Your Weekend To Do List (March 9-11)

Cincinnati Wine Festival; Darkotica; Saint Patrick's Day Parade; Rollergirls home opener; more!

Mar 9, 2018 at 9:45 am


click to enlarge Cincinnati International Wine Festival - Photo: Provided
Photo: Provided
Cincinnati International Wine Festival

EVENT: Cincinnati International Wine Festival

Browse and sample a selection of 700 wines from more than 250 wineries from around the world at this year’s Cincinnati International Wine Festival, held at the Duke Energy Convention Center. Along with wine, you’ll also get the chance to sample all sorts of food that can be expertly paired with your vino. Having raised $5.3 million in the 27 years since its inception, the festival is the second longest-running charitable wine fest in the U.S., with half of the funds from each ticket going to 36 different Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky charities benefitting arts, education and health and human services. Come to the charity auction and luncheon on Saturday to eat with winery representatives and bid on wines, dinners and trips. Grand Tastings will be held Friday evening and Saturday afternoon and evening. The events are ticketed separately, and you can purchase add-ons for the education series and tasting room specials. 6:30-9 p.m. Friday; 2:30-4:30 p.m. and 6:30-9 p.m. Saturday. Grand Tasting tickets $65-$75. Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St., Downtown, — ZACH PERRIN

COMEDY: Tom Simmons

“I don’t really do specific political jokes,” says comedian Tom Simmons, “I do jokes about big issues like race, religion, politics and abortion. I cover several subjects, but I’ve found any jokes about Trump turn the room quickly.” Conventional wisdom suggests that it’s a great time to be a comedian, what with Trump in office, and that the jokes surely write themselves. Simmons says otherwise. “First of all they don’t write themselves,” he insists, “and secondly, people are so divided they feel uncomfortable. And Trump supporters are really beholden. I have 70-year-old guys standing up and giving me the finger. It’s a thinner line to walk these days.” Through Sunday. $8-$14. Go Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, — P.F. WILSON

MUSIC: Lioness

Lioness is a 10-piece Dayton, Ohio musical group featuring members of some of the finest Gem City-area outfits the city has given the world over the past couple of decades, including Shesus, Me & Mountains and Ohio Casket. Formed by estimably talented singer/songwriter Nathan Peters — who was last seen fronting another one of those Dayton gems, Captain of Industry — Lioness’ gifted musicians (who play mandolin, strings, keys, guitar, bass and drums) give the songs their lush, organic textures, as do the layered vocals of the four harmony vocalists. Fans of Captain of Industry will remember Peters’ songs as being loaded with unbelievably memorable melodic hooks, something that continues with Lioness, though remarkably the songwriting is stepped up a few more notches. The sound is timeless Pop Rock wrapped in an orchestral Indie Folk package, an alluringly unique mixture of late ’60s/early ’70s Kinks and early Pulp, sprinkled with pinches of Damon Albarn’s candy melodies and Arcade Fire’s moody soundscapery. Last year, Lioness released its phenomenal debut, Time Killer, which you can (and really should) find at It’s the kind of album that will haunt you throughout the day and have you reaching for the music player to revisit it as soon a humanly possible. The group should be impressive in a live setting, making Dawg Yawp’s hometown show this Friday with This Pine Box even more of a must-see/must-hear event. 8 p.m. Friday. $12; $14 day of show. Woodward Theater, 1404 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, — MIKE BREEN

EVENT: Darkotica

On Valentine’s Day, long-running Cincinnati gay bar The Dock was purchased by the Ohio Department of Transportation in order to make room for improvements to the Brent Spence Bridge. With the club’s untimely closing came what seemed like an end to Darkotica, a weekly Goth night that gave local scenesters a chance to flex their existential dread and stomp to classic Darkwave jams. Thanks to Mixwells Northside, however, the event remains undead — for now. Darkotica will return for a one-off this Friday, featuring sets of Electro-Industrial and EBM spun by DJ Impossible and STEPHEN29. If you’re brooding on a budget, don’t fret! There’s no cover charge. Just come dressed in your most macabre duds and with a penchant for doom and gloom. 9 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Friday. Free. Mixwell’s, 4169 Hamilton Ave., Northside, — JUDE NOEL


