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by Rick Pender 04.01.2016 54 days ago
Posted In: Theater at 08:26 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
onstage online 3-27 annapurna @ etc - dennis parlato (as ulysses) and regina pugh (as emma) - photo ryan kurtz

Stage Door

Onstage Recommendations: Mormons, Poets, Parents and Children

There’s are some excellent dramatic productions on local stages this weekend, as well as one of Broadway’s biggest, most raucous musical hits.

Let’s start with the hilariously crude Tony winner, The Book of Mormon, in town for a brief one-week run. Even if you don’t have tickets yet (or didn’t think you could afford them), you might try your luck for the lottery with each performance. Leave your name at the Aronoff Center box office beginning two-and-a-half hours before a specific performance; you can request one or two seats. Two hours before the curtain, names are drawn at random for a limited number of $25 tickets. You have to be present for the drawing and show a valid ID. (Be forewarned: There have been as many as 800 entries at some performances.) The final performance is at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.

There is some truly fine acting in Sharr White’s Annapurna at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati. It’s the story of a once-married couple who couldn’t keep it together: Ulysses (Dennis Parlato), a recovering alcoholic who was once an esteemed poet (and a father) is now holed up in a trailer park in the wilds of Colorado. He’s not in a good way, but he’s surprised and none to hospitable when Emma (Regina Pugh), his wife from two decades earlier, shows up. Their encounter and subsequent soul-searching are sardonically comic and tragically poignant, and Parlato and Pugh make these vivid characters all the more human. Through April 10. Tickets: 513-241-3555.

Two excellent productions are onstage at Cincinnati Playhouse. Mothers and Sons by Terrence McNally (in the Shelterhouse) is a very contemporary story about gay marriage, parents and children. Even with the Supreme Court’s approval of marriage equality, there are still a lot of challenges to be faced, and this production, staged by the reliably insightful Timothy Douglas, presents them in some deeply personal ways. Read my review … In a more classic vein, although another story about parents and children, the Playhouse’s moving mainstage production of a theatrical adaptation of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird continues. In fact, it’s been extended a week beyond its initially announced closing, to April 10. That means tickets should be easily available next week. Box Office: 513-421-3888.

SHORT TAKES: A few more choices to consider this weekend: Know Theatre is presenting a Fringe Encore double-bill in Clifton. One production is a solo act, Cody Clark: A Different Way of Thinking, a young man from Louisville who has coped with autism by delving in the performance of magic. The other work is Kevin Crowley’s Hitchhikers May Be Inmates, in a performance featuring the actor-playwright with another respected local performer, Michael Bath. It’s a sarcastic cautionary tale about struggling to maintain sobriety. Both shows will be onstage at Clifton Performance Theatre (404 Ludlow Ave.) tonight and Saturday. Tickets available at the door … George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion is the play Lerner & Loewe musicalized when they created My Fair Lady. Shaw’s script is a more thorny work, but the story is familiar. It’s at Northern Kentucky University’s black box theater through Sunday. Tickets: 859-572-5464 … Stay home and listen to WVXU (FM 91.7) on Saturday evening (8-10 p.m.) for an L.A. Theatre Works radio production of Moisés Kaufman’s excellent drama, Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde … On Monday evening at 7 p.m., the Cincinnati Playhouse wraps up its series of script readings of works by writers whose shows are being produced there this season. This time it’s Theresa Rebeck’s Omnium Gatherum, the story of a surreal dinner party that echoes 9/11 and more. The reading is free, but a reservation is necessary. Box Office: 513-421-3888.


Rick Pender’s STAGE DOOR blog appears here every Friday. Find more theater reviews and feature stories here.

 
 
by Staff 03.31.2016 55 days ago
at 01:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
to-do-3-30---book-of-mormon---monica-l.-patton,-ryan-bondy,-cody-jamison-strand---the-book-of-mormon-(c)-joan-marcus-2016

Your Weekend To Do List

The Book of Mormon, Zoo Blooms, Northside Record Fair, the Opening Day Parade & more

FRIDAY

ONSTAGE: THE BOOK OF MORMON

Back by popular demand, the record-breaking The Book of Mormon endeavors to replicate the hit show from Broadway, where it won nine Tony Awards. This tour takes no shortcuts, with an energetic cast of 30 performing the book, music and lyrics created by South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Robert Lopez, co-creator of Avenue Q. Scott Pask’s vibrant scenic design (piously framed by the outline of the Mormon temple in Salt Lake City) shifts cinematically from a wasted village in Uganda to reverent Biblical scenes to a “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream,” replete with tap-dancing devils. Don’t doubt — just go see The Book of Mormon. You’ll be converted. Through April 3. Tickets start at $44. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, 513-621-2787, cincinnatiarts.org


Photo: Cassandre Crawford
ATTRACTION: ZOO BLOOMS
While the Cincinnati Zoo is known for its diverse collection of animals, it’s also home to one of Ohio’s two accredited botanical gardens. Now is the time to catch the garden at its finest with Zoo Blooms, a display of more than one million tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, flowering trees and shrubs blooming throughout the park. Although these flowers don’t sing like those in Alice in Wonderland, the accompanying Tunes & Blooms series allows guests to check out the fantastic florals after hours with live music from some of Cincinnati’s favorite bands on Thursday evenings; concerts start April 7 with Honey & Houston and Buffalo Wabs & the Price Hill Hustle. Zoo Blooms on display through April. Free with admission; $13-$27. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, cincinnatizoo.org

Circuit des Yeux
Photo: Julia Dratel
MUSIC: CIRCUIT DES YEUX
Circuit des Yeux is the brainchild of singer/songwriter/sound-sculptor Haley Fohr, who began mixing experimental soundscapes and evocative Indie/Psych Folk songs during college in Bloomington, Ind. before moving to Chicago in 2012. Recording and performing exclusively as a solo artist for years, Fohr’s touring isolation and immersion in Chicago’s avant-garde music scene helped open her up to more collaboration, resulting in last year’s striking In Plain Speech, Circuit des Yeux’s first album for Thrill Jockey Records. While still full of mystique and experimentation, the album is Fohr’s most resonant work yet, with her riveting baritone vocals surrounded by Chamber strings and oscillating atmospherics. Circuit des Yeux’s Cincy stop also features Seattle’s Mammifer, local cellist/singer/songwriter Kate Wakefield and a solo set from Tweens’ driving force, Bridget Battle. 10 p.m. Friday. $5. Northside Yacht Club, 4227 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, northsideyachtclub.com

Guillermo Galindo
Photo: Wave Pool
ART: A PURPOSELESS PLAY AT WAVE POOL
A purposeless play is a term the great experimentalist John Cage coined to describe the joy of music, and it’s being used as the title of a Wave Pool exhibit in which Cincinnati artist Mark Harris and San Franciscan Guillermo Galindo display work inspired by Cage’s embrace of the avant-garde in music. The show opens Friday with two performances. At 7 p.m., Harris’ “Messthetics” presentation will involve playing Post-Punk DIY vinyl records. At 8 p.m., Galindo — also a composer — will give a mock medical trial/experiment called “The Primal Acoustics Healing Method” involving sonic therapy. Opening reception 6:30-9:30 p.m. Friday. On view through May 7. Free. 2940 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington, wavepoolgallery.org

Piston Society Grand Opening
Photo: Facebook
EVENT: PISTON SOCIETY GRAND OPENING
Cruise by the grand opening of the new Piston Society motorcycle shop in Over-the-Rhine this April Fools Day. No joke, there will be a 10 percent-off sale Friday and Saturday along with free beer, soda, wine and snacks, plus a Biltwell Gringo helmet up for grabs as a door prize. The urban boutique sells unique riding gear along with local goods and offers a variety of motorcycles and urban scooters for rent — they’ll even design the perfect route for you to explore. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Free. 1428 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, pistonsociety.com.

Artwork: Sophie Neslund
ART: UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI DAAP MASTERS OF ART THESIS EXHIBIT AT THE CAC
As the only local art school that offers an advanced degree in Fine Art, the University of Cincinnati’s School of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning’s MFA program has long been part and parcel of the area’s arts scene. Several years ago, the CAC began exhibiting the thesis work of DAAP MFA grads — a demonstration of commitment by an art institution that in the past had struggled with engaging the city’s artistic community, but now models collaboration over competition, a refreshing and needed change of pace. On Friday, 15 soon-to-be graduate artists will exhibit their thesis artwork inside the only museum in town that was built expressly for showing and fostering the work of living artists. Opening reception 6-10 p.m. Friday. On view through April 17. Free. Contemporary Arts Center, 44 E. Sixth St., Downtown, contemporaryartscenter.org.


SATURDAY

Northside Record Fair
EVENT: NORTHSIDE RECORD FAIR

The Northside Record Fair brings vinyl nerds together to buy, sell, trade and geek out. Hundreds of collectors and vendors from across the Midwest will gather to hawk thousands of records, CDs, cassettes, 8-tracks, reel-to-reels, posters, concert DVDs, zines and other music memorabilia. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. $5; $10 early-bird 10 a.m. entry. Northside Presbyterian Church, 4222 Hamilton Ave., Northside, northsiderecordfair.com

Over the Moon Vintage Market
EVENT: OVER THE MOON VINTAGE MARKET SPRING SHOW
Whether your decorating style is Parisian, shabby chic, industrial, bohemian, prairie or rusty, Over the Moon Vintage Market has something for you. The market’s 35-plus vendors sell vintage, new and upcycled items, including furniture, décor and artisan jewelry for designers, vintage fashionistas, DIY experts and repurposers alike. 4-9 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Free admission. Lawrenceburg Fairgrounds, U.S. 50 and Hollywood Blvd., Lawrenceburg, Ind., facebook.com/overthemoonvintagemarket

State Roadway Cleanup
Photo: Provided
GET INVOLVED: STATE ROADWAY CLEANUP
Join forces with Keep Cincinnati Beautiful to give some of the city’s dirtiest roadways a much-needed makeover. The nonprofit’s annual State Roadway Cleanup brings hundreds of volunteers together to pick up litter along Interstates 71 and 75. Keep Cincinnati Beautiful hopes that keeping these heavily traveled highways clean will make a positive impression on visitors and encourage them to “live, work and play” in Cincinnati. Volunteers will be divided into groups and assigned to specific portions of the highways, including entrance and exit ramps. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. Free; online registration required. Meet at the Ohio Department of Transportation, 1400 Seymour Ave., Downtown, keepcincinnatibeautiful.org

Black Tusk
Photo: Geoff Johnson
MUSIC: BLACK TUSK
Savannah, Ga. is well-known for its rich Southern traditions, its gorgeous architecture and public squares, and its amazing array of historical homes, churches and cemeteries. One of Savannah’s lesser-known points of interest is its healthy crop of Stoner Metal bands, including Kylesa, Baroness, Circle Takes the Square and Black Tusk. Black Tusk formed 11 years ago when guitarist/vocalist Andrew Fidler, bassist/vocalist Jonathan Athon and drummer/vocalist James May simultaneously found themselves without bands after the implosion of their Punk outfits. Since they all lived on the same street, Fidler and Athon simply walked down the block and asked May if he wanted to jam with them. Read more about the band in this week's Sound Advice. Black Tusk plays the Southgate House Revival Saturday with The Well and Cephalocoitus. More info/tickets: southgatehouse.com.

SUNDAY
Fred Hersch
Photo: John Abbott
MUSIC: FRED HERSCH 
Cincinnati native Fred Hersch is one of the most respected and celebrated artists in Jazz today. The imaginative and versatile pianist, bandleader and composer, who has lived in New York City since the mid-’70s, boasts a remarkable discography that includes releases for labels like Nonesuch, Concord, Chesky and Angel/EMI. Those releases have notched Hersch eight Grammy nominations and a stack of glowing reviews that could reach the moon. Fred Hersch plays a solo concert Sunday as part of Xavier University's Jazz/Swing Series. More info: xavier.edu/musicseries/.

