Your Weekly To Do List (11/16-11/21)

click to enlarge Your Weekly To Do List (11/16-11/21)
Art: Dylan Robinson

Blackout Wednesday Parties

Wanna get real effed up the night before you have to spend all day with your family in a high-stress cooking and entertaining situation? Are you interested in discovering if turkey is a good hangover cure/easy to barf up? Maybe you just really love binge drinking on a Wednesday. Whatever the case may be, Thanksgiving Eve — aka “Blackout Wednesday” — is the biggest bar night of the year. Any bar’s a good bar to be at, but there are also plenty of themed parties to get you wasted before that ol’ turkey gets basted.

Arnold’s Bar & Grill — The Tillers takeover Arnold’s for Thanksgiving Eve. 9 p.m. 210 E. Eighth St., Downtown,

Darkness Brewing — The brewery will be tapping a keg of Ike Ike Baby imperial brown ale. Live trivia (with prizes!) starts at 7 p.m., followed by “Drink and Draw.” 7 p.m.-midnight. 224 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, Ky.,

Moerlein Lager House — Reunite with high school buds in town for the holiday during Alumni Club. Features $3 Hudepohl Pure Lager bottles, $10 buckets of Little Kings, Alumni Club cocktails and a live DJ. 8 p.m.-midnight. 115 Joe Nuxhall Way, Downtown,

Northside Yacht Club — Thanksgiving Eve karaoke. 9 p.m.-midnight. 4231 Spring Grove Ave., Northside,

Queen City Exchange — Doors open at 2 p.m. and the bar’s stock-market-exchange-themed prices crash from 6-9 p.m., with $3 pints from any of their 41 drafts. 2 p.m.-2:30 a.m. 32 W. Court St., Downtown,

Rhinegeist — Soul Step Records will be slingin’ limited-edition vinyl of Modern Aquatics’ latest release (the band performs at 10 p.m.). There will also be DJ sets, a special Brewers Series Beer and everyone from high school you do and do not want to see. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine,

Urban Artifact — The Blue Wisp Band celebrates its 38th-annual Thanksgiving Eve Extravaganza. Sets at 8 and 10 p.m. $18 per set for seating. 1660 Blue Rock St., Northside,


ONSTAGE: Finding Neverland

The tour of the Broadway show Finding Neverland features an impatient London producer barking at his house playwright, J.M. Barrie, for an overdue play. Barrie is inspired by a quartet of rambunctious brothers whose love of pirates and tales of adventure provides him with the stories that he can cobble together into Peter Pan. (Barrie does fall in love with the boys’ young widowed mother, Sylvia Llewelyn Davies, but it’s really their horseplay and senses of humor that get his creative juices flowing.) Finding Neverland is rooted in real events in Barrie’s life in 1903. It jumps right into the fertile mind of Barrie and the boys, with the added impetus of a devil’s-advocate Captain Hook (played by singer and game show host John Davidson), conjured from the writer’s id, dug out of his own boyhood fears about being man enough to get by. This culminates in an especially bombastic Act I closer with a full-fledged sailing ship recreated onstage with booming surf, cannons and sailors swinging from the rigging. Through Nov. 19. Tickets start at $30. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, — RICK PENDER

click to enlarge An Antique Christmas at the Taft Museum - Photo: Provided
Photo: Provided
An Antique Christmas at the Taft Museum

HOLIDAY: Antique Christmas at the Taft Museum

Antique Christmas at the Taft will bring back the holiday cheer of childhood. Vintage toys will be on display, including a jack-in-the-box, an old-fashioned Lionel train set and dancing dolls, with whimsical and nostalgic decorations lining the museum — feather trees, a miniature village of German houses and even a brown-coated Belsnickle Santa Claus candy container. Through Jan. 7. $10 adults; $8 youth and seniors; free members and children 5 and under. Taft Museum, 316 Pike St., Downtown, — ALISON BAXTER

