Your Weekend To Do List (Nov. 11-13)

Hannibal Buress brings pop culture-centric comedy to Taft Theatre; "Vikings: Beyond the Legend" opens at the Cincinnati Museum Center; the International Wine Festival overflows with wine and exotic eats.

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FRIDAY 11

COMEDY: HANNIBAL BURESS

“It was a serious situation,” says Hannibal Buress of how he started doing stand-up comedy. “My parents were kidnapped and were told that I had to do stand up or they would take my family away forever, so I wrote a set and destroyed.” Well, maybe not exactly. “No one cares how I got started,” he laughs. “‘He started doing stand up in college? Let’s buy tickets!’ ” This is the fourth interview of the day and he confesses that he’s to the point of making things up. A former writer and occasional performer on 30 Rock who is also known for his role on TV shows like Broad City, Buress talks mostly about pop culture, particularly the world of Rap. “Rappers are always saying and doing goofy things,” he says. “I know it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. There’s this one rapper called Vado, which stand for ‘violence and drugs only.’ Come on, Vado. What about water?” 8 p.m. Friday. $25-$35. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, tafttheatre.org.

CLASSICAL MUSIC: BEST OF BAROQUE: HANDEL & BACH

Beautiful sounds from the elegant Baroque period will be heard in Cincinnati this weekend, courtesy of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Led by Ton Koopman, the orchestra will present some of Handel and Bach’s best-loved pieces, including Water Music, Royal Fireworks Music, Brandenburg Concerto and Orchestral Suite. 11 a.m. Friday; 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $12-$107. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, cincinnatisymphony.org.

MUSIC: BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA

The remarkable, seven-decade career of Gospel vocal ensemble Blind Boys of Alabama continues to take surprising and engaging turns. From first singing together as children in the late ’30s, through touring throughout the South during the Jim Crow era, then singing in support of Civil Rights in the ’60s, the group’s early accomplishments would have been enough to cement its legacy. But the singers’ second act — beginning in the early ’00s — has been just as impressive creatively, with the members collaborating with contemporary artists ranging from Peter Gabriel and Ben Harper to Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs. In their second act, the Blind Boys have won several Grammys (including a lifetime achievement award) and performed at the White House for presidents. The story of the Blind Boys of Alabama is one of the most fascinating and triumphant in modern music history. 7:30 p.m. Friday. $30-$65. Live! at the Ludlow Garage, 342 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, liveattheludlowgarage.com.

MUSIC: IRONFEST VII

The massive annual Ironfest returns Friday and Saturday to take over all three stages of the Southgate House Revival. The stellar lineup of primarily local acts includes some of the finest Rock bands in the city (from Punk to Metal to Indie Rock), and also includes a few non-Rock surprises. Greater Cincinnati acts on the bill Friday night include Calumet (which is releasing its debut album, Modern Myths, on the same night), an acoustic set from 500 Miles To Memphis, Current Events, Bloodgate, Carbomb, Lovecrush 88, Dark Soul, Mala In Se, JIMS, Roosevelt, The Z.G.s, Smoke Signals, DAAP Girls, Honeyspiders, Casino Warrior, Mudpies, Smoke Healer, Clouded, Mollusk, Chalk Eye, Draculas, Valley Of The Sun and Tiger Sex. Saturday’s Ironfest lineup is headed up by a reunion set from high-energy local faves Banderas and a rare appearance by long-running local rockers Black Tractor, plus Go Go Buffalo, Straw Boss, Knife The Symphony, France vs. France, Hand Of Doom, Vampire Weekend At Bernie’s, Heavy Hinges, Moonbow, Martin Luther & The Kings, The Perfect Children, Hot For Alice, Lockjaw, all-star Ironfest-only group Blood On The Blade, Ampline, The Tillers, The Dopamines, War Curse, The Skulx, Dead Man String Band, Jess Lamb and The Factory and more. Music begins at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $5. 111 E. Sixth St., Newport, southgatehouse.com

EVENT: MUSIC HALL TAG SALE

Music Hall is offering a unique opportunity to take home a piece of history. In the midst of its $135 million renovation, the building is hosting a public tag sale at neighboring Wooden Nickel Antiques that features a variety of architecture, lighting and decorative surplus items. Browse chandeliers, theater and box seats, mirrors, poster displays and miscellaneous items like a Viking alarm bell cover and rare fire department alarm box. Sales begin Friday on a first-come, first-serve basis, with numbers provided to participants beginning at 5 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Society for the Preservation of Music Hall.* Through Nov. 20. $25 early-bird pre-sale Friday. Wooden Nickel, 1515 Central Parkway, Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatiarts.org

(*The Music Hall Tag Sale Early Bird event, scheduled for Friday, Nov. 11 at the Wooden Nickel Antiques’ warehouse at 1515 Central Parkway has been postponed until next Friday, Nov. 18 from 6-9 p.m. The public sale dates (non-ticketed) have been rescheduled to Saturday, Nov. 19 – Wednesday, Nov. 23.)

