What To Do This Weekend in Cincinnati: July 27-29

Big Wheel races, urban ping-pong, two different operas, Art After Dark and more

Friday 27

click to enlarge "As One" illustration - Photo: Provided
Photo: Provided
"As One" illustration


MUSIC: Cincy Grit Pop band Vacation celebrates the release of its new album at MOTR Pub. Get details and an album review in Spill It here.

DANCE: The new Moving Arts Cincinnati contemporary dance performance takes over the Aronoff’s Jarson-Kaplan Theater Friday and Saturday. See an interview with the founders and get event details here.

ONSTAGE: Cincinnati Opera's As One

Opera has embraced gender fluidity since its founding in the mid-17th century, with men singing women’s roles and, starting in the late 18th-century, women portraying adolescent boys (e.g., Cherubino in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and Octavian in Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier). But no opera took on gender fluidity as its subject matter until As One premiered in September 2014, telling the story of a transgender protagonist, with music by Laura Kaminsky and a libretto by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed. Commissioned by the Brooklyn-based American Opera Projects, the 75-minute piece was written about a single character, Hannah, using two voices to represent her. There is also a string quartet. Cincinnati Opera is presenting As One for five performances in the new Wilks Studio Space at Music Hall, beginning Wednesday (July 25) and continuing through Monday (July 30). Seating is limited to 190 people. Read more about the opera and get ticket details here.

ONSTAGE: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) at Cincy Shakes

Don’t think that a classic theater can’t have a good time. Prime evidence is offered this week as Cincy Shakes again presents one hilarious piece of theater that gallops through the Bard’s entire canon of 38 plays. Many of them are touched on in the silliest of puns and visual jokes, but whether you’re a fan of Shakespeare or not, you’re guaranteed a good time watching three of the company’s best comic performers have their way with props, wigs, outrageous costumes, puns, jokes and slapstick. It’s a whole midsummer night’s scream of laughs and giggles during The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). Through August 11. $57 adult; $53 senior; $31 student. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 1195 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincyshakes.com. 

EVENT: Art After Dark: Terracotta Army Beer Bash

Toast to the Cincinnati Art Museum’s terracotta soldiers after hours during this month’s Art After Dark, a special beer bash featuring drinks from local breweries. Sample brews from DogBerry, Fibonacci, Fifty West, Mt. Carmel, Listermann, Streetside and Urban Artifact while snacking on bites from Dewey’s and Graeter’s. Creole band The Hot Magnolias will provide the tunes while you wait for your turn to see Terracotta Army: Legacy of the First Emperor of China... for free. Access to the exhibit is limited to timed tickets — hit up the visitor services desk in the front lobby starting as early as 4:30 p.m. Friday to try to reserve a spot. 5-9 p.m. Friday. Free admission. Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams, cincinnatiartmuseum.org.

SATURDAY 28

click to enlarge Danger Wheel - Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Danger Wheel


Event: Danger Wheel

You remember Big Wheels, right? If you didn’t have a trike of your own, surely you had the chance to pedal around on some neighborhood kid’s. But alas, you grew up and left those days behind you — or so you thought. Danger Wheel is back to take over the streets of Pendleton for a day of adult, downhill Big Wheel racing. Get your gear on and prepare to crash and burn your way to the finish line or trash talk from the sidelines as the fearless competitors go racing past. Races will last well into the evening until a single team emerges victorious. Grab a beer and hang out (or hang tight) — it’s gonna be a wild ride. Registration to participate in the race is over, but you can still watch the thrills and carnage. Noon check-in; 2 p.m. first race Saturday. Free to watch. Nation Kitchen and Bar, 1200 Broadway St., Pendleton, dangerwheel.com.

EVENT: SprinkleFEST

Forget Candy Land: Busken’s SprinkleFEST is the ultimate sweet-tooth wonderland brought to life in the Hyde Park bakery’s parking lot. This yummy fest is all in celebration of Busken’s 90th birthday, so skip dinner and go right for dessert. The fest will feature “funtivities” such as donut Plinko, sprinkle sandboxes, smiley face tongue tattoos, DIY donut dipping and the city’s largest birthday cake. 5-9 p.m. Saturday. Free admission. Busken Bakery, 2675 Madison Road, Hyde Park, facebook.com/buskenbakery.

