Culture FIX: June 19-25

Summer music mainstays anchor the week, but please do investigate what we don’t see as often. Memorial Hall welcomes the well-known Al Di Meola and John Oates, while a less well-known Neil Simon play takes the stage in Mason. Two compelling art exhibits open, one up in Dayton, but worth the drive. There’s the Pride parade and festival and “Rocky Horror” in Covington. Stay cool.


Wednesday, June 19

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Juneteenth Jubilee | 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m., 50 E. Freedom Way, downtown. 513-333-7500. DETAILS: A jubilant “takeover” of Freedom Way celebrates Juneteenth, the holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. The daylong festival includes live music and other performances by P. Ann Everson-Price, DJ Vader-Mixx and 2nd Wind Band. Special guests include Bengal Orlando Brown Jr., and Reds mascots. Food trucks will be on hand, along with a community market. Take advantage of extended hours and free admission to the Freedom Center. The day concludes with a march down to the Ohio River, the symbolic River Jordan over which thousands crossed into freedom via the Underground Railroad.


Ziegler Park, Summer Cinema | 9 p.m., 1322 Sycamore St., Pendleton. 513-621-4400. DETAILS: Hone your gourmet picnic skills, grab a comfortable chair and make your way to “Spider-man: Across the Spider-verse with Queen’s Village.” Did we say it is FREE? Miles Morales returns for the next installment of this epic adventure catapulting Spider-Man across the Multiverse to face-off with a new and more powerful villain. Every Wednesday this summer features a favorite.

Thursday, June 20

Comet & Bluegrass All-Stars

The Arts Alliance, Comet & Bluegrass All-Stars | 7 p.m., Cottell Park, 5847 Irwin Simpson Rd., Deerfield Township. 513-701-6958. DETAILS: Bring your blankets, your kids and a fancy picnic supper for an al fresco evening in Warren County. This house bluegrass band at the The Comet quickly became popular after its humble beginnings at the Northside bar. It has since gone on to win numerous awards, and opened for performers such as Ricky Skaggs and Sam Bush. You can’t go wrong with bluegrass and a good picnic.


Al Di Meola

Memorial Hall, Al Di Meola | 8 p.m., 1225 Elm St., downtown. 513-977-8838. DETAILS: Enjoy a night out at The Memo with this legendary guitarist and his “complex rhythmic syncopation, provocative lyrical melodies and sophisticated harmonies.” Not such a tall order for a musician whose celebrated career has spanned decades and includes world music, jazz and collaborations with Chick Corea, Jean-Luc Ponty and many others. Tickets are going fast.

Friday, June 21

Tanteo, Taco & Margarita Festival | 5 p.m., Mainstrasse Village, Goebel Park, 501 Philadelphia St., Covington. DETAILS: Who could pass up tacos and margaritas on the lovely, tree-lined streets of Mainstrasse Village? Sample multiple food vendors, including El Buen Taco, El Rey, Montez Fajita Grill, Lucy’s Tacos and more. Grupo Sazon takes the stage at 5 p.m. to open a weekend of live music including Paola and Friends, Amador Sisters and Dayton Salsa. Runs through Sunday.


Mason Community Players, “Neil Simon’s God’s Favorite” | 8 p.m., 5529 Mason Rd., Mason. 513-398-7904. DETAILS: Pious Joe Benjamin sells boxes and makes a lot of money doing so. From his beautiful Long Island mansion he shares with his beleaguered family and quirky staff he will be subjected to a Job’s list of disasters when one Sidney Lipton comes to visit (with a big “G” on his tee shirt). Joe’s faith is tested while Lipton’s instructions are to report back to the “Boss.” Based on the Biblical Book of Job, Simon guarantees hilarity while spinning a contemporary yarn based on a story as old as time. Runs through June 29.


Art Academy of Cincinnati, “SOS Art 2024” | 6 p.m., Opening reception, 1212 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine. 513-562-6262. DETAILS: Save Our Souls (SOS) Art seeks to “encourage, promote and provide opportunities and venues for the arts as dynamic vehicles for peace and justice, for a change, and for a better world.” So states the mission of this organization as its 2024 art show opens, today. Recognizing that art can be a catalyst for change in the world, this community art show and event for creative expression of peace and justice opens with remarks, live music by Lastboppers and a potluck reception. Runs through July 14.

