Culture FIX: Dec. 7-13

When my good friend Thom Mariner asked me to step in during his time off and do a Culture FIX, my first thought was, “Why, I didn’t even know it was broken!” (Cue drumroll/rimshot). But seriously, folks, it’s a pleasure to highlight the week’s most intriguing events during this holiday season. Some may seem a bit offbeat, but hey, that’s culture! Let’s get FIXin’:

Wednesday, Dec. 7

Valley View Nature Preserve during warmer weather

Valley View Nature Preserve, Full Moon Hike | 5:30-7:30 p.m., 5330 S. Milford Rd., Milford, OH 45150. 513-325-0562. DETAILS: “Full Moon and Ugly Sweaters” – no, it’s not a pop-song arrangement of the Big Tune from a Rachmaninoff piano concerto. It’s the theme for Valley View’s free evening hike, for which you’re invited to wear your favorite, or not, ugly Christmas sweater (a group photo will precede the hike). This is not just any full moon. As Cincinnati Observatory astronomer/author Dean Regas noted in the Enquirer, it’s a “Cold Moon” that will mark a rare “occultation” of Mars, as the moon will block the light from the closer-than-normal Red Planet for about 30 minutes starting at 10:20 p.m. The hike will be over long before then, but at least you’ll have dug out that sweater for outdoor viewing. Of Mars, not the sweater. Visit for news on possible updates or cancellations.

Thursday, Dec. 8

Polymath, one of five design teams doing illuminated installations for “Light in the Forest”

Cincinnati Nature Center, Light in the Forest | 5:30-9 p.m., select dates through Jan. 1, 4949 Tealtown Rd., Milford, OH 45150. 513-831-1711. DETAILS: Also celebrating the great outdoors, Cincinnati Nature Center’s “Light in the Forest,” which opened Dec. 1, is one of our region’s most creative holiday displays, with new installations this year by five light designers. The event features not only the chance to hike through the lighted forest, but to enjoy live music, a bonfire, holiday shopping and other attractions.

A scene from last year’s “Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)”

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, “Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)” | Dec. 8-31, 1195 Elm Street Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-381-2273. DETAILS: Quickly becoming a holiday tradition on its own, the Cincy Shakes production lets you experience all the Christmas classics you can imagine (and then some!) in one sitting. It’s a mashed-up sendup of everything from “A Christmas Carol” to “Charlie Brown.” Hilarious. But be forewarned, the show comes with a “content advisory”: Not recommended for any theatergoer who still believes in Santa.

Poets Margo Taft Stever, Susana Case and Don Bogen at The Merc

Mercantile Library, Tercet at The Merc | 6-8 p.m., 414 Walnut St. #1100, Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-621-0717. DETAILS: “Tercet,” of course, refers to three lines of poetry (not a defunct Toyota subcompact), and good things definitely come in threes with this evening of poetry from three prize-winning authors – Don Bogen, Susana Case and Margo Taft Stever. The event is open to the public, but registration is required. Online attendance is also an option.

Friday, Dec. 9

The Holiday Wurlitzer Concert in Music Hall’s Ballroom

Friends of Music Hall, Holiday Wurlitzer Concert | 7 p.m., Music Hall Ballroom, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati OH 45202. 513-621-2787. DETAILS: For some music lovers, it just isn’t Christmas without the sound of the mighty Wurlitzer, and this Friends of Music Hall fundraiser doesn’t disappoint. The one-show-only event features organist Mark Herman, members of the May Festival Chorus and dancers from the Otto Budig Academy.

The Annie Moses Band

Cincinnati Pops, Holiday Pops | 11 a.m. & 7:30 p.m., also 11 a.m. & 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10-11, Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati OH 45202. 513-381-3300. DETAILS: Speaking of Music Hall, few things are as spectacular as the venerable concert hall decked out for the holidays, with JMR and the Cincinnati Pops performing seasonal favorites in style. This year’s Holiday Pops features the Annie Moses Band, tenor Bernard Holcomb and school ensembles from SCPA, Sycamore and Winton Woods. Limited seats remain for most performances.

