Your Weekly To Do List (12/6-12/12)

The Mount Adams Reindog Parade, SantaCon, The Disaster Artist and a Merry COV-mas Pub Crawl

Canine Costume Ideas

click to enlarge Biscuits - PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Biscuits

The 28th-annual Reindog Parade takes over the streets on Mount Adams on Saturday with a festive procession of pooches dressed in their cleverest holiday wear. If you feel like entering your dog in the contest, here are some really genius human-animal couples’ costume ideas. You’re welcome.

  • Santa and Rudolph, except your dog is Santa (with a hat and long white beard) — flipped it!
  • Gingerbread man (dog) and oven (you)
  • Wrapped present (dog) and Christmas tree (you)
  • Christmas tree (still you) and Christmas light bulb (dog)
  • Baby Jesus (dog) and Mary and Joseph (you and friend/partner)
  • Olaf from Frozen (you, ha) and your dog is either Anna or Elsa — even better if your dog is a Chihuahua and you can put a wig on him/her
  • Any variation of A Christmas Story works. Dog is a leg lamp and you are Ralphie. Dog is a leg lamp and you are a “Fragile” box. Dog is Ralphie in Western wear with a Red Ryder BB gun and you are a cat burglar. Small dog is a Bumpus hound and you are a turkey…
  • Fruitcake (dog) and a monk (you)
  • Scrooge (you) and ghost of Christmas past, present or future or Jacob Marley (dog), depending on how well your dog tolerates chains
  • Shovel (you) and snow pile (dog) or dog is a dog but you are a snow pile with pee on you

WEDNESDAY 06

click to enlarge Heather Jones - PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Heather Jones


ART: A Sense of Home: New Quilts by Heather Jones 

If the inventive 18th- and 19th-century women of the Elegant Geometry: British and American Patchwork Quilts exhibit at the Taft Museum of Art were alive today, they’d likely be swapping ideas with Heather Jones, a local quilter who has a solo companion show. In A Sense of Home, Jones honors her predecessors and the Taft’s refined art and architecture while staying true to her own modern style. Jones’ exhibit in the Taft’s cozy Sinton Gallery is part of a series in which local contemporary artists are invited to respond to the museum’s collection, décor or history. (Previous participants include cut-paper artist Kristine Donnelly and painter Cedric Michael Cox.) Jones, who regularly draws inspiration from the simplicity of parking lot grids, cityscapes and grain silos, immediately zeroed in on colors and lines.  Jones, of Springboro, is a star in the world of modern quilting, a category that is generally defined by Minimalist designs, bold colors and improvisational piecing rather than precise patterns. She teaches workshops online and in person across the country, has appeared on PBS and been featured on marthastewart.com. She wrote a book (Quilt Local: Finding Inspiration in the Everyday) and founded the Cincinnati chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild. But the women of Elegant Geometry: British and American Mosaic Patchwork Quilts were no slouches themselves. The 19 quilts on display demonstrate amazing patience and ingenuity in hand-sewing thousands of hexagons together to make what were seen then as practical household goods and today as works of art. Elegant Geometry continues through Jan. 21 and A Sense of Home continues through Feb. 18 at the Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike St., Downtown. Tickets and more info: taftmuseum.org. — KATHY SCHWARTZ

ONSTAGE: The Dancing Princesses 

Musicals are a challenging art form requiring extensive collaboration among creators and performers to come into existence, let alone to be successful. So it’s no small feat that Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati has been staging world-premiere musical fairy tales during the holidays for 20 years. This time around, playwright Joe McDonough and composer David Kisor have adapted and updated a less-than-familiar Brothers Grimm fairy tale, The Dancing Princesses. It’s one of their best, most entertaining creations. Staged by ETC Artistic Director D. Lynn Meyers, it’s the story of five fiercely independent princess sisters (the Brothers Grimm version had a dozen, but that would be a crowd on ETC’s smallish stage) who ruin their shoes nightly by sneaking off for dance parties in a dream kingdom. Kisor’s score contains 33 brief, diverse musical numbers, ranging from sprightly to soulful. It’s his most clever and inventive score yet, hopscotching across umpteen dance rhythms. That keeps the cast almost constantly in motion, spiritedly organized by three veteran choreographers — Dee Anne Bryll, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s Patti James and Cincinnati Ballet’s Victoria Morgan. It makes for a visually entertaining production, enhanced by Brian c. Mehring’s three-tiered, Gothic-arched medieval scenic design and Reba Senske’s riotously imagined costumes. Each princess has a personal color scheme for gowns, sleepwear and even bedspreads. Through Dec. 30. More info and tickets at ensemblecincinnati.org. — RICK PENDER

click to enlarge Puddles Pity Party - PHOTO: RED LIGHT MANAGEMENT
Photo: Red Light Management
Puddles Pity Party

