MUSIC: TEA LEAF GREEN brings its adventurous jams to 20th Century Theater. See Sound Advice here.
ONSTAGE: CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, a fast-moving adaptation of Dostoyevsky's classic novel, continues at The Playhouse in the Park. See review here.
MUSIC: THE TOASTERS, longtime masters of Ska, stop by The Poison Room. See Sound Advice here.
ONSTAGE: MARY'S WEDDING, a World War I-set drama that features bravura work from its lead couple, continues at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati. See review here.
ART: 840 GALLERY This gallery in UC's Joseph A. Steger Student Life Center has been mounting a good run of excellent exhibitions. Bone Secrets is newly opened, featuring work by Alice Pixley Young. For several years now, Young has been building a repertoire of materials, forms and imagery matched with text that she has scoured from different sources. Together they create moody installations that are part aviary and part briar patch, and still fully atmospheric. In the center of the gallery space is a kind of encampment of dishes and handmade nests huddled beneath and within a formidable bare tree branch. This installation is a point of departure for the rest of the space's arrangements of collage-type elements and paper sculptures that are built onto the walls and out into the room. The exhibition continues through Feb. 19, with an opening reception Wednesday from 5-7 p.m. (Get gallery details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) -- MATT MORRIS
EVENTS: LASER MAGIC SERIES Ladies and gentleman, it's time (once again) to turn on, tune in and roll up for a magical mystery tour of lasers, constellations and Classic Rock. Forget what it's like to be a teenager? The Drake Planetarium is ready and willing to take you back in time with the Laser Magic Series. Their choreographed laser display uses bright colors and abstract geometrics to heighten the experience of listening to quintessential albums and songs from artists like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, U2 and, of course, Pink Floyd. Although Dark Side of the Moon is the feature show, be sure not to miss the other enthralling visual numbers, including Laser Zeppelin, Laser Beatles and Legends of the Night Sky, a lighthearted animated look at the myths surrounding the constellations. The Laser Magic Series runs daily through Sunday. $9 in advance; $12 at the door. (Get details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) -- MAIJA ZUMMO
ART: ENJOY THE ARTS/START Nothing is going right for the young women in Anne Van Epps' exhibition of photographs, The Lost Girls --The Silk Series, at Enjoy the Arts on Main Street. The girls are slouching about in lingerie, but they don't quite have the hang of it. They are too full-bodied; they wear black bras with white slips and vice-versa. And the backgrounds, mercilessly exposed in mid-day sun, are awkward small-townscapes. These women want out, but perhaps don't exactly know why or from what. Van Epps says they are ¨innocent and jaded, reckless and chaste," trapped in small-town life and forgotten.
In the show's most striking photograph, a young woman appears to be standing in a columned arcade, but on closer inspection the "arcade" becomes the concrete underpinnings of a bridge with an 18-wheeler's cab in the background. Not the same thing. The Lost Girls -- Silk Series continues at Enjoy the Arts from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday through Feb. 22. (Get gallery details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) -- JANE DURRELL
ONSTAGE: TAKE ME OUT Richard Greenberg is a contemporary theater writer we've not seen nearly enough of in Cincinnati, although his remarkable play Three Days of Rain was a hit (and a CEA winner) for Ensemble Theatre in 2001. His plays are always fresh and exciting because he places them in the moment and yet makes them feel timeless, dealing with contemporary people and issues that are current but not mere news blips. Take Me Out, opening a multi-week run at New Stage Collective this week, pushes that description close to the edge, since it's about a gay baseball player who decides his sexual orientation is a matter of public interest. But Greenberg's title and play have many levels of meaning. There's a simple pick-up line, but also sports lingo (both ¨take me out of the lineup" and see if you can ¨take me out" of the competition). Even better is how Greenberg creates real characters, from a gay accountant bitten hard by baseball fever to a homophobic redneck pitcher. This play will get attention because much of it happens in a locker room with guys in various states of undress, but pay attention to what they say -- that's what's important. (Buy tickets, check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) -- RICK PENDER
COMEDY: ADAM FERRARA Adam Ferrara is a series regular on the FX drama Rescue Me, but he's never stopped performing stand-up comedy. When the writers' strike halted production of the show, Ferrara found himself on stage a little more often. "I still talk about my life," he says. "It depends on what's going on (with me) now. My parents: They're looking at me for guidance. 'What, did you just meet me?' " Ferrara also has done some reflecting on the relationship with his former girlfriend. "We split up," he explains. "I was with her for quite a bit and then it was time for self-examination. I have a huge ego. I keep a journal and I'm lying in it." Ferrara has tried his hand at screenwriting, but unlike stand-up it's something he doesn't like doing by himself. "It's a lonely process, writing. That's why Hemingway drank: (He was) all alone at a typewriter." Ferrara performs Thursday-Sunday at The Funny Bone on the Levee. $12-$15. (Buy tickets, check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) -- P.F. WILSON
DANCE: ROMEO & JULIET, Cincinnati Ballet's interpretation of Shakespeare's enduring tale of young love amid warring families, continues at the Aronoff Center for the Arts. See feature here.
