CityBeat Blogs - Comedy http://www.citybeat.com/cincinnati/blogs-1-1-1-33-207.html <![CDATA[Weekenders: What We're Doing This Weekend]]>
Each week CityBeat staffers share their weekend plans: from dinner and drinks or special events to out-of-town concerts and stories we're working on. And some of us just watch TV.

Maria Seda-Reeder: Friday night I will be checking out the work of Elise Thompson & Nathan Weikert at Boom Gallery in Evanston. I’ll head with the family to either MadTree’s taproom for some Catch a Fire Pizza or Mazunte Tacos because pizza or tacos are basically what we live on. Saturday I have a friend’s overnight bachelorette party in Batesville, Ind., so I will be lazing on a floatie in the middle of a lake all day with a bunch of ladies I adore — which sounds like heaven! But if I were still in town, I would be headed straight for C. Jacqueline Wood’s excellent continuing series of avant garde film screenings for her Mini Microcinema, Unbundled Detroit at People’s Liberty’s Globe Gallery.  The (FREE!) Saturday screenings have been way less packed than the Thursday evenings, and the films being shown are consistently awesome. If I get home in time on Sunday morning, I will be sure to attend Wave Pool’s Artist in Residence, Stairwell’s first two-hour Field Trip, “Head Over Hills”, a group walking tour exploring the steps around Eden Park and the Cincinnati Art Museum. I had a chance to meet and walk around town with the two artists, Sarah Hotchkiss and Carey Lin, this past week for several hours and they will be doing some really cool things to engage tour-goers with art, while they’re in town for the next few weeks.

Zack Hatfield: After reading CityBeat's article on iced coffee brews, I might have to head out to Trailhead or Deeper Roots and see what the fuss is all about. Then I'll migrate on my caffeinated iceberg over to By This River, the semi-new exhibit at the Weston gallery. Since I'm visiting my folks on the Westside this weekend, I'd like to visit Habesha, an Ethiopian restaurant I've never been to before. 

Jesse Fox: Saturday I'm heading to Columbus to CD102.5's Summerfest to see FIDLAR and Bully with a few friends.  We'll be making the most important stop of all beforehand at Dirty Frank's, where I'll probably eat too many veggie dogs to even be able to have fun at the show. Other than that, I don't have a lot going on ... lazy weekend for me!

Sarah Urmston: Since Friday is my sweet friend Alexa's birthday, we will be having brunch at Collective Espresso in the beautiful Contemporary Art Center, celebrating with mimosas, pretty scenery and great company. Later that night we will be dancing our butts off all over OTR, most likely shakin' it to John Lennon's Twist & Shout at Japp's Since 1879. Saturday I'll be spending money I don't have at the City Flea (!!!) because we're lucky enough to have it TWICE this month! The rest of the day I'll be paintballing, something I'm still really confused about. Either way, I'm ready to kick some ass and pray to God we're getting drinks afterward. Finally, Sunday afternoon will be dedicated to packing because I move to the beautiful heart of Covington only a week from today! This weekend is a busy one, but exciting nonetheless. 

MORE STUFF TO DO:

FRIDAY
Grace Potter 
Photo: Hollywood Records
GRACE POTTER
Grace Potter’s rise in the music world has been steady. She has toughed it out with tour after tour for years, opening for and collaborating with artists like Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes and others. But now Potter is entering a new phase in her career; after years of being billed as “Grace Potter and The Nocturnals,” Potter is now a solo artist. And she’s jumped right into the role. In June, she opened two stadium shows for The Rolling Stones. And on Aug. 14, Potter is set to release her first solo album, Midnight. Grace Potter plays Friday at Taft Theatre. Tickets/more info: tafttheatre.org.

Jill Scott
Photo: Atlantic Records
CINCINNATI MUSIC FESTIVAL
Founded in 1962 as the all-Jazz Ohio Valley Jazz Festival, Cincinnati’s popular “Jazz Fest” has gone through a lot of changes in its half century-plus history. In more recent decades, the festival shifted focus to R&B and Soul acts and, even more recently, moved into the Bengals’ Paul Brown Stadium. This year, the fest also has a new name — Cincinnati Music Festival (the past few years it was called the Macy’s Music Festival) — but it is providing the same high-quality R&B acts over two nights. This year’s lineup features modern favorites like Maxwell, Jill Scott (pictured) and Jennifer Hudson, plus old-school crowd-pleasers Maze featuring Frankie Beverly and The O’Jays. This year’s fest also features up-and-comers like Avery Sunshine, Mali Music and Luke James. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $55-$125. Paul Brown Stadium, 1 Paul Brown Stadium, Downtown, cincymusicfestival.com

CINCINNATI POPS WITH SETH MACFARLANE
It seems today that all you see are sex-crazed talking teddy bears in movies and lewd cartoons on TV. But where are those good, old-fashioned crooners on which we used to rely? Luckily, there’s Seth MacFarlane.The creative mind responsible for the Ted movies, A Million Ways to Die in the West, American Dad and Family Guy (among myriad other contributions to film and television) is now on a limited tour of the country, showcasing his vocal talent as the frontman of a swingin’ Big Band; in Cincinnati, he’ll be backed by the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, conducted by John Morris Russell. Seth MacFarlane performs with the Cincinnati Pops Friday at Riverbend’s PNC Pavilion. More info: cincinnatisymphony.org.

CINCINNATI BURGER WEEK
It’s a rare opportunity — or should we say medium rare — that carnivores can delight in $5 gourmet and off-menu burgers throughout their city. Through Sunday, Cincinnati Burger Week pays homage to the American-cuisine staple by having chefs prepare burgers with their unique spin. Local restaurants from Anderson to Covington will participate in the beef extravaganza, organized by CityBeat, stamping your Burger Passports for special prizes. Don’t eat meat? Some places, like Nation in Pendleton, also offer a delectable black bean patty. Through Sunday. $5 per burger. Find participating restaurants at cincinnatiburgerweek.com.

LOVE WINS CINCY WEEKEND
Hot on the heels of SCOTUS’ landmark decision to legalize gay marriage nationwide (s/o to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg), cincygayweddings.com, a compendium of LGBTQ+-friendly wedding vendors in the area, decided to turn their launch party into an entire weekend of activities, featuring eight parties over three days with more than 40 different sponsors. Events include Cocktails & Couture at Bromwell’s, a Sunday Jazz brunch at the Hilton Netherland Plaza, a dance party at Ivy Lounge and much more. Weekend events open to everyone; Scalia fans maybe stay away. All proceeds benefit Pride Cincinnati, Equality Ohio and the Human Rights Campaign. Friday and Saturday. Various prices; $40 weekend. Details at lovewinscincy.com

Joan Jett
Photo: Roger Erickson
JOAN JETT
For all the grumbling about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the induction ceremonies can often be revelatory and moving, occasionally serving as a way to view an artist from a different perspective and remind everyone why an artist is receiving the honor in the first place. The 2015 Rock Hall inductions had its fair share of goosebump-worthy moments. But it was inductee Joan Jett’s acceptance speech that made me most emotional, reminding me of my own deep-rooted passion for music in general, and Rock & Roll specifically. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts play Friday at the Lawrenceburg Event Center (Hollywood Casino). More info/tickets: hollywoodindiana.com.

Amiable Strangers
Photo: Provided
AMIABLE STRANGERS AT BOOM GALLERY
Painters Elise Thompson and Nathan Weikert exhibit new work at Boom Gallery in Evanston, which demonstrates their move away from figurative painting toward something more abstracted, taking cues from the American AbEx tradition. Thompson’s paintings are done on unconventional materials — forgoing canvas for chiffon, for example — and the painter hangs her work on walls, some pieces extending onto the floor or leaning on themselves in unlikely ways. Weikert, for his part, creates atmosphere and mood through the use of layers of stormy grays. Opening reception: 7-9 p.m. Friday. Free. Boom Gallery, 1940 Dana Ave., boomgallery.us

HUNDRED DAYS AT KNOW THEATRE
Fasten your seat belt — here comes the 2015-2016 theater season. Know Theatre gets bragging rights for being first out of the local theater gate with Hundred Days, a Rock & Roll show it played a significant part in developing. The Folk Rock odyssey was created by and features the husband-and-wife duo of Shaun and Abigail Bengson. It premiered at Z Space in San Francisco in February 2014. Hundred Days is the story of Sarah and Will, who fall in love only to have their time together cut tragically short by a fatal illness. Their romantic, defiant response to their fate: Compress the 60 years they had envisioned together into the 100 days they have left. Kate E. Ryan assembled the script for this powerful piece, which is an unconventional musical, Indie Rock opera and tragic romance. Hundred Days runs at Know Theatre July 24 to Aug. 22. knowtheatre.com.

SATURDAY
Death from Above 1979
Photo: Pamela Littky
DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979
It’s easy to see why bands with lengthy histories and voluminous catalogs would consider getting back together, but those rationalizations don’t hold much water for Death from Above 1979. The Canadian duo featuring bassist/synthesizer-player/backing vocalist Jesse F. Keeler and drummer/vocalist Sebastien Grainger got together in 2001 and released a sole album of original material, You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine, in 2004. The pair considered breaking up in the wake of tours with Queens of the Stone Age and Nine Inch Nails, but held off for a year to appease their rabid fans, label and inner circle. They did and a decade later they're back with a new record and new tour. Catch Death from Above 1979 Saturday at Riverbend. More info/tickets: riverbend.org.

TURANDOT
The Cincinnati Opera closes its season with Puccini’s Turandot, the tale of Princess Turandot, an enigmatic beauty in ancient China who reigns with an iron fist and cold heart. All of her wooers must answer her riddles to win her hand in marriage, or face certain death. When a mysterious man passes her impossible test, will she finally open her heart to love? This kaleidoscopic production features stunning sets, costumes and choreography. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 29 and 31. $35-$175. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatiopera.org

Greater Anderson Days
Photo: Provided
GREATER ANDERSON DAYS
Just because Independence Day is over doesn’t mean the fireworks are. The 17th-annual Greater Anderson Days, a July jamboree consisting of music, games, rides, food and an “Anderson’s Got Talent” competition, will culminate with Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks on Sunday night. The pyrotechnics are a perfect way for the family to celebrate the summer, but also the community, as money raised benefits the Anderson Parks and Recreation Playground Fund. 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 5-10 p.m. Sunday. Free. Beech Acres Park, 6910 Salem Road, Anderson, andersonparks.com.

'1776'
Photo: Mikki Schaffner
1776
The musical 1776 requires a cast of about two dozen strong male singers and actors to portray our founding fathers. They were a querulous bunch with opinions from all points on the political spectrum, not too different from today’s politicians, in fact. This production at the new Incline Theater has rounded up fine cast of performers, led by Rodger Pille as feisty Boston attorney John Adams, the flash point in the back-and-forth argument about whether the colonies should declare their independence from England. The show’s opening number, “Sit Down, John,” announces immediately that we will meet a crowd of very human characters. Through July 26. $26 adults; $23 students. Warsaw Federal Incline Public Theater, 801 Matson Place, Price Hill, cincinnatilandmarkproductions.com.

FRAGRANCE THERAPY
Those flowers in your garden are more than just aesthetically pleasing. Learn all about fragrance therapy and how to turn your blooms into potpourri during part of “6 Saturdays to Better Health” at Krohn Conservatory, in concert with their Healing Garden summer floral show. 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Saturday. $4. 1501 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams, 513-421-5707, cincinnatiparks.com

FLORENCE FREEDOM HALO NIGHT
Watching a Florence Freedom game is fun, but it’s even more fun on a theme night. Tonight’s theme is “Halo Night.” The Freedom’s home stadium becomes ground zero as Cincinnati Comic Expo hosts an evening of cosplay with the 405th Infantry Division of the Halo costuming group. If you don’t know what Halo is, it’s a first-person shooter video game centered on an interstellar war. Freedom players will be wearing special jerseys designed to look like Master Chief, the video game’s main protagonist, which will be auctioned off after the game. 6:05 p.m. Saturday. $10-$15. UC Health Stadium, 7950 Freedom Way, Florence, Ky., facebook.com/405thmidwestern, florencefreedom.com.

SUNDAY
ENDURING SPIRIT AT THE TAFT
Edward Curtis was an early 20th-century American ethnologist and photographer who captured the disappearing world of the American Indian. In the Taft Museum’s Enduring Spirit exhibit, Curtis chronicles the living culture of Native Americans from 1900-1930 through gelatin silver photographs, cyanotypes and platinum prints, among others. Profoundly moving, the images depict everything from powerful portraits of men, women and children to Navajo riders, painted lodges and teepees, and a famous and striking image of the Nez Perce’s Chief Joseph, a crusader who led his people against the U.S. government when they were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to the exhibit, check out Saturday Sounds (noon-2 p.m.) on the terrace, with live music from Full Moon Ranch. Through Sept. 20. $10 adults; $8 seniors/students; $4 youth. Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike St., Downtown, taftmuseum.org.

'Hairspray'
Photo: Mikki Schaffner
HAIRSPRAY
Cincinnati Young People’s Theatre opens its 34th-annual summer show this week at the Covedale Center, where 80 local teens will twist and pony their way through the raucous musical Hairspray. Set in 1962 Baltimore, it’s about a Rock & Roll TV show that represents the dream of every kid to become a star, especially lovable plus-size teen Tracy Turnblad. This big cast brings together kids from 33 area schools. Many of CYPT’s performers — there are 2,400 alumni — have gone on to theater careers. It’s a safe bet that there will be some more from this year’s crew. Through Aug. 2. $12-$16. Cincinnati Young People’s Theatre, Covedale Center for the Performing Arts, 4990 Glenway Ave., Covedale, 513-241-6550, cincinnatilandmarkproductions.com.






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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List (7/17-7/19)]]> FRIDAY

EVENT/ARTS/CATS!: LIL' BUB'S BIG ART SHOW

“Perma-kitten” Lil Bub — the Internet, TV, movie and book sensation — uses her looks to help others. The Bloomington, Ind., feline with the perpetually visible tongue and bulging eyes has raised more than $300,000 for animals in need. Now she’s headed to Leapin’ Lizard Gallery in Covington for an art show to benefit Ohio Alleycat Resource. The Madisonville spay/neuter clinic and no-kill shelter has an especially soft spot for cats like Bub, a former feral with dwarfism and other physical oddities. Help support homeless kitties not as lucky to have their own “dude” and 2 million Facebook likes. The 7-9 p.m. meet-and-greet with Bub is sold-out with a wait list, but you can still attend the silent auction, shop for works by local artists and soak up the bubbly Bub spirit. Music by Dublin Defense, hors d’oeuvres, cash bar. 7 p.m.-midnight Friday. $20. Leapin’ Lizard, 726 Main St., Covington, Ky., ohioalleycat.org.

COMEDY: AN EVENING WITH JEN KIRKMAN
Comedian, best-selling author, screenwriter and actress Jen Kirkman is the voice for what the world is actually thinking, and her stand-up act is an honest and humorous way of saying exactly what’s on her own mind. Not only is Kirkman well-known for her frequent appearances on Comedy Central’s Drunk History and @midnight, her Netflix Original debut I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine) began streaming this summer. Join Kirkman alongside comic, actress, writer and television host Brooke Van Poppelen as they take over the stage at the Taft Theatre. 8:30 p.m. Friday. $15. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, tafttheatre.org

ONSTAGE: THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNUM COUNTY SPELLING BEE
Back in February 2005 I was in New York City to see some shows, and at the last moment (on a Saturday afternoon) I was offered the chance to see a new off-Broadway show I hadn’t heard of, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. I was totally charmed by the tale of adolescents (played by young adult actors) competing in a spelling contest, and I told acquaintances afterwards that it would surely become a staple of universities and community theaters. The production currently offered by the Commonwealth Theatre Company at Northern Kentucky University’s Stauss Theatre, where Spelling Bee is being presented as the second of two summer dinner theater shows. Directed by Roderick Justice, Spelling Bee works because Rachel Sheinkin’s script has created a half-dozen youngsters who are quirky and intense, some nervous and others cocky. Presented by Commonwealth Theatre Company at Northern Kentucky University. Continues through July 26. artscience.nku.edu.

Rodger Pille as John Adams in '1776' at Incline Theatre
Photo: Mikki Schaffner
ONSTAGE: 1776
The musical 1776 requires a cast of about two dozen strong male singers and actors to portray our founding fathers. They were a querulous bunch with opinions from all points on the political spectrum, not too different from today’s politicians, in fact. This production at the new Incline Theater has rounded up fine cast of performers, led by Rodger Pille as feisty Boston attorney John Adams, the flash point in the back-and-forth argument about whether the colonies should declare their independence from England. The show’s opening number, “Sit Down, John” announces immediately that we will meet a crowd of very human characters. Through July 26. $26 adults; $23 students. Warsaw Federal Incline Public Theater, 801 Matson Place, Price Hill, cincinnatilandmarkproductions.com.

Paul Rudd in 'Ant-Man'
Photo: Disney/Marvel
FILM: ANT-MAN
Writer-director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) and his creative partner Joe Cornish (director of Attack the Block) had a dream — long before such things were practical — to bring one of their favorite comic book superheroes to life. They wanted to bring Ant-Man to the big screen, so they set about the task of penning a screenplay for Wright to helm. The pair imagined Paul Rudd as their heroic little Ant-Man, a burglar named Scott Lang seeking a shot at redemption and to provide for his young daughter. What Ant-Man proves to be is a capable independent heist movie — think Mission: Impossible meets Fast Five with weird and wacky dollops of The Usual Suspects and To Catch a Thief thrown in for good measure — that also happens to be a wonderful Scott Pilgrim twist on what a Marvel superhero should look like. Every detail, both big (Michael Douglas) and small (Peña), works to alter our perceptions of we mean when we talk about this genre and those crazy expectations. 

SATURDAY
EVENT: DANGER WHEEL
Pendleton transforms into a sort of Fast & Furious franchise with the inaugural Danger Wheel, a downhill big-wheel race fundraiser where adults get to climb onto over-sized big-wheels and race down 12th Street to win the title of Danger Champion. This outdoor event features not only an epic crash-course, but also booths by local breweries including Madtree, Rhinegeist, Christian Moerlein and more, as well as food from food trucks, streetpops and Nation Kitchen+Bar. Guest and fans, BYOS (bring your own seat) and get a great view. Big-wheels will be provided for racers. 4-11 p.m. Saturday. Free. 378 E. 12th St., Pendleton, dangerwheel.com.

'Star Trek'
Photo: Paramount Pictures

FILM: STAR TREK LIVE IN CONCERT
Live long and prosper with an in-sync live performance of the score to the 2009 blockbuster Star Trek (PG-13). Held at the Taft Theatre, the Hollywood extravaganza will be thrillingly soundtracked by the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra with Constantine Kitsopoulos as conductor. Watch the film, the first in the latest Star Trek franchise reboot, and listen to Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino’s score whether you’re reuniting with Captain Kirk and Spock or a newbie aboard the starship Enterprise. You should probably wear a costume to this galactic journey through time, space and music. “Beam me up, Scotty.” 7:30 p.m., Saturday. $10-$60. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, tafttheatre.org.

Cincy Summer Streets
Photo: Provided
EVENT: CINCY SUMMER STREETS
Cincy Summer Streets — a program that converts streets from dangerously busy thoroughfares for motorized traffic to idyllic urban playgrounds for pedestrians and cyclists, at least for a few hours — kicks off its 2015 season on Saturday in Walnut Hills. East McMillan Street will be reserved for such activities as cycling (rental bikes are available), jump-roping, lawn bowling, mini-golf, hula-hooping, yoga, crosswalk-painting and more. Two more Summer Streets events, sponsored by Interact for Health and the Haile Foundation, are planned in Northside on Aug. 23 and Over-the-Rhine on Sept. 26. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. East McMillan Street, between Victory Parkway and Chatham Street, Walnut Hills, cincysummerstreets.org.

Blessid Union of Souls
Photo: Provided
EVENT: BASTILLE DAY CELEBRATION IN MONTGOMERY
Bastille Day is fun because it’s a holiday based entirely on the fact that a bunch of French peasants went and guillotined a bunch of French aristocrats — a bit like our Fourth of July Independence Day celebration, but bloodier. To fête the beginning of the French Revolution, the city of Montgomery will be holding a Bastille Day celebration, with Cincinnati favorite Blessid Union of Souls (they of “Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me for Me)” fame) headlining an evening of entertainment. There will also be street café vendors, a kids’ area, an animal show and 60-minute historic walking tours of old Montgomery. Noon-11 p.m. Saturday. Free. Downtown Montgomery, between Cooper and Remington roads, montgomeryohio.com.

Thing-stead installation
Photo: Aaron Walker
ART: THING-STEAD ARTIST BOOKS
Two veterans of Cincinnati’s co-op gallery scene, now students at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will present their strange and fascinating new project, Thing-stead artist-books, Saturday night at Camp Washington’s Wave Pool gallery. And given that Chris Reeves’ and Aaron Walker’s work is deeply inspired by Fluxus, the mixed-media (or “intermedia”) movement of the 1950s and 1960s in which avant-garde art was made with a spirit of fun, the 7-10 p.m. Wave Pool event will be a happening. It will include readings and performances. Read the full story here. 7-10 p.m. Saturday. Wave Pool, 2940 Colerain Ave., wavepoolgallery.org.

SUNDAY
Lux Alptraum
Photo: Provided
COMEDY: THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF BONING 
“It’s just taking a loving and humorous look at how terribly we tackle such an important topic,” says sex educator and comedian Lux Alptraum of her show The Wonderful World of Boning: Sex Ed with a Sense of Humor, a new outcropping of the popular Found Footage Festival series. “I had these movies in my house and I thought I should really show them to the world,” she says. “I decided to do a sort of Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment.” So she enlisted some comedian friends to say funny things about the vintage sex-ed films. Joining Alptraum to poke fun at the films, as it were, will be Joe Gordon, a former writer for The Onion. 8 p.m. Sunday. $10. Thompson House, 24 E. Third St., Newport, Ky., thompsonhousenewport.com.


'Clybourne Park'
Photo: Provided
ONSTAGE: CLYBOURNE PARK

Community 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.


Vent Haven Museum
Photo: Cameron Knight
EVENT: DOUBLE TALK

Little-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.


