WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

Four Innovative Opera Performances

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Opera is the operative word for June. Cincinnati Opera kicks off its 93rd season with expanded venues, programming and some of the hottest singers on the scene.  

A Summer Song

Four impressive shows round out Cincinnati Opera's upcoming season

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 12, 2013
One intriguing opera in a new venue plus three warhorses equals Cincinnati Opera’s summer season. Factor in casts featuring many of opera’s most exciting and acclaimed young singers, along with young directors and acclaimed conductors, and the formula may come up a winner.   
by Jac Kern 08.03.2012
at 11:56 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 8/3-8/5

Screech is going to be at Boogie Nights. The ‘90s TV geek-turned-porn star Dustin Diamond will make an appearance at Hollywood Casino’s night club Friday. Cover is $10 cover, but admission is free if you dress like Kelly Kapowski, Lisa Turtle, Jessie Spano or any of your favorite Saved By the Bell characters. Doors open at 9 p.m. Get ready to dance like you’re so excited… The Mutual UFO Network (MUFON, real thing) hosts an international symposium this weekend at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. If you have seen an unexplainable object in the sky, are interested in the idea of intelligent extraterrestrial life or just love a good conspiracy theory, here’s an opportunity to share your stories and learn more about UFOs. Speakers include a nuclear physicist, an abduction researcher, an aerospace engineer and many others in the field. Additionally, researchers at MUFON will announce a major discovery, presenting credible evidence for UFOs. Register here and see what it’s all about, Friday-Sunday in Covington (Spoiler Alert: ticket prices are kinda steep). Remember Wiedemann beer? George Widemann founded the company in 1870 with a brewery on Columbia Street in Newport, Ky., making the Bohemian-style beer synonymous with Northern Kentucky. The brewery closed in 1983, but the brand has recently been reclaimed and the new owners are debuting Wiedemann’s Special Lager Friday night. Swing by Pompilio’s, another Newport landmark, at 5 p.m. for a celebration and the inaugural keg-tapping at 5:30 p.m. Washington Park hasn’t even been open for a month and already it’s become a city hub, bringing tons of Cincinnatians and visitors together. On Friday, four of the city’s prominent performance organizations will also come together for a concert and show unlike any we’ve seen in the park thus far. The performance will include Cincinnati Ballet dancers, the Cincinnati Pops, Cincinnati Opera soloists and the May Festival Chorus, with conductor John Morris Russell. Bring lawn chairs and blankets and get comfy on the Civic Lawn. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Hamilton County Park District has teamed up with edible Ohio Valley Magazine to present the first Ohio Valley Greenmarket, a weekend-long festival celebrating local eats and agriculture and healthy, sustainable food practices. Special events include a pig roast Friday at Winton Woods; a workshop and lecture on green floral design Saturday; and Sunday’s big greenmarket at Glenwood Gardens, featuring a farmers market, cooking and gardening demos, speakers and activities for kids. “Back to School” might have been out of your vocabulary for a few years, but there are local kids whose summers are coming to an end and they are still in need of adequate supplies. So, once again, PROJECTMILL presents Back to School_MF this Saturday. In addition to fun art installations and dance music, MFers are asked to bring donations for area students. Think standard school supplies like pencils, notebooks, markers, crayons, backpacks, and other goodies you couldn’t go without when you were in school. Lisa Frank Trapper Keepers optional. The free dance party is 10 p.m.-1:45 a.m. at Northside Tavern. Ongoing events this weekend include: the World’s Longest Yard Sale 8 a.m.-4 p.m. daily through Sunday at MainStrasse Village; Glier’s Goettafest at Newport on the Levee every day through Sunday; more recommended arts, theater and event picks here. And be sure to stop by the square tonight for the MidPoint Indie Summer Series with Bear Hands, Lightning Love and Fort Lead, 7-11 p.m.!
 
 
by Jac Kern 07.25.2012
at 12:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Wednesday To Do List