EVENT: An Evening with Puddles Pity Party

It was a big year for clowns. With the feature film adaptation of Stephen King’s horrifying novel It raking in nearly $700 million worldwide and inspiring a slew of equally disturbing Pennywise Halloween costumes, clowns definitely took over pop culture. The trend continues at Bogart’s with the 7-foot singing clown sensation Puddles Pity Party, aka Mike Geier, whose crooning is surprisingly angelic and comes in a close second to the eclectic mix of artists he covers, which includes Lorde, Leonard Cohen, Blink 182 and Pixies. If you can get over the creepy clown getup, you might actually enjoy this atypical circus performer’s hidden talent. 7 p.m. Wednesday. $39.50-$145. Bogart’s, 2621 Vine St., Corryville, bogarts.com. — ERIN COUCH

click to enlarge A Christmas Carol - PHOTOL MIKKI SCHAFFNER PHOTOGRAPHY
PhotoL Mikki Schaffner Photography
A Christmas Carol

ONSTAGE: A Christmas Carol

Of course Charles Dickens’ 1843 tale of a miserly, mean-spirited man scared by ghosts of Christmas past, present and future into a generous and loving philanthropist has become a beloved holiday tradition. As staged by the Cincinnati Playhouse, it also happens to be a great piece of theater with an outstanding cast of local and national professional actors who give the show its warmth and gentle humor. As much as Bruce Cromer is a star playing Ebenezer Scrooge, so is the Playhouse’s gorgeous Victorian London set with buildings that glisten, pivot and open up to warm interiors. It’s a must-see show this time of year. Through Dec. 30. $30-$85. Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, 962 Mount Adams Circle, Mount Adams, cincyplay.com. — RICK PENDER

click to enlarge Bourbon & Bacon - PHOTO: JESSE FOX
Photo: Jesse Fox
Bourbon & Bacon

EVENT: Bourbon & Bacon

If you like eating divine swine or drinking high-quality Kentucky liquor, head to New Riff for CityBeat’s Bourbon & Bacon party. Guests will enjoy samples of bacon-inspired dishes from local eateries including Holtman’s, Django Western Taco, BrewRiver GastroPub and more. Wash down the pork with whiskey from Buffalo Trace, Old Forester and Indian Creek Distillery, among others, or just grab a wine or beer. Tickets include 10 drink samples and all-you-can-snack food. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday. $55. New Riff Distilling, 24 Distillery Way, Newport, Ky., citybeat.com. — MAIJA ZUMMO

THURSDAY 07

COMEDY: Rob Little

Meet Rob Little, comedian, TV host and ordained minister. The latter he undertook as way to perform marriage ceremonies for friends, of which he’s done about four. “If it’s a good friend, I’m down to do it,” he says. “I’ve been asked by a few fans and it’s always like, ‘I don’t really know you and it’s hard to tailor it to you.’ Most of the time I’m booked anyway.” The process took no time at all. “Literally, how fast can you type your name and address? There’s no Jesus quiz,” he says. “There’s nothing to it. Super easy.” Through Sunday. $20. Liberty Funny Bone, 7518 Bales St., Liberty Township, liberty.funnybone.com. — P.F. WILSON

FRIDAY 08

HOLIDAY: Holiday Pops

Get into the holiday spirit with a little help from the Cincinnati Pops and conductor John Morris Russell. The Pops will perform a variety of holiday favorites with help from crooner Denzal Sinclaire and dancers and singers from the Classical Roots Choir and May Festival Chorus. Bring a toy to donate to St. Vincent de Paul’s Angel Toy Program. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; 8 p.m. Sunday. $25-$95; $15 kids. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatisymphony.org. — KENNEDY PONDER

