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by Rick Pender 05.02.2014 122 days ago
Posted In: Theater at 09:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
stage door 5-2 - venus in fur @ cincy playhouse - photo sandy underwood

Stage Door: Rare Shakespeare, Romance and More

If you're looking for a show that will get things going romantically, I'll point you to the Cincinnati Playhouse's production of Venus in Fur (onstage through May 17). But be careful what you wish for: You might end up like playwright/director Thomas with your hands full of more than you wanted to take on. He's seeking an actress to play the central role in his adaptation of an erotic Victorian novel. Vanda shows up for an audition, none too promising at first, but the tables turn very quickly. This is a funny and provocative script, and Greta Wohlrabe's performance as Vanda is masterful and highly entertaining. I gave it a Critic's Pick. Tickets ($30-$75): 513-421-3888.

For something completely different — and in a venue I bet you've never visited — head to Bellevue, Ky., to St. John United Church of Christ (520 Fairfield Ave.) for a bare-bones, church-basement production of Joe Calarco's Walter Cronkite Is Dead by WIT-Women in Theatre. The group is focused on plays for and about women, and this one touches on a lot of issues when two women without much in common end up spending an unwilling evening together, stuck in an airport lounge due to bad weather. They cover a lot of territory — imperfect marriages, ungrateful children, fears, beliefs and politics (they're at opposite ends of the spectrum). Their ups and downs are a bit forced, but actresses Cat Cook and Cate White do solid jobs portraying two very different women. It's a tad like a movie of the week on the Lifetime channel, but there's some entertaining writing. This is the second and final weekend. Word has it that Friday night is pretty full, but Saturday (thanks to the Kentucky Derby) has plenty of seats available. Tickets ($15, discounted by $5 if you bring a piece of luggage bigger than a carry-on): 859-441-6882.

If you've seen Shakespeare's 37 other plays, tonight is the night for you to catch the one you've missed: The Two Noble Kinsmen opens at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, the final script by the Bard that gives the company bragging rights to be one of only five theaters in the U.S. to stage every one of his plays. You can read more about this one, as well as Cincy Shakes, which is marking its 20th anniversary in my cover story in this week's issue. See it before it closes on May 25: Two Noble Kinsmen is rarely onstage, and Shakespeare fans are coming from all over North America to see this production. Tickets ($22-$35): 513-381-2273, x1.

Finishing up this weekend are runs of the musical Gypsy at the Covedale (513-241-6550) and Know Theatre's production of The Twentieth-Century Way (513-300-5669).
 
 
by Maija Zummo 04.30.2014 124 days ago
at 01:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
drinking_neons

Derby Day Parties

Celebrate the 140th running of the roses with mint juleps and hat contests around town

The 140th annual Kentucky Derby "running of the roses" is deemed "the most exciting two minutes in sports" — the Thoroughbreds at Churchill Downs only run 2 km. This year's horse contenders include fantastic names like Dance with Fate, Vicar's in Trouble and Candy Boy, almost as creative as some of the derby hats ladies wear to the festivities. Luckily, you don't have to go to Louisville for fun. Local bars and restaurants are celebrating this Kentucky tradition with viewing parties, bourbon and flowing mint juleps. 

Blinkers Tavern — A viewing party with mint juleps and bourbon slush. Wear derby attire. 4 p.m. 318 Greenup St., Covington, Ky., blinkerstavern.com

College Hill Communitiy Urban Redevelopment Corporation Derby Party — The CHCURC's fourth annual Derby Day party and fundraiser will be held at historic Laurel Court, a gilded age beaux-arts estate in College Hill. Modeled after the Petit Trianon in Versailles, Laurel Court sits on 7.5 acres of land, with a French garden, a Japanese garden, statues and more. Admission includes a mint julep reception with live entertainment, open wine and beer bar, catered Derby food, a viewing and a party to follow. The party inside the historic mansion includes a silent auction, live music, raffles, hat contests and a cash bar. Attire is dressy casual. 5 p.m. $75; $85 at the door. Laurel Court, 5870 Belmont Ave., College Hill, chcurc.com.

The Famous Neons Unplugged — Sponsored by Kentucky's Old Forester. Molly Wellmann will be serving up her own mint juleps in an official, 140th annual Kentucky Derby commemorative glass. (Get the mint julep and the glass for $10; $7 refills all day.) Taste 513 will be serving classic country food while Buffalo Wabs and the Price Hill Hustle play. Day includes a Fancy Derby Hat Contest and Dapper Dude Contest, judged by Julie Nieson (Wine Me, Dine Me), Kenneth Wright (Events at Cincinnati CityBeat) and Ilene Ross, (513{Eats}/CityBeat). Watch the official race at 6:30. 2-7 p.m. Free. The Famous Neons Unplugged, 208 E. 12th St., Downtown, facebook.com/neonsunplugged.

