HBO's new drama Luck, which we featured on our TV column last month, has been cancelled. The show, which follows the events at Santa Anita Park and the trainers, jockeys and gamblers who spend their days at the track, has halted production of its second season after the death of a third horse.
The show has faced criticism about its harm of animals from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the American Humane Association. PETA had called on Luck producers to use stock racing footage rather than risk injury to the horses during filming.
"It is with heartbreak that executive producers David Milch and Michael Mann together with HBO have decided to cease all future production on the series 'Luck'.
Safety is always of paramount concern. We maintained the highest safety standards throughout production, higher in fact than any protocols existing in horseracing anywhere with many fewer incidents than occur in racing or than befall horses normally in barns at night or pastures. While we maintained the highest safety standards possible, accidents unfortunately happen and it is impossible to guarantee they won't in the future. Accordingly, we have reached this difficult decision.We are immensely proud of this series, the writing, the acting, the filmmaking, the celebration of the culture of horses, and everyone involved in its creation."
Michael Mann and David Milch said, "The two of us loved this series, loved the cast, crew and writers. This has been a tremendous collaboration and one that we plan to continue in the future.'"
The show, which I'm surprised has gotten low ratings and minimal viewing response, is a tense, gritty look at gambling and the world of horse racing. The scenes of actual horse racing are beautiful and consuming. Unfortunately, producers couldn't reenact such intense scenes without accidents and injuries, which justifiably led to this decision. It's too bad that a show meant to celebrate the animals won't be able to continue.
Luck will continue to air its first and only season, at 9 p.m. Sundays. There are two episodes remaining, with the series finale on March 25.
Lots of booze-based, full-weekend events going on. Bockfest and the Cincinnati International Wine Festival Grand Tastings both kick off tonight — one with a goat and the other with a far classier couple, Gina Gallo of the Gallo wine family and her husband Jean-Charles Boisset, of France's Boisset Family Estates winery.
Cincinnatians not only love their beer, they also love to celebrate that they love their beer. They even love to celebrate the celebration of loving their beer. Bockfest, the oldest and largest German-style bock beer festival in the United States, is back to host a weekend of beer drinking, live music, German games, dancing, a 5k run and tons of sausage. The party kicks off 6 p.m. Friday with a parade led by a majestic bock — or to the non-German speaker, a goat — and a Sausage Queen, starting at Arnold’s Bar & Grill and ending with a ceremonial keg blessing at the festival hub, Bockfest Hall (1619 Moore St., OTR). The festivities continue in tents and overflow into surrounding participating venues, none of which will have an admission fee. A free shuttle will run a continuous loop among Bockfest sites all weekend long, taking you quickly from one keg tapping to another.
Along the route will be a traditional fish fry at Old St. Mary’s in OTR and a “veenie” vegan sausage roast outside Park + Vine. The festivities continue into the outdoor tent venues, and overflow into surrounding participating venues, none of which will have an admission fee. A free shuttle bus will run a continuous loop among the Bockfest sites all weekend long, taking you quickly from one keg tapping to another. To get a taste of history to sample with your beer, there will be tours of the city’s historical breweries and underground tunnels, plus a Bockfest Heritage Series at the Woodward Theatre, with speakers, presentations, displays and stein collections. The third annual Bockfest 5k run takes off from Bockfest Hall 10 a.m. Saturday to benefit the Flying Pig Marathon charities — a great way to burn off all that beer. Grab a “Continental Bockfest” of Amish chicken, hot bacon sauerkraut slaw and plenty of German sausage noon-2 p.m. Sunday at Bockfest Hall, before dancing the night away at a traditional German folk dance … or at least until all the beer runs out. Friday-Sunday. Free. Full schedule of events at bockfest.com.
Event: Cincinnati International Wine Festival
If wine gets better with age, it makes sense that the Cincinnati International Wine Festival would too. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the three-day fest is made up of winery dinners at local restaurants and grand tastings, plus a Saturday charity auction and luncheon at the Hall of Mirrors. The fest, which is a nonprofit, has raised more than $4.2 million for local charities during its lifetime. And if you can do good while imbibing samples of more than 800 wines from around the world, what’s better than that? Most winery dinners are sold out, but tickets are still available for Grand Tastings on Friday and Saturday, which allow expert and beginner oenophiles to taste rare, new and exciting wines while chatting with winemakers. Read our cheat-sheet for how to get your grape on here. 6:30-9 p.m. Friday; 2:30-4:30 p.m. and 6:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday. $65-$125. Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St., Downtown. winefestival.com.