EVENT: DUTTENHOFER'S BOOKS 40TH ANNIVERSARY
Clifton landmark Duttenhofer’s Books — an independent purveyor of rare, old and used books on topics ranging from literature and architecture to poetry, philosophy, history and more — is celebrating its 40th anniversary this weekend with a sale and party. Take 20 percent off your purchase, and celebrate with cake and refreshments on Sunday. The shop features more than 40,000 volumes, so you can literally spend two days searching for a perfect tome. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Free. 214 W. McMillan St., Clifton Heights, duttenhofersbook.com

'Butterflies of the Carribean'
Photo: Cincinnati Park Board
ATTRACTION: BUTTERFLIES OF THE CARIBBEAN
Krohn Conservatory’s annual extremely popular and extremely beautiful International Butterfly Show returns with Butterflies of the Caribbean. The Caribbean is a collection of cultures and colorful islands connected by a bright blue sea, and the flora, fauna and free-flying butterflies of this exhibit reflect that whimsical seaside attitude. Find white sand, a coral reef, palm trees and an island-inspired floral display in the pinks and yellows of a Caribbean sunset. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Through June 19. $7 adults; $4 children. 1501 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park, 513-421-5707, cincinnatiparks.com


MONDAY 

Opening Day Parade
Photo: Jennifer Hoffman
EVENT: FINDLAY MARKET OPENING DAY PARADE

Opening Day might not be an official local holiday, but we take our season opener pretty damn seriously, so be prepared to wrap up work early on Monday and head downtown ASAP. The celebration begins promptly at noon with the 97th Findlay Market Opening Day Parade, led by grand marshal Lou Piniella, manager of the Reds’ 1990 World Championship team. Participants from more than 200 businesses and groups will make their way from the market down Race Street and east onto Fifth, walking, marching, biking, driving and operating floats all the way to the Taft Theatre. Fountain Square is one of the best spots to watch, offering both a great view and a beer-centric (and philanthropic) after party. The 14th-annual Rally on the Square (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) is community service group Give Back Cincinnati’s biggest fundraiser of the year; members will pour concoctions from MadTree Brewing all afternoon, so drink up for a good cause. Just make sure to arrive at Great American Ball Park no later than 4:10 p.m., when the Reds take the field and face off against the Phillies. Play ball! Parade begins noon Monday. Free. Route begins at Findlay Market, 1801 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-500-7554, findlaymarketparade.org. See more opening day events here.












 
 
by Nick Swartsell 03.31.2016 55 days ago
Posted In: News at 10:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Morning News and Stuff

County, feds settle on JFS; CAC architect Hadid dies; Kasich says repealing Obamacare "a stupid promise"

Good morning all. It’s almost Friday! Which means it’s almost Monday, also known as Reds opening day, also known as the most important day in Cincinnati. I’m hyped. Anyway. Here’s your news today.

University of Cincinnati’s top legal counsel is leaving her post, citing personal reasons. As the school’s top lawyer, UC’s Vice President for Legal Affairs Kenya Faulkner has overseen a tough legal year for the university, during which UC settled with the family of Samuel DuBose, who was shot and killed by UC police officer Ray Tensing, and settled a long-running and high-profile dispute with nonprofit Requiem Project around plans to renovate Over-the-Rhine’s Emery Theater.  UC President Santa Ono praised Faulkner, who has been at the job for three years. The school’s now-outgoing top lawyer will continue to work with UC on efforts to diversify the university’s law school. UC’s deputy general counsel Karen Kovach will fill Faulkner’s role on an interim basis.

• Speaking of settling lawsuits, Hamilton County and the federal government have come to terms on a 10-year fight over accounting problems at the county’s Job and Family Services agency. The agreement will cost county taxpayers $22.5 million, but there’s actually some good news in that. An audit in 2006 by Ohio Job and Family Services officials estimated the county could be on the hook for $224 million due to a number of accounting problems. That was whittled down to $60 million during the proceeding court battle, and the final settlement knocks another two-thirds off that number. Meanwhile, the county has been stashing funds away to pay the expected settlement and now has $100 million to do so. That leaves more than $70 million in extra money, some of which could go to expanded services for children in Hamilton County.

• Hey, remember last year when the state passed that legislation allowing cities to designate open-container entertainment districts, and everyone here got all excited because they were going to make one for The Banks? What happened with that? The city’s still… thinking... about... it. While open container allowances are made on a temporary basis in the area for big events, you’re still not allowed to take your can of beer outside the bar you’re in at The Banks. The city has said it is continuing to work on the idea, but business owners and residents in the area say they feel like they’re not part of the process. Under the state law, Cincinnati can establish two permanent open container districts. Middletown and Toledo have already taken advantage of the law.

• President Barack Obama has commuted the sentences of three Cincinnati men he says have served their time for “low level” federal drug offenses. Alvin Cordell, Isadore Gennings and Tommy Howard will see their sentences expire between this summer and next spring. Overall, Obama commuted the sentences of 61 drug offenders who he said would be free today under current, less-harsh drug laws. Cordell received a life sentence under a now-eliminated “three strikes” law after he was convicted in 1996 of a third felony for his part in a marijuana and cocaine trafficking operation. Gennings was sentenced to 20 years in 2002 for his part in a plot to distribute cocaine and Howard was sentenced to 24 years for a drug trafficking crime.

• The boundary-breaking architect who designed the iconic home of Cincinnati's Contemporary Art Center has died. Zaha Hadid passed away yesterday after a heart attack at age 65. Hadid's design for the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Arts here has added a distinctive, complex edge to the city's downtown arts district. Hadid, born in Iraq, was a pioneering female architect whose success opened doors for women in the largely-male-dominated field. She completed major works around the world, including buildings in London and Hong Kong, and was the first woman to win architecture's prestigious Pritzker Prize.

• The Food and Drug Administration has adjusted rules around the prescription of abortion pill Mifeprex. Adjustments to FDA rules on dosage size and how late into a pregnancy the pills can be prescribed will make them more accessible and affordable, women’s health advocates say. Ohio is one of a handful of states that requires medical providers to follow the FDA guidelines. Pro-life groups here are unhappy about the rule change, but acknowledge that any efforts to challenge the standards in the Ohio General Assembly are unlikely to pass.

• Finally, Ohio Gov. John Kasich continues his GOP presidential primary afterlife, campaigning and biding his time for the party’s convention in July. In the meantime, Kasich, who has little support in polls and has won only one state in primary contests, is free to pretty much say and do as he wishes. Yesterday, for instance, he dropped a bomb that sounds like common sense to many sane people but which is absolute heresy to Republican primary voters.

The Big Queso said GOP pledges to repeal Obama’s signature healthcare law are a “stupid promise.” Kasich said the idea, which has been a centerpiece of so many tea party campaigns for Congress, is completely unfeasible while Obama is still president, and basically called statements made by many tea party-backed Republicans over the past few years “a big joke.” It’s unclear what Kasich’s strategy is in saying that, unless the strategy is to try and make primary opponent U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s head explode.

 
 
by Nick Swartsell 03.30.2016 56 days ago
Posted In: News at 10:11 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
streetcar

Morning News and Stuff

OTR mosque leaving neighborhood; will MLK Drive get wider?; streetcar gets first sponsor

Morning all. Today’s the day: Our enormous, 188-page, biggest-ever Best of Cincinnati issue just dropped with a resounding thud in newsstands throughout the region, and tonight we’re going to party like crazy to forget how hard we all worked on it and because our city is awesome. You’re invited, by the way. In the meantime, here’s the news today.

Local and statewide Democrat politicians gathered yesterday to announce a raft of city ordinances designed to shore up the middle class in Cincinnati, including a plan to raise the minimum wage for city employees to $15 an hour. That could give up to 20 percent of the city’s workforce a raise. Among those touting the new efforts were U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, State Sen. Cecil Thomas, State Reps. Denise Driehaus and Alicia Reece, Mayor John Cranley and Democrats on Cincinnati City Council. You can read all about the ordinances in our story here.

• Do you ever cruise down the enormous expanse that is Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive and think to yourself that seven lanes of traffic just isn’t enough? The thoroughfare could get wider in Avondale and Corryville as a new I-71 interchange goes in, but some members of Cincinnati City Council are skeptical about the idea. Council’s transportation committee yesterday delayed voting on an ordinance that would have green-lighted a city Department of Transportation grant application for federal funds to add at least one extra lane to MLK. Democrat council members Yvette Simspon, Chris Seelbach and Wendell Young say they oppose the widening, and fellow Democrat David Mann is still undecided. Those opposed cite damage done by large thoroughfares and highways in many Cincinnati neighborhoods, saying they want to keep uptown’s current neighborhood feel intact.

• An long-running Over-the-Rhine mosque will move to the West End due to rent increases, its leaders say. Masjid AsSahaab has been on the 1200 block of Vine Street for more than a decade, but can’t keep pace with the rising price and changing character of the neighborhood, according to caretaker Abdul Amir Fealzadeh. Rent for the space went from $150 a month 10 years ago to $550 a month recently, he says. The mosque is currently working on fundraising efforts to fund a new building on Bank Street.

• Cincinnati’s streetcar got its first sponsorship yesterday as local company 4EG Entertainment Group signed a marketing deal with the transit project. 4EG signed a two-year deal with Advertising Vehicles, the firm contracted to sell marketing rights to the streetcar. Officials with 4EG said advertising on the streetcar was "an easy decisions" and that the ads show the company's support for the project while providing an opportunity to introduce the group's bars and restaurants to downtown residents and visitors. 4EG owns six bars on the streetcar route, including Igby's, Lachey's Bar, the Lackman, Low Spark, Righteous Room and Vestry. The company will run interior ads on all five cars when they come online this fall. 

Meanwhile, the city will sit out the next chance to snag a federal TIGER grant to expand the streetcar into uptown. Instead, the city will ask for money for the proposed Wasson Way bike trail, which would wind through the East Side before ending in Avondale, and for a new highway connector bridge between South Cumminsville and Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.

The city applied for funding for both of those projects last year, though both failed to receive the grants. Council Democrats aren’t happy with the decision to forgo an ask for streetcar expansion planning. The five Democrat members of Council support beginning the planning process for the streetcar extension, but Mayor John Cranley, a streetcar opponent, would likely veto an ordinance asking the city to begin that process without a sixth vote. With grant application deadlines coming up April 29, the city has no plans to file an application around moving the expansion forward.

• Plans to redevelop the historic Baldwin buildings on Gilbert Avenue in Walnut Hills are taking shape, and they’re bigger than initially expected. The $100 million effort could include a pocket park on the property, two restaurants, extensive renovations to the building’s central tower, loft apartments and a number of other improvements. The project received $7 million in historic preservation tax credits from Ohio last year. The main building, called Grand Baldwin, once housed Baldwin Piano Company and will be the site of new apartments. Another building, called Baldwin 200, will remain office space but will also be renovated.

• Finally, we’ve been light on blurbs about the presidential primary race lately because, really, what can you say? It’s still a mess. But here’s an amusing bit of news for you. Former GOP presidential primary hopeful and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio recently misspelled “United States” in a letter to the Alaska GOP asking that the state party not release delegates he’s won before this summer’s GOP convention. Rubio’s typo reads “Untied States.” Untied indeed.

 
 
by Mike Breen 03.29.2016 57 days ago
Posted In: Local Music, Music Video, New Releases at 01:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
bummers

WATCH: Bummers Eve’s “I Want Your Drugs” Video

Cincinnati band Bummers Eve reveals new video for self-titled debut album’s lead-off track

Earlier today, music website Northern Transmissions premiered the music video for “I Want Your Drugs,” the endearingly noisy and melodic first song on Cincinnati fuzzy, lo-fi Rock trio Bummers Eve’s recently released self-titled full-length. The trippy sheen that coats the song (a highlight on the overall great LP) is reflected in the video’s psychedelic swirl of flickering, morphing and over-exposed imagery. I was going to suggest that the video also clearly shows the band has plenty of drugs, but it looks and sounds like the musicians are having a blast. So, by all means, give Bummers Eve your drugs. You might need less after watching the video anyway.



Bummers Eve’s debut was released in late February (on vinyl, cassette and CD) through Brooklyn label Almost Ready Records, which has put out music from a variety of cultishly beloved bands. Read CityBeat’s review of the album here. And listen to/download the album at Bummers Eve’s Bandcamp page here; you can also order the physical formats through the site. 


