Culture FIX: March 13-19

Eclectic is the word of the week. Insects, Broadway flops (or not), German codes, incomplete symphonies, anti-feminism and a singing group called Whiffenpoofs? This “no theme” week of diverse events demonstrates the wide variety available any given week. How many cities our size can match that? Enjoy talented, teenage musicians playing their winning concertos with the Blue Ash/Montgomery Symphony or some ghostly jazz at The Memo. Or, check out a movie at The Woodward and grab a pre-film sandwich across the street MOTR. Never a dull moment in the Queen City.

Wednesday, March 13

Samuel James

Cincinnati Zoo, Barrows Conservation Lecture | 7 p.m. Frisch’s Theater, 3400 Vine St., Avondale. 513-281-4700. DETAILS: Join award-winning photographer Samuel James in the opening Barrows series lecture as he teaches us about the biodiversity found, literally, in our own backyards. Photographic essays about fireflies, spiders, insects, reptiles, lichens, and the many ecosystems found in Southern Ohio will shed light on other forms of life with which we live. Fireflies are stunning, spiders, too, in their own way. James’ perspective should be interesting, for sure.

Thursday, March 14

Cincinnati Jazz Messengers

Caffe Vivace, Cincinnati Jazz Messengers | 7 p.m. 975 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills. 513-601-9897. DETAILS: Art Blakey led his Jazz Messengers for more than 35 years. With its heavy blues and gospel influences, hard bop became the dominant jazz form of the 1950s and ’60s. Cincinnati trumpeter Ralph DiSylvestro has assembled this seven-piece band as a nod to Blakey and his iconic form, keeping it alive while adding some original compositions to this rich, American songbook.


Covedale Center for the Performing Arts, “The Producers” | 7:30 p.m. 4990 Glenway Ave., W. Price Hill. 513-241-6550. DETAILS: You know this hysterical story: Down-on-his-luck Broadway producer Max Bialystock and his mild-mannered accountant Leo Bloom try to produce the biggest flop in history hoping to bilk their backers out of millions of dollars. Surely, songs like “Springtime For Hitler,” “Prisoners of Love” and “I Wanna Be a Producer” will ensure a major flop, right? Not so. The show is a smash hit. Mel Brooks skewers Broadway while setting the standard for the in-your-face-humor he is famous for. Jeff Richardson and Doug Berlon take the stage in the title roles. Through Apr. 7.


Kevin Muente

Studio Kroner, Kevin Muente: “Promised Land” | 6-9 p.m. opening reception, 130 W. Court St., downtown. 513-428-9830. DETAILS: Artist Kevin Muente wants you to know that “the landscape and its eternal presence surrounds the figures and offers a freshness lacking from much narrative art. Like a film director, I scope out environments that will heighten the drama of the characters involved, giving my paintings an almost cinematic quality.” He has exhibited his paintings internationally and has garnered several awards and honors including the Kentucky Arts Council’s Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship, Cincinnati Summerfair Aid to Individual Artist Grants, and multiple artist residencies. Through Apr. 13.

Friday, March 15

Falcon Theatre, “Breaking the Code” | 8 p.m. 636 Monmouth St., Newport. DETAILS: This 1986 play by Hugh Whitmore tells the story of eccentric genius Alan Turing and his role in winning World War II; he broke the complex German code called Enigma, enabling allied forces to foresee German maneuvers. Since his work was classified top secret for years after the war, no one knew how much was owed to him when he was put on trial for breaking another code, the taboo against homosexuality. The cast of this compelling drama is headed by Rick Grant in the role of Turing. The neighborhood surrounding the Falcon is a hopping place. Find a great restaurant and make an evening of it! Through Mar. 30.


Northern Kentucky University, “Amelie The Musical” | 7:30 p.m. The Carnegie, 1028 Scott Blvd, Covington. 859-572-5464. DETAILS: Inspired by the beloved French film, with a book by Craig Lucas and music and lyrics by Daniel Messé and Nathan Tysen, this whimsical story follows Amélie, an imaginative young woman who lives quietly in the world but loudly in her mind. She covertly improvises small but surprising acts of kindness that bring joy and mayhem. But, when a chance at love comes her way, Amélie realizes that to find happiness, she’ll have to risk everything and say what’s in her heart. Through Mar. 23

Saturday, March 16

JMR leads the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra

Cincinnati Pops, “The Doo Wop Project” | 7:30 p.m. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-381-3300. DETAILS: Stars of Broadway’s smash hits Jersey Boys” and “Motown: The Musical” join John Morris Russell and the Pops for a celebration of American pop and rock history. Charl Brown, Dwayne Cooper, John Michael Dias, Russell Fische and Dominic Nolfi bring an unparalleled authenticity of sound and vocal excellence to recreate some of the greatest music in American pop and rock history. Repeats Sunday at 2 p.m.


Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, “Swan Songs” | 7:30 p.m. Greaves Concert Hall, Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights. 859-431-6216. DETAILS: Compassion and redemption are both themes of the opera “Parsifal,” Richard Wagner’s final work. Whether his characters are autobiographical or not is subject to controversy, but nonetheless he has given the world a lush and sublime composition for the ages. J. R. Cassidy and the KSO perform selections from Act I and Act III. Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9 was incomplete at the time of his death. There have been many attempts to complete the last movement based on surviving fragments and numerous “completed” versions exist.

Sunday, March 17

Harriet Beecher Stowe House, Catharine Beecher: The Complexity of Gender in the 19th Century America | 4 p.m. First Unitarian Church, 536 Linton St., Avondale. 513-281-1564. DETAILS: Women’s History month continues with a talk about Catharine Beecher, a prominent religious activist. Her writings and lectures advocated for women as solely educators and nurturer of families. She believed that the role of a woman was one of self-sacrifice, modesty and frugality, along with childcare and cooking. Laura Ping will lead a discussion about how Beecher’s words provide a lens through which we can see and understand many of the beliefs about gender in the 19th century, many of which we still fight, today.


Blue Ash/Montgomery Symphony Orchestra, Young Artist Concerto Competition | 7 p.m. St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, 10345 Montgomery Rd., Montgomery. 513-549-2197. DETAILS: The orchestra will feature winners of the Jack and Lucille Wonnell Memorial Young Artist Concerto Competition, emceed by Suzanne Bona, host of “Sunday Baroque” on WGUC. Soloists include Angela Tang, violin, Nicholas Gittens, piano, Grace Kim, flute, and Sonya Moomaw, cello. (Interesting that Nicholas’ big brother Benjamin is also performing this week. See Tuesday.)


Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption

Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, Terry McCandless: A Musical Celebration of J.S. Bach’s 339th Birthday | 3 p.m., 1101 Madison Ave., Covington. 859-431-2060. DETAILS: The Cathedral Concert Series has a long history dating back to the rededication of the historic Matthias Schwab Tracker organ built in 1859. The priceless organ miraculously survived the razing of the church that housed it, St. Joseph’s Church, in 1975 when St. Joseph’s merged with the Cathedral. The organ was carried pipe by pipe to its new location where it was rebuilt and remains the center of musical life at the church. Terry McCandless – minister of worship and music at Epiphany Lutheran Church inPickerington, Ohio – continues this yearly birthday celebration with a program of Bach organ favorites. Free.

Monday, Mar. 18

Woodward Theater, “Stop Making Sense” | 7:30 p.m. 1404 Main St., downtown. 513-345-7981. DETAILS: Some say it’s the greatest concert film of all time. Just in time for its 40th anniversary, the complete restoration of Jonathan Demme’s (“Silence of the Lambs”) iconic film plays for one night. The Talking Heads at Hollywood’s Pantages Theater in December 1983: David Byrne, Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz and Jerry Harrison command the screen, with an eclectic ensemble of supporting musicians. Have dinner across the street at MOTR Pub where movie goers will get $2 off every sandwich.


Brandon Coleman

Jazz at the Memo, Brandon Coleman Quartet, “Sounds Beyond: Music Inspired by Paranormal Events” | 7 p.m. Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., downtown. 513-977-8838. DETAILS: Brandon Coleman been called “one of the most unique guitar voices to emerge over the last decade.” The Memo welcomes Coleman and his quartet as they bring to the stage compositions inspired by tales of ghost sightings, UFOs, Sasquatches and more, from both personal experience and well-known tales from history. This sounds interesting.

Tuesday, Mar. 19

Yale University’s The Whiffenpoofs

First Lutheran Church, Yale University’s The Whiffenpoofs | 7:30 p.m. 1208 Race St., downtown. 513-421-0065. DETAILS: The Whiffenpoofs! Wow, right here in Cincinnati. Every year, 14 senior Yale students are selected to be in the Whiffenpoofs, the world’s oldest and best-known collegiate a cappella group. Founded in 1909, the “Whiffs” began as a senior quartet that met weekly at Mory’s Temple Bar. Today, the group has become one of Yale’s most celebrated traditions. Singing a mixture of old Yale tunes, jazz standards, and other hits from across the decades, the Whiffenpoofs are sure to sellout. Get your tickets, quick.


Jewish Music Festival, Danqi Zeng & Benjamin Gittens | 7:30 p.m., Scheuer Chapel, Hebrew Union College, 3101 Clifton Ave, Clifton. 513-221-1875. DETAILS: The festival continues on the HUC Clifton campus with music for violin and piano by a diverse quartet of prominent, 20th-century, Jewish composers: Mieczysław Weinberg, Aaron Copland, Paul Schoenfield and Marc Lavry. (Benjamin Gittens’ younger brother Nicholas is also performing this week. See Sunday, above.)


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