Film: Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
For part two, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel continues along the same path, with a wistful, unfulfilled ache that lingers in each character, some moreso than others.
Douglas, having jettisoned Jean, pines for Evelyn. The two spend their days working through their retirement in Jaipur, and their evenings engaged in a most understated courtship. Norman, on the other hand, has settled down quite comfortably with Carol (Diana Hardcastle), a fellow pleasure-seeker, while Madge has a pair of eligible suitors hooked, but has an itch that neither is quite able to satisfactorily scratch for her.
Muriel and Sonny have the most obvious big-picture storyline, thanks to the burgeoning success of the first Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Sonny wants to expand but needs an infusion of cash and support, so the pair heads to the U.S. to negotiate with a branded chain headed by Ty Burley (the exquisitely bearded David Strathairn) who agrees, in principle, but sends an anonymous scout to check on things before making a final decision.
Of course, the secret inspector is slated to arrive just as Sonny’s in the final stages of planning and executing his wedding to Sunaina, so there are the typical examples of mistaken identity and botched plans that must occur along the way before the happy ending, right? Check.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is all about the innumerable chances life offers, and the fierce fighting spirit that burns in us no matter the age or situation in which we find ourselves. Intriguingly, that spirit, this time out, replaces the exotic location, and with new beacons (in the form of Richard Gere and a much better used Lillete Dubey as Sonny’s mother) presents a worthy second stay that could open the door for even more — not at all unwelcome — visits down the road. Opens wide Friday.
FRIDAYATTRACTIONS: THE ART OF THE BRICKMillions of LEGO bricks are taking over the Cincinnati Museum Center. Anticipated exhibit The Art of the Brick features more than 100 artworks created by contemporary artist Nathan Sawaya using nothing other than LEGOs. Explore life-size human figures, a 20-foot-long T-Rex skeleton and replicated famous paintings, including “Starry Night” and “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” plus familiar sculptures like “The Thinker” and the Sphinx. Sawaya has also created a Cincinnati-themed piece that will be revealed when the exhibit debuts. Create your own LEGO masterpieces in the interactive Brickopolis, and don’t miss special themed days revolving around Star Wars, dinosaurs, superheroes and more. Through May 1. $19.50 adults; $12.50 children 12 and under. Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, 513-287-7000, cincymuseum.org.
HALLOWEEN: NEWPORT IS HAUNTED TOURCovers a wide range of grisly topics from murder and suicide to decapitation. Follow your guide by lantern light as he or she regales you with tales of haunts including Bobby Mackey’s Music World. 7 and 9 p.m. Saturday. $20. Tours begin at 18 E. Fifth St., Newport, Ky., americanlegacytours.com.
Broken Social Scene is on indefinite hiatus. Band leader Kevin Drew told The Huffington Post, "This is the healthiest thing we can do. There's no bad blood, no problems, everyone is at peace. We've had a lot of inter-relationships, some have worked, some haven't. But we all loved what we were doing. And I think we we're always fair."
Work it out, guys! We love you together.
Contrary to earlier reports, the Wet Hot prequel series premieres this week. Tune in to discover what Coop, Katie, Andy, Beth, Gene and the rest of the Camp Firewood crew were up to before that final day of camp depicted in the 2001 original flick. Premieres on Netflix.
ONSTAGE: CLYBOURNE PARKCommunity theaters often produce tried-and-true shows that keep people laughing and happy. But Sunset Players isn’t afraid to make its audiences think, and that’s what will be happening over the next two weeks with a production of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize-winning script, set in a Chicago neighborhood in 1959 and 2009. In the first act, white community leaders try to prevent the sale of a home to a black family. In Act II, the same house is the focus as the African-American neighborhood struggles to hold its own against redevelopment. It’s an ambitious show that’s important in today’s world. Through July 25. $12-$14. The Arts at Dunham Center, 1945 Dunham Way, Western Hills, 513-588-4988, sunsetplayers.org.
EVENT: DOUBLE TALKLittle-known fact: Northern Kentucky is home to the Vent Haven Museum, the world’s only museum dedicated to the art of ventriloquism. And Sunday marks their annual fundraiser show, Double Talk, a fun and raucous afternoon of comedy, audience participation and ventriloquist dolls (don’t call them puppets). Featuring performances from around the country, including the No. 1 female ventriloquist in the U.S., Lynn Trefzger; young up-and-comer Peter Dzubay from Connecticut; and Tristate favorite Denny Baker. 3 p.m. Sunday. $20 advance; $25 door. Notre Dame Academy Performing Arts Center, 1699 Hilton Drive, Park Hills, Ky. ventshow.com.
Discuss black photography at the CAM with a screening of THROUGH A LENS DARKLY
The Cincinnati Art Museum is partnering with the Cincinnati Film Society to present a free screening of Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People. Director Thomas Allen Harris and producer Deborah Willis will be present for a discussion. The film looks at how African-American communities have historically used the camera as a tool for social change, and it has a Cincinnati connection in its inclusion of photographer James Presley Ball, who worked here for 25 years before and after the Civil War. FotoFocus is a sponsor of the event. 7 p.m. Friday. Free. Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams, cincinnatiartmuseum.org.
Laugh and learn some calorie control with MANDY LEVY at KAZE OTR
“Buy a thing of arugula from the store. Dump it in a bowl.” This is the beginning of Mandy Levy’s Buffauxlo Chicken Salad recipe from her new book Calorie Accounting: The Foolproof Diet-by-Numbers Plan for a Skinnier New You, a humorous and self-deprecating weight-loss book that feels more like your best friend telling you about her new meal plan than your typical holier-than-thou diet tome. Levy consciously nudges the concept toward something more lighthearted. “It takes itself so seriously, the dieting world,” she says. “And I just wanted everybody to lighten up.” CityBeat recently caught up with Levy via phone as she was driving from Austin to Phoenix on her current Calorie Accountingbook tour, which makes two stops in the Queen City this week. Read the interview here. Mandy Levy’s Calorie Accounting tour makes a stop 5:30 p.m. Friday at Kaze in Over-the-Rhine and 2 p.m. Sunday at Barnes & Noble West Chester. More info: calorieaccounting.com.
Head to Fountain Square for MidPoint Indie Summer and BRONCHO
Over the past five years, Broncho has ridden its love of ’70s Punk and ’80s Indie Rock to a press kit full of praise and the kind of fairly high-profile song placements that couldn’t help but broaden its loyal fan base. Broncho’s fortunes have continued to rise, with the first album’s “Try Me Out Sometime” being used in a commercial for HBO’s Now streaming service and “Class Historian” from the new album finding its way into an ad for Kate Hudson’s Fabletic lifestyle brand. The largely enthusiastic reviews for Just Enough Hip to Be Woman have paid dividends in the form of high-visibility bookings, including slots at Austin, Texas’ Fun Fun Fun Fest and the ever-popular Bonnaroo Festival, which the band plays the day before its stop at Fountain Square for the free MidPoint Indie Summer series. So the Broncho members may not be completely well-rested when they blow into town, but they’ll be well-primed. Read more here. Broncho performs Friday with Kopecky, Coconut Milk and Near Earth Objects. Concert begins 7 p.m.; Broncho takes the stage at 9 p.m. Fountain Square, 520 Vine Street, Downtown, myfountainsquare.com.
THE HAPPY MALADIES celebrate a record release at Woodward Theater
Even a cursory listen to The Happy Maladies’ slim but impressive Chamber Folk-meets-Indie-in-Jazztown catalog reveals a certain thoughtful deliberation. But the question of sonic intent regarding the imminent new self-titled album by the Cincinnati band sparks an answer nearly as contemplative as the group’s sound. From their 2008 start, The Happy Maladies have exhibited a casual intensity, giving the sense that the quartet creates from a combination of diligence and offhandedness. While their Indie Rock approach to structured music is largely intact, the new album’s process was slightly different. Read an interview with the band here. The Happy Maladies play Woodward Theater on Friday. Tickets/more info: woodwardtheater.com.
SATURDAYSee SPOON and the Antlers at Madison Theater Spoon is the most reliable band on the planet, each album a slight variation on frontman Britt Daniel’s long-running love of terse, sharp-edged Rock & Roll. The Austin, Texas outfit’s eighth album, 2014’s They Want My Soul, is more of the same, each song a deceptively simple mix of interlocking parts: insistent beats from essential drummer Jim Eno, angular guitar riffs, driving bass lines, a sprinkling of keyboards and other subtle additives and Daniel’s vocals, which are as up-front as ever. Spoon with The Antlers perform Saturday at Madison Theater. Tickets/more info: madisontheateronline.com.
