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by Jac Kern 02.21.2014 62 days ago
Posted In: Events at 01:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 2/21-2/23

Mardi Gras — aka Fat Tuesday — may not be until March 4, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait to get your pre-Lenten partying on. This month’s Walk on Woodburn channels Bourbon Street with music performances by The Hot Magnolias and Ed Oxley; Creole cuisine from New Orleans To Go and Kitchen 452; Molly Wellman’s Hurricane punch at Le Bon Vivant; masquerade mask-making at Decoworks Studios and much more NOLA fun. The Walk takes over Walnut Hills 6-9 p.m. Friday.

If your Mardi Gras appetite hasn’t been satisfied by Sunday, swing by Tri-County Mall to sample Ohio’s largest King Cake. A signature sweet of Fat Tuesday, King Cake is a circular spiced and iced coffee cake with a tiny plastic baby hidden inside one piece. Whoever gets the slice with the baby will be blessed with good luck, or is king for the day/year, or is going to get pregnant (according to various traditions). This giant cake will have a bubblegum treat instead of a plastic baby choking hazard — those who receive the pieces with treats will win a prize. The tasting is noon-3 p.m. Sunday in front of Dillard’s, near the food court.

Hopefully you’re all stocked up on on Swishers, ‘cause Snoop Lion né Dogg plays Bogart’s tonight. Tickets are still available! Read more here.

Interactive art and design group Modern Makers hosts an evening of engaging culture at Niehoff Urban Studio Saturday. Enjoy cocktails and music from 6-6:30 p.m. followed by a screening of People’s Park and a discussion on public spaces with activities, light bites and more. The free event runs 6-8 p.m. at 2728 Vine St., Corryville. Find more details here.

Noblesville, Ind., author Susan Crandall discusses and signs her latest, Whistling Past the Graveyard, Saturday at The Booksellers on Fountain Square. Read our interview with the author for more info.

Art on Vine, the recurring boutique art fair presented by Photography For The People’s Jim Jenkins, returns to Rhinegeist this Sunday. Enjoy delicious local craft beer alongside hand-crafted artworks including photography, paintings, jewelry and more all in the spacious architectural beauty that is Rhinegeist's brewery. Food trucks and vendors will be on site. Art on Vine takes place from noon-7 p.m. Sunday.

MamLuft&Co. Dance presents its latest original work, /SHIFT/, Friday and Saturday at The Aronoff. Read our story on the show and local dance company here.

For more art openings, parties and other stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks, full calendar and Rick Pender’s Stage Door for weekend theater offerings.

 
 
by Maija Zummo 02.21.2014 62 days ago
Posted In: Life, Culture at 10:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Cincinnati Featured in National Geographic Traveler

They like us

"As much of America decamped for the suburbs or the coasts, artists, craftspeople, and entrepreneurs rebuilt entire Cincinnati neighborhoods alongside impassioned longtimers," reads an article from the April 2014 issue of National Geographic Traveler.

Cincinnati is more and more getting recognition for our renaissance attitude in national media, and this article touches on everything from our breweries to the 21c and the city's vast collection of every-era architecture and food and nightlife.

Read the full article here.

 
 
by Rick Pender 02.21.2014 62 days ago
Posted In: Theater at 08:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
stage door 2-21 - cynthea mercado as scheherazade in arabian nights @ nku - photo provided by northern kentucky university14an press photo 3 copy

Stage Door: Options Abound

I’m not making up a story when I suggest you could be charmed by Mary Zimmerman’s Arabian Nights at Northern Kentucky University. After all, her play is about telling tales: Scheherazade, the latest bride of a cruel king who has a history of marrying and executing his wives, survives by stringing him along with stories she promises to finish the next night — for a “Thousand and One Nights.” (Read my profile of Mary Zimmerman here.) She plies him with tales of Sinbad and Ali Baba. Audiences at NKU will likely be strung along, too. Senior Cynthea Mercado plays Scheherazade, whose life, she says, “is threatened with the reality of her situation, and yet she is still able to enjoy her own tales and sometimes get lost in them.” No need to get lost. Find your way to Highland Heights and NKU’s Corbett Theatre for this production, through March 2. Tickets: 859-572-5464.

If a classic musical is to your taste, you might try Andrew Lloyd Webber’s epic musical Evita, in a touring production at the Aronoff Center through March 2. I caught a performance last evening, and it looks great — some epic scenery and excellent choreography. Josh Young as Che is charismatic and strong-voiced in his role as the show’s commentator. Unfortunately, Caroline Bowman’s Eva Perón gets too shrill way too fast and becomes a grasping harpy before there’s a chance to be won over by her Machiavellian charms. As Juan Peron, Sean MacLaughlin looks young and slimy, without the sinister gravitas that the historical figure possessed. That doesn’t leave much opportunity to convey the complex chemistry — passion and manipulation — that bonded them as a political machine. But the tale of the ambitious young woman who rose to the highest levels of power in Argentina then crashed and burned is a memorable modern tragedy, and the show’s rock-opera tunes by Andrew Lloyd Webber will stick in your head. Tickets: 513-621-ARTS.

Cincinnati Shakespeare is keeping the cast of its recent production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet intact with its current production of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. This time around, it’s the story of Hamlet’s college buddies Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who move from Shakespeare’s sidelines to Stoppard’s center stage. In this classic 1967 script, the pawns become the central characters, while Prince Hamlet, Queen Gertrude, King Claudius, Ophelia and others wander by. The classic tragedy is turned on its head, and it becomes an existential tragedy for two guys who everyone has a hard time telling apart. Through March 9. Tickets: 513-381-2273.

The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s production of Amy Herzog’s Pulitzer Prize finalist script, 4000 Miles, is onstage at the Shelterhouse Theatre. It’s about a 91-year-old grandmother and her 21-year-old grandson bridging a giant generation gap and finding that they actually have a lot in common. Through March 9. Tickets: 513-421-3888. 

It’s the final weekend for several shows that have been pleasing audiences. Nina Raine’s Tribes at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati was originally scheduled to close last Sunday, but to meet ticket demand for the show about coping with deafness — and contentious families — ETC added performances through Saturday. (CityBeat review here.) Tickets: 513-421-3555. … A block away at Know Theatre, the off-kilter script by Steve Yockey, Pluto, winds up on Saturday, too. It’s about dealing with tragedy and grief, told in an inventive, sometimes even humorous, manner. Two of Cincinnati’s finest actors — Annie Fitzpatrick and Tori Wiggins — are in this one, making it very watchable. (CityBeat review here.) Tickets: 513-300-5669 … For the younger set, this weekend offers the final public performance, Saturday at 2 p.m., of Children’s Theatre’s Pinkalicious at the Taft. It’s the story of a girl who can’s stop eating pink cupcakes. Tickets: 800-745-3000.