An image of the Nez Perce's Chief Joseph on display in 'Enduring Spirit'
Photo: Edward Curtis
ART: ENDURING SPIRIT: EDWARD CURTIS & THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS
Edward Curtis was an early 20th-century American ethnologist and photographer who captured the disappearing world of the American Indian. In the Taft Museum’s Enduring Spirit exhibit, Curtis chronicles the living culture of Native Americans from 1900-1930 through gelatin silver photographs, cyanotypes and platinum prints, among others. Profoundly moving, the images depict everything from powerful portraits of men, women and children to Navajo riders, painted lodges and teepees, and a famous and striking image of the Nez Perce’s Chief Joseph, a crusader who led his people against the U.S. government when they were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to the exhibit, check out Saturday Sounds (noon-2 p.m.) on the terrace, with live music from Full Moon Ranch. Through Sept. 20. $10 adults; $8 seniors/students; $4 youth. Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike St., Downtown, taftmuseum.org.



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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List (6/19-6/21)]]> Tropical Depression Bill is slated to make his way through the Tristate on Saturday (WCPO weather report here) with heavy rains and the possibility of flooding. Many of this weekend's events have been postponed due to weather, including Paddlefest — with the exception of Friday night's River Music & Outdoor Festival at Coney Island — and CityBeat's Porkopolis Pig & Whiskey festival, which has now moved to Saturday, Aug. 1. The rest of the outdoor events listed below have not yet been postponed, but please call or check social media before you head out — we'd hate for you to be left out in the rain.






FRIDAY
Gorge on goetta at MainStrasse's GOETTAFEST

Cincinnati has a lot of regional culinary specialties that non-Cincinnatians find weird (like, you know, Skyline), but goetta might take the cake. Made of ground pork, pinhead oats and spices, Cincinnati’s signature breakfast food has been ingrained into our city’s cultural DNA since it was first invented by German immigrants in the late 19th-century as a way to stretch a serving of meat into several meals. Cincinnati has a lot of regional culinary specialties that non-Cincinnatians find weird (like, you know, Skyline), but goetta might take the cake. Made of ground pork, pinhead oats and spices, Cincinnati’s signature breakfast food has been ingrained into our city’s cultural DNA since it was first invented by German immigrants in the late 19th-century as a way to stretch a serving of meat into several meals. 5-11:30 p.m. Friday; noon-11:30 p.m. Saturday; noon-9 p.m. Sunday. Free. Mainstrasse Village, Sixth Street, Covington, Ky., mainstrasse.org.

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Photo: Micha Warren

Rock with THE JON SPENCER BLUES EXPLOSION at Woodward Theater

Musical provocateur Jon Spencer chose the perfect handle for his new project when it was formed back in 1991 — Blues Explosion — and it continues to accurately reflect the visceral sound and fury emanating from his incendiary trio almost a quarter century later. The Blues Explosion’s numerous releases have been among the most scorchingly inventive and influential releases of the modern Rock age. Next year will be The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s 25th anniversary. And its recently released new studio album, Freedom Tower - No Wave Dance Party 2015, may well be the proof that the threesome is just getting warmed up. Read more here. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion performs Friday at Woodward Theater. More info/tickets: woodwardtheater.com.

Jungle Jim's International Beer Festival
Photo: Provided

Cure what ales you at Jungle Jim's INTERNATIONAL BEER FESTIVAL

Cure what ales you this weekend as Jungle Jim’s brings more than 400 beers to the table for its 10th-annual International Beer Festival. You can taste (and buy) brewskis from more than 100 breweries around the world while enjoying picnic-style food.  Beer buffs and experts will be in attendance to talk shop about the sudsy art form, and you can taste special brews and rarities. The fest kicks off with a firkin tapping, “a keg of beer that’s been fermented inside of the barrel it’s fermented in,” according to Jungle Jim. 7:30-10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $50 daily; $20 non-drinker. Oscar Event Center, 5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield, junglejims.com.


By This River at the Weston Art Gallery
Stop by the opening of BY THIS RIVER at the Weston Art Gallery

The Weston Art Gallery hosts an opening reception for a group exhibition curated by Michael Solway, director of the Carl Solway Gallery, featuring six American artists “exploring the sensorial, geographical, historical and ephemeral dispersal of water from rivers to oceans.” The show began as part of an ongoing conversation between Solway and Fluxus pioneer Ben Patterson regarding their long-held mutual instinct to live near major bodies of water, and will bring together recent works by artists working in photography, painting, sculpture, paper, video and sound, as well as a series of interactive constructions. Opening reception: 6-9 p.m. Friday. Through Aug. 30. Free. 650 Walnut St., Downtown, westonartgallery.com.

Vince Morris
Photo: provided 
Laugh with VINCE MORRIS at Funny Bone on the Levee
Columbus native Vince Morris has never felt more comfortable on stage. “I have enough material that I let the crowd take me where they want to go,” he says. “I’ll talk about fatherhood or social issues, but I don’t have a strict set list. I don’t like to be too organized.” Raised by a single dad, his material about fatherhood also comes from his own experiences helping to raise his 6-year-old daughter. Wednesday-Sunday. $12-$15. Funny Bone on the Levee, Newport on the Levee, Newport, Ky., funnyboneonthelevee.com.


SATURDAY 
Kevin Hart
Photo: Provided
See the hardest working man in show business, KEVIN HART

Kevin Hart, everyone’s favorite little comedian and most likely literally the hardest working man in show business (in the past two years he’s been in seven movies, including Ride Along, The Wedding Ringer, Get Hard and on and on), brings his “What Now?” stand-up tour to U.S. Bank Arena. According to Billboard, “What Now?” is on its way to becoming the highest-grossing comedy tour of all time. 7 p.m. Saturday. $49.50-$150. U.S. Bank Arena, 100 Broadway, Downtown, usbankarena.com.

Summer Solstice Lavendar Festival
Photo: Provided
Get calm at the Peaceful Acres SUMMER SOLSTICE LAVENDER FESTIVAL
From medicine to aromatherapy or as a fragrant ingredient in everything from cookies to tea, the Summer Solstice Lavender Festival allows attendees to stroll through blooming fields of lavender to pick a bundle and learn about its uses, as well as purchase lavender-infused body and food products. Going hand-in-hand with the herb’s calming properties, three-minute gong meditation sessions will be held all day, along with several workshops like lavender painting and wreath making. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free. Peaceful Acres Lavender Farm, 2387 Martinsville Road, Martinsville, peacefulacreslavenderfarm.com.

Juneteenth Festival
Photo: Provided
Celebrate the end of legal slavery in America at the JUNETEENTH FESTIVAL
Juneteenth, a national celebration of Emancipation Day and the legal end of slavery in America, will hold its 28th-annual festival at Daniel Drake Park. The nonprofit festival will include historical reenactments (including visits from Abe Lincoln and Harriet Tubman), exhibits, craft demonstrations, live music and a wide variety of food. An amalgamation of June and “nineteenth,” the name reflects the date in 1865 when General Gordon Granger reissued the Emancipation Proclamation. The event, whose popularity has skyrocketed, aims to bring Cincinnati’s diverse community together to celebrate freedom. A special Father’s Day concert caps the weekend on Sunday. Noon-9 p.m. Saturday; 2:30-6 p.m. Sunday. Free. Daniel Drake Park, 5800 Red Bank Road, Kennedy Heights, juneteenthcincinnati.org.

'Il Trovatore'
Photo: Provided
See Cincinnati Opera's first summer production, IL TROVATORE
Leading off the Cincinnati Opera's 95th season is Il Trovatore, Giuseppe Verdi’s melodrama based on that old staple of Italian opera known as “la vendetta,” or vengeance. Don’t focus on the plot, which was considered overblown even in Verdi’s day, though it does propel some of Verdi’s most familiar music, including the “Anvil Chorus.” And what a cast: bass Morris Robinson, tenor Russell Thomas and the highly anticipated debut of mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton in the role of the vengeful gypsy Azucena. Read more here. 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Saturday. More info/tickets: cincinnatiopera.org.

SUNDAY
Colin Farrell in 'True Detective'
Photo: Lacy Terrell
Watch the season premiere of TRUE DETECTIVE
After a wildly successful debut season, the second iteration of crime-drama anthology True Detective is under a microscope. How can — or perhaps just can — the first season be topped? While a cop drama featuring Surfer, Dude stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson seemed forgettable on paper, True Detective rose to become one of the best programs of 2014. Season Two brings us a new setting, crime and cast: the disappearance of a California city manager leads to an investigation involving a dirty cop (Colin Farrell), a career criminal trying to go legit (Vince Vaughn), an uncompromising sheriff (Rachel McAdams), a damaged war-veteran officer (Taylor Kitsch) and the U.S. transportation system. Expect a more linear narrative set in the present day around various California locales, with more complicated characters to delve into. Writer/creator Nic Pizzolatto returns with rotating directors. While it’s counter-productive to harp on comparisons to Season One, it’s hard not to speculate if this season will be as strong or if it could be the Midas touch for the diverse cast — particularly Vaughn and FarrellSeason Premiere, 9 p.m. Sunday, HBO.

OR…
Bar Rescue (9 p.m., Spike) – Jon visits a bar that’s been a backdrop for a porn video.

Halt and Catch Fire (10 p.m., AMC) – Stress at Mutiny mounts as Cameron and Donna deal with the fallout from Sonaris in addition to money troubles. Elsewhere, Joe calls in Gordon’s help to get West Group’s computer systems running during off-hours.

Ballers (Series Premiere, 10 p.m., HBO) – Entourage: Sportz (alternate title) stars Dwayne Johnson as a retired football-star-turned-athlete-manager in Miami.

The Brink (Series Premiere, 10:30 p.m., HBO) – Three disconnected, unlikely men in U.S. government/military (Jack Black, Tim Robbins and Pablo Schreiber) are tasked with preventing World War III when a geopolitical crisis arises.

'Dope'
Photo: via IMDb 
See DOPE from director Rick Famuyiwa
Director Rick Famuyiwa (The Wood) has been rather quiet since Brown Sugar back in 2002, with only one other feature as a writer-director (2010’s Our Family Wedding) and a screenplay credit for Talk to Me in 2007. But he’s riding a strong wave of attention following the reception of his latest coming-of-age dramedy Dope at the Sundance Film Festival, which is not necessarily known as a hotbed for embracing stories about geeks in Inglewood, Calif. While there will certainly be gangsters, drug dealers and tough choices facing the film’s young college hopeful (Shameik Moore), Famuyiwa won’t forget to highlight the pop culture referencing teen dreams that will not be deferred nor deterred.






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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List (6/12-6/14)]]> FRIDAY

Binge on ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK

After a heavy second season that had many viewers wondering if drama would be a more appropriate genre designation than comedy (particularly for television awards), the ladies of Litchfield Penitentiary look to lighten things up in Season Three. Yes, Orange Is the New Black is back for your binging pleasure with a growing solid cast, and more laughs, tears and WTF moments that will continue to dance on the drama-comedy line. Orange is the New Black Season Three premieres Friday on Netflix. Read more here


Newport Italian Fest
Photo: Provided
Eat a ton of pizza at NEWPORT ITALIANFEST
Spend your evening surrounded by authentic Italian food from local restaurants including Pompilios, Roma’s and Bella Luna, with live music featuring performers from all over the nation and the “old country,” including the Italian harmony trio Tre Bella. And if that’s not enough, the 24th annual Italianfest also has a cooking contest, a pizza-eating contest, games, Rozzi’s fireworks and even rides to keep the little ones busy. 5-11 p.m. Thursday; 5-11:30 p.m. Friday; noon-11:30 p.m. Saturday; noon-9 p.m. Sunday. Free. Festival Park, 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky., newportky.gov


Photo: Provided

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.


'Calorie Accounting' author Mandy Levy
Photo: Provided

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.


Broncho
Photo: Courtney Yip

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 hereBroncho 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.


Cincinnati’s Happy Maladies celebrate their new self-titled album release this Friday.
Photo: Michael Wilson

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 hereThe Happy Maladies play Woodward Theater on Friday. Tickets/more info: woodwardtheater.com.


SATURDAY

Spoon
Photo: Tom Hines

See 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


Flogging Molly

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.


One Man, Two Guvnors
Photo: Cal Harris

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.


SUNDAY

Photo: Provided

Celebrate 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


Hozier
Photo: Dara Munnis

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.


Photo: Provided

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.


Photo: Provided 

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


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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List (6/5-6/7)]]>
Theater, art, bugs to eat, opera to see, a performance from Ja Rule and a ton of music festival fun.

FRIDAY
Dress for a fest and head to BUNBURY
This year’s Bunbury Music Festival, the first since it was acquired by Columbus, Ohio’s PromoWest Productions, features an ambitious and diverse lineup. The event, running Friday through Sunday at Sawyer Point and Yeatman’s Cove along the riverfront, will draw plenty of fans to see headliners like The Black Keys, The Avett Brothers and Snoop Dogg. But there are once again plenty of other reasons to explore the festival’s stages this year. Click here to read about our picks for some of the "must see" acts performing at the 2015 Bunbury Music Festival. Through Sunday. $79-$349. 705 E. Pete Rose Way, Downtown, bunburyfestival.com.

Collective CAC
Photo: Jesse Fox 
Grab a cortado and check out some at the COLLECTIVE CAC
Helmed by Collective Espresso owners Dave Hart and Dustin Miller, Collective CAC opened in March. When you walk into the lobby, Collective CAC is to the left of the museum welcome desk. The dining area is comprised of two large angular, birch-colored communal tables and a few smaller round tables with white modernist wingback chairs. The current menu features all-day breakfast, with sandwiches, salads and snacks available until 2 p.m. daily. But if you have a hankering for a cortado in the evening, the café offers light bites and coffee service until close — which isn’t until 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. Current exhibits include The Perfect Kiss, The Vesper Project, Self-Portrait as Light and Remember the Future. Contemporary Arts Center, 44 E. Sixth St., Downtown, contemporaryartscenter.org/visit/caf.

Dog Show
Photo: Provided
Catch the final performances of CINCINNATI FRINGE
The Cincinnati Fringe Festival — running through June 6 — is celebrating 13 years of theater, creativity and fun. A total of 40 shows (selected by 24 jurors) will be presented during the 12 days of the 2015 Fringe, split almost exactly between shows generated by local creators and productions from elsewhere in the U.S., plus four international acts representing South Africa, Japan, Canada and the United Kingdom. Tickets for Cincinnati Fringe shows are $15 each; artists receive 50 percent of ticket and pass sales. Through June 6. Various venues in downtown and Over-the-Rhine. For a full schedule, visit cincyfringe.com.

SATURDAY 
Ja Rule
Photo: Provided
Remember the early aughts with JA RULE
It’s been more than a decade since the early 2000s, which means we’re allowed to start feeling nostalgic about it. And what better way to indulge that nostalgia than with a Ja Rule concert. Signed to the infamous Murder Inc. record label (now called The Inc.), Ja Rule spent most of the late ’90s embroiled in a feud with Fiddy and Eminem and is probably most well known as a featured artist on hits from other early-aughts staples like J.Lo, Christina Milian and Ashanti — let’s be real, we all know all of the words to “Mesmerize.” He’ll perform at Fountain Square Saturday with openers Trademark Aaron, Diamond Star Russell and Mayo. 7 p.m. start; Ja Rule at 10 p.m. Free. Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown, myfountainsquare.com.

Friends of the Public Library Used Book Sale
Photo: Provided
Get smart and buy some books at the FRIENDS OF THE PUBLIC LIBRARY USED BOOK SALE
The Friends of the Public Library Main Library Book Sale returns Saturday for its 43rd annual event (through June 5), offering more than 50,000 used books from every category imaginable, with most prices between $1 and $4. Feel free to casually browse or go on a book-buying spree — there will most likely be something for everybody, whether you’re looking for Alice or Zhivago. Free. Main Library, 800 Vine St., Downtown, friends.cincinnatilibrary.org.

Broadway Sing-Along with the Cincinnati Pops
Photo: Provided
Belt along with tunes from the Great White Way in BROADWAY SING-ALONG WITH THE CINCINNATI POPS
The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra begins its summer series with a special Broadway Sing-Along: Belt out your favorite Broadway hits by singing along to lyrics on the Riverbend Corbett Pavilion big screen with talented guest vocalists. Conductor John Morris Russell will lead the orchestra and audience in classics such as “Defying Gravity” from Wicked, “Dancing Queen” from Mamma Mia! and selections from Rocky Horror Picture Show. 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets start at $20. Riverbend, 6295 Kellogg Ave., California, cincinnatipops.org.

Germany Day Weekend
Photo: Provided
Bite a brat during GERMAN DAY WEEKEND
Get out your finest lederhosen and celebrate Cincinnati’s cultural roots with German Day Weekend, which provides an immersive environment for attendees to experience a heritage still thriving today. The celebration, which turns 120 this year and raises funds for the German Heritage Museum, kicks off on Saturday, when a parade at Findlay Market will showcase traditional German dance and music. On Sunday you can chill at the Hofbräuhaus Newport brewery for authentic German fare and craft beer. Guten Appetit! 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Free. Findlay Market, 1801 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, gacl.com.

Incline District Street Fair
Photo: Provided
Explore Price Hill during the INCLINE DISTRICT STREET FAIR
Created to showcase the multicultural richness of Price Hill, the Incline District Street Fair strives to bring the surrounding community together at an event held the first Saturday of every month (through September). The fair, held across the street from Holy Family School, will feature local food, live entertainment, craft beer and a variety of artisan vendors. All proceeds benefit the mission and ministry of Holy Family. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Free. 3001 Price Ave., Price Hill, theinclinedistrictstreetfair.com.

I Love Lucy Live on Stage
Photo: Justin Namon
Laugh along with "I LOVE LUCY" LIVE ON STAGE
Back in the 1950s, Lucy and Ricky Ricardo were a big TV hit on I Love Lucy. To experience the fun — and what TV was like 60 years ago — you should head to the Aronoff Center, where you’ll get a taste of what had America laughing. I Love Lucy Live on Stage recreates the filming of two episodes of the pioneering sitcom starring zany comedienne Lucille Ball and her real-life husband, Cuban band leader Desi Arnaz. Between segments of the show there’s interaction with the studio audience — aka everyone in the theater — plus live singers doing ads from the era. Through June 14. $29-$102. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, 513-621-2787, cincinnatiarts.org.

Heteronormativity at the Ice Cream Factory
Photo: Jen Warren
See some art with HETERONORMATIVITY at the Ice Cream Factory
Working in monotype printmaking, collage and projection, Cincinnati-based artist Jen Warren will show a collection of artwork at artist/curator Paul Coors’ Brighton gallery, which focuses on her personal experiences living within a society in which queer women and other feminist voices are often silenced. According to the press release, because Warren lives within a society that continuously “others” her, creating art acts as a healing process for her. Opening reception: 7-11 p.m. Saturday. On view by appointment through June 19. Free. Ice Cream Factory, 2133 Central Ave., Brighton, paulcoors@gmail.com

Photo: Jesse Fox
Find creepy crawlies at the Cincinnati Museum Center's BUGFEST
The 12th annual BugFest pays tribute to all things arthropod. There will be hands-on activities, environmental information, insects as food and a forensic entomology display. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Activities free in rotunda. Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, cincymuseum.org.

SUNDAY
The Producers
Photo: Mikki Schaffner
See a matinee of the first show at the Warsaw Federal Incline Theater THE PRODUCERS
Hit Broadway musical The Producers is the first show staged at Cincinnati Landmark Production’s new Warsaw Federal Incline Theater. It's the story of a pair of hucksters who raise a boatload of money to stage “the worst play ever written,” an extravagant musical they’re confident will fail (its title: Springtime for Hitler) enabling them to make off with the funds they’ve raised. Much to their surprise and dismay, it’s a wacky hit. Through June 21. 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. Warsaw Federal Incline Theater, corner of West Eighth and Matson, East Price Hill, 513-241-6550, cincinnatilandmarkproductions.com.

Bring a lawn chair for OPERA IN THE PARK
The Cincinnati Opera goes live in Washington Park and kicks off their 95th anniversary with a free outdoor concert. Selections include opera and musical theater favorites performed by the stars of the 2015 season, the Cincinnati Opera Chorus and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. 7 p.m. Free. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatiopera.org.

Emily and Justin Carabello
Photo: Jesse Fox
Grab some snacks at TASTE OF NEWPORT
Restaurants and food businesses from all over Northern Kentucky — 24 to be exact — will be swarming Monmouth Street, festival-style, eager to feed hungry people. Look for bites and drinks from the likes of Carabello Coffee, Dixie Chili, Green Derby, La Mexicana and more. Entertainment, including sidewalk sales, live music and family activities, will also be available, plus beer booths featuring domestic and craft beers of all sorts to wash down the food. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Food prices vary. Monmouth Street, Newport, Ky., facebook.com/go2newport.

48-Hour Film Project
Photo: Provided
Catch a screening of 48-HOUR FILM PROJECT films
Lights. Camera. Hurry. Five hundred professional and amateur filmmakers in the region recently competed in the 48-Hour Film Project, an event that requires participants to write, film and edit a five-minute movie in only two days. You can watch the local films premiere Sunday at a series of screenings at the Thompson House in Newport, the perfect way to catch a little Cincinnati cinema. Then on July 8, at a Best Of Screening at the 20th Century Theater, the project will award the “City Winner.” The winning film will be held in competition with other winners from around the world, with a panel of international judges deciding the ultimate prize: a showcasing of the top 10 films at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in 2016. Screenings 3, 5 and 7 p.m. Sunday. $10. Thompson House, 24 E. Third St., Newport, Ky., 48hourfilm.com/cincinnati.



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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List (5/22-5/25)]]>
The big party this weekend is Taste of Cincinnati, but there are plenty of other options if you don't want to spend your entire weekend gorging. Check out the May Festival, Memorial Day Weekend at Spring Grove cemetery, plenty of live music, live theater and more.

FRIDAY
Celebrate the power of the voice with THE MAY FESTIVAL
The May Festival, one of the oldest and most prestigious choral festivals in the Western Hemisphere, kicks off its 2015 showcase at Music Hall with Haydn’s “The Creation” on Friday and works by Handel and Vaughn Williams on Saturday. A special May Festival Youth Chorus/May Festival Chorus performance takes place Sunday at Covington, Ky.’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption. Renowned guest vocalists will be joining each performance, with pre-concert festivities before Music Hall performances, including al fresco food trucks, lobby recitals, drink specials and more. The May Festival continues through May 30. $12-$125; subscriptions available. More details at mayfestival.com.


Mamma Mia!
Photo: Universal Pictures
Bring a blanket for MOVIES IN THE VINEYARD
You can pop corks or corn at Vinoklet Winery’s vineyard, which is hosting three outdoor movie nights this summer. On Friday, get your Streep on when they show Mamma Mia! on the silver screen amid the sprawling acres of the award-winning vineyard. And hey, if ABBA isn’t your thing, you can catch later flicks in June and July with Under the Tuscan Sun and Phantom of the Opera, respectively. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair, but no outside coolers, drinks or food; picnic snacks, beer and wine will be for sale. 7 p.m. Friday; film starts at dusk. Free. 11069 Colerain Ave., Colerain, vinokletwines.com.

