by Jac Kern 05.23.2014
Posted In: Events at 10:48 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
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Your Long Weekend To Do List: 5/23-5/26

The 36th annual Taste of Cincinnati takes over six blocks downtown this weekend. The annual food festival includes more than 100 dishes from 40-plus restaurants and 70 live music performances Saturday through Monday. Features this year include four music stages; tappings, tastings and a meet-the-brewers with Christian Moerlein Brewing Co., official beer of the Taste; and the Taste Experience. If large crowds and funnel cakes aren’t quite your thing, the Taste Experience features more upscale fare in the intimate setting of the Procter & Gamble gardens. The Reds take on the Cardinals Saturday and Sunday, so it’s sure to be a bustling weekend downtown. For more information about the Taste, check out our feature on the fest. Memorial Day marks the symbolic start to summer as well as the opening date for many pools and summer attractions. Both The Beach Waterpark and Coney Island open their gates this Saturday. The Beach, under new management since its temporary closing in 2012, is back with all the crazy water rides and slides, the wave pool, real sand and endless entertainment for the whole family. New this year are cabanas for rent and a high-flying zip-line. Find admission details and hours here. Coney Island is another Cincy summertime institution. Enjoy classic rides, water slides and the iconic Sunlite Pool all weekend long. Go here for tickets and more info. Cincinnati Saints, the city’s semi-professional soccer team, kicks off its first season in the National Premier Soccer League Friday with a game against Pennsylvania’s Erie Admirals. The Saints play home games at Stargel Stadium on the West End. Follow the team as they look to make soccer yet another successful pro sport in Cincinnati — the team will host World Cup watch parties on Fountain Square next month. Read more about the team in this week’s feature.  Ever been curious about the nudist lifestyle? Many locals don’t know a nudist resort is located right outside the city on Cincinnati’s West Side. Paradise Gardens Nudist Resort lies on 35 acres of lush, wooded land and has been around for more than 40 years. Those interested in nudism or just wanting to check it off their bucket list are invited to explore the grounds for an open house noon-6 p.m. Saturday. New nudists and veterans alike can enjoy swimming, hiking, volleyball, sunning and even a pirate-themed dance at night. Relax, be respectful and bring a towel to sit on (that hot summer sun can really warm up seat surfaces!). Future open house dates are June 7, July 5 and Aug. 19. Learn more here. For more art openings, parties, festivals and other stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks, full calendar and Rick Pender’s Stage Door for weekend theater offerings.
by Jac Kern 05.16.2014
Posted In: Events at 10:52 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your Weekend To Do List: 5/16-5/18

The Contemporary Arts Center turns 75 this year and she’s looking as good as ever! Celebrate the CAC’s long history of pushing Cincinnati along the cutting edge with an epic birthday bash tonight. The festivities start at the CAC’s former location in the Mercantile Center with dinner and silent and live auctions from 6-9 p.m. (email sday@contemporaryartscenter.org or call 513-345-8422 to get on the waiting list). More food and drink, dancing and art awaits at the CAC with a Diamonds + Debauchery after-party from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. CityBeat’s own Jesse Fox will be taking fabulous photobooth pics and there will be an appearance by California avant-garde performance artist boychild. After-party tickets are $40 in advance, $75 per couple and $100 for a group of three (online sales end at 4 p.m.) or $50 at the door. Read this week's cover story on the Contemporary Arts Center here. Downtown nightlife staple Mt. Adams Pavilion recently underwent a facelift, complete with interior renovations of the dance floor area and penthouse, new cocktails and a menu created by Chef Brian Duffy (of Bar Rescue fame). Check out the updated digs tonight at Pavilion’s re-launch party from 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Head down to Washington Park for an OTR-rific Saturday with the first City Flea of the season and the eighth annual OTR 5K. City Flea, Cincy’s local curated urban flea market, embarks on its fourth season this weekend, offering handcrafted goods, art, antiques, local grub and more fun goodies from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The OTR 5K also kicks off at 10 a.m., with festivities following in the park. Northside is a hub for creativity, so it’s fitting that the Cincinnati Arts Association is sponsoring a self-guided tour of Hamilton Avenue artist studios from 2-5 p.m. this Sunday. North By Northside features studio tours, pop-up exhibitions and an overall celebration of art in the eclectic neighborhood. Start at Hoffner Lodge (4120 Hamilton Ave.), where tickets can be purchased beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday, then make your way through several artist studios and creative spaces. Head back to the lodge from 5-7 p.m. for an after-party including food, drinks and music. Tickets are $35; the event benefits non-profit gallery Weston Art Gallery. For more art openings, parties, festivals and other stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks, full calendar and Rick Pender’s Stage Door for weekend theater offerings.

