I suppose with one of the biggest drinking holidays right around the corner, it would only make sense that tonight's events all take place at bars!If you've read our Swizzle Bar Guide, you know we've got a handle on a ton a great area bars and clubs. To celebrate these excellent establishments, we've launched our Swizzle Happy Hour Series: on the third Thursday of every month, we'll host after-work drinks at a different bar. Tonight is our kick-off at Mynt Martini downtown. From 5-7 p.m., we'll get our March Madness on and party St. Practice Day-style with $1 green beers, $2.50 domestics, $3 imports and well drinks, and $5 martinis and flatbread. If drink specials and basketball aren't enough, we'll be giving away tons of prizes: movie passes, tickets to Borgore with Document One and Paul M. at Bogart's, and a $50 gift certificate to Funny Bone on the Levee. Come hang out with us!
Arnie's on the Levee is also hosting some March Madness festivities, benefiting Northern Kentucky's Brighton Center. For every person that comes in between 6-9 p.m. tonight, Arnie's will donate $1 to the center, which works with area individuals and families to create opportunities for self-sufficiency through support services, education and leadership. In addition to basketball, there will be a wing-eating contest featuring Mark Collier of "Fort Thomas Matters," Highlands football players and radio personalities.
So spelling isn't everyone's talent. That's OK. Claddagh in Newport is hosing a weekly singing competition for those more vocally-inclined. Claddagh's Got Talent kicks off tonight at 9 p.m. with a qualifying competition. Each Thursday, a winner will be picked to compete in the finals in 10 weeks. The winner of it all will walk away with $5,000!
Want to enjoy a more cosmic experience this weekend? Stop by the Cincinnati Astronomical Society in Cleves for the Mars Returns program. Mars is visible from Earth this time of year, and with CAS's powerful telescope, you'll get an excellent glimpse of the famed red planet (weather permitting). Learn about the myths and mysteries that surround Mars and the latest info from NASA. This free program takes place from 8-11 p.m. Saturday. Consider making a small donation on your way out to create more astronomical opportunities at the center.
The Cincinnati Rollergirls take on the Demolition City Roller Derby from Evansville, IN. in the third annual College Night Saturday. Students, faculty and staff just need to show school IDs at the door for $10 tickets — the first 300 get free CRG bottle openers. If you missed the girls' season opener, be sure to check out this match, the second home double-header of the 2012 season. Doors open at 6 p.m.with the first bout rolling off at 7 p.m. As always, enjoy $1 happy hour beers from 6-7 p.m. and stick around after the game to meet those badass chicks!
Quick Notes: Stage Door breaks down this weekend's theater offerings; find upcoming concerts and club shows here; Prairie Gallery's Airstream and the Contemporary Arts Centers' Dasha Shiskin exhibit are among this week's visual art suggestions; find even more events on our To Do page.
Most cops discourage partying and street art — not The London Police. The British art duo has been leaving their precision-meets-cartoony signature pieces across Covington throughout the past week and tonight, from 7-11 p.m. at BLDG, The London Police will reveal the sites of their work, which includes several small-scale pieces and one mural. Meet the duo, purchase their work and see them perform live as TLP Dog Singers.
The 25th Annual Midwest Black Family Reunion takes places this weekend, bringing more than 50,000 people to Sawyer Point — making it one of the city’s largest family-focused annual festivities. Events include a parade Saturday, Sunday morning service, food and retail vendors, live music, town hall meetings and much more. Go here for a full event schedule.
As students across the Tri-state prepare to head back to school, you can do your part to ensure safe, accessible sex education is available through Planned Parenthood. The organization’s fundraiser, Summer’s Over – What a Drag…Show features two drag shows with lots of performances Saturday night at The Cabaret, above Below Zero in Over-the-Rhine. The shows — featuring drag queens and kings, including RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Mystique “Bitch, I am from Chicago” Summers — begin at 7 and 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for students, $20 GA or $30 for both shows if purchased online ($5 at the door). All proceeds go toward sex education through Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region.