And here’s a tip for Monday evening: Dayton native Daniel Beaty, who pleased a lot of Playhouse patrons last season with his tour-de-force one-man show, Through the Night, will be in town for a one-night performance to promote his new book, Transforming Pain to Power. His performance (6:30 p.m. in the Marx Theatre) and the book signing afterward in the Rosenthal Plaza) are free, but you need to make a reservation with the Playhouse box office: 513-421-3888.

 
 
by Mike Breen 02.21.2014 62 days ago
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Festivals at 07:27 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Bunbury Music Festival Makes Lineup Announcement

Flaming Lips, Foxy Shazam and more announced for Cincinnati music fest this summer

Last night, music fans at venues in four cities around the region (Newport, Columbus, Indianapolis and Lexington) got a sneak peek at some of the artists slated to appear at this year’s Bunbury Music Festival, which returns to Cincinnati’s riverfront parks July 11-13. 

Last night, fans at the launch events tweeted out some of the lineup as it was announced (and some smart ass started a fast-spreading rumor that Vampire Weekend was playing; they are not). This morning, the lineup was released to the general public. It was previously announced that Fall Out Boy, Paramore and New Politics would be bringing their summer tour to Bunbury; those groups are scheduled to play the fest on July 12. 


Here are the local and national artists that will be joining them at Bunbury’s third annual event (an additional headliner will be announced soon):


The Flaming Lips

Young the Giant

Fitz and the Tantrums

Veruca Salt

ZZ Ward

Holy Ghost!

Cults

Heartless Bastards

Foxy Shazam

Andrew W.K. 

Robert DeLong 

Caspian

Mystery Skulls

Wild Cub

Morning Parade

Kishi Bashi

Bear Hands

The Orwells

Red Wanting Blue

Snowmine

Saintseneca

The Lighthouse and the Whaler

Hundred Waters

Fly Golden Eagle

Meg Myers

The Pass

Jesse Thomas

Jane Decker

Lamps and Voids

The Monument

Family and Friends

James Gilmore

psychodots

Molly Sullivan

Goldwing

Kelly Thomas

Motherfolk

Let It Happen

Black Owls

Kopecky Family Band

Syd Arthur

Bad Suns

G.Miles and the Hitmen

Brent James & the Vintage Youth

The Fanged Robot

Marc Scibilia 

The Upset Victory

Royal Teeth

The Bonesetters

J. Roddy Walston & The Business

Clairaudients

Pluto Revolts

X Ambassadors 

Lily & Madeleine

Brick + Mortar

The Yugos

Modoc

The Ceremonies

Kim Taylor

Young Heirlooms

Hunter Hunted

Miner

Yellow Paper Planes

The Easthills

Night Riots

Big Fresh

Lydia Loveless

Austin Livingood

Aaron Lee Tasjan

Eva Ross

Russell Howard

Here Among the Mountains

Crass Mammoth

Bronze Radio Return

Daniel in Stereo


Today is the last day to buy Bunbury tickets at their current rate; the prices increase at midnight. Right now, $130 gets you a three-day pass ($325 if you’d like the VIP experience) and one-day tickets are $55. 

 
 
by Maija Zummo 02.20.2014 63 days ago
Posted In: Food news, Events at 03:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
ryan talking at table

Ryan Santos of Please to Speak at Next Creative Mornings

Santos discusses the topic of rebellion at the free monthly breakfast lecture series

CreativeMornings, the free monthly breakfast lecture series, offers cities around the world a chance to celebrate their local creative communities and create a space for like-minded individuals to gather and discuss — and have breakfast. CreativeMornings/Cincinnati is one of more than 68 chapters, spread across the globe.


"Every month, we’re challenged to pick a speaker that can address our global theme," CreativeMornings/Cincinnati organizer Jeremy Thobe says via email. "We have a wonderful team of volunteers that are always keeping an eye out for our next speaker, and since we're inherently community driven, we often get suggestions from our friends, colleagues and attendees. Our events are for people like us, so we start by looking for people we find really interesting and build our list from there. We have so many talented people in our community and there’s never a shortage of people we’d love to hear from."

Their next event on Friday, Feb. 28, will feature Ryan Santos of Please. "Those familiar with Ryan know him from Please and his pop-up dinners, which have been a huge success in Cincinnati. But this month, we'll get more of a behind-the-scenes story," Thobe says. "I don’t want to give too much away, but attendees will get to hear the path Ryan has taken to be where he is today and how he challenges himself to stay successful and stay hungry for the future."

The theme for Friday's lecture — the organization's 12th — is "rebel." All CreativeMornings events are free and open to the public and include coffee and breakfast from sponsors. Speakers present for 20 minutes, after which the floor is opened for questions. Past speakers have included Todd Henry of Accidental Creative, Santa Ono from the University of Cincinnati, Chris Glass of Wire & Twine and, most recently, Tommy Rueff of Happen Inc. Each event is filmed, so if there's an event you want to make but can't, you can see past presentations on creativemornings.com

Feb. 28th's event will be held from 8:30-10 a.m. at POSSIBLE, 302 W. Third St., Suite 900, Downtown. Registration opens Monday, Feb. 24, at 11 a.m. Learn more at creativemornings.com/talks/ryan-santos. And read CityBeat's June 2013 profile of Santos here.


 
 
by German Lopez 02.20.2014 63 days ago
Posted In: News, Economy at 11:26 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
income inequality

Income Inequality Rises in Ohio

Ohio fares better than other states, national average

Income inequality vastly grew in Ohio and other states between 1979 and 2011, but Ohio actually fared better than most other states, according to a Feb. 19 report from the Economic Policy Institute and the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN).

Ohio’s top 1 percent saw their inflation-adjusted income grow by roughly 70 percent between 1979 and 2011, according to Policy Matters Ohio’s analysis of the report. During the same time period, the bottom 99 percent actually saw their income drop by nearly 8 percent.

Still, Ohio’s income gap isn’t as bad as states like New York and Connecticut, where the top 1 percent make roughly 40 times as much as the bottom 99 percent.

In Ohio, the top 1 percent’s average income in 2011 was 18.1 times greater than the 99 percent’s average income, below the U.S. average of 24.4.

The findings show a trend reversal in incomes in Ohio and the rest of the nation. Between the late 1920s and mid-1970s, the income gap generally narrowed. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the wealthiest began outpacing the rest of the country.

