Culture FIX: March 29-April 4

“Smosh” is the best word to describe this week’s selections. It’s a word I seem to have made up, but I like it. And it fits. See for yourself…

Wednesday, March 29

“Surrealist El Tropical” at the CSO

CSO Proof: “Surrealist El Tropical” | 8 p.m. Music Hall Stage, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-381-3300. DETAILS: Immediately shifting gears from this week’s standard fare by Beethoven and Dvorak, the CSO gets tropical and technicolor with a multi-media and multi-genre presentation and music by Astor Piazzolla, Ernesto Lecuona, Alberto Ginastera and Arturo Marquez. Entering through Music Hall’s loading dock, patrons – to be seated on the Springer Auditorium stage – will encounter showgirls, dancers from the Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre, plus video surprises. At the CSO, you ask? Yep, at the CSO. Repeats Thursday evening.

Thursday, March 30

“Fellow Travelers” at CCM

College-Conservatory of Music, Opera Series: “Fellow Travelers” | 8 p.m. Corbett Theater, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221. 513-556-4183. DETAILS: This opera was workshopped as part of CCM’s Opera Fusion: New Works partnership with Cincinnati Opera. Premiered here to great acclaim by Cincinnati Opera in 2016, this work by composer Gregory Spears and librettist Greg Pierce carried forth to productions in Chicago, Minnesota and Boston, and now returns to CCM a decade later. The story focuses on the “lavender scare” – mass firings of gay people from the United States government during the McCarthy era in the 1950s. Repeats Friday and Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, “Solidarity Now! 1968 Poor People’s Campaign” | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 50 E. Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-333-7500. DETAILS: This exhibit explores one of the most important grassroots movements of the civil rights era: the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968. The exhibition investigates the ideas, the emotions, the people, and the place that made this campaign a success. Through a combination of photographs, objects, video and oral histories, it explores the significance and impact of this campaign that drew thousands of people to develop a protest community on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. On display through June 11.

Northern Kentucky University, Albertine Cinémathèque Festival of French Films | 6:30 p.m. Griffin Hall Digitorium, Nunn Dr., Highland Heights, KY 41099. DETAILS: A continuation of what had been known as the Tournées Festival of New French Film, held every spring semester at NKU from 2011 to 2015, this new festival is screening a different French movie every Thursday for six weeks (five recent features and one classic). This is the third title in the series: “Une Histoire d’Amour et de Désir/A Tale of Love and Desire,” a 2021 Tunisian drama. Admission is free.

Friday, March 31

Art Academy of Cincinnati, “Vision Fields Student Film Festival” | 7 p.m. Art Academy of Cincinnati Lecture Hall, 1212 Jackson St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-562-6262. DETAILS: This festival of time-based video and film features a variety of genres created by AAC students, and well as works by faculty and alumni. Admission is free.

Also at the AAC this Final Friday, 5-8 p.m….

  • Opening reception of Stewart Goldman’s “Cross Currents” exhibit, which honors his 30 years of teaching at AAC and runs through April 24
  • Closing reception for student capstone exhibit, “foaming at the mouth”

Cincinnati World Cinema, “EO” | 7 p.m. Garfield Theatre, 719 Race St., Cincinnati 45202. 859-957-3456. DETAILS: During a journey across the Polish and Italian countryside, director Jerzy Skolimowski places the viewer directly in the heart and mind of its four-legged protagonist, EO, a gray donkey with melancholic eyes and a curious spirit. Through EO, we observe the follies and triumphs of humankind. According to CWC’s Tim Swallow, “EO will rip your heart out. Great story, score and cinematography.” Repeats Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m.

Northern Kentucky University, “La Canterina” | 7 p.m. Greaves Concert Hall, 100 Nunn Dr., Highland Heights, KY 41099. 859-572-5464. DETAILS: So CCM is not the only collegiate program producing opera this weekend. Franz Joseph Haydn wrote almost as many operas as Mozart, but most were performed for private audiences at the Esterházy palace. Few are in repertoire today, so here’s your chance to sample Haydn’s third opera, the one-act “La Canterina” (“The Songstress” or “The Diva”). Repeats Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m.

