19 Things To Do in Cincinnati This Week (May 16-21)

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THURSDAY 16
EVENT: Wild About Wine
Part of the Cincinnati Zoo’s Toast to the Wild series, Wild About Wine is a super-popular after-hours party that invites the public to wander the zoo grounds while sipping on glasses of vino. After listening to feedback, the zoo has expanded the always-sold-out event, offering longer hours, more space, more animals and more tickets. Each ticket includes access to zoo exhibits, 12 drink samples, a commemorative wine glass, a welcome drink, food for purchase, animal encounters, live music from cover band Linus Tate and a meet-and-greet with Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) scientists. VIP tickets include early access to the event, complimentary food samples, additional drink tickets, private animal encounters and access to exclusive air-conditioned areas. 6:30-9:30 p.m.; 5:30 p.m. entry for VIP Thursday. Tickets are $50; $45 members; $80 VIP; $75 member VIP. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, cincinnatizoo.org.
Photo: Provided

THURSDAY 16

EVENT: Wild About Wine
Part of the Cincinnati Zoo’s Toast to the Wild series, Wild About Wine is a super-popular after-hours party that invites the public to wander the zoo grounds while sipping on glasses of vino. After listening to feedback, the zoo has expanded the always-sold-out event, offering longer hours, more space, more animals and more tickets. Each ticket includes access to zoo exhibits, 12 drink samples, a commemorative wine glass, a welcome drink, food for purchase, animal encounters, live music from cover band Linus Tate and a meet-and-greet with Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) scientists. VIP tickets include early access to the event, complimentary food samples, additional drink tickets, private animal encounters and access to exclusive air-conditioned areas. 6:30-9:30 p.m.; 5:30 p.m. entry for VIP Thursday. Tickets are $50; $45 members; $80 VIP; $75 member VIP. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, cincinnatizoo.org.
Photo: Provided
THURSDAY 16
MUSIC: Tank and the Bangas
The Underworld Jazz Festival — curated by Cincinnati native and international touring artist Napoleon Maddox (known best locally as the creative mind behind progressive Jazz/Hip Hop project IsWhat?!) — is back for its second annual celebration and examination of Jazz, Hip Hop, Soul and other styles of music, featuring special guests from all over the world. The showcase of everything from “survival songs to rebel music (and) from Spirituals to Trap” continues through May 25. One of the marquee events of UJF this year is the In Her Voice show at the Woodward Theater in Over-the-Rhine on May 16. The showcase is described as a celebration of “black women through performance and poetry” and is a collaboration between UJF and Queens Village, which works with Cradle Cincinnati and is described as a “supportive community gathering of powerful Black women who come together to relax, re-power and take care of ourselves and each other.”  The lineup for the event includes local favorites Lauren Eylise, Jennifer Simone, MC Jori An Cotton and DJ Apryl Reign, as well as New Orleans’ Tank and the Bangas, the widely acclaimed band that won the 2017 Tiny Desk Contest and has become a high-profile touring act, appearing recently on The Tonight Show. The event will also feature poetry from the In Her Voice North College Hill Poetry Crew. Tickets for the In Her Voice show ($15) are available at eventbrite.com. (Most of the UJF events are free.)
Photo: Alex Marks

