The stoner gods have answered our prayers by way of Taco Bell’s “first meal.” Now folks across the country can start living mas as soon as they wake up, because everyone's favorite south-of-the-border fast food chain now serves breakfast. Taco Bell giant unveiled the new morning menu with a commercial that takes a dig at the golden arches:
Taco Bell breakfast is served 7-11 a.m. — 30 minutes later than McDonald’s, yet still too early for their target demographic. When will fast food restaurants learn that the people who really want to consume waffle tacos do not typically wake before noon?
Yeah, he wore PBR pants to a recent golf outing. NBD.
Of all the terrible reality
shows I relish in, I have never been able to get into The Bachelor/ette. I’m not sure what separates this piece of trash from
the heap of garbage I enjoy — it’s not like the materialistic, bratty children
in Botoxed old lady bodies known as Real
Housewives don’t perpetuate negative female stereotypes, but I enjoy shows
that are somewhat self-aware and poke fun at themselves, and The Bach just doesn’t do that for me.
So, any show in the vein of 2003’s Joe Millionaire
that misleads women who signed up for a TV dating show is a winner in my book.
In a new show coming to Fox, 12 women will compete for the affection of a man
claim to believe is Prince Harry, despite what the smallest amount
of common sense and eyesight would prove — the dude’s just a redheaded
I Want to Marry “Harry” premieres this May. You know when the truth bomb is dropped on these hoes they’ll be all, “How dare this television show orchestrated to create ‘true love’ be fake?!” But in the meantime we can ponder which is worse: a woman trying to meet and marry a prince (of whom she’s obviously never even seen a photo) and believing British royalty would dare be seen on American reality TV or a woman knowing all this mess is some bullshit but riding that gravy train as long as possible?
In what must be the most fabulous robbery ever, three people were arrested for stealing a replica pair of Dorothy’s ruby red slippers from The Wizard of Oz. The shoes were on display in a Hilton Garden Inn lobby (which is kind of rude). The trio has been released without bail and is due back in court next month. If only clicking your heels got you out of jail.
Lakewood, Calif., Vice Mayor and Los Angeles County Assistant Sheriff Todd Rodgers is running for L.A. sheriff in an upcoming June election. Typically, county election campaign coverage wouldn’t have a place in a pop culture roundup, save for maybe making fun of an unintentionally funny low-budget ad. But those Hollywood types have connections on the West Coast. If I lived in L.A., it would be important for me to elect an official with not only celebrity endorsements, but a good sense of humor as well. Therefore I’d definitely vote for Todd Rodgers, who last week reunited (most of) the cast of Reno 911! for a series of TV spots.
Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Ben Garant, Cedric Yarbrough, Niecy Nash, Carlos Alazraqui and Joe Lo Truglio all suited up in their khaki uniforms for the occasion. While the videos haven’t been released yet, you can see photos here.
You may be asking, “Why would a serious candidate for sheriff seek out the cast of a Comedy Central mockumentary?” or “Why wouldn’t he seek endorsements from actors on a show that is still actually on the air?” or “Isn’t Reno in Nevada? What does any of this have to do with a sheriff election?” The answers all lie in Lt. Dangle’s signature booty shorts. But seriously, Reno was filmed at Carson Station in L.A. from 2001-2006, where Rodgers was a captain at the time, so the cast was actually familiar with him and his work. We’ll take any excuse for a Reno reunion, though. Vote for Rodgers!
And here’s Samuel L. Jackson reciting some slam poetry about Boy Meets World.
The Cincinnati Art Museum’s monthly Art After Dark series is a really cool way to experience the historic art institution. Each final Friday, the CAM opens its doors after hours for a themed night of gallery tours, live performances and a cash bar with happy hour drinks and appetizers. Friday’s Art After Dark: Rococo Vibrations includes tour of Genius and Grace: François Boucher and the Generation of 1700 (members-only at 5:30 p.m., public tours at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.) and the Neo-Soul stylings of Tracy Walker from 6-8 p.m. The free event runs 5-9 p.m.; parking is $4.
