ONSTAGE: SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE
William Shakespeare wrote a lot of plays, but he never became a character. That happened four centuries later when a 1999 Oscar-winning movie imagined a great story about young Will wrestling with writer’s block early in his career. A love affair helps him break through, and now the tale has moved from the silver screen to stages, including the Cincinnati Playhouse. Shakespeare’s affair with aspiring actress Viola De Lesseps — in an era when women were not allowed onstage — inspires the impassioned romance of Romeo and Juliet. It’s a tale of backstage intrigue and mistaken identity told with great humor and wit. Through Sept. 30. $30-$85. Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, 962 Mount Adams Circle, Mount Adams, cincyplay.com.
EVENT: HARVEST HOME FAIR
Come one, come all to “the biggest little fair in Ohio.” Kick off this family-friendly West Side tradition on Thursday with the 60th-annual parade through Cheviot. The 150-year-old event will feature a weekend’s worth of entertainment for all ages, including arts and crafts vendors, horse shows, a flower show, contests (including a homemade wine competition), carnival rides, livestock shows and tons of tasty fair food. Operated by the Kiwanis Club of Cheviot-Westwood, the Harvest Home Fair raises funds for local youth and community programs. 6 p.m. parade, 7-10 p.m. fair Thursday; 5-11 p.m. Friday; noon-11 p.m. Saturday; noon-10 p.m. Sunday. $5; free children 12 and under. Harvest Home Park, 3961 North Bend Road, Cheviot, harvesthomefair.com.
COMEDY: THE AMAZING JOHNATHAN
Most people would describe The Amazing Johnathan as a magician and comedian, but he started as the former. “I used to do it in junior high and high school,” he says. “Then I did a high school talent show and that went horribly wrong.” He stopped doing magic for a year and started doing street performance in San Francisco. “That’s when I became interested in comedy, gradually bringing the magic back in because that was the only thing I knew how to do,” he says. Making lemonade out of his high school performance, he purposely messed up the tricks. After performing one where he swallows razor blades, someone gave him a fake blood capsule. “It got a whole different reaction.” He’s been shocking audiences, as well as making them laugh, ever since. 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday; 7 and 10 p.m. Saturday; 7 p.m. Sunday. $22. Liberty Funny Bone, 7518 Bales St., Liberty Township, liberty.funnybone.com.
MUSIC: UBAHN FEST
Cincinnati’s Ubahn Fest has emerged as the biggest Hip Hop/EDM festival in the region, featuring two days’ worth of local, regional and national acts in one of the area’s most unique event settings: the underground transit tunnel near the riverfront and Paul Brown Stadium. Each year, Ubahn’s organizers top themselves with the lineup, and this year’s event features the most star power yet. Friday’s lineup includes dual headliners Steve Aoki, one of the most successful EDM artists/DJs on the planet, and Trap icon 2 Chainz, whose 2017 album Pretty Girls Like Trap Music hit No. 2 on the Billboard album chart. Saturday’s Ubahn lineup includes three of today’s biggest Hip Hop stars — Big Sean, Gucci Mane and Lecrae, who transcended the “Christian Hip Hop” pigeonhole beginning with 2012’s big-selling Gravity album (his debut release in partnership with Columbia Records, All Things Work Together, is due Sept. 22). For a look at some of the local acts rocking Ubahn 2017, see Spill It on page 29. 6 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday. $65; $75 day of show; $120 two-day passes. Riverfront Transit Center, 220 Central Ave., Downtown, ubahnfest.com.
EVENT: CINCY BEERFEST
Happy drinking, everyone! The ninth-annual Cincy Beerfest celebrates the end of summer with two days of craft beer, live music, food trucks and thousands of friendly festgoers. Beer enthusiasts and breweries from down the street and across the county will descend on Fountain Square to sip, sample and sling beers from the likes of Braxton, Taft’s, Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada, Ballast Point and more. VIP admission includes a souvenir mug, 25 sample tickets and access to VIP portable potties. Other ticket packages include varying amounts of alcohol, from two pints to 15 5-ounce pours. Ticket prices are for single-day entry. 6:30-11 p.m. Friday; 3-11 p.m. Saturday. $15; $40 two-person pack; $40 VIP; $10 designated driver. Fountain Square, 525 Vine St., Downtown, cincybeerfest.com.