ONSTAGE: THE DIVINERS

Xavier University’s director of theater, Stephen Skiles, knows The Diviners well — it originated at Hanover College when he was a student there in the 1990s. “It’s a beautiful play that’s always stuck with me,” he says. The story is an intricate drama of heartbreak and hope, hardship and tenacity. It traces the unlikely friendship between disenchanted preacher CC Showers (senior Aaron Robinson) and Buddy Layman (sophomore Micah Price), a mentally challenged young man, in tiny Zion, Ind. during the Great Depression. Skiles says the show is rooted in the theme of community and recognizes “the blessings we all have by being together.” 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17-19. $12-$17. Gallagher Student Center Theater, Xavier University, 3800 Victory Parkway, Evanston, xavier.edu.

ART: TINY THINGS CLOSING 
RECEPTION AT PORTAL GALLERY

On Friday evening, Portal Gallery — a small, downtown storefront exhibition space that is viewable only through several porthole-sized windows — will host a performance by artist Loraine Wible for the closing reception of her current exhibition Tiny Things, a painterly five-channel video installation of motherly figures holding and cherishing tiny objects. The storefront exhibition space, which is helmed by Regan Brown, an artist and adjunct professor in the New Media program at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, is on view 24 hours a day, seven days a week until the closing. Portal Gallery’s next show will feature the work of New Media artist Sayak Shome, opening in late November. Closing reception 6-8 p.m. Friday. Free. Portal Gallery, 823 Elm St., Downtown.

ATTRACTION: VIKINGS: BEYOND THE LEGEND

We’re two weeks into no-shave November. Need a little more inspiration to keep growing that beard? You’re in luck. Vikings are invading the Cincinnati Museum Center’s latest exhibit, Vikings: Beyond the Legend. Explore the bearded Norse seafarers in all their historic glory with one of the largest collections of Viking rarities to visit North America, featuring hundreds of thousand-year-old artifacts. Visitors can walk alongside the longest Viking ship ever discovered, experience the daily life of a Viking and learn about the iconography of Norse mythology. Keep your razor tucked away and show off your Viking beard using the hashtag #NOrseShaveNovember; the Museum Center will be handing out prizes for the best beard at the end of the month. Opens Friday. Through April 2017. $19.50 adults; $17.50 seniors; $12.50 child. Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, cincymuseum.org.

EVENT: INTERNATIONAL 
WINE FESTIVAL

Jungle Jim’s hosts the International Wine Festival this weekend: a two-day event overflowing with wine and exotic eats for every palate. With three levels of entry, the general admission Grand Tasting ticket offers more than 400 different types of wine from 90 wineries around the world, plus food pairings and live music. Level up with a Connoisseur ticket for a full dinner-by-the-bite and VIP lounge. And if wine isn’t your thing, there are also non-drinker tickets, with access to coffee, water, soda and all-you-can-eat food. 7-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $65 Grand Tasting; $125 Connoisseur; $25 non-drinker. The Oscar Event Center at Jungle Jim’s, 5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield, junglejims.com.

EVENT: PANDORACON

The future is here, and it’s lit — neon-lit. The theme of this year’s Pandoracon, a multi-genre sci-fi and fantasy “geek” convention, is “Cyberpunk Reboot,” complete with an unearthly cyberspace featuring hostile security programs and hacker assassins. Navigate through vendors and panels by the glow of neon lights and participate in tabletop, role-playing and video games, parties, dances, screenings and more. The convention is divided into four competing groups — Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts and Spades — with members vying for prizes and glory all weekend long. Friday-Sunday. $15 Friday; $25 Saturday; $12 Sunday; $45 weekend badge. Crowne Plaza Blue Ash, 5901 Pfeiffer Road, Blue Ash, thepandorasociety.com.

ART: C-LINK GALLERY 
HOLIDAY SHOW

Located inside Brazee Street Studios, C-Link aims to connect Cincinnati and the best local creative talent available for hire via an online platform, and the Holiday Show allows consumers to purchase goods from some of the best C-Link craftspeople. Curated with gifts in mind, the Holiday Show flaunts unique local ceramics, jewelry, glass, wood, paintings and more featuring goods from local makers including Andrew Neyer, Tom Will Make, Rheino Ceramics and the Northern Market. Opening reception 6-9 p.m. Friday. Through Dec. 23. Free. Brazee Street Studios, 4426 Brazee St., Oakley, c-linklocal.com.

