Culture FIX: Feb. 1-7

Seven, count ’em, art openings this weekend, including the Big 3 – CAC, CAM and Taft Museum. But there’s plenty for your ears (and even your feet) to enjoy, as well.


Last chance…

Dale Hodges, Nick Cearley, Shonita Joshi, Jared Joplin and Joneal Joplin in “Grand Horizons”
Photo by Ryan Kurtz

Ensemble Theatre, “Grand Horizons” | 1127 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-421-3555. DETAILS: If you have not yet seen this production, you should. Laugh-out-loud funny, but also so poignant in its truths. And Cincinnati royalty on the stage … telling dirty jokes! Pretty great. Bravi, D. Lynn Meyers and creative team. Through Sunday, only.

Wednesday, Feb. 1

Krohn Conservatory, “Bunnies and Blooms” | 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Eden Park, Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-421-4086. DETAILS: As the website says, “live bunnies hopping among tulips and daffodils.” I’m not sure I need to even say much more about this. It’s February. The Bengals lost. You need something cute and cuddly and colorful in your life. Go, twice even. Tell a friend. And thank me later. Ends, March 12, just before March Madness begins. 😉

Thursday, Feb.2

The Annex Gallery, “eight BUY eight” to benefit Aeqai | 5-8 p.m. 1310 Pendleton St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. DETAILS: Our arts-coverage colleagues at Aeqai – a monthly, online, visual art journal – are holding their 15th annual auction, this year at the Annex Gallery at The Pendleton. Sales will support the publication and its ongoing art critiques, reviewing and reporting on exhibits locally and beyond. This year, the format is new work in various media by local artists on 8” x 8” birch panels. Light bites will be provided.


Mayerson JCC, Jewish & Israeli Film Festival: “On This Happy Note” | 7:30 p.m. 8485 Ridge Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45236. 513-761-7500. DETAILS: As she prepares for her death, celebrated playwright Anat Gov asks literary agent Arik Kneller to execute her will. Their last documented conversation touches upon life, death, and her writings. Through excerpts from her plays and footage of her family and political world, a new script is written: one in which the line between the play and reality is blurred. Also at the Mariemont, on Sunday, 3 p.m.: “Upheaval: The Journey of Menachem Begin.”


Calisha Brooks, Rodney Coates, Kymisha Montgomery and Marc Watkins

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, “From Black Health & Wellness to Black Resistance” | 6-9 p.m. 50 East Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-333-7500. DETAILS: Kicking off Black History Month, a panel of thought leaders and scholars discuss the realities of wellness within Black communities and the continued legacy of resistance from the era of the Underground Railroad to today. 6 p.m. Light fare. 6:30 p.m. Black Health & Wellness. 7:30 p.m. Black Resistance.

  • Calisha Brooks, psychologist and mental health activist
  • Rodney Coates, professor of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies and Global and International Studies at Miami University
  • LaGarrett King, associate professor of Social Studies Education at the University of Buffalo
  • Kymisha Montgomery, community gardens coordinator for the Civic Garden Center
  • Dr. Marc Watkins, chief medical officer at The Kroger Co.

Visionaries & Voices, “Casting Shadows” | 5-8 p.m. 3841 Spring Grove Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45223. 513-861-4333. DETAILS: No matter what “Phil” says, you can still enjoy this artwork around the theme of groundhogs – whether present day, folk origins or “shadows” – and in any medium. Maybe they’ll serve sweet vermouth on the rocks with a twist? Runs through March 3.

Friday, Feb. 3

Louis Ritman (1889-1963): “Breakfast,” oil on canvas, 41.5″ x 50.6″

Cincinnati Art Galleries, “Gallery Selections” | 5-7 p.m. 225 E. Sixth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-381-2128. DETAILS: Unveiling of new additions to the gallery, selections from current inventory, and works by local gallery artists – too many to list here, but that means quite a feast for your eyes. Continues through March 17.


