Well, fall is finally here, and the days are growing shorter. Still, there’s no shortage of outdoor events this week to take advantage of the mild weather. And there’s more: plenty of art exhibit openings, new theatrical productions, concerts galore, a major permanent exhibit being unveiled, and a – wait for it – sax player in a Bigfoot costume. Read on.
Wednesday, Sept. 27
Ziegler Park Cinema Series, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” | 8 p.m., Ziegler Park, 1322 Sycamore St., Pendleton. DETAILS: Ziegler Park’s summer-long series of free family movie screenings comes to an end with what many think is the best “Harry Potter” movie of them all, 2004’s “Azkaban.” Bring your picnics, blankets and lawn chairs, and enjoy the season’s last picture show.
Freedom Lecture with Kristen Green, “The Devil’s Half Acre” | 7 p.m., National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 50 E. Freedom Way, The Banks. 513-333-7500. DETAILS: Noted author-journalist Kristen Green discusses her new book, which tells the incredible story of Mary Lupkin, who survived slavery, then turned a notorious slave jail into “God’s Half Acre” and the foundation for Virginia Union University. A 6 p.m. reception precedes the lecture. Free, but attendees must pre-register online.
Thursday, Sept. 28
Cincinnati Museum Center. “Ancient Worlds Hiding in Plain Sight” | 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate. 513-287-7000. DETAILS: It’s not often a major museum unveils a new, permanent gallery, so this opening is definitely worth noting. “Ancient Worlds” promises to transport visitors 450 million years in the past (way before dinosaurs were even a glimmer), showcasing a renowned collection of Late Ordovician Period fossils, many of which have local or regional origins. The exhibit also focuses on revealing how evolution, extinction and climate change affected various species through the ages.
Xavier Music Series, Mark Guiliana Quartet | 8 p.m., 8 p.m., The Lounge, Liberty Exhibition Hall, 3938 Spring Grove Ave., Northside. 513-813-7469. 513-745-3161. DETAILS: Xavier’s Jazz Quest series continues with a guest appearance by Guiliana, a jazz drummer/creator with an extraordinary stylistic range and inventive spirit. His 2019 album “Beat Music! Beat Music! Beat Music!” won a Grammy nomination and cemented his reputation as the “mad professor” of the genre.
Art Academy of Cincinnati, “Daydream, Sleepwalk” and “Transfer – Moving” | Reception 5-8 p.m., 1212 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-562-6262. DETAILS: The Art Academy’s exhibitions often are organized around intriguing themes, and these two new ones follow that trend. “Daydream, Sleepwalk” is especially intriguing – works from the AAC’s archives from the last 50 years, done in various printmaking techniques, that “showcase the exchange between the external and internal visions of artists.” “Transfer – Moving” is about “the connection and transfer of knowledge, traditions, and culture through generations.” Exhibits run through Oct. 27.
Friday, Sept. 29
Manifest Gallery, “Painted” biennial and “Aquachrome” biennial | Reception 6-9 p.m., 2727 Woodburn Ave., East Wlanut Hills. 513-861-3638. DETAILS: Not many galleries can claim the sort of track record Manifest Gallery has produced in bringing new art and artists to the public: around 10,000 works by 4,000 artists since it started in 2004. Manifest opens its Season 20 with a pair of exhibits – one dedicated to contemporary painting, the other focused on watercolor – that together show the visions of 37 artists from around the nation. Through Oct. 27.
Art After Dark, “Fall Fiesta” | 5-9 p.m., Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Drive, Mt. Adams. 513-721-2787. DETAILS: The museum’s ever-popular Friday-evening series continues with a night celebrating Latin Heritage Month. It includes music by Mambo Combo and DJ Aikon, dance lessons, a cash bar, food for purchase and free admission to the museum’s current “Picasso Landscapes” exhibition.
Donauschwaben Oktoberfest | 6-11 p.m., 4290 Dry Ridge Road, Colerain Township. 513-385-2098. DETAILS: This weekend brings what many regard as the most authentic Oktoberfest celebration in our region. Cincinnati Donauschwaben’s three-day event, definitely very family-friendly, celebrates German regional culture and traditions in food (including 12 pit-roasted pigs), drink (more than 30 kinds of beer), dress, dance and more. Also 1-11 p.m. Saturday, noon-8 p.m. Sunday.