Bummers Eve recently put a lot of mileage on its van with a tour supporting the new release that included several shows in Austin, Texas during South By Southwest and dates on the West Coast. The tour wrapped up last week in Memphis. Keep an eye on the band's social media (here, for example) for the latest on the Bummers Eve, including future local show dates. 

 
 
by Nick Swartsell 03.29.2016 57 days ago
Posted In: News at 01:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Local Democrats Propose $15 Minimum Wage for City Workers

Ordinances designed to boost wages, increase worker safety head to City Council

City of Cincinnati employees like health worker Sheila Nash of Price Hill could get a bump in pay if Cincinnati City Council approves a series of ordinances designed to boost wages, increase worker safety and incentivize city contractors to pay employees more.

“I make $27,000 a year,” says Nash, who has worked for the health department since 1986. “That’s what I survive on. A raise would mean a lot.”

A cadre of local and statewide Democrats, including U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, State Reps. Alicia Reece and Denise Driehaus, State Sen. Cecil Thomas, Mayor John Cranley, Vice Mayor David Mann, council members Yvette Simpson, P.G. Sittenfeld and Wendell Young and Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune appeared this morning at the Local 392 Plumbers and Pipefitters Hall on Central Parkway to help launch the initiative.

For Nash and many other city workers, the most notable part of the initiative is the pay increase. Should the ordinance pass, full-time city works will make a minimum of $15 an hour, up from $12.58. Part-time and seasonal workers would make $10.10, up from $8.25. For Nash, the raise would mean an extra $4,000 a year, putting her closer to the city’s median household income of $33,681.

More than 1,000 city employees, or about 20 percent of the city's workforce, makes under those minimums now. The wage boost would cost the city about $1 million in its first year, according to city officials.

Mayor Cranley framed the initiatives in broad terms, citing a decades-long trend of stagnant wage growth for many in the middle class. He blamed off-shoring of jobs, deregulation of Wall Street and an over-reliance on trickle-down economics for wage disparities.

“Cincinnati by itself is not going to solve this problem on its own,” he said. “But we can be a moral voice for the direction we want to go. And we can affect the people we can affect. For those individuals, we can make an enormous difference.”

Sen. Brown, a long-time proponent of a federal $15 minimum wage, applauded the initiative.

“Once again, Cincinnati takes an important step, one that has never happened in the state," he said. "It’s high time that Washington followed the lead of Cincinnati and raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour.”

Critics of minimum wage increases say they raise payroll expenses to unsustainable levels and make it harder for businesses to turn a profit.

Cranley acknowledged that the wage increase will cost the city more money in the short-term, but touted the long-term boost in spending power it will unlock for Cincinnati residents. Brown echoed Cranley and other Democrats in saying the wage boost will improve the economy for all over time and said he hoped it would influence private employers to do the same.

“Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour means money in the pockets of hardworking families,” he said. “I assume Ms. Nash and others who get the $15 minimum wage aren’t going to put it in a Swiss bank account, or use it to shut down production in Cincinnati or somewhere else and move it to Bangladesh."

Overall, Council will consider three ordinances tied to the initiative: one tightening requirements on insurance, licensing and safety procedures, specifically relating to crane operations after an accident at a construction site on The Banks recently. Another would require companies receiving city tax incentives and other development aid to pay contractors and employees prevailing wages; and a third that will boost wages for city workers.

 
 
by Natalie Krebs 03.29.2016 57 days ago
Posted In: News at 09:57 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
winburn

Morning News and Stuff

Several council members defend park director Carden amid Smale Park drama; Uber and Cincinnati Metro announce new partnership; Ohio Supreme Court limits shackling of juveniles in court

Cincinnati Park Board director Willie Carden and Cincinnati Board of Park Commissioners Chairman Otto Budlig stood in front of City Council's Budget and Finance Committee yesterday to defend the construction contracts the Parks Department awarded to independent companies to build Smale Riverfront Park. Nearly all of the $15 million park was built using pre-existing contracts known as "master service agreements." 

Carden and the Park Board have been under scrutiny for the project since a memo from City Manager Harry Black and Chief Procurement Officer Patrick Duhaney's on Mar. 22 alleged that some of the Parks Department's contracting practices were risky for the city. According to the memo, the master service agreements used by the department for Smale's construction were supposed to be used only for covering routine maintenance. The contracts didn't have enough performance bonds, meaning they weren't able to hold the companies accountable enough for their work on a project as large as the Smale Riverfront Park during or after construction. A recent Enquirer report also alleged the contracts weren't publicly bid as required by state law

Carden and other department officials defended the Parks Department's decision on Monday, saying the use of master service agreements has been a longstanding city policy and the contracts were approved by the city's finance department. They also said they were under pressure to finish the park in time for the All-Star Game, which took place last July. 

Several council members strongly defended Carden, blaming poor city policy and Mayor John Cranley's failed parks levy from last year's election for unfairly putting Carden under the microscope. Councilwoman Yvette Simpson called the whole scandal "a witchhunt," praised Carden for his work on the city's parks and said she was "ashamed of the way the (city) responded." 

Councilman Charlie Winburn, the chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, also blamed the city for the scrutiny the Park's Department is now facing from Black and the Enquirer

"It has put these fine people in a bad position," Winburn said. 

• Mayor John Cranley and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown will announce a new city labor and workplace initiative this morning. Cranley and Brown will also be joined by council members Yvette Simpson, P. G. Sittenfeld and Wendell Young to announce new workplace safety and city labor reforms for the middle class, according to a release from the mayor's office.

• Cincinnati Metro and Uber announced a new partnership this morning so people can Uber to the bus — well, once, at least. Uber Cincinnati will be giving away one free ride with the idea that it will show people just how easy it is to Uber to the bus or from a bus stop to a nearby destination. Casey Verkamp, the general manager of Uber Cincinnati, claims many people use Uber to get to the bus. Previous studies have shown that Cincinnati's bus service is coming up short when it comes to getting people to work. Metro riders can redeem this offer by texting "cincymetro" to 827222.

No more free parking at Covington's MainStrasse Village. Pay stations along Main and West Sixth streets were installed last Saturday and will go live tomorrow. The city's decision is intended to make it easier for visitors and residents to find parking amid an increase in business activity in the area.

• The Ohio Supreme Court announced a new rule Monday that will severely limit the shackling of juveniles in courts. The decision came after concerned parties like the American Civil Liberties Union approached Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor's court personnel about the way juveniles were being treated in courts. They claimed shackling is a much bigger problem in Ohio than other places. The Supreme Court issued a "presumption against shackling" effective July 1, meaning courts can only shackle kids if their behavior is deemed a big enough threat or they're considered a flight risk. 

• The U.S. Justice Department announced Monday it has found a way to unlock the iPhone of Syed Farook, one of the gunmen in the Dec. 14 San Bernardino, Calif., shooting that killed 14, without Apple's help. The U.S. government dropped its lawsuit against Apple this week where it was trying to force the company into building software that was basically a backdoor key into the phone. The company had refused, saying the creation of such software would pose too much of a security threat for all of its customers.
 
 
by Steve Beynon 03.28.2016 58 days ago
Posted In: 2016 election at 11:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
johnkasichgraphic

Why Is Kasich Still Running?

Ohio Governor John Kasich was crushed in the last round of primary contests, even losing to the ghost of Sen. Marco Rubio in Utah from early ballots casted before the Florida senator terminated his campaign. Between the recent contests in Utah and Arizona, Kasich failed to pick up any delegates.

This battle for the Republican nomination has not been kind to governors. Chris Christie, Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal and Mike Huckabee have all been casualties in a rambunctious political climate that seeks mischief and is giving the finger to the establishment by hopping on the Trump train or embracing the rebellious Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

Right now, Kasich sits with a mere 143 delegates. Trump is far in the lead with 739, followed by Cruz’s 465. It is a long shot for the Texas senator to halt Trump’s warpath to the nomination — it is mathematically impossible for Kasich. It takes 1,237 delegates to secure the GOP nomination. Even if the Ohio governor won every contest moving forward, there are not enough delegates for him to be the nominee.

Kasich’s only victory was Ohio — a contest he won by 11 points. However, Trump defeated the governor in virtually all of Ohio’s southern counties and every county that borders Pennsylvania and West Virginia. While Kasich’s victory in his home state was a moral victory, it highlighted that even with a home field advantage, he still could not get a sweeping victory like we saw with Cruz and Sen. Bernie Sanders in their states.

Other than that, he probably holds the record for most fourth-place victories. Outside of the Buckeye State, Kasich has struggled with name recognition or gathering any meaningful traction — a weakness that is entirely understandable when you have to make noise while in the same room as a man that flies around on a private jet with his name on it.

Kasich’s strategy is digging in northeastern states like Pennsylvania, where Cruz is not expected to perform well. His campaign is not about defeating his opponents with delegates — it is about denying Trump every vote possible.

This points to both Kasich as a weak candidate and the power of Trump’s message. Kasich has never had a real message in his bid for the presidency — other than not being a jerk on stage. Instead of building his vision for the Oval Office, he hides in the corner biding his time for Trump’s self-destruction. However, that destruction never happened and is unlikely to ever occur.

Everyone is either tapping out, accepting Trump will be the nominee — and possibly our next president — or they’re holding their noses and siding with Cruz, a candidate that in any other presidential run would be seen as the fringe candidate that needs to be stopped at all costs.

It is hard to tell if Kasich actually thinks he can show up to the GOP convention with a few hundred delegates and deny Trump the nomination, or if this is a last-ditch effort to put the Ohio governor out there to take humiliating defeats while trying to soak up handfuls of delegates in hopes of putting some dents in Trump’s almost inevitable nomination.

To deny Trump’s nomination would be the GOP spitting in the faces of their voters. The democratic process picked Donald Trump, and it is hard to not take Trump seriously when he suggests there will be riots if the party robbed him of his fair victory.

Imagine if Bernie Sanders won the delegate game only to be toppled by Hillary Clinton’s superdelegates. There would certainly be some liberal-on-liberal violence in the aisles of Whole Foods.

If this is Kasich’s strategy, it should raise concerns of how much respect for the democratic process he has. If he is just crossing his fingers that Trump’s plane crashes, he should admit it instead of suggesting he is going to upset Republican voters of their candidate to lead the free world.

 
 
by Natalie Krebs 03.28.2016 58 days ago
Posted In: News at 10:08 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
rob portman

Morning News and Stuff

Cincinnati Park Board under scrutiny again; Ohio might introduce bill to legalize medical marijuana by summer; state Democrats pressure Sen. Rob Portman on Supreme Court hearing

Despite Cincinnati Park Board officials' reoccurring claim that the board operates independently from the nonprofit Cincinnati Parks Foundation, the two often work as one organization, according to a four-month Enquirer investigation. The investigation found millions of dollars shifting regularly between the two organizations' accounts with minimal oversight to funds. These actions often circumvent government transparency, as the Cincinnati Parks Foundation is a private organization not subject to open records requests. These allegations is the latest chapter of the unfolding drama at the Cincinnati Park Board. Last week, the Enquirer reported on the Park Board officials also not being so truthful about the use of no-bid contracts to build part of Smale Riverfront Park. 

• Cincinnati placed seventh on Realtor.com's list of the 10 trendiest U.S. cities. OK, the list is actually the 10 trendiest cities that you can afford. But is it really worth living in Brooklyn or San Francisco if you don't the money to go out? The list looked into the 500 largest cities in the country and came up with the list based on the number of foodie hotspots, bike shops, yoga studios, cultural outlets and the population increase of 25- to 34-year-olds in each town and then compared that to the average home prices. Nearby cities Ann Arbor, Mich. and Pittsburgh, Penn., also made the list. 

• Ohio might be one step closer to legalizing medical marijuana. The Ohio House medical marijuana task force will hold its last meeting this Thursday and could introduce a bill into the House as early as this summer. The task force has been forming a plan to introduce the issue to the legislature over the course of seven hearings where it heard testimony from business leaders and medical experts. Twenty-three states along with Washington D.C. have already enacted laws to allow the use of medical marijuana. Last November, Ohio voters shot down a ballot initiative by the group ResponsibleOhio to legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes. 

