Culture FIX: Feb. 7-13

Weekends are certainly the time to get out and enjoy a concert or an art exhibit, but have you ever tried relaxing in front of an artsy movie or some jazz after a long day at work? Take advantage of an empty restaurant or easy downtown parking on a Monday night and plan an evening at The Woodward. How about some Camp Washington Chili and the American Sign Museum on Thursday? Whatever night of the week works for you, works for the Queen City arts scene.

Wednesday, Feb. 7

Mayerson JCC, Jewish & Israeli Film Festival | 7 p.m. various locations. 513-761-7500. DETAILS: Tonight, The Jewish & Israeli Film Festival continues at the Mariemont Theatre. Directed by Louise Archambault, “Irena’s Vow” is set during the German occupation of Poland. A courageous and resourceful nurse hides 12 Jews in the very home in which she is employed by a highly-respected Nazi officer. Stars Sophie Nelisse as Irena. The festival continues through Feb. 29.

Thursday, Feb. 8

The Barn/ARTflix, “The Moderns” | 7 p.m. 6980 Cambridge Ave., Mariemont. 513-272-3700. DETAILS: Start your Valentine’s Day festivities early with a jaunt through the streets of 1920s Paris in this 1988 flick, directed by Alan Rudolph. Art forgery, Gertrude Stein and struggling American artist Nick Hart (played by Keith Carradine) make for a comical, romantic romp, a perfect weeknight outing for you and your valentine. Check out some delicious pre-film dinner choices in the charming village of Mariemont.

Alan Lightman and Brian Raphael Nabors

The Well, An Evening with Alan Lightman with Brian Raphael Nabors: “Our Quest for Meaning: Music, Science and Wonder” | 6 p.m. 2868 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington. 513-470-5548. DETAILS: Alan Lightman, physicist, writer and MIT professor joins composer Brian Raphael Nabors for a wide-ranging discussion about time, cosmos, nature and meaning. Music will be performed by The Antigone Music Collective. Opening remarks by Dean Regas, former outreach astronomer at the Cincinnati Observatory and cohost of the syndicated television show, “Star Gazers,” and retired Cincinnati neurosurgeon, Dr. John Tew.

The Burning Caravan

American Sign Museum, Signs & Songs | 7-9 p.m. 1330 Monmouth Ave., Camp Washington. 513-541-6366. DETAILS: The burgeoning cultural mecca of Camp Washington presents yet another inviting opportunity for a weeknight outing. Cincinnati-based The Burning Caravan lights up the ASM with their unique brand of hot club gypsy jazz, swing and Americana. The ensemble performs songs of Django Reinhardt, Sidney Bechet, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer, Hoagy Carmichael, Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Dan Hicks, Pokey LeFarge, Steve Earle, Willy Nelson and others.

Friday, Feb. 9

May Festival Chorus

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Brahms’ A German Requiem | 7:30 p.m., Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-381-3300. DETAILS: Yours Truly couldn’t have said it better, herself. The CSO describes the piece with perfection. “With prayerful music for both the living and the dead, the source of comfort in Brahms’ German Requiem is as much human as it is the divine. Louis Langrée leads the CSO along with the May Festival Chorus in Brahms’ large-scale masterpiece. Though Brahms was often discreet in nature, this is a deeply personal work. Spurred by the loss of his mother, and influenced by lingering emotions of self-doubt, he turned to his true religion – music – as a way to console not only himself, but others as well.” Soloists are CCM-grad and Cincinnati favorite Joelle Harvey, soprano and Will Liverman, bass, who appeared here in January with Cincinnati Song Initiative. Repeats Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Cincinnati Music Theatre, “The World Goes ‘Round” | 7:30 p.m., Fifth Third Bank Theater, Aronoff Center, downtown. 513-621-2787. DETAILS:  This musical revue showcases songs of the distinguished, Tony award-winning team of John Kander and Fred Ebb with familiar songs from “Chicago” and “Cabaret.” An eclectic selection of love songs, torch songs and other witty numbers from the songwriting team is sure to make for a fun evening. Continues through Feb. 17.

Saturday, Feb. 10

Uche Okeke (1933-2016, Nigeria)

Taft Museum of Art, “African Modernism in America” | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 316 Pike St., downtown. 513-241-0343. DETAILS: This new exhibit features nearly 80 dynamic and vivid works created in Africa during the 1950s and ’60s. The inventive nature of these works is intended to challenge the assumptions of the time about African art being isolated to a “primitive past.” Some pieces take inspiration from early Christian art, West African sculpture, and Nigerian literature, while others reflect the influences of American jazz and modern European art. On display Wednesday through Monday until May 19.

