Politics, Rock and the will of the people take center stage
0 Comments · Saturday, April 7, 2012
Not many musicals begin
with the cast flipping the bird at the audience, but then not many
musicals are like Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, the brash show
that spins a tale of America’s seventh president to in-your-face
Indie Rock tunes.
by Jac Kern
The next 48 hours or so present a trifecta of holidays: Saturday is Record Store Day, Sunday is Earth Day, and, thanks to a group of teens in 1971, today (4-20) is unofficially Weed Day. Surely we can find a way to celebrate all three this weekend.
Visionaries and Voices, the Northside gallery that works with artists with disabilities, hosts its annual art auction gala Saturday. Double Vision features live and silent auctions featuring artwork from 20 local artists and other prizes, music by Magnolia Mountain and DJ Mowgli, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. The event runs 7-11 p.m. at Memorial Hall; tickets are $50.
While April 22 is officially Earth Day, celebrations take place all weekend long. Cincinnati's 42nd Annual Earth Day Celebration takes over Sawyer Point Saturday from noon-5 p.m. The free event features exhibits, entertainment, kids activities and various recycling opportunities. Go here for a full list of local Earth Day events and be sure to pick up this week's Green Issue, featuring lots of environmental opportunities and the Central Ohio River Valley Local Foods Guide.
Cincinnati is lucky to have numerous quality, independent music retailers around town. From Everybody's Records to Shake It, we all have some great music memories thanks to these stores. Record Store Day, the third Saturday of April, is devoted to celebrating indie music shops and the music they help promote. Each year on this day, these stores present live music, limited releases and sales. Go here to check out local Record Store Day happenings.
We also suggest watching Bully, now in theaters, and Veep, premiering on HBO Sunday.
Check out Stage Door for this weekend's theater offerings, our music blog for a live show lineup and our To Do page for more events, art shows, performances and more this weekend.
by Jac Kern
Posted In: Arts
at 09:58 AM | Permalink
Tonight marks O'Bryonville's first Third Thursday Benefit Wine Walk of the year. Support the neighborhood's independent businesses like Hemptations, Phyllis Weston Gallery, Ten Thousand Villages, The Bonbonerie, indigenous and many more as you hop from spot to spot, enjoying complimentary wine and bites at each participating venue. This month's walk benefits Pets in Need (a UCAN affiliate) and Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry. The event runs from 5-8 p.m. tonight.Enjoy a romantic night in Paris...without needing a passport. Art Design Consultants presents en evening with their Design Star, Grace Jones of Dwellings on Madison. Jones will transform the ADC loft space (310 Culvert St., Downtown) into a French apartment. Stop by at 6 for cocktails and stick around for the 7 p.m. unveiling of Jones' designs. Holly Golightly attire is encouraged! RSVP here.Comedian Jim Norton kicks off his three-night gig at Funny Bone on the Levee tonight. Specializing in dark comedy and self-deprecation, the comic has also acted in television and film and has written two humorous nonfiction books. Many will recognize Norton from the Opie & Anthony radio show, Louie, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and several small, odd film roles (two words: Furry Vengeance). Norton goes on tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets are $22.Cincinnati Zoo's Tunes and Blooms
series continues tonight with Shiny and the Spoon and The Tillers. The free concert features local favorite musicians performing in the beautiful
setting of the zoo's gardens. The concert runs 6-8:30 p.m.; admission to
the zoo is free after 5 p.m. (parking is $8). Tunes and Blooms
continues every Thursday this month.Jungle Jim's hosts a mystery mix cigar tasting tonight from 5-8 p.m. The tasting will be held at the Oscar Event Center's Monorail Terrace. Guests can enjoy three different cigars with $15 admission. There will be a cash bar, raffle and plenty of cigars and accessories for sale. Each Thursday, Jungle Jim's presents a different variety of cigars to try. No word yet on whether "mystery mix" is an early 4-20 reference.Follow our music blog for nightly shows and check our To Do page for more art exhibits, theater productions and events.