“The levels of inequality we are seeing across the country provide more proof that the economy is not working for the vast majority of Americans and has not for decades,” Keystone Research Center economist Mark Price said in a statement. “It is unconscionable that most of America’s families have shared in so little of the country’s prosperity over the last several decades.”

Economists on both sides of the political spectrum blame various issues for rising income inequality, including the rise of globalization, poorly structured trade treaties, the loss of manufacturing jobs, the inflation-adjusted fall of the minimum wage, the United States’ weak social safety net and the stagnant economy.

In Cincinnati, the effects of income inequality are felt on a neighborhood level. While some local neighborhoods fall below a median family income of $20,000 per year, various neighborhoods’ median family incomes top $100,000 per year.

The massive income gap correlates with the city’s 20-year disparity in neighborhood life expectancies. In impoverished neighborhoods like Lower Price Hill, residents can expect to live to their mid-60s. In wealthy neighborhoods like Mount Adams, the average life expectancy is in the mid-80s.

Given the results, some advocates say its time to adopt a new nationwide approach to the economy.

“It’s clear that policies were set to favor the one percent and those policies can, and should, be changed,” EARN Director Doug Hall said in a statement. “In order to have widespread income growth, bold policies need to be enacted to increase the minimum wage, create low levels of unemployment, and strengthen the rights of workers to organize.”

 
 
by Nick Grever 02.20.2014 63 days ago
Posted In: Music News, Live Music at 10:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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'McClainica' to Benefit Family of Late Local Musician

The Greater Cincinnati Punk Rock scene gathers for a memorial/benefit in honor of Dave McClain

In November 2013, Cincinnati’s Punk Rock scene lost one of their own when Dave McClain, a former member of several local outfits (including Martin Luther and the Kings and The Zvills), passed away. On that November night, a wife lost her husband, children lost their father and an entire music scene lost a brother. So they've rallied to raise money the best way they know how — by putting together an amazing live music and art event to honor McClain’s memory.

On Friday night, Cincy punks will take over Newport's Southgate House Revival for McClainica, a one night celebration of McClain’s life and legacy, as well as a fundraiser for McClain’s wife and children. Cincinnati Punk Rock has stepped up to stuff the lineup with performances by Martin Luther and the Kings, The Zvills, Rev. Fear and the Nightmares, The Nothing and Total Dudes. Many of McClain’s friends and former bandmates will be on the stage to honor his memory, making for performances that are sure to be intense and memorable.

McClain was known for having a big heart and several local artists have responded in kind. The show will also feature a silent art auction with work of all mediums and the offerings are more than just fine art. If you’ve ever been in the market for a Punk Rock quilt for example, McClainica will have one up for grabs. (Here are some samples of the artwork that will be available at the show.)

McClain’s loss affected many people; he was loved by all those who knew him. But with this show, his friends and family are trying to preserve McClain’s memory and celebrate his life. And they’d like to share that with all who attend.

All proceeds from the show and art auction will go straight to McClain’s family, so the art and music will come with a side of warm and fuzzies. The show starts at 9 p.m. and tickets are $10.


 
 
by German Lopez 02.20.2014 63 days ago
Posted In: News, Parking, Economy, Voting at 10:02 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
news parking

Morning News and Stuff

Parking debate continues, mayors work to bring manufacturing, voting bills pass legislature

City Council watered down Mayor John Cranley’s parking plan to just two proposals: upgrading parking meters and increased enforcement. Council and public opposition ultimately proved too much for increasing neighborhood rates and expanded evening hours at major hubs. The changes mean less revenue for the city but reduced parking costs for residents. Still, with the parking plan changing almost daily, it’s unclear whether the current iteration will be the final proposal that the Neighborhood Committee and City Council ultimately pass.

Compare: Cranley’s original parking plan versus the parking privatization plan.

Meanwhile, Xerox, the private operator that took over Cincinnati’s parking meters in the parking privatization plan, proposed its own version of a parking plan in which the company manages parking meters while City Council retains control over setting hours, rates and enforcement. Xerox says its plan will generate more revenue. But Cranley rejected Xerox’s plan weeks ago.

Commentary: “County Should Accept Responsible Bidder Law.”

Cranley yesterday announced he’s partnering with Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley to get a share of $1.3 billion in federal funds that would help attract manufacturing. The two cities will compete as one community for the federal Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership. The competition’s 12 winners will each receive part of the $1.3 billion pot. Even if Cincinnati and Dayton don’t win, Cranley said the competition will at least get them thinking about working together as a community for manufacturing jobs.

The Republican-controlled Ohio legislature yesterday approved controversial election bills that reduce the state’s early voting period by one week and restrict counties’ abilities to mail out unsolicited absentee ballot applications. Democrats say the measures are meant to suppress voters, but Republicans argue the changes are supposed to set uniform standards across the state. At least one top Ohio Republican previously admitted the measures were supposed to suppress voters, particularly “the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine.” Gov. John Kasich is now the only person that stands between the bill becoming law.

The city plans to undertake a pothole-fixing blitz in March.

The Greater Cincinnati Port Authority will begin its 14-neighborhood rehabilitation plan in Evanston, where the agency will target about 100 properties.

With a “virtual online menu” and access to vocational education in the seventh grade, Gov. Kasich says he wants to get Ohio students planning their careers much earlier.

The Ohio House approved a plan that will give schools four more calamity days — more popularly known as “snow days” — for the current school year. The bill now heads to the Ohio Senate and Kasich.

U.S. Sen Sherrod Brown wants to close a loophole in Medicare that costs seniors thousands of dollars in unexpected medical bills.

Quinnipiac University’s most recent poll found Ohioans would choose Hillary Clinton over Kasich and other Republicans for president.

Whooping cough appears to be evolving in response to its vaccine.

Follow CityBeat on Twitter:
• Main: @CityBeatCincy
• News: @CityBeat_News
• Music: @CityBeatMusic
• German Lopez: @germanrlopez

Got any news tips? Email them to glopez@citybeat.com.
 
 
by Maija Zummo 02.19.2014 64 days ago
Posted In: Events, News, fundraising at 03:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
harkins_family

Coffee Scene Unites to Help Injured Barista

Coffee scene continues to raise funds for friend/Red River Gorge fall survivor

In January, Deeper Roots Coffee Roasters held a fundraising event for BLOC Coffee Company manager Rhett Harkins, who fell 60 feet while hiking in Red River Gorge in December. It took 20 men and eight hours to get Harkins out alive. He has since undergone multiple surgeries and is recovering well, but he can't work and his medical bills are mounting. Which is why Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky's speciality coffee shops are rallying around Harkins to raise money to offset his medical costs. 

