ONSTAGE: REEFER MADNESS: THE MUSICAL The 1936 film originally called Tell Your Children was intended as a morality tale, warning parents about the dangers of their children’s engagement in marijuana use. But it was quickly grabbed up by a producer of “exploitation films” who re-cut the story about teens launched down a slippery slope of crime and madness after being lured by push ers to the evil weed. In the 1970s the film became a cult classic on college campuses where it was enjoyed for its unintentional comedy. The film inspired a musical satire that had an off- Broadway run in 2001, and that evolved into a film on Showtime featuring Alan Cumming, Kristen Bell, Christian Campbell and Ana Gasteyer. Reefer Madness: The Musical kicks off Know Theatre’s 2008-2009 season. It’s the story of Jimmy Harper, an upstanding youth who becomes a murderous pot fiend. “My id threw a party,” he sings, “and everybody came. My innocence ravished, my virtue devoured — I can’t count the strangers with whom I’ve showered!” This kind of offbeat material is right up Know Theatre’s alley (aka Jackson Street in Over-the-Rhine). Through Nov. 14. $12. 513- 300-5669. — RICK PENDER TO DO: FROM PAGE 55
Angeles-based outfit; it will be great to see new things from him. On top of all of that, Blond Chili lists local electronic media artist Laura Herman as one of its heroes on its Web site. I couldn’t agree more. Admission is $6 at the door. www.myspace.com/autu media2008. — MATT MORRIS
SPORTS: CINCINNATI BEARCATS FOOTBALL Nothing complements a sports rivalry like a traveling trophy.
MUSIC: ABIGAIL WASHBURN & THE SPARROW QUARTET There’s no doubt that Abigail Washburn is a world citizen. She was born near Chicago, grew up around Washington, D.C., went to high school in Minnesota, majored in Asian Studies at Colorado College and then lived in China for a spell with designs on becoming a lawyer there. Thank God that didn’t pan out or we would have missed out on one of the most gifted clawhammer banjo players in the business right now. After placing second in the MerleFest songwriting competition, Washburn signed with Nettwerk and released her acclaimed debut solo album, 2005’s Song of the Traveling Daughter, and also worked with the band Uncle Earl on their two releases (2005’s She Waits for the Night and last year’s Waterloo, Tennessee). If all that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, she formed the Sparrow Quartet with renowned Bluegrass banjoist Bela Fleck (who produced Daughter), Louisville cellist Ben Sollee and Grammy-nominated fiddler Casey Driessen, who come to town this week hot on the heels of their recent appearance at the Summer Olympics in Beijing.
If you’ve ever wondered what Bluegrass sounds like translated into Mandarin, Washburn is your gifted and gorgeous ticket. $24; $22 seniors; $15 children. 7 and 9:30 p.m. Miami University Hamilton. 513-785-3000. — BRIAN BAKER
EVENTS: OKTOBERFEST Dust off your decorative German mugs and fill them to the brim with beer at this year’s Oktoberfest Zinzinnati. Started in 1976, Oktoberfest celebrates all things German with more than 500,000 people joining the party, making it the largest Oktoberfest in North America. This year will once again offer the “World’s Largest Chicken Dance,” held at noon Saturday on Fountain Square. Led by local Olympians David Payne and Mary Wineberg, contestants from the “Chicken Dance with the Stars” will dance one last time before the winner is announced. The Bier band will be playing traditional German tunes, but they’ll mix it up a bit with some good ol’ fashioned Rock & Roll. Along with the festivities, there will be various authentic German treats, such as bratwurst, sauerkraut balls, potato pancakes, pickled pigs feet, strudel and more beer than anyone could ever drink. Free. 11 a.m.-mid night Saturday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. www.oktober festzinzinnati.com. — SAMANTHA BOHNERTTUESDAY23
MUSIC: BELL X1 supports its new American album Flock with the band Stars at The Southgate House.
See music on page 59