Culture FIX: Sept. 28-Oct. 4

By Chris Pinelo, Guest FIXER 

The fall arts season is in full swing. First off, the Cincinnati theater scene is pretty hoppin’ right now. Secondly, there’s a lot happening around the FotoFocus Biennial, so keep that in mind when you’re looking to get your FIX.

Last chance…

Cincinnati Art Museum, Unlocking an Art Deco Bedroom | 11 a.m.–5 p.m. daily through Oct. 2. Eden Park. 513-639-2995. DETAILS: Last chance! A Viennese architect name Joseph Urban is commissioned to create a bedroom for a seventeen-year-old who lived with her parents in the Drake Tower, Chicago. The results? It’s stunning, but don’t take my word for it. See it for yourself. This special exhibit is ticketed and runs through Sunday.

Jim Hopkins as “Lear”

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, “King Lear” | 7:30 p.m. 1195 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-381-2273. DETAILS: Thom Mariner told you to check it out last week and I’ll tell you again as the run concludes.  Written in 1605 and 1606, King Lear’s appeal is timeless and its tragic story continues to resonate with generations of audiences. As Thom said, it’s “a familial dynasty divides when an aging patriarch splits his estate between two wicked daughters and casts out the third – the only one who truly loves him. One of Shakespeare’s towering achievements.” Show runs through Oct. 1. That’s right – last chance!

Northern Kentucky University, “Violet” | 7:30 p.m. NKU Corbett Theatre, Highland Heights. 859-572-5464. DETAILS: Thom Mariner recommended this one last week, but I wanted to add this piece won a Drama Desk Award for Best Musical. It also uses a number of musical styles that speak to the time and place including gospel and bluegrass. As Thom wrote previously, “The story tells of a disfugured girl traveling from North Carolina to Oklahoma in hopes of being healed by a televangelist. This, like the Know Theatre show above, is more about the journey than the destination.” Shows are through Sunday only.

Wednesday, Sept. 28

Sierra Hull

Memorial Hall, Sierra Hull with Taylor Raye | 8 p.m. Over-the-Rhine. 513-241-6550. DETAILS: Grammy-nominated Americana artist Sierra Hull makes a stop on her tour at Memorial Hall, and concertgoers are in for a treat.  There are strong bluegrass elements in her music, and while her last album, “25 Trips” from 2020, referenced her age at the time, there is also something quite timeless about her music-making. Hull was signed to a record deal when she was 13. What were you doing at 13? I was busy delivering “Door Store” coupon bags and jamming on my Casio. Tickets are $28 to $40.

Thursday, Sept. 29

3CDC, Salsa On the Square | 7 p.m. Fountain Square, Downtown.  DETAILS: Son Del Caribe and SalsAires team up for Salsa on the Square for the last Thursday in September. It’s great music and dancing in public. What could go wrong? In all seriousness, Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate cultures that are integral to the American mosaic. I love my Cuban-American cultural heritage, and encourage you to take part in the fun and celebratory energy around salsa dancing. This one’s also FREE.

Taft Museum of Art:
Nancy Ford Cones, “Portrait of an Unknown Sitter with Butterfly,” ca. 1920.
Positive digital image taken from a glass negative, 8 x 5 inches.
Private collection, digitized by Christopher Hoeting

FotoFocus Biennial | Sept. 29-Oct. 8. 513-400-4027. DETAILS: It’s back. Founded 12 years ago by Tom Schiff to “celebrate and champion photography as the medium of our time through programming that ignites a dialogue between contemporary lens-based art and the history of photography,” the Biennial returns with the theme, World Record, and features hundreds of curators and artists in a diverse array of venues from Northern Kentucky to Columbus. This opening week spotlights prominent exhibits, seminars and conversations about the art of photography. A FotoFocus “passport” or museum membership may be required for some events. Ticket prices vary. There’s so much to explore and I encourage you to learn more about Schiff and the origins and hopes for FotoFocus c/o David Lyman (from the October magazine).

Lalah Hathaway

Ludlow Garage, Lalah Hathaway | 8 p.m. Clifton. Details: Five-time Grammy-winning songstress Lalah Hathaway performs at the Ludlow Garage for not one, but TWO nights – both Thursday and Friday. She is R&B royalty (the daughter of the legendary Donnie Hathaway) and has an extraordinary career as a recording artist and performer in her own rite. She received an honorary doctorate from the Berklee College of Music this year, so that’s Dr. Hathaway to you and me. She should for sure grab a bite at Hathaway’s in Carew Tower while in Cincinnati. The show repeats on Friday night and at the time of me writing this, both shows are almost sold out. Available tickets range from $65 to $85.