Those lucky enough to snag a ticket to Cincinnati Opera’s sold-out run of Maria de Beunos Aires get to see a rare performance, which opens tonight. Cincinnati Opera and concert:nova team up for the first time to present the story of an a woman in Argentina who becomes the embodiment of Tango. If you didn’t get tickets in time, check out our preview to learn the backstory of this CO production. Reggae Wednesday continues on Fountain Square from 7-10 p.m. The Ark Band, a Columbus-based St. Lucian reggae group, performs tonight. Looking for a fun spot to grab dinner or drinks tonight? Mosey on down to Django Western Tacos, Northside’s newest watering hole. Taco options range from chicken to beef tongue to squash and peppers and can be ordered premade or DIY assembly. Django also offers larger traditional Southwest dishes and tasty cocktails. Peep our profile for more tasty morsels. Django Western Tacos is open until midnight tonight. Bandstand Bluegrass is just one of the new weekly free music nights at Washington Park. Each Wednesday, a new band takes the stage — check out The Comet Bluegrass Allstars tonight, 7-9 p.m. Over on the Civic Lawn of Washington Park, Cincinnati Sports Kickball League takes over. Last week’s game rained out, so this is your first chance to check out the ballers in action. Games are each Wednesday from 6 p.m. ‘til dusk. If you want to do your after-work drinking outdoors with a local cover band and thousands of others at Yeatman’s Cove, tonight it your last chance to do so! Party in the Park wraps up tonight with Naked Karate Girls from 5-10 p.m. Enjoy half-priced drinks until 6:30 p.m. American entertainer, dubbed “the man who owned Broadway,” George M. Cohan is the focus of Cincinnati Landmark Production’s latest show. George M!, onstage at Showboat Majestic, features good choreography and showtune classics like “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” Tickets to tonight’s 8 p.m. performance are $17-$18. Read our full review here.
 
 

Cincinnati Opera's Embodiment of Tango

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 25, 2012
A hybrid of opera, music theater and performance piece, the surreal storyline follows Maria from birth to her arrival in Buenos Aires, where tango seduces her and leads to a life of prostitution. She is murdered and resurrected, becoming the embodiment of tango.   

It's All Just Singing, Right?

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Opera always struck me as a strange, overblown cousin to musical theater. I told people that I had to “turn off my theater filters when I went to see opera.” But then I spent several seasons working for Cincinnati Opera, and my eyes were opened to the reasons people react so strongly to that art form.  
by Rick Pender 06.29.2012
Posted In: Theater at 09:04 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Stage Door: Last Chances

'The Second City 2' and 'next to normal' conclude this weekend, among others

It’s a weekend of last chances, as several shows that have been entertaining audiences wind up their runs just before Independence Day. Let’s start with The Second City 2: Less Pride … More Pork. If you haven’t yet caught this evening of poking fun at our local foibles and sacred cows, you have only until Saturday. The cast of five from Chicago’s legendary comedy troupe has been tickling local funny bones since late April, drawing their material from bottomless well of our beliefs and behaviors. Even if you saw the show a month or two ago, you’ll be entertained by a return visit. Improv is the fuel for the evening, and every night they’re up to new tricks to entertain audiences. By the way, that includes involving a few folks in attendance, so be prepared. Box office: 513-421-3888. Sunday winds up Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati’s revival of the Tony Award-winning musical next to normal. (Review here.) The story of a woman struggling with schizophrenia and how it affects her family is even better than it was back in September. The show uses the power of a brilliant Rock score to enhance the impact of this painful story. ETC has reassembled most of its superb cast from last fall, including Jessica Hendy in the central role. Her beleaguered husband is now played by Bruce Cromer, who you might know as Ebenezer Scrooge in the Playhouse’s annual A Christmas Carol. His character’s relationship with Hendy’s makes their struggles all the more deeply felt. Box office: 513-421-3555. Last Sunday I had some good laughs at the classic comedy Arsenic and Old Lace on the Showboat Majestic. It’s an old chestnut (it was a hit in 1944), but it’s one of the funniest shows you’re likely to see, about a pair of off-kilter elderly maiden aunts who keep their rather normal nephew astonished and scrambling to keep them in line. The kind-hearted women take in boarders, quiet elderly men who are “all alone in the world,” and polish them off with elderberry wine laced with arsenic. They convince another nephew, who believes he’s Teddy Roosevelt, to bury them in the basement by telling him they’re Panama Canal works who are victims of yellow fever. A great show for the whole family. Box office: 513-241-6550. Also winding up this weekend is Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). This rambunctious show mentions of all the Bard’s works — although many are completely unrecognizable, thanks the three buffoonish guys who undertake the task. Order your tickets online where you’ll find an automatic buy-one, get-one offer. Website: www.cincyshakes.com. Cincinnati Opera is offering Porgy & Bess for the first time ever, with a performances on Saturday evening (as well as July 6 and 8). (Preview here.) Is it an opera or a musical? Judge for yourself (and read about it in my Curtain Call column in next week’s issue of CityBeat). It’s at Music Hall, with lots of seats, but as always, a limited run. This is one you shouldn’t miss. I saw it Thursday night, and the leading performers are great: Measha Brueggergosman is a conflicted Bess, Jonathan Lemalu conveys Porgy’s dignified but depressed life, Gordon Hawkins is the brutal Crown, and Steven Cole steals the show as the animated, irreverent Sporting Life. And pay attention to the chorus — it’s a wonderful ensemble. Box office: 513-241-2742. Each week in Stage Door, Rick Pender offers theater tips for the weekend, often with a few pieces of theater news.
 