THURSDAY 16

MUSIC: Tank and the Bangas
The Underworld Jazz Festival — curated by Cincinnati native and international touring artist Napoleon Maddox (known best locally as the creative mind behind progressive Jazz/Hip Hop project IsWhat?!) — is back for its second annual celebration and examination of Jazz, Hip Hop, Soul and other styles of music, featuring special guests from all over the world. The showcase of everything from “survival songs to rebel music (and) from Spirituals to Trap” continues through May 25. One of the marquee events of UJF this year is the In Her Voice show at the Woodward Theater in Over-the-Rhine on May 16. The showcase is described as a celebration of “black women through performance and poetry” and is a collaboration between UJF and Queens Village, which works with Cradle Cincinnati and is described as a “supportive community gathering of powerful Black women who come together to relax, re-power and take care of ourselves and each other.” The lineup for the event includes local favorites Lauren Eylise, Jennifer Simone, MC Jori An Cotton and DJ Apryl Reign, as well as New Orleans’ Tank and the Bangas, the widely acclaimed band that won the 2017 Tiny Desk Contest and has become a high-profile touring act, appearing recently on The Tonight Show. The event will also feature poetry from the In Her Voice North College Hill Poetry Crew. Tickets for the In Her Voice show ($15) are available at eventbrite.com. (Most of the UJF events are free.)
Photo: Alex Marks
FRIDAY 17
EVENT: Breakfast on the Bridge
May 17 is National Bike to Work Day and Tri-State Trails — “an alliance of trail advocates advancing a vision to connect and expand Greater Cincinnati’s trail network” —  is celebrating with the 10th-annual Breakfast on the Bridge. Head to the Purple People Bridge on your bike between 7 and 9 a.m. Friday for free Trailhead Coffee and breakfast bites like waffles from Taste of Belgium, bacon, donuts and more — all over the Ohio River. First-timers, casual riders and die-hard commuters are all welcome. 7-9 a.m. Friday. Free. Purple People Bridge, 1 Levee Way, Newport, facebook.com/tristatetrails1.
Photo: Provided

FRIDAY 17

EVENT: Breakfast on the Bridge
May 17 is National Bike to Work Day and Tri-State Trails — “an alliance of trail advocates advancing a vision to connect and expand Greater Cincinnati’s trail network” — is celebrating with the 10th-annual Breakfast on the Bridge. Head to the Purple People Bridge on your bike between 7 and 9 a.m. Friday for free Trailhead Coffee and breakfast bites like waffles from Taste of Belgium, bacon, donuts and more — all over the Ohio River. First-timers, casual riders and die-hard commuters are all welcome. 7-9 a.m. Friday. Free. Purple People Bridge, 1 Levee Way, Newport, facebook.com/tristatetrails1.
Photo: Provided
FRIDAY 17
ONSTAGE: Twice The First Time
In 2017, award-winning artist and musician Napoleon Maddox debuted Twice the First Time at the Contemporary Arts Center’s Black Box performance space. The multimedia work tells the story of his great-grandaunts Millie-Christine McKoy, conjoined twins who were born into slavery in North Carolina in 1851 and later became a sideshow circus act, touring the world and eventually learning multiple languages, meeting Queen Victoria and making enough money to support their family (and their manager’s family). Now, back by popular demand, Maddox is performing his work at the Woodward Theater after touring it across festivals and theaters in France and Italy. Watch as Maddox highlights the twins’ experiences with exploitation, captivity and liberation through Hip Hop, performance art, Jazz and video. Featuring special guest Marc Cary as part of the Underworld Jazz Festival.7-10:30 p.m. Friday. $10. Woodward Theater, 1404 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, woodwardtheater.com.
Photo: John H. Fitzgibbon

FRIDAY 17

ONSTAGE: Twice The First Time
In 2017, award-winning artist and musician Napoleon Maddox debuted Twice the First Time at the Contemporary Arts Center’s Black Box performance space. The multimedia work tells the story of his great-grandaunts Millie-Christine McKoy, conjoined twins who were born into slavery in North Carolina in 1851 and later became a sideshow circus act, touring the world and eventually learning multiple languages, meeting Queen Victoria and making enough money to support their family (and their manager’s family). Now, back by popular demand, Maddox is performing his work at the Woodward Theater after touring it across festivals and theaters in France and Italy. Watch as Maddox highlights the twins’ experiences with exploitation, captivity and liberation through Hip Hop, performance art, Jazz and video. Featuring special guest Marc Cary as part of the Underworld Jazz Festival.7-10:30 p.m. Friday. $10. Woodward Theater, 1404 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, woodwardtheater.com.
Photo: John H. Fitzgibbon
FRIDAY 17
MUSIC: Buckethead
Talk about truth in advertising: When Brian Patrick Carroll was 19 and already an accomplished guitarist, he stuck a Kentucky Fried Chicken tub on his noggin, slapped an emotionless white mask over his face to shield his identity, looked in a mirror and said, “Buckethead.” Thus was born one of the most inventive and uniquely talented guitar shredders, a player who routinely shifts between Funk, Metal, Prog, Blues, Ambient, Bluegrass and experimental Art Rock and has been cited by numerous publications and august organizations as among the best, fastest and weirdest guitarists on the planet. 7 p.m. Friday. $25. Bogart's, 2621 Vine St., Corryville, bogarts.com.
Photo: Jhayne