HOLIDAY: Holiday Junction featuring Brickopolis 

It’s a life-size rendering of what every juvenile locomotive fiend wants under the tree this season. Holiday Junction features several attractions chugging into the Museum Center, including Thomas the Tank Engine, an interactive pre-World War II Lionel train layout and a whopping 1,800 square feet of LEGO landscapes that feature motorized trains winding through a whimsical microcosm of a city scene. After the youngsters wear themselves out at the LEGO play tables and the impressive display of historic toys, you can strap the smaller kiddos into the riding train as they make their way through a winding winter wonderland. All aboard! Through Jan. 2. $10.50 adults; $9.50 seniors; $8.50 children; $5.50 toddlers. Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate, — ERIN COUCH

click to enlarge Heidi Middendorf in Candide - Photo: Mark Lyons
Photo: Mark Lyons
Heidi Middendorf in Candide

ONSTAGE: Candide

The scathing Candide, published in 1759 by the French Enlightenment writer Voltaire, lampooned the philosophy that “all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds.” Nearly 200 years later, in 1956, a comic operetta version debuted on Broadway with a libretto by Lillian Hellman — aided with lyrics by an array of 1950s literati — and a brilliant score by the great American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. That didn’t last long — the public and press were unkind. But the original cast recording led to subsequent productions of revised versions that have made Candide recognized as a standout accomplishment of Bernstein’s long career. (He died in 1990 at age 72.) University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music kicks off its yearlong celebration of the Bernstein centennial with a production of Candide in conjunction with the official “Leonard Bernstein at 100” celebration. Candide runs Thursday-Sunday at CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater on the UC campus. Tickets/more info: — RICK PENDER

click to enlarge Eleanor Friedberger - Photo: Press Here
Photo: Press Here
Eleanor Friedberger

MUSIC: Eleanor Friedberger

There’s always been something mysterious and offbeat about Eleanor Friedberger. Lanky with bangs to spare, she comes off like a character in a J.D. Salinger short story — wry and knowing yet somehow unknowable. Friedberger made her name as frontperson for The Fiery Furnaces, the band she founded with her older brother Matthew. Chicago-area natives, the prolific duo rose out of the early 2000s New York City Rock revival scene, dropping eight albums of slanted Indie Rock in seven years. Ever-incisive critic Robert Christgau described their 2003 debut, Gallowsbird’s Bark, as the “most intriguing use of roots riffs in an eclectic context nobody comprehends (including them).” The often obtuse, concept-heavy albums to follow were variations on Christgau’s original take. The Fiery Furnaces went on “hiatus” in early 2011, after which brother and sister each released solo albums. Eleanor’s third and most recent, last year’s New View, features 11 Folk-infected Pop Rock songs, each a showcase for her restrained yet still compelling vocals and lyrical tales about relationships in different stages of gestation. 9 p.m. Thursday. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, — JASON GARGANO

click to enlarge Jen Kirkman - Photo: Provided
Photo: Provided
Jen Kirkman

COMEDY: Jen Kirkman

Like any good comedian, Jen Kirkman finds material across the spectrum of existence, from the banality of a dropped call to the specter of apocalypse (“I’m not afraid of nuclear war because I’ve already worried about all that growing up. I can’t worry about this again. If they nuke us, they nuke us. We all had a good life.”). Kirkman, who started doing stand-up in the ’90s and wound up as a writer and panelist for Chelsea Handler’s Chelsea Lately, has emerged as one of the great observational comics. So far, she’s released three albums, written two books, co-founded the now defunct and is currently in development on a potential television series for ABC. Her new stand-up show is titled All New Material, Girl tour, and it comes less than a year after the airing of her last Netflix comedy special, Just Keep Livin’?. In All New Material, Girl, Kirkman talks about going on a silent meditation retreat this year (“Not speaking for a few days will make you insane...”), the differences between political activism 20 years ago and now (“There’s some confessional cringeworthy growing up memories...”) and politics in general. 8 p.m. Thursday. $25. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, — BRIAN BAKER

CLASSICAL: Cincinnati Soundbox

Cincinnati Soundbox makes a powerful case for including New Music composers in the local scene. Thursday’s Cincinnati to Sydney concert features premieres by two Australian composers, Corrina Bonshek and Tristan Coelho, and two Cincinnatians, Laura Harrison and Jason Richmond. Their works will be performed by All of the Above, Xavier University’s newly appointed ensemble-in-residence. The music is intriguing — you might be hearing tomorrow’s most important composers today. 8 p.m. Thursday. $10. St. John’s Unitarian Church, 320 Resor Ave., Clifton. 