Washington Platform’s Oyster Festival kicks off Friday. This 28th annual food fest features a menu of more than 40 styles of oyster dishes, including Smoked Oyster Salad, Fried Oyster Tacos, Oyster Stuffed Jalapenos, Oysters Mardi Gras and Nantucket Oysters. Guests can enjoy lunch, dinner and happy hour specials and pay to play various games for prizes, with proceeds benefiting the Saint Francis Soup Kitchen in Over-the-Rhine. Washington Platform’s Oyster Festival specials are available 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 4-8 p.m. Sunday and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday- Thursday.
Recent Grammy Award winners Roomful of Teeth perform at the Contemporary Arts Center Friday. The vocal group specializes in blending classical singing techniques with diverse World music styles for a completely unique sound — one of their songs is in a made-up language! The concert, which begins at 8 p.m., is just the latest offering from the CAC’s solid performance series. Tickets are $14, $8 for members. Read our story on Roomful of Teeth here.
This weekend is your last chance to check out Krohn Conservatory’s spring show, Avant Garden. The show features exotic flowers and shrubs with recycled materials in the landscape. Avant Garden closes Sunday along with the Conservatory’s spring plant sale. The anticipated annual butterfly show — this year it's Pura Vida: The Butterflies of Costa Rica — opens April 12.
Opening Day in Cincinnati is not only a city holiday, but a rite of passage for locals. It marks the first game of the Reds’ season (baseball’s first professional team), the unofficial start of spring and the return of one of the best parades of the year, the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade — now in its 95th year! Opening Day may not be until Monday, but Covington gallery BLDG is getting a jump on festivities beginning Friday.
199C: Cincinnati’s Opening Day is an exhibit of baseball-, Cincinnati- and Opening Day-themed art from more than 40 artists from around the neighborhood and world. The exhibit opening starts at 4 p.m. Friday with music from Automagik, food trucks, a live art installation, retro video game competitions and a pop-up Wiffle ball game on Pike Street. Find more info here.
Opening Day celebrations
run the gamut from sports-related fun to art, bar events and food. Check out a
roundup of Monday’s happenings here.
Be sure to read this week’s Best of Cincinnati issue for reader and staff picks on the city’s best restaurants, businesses, events and more.
Spring has sprung, in name at least. For music fans, this means that more bands will exit from their hibernations and start scheduling shows and tours. Cincinnati’s own Folk Metal warriors, Winterhymn, have done exactly that, earning a slot on this year’s Paganfest America.
The local sextet will be the only American band on the bill, spending from late April to mid-May crisscrossing the nation with Folk Metal heavy hitters Korpiklaani, Turisas, Chthonic and Varg. It is undeniably the biggest tour the young band has ever been a part of and members are asking for their fans’ help to fund the trip.
Winterhymn has set up an Indiegogo campaign with the hopes of raising $7,500 to pay for travel expenses, merchandise, gas, lodging, tolls, insurance and other necessary expenses. The money raised will not see any members’ pocket — it is merely to help them be a little less broke when they return home from their voyage.
In exchange for donations made, Winterhymn has set a veritable treasure trove of loot for any fan who contributes. Perks range from a digital download of a five-track EP ($5) to a signed kick drum head that will be used on the tour ($300). Other swag includes armor, patches, CDs, custom artwork, t-shirts and much, much more. If you’re interested, it’s best to act fast; several of the largest pieces, including a $200 violin and $400 guitar, have already been claimed.
Since March 15, the band has raised over $1,800 and hope to reach their goal by April 13. Click the box below or visit the Indiegogo page here to view the band’s pitch video and check out all of the perks. Even if a contribution can’t be made, fans can spread the word about the campaign via Facebook, Twitter (using the hashtags #winterhymn, #paganfest and #paganfestamerica) and other social media.
And, like any good food festival, Washington Platform will also be hosting oyster-related contests and events, including a pearl count contest and trivia. (All special event donations go to the Saint Francis Soup Kitchen in Over-the-Rhine.) Check your shells for a "Big Red 28," and win $28 in Washington Platform gift certificates.