The Cavalcaders
Photo: Pat Conley
Erin go Bragh with the ACTING IRISH INTERNATIONAL THEATRE FESTIVAL
Irish theater is top of mind locally, what with the warm-hearted Outside Mullingar continuing at Ensemble Theatre and this week an international festival of Irish acting. Catch daily performances of full-length Irish plays produced by companies from the U.S., Canada and Ireland — including our own Irish American Theater Company of Cincinnati, which is hosting the 22nd annual festival at its 200-seat theater. George Heslin, founder and artistic director of New York City’s Origin Theatre Company, critiques each day’s production and presents awards for directing, acting and production during a brunch on Sunday morning at downtown’s Millennium Hotel. Through May 23. $17-$22. Irish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati, 3905 Eastern Ave., East End, 513-533-0100, irishcenterofcincinnati.com.

Circle Mirror Transformation
Photo: Sandy Underwood
Learn and laugh with CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION 
Annie Baker’s Circle Mirror Transformation is a deceptively simple play — on the surface, it’s a comedy about five people enrolled in a community center class about learning how to act. They work their way through six weeks of exercises intended to reduce their inhibitions and open them to being more expressive and comfortable onstage. None seem bound for onstage careers, although one says she’s worked as an actress and another, a high school student, aspires to be one. But they do learn a lot — about themselves and each other. In fact, they learn how to act on the broader stage of life in this award-winning play that’s closing the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s current season. Circle Mirror Transformation, presented by the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, is onstage through June 7. cincyplay.com

Steve Katz
Rock with Blood, Sweat & Tears' STEVE KATZ at the Southgate House Revival
According to Publishers Weekly, Steve Katz’s new memoir Blood, Sweat, and My Rock ’n’ Roll Years: Is Steve Katz a Rock Star? has maybe the most spectacular revelation yet of any Rock memoir. Katz was a guitarist with two successful Rock bands in the 1960s, The Blues Project and Blood, Sweat & Tears, and he went on in the 1970s to produce Lou Reed’s classic live album, Rock n Roll Animal. Katz says one of the stereo feeds of the audience track for Reed’s Animal concert at New York’s Academy of Music was lost, so there was only mono sound. That wouldn’t work, so the engineer went through his archives and found an audience track from a concert by the ultra-square John Denver. (Both were RCA recording artists at the time.) Steve Katz plays Newport's Southgate House Revival on Friday. Tickets/more info here.

SATURDAY
Taste of Cincinnati
Photo: Provided
Gorge yourself at TASTE OF CINCINNATI
It’s no secret the food scene in the Queen City rivals that of major U.S. metropolises — a few OpenTable award winners, some James Beard Award semifinalists and even a AAA Five-Diamond restaurant call Cincinnati home. And from Saturday to Monday, your favorite Cincy foodstuffs will be in one location at the Taste of Cincinnati, the nation’s longest running culinary arts fest in the heart of downtown. Want to chase LaRosa’s with a donut grilled cheese from Tom+Chee? And then follow that up with a Thai basil/lime ice pop from streetpops? At Taste, you can, and you should. This year there will even be a Food Truck Alley on North Broadway off of Sixth. I recommend fasting until then. 11 a.m.-midnight Saturday and Sunday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday. Free. Fifth Street, between Vine and Sentinel streets, Downtown, tasteofcincinnati.com.

Outside Mullingar at Playhouse in the Park
Photo: Mikki Schaffner
Catch the extended OUTSIDE MULLINGAR at the Ensemble Theatre 
Count on John Patrick Shanley for compelling storytelling: His Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Doubt explored the power of innuendo; his Academy Award-winning movie Moonstruck was a romantic comedy. His play Outside Mullingar lands squarely between those extremes, connecting with his family’s roots in rural Ireland for a tale of identity, heritage and love. It’s sure to be a winning production with a cast featuring Dale Hodges, Joneal and Jen Joplin (yes, they’re father and daughter) and Brian Isaac Phillips, directed by former Playhouse artistic director Ed Stern. This show is likely to be a hot ticket: It’s already been extended by a week. Through May 30. $40-$44 adult; $25 student; $18 senior/children. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, 1127 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-421-3555, ensemblecincinnati.org.

Ian Bagg
Photo: Provided
Laugh with IAN BAGG
Ian Bagg had dreams of playing pro hockey, but switched to comedy because he grew tired of getting knocked around the ice by players he describes as decidedly more talented than him. Fortunately, he had a knack for humor. “It’s so much fun being on a [hockey] team and hanging out,” he says. “I think that’s where I got my comedy chops: chirping at everyone from the bench and in the locker room and having a great time.” Fellow hockey fan Dave Coulier told CityBeat a very similar story a few months back. Oddly, Bagg and Coulier have never met. “You’d think if there’s anyone I would know, it’s a guy that does comedy and plays hockey,” he says. Thursday-Sunday. $10-$20. Funny Bone on the Levee, Newport, Ky., funnyboneonthelevee.com.

The Cincinnati Boxing Story
Watch the premiere THE CINCINNATI BOXING STORY
The world premiere of The Cincinnati Boxing Story screens at Taft Information Technology High School on Ezzard Charles Drive in the West End on Saturday. Mark Sweeney’s film explores how Cincinnati is a boxing town that has long produced great fighters — most notably Ezzard Charles himself — and examines our boxing history with past and present champions and their supporters. 6 p.m. Saturday. $15. 420 Ezzard Charles Drive, West End, facebook.com/sweeneynowvideo.

Celebrate art all day with the ART SPACE IS YOUR SPACE artist in residence at Wave Pool gallery
Wave Pool gallery’s first artist in residence, Georgia-based artist and filmmaker Erin Colleen Johnson, organized several events Saturday that seek to investigate the intersection of race, class, migration, agriculture and environmental justice, all through the lens of soil. A groundbreaking ceremony for Camp Washington’s Urban Farm (3220 Colerain Ave.) involves setting personal intentions with a ceremonial shovel. Later at the gallery, David Singleton, executive director of the Ohio Justice and Policy Center, will talk about his work to eliminate racism within the criminal justice system, and Johnson herself will give a live performative video lecture called Providence Canyon. Groundbreaking 11 a.m.; Gallery events start at 6 p.m. Saturday. Free. 2940 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington, wavepoolgallery.org.

SUNDAY
Unlocking the Gates of Auschwitz 70 Years Later
Photo: CHHE Collection
Remember history with UNLOCKING THE GATES OF AUSCHWITZ
The Freedom Center’s current Unlocking the Gates of Auschwitz 70 Years Later exhibit weaves together rare artifacts, photographs and the personal stories of Holocaust survivors Werner Coppel and Bella Ouziel to explore their journey and how life and the power of the human spirit continued in the face of the horrors of Auschwitz. Also on view are artifacts on loan from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Hebrew Union College and more. A closing reception May 27 features a conversation with Coppel and Ouziel, as well as special recognition of area liberators and veterans to commemorate the end of World War II. Through May 27. $14 adults; $12 seniors; $10 children. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 50 E. Freedom Way, The Banks, Downtown, freedomcenter.org.

Ohhh and ahhh over ZOO BABIES
Celebrate the newest arrivals at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden during the entire month of May, where you'll find the cutest baby faces from all over the globe. Follow the six-foot-tall pink and blue stork statues displayed throughout the zoo to lead you to baby African lions, penguin chicks, bonobo monkeys, a whole litter of African painted dogs and more, as their big eyes, miniature sizes and playful personalities melt your heart. Through May. Park admission $18 adults; $12 children and seniors. 3400 Vine St., Avondale, 513-281-4700, cincinnatizoo.org.

MONDAY
Memorial Day Weekend at Spring Grove
Photo: Provided
Celebrate MEMORIAL DAY AT SPRING GROVE
Between kicking off Memorial Day weekend with the Ohio Military band performing in the Rose Garden Gazebo, a veterans tribute and a historical Patriots and Pioneers walking tour of the cemetery, Spring Grove has the entire weekend jam-packed with activities. On Monday, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and the 6th Ohio Volunteer Infantry will perform an 1860s Grand Army of the Republic ritual and shower flower petals on the graves of union soldiers interred in Spring Grove, followed by a living history presentation by President Abraham Lincoln (or a man dressed like him) and a Civil War walking tour. Thursday-Monday. Free. 4521 Spring Grove Ave., Spring Grove Village, 513-681-7526, springgrove.org.

Over the Rhine
Photo: Provided
Raise a barn with OVER THE RHINE
Barns and farms have played an important role in the history of Over the Rhine, married couple Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist’s internationally acclaimed, 25-year-old Cincinnati band. The couple met in a restored barn while in college in Canton, Ohio. For the past decade, the twosome has lived in and worked out of a brick farmhouse in Highland County on land they’ve dubbed “Nowhere Farm.” And now Detweiler and Bergquist are restoring a 140-year-old barn in Clinton County (in the village of Martinsville) and transforming it into a performing arts center with a recording studio called Nowhere Else.  As with Over the Rhine’s past two albums, Detweiler and Bergquist are turning to their loyal fanbase to help fund the new facility. The band is offering a variety of perks for donations. Among the perks (starting at the $100 level) are tickets to special preview concerts at Nowhere Else this weekend (the couple is hoping to have the facility fully ready to open by early October). The full six-piece band is performing special “Barn Raising Concerts” on Saturday (which is sold out), Sunday (7 p.m.) and Monday (3 p.m.). Over the Rhine will be debuting new songs at the concerts, which will be filmed and recorded for a forthcoming live album and DVD project. The release can be pre-ordered as part of the fundraising campaign. Visit at overtherhine.com/barnraising for full details.

Veterans and military get in free at BUTTERFLIES OF THE PHILIPPINES
As Cincinnati welcomes spring, the Krohn Conservatory welcomes the colorful and exotic butterflies of the Philippines. For 12 weeks, Krohn will transform into a majestic tribute to the Southeast Asian island country, capturing its stunning natural beauty and Filipino culture. The showroom will be a tropical paradise of free-flying butterflies soaring among waterfalls and bold volcanic murals. A rainforest under glass, the conservatory will be filled with more than 3,500 beautiful plant species, such as ornate orchids, brilliant bromeliads, delicate anthuriums and dramatic dracaenas, providing a backdrop close to home for the native butterflies to flutter. Free for active military and veterans on Memorial Day. Through June 21. $7 adult; $4 children; free ages 4 and younger. 1501 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams, cincinnatiparks.com.



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<![CDATA[Paul Mecurio: Life on the Street]]>

Of all the comedians who have TV shows based on their lives, Paul Mecurio’s story would seem like a slam-dunk for any network. Now it seems, someone is ready to take a shot.

“I’ve got a great showrunner and writer working on developing my life story,” says Mecurio, a former Wall Street lawyer-turned-comedian, from his home in New York City. “It’s a show about a guy who thinks he’s got his life figured out, which is what I thought, but then gets bitten by this bug to do comedy while he’s doing these huge merger and acquisition deals on Wall Street.” For years, Mecurio led what he calls a “secret double life,” sneaking away from his job to go do comedy in all manner of seedy bars and comedy clubs. He has no shortage of crazy stories from those days.

“One time this guy I was opening for made me take him to the Brooklyn to buy coke before the show,” Mecurio recalls. “The end of his act was to take a piece of dental floss and floss his nasal passages through his mouth.”

During another performance, while he was supposed to be in an important meeting at work, one audience member stabbed another right before Mecurio went on. The victim pelted the would-be comedian with bloody napkins. When he got back to the office, his boss screamed, “Where have you been? Why is there blood on your shirt?” Whereupon the other bankers and lawyers in the meeting calmly debated the best way to get blood out of a Brooks Brothers shirt.

Once he took the plunge and started doing comedy full-time, though, Mecurio sold his apartment and most of his belongings and moved into a 10-by-12-foot room. “I was living in this building with two ex-convicts, two recovering addicts and a 300-pound phone sex operator who sold Herbalife diet products,” he says. With little more than a hot plate and a bed to his name, he performed night after night, even under the most trying circumstances. “I got audited by the IRS,” he says. “They asked, ‘Where’s all the money?’ ” They didn’t buy the idea that he quit Wall Street to become a comedian. “No one would do that,” the agent told him. To make matters worse, his car was damaged in a flood and inundated with seawater.

After having second thoughts, Mecurio went back to Wall Street at the behest of a friend who had just become head of new department at one of the major banks. “I went back and recreated my life and then was miserable,” he says, He’d sworn off comedy, vowing to never do it again. “But then two months later I’m doing it again like an alcoholic sneaking out for a drink,” he says.

Living the secret double life again, Mecurio was back in the comedy clubs at night and got good enough to be included in a TV show with other stand-up performers. That’s when his cover was blown. “I had forgotten about it,” Mecurio explains, “and I was at this client’s office in Arizona and he comes in and says ‘Hey, I saw you on TV last night. You were doing some kind of stand-up routine.’ ” Mecurio thought he was dead. “So he pauses and says, “my investment banker is a comedian, how great is that?’ ”

Mecurio left Wall Street again, this time for good, a few months later. “I didn’t enjoy my second tour of duty,” he says. His second go at comedy went much better, as he was gradually getting better spots and gig and coming to the attention of the producers of The Daily Show.

Mecurio became a writer and occasional performer on that program, earning an Emmy along the way. “I took [the job] thinking the show would get canceled in a few months,” he says, laughing. However, he stayed on for seven years before deciding to move on. “The show eats up all of your time,” he says. “I felt like I was missing a lot of opportunities to do stuff as a performer.”

He still does the audience warm-up for the show when he’s in town, which lets him to what he loves the most. “I always wrestled as a writer there, but I learned a lot,” he states. “But I just like having the ability to have my voice be heard and not constantly feeding someone else.”

Toward that end, Mecurio headlines clubs across the country and is a regular panelist on a variety of cable chat shows including Red Eye and Hannity on Fox News, as well as various shows on VH1 and ESPN.

PAUL MECURIO performs Thursday-Sunday at Funny Bone on the Levee. Tickets and more info: funnyboneonthelevee.com.

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List (4/17-4/19)]]>
FRIDAY
See some world premiere theater at NKU's Y.E.S. FESTIVAL
Every two years Northern Kentucky University’s Department of Theatre and Dance offers audiences several theatrical adventures when it presents the world premieres of three plays. This year’s 17th biennial “Year End Series” productions are Joe Starzyk’s antic murder mystery and love story, It’s a Grand Night for Murder; David L. Williams’ The Divine Visitor, a tale of a ghostly Casanova inspired by British comedies from the 17th century; and Colin Speer Crowley’s Encore, Encore, a portrait of acerbic wisecracker and drama critic Dorothy Parker. Since 1983, NKU has undertaken this ambitious program, debuting more that 50 new works. Through April 26. $11-$14. Northern Kentucky University, Corbett Theatre/Rose Stauss Theatre, Fine Arts Center, Nunn Drive, Highland Heights, Ky., 859-572-5464, theatre.nku.edu.

Check out an EP release for COCONUT MILK
Local Indie Pop/Rock quintet Coconut Milk hosts a free release party in honor of its second EP, We’re Sorry, Friday at Northside Tavern. The band will be joined by fellow Cincinnati band Founding Fathers, as well as Columbus, Ohio’s Fine Animal and Dayton, Ohio’s Forage. On its Facebook page, Coconut Milk describes its sound as “Beach Rock,” which is one of the more precise self-descriptions by a band you’ll ever see. Like the best oceanfront-linked music (going back to The Beach Boys, but think more “Warmth of the Sun” than “Surfin’ USA”), there is a compelling blend of airy contentment and wistful melancholy to Coconut Milk’s sound. If Belle and Sebastian and Nada Surf went on a writing retreat to some small beach town on the West Coast, they’d probably come up with something similar to what Coconut Milk lays down on We’re Sorry. Free. Northside Tavern, 4163 Hamilton Ave., Northside, northsidetav.com.

Mark Normand
Laugh with MARK NORMAND
Mark Normand may become your favorite new comedian. “I was incredibly hungover today,” he tells an audience. “Had another beer. Hangover went away. Isn’t that the amazing thing about booze? The thing that causes the problem is also the solution. I wish other problems were like that. You have sex with a girl, she gets pregnant, have sex with her again, no more baby. Then you’re guaranteed to get laid at least twice.” The New Orleans native, now based in New York City, has appeared on Conan, Showtime’s Live at SXSW, Inside Amy Schumer, Last Comic Standing and the hit Chris Hardwick game show @Midnight. Showtimes Thursday-Sunday. $8-$14. Go Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy.com.

The Taming of the Shrew at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
Photo: Mikki Schaffner Photography
Take a jolly romp through the TAMING OF THE SHREW
If you’ve ever seen The Taming of the Shrew, you might remember it as the tale of an ill-tempered woman brought into line by an abusive, gold-digging suitor. In that simple summary, Shakespeare’s early comedy understandably doesn’t sit well with most modern audiences. But contemporary presenters of the show have a variety options to make it more palatable. In its current staging at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, guest director Kevin Hammond has utilized more than one of them. Framed in this way, the story of the combative courtship feels more like a funny skit than a real recommendation for a happy marriage. In fact, Petruchio invites anyone in the audience who “knows better how to tame a shrew, now let him speak.” Nick Rose, a delight to watch in this rambunctious role, delivers the line straight to the audience and waits for a response. mond, the artistic director of Humber River Shakespeare in Toronto, uses 15 members of Cincinnati Shakespeare’s company to their full comedic potential. The Taming of the Shrew, presented by Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, continues through April 25. Read a review here.

Prep for Earth Day by checking out the recycled sculptures at ECOSCULPT
In celebration of Earth Day, recyclables meet innovation during this three-week installation. Produced by 3CDC, EcoSculpt gives artists a chance to design and display large-scale, eco-friendly sculptures using recycled and recyclable materials in Washington Park. Judges will choose first-, second- and third-prize winners based on concept, execution and construction. All art is displayed during park hours. Awards ceremony 5 p.m. April 22 (Earth Day). Free. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, washingtonpark.org.

Belle Histoire 
Photo: Taylor Foiles
Belle Histoire's JANE DECKER celebrates an album release at Rohs Street
Cincinnati Indie Pop artist Jane Decker, who found some national acclaim with her former band Belle Histoire and with an appearance on the popular singing competition TV show The Voice, recently had her new single/video “Stonewallin’ ” premiered internationally on yahoo.com. This Friday, Decker will be celebrating the release of her new three-track EP of the same name with a performance at Rohs Street Café. Decker joins local up-and-coming AltRock band Harbour for its first headlining show, which also features Columbus, Ohio’s Indigo Wild. The all-ages show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance (through cincyticket.com) or $10 day of show. More information on Decker can be found at jane-decker.com. 245 W McMillan St., Clifton Heights, rohsstreetcafe.com.

SATURDAY
Braxton Brewing Company
Get a couple brews on the BARON BREW BUS TOUR
American Legacy Tours’ Barons Brew Bus returns for your drinking pleasure. The four-hour tour visits five Greater Cincinnati breweries: Christian Moerlein, Braxton Brewing Company, Rhinegeist, Hofbrauhaus and the new Taft’s Ale House (which recently opened on Race Street). As the tour guide entertains you with tales of Cincinnati’s brewing history, you will retain less and less after tasting more than 14 different beers. The party starts at Taft’s, with a bottle of water and soft pretzel sticks. Noon Saturdays. $65. Taft’s Ale House, 1429 Race St., Over-The-Rhine, americanlegacytours.com

Go green at the CINCINNATI EARTH DAY celebration
This annual Earth Day bash features a drum circle from the Miami Valley Council for Native Americans, a kid’s zones, live music, recycled costume contest, lecture series, parade with mascots, an animal showcase and more. Lecture topics include Red Bike, the streetcar and benefits of hemp. World Peace Yoga will be offering free yoga classes during the event at 1 and 3 p.m. Rain or shine. Noon-5 p.m. Free. Sawyer Point, 700 E. Pete Rose Way, Downtown, cincinnatiearthday.com.

Asian Culture Fest
Photo: Provided
Buy some blossom-scented soap at the ASIAN CULTURE FEST
The Cincinnati Museum Center is whisking you abroad to the Far East, where you’ll explore the rich histories, arts, culture and traditions of China, India, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and Nepal at Cincinnati’s one-day Asian Culture Fest. Peruse the Asian marketplace, where you can shop for authentic Asian-themed merchandise, including Japanese blossom-scented soaps and artisan glass bonsai trees. Cultural activities and performances include a Henna-adorned candle workshop, Taiwanese Lion Dance, Shadow Puppet Theater, traditional Japanese drum performances and much more. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Activities in the Rotunda and surrounding areas are free. 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, cincymuseum.org.

Hug a puppy at the BOONE COUNTY ANIMAL SHELTER BABY SHOWER
Along with the many colors spring brings are the many new animal babies brought into the world and in need of a home. Around this time of year the Boone County Animal Shelter sees a sharp increase in animal intake, so they’re hosting a spring “baby shower” to raise donations for kitten and puppy food, potty pads, milk replacement and other items. Of course, there will also be a host of adorable adoptable kittens and puppies looking for a forever family during the shower. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Free. 5643 Idlewild Road, Burlington, Ky., 859-586-5285, bountycountyshelter.org.

Everybody's Records
Photo: Eamon Queeney
Check out exclusives at RECORD STORE DAY
International Record Store Day is this Saturday and pretty much every independent record store in the area will be participating, offering RSD’s exclusive, limited-edition releases from hundreds of artists and other fun throughout the day. Many of those local stores will also be carrying a unique local exclusive, Bootleggers & Hustlers Volume One, a vinyl compilation album put together by Chris Breeden (manager of legendary local bar Arnold’s) and local graphic designer Keith Neltner of Neltner Small Batch (neltnersmallbatch.com). Limited to just 300 signed and numbered copies, the album features tracks by local (mostly Roots/Americana) artists who have performed at Arnold’s over the years: Cincinnati Dancing Pigs, The Part-Time Gentlemen, Jake Speed and the Freddies, The Tillers, The Kentucky Struts, River City Roustabout, The Goodle Boys, Buffalo Wabs and the Price Hill Hustle and The Sundresses (St. Louis band ClusterPluck also contributes a track). So get out there Saturday and support both local independent businesses and local music. More info and venus here

Zoo Blooms
Photo: Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Enjoy some blooms at the CINCINNATI FLOWER SHOW
The Cincinnati Horticultural Society presents the 2015 Cincinnati Flower Show. See beautiful floral and garden displays created by the region’s most talented professional and amateur landscapers and designers. The show also includes lectures from the Cincinnati Zoo staff, dramatic table setting displays, container gardens, a marketplace, picnics in the park and more. Through Sunday. $20; special events ticketed separately. Yeatman’s Cove, Sawyer Point, 700 E. Pete Rose Way, Downtown, cincinnatihorticulturalsociety.com.