EVENT: Fear and Loathing in Cincinnati Party Bus Tour

Gear up for a night on the town while riding in style on the Fear and Loathing in Cincinnati Party Bus Tour, hosted by Gorilla Cinema Presents Ñ the mind behind movie-themed bars Tokyo Kitty (Lost in Translation), Video Archive (Pulp Fiction) and Overlook Lodge (The Shining). Start off at downtown’s Tokyo Kitty, one of the city’s best karaoke bars, then hop on the bus, which will cart partygoers to Video Archive. After drinks, hop on the bus again to travel to the ever-mysterious Overlook Lodge in Pleasant Ridge before lapping back around to Tokyo Kitty. Booze, snacks and special discounted cocktails are included in the ticket price. 6 p.m. Saturday. $45. Tokyo Kitty, 575 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/gorillacinema.

EVENT: Urban Pong

Sixty four of table tennis’ top competitors will suit up for a ping-pong battle at Washington Park in preparation for the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament (Aug. 11-19). Watch one rise through the ranks and into the winner’s circle, where the prize package includes tickets to the W&S Open Finals Match and a mini replica of the tournament’s Rookwood Cup. It’s like being at the real Open, but with smaller courts and paddles. There will also be crowd giveaways, food, cold brews, live music and mobile tennis courts and ping-pong tables for families and friends to practice sans pressure. 1-6 p.m. Saturday. Free. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, wsopen.com.

ONSTAGE: Cincinnati Opera Another Brick in the Wall

Cincinnati Opera’s production of Another Brick in the Wall, based on Pink Floyd’s 1979 Rock magnum opus The Wall, is an entertaining and hallucinatory spectacle that explores Rock & Roll excess, mental illness and fascism. It had its U.S. premiere here Friday evening at Music Hall, in an operatic version composed by Julien Bilodeau using the original words and music of Pink Floyd’s co-founder Roger Waters. Opera Montreal gave Another Brick in the Wall its world premiere last year. Rather than simply adapt the album into a stage performance, Bilodeau has deconstructed the familiar tunes, stripping the lyrics and melodies to their essences to build something new. This solves a crucial problem: How to render The Wall’s familiar twists and climaxes in a surprising way? This isn’t a Rock opera. Vocals are unamplified; guitars only appear as visual props. And throughout, the audience is treated to mind-bending visuals, an outstanding chorus and lighting, stage design and choreography of the highest caliber. Through July 31. Read the full review and get ticket details here.

SUNDAY 29

click to enlarge Hop Along - Photo: Tonje Thilesen
Photo: Tonje Thilesen
Hop Along


MUSIC: Quixotic Indie rockers Hop Along support their latest — Bark Your Head Off, Dog — at the Taft Theatre. Read an interview and get show details here.

MUSIC: Industrial Garage Rock duo Uniform plays The Mockbee. See Sound Advice for more details here.

COMEDY: J.B. Ball

“I was always a smart class clown,” says comedian J.B. Ball. “I’d joke around about the material we were going over in class. I never got in trouble for it because it was relevant. The teacher was like ‘OK, that was pretty funny.’” At first, the Tampa native had thoughts of being a basketball star. “I was always an athlete that happened to be a good student, and I thought I could just be a funny basketball player.” Accepted to Columbia and La Salle universities, among others, he opted to stay closer to home and attend the University of Tampa. After graduating he received offers to play pro ball overseas but declined. “I already knew I wanted to be comedian by then,” he says. On stage, Ball talks mostly about his life. “Back when I started, I was younger and didn’t have as many experiences,” he says. “Now, it’s more pointed and my perspective is a lot clearer.” Through Sunday. $8-$14. Go Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy.com. 

TUESDAY 31

click to enlarge Monica L. Patton, Kevin Clay and Conner Peirson in The Book of Mormon - Photo: Julieta Cervantes
Photo: Julieta Cervantes
Monica L. Patton, Kevin Clay and Conner Peirson in The Book of Mormon


ONSTAGE: The Book of Mormon

The nine-time Tony-winning Book of Mormon is back onstage at the Aronoff Center. Called the “best musical of the century” by the New York Times, this laugh-out-loud tale follows two mismatched Mormon missionaries who travel to Uganda to convert the masses. Written by South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Robert Lopez, co-writer of Avenue Q, the missionaries try to share the scripture of Latter Day Saints with the inhabitants of the village, who seem more concerned about famine, Africa’s AIDS crisis and nearby warlords than the teachings of Joseph Smith. Through Aug. 5. Tickets start at $39. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cincinnatiarts.org. 

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