Deeper Roots' December Latte Art Throwdown fundraiser pulled together 16 baristi from 16 different shops in Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus and Northern Kentucky. Harkins judged the event, which raised $1,700 to help cover the costs of his ambulance transportation, from his wheelchair.

Now, Justin Carabello, owner of Carabello Coffee of Newport, Ky., has coordinated an effort with six local shops to serve and sell a special roast called “Restore Coffee” that will benefit the Harkins family through the month of February. The roast is a Sumatra Natural Wahana and is available at Collective Espresso, Rohs Street CaféBLOC Coffee Company, Hilltop Cafe, Velocity Bike & Bean, Missio Dei Church and Carabello

“I am amazed at how quick the other shop owners have been willing to jump on board with this idea," Carabello says. "Let's face it, we are all using different roasters in our shops, so, doing this is far from normal. But we all love Rhett, and the idea here is a simple one: Our friend is hurt and we want to do something to help him. This is what communities do, and I believe that the silver lining in all of this is that Rhett’s suffering has helped us all take a step toward unifying this community.”   

Through February, you can walk into any of the aforementioned coffee shops and buy a cup or a bag of Restore Coffee to benefit the family. The blend is also available on Carabello Coffee's website


 
 
by Jac Kern 02.19.2014 64 days ago
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Culture at 03:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Miley Cyrus kicked off her Bangerz tour in expected fashion: with a mini-Britney, a gigantic phallic hot dog, the return of the infamous foam finger and Miley entering the stage via a giant Miley head, sliding down a giant Miley tongue. Here’s a look at this recent performance of “Party in the USA,” basically a children’s patriotic school play, if said children drank a bathtub full of molly-laced Kool-Aid first.

Side note: This is what U.S. History class will look like in 2064.


We’re more than halfway through the Olympics and the U.S. is currently in third place for medal standings with 23 medals —the most decorated country at this point.

There have been some ups and downs: Superstars Shaun White and Shani Davis failed to attain medals and other U.S. favorites scored much lower than expected. But history was made with Charlie White and Meryl Davis winning the first U.S. gold in Olympic ice dancing; bobsledder Steven Holcomb again broke a 62-year losing streak for the States (he and Steve Langton won bronze in the two-man race, medaling for the first time since 1952; Holcomb in 2010 also led his four-man sled team to the country’s first medal in that event in 62 years); and the U.S. commanded the podium for men’s ski slopestyle as Americans Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper took home the gold, silver and bronze, respectively.

The best spectacle came on the ice rink, though. Is that any surprise? With music, dancing and sparkly costumes, the other sports just don’t compete when it comes to entertainment. Retired ice princess Johnny Weir hasn’t missed a step with his flawless looks while providing figure skating commentary for NBC — Gawker has been on Weir Watch, documenting his sassiest ensembles and accessories.

Is anyone else kicking themselves for having just discovered Russian skating god Evgeni Plushenko? The highly decorated figure skater embarked on his fourth Olympics in Sochi this year after undergoing surgery on his spine in early 2013. Plush won Russia’s first gold at the games, competing in two team events before kicking off the figure skating short program. Sadly — and right after NBC aired an amazing reel on Plush and his very interesting history — the skater injured himself during practice, just before he was about to compete. Plush withdrew from the event, retiring from his sport effective immediately.

So this kind of thing happens all the time with athletes who push their bodies to the limit. But Plushenko is more than just a talented skater. He was a presence — with “top three in Russian woman” wife — as this now-viral showcase (aka not a competition) performance proves.

And finally we have The Faces of Figure Skating, which pretty much speaks for itself.

This dude is a dead-ringer for David Wain seeing a pair of boobs for the first time.

You know that Crystal Head vodka that comes in a cool glass skull? Well, fun fact, Dan Aykroyd founded the company, and some scientists created a face based on the “skull’s” dimension. Here’s what it would look like if the Crystal Head was a real guy:

Jimmy Fallon took over The Tonight Show hosting duties Monday and it’s already clear fans of his Late Night jokes, skits and recurring bits can expect just about the same from his new show and time slot. A cavalcade of celebrities welcomed Fallon on Monday, with Lindsay Lohan, Rudy Giuliani, Lady Gaga and other famous New Yorkers paying up as if they lost a bet that he’d never take over Tonight. Fallon’s first guest was Will Smith who, along with Jimmy, schooled us on the Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing. I also finally discovered that The Roots, when introducing Fallon, aren’t just yelling random numbers (I thought they were area code shout outs?), which became clear when ?uestlove enthusiastically shouted, “One!” at the start of the first show.

Fallon’s gonna kill it. So it’s definitely appropriate that his original Saturday Night Live audition tape is making its rounds. Spoiler Alert: Jimmy is a baby and auditioning for SNL appears to be the most terrifying experience ever.

 
 

 

 

Latest Blogs
 
by Maija Zummo 04.24.2014 11 hours ago
Posted In: Food news, Cincinnati, Events at 03:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
eats_ei8htballbrewery_taylorstanley

New Riff Distillery Hosts Bourbon and Game Tasting

The new distillery hosts a tasting event with chef David Cook

New Riff Distilling, the new distillery near the Party Source (24 Distillery Way, Bellevue, newriffdistilling.com), is hosting a tasting dinner with chef David Cook of Daveed's NEXT.

The Spirits for Wild Game tasting event features craft beer from Ei8ght Ball Brewing, bourbon and wine selections paired with wild game hors d'oeuvres. Chef David Cook will prepare wild-caught fish and game, including rarely available woodcock and doves, that fishers and hunters from the Gilbert Symons Chapter of the Ruffled Grouse Society have donated. 

New Riff urban distillery focuses on continuing the long tradition of bourbon excellence in Kentucky. In a press release, oner Ken Lewis says, “The new distillery will allow us to celebrate our state’s heritage, while producing a world-class product and visitor experience that will only enhance the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region as a travel destination. We’ve done everything possible to ensure that our distillery will be top-notch; we like to call it Kentucky URBAN Whiskey, a new taste on the long standing tradition of bourbon.”   

Although the first batch of New Riff bourbon won't be available for years, the distillery hosts daily tours, events and more; it's also an official stop on the Craft Bourbon Trail.

Tickets for the evening are $75 per person and include tastings and hors d'oeuvres. 6-9 p.m. newriffdistilling.com.

