Culture FIX: March 8-14

What a world-class week ahead! One of the most important openings here in decades – the new Playhouse mainstage theater. Plus visits by global and national superstars, not to mention our homegrown talents that can measure up with the best.


Last chance…

Cincinnati World Cinema | Garfield Theatre, 719 Race St., Cincinnati 45202. 859-957-3456. DETAILS: The only place to see Oscar-Nominated Short Films on the big screen. Only three screenings left, and seats are at a premium. Don’t dawdle…

  • Friday, 6:30 p.m. Oscar-Nominated Documentary Shorts
  • Saturday. 3:30 p.m. Oscar-Nominated Animated Shorts
  • Saturday, 6:30 p.m. Oscar-Nominated Live-Action Shorts

Wednesday, March 8

Mercantile Library, Hearth & Home Lecture | 6 p.m. 414 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-621-0717. DETAILS: A couple Saturdays ago we were listening to “It’s Been a Minute” on WVXU and an interview about “joy” with poet, professor and gardener Ross Gay. It was not yet on my radar that he would be coming here soon, but apparently the folks at The Merc are way ahead of me. A delightful and insightful guy, Ross Gay. He’ll make you think about joy differently.


Basilica of St. Peter in Chains, Tenebrae | 7:30 p.m. 325 W. 8th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-421-5354. DETAILS: While we are blessed with our own world-class choir in the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati, the English have this choral thing figured out in ways we are still chasing. St. Peter in Chains has thankfully brought us one of the world’s best. Just listen above…

Thursday, March 9

The Barn, “Rothko’s Rooms” / 7 p.m. ARTFlix | 6980 Cambridge Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45227. 513-272-3700. DETAILS: Filmed on both sides of the Atlantic, this documentary, chronicling Mark Rothko’s life and charting the development of his work, fills the screen with his softly defined, rectangular clouds of color stacked symmetrically on top of one another. For Rothko fans or the curious, here’s a chance to immerse yourself in his images.


College-Conservatory of Music, Musical Theatre Senior Showcase | 7 p.m. Corbett Theater, University of Cincinnati. 513-556-4183. DETAILS: Our mighty conservatory on the hill sends as many musical theater students to Broadway each year as any institution in the country. Here’s this year’s crop, all prepped for their amazing opportunity of auditioning in Manhattan. You can hear them before their journey. Repeats Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.

Friday, March 10

Cincinnati Pops, “Marvel’s Black Panther” | 7:30 p.m. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-381-3300. DETAILS: If you know this film, all you need to know is that Pops Principal Guest Conductor Damon Gupton is leading the Pops, and guest percussionist Massamba Diop, in Ludwig Göransson’s Oscar-winning score, live to picture. If you haven’t yet seen the movie, what a great way to experience it for the first time. Repeats Saturday evening and Sunday at 2 p.m.


Clifton Cultural Arts Center, “On Grounds of Coffee” | 6-8 p.m. 2728 Short Vine St., Cincinnati OH 45219. 513-497-2860. DETAILS: Artist Ariel Vivanco’s work centers around experiences of daily life and the people with whom she is the closest. This series is “an intimate collection of morning meditations, each rendered on coffee-stained watercolor paper. Images depict scenes from reveries to malaise, both company and quiet, all while emphasizing the joys of drawing itself.” (Not sure I can add anything to that. I wish all art exhibition descriptions were so en pointe.) On display through April 17. (Can’t wait for the CCAC’s new building, BTW, and I’m sure Leslie Mooney and team feel the same.)


Composer Jennifer Jolley

College-Conservatory of Music, CCM Wind Symphony: “War and Peace” | 7:30 p.m. Corbett Auditorium, University of Cincinnati. 513-556-4183. DETAILS: The Wind Symphony often plays second fiddle to the Orchestra in the professional world, but rocks in high schools, colleges and conservatories. The contemporary wind band repertoire is exceptionally colorful and mostly unknown. This concert, led by Kevin Holzman, kicks off with the familiar (an arrangement of Bernstein‘s infectious “Candide” Overture), but then turns to the present, with works by Australian Jodie Blackshaw, recent CCM grad Jennifer Jolley, a spiritual arranged by Carlos Simon, and concludes with a classic of the wind ensemble canon, the late Karel Husa‘s powerful, programmatic “Music for Prague, 1968.”


Know Theatre, “All-One! The Dr. Bronner’s Play | 1120 Jackson St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-300-5669. DETAILS: Selling soap with a side of spirituality in the 1940s, Dr. Bronner’s “All-One” was sold as a cure-all (from toothpaste and shampoo to toilet scrubber and insecticide), and the label’s chock-full of his proselytizing. (Read a little sermon while you shampoo?) The Know promises to share playwright Beth Hyland‘s story, including “catchy jingles, dance, showtunes, a water ballet performed in a kiddie pool, storytelling, and a musical combination featuring accordion, guitar, mellophone, and castanets.” Runs through March 26, or as long as supplies last. 😉


Manifest Gallery, Three New Exhibits | 6-9 p.m. 2727 Woodburn Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45206. 513-861-3638. DETAILS: Manifest brings the best from around the country to our doorstep. “Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana” focuses on works closer to home – 20 varied works by 14 artists. Artists Robert Pulley and Dana Saulnier joined forces for an exhibit of paintings, drawings and ceramic sculpture. And “Cast | molded” features 16 works by 13 artists from nine states and Puerto Rico. On display through April 17.