• Is it finally time for Ohio to say goodbye to its "tampon tax"? The Ohio Court of Claims filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of four women this month claiming the state's 5.4-percent sales tax on feminine hygiene products is discriminatory against women. It's seeking a refund of $66 million to Ohio female customers. Meanwhile, two bills introduced by State Rep. Greta Johnson, D-Akron, also call for the end of the taxation and are pending in the House.

• Ohio Democrats are putting pressure Republican Sen. Rob Portman to allow a hearing for Judge Merrick Garland, Obama's nomination for the vacant Supreme Court seat. Portman, who is up for re-election this November, has followed the position of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying the Senate should not grant a hearing or confirmation vote of Garland. Democrats say their reasoning — Obama's lame-duck status — is just an attempt to block the president's nomination. Ohio Democrats have recently been circulating an old video clip in which Portman calls the confirmation process a responsibility of the Senate, along with an independent poll that found most Americans want the Senate to give Garland a hearing. On Friday, the White House also organized a press call with a University of Cincinnati law professor and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown where they criticized the GOP's decision legally to block Obama's nomination. 

• Here's something scary given the current tense climate of the Republican party. More than 25,000 people have signed a Change.org petition to allow guns inside the Republican National Convention this summer. The Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, where the convention will be held in July, does not allow firearms. The petition calls on Gov. John Kasich, who is also running for the Republican presidential nomination, to use his executive authority to override the center's gun-free policy. 

• Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders won big in the primaries this weekend. Sanders swept the western states of Hawaii, Idaho and Washington, pulling in at least 71 percent of the vote in each state. The victory still only slightly narrowed the margin between Sanders and frontrunner Hillary Clinton. Republicans, on the other hand, got to enjoy Easter egg hunts and binging on chocolate. They did not hold any primaries this weekend. 

• Finally, the New York Times interviewed Donald Trump on his stance on foreign policy. His policy apparently does go beyond building a wall and making Mexico pay for it. If you don't want to read the entire thing, here are some highlights.
 
 
by Staff 03.25.2016 61 days ago
at 02:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
todo_art-after-dark_studio-kre8v_photo-elementz

Your Weekend To Do List

Braxton turns 1, the butterflies return to Krohn, a Miles Ahead early screening and more

FRIDAY 25
EVENT: ART AFTER DARK: 30 AMERICANS

Visit the Cincinnati Art Museum for the latest installment of after-hours party Art After Dark to celebrate the new exhibit 30 Americans. Some of the most important African-American artists have their work showcased in the provocative display, which focuses on race, gender and historical identity in contemporary culture through painting, photography, sculpture, video and installation. Take guided tours of the exhibit and watch performances from Elementz, DJ Apryl Reign and violinist Eddy Kwon. 5-9 p.m., Friday. Free admission. Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams, cincinnatiartmuseum.org.

'Annapurna'
Photo: Ryan Kurtz
ONSTAGE: ANNAPURNA
Annapurna is the Hindu goddess of nourishment. It’s also the name given to one of the most dangerous Himalayan climbing peaks, the 10th highest in the world, with a horrendous fatality rate of 40 percent. That lonely, dangerous place might offer a hint as to some of the perils and pleasures of Sharr White’s new play that has appropriated this name. The comedy-drama reveals the tangled history between two once-married, ferociously damaged people who battle an avalanche of love and loss in the wilds of Colorado. Two actors familiar to ETC audiences star: Regina Pugh and Dennis Parlato. Through April 10. $28-$44. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, 1127 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-421-3555, ensemblecincinnati.org.

Photo: Courtney Huber
ART: FINAL SHOW AT PHYLLIS WESTON GALLERY
Phyllis Weston Gallery is closing after the December death of the grande dame of Cincinnati’s visual art, Phyllis Weston. Pop-up shows will round out the last month of business. First is a group exhibit featuring digitally manipulated photos of long-ago street scenes from gallery director Courtney Huber, feminist Rococo-style drawings by Colleen Kelsey of Dayton and ethereal prints by Cincinnatian Emily Sites Karns. Former artist-in-residence Max Unterhaslberger, now living in Chicago, will return April 14 with a series exploring color. The final exhibit, a one-night event tentatively scheduled for April 28, will showcase world-renowned wildlife painter John Ruthven and bring Weston’s legacy full circle. In the 1960s, Weston gave Ruthven — who still works in his Georgetown, Ohio, studio at age 91 — his first major show. On view through April 2. Free. Phyllis Weston Gallery, 2005 ½ Madison Road, O’Bryonville, 513-321-5200, phyllisweston.com.

Photo: Melvin Grier
ART: WHITE PEOPLE A RETROSPECTIVE
Jymi Bolden, director of Art Beyond Boundaries gallery, has curated an encore exhibition of work by award-winning former Cincinnati Post photojournalist Melvin Grier that “looks at the majority through a minority’s eyes.” Bolden and Grier have known each other since Bolden interned for the photographer as a student at the Art Academy in the 1980s. And although Grier retired from journalism when the Post folded in late 2007, 33 years of working in the field often led him to capture moments and circumstances in which he was the only person of color in the room. If it’s anything like the artist’s exhibition of the same name at the Kennedy Heights Arts Center in 2011, White People: A Retrospective will employ a black male lens aimed squarely at white America. Opening reception 6-9 p.m. Friday. On view through May 13. Free. 1410 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, artbeyondboundaries.com.

Lazyeyes
Photo: Provided
MUSIC: LAZYEYES
With the resurgence and return of Shoegaze giants like My Bloody Valentine, Ride and Swervedriver, it’s not surprising that contemporary bands following a similar sonic arc are enjoying a little added attention as a result. Brooklyn-based Lazyeyes has only emerged from the New York scene over the past four years, but the band has amassed a serious following with two EPs, a pair of singles and a lot of local and regional gigging, all of which highlight the trio’s Strokes-like Garage Pop swing, Shoegaze intensity and Dream Pop melodicism. Read more about the band in this week's Sound Advice. Lazyeyes plays MOTR Pub Friday with Beverly. More info: motrpub.com.

SATURDAY 26

EVENT: BRAXTON BREWING ANNIVERSARY PARTY

Braxton celebrates a year of lifting one to life with a bottle release of Trophy Pale Ale, live music in the nearby MadLot (Red Wanting Blue, Motherfolk, The Tillers and Buffalo Wabs & The Price Hill Hustle), new beers on draft (a Catalyst Czech Pilsner, 1st Gear Belgian IPA and Yesterday’s Headlines Berliner Weisse) and a Trophy Grant. Five percent of proceeds from Trophy Pale Ale sales are donated back into Northern Kentucky community projects. The Trophy Grant is an accumulation from the past year’s Trophy sales, presented to a local nonprofit. Noon. Free admission. Braxton Brewing Company, 27 W. Seventh St., Covington, Ky., facebook.com/braxtonbrewingcompany.

'Miles Ahead'
Photo: via IMDb
EVENT: MILES AHEAD SCREENING AND AFTER PARTY
Actor/director Don Cheadle’s Miles Ahead — a poignant exploration of famed Jazz musician Miles Davis — was filmed in the Queen City, and the Esquire is rolling out the red carpet this weekend for an advanced screening and celebration. Beginning with a red carpet arrival, festivities continue after the screening with a party at The Transept, OTR’s recently renovated church-turned-event space. Keep an eye out for Cheadle, who will be in attendance. 6 p.m. Red Carpet Arrival; 7 p.m. screening; 9 p.m. after party Saturday. $200 screening and after party; $50 after party only. Esquire Theatre, 320 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, filmcincinnati.com.

MUSIC: BOYZ II MEN
Motown Philly back again. Horseshoe Casino welcomes Grammy-winning R&B group Boyz II Men this weekend for a sold-out show. The best-selling vocal quartet-turned-trio belts out their most iconic emotional ballads, including (hopefully) “End of the Road” and “I’ll Make Love to You” in the casino’s Pavilion. If you don’t have tickets already, wander the building and see if you can hear some muffled smooth jams. 8 p.m. Saturday. $43-$53. Horseshoe Casino, 1000 Broadway St., Pendleton, horseshoecincinnati.com.

'The Beauty Queen of Leenane'
Photo: Mikki Schaffner
ONSTAGE: THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE
You think you have problems with your mother? You should compare notes with Maureen Folan about her maternal relations. In Irish writer Martin McDonagh’s 1996 play, it’s more like outright warfare between Maureen and Mag. It’s been said that mutual loathing might be more durable than love, but this is one painful household in rural Ireland, as they argue and torture one another. Dark Irish humor permeates McDonagh’s writing, and it requires a certain temerity to appreciate it. In the close confines of Falcon Theatre’s Newport space, this will be a powerful experience. Staged by veteran local director Ed Cohen. Through April 2. $15-$20. Falcon Theatre, 636 Monmouth St., Newport, Ky., 513-479-6783, falcontheatre.net.

'Butterflies of the Carribean'
Photo: Cincinnati Park Board
ATTRACTIONS: BUTTERFLIES OF THE CARIBBEAN
Krohn Conservatory’s annual extremely popular and extremely beautiful International Butterfly Show returns with Butterflies of the Caribbean. The Caribbean is a collection of cultures and colorful islands connected by a bright blue sea, and the flora, fauna and free-flying butterflies of this exhibit reflect that whimsical seaside attitude. Find white sand, a coral reef, palm trees and an island-inspired floral display in the pinks and yellows of a Caribbean sunset. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Through June 19. $7 adults; $4 children. 1501 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park, 513-421-5707, cincinnatiparks.com.

SUNDAY 27
'Iris'
Photo: Magnolia Pictures
FILM: IRIS

Cincinnati Art Museum’s free “Moving Images” film series resumes after a short hiatus with one of the great documentarian Albert Maysles’ last films, 2014’s Iris. It celebrates Iris Apfel, a 94-year-old New York style-maker known for her unique look; she combines designer and flea market pieces, accentuated with colorful accessories and oversized signature Mr. Magoo-like eyewear. She was the subject of a fashion exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2005. 2 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams, cincinnatiartmuseum.org.

ONSTAGE: TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

Harper Lee passed away last month, but her Pulitzer Prize-winning story of justice and racial inequality lives on, not only as a novel and its memorable cinematic rendition, but also in Christopher Sergel’s theatrical adaptation. Eric Ting, a new associate artist at the Cincinnati Playhouse, has given a more timeless rendition to the story of a valiant attorney with moral integrity defending a wrongly accused black man, bringing it to life in a bare theater. His approach sounds fascinating. Stage veteran Dale Hodges narrates the story in the role of the adult Scout, and the cast features numerous other local performers. Through April 10. $35-$85. Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, 962 Mount Adams Circle, Mount Adams, 513-421-3888, cincyplay.com.

EVENT: HOLIDAY JAZZ BUFFET
Washington Platform hosts a holiday Jazz buffet to celebrate Easter. Buffet includes breakfast and lunch options, with live music from the Mike Sharfe Trio. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. $25 adults; $21 seniors; $7 children. Washington Platform, 1000 Elm St., Downtown, 513-421-0110, washingtonplatform.com.

EVENT: EASTER BRUNCH AT METROPOLE

Chef Jared Bennett presents a two-course prix fixe menu full of farm-fresh ingredients, including dishes like Challah bread pudding, frittata with fingerling potatoes and a special a la carte kid’s menu. 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. $25. Metropole, 609 Walnut St., Downtown, 513-578-6660, metropoleonwalnut.com.

EVENT: EASTER BRUNCH AT VIA VITE
Authentic Italian brunch favorites, including braised pork belly and navy bean ragout, stone-fired pizza, penne Bolognese, crispy gnocchi and more. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. $35 adult; $15 child. Via Vite, Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown, 513-721-8483, viaviterestaurant.com.

 
 

 

 

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by Steven Rosen 05.25.2016 11 hours ago
Posted In: Visual Art at 12:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
ugo-rondinone-copy

Contemporary Arts Center Announces 2016-17 Season

The Contemporary Arts Center announced its 2016-17 exhibition season last evening during a special presentation to its Board of Trustees and media. At the same time, it also previewed several performances scheduled for that same season. (There may still be another art exhibition added.)