Philanthropic lab People’s Liberty’s Camp Washington storefront opens Friday with LOOK, a reading room, newsstand and performance space from PL Globe grantees Anh Tran and Sidney Cherie Hilley. According to a release, “LOOK is a space where artists, writers, wizards, designers, unicorns and actors can gather, collaborate and share their work. In this versatile space for performances, workshops and readings, all are invited to stop in and explore, meet someone new and get inspired.” The opening celebration features music, art, a photobooth and light bites. 7-10 p.m. Friday. Free admission. Camp Washington Globefront, 2840 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington, — MAIJA ZUMMO

ONSTAGE: Cirque de la Symphonie

The Cincinnati Pops hosts a weekend of aural and aerial acrobatics with Cirque de la Symphonie, who will perform circus-style feats and whimsical entertainment to accompany symphonic works like Ride of the Valkyries, the Jaws theme, music from Phantom of the Opera and a John Philip Sousa-scored march. Expect acrobats, contortionists, jugglers and dancers provide a visual display while the Pops plays. 8 p.m. Friday; 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $20-$105; $15 kids. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, — MAIJA ZUMMO

EVENT: All Saints Fish Fry 

Go for the fish tacos and stay for the beer. Fried cod, grilled salmon or tilapia, fish tacos, pizza, fries (sweet potato available) coleslaw, baked potatoes, mac and cheese. And to finish it off: Beer and wine. 5 p.m. Fridays through March 23. All Saints Church, 8939 Montgomery Road, Kenwood, — MAIJA ZUMMO

EVENT: Mary, Queen of Heaven

It’s the Lenten season in Cincinnati and that can only mean one thing: Fish Fry Fridays are back. There are a ton of favorite fry events at area churches, but one of the best is at Mary, Queen of Heaven in Erlanger, home of the Codfather — aka John Geisen, the CEO of Izzy’s — who dresses in Mafioso gear and carries around a huge stuffed cod for cherished photo-ops while you down your Holy Haddock sandwich platter. 4-8 p.m. Fridays. Through March 23. 1150 Donaldson Highway, Erlanger, — MAIJA ZUMMO

EVENT: Saint Francis Seraph Church Fish Fry

Join in the celebration with a fish fry at the Christian Moerlein Malt House Taproom. Grab a craft beer and fish sandwich while listening to live music. 5:30-9 p.m. Fridays through March 23. 1621 Moore St., Over-the-Rhine, — MAIJA ZUMMO


click to enlarge Cincinnati Saint Patrick's Day Parade - Photo: Provided
Photo: Provided
Cincinnati Saint Patrick's Day Parade

EVENT: Saint Patrick’s Day Parade

Get ready for the streets to run green as the 52nd-annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade descends on downtown Cincinnati. Starting at noon, Gaelic societies, Highland dancers, bagpipers, friends, family and anyone else who is Irish for the day (and registered in time) will parade from Mehring Way and Central Avenue downtown to Freedom Way and Rosa Parks Street at The Banks, led by Honorary Grand Marshal Thomas Hogan, native of Wexford, Ireland. If you didn’t register to march, anyone and everyone is invited to watch the parade, which has never been canceled — whether facing rain, sleet, snow or even sun. Noon Saturday. Free. Mehring Way and Central Avenue, Downtown, — MAIJA ZUMMO

EVENT: Saint Patrick's Day Parade After-Party

Head to the Irish Heritage Center of Cincinnati for a parade after-party featuring music, dance, food, drink and the "best craic in the hood." Doors open at 1 p.m. with a full Irish kitchen serving up Guinness stew and corned beef sandwiches, followed by live music and Irish entertainment all day. There will be performances from the McGing Irish Dancers, the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick Men's Glee Club, The Bonnies, Drowsy Lads, Jerome Scott and the McKenna Sisters, with sing-alongs and plenty of libations. The pub room is open until late with Irish favorites including tastings of rare whiskies and other spirits. Starts 1 p.m. Saturday. $5 advance; $7 door; free for members. Irish Heritage Center of Cincinnati, 3905 Eastern Ave., East End, — MAIJA ZUMMO