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 08:08 AM | Permalink
Twenty-nine shows in two weeks, commencing May 29
Know Theatre has announced the 2012 Cincinnati Fringe
Festival, kicking off May 29 and continuing through June 9. Festivities begin
with the official CityBeat Fringe Kick-Off Party on May 29 at 6 p.m. (A
suggested donation of $5 gets you in.) During the Festivals’ two-week run, 29
productions will receive multiple performances. Some shows are locally
originated (14) and others are by touring artists (15) who travel to festivals
around the United States. If everything selected actually happens (that’s
seldom the case), there will be 10 plays, nine solo shows, four dance works and
six multimedia/variety pieces.Several award-winning groups popular with past Fringe
audiences are set to return. One of the most popular performers from 2011,
Kevin J. Thornton — his I Love You (We’re Fucked) had a sold-out run and
returned for another stint last October — is back with Strange Dreamz.
Thornton has appeared in the Capital Fringe, Indy Fringe, NYC Frigid Festival,
Tucson Fringe Festival, Phoenix Fringe Festival, Orlando Fringe Festival,
Kansas City Fringe Festival, and the Minnesota Fringe Festival.
Four Humors Theater from the Twin Cities is back for
the fifth consecutive year, this time presenting Bombus and Berrylinne, or the
Bumblebee and the Hummingbird. The group has previously produced Mortem
Capiendum (Producer’s Pick of the Fringe, 2008), April Fools (2009), and Harold
(Critic’s Pick of the Fringe, 2010) and the hilarious James Bond-inspired
puppet show You Only Live Forever Once (2011).
The longevity honors will continue to be held by Cincinnati
Fringe veteran group Performance Gallery, returning for their ninth year with Rodney
Rumple's Random Reality. Past Cincinnati Fringe appearances include Images of a
Beating Heart (2004), The Killer Whispers and Prays (2005), Godsplay (2006), Girlfight
(2007), Fricative (2008), KAZ/m (2009), The Council (2010) and The Body Speaks
(2011). Brad Cupples, the playwright for Performance Gallery’s 2010 entry,
returns with Third Quarter Moon: A Complex Derivative Love Story.
We’ll see shows from established local companies, including Quake:
A Love Story from New Edgecliff Theatre (they presented Darker in 2011) and Don't
Cross The Streams: The Cease and Desist Musical, a stage musical from
Covington’s Carnegie Visual & Performing Arts Center.
Two new local companies will present for the first time.
Homegrown Theatre, led by local actress Leah Strasser will present an absurdist
piece, The Doppelganger Cometh and Overtaketh, while
Essex Theatre Arts Studio, founded by actors Bob Allen and Elizabeth Harris,
will stage Love Knots, a series of shorts plays about love and romance by
local playwright Phil Paradis.
There will be plenty of new acts, including Grim &
Fisher (the award-winning A deathly comedy in full-face mask) from Portland,
Ore., and Rebecca King (Storms Beneath Her Skin), a transgender artist from
Chicago. New York artist Tanya O’Debra’s Radio Star has won awards in San
Francisco, Montreal and New York City.
There will be dance performances by Houston-based dance
company Psophonia (Delicious) and two local groups, MamLuft&Co.’s (Latitude)
and Pones, Inc. (Project Activate). The latter is a collaborative and
participatory performance that asks “How do you
activate Cincinnati?” It’s the product of five local service organizations with
12 professional artists from a variety of disciplines.Each evening after performances, artists, audience members,
staff, and volunteers gather at Know Theatre’s Underground bar for the Fringe
Bar Series featuring the “Channel Fringe Hard Hitting Action News Update.”
Events there include Fringe previews, Fringe Olympics, Fringe-e-Oke, Fringe
Prom, and the 22.5 hour play project.
This year marks the second year of FringeNext, offering
three shows created and performed by high school students. Two are originating
from the School for Creative and Performing Arts; the third is from Lakota West
Individual tickets to shows are still $12. “Full Frontal”
passes are $200, providing access to every event in the festival. “Flexible
Voyeur” six-show passes are on sale for $60, the price equivalent of five tickets.
“One Night Stand” passes are $35; that’s good for one weeknight (as many as
three shows) and a drink at Know Theatre's Bar. Pre-sale single tickets will go
on sale mid-May.