COMEDY: Alex Stone

The future continues to look bright for comedian Alex Stone. The Symmes Township native started his stand-up career at Go Bananas and eventually moved to Chicago and then New York. “I’m living in L.A. now,” he says. “I just finished writing for two television shows and I’m now getting back to touring.” He’s even done some on-camera work for one the shows he’s written for, playing a zombie Uber driver on Syfy Live from Comic-Con. Starting next month, he’ll be hosting a weekly podcast with Tommy Johnagin called The Local News. Also on Thursday’s bill with Stone is University of Cincinnati grad Sam Evans and host Carmen Lagala. Showtimes Thursday-Sunday. $8-$14. Go Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, — P.F. WILSON


HOLIDAY: Holiday in Lights

Become a part of Sharon Woods’ annual light show tradition — 27 years strong — this holiday season. Measuring in at over a mile long, Holiday in Lights features twinkling light displays depicting Santa, his elves, his reindeer and more, from classic Christmas movie references to Santa-hat-sporting dinosaurs. Best of all, you’ll be able to take in the dose of Christmas cheer entirely from the comfort of your car. Through Dec 31. $13 per vehicle. Sharon Woods, 11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville, 

HOLIDAY: Holiday Lights on the Hill

It’s (almost) the most wonderful time of the year, which means your neighbors will soon be delightfully cascading miles of Christmas lights across their front yards. Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park follows suit as it opens up its annual Holiday Lights on the Hill this weekend. Take a two-mile round trip through the park and experience glistening 60-foot trees, giant candy canes, twinkling light tunnels, decorated swan ponds, luminous sculptures and glowing inflatables for the kids. Through Dec. 31. $20-$25 per carload; $15 members. Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum, 1763 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton, — ERIN COUCH

click to enlarge The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Photo: Mikki Schaffner Photography
Photo: Mikki Schaffner Photography
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

ONSTAGE: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

The works of Mark Twain are as much classics as the plays of William Shakespeare, so it’s entirely appropriate that Cincinnati Shakespeare Company should be staging an adaptation of one of Twain’s great novels. It’s a tale about a boyhood fantasy turned upside-down when Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn witness a crime. Director Sara Clark says it’s an exciting adventure for children and a “smart, funny, poignant experience for adults.” Mark Twain said, “My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine. Everyone drinks water.” Audiences will be taking big gulps in this pre-holiday production. Beware: You could be recruited to whitewash a fence. Through Dec. 9. $14-$52. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 1195 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, — RICK PENDER

ART: Glenn Kaino at the CAC

Sculptor and L.A.-based conceptual artist — also notable for his prior experience as chief creative officer for pioneering digital music startup Napster — Glenn Kaino engages in a wide range of materials and artistic collaborations. Known for his “kit-bashing” practice, whereby a wholly new, hybrid model is created by reconfiguring the parts of another, Kaino’s mid-career survey at the Contemporary Arts Center will cover his most recent work, including collaborations with such diverse thinkers as marine biologists, gang members, chess players and celebrity Japanese chef Niki Nakayama. Opening reception 8-11 p.m. Friday. Through April 22. Contemporary Arts Center, 44 E. Sixth St., Downtown, — MARIA SEDA-REEDER


click to enlarge Zoë Buckman’s “Champ” - Photo: 21c Museum Hotel
Photo: 21c Museum Hotel
Zoë Buckman’s “Champ”

ART: The Future is Female
An important show, The Future is Female, opens Saturday at the 21c Museum Hotel. It consists of contemporary feminist art from the collection of 21c founders Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson. Organized by Chief Curator and Museum Director Alice Gray Stites, the show aims to “illuminate the legacy and persistence of the struggle for gender equality.” The initial iteration of this traveling show opened at the Louisville 21c within days of last year’s presidential election, though it was conceived several months prior. “The election really affected the context in which the artwork was viewed,” Stites says.Here, some 72 objects by 45 artists —including those who are well-established like Carrie Mae Weems, Kiki Smith and Alison Saar, as well as more up-and-coming names such as Saya Woolfalk, Vibha Galhotra and Swoon — will survey the various conversations informing feminism on a global scale. A third of those exhibiting artists are women of color and nearly half are from outside the continental United States. Opening reception 5-10 p.m. Saturday. Through September 2018. Admission is free. 21c Museum Hotel, 609 Walnut St., Downtown, — MARIA SEDA-REEDER

click to enlarge Chandler Travis - Photo: Joe Silver
Photo: Joe Silver
Chandler Travis