Friday, Sept. 30

Must-see Music Christopher Rouse
The late composer Christopher Rouse

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Final Symphonies | 11 a.m. Music Hall, Over-the-Rhine. DETAILS: As my fellow Oberlin graduate Christopher Rouse composed his final symphony in 2019, he was in failing health and aware this would be his swan song. It’s a deeply felt work, and perfectly paired with Tchaikovsky’s masterful Sixth Symphony. This was one of Ray Cooklis’s Must See Music performances in our September magazine. The program repeats on Sunday at 2 p.m. and tickets range from $15 to $100. In a sign of the times, the CSO will not perform on Saturday night while FC Cincinnati takes on Chicago right down the block from Music Hall at TQL Stadium.

A work by Areca Roe, part of “The Overstory” at Manifest Gallery

Manifest Gallery, Season Opening – FotoFocus and more | 6-9 p.m. 2727 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut Hills. 513-861-3638. DETAILS: Manifest exhibits keep us abreast of important work being done by artists mostly from beyond our region. This opening features five diverse lens-based exhibits: “The Overstory,” photographic works about forests, trees, their wood, and the memory they contain • “No Return,” non-archival, one-way or purposefully temporary works • Robin Assner-Alvey, photography • Eli Craven, photography and construction/assemblage • Kelsey Stephenson, photography/installation. All on display through Oct. 28.

Saturday, Oct. 1

Photo by Brad Feinknopf

Cincinnati Ballet, Annual Block Party | 3-7 p.m.  Cincinnati Ballet Center for Dance, Walnut Hills. Open to the public, the FREE event features fun and festivities including trial dance classes for all ages; performances by CB’s Second Company, Revolution Dance, Cincinnati Highland Dancers and Bi-Okoto, along with facepainting, games, a community art mural project, and photos with CB characters “The Nutcracker” and “Fiona the Hippo.”

Heritage Bank Center, Bill Burr (Slight Return) | 7 p.m. Downtown. DETAILS: Yes, comedian and actor Bill Burr has a long list of credits and accolades, but then he did “Star Wars.” Yeah, I said it. “STAR WARS!” This guest star of “The Mandalorian” has surge in popularity the past couple of years and it is well deserved. If you don’t believe me, Google search his irreverent “Saturday Night Live” opening monologue. Good stuff! Remember there isn’t a Ticketmaster service charge if you buy tickets at the Heritage Center Box Office. Ticket prices range from $54.50 to $99.50.

Taft Theatre, The Music of Queen | 8 p.m. Downtown. 513-232-6220. DETAILS: An orchestra is performing in Cincinnati on Saturday night, but maybe not the one you’re guessing. The Windborne Rock Symphony Orchestra rolls into town to perform and celebrate the music of Queen. With such a deep and diverse catalog, it will be fun to experience so many iconic sounds presented not only by an amplified, full rock band, but also bathed in orchestral color. Ticket prices range from $43 to $75.

Sunday, Oct. 2

Hyde Park Art Show | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Hyde Park Square. DETAILS: Billed as the area’s largest one-day art exhibit and sale, it may be the quality of the art that keeps people (and artists) coming back year after year. Don’t care about art? The people and pet watching is also a pretty good time and the food options are excellent.

Christina Nam

Matinée Musicale: Christina Nam, violin | 7 p.m. Memorial Hall, Over-the-Rhine. 513-232-6220. DETAILS: My friend Rafael de Acha wrote, “The stunningly talented Christina Nam brought the afternoon to a serene ending with her fierce commitment and emotionally charged interpretation of the Bach Partita number 2…The end of the concert was first followed by awed silence and then by grateful applause for Nam…”  If Rafael wrote it, I believe it. Christina Nam must be the real deal, and she brings her fiery virtuosity to Memorial Hall on Sunday. Ticket prices range from $15 to $35.

The Chicks

Riverbend Music Center, The Chicks with Special Guest Patty Griffin | 7:30 p.m. Coney Island. DETAILS: The Chicks (yes, they used to be called the Dixie Chicks and support the name change) have 13 Grammys. They have built an extraordinary catalog of hits and their exquisite cover of “Landslide” is a mainstay in many of my playlists. This is some tremendous musicmaking coming to Riverbend as the outdoor concert season winds down. The show was rescheduled so you’re getting a second chance at tickets. Oh, and Patty Griffin is pretty awesome, too. Ticket prices range from $30 to $170.

Tuesday, Oct. 4

Mercantile Library, Adaptation: “Rebecca” | 6 p.m. Downtown. DETAILS: The Merc’s “Adaptation: Books & Movies” series considers a book and its movie adaptation. Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 popular Gothic novel, “Rebecca,” has been adapted numerous times, but none is as well-known as Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 film, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture and stars Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine. While producer David O. Selznick insisted Hitchcock remain faithful to the novel, there are some notable differences. This event is FREE.

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