For more information about the performances or to purchase
passes, check out www.cincyfringe.com or call (513) 300-KNOW (5669).
by Nolan Shea
painting and graffiti are very similar,” says Matt Treece, 23-year-old local photographer
and light painter. “I realized this when I found myself hopping through a
shattered first story window on the backside of an abandoned factory on the East Side at 2:30 a.m., alone, with my backpack on, creeping around in the
darkness looking for a good spot.”
Treece is searching for that “magical spot.” He doesn’t risk the charge of vandalism
like graffiti artists, but he still risks a trespassing charge with every foray
into the night.
Light painting is a photography technique that involves moving a camera or adding a light source while operating with a slow shutter speed. The resultant images include colorful, swirly lines and other creative effects. Like
graffiti artists, “both of us trespass illegally. Both of us are night owls.
Both of us have explored tunnels, creeks, bridges and abandoned buildings and
have gained such a good understanding about the layout of the city,” Treece says.
it to say, Treece’s understanding of all the nooks and crannies of the city is
far more in-depth than the average daylight city dweller.
his nightly jaunt into the darkness, Treece packs his equipment bag. At first
glance, you wouldn’t think anything is out of the ordinary. Treece stuffs a Nikon
D90 camera, remote shutter release, Nikon SB-600 Flash and two tripods into the
main compartment of the bag. But the smaller compartments receive the stranger
tools of the trade.
reveals children’s toys, ones that light up. Treece begins to stuff light swords,
mini color changing glow sticks, six different kinds of flashlights, laser
pointers, finger LEDs, glow sticks and his custom nine LED light orb tool into
every remaining compartment of his equipment bag.
that’s missing is the party favors. At this point, it’s almost unclear if he’s
going to a rave or going out to light paint.
Treece almost forgets the most important tool: batteries — lots of them.
painting hasn’t always been Treece’s passion, however. “I’ve always been
interested in art, but my interest in light painting started sometime around
May or June of last year,” he says. “I was browsing the Internet randomly and
saw a picture of what looked like a spinning waterfall of sparks. I had seen
light painting prior to this photo, but it really didn’t click that these
[light painters] were using super long exposures and crazy light sources to
create works of art.”
night, Treece spent hours reading up tutorials on the website
lightpaintingphotography.com and a particular online community that called
itself “the light junkies.” There he
learned that it was plausible to make his own contribution to the light
all places are created equal in the light painting community. Living in
Cincinnati is both wonderful and a pain. Clifton Heights, Treece’s main stomping
ground, provides him with an incredible amount of light pollution, which can be
attributed to the area’s attempt to curb crime activity.
still provides an ample amount of opportunity to create. “[Cincinnati] has some
of the most bad-ass tunnels built in the early 1900s. … Cincinnati also has a
creek system, which over time had to be cemented because of industrial waste,” Treece says. “These tunnels and channels have created some of the best spaces for
surreal standing in a tunnel underground in the absolute darkest of dark,
alone, listening to your heart race in your chest, “ he says. “A lot of times
it feels like I’ve entered into another dimension. I truly think light painting
has made me become addicted to the adrenaline rush, just like a base jumper
would feel, knowing I could potentially be injured, hurt or lost forever.
lot of times, I like to think about all the people sound asleep in their beds
as I trudge through nasty underground water in search of whatever adventure lay
in store ahead of me,” he says.
would seem, for many, the risks would outweigh the reward. The risk of injury,
prosecution or even death would turn many away. Add darkness to the mix and a
psycho killer and you’d have a horror movie.
for Treece it’s much deeper than the risk of physical harm or punishment. It’s
about finding a center in his life.
have always loved creating things. I’ve found throughout my life that I have
trouble focusing on many regular everyday things in my day-to-day life,” he
says. “But, when it comes to art, my mind focuses and I get into the zone. Pure
focus and happiness.”
all of Treece’s risk and work, there is a positive outcome. A reward. A magical
moment. A time when Treece steps back and feels a small sense of accomplishment.
my case, I look at my digital screen on my camera and have that moment where I
gasp; lose my breath; tummy tingles; my mouth begins to salivate and yell out
in joy,” he said. “Because when you were ‘doing it’ you’re not viewing it in
the same perspective as you would when you’re fully finished.”
similarities between graffiti artists and light painters reemerge.
both step back, look at what we’ve just accomplished and get the chills,
because this artwork just came through from another place or time,” Treece says.