Orphan Black
Photo: BBC America
Watch the season premiere of ORPHAN BLACK
The phrase “best TV show you’re not watching” is overused, but Orphan Black is one of the few shows that’s definitely deserving of the title. The BBC America drama follows Sarah Manning, a British single mom living in Toronto. Shaken by witnessing the suicide of a woman who looks exactly like her, Sarah discovers she was conceived as an experiment and is actually one of many clones. The concept is undeniably intriguing — what would you do if you discovered there was another you (let alone several)? The sci-fi concept might draw you in, but it’s Tatiana Maslany’s performance as a dozen different clones that keeps audiences coming back for more. If you aren’t caught up for the new third season, IFC will run an Orphan Black marathon starting at midnight Friday night with all episodes airing up until the season three premiere Saturday. Clear some space in the DVR! Orphan Black Season Premiere, 9 p.m. Saturday, AMC/BBC America/IFC/Sundance/WE.

The Happy Maladies
Photo: Michael Wilson 
Mix Folk and Classical with CONSTELLA LATE WITH HAPPY MALADIES
Local quartet the Happy Maladies will be performing a late-night set as part of the Constella Festival at Ivy Lounge (formerly Obscura). The band — which brings together violin, guitar, mandolin, double bass and vocals — will play two short sets, showcasing new works and original music. The first set at 9 p.m. will feature selections from their most recent project, Must Love Cats, an album of commissioned compositions from American composers. The second set will feature music from their unreleased full-length. 9 p.m. $15 at the door; includes one drink. 645 Walnut St., Downtown, constellafestival.org

John Aulabaugh
Support NKY Hates Heroin at JOHN AULABAUGH's album release show
Alt Country/Roots Rock singer-songwriter John Aulabaugh is the dictionary definition of a musical late bloomer. Though he says he’d never written (let alone recorded) a song until he was 50, the Washington D.C.-based Aulabaugh released an incredibly accomplished debut album this year, Of Sins Present and Past, which sounds like the work of a veteran artist. Beautifully arranged and produced, Aulabaugh writes soulfully on his debut about the people he’s encountered in his life, with many songs dealing with the topic of substance abuse’s ravages. As such, Aulabaugh’s album release show in Covington this weekend will serve as a benefit for the treatment programs of Northern Kentucky’s Transitions, Inc. The NKY Hates Heroin organization is also an official sponsor. 9 p.m. Saturday. $10; $15 day of. Madison Theater, 730 Madison Ave., Covington, Ky., madisontheateronline.com

Listen to the songs of women at HERE AND NOW with MUSE, Cincinnati Women's Choir
Rachel DeVore Fogarty, Gwyneth Walker, Sarah Hopkins and Elizabeth Alexander are acclaimed composers whose music you may have never heard. MUSE, Cincinnati’s Women’s Choir, provides an opportunity to do so Saturday with two concerts titled Here and Aware, featuring the music of female composers at Saint Francis Seraph Church in Over-the-Rhine. The concert’s opener puts it right out there with Dianne Reeves’ “Endangered Species,” a defiant chant about a woman’s place in the world, followed by “Let Us Now Hold Hands,” a piece MUSE commissioned in 1995 from Dr. Jennifer Stasack with a text by Cincinnati poet Pat Mora. Another powerful piece is Elizabeth Alexander’s “Reasons for the Perpetuation of Slavery,” a three-part meditation on human complicity in “the price of keeping the prices low.” MUSE presents Here and Aware at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday at Saint Francis Seraph Church in Over-the-Rhine. Tickets: musechoir.org.


SUNDAY
Photo: highroadtouring.com
Hang out with the INDIGO GIRLS and the CINCINNATI POPS
This one-night-only Cincinnati Pops concert features the Grammy-winning Folk duo, The Indigo Girls. The girls — Amy Ray and Emily Saliers — will be performing their chart toppers, like "Closer," "Galileo" and "Power of Two," backed by the Pops. 6 p.m. doors. $20-$85. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatisymphony.org.

Asian small-clawed otter
Photo: Newport Aquarium
Meet new Asian otters at CANYON FALLS AT THE NEWPORT AQUARIUM
Canyon Falls at the Newport Aquarium is the new home of some unique species of otters and reptiles, including two Asian small-clawed otters, the smallest and most social otter species in the world. You’ll also find a yellow monitor lizard and colorful panther chameleons from Madagascar. Say hello to Thunder, a more than 100-year-old snapping turtle, and spend some time at the Turtle Corral. Additionally, aquarium staff will host interactive otter talks focusing on survival adaptations and how humans impact the environment of otters. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. $23 adults; $15 children; free for children under 2. Newport Aquarium, 1 Aquarium Way, Newport, Ky., newportaquarium.com

Buy some vintage stuff at the BURLINGTON ANTIQUE MALL
The Midwest’s premier antiques and vintage collectibles-only show is back, with 200 vendors spread over the Boone County Fairgrounds offering vintage jewelry, memorabilia and Midcentury Modern, as well as some wonderfully awful kitsch. It’s so good the History Channel’s American Pickers chose the fair as the location to film their spinoff, Top Collectors. 8 a.m.-3 p.m. third Sundays. Through October. $3. 5819 Idlewild Road, Burlington, Ky., burlingtonantiqueshow.com

Oxford Kinetics Festival
Build machines at the OXFORD KINETICS FESTIVAL
This celebration of all things kinetic — that is, relating to energy in motion — takes over Millet Hall in Oxford, Ohio. The family-friendly event is themed "Flight of the Flyer." Build your own moving contraption and then race it in either a bike-based "scramble" course (open to 18 and younger and families) or an alley-cat race for adults on human-powered machines. The fest also includes live music, a film festival and more. Noon-5 p.m. Free. Millet Hall at Miami University, 500 E. Sycamore St., Oxford, oxfordkineticsfestival.org.

See more stuff to do here.
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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List (4/10-4/12)]]>

FRIDAY

See Classical music through a new lens at THE CONSTELLA FESTIVAL

An ambitious initiative, Constella was conceived as an arts showcase featuring the best in international and local performers. This year’s festival is no less ambitious, but it’s considerably scaled back from the sprawling array of choices that in the past have potentially overwhelmed potential audiences. Originally scheduled throughout October and November, performances are now within a 12-day period in April. It’s still a packed schedule with five events each week, featuring violinist Hilary Hahn, pianist Simon Trpceski, other established European performers making Cincinnati debuts, Cincinnati performers and artists, and a film premiere. Performances are at downtown locations accessible by public transportation and tickets can be purchased from one source. Get more information and buy tickets here.


The Slippery Lips play the Zines, Screens & Screams Fest this Friday.
Photo: Catie Viox 

Get sloppy at ZINES, SCREENS & SCREAMS DIY music fest

The Zines, Screens & Screams Fest, a celebration of DIY music and culture, comes to Main Street in Over-the-Rhine this weekend for the first edition of what organizers hope to make an annual event. The festival starts Friday at 5 p.m. and Saturday at noon and will be centered around two main locations: Maudie’s (maudieslive.com) and Cincy By the Slice (cincybytheslice.com), which are both located at 1207 Main St. in OTR; and The Drinkery (1150 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, drinkeryotr.com). The Drinkery (which will only be participating in the music portion of the fest Friday night) is open to those 21-and-up only; all other events are open to all ages. The festival features a slew of local bands as well as some national touring acts that play Rock, Punk, Post Punk, Experimental, Metal and other Indie-oriented genres. It’s a great chance to catch some local musicians that don’t often get a ton of attention outside the DIY scene. Read more here.


Chuck Prophet
Photo: Charlie Homo

Hang out at the Southgate House Revival with CHUCK PROPHET & THE MISSION EXPRESS

San Francisco singer/songwriter Chuck Prophet’s illustrious career began in earnest when he joined the influential and critically acclaimed Roots Rock band Green on Red right after high school. Since then, similar acclaim for his solo work has never slowed; he has released more than a dozen albums since 1990 that have carried the torch of Green on Red’s slanted Alt Roots Rock, taking it even further. Also a prolific collaborator, Prophet has worked with everyone from Warren Zevon and Solomon Burke to Alejandro Escovedo and Cake. Prophet is currently touring with his band The Mission Express behind his most recent full-length, Night Surfer, which came out last year on Yep Roc and features contributions from R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and others. (Visit the music page at citybeat.com to read our feature story on Prophet.) 8:30 p.m. Friday. $15; $18 day of show. Southgate House Revival, 111 E. Sixth St., Newport, Ky., southgatehouse.com


Brings your leftover yarn to the BRAZEE STREET STUDIOS ART SUPPLY SWAP

If one artist’s junk is another artist’s treasure, then Friday’s art supply swap at Brazee Street Studios might be a gold mine of fodder for artistic creation. An informal exchange of materials, guests are asked to bring any two items to donate — paint, markers, pencils, rhinestones, charcoal, paper, canvas, yarn, sequins, etc. — and they can take as much as they like home. Drop-off begins at 9:30 a.m. and leftover items will be donated to Crayons2Computers, a local organization that gives school and art supplies to children in need. 9:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Free. Brazee Street Studios’ parking lot, 4426 Brazee St., Oakley, brazeestreetstudios.com. If you can actually knit and want to keep the yarn (or take someone else's home), Hospice of Southwest Ohio is currently accepting slipper donations for patients.


SATURDAY

Slow Art Day
Art by Charles Francois Daubigny, provided by the Taft Museum of Art

Take your time at SLOW ART DAY

Slow Art Day is one of the best ideas to reach art museums ever — a break from the rush-rush hubbub of trying to see everything. Visitors concentrate on just looking, really looking, at a few pieces and then discuss them with others. Saturday, the Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati Art Museum and Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum are participating in the international event. At the Taft starting at 11:15 a.m., docents will help visitors look slowly at five pieces of art. Participants then have a separately-sold lunch at the Taft cafe. (RSVP to 513-684-4515.) At the art museum at noon, an hour-long guided tour starts; participants will visit works by Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Bernardino Mei, John Francis and Donald Judd. Afterward, there will be a discussion. (Reserve space at cincinnatiartmuseum.org.) Also at the Cincinnati Art Museum is the new Andy Warhol exhibit, Up at Bat: Warhol and Baseball, featuring the CAM's classic Pop Art Pete Rose and more from America's favorite pastime. And at Hamilton’s Pyramid Hill, visitors meet to begin looking at five pieces of art at 10 a.m., followed by discussion. They can bring a brown-bag lunch. Admission to Pyramid hill is $8 for adults; $3 for 12 and younger. (RSVP to 513-868-8336.) 


 
Take a tour of Cincinnati Reds past with THE 1919 TOUR

As the birthplace of the first professional baseball team, as well as the creation of the World Series and the location of the National League and American League merger, Cincinnati has a long history of incredible on- and off-field moments. American Legacy Tours digs deeper into the city’s baseball past with The 1919 Tour. In conjunction with the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum, the tour focuses on events and activities surrounding the controversial 1919 World Series, which pitted the Reds against the Chicago White Sox and is associated with the “Black Sox” gambling scandal. The walking tour visits locations where the scandal unfolded and examines the cast of characters involved in the infamous event. 10:30 a.m. Saturdays. Through October. $20. Leaves from Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown, americanlegacytours.com.


Eat a whole bunch of haggis at TARTAN DAY SPRING CEILIDH

The Cincinnati Caledonian Pipes & Drums, a local nonprofit that aims to preserve and promote Scottish heritage, hosts their annual spring party. The Celtic bash will feature music from the likes of the Blue Rock Boys, Ceol Mhor and Riley Gaelic Singers, and performances from the McGing Irish Dancers and Cincinnati Highland Dancers. Themed food will be provided by Brazenhead Pub, with a scotch tasting, Scottish beer sampling, haggis-eating contest, tea room and more. 6-10 p.m. Saturday. $15; food and drink sold separately. The Center, 115 E. Fifth St., Mercantile Building, Downtown, cincypipesanddrums.org.


Ballet A Go Go
Photo: Provided

Dance all night at BALLET A GO GO

Inspired by the world famous Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles and New York’s Peppermint Lounge discotheque, Ballet A Go Go is one hot dance party. Celebrating the fifth anniversary of the ballet’s Club B, each room of the Cincinnati Ballet Center will transform into a trendy ’60s nightclub for an evening of Mod fashion, music and, of course, go-go dancing. Cocktails and dinner precede era-inspired music and dessert; tickets include an open bar. The dress code is funky Mod attire. 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets start at $150. 1555 Central Parkway, Downtown, cballet.org/events.


Victory of Light Expo
Photo: Provided

Get metaphysical at the VICTORY OF LIGHT EXPO

Established in 1992, the Victory of Light Expo showcases the world of the intuitive arts and psychic sciences. The festival provides a venue for spiritual teachers, readers, healers and vendors from around the country to share their philosophies and teach free seminars on topics including the shamanic anatomy of the soul, manifesting your desires and how to communicate with your guides, angels and loved ones who have passed over. After the seminars, enjoy shopping, featured artists and music from award winning Native American flute player Douglas Blue Feather, Lighthawk and crystal and Tibetan singing bowl artist Ron Esposito. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $15 single day; $25 weekend. Sharonville Convention Center, 11355 Chester Road, Sharonville, victoryoflight.com.


Mark Utley
Photo: Michael Wilson

Celebrate the semi-return of Magnolia Mountain with MARK UTLEY's solo release show

Prolific singer/songwriter Mark Utley has released a single album’s worth of songs. And that’s all. Bulletville, Utley’s excellent sophomore solo album, is not a double-set on a single CD or accompanied by a new release from his band Magnolia Mountain or another musical vessel for the songs that pour endlessly from his head, heart and hands. Is this Utley’s version of writer’s block? Last year, Magnolia Mountain, Utley’s Blues/Roots Rock vehicle, was collapsing while Bulletville, Utley’s traditional Country side project with Magnolia Mountain’s Renee Frye and Jeff Vanover, was thriving. With Magnolia Mountain sidelined, Utley’s creative vacuum was quickly filled by Bulletville. His Country project’s profile rose exponentially with each new gig, naturally leading to more songs and ultimately the recording of Bulletville, produced, like every Magnolia Mountain album to date, by Afghan Whigs bassist John Curley. The difference this time is that Bulletville was largely recorded live in the studio. Mark Utley and Bulletville celebrate their new album release Saturday at MOTR Pub. More info: motrpub.comClick here for details on Bulletville and all of Utley's projects.


SUNDAY

See baby lion cubs at ZOO BLOOMS

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s annual floral exhibit, Zoo Blooms, features daffodils, hyacinths, flowering trees and one of the largest displays of tulips in the Midwest. Also on view, the zoo's three new lion cubs. Follow them on twitter @cincyzoolion. $18 adults; $12 children; $9 parking. 3400 Vine St., Avondale, cincinnatizoo.org.


The Taming of the Shrew at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
Photo: Mikki Schaffner Photography

Enjoy a matinee of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW

If you’ve ever seen The Taming of the Shrew, you might remember it as the tale of an ill-tempered woman brought into line by an abusive, gold-digging suitor. In that simple summary, Shakespeare’s early comedy understandably doesn’t sit well with most modern audiences. But contemporary presenters of the show have a variety options to make it more palatable. In its current staging at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, guest director Kevin Hammond has utilized more than one of them. Read a full review here. 2 p.m. Sunday. $22-$32.Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 719 Race St., Downtown, cincyshakes.com.


Colleen Green
Photo: Eric Penna 

Feel a little hazy and lo-fi with COLLEEN GREEN and Leggy at the Woodward

Colleen Green’s third full-length (and first album recorded in an actual recording studio) is titled I Want to Grow Up, which is no coincidence. Well, that is if you equate a glossier sound and trying to kick coffee and weed as growing up. For I Want to Grow Up, Green hooked up with friends Jake Orrall (JEFF The Brotherhood) and Casey Weissbuch (Diarrhea Planet) in a Nashville, Tenn., studio to crank out 10 songs with titles like “TV” and “Pay Attention,” deceptively simple tunes that recall a cross between early Donnas and the bummed-out laments of Juliana Hatfield. Colleen Green plays Woodward Theater on Sunday. Tickets/more info here.


Toast to the Tunnels
Photo: Provided

Grab a drink and an underground tour at TOAST TO THE TUNNELS

Back by popular demand, Toast to the Tunnels takes you on a tour to explore the Christian Moerlein Malt House’s underground barrel vault tunnels, once home to the pre-Prohibition Kauffman Brewing malt house. A quick taste of history will be accompanied by a $10 flight of Moerlein beers in the taproom. Proceeds benefit the Betts House, currently exhibiting Bricks, Barrel Vaults & Beer: The Architectural History of Cincinnati Breweries. 2-5 p.m. Sunday. Christian Moerlein Malt House, 1621 Moore St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/thebettshouse.


Game of Thrones
HBO

Watch GAME OF THRONES

As many know, Game of Thrones (Season Premiere, 9 p.m. Sunday, HBO) is based on author George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series. But what happens when the show’s progression surpasses that of the source material? Debuting this week, Season Five will cover the series’ fourth and fifth novels; by the time the finale airs, the show will be “off the books.” This means those who watch will have a leg up on those who read (nerds!). If you ever had a friend threaten to spoil the show with their literary knowledge, the tables have finally turned. Martin met with the show’s creators to guide them through the future of Game of Thrones — both versions will end with the same basic pieces in place — but fans can expect future seasons to diverge from the forthcoming novels. In Sunday’s premiere, Cersei and Jaime mourn their father’s death and adapt to life without his direction. At least they have each oth… Ew, nevermind. Tyrion is in hiding in Pentos with Varys, Jon’s loyalty is pulled between Night’s Watch and Stannis, and, after locking up two of her babies and banishing Jorah, Daenerys faces more setbacks in Meereen. Two of the most anticipated storylines come with new territory — Dorne and Braavos. Following Oberyn’s crushing defeat, we head to his home turf of Dorne to meet his daughters, the Sand Snakes. Also exciting is the prospect of Arya traveling to Braavos to find Jaqen H’ghar. Valar Morghulis, y’all!







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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List (4/3-4/5)]]>

FRIDAY
ONSTAGE: THE LION KING
The Lion King began as a popular Disney animated feature film in 1994, but back then no one imagined that it would become a worldwide blockbuster stage production. In fact, when it was being assembled for Broadway’s refurbished New Amsterdam Theatre, a lot of skeptics wondered what would become of a story about heroic and often cute anthropomorphic characters in the hands of Julie Taymor, a respected but avant-garde director. More than 15 million people have seen touring productions of the show in more than 70 North American cities. It has returned to Cincinnati’s Aronoff Center for a four-week stop (through April 26) presented by Disney Theatrical Productions and Broadway in Cincinnati. For 2015, The Lion King will have “only” 32 performances (four weeks is double the length of time that most tours are presented at the Aronoff), likely meaning total attendance for these three stops could top 350,000 people — more than the population of the city of Cincinnati! These are staggering numbers for a show about wild animals in Africa.
In truth, it’s a more universal parable told by people brilliantly outfitted as lions, elephants, giraffes, antelopes, hyenas and birds, as well as a comic meerkat and warthog. Taymor’s imaginative costumes and puppet designs invite audiences to see the performers within them in a way that adds drama to the story. The Lion King, presented by Broadway in Cincinnati, continues at the Aronoff Center through April 26. More info: cincinnati.broadway.com. Read more here.


ART: BLDG’S 199C OPENING DAY ART EVENT AND BLOCK PARTY
Drawing its name from the Pantone color for the Cincinnati Reds, 199C is a celebration of Major League Baseball just in time to get you ready for the official Opening Day parade. Friday evening, Covington’s art gallery/graphic design firm BLDG will host an exhibition of the work of nearly 60 artists from around the country who were asked to celebrate their home team and love of the game. BLDG has also teamed up with Covington area businesses to provide visitors with activities (a whiffle ball tournament, late night derby, photo booth and live music) to welcome the coming of baseball season. 4-11 p.m. Free. 30 W. Pike St., Covington, Ky., bldgrefuge.com.


Buzzer at the Playhouse in the Park
Photo: Sandy Underwood
ONSTAGE: BUZZER

What happens when a guy who grew up in an inner-city neighborhood returns as a successful attorney, back because it’s now the trendy place to live? That’s Jackson’s story: He’s upwardly mobile and black, moving in with Suzy, his white schoolteacher girlfriend. But she’s not so comfortable with their arrangement. Add to the mix Don, Jackson’s privileged boyhood white friend who’s had drug issues and now needs a place to crash. The apartment’s buzzer is a reminder that their world isn’t so simple. Tracey Scott Wilson’s new play isn’t set in Over-the-Rhine, but it could be. Through April 19. $30-$85. Playhouse in the Park, 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Mount Adams, 513-421-3888, cincyplay.com.



MUSIC: SOMEBODY'S DARLING WITH THE WHISKEY SHAMBLES

It’s hard to stand out in the crowded Blues/Roots Rock field but Dallas-based Somebody’s Darling is a stacked deck of secret weapons. The visceral ’70s-to-today guitar pyrotechnics of David Ponder, the massive keyboard groove of Michael Talley, the velvet jackhammer rhythm section of bassist Wade Cofer and drummer Nate Wedan, and the smoke-and-whiskey-cured vocals of Amber Farris combine to create a blistering Blues sound that is reassuringly familiar and yet fascinatingly singular. Although Farris, who also plays electric and acoustic guitars, generates plenty of fair comparisons to Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi and Heartless Bastards’ Erika Wennerstrom (and maybe even a little Natalie Merchant in a rare quiet moment), she and Somebody’s Darling may align closest to Grace Potter and the Nocturnals by virtue of the slinky dynamism and mesmerizing power they both effortlessly exhibit. Somebody’s Darling plays Southgate House Revival's Revival Room on Friday. Tickets/more info here.


