ONSTAGE: OF MICE AND MEN John Steinbeck’s 1937 tragic story about migrant workers during the Depression is a masterpiece in several art forms.Steinbeck, eventually a Nobel Prize winner for literature, wrote his novella in a form that was also the framework for a playscript: It has three “acts” of two chapters each. The onstage version was first presented late in 1937 on Broadway, and it was named the “best play” of that season by the New York Drama Critics Circle. Two years later it was released as a film.
Given the state of our nation’s economy, Of Mice and Men might be a perfect play to demonstrate how larger issues drive individual tragedies. Two men, hard-working George and simple-minded Lennie, struggle to make ends meet with various farming jobs. But Lennie constantly gets into trouble because of his size, his strength and his powerful emotions. It’s a sad story that reflects a troubled era in American history, one that has resonant echoes today. Northern Kentucky University is presenting a production of the show casting veteran student actor Nick Vannoy as Lennie and Matt Bohnert as George. It’s a literary classic that has powerful impact when it’s brought to life onstage.Through Oct. 5 at NKU’s Corbett Theatre. $8-$12. 859-572-5464.
— RICK PENDER
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Director Jefferson James says, “It just seemed right for Cincinnati to see this internationally renowned company for the first time during its 40th anniversary tour. I think Lubovitch’s dances, based on the power of music to inform and propel a work, will be very congenial to audiences here.” What’s not to like? Lubovitch’s work, which indulges our longing for beauty and sentiment in dance, has been called beguiling, intricate, witty, endlessly fascinating and has also been noted for its humanistic voice.
“The best dancers today are linguists,” he has said, comparing the ability to perform different dance styles with being fluent in several spoken languages. “But all of my dances are really about dancing. Dancing is really a superior metaphor for humanity and emotions.” 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $27-$32. 513- 621-5787.
— KATHY VALIN
ART: 1305 GALLERY After a summer hiatus, 1305 Gallery resumes with a solo exhibition of recent work by Lily Mulberry, the gallery’s director. Inherent is made up of several bodies of work developed throughout the past year. Most of Mulberry’s work I have seen are small paintings with accumulated layers of struggle through composition and content.
These new pieces deal with the challenges and maintenance of family relationships as change and additions alter the dynamic. In the gallery’s press release, Mulberry describes her process of working on finished wood surfaces, or else “nontraditional surfaces.” Like daydreams inscribed onto school desks, figurative drawing and other illustrations are layered (in some cases with the density that I have known in her other paintings) into contemplative scenarios.
1305’s warm, folksy interior will be well suited to these new works, and the experience offered will be a rare one in which the space and the art inside of it have been developed by the same creator’s vision. A catered reception will be held from 6-11 p.m. on Friday. Inherent runs 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday through Oct. 25. www.1305gallery.blogspot.com
— MATT MORRIS
EVENTS: THE 20/20 FESTIVAL For 20 days and 20 nights, Cincinnati pays homage to the arts with a citywide extravaganza featuring entertainment ranging from the family-friendly to the avant-garde. Come sample something new and experience your local arts organizations firsthand with more than 75 events in 36 neighborhoods, including some in Northern Kentucky.
The festival kicks off with the Final Friday gallery walk around Main Street in Over-the-Rhine and continues through the weekend with Cincy Couture on Fountain Square, Since You’ve Been Gone at the Weston, A Sense of Wonder at the Carnegie and more. There’s at least one art event happening in the city every day until Oct. 15, and 20/20 has conveniently organized all of these in a printable calendar with times, locations and descriptions. Many events are free, and, if they’re not, they offer discounts for Enjoy the Arts/START members. Head to 20days20nights.com for the printable calendar. 513-621-4700.
— MAIJA ZUMMOSATURDAY27 MUSIC: MIDPOINT MUSIC FESTIVAL once again takes over various area venues starting at 8 p.m. with bands like MATES OF STATE and THE LIONS RAMPANT performing throughout the evening. See cover story on page 21.
EVENTS: GREAT OUTDOOR WEEKEND Breathe in. Exhale. And again. Smell that? It’s called nature. It probably looks like the screensaver on your laptop, only those babbling brooks don’t actually move. But not to worry, nature is all around you at this year’s Cincinnati Great Outdoor Weekend. Started in 2004, the event is aimed at promoting healthy alternatives for adults and children. Activities are fun, as well as educational.They