"I don't get to talk much," says Kristi Lee (pictured), news director of The Bob & Tom radio show. "There's a reason for that. Tom (Griswold) says my best talent is (that) I know when to shut up. You may not know that if you know me off-air, but on air I know when to shut up."
Lee will get to do a little more talking Saturday night when she emcees the Serious Comedy Showcase at Belterra Casino in Rising Sun, Ind. The show features comedians Drew Hastings, Greg Warren and Dan Grueter. Lee, of course, can yuk it up with the best of them as evidenced by her work on TB&TS, were comics are frequent guests. But she won't be doing much stand-up as host of the showcase.
"Very little," she says. "(I) usually just talk to the audience and play off of them."
The Indianapolis-native who has been involved in radio since age 15, joined the nationally syndicated radio show (heard locally on The Fox 92.5) during the late '80s.
"I was working part-time at Q-95, WFBQ, which is where The Bob & Tom Show originated ... I did overnights on the weekends ... I would work from midnight to 6 a.m. on Monday morning, and when Bob and Tom got hired, I just started hanging out."
Lee moved to New Mexico for a few years, but the hosts recruited her when they wanted to add a permanent female voice to their crew.
"I flew out (to Indianapolis) and, the next thing I knew, they wouldn't let me go home. I've been here ever since."
Along with announcer/sports anchor Chick McGee, the four have formed a solid on-air chemistry, which is the key to the show's success.
"The best part of (the job) for me is just the relationship I have in that room with three other people (which has) lasted longer than any of my other relationships. We all have our idiosyncrasies, but when you put us all together, it's just magic. Take one of us away and it's not bad, but it's a little off. When we're running on all four cylinders it's great."
Lee will emcee the Serious Comedy Showcase at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Belterra Casino's CenterStage Showroom. $20 for Champions Club members, $25 for non-members. 888-BEL-TERRA. (See Onstage.) -- P.F. WILSON
The CINCINNATI ART MUSEUM's "Close Inspections" program highlights work in the CAM's permanent collection and the study of local university students. On Wednesday, one of the most popular paintings in the collection, Edward Hopper's "Sun on Prospect Street," will be the focus of this event. VANESSA PEPPLE from the University of Cincinnati undergraduate program will speak to a small audience in front of the Hopper painting. No doubt Pepple has spent time and energy researching her topic -- specifically focusing on the loneliness evident in the painting. The museum chose Pepple from a pool of about 50 students. Join her on Wednesday at 7 p.m. for a short lecture. Free. 513-721-ARTS. (See Art.) -- LAURA JAMES
FRIDAY24 -- SUNDAY26
Get your oom-pa-pa on this weekend at the 37th annual GERMANIA SOCIETY OKTOBERFEST in Colerain Township. Billed as "Cincinnati's original and most authentic" Oktoberfest, this one comes in the eighth month of the year, as traditionally celebrated.
More importantly, the Oktoberfest at Germania Park features more of the Old World flavors and a kind of intimacy that don't quite make it to the humongous Oktoberfest downtown. Enjoy limburger cheese sandwiches, potato nests and sauerbraten with spatzle, washed down with pilsner lager or wheat bier, all to the tune of traditional German music. The fun runs 6 p.m.-midnight Friday, 2 p.m.-midnight Saturday and noon-10 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $3; free for kids under 12 years. A full entertainment lineup and directions are available at www.germaniasociety.com. (See Events.) -- GREGORY FLANNERY
FRIDAY 24 SATURDAY 25
Fans of the local Jam band The Ohms probably already have tickets, but if you're a newbie to that band and you like the idea of hanging out with a ton of music lovers and camping out so you don't have to drive home, OHMSTEAD 2007 might be just for you. The all-day music festival has been organized by the band for the past several years and it presents a great variety of acts from both the local scene and beyond. Moving to its new home of Bethel's Trusty Pines Campground, this year's Ohmstead features local acts like Rusty Van Band, Spellbox, Chick Pimp, Howard Brothers Band and Noctaluca. For complete info (including directions and the chance to buy tickets for $15), head over to theohmsmusic.com/ OhmsteadInfo.html. No doubt, by the end of Day 2, many will be saying, "Ohm Sweet Ohm." (See Music.) -- MIKE BREEN