Washington Park will be abuzz this weekend, as per usual. The City Flea sets up Saturday, fulfilling all your quirky shopping needs (plus eats and drinks from local foods trucks and vendors) from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Later that night at 9 p.m., it’s Date Night Movie time with Julie and Julia (which sounds more like a Date Night with Mom Movie, but we’re not judging). And Sunday is full of free performances, starting with ArtsWave’s Sundays in the Park. Cincinnati Ballet Second Company will present a free performance and dance-along at 2 and 3 p.m. To really make the most out of your day (without opening your wallet), stick around for Shakespeare in the Park at 7 p.m., where Cincinnati Shakespeare Company will present a free performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Occupy Cincinnati is hosting a primary watch party at C & D Northside from 8-11 p.m. Check out the night's results while enjoying a stiff drink — the group's Facebook invite suggests ordering a "Santorum" (though something tells me I might have to pass). Occupy has some tips for voting against corporate parties; check those out here.
And speaking of the man who turned "Santorum" into a dirty word, a bit further south down I-75 Dan Savage is speaking at the University of Kentucky. Savage is touring as a part of the It Gets Better lecture series, the movement created by Savage to give hope to LGBTQ kids who face bullying, and fight hatred and intolerance against them. Savage will give a presentation and sign books beginning at 7 p.m. in Memorial Hall on the UK campus. If you can make the trip, it's a great opportunity to meet Savage and become involved in It Gets Better — tickets are free to all attendees (just have a local direct you to the Student Center Ticket Office to pick up passes).
Investigative reporter, film producer and Cleveland-native James Renner debuts his first novel tonight at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Commons. The Man From Primrose Lane is a "mind-bending and genre-twisting" story about the murder of an elderly man in Akron. Renner will read from and sign the novel at 7 p.m. The event is free (the book is $26).
Who is the most hilarious Tri-State resident? Each year, Go Bananas tries to answer that question with the club’s Funniest Person in Cincinnati Contest. Tonight the competition kicks off with semi-pros Dwight Simmons, Ranaan Hershberg, Jebb Lyons and Lindsay Boling and several amateurs. Five bucks gets you in the door to check out some of Cincy’s up-and-coming comics. The competition will continue weekly through August, when the favorite comedian will be crowned
Jenny “The Bloggess” Lawson makes a stop at Joseph-Beth Booksellers at Rookwood Pavilion tonight — kind of. The Internet superstar will discuss her “mostly true memoir,” Let’s Pretend This Never Happened via Skype at the book store. The Bloggess’ literary debut features mortifyingly hilarious anecdotes that helped shape an awkward girl into a wildly popular writer. The book talk begins at 7 p.m. Admission is free.
It’s the 12th annual Paddlefest weekend, when more than 2,000 locals and visitors will descend onto the Ohio River on kayaks and canoes to paddle along the scenic route. It’s an all-around nature weekend with the Ohio River Music & Outdoor Festival Friday; the second annual Pedalfest (a part bike-part paddle ride) Saturday; and Global Water Dances Saturday — check out feature on this culture choreography event here.
Constella Festival, a local chamber music and
fine arts collaboration organization, celebrates the official start of summer with a night
of Jazz, art and food Saturday. Constella Summer Solstice
features music from the Benjamin Thomas and Peter Gemus Jazz Duo and violinist
Tatiana Berman, an exhibit from Essex Studios’ The Art Circle and bites from
Silverglades, S&J Bakery and Madisono’s Gelato. The party runs 6-9 p.m. Saturday at
Venue 222 in Over-the-Rhine. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.
Has Pinterest got you starting crafty
projects that never seem to make it to completion? Bring your D.I.Y. supplies,
incomplete projects and inspiration along as Fabricate and Crafty Supermarket join
forces to present an Etsy Craft Party Saturday. Meet fellow creatives at the
patio behind Fabricate in Northside from 4-7 p.m. Saturday and work on your own
project or make Girl Scout-style crafter badges with provided materials. It’s
free to join, but RSVP here.