Braxton Brewing Company
EVENT: DRINK A BEER AT COVINGTON'S BRAXTON BREWING COMPANY
It has been decades since Covingtonians have whiffed fresh malt percolating from a neighborhood brewery, but from now on when they’re near the corner of Seventh and Pike streets, this will be the norm. The family-owned and -operated Braxton Brewing Company held its grand opening on March 27, and invited the community into the 11,000-square-foot space, which features a brewhouse and taproom. The founders behind the endeavor are brothers Jake and Evan Rouse, their dad, Greg, and brewmaster Richard Dubé (formerly of Christian Moerlein). In October, Braxton secured the title of the highest-funded brewery project ever on Kickstarter (654 backers pledged a total of $71,885), which enabled the team to finish construction, purchase a 20-barrel four-vessel brewhouse, a 40-barrel fermenter and hundreds of kegs. The taproom, the epicenter of the brewery, houses two leather couches, tables with charging stations for laptops, TVs displaying social media interactions, Golden Tee and Power Putt consoles, and Cincinnati Bell-partnered gigabit Internet. (Braxton is the first craft brewery in the nation to have gigabit Internet.) The 20-seat bar area features 20 tap handles of Braxton beers like Sparky, a hoppy wheat ale; Crank Shaft, an IPA; and Storm, a golden cream ale. 4-10 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; noon-1 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. 27 W. Seventh St., Covington, Ky., braxtonbrewing.comRead more here.


Earl Sweatshirt
Photo: Brick Stowell
MUSIC: EARL SWEATSHIRT
Hip Hop artist Earl Sweatshirt’s name first came to the public’s attention when the group he was associated with, Odd Future (a collective that’s grown a bratty reputation thanks to live shows and its ridiculous Adult Swim program, Loiter Squad), became much-buzzed about, not only for its shenanigans but also its progressive musical prowess. His debut came out in 2010 as a free download through Odd Future’s website when Earl was in his mid-teens, but he disappeared from the fold, reportedly sent off to a school for “at-risk” kids by his mother. By 2012, Earl was back making music and performing, leading up to his excellent new full-length released just last month, I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside, a dark but smart and powerful album, showing the kind of introspection and honesty that made Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city one of the more compelling albums of this generation of Hip Hop. 7 p.m. Friday. $23. Bogart’s, 2621 Vine St., Corryville, bogarts.com.


SATURDAY
Rubblebucket
Photo: Shervin Lainez
MUSIC: RUBBLEBUCKET WITH VACATIONER
Born in Burlington, Vt., and headquartered in New York City, Rubblebucket is a perfect storm of Pop precision, Soul passion, Art Rock quirk and Ska bob-and-weave choreography. Even a cursory spin through the band’s third and best album, last summer’s brilliantly loopy Survival Sounds, reveals a talented group of musical changelings who can bounce off the satellites with the screwball quiver of The B-52s, howl with the focused lunacy of Fishbone and jerk with the rhythmic intensity of Talking Heads, while making it all seem like a peyote-fueled marionette carnival conceived and soundtracked by Dirty Projectors. Last year was really a breakout one for Rubblebucket; Survival Sounds was praised by The New York Times, Spin and Noisey, while NPR hailed the track “Carousel Ride” one of the year’s 50 best songs. Rubblebucket plays Woodward Theater this Saturday. Tickets/more info here.

ATTRACTIONS: INTERNATIONAL BUTTERFLY SHOW: BUTTERFLIES OF THE PHILIPPINES
As Cincinnati welcomes spring, the Krohn Conservatory welcomes the colorful and exotic butterflies of the Philippines. For 12 weeks, Krohn will transform into a majestic tribute to the Southeast Asian island country, capturing its stunning natural beauty and Filipino culture. The showroom will be a tropical paradise of free-flying butterflies soaring among waterfalls and bold volcanic murals. A rainforest under glass, the conservatory will be filled with more than 3,500 beautiful plant species, such as ornate orchids, brilliant bromeliads, delicate anthuriums and dramatic dracaenas, providing a backdrop close to home for the native butterflies to flutter. Through June 21. $7 adult; $4 children; free ages 4 and younger. 1501 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams, cincinnatiparks.com.


Art by Doug Korfhagen 
ART: OBO: THE LABOR SHOW
On Saturday, the NEAR*BY curatorial collective hosts OBO: The Labor Show, a social-practice and art experiment in which selected artists and tradespersons contract with each other to exchange labor for mutually beneficial purposes. It is inspired by anarchist Josiah Warren, who practiced something similar at his Cincinnati Time Store, an experimental storefront open from 1827 to 1830, considered the first experiment in mutalism. Among those participating are Doug Korfhagen (printing/woodburning), Donna Rubin (yoga), Libby Singhoffer (kombucha brewing) and Loraine Wible (pataphysics). 6-8 p.m. Saturday. Free. 2159 Central Ave., Brighton, nearby.gallery.


International Pillow Fight Day
EVENT: INTERNATIONAL PILLOW FIGHT DAY
In honor of International Pillow Fight Day, people all over the world will be bursting the seams of their pillows in feather explosions. Locally, bring your friends and kids to Northside’s Jacob Hoffner Park for a friendly pillow fight, where pajamas and costumes are totally encouraged. Make sure to bring soft pillows, wait for the signal to begin, and prepare for lots of laughter during the friendliest epic pillow fight battle of your life. 3 p.m. Saturday. Free. 4104 Hamilton Ave., Northside, pillowfightday.com.

Easter Egg Hunt at Washington Park
Photo: 3CDC
EVENT: EASTER EGG HUNT AT WASHINGTON PARK
Following the success of last year’s fun-filled event, the quest for Easter eggs continues at Washington Park. This year, Graeter’s has upped the game by adding 2,500 more eggs into the mix for a whopping total of 7,500 hidden, candy-filled eggs. There will also be face painting, a petting zoo and photos with the Easter Bunny. For those after something a little more gourmet, Taste of Belgium will also be on site serving their signature waffles. BYOB (bring your own basket). 10 a.m.-noon Saturday. Free. 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, washingtonpark.org.

EVENT: EASTER EGG HUNT AT DEVOU PARK
Here comes Peter Cottontail, hoping down to Volpenhein Pavilion at Devou Park. With spring finally deciding to show its face, what better way to celebrate Easter with your youngsters than with an Easter egg hunt? Come down to Devou Park’s annual hunt and have the young ones explore for pieces of brightly colored, egg-shaped treasure. 1 p.m. Saturday. Free for ages 3 to 12. Devou Park, Covington, Ky., 859-292-2151.


Rod Paulette
Photo: Provided
COMEDY: ROD PAULETTE
Rod Paulette set out to be an actor and majored in theater at Columbia College in Chicago but found comedy more to his liking. After a stint in advertising, he chucked the corporate world for the stand-up stage. “I like California — I just don’t like Californians,” he tells an audience. “I find them to be a little arrogant. I was talking to this lady there, a white lady, and I told her I was from Ohio and she asks, ‘Did you grow up on a farm?’ Really? When’s the last time you saw a black guy on a farm? I mean without the chain on his foot keeping his ass there? If you ever see black guy on a farm, walk up to him, tap him on the shoulder and tell him he’s free to go.” Thursday-Saturday. $10-$15. Funny Bone on the Levee, Newport on the Levee, Newport, Ky., funnyboneonthelevee.com.

SUNDAY
Photo: Krae Photography 
ATTRACTIONS: ZOO BLOOMS
We’ll soon be getting an eyeful of brightly colored flowers instead of gloomy winter greys at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s annual floral exhibit, Zoo Blooms. Daffodils, hyacinths, flowering trees and one of the largest displays of tulips in the Midwest will take over the zoo grounds, with free after hours concerts every Thursday in April — Tunes & Blooms — featuring local musicians in the urban oasis. Through April. $18 adults; $12 children; $9 parking. 3400 Vine St., Avondale, cincinnatizoo.org.


ART: ECOSCULPT
In celebration of Earth Day, recyclables meet innovation during this three-week installation. Produced by 3CDC, EcoSculpt gives artists a chance to design and display large-scale, eco-friendly sculptures using recycled and recyclable materials in Washington Park. Judges will choose first-, second- and third-prize winners based on concept, execution and construction. All art is displayed during park hours. Awards ceremony 5 p.m. April 22 (Earth Day). Free. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, washingtonpark.org.

MONDAY 
EVENT: FINDLAY MARKET OPENING DAY PARADE
Findlay Market remains a Cincinnati institution as the state’s oldest continuously operated public market. Another old thing? Monday marks the market’s 96th annual Cincinnati Reds Opening Day Parade. The parade will include local businesses and organizations like Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks, the Cincinnati Fire Department and, of course, the Cincinnati Reds. This year also marks the 25th fifth anniversary of the World Series championship that featured one of the most dominant back-end bullpen groups of all time. “The Nasty Boys” — Norm Charlton, Rob Dibble and Randy Myers — are this year’s Grand Marshals. Noon Monday. Free. Departs from 1801 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, findlaymarketparade.com
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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List (3/27-3/29)]]>

Music! Plays! Events with alcohol! Acrobats and Classical music! Gorilla suits!


FRIDAY 27

MUSIC: SEBADOH
Influential Indie Rock band Sebadoh began in 1986 as an outlet for Dinosaur Jr. bassist Lou Barlow, who showed a keen lo-fi, experimental sensibility early on but also proved himself to be a compelling songwriter. After leaving Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh evolved into one of the best bands of the era, with Barlow’s emotionally honest and effective songs becoming the band’s centerpiece. After reuniting with Dinosaur Jr., Barlow reteamed with longtime co-conspirator Jason Loewenstein and drummer Bob D’Amico to make the first new Sebadoh album in 14 years, Defend Yourself, released in 2013 on the Joyful Noise label. Defend Yourself received mixed reviews, but it’s a great addition to the band’s impossibly strong discography. The band returns to Cincinnati Friday after sneaking into town to play a free show at MOTR Pub last year. 9 p.m. Friday. $12; $15 day of show. Woodward Theater, 1404 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, woodwardtheater.com.



Cirque Mechanics
Photo: Armand Thomas Photography

ONSTAGE: CIRQUE MECHANICS

The Cincinnati Pops presents Cirque Mechanics, an innovative show featuring aerialists, trapeze artists and contortionists performing alongside orchestral favorites from composers like Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Copland, Ravel and more. In a press release, conductor John Morris Russell describes it as a mix between Cirque du Soleil and the steampunk scene, with a huge titanium infrastructure placed before the orchestra that serves as the canvas for the entertainment. Additional fire performers, jugglers and magicians will also be at the event. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $25-$99; $10 children. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatisymphony.org.



EVENT: ART AFTER DARK AT THE CINCINNATI ART MUSUEM

The theme of this art-meets-cocktail-party event is “Cherry Blossom Bash.” Check out the museum’s Japanese art collection with hourly docent-led tours, and enjoy live music from The Happy Maladies (6:30 p.m.) in the Great Hall. Sushi and drinks available for purchase. 5-9 p.m. Free. Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park, cincinnatiartmuseum.org.



 

ONSTAGE: PETER AND THE STARCATCHER

In Rick Elice’s loopy script (based on Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s novel about Peter Pan’s backstory), wordplay abounds, sometimes blowing by faster than the typhoon that comes upon ships on the way to Rundoon with three orphan boys to be sold into slavery. But this ensemble cast can manage wind speed as they narrate and perform the hilarious show — sometimes individually, sometimes together — but even more so as they race through delirious reinvention of the fairytale. Everything is performed both obviously and imaginatively, from levitating (at the close end of a seesaw plank) to a storm at sea to flying (with just the suggestion of motion, no wires — no “real” taking flight). Amusing costumes, a star field of 200 incandescent light bulbs and buckets of stage magic make it possible. Peter and the Starcatcher continues through April 4. $30-$85. Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Mount Adams, cincyplay.com.


Photo: Roadside Attractions

FILM: ’71

Streets don’t get much meaner than those of Belfast back in 1971 as the British army all but occupied the territory, caught up in what amounted to terroristic street fights between Catholics and Protestants with few truly innocent bystanders in the middle. Everyone took sides, no matter how reluctantly. Gary Hook (Jack O’Connell), an anonymous soldier in the British army, trains hard but is no standout. Hook looks for all intents and purposes like a young Liam Neeson or a baby-faced soldier-boy of few words (think Clint Eastwood) who is simply waiting for the opportunity to prove himself in the theater of battle. And he certainly gets his chance when his unit, under the command of a rather green lieutenant (Sam Reid), receives orders to back up local police in a neighborhood search for weapons. Opens Friday. Read full review here




SATURDAY 28

Over the Moon Vintage Market

EVENT: OVER THE MOON VINTAGE MARKET

Rustic vases, crocheted tops, paint-chipped mirror frames and more will flood the Over the Moon Vintage Market this weekend. Shop a variety of vendors as you peruse various booth displays for vintage and urban goods, including primitives, furniture, garden items, artisan jewelry and unique feminine and bohemian style clothing. 4-9 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Free. Agner Hall at Lawrenceburg Fairgrounds, U.S. 50 and Hollywood Blvd., Lawrenceburg, Ind., facebook.com/overthemoonvintagemarket.


Elliott Brood
Photo: Provided 

MUSIC: ELLIOTT BROOD WITH YOUNG HEIRLOOMS

When a band’s sound gets tagged as “Death Country,” you know something special is afoot. And Canadian trio Elliott Brood lives up to its advance billing in every conceivable way. Utilizing guitar, banjo, ukulele, bass pedals, kazoo, harmonica, keyboards, percussion and a sampler in acoustic and electric contexts, Elliott Brood has reimagined rootsy Country, Bluegrass and Folk in a twangy and bracing manner that suggests Old 97’s and legitimately deserves the designation of Canadiana.The trio’s latest triumph is Work and Love, released late last year to rapturous reviews, many of which cited it as the trio’s best album to date. No need to plan a long trip to see Elliott Brood; the best of the Great White North is coming your way. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com.



POP-UP CINCY
Photo: Provided

EVENT: POP-UP CINCY CONCEPT CAMP

POP-UP CINCY, a monthly pop-up organization founded by local artist and designer Catherine Richards, invites creative thinkers and makers to participate in the second Concept Camp at an unused storefront in Corryville. Participants will brainstorm with peers from various sectors about effective ways to take their ideas from concept to completion in this one-day event. The space will feature an “idea wall” to pin project outlines and receive feedback from participants, as well as the opportunity to connect with those whose skillsets might help accelerate your plan. Work session: 1-4:30 p.m. (sign-up required); celebration: 5-7 p.m. Free. 3501 Burnet Ave., Corryville, facebook.com/popup.cincy.



How to Build a Rain Barrel
Photo: The Civic Garden Center

CLASS: HOW TO BUILD A RAIN BARREL

Spring is slowly showing itself as the winter and its accursed snow melt away. As you plan to plant petunias, sunflowers, vegetables and more, consider the task of watering and the best practices to save money, go green and store water for a hot summer so your plants (and your wallet) won’t suffer. The Civic Garden Center hosts a DIY class on how to build and use your own rain barrel to collect free rain water to use for the garden. 1:30-3 p.m. Saturday. $10; free for Civic Garden Center volunteers. 2715 Reading Road, Avondale, civicgardencenter.org.



D.C. Benny
Photo: Provided

COMEDY: DC BENNY

Like his peers Jimmy Shubert and Rocky LaPorte, D.C. Benny is a talented veteran comic who received a nice boost by competing on last season’s Last Comic Standing. Well-known in the New York and L.A. comedy scenes, Benny has also written and performed extensively for various TV projects. He also functions as the producer and head writer for Jim Breuer Unleashed on Sirius/XM satellite radio. On stage he mixes jokes with storytelling, peppering them with several original characters. Showtimes Thursday-Sunday. $15-$17. Funny Bone on the Levee, Newport on the Levee, Newport, Ky., funnyboneonthelevee.com.



Detroit '67
Photo: Mikki Schaffner

ONSTAGE: DETROIT ’67

Detroit ’67, making its regional premiere at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati this month, is not something to smile about — but it might be possible to feel good about the “tryin’,” even though 48 years later the backdrop of this story feels eerily familiar, perhaps leading us to ask if America will ever rise above such racially driven conflicts. The details behind the story of Chelle (Zina Camblin) and Lank (Bryant Bentley), a sister and brother hoping to build a secure future, are this: In late July 1967, more than 10,000 citizens of Detroit rioted. Police had raided a blind pig — an unauthorized after-hours hangout very much like the one Chelle and Lank have established in their family’s basement — where more than 80 patrons, all African-American, had gathered to celebrate the return of a Vietnam veteran. Detroit '67 continues through April 5. $18-$44. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, 1127 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, ensemblecincinnati.org.


SUNDAY 29

Ian Svenonius in Moon Dust

FILM: MOON DUST

Detroit-based painter Scott Reeder’s new Moon Dust is a sci-fi feature film with a one-and-a-half-hour running time. Moon Dust is about the denizens of a run-down tourist resort on the moon (called Moon World) who struggle to maintain enthusiasm at a time when the hip, wealthier travelers have all gone to Mars. With its deadpan tone, frequently improvised dialogue from non-professional actors (including Reeder, himself) and eccentric production design featuring color-saturated, patterned or monochromatic sets and oddball costumes and hairstyles, it very much is the work of a visual artist.  2 p.m. Sunday. Free. Cincinnati Art Museum’s Mary R. Schiff Library & Archives, 953 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams, cincinnatiartmuseum.org.



The Cincinnati Gorilla Run
Photo: Provided 

CHARITY: CINCINNATI GORILLA RUN

This Sunday don’t be surprised to find downtown resembling a scene from Planet of the Apes. Hundreds of runners dressed as our endangered primate relatives will be participating in the Cincinnati Gorilla Run 5K presented by The Gorilla Glue Company, which aims to raise money for the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund. Gorillas found in the African mountains are close to extinction, and the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund is working to expand the program’s wildlife health and research center in Uganda. Registration closes at 5 p.m. March 28. Race opens at 9 a.m.; run starts at 11 a.m. $99.95 first-time gorillas; $40 and up for returning gorillas; $15 kid gorillas. Montgomery Inn Boathouse, 925 Riverside Drive, East End, cincinnatigorillarun.com



Mummies of the World
Photo: Cincinnati Museum Center 

ATTRACTIONS: MUMMIES OF THE WORLD

The Cincinnati Museum Center’s new once-in-a-lifetime exhibit, featuring real mummies and artifacts, some dating back as far as 4,500 years, is in its final weeks. Discover how mummies are created, where they come from and who they are in an immersive, multi-media display. Through April 26. Non-member exhibition-only tickets: $19.50, $17.50 senior, $12.50 child. Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, mummies.cincymuseum.org.

See more stuff to do here.


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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List (2/27-3/1)]]> After fans were teased by its brief availability online two weeks ago — a “bug,” they say — the next chapter of House of Cards is finally here. Since some of us are guilty of binge-watching both previous seasons, it’s been more than a year since many viewers have spent some quality time with the Underwoods. Let’s recap. 

On the brink of his impeachment, President Walker resigned at the end of Season Two. Walker’s wealthy confidant Raymond Tusk was arrested, knocking out two of Vice President Frank Underwood’s political roadblocks. After two seasons of watching Frank go to any length to secure his power, it seems he’s reached the pinnacle. Which means … 

Frank Underwood is the President of the United States of America. Terrifying. But that doesn’t solidify his reelection in the upcoming race. Wife and sometimes literal partner in crime Claire Underwood made some low and dirty moves last season. Despite Claire helping them both rise in the ranks, expect to see her question the couple’s actions and use her title as FLOTUS as she sees fit. 

And Doug Stamper was last seen lying in the woods. While trying to protect Rachel he sufficiently spooked her, leading to a chase and brick to the head. Fingers crossed for his (unlikely) miraculous return. 

If you do want to leave the house (or you finish the entire season before tomorrow night), here are some other things to do this weekend: 

FRIDAY 
Elton John
Photo: eltonjohn.com
Music: Elton John 
The legendary Sir Elton John will be at U.S. Bank Arena on Friday with his piano and backing band, performing hits from his prolific five-decade career. His 2013 release, The Diving Board, was his 31st album, and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road — the album with “Bennie and the Jets,” “Candle in the Wind” and “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” — just celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2014. Warning: This show will probably sell out; he’s kind of a big deal. 8 p.m. Friday. $39-$149. U.S. Bank Arena, 100 Broadway, Downtown, usbankarena.com

The Total Look
Photo: William Claxton
Event: Art After Dark 
The Cincinnati Art Museum’s Art After Dark events are a great way to visit the museum after hours for socializing, art viewing and wine drinking. Friday’s Art After Dark event celebrates the opening of the museum’s new exhibit, The Total Look, an exploration of the creative collaboration between fashion designer Rudi Gernreich, model Peggy Moffitt and photographer William Claxton, featuring Mod garments Gernreich created in the 1960s and ’70s. Dress in your best ’60s-era ensemble for an evening of docent-led tours, dance performances by Pones Inc., appetizers and drinks. 5-9 p.m. Friday. Free. 953 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams, cincinnatiartmuseum.org. 

Art: Final Friday/Reconstructed at 1305 Gallery 
Via the continued efforts of artist friends Michael Stillion and Melanie Derrick, 1305 Gallery continues to promote the work of quality artists more than a year after founder Lily Mulberry’s death. Final Friday, 1305 hosts Reconstructed: New Work by Michael Willett, a solo show of work by Willett, who graduated from DAAP’s MFA program and currently serves as an assistant professor of art at the University of Montevallo in Birmingham, Ala. His large-scale paintings and collages will be featured in an upcoming issue of New American Paintings, so check out his work while you can still see it for free. Through March 21. Free. 1305 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/1305gallery

Photo: Shen Yun Performing Arts
Onstage: Shen Yun 
Prepare to be uplifted and inspired by tremendous onstage energy as legends and classic heroes spring to life through historic Chinese dance. Sensational global performing group Shen Yun will take you on a profound journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture, featuring the world’s most classically trained dancers accompanied by a live orchestra combining the best of Chinese and Western composition. Anticipate leaps and flips of Shen Yun’s aerial masters, thundering battle drums and singers’ soaring voices with dazzling animated backdrops that transport you to another world. 7:30 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday. $53-$123. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cincinnatiarts.org. 

Event: Cold Night & Warm Spirits 
If you’re tired of the winter dredge, seek refuge at Ault Park’s Cold Night & Warm Spirits whiskey tasting. Enjoy some of the finest American, Irish, Canadian and Scottish whiskies at this social and spirited event, with live music and light bites. Bring your own cigar to enjoy around a roaring fire on the cigar patio. Benefits Ault Park. 6:30-10 p.m. Friday. $40. 3600 Observatory Ave., Hyde Park, aultparkac.org.  

