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.
Remember when you could buy a proper cocktail with the spare change in your pocket? OK, probably not, but you can still enjoy Prohibition-era prices at Japp’s new happy hour kicking off Friday. From 4-6 p.m. tonight (and each night thereafter), Japp’s will serve up 33-cent Plymouth gin martinis with a side of live Jazz and ‘20s-‘30s standards.
Pet owners have rallied for a downtown dog park for years; now there are two! In addition to Washington Park’s AstroTurfed dog area is Fido Field on Eggleston Ave. The space is made possible my volunteers and fundraising, as it is not managed by the Cincinnati Park Board. Help contribute to the maintenance of Fido Field by enjoying a night out on the Balls Around the Block bar crawl Friday. Dog lovers and drinkers alike will hop from the Contemporary Arts Center (check-in by 6 p.m.) to bars like Igby’s, Righteous Room, Madonna’s and more, enjoying drink and food specials at various locations. Registration for the event has closed; walk-ups will be accepted until 7 p.m. at the CAC for $40. Check out the bar crawl map and learn more about Fido Field here.
While there aren’t any new theater productions opening this week, there are plenty of shows to check out at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, Playhouse in the Park and Covington’s Carnegie Center. Read about them in Rick Pender’s Stage Door.
Downtown’s newest bar, 601 Lounge and Nightclub, hosts a grand opening Saturday. Doors open at 9 p.m.; $10 cover includes two free drinks. Like a lot of newer downtown clubs, 601 looks to cater to the VIP/bottle service crowd, so dress to impress — or you’ll be stuck in the cold.
Check out our calendar for more events, art shows, concerts, theater productions and more happening this weekend
The Civic Garden Center hosts many gardening and eco-friendly classes throughout the year. Tonight is the first installment of a three-part Master Composter Series. Participants who take all three classes in addition to completing 15 hours of community service will be certified as Master Composters. The entire series is free. Tonight's 6-8:30 p.m. class is Composting 101, instructed by Master Composter, Master Gardener and Founder of the American Compost Society, John Duke. Learn about how composting works, different systems to use, how to start and analyze your pile and more. Go online or call 513-221-0982 ext. 18 to reserve your spot.
Over in Clifton Heights, Baba Budan's hosts a night of open-minded, pride-filled fun. From 7-9 p.m., UC Alliance presents Open-Minded Mic, where all are welcome to play a song, perform in drag, recite poetry, do some stand-up – express yourself openly to a welcoming crowd! Afterward, Alternative to the Alternative Night takes over. Tonight's theme is Under Construction, fitting as Baba's is still remodeling after a car crashed through the entrance early Feb. 20. Come in your best construction gear, dressing in red if you're taken, yellow if you're dating or green if you're totally single and ready to go. There will be drink specials all night long. Find details here.
The Piccadilly Circus has set up its big top at the Bank of Kentucky Center and tonight is the last chance to check out the spectacle. Expect standard circus favorites like camels and elephants, high bar performers and clowns. Bring the kids early and check out a free petting zoo and elephant, camel and pony rides. Showtimes tonight are 4:30 and 7:30 p.m; bring $10 cash for parking.
ConnectedConversations continues its series of inspirational speakers tonight
with pioneer, publisher and producer Vy Higginsen. Higginsen’s story is marked
with numerous accomplishments – she was the first black female radio
personality to land a prime time gig in New York City, the first woman in
advertising sales at Ebony magazine, the first black woman to produce a drama
on Broadway and has founded a non-profit for young artists. Titled “Seeing No
tonight’s 7:30 p.m. show promises an
This is the perfect time of year to start a home garden, and tonight Civic Garden Center presents an organic vegetable gardening class. Tending a garden doesn’t have to be a pain – instructor Melinda O’Bryant will demonstrate how to care for your garden using compost, organic fertilizers and pest controls and weed suppression techniques. The program runs from 6:30-8 p.m. and admission is just $10; free for CGC volunteers.