Strawberry Crunch Waffle Sundae – The Swire Inn
(Photo by Clayton Castle)

City of Middletown, Dessert Week | Times vary. Middletown restaurants, 513-425-7727. DETAILS: Dessert is art, right? Middletown has challenged its locally owned restaurants to create special desserts for Valentine’s Day week. Special cakes, pastries, puddings and more are on tap at 15 eateries across the city. Dessert Week showcases Middletown’s fine restaurants while promoting community engagement and economic development. Primo Italian Steakhouse and Steel City Pizza are just two establishments serving up the sweet for this delicious addition to your holiday plans. Through Feb. 17

The Belairs

Sorg Opera House, The Belairs | 8 p.m. 63 S. Main St., Middletown. 513-428-5589. DETAILS: After you’ve stuffed yourself with a Dessert Week treat (The Swire Inn is right across the street), head over to the Sorg for a little retro fun. The Belairs bring their 50’s and 60’s Las Vegas-style show, complete with costumes and choreography, great harmony and humorous entertainment. Enjoy dynamic impersonations of the great oldies stars of the past, including tributes to Roy Orbison, Dion, Dusty Springfield, Billy Joe Royal, Neil Diamond and many more.

Cincinnati Men’s Chorus, Diamonds and Pearls: A Cabaret Show | 7 p.m. Liberty Exhibition Hall, 3938 Spring Grove Ave., Northside. 513-813-7469. DETAILS: Join guest MC Molly Mormen and accompanist Theo Baldwin as they join the chorus for this unique Valentine’s Cabaret. The CMC promises an enchanting evening of celebration for love, romance, and the beauty of human connections.

Sunday, Feb. 11

Dr. Paul Crosby, Lindner Center CEO, greets last year’s gathering.

Lindner Center, Touchdown for HOPE | 5:30 p.m. Great American Ballpark, Bally Sports Club, downtown. 513-536-4673. DETAILS: Looking for a great Super Bowl LVIII party? This sounds like just the ticket. Big screen televisions, plush seating, signature Cincinnati food favorites and other upscale tailgate-style treats could make this the best watch party in town! All taking place in a sports fan’s dream location – overlooking the baseball field. Oh, well, there’s LaRosa’s. And, Skyline. Ribs, anyone? Proceeds support the center’s Transforming HOPE Capital Campaign to expand facilities and reach more people with mental health and wellness services.

Monday, Feb. 12

Woodward Cinema, “The Sweet East” | 7:30 p.m. The Woodward, 1404 Main St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-345-7981. DETAILS: “The Sweet East” is the directorial debut of cinematographer Sean Price Williams and written by Cincinnati-born Nick Pinkerton who will be in attendance for this showing. Talia Ryder stars as Lillian, an independent high-schooler who goes on a cross-country adventure after she gets separated from her class on a trip to Washington, D.C. Film critic Nick Allen says, “The Sweet East” is the kind of compelling and flawed oddity that America deserves. It’s a well-made, purposefully ugly treatise of America as a broken-down theme park.” Sounds interesting and, well, compelling. Also starring Simon Rex, Ayo Edibiri, Jeremy O. Harris, Jacob Elordi, Earl Cave and Andy Milonakis. By the way, did you know that The Woodward was originally built in 1913 as a silent film house? Now, you know.

Mandy Gaines

Jazz at the Memo, Mandy Gaines | 7 p.m. Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-977-8838. DETAILS: Valentine’s Day isn’t for a couple of days yet, but celebrate early (Monday = empty restaurants and easy parking, remember?) with vocalist Mandy Gaines, guitarist Brad Myers and bassist Chris Berg. They will lead you down the road to love and happiness on a whirlwind tour of the American Songbook. Don’t miss your chance to hear this world-class singer in historic Memorial Hall.

Tuesday, Feb. 13

Ariel Quartet
(Photo by Marco Borggreve)

College-Conservatory of Music, Ariel Quartet | 7:30 p.m. Werner Recital Hall, University of Cincinnati. 513-556-4183. DETAILS: This program will feature a collaboration with Russian-born composer, writer and visual artist Lera Auerbach, and her two quartets “Frozen Dreams”, and “Cetera Desunt” (“the rest is missing”). “Frozen Dreams” was written in 2020 as part of a larger commissioned work, “Four Seasons” for string quartet in which four composers were invited to compose one movement, each. As you might guess, Auerbach wrote for the season of winter. Her compositions have been commissioned and performed by a wide variety of artists, orchestras, ballet companies and choirs. The Ariel Quartet serves as the faculty quartet-in-residence at CCM where they direct the chamber music program.

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