SPORTS: Cincinnati Rollergirls Home Opener & Fan Appreciation Night

Cincinnati’s beloved rollergirls are back in business Saturday night as they take on Colorado’s Boulder County Bombers in a double-header at Schmidt Memorial Fieldhouse at Xavier University. While the sport once thrived across the country, it lost steam in the 1970s when transportation costs spiked. The roller derby revival first sparked in 2001 with the Lonestar Rollergirls in Austin, Texas, but Cincinnati didn’t follow far behind; Saturday marks the opening of Cincinnati Rollergirls’ 13th season. And when we see them rollin, we’re not hating. CityBeat readers have consistently voted CRG the city’s Best Amateur/Semi-Pro Team since 2011. To express their gratitude, the team is paying it back not only in competitive bouts, but special fan giveaways throughout the night. 6-9 p.m. Saturday. Adults: $12 advance, $15 at door; Kids: $5 advance, $7 at door; free 6 and under. Xavier University, 3800 Victory Parkway, Evanston, — MCKENZIE ESKRIDGE

EVENT: Repair Fair Cincy

Our comfort hangs in the balance of fragile machines: it’s an unfortunate fact of life that we tend to forget until the fridge goes on the fritz or your hair dryer heaves its last breath. If you’re not the handy type, the cost of repairs and replacements can add up, draining your bank account while heaping discarded appliances into landfills. Luckily, Repair Fair Cincy just might have the solution to your problem next time something needs fixing. If your broken household item falls into one of the event’s listed categories — clothing, skateboards/bikes, small electronics, jewelry, tools, etc. — you can pass it off to a repair volunteer, who can teach you how to fix it free of charge. Repair Fair is an all-ages event, and appointments with volunteers are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Come early, and be ready to roll up your sleeves: the future of your defective toaster oven (and the environment!) may be at stake. 9 a.m.-noon Saturday. $10. Pleasant Ridge Recreation Center, 5915 Ridge Ave., Pleasant Ridge, — JUDE NOEL

ONSTAGE: Othello

Although Shakespeare’s tragic tale of insecurity, trust and betrayal is more than four centuries old, guest director Christopher V. Edwards says Othello has “a contemporary soul.” His production is set in a modern world that is “technologically and digitally capable, where war is the norm and not the exception… where political and economic interests often outweigh ethical or moral concerns.” Guest actor William Oliver Watkins is the successful military leader whose world is turned upside down by the devious, manipulative lieutenant Iago, played by founding company member Nicholas Rose. It’s the first of Shakespeare’s great tragedies to be staged at Cincy Shakes’ new theater. See Curtain Call on page 21 for more. Through March 24. $55 adults; $51 seniors; $31 students. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 1195 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, — RICK PENDER

ONSTAGE: Red Velvet

It’s a step away from the usual fare at Ensemble Theatre, a play retelling a true story from 19th-century London about a brash African-American actor who stepped into the role of Othello — when it had never before been played by an actor of color. Great Britain was wrestling with the prohibition of slavery, but the attitudes of critics and theatergoers were oh-so-traditional, and Ira Aldridge’s performance, subbing for a renowned white actor (who performed in blackface), prompted considerable outrage. In an intriguing collaboration, ETC stages this show while Cincy Shakes produces Shakespeare’s great tragedy. A rare chance to see both! Through March 31. $27-$55. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, 1127 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, — RICK PENDER


Rosetta Tharpe - Photo: James J. Kriegsman
Photo: James J. Kriegsman
Rosetta Tharpe

ONSTAGE: Marie and Rosetta

Sister Rosetta Tharpe had a mean way with an electric guitar, even when she performed Gospel songs. In the 1930s and ’40s she sang in church in the morning and then at New York’s Cotton Club in the evening. Her style influenced the likes of Little Richard, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and even Elvis Presley. This play — full of roof-raising, heart-rending bluesy singing — is about the day the legendary “Godmother of Rock & Roll” began to rehearse for a national tour with Marie Knight, her young protégée. Neil Pepe, who staged the show’s 2016 world premiere at New York City’s Atlantic Theatre Company, is the director. Through March 31. $30-$85. Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, 962 Mount Adams Circle, Mount Adams, — RICK PENDER