University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music hosts two free concerts at 8 p.m. tonight. Visiting composer from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Scott Wyatt performs with and CCM faculty and students in the Cohen Family Studio Theatre. As part of CCM’s Guest Artist Series, the New Continent Saxophone Quartet of the Sichuan Province, China plays Robert J. Werner Recital Hall.
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.
You know when you discover something new, like a word or band, and suddenly, they're everywhere? Well, if you've recently started following comedian Geoff Tate, you're probably having a similar experience. Dude is popping up left and right.
Two weeks ago, the Cincinnati native appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson after the host saw his stand-up in Wichita, Kan. Tate's five-minute set definitely brought the laughs. Check it out:
Hearing Craig Ferguson say "MOTR Pub" on television did kind of make me squeal.
Tate is back in Cincy this week to record a CD/DVD at MOTR tonight through Wednesday. Comedy starts at 8 p.m. each night and admission is just $5. Have a couple laughs (and beers) and support this up-and-comer. Find details here.
Keystone Bar & Grill nabbed a Best of Cincinnati staff pick for "Best Comfort Food All Jazzed Up," and tonight is a perfect opportunity to check it out for yourself. Famous for their killer macaroni and cheese, Keystone has locations in Covington and Hyde Park. Their twists on the homestyle classic include the Fleetwood Mac (fresh mozzarella, pesto and tomatoes) and The B.B. King (grilled barbecue chicken and bacon). Best of all, mac-n-cheese is half-price on Mondays.
Speaking of staff favorites, downtown dive bar Knockback Nat's also made this year's list as the "Best Place to get Smoked Out." OK, get your mind out of the head shop — we're talking about Knockback's delicious smoked wings. Knockback Nat's transcends typical bar food with these meaty wings they smoke outside behind the bar. On Mondays they're just 50 cents a pop, so enjoy the smoky goodness and wash it all down with a cold brewski.
An after-work summer destination for many yuppies Tri-Staters, Party in the Park returns tonight for its 32nd year tonight. Every Wednesday through July, Party in the Park brings booze and popular area cover bands to Yeatman’s Cove from 5-10 p.m. Happy hour runs 5-6:30 p.m. and for the first time, wine and cocktails are available in addition to beer. Tonight’s music comes from Naked Karate Girls. Check out the full lineup here.
Perhaps contemporary Classical is more your style? World-renown composer
Yanni performs at the Aronoff Center tonight. Known for being the sound of New
Wave and providing the music for the Olympics (since 1988) and countless other
televised sporting events, Yanni presents a new touring show featuring new
music from Truth of Touch, his first
album of original studio music in almost a decade. Tonight’s performance begins
at 8 p.m. Go here to find tickets.
Interior decorator and HGTV host/designer Monica Pedersen will stop by Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Pavilion to discuss and sign her new book. Monica Pedersen Make It Beautiful: Designs and Ideas for Entertaining at Home combines the author’s DIY nature and design/décor expertise to turn readers into party-throwing pros. The event begins at 7 p.m. tonight.
All this talk of cocktails and distilleries got you thirsty? The Cincinnati International Wine Festival kicks off tonight with winery dinners at various Cincinnati area restaurants. Winemakers from around the world are in town tonight, paired with chefs at the area's best restaurants to create amazing wine and meal pairings. Many of tonight's events are sold out but tickets are still available for dinners at Bouquet (pairs with Aurelio Cabestrero from Grapes of Spain), Embers (with Trichero Family Estates), Jag's (with Tom Clare from Longboard Vineyards) and a few more. Check out their site for more details. The actual festival at Duke Energy Convention Center begins tomorrow, with grand tastings Friday eventing, Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening. Find ticket information and a full schedule of events here.
Covington's Carnegie Center hosts Juliard-trained pianist and Harvard-trained psychiatrist Dr. Richard Kogan this evening. Kogan has studied Beethoven extensively and focuses on the relationship between the composer's mind, motivations and music in his performances. Stimulating the left and right sides of the brain, Kogan's performances are "eloquent, compelling and exquisite," says the New York Times. The 7:30 p.m. performance is $25, $19 for Carnegie members. Find details here.