Get really excited to taste all the wine at the URBAN WINE FESTIVAL
Wine isn’t for snobs. At least that’s the concept behind Over-the-Rhine’s first Urban Wine Festival, which is presented by 1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab and takes place in their adjacent parking lot. Whether your palate prefers red or rosé, all styles of vino will be represented via 24 selections from local distributors. In addition to a public tasting, the fest includes live music, food and a seminar featuring regional winemaking professionals. Noon-10 p.m. Saturday; tastings start at 2 p.m. $6 glass pours; $48 to taste all 24. 1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab, 1215 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, 1215vine.com/urban-wine-festival.
Celebrate sustainability, local music and good food and beer at SAYLER PARK SUSTAINS
In an effort to foster neighborhood engagement and educate residents in sustainable earth-first practices, Sayler Park Sustains features plenty of food trucks, local beer, vendors and raffles, along with music by The Tillers, Mamadrones and The Part-Time Gentlemen. Anticipate music demos with the Rabbit Hash String Band, as well as info on soil composting, how to green your home and DIY personal care products. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday. Free. Nelson Sayler Memorial Park, 6600 Gracely Drive, Sayler Park, saylerparksustains.org.
Get sweaty at FLOGGING MOLLY and GOGOL BORDELLO
If you want to work up a sweat to some high-energy music this summer concert season, your best bet is coming up this weekend as the Flogging Molly/Gogol Bordello tour steamrolls into town. Flogging Molly is known for its adrenalized twist on traditional Irish music, which is delivered with Mack truck-force, while Gogol Bordello calls its genre stew “Gypsy Punk” and pumps it out with equal aplomb and blood, sweat and tears. Adding even more red-hot spice to the concert mix is opening act Mariachi El Bronx, the popular, jet-fueled side project of Hardcore crew The Bronx, which uses (as the name suggests) Mariachi music as a jumping off point. 7 p.m. Saturday. $36-$48.50. PNC Pavilion, 6295 Kellogg Ave., California, riverbend.org.
Relish in the history of America's pastime with a VINTAGE BASEBALL TOURNAMENT at Heritage Village
Take a time machine into America’s favorite pastime with the Vintage Base Ball Tournament, in which players face off in the diamond as if it were 1869, the year baseball’s first professional team — the Cincinnati Reds — formed. Whether you’re rooting for the Cincinnati Red Stockings or the Cincinnati Buckeyes, you can watch the ballists hit the horsehide in historically accurate uniforms as they follow older customs and speak in vintage discourse — strikers, hurlers, judges, scouts and all. Spectators are encouraged to dress up. Starts 10 a.m. Saturday. Free. Heritage Village Museum, 11450 Lebanon Road, heritagevillagecincinnati.org.
Laugh your ass off at Cincy Shakes' ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS
Ready to laugh your ass off? Cincinnati Shakespeare Company has everyone doing just that with this contemporary version of Carlo Goldoni’s 1743 comic masterpiece, The Servant of Two Masters. Richard Bean’s update is a riot of mistaken identities, love triangles and live music. The story of an ambitious guy who over-promises and gets stuck between rival bosses was a 2011 hit in London and a Tony Award winner in New York. James Corden played the fast-talking schemer in both towns — before he was named host of The Late Late Show on CBS. This will be perfectly silly summer fare. Through July 5. $14-$36. 719 Race St., Downtown, 513-381-2273, cincyshakes.com.
SUNDAYCelebrate summer with a bowlful of tasty crustaceans at Washington Park's CLAMBAKE IN THE PARK Get your grub on, Louisiana style. This beach-themed party in the park will not only be serving up steamy bowlfuls of seafood goodness from Washington Platform but also features games and live music from Cajun rockers Robin Lacy & DeZydeco. For only $12, you can dig into a dish full of clams, shrimp, mussels and potatoes, along with corn on the cob and a dinner roll on the side. Other options are available, like steamed Maine lobster and chicken with waffle fries. Laissez les bon temps rouler! Noon-6 p.m. Free. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, washingtonpark.org.
Head to Horseshoe Casino for HOZIER with DAWES
Every now and then a musician with immense talent reaches the upper echelon of the Billboard charts. They don’t get there because they’re so hot or because they’re dating Diplo. They didn’t win a talent competition. They’re just truly gifted, have worked hard and made it. That is the story of Hozier. The Irish singer/songwriter came out of nowhere last year when his song, “Take Me To Church,” bombarded airwaves and started collecting awards. And, yes, by now we’re all pretty sick of it. But it’s hard to deny there’s talent there. You can hear it in the lyricism and imagery, the simple piano, that backing choir and, holy fuck, that voice. Yes, you’re tired of “Amen.” But bite your tongue. Hozier is changing the Pop world, and he’s bringing that sound to Cincinnati. Show up, clap and bask in the sound of the Delta. Hozier with Dawes plays Sunday at The Shoe at the Horseshoe Casino. Tickets/more info: caesars.com/horseshoe-cincinnati.