The biggest takeaways from the announcement are that the CAC is striving for diversity in the artists it will show next year, and that it doesn’t believe painting is passé in Contemporary art. 

The first show, indeed, features one of Britain’s greatest living painters, Glenn Brown. 

“We wanted to celebrate painting,” says Steven Matijcio, CAC curator. “I think because it’s been the preeminent medium of the past, sometimes it gets secondary status in today’s art world. Glenn Brown makes very few works per year because he spends so much time on them. If an Old Master were living today, he would be that person.”

Here is the list of shows, edited from a CAC press release. A fuller story will appear in next week’s The Big Picture column in CityBeat.

GLENN BROWN

Sept. 9, 2016 to Jan. 15, 2017:

Organized by the Des Moines Art Center; Curated by Jeff Fleming

This is the first solo museum exhibition in the United States to survey the work of renowned London-based artist Brown. Painting steadily for the last three decades, Brown crafts paintings with an immaculate, almost supernatural level of detail and fluidity.

ROE ETHRIDGE: NEAREST NEIGHBOR

Oct.7 2016 to March 12, 2017

Organized by FotoFocus; Curated by Kevin Moore

The exhibition leads the programming for the 2016 FotoFocus Biennial, which explores the theme of the Undocument in photography. Nearest Neighbor is the artist’s first solo museum exhibition in the U.S. and will present over 15 years of photographs.

NOEL ANDERSON: BLAK ORIGIN MOMENT

Feb. 10 to June 18, 2017

Organized by the Contemporary Arts Center; Curated by Steven Matijcio

Noel Anderson is a Louisville-born artist and a professor at the University of Cincinnati, presently working in New York City. He is known for complex investigations into the evolving makeup of black-male identity translated through a variety of textiles — from old rugs to digitally produced tapestries. 

UGO RONDINONE: CHROMAphile

May 5 to Aug. 27, 2017

Organized by the Contemporary Arts Center; Curated by Raphaela Platow

This exhibition will celebrate a new iteration of the Swiss-born, NY-based artist Ugo Rondinone’s color spectrum series that congregates his art, the gallery architecture and every visitor to the space as collaborators in an all-encompassing experience. 

NJIDEKA AKUNYILI CROSBY: THE PREDECESSORS

July 14 to Oct. 20, 2017

Organized by the Contemporary Arts Center & Tang Museum, Skidmore College; Co-Curated by Ian Berry & Steven Matijcio

When Njideka Akunyili left Lagos for the U.S. at age 16, she detoured from her initial plan to be a doctor to pursue painting and tell another side of Nigeria’s story. She fuses painting, drawing, collage and the use of transfers — a typically Western printing process that involves transferring ink from photographs using solvent. 

JANE BENSON: HALF-TRUTHS

July 14 to Oct. 20, 2017

Organized by the Contemporary Arts Center; Curated by Steven Matijcio

The story of two Iraqi brothers who escaped from Baghdad in early 2002 becomes a vehicle for British-born, N.Y.-based artist Jane Benson to explore the social reverberations caused by geo-cultural separation. The artist uses music to tell the story in a dual-channel video entitled Finding Baghdad (Part A), which serves as the show’s centerpiece. 

THE I-71 PROJECT

October through November, 2016 

Organized by the CAC, MOCA Cleveland and Columbus Museum of Art; Curated by Anne Thompson

The I-71 Project is a collaborative venture uniting three major art centers across Ohio to present art on billboards that confront the theater and confusion of elections in the U.S. It is organized by artist, writer and 2015-16 Missouri School of Journalism Fellow Anne Thompson, who successfully organized a similar project called The I-70 Sign Show. Some of the key artists will include Mel Bochner, Marilyn Minter, and Kay Rosen.

  • Here are the three performances that Drew Klein, performance curator, announced:

RADHOUANE EL MEDDEB: 

JE DANSE ET JE VOUS EN DONNE A BOUFFER

(I DANCE, AND GIVE YOU SOME TO EAT)

November 17-18, 2016

Here, Radhouane is immersed in his loves of dancing and cooking, creating and celebrating a bridge between the two. Seated before his couscous maker, he prepares a meal and dances with all the grandeur, generosity and poetry inspired by these two arts.  Between tomato concentrate, zucchini, carrots and cinnamon: a leap, a glance, a suspension or a rupture. Between the semolina and a chassé croisé, the dish simmers. This dazzling choreographic offering evokes all the senses in an almost synesthetic experience, the audience seized by the scents drifting through the air and captivated by the movement infused with generosity and poetry.

JAN MARTENS: SWEAT BABY SWEAT 

January 19-20, 2017

In Sweat Baby Sweat, Martens zeroes in on the most clichéd theme in dance: the relationship between a man and a woman. He traces the arc of their lifetime together in this physically demanding and intimate examination of a couple that just can’t let each other go. 

NAPOLEON MADDOX: TWICE THE FIRST TIME 

February 22-24, 2017

In the performance Twice The First Time, Maddox will dance, sing and rap the story of Millie-Christine, conjoined twins born into American slavery in 1851, into the 21st century. They were aunts of Maddox’s grandmother. 

 
 
by Nick Swartsell 05.25.2016 15 hours ago
Posted In: News at 08:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
tom massie

Morning News and Stuff

Streetcar start date set; will Avondale get a real grocery store?; Kasich still won't support Trump

Good morning all. Here’s what’s going on in the world today.

The city of Cincinnati has officially announced an opening date for the city’s streetcar. The transit project running through Over-the-Rhine and downtown will take its first passengers Sept. 9, beginning with an opening ceremony at some point mid-day. The project, which has been fraught with political battles and funding concerns, is being financed with increased parking revenues, advertising proceeds and other sources that aren’t part of the city’s general fund budget.

• Mayor John Cranley yesterday rolled out more of his proposals for the city’s budget, which involve some $30 million for neighborhood projects. He spoke at a news conference in Avondale about projects he’d like to see funded in that neighborhood under his proposed fiscal plan, including a renewed Avondale Towne Center with a Save-A-Lot grocery store. Avondale has been trying to get a full-service grocery store since Aldi left the neighborhood about eight years ago. The city would chip in about $2 million to get development started under Cranley’s plan. The mayor did acknowledge that neighborhood activists had hoped for a higher-scale store such as a Kroger but that the Save-A-Lot will be expected to stock fresh produce and other necessities. Cranley yesterday also announced he would provide $3.2 million for a new community development corporation in Bond Hill and Roselawn.

• Cranley is set to pitch another round of investments today in the city’s East Side neighborhoods. He’s also expected to announce that the city will purchase the land necessary to build the Wasson Way bike trail. That $11.8 million, 4.1-mile stretch of former railway is vital to the completion of the trail, which would pass through a number of East Side neighborhoods on its way to Uptown. If the city doesn’t purchase the land by the end of July, the price will jump by nearly $600,000. It’s unclear where the construction money for the project will come from. The city applied for a federal TIGER grant last year to help fund building costs for the bike trail but was turned down.

• Wait. Hold on. Do I agree on something with U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, the tea party crusader from Northern Kentucky? It would… kind of appear so. Massie owes the GOP $24,000 in “party dues,” i.e. money from his fundraising coffers the party expects in order to stay in its good graces. Massie has criticized the practice, which is also used to determine who gets which committee assignment in the House. Particular assignments have particular dollar amounts assigned to them, and the more influential the committee, the more money a House member is expected to kick in. Massie is slamming this system, saying it means the best fundraisers, not the best lawmakers, get oversized influence in the legislative process. In what may be the only example of partisan agreement between a tea party member and the rest of Congress, some Democrats agree with him. I also think it sounds pretty messed up.

• What policies will law enforcement officers and departments have to follow regarding body cameras across Ohio?

Read More

 
 
by Nick Swartsell 05.24.2016 38 hours ago
Posted In: News at 08:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
trump

Morning News and Stuff

Judge divvies up DuBose settlement; council members request MSD audit; Clinton beating Trump in Ohio polls

Good morning all. Lots to talk about today so let’s get to it!

The 13 children of Samuel DuBose will each receive more than $200,000 as part of a settlement between the family and the University of Cincinnati, a Hamilton County judge ruled yesterday. DuBose was shot and killed by UC police officer Ray Tensing July 19 last year. In addition to the money for his children, DuBose’s mother Audrey DuBose will receive $90,000, his six siblings will receive $32,000 each and his father Sam Johnson will receive $25,000, Judge Ralph Winlker announced yesterday. The settlement, which also includes other elements such as college tuition for DuBose’s children, resolves a civil suit against the university. Criminal proceedings are ongoing against former officer Tensing, who is charged with murder and manslaughter. He’s scheduled to stand trial on those charges in October.

• Cincinnati City Council members are requesting the recently completed audit of the region’s Metropolitan Sewer District ahead of the city's budget process, but City Manager Harry Black says they shouldn't rush. The audit, which resulted from revelations that MSD spent millions on contracts it didn’t properly put through a bidding process, is still with the city’s lawyers in a working draft form, Black says. But with work on the city’s budget looming, council members like Kevin Flynn and Chris Seelbach say the time is now to reveal the results of the audit. Things got testy when Council pushed for more information from the audit at yesterday’s budget and finance committee meeting, with Black resisting requests for that information and Seelbach accusing the city manager of giving him an eye roll. Oh snap.

• Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld is at the White House today meeting with Vice President Joe Biden and state and local government officials as part of a discussion on gun violence. Sittenfeld made gun control a big part of his campaign when he was running for Senate against former Ohio governor Ted Strickland. Sittenfeld lost that race but has pledged to continue efforts to curtail shootings. He told WVXU he is there to learn more about strategies for curbing gun violence and that he doesn’t think the invite has anything to do with his former Senate campaign. President Barack Obama and VP Biden endorsed Strickland in that race.

This is a weird article. Breaking news: The city has a lot of stairs. Some of them are crumbling. More breaking news: The city isn’t exactly rushing to pay to fix them. Thus concludes your breaking news update about something you probably already knew about. The steps are a big part of the city’s walking infrastructure (I take them every day). But they’ve been neglected since, well, probably since people started moving out of the city. The money it would take to fix them is also an infinitesimally small portion of the city’s budget at a time when Mayor John Cranley is discussing throwing $30 million to a few city neighborhoods.

• A federal judge has temporarily blocked an Ohio law that would strip $1.4 million in public money from Planned Parenthood in the state. That money goes to providing health screenings for low-income women, not to providing abortions. The temporary restraining order keeping Ohio from enforcing the law, which passed in February, comes as a larger court fight around the measure continues. You can read more about all of that in our story here.

• Ohio State Auditor Dave Yost yesterday announced the results of surprise headcounts at Ohio charter schools, saying at least some of the schools had very few or no students attending on the days of the unannounced visits. Yost said the extremely low attendance numbers at three charters in the state suggests they might be operating illegally as distance learning schools instead of the brick and mortar schools they’re certified to operate as. It’s the latest revelation in a bad stretch for the state’s charters, which have faced allegations of mismanagement and an Ohio Department of Education data rigging scandal that artificially inflated charter school performance by omitting some low-performing online schools. Yost visited 14 drop-out recovery schools around the state and found an average attendance of just 34 percent.

• The revelations, as well as other frustrations with the state’s public schools, had the auditor spitting hot fire at the ODE yesterday, calling it “among the worst, if not the worst-run agency in state government.” Yost cited poor charter school accountability and performance as well as a slow roll out for ODE’s new data management system as among the sources for his frustration with the agency.

• Finally, more presidential politics, because I know you need more of that in your life. Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump in Ohio, according to the latest polls asking voters about the upcoming general election. But it’s not the blowout you might expect. Clinton’s up 44 percent to Trump’s 39 percent in the Buckeye State — less than her primary opponent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who bests Trump 48 percent to 39 percent in the CBS/YouGov poll. Voters have a pretty negative opinion of both candidates, however — 55 percent view Clinton negatively and 59 percent feel the same about Trump.

That’s it for me. See you tomorrow. Tweet or email in the meantime.

