Your Weekend To Do List (Sept. 15-17)

Wiener dog races! Oktoberfest Zinzinnati! Avant ballet! A tribute to Midwestern Hayride and more!


click to enlarge Oktoberfest - Photo: Brian Douglas
Photo: Brian Douglas


Don your lederhosen or dirndl and enjoy some gemütlichkeit at the second-largest Oktoberfest in the world. For three glorious days, you can celebrate the Queen City’s German roots with our beverage of choice: beer. If the hearty libation isn’t up your alley, there are plenty of other aktivitäten to partake in. Wiener dog racing, brat-eating contests and a stein-hoisting championship are all on the docket. And, if you’re looking for some authentic German eats, you’re in luck; according to the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, over 80,000 brats were consumed at the previous year’s Oktoberfest alone, so they must be doing something right. 5-11 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. Free. Second and Third streets between Elm and Walnut, Downtown, — ERIN COUCH


In The Miracle Worker at the Covedale, there’s an explosive struggle of a different sort. William Gibson’s play, which debuted in 1959 and is based on the autobiography of Helen Keller, centers on her as a girl trapped by deafness and blindness yet working with an inexperienced but fiercely motivated young teacher striving to help her. Rebecca Whatley turns in a textured and convincing portrait of plainspoken Annie Sullivan, who achieves the miracle of communication with six-year-old Helen (Brooke Chamberlin). She’s plagued by recollections of her own past while she struggles to overcome Helen’s solicitous family — especially a well-intended mother (Sarah Viola, saddled with an odd-looking wig) and a patronizing father (Brent Alan Burington) — who are weary of battles with angry, never disciplined Helen. The Miracle Worker at the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts is onstage through Oct. 1. More info

click to enlarge Midsummer Night's Dream - Photo: Mikki Schaffner Photography
Photo: Mikki Schaffner Photography
Midsummer Night's Dream


Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has disbanded, but if you loved the riot of imagery, acrobatics, clowning and tomfoolery that made it an attraction for years, head to Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s new theater for the Bard’s great romantic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s been staged to demonstrate all the new venue can do — flying, trap doors, colored lights — and plenty of slapstick to keep you laughing. The actors (more than 20, plus a very calm beagle) offer three nonstop zany hours. Read a review here. Through Sept. 30. $55 adult; $51 senior; $31 student. 1195 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, — RICK PENDER

click to enlarge Kaplan New Works Series, 2016 - Photo: Provided by the Cincinnati Ballet
Photo: Provided by the Cincinnati Ballet
Kaplan New Works Series, 2016


The Cincinnati Ballet opens its season with the Kaplan New Works Series, a program that presents four world premieres from four innovative, contemporary choreographers: Emmy-award winning Travis Wall (choreographer for So You Think You Can Dance), Heather Britt, Penny Saunders and Johanna Bernstein Wilt. Full of unexpected twists, athleticism and grace, these new works expand the definition of ballet. Ballet Artistic Director Victoria Morgan will also be presenting a regional premiere of her “Black Coffee,” a lonesome and expressive solo set to music by k.d. lang. Through Sept. 24. $66-$75. Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, — KENNEDY PONDER

click to enlarge NE-HI - Photo: Bryan Allen Lamb
Photo: Bryan Allen Lamb


Back when The Sex Pistols played Manchester, England in 1976, their audience famously included future founders of Joy Division, The Buzzcocks, The Fall, Magazine and The Smiths. “They say everyone who was at those gigs went out and formed a band,” Johnny Rotten would later remark, “but that wasn’t our plan — or our fault!” For Chicago’s latest wave of young Indie Rock bands, a 2014 show at the city’s Logan Square Auditorium by Black Lips may have performed similar magic, as members of Twin Peaks, The Orwells and NE-HI gathered to witness the notorious Atlanta band’s combination of Punk and Garage Rock antics. Of the bands featuring several of the young Chicago musicians in attendance, NE-HI (which would open for the Lips later in 2014 at a different venue) has since shown itself to be the least Lips-like, musically, something that is less surprising after finding out co-frontman Jason Balla was actually just working the door for the concert that night. NE-HI plays a free show Friday at MOTR Pub. More info:


A onetime paint store is now home to paintings, ceramics, jewelry, photography, woodwork and much more. Evan Sikes, formerly with Cowan’s Auctions, has transformed the old location of Oakley Paint & Glass into Caza Sikes art gallery. To celebrate the grand opening, more than 30 artists are presenting their takes on pieces by Vincent van Gogh. A portion of proceeds from the Riffing van Gogh exhibit will be donated to ArtWorks. Local participants include painters Jolie Harris and Rick Koehler, mixed-media artists Mark and Jan Wiesner and mosaic muralist Suzanne Fisher. No ears were lost in the making of the show, Sikes assures. Opening reception 5-9 p.m. Friday. Through Sept. 30. Free. 3078 Madison Road, Oakley, — KATHY SCHWARTZ


Brazilian singer/songwriter Seu Jorge came to some form of pop culture prominence in America with the release of Wes Anderson’s 2004 The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Jorge — Pelé dos Santos in the film — makes memorable appearances with his red knit cap and acoustic guitar, playing David Bowie cover songs in Portuguese. (The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions was released in 2005, and Jorge’s songs can also be found on the film soundtrack.) This tour, a tribute to Bowie, will feature Jorge playing the Rock icon’s songs on a stage with a set and costumes designed by members of the Life Aquatic creative team. 8 p.m. Friday. $36.50-$46.50. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, — MAIJA ZUMMO


“I’m lucky in that I found what I wanted to do,” says comedian Shane Torres. “I never wanted to be a doctor or anything like that. I wasn’t moved by a particular episode of Scrubs.” Onstage these days, his set has become a little less biographical. “Now I’m trying to do a little less narrative and little more observation and opinion,” he says. Torres will feature for Kyle Kinane at the Woodward Theater on Friday. Local comedians Andy Gasper, Karl Spaeth and Ran Barnaclo are also performing, with the latter hosting. 9 p.m. Friday. $20; $25 day-of. Woodward Theater, 1404 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, — P.F. WILSON

click to enlarge Detail for "Trading Room" - Photo: Andrey Kozakov
Photo: Andrey Kozakov
Detail for "Trading Room"


The Carnegie debuts its new gallery format with four concurrent exhibitions opening this Friday, one of which is painter Michael Stillion’s The Other Thing, highlighting artists that are crossing boundaries of media and discipline; the Mini Microcinema curated a corresponding video program. Upstairs, text & subtext & big deal documents visual artist Diana Duncan Holmes’ and poet Timothy Riordan’s final collaboration before his death in 2015. Andrey Kozakov: Trading Room, an installation of fantastical, interactive environments by the Cincinnati-based artist, will be on view in three of the upstairs galleries. And My Arms are Like Joy Joy Joy! is a group show curated by Portland, Ore.-based visiting artist and curator Derek Franklin. Opening reception 5:30-9 p.m. Friday. The Other Thing and text & subtext & big deal are on display through Nov. 19; Trading Room and My Arms are on display through July 1, 2018.  Free. 1028 Scott Blvd., Covington, Ky., — MARIA SEDA-REEDER


click to enlarge Phoebe Bridgers - Photo: Frank Ockenfels
Photo: Frank Ockenfels
Phoebe Bridgers


Phoebe Bridgers is one of those inexplicably amazing artists whose work drifts effortlessly into the listener's consciousness after a single exposure and then immediately and incessantly demands endless repetition. Considering she's been at this singer/songwriter gig for a decade, it's hardly a surprise that Bridgers' debut album, Stranger in the Alps, is engaging and compelling enough to be in contention as one of the year's best releases. Considering she'll turn 23 on her next birthday adds a jaw-dropping exclamation point to that biographical factoid. She opens at the Taft for Conor Oberst. 8 p.m. Saturday. $33.50. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown,

click to enlarge Wave Pool Sleep Show - Illustration: David Corns
Illustration: David Corns
Wave Pool Sleep Show


Want to get out of the house from dusk ’til dawn on Saturday, but don’t want to abandon the comfort of your favorite PJs? If so, head to Wave Pool for an evening of ambient pleasantries with live music and a serene atmosphere. Visitors are strongly encouraged to bring slumber party materials like sleeping bags and pillows to enhance the relaxation. Feel free to drift off during the 10-hour duration of this nightlong concert, featuring music from David Corns and friends. Just don’t get too snuggly: lights come on at 9 a.m. 11 p.m.-9 a.m. Saturday-Sunday. Free. Wave Pool, 2940 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington, — ERIN COUCH