FRIDAY 17

MUSIC: Buckethead
Talk about truth in advertising: When Brian Patrick Carroll was 19 and already an accomplished guitarist, he stuck a Kentucky Fried Chicken tub on his noggin, slapped an emotionless white mask over his face to shield his identity, looked in a mirror and said, “Buckethead.” Thus was born one of the most inventive and uniquely talented guitar shredders, a player who routinely shifts between Funk, Metal, Prog, Blues, Ambient, Bluegrass and experimental Art Rock and has been cited by numerous publications and august organizations as among the best, fastest and weirdest guitarists on the planet. 7 p.m. Friday. $25. Bogart's, 2621 Vine St., Corryville, bogarts.com.
Photo: Jhayne
FRIDAY 17
EVENT: Art on Vine TGIF Summer Celebration
Art on Vine is TGIF-ing with this after-work summer celebration. The makers’ market will be popping up at Washington Park with more than 70 vendors selling handmade art and goods. There will also be food from OTR eateries and wine, beer and cocktails available from the park concession stand. This will be the only time to catch Art on Vine at Washington Park this season — they head to Fountain Square every first Sunday this summer starting June 2 through Sept. 1. 4-10 p.m. Friday. Free admission. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/artonvinecincy.
Photo: Provided

FRIDAY 17

EVENT: Art on Vine TGIF Summer Celebration
Art on Vine is TGIF-ing with this after-work summer celebration. The makers’ market will be popping up at Washington Park with more than 70 vendors selling handmade art and goods. There will also be food from OTR eateries and wine, beer and cocktails available from the park concession stand. This will be the only time to catch Art on Vine at Washington Park this season — they head to Fountain Square every first Sunday this summer starting June 2 through Sept. 1. 4-10 p.m. Friday. Free admission. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/artonvinecincy.
Photo: Provided
FRIDAY 17
ONSTAGE: Tiny Houses
There’s a kind of time warp going on with the Cincinnati Playhouse’s world premiere production of Chelsea Marcantel’s Tiny Houses. At the outset, Bohdi (Peter Hargrave), the optimistic half of a couple who recently relocated from New York City to northern Oregon, is enthusiastically convinced that he can complete the construction of a 200-square-foot house in three months, maybe four. His girlfriend of four months, Cath (Kate Eastman), a banker who has abandoned employment but is financing the project, is more pragmatic and dubious. Help of questionable value comes from two of Bohdi’s past acquaintances. Ollie (Michael Doherty) is hosting the project in his backyard since Bohdi has not yet purchased the necessary land; the plan is to trailer the house into the woods when (or if) it’s completed. Jevne (Nandita Shenoy), a loony girlfriend from Bohdi’s Oregon past, turns up to help, full of second guesses about construction and clearly wangling for Bohdi’s affections.Director Laura Kepley, the artistic director at the Cleveland Play House — the show is a co-production with that Northeast Ohio theater — has highlighted the humor in Marcantel’s script by using spotlighted monologues for each actor to show off his or her comic chops. This gives us deeper insights into their characters’ offbeat personal psyches. They’re self-absorbed in ways you might recognize, and that’s the fun of this show, even if the message is kind of muddy. The confines of a tiny house pressurize the play’s entertainment quotient, even if these characters are more caricatures. Tiny Houses is like watching exotic animals in a crazy zoo. Tiny Houses, presented by the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, continues through June 2. More info/tickets: cincyplay.com.
Photo: Mikki Schaffner Photography