Or get in on one of their oyster specials. For $28, sample any three dishes from their "Oyster Munchies" menu after 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. And from 4-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, enjoy a buck-a-shuck. Get fresh-shucked oysters for $1, along with happy hour drink prices.
Download the Oyster Festival menu here.
Washington Platform, 1000 Elm St., Downtown, 513-421-0110, washingtonplatform.com.
If you are a betting man or woman and the bet is “What Cincinnati band will be next to break out into the national spotlight?” putting your money on Indie Pop/Rock trio PUBLIC would be one of the safer wagers you could make. The three gifted young musicians craft some incredibly catchy music that would be right at home on any AltRock radio station’s playlist, as evidenced especially on a brand new track the group just unveiled, the danceable, hook-laden “Make You Mine.”
The new track is a part of series of new songs planned for a forthcoming release that will be rolled out over the next few weeks. The band (which released its debut EP Red in 2012 and has since performed at big-time tests like South By Southwest and CMJ) will stream a new track every week though its Bandcamp page leading up to its first local show in a while, on May 2 at Rohs Street Cafe’s Sanctuary in Clifton Heights.
PUBLIC will be joined by The Yugos and Harbour for the all-ages show, which is the trio’s first official headlining gig ever (so if you attend and they blow up, as industry buzz suggests they just might, you can tell your grandkids you were there). Tickets are available now here.
For more info on PUBLIC, visit the group’s Facebook page here. And check out CityBeat's interview with PUBLIC from 2013 (when the group was nominated for New Artist of the Year at the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards) here.
Children of the ‘80s likely
remember Jem, the glitziest high-tech
cartoon of the decade. The series followed Jerrica Benton (hottest name ever), band manager and HBIC at Starlight Music who used a holographic computer to
transform into the frontwoman of Jem and the Holograms. It’s basically the
blueprint for every show featuring secret alter-egos (lookin’ at you, Hannah
Well, Jem is getting the
movie treatment now, thanks to Jon Chu
(director of fine cinematic offerings like Step
Up 2: The Streets and Justin Bieber:
Never Say Never). This will be a modern, LIVE-ACTION remake. May I make a
For more Jem fun, go here to check out this horrendous/hilarious
Not Safe For Humanity spoof, courtesy of my little sister (pray for her).
Broad City is just the best. Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer rocked the first season of their Comedy Central series — peep the finale tonight at 10:30 p.m. — and the show’s been renewed for a second season. Here’s the duo adequately expressing how I feel when depositing my tax return check.
Want to watch Lady Gaga’s
new music video? Well you better have an hour and a love for all things Bravo.
The vid features the Real Housewives of
Beverly Hills ladies as a family band, Andy Cohen as God, Gaga as a wounded
phoenix or some shit, a synchronized swim team and four minutes of damn credits. Enjoy!
Ever since it was revealed that American Horror Story would follow an anthology format — with each season taking on new characters, settings and themes — audiences have been speculating about where each subsequent season would take us. I always hoped for some kind of dark sideshow set in the early 20th century, like a scarier, grittier Water for Elephants. We’ve seen a murder house over the course of a century, an insane asylum in the ‘60s and nearly the entire timeline of witchcraft and Voodoo. Thankfully for weirdos like me who want to be scared by the creepy underground world of old-timey carnivals, the wait is over. American Horror Story: Freak Show is a go!
Ryan Murphy tweeted the news Monday and here’s what we know so far: This season will take place in Jupiter, Fla., (Palm Beach) in 1950. Jessica Lange, AHS queen for every season (this will be her last), will portray a German Marlene Dietrich-type character running one of the last freak shows in the States. Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Frances Conroy, Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates have all signed on for the season — they will reportedly play the “freaks” at hand. Many other AHS alum are in talks to join this carnival, thought the show tries to keep some details under wraps to surprise the audience (ahem, son of Bloody Face). The season will premiere in October.