Saturday, March 11

Art Beyond Boundaries, “Voices Unlimited” | 5-7 p.m. 1410 Main St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-421-8726. DETAILS: It’s great to see our OTR neighbor Jymi Bolden‘s gallery back in full swing. This exhibit showcases a variety of paintings and other media by three artists who have “left a legacy with ABB.” Opening night festivities feature writers from Women Writing for (a) Change. Always a vibrant crowd. Show continues through April 22.


Knox Church, “Songs of Our Land” | 7:30 p.m. 3400 Michigan Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45208. 513-321-2573. DETAILS: I love when there’s a chance to hear music from non-Western lands, and that is precisely the point of this performance. Singaporean soprano Janani Sridhar – international opera singer and voice professor of Centenary College of Louisiana – and Yeon-Kyung Kim – pianist from CCM and a staff pianist at Western Illinois University – will perform songs in their mother tongue: Malay, Tamil, Korean and English. Take an aural and musical journey across Asia.


Miami University Performing Arts Series, Cantus | 7:30 p.m. Hall Auditorium, 101 S. Campus Ave., Oxford, OH 45056. 513-529-3200. DETAILS: Another outstanding choral ensemble, this time from Minneapolis. It’s a bit of a drive to Oxford, but these guys (eight of them) are too good not to mention.


Playhouse in the Park, “A Chorus Line” | Rouse Theatre, 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-421-3888. DETAILS: The day is finally here – the opening of the Playhouse that Jack and Moe built, which we were proud to preview in our February magazine. And what better way to signal this new Playhouse era than with this dance-filled 1975 classic, which – to my mind – marked the shift from singing-based musicals to those populated by dancers who sing. And they dance very well. Continues through April 14.


Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum, Founder’s Day Celebration | 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 1763 Hamilton-Cleves Rd., State Route 128, Hamilton, OH 45013. 513-868-1234. DETAILS: Founder’s Day honors founder Harry Thomas Wilks’ birthday. Admission to the park and museum on this day will be free to all guests. The park “brings people to art in nature” and features more than 60 pieces of monumental outdoor sculpture in a natural setting of hills, meadows and forests. The Ancient Sculpture Museum features Greek, Roman, Etruscan, Syrian and Egyptian sculpture dating to 1550 BCE. General admission for the park is $10 for adults, $5 for children.

Sunday, March 12 (Spring forward!)

4-Way Quartet | 5 p.m. All Saints Episcopal, 6301 Parkman Pl., Pleasant Ridge. DETAILS: This fine quartet of dedicated teachers presents music of Schubert, Jesse Montgomery, Florence Price and more. Proceeds support the 4-Way String Project, the group’s free education program in Norwood.


No Promises Vocal Band | 2:30 p.m. Northminster Church Concert Series, 703 Compton Rd. DETAILS: This all-male group offers an entirely different kind of vocal ensemble experience than the choirs mentioned previously, but no less prodigious. The area’s premiere vocal band is performing several times this month – pop and jazz and more, and mostly in original arrangements.


St. Barnabas Episcopal Church Concert Series, Starling Chamber Orchestra | 3 p.m. 10345 Montgomery Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45242. DETAIILS: This new series, in this gracious acoustic space, is funded by a visionary congregtion member. It kicks off in youthful fashion with these amazing kid musicians led by Kurt Sassmanshaus. The Starling Chamber Orchestra offers artists ages 10-18 the opportunity to perform as soloists, tour internationally and make recordings. Look for other performances in the months ahead.


Urban Artifact, Music by Women Throughout History | 4 p.m. 1660 Blue Rock Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45223. DETAILS: Another fledgling series offers weekly piano performances (Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m.) and quarterly concerts such as this one, featuring all women composers. Performers include the Heri et Hodie vocal ensemble, pianist Helena Kim, the Rhineburg Brass and violinist Kaycee Galano in music of Hildegard von Bingen, Sofia Gubaidulina, Dani Howard and more. VIP shenanigans begin at 3 p.m., in case you’re so inclined.


Classical Revolution, Musical Blooms | 7:30 p.m. The Loon. 4124 Hamilton Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45223. DETAILS: If you find yourself near or in Northside after dinner, and still feel like hanging out, Classical Rev is the perfect way to wind down your weekend. Talented musicians, from emerging to established, offer some seriously good music in a casual, wine-sipping setting. This month’s performers are guitarist Samaria Hill, the woodwind trio WhirlWind, accordionist John Keene and multi-instrumentalist Sarah Gorak. Happens the second sunday of each month, with fresh faces all the time.

Tuesday, March 14

Chamber Music Cincinnati, Pavel Haas Quartet | 7:30 p.m. Memorial Hall, Over-the-Rhine. 513-342-6870. DETAILS: Another best-of-class ensemble comes to town. Last time the Pavel Haas Quartet came to town was the day the world stopped in March 2020. Perhaps the best string quartet in the world these days, they are bringing a couple of surpises along on this trip – quartets by under-appreciated Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu (1890–1959) and the great film composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897–1957). They will wrap things up with more standard rep – Antonín Dvořák‘s G major quartet, Op. 106, from 1895. CMC is offering a package ticket deal with the upcoming Juilliard Quartet’s May performance if you are interested.


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