Call it theatrical convergence…
This is opening night for a half-dozen productions by smaller, mainly community theater groups in our area. Just to note them in passing: Village Players in Ft. Thomas opens its production of “Doublewide, Texas” (through Oct. 7); The Drama Workshop in Cheviot does “The Tin Woman” (through Oct. 15); Evendale’s Tri-County Players opens “Geezers” (through Oct. 8); Falcon Theatre in Newport offers “Home, I’m Darling” (through Oct. 14); Sharonville Cultural Arts Center has “The Wedding Singer” (through Oct. 1); and Northern Kentucky University’s theater program stages “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” (through Oct. 8).
Saturday, Sept. 30
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, “The Rite of Spring” | 7:30 p.m., Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-381-3300. DETAILS: Still stunning audiences with its primitive power after 110 years, Igor Stravinsky’s “Rite” dominates any concert program it’s on. That’s the challenge for violinist Clara-Jumi Kang, who is the soloist with the CSO in another great 20th century work by a Russian composer – Sergei Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2. Kang, who plays a 1702 Stradivarius, studied with the legendary Dorothy Delay (a longtime CCM faculty member) at Juilliard. Christian Reif conducts. Repeats 2 p.m. Sunday.
Cincinnati Moon Festival | 3-8 p.m., Fountain Square, 520 Vine St., downtown. DETAILS:
Produced by the Greater Cincinnati Chinese Cultural Exchange Association, the Moon Festival returns to Fountain Square with a colorful afternoon of Asian cultural exhibits, food sampling, musical performances and entertainment, plus a free tea-tasting party. Admission is free to this family-friendly event.
Sunday, Oct. 1
Hyde Park Square Art Show | 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Hyde Park Square, 2700 Erie Ave., Hyde Park. DETAILS: Known as the area’s largest one-day art show, this outdoor display and sale of arts and crafts is in many ways a community festival. The 57th annual juried show, held rain or shine, will feature more than 200 artists from around the country, displaying their creations in booths lining the streets around the square. Admission is free.
Covington Chili Cook-off | noon-5 p.m., Court Street, Covington. DETAILS: If you’ve been bragging for years about your killer chili recipe, here’s the chance to put your peppers where your mouth is … uh, something like that. Sponsored by Rhinegeist and Molly Malone’s Irish Pub, this event offers contestants the chance for cash prizes, fame and, yes, bragging rights. The rest of us, of course, can be taste-testers. Just imagine the aromas around Court Street … Rules and registration online.
Since Friday marked the openings of several theater productions, it’s worth noting that some others reach their final curtains today: Ensemble Theatre’s “What the Constitution Means to Me,” Playhouse in the Park’s “Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash” and the Footlighters’ “Young Frankenstein.”
Monday, Oct. 2
CCM Brass Choir, “A New Year” | 7:30 p.m., Corbett Auditorium, University of Cincinnati. 513-556-4183. DETAILS: Having lugged around a euphonium throughout high school and college, I like to highlight the often-overlooked work of brass ensembles when possible. Conducted by Timothy Northcut, CCM’s Brass Choir has a great reputation, and this looks like a fine program. Among the works are Herbert Haufrecht’s Symphony for Brass and Timpani, an impressive composition and a favorite among university brass ensembles, and a transcription of George Frederick Handel’s Concerto Grosso No. 6 by Marie Speziale, the trail-blazing former CSO trumpeter and CCM professor. Admission is free.
Tuesday, Oct. 3
Madison Theater, Saxquatch | 8 p.m., 730 Madison Ave. Covington. 859-491-2444. DETAILS: And now for something completely ridiculous: Dean Mitchell, a former saxophonist for The Marcus King Band, went viral on YouTube in 2019 playing his saxophone dressed in a Bigfoot costume (Mitchell, not the saxophone). Well, he’s turned it into a full-time career playing covers of pop songs (and collaborating with John Oates on a new version of Hall & Oates’ “Maneater,” ha ha ha), and his “Souled-Out Tour” hits Covington on the way to Cleveland, Pittsburgh and, just possibly, a dense forest near you. Talk about a hair-raising prospect.