FRIDAY 17

ONSTAGE: Tiny Houses
There’s a kind of time warp going on with the Cincinnati Playhouse’s world premiere production of Chelsea Marcantel’s Tiny Houses. At the outset, Bohdi (Peter Hargrave), the optimistic half of a couple who recently relocated from New York City to northern Oregon, is enthusiastically convinced that he can complete the construction of a 200-square-foot house in three months, maybe four. His girlfriend of four months, Cath (Kate Eastman), a banker who has abandoned employment but is financing the project, is more pragmatic and dubious. Help of questionable value comes from two of Bohdi’s past acquaintances. Ollie (Michael Doherty) is hosting the project in his backyard since Bohdi has not yet purchased the necessary land; the plan is to trailer the house into the woods when (or if) it’s completed. Jevne (Nandita Shenoy), a loony girlfriend from Bohdi’s Oregon past, turns up to help, full of second guesses about construction and clearly wangling for Bohdi’s affections.Director Laura Kepley, the artistic director at the Cleveland Play House — the show is a co-production with that Northeast Ohio theater — has highlighted the humor in Marcantel’s script by using spotlighted monologues for each actor to show off his or her comic chops. This gives us deeper insights into their characters’ offbeat personal psyches. They’re self-absorbed in ways you might recognize, and that’s the fun of this show, even if the message is kind of muddy. The confines of a tiny house pressurize the play’s entertainment quotient, even if these characters are more caricatures. Tiny Houses is like watching exotic animals in a crazy zoo. Tiny Houses, presented by the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, continues through June 2. More info/tickets: cincyplay.com.
Photo: Mikki Schaffner Photography
FRIDAY 17
ONSTAGE: May Festival
Proclaimed as “a celebration of the human voice,” the 2019 Cincinnati May Festival takes place this month with four performances at Music Hall exploring the Great Beyond: The Immortal (May 17), Silences Between (May 18), Mahler & Mussorgsky: Games of Thrones (May 24) and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (May 25). Complementary programming throughout the city is intended to engage and entertain as well. The May Festival takes place May 17 to May 25 at various venues across Cincinnati. More info/tickets: mayfestival.com.
Photo: Michael Novak

FRIDAY 17

ONSTAGE: May Festival
Proclaimed as “a celebration of the human voice,” the 2019 Cincinnati May Festival takes place this month with four performances at Music Hall exploring the Great Beyond: The Immortal (May 17), Silences Between (May 18), Mahler & Mussorgsky: Games of Thrones (May 24) and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (May 25). Complementary programming throughout the city is intended to engage and entertain as well. The May Festival takes place May 17 to May 25 at various venues across Cincinnati. More info/tickets: mayfestival.com.
Photo: Michael Novak
SATURDAY 18
EVENT: OTR 5k
The 13th-annual OTR 5k rings in summer in the city with a run/walk and party. The race kicks off at 9 a.m. with a route that winds participants from 13th and Republic streets past Findlay Market, down Liberty, up into Pendleton and back into the heart of OTR. There will be Rookwood Pottery medals awarded to the top male and female runners in a variety of age categories, plus top three overall in each gender, and first male and female with a stroller and first male and female with a walker. After the race (which includes a T-shirt, Taste of Belgium waffle and drink ticket), head to Washington Park for the after party, which includes the season’s first City Flea. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. $40. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/OTR5K. 
Photo: Facebook

SATURDAY 18

EVENT: OTR 5k
The 13th-annual OTR 5k rings in summer in the city with a run/walk and party. The race kicks off at 9 a.m. with a route that winds participants from 13th and Republic streets past Findlay Market, down Liberty, up into Pendleton and back into the heart of OTR. There will be Rookwood Pottery medals awarded to the top male and female runners in a variety of age categories, plus top three overall in each gender, and first male and female with a stroller and first male and female with a walker. After the race (which includes a T-shirt, Taste of Belgium waffle and drink ticket), head to Washington Park for the after party, which includes the season’s first City Flea. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. $40. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/OTR5K.
Photo: Facebook
SATURDAY 18
EVENT: The City Flea
The City Flea is kicking off its summer shopping season Saturday in Over-the-Rhine when hundreds of vendors will gather at Washington Park to create an urban flea market that lets you meet a myriad of Cincinnati artisans and makers. Shop their wares ranging from art, and vintage finds to jewelry, ceramics, plants, fancy foods and more. Experience it all in one place while supporting small and local businesses. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Free admission. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, thecityflea.com.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

SATURDAY 18

EVENT: The City Flea
The City Flea is kicking off its summer shopping season Saturday in Over-the-Rhine when hundreds of vendors will gather at Washington Park to create an urban flea market that lets you meet a myriad of Cincinnati artisans and makers. Shop their wares ranging from art, and vintage finds to jewelry, ceramics, plants, fancy foods and more. Experience it all in one place while supporting small and local businesses. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Free admission. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, thecityflea.com.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger