Culture FIX: Nov. 16-22

Some want turkey with all the fixins. Me? I’m just looking to get my culture fix. As we fast approach Thanksgiving, there is so much to be thankful for Cincinnati, not the least of which is a vibrant cultural scene. Happy to be filling in again for my friend Thom Mariner to tell you about events both great and small.

By Chris Pinelo

Wednesday, Nov. 16

Friends of Music Hall, Indoor Tour | 1 p.m. Music Hall, Over-the Rhine. 513-621-2787. DETAILS: Music Hall is hands down one of the most stunning pieces of architecture in the region, and it’s also an important community gathering space alive with activity year-round. Join Friends of Music Hall program guides for a 75-minute tour that explores a variety of private and public spaces, learn about the extraordinary history, and maybe even belt out a note from the stage. I can’t guarantee that last part. Tours repeat Friday at 2 p.m., Saturday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., and Monday at 1 p.m. Tickets are $15 ($5 for kids under 12).

Thursday, Nov. 17

Kierra Sheard

Something Has to Break to Blossom” with Kierra Sheard | 6 p.m. at Landmark Church, 1600 Glendale-Milford Road, Evendale. (513) 813-8336. DETAILS: It’s a book launch. It’s a gospel concert. It’s both! This event is officially the launch of “The Rose Who Blossomed Through the Concrete Consequence vs Choice,” a new book by Rosemary Oglesby-Henry, founder of nonprofit Rosemary’s Babies. She uses her testimony to inspire readers to view choices and consequences as new opportunities to draw people to God, find purpose and “blossom.” The live gospel concert features Kierra Sheard with performances by Cross Worship, Ed Sax Thomas, and the Landmark Praise Team. Camri Nelson of Spectrum News 1 will serve as emcee. Tickets are from $35 to $100., search “Something Has to Break”

Devonte “Vontee” Fletcher

Memorial Hall, Banks Boyz Entertainment Presents: If Not Me Then Who | 9 p.m. Over-the-Rhine. 513-241-6550. DETAILS: Comedy fans, assemble! Viral YouTube, TikTok and Instagram star Devonte “Vontee” Fletcher, known for his skits portraying the “Vonayy’ and ‘Bizzle’ characters, takes the stage in this laugh-out-loud show hosted by Cincinnati’s own FunnyMan Graham. I’m going to change my name to “UnbelievablyTalented Pinelo” to see if I find similar success. Tickets are $20 to $25.

Friday, Nov. 18

Violinist Esther Yoo

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Sibelius and Bartók Concertos | 11 a.m. Music Hall, Over-the-Rhine. DETAILS: The CSO is chock full of virtuosic musicians and Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra is a showcase for their tremendous talents. Combine that with a piece by acclaimed and very much living composer Missy Mazzoli and guest soloist Esther Yoo performing Sibelius’ Violin Concerto and you’ve got a truly immersive musical feast. Guest conductor Dalia Stasevska makes her Cincinnati debut. Repeats on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and tickets range from $15 to $100.

Know Theatre, Lizard Boy: A Musical | 8 p.m. Over-the-Rhine. 859-572-5464. DETAILS: No, this isn’t the latest movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universes. This musical is about scale-covered Trevor who can “blend in with the crowd” for only one day out of the year called “Monster Fest.”  He sets out to make a love connection (as one does), but “Fate might just be calling him, instead.” Did I mention it’s a musical? What’s not to love? Performances repeat Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. and until Dec. 11. Tickets are $15 to $40.

Saturday, Nov. 19

Cincinnati Pops, Lollipops Family Concert Series: “Postcards Across America” | 10:30 a.m. Music Hall, Over-the-Rhine. DETAILS: What are your first memories of Music Hall? For many Cincinnatians, I’m guessing Lollipops Family Concerts are on the list. On Saturday, conductor Daniel Wiley and the Pops take the whole family on a musical “road trip across America.” Ideal for kids ages two to nine, Lollipops concerts offer great bite-sized samples of orchestral repertoire, in this case American music. It’s a tremendous value and a wonderful way to create lasting memories with the family. Tickets are $10 for kids and $15 for adults.

Regal Collective, Regal Rhythms Poetry’s Black Book Fair and Open Mic | 1-8 p.m. The Oasis at Grace, 5524 Belmont Avenue, College Hill. DETAILS: The purpose of this event is to have “ALL races celebrate aspiring and published authors who are Black, Indigenous or people of color.” Among the activities are publishing panels, book pitches, and a marketing workshop by Amazon best seller Vernon “Elament” Jackson. And there’s an open mic, so the possibilities are endless. This event is FREE but registration is required.

Mary Jo Bole

Weston Art Gallery, Gallery Talk: Mary Jo Bole | 2 p.m. Aronoff Center, downtown. DETAILS: Known for her sculpture, printed works and drawings, Mary Jo Bole’s “Family White Elephants” comes to the Weston and the artist herself gives an informative and informal gallery talk Saturday at 2 p.m. Bole’s is one of three new shows coming to the Weston this weekend. The other two are “Candace Blac: Accoutrements” and “Steven Thurston: Lost in Translation – Deception and Diesire.” All three exhibitions open Friday and are on display through Jan. 15. Mary Bole’s gallery talk is FREE and open to the public.

Heritage Bank Center, Trans-Siberian Orchestra: “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve” | 3 & 7:30 p.m. Downtown. DETAILS: The spectacle of Trans-Siberian Orchestra is something to behold. The late Paul O’Neil, not to be confused with the former Reds and Yankees baseball player, had a vision to create heart-pounding arrangements of Christmas classics, blending heavy metal and prog rock. His legacy lives on with the touring ensemble of virtuosic rock performers backed by pyrotechnics in this popular arena show. Remember there isn’t a Ticketmaster service charge if you buy tickets at the Heritage Center Box Office. Ticket prices range from $33 to $103.50

Sunday, Nov. 20

Cincinnati Choral Society, John Rutter: Requiem | 3 p.m. Our Lady of the Visitation, 3172 South Road, Cincinnati, OH 45248. DETAILS: Not to be confused with the late star of the sitcom “Three’s Company” John Ritter, John RUTTER is a British composer of modern church music and his Requiem has been a staple for many mainline churches in the U.S. and the U.K. Music director Philip Clary will lead the Cincinnati Choral Society in this popular work the composer dedicated to his father in 1985. This concert is FREE (donations accepted).

CCM Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Holiday Extravaganza | 4 p.m. Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village, University of Cincinnati. 513-556-4183. DETAILS: Some of my favorite sounds of the holiday season are unmistakably jazz. CCM invites you to “celebrate the holidays with the hot rhythms and cool sounds of Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Stan Kenton, Count Basie and Duke Ellington” (no, not literally, though a concert of resurrected jazz legends would be big news), and “a few surprise guest vocalists who will help us swing into the season!” Ticket prices are from $12 to $29.50.

Taft Theatre, State Ballet Theatre of Ukraine: “Swan Lake” | 6 p.m. Downtown. 513-232-6220. DETAILS: Leonard Bernstein once wrote, “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.” That same sentiment can certainly apply to dance, and on Sunday night, dancers from Ukraine perform the Russian composer Tchaikovsky’s iconic “Swan Lake.” As Ukraine continues to be ravaged by the Russian invasion, we welcome these performers to our region for an opportunity to share their artistry. Ticket prices range from $29 to $68.

John Waite

Memorial Hall, John Waite and His Band, with Frank Viele | 8 p.m. Over-the-Rhine. 513-241-6550. DETAILS: I was introduced to The Baby’s “Back on My Feet Again” on a K-Tel compilation album. Those of you of a certain age will know exactly what I’m talking about. Following the breakup of that band, leader singer John Waite embarked on a successful solo career that included the massive 1984 hit, “Missing You” and later reunited with fellow Babys bandmate and Journey keyboardist Jonathan Caine to form the supergroup Bad English. Waite was actually pulled offstage by an overzealous fan in Cincinnati back in 1980 and injured his knee, so please be gentle, my fellow Queen City music lovers. Tickets are $34 to $49.

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