 
 
by Nick Swartsell 05.23.2016 56 hours ago
Posted In: News, Women's Health at 03:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Federal Court Blocks Ohio Law Defunding Planned Parenthood

Temporary restraining order against the state will allow Planned Parenthood to continue providing health services for now

A federal circuit court today temporarily blocked an Ohio law that would strip Planned Parenthood of about $1.4 million in state and federal funds.

That law was slated to go into effect today, but will now be placed on hold until June 6 as the court considers a longer-lasting injunction against the defunding move by conservative state lawmakers. 

The money the state seeks to withhold is used by Planned Parenthood to provide non-abortion healthcare services, including HIV and cancer screenings. 

Judge Michael R. Barrett of the U.S. Southwest District Court ruled that the organization’s challenge to the law has a significant chance of success in federal courts, and thus placed a temporary restraining order on the state, preventing it from enforcing the law for the time being.

Barrett agreed with Planned Parenthood’s arguments that the law blocking the money could severely damage medical-screening activities the organization undertakes, and that those operations could be hard to reestablish.

“Plaintiffs explain that without the funds at issue here, Plaintiffs will be forced to stop providing services such as pap smears and other cancer screenings, tests for HIV/AIDS and tests and treatment for other STDs, infant mortality prevention programs, and sexual health education programs,” Barrett wrote in his ruling today. “Therefore, the Court concludes that for purposes of deciding Plaintiffs’ Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, Plaintiffs have established irreparable injury.”

In seeking the injunction, Planned Parenthood argues that the law violates the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment by targeting the organization due to the fact it provides abortions.

State lawmakers have been open in acknowledging that they seek to strip funds from Planned Parenthood because the organization provides abortions, even though the public money given to the organization goes to other health services.

Conservatives in the state house have said they’re opposed to abortion for moral and safety reasons, and have described their crackdown on abortion providers like Planned Parenthood as a way to protect women.

“We have an obligation to say to Planned Parenthood, until you get out of the business of termination of pregnancy, the destruction of human life, we are not going to choose to fund you,” Ohio Sen. Peggy Lehner, a Republican who helped push the law, said during debate over the defunding provision in January.

But Planned Parenthood claims these clinics aren't immediately in a position to fill the healthcare gaps it would leave, which would include 70,000 free STD screenings it provides through a Centers for Disease Control program and 5,000 free HIV tests for populations at high risk for the virus.

Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio serves 20 counties in the region. It says about 75 percent of its clients are low-income.
 
The defunding effort is the latest in a recent string of laws passed by Ohio Republicans seeking to limit abortions. The state has passed ever-stricter standards, including stipulations about admitting privileges at local hospitals and rules against publicly funded hospitals entering into such agreements with abortion clinics. That’s whittled down the number of clinics in the state from 14 a few years ago to just nine today. Among them is the last clinic in the Cincinnati area, the Elizabeth Campbell Medical Center in Mount Auburn, which has been threatened with closure over the new laws.

Planned Parenthood officials cheered the federal court’s decision today.

“This ruling is a victory for the tens of thousands of Ohioans that rely on Planned Parenthood for care each year,” said Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio CEO Jerry Lawson. “Our state legislators want to ban abortion across the board, and they were willing to decimate access to preventive care in the process. But this isn’t about politics for our patients, it’s about their health and their lives. If you have a lump in your breast or need an HIV test, lawmakers should be making it easier, not harder, to get the care you need.”

 
 
by Nick Swartsell 05.23.2016 62 hours ago
Posted In: News at 09:37 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
michelle dillingham 2

Morning News and Stuff

City's top brass all got raises last year; local Dems tussle over 2017; historic Bavarian Brewery safe for now

Hey hey Cincinnati. Hope you got outside and soaked up the perfect weather this weekend. Now it’s back to the real world, where news happens.

The directors of every city of Cincinnati department received raises this past year, according to city records reported by The Cincinnati Enquirer. In total, those raises are costing city taxpayers $234,000 more a year. Some of the city’s 25 department heads got those pay bumps despite making few of their stated goals and receiving rather mixed performance reviews. Top salary getters include Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac, whose $162,000 paycheck is 20 percent more than his predecessor Chief Jeffrey Blackwell made. Fire Chief Richard Braun, who is now also making $162,000, saw his pay raised 16 percent. Those raises came during a time when the city projected as much as a $14 million budget deficit. That deficit was cut in half by more recent economic projections, but could still trigger cuts to the city’s human services and economic development efforts, among other services. The city manager’s recently released budget calls for a 1 percent raise for all city employees, and police and fire personnel are negotiating to get a 3 percent bump.

• Speaking of the budget, Mayor John Cranley is set to unveil his ideas for the city’s financial plan today at 11 a.m. at Westwood Town Hall, according to a news release from the mayor's office. On the agenda: $30 million for neighborhood projects in that neighborhood and in places like West Price Hill, North Avondale, Bond Hill and others. City Manager Black released his budget proposal Thursday, and Cranley has two weeks to submit his version to City Council. He’ll be presenting his version of the budget at town halls throughout the week.

• We haven’t even survived 2016 yet, but we’re already talking about the election after it. Last week, we told you about the increasing focus around Cincinnati’s 2017 mayoral and City Council races. Now, after revelations that Councilwoman Yvette Simpson sent out a memo to potential firms that could help her in a bid opposing fellow Dem Cranley, Hamilton County Democratic Party Chair Tim Burke is asking party members to focus on this year’s election. Burke has said it’s too early to focus on next year just yet when there are big races at the county level — most notably a pitched fight for control of the Hamilton County Commission. State Rep. Denise Driehaus is running to grab a seat on that body, and if she pulls out a victory against Republican interim commissioner Dennis Deters, the three-member group that oversees the county could have a Democrat majority for the first time in years. But the call for unity from Burke comes as the party is experiencing tension between two factions in the city: younger, more progressive Dems who tended to support the streetcar and who push for items like increases in human services funding, and more established, moderate Democrats like Mayor Cranley.

• That battle continues to shape up: progressive 2013 City Council candidate Michelle Dillingham is launching her bid for a Council seat in the 2017 election tonight at Bromwell’s Harth-Lounge at 6 p.m. Dillingham came in 12th in that race and hopes to turn support for her from progressives into a Council seat this time around.

• A historic building in Covington will get at least a little more time safe from the wrecking ball. Kenton County Circuit Court Judge Patricia Summe told Bavarian Brewery owners Columbia Sussex that they can’t demolish the 100-year-old building. The structure, which sits in a historic district, once held Jillian’s nightclub. Columbia-Sussex originally wanted to put a casino on the property, but Kentucky legislators have yet to pass a law that would allow that to happen. Now, the company says the only way it can see a return on investment is by demolishing the building. Covington’s Urban Design Review Board previously denied a permit application for that demolition, and Judge Summe’s ruling affirms that position. Columbia-Sussex can appeal her decision, however.

• Finally, University of Cincinnati President Santa Ono made big news over the weekend with his admission that he suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts as a younger man. Ono made the revelation at a fundraiser Saturday for mental health-awareness group 1N5, whose name is a reference to research that shows one in five individuals in the United States suffers from mental illness. Ono said that by talking about his past struggles, he hoped to show that mental illness is treatable and nothing to be ashamed of.

 
 
by Rick Pender 05.20.2016 5 days ago
at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
stage door

Stage Door: Happy Days, Sad Romances, Bad Dates and a Little Sleaze

Since last week’s Stage Door I’ve seen several productions that are definitely worth checking out.

Diogenes Theatre Company is presenting Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days at the Aronoff Center’s Fifth Third Bank Theater through Sunday. Don’t ask me to tell you what it’s about — it’s by Beckett, so it’s an absurdist piece that deals with existence, loneliness and happiness.

There are two characters: Winnie talks incessantly, while Willie barely speaks at all. They’re a couple, it seems, but they’re living minimal and seemingly diminishing lives, literally stuck in holes in a vast, arid landscape. Nevertheless, Winnie seems to remain relentlessly optimistic about the future, while Willie doesn’t have much to say but seems weary of it all. It’s one of those works (like Beckett’s Waiting for Godot) that can be interpreted in numerous ways, so I’ll leave that to you. But I will say that it’s a rare opportunity to see an impressive acting performance by Amy Warner, a professional who graced local stages for more than a decade. She now lives in Minnesota with her husband, former Playhouse Associate Artistic Director Michael Evan Haney, who staged this piece. In the show’s shorter second act, she is buried up to her neck — and still presents a compelling performance based almost solely on facial expressions. (Willie is played by Michael Sommers who teaches at the University of Minnesota.) This show won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s a fascinating script that will keep you talking with anyone who joins you to a performance. Tickets: 513-621-2787.

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is presenting Antony & Cleopatra, the second installment in its staging of Shakespeare’s Roman plays. It uses many of the same actors in roles established in its recent staging of Julius Caesar (April 8-May 7), most particularly Nick Rose as the ebullient but besotted Roman general Marc Antony. Guest actress Chantal Jean-Pierre is Cleopatra, the object of his obsession. The role is an unusual one for Shakespeare — the Egyptian queen is strong-willed, impulsive and downright willful. Jean-Pierre’s performance put me in mind of Beyoncé, strong and sassy performer who knows how to manipulate her audience. I can’t say her performance struck me as historically accurate, but it has an emotional essence that distills her power over the aging warrior. It’s not the chemistry I expected, but she’s intriguing to watch. Kyle Brumley plays a slightly creepy, slow-mo Emperor Octavius, a reticent but efficient in establishing his power yet drained of passion. Cincy Shakes stages this sweeping story with projected video and animation to depict sea battles and military combat, and that’s a plus for this production. The show is one for completists who want to check it off, but I found it overlong and not always compelling. Through June 4. Tickets: 513-381-2273.

The Cincinnati Playhouse’s staging of Theresa Rebeck’s Bad Dates is an entertaining evening of storytelling by a woman who’s trying to make a go at finding love after a dry spell and at middle age. It’s amusing without being in any way profound, but you’ll like Vivia Font’s charming performance as Haley Walker, a sweet but uninhibited girl next door — at least next door in New York City. This show was an immense hit for the playhouse in 2005, and it seems likely that this revival will pack the Shelterhouse Theatre through June 12. (CityBeat review here.) Tickets: 513-421-3888.

If you’re a musical theater fan and willing to spring for a ticket to the touring production of Cabaret at the Aronoff, you won’t be disappointed. It’s a fittingly slutty interpretation of Kander and Ebb’s powerful piece, and this rendition doesn’t pull its punches when it comes to the sinister undertones of life in Berlin before World War II as the Nazi regime rose to power. The show has great music, but sometimes that takes precedence over the admonitory tale of people unwilling to see what’s right in front of them. The tour features a strong ensemble, especially with 2000 CCM grad Randy Harrison as the sleazy, sinister emcee. He’s so engaged in this role that right after intermission he ad libs his way through a few minutes of audience interaction — spreading the discomfort beyond the stage. Tickets: 513-621-2787.

Quite a few shows are wrapping up runs and seasons this weekend, what with Memorial Day not far behind when Cincinnati theaters tend to slow down. It’s final curtains for Satchel Paige and the Kansas City Swing at the Playhouse, Brigadoon at the Covedale, the truly excellent staging of Violet at Ensemble Theatre, plus Next Fall at Newport’s Falcon Theatre and Catch Me If You Can by Showbiz Players at the Carnegie in Covington.

Rick Pender’s STAGE DOOR blog appears here every Friday.