MUSIC: Chandler Travis Philharmonic

Chandler Travis isn’t especially well known in Greater Cincinnati. His visits have been rare, but in Massachusetts, especially Cape Cod, Cambridge and Boston, he’s as much a beloved, eccentric institution as Fenway Park. And among fans of NRBQ, Travis is seen as a kindred soul with a similarly skewed but all-encompassing musical worldview. Originally, Travis and Steve Shook formed a comedy/music duo — Travis, Shook and the Club Wow — that opened for George Carlin in the ’70s and released an album. In 1978, Travis — a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist — and Shook started the Cape Cod-based band Incredible Casuals. A subsequent group member, Johnny Spampinato, is the brother of NRBQ’s Joey Spampinato (he later joined NRBQ himself). It’s hard to keep track of all albums Travis has made, not just with The Incredible Casuals and his. As a songwriter (sometimes working with David Greenberger), Travis can be goofy and offbeat. But there’s also a heartfelt yearning, evident in his more poetic compositions like “Air, Running Backwards.” All in all, it’s a real treat to have the Philharmonic in Cincinnati Saturday for what should be a very joyous show. 9 p.m. Saturday. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine,— STEVEN ROSEN

click to enlarge Pour Over Cincy/NKY - Photo: Mesa Serikali
Photo: Mesa Serikali
Pour Over Cincy/NKY

EVENT: Pour Over Cincy/NKY: A Local Coffee Showcase

Similar to the craft beer scene in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, the craft coffee scene here has exploded in the past few years. This forward momentum is the reason why last year Ilene Ross and her daughter Cami Fussey created Pour Over Cincy/NKY: A Local Coffee Showcase. Ross, who is a senior dining writer at CityBeat and the mind behind local food media outlet 513{eats}, liked what Fussey was doing in Ypsilanti, Mich., with her coffee fest, Pour Over Ypsi. So last November, Ross and her daughter corralled a score of coffee and food vendors here and held the inaugural Pour Over Cincy/NKY at Newport’s Northern Kentucky Incubator Kitchen. For year two, they switched to a more commodious space at Newport’s The Hatchery incubator kitchen inside St. Paul’s Episcopal Church so they can accommodate the 400 people they’re expecting. They will have 11 coffee vendors and 10 dessert-orientated vendors, including Holtman’s Donuts, Grateful Grahams, Lil’s Bagels, Le Pufferie (a Newport-based bakery that makes cream puffs) and Fork and Pie. Most of last year’s coffee vendors are returning — Coffee Emporium, BLOC Coffee Company, Mad Llama Coffee, La Terza and Deeper Roots — with the addition of Trailhead, Ferrari, Mason’s Cocoon Coffee, Adesso Coffee (a coffee cart based in Mercantile Library on Thursdays and Fridays) and Yield Coffee Roasters out of Monroe. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. $12 for 12 samples. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 7 Court Place, Newport, Ky., — GARIN PIRNIA

MUSIC: Wax Tailor

After working as a DJ and producer in the ’90s, Jean-Christophe Le Saout introduced his Wax Tailor persona at the turn of the century. Coming off like a Parisian DJ Shadow, the project gradually built a reputation for its imaginative amalgamation of Electronic music, Hip Hop, Trip Hop, Soul and various other styles. Le Saout's five album releases have enjoyed increasingly high chart rankings in France and, along with his immersive live shows, helped him earn a global following among Indie, Hip Hop and Dance music fans and artists. Wax Tailor’s latest album, By Any Beats Necessary, takes a deeper dive into American artforms like Blues, R&B, Funk and even Psych Rock; he has said the LP was designed as a sort of mixtape for a road-trip across the U.S. On his current tour, Wax Tailor is joined onstage by vocalist Charlotte Savary and MC Mattic, with North Carolina sample-based analog/digital Electronic duo Dirty Art Club opening. 9 p.m. Saturday. $15; $18 day of show. Urban Artifact, 1660 Blue Rock St., Northside, — MIKE BREEN

click to enlarge The Festival of Lights - Photo: Cassandre Crawford
Photo: Cassandre Crawford
The Festival of Lights