FILM: The Disaster Artist

What screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber have done with The Disaster Artist, in conjunction with director and star James Franco and producing partners Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, is bring audiences into the real-life story that is the film’s basis. It’s about the relationship between Greg Sestero (Dave Franco), a struggling actor, and Tommy Wiseau (James Franco), a mysterious and eccentric fellow artiste, as they forge a passionate friendship that leads them to Hollywood to pursue their dreams of making a movie together. That movie, 2003’s The Room, has developed a so-bad-it’s-good cult reputation over the years. The Disaster Artist — with a title taken from Sestero’s memoir (with co-writer Tom Bissell) The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made — takes The Room’s creators seriously. “Every other chapter of the book The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made is about the history of the making of (the film),” Weber says. “But the alternating chapters detail the history of the friendship. We, both literally and figuratively, took the book apart and removed the production chapters, because the relationship was much more interesting to us. They were two guys who believed in each other when no one else did. That was pretty much our story, and that was where the emotional stakes were.” Opens Friday. — TT STERN-ENZI

SATURDAY 09

click to enlarge Eric Johanson - PHOTO: ERICJOHANSON.COM
Photo: ericjohanson.com
Eric Johanson


MUSIC: Eric Johanson

It seems like a lot of Blues guitarists begin as a “young Blues prodigy,” something that bodes well for the survival of the uniquely American art form. Google those words and you’ll get a half million results about musicians as young as 8-years-old from all over the world. Louisiana native Eric Johanson is a good example of a young player (he started when he was 5) who worked hard on his chops, stuck with his passion, explored new ground and grew up to become a reputable artist in the Blues world. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina flooded and destroyed his apartment and studio, leading Johanson (who holds a degree in philosophy) to move to New Zealand the following year. When he returned to New Orleans four years later, the guitarist immersed himself in the city’s music and culture, playing with hometown heroes from the Funk and Zydeco worlds. Eventually finding his way back to Blues, armed with the musical lessons learned  — as well as the emotional questions raised and the understanding gained while dealing with the Katrina fallout — Johanson released his Blues-based solo debut, Burn It Down, in October. He found a dedicated supporter in popular Blues artist Tab Benoit, who not only produced Burn It Down in his Louisiana studio but also played drums on the album and released it on the label he cofounded, Whiskey Bayou Records. 8 p.m. $22-$25. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, tafttheatre.org. — MIKE BREEN

click to enlarge Mount Adams Reindog Parade - PHOTO: SPCA CINCINNATI
Photo: SPCA Cincinnati
Mount Adams Reindog Parade

HOLIDAY: Mount Adams Reindog Parade

If Fido is feeling more like Rudolph than the Grinch’s Max this season, take the pup to Mount Adams for the 28th-annual Reindog Parade. Dogs are encouraged to dress in holiday costumes for a festive procession through the neighborhood (led by Santa) with prizes in categories including small dog, large dog, dog/owner look alike and multiple dogs. Proceeds benefit the SPCA Cincinnati. 12:30-1:45 p.m. registration; 2 p.m. parade Saturday. Free. 1055 St. Paul Place, Mount Adams, spcacincinnati.org. — MAIJA ZUMMO

HOLIDAY: Merry COV-Mas Pub Crawl

’Tis the season to get a little rowdy with your friends. This Merry COV-mas crawl — hosted by Braxton and New Belgium — leads you on a journey through Covington with stops at local favorite watering holes including The Gruff, Keystone, Smoke Justis and Molly Malone’s. Dress in your best holiday attire — or should we say worst? — because there will be prizes for the most festive outfit. Spread Christmas cheer throughout the Cov and indulge in (most likely) a bad decision or two. After the bar crawl, there will be a mini festival at the Covington Night Bazaar with wobbly karaoke. 6-9 p.m. Saturday. Free. Leaves from The Gruff, 129 E. Second St., Covington, Ky., facebook.com/braxtonbrewingcompany. — ALISON BAXTER