COMEDY: ONE-MAN STAR WARS
Impress you, he will. Canadian actor Charles Ross is bringing his One-Man Star Wars Trilogy show to Memorial Hall on Friday, along with the films’ iconic characters — all of whom he portrays himself. Since the Off-Broadway play — which Ross also wrote — premiered in 2001, it has been performed more than 1,000 times. Expect Ross to use eerily accurate voice impressions, sing music from the movies, unsheathe light sabers in battle and even fly ships through the stars, all while condensing the plot of the trilogy into one packed performance. Suitable for “ages 6 to Yoda.” 8-11 p.m. Friday. $20-$32. Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, memorialhallotr.com.
EVENT: MAINSTRASSE OKTOBERFEST
Prost! MainStrasse’s hyper-local Oktoberfest is back for its 39th year with a renewed focus on Covington- and Northern Kentucky-based businesses. Braxton Brewing Company will pay homage to its hometown by introducing a brand-new Covington-based brew, and Villa Hillbillies and Second Sights Spirits will craft cocktails using moonshine distilled in Northern Kentucky. Two steins will also be rolled out during the fest, one of which will be the event’s first limited-edition, Village-themed ceramic stein. But the fun isn’t just boozy: Kinder can head to the fest’s Kinderplatz section for carnival rides, Circus Mojo performances and a fire show Saturday night, and the Tower Legacy Foundation will be offering tours of the village’s iconic German-style clock throughout the event. 5-11 p.m. Friday; noon-11 p.m. Saturday; noon-8 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. MainStrasse Village between Fifth and Seventh streets, Covington, Ky., mainstrasse.org.
MUSIC: THE MAVERICKS
One of Country music’s most unique, long-running bands, The Mavericks, has been thrilling audiences since 1989 with their dramatic blend of Latin-tinged, turbo-charged twang and the big-voice stylings of Raul Malo. Born in Miami, Malo is Cuban-American and a first-generation Floridian who grew up in the ’70s listening to crooners like Frank Sinatra and, especially, Elvis Presley. While his peers dabbled in Classic Rock and New Wave, Malo found himself drawn to his dad’s love of traditional Country acts like Buck Owens and Johnny Cash, as well as his mom’s affection for opera and Big Band Swing music. Like his heroes, he discovered early on that he also possessed one of those dynamic, larger-than-life voices that can change a room’s molecular structure. It’s easy to get the sense that Malo could equally sing a Puccini aria, a Hank Williams’ weeper or a Roy Orbison-style anthem with similar grace and resonance. Read more about the The Mavericks in this week's Sound Advice. The Mavericks play Taft Theatre Saturday. Click here for tickets/more show info.
MUSIC: THE RECORD COMPANY
Although The Record Company has been a band for the past six years, its greatest successes have come recently. The trio — guitarist/vocalist Chris Vos, bassist/vocalist Alex Stiff and drummer/vocalist Mark Cazorla — coalesced in 2011 around a shared love of traditional electric Blues masters like John Lee Hooker and their translational boogie children, including The Rolling Stones, with the visceral passion of The Stooges adding fuel to the creative fire. In fact, it was Vos’ tale of seeing Iggy and the Stooges at L.A.’s Palladium that led them to start playing together — within two days of their initial jam session, the musicians set up mics in Stiff’s living room and started recording themselves, with the results cementing their decision to become a band. The Record Company subsequently played every conceivable gig it could book and built a zealously loyal fan base in and around Los Angeles by consistently offering an incendiary live show that transcended the constraints of a mere Blues band. In the process, the palpable buzz the trio generated led them to opening slots for Blues legends B.B. King, Mavis Staples and Buddy Guy, as well as contemporary sensations like John Mayer, Dawes, Kurt Vile and Grace Potter. Read more about the band in this week's Sound Advice. The Record Company plays the Big River Get Down in Hamilton Saturday. For details, visit bigrivergetdown.com.
EVENT: CHEESE FEST
Looking for something cheesy to do this weekend? Head to Smale Riverfront Park. The third-annual Cheese Fest is a literal smorgasbord of more than 350 artisan cheeses from over 75 producers, made even better with beer, bourbon and wine pairings. Oh, and samples of cheese are unlimited. Cooking demos, live music and opportunities to meet the makers take place throughout the day, and chefs will go head to head in the Macdown and Meltdown competitions — challenges to whip up the most creative mac and cheese and grilled cheese dishes as determined by both hungry attendees and a panel of cheese-wise judges. 2-10 p.m. Saturday. $10. Smale Riverfront Park, 100 W. Mehring Way, Downtown, thecheesefest.com.