So, Kim and Kanye are on the April kover of Vogue. Here’s some behind-the-scenes shit featuring little baby North, who consistently has “Da fu?” face. Get used to it, gurl.
Former TV judge Joe Brown was arrested this week for losing his shit in a court room. The mustachioed judge was later released on his on recognizance, but not before giving us face in his mega-grump mug shot. Judge Joe Brown was cancelled last year.
Bradley Cooper and Louis C.K. both appeared in American Hustle, but a new video circulating connects the two in another interesting way.
Louis C.K. hosts Saturday Night Live this week.
3CDC will be accepting applications from three types of vendors:
1. Non-food or prepackaged items (flowers, crafts)
2. Basic food items (breads, meat, cheeses, produce)
3. Ready-to-eat food (snacks and sandwiches)
According to the press release, "For application purposes, Strauss Troy Market on the Square is divided into three sessions (, , and ). Vendors may apply for one, two, or all three sessions. Fountain Square is also considering the addition of a market option, open to vendors participating in session two; a final decision will be made depending on vendor interest."
Visit myfountainsquare.com for more information.
Local faves Buffalo Killers are gearing up for the May 13 release of Heavy Reverie, the trio’s first record for Warner Music Group subsidiary Sun Pedal Recordings. Today the band revealed the new album track “Poisonberry Tide,” a delicious slice of Pop Rock that is reminiscent of Guided By Voices and Superdrag and is one of the catchiest songs the band has ever released.
The label still has a few limited edition “bundles” of the new album available for pre-order. The bundle includes Heavy Reverie on CD and vinyl, as well as a digital download that includes the unreleased song “Don’t Cry to Me.” The package also includes a vinyl test pressing (with hand-drawn artwork by the band members), a T-shirt and a poster. Click here for more info.
Buffalo Killers will do some regional dates in April (including a Cincinnati album release show April 12 at MOTR Pub) before heading out on a wider tour in May and June. Dates so far include a performance at Pioneertown, California’s Freaks for the Festival II. At the fest, the band will perform right before the solo project of Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes (Chris Robinson Brotherhood); Robinson has been a longtime, vocal supporter of the trio.
This evening at its Jackson Street headquarters in Over-the-Rhine, Know Theatre of Cincinnati revealed the lineup for the 11th annual Cincinnati Fringe Festival to a crowd of nearly 100 enthusiastic supporters and performers. The two-week festival begins Tuesday, May 27, with the CityBeat Fringe Kick-Off Party; it winds up 12 days later on Saturday, June 7, having presented 32 productions — 17 plays, two musicals, seven solo performers, and six dance presentations. In addition, there will be four FringeNext productions (selected from 11 applicants — a record number), featuring original material produced and performed by local students from the School for Creative and Performing Arts, Newport Central Catholic High School, St. Xavier High School and Highlands High School.
Performance Gallery is kind of the alpha and omega of the Cincinnati Fringe: They’ve been in all 11 festivals, including the 2008 hit show fricative. Producer Eric Vosmeier calls them the inspiration for much of what the Fringe is about: They were doing “fringe-like” work before the festival began, and they’ve returned annually with work that pushes the envelope. This time they’ll offer Heist, about three crooks of questionable ability. Vosmeier also cited Pones Inc., the dance-based company that returns for the seventh time with Traffick, a piece of audience engagement that explores issues of human trafficking. Vosmeier says, “This is the kind of work the Fringe was built to exhibit.”
“We had a great mix of new producers and returning favorites in the applicant pool,” Vosmeier says. “The word continues to spread about our Cincinnati Fringe Festival, which has a national reputation for being the most artist-friendly festival. We’ve worked very hard on this over the years, and I believe that we’ve created something special for our artists and for our region.”