 
 
by Maija Zummo 04.24.2014 11 hours ago
Posted In: Beer, Alcohol, Events at 03:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
cbevents_thetapthatbrewtour_full

Tap That Brew Tour

CityBeat hosts an a bussed brewery tour

CityBeat hosts an afternoon of drinking and not driving. Start at one of the participating breweries — Rhinegeist, Listermann Brewing Company, Ei8ht Ball Brewing, Christian Moerlein or MadTree — and then hop on a shuttle to the next one. After you’ve visited each, hop back on the shuttle to be driven to your starting location. Tickets include beer at each brewery, a custom CityBeat Tap That growler, lunch from Tom+Chee and shuttle rides. 


Noon-6 p.m. $40. citybeat.com
 
 
by Maija Zummo 04.24.2014 17 hours ago
at 10:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
maurys tiny cove

Maury's Tiny Cove Celebrates 65 Years

House party and auction at the West Side staple

Maury's Tiny Cove, everyone's favorite (and the oldest) steakhouse on the West Side, celebrates 65 years Sunday with an open house party and auction.

Founded in 1949 by Maurice Bibent, the steakhouse maintains it's mid-century vibe: low lights, deep red booths, dark wood and great martinis. The menu focuses on hand-cut steaks, baby back ribs and fish plus pastas and more.

Doors open at 2 p.m. for complimentary appetizers and full drink service, plus opening bidding until 5:30 p.m. during a silent auction of Maury's memorabilia that will no longer be on display. The open house continues until 9 p.m. and all money goes to future improvements and renovations to the Cincinnati landmark.

(If you haven't been to Maury's, now is the time to go — especially because Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara recently filmed scenes from the upcoming movie Carol at the restaurant.)

3908 Harrison Ave., Cheviot, maurys-steakhouse.com.
 
 
by Maija Zummo 04.24.2014 17 hours ago
Posted In: Food news, Events at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
dining out for life

Dining Out for Life 2014

Fight AIDS by dining out at your favorite restaurants on April 24

Dining Out For Life is an annual event to raise funds for licensed AIDS service agencies in 60 cities across the nation. Started in 1991 by ActionAIDS in Philadelphia, today more than 3,000 restaurants donate a portion of their proceeds from one day to the aforementioned service agencies; more than $4 million is raised each year which goes directly to the agencies (except for a $1,150 licensing fee). 


Cincinnati's Dining Out For Life event benefits Caracole, a nonprofit that provides housing and supportive services to individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS in eight counties across Southwest Ohio. Caracole currently serves more than 1,400 clients and their families.


Area restaurants participating include Arnold's Bar & Grill (donating 25 percent); Below Zero Lounge (donating 100 percent); Blue Jay Restaurant (donating 25 percent); Green Dog Cafe (donating 25 percent); Kitchen 452 (donating 25 percent); Tom+Chee (donating 25 percent); and more. Find a full list of participating restaurants and how much they're donating here.


Dining Out For Life is easy. Just follow three steps:

  1. Choose a participating restaurant.
  2. Gather a group of friends and call ahead to make a reservation. Be sure to mention you're with Dining Out For Life®.
  3. Dine out on Thursday, April 24th and enter for a chance to win fabulous prizes. Restaurants will list what time of day they're participating in fundraising.

If you would like to participate or would like more information, please contact Megan Green, Caracole Community Investment Coordinator, at 513-619-1483 or at mgreen@caracole.org.

 
 
by Mike Breen 04.23.2014 38 hours ago
Posted In: Music News, Local Music, New Releases at 01:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Musicians’ Desk Reference Switches Format, Offers Free Trial

Locally-created music industry e-guidebook goes the monthly subscription route

After launching last year locally at the MidPoint Music Festival and nationally at New York’s CMJ conference, the intuitive and comprehensive music industry e-book Musicians’ Desk Reference has relaunched with a new format. Created in Cincinnati by longtime local musician and promoter Brian Penick (also the founder of The Counter Rhythm Group, which has helped numerous local acts garner national attention and work), MDR is moving from its original, one-time-purchase approach to a monthly (or annual) subscription plan. 

(Penick wrote guest blogs for CityBeat as he put the project together. For a more comprehensive MDR overview, click here and here. Billboard magazine has also given the project lots of love.)

For those who may have been cautious about its upfront cost, Musicians’ Desk Reference, which is customizable to the user’s needs (no matter where they are in their career) and features information, templates and advice relating to everything from touring, promoting and recording to radio and press campaigns and well beyond, is now available to test-drive for free. The no-cost 30-day trial doesn’t even require a credit card; click here to get started

Artists serious about pursuing a career in music will likely become more interested in MDR as they dive in and look at all it has to offer. After the 30-day trial, MDR can be accessed for $10 a month or $100 for the year. 

Visit musiciansdeskreference.com for complete info. 

 
 
by Jac Kern 04.23.2014 40 hours ago
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Humor, Movies at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

I’m a huge fan of locally-produced commercials-gone-viral. Cincinnati’s Fick Chiropractic Centers current ad might not be up there with Jamie Casino, but it does feature a killer beat that deserves some attention.

Is anyone else just tickled by the concept of a local doctor employing a beatmaker for a commercial? It totally caught me off guard while watching Fox 19 Morning News (aka the Jacki Jing Variety Hour — bitch has more devoted fans than Lady Gaga, just peep their posts on her Facebook page. Locals — including my boyfriend — are totally enamored by her beautiful glamour shots, bubbly attitude and penchant for cosplay. How are the rest of us supposed to compete, Jacki?!).

Are you sick of Beyoncé yet? Trick question: If you answered “Yes,” please get out of here immediately. NO ONE is sick of Beyoncé ever, in fact, parody videos and choreographed routines to her songs are still pouring out of the woodwork four months after the release of her self-titled album. The latest tribute of note comes from self-proclaimed “star on the rise” Chanel Carroll, who’s serving up student loan realness in her take on “Partition” called “Tuition.” ‘Cause we all just want live that debt-free life.

Everything about this is flawless, from her JLo-circa-2000 vibe to the clip art to the cameo by Ashley from Sallie Mae. I would crown her as winner of the Internet for the week, but she shares the title with this dude who’s been reviewing fast food and other grub from his car since 2012. Check out one of Daym Drops’ most popular videos, featuring Five Guys Burgers and Fries.

I want this guy to narrate my life or at least read my eulogy because dude describes a plain drive-thru burger with the eloquence of a poetic preacher. And of course there’s a musical remix. OH MY DAYUM!