MUSIC: THE LOVED ONES emit their explosive sounds at The Poison Room. See feature here.
ONSTAGE: RED LIGHT WINTER continues at Know Theatre. See review here.
MUSIC: MOSTLY OTHER PEOPLE DO THE KILLING When last in town, Jazz ensemble Mostly Other People Do the Killing played a magnetic couple of sets at The Loft Society, a boho performance space in Clifton. The small crowd that assembled was rightfully enraptured, as the crew grinned their way through fantastic Post Bop compositions, which combined a clear reverence for and knowledge of the work of Bop trailblazers (a solid Ornette Coleman influence emanated from almost every note Jon Irabagon played on his alto sax, even quoting ¨Lonely Woman" at one point) with improvisational industriousness, creating sounds by scrapping cymbals or just percussively rattling the keys of the brass instruments. As the band played intuitively off each other, the audience members seemed to collectively lean forward, sucked in by the dynamics and creativity on display. Led by bassist Moppa Elliott, the NYC-based crew's Web site describes their approach as both a mockery of the stale state of Jazz today as well as a reverential celebration of the Jazz of yesterday. Saturday night the group returns to the area, this time performing Downtown at hallowed local Jazz spot the Blue Wisp. $10. (Buy tickets, check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) -- MIKE BREEN
LITERARY: CHRIS BOHJALIAN Laurel Estabrook is an outgoing college sophomore in leafy Vermont whose idyllic world is forever fractured when she suffers a brutal attack at the hands of masked men. And so begins Chris Bohjalian's latest novel, The Double Bind. Deeply shaken, she retreats inward, immersing herself in photography and volunteer work at a homeless shelter where she meets an old man named Bobbie Crocker. When Crocker dies, Laurel discovers a box of photos that reveal him to have once been a successful photojournalist. Fascinated, she is intent on learning more about this homeless man with a gifted eye and a mysterious past, which is when Bohjalian's richly layered, suspense-laden story kicks into gear. It's also when the author boldly merges elements of Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, going as far as to inject Jay Gatsby himself into the narrative. The Double Bind moves back and forth between these two worlds -- Jazz Age Long Island and modern-day New England -- in the process investigating how radically lives can change and how art can influence the way in which we see the world. Bohjalian will discuss The Double Bind at 7 p.m. Monday at Joseph-Beth Booksellers. (Get details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) -- JASON GARGANO
EVENTS: CINCINNATI WORLD CINEMA Andrea Arnold's Red Road was one of the best films I saw at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. And like many a festival-circuit gem, it didn't open theatrically in local movie houses. Cincinnati World Cinema rectifies this oversight by screening Arnold's engrossing psychological thriller at 7 p.m. Feb. 20 in the Cincinnati Art Museum's Fath Auditorium. Following in the footsteps of such voyeuristic fare as Antonioni's Blowup and Hitchcock's Rear Window, Red Road centers its drama on Jackie (Kate Dickie, pictured above), a lonely security guard in the roughest part of Glasgow's urban landscape. She spends her days watching a bank of closed-circuit television screens that capture images via surveillance cameras posted amid Red Road's blighted housing project. Jackie's interest is piqued when she notices a familiar face (a creepily effective Tony Curran) back in the neighborhood -- a man whose presence slowly reveals a connection to her troubled past as well as an obsessive streak that ultimately puts her safety in serious jeopardy. Arnold's immersive, tension-laced feature debut compels via long, uninterrupted takes and the fearless, raw-nerved acting of Dickie. Yet the hyper-realistic aesthetic shouldn't come as a surprise: Red Road is supposedly the first in a trilogy of efforts inspired by Lars von Trier's Dogme 95 movement in which three different filmmakers will set the same characters in similar Glasgow environs. $9; $7 for students and CAM members. 859-781-8151. -- JASON GARGANO