Playwright Ginna Hoben in a production of her “12 Dates of Christmas”

American Legacy Theatre, “12 Dates of Christmas” | 7 p.m., Thomas More University Theatre, 333 Thomas More Parkway, Crestview Hills, Ky. 41017. 513-443-5429. DETAILS: For an alternative take on the season, American Legacy Theatre presents playwright Ginna Hoben’s “12 Dates of Christmas,” a modern comedy about a young woman whose fiance jilts her just in time for the holidays. Performances through Dec. 18.

Saturday, Dec. 10

Cincinnati Camerata, “Queen of Peace” Concert | 7 p.m., Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church, 1345 Grace Ave., Cincinnati OH 45208. 513-941-5088. DETAILS: This year’s edition of the Camerata’s holiday program of music praising the Virgin Mary features an array of fascinating choral works ranging from Victor Kalinnikov to Herbert Howells to Amy Beach to CCM’s Ellen Harrison. Handbell choir Queen City Bronze joins the Camerata. Also Dec. 11,3 p.m., at St. Catharine of Siena Church, 2848 Fischer Place, Cincinnati OH 45211.

Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Jr.” | 2 p.m. & 5 p.m., Taft Theatre, 317 E. 5th St. Cincinnati, OH 45202. DETAILS: Here’s a Christmas classic for the kids. A musical adaptation of the beloved 1964 animated TV special, the 60-minute stage show features Johnny Marks’ hit songs “Rudolph,” “Holly Jolly Christmas” and more, while delivering the message that “what makes you different can be what makes you special.” Additional public performances Dec. 11 and Dec. 16-18.

Sunday, Dec. 11

The Bach Ensemble of St. Thomas

Bach Ensemble of St. Thomas, Music for Advent and Christmas | 7 p.m., St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 100 Miami Ave., Terrace Park, OH 45174. 513-831-2052. DETAILS: Renowned for its inspirational series of Bach Vespers concert featuring the masterful cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach, the BEST ensemble turns its focus to a program of sacred music for the season.

Monday, Dec. 12

Cincinnati World Cinema, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale | 7 p.m., Garfield Theatre, 719 Race St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 859-957-3456. DETAILS: This certainly won’t be everybody’s cup of nog, unless you’re into R-rated Finnish dark humor in a suspense film about strange holiday happenings. Hö-hö-hö! Also Dec. 13, 7 p.m., and online in the CWC Virtual Cinema starting Dec. 14.

Tuesday, Dec. 13

Heri et Hodie: Krista Cornish Scott, Lauren McAllister and Jackie Stevens

Christ Church Cathedral, Heri et Hodie | 12:10 p.m., 318 E. Fourth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-621-1817. DETAILS: Latin for “Yesterday and Today,” Heri et Hodie is a women’s vocal group that focuses on medieval (notably the visionary composer-scholar-abbess Hildegard von Bingen) and modern music – a fascinating combination. Presenting a program of Christmas music, the group is featured in Christ Church’s esteemed Music Live@Lunch series.

Ebenezer Scrooge and Bob Ribbit, er, Cratchit

Mercantile Library, “The Muppet Christmas Carol” | 6-9 p.m., 414 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-621-0717. DETAILS: Back to The Merc for a one-evening screening of the 1992 “Muppet Christmas Carol,” featuring the inimitable Michael Caine as Scrooge. Even better, the library is inviting people to wear “stocking caps and/or festive pajamas” to the free (reservations required) showing. No word on whether ugly Christmas sweaters are welcome, however. “Some say (this) is the greatest film ever made,” the library argues, and with dialogue like the following, who can argue?

“Rizzo the Rat: Boy, that’s scary stuff! Should we be worried about the kids in the audience?
Gonzo: Nah, it’s all right. This is culture!”

Yes, it’s culture! And now it’s “FIXed.”

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