A true smorgasbord this week, covering almost all of the arts food groups, so each of you can enjoy at least one artful adventure. Happy to be your guide.
Cincinnati Ballet, “ALICE (in wonderland)” | Music Hall, Over-the-Rhine. 513-621-5219. DETAILS: Last few chances to go down the rabbit hole and discover all that magic. Shows continue Thursday through Saturday evening, plus weekend matinées.
Thursday, Feb. 16
Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Meet the CCJO: Musical Virtuosity | 7 p.m. The Redmoor, Mt. Lookout Square. 513-280-8181. DETAILS: Sometimes you just have to show off a little, right? This program features music written by and/or showcasing every individual member of the band, including some brand new arrangements and compositions. The last two concerts sold out, so don’t dawdle. And get there early for good seats.
College-Conservatory of Music, Opera Series: “Agrippina” | 8 p.m. Cohen Studio Theater, University of Cincinnati. 513-556-4183. DETAILS: Early Handel operas present a field day for singers and for stage designers and directors. So much of the drama is in the virtuoso arias, and the stories present a fairly blank canvas on which those adding visual elements can go a little crazy. Handel was just 25 when he concluded this work. CCM has not failed to disappoint in past Handelian efforts, so this should be really interesting. Continues Friday and Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.
Eva G. Farris Gallery, “Ibon is Bird” | 4-7 p.m. Thomas More University, Crestview Hills. 859-344-3300. DETAILS: Artist John Lanzador is fluent in carving, painting, drawing, design and even working with chalk. He claims to find inspiration in outsider art, tattoo shops, botanical illustrations, toys, food, pop art, illuminated manuscripts, comic books and even Mexican lottery bingo cards. You are likely to have seen his mural on the lower east side of the former Sun Furniture building at Central Parkway and Sycamore downtown. This exhibit shares new works, book cover paintings/collage inspired by the library next door. Artist talk at 3:30 p.m. On display through March 9.
Northern Kentucky University, “Twelfth Night” | 7:30 p.m. Stauss Theatre, NKU, Highland Heights. 859-572-5464. DETAILS: Jones-ing for some Shakespeare? Here’s a chance to experience one of his best comedies performed by young people who are exploring The Bard, possibly, for the first time. Do you remember your first time? Pretty exciting, right? Repeats Friday and Saturday evening, Sunday at 2 p.m., and again Wenesday through Sunday next week (Feb. 26).
Taft Museum of Art, “Universal Magnetic: New Works by Terence Hammonds” | 5:30-6:30 p.m. 316 Pike St., Lytle Park, downtown. 513-241-0343. DETAILS: Cincinnati artist Terence Hammonds presents new collages and ceramic works that recontextualize historical images and motifs to memorialize Black figures in United States history. Hammonds does so by removing the figures from scenes of pain and suffering and inserting them into spaces that celebrate joy and hope. Hammonds will present a talk at 6:30 p.m. Exhibit continues through June 4.
Friday, Feb. 17
Cincinnati Black Theatre, “Mr. Rickey Calls A Meeting” | 7:30 p.m. National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. 513-621-ARTS. DETAILS: This “what-if” scenario was written by Edward Schmidt in 198:. In the spring of 1947, Branch Rickey, owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, called a meeting with four prominent African-Americans to discuss breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball: boxing champion Joe Louis, singer/actor Paul Robeson, tap dancer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and the subject of the meeting, Jackie Robinson. The issues discussed are complex, indeed. Repeats Saturday at 2 & 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m.
Cincinnati World Cinema, Oscar-Nominated Short Films | 6:30 p.m. Garfield Theatre, downtown. 859-957-3456. DETAILS: If you watch the Oscars and find yourself wanting to watch the nominated “Shorts” and not knowing where to view them, Tim Swallow at CWC has you covered. Documentaries screen Fridays at 6:30 p.m. Animation & Live Action screen Saturdays and Sundays at 3:30 & 6:30 p.m., respectively, with both same-day combos and single tickets available. Schedule repeats for three more weekends, through March 11
Revolution Dance Theatre, “It’s Love” | 8 p.m. 21c Museum Hotel, downtown. DETAILS: RDT dancers illustrate the complexities of love as told through the perspective of 4 different choreographers: Derek Brockington from Dance Theatre of Harlem, Da’Rius Malone of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Heather Britt of Heather Britt Dance and David Choate of Revolution Dance Theatre. While you’re there, check out the amazing contemporary art.
Saturday, Feb. 18
The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, “Princess & Frog” | 2 & 5 p.m. Taft Theatre, downtown. 513-569-8080. DETAILS: It’s always important to note, for those newbies, that this is theater FOR children, not BY children. It’s your chance to initiate some young person you know to the wonders of professional pretending, the kind that’s not on a screen. And in case you’re wondering, this world premiere is adapted from “Croaker – The Frog Prince Musical” and is based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, not the Disney animated movie. Repeats Sunday afternoon, and next Friday through Sunday.
Sunday, Feb. 19
Matinee Musicale, Alexandre Kantorow | 3 p.m. Memorial Hall, Over-the-Rhine. DETAILS: Matinée Musicale continues to impress with the level of artists the series presents. This week we are treated to Tchaikovsky gold medalist Alexandre Kantorow, who also won that piano competition’s Grand Prix, awarded only three times previously in it’s history. The program features Brahms’ Piano Sonata No. 1, plus Schubert’s “Wanderer” fantasy and his songs as arranged by Franz Liszt, who one critic from Fanfare magazine seems to think has been reincarnated as Kantorow. You can decide for yourself!
Mayerson JCC, Jewish & Israeli Film Festival: “Rose” | 3 p.m. 8485 Ridge Rd., Amberley Village. 513-761-7500. DETAILS: This is the story of 78-year-old, newly widowed Rose, who embarks on this new phase of life with trepidation. But when she meets Laurent, a charming restaurateur decades her junior, Rose begins to reconnect with herself and her dormant sensuality, much to the chagrin of her three adult children, who are struggling with problems of their own. (Aren’t we all?)
Siena Series, Annual Seiwert/Foegler Organ Recital | 3 p.m. St. Catharine of Siena Church, Westwood. DETAILS: St. Catharine organist/music director David Castillo is a fascinating guy, dividing his time between practicing law and leading the music in one of my favorite Cincinnati musical venues. He promises “a bombastic” recital, using every pipe in the organ, and offering up tunes ranging from the Baroque to, yes, jazz. And did I mention how wonderful the acoustics are?
Monday, Feb. 20
Memorial Hall, Jazz at The Memo | 7 p.m. Over-the-Rhine. 513-977-8838. DETAILS: Mambo Monday returns! Spice up your back-to-work-day with Carnival & Mardis Gras music from Brazil by Mambo Combo, featuring Michael Sharfe (bass), Brian Batchelor Glader (piano) , Tim McCord (sax, flute, percussion), John Zappa (trumpet, percussion) , Charles Ali Schwietzer (percussion) and Baba Charles Miller (percussion).
Tuesday, Feb. 21
College-Conservatory of Music, Ariel Quartet | 7:30 p.m. Werner Recital Hall, University of Cincinnati. 513-556-4183. DETAILS: Award-winning pianist Soyeon Kate Lee joins the Ariels in one of Brahms’ greatest chamber works, his Piano Quintet in F Minor, Op. 34. Additional repertoire is to be announced, but this is worth the price of admission. CCM rescues your Tuesday evening from mundanity.