Comedian Kathleen Madigan Works Hard, Plays Nice

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Kathleen Madigan first gained national exposure in 2004 on NBC’s second season of Last Comic Standing but was already a headlining comic making the move out of clubs and into theaters.  

Community Theaters: We've Gotta Crow

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 14, 2014
I don’t have the bandwidth nor does CityBeat have enough space to write often about community theaters — groups of volunteers who produce and perform in shows, often for audiences in a specific neighborhood — but that’s not because they don’t do a good job.  

Puppet Theater Brings Change to Westwood

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 23, 2014
If you’ve gone to an elementary school in Cincinnati anytime between the ’80s and now, chances are you remember a Madcap Puppets performance. Giant puppets, music and acting have brought Madcap performances to life since 1981, teaching children the fundamentals of puppetry and theater.  

Gypsy (Review)

Covedale production could use a bit more nasty

0 Comments · Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Gypsy, a great musical from 1959, has a score by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a script by Arthur Laurents. It’s the true story of burlesque stripper Gypsy Rose Lee (she preferred the label “ecdysiast”)...  

Other People's Money (Review)

New Edgecliff Theatre production is right on the 'Money'

0 Comments · Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Directed by Greg Procaccino, Other People’s Money is both thoughtful and funny. While we understand that the corporate raiders of the 1980s decimated entire communities, it feels more like a nostalgic and wistful take on gentler times.  
by Rick Pender 04.18.2014
Posted In: Theater at 11:24 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stage Door: Weekend Theater Picks

There are several good theater choices south of the Ohio River this weekend.The theater (and dance) program at Northern Kentucky University presents a truly varied array of programming — this season has included a play by Orson Welles, the legendary musical South Pacific, Shakespeare's As You Like It and more. The academic year's final production Monty Python's Spamalot, opened last evening, and it seems to be a perfect vehicle for a lot of onstage clowning. (In case you haven't been tuned in, the show is subtitled "A musical lovingly ripped off from the motion picture Monty Python and the Holy Grail," and many of the show's most hilarious moments are reproduced wholesale onstage.) But clowning can be serious work, and if you catch NKU's production, pay attention to the choreography (the work of NKU grad Roderick Justice) which is complex, amusing and very well executed by the cast of 25. Director Ken Jones keeps things moving; the actors get into the tomfoolery from start to finish, especially Kat Moser as the diva who's the Lady of the Lake and Bradley Goren as long-suffering Patsy (he's the one who clicks the coconut shells to simulate King Arthur riding on horseback, among other amusing moments). The show is a fine entertainment, if you're a fan of the low but articulate humor of the Python troupe. Through April 27. Tickets ($8-$14): 859-572-5464.Comedy of an entirely different sort is available at another Kentucky venue, the Carnegie in Covington, where Mary Chase's 1945 Pulitzer Prize winner Harvey is available through April 27. This is a piece of gentle humor from the past, about a slightly off-kilter guy who sees a six-foot-plus rabbit — he calls it a "pooka" — named Harvey, much to the dismay of several family members who are embarrassed by his behavior. Their efforts to get him committed to a local asylum go awry to much merriment and a message about being, well, gentle and sweet. This is good, old-fashioned fun. Tickets: 859-957-1940.If you prefer a well-written contemporary drama, this weekend is your last chance to see A Delicate Ship at the Cincinnati Playhouse. Anna Ziegler's new show (this is its world premiere) is a memory play that explores an unexpected chain of events triggered by a love triangle. It's beautifully staged by Michael Evan Haney with a cast of three actors who are just right for each of their roles. I gave this one a Critic's Pick when it opened; it's as good as anything I saw recently at the much-respected Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Tickets ($30-$80): 513-421-3888.

The Formula at Covington's Carnegie Is Working

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 16, 2014
You won’t find cutting-edge material onstage at the Carnegie. The theater’s managing director Joshua Steele has mastered two elements: He collaborates with a wide array of local theater artists and companies, and he produces works that are, by and large, familiar fare.  

The Twentieth-Century Way (Review)

Know Theatre regional premiere entertains, transports and transforms

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 9, 2014
When house lights dim and a play begins, every theatergoer prays to witness something that entertains, transports and, in the best cases, transforms...Tom Jacobson’s The Twentieth-Century Way, receiving its regional premiere at Know Theatre of Cincinnati, does just that.