Saturday, April 1

Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, “Carnival of the Animals: Remix | 7 p.m. CET. DETAILS: This is a collaboration between the CCO and CET. “Carnival of the Animals: Remix” is an hour-long program, based on Camille Saint-Säens’ chamber orchestra suite, designed to take children ages 3-8 on a journey around the world, visiting all seven continents and the animals and musical styles of each region. The program infuses a variety of multi-dimensional art forms and musical styles, and introduces a lineup of new animal characters, bringing a modern twist to this classic from 1886. Repeats Sunday at 1 p.m. and April 9, 9 p.m. on CET Arts. Also available on the PBS after April 2.

Rich Walburg

Game Day Communications, Rich Walburg Day | 3–5 p.m. The Filson, The Banks. DETAILS: Long a fixture across the media and nonprofit landscape of Greater Cincinnati, Rich Walburg lost his battle with leukemia in January of 2022. His final employer, Game Day Communications, helped establish the Rich Walburg Media Scholarship at the University of Cincinnati. This event celebrates Rich’s life and legacy of good humor, great work and professionalism. Rich was a true mensch and a close friend to us at M&M. Donors of $25 or more receive a “Be Kind” bracelet.

Art of the Piano Aaron Diehl
Pianist/composer Aaron Diehl

Xavier Music Series, Aaron Diehl | 8 p.m. Gallagher Center Theater, Xavier University. 513-745-3161. DETAILS: One of the most versatile pianists on the planet, Aaron Diehl scales the heights of jazz and classical, including his own compositions. He’s touring to promote his new album, “The Vagabond,” which showcases his own music, plus arrangements of Prokofiev and Phillip Glass. Another Ohio product being featured this season, Diehl grew up in Columbus. Now that X is out of March Madness, you can honor their season by visiting campus for this very special opportunity.

Sunday, April 2

Brett Scott
Brett Scott, Coro Volante music director

Coro Volante, “Passion and Resurrection” | 3 p.m. Christ Church Cathedral 318 E. 4th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-621-1817. DETAILS: Coro Volante is a professional choir here in Cincinnati whose main function is recording new music by living composers. This rare live performance, led by CV founder and CCM associate professor Brett Scott, kicks off Christian Holy Week with an atmospheric, meditative Passion setting by British composer Ivan Moody (b. 1964). The work is steeped in Greek Orthodox sacred ritual and musical language. Yours Truly has the honor of singing the role of Jesus Christ (lots of low notes), so if you attend, please say “Hello.”

New York Philharmonic String Quartet:
violist Cynthia Phelps and cellist Carter Brey with violinists Qianqian Li and Frank Huang

Linton Chamber Music, “New York, New York” | 4 p.m. First Unitarian Church, Avondale. 513-381-6868. DETAILS: Principal players from the New York Philharmonic string sections come to town to offer two classic string quartets from Mozart (“Dissonance”) and Schubert (“Death and the Maiden”), which frame award-winning-composer Joel Thompson‘s “In Response to the Madness,” described as a “stream-of-consciousness response to political mayhem.” Program repeats Monday evening, 7:30 p.m., at Congregation Beth Adam in Loveland.

Monday, April 3

Memorial Hall, Jazz at the Memo: “Hurricane Season” | 7 p.m. 1225 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-977-8838. DETAILS: I admit to being late to the Trombone Shorty party. If you are, also, then head to Memorial Hall next Monday to hear local trombonist Spencer Merk and friends tackle the man’s hits, which are a whole lot of fun. Joining Merk are Christian Paradiso (tenor sax), Brandon Coleman (guitar), Matt Wiles (bass) and Derek Johnson (drums). Need an intro to Shorty? Listen above…

Tuesday, April 4

Krista Scott, Lauren McAllister and Jackie Stevens of Heri et Hodie

Christ Church Cathedral, Music Live@Lunch | 12:10 p.m. Christ Church Chapel, 318 E. 4th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-621-1817. DETAILS: Holy Week begins to ramp up with some lunchtime, Lenten music from women’s vocal chamber ensemble Heri et Hodie, which specializes in very early music by Hildegard von Bingen and others, plus contemporary music – thus the group’s name, which means Yesterday and Today.

Playwright Roger Collins

Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative, “Symone with a Y” | 7:30 p.m. Fifth Third Bank Theater, Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 513-621-ARTS. DETAILS: Symone has fertility challenges. She and her book illustrator friend want to publish a children’s book. However, her friend, whom she met at a fertility clinic, recently became pregnant. Contrary circumstances begin to complicate things. Playwright Roger Collins is professor emeritus at the University of Cincinnati. His debut novel, “Cities of Glass,” was published June 2022.

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