ONSTAGE: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? sets the table for tough conversations at Cincy Shakes. See review and ticket details here.
ONSTAGE: Carmina Burana + Serenade
The Cincinnati premiere of Carmina Burana + Serenade heads to Music Hall this weekend. The co-production between Cincinnati Ballet and Ballet West will open softly with Serenade, “a piece of ethereal beauty that spotlights the artistic craft and genius of George Balanchine, performed to Tchaikovsky’s lush and moving Serenade for Strings,” and close with world-renowned choreographer Nicolo Fonte’s version of Carmina Burana. Originally composed by Carl Orff in 1935, Carmina Burana explores timeless topics like the nature of life, joys of spring, and complexities of wealth, gluttony and lust. Live music performed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and voices from the May Festival Chorus will accompany the diverse pieces. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. $36-$125. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cballet.org.
ART: Romancing the Stacks at the Public Library
Love and lust are in the air — and on paper — at the Main branch of the Cincinnati library with the Romancing the Stacks exhibit. The library has handpicked a display of love stories and romance novels from its collection of 12,000 — titles like The Undesirable Wife, Night of the Unicorn, Love’s Strange Mysteries and The Scent of Rain. There are fantasy romances, farfetched scenarios and steamy romps in genres ranging from historical and medical (Psychiatric Nurse, anyone?) to the paranormal (Haunting Kiss). The books also feature mostly vintage covers, as the press release says, “from the earlier days of illustrations to the days of models striking a pose in a studio setting.” Think Nancy Drew meets Stormy Daniels. Through March 15. Free. Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Main branch, 800 Vine St., Downtown, cincinnatilibrary.org.
ONSTAGE: The Pillowman
You might know Martin McDonagh as the screenwriter and director of the Academy Award-nominated film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. His current fame is based on a foundation of playwriting, including The Beauty Queen of Leenane and this frightening black comedy from 2003. Set in an unnamed totalitarian police state, a writer of macabre fairy tales is the subject of a brutal police interrogation regarding a series of ghastly child murders that resemble his stories. It’s been called “a riveting and very original theatrical nightmare” and “a thrills-and-chills examination of the storyteller’s art.” It’s sure to make you uncomfortable — and that’s what McDonagh had in mind. Through Saturday. $22; $15 students. Falcon Theater, 636 Monmouth St., Newport, falcontheatre.net.
COMEDY: Josh Wolf
Recently, comedian Josh Wolf noticed his teenage son was stealing booze. “I asked him, ‘Did you know vodka doesn’t freeze? And did you know water freezes?’” The younger Wolf did know that. “Then why is my vodka frozen, dumbass? Why do I have a vodka-sicle in my freezer? We all stole liquor from our parents, but at least I was creative about it.” Wolf used to leave a bottle of apple juice on the family’s back patio for two weeks until the contents fermented. “When I put it back in my dad’s bottle it would smell like whiskey. To this day my dad’s like, ‘I can’t drink that whiskey it gives me the runs.’” As for his own son, Wolf sat down and had a few beers with him. His son eventually passed out. “I shaved one of his eyebrows and drew a dick on his cheek because you never pass out first.” Through Sunday. $15-$17. Funny Bone Liberty, 7518 Bales St., Liberty Township, liberty.funnybone.com.
ART: Alienable at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center
In conjunction with Ellina Chetverikova’s As in the Mirror and Boisali Biswas’ Eternal Reflections on Belonging, the Clifton Cultural Arts Center will hold an opening reception for Cincinnati-based artist Karay P. Martin’s multidisciplinary exhibition Alienable. Featuring work she made from 2015 to 2017, Martin focused on art as a way to reconcile her usually optimistic and cheery demeanor with the harsh realities of women’s rights and representation, as well as her own reproductive health experience. She uses personal narrative as a means of self-empowerment. Opening reception 6-8 p.m. Friday. Through March 17. Free. The Herrick Gallery at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center, 3711 Clifton Ave., Clifton, cliftonculturalarts.org.
FILM: Call Me By Your Name deserves more Oscar nominations than it got. This Best Picture nominee is a beautifully filmed coming-of-age and coming-out story, set in the Italian countryside; now at local theaters. See a full review here.
EVENT: The Art of Food
Prepare to loosen your belt and broaden your horizons, because The Art of Food is expanding in its 12th year. Known for inspired creations from the region’s top culinary and visual artists, the Carnegie’s high-energy event is spilling beyond the galleries for the first time and into a heated tent on the plaza. Enjoy dinner by the bite from 27 restaurants, including Bauer Farm Kitchen, Coppin’s, The Littlefield, Red Feather and Senate. For dessert, pop inside a giant cake that artist Bill Ross of Thunder-Sky Inc. is whipping up out of stuffed animals and surreal party images from photographer Bob Scheadler. Other artists and performers include the UC Duct Tape Studio, Tony Dotson, Lindsey Whittle and Pones Inc. 6-10 p.m. Friday. $50; $35 members; VIP tickets $75. The Carnegie, 1028 Scott St., Covington, thecarnegie.com.
EVENT: Marian Spencer: Keep on Fighting features a talk by and discussion with Dorothy Christenson at the Main library. Learn more about Spencer and the event here.