Kolping Society Derby Day Party — Family-friendly event sponsored by the Kolping Society of Cincinnati. Catch the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby on the big screen in the pavilion and wagers on Kolping's own "night at the races" broadcasts. Blue Caboose Band will provide the sounds and Wiedemann Brewing will be introducing a special lager and seasonal brew. Food includes an $8 Kentucky-style chicken buffet, beginning at 7 p.m. Free snacks provided at tables. Free hot dogs and soda for kids 12 and younger. 5 p.m. $5; $10 family. Kolping Center Outdoor Pavilion and Biergarten, 10235 Mill Road, Mt. Healthy, kolpingcenter.com.
 
 
by Maija Zummo 04.25.2014 129 days ago
Posted In: Food news, Events, Cincinnati at 09:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
exemplar

Great Food for a Great Cause

National Exemplar dinner is head and neck cancer benefit

The National Exemplar, a restaurant located in the historic Mariemont Inn, is hosting their second annual Great Food for a Great Cause fundraiser and dinner to benefit research for head and neck cancers via the The Brandon C. Gromada Head & Neck Cancer Foundation.

The Brandon C. Gromada Head & Neck Cancer Foundation was founded after lifelong Cincinnatian and former Exemplar employee lost his battle to squamous cell carcinoma in 2010. 

“Brandon inspired us all,” Mike Pardo, chief operating officer at The Phoenix Restaurant Group (which runs The National Exemplar), said in a press release. “We're proud to be participating in Great Food for a Great Cause and hope we can make a difference in the fight against head and neck cancer.”

All net proceeds from dine-in and carry out orders from the Exemplar's new dinner menu on Monday, April 28, will go to the foundation. 

“Great Food for a Great Cause is timely as April is Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month. We’re working hard to shine a light on this terrible disease,” Karen Gromada, Brandon’s mother and chair of the board of his foundation, said in the same press release. “We're thrilled The National Exemplar continues to honor Brandon's memory by raising funds to fight head and neck cancer.”

5-9 p.m. Monday, April 28. The National Exemplar, 6880 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, 513-271-2103, nationalexemplar.com.

 
 
by Maija Zummo 04.25.2014 129 days ago
 
 
tom+chee

Tom+Chee Newport on the Levee Grand Reopening

Saturday celebration to benefit Awesome Fathers Taking Roles

Purveyors of delicious grilled cheese and grilled cheese donuts Tom+Chee are hosting a grand reopening celebration at their Newport on the Levee location. 

The all-day Saturday affair (10 a.m.-10 p.m.) will feature family-friendly entertainment; a raffle benefiting Awesome Fathers Taking Roles, a nonprofit dedicated to educating fathers and role models in homes of children with special needs; and the unveiling of Tom+Chee's latest grilled cheese donut creation, the Choco Bacon Bliss, which features bacon, chocolate, mozzarella and chocolate mascarpone cheese on a donut. 

When owners Corey Ward and Trew Quackenbush opened their flagship Levee location in 2011 in a former burrito joint, they did little more than clean and paint the space. Now, they've completely reconfigured the location to increase seating, update custom tables and flooring, added side panels to the patio and redesigned the kitchen to increase speed.

Grand Reopening Schedule of Events:
  • 10 a.m. Ribbon cutting
  • 11 a.m. Give away/prizes/games all day
  • 3-5 p.m. Tableside magic shoes by Wizardz Magic Theater
  • 5:30 p.m. Thank yous
  • 5:55 p.m. Raffle Grand Prize Drawing (grand prize is a hotel stay at Comfort Suites in Newport, tickets to the Newport Aquarium and gift cards to Tom+Chee)
  • 6-7:30 p.m. Performances by Circus Mojo

 

 
 
by Maria Seda-Reeder 04.25.2014 129 days ago
Posted In: Visual Art at 08:36 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Celebrations Honoring Lily Mulberry's Legacy

Remembering the longtime OTR gallery owner and all around arts advocate

A diverse group of friends, family and various artist-types who knew and loved 1305 Gallery owner Lily Mulberry will gather together at several different events this coming weekend to celebrate the life of the longtime OTR resident/gallery owner. 

Mulberry was diagnosed more than two years ago with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer that affects the immune system, but she kept the gallery on Main Street open and running long after many neighboring galleries closed. The longtime OTR resident and arts advocate died at Jewish Hospital April 16 at the age of just 31 and is survived by her husband of almost seven years, Richard Applin. She is also survived by mother Jackie Mulberry of Woodlawn, Ky.; father Rick Faigle of Covington, Ky.; two sisters, Jesse Mulberry-Faigle of Covington and Johnna Mulberry of Ohio; and stepsister Danna Faigle of Michigan.

The first exhibition at 1305 Gallery featured Mulberry’s own work, and nine years later — almost to the day — friends and loved ones will host an opening reception for Thank You Lily: Part I, an exhibition featuring the artist’s own work juxtaposed with pieces from her own collection, including but not limited to artists who’ve shown at the gallery. Lily’s friends Michael Stillion and Melanie Derrick are curating the show and all proceeds will go to the family. A donation can also be made to the Lily Mulberry Memorial Fund at any U.S. Bank branch. Thank You Lily opens 6-9 p.m. Friday at 1305 Main Street, OTR. More information here.

