Culture FIX: Dec. 14-20

This is our last C-FIX of the year, so let’s get to what’s being offered in the days ahead. Several events are already sold out, but good stuff remains. Happy Holidays, however you choose to celebrate. See you in January…

Last chance…

Broadway Across America, “Jesus Christ Superstar” | 7:30 p.m. Procter & Gamble Hall, Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-721-3344. DETAILS: The highlight of my 1971 Christmas haul was the original concept album of “JCS.” I inhaled it for weeks, on the living room console stereo, much to the assumed chagrin of my parents. Apparently, others felt the same way as it ended up the best-selling album of that year, beating out Carole King’s “Tapestry.” You can experience the fully-staged version through Sunday, as tickets remain. Controversial? Possibly. Compelling? Absolutely.

Wednesday, Dec. 14

No Promises Vocal Band: David Baum, Jeff Grooms, Nat Comisar, Corey Tucker, Kaeden Kass, Joshua Steele. Photo by Leslie Goddard

No Promises Vocal Band | 7:30 p.m. The Carnegie, Covington. DETAILS: Some of you my be aware I used to dabble a bit in a cappella singing, and nothing beats Christmas music. Take it from me, these guys are really good and the arrangements are fresh and fun. Three more shows to follow, all at 7:30 p.m.: Thursday at Community of the Good Shepherd in Montgomery, Tuesday at St. Columban in Loveland and at Price Hill’s Incline Theatre next Wednesday.

Playhouse in the Park, Mr. & Mrs. Fezziwig’s Holiday Party | 6:45-9:30 p.m. The Phoenix, downtown. 513-421-3888. DETAILS: Missing “A Christmas Carol” at the Playhouse this year? Here’s your chance to experience a Victorian evening hosted by Dickens’ charming family and other “Carol” characters. Enjoy parlor games, Victorian dances, a puppet show and more. Ticket price includes lite bites, dessert and unlimited punch, cider and hot cocoa. Adults receive one drink ticket for beer, wine or spiced mead. Cash bar available. Timed entry to create a smooth two-hour experience. Recommended for ages 5 and up. Continues through Sunday.

Thursday, Dec. 15

Cincinnati Ballet, “The Nutcracker” | 7:30 p.m. Music Hall. 513-621-5219. DETAILS: The iconic, imaginative production by Victoria Morgan lives on, even though she has moved into retirement. Alternately gorgeous, clever and quirky, if you have not experienced it, you must, especially in Springer Auditorium and with the CSO rendering Tchaikovsky’s unforgettable score. Runs until Christmas Eve.

Eisele Gallery of Fine Art, Holiday Party | 6-10 p.m. Summit Hotel, Madisonville. 513-791-7717. DETAILS: The evening features new works by artist Rick Malette, plus light bites and refreshments, bringing together collectors, artists and patrons.

Heritage Village Museum, Train Days | 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 11450 Lebanon Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45241. 513-563-9484. DETAILS: Model trains chug through villages, around mountains, and through tunnels in three large model train displays. At least 10 trains will be operating, including G, N, HO, O, and S scale. Continues Friday and Saturday, plus Dec. 21-23.

Trevor Kroeger leads The Union at St. Rose.

The Union Ensemble, St. Rose Christmas Concert | 7:30 p.m. St. Rose Church, Riverside Drive, East End. DETAILS: Music director Trevor Kroeger leads this all-professional ensemble and orchestra in carols and choral masterworks, including festive excerpts from J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor and two Christmas lullabies by Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov. Repeats Friday evening at St. Francic de Sales in East Walnut Hills, and returns to St. Rose Sunday at 3 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 16

American Legacy Theatre, “12 Dates of Christmas” | 7 p.m. Thomas More University Theatre, Crestview Hills. 513-443-5429. DETAILS: After seeing her fiance kiss another woman at the televised Thanksgiving Day Parade, Mary’s life falls apart – just in time for the holidays. This one-woman play by Ginna Hoban offers a modern alternative to the old standards of the holiday season. Repeats Saturday evening and Sunday at 2 p.m.

This work fashioned from book pages was submitted by Peggy Johnston from Des Moines, Iowa.

Manifest Gallery, four new exhibits | 6-9 p.m. 2727 Woodburn Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45206. 513-861-3638. DETAILS: Not many galleries open new, non-holiday exhibits during December, but Manifest seems to embrace the opportunity. This four-exhibit opening features young artists in collaboration with current or former teachers, contemporary printmaking, art about books/language/literature, and the recipient of the $5,000 Manifest Prize. Continues through Jan. 13.

Saturday, Dec. 17

City Flea | 4-9 p.m. (Early Bird Mini Market starts at 11 a.m.) Washington Park, Over-the-Rhine. DETAILS: Local, artful holiday shopping alert: This eclectic arts & crafts fair is a major draw from May through October. This crispy holiday version gives you the chance to support area artisans and makers and secure that unique holiday gift. Repeats Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. No more procrastinating, now…

Danielle Cozart Steele
Danielle Cozart Steele

Young Professionals Choral Collective, “Silver & Gold” | 4 p.m Christ Church Cathedral. 513-601-8699. DETAILS: YPCC is made up of post-college adults who realize that, amidst chasing their careers, they miss the magic of singing in choirs. Apparently, that’s a lot of local people, as this program, artistically led by Danielle Cozart Steele, annually involves hundreds of Cincinnatians in their 20s and 30s. What’s most entertaining is the energy level and passion these young folks bring to their performances. Check them out before your dinner out or attending your next holiday party. Children 12 and under free with a paying adult.

Sunday, Dec. 18

Knox Music Series, music of Mendelssohn and Vaughan Williams | 5 p.m. 3400 Michigan Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45208. 513-321-2573. DETAILS: Earl Rivers and his excellent Knox Choir has been bringing Christmas joy to Hyde Park since 1974. This year’s offerings include a youthful cantata by Mendelssohn, “Von Himmel Hoch,” based on the famous Martin Luther hymn tune, and “Hodie,” the seldom-heard, final, choral/orchestral work by Vaughan Williams from 1954, augmented by members of Robyn Lana’s Cincinnati Youth Choir.

Monday, Dec. 19

 Michael, Maaike, Marius, Joshua and Maria Chertock

The Center for Respite Care, Annual Campaign Concert | 7 p.m. Sycamore Presbyterian Church, 11800 Mason-Montgomery Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45249. DETAILS: Michael Chertock has a very full musical plate: teaching at CCM, leading the Blue Ash/Montgomery Symphony, directing music at St. Barnabas and playing keyboards with the CSO. Here, he and his family and friends – including soprano Kara Shay Thomson – will perform in a benefit concert for our OTR neighbors at Center for Respite Care, providing holistic medical care to the homeless. The concert is free, but contributions are encouraged.

Tuesday, Dec. 20

Christ Church Cathedral, Benjamin Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols” | 12:10 p.m. 318 E. 4th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-621-1817. DETAILS: This is one of my favorite Christmas week traditions in Cincinnati. Benjamin Britten’s composition, for treble voices and harp, is exquisite and timeless, and these forces – part of one of the city’s best church choir programs – know the work inside out. What a great way to break for lunch and get in the true Christmas spirit.

Cincinnati Arts Association, Million Dollar Quartet Christmas | 7:30 p.m. Procter & Gamble Hall, Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-621-2787. DETAILS: The original “Million Dollar Quartet” won a Tony, and featured multi-talented singing actors bringing the characters and gifts of Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley to life. In this holiday expansion of the brand, Christmas carols are front and center. Should be fun. One night only.

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