Good golly, Miss Molly, what a week we have ahead. Plenty of al fresco music is on the menu, with a couple sides of outdoor film, plus flavors for every taste, even “Tutti Frutti.” (P.S. Have you perused our arts & culture event listings lately?)
Broadway Across America, “Moulin Rouge” | Procter & Gamble Hall, Aronoff Center, downtown. 513-721-3344. DETAILS: Last chances to catch this boffo show crammed with tunes you’ll recognize, moves that will thrill you, and all engulfed in technicolor stagecraft. Runs through Sunday.
Cincinnati Museum Center, “Bricktionary: The ultimate LEGO A-Z” | 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate. 513-287-7000. DETAILS: More than 150 custom-built LEGO models reportedly “inspired by nothing more than simple letters and boundless imagination.” Closes Monday.
Wednesday, May 31
Cincinnati Landmark Productions, “Footloose” | 7:30 p.m. Warsaw Federal Incline Theater, East Price Hill. 513-241-6550. DETAILS: It’s interesting (and disappointing?) how timely this show remains some 40 years following the original film. Who would have imagined we’d still be struggling against the constrictions of fundamental thinking and fears of the unknown. But the show is about the joy of dancing, after all, and love and positivity win out in the end. (Sorry if that was a spoiler for anyone…) Here’s a chance to renew your faith in humanity. Runs Wednesday-Sunday through June 25.
Clifton Cultural Arts Center, Wednesdays in the Woods | 7 p.m. Burnet Woods Bandstand, Clifton. 513-497-2860. DETAILS: The iconic Comet Bluegrass All-Stars open this weekly summer series with their unique, full-bodied sound. Concerts repeat each Wednesday through Aug. 9.
Thursday, June 1
Monet: The Immersive Experience | 18 W. 4th St., downtown. DETAILS: On the heels of the recently departed Van Gogh immersive experience, and in the same space on West Fourth, comes another featuring paintings by Claude Monet. See a snippet above. Runs through July.
NightLight 513, “Step Brothers” | 7:30 p.m. Covington Plaza. DETAILS: This installment from the region’s 21-and-older movie night series features the tender, loving relationship between two, new step brothers. Ok, maybe not so tender … or loving. More like hateful, but hilarious. John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell star.
Taft Theatre, Shane Gillis, comedian | 7 p.m. 317 E. 5th St., downtown. DETAILS: Comedy rules, these days, at the Taft. One of the hottest comedians anywhere comes to town for three (3!) shows this week, one of which is already sold out. Get your tickets now if you are so inclined.
Friday, June 2
Cincinnati Fringe Festival | Various venues in Over-the-Rhine. DETAILS: Now in its 20th year, Fringe has become known as the region’s largest, longest-running annual performing arts festival. Founded in 2004 and produced by Know Theatre, the festival is designed to showcase innovative, experimental and non-traditional works of theater, music, dance and other forms of performance art. The 2023 festival presents hundreds of live performances featuring work from 15 local artists and 14 from elsewhere in the country, plus artists from Japan and Australia. Single tickets: $18; All-Access Pass for one person to all events: $300; six-ticket Voyeur Pass for any combination of shows or individuals: $90. Runs through June 17.
Cincinnati Opera, “Screen & Sky” | 7:30 p.m. Summit Park, Blue Ash. 513-241-2742. DETAILS: When Cincinnati Opera premiered “Fierce” last June, I wished at the time that more people could experience this fresh, new take on opera. Lo and behold, here comes “Fierce,” a film of last year’s cast, in a return to the company’s outdoor, pandemic home, Summit Park. First up for the evening are live performances by Cincinnati Opera’s Share the Love Truck Tour, followed by a showing of the film at sunset and a drone show afterward. “Fierce” is about four, diverse high school girls and their outlooks on life and the future. Libretto by Sheila Williams of Ft. Thomas, based on interviews with teen girls, and a genre smorgasbord of music by Cincinnati native William Menefield. Free, but registration is encouraged.
Kennedy Heights Arts Center, “All That Jazz” | 5-7 p.m. 6546 Montgomery Rd., Kennedy Heights. 513-631-4278. DETAILS: This exhibition highlights the development and purpose of the Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame through hostorical photographs, memorabilia, and music. Two ticketed performances accompany this exhibit: Following this reception, at 7:30 p.m., the Mandy Gaines Quartet, and July 1, 7:30 p.m., the All-Star Quintet: Mike Sharfe on bass, Wayne Yeager on piano, Art Gore on drums, Rick VanMatre on sax, and Marc Fields on trombone. Runs through July 29.