EVENT: Winter Covington Night Bazaar

With the theme of “The Night Sky,” the Winter Covington Night Bazaar at Roebling Point will celebrate “creative placemaking” with a shopping-friendly pop-up featuring local music, local beer and crafts and goodies from local artists. Just in time to get some holiday shopping done, find one-of-a-kind pieces for yourself or a gift for someone else. (This event follows the COV-mas Pub Crawl, so get ready to have a great night with friends, loved ones and that noisy neighbor of yours.) 6-10 p.m. Saturday; 4-10 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. Roebling Point, Third and Court streets, Covington, Ky., facebook.com/covingtonnightbazaar. — ALISON BAXTER

click to enlarge Cincinnati Art Book Fair - ART: AGGIE TOPPINS
Art: Aggie Toppins
Cincinnati Art Book Fair

ART: Cincinnati Art Book Fair

The Cincinnati Art Book Fair is a two-day fair featuring the work of independent publishers and collections, on view at Anytime Dept. gallery in Hoffner Lodge in Northside. Saturday will feature a panel discussion moderated by Anytime’s staff, and Sunday’s program will include a film screening by Chicago-based fine artist and curator Jesse Malmed. Participants in the fair itself include the Camp Washington-based Archive of Creative Culture, Westwood’s Basketshop Gallery, the New York-based 8-Ball Community and the University of Cincinnati’s socially engaged, small-run, Risograph-based art book press, Special Collections. Noon-7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday with special events at 8 p.m. both days. Free. Anytime Dept., 4120 Hamilton Ave., Northside, cincinnatiartbookfair.com. — MARIA SEDA-REEDER

click to enlarge Cincinnati Cyclones - PHOTO: PROVIDED
Photo: Provided
Cincinnati Cyclones

EVENT: Cyclones Star Wars Night

A long time ago (1977) in a galaxy far, far, away (Hollywood) emerged the ultimate sci-fi fantasy, Star Wars. Forty years later, the franchise is still kicking, with Star Wars: Episode VIII − The Last Jedi hitting theaters in less than a week (but who’s counting?). The Cyclones want to kick off the celebration with an evening of wookies, ewoks, other staple Star Wars characters and, of course, hockey. Dress for a photo-op with some of the crew from the likes of the Death Star and Millennium Falcon, and stick around after the game to bid on specialty jerseys. 6:30 p.m. doors; 7:30 p.m. puck drop Saturday. $15-$27.50 advance; $17-$29.50 day of. U.S. Bank Arena, 100 Broadway St., Downtown, cycloneshockey.com. — ERIN COUCH

HOLIDAY: Macy’s Downtown Dazzle

Looking for a less traditional way to meet Santa? Watch him rappel down the Huntington Center to the Macy’s rooftop to kick off a holiday fireworks display. Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s wicked stepsisters, from the current production of Cinderella, will be on hand to sing festive family favorites with the Cincinnati Boy Choir before the show. 5:30 p.m. choirs; 6:30 p.m. Santa Saturday. Free. Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown, downtowncincinnati.com. — KENNEDY PONDER

HOLIDAY: Cincinnati SantaCon

The following event may contain graphic images of Cincinnatians “celebrating” Christmas. This 10th-annual Cincinnati SantaCon festive bar crawl returns Saturday, filled with beer and holiday cheer. Dress in your best Santa outfit or other holiday-themed costume and head to JACK Casino for your first stop. Then adventure around downtown to pubs and taverns and enjoy drink specials and caroling with your friends. You must be 21 or older to participate. Registration is required and a tip sheet on being your best Santa self is available online. Adults can have some holiday fun, too. Right? Noon-midnight Saturday. Free; donations encouraged for The Cure Starts Now. JACK Casino, 1000 Broadway St., Pendleton, cincinnatisantacon.com. — ALISON BAXTER

HOLIDAY: Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival Ticket Distribution

Christ Church Cathedral’s Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival, presented on Dec. 30 and 31, has been a Cincinnati tradition since 1940 — the church’s rector at the time had fond memories of such a festival at his Episcopal prep school in upstate New York. The medieval Christmas-story pageant features a cast of some 200, as well as music, traditional English Christmas customs and even a live hawk. Demand for the free tickets to the four performances (at 2:30 and 5 p.m. each day) is so great that you have to be in line at 8 a.m. this Saturday for the distribution. There’s a limit of two tickets per person. 8 a.m. Saturday. Free tickets. Christ Church Cathedral, 318 E. Fourth St., Downtown, boarsheadfestival.com.  — STEVEN ROSEN

