Culture FIX: April 10-16

There are no ghost lights burning in Cincinnati theaters this week. A full slate of opening nights awaits and new plays are on stage at the Aronoff. Especially good bar music is plentiful to accompany your brews. There’s plenty of Beethoven, too. And Art on Vine to find that perfect somethin’ somethin’ for your empty wall. The weather doesn’t look too bad. Get out and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 10

Vudu Childe
(Photo by Stanton Laser)

Cincy Blues Society, Blues & Brews | 6-9 p.m., Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-621-4400. DETAILS: Enjoy the newest live music series at Washington Park, offered up by Cincy Blues Society. Vudu Childe takes the stage with his blend of blues, soul, rock and country western. Raised in Reno, Nevada, Childe channels the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimi Hendrix, Luther Vandross and other soulful performers. Kick back for a mid-week refreshment at The Porch before a nice dinner out.

Thursday, April 11

Cincinnati Opera Young Professionals, Singers & Spirits | 6 p.m., Alcove by MadTree, 1410 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-371-5700. DETAILS: Come and hang with opera afficionados and the opera-curious for an evening with Cincinnati Opera artists. Festive beverages (included with ticket) and song are on tap along with a relaxed vibe. Whether you’re an opera veteran or a newcomer you’re sure to enjoy great music along with a favorite drink and one of MadTree’s famous burgers or other kitchen delicacy.

Friday, April 12

Gallery 42, The Flower Show | 5-8 p.m. 105 E. Main Street, Mason. DETAILS: The visual arts scene in Mason is taking several giant steps forward this spring. First of these is this special one-night event at Gallery 42 showcasing flower paintings by a variety of artists in celebration of the blooming season. Stay tuned for more to come soon from this gallery and its new parent organization, Art Enclave.

Ellis Island in 1905

Cincinnati Pops, “The Dream of America” | 7:30 p.m., Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-381-3300. DETAILS: The Pops return with a performance of Peter Boyer’s poignant “Ellis Island: The Dream of America.” John Morris Russell leads a full stage, including actors from Ensemble Theatre in an innovative format combining theater, multimedia and historical photos from Ellis Island to tell real stories of those arriving in America for the first time. The program opening includes the Donauschwaben Schuhplattlers, Greater Cincinnati Indian Community Choir/Shanti Choir, Cincinnati Baila! Dance Academy, Ijo-Ugo Performing Arts Company, McGing Irish Dancers and Alliance of Chinese Culture & Arts, presenting cultural dance traditions from around the world. Concert repeats Saturday and Sunday.

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, “Much Ado About Nothing” | 7:30 p.m., Otto M. Budig Theater, 1195 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-381-2273. DETAILS: A Shakespeare rom-com? You bet. No romantic comedy is complete without a couple of lovers, groups of scheming friends and a destination wedding. Sounds oh-so contemporary, doesn’t it? And no comedy by Shakespeare is complete without disguises, tricks and ruinous plots. “Much Ado” has it all. See it soon. Maybe we will learn that most things in our lives are indeed, much ado about nothing. Runs through May 5.

Saturday, April 13

Playwright Steven Strafford

Ensemble Theatre, “The Match Game” | 7 p.m., 1127 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-421-3555. DETAILS: Winner of the 2022 Jackie Demaline playwrighting competition, “The Match Game” is a universal story of dysfunctional families, their secrets and other dramas that unfold into comedy or poignancy. These relatable characters make poor choices, yet recover, finding humor along the way. Local playwright Steven Strafford put pen to paper for this award-winning world premiere. Runs through May 5.

Playhouse in the Park, “The Chosen” | 7:30 p.m., The Rouse Theatre, 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Mt. Adams. 513-421-3888. DETAILS: Chaim Potok’s classic novel is recreated for the stage by Aaron Posner in this popular adaptation created in collaboration with the author. If you read the book in middle school, as many of us did, you probably remember the fateful baseball game that brings two boys together, despite their disparate religious education and Jewish traditions. The friendship deepens and as the boys grow and mature they subsequently resolve conflict with their fathers and within themselves. Posner said, “It is a story about faith, but mostly it is a story about humanity and about finding your path in life, about who you want to be in the world.” Posner also directs. Runs through May 12.