 
 
by Staff 05.20.2016 5 days ago
at 09:54 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List

OTR 5k & City Flea of the season; AVP Beach Volleyball Tour; Preacher premieres on AMC and more

FRIDAY

ONSTAGE: HAPPY DAYS

If you’re looking for uplifting plays, Samuel Beckett is not the guy you’d normally turn to. Nevertheless, the writer of Waiting for Godot had occasional lighter moments, and Happy Days was one of them — even though it’s an absurdist tale of a woman buried up to her waist and a man sleeping in a hole. This production by Diogenes Theatre Company features the return of two former Cincinnati theater favorites, director Michael Haney and actress Amy Warner, playing the indomitable Winnie, who maintains both sanity and optimism in the face of adversity. Joining Warner onstage is Minnesota actor Michael Sommers as her laconic husband Willie. Through May 22. $29; $14 students. Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, 513-721-3344, diogenestheatrecompany.com

AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour
Photo: Provided by Jerry Milani
SPORTS: AVP PRO BEACH VOLLEYBALL TOUR
AVP’s beach volleyball tour returns to Cincinnati in the form of a five-day qualifying event for the Rio Olympic Games — the final qualifying event for the 2016 Summer Olympics held on American soil. The tour was scheduled to begin on May 17 with qualification tournaments, and features main draw tournaments and pool play into the weekend. The tour culminates 6:30 p.m. Saturday with men’s and women’s award ceremonies. But that isn’t all: The Linder Family Tennis Center transforms into a beachy getaway in honor of the event, featuring music, food and interactive activations, which let you personally assume the role of a pro volleyball player. Events continue through Saturday. Free. Lindner Family Tennis Center, 5460 Courseview Drive, Mason, avp.com

Dave Ross
Photo: Provided 
COMEDY: DAVE ROSS
Dave Ross is a stand-up comedian based in Los Angeles. When he’s not doing stand-up, he’s in a sketch group called WOMEN that produces skits for Comedy Central and IFC's Comedy Crib. He also hosts a podcast called Terrified, won a MOTH Grand Slam and was interviewed by Marc Maron on the WTF Podcast. His advice for young people? Turn 30. “If you’re still in your twenties, you should try this being in your thirties stuff. Everything is better now. I don’t throw up anymore; I have a teapot. It’s dope.” Thursday-Sunday. $8-$14. Go Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy.com

ReUse-apalooza
Photo: Provided
EVENT: REUSE-APALOOZA
This sustainable soirée brings customers, designers and local leaders together to celebrate the power of renewability. Featuring light bites, My Nose Turns Red circus performers and entertainment by Sexy Time Live Band Karaoke, ReUse-apalooza is the annual fundraiser of Building Value, a nonprofit that salvages reusable building materials for public sale. A highlight of the night is the opportunity to win a one-of-a-kind home or garden item — including everything from decorative plant holders to furniture — during the Designer Challenge Auction, which features functional pieces constructed from reused or repurposed materials. 7-11 p.m. Friday. $25. Building Value, 4040 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, 513-475-6783, buildingvalue.org. 

'Da Vinci — The Genius'
Photo: Provided
ATTRACTIONS: DA VINCI – THE GENIUS 
What do an airplane, a helicopter, an automobile, a submarine, a parachute, a bicycle and a military tank have in common? They were all envisioned by Leonardo da Vinci, the 16th-century artist, scientist and thinker. The new Cincinnati Museum Center exhibit, Da Vinci – The Genius, lets you push, pull, crank and interact with replicas of the Renaissance Man’s machines. Explore da Vinci’s legacy like never before in 17 themed galleries with more than 200 pieces, plus educational animations of his most famous work and the most in-depth analysis ever of the iconic “Mona Lisa.” Through Sep. 25. $19.50; $17.50 senior; $12.50 children; discounts for members. Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, cincymuseum.org

May Festival Chorus
ONSTAGE: MAY FESTIVAL
Surround yourself in song and celebrate music director James Conlon’s final season with the May Festival, America’s oldest choral festival. Performances include Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, the first piece Conlon conducted with the May Festival 37 years ago, plus a special concert of works by Mozart and two world premieres performed in the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption. The fest’s finale concert on May 28 will be the very last performance at Music Hall before it closes for renovation. Through May 28. Ticket prices vary. Find a full schedule at mayfestival.com

Cincy Swing Fest
Photo: 3CDC
EVENT: CINCY SWING FEST WEEKEND
Rewind to the 1920s, when crowds in Harlem took to the dance floor with a new type of move called Swing; a time when Swing-era bandleader Cab Calloway referred to dancers as “jitterbugs,” out on the floor with their fast, bouncy movements. You too can Jitterbug, Charleston and Lindy Hop right at home on present-day Fountain Square. Free, impromptu dance instruction from The Lindy Society will be accompanied by local Jazz and Swing bands. Ambitious performers can participate in a Jack & Jill competition Saturday night, and pin-up studio Retrocentric will be on hand to give mini-makeovers. 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Free. Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown, myfountainsquare.com

Sugar Candy Mountain
Photo: Sheva Kafai 
MUSIC: SUGAR CANDY MOUNTAIN
California’s Sugar Candy Mountain is one of the new breed of Pysch Rock's top artists to keep an eye on if you’re a fan of modern Psych Pop and Rock. Wonderfully showcasing the music’s tendency to meld vintage elements with new and unique visions, Sugar Candy Mountain is the brainchild of Will Halsey, an active Bay Area musician and engineer who played drums for successful Indie act The Blank Tapes, and singer/songwriter/guitarist Ash Reiter. The two musicians met when Halsey responded to ad Reiter had placed looking for a drummer for her eponymous band, an Indie Pop outfit. Halsey got the gig, and the two became romantically involved (they’re getting married later this year). Read more in this week's Sound Advice. Sugar Candy Mountain plays MOTR Pub Friday with All Seeing Eyes and A Giant Dog. More info/tickets: motrpub.com.

SATURDAY
Cincinnati Library Comic Con
Photo: Provided
EVENT: CINCINNATI LIBRARY COMIC CON 
Set your phasers to stun and head downtown for the fourth-annual Cincinnati Library Comic Con. This year’s event celebrates the 50th-anniversary of Star Trek with an exhibit of memorabilia ranging from the original series through the rebooted films, plus screenings of fan-favorite Star Trek movies. This daylong geeky get-together also features tabletop game play, cosplay contests, creator booths, special guest cartoonists/comics/graphic novelists, a drawing contest and additional events for kids, teens and adults. Noon-5 p.m. Saturday. Free. Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Main Branch, 800 Vine St., Downtown, cincinnatilibrary.org. 

EVENT: WESTSIDE MAKERS NEIGHBORHOOD FIELD DAY AND BOOK RELEASE
Calcagno Cullen, who has brought attention to Camp Washington’s potential through her Wave Pool gallery, has also noticed ripples in Covington’s west side neighborhood. Over the past four months, she’s used a grant from the Center for Great Neighborhoods to profile roughly 30 community-makers and compiled a book of their recipes, designs and DIY tips. Cullen says that when she started the project, she expected to meet artists quietly working in their basements. Instead she found budding philanthropists and other creatives eager to share and inspire. Get to know a chicken keeper, librarians, gardeners, yoga teachers, musicians, cooks, a sculptor and more at a party in and around Orchard Park. 1-4 p.m. Saturday. Free; $5 book. Orchard Park, 318 Orchard St., Covington, Ky., facebook.com/westsidemakers. 

'Domestic Departures'
Photo/Art: Susan Byrnes 
ART: DOMESTIC DEPARTURES AT KENNEDY HEIGHTS ART CENTER
Multimedia installation artist Susan Byrnes has taken over five rooms throughout the Kennedy Heights Arts Center’s historic house to reframe domestic activities for audiences and reflect the processes and environments that contain and shape the development of personal identity and family interaction. In addition to the sculptural installation and ambient audio work featured within the home, Byrnes will engage local Kennedy Heights residents to build upon existing pieces and create additional artworks to populate the exhibition. A public reception featuring the completed exhibition, including the community components, will be held Saturday. Reception 6-8 p.m. Saturday. Free. Through June 4. Kennedy Heights Arts Center, 6546 Montgomery Road, Kennedy Heights, kennedyarts.org. 

Ruby the Hatchet
Photo: Action PR
MUSIC: RUBY THE HATCHET
The band coalesced five years ago after a succession of basement jams in their home state of New Jersey, followed quickly by their relocation to Philadelphia. The fivesome — vocalist Jillian Taylor, guitarist Johnny Scarps, organist Sean Hur, bassist Mike Parise and drummer Owen Stewart — blended Black Sabbath’s black-hole heaviness, Blue Cheer’s acid-drenched mindmeld, shades of Led Zeppelin’s Brit Folk nuance and Alice in Chains’ growling-hellhound ferocity to forge a sound that pummels and purrs with equal intensity. Read more about the group in this week's Sound Advice. Ruby the Hatchet plays Northside Tavern Saturday with Electric Citizen. More info/tickets: northsidetav.com.

Wisewater
Photo: Chris Key
MUSIC: WISEWATER 
The latest show at the DownTowne Listening Room — an intimate, listener-friendly space located in the former Shillito’s building in the heart of downtown — is being headlined by Nashville’s on-the-rise Wisewater, an acoustic Folk/Americana duo featuring members with some impressive chops and credentials. Kate Lee, who has backed artists from Lady Antebellum to Rod Stewart, sings and plays fiddle, while Forrest O’Connor, busy Nashville session player and son of world-renowned fiddler Mark O’Connor, also sings and plays mandolin and guitar. Formed in 2014, Wisewater has drawn praise from peers and critics for its impeccable musicianship and impressive, crafty songwriting. The twosome’s introductory release, the buzz-building EP The Demonstration, was released last year and a full-length is in the works. 7:30 p.m. Saturday. $12. DownTowne Listening Room, 151 W. Seventh St., Downtown, downtownelisteningroom.com. 

OTR 5K
Photo: Provided
EVENT: OTR 5K AND SUMMER CELEBRATION
Summer is on the way and Over-the-Rhine is celebrating its arrival early with a neighborhood 5k and block party. The 10th-annual OTR 5k run/walk leaves and returns to Washington Park, with a course that winds its way through city streets, led by The Garage OTR – Segway of Cincinnati to keep everyone on track. After the race, cool down in the park with a big-ass party. There will be live music, the first official City Flea of the season, Art on Vine, kids activities and more. Expect food from local vendors, plus local beer and coffee, and cocktails on the deck starting at 11 a.m. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. $35 race registration; free Summer Celebration. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, otr5k.com, washingtonpark.org. 

Lukas Nelson & The Promise of the Real
Photo: Jim Eckenrode
MUSIC: LUKAS NELSON & PROMISE OF THE REAL
It is always interesting to see what the spawn of legendary musicians will come up with when moving into the family business. One of them is guitarist and vocalist Lukas Nelson, who has been slowly rising up on his own laurels while also still playing with his dad, Willie Nelson, on occasion. Lukas is more of a rocker than his father — he’s someone who’d rather plug in his electric guitar and jam with Neil Young than play Country music with Pops. And for the past couple of years, Lukas has been doing just that. He and his band, Promise of the Real, made the 2015 album The Monsanto Years with Young, and toured with him to support it. Things must’ve gone well, because they’re backing Young on tour again this summer. That’s a heady endorsement — the characteristically outspoken and honest Young would not play with Lukas and his crew if they didn’t have the chops. Read more in this week's Sound Advice. Lukas Nelson & The Promise of the Real play Southgate House Revival Saturday with Jim Castro. More info/tickets: southgatehouse.com.

SUNDAY
Dominic Cooper as Jesse Custer
Photo: Lewis Jacobs/AMC
TV: PREACHER
AMC — home of The Walking Dead — continues to cash in on the comic book craze currently taking over screens with its latest original series. Developed by Seth Rogen and frequent contributor/childhood friend Evan Goldberg along with Breaking Bad writer/producer Sam Catlin, Preacher brings to life the dark graphic novel by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. The Preacher at hand is Jesse Custer, a rugged Texan minister who develops an unbelievable power and sets out on a mission of biblical proportions: a journey to find God — literally. By his side are his BFF Irish vampire Cassidy (the stellar Joe Gilgun) and his trigger-happy, on again, off again girlfriend Tulip (Ruth Negga). Expect the action-packed brutality of Dead with far more twisted humor. And because Chris Hardwick is AMC’s Ryan Seacrest, of course he’s hosting a Talking Preacher after-show — but only following the May 29 re-airing of the premiere and the July 31 finale. Catlin, Cooper, Goldberg and Rogen will join Hardwick on the show next Sunday at 10:30 p.m. New episodes will pick up at Preacher’s regular 9 p.m. Sunday time slot on June 5. Series Premiere, 10 p.m. Sunday, AMC.