Another celebration of Lily Mulberry’s life will happen this Saturday at her alma mater, Covington Latin School. Also hosted by friends (of which, Miss Mulberry had many), this gathering will include music, food and speeches of remembrance as well as a collaborative memorial art project. Celebrate Lily runs 4:30-7 p.m. Saturday at 21 E. 11th St., Covington, Ky. Details here.

Both events are free and open to the public.

 
 
by Rick Pender 04.25.2014 129 days ago
Posted In: Theater at 08:12 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
stage door 4-25 - venus in fur @ cincinnati playhouse - greta wohlrabe & pj sosko - photo sandy underwood

Stage Door: Options Abound

There's ample evidence at the Cincinnati Playhouse as to why David Ives' Tony-nominated play Venus in Fur is the most produced script in America this season. I saw the opening performance last evening, and it's an entertaining attention-grabber. Inspired by an erotic Victorian novel, it's the story of a playwright who's adapted it for the stage but despairing of finding the right actress — until Vanda appears. Despite the initial impression she makes, she proves to be almost too good to be true. Greta Wohlrabe is a marvel in this role, flipping between being an ambitious, over-enthused wannabe and a commanding, demanding, sophisticated paramour who knows the character she wants to play and how to get what she wants. It's sexy and funny — and a great evening for grown-ups. Through May 17. Tickets ($30-$75): 513-421-3888.

Want to try something new this weekend? A new theater company, Women in Theatre (WIT) is staging Joe Calarco's Walter Cronkite Is Dead at St. John United Church of Christ in Bellevue, Ky. Two women stuck in an airport together end up sharing a table: One, from Washington, D.C., is reserved and educated, yearning for peace and quiet; the other is a chatty Southerner who can't stop talking. Their conversation, according to the show's publicity, is "funny, difficult, deeply revealing and astonishingly frank." Through May 3. Tickets: 859-441-6882.

Stacy Sims, my CityBeat colleague, thought that New Edgecliff Theatre's production of Other People's Money was pretty good. (CityBeat review here.) Jerry Sterner's 1989 play remains timely, the story of a rapacious business guy who stands to destroy a small town when he buys a company that is pretty much the sole livelihood of the residents of a small Rhode Island town. Stacy called the show "good entertainment" and added, "it just might provoke you to consider whom you are listening to today." It's onstage at the Aronoff's Fifth Third Bank Theater through Saturday evening. 

Stacy liked Know Theatre's production of The Twentieth-Century Way enough to give it a Critic's Pick in her CityBeat review here. It's two actors playing two actors in 1914 who are hired to play gay men in Long Beach and entrap "social vagrants" — that is, gay men. It's a multi-leveled script, playing with concepts of what's real and what's "enacted." Heady but fascinating, and it features two excellent actors, Jens Rasmussen and Michael McKeough. You won't be bored if you go to see this one. Through May 3. Tickets ($15 in advance; $20 at the door): 513-300-5669.

Two productions that will appeal to audiences who like old-fashioned theater remain onstage. With its final performance on Sunday, Mary Chase's gentle comedy, Harvey, at the Carnegie in Covington, is about Elwood, a guy who's a little off-kilter — who sees a six-foot-tall white rabbit that no one else believes is real (except the audience). Tickets ($17-$24); 859-957-1940. The classic musical Gypsy — full of great show tunes — continues at the Covedale through May 4; it's about Rose, the pushy stage mother who launched her rather unwilling daughter into a burlesque career as Gypsy Rose Lee. (CityBeat review here.) Tickets ($21-$24): 513-241-6550.
 
 
by Maija Zummo 04.24.2014 130 days ago
Posted In: Food news, Cincinnati, Events at 03:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
eats_ei8htballbrewery_taylorstanley

New Riff Distillery Hosts Bourbon and Game Tasting

The new distillery hosts a tasting event with chef David Cook

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

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

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

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

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

 
 
by Maija Zummo 04.24.2014 130 days ago
Posted In: Beer, Alcohol, Events at 03:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Tap That Brew Tour

CityBeat to host a bussed brewery tour this Sunday

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


Noon-6 p.m. $40. citybeat.com
 
 
by Maija Zummo 04.24.2014 130 days ago
Posted In: Food news at 10:15 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
maurys tiny cove

Maury's Tiny Cove Celebrates 65 Years

House party and auction at the West Side staple

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

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

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

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

3908 Harrison Ave., Cheviot, maurys-steakhouse.com.
 
 
by Maija Zummo 04.24.2014 130 days ago
Posted In: Food news, Events at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
dining out for life

Dining Out for Life 2014

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

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


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


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


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

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

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

 
 

 

 

 
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