9 Things To Do in Cincinnati This Weekend (Jan. 28-30)

This weekend promises a Bengals block party, live music and a polar plunge.

click to enlarge Alice Cooper - Photo: Jenny Risher
Photo: Jenny Risher
Alice Cooper

The weekend is here, and you're probably looking for things to do. The Bengals play the Chiefs on Sunday, so expect plenty of watch parties at pretty much any bar (here are 11 of them). If you're looking for activities outside of that, this weekend promises live music, live theater and a dash of comedy.

Here are 9 things to do this weekend.

Friday, Jan. 28

Alice Cooper at the Andrew J. Brady Music Center
Alice Cooper's current tour ostensibly promotes last year's brilliant Detroit Stories album, but is actually a showcase for some of the best songs of Cooper’s long, illustrious career. “Out of the 25 songs we do, 18 to 20 of them are must-dos or the audience will get pissed off,” he says. “If we leave without 'Under My Wheels' or 'Poison,' we'll get killed." Cooper doesn't give much away about the new show beyond the fact that “there's the Alice Cooper castle, and anything can and does happen in that castle; it starts out Rock & Roll, then gets more theatrical then finally goes into insanity.” Read an interview with Cooper at citybeat.com. Doors 6:30 p.m. Jan. 28. Tickets start at $44. 525 Race St., Downtown, bradymusiccenter.com.

Bengals Pep Rally at The Banks

On Sunday, the Bengals are heading to the  AFC Championship game for the first time in decades, and fans are ready to start celebrating. Get the party started early from 4-7 p.m. Jan. 28 on Freedom Way. All the money from beer and soda sold at the block party will benefit the Special Olympics Polar Plunge (held Saturday at The Banks). At 5 p.m., the BenGals and Who Dey the mascot will take to the stage in front of the Freedom Center. Stick around until 6 p.m. to see famed Bengals alumni Anthony Munoz, Ickey Woods and David Fulcher, plus Mayor Pureval. 4-7 p.m. Jan. 28. Free. The Banks, Downtown, bengals.com.

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, is a powerful statement about challenges for musicians, a microcosm of the racism experienced by broader populations of color. The story begins with Cincy Shakes veterans Jim Hopkins as Sturdyvant, a blustering, prejudiced recording studio executive, and Jeremy Dubin as Irvin, Ma Rainey’s beleaguered agent. Preparing for a 1927 recording session for the larger-than-life Blues star, Sturdyvant is ranting about another difficult session with the temperamental performer. (The real Gertrude “Ma” Rainey lived from 1886 to 1939.) Irvin tries unsuccessfully to reassure the fuming executive that everything is under control, although it’s evident that’s not really the case. Read a full review at citybeat.com. Through Feb. 12. Tickets start at $14. 1195 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincyshakes.com.

click to enlarge The Werque on Woodburn queens - Photo: facebook.com/WoodburnBrewing
Photo: facebook.com/WoodburnBrewing
The Werque on Woodburn queens

Saturday, Jan. 29

Garage Brewed at Rhinegeist
Garage Brewed is back at Rhinegeist, featuring custom motorcycles and more. Check out hand-built bikes and related vendors slinging gear. Snag a beer from the bar or some food from downstairs eatery OTR Chili. A portion of beer sales from the event will benefit Operation Combat Bikesavers, which works with veterans suffering from depression and PTSD. Noon-midnight Jan. 29. Free admission. 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, rhinegeist.com.

Fiber Art Market at Washington Park

Hosted in concert with the Bombshells of Cincinnati yarn bombing group, this Fiber Art Market features handmade arts and crafts. Find unique fiber works for sale from the Bombshells, Atlas Oils, Chelsea Morning Fiber Art, Bits and Pieces and This and That. Also, check out the Bombshells' current yarn art installations scattered around the park. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Jan. 29 and 30.  Free admission. 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com.

Greater Cincinnati Polar Plunge
Some very brave people will be jumping into a freezing pool — in January — to raise money for the Ohio and Kentucky Special Olympics. The Greater Cincinnati Polar Plunge will be making a splash on Jan. 29 when participants jump into a pool at the intersection of Joe Nuxhall Way and East Freedom Way, per a release from Special Olympics Ohio. In order to take the leap, participants must raise a minimum of $75, or $50 for those under 18 and students who wish to join in. Organizers say there will be lots of crazy costumed and brave participants ready to take on the challenge to raise money for the Special Olympics. 11:30 a.m. plunge on Jan. 29. Free to watch. The Banks, Downtown, classy.org.

Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood at the Aronoff Center
Improv comedians Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood are bringing their Scared Scriptless tour to the Aronoff Center. Probably best known for their work on Whose Line Is It ,Anyway? , the show is an interactive evening of live comedy. "Colin and Brad must make up original scenes, songs, and more from whatever you, the fans, suggest," reads the event description. "You just might also get to join in on the fun on stage." 7:30 p.m. Jan. 29. Tickets start at $39.25. 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cincinnatiarts.org.


Sunday, Jan. 30

Werque on Woodburn

Woodburn Brewing is hosting a drag brunch, hosted by Lady Phaedra. Queens appearing include Dahlia Armand, Stixen Stones and Maya Motions-Deca. DJ Bumbling Bard will provide the tunes. Noon Jan. 30. Free admission. 2800 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut Hills, facebook.com/WoodburnBrewing.

The Sound of Music at The Carnegie
The hills of Covington are alive with the Sound of Music as The Carnegie presents this classic musical. Set in Austria in 1938, Maria — a governess and aspiring nun — steps in to bring joy, order and music back to the von Trapp family. As the Nazi regime strengthens its grip in Austria, the seven singing siblings, Maria and patriarch Captain von Trapp plot a daring escape from the country. Expect renditions of favorite songs including "My Favorite Things" and "Sixteen Going on Seventeen." The show is all-ages. Through Feb. 13. $15-$32. 1028 Scott Blvd., Covington, thecarnegie.com.

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