By Meg Howes
You thought summer was winding down, didn’t you? NOT! The Queen City arts and culture scene has no intention of cooling off. Lots of bacon, brass and board games, this week. Aaaand, there’s always opera. All kinds of things are heating up so dig out your best pair of shorts and dive right in. (Yes, people wear shorts to the opera these days).
Wednesday, July 19
Clifton Cultural Arts Center, Wednesday in the Woods | 7-9 p.m. Burnet Woods Bandstand, 3251 Brookline Ave., Clifton. DETAILS: Enjoy the diversity and musicality of Latin American music as our neighbors to the north lend us their own Dayton Salsa Project to perform popular dance nclassics from the ’70s and ’80s. Food trucks will join the party and the Kids Arts Corner will have some crafts for the younger set.
Thursday, July 20
Ault Park Summer Music Festival | 6-10 p.m. Ault Park Pavilion, 5090 Observatory Circle, Mt. Lookout. 513-321-9876. DETAILS: Derek Alldred, Gregg Becker, Mike Seta and Ben Tasiello of the Marsha Brady Band take the stage with their popular upbeat, dance rock music. Loads of cover favorites. Put those cellphones away and haul out your best dancing shoes. Food, craft beer and wine available for purchase. “Oh, Marsha, Marsha, MARSHA! We have to go!” (Or, is that Marcia, Marcia, MARCIA?)
Friday, July 21
The Refuge Center for the Arts, “Ordinary Days” | 7:30 p.m., Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson St., Over-the Rhine. 513-300-5669. DETAILS: Cincinnati’s newest theater company is dedicated to creating a safe and inclusive haven for the community through the power of theater, music and artistic expression. Set against a backdrop of melodies and lyrics by Adam Gwon, this musical invites you to witness the extraordinary beauty found in the simplest moments. Repeats July 22 at 7:30 p.m. and July 23 at 2:30 p.m.
Improv Cincinnati, “STACKED: All-Star Comedy” | 8 p.m., Clifton Comedy Theatre, 404 Ludlow Ave., Clifton. 513-900-1110. DETAILS: If you’ve never been to this little gem of a black box theater you’ve been missing out. The comedy may seem surprising coming from the basement of this otherwise ordinary looking apartment building in the busy heart of Clifton. Enjoy the show!
Bacon, Bourbon and Brew | 5-11 p.m., Festival Park, Riverboat Row, Newport on the Levee. DETAILS: Did somebody say bacon? Wait. Bacon-wrapped Oreos? A Bacon BBQ Sundae? Yep, I’m in. Check out the bourbon booths and Bourbon Hall events. Plenty of brews and bands, too. Everyday People Band, Doghouse, 94.04 and others round out the weekend. Continues through July 23.
Saturday, July 22
Cincinnati Opera, “Madame Butterfly” | 7:30 p.m., Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the Rhine. 513-241-2742. DETAILS: In this new production, the final this season for CO, Puccini’s heartbreaking saga of Cio-Cio-San has been completely re-envisioned by a Japanese and Japanese-American creative team. Step into Butterfly’s world for an evening and come away with a new perspective on what opera can be. Karah Son makes her company debut in the title role. Keitaro Harada, former Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra associate conductor and recipient of the prestigious 2023 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, is in the pit.
Japp’s | 7-10 p.m., 1134 Main St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-381-0674. DETAILS: Take to the floor with The Jazz Coasters, Cincinnati wedding AND funeral favorites (Yes, really!). Dance the night away to vintage swing, New Orleans jazz and perhaps your favorite covers. Practice your best Lindy Hop, put on your comfortable shoes and head out with your favorite partner.
Sunday, July 23
Christ Church Cathedral, “REBB Goes to the Opera” | 3 p.m. 318 E. Fourth St., Downtown. 513-621-1817. DETAILS: River’s Edge Brass Band dons its opera finery in this concert of festive favorites. Tongan-American soprano Saano Halaholo and Salt Lake City tenor Mitchell Sturges sing under the baton of Kevin Holzman, CCM director of wind studies and conducting.
Madcap Puppets, “When You Wish Upon a Fish” | 1 p.m. Carnegie Center, Columbia-Tusculum.
513-473-5745. DETAILS: The Grimm Brothers need your help! You remember them, don’t you? Take the kids to help the brothers decide which version of “The Fisherman and His Wife” should go into their famous collection of stories. Hilarity ensues as the brothers and their audience flounder about trying to decide which fishy tale to include.
Clifton Cultural Arts Center, “Face Value” | 6-8 p.m. Short Vine Gallery, 2728 Short Vine, Corryville. 513-497-2860. DETAILS: One of the oldest genres in the history of art, portraiture has taken on a range of modern forms. In this new exhibit, six artists reveal contemporary perspectives of the human face and what it communicates from the realistic to the abstract. Runs through Aug. 18.
Monday, July 24
Cincinnati Observatory, “From Attic to Basement” | 7:30 p.m., 3489 Observatory Place, Mt. Lookout. 513-321-5186. DETAILS: You will be totally immersed in the history and founding of our observatory while you tour the museum and see behind-the-scenes. Ever wonder what an astronomer does? You’ll learn about that and, weather permitting, you’ll look through one of the two grand telescopes to see spectacular views of the moon. Yours truly has seen that moon, through that telescope with her own eyes and it is breathtaking! Tickets are scarce; don’t delay.
Tuesday, July 25
The Mercantile Library, Board Game Night | 6 p.m., 414 Walnut St., downtown. 513-621 0717. DETAILS: Board games are still a thing? Why, yes they are! Join other board game afficionados and play old standards like Uno, Scrabble or Werewolf or learn a new one. David Giffels once described The Mercantile when he said, “It’s like a steampunk fantasy of what a library should be.” Go play a board game or two and see if you think he was right.
Caffe Vivace | 7 p.m., 975 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills. 513-601-9897. DETAILS: The Interstate Commerce Commission Organ Quartet steps in with some funk, fusion and a few favorite standards along with their original compositions. Alex Nicodemus, Jack Mansfield, Patrick Oakes and Keith Humphrey comprise this organ trio +1. $10 drink minimum. One set only.