The Cincinnati Fringe differs from festivals elsewhere in that productions are screened and handpicked by a committee of local theater artists. Drawing from a large pool of applicants, comparable to last year’s record-breaking number, this yielded a balanced mix of local vs. out-of-town producers: 15 from Greater Cincinnati and 18 from beyond. The latter number includes three international shows, the most ever for the festival: Around Dark Matter, a Holocaust memory piece by Mica Dvir, is from Tel Aviv, Israel; A Brief History of Beer by Wish Experience from London, a company that has performed at festivals from Edinburgh to Adelaide; and Prefer Not to Say, an interactive piece by blueDragonfly Productions, another U.K. group, the presenter of And All the Rest is Junk Mail a year ago.
For Wednesday evening’s announcement event, members of the Fringe staff mentioned the shows they were most looking forward to. They named:
· An Unauthorized Autobiography of Benny Hill by Four Humors Theater (Minneapolis), the creative minds behind such past Festival favorites as Lolita: A Three Man Show, Bombus and Berylline and Harold. This will be their sixth consecutive Cincinnati Fringe appearance.
· Blogging Behind Bars by Unity Productions, creators of two past Fringe hits, The Wave and Nothing. This time it’s a true story about a young, nonviolent criminal who wrote a blog while incarcerated in a maximum-security prison.
· Papa Squat’s Store of Sorts by solo artist Paul Strickland from Indianapolis, whose Ain’t True and Uncle False was a “Pick of the Fringe” last year. His new show is a music-filled memorial for a guy who “once filled the emptiness in Big-Fib Cul-de-sac with his insightful songs.”
· Something Something New Vagina by Rebecca Kling, a transgender artist and educator from Chicago with a follow-up show to her 2012 production, Beneath Her Skin.
· The Ultimate Stimulus by Felipe Ossa, a Brooklyn-based playwright and a new artist to the Cincy Fringe, is presented in the form of a TED Talk that argues for concubinage as a way to address the problem of income inequality.
The festival is also a chance for Cincinnati’s local theater companies to show off. Clifton Performance Theatre will present Sarge, a piece by Kevin Crowley about the wife of discredited Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Untethered Theatre has prepared Where Edward Went, a new play by Ben Dudley and Adam Sievering about a screenwriter’s effort to make a documentary about Edward, the late fiancé of Elyse, a painter. They don’t quite agree about the portrait. New Edgecliff Theatre will offer TRAGEDY: a tragedy, described as “one of the funniest apocalypses of our time.” And Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati’s intern company always offers a fine showcase of young talent. This year it’s two one-act plays: Sheila Callaghan’s Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake) and Itamar Moses’s Authorial Intent.
In addition to the productions offered nightly, artists, audience members, staff and volunteers flock nightly at Know Theatre’s Underground and headquarters for the Fringe Bar Series, with a reasonably priced bar, some free food inside and offerings for purchase from food wagons on Jackson Street. Each evening after the Channel Fringe Hard Hitting Action News Update, everyone has a chance to be a performer with activities such as the Fringe Olympics, Fringe-A-Oke, Fringe Prom, Segway Night and the Night Without Technology. This year the Bar Series night adds Fringetoberfest, an evening of German-inspired food and brews from local craft beer creators.
Vosmeier expects the festival to attract more than 8,000 visitors this year. If you’re someone who tries to see as much as possible, your best bet is a “Full Frontal” Fringe pass ($200) providing access to every event in the festival. Know also offers “Voyeur” passes ($60) good for six shows of your choice. If you can only make it once, a “One Night Stand” pass ($25) is available — admission to any two performances in an evening plus one drink at Know’s Underground bar. Single tickets to Fringe shows continue to be priced at $12; they’ll go on sale in mid-May.
There will be lots more — and the lineup can change. Hey, it’s the Fringe, so be ready for anything. You’ll find details on all these shows and more at cincyfringe.com.
The Contemporary Arts Center marks its 75th anniversary with the launch of its newly redesigned website, contemporaryartscenter.org.
By adding a timeline and a list of exhibits dating back to 1939, the updated site highlights some of the museum’s most notable attractions through videos and interactive learning. The historical timeline depicts an honest look at what Cincinnati was like in 1939 and displays the iconic artists that put the CAC on the map. In 1940, Picasso’s Guernica toured the Midwest for its first and only time and made a pit stop in Cincinnati. In 1963, the Pop art show An American Viewpoint was one of the first exhibitions of its kind. And in 1990, nearly 81,000 people visited the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition.