 

Porgy and Bess (Preview)

Cincinnati Opera channels 1930s Charleston in American Classic

0 Comments · Thursday, June 28, 2012
George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess ranks as America’s most famous opera. Its arias and ensembles are firmly ensconced in the American Popular Songbook: “Summertime,” “I Got Plenty o Nuttin’,” “Bess, You Is My Woman Now,” “I Loves You, Porgy.” “It Ain’t Necessarily So.” No other opera comes close except Carmen, and that’s French.  

Love Conquers All

Cincinnati Opera channels 1930s Charleston in American Classic

0 Comments · Tuesday, June 26, 2012
George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess ranks as America’s most famous opera. Its arias and ensembles are firmly ensconced in the American Popular Songbook: “Summertime,” “I Got Plenty o Nuttin’,” “Bess, You Is My Woman Now,” “I Loves You, Porgy.” “It Ain’t Necessarily So.” No other opera comes close except Carmen, and that’s French.  
by Jac Kern 06.15.2012
at 11:09 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 6/15-6/17

Whether you’re celebrating your dad, the end of slavery, a local pork product or just a welcome break from work, there are tons of events in store this weekend. Buckle up! As always, the Midpoint Indie Summer Series is a superb way to kick things off. Tonight The Seedy Seeds, Wymond Miles and Belle Histoire take over Fountain Square starting at 7 p.m. Grab a beer, something to eat and if you haven’t already secured your MPMF wristbands, be sure to purchase those tonight as well. Early bird tickets save you $10 — and they’re almost sold out! You can also buy tickets and check out the full Indie Summer schedule and initial MPMF band announcements here. Barbeque may be the widely-recognized seasonal meat dish of choice, but locals know better — Cincy celebrates goetta with multiple festivals each summer. The first of which, MainStrasse Village “Original” Goettafest, begins tonight in Covington. Enjoy live music, vendors, booze and all the goetta dogs, burgers, reubens, chili and pizza your heart desires (or fears) though Sunday night. If sampling pork dishes isn’t your thing, why not sample the best of local and regional dancers? Contemporary Dance Theater presents its annual Area Choreographers Festival Friday and Saturday at the Aronoff Center. The program features six performances from established companies and up-and-coming choreographers. Find ticket information and a full lineup here. Many associate the end of slavery in the United States with Emancipation Proclamation, issued by Abraham Lincoln on Sept. 22, 1862 (and went into effect Jan. 1, 1863), but just a small fraction of  slaves actually benefited from this order. On June 19, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger and federal troops arrived at Galveston, Tex., it is said, to enforce the abolition of slaves there. This date represents a true end of slavery, called Juneteenth, and is recognized by 41 states. Celebrate this weekend at Eden Park with cultural music and dancing, performances, traditional storytelling, ethnic food and vendors Saturday and Sunday. This year marks the 25th annual Juneteenth Festival in Cincinnati, predicted to be one of the largest local celebrations yet. From a historical holiday to a fictional one, Bloomsday is also celebrated this weekend. In James Joyce’s classic epic Ulysses, Leopold Bloom embarked on his Dublin journey on June 16, 1904. Though purely a literary creation, June 16 has become a day to honor Irish heritage and culture (you don’t have to wait until March!). The Irish Heritage Center presents an evening full of traditional Irish songs, readings, performances and more Saturday beginning at 7 p.m. Admission is $10. The Cincinnati Opera opened its 2012 season this week, and celebrates with Pride Night Saturday. Experience the tragic passion of Pagliacci and the humorous charm of Gianni Schicchi in a classical doubleheader, followed by a circus-themed bash at Music Hall. Enjoy a talent-packed performance, support the LGBT community and party it up in one night? Yeah, it’s a can’t-miss.
 
 

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