Georgia O’Keeffe, “Roofless Room,” 1959–60, gelatin silver print, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe. © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Cincinnati Art Museum, “Georgia O’Keeffe, Photographer” | 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 953 Eden Park Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-721-2787. DETAILS: Scholars have examined O’Keefe’s paintings, home, library, letters, and even her clothes. Yet, no previous exhibition has explored her work as a photographer. This show presents nearly 100 photographs by the artist, together with a complementary selection of paintings and drawings. On display through May 7. While you’re there, check out “Beyond Bollywood: 2000 Years of Dance in Art” (through Sunday only) and “Three Generations of Japanese Printmakers” (through April 6).


College-Conservatory of Music, “Dido and Aeneas” & “Gianni Schicchi” | 8 p.m. Cohen Studio Theater, University of Cincinnati. 513-556-4183. DETAILS: Two operatic gems from opposite ends of the musical and dramatic spectrum, this pairing offers a fascinating look at the development of the form from the 17th to 20th centuries. Henry Purcell’s tragic love story (composed 1688?) between the Queen of Carthage and the hero of Troy gives way to Giacomo Puccini‘s inheritance-grabbing escapades (1918) of a family too greedy and desperate not to be outwitted by the title character. I’ve performed both operas, and was Schicchi at CCM four decades ago. These are wonderful works. Repeats Saturday evening and Sunday at 2 p.m.


Contemporary Arts Center, Julia Orquera Bianco: “Under the Canopy” | 5-7 p.m. 44 E. Sixth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-345-8400. DETAILS: Julia Orquera Bianco is an interdisciplinary artist and nature enthusiast. This particular body of work is the result of an embodied entanglement with Burnet Woods. The artist walked, hiked, cleaned, read about, taught in and observed seasons change and cycles renewing in this site for over a year. On display through March 3.


Cincinnati Music Theatre, “Music at the Movies” | Fifth Third Theater, Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-621-2787. DETAILS: This special cabaret-style program includes a wide range of musical styles from Judy Garland to Common, including music from James Bond films, Disney classics of yesterday and today, as well as Oscar-winners for Best Song. Repeats Saturday, 4 & 7:30 p.m., and also, next Friday and Saturday.


The now 27-year-old George Li tackling Saint-Saëns at age 12

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra | 11 a.m. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-381-3300. DETAILS: Composers Chen Qigang and Grammy-nominated Chinese-American Zhou Tian discovered new sounds through the combination of Eastern and Western styles. French impressionist Maurice Ravel drew from his Basque heritage in writing his “Rapsodie espagnole.” PROGRAM CHANGE: Jean-Yves Thibaudet has had to withdraw, and so American pianist George Li will step in and play the Saint-Saëns Concerto No. 2, another colorful work. All of this is tied together by music director Louis Langrée, and in honor of the Chinese Lunar New Year. Repeats Saturday, 7:30 p.m.


Photo by Michael Slobodian

Mutual Dance Theatre, Jefferson James Contemporary Dance Theater Series | 7:30 p.m. Jarson-Kaplan Theater, Aronoff Center, downtown. 513-494-6526. DETAILS: We have Jeanne MamLuft and Mutual Dance to thank for the fact that guest dance companies still visit Cincinnati. We need more contemporary dance here! Rubberband comes to us from Montreal, combining the energy of hip hop, the refinement of ballet and the angular quality of contemporary dance. The program is a greatest hits of Rubberband director Victor Quijada‘s creative arc, employing music of Jasper Gahunia along with Prokofiev, Verdi, Bach and Vivaldi, among others.

Saturday, Feb. 4

The Barn, ART: Woman’s Art Club of Cincinnati 2023 Signature Member Exhibition & Sale | 3-6 p.m. 6980 Cambridge Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45227. 513-272-3700. DETAILS: The WAC has a fairly radical history, having been formed in 1892 in response to not being allowed, as women, to become members of the, then, all-male Cincinnati Art Club. Thankfully, things have changed, and the WAC charges forth. This exhibit draws works from the club’s nearly 100 members who have achieved Signature Status through a jury process. Open through Feb. 26.


Brandon Lowery: “Denial, “ceramic, glaze, iron oxide wash, luster

Kennedy Heights Arts Center, “Ebb and Flow,” | 6-8 p.m. 6546 Montgomery Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45213. 513-631-4278. DETAILS: This juried exhibition of ceramic artworks by 35 local artists explores the inevitable cycle of life and death, and pulls inspiration from the past life of KHAC’s building as a funeral home. (You learn something new every day!) This show coincides with The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), coming to Cincinnati in March. Through April 1.