Concert:nova returns with its annual Food + Music festival, pairing international music with creative dishes at some of the city’s best restaurants. This Sunday at Kaze, chefs Cameron Bloomer and Hideki Harada will prepare a Japanese-style brunch following a c:n performance of Takemitsu and Debussy. Cocktails and appetizers will be served at noon, followed by music at 12:45 p.m. and brunch at 1:30 p.m.; go here for tickets.
Cincinnati beer festival Bockfest hosts the second of four preliminary rounds of a gender-neutral pageant to name the 2015 Sausage Queen, who will lead the Bockfest Parade with a symbolic tray of bockwurst sausage. Based on their personality, presence and talent, judges will move beer enthusiasts through a series of rounds of competition, leading up a final crowning and cash prize. Come out and support the candidates and have a couple of beers yourself. Future rounds Feb. 26 at Washington Platform and Feb. 28 at Crazy Fox Saloon. 9 p.m. Friday. Free. Milton’s, 301 Milton St., Prospect Hill, bockfest.com.
ONSTAGE: Little Women
The story of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel from the late 1860s, Little Women, has long been woven into the American consciousness. The March family lives in refined poverty, with a dutiful father away in the Civil War and a steadfast mother raising four headstrong daughters. Their story is one of hardship and heartbreak, with generous doses of situational humor, all of which are recaptured in Emma Reeves’ new adaptation for the stage being regionally premiered by Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. CSC’s acting company is replete with fine actors, and local stage veteran Annie Fitzpatrick plays loving Marmee, who strives to keep her chicks in order. Through March 21. $14-$36. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 719 Race St., Downtown, 513-381-2273, cincyshakes.com.
Speaking of people who like to drink, tonight is our Swizzle Soiree, an annual celebration of the release of our bar guide. Head on over to PLAY downtown from 5:30-10:30 p.m. There will be free drink tickets and hors d'oeuvres from area restaurants, happy hour specials all night, music from Pop Empire and lots of giveaways — movie passes, shot glasses and two passes to Bonnaroo! Sign up to register and be present at 9 p.m. to win. It's gon' be fun. Check out the event on Facebook for more info.
The Cincinnati Opera's Opening Gala takes place April 28, with an after-party at the Duke Energy Center. In preparation for this "Late Night in Charleston," Japp's is hosting a happy hour tonight. Preview the event, and help the Opera decide which signature cocktail (by none other than Molly Wellman) to serve next month. The party runs 6-9 p.m. Go here for details.
Before you leave for the night, set up that DVR for Delocated, Awake, 30 Rock and more Thursday television gems. Peep our TV column for details.
Another TED event takes place locally today, this time on Xavier's campus. TEDxXavierUniversity brings leaders in innovation from across the city and country to speak on the theme "Touching the hearts and minds of others through innovation, service, and leadership." Speakers include emcee Michelle Beckham-Corbin (President and Chief Digital Marketing Strategist of C3: Creating Connections Consulting, LLC), Todd Henry (founder and CEO of Accidental Creative), Rashmi Assudani PhD. (Associate Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship at XU's Williams College of Business) and other CEOs, directors of non-profits and cutting edge entrepreneurs. The free event runs 1-5 p.m. today at the Cintas Center Schiff Banquet Hall. Guests should have already reserved their spot in advance.
Comedian John Heffron makes a tour stop at Funny Bone on the Levee starting tonight. Heffron was the winner of Last Comic Standing's second season and has performed on tons of late night shows and Comedy Central specials and at comedy festivals. A relatively "clean" comic, Heffron avoids politics and controversy in his acts, focusing on the naturally funny aspects of everyday life. Tonight's performance begins at 8 p.m. Find details here.