Bring your furry friend to SECOND SUNDAY ON MAIN
Everyone’s favorite Over-the-Rhine block party returns. Every second Sunday, Main Street turns into a themed fiesta with a beer garden, kids area, tons of vendors, food trucks, live music, specials at OTR shops and restaurants and, this month, doggie-friendly activities. It’s the “Dog Days” of summer Sunday, with a contest, dog parade and more, including live chef demos at Mr. Pitiful’s, an appearance by Clifford the Big Red Dog, adoptable dogs from Save the Animals, Cincinnati Pit Crew and VITAS Paw-Pals, and a grand opening celebration for GOODS, a thematic retail store celebrating “adventure.” Noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Free. Main Street between 12th and Liberty, Over-the-Rhine, secondsundayonmain.org.
Remember Leelah Alcorn with a COSPLAY FOR LEELAH ALCORN
The Diverse City Youth Chorus, Cincinnati Pride and the Cincinnati Comic Expo are bringing a one-day-only cosplay celebration (where you dress up as your favorite anime, video game, cartoon, comic book, etc. character) to Over-the-Rhine. Leelah Alcorn created her own avatar, Lazer Princess, and this safe setting will let everyone express their authentic selves. The day includes cosplay skits, karaoke, a costume contest and parade down Main Street, plus a handful of vendors. Noon-5 p.m. Sunday. $8; $10 day-of. Woodward Theater, 1404 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/diversecityyouthchorus.
Gorge on falafel at the MAHRAJAN LEBANESE FESTIVAL
The bounty of the Mediterranean comes to St. Anthony of Padua Church in Walnut Hills. Mahrajan features all sorts of Mediterranean eats, from fresh kibbee and hummus to grape leaves, falafel and baklava. Gorge yourself while belly dancers and Arabic bands take the stage, or watch a Middle Eastern Abaye fashion shows and modern Dabke folk dancing. Noon-8 p.m. Sunday. Free. St. Anthony of Padua Church, 2530 Victory Parkway, Walnut Hills, stanthonyofpaduachurch.com.
Close out the weekend with stand-up from JOHNNY BEEHNER
“I’ve been told that after two or three years of marriage, a lot of couples decide to have babies,” comedian Johnny Beehner told an audience on The Late Show with David Letterman. “My wife and I discussed this and we decided we are not ready for a baby, not even close. Incidentally, we do have a baby. We’re not ready for it, but we do have one. It’s one of those little girl ones.” In addition to appearing on the now-retired Letterman’s program, Beehner is a frequent guest on the Bob & Tom radio program. Thursday-Sunday. $8-$14. Go Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy.com.
Remember to wear green or you’ll get pinched at the 50th annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Smale Riverfront Park might be the prime viewing location to see the parade this year as it follows a new route along the river from Paul Brown Stadium to Freedom Way and Rosa Parks Street. Rain or shine, the McGing Irish Dancers will step dance their way down the parade route, along with floats, bagpipers, the Ancient Order of Hibernians and more. This year’s honorary grand marshals are Chris and Janeen from WGRR’s “Married with Microphones.” Noon Saturday. Free. Parade leaves from Mehring Way and Central Avenue, Downtown, cincystpatsparade.com.
EVENT: SAINT PATRICK'S DAY CELEBRATION ON FOUNTAIN SQUAREJoin Cincinnati’s Irish (and non-Irish) brethren on the Square for a Saint Patrick’s Day celebration. The all-day party features live Celtic Rock from the likes of The Kells and Fintan, Guinness on tap and themed merchandise for those who forget to wear green. Have a beer and practice your Irish step on the Square. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday. Free. Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown, myfountainsquare.com.
FRIDAY 22EATS: GREATER CINCINNATI RESTAURANT WEEK Be a culinary tourist in your own city with CityBeat’s inaugural Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Week. Do you like eating? Do you want to try some multi-course meals for cheap? Restaurants throughout the Tristate will be offering $35 three-course meals to delight the palate and impress your date. Participating eateries include Harvest Bistro & Wine Bar, Pompilios, Kaze, The Palace, Parkers Blue Ash Tavern and more. Check out menus and more info online. Through April 24. $35 plus tax and gratuities. Find participating restaurants at greatercincinnatirestaurantweek.com.