SATURDAY 
Marlee Matlin
Film: ReelAbilities Film Festival 
The ReelAbilities Film Festival, dedicated to movies that highlight the abilities of those considered “disabled,” isn’t new. It was here in 2013. But it’s vastly different this year — in fact, it’s now the city’s highest-profile film festival because the local group Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled has contracted to operate the national series of ReelAbilities festivals and wants to make the Cincinnati fest, which runs from Friday to March 7, a showcase. There will be more than 15 features from around the world. Highlights include guests like Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin at Friday afternoon’s awards luncheon; a touching film on Tuesday, The Commute, about a wheelchair-using man’s journey through the New York subway system; the Independent Spirit Award-nominated Stand Clear of the Closing Doors on March 7; and a documentary about the polio-afflicted great Rock & Roll songwriter Doc Pomus (“This Magic Moment”), which is being coupled with a tribute concert to him following the screening on March 6. Premiere Night Gala 6 p.m. Saturday. $150. More info at cincyra.org. 

Music: Chris Brown 
Yeah. He'll be at US Bank Arena with Trey Songz. So if you like Chris Brown, this is great for you. His tickets also cost more than going to see Elton John? 7:30 p.m. Saturday. $29.75-$199.50. U.S. Bank Arena, 100 Broadway, Downtown, usbankarena.com

Maple Sugar Days
Photo: Great Parks
Event: Maple Sugar Days 
Come celebrate the spring awakening of maple trees as you learn the craft of maple syrup making. Sweet tooths of all ages will discover how the clear, sticky sap is collected, boiled over a fire and transformed into syrup. Additionally, families can enjoy crafts, demonstrations and naturalist-led hikes. Maple treats, including waffles, ice cream and cotton candy, will be available for a small fee. Noon-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free. Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve, 3455 Poole Road, Colerain, greatparks.org

Cincinnati Home & Garden Show
Event: Cincinnati Home & Garden Show 
According to the current weather forecast, most of our yards will still be covered in snow during the entirety of the 2015 Cincinnati Home & Garden Show. As depressing as that may seem right now, spring is (hopefully) just around the corner and it has already sprung at the Duke Energy Convention Center. Wander through fairy gardens, let your significant other try to coerce you into buying a hot tub or swoon over kitchens the size of your entire OTR apartment. Seriously. Your only other plans this week are working and shoveling the walk … again. Opens 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Through March 8. $13; free for kids. 525 Elm St., Downtown, cincinnatihomeandgardenshow.com

Xoe Wise
Photo: Provided
Music: Xoe Wise 
Singer/songwriter Xoe Wise moved from North Carolina to Chicago to follow her musical dreams and quickly became a local favorite. Wise has gradually moved from a Folk Pop style to a highly melodic and soulful Electro Pop/Chillwave approach since debuting with her 2010 album, Echo. Wise’s excellent 2013 EP Breakfast was well received, reaching the Top 20 on iTunes’ Singer/Songwriter charts and beautifully showcasing Wise’s sultry vocals and songwriting. This spring, Wise — who performed at the 2014 MidPoint Music Festival — will release Foreplay, an EP precursor to her anticipated full-length, Racecar Orgasm. 10 p.m. Saturday. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com

SUNDAY 
Attractions: Mummies of the World 
The Cincinnati Museum Center’s once-in-a-lifetime exhibit features real mummies and artifacts, some dating back as far as 4,500 years. Discover how mummies are created, where they come from and who they are in an immersive, multi-media display. Through April 26. Non-member exhibition-only tickets: $19.50, $17.50 senior, $12.50 child. Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, mummies.cincymuseum.org

Bravo
Attractions: Bravo the Galapagos Tortoise's Last Day at Newport Aquarium 
The Newport Aquarium’s 650-pound Galapagos tortoise Bravo — the largest turtle in the Midwest — is set to leave his Turtle Canyon home on March 1 and return to the Columbia, S.C., zoo. Upon Bravo’s departure from the aquarium, Turtle Canyon, also home to Thunder, an more than 100-year-old snapping turtle, will temporarily close for renovations. The greenhouse-like facility will re-open as a new exhibit in mid-March. During Winter Family Days, two kids get in free with each paying adult. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Through March 1. $23 adult; $15 kids. Newport Aquarium, Newport on the Levee, Newport, Ky., newportaquarium.com

Event: Ohio Winter Food Festival 
Formerly known at the Taste of Northern Cincinnati, the Ohio Winter Food Festival celebrates the restaurants of Cincinnati’s northern suburbs. This friendly competition pits vendors like West Chester’s Troy’s Café, Parkers Blue Ash Tavern, Sharonville’s Brick House Bar & Grill and more against each other to win best in show. Taste each of the restaurants’ signature dishes and vote for your favorite. Noon-4 p.m. Sunday. $18; $20 at the door. Sharonville Convention Center, 11355 Chester Road, Sharonville, sharonvillechamber.com

August: Osage County at Clifton Performance Theatre
Photo: Jennifer Mahuet
Onstage: August: Osage County 
Tracy Letts’ 2008 play was a throwback to another era, a three-act, three-hour drama about a dysfunctional family colliding in the arid flatlands of the Oklahoma plains when their father goes missing. Not the usual fodder of contemporary drama (or perhaps because of it), the show won that year’s Pulitzer Prize for drama and Broadway’s Tony Award for best play. It features 13 vivid and vicious characters and a houseful of contentious, sometimes startling interactions. It’s going to be all the more interesting when this sprawling script is staged in the close confines of Clifton Performance Theatre, which has about 40 seats for this production. Through March 14. $20. Clifton Players, 404 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, cliftonperformancetheatre.com

Attractions: Falling Waters at Krohn Conservatory 
The Krohn Conservatory’s early spring floral show takes design inspiration from architect Frank Lloyd Wright (his 1935 modernist Pennsylvania home built for the Kaufmann family is called “Fallingwater”). The show features a Mission-style flowerbed that looks like a stained glass window made of hundreds of pansies, tulips and hydrangeas, as well as real stained glass windows created by local artist David Duff of Classical Glass. Through March 22. $4 adult; $2 child; $1-off coupon online. Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams, cincinnatiparks.com

TUESDAY
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Photo: Andrew Eccles
Dance: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater 
Alvin Ailey once said, “Dance is for everybody. I believe that the dance came from the people and that it should always be delivered back to the people.” More than two decades after his passing, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is coming to the Aronoff for two days to deliver said gift of dance to Cincinnati. Among the six dances the troupe will perform over these two shows is Ailey’s most renowned and moving work, Revelations. Set to a series of African-American spirituals, Revelations explores both painful and splendid moments during the African-American journey. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. $30-$75. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cincinnatiarts.org.
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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List (2/20-2/22)]]>
Looking for things to do this weekend? There's plenty of reasons to leave the house — once you put on like six layers of clothes, a hat, gloves, some snow boots and tire chains. 

FRIDAY 20 
EVENT: The Art of Food
Celebrating the ways in which food appeals to our senses both orally and visually, The Carnegie’s ninth annual The Art of Food event and exhibition features some of our most experimental local chefs, bakers and sweets-mongers showing off their most artistically inspired creations. In addition to all the yummy eats, artist Pam Kravetz is organizing a multi-gallery “Candy Land” theme that corresponds with the classic board game. 6-9 p.m. Friday. $25 members advance; $40 non-members advance; $35 members at the doors; $50 non-members at the door. The Carnegie, 1028 Scott Blvd., Covington, Ky., thecarnegie.com.


500 Miles to Memphis, one of many Greater Cincinnati acts showing love for WNKU this weekend
MUSIC: Show Your Love Festival 
Presented by the Good People Festival, 30 bands — locals plus out-of-towners Charlie Mars, Will Kimbrough and Jason Wilbur — will perform over two nights in honor of WNKU radio station’s 30 years on the air. The bands include 500 Miles to Memphis, Noah Hunt & The Scotty Bratcher Band, The Tillers, Buffalo Wabs & the Price Hill Hustle, Frontier Folk Nebraska and plenty more. All proceeds will benefit WNKU to help keep them going strong for another 30 years. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $30 weekend pass; $20 single-day ticket; $50 VIP weekend passes (includes Saturday reception with food, drinks and private performances from Chardez and special guests). Southgate House Revival, 111 E. Sixth St., Newport, Ky., wnku.org.


Nikki Lane
Photo: Glynis Carpenter
MUSIC: Nikki Lane with Young Heirlooms
One of the great Wanda Jackson’s biographical talking points is the fact that she toured with and fleetingly dated Elvis Presley back in a time when her Rockabilly star shone as brightly as his. In a good many ways, Nikki Lane represents the 21st century manifestation of that vaunted pair’s musical DNA — she twangs and bangs with the ferocity of a roadhouse Rock band churning out amped up Country covers behind the sturdiest chicken wire known to man. Deals don’t come any more real than Nikki Lane. Lane’s appearance in Cincinnati at MOTR Pub during last fall’s MidPoint Music Festival was a near religious experience … if your religion allows whiskey shots, a foul-mouthed choir and a hymnal packed with classic Outlaw Country and scorching Rock. Nikki Lane plays at Woodward Theater Friday, Feb. 20. Find tickets/more info here.


EVENT: Bockfest Sausage Queen Preliminary Round

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.


Little Women
Photo: Cal Harris 

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.



SATURDAY 21 
Vintage is the new black, and Cincinnati knows this. Fuelling our desire for nostalgia and simplicity by feeding us quality and value is the annual 20th Century Cincinnati vintage modern design show, returning for its third decade. More than 60 dealers will fill the Sharonville Convention Center with a funky and fabulous selection of furniture, lighting, fashion and more. There will be plenty of period decorative objects featured, including art glass, pottery, posters, metal wares, textiles and dinnerware, with something for every collectors’ budget. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; ticketed preview 9-11 a.m. Saturday. $8 two-day general admission; $25-$30 preview pass. Sharonville Convention Center, 11355 Chester Road, Sharonville, 20thcenturycincinnati.com


You probably won’t see Bob Barker or Drew Carey cruising around Cincinnati this weekend. However, The Price Is Right Live! is in town, so you could still win a BRAND. NEW. CAR! The show is an untelevised stage version of the nation’s longest-running game show, hosted by a celebrity like Marc Summers, Todd Newton or Jerry Springer. Ticket numbers are already limited for both nights the show chugs through the Horseshoe Casino, but fret not. It turns out you can still try your luck and register to compete even without a ticket. Sticky wicket: Without a ticket, you wait in a holding area instead of inside The Pavilion, watching your neighbors play Plinko and spin the wheel. So, ya know, come on doooown! 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. $44-$55. Horseshoe Casino, 1000 Broadway, Pendleton, priceisrightlive.com. (REGISTER TO WIN A PAIR OF TICKETS FROM CITYBEAT HERE.)


Jean Yves-Thibaudet
Photo: IMG Artists 
This Saturday and Sunday, famed French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet will perform two Khachaturian pieces (the waltz from Masquerade Suite and Piano Concerto) and Holst’s The Planets. The Planets! On Saturday night, Bell’s Brewery is offering flights of its limited beer series, The Planets, for $8 a pop. Bottles will be available at all three concerts while supplies last. 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21; 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22. $12-$120. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatisymphony.org


Borrowed Landscape
Photo:CAC
Heine Avdal is making a short trip from Belgium to Cincinnati on Feb. 21 and 22 just to visit the Whole Foods Market in Rookwood Commons. It’s sandwiched between theatrical performances that he and his artistic organization fieldworks will be doing in Heine Avdal is making a short trip from Belgium to Cincinnati on Feb. 21 and 22 just to visit the Whole Foods Market in Rookwood Commons. It’s sandwiched between theatrical performances that he and his artistic organization fieldworks will be doing in Budapest and Oslo. So why exactly is he coming here to go to Whole Foods? It isn’t just because he needs goat milk or edible flowers. It will be the site of the U.S. premiere — and only U.S. event to date — of a site-specific performance art piece called Borrowed Landscape, which he has been performing in Europe. He is being sponsored by the Contemporary Arts Center as part of its international-oriented Performances series. 2-4 p.m. Feb. 21 and 22. Admission is free and you can come and go anytime within the two-hour window.


SUNDAY 22
 
EVENT: People Working Cooperatively Oscars Party
In honor of the organization’s 40th anniversary, People Working Cooperatively takes its annual Oscars night party back to psychedelic during a “Hometown Hollywood 1975” event. While watching a live telecast of the annual Oscars gala, guests will enjoy a three-course dinner wrapped up in a funky ’70s theme reminiscent of the era’s groovy game shows. Attire for the night will be either classic black tie in true Oscars fashion or ’70s retro, complete with platform shoes and powder-blue tuxedos, so take your pick. 5:30 p.m.-midnight. Sunday, Feb. 22. $175. Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, 35 W. Fifth St., Downtown, pwchomerepairs.org.


EVENT: Chinese New Year Celebration 
Ring in the year of the sheep at Orient Wok in Fort Mitchell for its Chinese New Year dinner and celebration. You’ll get the full experience of this notable holiday with a delicious and authentic nine-course meal. There will also be a traditional Lion Dance, plenty of explosives during the firecracker celebration and many more forms of cultural entertainment. 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21. $75; $25 children ages 6-12. Oriental Wok, 317 Buttermilk Pike, Ft. Mitchell, Ky., orientalwok.com.


Adam Cayton-Holland
COMEDY: Adam Cayton-Holland
"I was always doing funny stuff,” says comedian Adam Cayton-Holland from his home in Denver, “but it was more writing behind-the-scenes. I wasn’t one of those guys growing up watching stand-up going, ‘That’s going to be me.’ Never in a million years did I think I’d be the guy up on stage.” At the behest of a stand-up comedian friend, Cayton-Holland tried it on a whim. “I did it and I was hooked,” he says. Today he divides his time between Denver and Los Angeles and has picked up more TV writing gigs. Showtimes Thursday, Feb. 19-Sunday, Feb. 22. $8-$14. Go Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy.com. 
 

MONDAY 23
EVENT: One Night One Craft: Wine
Explore how science and art overlap for the perfect date night at the Contemporary Arts Center’s One Night One Craft event. A sommelier will walk attendees through the science of wine making and the art of sampling it, plus artist John Humphries will show you how to make art with less palatable wines. 6-8 p.m. Monday. $20 members; $30 non-members. 44 E. Sixth St., Downtown, contemporaryartscenter.org.




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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List (2/13-2/15)]]> Calling all lovers: There's plenty to do this weekend to celebrate Valentine's Day, whether you've made reservations or not. Calling all singles: There's plenty to do this weekend regardless of whether or not you have a date. And calling all people who are looking to adopt a dog or cat this weekend in order to fill a void: We've got an event for that, too.


FRIDAY 13
Love, Vodka, Death: First a little shameless self promotion. What do you get when you cross the name of a czarist Russian Woody Allen/Diane Keaton comedy — Love and Death — with vodka? “Love, Vodka, Death,” CityBeat’s la petite mort Friday the 13th Valentine’s bash. Whether you feel like getting drunk because you’re alone or using booze as an aphrodisiac, the event features more than 15 vodka brands — Grey Goose, Tito’s, Stoli, Three Olives, Svedka and more — for sampling, along with bites from A Catered Affair. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Friday. $25 single; $45 for two tickets; $60 for a threesome. Cincinnati Masonic Center, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, citybeat.com.


Cincy Winter Beerfest: A Valentine's tradition for many. This year’s Cincinnati Beer Week takes over Tristate bars, restaurants, breweries and grocery stores for beer dinners, meet the brewer events, keg tappings and more. “Expect a week of really great, well-crafted beer-focused events,” says Lindsey Roeper, president of Cincinnati Beer Week. “We like to encourage participating venues to create events that are educational, impactful and, most of all, fun.” The party kicks off with the Cincy Winter Beerfest craft beer festival at the Duke Energy Convention Center Feb. 13-14 and continues at more than 100 official Cincinnati Beer Week venues through Feb. 22. For more information on Cincy Winter Beerfest, click here. For more on Cincinnati Beer Week and an event calendar, click here. And for information about the past, present and future of Cincinnati's brewing heritage, as told by CityBeat, click here for the Beer Issue.

ALICE (In Wonderland)
Photo: Peter Mueller
Cincinnati Ballet's ALICE (in Wonderland): Cincinnati Ballet’s extravagant production of Washington Ballet Artistic Director Septime Webre’s ALICE (in Wonderland) hits the Aronoff stage again this weekend, two years after the Cincinnati premiere, with live music from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra conducted by Cincinnati Ballet Music Director Carmon DeLeone. Webre drew his scenario from Lewis Carroll’s classic 19th century books Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, and he packed in all the familiar characters, including the Queen of Hearts, Cheshire Cat and Mad Hatter. The cast is huge, with children from the ballet’s academy as baby flamingos, piglets and hedgehogs. Cincinnati Ballet presents ALICE (in Wonderland) Friday through Sunday at the Aronoff Center. Tickets and more info: cballet.org.


MainStrasse Mardi Gras
MainStrasse Mardi Gras: BEADS! “Mardi Gras,” French for “Fat Tuesday,” refers to the debaucherous and indulgent celebration that precedes the ritual fasting of Lent (which begins on Ash Wednesday). Traditionally New Orleans is the party capital of Mardi Gras, but New Orleans better keep an eye out because the 19th annual MainStrasse Village Mardi Gras has all the beads, Cajun food, Big Head parades and live music you need. Parades with floats and giant heads take the streets both Friday and Saturday. Beads, baubles and bangles will be available at MainStrasse businesses and the Goose Girl Fountain. Parades begin at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $10 per night; $15 in advance for both nights. MainStrasse Village, West Sixth Street, Covington, Ky., mainstrasse.org.


Chapatti at the Cincinnati Playhouse
Photo: Sandy Underwood
Chapatti at the Playhouse in the Park: An offbeat Irish love story. Pets can be great companions. But as Dan, grieving the loss of a longtime lover, and Betty, a solitary divorcée, discover in Christian O’Reilly’s humorous tale of a pair of lonely hearts in an Irish town, human contact is essential and sometimes unexpected. The play’s title, “chapatti,” a kind of flatbread from India, is the name of Dan’s faithful and devoted dog. Director Anne Marie Cammarato says, “It celebrates the human connection we need to have with one another and even with our animals.” All that adds up to “a little play with such a big heart.” Through March 8. $30-$85. Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Mount Adams, cincyplay.com. 


Comedian Stewart Huff: Primarily a storyteller, he now focuses on stand-up. Huff started off wanting to be a writer of short stories. He wrote in secret, but after doing an open mic he became intrigued by what that art form had to offer. “I was obsessed with the idea of telling a story on stage and getting immediate feedback,” he says. After a time, Huff decided to focus solely on stand-up. Showtimes Thursday-Sunday. $8-$14. Go Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy.com



SATURDAY 14

My Furry Valentine
Photo: My Furry Valentine
My Furry Valentine: There is nothing cuter than a puppy following you around everywhere you go. (When your date does it … it’s not so cute.) This is just one of the many, many reasons why pets make the best valentines. My Furry Valentine is the region’s largest annual animal adoption event, bringing together hundreds of adorable pets and potential pet parents at the Sharonville Convention Center. Dogs, cats, puppies, kittens and other pocket pets from animal rescues and shelters all over the region will be showcased. More than 1,300 animals have been taken home the past three years — this year it could be you. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free. Sharonville Convention Center, 11355 Chester Road, Sharonville, myfurryvalentine.com.com.

Linger Flower Pop-Up
Photo: Life in Balance Photography
Linger Flowers Valentine's Pop-Up at Cheapside Cafe: Your significant other will probably hate everything about the Linger Flowers/Cheapside Café Valentine’s Day floral fête. If you want to be a really nice girlfriend, take one of your BFFs, instead. Enjoy gorgeous, loose floral arrangements from Linger in hand-tied bouquets or handmade pottery by local pottery artist cgceramics, handmade cards from Rock Paper Scissors and learn about the romantic representations of different types of flowers — then return to your love with a sweet-smelling declaration of your affection. Or remind your dude of all the basketball you’ve watched lately, drag him along and make him buy you something pretty. 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Arrangements $5-$50. Cheapside Café, 326 E. Eighth St., Downtown, lingerflowers.com.

Fern Studio Floral Pop-Up with Una Floral: Beautiful flowers plus cocktails! Una Floral and Fern have teamed up for Valentine's Day and whether you are celebrating a partner or just self-love, they've got you covered with specialty gift boxes containing items from Herbivore Botanicals, PF Candle Co., Brown Bear Bakery, and a mini floral arrangement from Una Floral. Or if a bouquet of flowers is more your speed, they have beautiful hand-tied arrangements available. They'll also be serving up a "heart-beet" punch made by Aaron Strasser of A Tavola, made with Off the Vine Rockin' Roots juice, a lemon/ginger simple syrup, Lillet Rosé, Watershed Gin and topped with Prosecco. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. 6040 Hamilton Ave., North College Hill, fern-shop.com.

In the Mood for Love
In the Mood for Love Screening: A film called “brilliant” by the late Roger Ebert, Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love is a tale of love, longing, loneliness and relationship struggles. Set in 1960s Hong Kong, the film follows journalist Chow Mo-wan (Tony Leung) and shipping company secretary Su Li-zhen (Maggie Cheung), who suspect wrongdoings from their respective spouses and form a bond. They promise to keep their blossoming relationship platonic to keep away from the same wrongdoing, but their lives continue to intersect as they fall deeper into forbidden love. Cincinnati World Cinema’s special Valentine’s Day screening includes an optional pre-movie dinner and cocktails. 6 p.m. dinner; 7 p.m. theater opens for seating. $10 advance film tickets; $12 at the door; $50 dinner and film package. Cincinnati World Cinema, The Carnegie, 1028 Scott Blvd., Covington, Ky., cincyworldcinema.org. 

Appalachian Culture Fest: Something less Valentine-ish. Dig deeper into the mountain culture of the Appalachians during the Cincinnati Museum Center’s Appalachian Culture Fest. Co-sponsored by the Appalachian Community Development Association, the event seeks to reveal its unique traditions through food, skilled mountain crafters selling handmade wares, traditional arts demonstrators, storytellers and performances by Bluegrass musicians. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Free events in the rotunda; other events included with museum admission. Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, cincymuseum.org.

World Sound Healing Day: A Valentine to the Earth. This Valentine’s Day marks the 13th annual World Sound Healing Day. Cincinnati joins the wave of many groups around the world to give a sonic valentine to the Earth, combining sound and intention as a catalyst for peace, harmony and global and personal transformation. The concert features toning, percussion, instruments and chanting from musicians like Rob Dorsey, Roxana Imam, Audrey Causilla and more at Gothic-style Grace Episcopal Church. 6:30 p.m. Saturday. $10. Grace Episcopal Church, 5501 Hamilton Ave., College Hill. Contact causilla@yahoo.com for more information.

Find more Valentine's Day events here.