“It just bursts through your minds and hands and created this whole new thing
that now exists in reality.”
New Edgecliff production is typical LaBute
3 Comments · Sunday, April 15, 2012
Reasons to be Pretty, getting its
local premiere at New Edgecliff Theatre, was Neil LaBute's first play to make
it to Broadway, where it landed in 2009 and earned a few Tony
Good times abound at Carnegie
0 Comments · Sunday, April 15, 2012
production of Pump Boys & Dinettes works hard to appear
effortless, and its effervescent cast chases away any worries you
might have brought to the Otto M. Budig Theatre.
by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 09:33 AM | Permalink
I’m not a big fan of
playwright Neil LaBute, whose characters tend to be misogynistic,
shallow and selfish. That’s the case with reasons to be pretty
at New Edgecliff Theatre, which I saw last night. It’s in the same
vein as other LaBute scripts, with a semi-sensitive guy who gets lost
in being a man, pulls back slightly, but pays the price for his own
thoughtless behavior and his collaboration with a caricatured,
boorish friend. NET’s production benefits from some decent acting,
and on opening night the audience was caught up in watching guys say
nasty things and women act out and suffer. This show (full of coarse
language and reprehensible behavior) appeals to the worst in human
nature. The modest effort to pull it out at the end wasn’t enough
for me. Box office: 888-588-0137.
production of the recent off-Broadway and Broadway Rock musical hit,
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson is a youthful mix of
political commentary, driving Rock performances, history, humor and
sober observations on the will of the people — just what we’ve
come expect from Know Theatre. Not many musicals begin with the cast
flipping the bird at the audience, but then not many musicals are
like this one, spinning a tale of America’s seventh president to
in-your-face Indie Rock tunes. (The “orchestra” for the
production is the local band The Dukes Are Dead.) Kellen York,
playing the title role is note even a remotely good singer, but he
looks and acts the part, strutting around the stage as an “agent of
change.” He’s surrounded by a cast of strong musical theater
performers, and their work plus a sassy political satire makes this
show a Critic’s Pick. This is Bloody Bloody’s first
professional regional production, and it will surely be the big hit
of Know’s season. (Through May 12.) Box office: 513-300-5669.
World: We Just Live In It is a one-man tour by the actor
who’s played an iconic starship captain on Star Trek and a
sleazy attorney on television on Boston Legal. He’s been a
character from start to finish, and this act has earned positive
reviews in New York City and in cities where he’s making stops.
He’s at the Aronoff on Friday night (one night only). Beam me up.
Pump Boys &
Dinettes at the Covington’s Carnegie Center is something
like an off-Broadway classic (it had a brief Broadway run) from the
early 1980s. Set in a filling station that’s also a diner, it’s a
framework for downhome Country tunes and cornpone humor. It opens a
three-weekend run on April 13; I haven’t seen it yet, but the cast
and an online video tell me it will be a lot of fun. Box office:
Company’s production of The Grapes of Wrath (running
through April 29) is a powerful theatrical interpretation of John
Steinbeck’s grim tale about a Depression-era family of Oklahoma
sharecroppers driven to homelessness by ecological and economic
disasters. It’s a portrait of the desperate life wrought by the
Depression in the 1930s and a powerful reminder that life hasn’t
improved for many Americans 80 years later. CSC’s production is
made all the more relevant by folksy musical interludes performed
live by some of the actors. A downer of a story, but definitely worth
seeing. Box office: 513-381-2273, x1.
It’s the final
weekend for Kim Rosenstock’s new play Tigers Be Still
at the Cincinnati Playhouse, a show about people dealing with
depression in a way that’s charming, funny, optimistic and even
heart-warming. It’s about a young woman with a recently earned
degree in art therapy; she’s been down in the dumps about finding
work, but not as much as her mom who’s gained weight and her sister
who’s been dumped by her fiancé. There’s lots more to keep you
laughing and paying attention. Through Sunday. Box office:
Each week in Stage
Door, Rick Pender offers theater tips for the weekend, often with a few pieces
of theater news.