Northminster Fine Arts Fair | 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 703 Compton Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45231. DETAILS: This rare, winter art fair features dozens of artists showing woodworking, photography, fiber arts, painting, pottery and jewelry. In addition, you can experience live music, kids’ activities, raffles, food and drink, plus a fair trade market.


Sedrick Huckaby, “She Wore Her Family’s Quilt,” detail, 2015, oil on canvas

Taft Museum of Art, “Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art” | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 316 Pike St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-241-0343. DETAILS: For more than 35 years, Kerry Davis, a retired postal worker, and Betty Davis, a former television news producer, have collected art with a focus on diverse 20th- and 21st-century approaches to the Black image. The exhibition features approximately 60 works of art, including paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, sculptures and mixed media by well-known African American artists: Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Sam Gilliam, Loïs Mailou Jones, Jacob Lawrence, Gordon Parks, Alma Thomas and others. Continues through May 14.

Sunday, Feb. 5

Bach Ensemble at St. Thomas, Bach Vespers | 5 p.m. St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 100 Miami Ave., Terrace Park, OH 45174. 513-831-2052. DETAILS: This month’s cantata is “Ich hab in Gottes Herz und Sinn,” BWV 92 (I have given over to God’s heart and mind), composed in January of 1725. Also on the program is CSO oboist Dwight Parry in a concerto by Domenico Cimarosa, plus more Bach and Thomas Tallis, all led by Carlton Monroe. Get your Bach fix!


Annalisa Pappano, Melissa Harvey and Elizabeth Motter

Chamber Music Yellow Springs, Catacoustic Consort | 4 p.m. First Presbyterian Church, 314 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs, OH 45387. 937-374-8800. DETAILS: We don’t often include performances beyond the immediate area in C FIX, but this is a special opportunity to welcome an old friend back home. Award-winning Baroque ensemble Catacoustic Consort, led by Annalisa Pappano, was based in Cincinnati for nearly two decades before she and husband Marcus Küchle relocated to Bavaria several years ago. This program will consist mostly of music from the group’s 2018 albums “Ai Sospiri” and “L’art Séduisant.” Joining Pappano, who plays lirone, is Joanna Blendulf on pardessus de viole, Elizabeth Motter on baroque harp and soprano Melissa Harvey. A most welcome return.


Phil DeGreg and Rick VanMatre

Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Jazz@First Series | 2 p.m. First Unitarian Church, Avondale. 513-280-8181. DETAILS: Love me some classical-jazz crossover. The centerpiece here is a new arrangement of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” featuring saxophonist Rick VanMatre and CCJO pianist Phil DeGreg. The duo will also share Bill Dobbin’s Sonata for Soprano Sax and Piano, which combines contemporary classical elements with jazz, plus several of Rick’s and Phil’s own compositions. Chamber jazz at its finest.


Matt Hart

Word of Mouth Cincinnati, Open reading w/ Matt Hart | 6 p.m. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. DETAILS: Matt Hart is a creative force in a variety of media. He has published 10 books of poetry. He is a post-punk rocker who toured opening for Green Day. He teaches students at the Art Academy the art of language. And he is one of the most genuine people you’ll ever meet. However, this is not your grandma’s poetry reading. All the better.

Monday, Feb. 6

Jim Hart

Memorial Hall, Jazz at The Memo: James Hart Trio | 7 p.m. 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-977-8838. DETAILS: If you’ve been to the Netherland Palm Court anytime in recent years (see above), you’ve likely heard Jim Hart, who is elegance personifed on the piano. On this evening, he is joined by premier sidemen: bassist Aaron Jacobs and drummer Marc Wolfley. The music ranges from Brubeck to Monk to Corea to the Great American Songbook. Don’t you just love Mondays?

Tuesday, Feb. 7

Broadway Across America, “Annie” | 7:30 p.m. Procter & Gamble Hall, Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-721-3344. DETAILS: Maybe if we all go see this show, the sun will actually come out tomorrow. Take in some positivity! Through Feb. 12.


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