HOLIDAY: Festival of Lights

Cincinnati’s wildest light display returns this weekend to douse the zoo in colorful holiday cheer. The 35th-annual Festival of Lights incorporates an astounding 3 million LED lights and features a Wild Lights show on Swan Lake, a black-light puppet show by Madcap Puppets, a Toyland Express train ride and appearances by Santa himself (which this year begin at 4 p.m., an hour before other festival activities kick off). PSA: In order for hippos to be outside, the temperature must be 50 degrees or above, so Fiona and mom Bibi will most likely be enjoying the festivities off-view and indoors. Through Jan. 1. Free with admission: $19 adults; $13 children/seniors. Cincinnati Zoo, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, — EMILY BEGLEY

EVENT: Backstage and Beyond: Inside Cincinnati Music Hall

Take a behind-the-scenes tour of one of Cincinnati’s most iconic architectural landmarks. This hour-long exploration of Music Hall takes guests “backstage and beyond,” through public and private spaces to discover more about the history, structure and fascinating musical past of the recently renovated 1878 Venetian Gothic building. This guided tour is presented by the Society for the Preservation of Music Hall. Through Dec. 18. $15; group discounts available. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, — MAIJA ZUMMO


click to enlarge A Perfect Circle - Photo: Tim Cadiente
Photo: Tim Cadiente
A Perfect Circle

MUSIC: A Perfect Circle

If it feels like it’s been a hot second since you’d heard from A Perfect Circle, don’t worry — you’re (probably) not old and out of touch. Save some sporadic touring, A Perfect Circle has stayed almost entirely off the radar since its last album, 2004’s eMOTIVe. But all signs point to a return for the AltRock quintet — even if only momentarily.  Earlier last month, APC released the first single off its forthcoming album. “The Doomed” is as growling, taunting and unsettled as you’d expect, essentially lamenting how the good guys are finishing last these days. Not a whole lot is known about the upcoming album other than the vague promise of a 2018 release. Until then, you can see A Perfect Circle when Maynard James Keenan, Billy Howerdel and the gang (which includes former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha) roll through town this week. 7:30 p.m. Sunday. $39.50-$65. BB&T Arena, 500 Nunn Drive, Heighland Heights, Ky., — DEIRDRE KAYE

click to enlarge Dawg Yawp at 2016's CEAs - Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Dawg Yawp at 2016's CEAs

MUSIC: Cincinnati Entertainment Awards

The 20th-anniversary edition of the CEAs take place Sunday at first-time CEA venue Memorial Hall. Come see who local music fans chose as the top Cincinnati acts in 14 genre categories (plus Best Music Video and Best Live Act), as well as the winners of the CEAs for Artist of the Year, New Artist of the Year and Album of the Year, as determined by a committee of local music experts and connoisseurs. Tickets are $20 and available through the Memorial Hall website. The doors open at 6 p.m. Sunday; at 6:30 p.m. the nominees for Best Music Video will be screened. The show starts at 7 p.m. with a performance by local greats The Hiders. 6 p.m. doors Sunday. $20. Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, — MIKE BREEN

EVENT: Art on Vine 

As of this issue’s press time, there are only 39 shopping days left between now and Christmas. (Let that sink in.) Thankfully, Art on Vine is here to offer you a treasure trove of handmade, one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your list. This installment of the market heads back indoors, bringing together more than 60 local artists inside Rhinegeist Brewery. Keep your belly full with bites from Sartre OTR as you browse. Noon-7 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. Rhinegeist, 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, — EMILY BEGLEY


click to enlarge Pere Ubu - Photo: Provided
Photo: Provided
Pere Ubu

MUSIC: Pere Ubu

With all the light-saber rattling and threatened nuclear aggression being espoused by the infantalists in charge of the U.S. and North Korea, it might be tempting to interpret the latest Pere Ubu album as a political statement. 20 Years in a Montana Missile Silo is the band’s quasi-concept album about a military man who spends two decades staring at the control panel that could unleash Armageddon and wonders about his life choices at his career’s end. But Ubu co-founder and sole consistent member David Thomas points out that a) the album was conceived and recorded before last November’s election results and b) that’s not how the legendary Cleveland band rolls. 8 p.m. Tuesday. $20. Woodward Theater, 1404 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, — BRIAN BAKER

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