SUNDAY 15
Art on Vine
Art on Vine: Organized by James Jenkins, owner of Photography for the People, this monthly local boutique art fair showcases fine arts, handmade goods and photography from more than 30 Tristate artists. A portion of artist entry fees will be donated back to a local nonprofit. Guests can also enjoy food from vendors Holtman’s Donuts, A Tavola and Krueger’s Tavern while shopping. Noon-7 p.m. Sunday. Free. Rhinegeist Brewery, 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, rhinegeist.com.

Lydia Loveless
Photo: Patrick Crawford, Black Letter
Lydia Loveless: Not that long ago it wasn’t uncommon to see Columbus, Ohio, singer/songwriter Lydia Loveless performing a low-key set in one of Greater Cincinnati’s various clubs. But since her debut release for esteemed independent label Bloodshot Records, 2011’s Indestructible Machine, Loveless has become a critical darling who spends a lot of time on the road building on her growing fanbase. Initially noted for the expert melding of her Country, Rock and Punk influences, Loveless’ material — particularly on her fantastic latest full-length Somewhere Else — has grown less easy to pigeonhole, settling into a soulful Rock sound that shows her maturing skills as both writer and performer. Loveless’ visit to Newport this week will feature an opening set by locals Magnolia Mountain, a rare show as frontman Mark Ultey has spent much of the past year working on his Bulletville project. 9 p.m. Sunday. $10; $12 day of. Southgate House Revival, 111 E. Sixth St., Newport, Ky., southgatehouse.com

“Presentation of a Prince,” a six-fold screen by Chiyo Mitsuhisa
Photo: Provided by Cincinnati Art Museum
Masterpieces of Japanese Art at the Cincinnati Art Museum: When an art museum has a collection of more than 65,000 objects, it isn’t surprising that many of them wind up hidden in storage. Sometimes complete collections are stowed there, rarely if ever seen or studied. That was the case with Cincinnati Art Museum’s Japanese art when Asian Art Curator Hou-mei Sung arrived in 2002. Sung, who has a doctorate in museum studies and Asian art history from Case Western Reserve, discovered that her holdings included roughly 3,000 objects from Japan. The culmination of that long, meticulous effort will be seen starting Saturday when Masterpieces of Japanese Art (culled from the museum’s collection) opens. It will be up through Aug. 30 and accompanied by a catalog showing the 100 objects in the show and telling the stories behind their histories. Those objects include paintings, screens, prints, ceramics, lacquer and metal wares, ivory carvings, arms and armor, cloisonné, dolls, masks, costumes and textiles. Masterpieces of Japanese Art is on display at Cincinnati Art Museum Saturday through Aug. 30. More info: cincinnatiartmuseum.org.


MONDAY 16
Off-Line Dating Game
Photo: CAC
Off-Line Dating Game at the CAC: By now you’ve probably heard a million success stories from couples who met online. Internet dating is rough, though. (And a little scary.) If the swiping and questionnaires aren’t your style, you’re in luck. The Contemporary Arts Center is going back in time and promoting actual physical connections with the Off-Line Dating Game. Ticket includes admission to the museum, a light appetizer and a drink to loosen you up. Put your dang phone down for a couple hours and see how it goes. 6 p.m. Saturday. $5 members/$10 non-members. 44 E. Sixth St., Downtown, comtemporaryartscenter.org.


TUESDAY 17
Robyn Hitchcock
Photo: Laura Partrain
Robyn Hitchcock: Robyn Hitchcock, the British singer/songwriter whose intimately resonant, raspy voice and mysteriously peculiar worldview were shaped by such skewed troubadours of his youth as Nick Drake, Syd Barrett and the Incredible String Band, has long been said to make “autumnal” records. As in, “songs or singing that reflect on life with a bittersweet, melancholy wisdom coming from age and experience.” The term has been applied to his 1984 classic, I Often Dream of Trains, and has been used for his latest record, last year’s The Man Upstairs. It’s his 20th studio album, including those he recorded with his backing bands the Egyptians and Venus 3. And it is an acoustic, sparsely recorded mix of original compositions and covers of such songs as Psychedelic Furs’ “The Ghost in You,” Roxy Music’s “To Turn You On,” The Doors’ “Crystal Ship” and others. Robyn Hitchcock plays Tuesday at Southgate House Revival. Tickets/more info: southgatehouse.com

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<![CDATA[Valentine's Day: Things to Do for Love]]>

Whether you’re a full-blown romance-seeker or single and proud of it, here's a list of Valentine’s Day tastings, dinner deals and events that will have you embracing the holiday no matter who you’re bringing. From soothing dinners to musicals to wild celebrations, take your pick from a range of fun atmospheres each wrapped up in its own festive charm with plenty to go around. 

DINNER DEALS FOR DATE NIGHT
BB Riverboats Valentine's Cruise — A romantic cruise with buffet dinner and live music. 7-9:30 p.m. Feb. 13 and Feb. 14. $48 adults. 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky., bbriverboats.com

Bistro Grace — Valentine's surf-and-turf special all weekend, with herb-buttered steak and pan-seared scallops. Dinner service starts at 4 p.m. $29.95 per person. 4034 Hamilton Ave., Northside, bistrograce.com

Boca — The Boca Restaurant Group (Boca, Nada, Sotto) is teaming up with collaborative art group Chase Public for a unique take on date night. From 6-10 p.m., the alley between Boca (114 E. Sixth St.) and Nada will turn into a heated poetry lounge. Wander in to chat with Chase poets about your love story and receive a customized poem. 

Jimmy G's — Guests receive a complimentary glass of champagne with purchase of entree, and couples receive a complimentary dessert to share with a purchase of two entrees. 5-11 p.m. Feb. 14. 435 Elm St., Downtown, jimmy-gs.com

La Petite France — Surprise that special someone with an elegant three-course gourmet meal featuring a range of appetizers, entrees and desserts to choose from. From grilled filet mignon with a brandy morel sauce to Grand Marnier crème brulee, your taste buds will be sure to feel some love, too. An extensive wine list and full bar is available. Reservations recommended. 5 p.m. Feb 14. $59.95. 3177 Glendale Milford Road, Evendale, lapetitefrance.biz

The Mercer OTR — A multi-course meal. Mains include wild mushroom risotto, scallops, beef tenderloin, berkshire pork chop and halibut. Chocolate and strawberries for dessert. 4 p.m. Feb. 14. 1324 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, themercerotr.com. 

Metropole — A four course farm-to-fireplace menu, with multiple choices. Mains includes seared scallops, verlasso salmon, grilled mushroom spaccatelli and more. 5:30-11 p.m. Feb. 14. $56-$73. 609 Walnut St., Downtown, metropoleonwalnut.com

Nectar — A special three-course menu. 5:30-9:30 p.m. Feb. 14. $65 per person. 1000 Delta Ave., Mount Lookout, dineatnectar.com

The Palace — A five-course tasting with beet gazpacho, arugula and prosciutto salad, butternut squash and ousemade ricotta agnolotti, petit filet mignon and triple chocolate panna cotta. 5:30 p.m. Feb. 13 and Feb. 14. $85 Feb. 13; $95 Feb. 14. 601 Vine St., Downtown, palacecincinnati.com.

Salazar — A special menu featuring a lightly smoked oyster appetizer, Belgian endive salad, saffron risotto, seared sea scallops, pine-roasted New york strip and dark chocolate cake with pink peppercorn panna cotta and rosé foam. Reservations at 513-621-7000. Dinner service begins at 5:30 p.m. Feb.14. $90 per person. 1401 Republic St., Over-the-Rhine, salazarcincinnati.com

Steinhaus — A four-course dinner for two with live harp music accompaniment. A flute of bubbly champagne will be provided so that you may toast to your sweetheart. 4:30-10 p.m. Feb. 14. $60 per couple. 6415 Dixie Highway, Florence Ky., steinhausrestaurant.com

Symphony Hotel and Restaurant — Enjoy a five-course meal paired with a wine. 6-9 p.m. Feb. 14. $75. 210 West 14th St., Downtown, symphonyhotel.com

Taft Museum of Art — Six wines paired with hors d'oeuvres and a self-guided tour of themes of love and romance in the Taft's permanent collection. 5-8 p.m. Feb. 14. $45; $35 members. 316 Pike St., Downtown, taftmuseum.org

Piccola Wine Room Valentine’s Day Pop-Up Dinner — Enjoy this three-course meal while listening to music by Jerome Cali in this charming little wine shop specializing in wines, unique cocktails and organic brews. Wine pairings will be available with dinner. Seatings at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Feb. 14. 23 Village Square, Glendale, piccolawineroom.com

Washington Platform Saloon & Restaurant — One dozen fresh-shucked oysters, two entree choices, soup or salad, chocolate-covered strawberries and a bottle of wine to share. Plus a half-hour horse-drawn carriage ride. Faux Frenchman play Feb. 13 and Andrea Cefalo Feb. 14. Available Feb. 12-15. $115 per couple; $85 dinner alone. 1000 Elm St., Downtown, washingtonplatform.com.

EVENTS FOR WOOING
A Heart-y, Art-y, Valentine Party — Surprise the kids with games, decorative face painting, and make-your-own Valentine cards with candy. 3-4 p.m. Feb. 14. Free. Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Corryville Branch, 2802 Vine St., Corryville, cincylibrary.tumblr.com

Alice (In Wonderland)
Photo: Peter Mueller
Alice in Wonderland — Cincinnati Ballet presents the return of the wildly popular ALICE (in Wonderland) this Valentine’s Day weekend. Audiences have five opportunities to see this bold, spectacular take on Lewis Carroll’s classic stories with live instrumentation by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. 8 p.m. Feb. 13; 2 and 8 p.m. Feb. 14; 1 and 5:30 p.m. Feb. 15. $32. Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cballet.org

Cinderella: The Musical — Clifton Performance Theatre’s full-child cast production has young actors playing all the roles of this fairy tale classic. Explore the meaning of friendship, love, and humor in this not-so-girly adaption of Cinderella. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13; 2:30 p.m. Feb. 14. $10 for adults; $2 for children. Clifton Cultural Arts Center, 3711 Clifton Avenue, Clifton, cliftonculturalarts.org

Cin City Burlesque: Beaus and Eros — Join your favorite sweetheart, or round up your single friends. Either way, it’s bound to be a splendid time. Watch two shows in one night with new opening and closing numbers, some “cin”fully sweet new solo and duet acts and lots of audience participation with master of ceremonies Sweett Biscut. Seating will be tables of 2-4 for this intimate show. Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com. Sells out quickly. 6 and 9 p.m. Feb. 14. $19-$44. Bogart’s, 2621 Vine St., Corryville, cincityburlesque.com

Daddy Daughter Dance — Girls spend a magical evening with their dads or the special guy in their life. Take your special date out to eat, and then come to the dance later for desserts and snacks. A free, professional photo will be provided at the dance to each girl registered. Additional photo packages will be available for purchase. This event is first come, first served. Space is limited. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Feb. 13; 2:30-4:30 p.m. Feb. 14; 6:30-8:30 p.m. Feb. 14. $40; $30 for residents per couple; $10 each additional daughter. Student Union Ballroom at Northern Kentucky University, 100 Nunn Dr., Highland Heights Ky., nku.edu

Fern + Una Floral Pop-Up — Una Floral and Fern have teamed up for Valentine'ss Day, and whether you're celebrating a partner or just self-love, they've got you covered with specialty gift boxes containing items from Herbivore Botanicals, PF Candle Co., Brown Bear Bakery, and a mini floral arrangement from Una Floral. They'll also be serving a "Heart-Beet" cocktail, made using Off the Vine Rockin' Roots juice as the focus, complemented by a lemon/ginger simple syrup, Lillet Rosé, Watershed Gin and topped with Prosecco. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb. 14. Fern Studio, 6040 Hamilton Ave., North College Hill, fern-shop.com.

From JB, with Love — Dedicated to art and the diversity of all individuals, Justified Bliss (JB) allows people to use their voice for expressive connection with others through open mic events. Just in time for Valentine's Day, this love show invites singles, couples, swingers, wives, anti-Valentine's day folks and romance seekers alike to take the stage. The event will feature gifted vocalist Bianca Graham, live musicians, dancers, poets and DJ Hershe B. 8-11 p.m. Feb. 13. $5. The Greenwich, 2442 Gilbert Ave., Walnut Hills, facebook.com/JustifiedBliss

In the Mood for Love
In the Mood for Love Screening — For anyone who has fallen in love with a friend, said goodbye to someone they care for deeply, or experienced the sacrifice and suffering that comes with the risk of loving, filmmaker Wong Kar-wai's masterpiece, In the Mood for Love, will move you deeply. The film conveys the moral dilemmas of the 1960s, depicting a passionate theme wrapped up between one couple. Tickets are available at CincyWorldCinema.org. 6 p.m. Feb. 13; 6 p.m. Feb. 14. $10-$50. Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center, 1028 Scott Blvd., Covington, Ky., thecarnegie.com

Krohn by Candelight — Enjoy a romantic evening at this event as you make a special craft for your significant other and learn about chocolate in the education room. 5-7:30 p.m. Feb. 13. Free with admission ($2-$4). Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park, cincinnatiparks.com

Krohn Zone Explores Chocolate — Interested in more chocolaty bliss to learn how to make drizzles upon drizzles of tasty treats? Maverick Chocolate Company demonstrates chocolate making techniques. Better yet, a tasting is included. 1-2 p.m. Feb. 15. Free with admission ($4). Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park, cincinnatiparks.com

Linger Flower Pop-Up
Photo: Life in Balance Photography
Linger Flowers/Cheapside Cafe Valentines Pop-Up — What would Valentine’s Day be without dozens upon dozens of fresh flowers? Choose your favorites from hand-tied bouquets, single-stem garden roses, orchids, sweet peas, ranunculus, tulips and more. Interested in the language of flowers? You'll have the chance to read about the romance concealed within each bloom and choose a sweet message to share with your special someone. Beautiful handmade cards will also be available for purchase. 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb.14. $4-$50. Cheapside Café, 326 E. Eigth St., lingerflowers.com

Love, Vodka. Death — As Valentine's Day falls right after Friday the 13th, embrace the spirit of love, lust, madness and death for these back-to-back days at the Masonic Center's Commandery Asylum. Romantic movies will bleed into horror classics as they're projected on the asylum walls, and 15 different vodka brands will be offered alongside delectable bites from A Catered Affair. Vodka tastings by Grey Goose, Titos, Stoli, Svedka, Three Olives, Hangar One, Crystal Head, Seagrams, Epic, Reyka, Blue Ice, Buckeye, Wildcat, Finlandia, & OYO. Entertainment is by Old Green Eyes, and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Cincinnati Exchange Project. Must be 21 or older. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Feb. 13. $60 for three; $45 for two; $25 for one. Commandery Asylum, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, citybeat.com

My Furry Valentine
Photo: My Furry Valentine
My Furry Valentine — Rescue some adoptable animals who are in need of your love this Valentine’s Day. This nonprofit organization features more than 500 adoptable pets (dogs, cats, puppies, kittens and other small critters) from more than 40 different rescue and shelter groups from around the Greater Cincinnati area. Every pet adopted will go home with a free goody bag overflowing with pet supplies and will be entered to win one of our popular Adopter Raffle Baskets. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 14; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 15. Free. Sharonville Convention Center, 11355 Chester Road, Sharonville, myfurryvalentine.com

Single Mingle — Mix and mingle with other singles in Jimmy G’s Sub T Bar & Lounge with drink specials and music by DJ. 5-11 p.m. Feb. 13. Free. Jimmy G’s, 435 Elm St., Downtown, jimmy-gs.com

Single Awareness Party — Tired of couples getting all the attention on Valentine's Day? Come out to the first annual Singles Awareness Party where the single life is surely celebrated. Enjoy music by Brittany Gillstrap, My Brother's Keeper, Dan Crowe, Justin Duenne and Alex Evans. Pizza and deserts included. Tickets are available for purchase at eventbrite.com. 6-9 p.m. Feb. 14. $10 at the door. 7560 Burlington Pike, Florence Ky., velocitybb.com

St. Clair Traffic Light Party — Don’t worry about telling anyone what’s up with your love life. Instead, let them see for themselves. Wear green if you’re single, yellow if it’s complicated and red if you’re taken to let everyone in the room know your romantic status. 8 p.m. Feb. 14. The St. Clair, 245 Calhoun St., Clifton, thestclair.com

Valentine Valley: Crafts with Art Spark — Bring the kids out for some fun Valentine’s Day fun with Art Spark Studio, an art enrichment program dedicated to helping children express their creativity through art making. Anticipate a variety of crafts, including Valentines, crowns and more. For ages 3-10. Noon-3 p.m. Feb. 14. Free. Tri-County Mall, 11700 Princeton Rd., Springdale, tricountymall.com

Wine tasting with your Sweetie — Presented by Woodstone Creek winery and distillery, choose from 10 craft spirits and 20 wines, dry to sweet, all made in Cincinnati. 1-6 p.m. Feb. 14. $3-$30. Woodstone Creek, 4712 Vine St., Saint Bernard, woodstonecreek.com.

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List (2/6-2/8)]]> If you like parties, dogs, drinking , world-class theater, Natalie Cole and po' boys, we've got a list of reasons for you to leave the house this week. If none of those things appeal to you, there's always TV.

Why not start with TV? For all of you who are still repeatedly binge-watching Breaking BadBetter Call Saul premieres 10 p.m. Sunday on AMC. It looks at the titular character before he was Mr. Goodman. Six years before Walter White stepped in his office, he was just a small-time lawyer named Jimmy McGill. In Sunday’s premiere, we’ll see Jimmy’s peculiar approach to finding clients and the dynamic between Jimmy and his successful lawyer brother Chuck (Michael McKean). A second new episode airs Monday at 10 p.m., the show’s regular time slot.

Friday, Feb. 6

Balls Around the Block pub-crawl: As the number of residents in downtown increases, so does the number of dogs without a backyard. This is where Balls Around the Block steps in. For the past 10 years, Cincy dog lovers have come together via canines and booze to raise an incredible amount of money for downtown’s Fido Field. For the crawl, check in at the 21c Museum Hotel at 6 p.m., find your team of 25 and start bar hopping around downtown. Prepare your livers and drink for the pooches of Cincinnati. $35; $40 at the door if there are any spots left. 21c, Second Floor, 609 Walnut St., Downtown, ballsaroundtheblock.com.

The Year of Magical Thinking
Photo: Jason Sheldon
The Year of Magical Thinking: In 2004, author Joan Didion came to terms with the unexpected death of her husband of 40 years as well as the grave illness of their only daughter by writing a memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking. In 2007, she transformed her narrative of mourning into a monologue for the stage that actress Vanessa Redgrave took to Broadway. Local director Lyle Benjamin launches his latest initiative, the Cincy One Act Festival — “great plays by great playwrights in 90 minutes or less” — with a production featuring Cate White. She earned positive reviews when it was staged in December, and Benjamin has brought it back for another month. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Through Feb. 28. $20. Cincy One Act Festival, College Hill Town Hall, 1805 Larch Ave., College Hill, 513-223-6246, cincyoneact.com


Willie Nile 
Photo: Fleming Artists
Willie Nile at the Southgate House: Willie Nile, the long underappreciated, roots-rockin’ singer/songwriter from the streets of New York, has been on an incredible ride — an American ride — of late. Nile’s 2013 album American Ride, a ringing affirmation of lyrically heartfelt Punk- and Folk-influenced Rock with chiming and crunching guitar chords and hugely irresistible, heroic sing-along choruses, turned out to be a surprise hit in Americana circles. It won an Independent Music Award in the Rock/Hard Rock category, got airplay on stations like Northern Kentucky radio outlet WNKU and was the most successful record in his decades-long career. Nile’s first album was his 1980 self-titled debut, which got him hailed as a new Dylan. An active touring schedule last year brought him and his band to Southgate House Revival, apparently his first time performing here. He had a standing, cheering, sweating crowd singing along to his sharp-visioned original songs and covers of Lou Reed’s “Sweet Jane,” Jim Carroll’s “People Who Died” and The Clash’s arrangement of “Police on My Back.” Willie Nile returns to the Southgate House Revival this Friday. Tickets/more info: southgatehouse.com.

Cincy Winter Blues Fest: This weekend the Cincy Blues Society presents the 2015 Winter Blues Fest at The Phoenix. Music will again be featured on three stages at the venue. On Friday, joining national headliner Popa Chubby in the third floor ballroom will be Doug Hart, The Sonny Moorman Group and The Beaumonts. On the second floor ballroom stage, The Blue Birds Big Band, The SoulFixers, Chuck Brisbin & The Tuna Project and the BITS Band (featuring young players from the Blues in the Schools program) will perform, while Friday’s first floor lineup features The Brad Hatfield Band, The Whiskey Shambles, The Cheryl Renee Project and The Medicine Men. 
Saturday’s headliner is the U.K.’s Joanne Shaw Taylor, who will be joined in the third floor ballroom by The Juice, Kelly Richey and Tempted Souls. Saturday’s second floor ballroom lineup has G Miles and the Hitmen, Leroy Ellington Blues Band, Jay Jesse Johnson Blues Band and Johnny Fink & the Intrusion.On the first floor Saturday, you can catch the Noah Wotherspoon Band, Lil Red & The Rooster, Greg Schaber Band and Ricky Nye Inc. with Behah Williams. 
Music begins at 6 p.m. each night. Tickets are available in advance through brownpapertickets.com for $20 (or $32.85 for a two-day pass). For complete Winter Blues Fest details, visit cincyblues.org.

Bob Marley's 70th Birthday: If he hadn’t died in 1981 from cancer, music legend Bob Marley would be celebrating his 70th birthday this Friday. Fans across the world all year will be honoring the life of the man who popularized Reggae music, but this birthday weekend the Thompson House is the place to be for local Marley lovers. On Friday, the venue hosts the release party for the debut EP by Cincy Reggae/Rock/Jam crew Elementree Livity Project, You’re Not Ready. The lineup for the 8 p.m. show also includes fellow local Reggae acts The Cliftones and Know Prisoners. Besides their own performances, members of each band will join forces for a Marley tribute set. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. 