The fifth-annual Franztoberfest at Rhinegeist celebrates the city’s German roots with an offbeat Oktoberfest-style celebration full of good vibes and weird mustaches. The event will feature inflatable jousting, German food, live music and plenty of Franz, the brewery’s Märzen/Oktoberfest beer. German outfits are highly encouraged. Noon-midnight. Free admission. Rhinegeist, 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/rhinegeist.
EVENT: TASTE OF INDIA
Head to the Hindu Temple of Greater Cincinnati for the Taste of India, a celebration of the South Asian country’s cuisine and culture. Throughout the day, you can dine on sweet and savory dishes from local vendors and restaurants (like you can literally walk from booth to booth and gorge yourself on a bunch of different Indian foods), check out festival rides, shop Indian-inspired vendors, take a yoga class, watch the Naach Sitare traditional dance competition (expect some beautiful costuming from this) and close out the evening with a Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks display. Noon-8 p.m. Saturday. Free admission. Hindu Temple of Greater Cincinnati, 720 Barg Salt Run Road, Summerside, tasteofindiacincinnati.com.
EVENT: CINCINNATI HISPANIC FESTIVAL
The Cincinnati Hispanic Festival, now in its 24th year, is a two-day fiesta comprised of food, music, dancing and family-friendly fun at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds. Programmed with the goal of sharing cultural diversity, the event is organized by the Hispanic Culture Society of Cincinnati, with proceeds from the festival going toward scholarships and resources for members of the local Hispanic community. Watch folkloric dance performances, hear Latin American music and dine on generous helpings of traditional Latino food. Noon-11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $10 per car; $2 walk in. Hamilton County Fairgrounds, 7700 Vine St., Carthage, cincinnatihispanicfest.org.
Joe Casey, frontman for Detroit’s Protomartyr, possesses a modest sing/speak voice that’s as agitated as it is evocative. His singular delivery is complemented by an ominous Post Punk clatter that is as claustrophobic as it is often epic, as if the listener is falling into an all-encompassing vortex of sound and emotion. Protomartyr’s fourth album, Relatives in Descent, which hits streets Sept. 29, again features taut, mood-altering grooves courtesy of Alex Leonard’s insistent, tribal drumming, Scott Davidson’s nimble bass lines and Greg Ahee’s corrosive guitar, which moves from swirling slabs of noise to righteous riffs, often within the same song. CityBeat recently connected with Casey — reached via cell phone as he was ordering a “No. 2” meal at one of the Detroit area’s many fast food establishments — to discuss the band’s evolution from complete musical novices to one of the most acclaimed acts of its kind. Read an interview with Casey here. Protomartyr plays Northside Yacht Club on Sunday. Tickets/more info: northsideyachtclub.com.
EVENT: SECOND SUNDAY ON MAIN
Over-the-Rhine’s eclectic monthly summer street fest continues with a celebration of King Records. This month’s theme is “King Records in the Queen City,” and the party will feature live music from the Queen City Kings, playing select King Records Funk, Soul and Country songs, plus the exhibit King Records: The Lost History Of Rock ’N Roll and a pop-up record fair. This is all in addition to the standard Second Sunday programming, with more than 100 vendors, Main Street merchants, arts events and a biergarten. Noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. Main Street between 12th and Liberty streets, Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/otrssom.
EVENT: THE SCOTT BROTHERS HOUSE PARTY
Drew and Jonthan Scott, the titular brothers/twins/real-estate-agent-contractor-duo of HGTV’s popular Property Brothers franchise, are heading to the Taft Theatre to renovate the Neo Classical 1920s venue. Just kidding (ha ha). They’re there to tell stories onstage based on their memoir It Takes Two: Our Story. Expect tales of buying, selling and renovating properties along with behind-the-scenes bloopers, audience participation, dos and don’ts, nuggets of entrepreneurial wisdom and a lot of good-natured sibling rivalry. 7:30 p.m. Sunday. $39.75-$59.75; $150 VIP. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, tafttheatre.org.