Along with the illustrated timeline and videos, the CAC site also offers lesson plans, exhibit brochures, audio files and slideshows about past exhibits. New features like online ticket admission and family visitor information have been added. After 75 years and hundreds of amazing artists, the Contemporary Arts Center has proven it’s still the coolest place in Cincinnati to spark your creativity and become inspired.
FORM, a Cleveland-based creative services firm, designed the visual layout of the site.
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:
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 email@example.com.
Senior prom is a special
milestone for many American teens, but even traditions as old as school dances
change over time. Intimate one-on-one dates have given way to group dates and attending as friends. Flip-flops and cutout cocktail dresses replaced the overdone evening
look for many girls. And now a southern-fried specialty is getting in the prom
game. Kentucky Fried Chicken — What? Yes. — partnered with Louisville florists to create the chicken corsage. For $20, Louisville residents can purchase a corsage from Nanz and Kraft Florists that includes a $5 gift card to KFC, where folks can then go buy the perfect piece of chicken. It can only be assumed that after prom, girls will press the greasy chicken bone between their yearbook pages, just like their moms did with their corsages when they were young.
It’s confirmed: Stephen Colbert will take over the Late Show desk once David Letterman retires sometime in 2015. That’ll mean no more Colbert Report and, likely, the end of the host’s faux-servative character. Start the countdown to the announcement of a new reality show following Letterman, Leno (and, let’s just be honest — Craig Ferguson and Conan O’Brien) around Ex-Host Island. Move over, old people! Slightly younger people are takin' yer jerbs!
In the contemporary classic Mean Girls, Lindsay Lohan’s Cady describes Halloween as, “the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.” Well, Coachella must be kind of like Halloween for celebrities, except instead of wearing lingerie and some form of animal ears, they throw on the most jumbled assortment of terrible fashion fads. Not sure about the new cream-colored designer jumpsuit you purchased? Try it out in the middle of the desert! Want to channel Woodstock without ever having been to, read about or seen a photo of Woodstock? Grab a Native American headdress and wear that shit to Coachella. The fest is HQ for floral head wreaths, jorts and combat boots (often all worn at once), and for some reason I cannot pull myself away from the celeb photos of this mess. It’s like someone made a slot machine with various teenagers’ style blogs on Tumblr and everyone going to Coachella must take a spin to determine their outfit.
“Ooh, I got a bindi, a latex bra, a crocheted duster and gladiator sandals!” Just look at these famous attendees, capped off with Koachella Kweenz Kylie and Kendall Jenner.
But seriously, you need to see this video that’s (probably) of Leonardo DiCaprio Coachin’ it up (people say that, right?) at an MGMT performance, which makes me feel weird and old.
And since I brought up Lindsay, the supposedly sober starlet was supposedly washing down all that Coachella dust and glitter with vodka this weekend. The reports come days after the latest episode of her Oprah docu-series, in which she admits to drinking alcohol after her latest stint in rehab. Also, there were a lot of emo scenes of Lindsay filming herself crying. Get it together, girl. OPRAH WILL CUSS AT YOU AGAIN. And everyone knows if Oprah has to cuss at you twice, you will spontaneously burst into flames.
Celebrispawn in the media is quite the hot topic as of late, particularly thanks to Dax Sheppard and Kristen Bell vs. Papz (this will definitely be a court case our children will study in history class). But what about fake famous babies — fair game? OK! Leslie Knope is pregnant! Pawnee's upcoming addition will be the Prince George of fictional TV comedy births. Which is to say, a very big deal. Parks and Rec's Leslie and Ben will be the best parents ever. I think I speak for fans everywhere by saying we can't wait for his or her first playdate with the world’s most attractive child, Ann and Chris’ little Oliver.