See the zoo's cheetah cubs in the Nursery throughout May.
Photo: Cassandre Crawford
ATTRACTION: ZOO BABIES
Oh, baby: ’tis the season for tots of all sorts at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. Cubs, calves, chicks and more will be on exhibit throughout the month of May. Gasp and squeal in the presence of more than a dozen babies, including Bowie the penguin in the Children’s Zoo; Dale the takin at Wildlife Canyon; Boca the alligator in Manatee Springs; and bonobos Kibibi and Bolingo in the Jungle Trails. The zoo’s recently born cheetah cubs will also be viewable at the nursery, and Emperor scorplings (aka baby scorpions) are on exhibit in the Insect World building. Human moms receive free admission on Mother’s Day (May 8). Through May 31. $18 adults; $13 children and seniors. Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, cincinnatizoo.org

ONSTAGE: VIOLET
Ensemble Theatre staged this moving musical back in 1999 to great success, but that was before people were flocking to Over-the-Rhine as they do today. To close out its 30th-anniversary season, ETC has revived the story of an anxious young woman bearing a disfiguring scar from a childhood accident. She’s on a cross-country pilgrimage to a televangelist she hopes will heal her, but along the way she meets people who help her find the true meaning of beauty. Composer Jeanine Tesori created powerful anthems for this show, and director D. Lynn Meyers has assembled excellent singers and actors to perform them. Tickets are selling fast. Through May 22. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, 1127 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, ensemblecincinnati.com.

ONSTAGE: BRIGADOON
This old-fashioned show from 1949 is just the kind of musical that Cincinnati Landmark Productions excels at staging. The story of a town in Scotland that disappears into the Highland mists and only returns one day every hundred years is a delightful, tuneful fantasy from writer Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Loewe (the team that created My Fair Lady and Camelot). This tribute to simplicity, goodness and the power of love will have you humming your way out of the theater, especially “Almost Like Being in Love.” Through May 22. $23-$26. Covedale Center for the Performing Arts, 4990 Glenway Ave., 513-241-6550, cincinnatilandmarkproductions.com

'Butterflies of the Caribbean'
Photo: Krohn Conservatory
ATTRACTION: BUTTERFLIES OF THE CARIBBEAN
Krohn Conservatory’s annual extremely popular and extremely beautiful International Butterfly Show returns with Butterflies of the Caribbean. The Caribbean is a collection of cultures and colorful islands connected by a bright blue sea, and the flora, fauna and free-flying butterflies of this exhibit reflect that whimsical seaside attitude. Find white sand, a coral reef, palm trees and an island-inspired floral display in the pinks and yellows of a Caribbean sunset. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Through June 19. $7 adults; $4 children. 1501 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park, 513-421-5707, cincinnatiparks.com

“Legacies” by Kari Steihaug
Photo: Courtesy of the Artist
ART: UNRAVELED: TEXTILES RECONSIDERED AT THE CAC
In Unraveled: Textiles Reconsidered, nine artists deconstruct and reanimate clothing, blankets, rugs and other fabrics into emblems of political and personal expression. Textiles are mined for their metaphors to explore aspects of identity and interconnectedness. Adrian Esparza's “Dawn,” an azure weft spun around a grid of nails using a cheap serape’s single thread, may act as the exhibit’s skeleton key. It depicts, abstractly, a 1908 photograph of the Mount Adams incline, a long-demolished structure. Its title refers to the Procter & Gamble detergent — which Esparza reserves a certain nostalgia for — yet it could just as easily indicate artistic genesis. Read more about the exhibit here. Unraveled: Textiles Reconsidered is on display at the CAC through Aug. 14. More info: contemporaryartscenter.org.

“Branded Head” by Hank Willis Thomas
Photo: Courtesy of Rubell Family Collection. © Hank Willis ThomaS
ART: 30 AMERICANS AT THE CINCINNATI ART MUSEUM
If you’ve been to the Cincinnati Art Museum lately, you’ve seen an early arrival for the show 30 Americans, which opens Saturday. It is the mural-sized “Sleep,” by Kehinde Wiley, the New York-based portrait painter whose depictions of young African-American men in poses reminiscent of Old Masters paintings have made him an art star. It is in the Schmidlapp Gallery, the corridor between the main entrance and the Great Hall, and is impossible to miss. 30 Americans, which primarily features some 60 artworks on loan from Miami’s Rubell Family Collection, also has such important contemporary African-American artists as Kara Walker, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mickalene Thomas, Glenn Ligon and more. On view through Aug. 28. Free admission. Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park, cincinnatiartmuseum.org.

TV: GAME OF THRONES
Sansa finally gets to confront Littlefinger for setting her up with Ramsay; Arya goes to work; Tyrion meets with a new Red Woman; Bran’s latest voyage brings him face to face with the Night’s King and White Walker army. 9 p.m. HBO.



 
 
by Natalie Krebs 05.20.2016 5 days ago
Posted In: News at 09:02 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
yvette simpson

Morning News and Stuff

Councilwoman Simpson drops hints at possible mayoral run; UC down to final candidates for police chief; Oklahoma passes most restrictive abortion bill yet

Good morning y’all! Here are your morning headlines.

• Councilwoman Yvette Simpson might have released the first shred of evidence that she’s running for mayor next year. Simpson sent a letter to consulting firms this month searching for someone who could help with a “campaign against an incumbent executive office holder,” aka Mayor John Cranley. Simpson won’t officially say yet whether she’s going to take a shot at Cranley’s spot or just run for a third term on Council in 2017 but says she’ll make a decision by the end of this year.

• It’s that super exciting time of year when the city lays out its budget for next year. Yesterday, City Manager Harry Black presented his plan for a $1.2 billion city budget that includes raises for city employees, cuts to the human service department and the city’s economic development programs and building a new marina. Yep, the city wants the Parks Department to build a marina along the Ohio River. Mayor Cranley has two weeks to present the budget to Council, which will then approve or amend it some time before the next fiscal year begins on July 1.

• The University of Cincinnati Department of Public Safety says it is down to three candidates to lead the department. The candidates were chosen by an outside consulting firm and include the director of public safety at Oregon State University, a previous CPD officer with more than 20 years experience and police deputy chief at Ohio State. The department is also down to two candidates for assistant chief, including a CPD Department Captain. UC will present the candidates to the public during open forums will be held May 23-25. Former Police Chief Jason Goodrich and Assistant Chief Tim Thornton resigned in February in the wake of the shooting of Mount Auburn resident Samuel DuBose by former UC police officer Ray Tensing.

• Judge Tracie Hunter will not be going to jail today. The suspended juvenile court judge was supposed to start her 60-day jail sentence today, but a judge suspended her sentence after Hunter filed a petition claiming misconduct by the special prosecutor and judge during her trial. Federal Judge Timothy Black ruled Hunter can remain free during the proceedings. A jury convicted Hunter of unlawful interest in a public contract for helping her brother in a discipline hearing 19 months ago.

• Could U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown become Vice President Brown? Yesterday, Sen. Brown was seen parading around with current VP Joe Biden in Columbus, leading to rumors that the progressive senator could be Hillary Clinton’s pick for running mate. Nothing is certain yet, as Biden told White House reporters that Brown would be a “great pick” but then went on to highlight other strong Democratic contenders without hinting at a favorite.

• Oklahoma’s Republican-dominated legislature passed a bill yesterday that would subject doctors to felony charges and revoke their medical licenses for performing abortions. The bill — which is most restrictive abortion bill passed yet — is still waiting on a signature from Republican Gov. Mary Fallin. If signed in to law, it will almost certainly be challenged in state or federal court where legal experts say it will likely be declared unconstitutional.

News tips go here.

 
 
by Nick Swartsell 05.19.2016 6 days ago
Posted In: News at 01:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
city hall

It's City Budget Season Again!

On deck: a marina at Smale, employee raises and cuts to human services

Are you ready for city budget season? It started today.

City Manager Harry Black this morning presented his vision for Cincinnati’s fiscal year 2017 spending blueprint; a $1.2 billion budget he touts as structurally balanced. On deck: a literal deck, as in, a marina along the Ohio River built by the Cincinnati Parks Department, raises for city employees — three percent for police and fire, plus a boost for low-paid workers through a municipal living wage initiative — and cuts to some agencies to make up for a projected $6.7 million revenue shortfall, priming another potential battle over the city’s human services funding.

Last year, Council battled for, and received, $3 million for human services to be spent through a United Way-run funding process, which vets social service organizations based on effectiveness. This year, that amount will drop to $2,781,000.

That nine percent drop once again falls short of a City Council commitment set last decade pledging to commit at least 1.5 percent of the city’s operating budget to human services.

Other organizations now, but not previously, categorized in the human services section of the budget will also take hits. Mayor John Cranley’s Hand Up Initiative, which runs through Cincinnati Works, will receive $225,000 — $25,000 less than last year. Some programs previously funded by the city, like Cradle Cincinnati, which seeks to address the city’s high infant mortality rate, will receive no money at all. Last year, Cradle got $250,000 from the city’s human services fund.

Not everyone will lose when it comes to human services funding, however. The Center for Closing the Health Gap, run by close Cranley ally and former mayor Dwight Tillery, will see its city funding boosted to $1 million, a $250,000 increase over last year. The organization has received increases in past budgets under Cranley as well.

The city’s economic development programs will also see big cuts. Nearly every program funded by that portion of the budget will take hits, totaling about $285,000. Only MORTAR, a program seeking to boost minority entrepreneurship, will see a slight budget boost.

The funding cuts could have been worse: originally, the city was projected to have as much as a $14 million deficit. But revised projections by University of Cincinnati economists showed the revenue gap will be about half that size. Income tax revenues to the city are expected to grow by 4.6 percent, according to a report on the budget issued by City Manager Black.

But the need for cuts elsewhere won’t stop the city from investing in a marina along Smale Riverfront Park. The park board today voted to go forward with the project, which has been in the works for nearly two decades, and Black’s budget calls for $750,000 of city money to go toward the estimated $3.6 million cost of the project. That money is part of $4 million in Black's budget for parks capital projects. Other money could come from past federal funds for Smale, as well as an application for a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The board says the project, which as proposed would have room for 29 boats, will generate revenue for the parks department.

More on the budget as the process unfolds; this party is just getting started. Mayor Cranley has two weeks to present the budget to Council, which will then vote to approve or amend it. The process should wrap up sometime before July 1, when the new fiscal year begins.

 
 
by Nick Swartsell 05.19.2016 6 days ago
Posted In: News at 12:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
sherrod brown

Will Sen. Sherrod Brown be Clinton's VP Pick?

Appearance yesterday in Columbus with VP Joe Biden stokes speculation

You might have missed it, but U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from the Cleveland area, was traveling around with Vice President Joe Biden yesterday in Columbus.

It’s easy to see the two palling around as a hint that Brown, whose name has been tossed around as a running mate for Democratic presidential primary frontrunner Hillary Clinton, might be next in line for Biden’s job.

But is Brown actually a contender in the veepstakes?

So far, the gruff-voiced progressive senator has demurred on that suggestion, trying to shift the spotlight to other potential VP picks.

“I think Secretary Perez and Tim Kaine would be good vice presidents,” Brown told media yesterday. Tom Perez is Obama’s labor secretary, and Kaine is a U.S. senator from Virginia.

Biden and Brown were visiting the Buckeye State to tout President Barack Obama’s move to extend overtime pay to more U.S. workers, and to do some politicking around the 2016 election. Ohio is a vital swing state for 2016 presidential contenders, a fact that Biden acknowledged was a factor in the trip. More specifically, the two did a bit of campaigning for former Democratic Ohio governor Ted Strickland, who is campaigning to take Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman’s seat in November.

Ohio’s Senate situation could provide a good reason Brown wouldn’t get the VP nod from Clinton. As Brown himself has pointed out, he would have to leave his Senate seat before 2018, when he’s up for reelection. Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich would then get to pick his replacement. That’s a seat Democrats can’t afford to lose as they wrestle to regain control of Congress.

But don’t count Brown out just yet.

Biden yesterday told White House reporters that Brown “would be a great pick” as Clinton’s running mate. But he also highlighted the strong pool of candidates Democrats have available and didn’t offer an endorsements.

Among other possible picks are Sens. Mark Warner of Virginia and progressive firebrand Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who some say Clinton could choose to try and build a bridge with supporters of her primary rival, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders.
 
 
 
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