Taft’s Brewing Co. is hosting a grand opening for their second location — Taft’s Brewpourium — and everyone’s invited for beer and a slice from the in-house Apizza pizzeria. The Cincinnati Circus will be in attendance along with fire breathers and live music performed by Rumpke Mountain Boys, Keenan Date, the Electric Son and Strange Mechanics. 1 p.m.-midnight. Saturday. Free admission. All ages are welcome; 21 and up must have their IDs to drink. 4831 Spring Grove Ave., Spring Grove Village, — KENNEDY PONDER


It’s flea time again. The City Flea takes over Washington Park with tons of tented vendor booths featuring everything from jewelry, artisan eats and dog treats to vintage finds, plant friends and ceramics. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Free admission. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, — MAIJA ZUMMO

click to enlarge Old West Fest - Photo: Kim Sheridan
Photo: Kim Sheridan
Old West Fest


Saddle up and bring the young ’uns to Williamsburg for the Old West Fest. The festival has costumed actors that walk the streets to make you feel like you’re right in the middle of the frontier (minus the cholera). There’s live music, rattlesnake chili and a saloon for the adults, plus comedic gun fights, can-can dancers, covered-wagon rides and Western-themed crafts. Shoot a bow and arrow, pan for gold or take an old tyme photo. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 15. $14.99 adult; $11.99 child ages 3-12. 1449 Greenbush Cobb Road, Williamsburg, — ALISON BAXTER


Three years ago, we thought we’d heard the last of one of the area’s favorite bands, whose Ska-influenced tunes and amped-up performances defied you not to get up and dance. Its members now reside in Brooklyn, Chicago, the West Side and Pleasant Ridge, so their reunion show with The Guitars at Northside Tavern is a rare opportunity to kick ass on the dance floor. Fortunately, their infectious driving music doesn’t age. The joyful fire they bring to the stage is sure to be fed by everyone who’s missed the energy a Pintripes show never fails to deliver. 10 p.m. Saturday. Free. Northside Tavern, 4163 Hamilton Ave., Northside, — ANNE ARENSTEIN

click to enlarge GWAR - Photo: Provided
Photo: Provided


Interplanetary scumdogs GWAR head to Middletown’s five-in-one fear factory, Land of Illusion, for a Saturday-night slay and play on the Stage of Rage. The be-costumed barbarians are presumably here in support of the forthcoming Blood of Gods, the follow up to Battle Maximus and the first album since the death of longtime vocalist Dave Brockie aka Oderus Urungus, slated for release Oct. 20. (The album’s first single, “Fuck This Place,” recently surfaced.) The show starts at 8 p.m. and the haunted trail/estate/bayou shanty is open until 2 a.m., which means once you’re covered in fake blood and urine, you can go ahead and freak out Dr. Psycho and the mutilated corpses in his haunted estate instead of the other way around. 8-10 p.m. show Saturday. Free with general admission; $37. Land of Illusion, 8762 Thomas Road, Middletown, — MAIJA ZUMMO


click to enlarge Your Weekend To Do List (Sept. 15-17)
Photo: Hailey Bollinger


Local musical power plant Cameron Cochran isn’t old enough to have experienced firsthand the Cincinnati-based Midwestern Hayride, the incredibly popular radio/television Country music and variety show that ran on WLW radio and WLWT television stations from 1937 to 1972. It featured the talents of Willie Nelson, Tex Ritter, Grandpa Jones, Hank Penny, Homer and Jethro, Kenny Price and dozens more during its 35-year run. But Cochran, a Northern Kentucky native and pedal steel phenom, did find a direct connection in fellow pedal-steeler and mentor Chuck Rich, a longtime studio musician for Midwestern Hayride. Rich’s anecdotes about the show’s production sparked Cochran’s curiosity about its illustrious history. The result is Hayride!, a live performance at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Woodward Theater that is also being recorded for a podcast. Cochran plans for it to be the first of many. Hayride! occurs 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Woodward Theater, 1404 Main St., Over-the-Rhine. Tickets are $10. More info: — BRIAN BAKER


The inaugural and all-inclusive “ish” Jewish & Israeli Arts & Cultural Festival takes over Washington Park for a fun-filled day of food, art and live performers from more than 10 different cities across the country and Israel. Find multi-cultural nosh options, live glass-blowing demos, a Shuk-style marketplace and a chance to meet the Mensch on a Bench. In an effort to spread the concept of tikkun olam, or kindness to help repair the world, attendees can bring a non-perishable food item or hygiene product to donate. 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, — ALISON BAXTER

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