Get control of your elephant! The mind, like a crazy elephant running out of control, can be subdued, but learning how takes instruction and practice. The monks and senior students of GADEN SAMDRUP-LING BUDDHIST MONASTERY will present another class in their ongoing introductory course on Buddhism -- meditation. The free class will provide information about Buddhist meditation techniques. In addition to an opportunity to practice meditation, participants are invited to ask questions. "We are owner of our body and our mind," says Kyabje Dagom Rinpoche, one of the teachers from the monastery. "We can pretty much take care of our body, but we can't take care of our mind. And the reason that we can't control our mind is that the mind won't stay focused in any one direction, but rather just wanders around without control. It's out of control ... one's mind is like a wild elephant. So if a mad elephant gets loose, it's just going to trample all the flowers and uproot things, and cause a lot of destruction. Therefore this crazed elephant-like mind needs to be subdued or controlled." All of the introductory courses are open to anyone (no experience required) and run from 2-3 p.m. at 3046 Pavlova Drive in Colerain Township. 513-385-7116. (See Classes.) -- MARGO PIERCE
Austin, Tex., Rock & Roll powerhouse LIONS (pictured) return to town Saturday for a show at Northside's Gypsy Hut. Since forming just two years ago, the quartet has drawn fervent praise for its brand of Chainsaw Rock, which falls somewhere between fuzzy Garage Rock, rifftastic Hard Rock and the non-dumbed-down end of Metal. Like The Stooges if they had a time machine, jetted to the future and came up as a Stooges-influenced Punk/Metal/Hard Rock band. Or AC/DC fronted by Iggy. The group has played with the likes of Fu Manchu, Early Man, The Detroit Cobras and Nebula, which gives a good idea of the sonic realms the band explores. If you like the idea of Aussie buzz band Wolfmother, but don't like the execution, Lions should do the trick for you. 513-213-6008. (See Music.) -- MIKE BREEN
SATURDAY 25 SUNDAY 26
Visionaries and Voices is bringing back VISIONNATI, the visionary annual showcase of local cutting-edge art and music. The festival debuted last year with great success, providing a big boost of recognition for Visionaries and Voices -- a studio for local artists with disabilities. This year, Visionnati will feature a lecture from Emily Mello of the Contemporary Arts Center, a family art workshop led by Mary Proctor and the debut of the compilation CD Sound & Visionnati, which includes songs by local musicians inspired by the artwork created at Visionaries and Voices. Jake Speed and Kim Taylor are among the musicians who have contributed to the disc. Visionnati is a two-day event that will take place from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday on Court Street between Vine and Walnut downtown. Free. 513-861-4333. (See Art or Events.) -- KEVIN MICHELL
Fountain Square is alive with activity. Some of it might be frivolous (attempting to break the Guinness Book of World Records' mark for "the most Mentos geysers to be set off simultaneously in one location"), but all of it is aimed to bring people back to our most recognizable downtown landmark. Its caretakers also seem hell-bent on highlighting local artists the like cast and crew behind director Rob Gray's THREE BARBEQUES, an area-produced "blackened comedy" that features more than a few recognizable faces. The premise is simple: The same group of people attends three different barbeques during the same day while dances like the "Parade of Side Dishes" and myriad mayhem breaks out all over the place. Laden with flamboyant technical flourishes and camp galore, Three Barbeques is a buoyant, candy-colored ode to John Waters (if he had ingested an unhealthy amount of Red Bull and borrowed Michael Bay's editor). In conjunction with the movie's recent DVD release, Fountain Square's Jumbotron hosts a screening of Three Barbecues at 8 p.m. Sunday. The evening's festivities get underway at 5 p.m. with food from JeanRo Bistro and City Barbeque and music from Ashley Shepherd, Buckra and Mercurochrome. Free admission. 513-621-4400. (See Events.) -- JASON GARGANO
Did you see some theater productions during the 2006-07 season? Any performances that stuck with you? Did you vote online or with a ballot you found in CityBeat for some of those shows and performers nominated for CINCINNATI ENTERTAINMENT AWARDS? If so, Monday is the day when all will be revealed. Thousands of votes were cast by theater fans for 12 categories of performance, and local critics weighed in on another eight dimensions -- from scenic design and costumes to the year's best play and musical. Everything from classics like Shakespeare's The Tempest and Hamlet to contemporary plays such as Edward Albee's The Goat and Michael Hollinger's Opus, from venerable musicals like The Pajama Game to hot-off-the-press shows such as Ace, See What I Wanna See and Parade are in contention. Show up at 7 p.m. for a pre-show reception, then head into UC's Patricia Corbett Theater in the CCM Village at 8 p.m. to see who will take home the honors. But pay special attention to the rich array of shows being celebrated. Cincinnati is a hotbed of great theater! $20. www.citybeat.com/cea. (See Events or Onstage, plus the cover story on page 21.) -- RICK PENDER