Avril Lavigne continues her assault on our earholes with the confusing, excruciating “Hello Kitty.” The Canadian singer responsible for 80 percent of ties bought by young women in 2002 apparently has a massive Asian following, but the Japanime-style video is more of a cringe-worthy misstep than cultural tribute. Hey white pop stars, stop using Asian women (or any women for that matter) as props!

Lily Allen, another 2000s pop relic, is also coming out with new music and a record that automatically gets my support by taking a dig at Kanye West. Sheezus drops next month; the album’s titular new single is a total lady anthem with praise for the Lorde and rhymes about…periods. Whatever, I’m digging it.

This week in movie remake fuckery: A Mrs. Doubtfire sequel is in the works, because nothing from your childhood is sacred! Mara Wilson, who starred as the youngest child in the film (as well as Matilda in the ‘90s Roald Dahl film adaptation) revealed on social media that she wouldn’t be a part of it, as she’s been out of the acting game for several years — which, according to over-each headlines, translated into Wilson “slamming” the sequel, making the private former child actor a trending topic. While we may never see a grown-up Natalie Hillard or Matilda 2 (thank sheezus), you can enjoy Wilson’s musings on her blog. And just because: Mrs. Doubtfire as a horror film.

Also, Goonies 2 is also officially a go. Thanks, Spielberg.

Hey, that’s not Pit Bull, it’s Amy Poehler!

Orange Is The New Black  is back on Netflix for a second season June 6 and the new trailer is here. The whole gang’s back, with a few additions, but the lingering question remains: Where is Pennsatucky?!

It was recently reported that Laura Prepon signed on for Season Three as rumors circulate about her being the future ex-wife of Tom Cruise. This is what I like to call Scientology Sads: When you think you like someone — a famous person, obviously, because the group might as well be called Celebentology — but it turns out they’re a Scientologist. Such a shame.

 
 
by Anthony Skeens 04.22.2014 58 hours ago
Posted In: Mayor, News at 04:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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New Bikeway Proposal Could Cost Additional $110,000

Vice Mayor Mann set to introduce motion to save parking spaces

The city’s cost of a long-planned piece of cycling infrastructure could more than double if City Council approves a motion Vice Mayor David Mann planned to introduce on April 23. 

Mayor John Cranley successfully paused the Central Parkway Bikeway Project for public discourse in response to a handful of business owners and residents taking exception to it, and a spokesman for Mann shared his suggested compromise with CityBeat today.

In response to an April 21 special Neighborhoods Committee meeting, Mann seeks to alter the bike route to appease people who don’t want to see parking spaces removed, but the updated plan will cost an additional $110,00 on top of the $82,600 the city would pay under the original plan, which would create the beginning of a cycling corridor running from Elm Street downtown to Ludlow Avenue in Clifton. The project was supposed to break ground next month and could lose $330,400 in federal money if the contract isn’t awarded by May 1. 

“We routinely spend hundreds of thousands of dollars as a city to create new jobs in our community,” Mann said in a statement. “We should not approve a new project that places 60 newly created jobs in jeopardy when such a sensible accommodation is available.”

The planned bikeway is an innovative piece of cycling infrastructure meant to better protect cyclists along a critical thoroughfare that would connect a number of inner-city neighborhoods and business districts. The lane will be protected, meaning cyclists will have their own lane with a buffer separating them from traffic; in some areas plastic bollards will separate the bike and automobile lanes. The street will not be widened, so traffic lanes will be impacted through restriping, and parking will be restricted during peak traffic hours in the morning and evening. 

Opponents of the project are concerned about losing public, on-street parking for parts of the day as well as potentially encountering traffic issues from shaving lanes from Brighton Place to Liberty Street. They also worry the bollards will become a blight issue and emergency vehicles will be impeded during one-lane hours.

Mann’s motion supports an alternative plan for a section running from Ravine Street to Brighton Place that would preserve 23 parking spaces full-time, alter 4,300 square feet of greenspace and remove 15 trees at an estimated cost of $110,000. The parking spaces would benefit a building owner and his tenants at 2145 Central Parkway. 

City Councilman Chris Seelbach and others demonstrated frustration with the administration’s interest in stepping in at the 11th hour. 

“I think we have reached a new era in Cincinnati: two steps forward, pause, lots of long meetings, two steps forward, and I’m convinced after the pause and lots of long meetings, we will continue to go two steps forward today,” Seelbach said at the April 21 meeting. 

Mayor Cranley requested City Manager Scott Stiles delay awarding a contract after meeting with local business owner Tim Haines, who purchased a vacant building located at 2145 Central Parkway in 2012 for $230,000. His building now houses 65 employees from 12 different businesses including his own, Relocation Strategies. Haines has become a mouthpiece for the opposition to the bikeway — though he adamantly states he is not against the lane; he is just against the project’s current incarnation as it affects Central Parkway near his business, which utilizes 500 feet of on-street, unmetered parking, which translates to 30 parking spaces.

“If parking wasn’t an issue, I would open up my arms and welcome the bike path,” Haines says. “Parking for my 65 tenants is in jeopardy. As a business owner I have to fight for my tenants. … Could they park and walk a quarter of a mile? They could, but that’s not what they signed up for when they moved in.”

Haines has a 16-space parking lot adjacent to his building that some of his tenants use and also owns a parking lot across the street that is in disrepair. Haines says he already cleared it of underbrush to cut down criminal activity and disposed of dozens of tires and beer bottles. He says it would cost up to $300,000 to upgrade the lot. 

During the April 21 presentation, Department of Transportation and Engineering (DOTE) Director Michael Moore presented the committee with an alternative recently developed with Cranley’s office that he said would appease Haines and his tenants but would cost more money. Moore pushed the notion that the alternative creates a more balanced bikeway plan.

The original plan, passed by council last year, restricts parking in front of Haines’ building from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Moore’s alternative, which Mann is on board with, is to ramp the bike lane over the curb adjacent to a sidewalk where there is currently a tree-lined area in front of Haines’ building and another business in order to preserve public parking full-time. 

At the meeting, council member Young took exception to the suggestion of changing the project at this point.  

“For the life of me, I don’t see where the reasonableness and the balance is with people who come so far after the fact that want us to make these changes and the dollar amount it’s going to cost the taxpayers to get it done,” Young said. “I am appalled that people can come after the fact and tie up all these people down here to simply want accommodations for them.”

Mann shared another perspective.

“There’s a gentleman who has brought 60 jobs to the city, including some folks who have Parkinson’s and use the building, and the proposal that’s being made seems to me to represent balance,” Mann said. “We spend millions of dollars, typically, to support development, to support jobs, and you’re saying that the proposal that was originally approved by this council without a hearing like this is so pristine that it cant be adjusted in any way, and if it’s adjusted that is a statement of imbalance? I just don’t follow that.”