Sunday was an epic night for television with the final Mad Men premiere (sort of) and a crazy-ass episode of Game of Thrones. These two are great popular, critically-acclaimed dramas, but they’re on complete opposite ends of the style spectrum. Mad Men’s seventh season debut was gradual and calculated (as always), giving viewers a chance to fill in the blanks between Season Six and now, speculate on what’s to come and read into every little detail. And by detail, I mean Pete’s California Ken Doll look, which was #flawless. Ratings were way down Sunday — the lowest-rated premiere since the second season's in 2008. Some attribute the drop to a lackluster episode, but the truth is probably that everyone was too busy losing their shit over this week’s Game of Thrones to get into the cool Mad Men mood.
Without giving too much away (and because I spoiled “the incident” for myself since I can’t stay off the damn Internet — so I know it sucks), Thrones fans who hadn’t already read the books were treated to a truly righteous, bubbly, bloody scene this week that totally flips the script for many of our favorite characters. Can’t these people get through one wedding without having to immediately plan a funeral?
New movie trailers to hit
the Interwebz: bestseller-turned-likely blockbuster Gone Girl;
two red band previews for 22 Jump Street (The
starring Cameron Diaz and a manorexic Jason Segel, a comedy that’s exactly what
you think it’s about; and Jon Favreau’s take on the foodie world, Chef.
The first good sign that consistent warmth is on its way is the announcement of the lineup for this year’s MidPoint Indie Summer series at downtown’s Fountain Square. The concerts are part of the Square’s free PNC Summer Music Series, which showcases different types of music (played mostly by local acts) five days a week. (The lineups for the every-Thursday Salsa on the Square shows have also been announced; visit myfountainsquare.com for details.)
The eclectic, free Indie Summer shows take place every Friday throughout the summer. This year’s lineup is perhaps the series’ strongest yet, with some higher profile national touring acts and the usual array of top-notch local talent.
Here’s the full rundown of Indie Summer shows so far (a few slots are still to be announced):
• August 15: The Nightbeast (a co-headliner will be announced in July)
The Indie Summer series is sponsored by the MidPoint Music Festival, CityBeat’s popular annual music extravaganza, which returns to the clubs and venues of Downtown and Over-the-Rhine Sept. 25-27. (Though all MPMF-worthy, the acts are booked through Fountain Square, not by MidPoint.) There will be a MidPoint booth on Fountain Square every Friday where music fans can find the latest MPMF info and purchase tickets to the three-day festival.
A limited amount of discounted early-bird passes for this year’s MPMF are available now at mpmf.cincyticket.com. Nail down your three-day tickets (or VIP Experience tickets) before the prices increase. And be sure to stay tuned to mpmf.com and the fest's various social media accounts for the latest updates.
“We had a great mix of new producers and returning favorites in the applicant pool,” says Producing Artistic Director Eric Vosmeier. “The word continues to spread about our Cincinnati Fringe Festival, which has a national reputation for being the most artist-friendly festival. We’ve worked very hard on this over the years, and I believe that we’ve created something special for our artists and for our region.”
The pool of applicants, comparable to last year’s record-breaking number, has yielded a mix of local vs. out-of-town producers: 15 from Greater Cincinnati, including the return of Performance Gallery for the 11th consecutive year (it’s the only group that’s been in every Fringe) with a new piece, Heist, about three crooks of questionable ability. There will be 18 productions from beyond Cincinnati, including three international shows.
Vosmeier expects the festival to attract more than 8,000 visitors for 2014. If you’re one of those people who tries to see as much as possible, your best bet is a “Full Frontal” Fringe pass ($200) that gives you access to every event in the festival. Know also offers “Voyeur” passes ($60) good for six shows of your choice. If you can be there for one evening, a “One Night Stand” pass ($25) is available, offering access to any two performances in an evening and one drink at Know Theatre’s Underground bar. Individual tickets to Fringe Festival shows continue to be priced at $12; they’ll go on sale in mid-May.
Look for more information at CityBeat.com after the 7 p.m. announcement tonight. More info: cincyfringe.com.