Sunday, April 14

Knox Music Series, All Beethoven | 4 p.m., Knox Presbyterian Church, 3400 Michigan Ave., Hyde Park. 513-321-2573. DETAILS: Ludwig van Beethoven’s Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano, Op. 56 – commonly known as the Triple Concerto, was his only concerto written for a trio of instruments rather than a soloist. Sadly, it was not well received on its premiere and was only performed once during Beethoven’s lifetime. It has since become a concert hall staple. Soloists are pianist Christina Haan, cellist Tom Guth and violinist Manami White. The acclaimed Knox Choir performs Beethoven’s Mass in C, Op. 86 on the second half of the program. As with the Triple Concerto, the first performance of the mass was also not successful. Its history notes it was very under rehearsed. Thankfully, it, too, has become a choral staple. Conductor Earl Rivers has made sure the Knox Choir is very well-rehearsed. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Ms. Howes speaks from personal knowledge. Say hello if you attend.) Free.

Linton Chamber Music

Linton Chamber Music, Six of One | 4 p.m., First Unitarian Church, 536 Linton St., Avondale. 513-381-6868. DETAILS: If you’ve ever raced for the door (or not gone through it, to begin with) at the mere mention of Arnold Schoenberg, force yourself through that door, today. Six extraordinary string players perform music for, well, sextets. On the program, Schoenberg’s masterful, mystical piece, “Transfigured Night” looms large in its musical and literary magnificence. Based on a poem by German expressionist poet Richard Dehmel the piece broods along until its compelling, compassionate end. Take a copy of the poem with you to “follow along.” Goodness. There are other things on the program. Nokuthula Ngwenyama’s festive “Sexagesimal Celebration” and a folk-inspired, crowd-pleasing sextet by Dvořák close out Linton’s 2023-24 season.

Art on Vine at Rhinegeist Brewery

Art on Vine, Hello Spring | 12-6 p.m., Rhinegeist Brewery, 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-381-1367. DETAILS: Welcome back, Art on Vine! Get back into the habit at Rhinegeist Brewery as you shop local artists and maybe get to know one or two of them. They’re interesting folks. Fine art and handmade goods are plentiful and surely a new nook or cranny in your house needs something, right? Too much empty wall space? More than 80 artists are waiting to show you their creations and sell a few of them, too. Art on Vine supports the financial independence of artists in our region. Show your support.

Monday, April 15

Memorial Hall, Suzanne Vega | 8 p.m., 1225 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-977-8838. DETAILS: You may remember when Suzanne Vega emerged as a leading figure of the folk revival in the mid-1980s, bringing contemporary folk or neo-folk songs to the fore singing her own creations. Vega will be joined by longtime collaborator, guitarist Gerry Leonard, performing a career-spanning show, including favorites like “Tom’s Diner,” “Luka” and more.

Evin Blomberg, Christian Colberg and Ilya Finkelshteyn

Soli Music Society, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven | 7:30 p.m., Meshewa House at Turner Farm, 7550 Given Road, Indian Hill. DETAILS: Violinist Evin Blomberg, violist Christian Colberg and cellist and Ilya Finkelshteyn, all members of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, put bows to strings in this program of chamber music favorites. The program includes selections from Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Goldberg Variations, arranged for string trio by Dmitry Sitlovetsky. Sitkovetsky’s arrangement was made in 1985 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Bach’s birth. Also on the program is W.A. Mozart’s Duo in G Major for Violin and Viola, K. 423 and Beethoven’s String Trio in D Major, Op. 9 No. 2. (Beethoven – we discussed him, earlier.) This is a very interesting venue. Turner Farm is one of only two working farms remaining in the village of Indian Hill, devoted solely to growing organically. The Meshewa House also has a long history in the community and has recently been renovated into a unique event space.

Tuesday, April 16

Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative, Earthfest 2024 | 7:30 p.m., Fifth Third Bank Theater, Aronoff Center, downtown. 513-621-2787. DETAILS: In a program of 10-minute plays, playwrights honor Earth Day with short works that bring climate crisis, ecology, recycling and other environmental issues to the surface. Yes, a 10-minute play has become an innovative, popular form of theater in recent years. They are quick, to the point and difficult to write. Yours Truly can attest. Playwrights include Eric Brose, Liz Coley, Roger Collins, Doug Decatur, Susan Medure Decatur, Alan Jozwiak, Rick Schoeff and Rose Vanden Eynden. Ticket sales support the Miami Group Sierra Club.

Emily Grace Jordan

Jazz at the Square, Emily Grace Jordan | 5-8 p.m.. Fountain Square, downtown. DETAILS: Live jazz on Fountain Square is up and running with the third installment of the year. Emily Grace Jordan is a vocalist, educator, instrumentalist and graduate of CCM, where she developed a love for jazz vocals. She pursues the stylings of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday, but puts her own unique spin on the music. Have a refreshing beverage from Fountain Square’s full-service Spring Fountain Bar while you listen and maybe head across the street to McCormick and Schmick’s for some tasty seafood, later.


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