EVENT: My Furry Valentine
Have your efforts to score a Valentine’s date proved fruitless? Frustrated by the shallow, ephemeral qualities of modern romance? Fed up with humanity’s shortcomings? This Valentine’s Day, seek out the only form of love proven to withstand any trial or tribulation: the bond between owner and pet. For the seventh year in a row, My Furry Valentine, Cincinnati’s largest animal adoption event, will allow attendees to match with the perfect companion. More than 800 prospective pets will visit the Sharonville Convention Center through Valentine’s weekend, joined by a herd of vendors offering treats and information on local animal-advocacy organizations. Visit myfurryvalentine.com to browse a comprehensive list of adoptable dogs and cats, which functions as cuter, less perilous take on online dating. 10 a.m.-noon early bird Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. $5; $25 early bird. Sharonville Convention Center, 11355 Chester Road, Sharonville, myfurryvalentine.com.
EVENT: Cin City Burlesque Beaus And Eros
Expect class. Expect sass. Expect laughs. It’s burlesque! Cincinnati’s premiere troupe of classical and neoburlesque dancers are coming to Bogart’s Saturday night with a little something for everybody (over 18). From Ballet to Jazz, Go-Go to Latin, the traveling troupe specializes in all styles of dance, especially the steamy. While the ancient art has not abandoned its satirical roots, it has developed into more of a striptease in America in response to Prohibition-era laws like Ohio forbidding women from exposing more than two inches of neck. The nerve! Performers include Cinnamon Twist, Tobi L’Rone and Cin City founder Ginger LeSnapps, along with emcee Sweet Biscutt and house band The G-String. 9 p.m. Saturday. $15-$50. Bogart’s, 2621 Vine St., Corryville, bogarts.com.
EVENT: MainStrasse Mardi Gras
Fat Tuesday is upon us so spend the day feasting, drinking and pretending Covington is New Orleans. Slip on some beads and a feather boa — colored in hues of purple, gold and green — and celebrate Mardi Gras in MainStrasse Village or, more specifically, its bars. As a pub crawl with a Grand Parade, each participating bar will have its own specials on Little Kings and Hurricanes. Chill out to music, which will be piped out onto the streets, as you make your way down the sidewalk from bar to bar. 7 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Saturday. Free admission. Mainstrasse Village, Main Street, Covington, mainstrasse.org.
EVENT: The Native One + Northern Market Valentine’s Day Pop-Up
Head to new indie homegoods/clothing/accessories/etc. shop The Native One and Northern Market for a special pop-up Valentine’s Day sale. There will be manicures from Spruce Natural Nail Shop, flowers from Gia and the Blooms, jewelry from Rock Salt Vintage and Ellebrux, cards and goodies from design shop Handzy, bags from Baqette, ceramics from Amanda Bialk, indigo from Eliza Dot Design and more, including Felix Coffee. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. 1301 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/thenorthernmarket.
EVENT: Big Cheese Fest
Time to cut the cheese: Jungle Jim’s Big Cheese Festival is back this weekend with local, artisan and international styles and flavors of dairy from more than 80 companies. Vendors will provide meat, bread, spreads, wine, beer and beyond to complement the star dish: cheese. The family-friendly scene will feature live music, a stilt walker and a cheese carver. Attendees can show love for their favorite cheesemakers by voting in the Best of the Fest Awards and early birds over the age of 21 can sign up for a demo class in the Cooking School. Did I mention there’ll be a Mac & Cheese alley? It’s gonna be legen-dairy (har har). Noon-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $10 advance; $12 door; Saturday is currently sold out. Jungle Jim’s International Market, 5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield, junglejims.com.
MUSIC: Turquoise Jeep brings some double-entredre Hip Hop to the Woodward Theatre. See Sound Advice here.
MUSIC: Emo Pop/Punk The Orphan The Poet plays Urban Artifact. See Sound Advice here.
EVENT: Galentine’s Day at The Rhined
It’s ladies night. Bring your gals for an evening of wine, cheese and female friendship. There will be bubbly beverages, soft cheese and truffles from Velveteen Chocolate. No crafts. No weird activities. Just ladies hanging with ladies, eating dairy and drinking booze. 4-8 p.m. Tuesday. Free admission. The Rhined, 1737 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/therhined.
EVENT: Mardi Gras at BrewRiver
Things get real NOLA in the East End during BrewRiver’s Mardi Gras celebration. There will be a crawfish boil (featuring crawfish flown in that day from New Orleans), beads, masks and a King Cake beer from Brink Brewing — with bonus homemade king cake for dessert — plus menu favorites like po’boys and gumbo. RSVP recommended. 5-9 p.m. BrewRiver GastroPub, 2062 Riverside Drive, East End, brewrivergastropub.com.
MUSIC: Flint Eastwood
After wowing Cincinnati fans at the Bunbury and MidPoint music festivals over the past couple of years, Jax Anderson brings her acclaimed Indie Pop project Flint Eastwood back to town for a headlining gig. The Detroit-based act began crafting a unique mix of Electronic Pop, R&B swoon, Hip Hop beats and Indie Rock bluster at the start of the decade, self-releasing EPs in 2012 and 2015 and developing a following by taking its live show on the road for extensive tours. Flint Eastwood then inked with Neon Gold Records (home to Tove Lo and Charlie XCX), which released the Broke Royalty EP last spring. The track “Queen” was inspired by the initial Women’s March (triggered by Trump’s inauguration a year ago — it’s only been one year?!) and soon embraced by the movement. More recently, the new Flint Eastwood single, “Monster,” was embraced by an entirely different entity — Ford Motor Company has been using it in its campaign for the 2019 Mustang GT 500. 8 p.m. Tuesday. $10. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, tafttheatre.org.
For more Valentine's Day events, click here.