Your Weekend To Do List (July 22-24)

The Cincinnati Zoo welcomes two Nile hippos to their Africa exhibit; 'Tosca' wraps up the Cincinnati Opera season; Aretha Franklin takes the stage with the Pops and more.



The Cincinnati Zoo welcomes the newest residents to their Africa exhibit, Nile hippos Henry, a 34-year-old male from Dickerson Park Zoo, and Bibi, a 17-year-old female from the St. Louis Zoo. The world-class Hippo Cove and its 70,000-gallon pool open Thursday morning, allowing visitors to get nose to nostril with these giant mammals in an underwater viewing area. The zoo hasn’t had hippos since 1997, and according to its website, the water for the pool will come exclusively from rainwater collected on the grounds since 2005. While in Africa, you can also visit two new male Painted Dogs who just joined the pack from Australia’s Perth Zoo. (Worth noting: The zoo has 26 PokéStops if you’re also interested in digital creatures.) Free with zoo admission: $18 adults; $13 children and seniors. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale,


Comprised of childhood friends who grew up in Liverpool, England, the Mersey Beatles have been recreating the sights and sounds of the Fab Four since 1999, generating an authentic experience using costumes, replica guitars and multi-media backdrops. This Friday, they’re bringing all their lovin’ to the Aronoff Center, where they’ll perform approximately 40 of The Beatles’ greatest hits. Accompanying the band is John Lennon’s sister, Julia Baird; find her at the general merchandise table before, during and after the show, where she’ll be signing copies of her book, Imagine This: Growing Up with My Brother John Lennon. 8 p.m. Friday. $41.75-$71.75. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown,


Buzzy Indie rockers Diet Cig recently inked a deal with Frenchkiss Records, home to Cincinnati’s own Tweens, and the twosome — Alex Luciano and Noah Bowman — is currently writing new material and planning the recording of their first full-length. Typifying a style that has been dubbed Slop Pop — a combination of Garage simplicity, Punk energy and lo-fi basement/bedroom intimacy — Diet Cig has made a sizable impact well beyond its New York environs. Their debut five-song EP, Over Easy, and their follow-up 7-inch, “Sleep Talk”/“Dinner Date,” were both released last year on respected indie label Father/Daughter Records. They play a free show at MOTR Pub Friday with openers Leggy. 10 p.m. Friday. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine,


Were you paying attention in high school and college? Did you complete all the assigned reading? Even if you did, perhaps you need to brush-up on the “great books.” Cincy Shakes is presenting another hilarious show from the crazed minds behind The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). This one covers nearly 100 classic stories, using maybe a minute a piece to reduce each to its lowest common absurdity — from The Aeneid to Wuthering Heights, with stops between for Beowulf, Frankenstein, Huckleberry Finn, The Scarlet Letter and many more. It’s an evening of summer silliness performed by Miranda McGee, Justin McCombs and Geoffrey Warren Barnes II. Through August 13. $22-$42. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 719 Race St., Downtown, 513-381-2273,



This art space is small, but definitely not stuffy. POPP=D ART, a former pop-up gallery that used a vacant Corryville storefront to exhibit art, is now a mini mobile gallery that accommodates only about five people at a time. It's a different kind of art gallery; for starters, it’s on wheels and housed in a renovated 1963 Rainbow camping trailer that measures just 10-feet long, 6-feet-8-inches wide and 6-feet-4-inches high inside. Everything on display is tiny. None of the 80 pieces arranged from floor to ceiling is larger than one square foot. The prices also are smaller than those in a traditional gallery: $100 or less. POPP=D ART visits Riddle Road Market 7-10 p.m. Saturday. More info:


Bees are all the buzz at the Krohn Conservatory, where this year’s summer show centers on the beneficial pollinators (although live bees are not on display). Honey Bees in the Summer Breeze is a floral exhibit that demonstrates how to attract bees to your garden, featuring honeycomb-inspired flowerbeds overflowing with orange and yellow marigolds, celosia and coreopsis. Look for honeycomb-shaped signs throughout the exhibit for tips and tricks on fostering a pollinator garden at home, like the fact that bees prefer purple, blue and yellow flowers to any other colors. Weekly “Bee Happy Saturdays” include a family-friendly theme and bee-related craft activity, and special events —— like a screening of The Bee Movie on July 29 — are held throughout the show’s run. Through Aug. 21. $4 adults; $2 kids; free children 4 and under. Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park,


Jungle Jim's newest bash celebrates two of the store's all-time favorite things: bacon and cheese. Head to the Eastgate location on Saturday for delicious, not-quite-nutritious bacon and cheese selections and plenty of beer to wash it all down. The family-friendly event includes balloon animals and face painting for kids, plus live entertainment throughout the day. Guests 21 and up can partake in a S'Wine Tasting, which pairs wine with "beautiful bacon dishes." Noon-6 p.m. Saturday. $8 adults; $2 kids 4-12; children 4 and under free. Jungle Jim's Eastgate, 4450 Eastgate S. Drive, Eastgate,


The Cincinnati Opera has basically built Rome in a day with their new production of Puccini’s Tosca. The final opera of the season, Tosca takes place during one fateful day in the Italian capital in 1800. The diva Tosca, star of the Roman stage, is desired by two men: Cavaradossi, a painter, and Scarpia, a possessive police chief. As these things are wont to go, when jealous lovers tangle, there will always be high-stakes drama. And in opera, that drama will always be accompanied by a soaring score and exhilarating music. Soprano Evelina Dobraceva is Tosca, while Marcello Giordani sings ardent lover Cavaradossi and Gordon Hawkins plays Scarpia. Nota bene: Tosca will be performed in Italian with projected translations. 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 7:30 p.m. July 27 and July 29. $49-$169. Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Downtown,



Handmade treat shop Grateful Grahams teams up with Baker Hunt Art & Cultural Center and Midwest Booking to host a family-friendly fest of “good food, good people and good music.” Shop for jewelry, crafts and art from more than 25 area artisans while snacking on plates from Son & Soil, Sweets & Meats BBQ Catering and Angie’s Malaysian Satay & Sauces, with plentiful brews from Braxton Brewing Company. Live music keeps on rolling all day long from bands like My Brother The Bear, The New Old-Fashioned and Buffalo Wabs & The Price Hill Hustle. Make sure to stop by Grateful Graham’s “Gratitude Wall” to write down and share what you are thankful for. Noon-6 p.m. Sunday. Free. Baker Hunt Art & Cultural Center, 620 Greenup St., Covington, Ky.,


Covington’s quaint MainStrasse Village turns into a vintage bazaar on Sunday, featuring vendors selling everything from art to antiques. This pop-up marketplace is held every fourth Sunday through October along the Sixth Street Promenade. Stroll to discover treasures like jewelry, home goods, furniture, décor and architectural accent pieces. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. Sixth Street, Covington, Ky., 


The Queen of Soul heads to the Queen City for a special summer concert with the Cincinnati Pops. The chart-topping diva and No. 1 vocalist of all time (according to Rolling Stone) will take the stage at Riverbend backed by John Morris Russell and the rest of the Pops to perform classics like “Respect,” “Natural Woman,” “Chain of Fools” and more. 8 p.m. Sunday. $35-$135. Riverbend Music Center, 6295 Kellogg Ave., California,

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