For the past year and a half, DOTE conducted surveys, sought public input and developed plans for the bikeway. After a strong consensus, the department chose the protected bikeway plan. The bikeway is estimated to add just three seconds of motorist commute time by 2030, though some naysayers suggest that delivery trucks will clog the lanes and the turn left from Ravine Street will create an even longer lag. 

Community outreach for the design began in March of last year with eight community council meetings. Letters were mailed to residents, businesses and property owners, but Haines and several other business owners stated they didn’t receive any and weren’t aware of the project until late last year. 

A website designed for public feedback also garnered about 600 messages mainly supporting the bikeway project. DOTE held an open house last September and the Over-The-Rhine and Northside community councils, Findlay Market and Northside Business Association endorsed the project. 

Simpson expressed frustration with halting progress for a last-minute meeting.

“I don’t think that’s an appropriate process,” she said. “Really, technically you can go over everything over the past two years. The reality is we need to look forward. If we want to be less auto-focused and more focused on other types of transit, we’re going to have to ruffle a couple of feathers.”

Supporters — some who biked to the April 21 meeting and utilized a bike valet setup in front of City Hall — represented various groups of the community from health and community councils to business owners and cyclists. Their number doubled opponents — mainly business owners along Central Parkway in the West End and the West End Community Council, though some West End residents and business owners supported the original bikeway plan.

 
 
by Staff 04.22.2014 60 hours ago
Posted In: Events, Food news, Contest at 02:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
todo_gorman heritage farm overview_image provided by gorman heritage farm

Savor the Season and Chef Competition at Gorman Heritage Farm

Tastings, workshops, cocktails and more

Evendale's Gorman Heritage Farm — a real, working farm — welcomes spring with their second Savor the Season: Farm to Fork Celebration

From 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, May 3, the 122-acre farm (in partnership with Slow Food Cincinnati) will be abuzz with educational and immersive opportunities to learn and taste what spring has to offer. Locavore chefs, like Julie Francis of Nectar and Ryan Santos of Please, will be offering cooking — and tasting — demos using farm-fresh ingredients highlighting the bounty of the season. There will also be workshops on caring for your own backyard chickens, beekeeping, gardening, composting and much more. (Find a full list of workshops here.)

The day wraps up with the “Raid the Garden” chef competition, judged by CityBeat’s own Anne Mitchell, among others. Competing will be Mike Florea of Maribelle's eat + drink, food stylist Mary Seguin, Jaime Carmody of Out of Thyme, Nick Marckwald of Hen of the Woods, Salomon Rabinovich of Gaijin Catering and Karol Osinski of the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati. During the competition, Rhinegeist Brewery have their brew on tap, and everyone's favorite mixologist and author Molly Wellman will be serving garden-good cocktails. You'll also find a food trucks including Dojo Gelato, Panino Food Truck, C'est Cheese and Bistro de Mohr.

And Gorman is a real working farm, that  you — and your little ones — can explore. Space is limited. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, May 3. All-day, all-access pass (includes chef demos, workshops, vendor areas, farm tours and the Raid the Garden competition): $35 adult; $30 child/senior; $30 member adult; $25 member child/senior. Raid the Garden competition only (5-7 p.m.): $10 at the door. Prices go up after May 1.

10052 Reading Road, Glendale, 513-563-6663, gormanfarm.org.

 
 
by Rick Pender 04.18.2014 6 days ago
Posted In: Theater at 11:24 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Stage Door: Weekend Theater Picks

There are several good theater choices south of the Ohio River this weekend.

The theater (and dance) program at Northern Kentucky University presents a truly varied array of programming — this season has included a play by Orson Welles, the legendary musical South Pacific, Shakespeare's As You Like It and more. The academic year's final production Monty Python's Spamalot, opened last evening, and it seems to be a perfect vehicle for a lot of onstage clowning. (In case you haven't been tuned in, the show is subtitled "A musical lovingly ripped off from the motion picture Monty Python and the Holy Grail," and many of the show's most hilarious moments are reproduced wholesale onstage.) But clowning can be serious work, and if you catch NKU's production, pay attention to the choreography (the work of NKU grad Roderick Justice) which is complex, amusing and very well executed by the cast of 25. Director Ken Jones keeps things moving; the actors get into the tomfoolery from start to finish, especially Kat Moser as the diva who's the Lady of the Lake and Bradley Goren as long-suffering Patsy (he's the one who clicks the coconut shells to simulate King Arthur riding on horseback, among other amusing moments). The show is a fine entertainment, if you're a fan of the low but articulate humor of the Python troupe. Through April 27. Tickets ($8-$14): 859-572-5464.

Comedy of an entirely different sort is available at another Kentucky venue, the Carnegie in Covington, where Mary Chase's 1945 Pulitzer Prize winner Harvey is available through April 27. This is a piece of gentle humor from the past, about a slightly off-kilter guy who sees a six-foot-plus rabbit — he calls it a "pooka" — named Harvey, much to the dismay of several family members who are embarrassed by his behavior. Their efforts to get him committed to a local asylum go awry to much merriment and a message about being, well, gentle and sweet. This is good, old-fashioned fun. Tickets: 859-957-1940.

If you prefer a well-written contemporary drama, this weekend is your last chance to see A Delicate Ship at the Cincinnati Playhouse. Anna Ziegler's new show (this is its world premiere) is a memory play that explores an unexpected chain of events triggered by a love triangle. It's beautifully staged by Michael Evan Haney with a cast of three actors who are just right for each of their roles. I gave this one a Critic's Pick when it opened; it's as good as anything I saw recently at the much-respected Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Tickets ($30-$80): 513-421-3888
.

 
 
by Amber Hemmerle 04.18.2014 6 days ago
Posted In: Comedy at 10:38 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Q&A with Rajiv Satyal

Comedian brings his No Man's Land tour to the Aronoff Center Saturday

Comedian Rajiv Satyal was born and bred in Cincinnati — Fairfield to be exact. He’s gone from being an intern on Capitol Hill to brand manager at Procter & Gamble to full-time comedian living in Los Angeles. Satyal has worked with Dave Chappelle, Kevin James, Tim (the tool man) Allen, Kevin Nealon and Russell Peters. Heard of the University of Cincinnati’s Bearcast? He named the school’s radio station-turned-media group. He runs a consulting business called StandPoint Agency and is a regular at all the L.A. comedy clubs, but he got his start at Montgomery’s Go Bananas. Satyal’s unique way of viewing the world continually draws in more fans. He refers to himself as the funny Indian, but he’s really just a funny — and nice — dude from Ohio. Satyal performs his first one-man show No Man’s Land Saturday to a sold-out audience at the Aronoff Center, and he squeezed CityBeat into his schedule for a quick rundown of all things Rajiv.