SATURDAY 12

ONSTAGE: BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL

It is 1984 and Billy Elliot’s coal-mining community in northeastern England is on strike. His father is desperately trying to scrape together a life for him after Billy’s mother’s death, Billy’s brother is growing more violent as he works to keep scabs out and the town unified and Billy himself, coming of age amid hardship and poverty and coal dust, has discovered an undeniable love for — of all things — ballet. This is the story behind Billy Elliot The Musical, the current production of Cincinnati Music Theatre at the Aronoff Center’s Jarson-Kaplan Theater. The musical is based on the 2000 film of the same name, with new music by Elton John and book and lyrics by Lee Hall. The show’s 2008 Broadway production earned 10 Tony Awards. The role of 11-year-old Billy Elliot asks the world of any young actor tapped to play it. Billy must dance, sing and act — in dialect — through nearly every scene in what becomes, with intermission, a nearly three-hour production. Cincinnati Music Theatre’s Billy is 14-year-old Peanut Edmonson, a sandy-haired triple-threat. Cincinnati Music Theatre has taken on a wildly ambitious show and maintains the warmth and the heart that has made Billy Elliot successful around the world. Through Saturday. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cincinnatiarts.org.

ONSTAGE: DIAL M FOR MURDER

Falcon Theater presents its shows at the Monmouth Theater, an intimate storefront in Newport, Ky. Falcon has staged theatrical versions of well-known titles including In the Heat of the Night and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Last week it opened Dial M for Murder, a title familiar to moviegoers.Tony, an ex-tennis pro, wants to get rid of his wife Margot, a wealthy socialite, so he can get his hands on her inheritance to finance his own comfortable lifestyle. He discovers she's had an affair with a crime novelist and that seems to offer a perfect opportunity to kill her. He finds a likely murderer and tries to blackmail him into murdering the errant wife. There's a whole lot of deceit as the groundwork is laid for a perfect crime. But guess what? Things go awry. This show is a proven thriller. It's frequently revived and has inspired several adaptations and renditions in other languages. It's the kind of title that works well for Falcon Theater, bringing audiences into its intimate space and entertaining them. Dial M for Murder continues through Nov. 19. $20 adults; $15 students. Falcon Theater at Monmouth Theatre, 636 Monmouth St., Newport, Ky., falcontheater.net.

EVENT: THE GREATER CINCINNATI HOLIDAY MARKET

Get some quality holiday shopping in before Black Friday at the Greater Cincinnati Holiday Market. The Duke Energy Convention Center will be full of unique vendors and specialty shops featuring everything from home decor and holiday treats to accessories and body products. An added bonus? The Cincy Specialty Food & Treats Show runs in tandem with the event, offering gourmet candy, meat, cheese, jams, sauces, olives, spreads and more, plus cooking demos from local chefs and culinary personalities. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. $9. Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St., Downtown, cincinnatiholidaymarket.com.

ONSTAGE: LOVE, LOSS AND WHAT I WORE

Fans of the romantic comedies Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally — both written by Nora Ephron — should have this show in their sights. It’s Ephron’s humorous and touching stage play (based on Ilene Beckerman’s book) that uses a cast of five doing monologues to explore events and emotions in the lives of 28 interwoven women, all using clothing as a metaphor for their experiences. Subjects include first dates, prom dresses, miniskirts, shoes, all things black — and the perfect purse. The show had a 1,000-plus performance run Off-Broadway between 2009 and 2012, evoking lots of memories for those who saw it. Weekends through Nov. 20. $25. The Carnegie, 1028 Scott Blvd., Covington, Ky., thecarnegie.com.

SUNDAY 13

TV: INSECURE

It's difficult not to compare Insecure to Girls, especially because Issa Rae's debut series represents so many solutions to Lena Dunham's sometimes-problematic dark comedy, which has become something of a punching bag over the years for its insufferable characters that ooze with white privilege. Both shows capitalize on the overused but ever-relatable idea of being “awkward.” For Rae, creator of the Awkward Black Girl web series that inspired Insecure, the term pertained to her own identity as a woman of color who didn't always fit into the stereotypes others tried to box her in. In Insecure, we see her character Issa turning 29, stuck in an underwhelming romantic relationship. She works for a community outreach program called “We Got Y'all,” where she is very much the token black girl, despite never quite fitting in the role her co-workers expect of her. She pretends not to know what “on fleek” means when her white colleague inquires. In this week's episode, a “guilty as fuck” Issa tries to hold it down as her boyfriend Lawrence moves to take their relationship to another level. Meanwhile, Issa's BFF Molly explores her new relationship with Jared, who drops a truth bomb about his past. 10:30 p.m. Sundays, HBO.

ART: VAN GOGH: INTO THE UNDERGROWTH

Vincent van Gogh’s timeless art pieces join other nature-themed works from the likes of Paul Cézanne, Claude Monet and Paul Gauguin in the Cincinnati Art Museum’s exhibit Van Gogh: Into the Undergrowth. The show specifically focuses on van Gogh’s “Undergrowth with Two Figures” and other woodland landscapes and explores his poetic depictions of the forest floor — or sous bois. His odes to nature were reactions to the urbanization and industrialization of society, and visitors will be able to compare van Gogh’s treatment and manifestation of the forest theme with other artists who influenced and inspired his work. Through Jan. 8, 2017. $10 adults; $5 kids. Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams, cincinnatiartmuseum.org.

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