Manifest Gallery, five new exhibits | 6-9 p.m. 2727 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut Hills. 513-861-3638. DETAILS: This is a particularly packed group of exhibits at Manifest, celebrating it’s 19th season: “Rites of Passage” showcases juried works by current or recent undergraduate artists. “Magnitude Seven” shares small works (7″ or smaller) from around the country and across the pond. “Future Form” features works exploring the geography of time (Intriguing). Plus, two Manifest artists-in-residence share what they’ve been working on this past year. All on display through the month of June.
Mutual Dance Theatre, Modern Mix | 7:30 p.m. Jarson-Kaplan Theater, Aronoff Center, downtown. 513-494-6526. DETAILS: This performance will feature restagings of works by Elena Rodriguez Moore and Steven P. Evans. Rodriguez Moore’s “Climb“ is based on the choreographer’s experiences growing up as the bi-racial daughter of a Colombian immigrant. The work incorporates ladders, symbolizing the arduous work to rebuild oneself in a new culture. In Evans’ piece, the title “Petrichor” refers to the phenomenon of earthy, pleasant smells after rainfall, particularly following a dry, arid period. The work examines the struggle between tradition and modernity. If there is one thing we are short of in this arts-flush town it is contemporary dance. Go see this show.
VISUAL ART/FAIRS & FESTIVALS
Summerfair Cincinnati | Noon-7 p.m. Coney Island. 513-531-0050. DETAILS: Interestingly, Summerfair was founded in 1968, and held in Mt. Adams, to salute the then-new Marx Theatre of the Playhouse in the Park. This year we welcome a new Playhouse mainstage facility – Moe & Jack’s Place, the Rouse Theatre. The area’s largest arts and crafts festival, Summerfair draws artists and crafts people from around the country and should attract some 200,000 for shopping, eating, listening and more. Repeats Saturday. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday, June 3
Joseph-Beth Booksellers, “From Bulldog to Bengal: The Joe Burrow Story Through the Eyes of His Hometown” | 2 p.m. 2692 Madison Rd., Rookwood Commons, Norwood. 513-396-8960. DETAILS: No one in the Queen City is even in the consideration set vs. Joe Burrow for “hottest thing in town.” This new book by Scott Burson and Sam Smathers sheds light on how, by staying grounded, Burrow has grown from small town hero to NFL superstar (and fashion icon!).
Taft Museum of Art, “Modern Women/Modern Vision” | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 316 Pike St., Lytle Park, downtown. 513-241-0343. DETAILS: Just in time for our June magazine championing nonprofits that support the needs and rights of women, comes this Taft exhibit of photography by women of vision. Approximately 100 photographic prints from the Bank of America Collection honor women’s accomplishments in creating radically inventive images at each phase of modern history. Continues through Sept. 10.
Sunday, June 4
VISUAL ART/FAIRS & FESTIVALS
The Arts Alliance, Deerfield Handmade Market | 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Kingswood Park, 4188 Irwin Simpson Road, Mason. 513-309-8585. DETAILS: More than 60 artists will showcase their wares: ceramics, woodworking, jewelry, candles, flora, repurposed art, printmaking, scultpure, painting and more. To engage the whole family, the Arts Alliance will offer a kids activity booth and fun art making for the entire family, plus food trucks and local craft beer.
Monday, June 5
Washington Park, Jazz at the Park | 6-9 p.m. Over-the-Rhine. DETAILS: Louisville’s own Ron Jones regularly jouneys up-river to showcase his talents in the Queen City. His trio performs this night, adorning The Porch at Wash Park and filling the night with some soulful jazz. Bring a chair. Order from the bar.
Woodward Theater, “Little Richard: I Am Everything” | 7: 30 p.m. 1404 Main St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-345-7981. DETAILS: Before there was Elvis, there was Richard Penniman, known to us as Little Richard, who broke rules and blazed a path for the likes of James Brown and Michael Jackson and Prince. He was too outlandish to be ignored, but both Elvis and Pat Boone sold more copies of “Tutti Frutti” than did Little Richard. Explore his larger-than-life tale, through live performances, interviews and reflections by Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, John Waters and many more.
Tuesday, June 6
Cincinnati Preservation Association, Preservation in the Park | 5 p.m. The Porch at Washington Park, Over-the-Rhine. DETAILS: Dr. Eric Jackson teaches at Northern Kentucky University and is author of the 2023 book “An Introduction to Black Studies.” In this presentation, he delves into the complex history of African Americans in OTR.
Fountain Square, Jazz at the Square | 5 p.m. Downtown. 513-621-4400. DETAILS: This new series, presented in conjunction with the Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra – and sponsored in part by Jamey Aebersold Jazz – brings America’s classical music each week to the city’s center, where it belongs. Yet another Louisville sax man, Jamey Aebersold fronts his quartet in this edition of Tribute to the Jazz Masters. The series continues into September.