Saturday, June 22

Pride Parade 2023

Cincinnati Pride, Pride Parade & Festival | 11 a.m.-9 p.m., From Seventh & Plum to Sawyer Point, downtown. DETAILS: Pride supporters take to the streets marching in unity to Sawyer Point for a daylong celebration of all things LGBTQ+. The parade assembles at 11 a.m. and winds east down Seventh and then Vine streets, hangs a left at the Freedom Center and heads to the riverfront for free food, drink and entertainment.


The Carnegie, “The Rocky Horror Show” | 7:30 p.m., 1028 Scott Blvd., Covington. 859-491-2030. DETAILS: The Carnegie wants to make sure you know that “THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW contains mature content unsuitable for young children and the faint of heart, including sexual themes and language.” Faint of heart? Ok, maybe the dinner scene. Or a corset and pair of fishnet hose? Maybe we should define “faint of heart.” You may enjoy the one midnight show during the run. Think the Carnegie will let us dress up? Don’t miss the adventures of Dr. Frank-n-furter and Dr. Scott (not MY high school science teacher, for sure) or the squeaky-clean Brad and Janet as they all navigate this netherworld of chaos. Covington may never be the same. Through July 7.


Heather Jones, “There’s No Plan,” 2019, sewn cotton

Dayton Art Institute, Riveting: Women Artists from the Sara M. and Michelle Vance Waddell Collection | 11 a.m.-5 p.m., 456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton, Ohio. 937-223-4278. DETAILS: Drawn from the private collection of these well-known Cincinnati art lovers and philanthropists, the exhibit features emergent voices and powerful statements that speak to prominent social issues. LGBTQ+ communities, reproductive rights and other thought-provoking subjects are detailed in paintings, sculpture, paper, photographs and textiles. These images are made to make you think. Artists include Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith, Ana Mendieta and many others. Runs through Sept. 8.

Sunday, June 23

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, West End Brady Block Party | 6 p.m., Ezzard Charles Park, 500 Ezzard Charles Dr., West End. 513-381-3300. DETAILS: This block party gets underway at dinnertime for a reason. FREE cookout with a variety of options, popcorn and cotton candy machines, art activities and a FREE concert by our own Cincinnati Symphony! Whew! What a program, too. Music by George Gershwin, John Williams, Mamie Smith, James Brown, Leonard Bernstein… World class entertainment on your own block.

Monday, June 24

Mike Wade

Washington Park, Jazz at the Park | 6-9 p.m., 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. DETAILS: Put a cap on your Monday by enjoying some jazz and a drink at Wash Park’s popular weekly jazz series. Tip your glass to the Mike Wade Quintet as members share their brand of intimate and soulful sounds. Trumpeter Wade was recently inducted into the Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame. Can’t beat the backdrop of our stunning Music Hall right across the street.


Young Professionals Choral Collective, Chamber Choir: “Sanctuary” | 7:30 p.m., Playhouse in the Park, 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Mt. Adams. DETAILS: Guest conductor Jason Alexander Holmes – artistic director of the Cincinnati Boychoir and incoming associate director of choruses and director of the Youth Chorus for the Cincinnati May Festival (busy guy!) – leads the select YPCC Chamber Choir in a program of works by Alice Parker, Elaine Hagenberg, Kirk Franklin, Norman Dello Joio, Mari Esabel Valverde, Craig Hella Johnson and others – some you may know and some you might not.

Tuesday, June 25

Jamey Aebersold

Fountain Square, Jamey Aebersold Quartet | 5-8 p.m., 520 Vine St., downtown. DETAILS: Jamey Aebersold is a legendary jazz educator, saxophonist and authority on improvisation. He was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master award, the nation’s highest honor in jazz. His long-standing series of Jazz Play-A-Long book/CD collections have enabled musicians to practice and improvise with well-known jazz personalities. When you see him, you will surely say to yourself “you’re never too old.” Yours Truly might make her way from the East Side for this one.


John Oates

Memorial Hall, John Oates | 8 p.m., 1225 Elm St., downtown. 513-977-8838. DETAILS: This co-founder of iconic duo Hall & Oates and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame stops in our fair city for a night of eclectic songs and stories. Since going solo in 1999, Oates has recorded seven albums and continues to be an active songwriter and performer. His autobiography “Change of Season” was released in 2017 and continues to be an Amazon bestseller. Tickets are going fast.


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