You might know that Shakespeare’s Richard III focuses on one of his great villains. But among his 38 plays, there’s also Richard II.
You probably know almost nothing about this guy — a weak king, deposed
in 1399 — who died in captivity in 1400.
This may seem a strange way to start a
review of the year in Cincinnati’s visual arts, but the piece that stays
with me the most — haunts me, really — doesn’t even fit any traditional
definition of art.
If you’re looking for cliché presents, head to your
nearest department store. If you and your favorite recipients are
looking for a memorable exhibit, head to the Weston Art Gallery for Straight from the Soul, a 25-year retrospective by the Atlanta artist.
Starting in 2006, Cincy Shakes offered this raucous
run-down of holiday tales, movies, TV specials and tunes at the
courtyard at Arnold’s Bar & Grill downtown. This year it’s moved to CSC’s mainstage at 719 Race St., and tickets
have been selling like candy canes.
It’s never too
late in the history of humankind for a new Christmas tradition —
especially if it comes out of the world of edgy, avant-garde
participatory performance art. Edgy, avant-garde and fun participatory performance art, that is.
‘Tis the season for an abundance of music that includes beloved traditions: Handel’s oratorio Messiah and Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. Both pieces are holiday staples performed year after year. After year.
It might not have occurred to you that Cinderella
is a fairytale for the holidays, but at the Covedale Center they’ve made
it into a cheerful family-friendly extravaganza, decked out with
tinsel, glitter, snow, a midwinter ball and Christmas caroling.
Matthew Rolston has taken close-up portraits, startlingly realistic
headshots, of some 200 figures — colloquially known as dummies — at Fort
Mitchell, Ky.’s Vent Haven ventriloquism museum. The results are in a
new book, Talking Heads, to be published next month by Pointed Leaf Press.
It’s time for mistletoe and holly, when
theaters entice folks in search of holiday cheer (and occasional
parodies thereof) to celebrate the season. Many theaters need December
ticket revenues to present shows onstage for the rest of the year.
With the re-election of Barack Obama last
month, many people who were closely following politics and current
events reached a burnout point the day after the election. Comedian Auggie Smith reached that stage almost a full year earlier.