by Jac Kern
International Quilt Festival, Second Saturday events, Pyramid Hill anniversary and more
Happy Friday the 13th, Crystal Lake campers! Be sure to avoid shady, hockey-masked characters and remember, if you have sex, you die. Here's what's happening this weekend.Pop culture icon and Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner is in town for one night only this evening. Touring with his one-man show, Shatner's World: We Just Live in It, The Shat will perform at the Aronoff Center tonight at 8 p.m. Fans will get to hear about his life and career on television, film and stage, with plenty of music and video clips. Fun fact: the famous phrase "Beam me up, Scotty" was never actually said in Star Trek's original run. Get last-minute tickets here.Hamilton's Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park celebrates its 15th anniversary tonight. Swing by the park at 6 p.m. to enjoy cake, see a new Jim Borgman poster and check out the first exhibit in the park's Ancient Sculpture Museum. Admission is $15; call 513-868-8336 to reserve your spot.The International Quilt Festival takes over Duke Energy Convention Center Friday-Sunday. The event features textile exhibits, hundreds of vendors selling books, patterns and fabrics, lectures and tons of classes for all levels of quilters. Single-day tickets are $10 ($8 for students and seniors); most classes cost extra.Mount Adams' Second Saturday Art Walk kicks off this weekend from noon-6 p.m. Enjoy music, food and drinks at popular Mount Adams businesses, bars and restaurants like The Rookwood, Daveed's, Pavilion and Teak. More than 100 artist will have works on display across the neighborhood. The event continues every second Saturday through June. Northside also celebrates Second Saturdays with extended hours, sales, drink/food specials and fun from 6-10 p.m. Participating businesses include Mayday, Thunder-Sky, Inc., Chicken Lays an Egg, Melt, NVision and more! Find more info here.The Cincinnati Museum Center's Passport to the World series continues this month with Asian Culture Fest Saturday and Sunday. "Visit" India, Japan, Taiwan and other Asian countries without leaving Cincinnati! There will be taekwondo, karate and dance demonstrations, movie screenings, craft projects and plenty of kids activities. The event is free with museum admission. While you're there, check out A Day in Pompeii.Check out our To Do page and music blog for more theater shows, art exhibits, concerts and other fun events this weekend.
by Jac Kern
Final Friday, Rollergirls, CSO and more
Happy Final Friday! If you're hitting up the monthly gallery/bar hop, stop by Yes (Primaries, 6-10 p.m.), Clay Street Press (The Revolution Says, 6-9 p.m.) and The Art Academy of Cincinnati (Sub-Surfaced, 5-8 p.m.) in addition to the several other participating venues. Read more about these featured exhibits here.Want to enjoy a more cosmic experience this weekend? Stop by the Cincinnati Astronomical Society in Cleves for the Mars Returns program. Mars is visible from Earth this time of year, and with CAS's powerful telescope, you'll get an excellent glimpse of the famed red planet (weather permitting). Learn about the myths and mysteries that surround Mars and the latest info from NASA. This free program takes place from 8-11 p.m. Saturday. Consider making a small donation on your way out to create more astronomical opportunities at the center.If you missed legendary composer Philip Glass' MusicNOW performance with eighth blackbird Thursday, you can still check him out this weekend thanks to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. The world premiere of Glass' Second Cello Concerto will be performed by cellist Matt Haimovitz tonight and Saturday at Music Hall. Go here to get last-minute tickets to the show.The Cincinnati Rollergirls take on the Demolition City Roller Derby from Evansville, IN. in the third annual College Night Saturday. Students, faculty and staff just need to show school IDs at the door for $10 tickets — the first 300 get free CRG bottle openers. If you missed the girls' season opener, be sure to check out this match, the second home double-header of the 2012 season. Doors open at 6 p.m.with the first bout rolling off at 7 p.m. As always, enjoy $1 happy hour beers from 6-7 p.m. and stick around after the game to meet those badass chicks!Quick Notes: Stage Door breaks down this weekend's theater offerings; find upcoming concerts and club shows here; Prairie Gallery's Airstream and the Contemporary Arts Centers' Dasha Shiskin exhibit are among this week's visual art suggestions; find even more events on our To Do page.Check out our Best of Cincinnati issue for reader picks and staff tips on where to get your eats, drinks, arts and shopping on.