-born architect Joseph Urban for 17-year-old Elaine Wormser. The room’s furnishings reflect their state as originally installed in Chicago’s Drake Tower and photographed in 1930. When Elaine Wormser Reis moved to Cincinnati in 1936, she brought nearly all of her bedroom with her. The room’s elements, donated to the Cincinnati Art Museum by Elaine Wormser Reis in 1973, form the largest collection of urban-designed furnishings held by a public institution. One of Urban’s final commissions, the Wormser Bedroom features what is described as a “daring” combination of colors and patterns, black glass walls and a reflective silvered ceiling. On display through Oct. 2.
Eisele Gallery of Fine Art, “Bird’s Eye View” | 6-9 p.m. 6936 Madisonville Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45227. 513-791-7717. DETAILS: In her fiirst, large curation project, local designer and art aficionado Sandy Eichert has gathered works by 25 area artists who incorporate bird images in their work. The show incorporates styles ranging from formal to abstract across various media, including painting, sculpture, photography, drawing and video. The exhibit remains on display through July. 23
Manifest Gallery, five exhibit openings | 6-9 p.m. 2727 Woodburn Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45206. 513-861-3638. DETAILS: Two things that make Manifest openings so compelling are the variety of themes and the high level of quality, as these are deemed the best images received from around the country (and beyond?) within each theme. “Obsolete” shares works that explore obsolescence • “Thread” showcases fiber-based works • “Time Out” features paintings by Sam King • “Refresh” consists of buon fresco paintings by Michael Nichols • “Master Pieces 16” displays the best works by current/recent graduate students from across the U.S. Continues through Aug. 5.
Saturday, July 9
Ascent Music, Cho-Liang Lin and Friends | 7:30 p.m. Werner Recital Hall, CCM, University of Cincinnati. DETAILS: This new chamber music series is hosted by cellists Alan Rafferty and Sarah Kim, who are bringing major string talent here as part of their international chamber music festival, teaching 70 emerging string artists. Lin came to prominence in the early 1980s and has since soloed with every major orchestra in the world. Here he joins Ascent students and faculty in works by Telemann, Shostakovich, Moszkowski and Brahms.
Basketshop Gallery, “So That We May Fear Not” | 6-9 p.m. 3105 Harrison Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211. DETAILS: Works by Jesse Meredith whose artistic goal is “to highlight systems that isolate and separate us, to connect ideologies, identities and histories, and to empower people to address their own biases and comforts.”
Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Summer Park Concert Series | 7:30 p.m. Devou Park, Covington. 859-431-6216. DETAILS: In “Marches Madness,” music director J.R. Cassidy hopes to set your toes a tapping with 18 “universally known” marches from opera, film, ballet and more. The free, outdoor concert repeats Sunday evening in Ft. Thomas’ Tower Park.
Wave Pool, “Cooking From Memory” | 6-9 p.m. 2940 Colerain Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45225. DETAILS: Welcome (M)Art Art/Food Residency is a new program that blurs the lines between art gallery, grocery, and dinner party. This opening presents a food-based installation created by Christopher Leitch, who is curating Cincinnati’s collective histories and familial stories through recipes, taste, and memories. The three-month residency includes 10 public programs that include cooking, story sharing and art.
Sunday, July 10
Art of the Piano, “Stillpoint” | 2 p.m. Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. DETAILS: This week just keeps on giving. Here is a live preview of this forthcoming album (2023), conceived by AOP founder/director Awadagin Pratt in hopes of capturing the essence of T.S. Elliot’s “Four Quartets” in music. Pratt, vocal super-group Roomful of Teeth and top-drawer chamber orchestra A Far Cry render new works by composers Tyshawn Sorey, Paola Prestini, Peteris Vasks, Jessie Montgomery, Jonathan Bailey Holland, Alvin Singleton and Judd Greenstein in a concert-length narrative that expresses Elliot’s elemental truth…”at the still point of the turning world…there the dance is…and there is only the dance.” Free, but registration required.
Monday, July 11
Washington Park, Jazz at the Park | 6 p.m. Over-the-Rhine. DETAILS: Sometimes Monday’s require rehabilitation, right? Guitarist Carlos Vargas leads this session on the Wash Park Porch, joined by the lovely voiced Emily Grace Jordan. You can thank me later.
Tuesday, July 12
Ascent Music, Miró Quartet | 7:30 p.m. Corbett Auditorium, CCM, University of Cincinnati. DETAILS: The closing performance of this new series presents one of the world’s premier string quartets in music by Beethoven, an Ohio premiere of a work by Kevin Puts (whose “Silent Night” was presented by Cincinnati Opera in 2014), and some second half surprises, including festival founder Alan Rafferty.