click to enlarge Ill Poetic - PHOTO: PROVIDED
Photo: Provided
Ill Poetic

MUSIC: Ill Poetic

Ill Poetic, the Hip Hop artist who cut his teeth in Ohio before relocating to San Diego (where he helps run a record shop), has possessed an artistry that transcends genre stereotypes since he started, from the smart, inventive rhymes of his early duo Definition to his wildly imaginative production on releases like The Silhouette Project and Synesthesia: The Yellow Movement, as well as mash-up projects in which he made couplings like OutKast/Nine Inch Nails and Marvin Gaye/Pink Floyd sound entirely plausible. On many levels, he has lived up to his name over more than 15 years of making music. That skill was on display once again on November’s rich, remarkable An Idiot’s Guide to Anarchy, his first full-length effort since 2007. The musical and emotional depth of the album is as revealing as the growth rings of a thick tree — you can trace the wisdom his curiosity and maturity have earned him over the past 10 years. Featuring collaborations with Cincy artists like The Ingrid Rachel Project, Devin Burgess and Piakhan, the music on Anarchy straddles and defies genre boundaries (Funk, Soul, Industrial music and Rock find their way into the mix), while Ill Poetic is at the top of his already top-notch lyrical game. His homecoming show this weekend features an excellent roster of some of Cincinnati’s best Hip Hop acts, with performances by Burgess, Allen4President, Counterfeit Money Machine and Sons of Silverton. Ill Poetic is playing with a full backing band. 10 p.m. Saturday. Admission is a pay-what-you-can sliding scale. Northside Yacht Club, 4227 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, northsideyachtclub.com. — MIKE BREEN

SUNDAY 10

click to enlarge Peter Oren - PHOTO: PROVIDED
Photo: Provided
Peter Oren


MUSIC: Peter Oren 

Even a cursory listen to Peter Oren’s two magnificent albums, last year’s Living by the Light and the just-released Anthropocene, will fire sophisticated musical synapses into making a number of relevant connections. As a vocalist and guitarist, Oren’s earthy baritone and plaintively powerful fingerpicking style will inspire thoughts of Smog’s Bill Callahan and Brit Folk progenitor Nick Drake, if he’d been raised in the upper Midwest. And as a political activist and a road-bound troubadour, Oren certainly wears the colors of Woody Guthrie and Phil Ochs, who roamed the country they loved in order to sound the alarms for their respective generations about the ills of the day that would have consequences far beyond their lifetimes. The title of Oren’s latest potent album, Anthropocene, is a reference to a recently adopted scientific term describing the epoch of human existence and the effect that our stewardship has had on the planet as a whole, which is not exactly a cheery subject. But unlike a good many Folk naysayers who merely shake their fists at injustice from soapboxes, Oren offers glimmers of hope and inspires people to make an effort to change the things they would like to see changed. On the road, Anthropocene’s sonic atmospherics are stripped down to Oren and his guitar, but that’s exactly how his songs began and, if anything, they blossom into full flowers in that stark environment. 8 p.m. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com.  — BRIAN BAKER

WEDNESDAY 13

click to enlarge People Like You - ELLE DIOGUARDI
Elle DioGuardi
People Like You


MUSIC: Topshelf Records Tour

If you’re even a casual fan of Punk, Emo, Indie Rock, Post Rock or any tangentially related combinations or offshoots, chances are you’ve sought out a release from Topshelf Records. Over the past 11 years, the renowned independent label has amassed an impressive roster of nearly 40 artists including respected veteran Indie Rock bands (The City on Film, Mock Orange), more recent but acclaimed newcomers (The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, Field Mouse, Wildhoney) and even Braid, an icon of Post Hardcore/Emo experimentalism. Topshelf was created in 2006 when Seth Decoteau and Kevin Duquette were trying to establish their band as a legitimate entity and thought a real label might offer the desired credibility. When the band fizzled, Decoteau and Duquette decided to maintain the label in order to release albums by their friends’ bands, quickly became an independent success story. Along the way, the label has risen in stature within the industry and relocated from its Boston-area birthplace to new digs in San Diego. After years of buzzy South by Southwest showcases, Topshelf is now presenting a package tour of roster artists, featuring Us and Us Only, People Like You, Slingshot Dakota and Prawn. 8 p.m. $10-$12. Southgate House Revival, 111 E. Sixth St., Newport, Ky., southgatehouse.com. — BRIAN BAKER