Saturday, Feb. 7


Peace After Marriage
Photo: Goodlap Productions
Jewish & Israeli Film Festival: The Mayerson JCC hosts the international Jewish & Israeli Film Festival with the tagline, “More controversy. More comedy. More films.” The fest screens 10 award-winning independent films, ranging from contemporary dramas to documentaries. There will also be a selection of Jewish-interest films produced outside of Israel. The fest kicks off with a screening of Peace After Marriage, a romantic comedy about a Palestinian-American actor’s green card marriage to a prickly Israeli woman, and a meet-and-greet with the director. 
8 p.m. Saturday. $36; includes one free drink. 20th Century Theater, 3021 Madison Road, Oakley, mayersonjcc.orgRead more about the films that will be screening here


instagram @thebldg
Covington's 200th Birthday Party: We spend a lot of time toasting to the greatness of Cincinnati, but it’s time to love on our neighbors to the south. Covington is celebrating its 200th birthday and the city is doing it in major style. Say “Happy Birthday” to The C.O.V. by putting on your fanciest LBD (or tux, whatevs) and heading to the Cov200 Bicentennial Gala and Birthday Bash. Starting at 9:30 p.m., the city invites everyone to a free party with tunes from DJ Jon Carlo, a cash bar and palm readings. If you’re feeling super baller and have the dough, buy tickets to come early, enjoy a cocktail hour with the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, eat stellar food and see The Chuck Taylors. 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Free for birthday bash; $125 gala entry. Northern Kentucky Convention Center, 1 W. Rivercenter Blvd., Covington, Ky., cov200.org.


Garage Brewed Moto Show
Photo: Bill DeVore
Garage Brewed Moto Show: The Garage Brewed Moto Show features more than 50 motorcycles/bikes from the Tristate for this first invitational motorcycle show, held in the historical Over-the-Rhine Brewery District. The event will include awards in four different categories: pro custom, garage custom, classic bikes and people’s choice. Appreciate the builders who dedicate their time building motorcycles, whether they’re pros with large garages or your next-door neighbor. 5 p.m.-midnight Saturday. Free. Rhinegeist Brewery, 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, garagebrewed.com.


BBQ Oysters
Photo: Khoi Nguyen
Prep for Mardi Gras by Eating at Mardi Gras on Madison: In January, Latoya “Toya” Foster of New Orleans to Go food truck fame opened a brick-and-mortar version of her Cajun/Creole vittles called Mardi Gras on Madison in East Walnut Hills. There is no set menu. Foster decides on at least five different dishes to serve when she wakes up and then posts them on social media. (A menu from last week featured barbecue chicken tacos, catfish tacos, black beans and rice, fried okra and shrimp po’ boys.) Their food license doesn’t allow them to reserve food for the next day, which helps eliminate waste; food is served until closing time or until it’s gone, whichever happens first. The bar shakes up specialty cocktails such as a Bloody Michael, named after Foster’s dad’s middle name, made with king cake vodka and served with an okra garnish, and a Jazzerac, their take on a Sazerac, which is the official cocktail of NOLA. They also have various Abita craft beers, another Louisiana staple, and a Katrina hurricane (orange juice, rum and pineapple juice). They call it a hurricane for a reason, and if you’re looking to get pickled, drinking more than one of these will knock you on your ass. On actual Mardi Gras (Feb. 17), Foster is planning a party that might involve a crawfish boil, a live band and traditional king cake. Knowing Foster, there most certainly will be good food, dancing and bon temps. 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. first and third Sunday of the month. 1524 Madison Road, East Walnut Hills, 513-873-9041, neworleanstogopoboys.com.


Cole Swindell
Extreme Bull Riding: Bull riding might be the most dangerous sport in the world, but don’t let that stop you from hootin’ and hollerin’. Cheer on cowboys and cowgirls during the Extreme Bull Riding Bronco Busting and Barrel Racing show at Cincinnati Gardens. Following the bulls and barrel racing, get a chance to see rising Country singer Cole Swindell in concert. For more on Swindell, see Sound Advice here7:30 p.m. Saturday. $30-$55. Cincinnati Gardens, 2250 Seymour Ave., Norwood, cincygardens.com.

Exhale Dance Tribe
Photo: Scott Petranek 
Exhale Dance Tribe Celebrates a Decade of Dance: It’s a sunny, cold January afternoon when I pull up outside the stone façade of a grand old building on Gilbert Avenue for an interview with Missy Lay Zimmer and Andrew Hubbard. Spread across the loft-like top floor is Planet Dance, the progressive dance studio founded by the two. It’s also home to the duo’s prolific and highly lauded dance company, Exhale Dance Tribe. This weekend, 14 Tribe dancers (along with Hubbard, who will solo) will perform at the Aronoff’s Jarson-Kaplan Theater in a mixed bill revisiting a selection of characteristic vignettes from the past 10 years of evening-length productions. Exhale Dance Tribe will perform Best of 10: A Decade of Dance Saturday and Sunday at the Aronoff Center. More info: exhaledancetribe.com. Read more about the performances and Lay Zimmer and Hubbard here.


Sunday, Feb. 8


Natalie Cole
Unforgettable: An Evening with Natalie Cole: Do some prep for a romantic Valentine’s Day by indulging in the smooth sounds of the Cincinnati Pops and Natalie Cole. Cole, a nine time Grammy winner, internationally acclaimed artist and daughter of Jazz icon Nat King Cole, is best known for her hits like “This Will Be” and “Our Love.” On Sunday, Cole takes the stage for one-night only, belting out captivating versions of her favorite songs. 7 p.m. Sunday. $40-$110. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatisymphony.org.


Grease
Photo: Paramount Pictures
Grease Sing-Along: Grease is the word; The Esquire is the place. A special sing-along celebrating the highest-grossing musical of all time and cultural phenomenon Grease is arriving at the Mariemont and Esquire theaters. Feel free to belt out “Summer nights” and chant “We Go Together” at the high school carnival with the rest of the kids. Don pink jackets or grease up a quiff, because if you want to be a T-Bird or a Pink Lady then you can. There will be a fancy dress contest before each viewing. Advance tickets suggested. 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Mariemont Theatre. 10:30 p.m. Sunday at The Esquire. $10. The Esquire, 320 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, esquiretheatre.com; Mariemont Theatre, 6906 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, mariemonttheatre.com.

Autism Rocks: The sixth edition of the local Autism Rocks benefit concert takes place this Sunday at The Fairfield Banquet and Convention Center at Tori’s Station. Originally conceived to help a local couple with medical bills incurred from their young son’s treatment, the event soon expanded to raise money for other autism causes. This year, Autism Rocks benefits the Ken Anderson Foundation, formed by the former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback to “build and sustain a community for adults living with autism” (visit kenandersonfoundation.com for more about the cause). Several local celebrities and former sports stars are expected to make appearances, and there will be silent and live auctions throughout the day to further raise funds. Running from noon until around 7 p.m., Autism Rocks 6 features more than a dozen local acts, including The Sonny Moorman Group, Prizoner, Stagger Lee (with special guest Dallas Moore), After Midnight, Mr. Chris and the Cruisers, Devils Due, Mojo Rizin and 4th Day Echo. Admission is a $20 donation.

Looking for more stuff to do? Check the rest of our staff recommendations here.

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List (1/9-1/11)]]>

Wow. Such stuff. Much do. So fun. …


BEER: The Tap Room Trolley

In advance of February’s Cincinnati Beer Week, the Tap Room Trolley takes happy imbibers to six different Cincinnati breweries. The guided bus tour lasts approximately seven hours with three different routes — A, B or C — to take you to different alcoholic parts of town. All busses leave from the Moerlein Lager House. Tour A departs at 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday; tour B leaves at noon Saturday and Sunday; tour C leaves at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $30. Moerlein Lager House, 115 Joe Nuxhall Way, The Banks, Downtown, cincinnatibeerweek.com.



MUSIC: G-Eazy
G-Eazy
Photo: The Chamber Group
If Gerald Earl Gillum was an actor, he could probably score a role playing little brother to Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal or Edward Norton, since there’s a little bit of all of those guys floating around in his intense visage. But Gillum’s gig isn’t in front of the camera, it’s behind the mic and, as Young Gerald or G-Eazy, he’s been one of the most successful Hip Hop artists/producers to emerge from the Oakland, Calif., scene in the past decade. G-EAZY plays at Bogart's Friday, Jan. 9. Find tickets/more info here. 


This favorite exhibit of Cincinnati’s 19th-century brewing industry returns to the Betts House. It features photos, charts and narratives of the tunnels, breweries, buildings and people of our beer past. Bricks, Barrel Vaults, & Beer also highlights the social and cultural influences that made Cincinnati a brewery destination, like immigration. Opening reception: 2-5 p.m. Saturday. On view through May 7. Free. The Betts House, 416 Clark St., West End, thebettshouse.org


COMEDY: Geoff Tate

Geoff Tate
Photo: Provided

Comedian Geoff Tate is adept at telling hilarious personal stories from his life, as well as making sharp observations about the seemingly mundane. Tate, a Cincinnati native, now lives in Los Angeles. He also hosts a podcast called Afternoon, Everybody! during which he talks about the sitcom Cheers with his friends. Showtimes Thursday-Sunday. $8-$14. Go Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy.com.



Girls
Photo: HBO
With Lena Dunham’s omnipresence in the media between the build-up for and release of her book Not That Kind of Girl and her controversial Tweet/hair color/relationship du jour, it’s easy to forget we’re due for a new season of Girls. But Hannah and friends are back for another round of comical misadventures. One major change in this fourth season is the setting — while Jessa, Marnie, Shoshanna and the dudes are still living the dream in New York, Hannah is doing her thing at the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Season Premiere, 9 p.m. Sunday, HBO.


ONSTAGE: Broadway Across Cincinnati's Cinderella
Cinderella
Photo: Carol Rosegg

Rodgers and Hammerstein created a musical about Cinderella for TV in 1957, watched by an audience of 107 million. It finally made its Broadway debut in 2013, with a contemporary story using their songs. In Douglas Carter Beane’s new script, the bedraggled chambermaid is Ella — taunted as “Cinderella” by her nasty stepsisters because she’s always dirty from cleaning the fireplace — and her story has had some political intrigue injected, making the heroine a bit of a social reformer.  Through Jan. 18. $49-$101. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, 513-621-2718, cincinnati.broadway.com



MODERN DANCE: MamLuft&Co. Dance at the Aronoff

MamLuft&Co.'s Maps
Photo: Jeanne Mam-Luft
Coming off a successful fall touring season with performances in Chicago and Roanoke, Va., the eight modern dancers of MamLuft&Co. Dance take the Aronoff stage this weekend for the company’s first mixed repertory concert. On the bill are short-form adaptations of imaginative full-length favorites from the last three seasons. MamLuft&Co. Dance at the Aronoff takes place Friday and Saturday. Tickets and more information: mamluftcodance.org.


CARS: The Cavalcade of Customs

Cavalcade of Customs
Photo: Provided

The Duke Energy Convention Center hosts the Cavalcade of Customs, with tons of custom cars, hot rods, trucks and motorcycles, plus the cars of The Fast and the Furious, a live-demo chop shop, a Miss Cavalcade pin-up challenge and more. 3-10 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. $16; $6 kids ages 6-12. 525 Elm St., Downtown, koiautoparts.com/cavalcade.


MOTORCYCLES: AMSOIL Arenacross

AMSOIL Arenacross
Photo: Shiftone Photography

U.S. Bank Arena hosts AMSOIL Arenacross Saturday — an enclosed, dirt-track off-road motorcycle race filled with jumps, turns and other obstacles. 7 p.m. Saturday. $10-$40. 100 Broadway, Downtown, usbankarena.com.



THE CIRCUS: Syrian Shrine Circus

The 94th annual Syrian Shrine Circus comes to the Bank of Kentucky Center. The Shriners’ three-ring circus features death-defying aerial acts, clowns and animal attractions like tigers and elephants. 7:30 p.m. Friday; 1 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 1 p.m. Sunday. $10-$30; $5 parking. 500 Louie B. Nunn Drive, Highland Heights, Ky., bankofkentuckycenter.com.


CLEANSE: The Weekly Juicery

The Weekly Juicery's rainbow assortment of cold-pressed juices.
Photo: Jesse Fox

The Weekly Juicery, while enthusiastically committed to the juicing concept, is about much more than juice. The Kentucky-based company just opened its first Cincinnati location in December, strategically placing the cozy, colorful shop in the very center of Hyde Park Square. With successful juiceries in Louisville and Lexington, their well-established concept places The Weekly Juicery a few steps ahead of its OTR counterpart, Off the Vine. The juicery boasts an almost entirely gluten-free and vegan menu, and the staff is sensitive to just about every allergy imaginable. Their weekly juicing programs offer three, four and five-day juicing regimens in the $27 to $54 price range. 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily. 2727 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, 513-321-0680, theweeklyjuicery.com.



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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List (1/2-1/4)]]>
You've had a day or so to nurse your New Year's hangover, so it's time to get out of the house. If you're looking for things to do this weekend to keep the party going, here's a list.

Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical
Photo: Sandy Underwood
1. Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Rosemary Clooney has long been a favorite of Cincinnatians. The legendary singer from Maysville, Ky., began her career here on WLW radio, singing with her sister Betty. Her life went sadly off the tracks in the late 1960s, but she resurrected herself as a performer, having a kind of “flip side.” That’s pretty much the story told in Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical, on the Cincinnati Playhouse’s Shelterhouse stage. The wildly successful musical has been extended to run through Jan. 11. Tickets are sold out online, so call the box office. 

Dave Landau
Photo: Provided 

2. Comedians. Dave Landau at the Funny Bone on the Levee and Robert Hawkins at Go Bananas. Both rang in the New Year with parties at the respective comedy clubs, and are here throughout the weekend.


The Appleseed Collective
Photo: Rob Woodcox 
3. The Appleseed Collective plays MOTR Pub Sunday (Jan. 4). Since forming about five years ago, the dynamic Americana string band The Appleseed Collective has become one of the more critically acclaimed Roots bands in the land. Part of the group’s appeal is the breadth of what the members’ consider Americana. Instead of simply old-timey Folk with a few twangy flourishes, The Appleseed Collective touches on Ragtime, Bluegrass, Dixieland Jazz, Western Swing and even a little Gypsy Jazz.

Wendy's Bridal Show
Photo: Provided
4. Wendy's Bridal show at the Duke Energy Convention Center Saturday and Sunday (Jan. 3-4). Reading Bridal District anchor Wendy’s hosts a bridal show at the Duke Energy Convention Center. There will be more than 150 wedding professionals on hand, offering all the services you need to get you from “yes” to “I do.” There will be a bridal fashion show at noon and 3 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, samples from caterers and bakers, representatives from Tristate reception and ceremony locations, displays from wedding photographers and videographers, and design ideas from florists and décor specialists.

Bye Bye Liver: The Cincinnati Drinking Play
5. Drunk theater! Bye Bye Liver: The Cincinnati Drinking Play Saturdays through Feb. 28. The local version of this regional collection of “drinking plays” (Bye Bye Liver performances are also put on in Chicago, Boston, Nashville, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Milwaukee) combines sketch comedy and “social games” into a unique night of drinking in public while laughing at performers who will also be drinking. Warning: Shows do sell out, so check for tickets in advance. 


Photo: Jordan Frei
6. AnnapaloozaA diverse collection of local musical acts will band together on Saturday (Jan. 3) at Newport’s Southgate House Revival for a special cause. “Annapalooza” was organized by friends as a benefit for Anna Mouch, a local nurse who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma this year. The money raised from ticket sales (as well as various raffles and auctions) will help Mouch, who has a 1-year-old son with Sean Geil of local Folk faves The Tillers, pay for medical bills that have arisen from the intensive treatment she has been receiving. Scheduled to perform at Saturday’s benefit concert: Chris Mouch, Josh Eagle, Jake Book, Lenny Hall, Casey Campbell, Wilder, Dead Man String Band, Rattlesnakin’ Daddies, Mamadrones, BiBs & BaReFeeT, Shiny and the Spoon, Animal Circles, Perfect Norm, The Blue Rock Boys, Frontier Folk Nebraska, The Guitars and The Almighty Get Down. Annapalooza kicks off at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 (through ticketfly.com) or $20 at the door.

Festival of Lights
Photo: Cincinnati Zoo
7. The Festival of Lights run through Jan. 3. The Cincinnati Zoo illuminates for the annual PNC Festival of Lights — a spectacular light show with holiday-themed areas, symphonic synchronized light displays and wintry events. 

Mummies of the World
Photo: Cincinnati Museum Center 
8. Mummies of the World at Union Terminal. Discover how mummies are created, where they come from and who they are in an immersive, multi-media display at the Cincinnati Museum Center’s new once-in-a-lifetime exhibit, featuring real mummies and artifacts, some dating back as far as 4,500 years.

 
9. Fountain Square Ice Rink. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys balancing on foot blades while gliding on top of frozen water, you’re in luck: The ice rink at Fountain Square is open for another couple of weeks.

 
10. Sleeping Beauty at Ensemble Theatre. While most local theaters have swept away the artificial snow and stashed the Christmas decorations, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati continues to present its family-friendly holiday musical. It’s an amusing “fractured fairy tale,” but there’s a lot more than that. Using romance, comedy, action, Rock & Roll and opera, Sleeping Beauty is an entertaining take on the tale of a princess who snoozes away a century until she’s awakened by love. 
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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List (12/19-12/21)]]>

Since Christmas is next week (Thursday), there's a ton of holiday stuff to do this weekend — everything from plays and other onstage events to train displays and elves doing things.

Onstage:
  • Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some) (through Dec. 28 at Cincy Shakes): For seven seasons this mash-up of holiday tales has played to sold-out Cincinnati Shakespeare audiences. It starts as an annual performance of A Christmas Carol but goes off the tracks almost immediately to poke fun at the season and the stories we all remember — Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, The Island of Lost Toys, The Nutcracker, even It’s a Wonderful Life.
  • A Soldier's Christmas (through Dec. 21 at NKU's Corbett Theatre): Last summer Cincinnati Opera presented Silent Night, a retelling of the 1914 “Christmas Truce,” when World War I forces set aside their battles and marked the holiday. Local playwright Phil Paradis has rendered this story into a play that is being presented for the holidays. Two soldiers — one British, the other German — meet by chance as they seek warmth for their respective trenches.
  • Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings (through Dec. 21 at Covedale): The late-’50s singing group of Francis, Jinx, Smudge and Sparky died when a bus full of Catholic schoolgirls on their way to see the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show crashed into the Plaids’ car as they drove to an audition. In the sequel, they’re on a mission with heavenly guidance from Rosemary Clooney, who tells them harmony is needed to cheer a discordant world.
  • Amahl and the Night Visitors (Dec. 19-22 at Xavier University's Gallagher Center Theater): Amahl and the Night Visitors is Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra’s annual holiday gift, a multi-media extravaganza of the Christmas classic originally written for television in 1951. Gian Carlo Menotti’s one-act opera of the crippled boy Amahl and his encounter with the three wise men on their way to Bethlehem is a celebration of music, magic and miracles.
  • And, of course, A Christmas Carol (through Dec. at the Playhouse in the Park): Howard Dallin’s excellent adaptation has been used since 1991. The Playhouse’s A Christmas Carol features one of the Cincinnati area’s best local actors, Bruce Cromer, as Scrooge for the 10th consecutive year.
Off-stage but still holiday-ish

 

  • Grab a friend or family member and head to Fountain Square for some ice skating. The ice rink is up through Jan. 4, 2015 — and this weekend is the last weekend to skate with santa. The man in red hits the ice for some skate time on Saturday and Sunday.
  • BB Riverboats is offering a variety of holiday-themed cruises, including a Christian Moerlein Brew Ho Ho Ho dinner cruise with beer tastings on Saturday.  
  • The Cyclones are throwing an ugly sweater party during their game against the Elmira, N.Y. Jackals on Saturday. 
  • For an enlightening holiday experience, head to Union Terminal on Saturday and Sunday for their two-day Winter Solstice Celebration, highlighting end of year traditions like Chinese New Year, Diwali and Kwanzaa.
  • Take that a step further Sunday for the annual Lighting of the Serpent at Serpent Mound. Volunteers will light luminaries along the coils of the ancient effigy mound. 
  • And, another thing to see at Union Terminal: Holiday Junction. The Duke Energy trains are back through Jan. 4, 2015, with 300 mini rain cars, 60 engines and 1,000 feet of sparkly, snow-covered track. 
Music!
Over the Rhine

  • Folk duo Over the Rhine is continuing their annual Christmas tradition of performing a holiday concert at the Taft. Expect to hear songs from their recently released Blood Oranges in the Snow Saturday night.
  • Nashville, Tenn. quartet Steelism packed the house at this year's Midpoint Music Festival. Expect a similar crowd when the band plays MOTR Friday.
  • Guitar ace Adrian Belew plays the 20th Century Theater Sunday.
For more of what's going on this weekend (besides some last-minute gift shopping), check out our staff picks here.

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List (12/5-12/7)]]> Things that are true: Getting dressed for a night out when it's cold is hard because it's unacceptable to wear down comforters as ponchos. Other things that are true: It's unacceptable to stay in for an entire weekend to watch holiday-themed movies on Lifetime (because Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever was truly not a very good film). 

Instead, here are several reasons to get off the couch:

1. Alcohol.
  • The Comet in Northside is throwing Hopnosis 7, its craft beer festival, on Friday and Saturday. They're tapping 30 kegs of rare and debut beers over two days. 
  • Metropole at 21c is hosting a repeal day speakeasy party on Friday. Dress in costume; they'll provide the mustaches.
2. Holiday stuff.
  • Elf the Musical is at the Aronoff through Sunday. Not Will Ferrell, but still entertaining. 
  • If you like something more traditional — like choirs and churches — this weekend's Saengerfest is for you. More than 14 area choirs will be singing at a variety of OTR spaces, including St. Francis and the Moerlein brewery. They also have a shuttle to take you from place to place, so you don't have to walk.
  • Admission to the Taft Museum is free on Sundays. Check out their annual Antique Christmas exhibit, with a collection of nostalgic and unique ornaments, toys and decorations.
  • Trains! Everyone's favorite train display is back at Union Terminal. See the Duke Energy trains in Holiday Junction — 300 mini rail cars, 60 engines and more than 1,000 feet of sparkly, snow-covered track. (Duke energy customers get free entry when you go to here.)
  • The Shillito Elves are making their annual appearance in their Mariemont workshop. 
  • Sunday, at Mother of God church in Covington, Cincinnati Camerata presents an entire vocal program devoted to the Virgin Mary.
  • While you're out and about, grab a hot chocolate from any of our favorite hot chocolate spots in town, from the West Side to OTR.
3. Shopping.
  • If you missed City Flea and Crafty Supermarket last weekend, stop by the Oakley Fancy Flea Market at the 20th Century Theater in Oakley on Sunday.
4. Music
5. SPORTS!
  • Meet-and-greet current and former Reds plays at this weekend's Redsfest
6. Anacondas. (Stay on the couch for this one.)
  • The much-discussed episode of Eaten Alive is airing Sunday on Discovery. Wildlife filmmaker Paul Rosolie gets eaten by an Anaconda in the Amazon, and then emerges unscathed. Beforehand, watch Naked and Afraid with Seth Rogen and James Franco. 

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