CityBeat: Since you’re from Cincinnati I have to ask, what high school did you go to?

Rajiv Satyal: Totally fine, a very Cincinnati question, but I went to Fairfield High School and I got an undergrad at the University of Cincinnati in materials engineering.

CB: I read that you worked on Capitol Hill, what did you do there?

RS: I was at the University of Cincinnati at the time and I went out to Capitol Hill to be an intern for a representative, Steve Chabot. So I just worked in the office and it was for fun, I got to live in DC and explore that town and did whatever tasks around the office, but it was mostly getting the feel of Washington.

CB: Do you have a funny family or what sparked your interest in comedy?

RS: Actually I have two brothers and, well, two parents, and everybody has a sense of humor. It was a super fun household to grow up in. We were all pretty positively reinforced, we weren’t really a tough crowd, like, we definitely encouraged each other to say funny things and we laughed a lot. I know a lot of comedians’ families would be like, you know, “boo” or whatever when they told a joke and were a tough crowd, but we were a really good crowd for each other and just kind of encouraged each other to be funny. My brothers and I never really fought a lot growing up, which is so strange, but we all got a long and we had a good time.

(Check out Rajiv’s dad going Bollywood last Monday on The Bob & Tom Show here.)

CB: Does Cincinnati or growing up here inspire any of your stand-ups?

RS: Oh, definitely. I feel like growing up in Ohio, it made me kind of more of an everyman being able to relate to people in the heartland of the country and people who grew up on the coast. I think people on the coast have their own sensibility, but it’s hard to know what works inland. A lot of comedians are like hurricanes; they knock it out on the coast, but when they come inland they die. I feel like being from the Midwest gives me an advantage.

CB: What inspired you to pursue comedy seriously?

RS: When I turned 30 I really flipped out, I was like, ‘Man, I’ve lived in Ohio my whole life and I need to do something different.’ So I left Procter & Gamble and moved to Los Angeles, I was a brand manager at P&G Water for only about 3 months and then I jumped shipped and went into it [comedy] full-time. I guess I felt like I really enjoyed speaking in front of people and I love being funny and those two things lend themselves well to being a famous comic, ya know.

CB: So basically just turning 30 did it for you?

RS: Yeah, I felt like life’s too short and, you know, why do something you don’t want to do? Why not go for it. I guess I thought when I turned 30 I felt like, “Man, I don’t want to turn 40 and watch TV and go, ‘Man I could have done that.’” I think given all the privileges, if I don’t try it…I’m born in the United States, I’m American, I have all these opportunities, it’s the land of opportunity, you got to self-actualize, man, go for it.

CB: How has your comedy evolved from where you first started to now?

RS: I would say that just getting deeper. As comedians do it longer and longer you start to go from jokes to more of a point of view. You start to realize what makes you funny. You have these weird beliefs and you stand out a little bit. You don’t really have to do jokes anymore, you just tell people what you think and they think it’s funny because they are like, ‘Wow, that’s a weird way to look at it.’ Being able to make people laugh at the way you look at the world, I think that’s kind of cool.

CB: Do you have any stories about opening up for or working with various comedians?

RS: I actually opened up Dave Chappelle’s very first show when he came back from Africa in 2005, so that was really cool. I had opened up for him at the University of Cincinnati in 2000 before I even started doing stand-up — I started doing stand-up in 2002. So people in the student senate and student government and programming board at UC were like, ‘Hey, you’re a funny guy, you’ve done a little bit of stand-up, would you want to do?’ So I opened for Dave Chappelle at UC and got booed off the stage in front of all these people. Then five years later I opened Dave Chappelle’s first show when he comes back from Africa and I did really well, I killed and it was really redeeming.

CB: Did he remember you from 2000?

RS: Yeah, he did actually, that’s what’s crazy about it — that he remembered that. It’s funny. He was really encouraging and complimentary. I talked to him for two hours by myself that night in 2005, after we were done, just he and I were in the room and for two hours we were just talking about politics and religion and the world…I know that he was happy that I stuck with it and everything. 

CB: Who would you like to work with in the future that you haven’t worked with?

RS: I would like to work with Bill Burr. He is not an extremely well-known person, but he is a genius and he is from Boston. I think it would be awesome to work with Louis C. K., of course, he is like the biggest guy in comedy right now. I mean, I don’t know, I think Jerry Seinfeld would be pretty awesome. I love Ricky Gervais, I’m a big fan of Ricky Gervais, a guy from England. Chris Rock, I love Chris Rock. I actually met Chris Rock when he performed at Ohio State and I told him someday I am going to open for him and he goes, ‘That would be something man, you never know.’ So I have to make good of my promise. I told him one day I was going to open for him, so I better do.

CB: What kind of topics or themes can audiences expect from No Man’s Land?

RS: It’s mostly about dating and relationships. The central questions of the show are: Why am I single and how would you define manhood in modern society? So I’m a single, 38-year-old man out there trying to figure out the evolution of manhood and what does it mean now, how does the definition of manhood change and I try to define it. It’s not a show about men versus women, it’s a show about men versus guys.

CB: What do you miss most about living in Cincinnati?

RS: Well my family, obviously, my family and my friends. I have a really good friend who lives in Seattle, but he is thinking about moving back here and the only reason is his family; it’s not for the weather, it’s not for a better job and it’s not for anything else other than the fact that his family is here. I think family is a big thing.

CB: I feel like if I moved away I would miss three-ways too much.

RS: I do miss Cincinnati food. I love LaRosa’s, I love Graeters’, I love Skyline and I do love Cincinnati food. You know, there is something about the Midwest. The people are super nice and, you know, just walking down the street you can say hi and the person will say hi back or the person will initiate or whatever — that doesn’t really happen in L.A. as much, at all, and people are not as nearly as friendly as they are here.

CB: What advice do you have for people who are trying to break into the business?

RS: I think they should just start. They need to start…The Internet is such an opportunity to reach the people you want to reach. I think it’s possible more than ever to go down to the local comedy club and enter the open mic night and start. Get to know the people and get up and do it. Write material, start a group up that supports each other. It is difficult, but you know there is a way in. Comedy is more accessible than ever.

Get a glimpse of some of Satyal’s funny stuff here.

 
 
 
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