The weekend is here, and while the weather is looking a little wet, there are still plenty of fun things to get you out of the house.
Feel the love tonight with the Broadway-adaptation of Disney’s ever-popular animated (and now live action) film The Lion King. More than 100 million people around the globe have viewed the six-time Tony Award-winning musical and the phenomenon returns to the Aronoff Center. Vibrant and lush with life, fans of the movie will recognize the music from Elton John and Tim Rice that made it a classic. The show might just leave you feeling worry-free. Or, as Timon and Pumbaa would say, “Hakuna matata.” Times vary. Through Feb. 2. Ticket prices start at $29. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cincinnatiarts.org.
“I like the winter; I like playing in the snow and doing all that stuff,” says comedian and Minnesotan Chad Daniels. “But I have to tell you, this past winter, with the 30-below days and a foot of snow every other day — that was a bit much.” Fortunately, Daniels can escape to other parts of the country. “I split custody of my 15-year-old daughter, so I’m home as much as I can be,” he says, “but if I have to take her with me on the road, she loves it.” Last year, Daniels did a run through the South, allowing him and his daughter to see the motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated (now the Civil Rights Museum), as well as MLK’s birthplace in Atlanta. “We went through Alabama and it turned into a civil rights trail. Very cool,” he says. Onstage, Daniels talks about being a divorced dad, having a daughter going through puberty and also having a son in college. His one-hour special, Dad Chaniels, is on Amazon Prime. 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10 and Saturday, Jan. 11. $22. Go Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy.com.
Cincinnati's The Serfs seem to prefer mystery over publicity. Looking for info on the band, the trail goes cold rather quickly, largely because of the surplus of Serfs obfuscating search engines at every turn. But on a Facebook event page, these Serfs are identified as a “Cincinnati Electro Punk act” and they appear to have some connection to local Post Punk group Mardou, who are listed as the hosts of the Serfs’ local album release party concert for debut full-length Sounds of Serfdom this Friday. 10 p.m. Friday. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com.
Head to the Cincinnati Nature Center after hours for a special guided hike backdropped by the Wolf Moon, aka the first full moon of 2020. Named after howling wolves, of which there are many in January (it’s breeding season!), the walks in Milford’s Rowe Woods generally run for around an hour and a half. They avoid hills, steps and streams to ensure safety. As you stroll, expect periodic stops to learn about natural history, engage in special readings or simply to enjoy the light of the full moon. 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10. $5 members; $10 non-members. Rowe Woods, 4949 Tealtown Road, Milford, cincynature.org.
The Cavalcade of Customs has been showcasing custom cars, hotrods, motorcycles and trucks for auto enthusiasts in Greater Cincinnati (both casual and hardcore) for 60 years now. The popular, family-friendly car-con returns to the Duke Energy Convention Center this year with its usual mix of automotive coolness and pop culture figures. Officially dubbed the “KOI Federated Auto Parts Cavalcade of Customs presented by Maxmotive,” the 60th-annual event will feature displays spotlighting Sprint racing and drag racing cars from throughout time, Rockabilly bands, a “pin-up girl” contest and a “pedal car challenge.” Celebrities attending this year for meet-and-greets/autograph signings include NASCAR star Kyle Busch, WWE star Seth Rollins and custom car builder and Discovery Channel favorite Aaron Kaufman. Visit autorama.com for the full signing schedule. 3-10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12. $19. Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St., Downtown, autorama.com.
Greta Gerwig’s recently released and vibrant retelling of Little Women has garnered much Oscar talk, so it’s fitting that the 1933 Academy Award-winning film of the same name would get yanked out of the vault for the Esquire Theatre’s January series of classic Oscar winners. Based on Louisa May Alcott’s famed novel, this iteration stars Katharine Hepburn as the fiery Jo March. Weaving the tale of the March sisters, who come of age in New England during the Civil War, it’s a story of sisterhood and the inner lives of women in the 19th-century. Victor Heerman and Sarah Y. Mason won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for their work on the film. 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11; 2 and 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13. $7.75-$10.25. Esquire Theatre, 320 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, esquiretheatre.com.
2020 marks a leap-year. Art gallery Thunder-Sky opens their first show of their 11th season commemorating that very detail. Mass media works by several artists including Sharon Butler, Bill Ross, Jeremy Johnson, Jan Nickum, Katherine Michael, Jim Damico, John Ross, Jen Edwards, Jessica Wolf, Sara Caswell-Pearce, Kenton Brett, Emily Brandenhoff and Laurel Tope will be featured, celebrating leap-year birthdays “with ‘cake’ at the center,” the event’s Facebook page states. Opening reception 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11. Through Feb. 29. Free. Thunder-Sky, Inc., 4573 Hamilton Ave., Northside, raymondthundersky.org.
Don't let Sunny Sweeney's given name lull you into a false sense of security about her songwriting disposition. She can certainly exude the positivity expected from someone christened with her bright and shiny moniker, but she's also walked her share of dark roads and is more than capable of conveying that experience in her music. Sweeney became the first artist signed to Nashville Republic, a collaborative label started by Big Machine and Universal Music. Her debut single for the label, 2010's “From a Table Away,” was Sweeney's first national charting release, eventually reaching the Top 10 of Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart. Sweeney is among the current crop of incredibly talented women — including Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert, Margo Price and Brandy Clark — who seamlessly blend traditional Country with Rock, Blues and hard-won experience, presented with subtlety, humor and grace. 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11. $20-$60. Southgate House Revival, 111 E. Sixth St., Newport, southgatehouse.com.
Cincinnati is no stranger to an art walk, and perhaps no artistic endeavors are better deserving of the city’s attention than those in the rising scene in Camp Washington. Hop on over and get to know the neighborhood through the eyes of those who live, work and thrive there, from the American Sign Museum and CampSITE Sculpture Park to Sunny Blu Coffeehouse and Mom ‘n ‘em. Finish the day at The Welcome Project for an opening exhibition from featured artist Keer Xu. With a focus on printmaking, watercolor and drawing, Xu highlights relationships between human beings, technology and nature and interprets Chinese philosophical traditions of humanity’s fundamental harmony with nature “in a creepy and cute way.” 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11. Free. The Welcome Project, 2936 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington, welcomecincinnati.org.
Currently celebrating their 40th anniversary season, Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble will peer beyond the horizon with composer Kile Smith, who returns after his much-praised work Canticle — a piece that was commissioned and premiered by the VAE in 2016 and released as an album in January 2018. The Arc in the Sky will get its Queen City premiere by the VAE with conductor Craig Hella Johnson at the helm. Based on the work of American poet Robert Lax, who was named one of “the great original voices of our times” by famed writer Jack Kerouac, the concert will unfold at Memorial Hall. 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12. $25-$35. Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, vaecinci.com.