Frank X Walker reads, Cincinnati Shakespeare doubles up, Roz G. is right and much more

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Frank X Walker

Frank X Walker

LITERARY: FRANK X WALKER Affrilachian poet Frank X Walker spends his time making the invisible visible using his words, not magic. His latest collection of poems, When Winter Come: The Ascension of York, picks up where his award winning Buffalo Dance: The Journey of York left off. With a message centered around his character York, the slave of William Clark (as in Lewis and Clark), Walker leads the reader through an eye-opening piece of historical fiction. Although the hero of the piece, When Winter Come isn't relayed through York. Instead the story and poetry unfold through the eyes of other characters such as his wives, William Clark or even his hunting shirt. By combining all the voices connected with York, Walker not only makes a hero out of a once invisible character, but provides a new spin on the textbook tale of the journey west. Walker, a leader in the Affrilachian movement, attempts to destroy negative stereotypes about the Appalachian region by revealing positive African-American figures associated with this area, and When Winter Come is no exception. Walker will be reading excerpts from his book at Joseph-Beth in Hyde Park at 7 p.m. Wednesday. (Get details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.)


ART: CARL SOLWAY GALLERY Since the 1970s, painter and printmaker Pat Steir has gradually removed the vehicle of image from her work. Her new-ish paintings on view at Carl Solway Gallery are representative of her established, washed-out surfaces. The best of the paintings are interjected with suggestive compositions, teetering rectangles that weep paint from their lower edges. But the paintings are shown up by her truly mesmerizing screenprints. Soupy and seemingly spontaneous, Steir's prints lead the way to the back galleries where they are complemented by a show full of showstoppers called "What Is a Print?" For those who are eagerly anticipating Cincinnati's upcoming Sol Lewitt exhibitions, two jewel-like prints will whet your appetite. One of the best pieces on display is a print by the thrillingly methodical Jonathan Lasker. Visitors to Solway will have the treat of engaging with lots of contemporary reactions to abstract expressionism in prints and paintings. Both exhibitions continue through April 12. (Get gallery details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) — MATT MORRIS

MUSIC: DE NOVO DAHL plays Southgate House with WE ARE THE FURY Wednesday. See Sound Advice Here.

COMEDY: ROZ G She's tough, a quality that served Roz G well when she was a social worker, but her softer side eventually led her out of that line of work. "I was like this den mother," she explains. "I took on everybody's problems, and I used to get emotionally attached to the clients." Today her act is summed up by her trademark line, "I ain't got jokes, I got problems," but that doesn't stop her from talking about other things. "I talk a lot about the president. I make jokes about his wife looking like the man from the Quaker Oatmeal box. Next time you see her on TV you gonna be like, 'Roz was right! She does look like Mr. Quaker Oats!' " Roz G performs at Funny Bone on the Levee Thursday through Sunday. $15-$17. (Buy tickets, check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) — P.F. WILSON

ONSTAGE: NO EXIT AND ENDGAME As its name implies, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company focuses on plays by William Shakespeare — but not exclusively. What they're really about is classics, and that includes classic works of theater from the 20th century, such as the double bill that opens tonight with two iconic scripts from the philosophical end of the spectrum: French intellectual Jean-Paul Sartre's No Exit and Irish novelist and playwright Samuel Beckett's Endgame. Sartre's 1944 script is set in the afterlife with three strangers who come to discover that "hell is other people." Nobel Prize winner Beckett, whose best-known work is Waiting for Godot (1953), wrote Endgame in 1957. It blends Godot's vaudeville rhythms with darker themes as a master and a servant struggle for power at the end of the world. These works are presentations of CSC's Studio Series, offering rarely seen works of world theater. No Exit, staged by CSC Artistic Director Brian Isaac Phillips, features CEA winner Corinne Mohlenhoff with Hayley Clark, Josh Stamoolis and Billy Chace. Company member Matt Johnson is directing Endgame, re-teaming CSC veterans Giles Davies and Jeremy Dubin, who starred in the company's much-praised 1999 production of Godot. $12-$26. (Buy tickets, check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) — RICK PENDER

ART: ADIDAS DESIGNS AT COEXIST SKATEBOARD SHOP Coexist skateboard shop hosts a free in-store art show to celebrate the release of Adidas' new shoe, the Castrucci Artist Series Campus, designed by Cincinnati native Joe Castrucci. The artist, who's a videographer and part owner of Coexist, will have works displayed alongside local artists Benny Cooper, Joel Blazer, Mike Deye, Eric Girgash and Coexist co-owner Fat Nick. Castrucci has earned his fame among skateboarders working for Habitat skateboards where he continues to turn heads and wheels with his terra-toned graphics and organic, culturally-inspired designs. Taj Mahal will cater the event with delicious and authentic Indian appetizers. After the Coexist show at 465 E. Kemper Road, shoe collectors, art connoisseurs and skateboarders alike are invited head down the street for a free skate at 9-11 p.m. at Sessions Skatepark, 32 W. Crescentville Road, Tri-County. (Get details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) — KEVIN BRUCE

ART: WESTON ART GALLERY The Weston Art Gallery is the highlight of 2008's first Final Friday, opening three remarkable exhibitions, each of which dissects socio-political culture: Utopian-Bands and Related Work by Mark Harris; Harrier: The Hovering Drone by Jimmy Baker and Nathan Tersteeg (aka Dungeon Thud); and Miracle Pennies and Other Stories by Nate Larson. Harris uses raw footage from his 2006 travels to Beijing where he co-organized a Chinese rock concert for Utopian-Bands, a video work that anchors the exhibition. Included in the show is a series of related paper works — cutouts and photographs — that support Harris's notion that "imagery of intoxication (is) a form of utopian representation." In the Weston's first floor gallery, Baker and Tersteeg have crash-landed a full-sized Harrier Jet (covered in hair), which will be the stage for a sound and video installation. Larson's photography roots itself in narrative. Each photograph tells a story, complete with dark humor, a catalog of belief systems and examinations of media and art itself. Opening 6-9 p.m. Friday; don't miss a one-time performance by Dungeon Thud at exactly 7 p.m. Through March 22. (Get gallery details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) — LAURA JAMES

DANCE: KORESH DANCE COMPANY If you want to see some high-octane, high-energy dancing that's bound to knock your socks off, check out Philadelphia-based Koresh Dance Company performing for one night only at Northern Kentucky University's Corbett Theatre at 8 p.m. Friday. Founded in 1991 by Israeli-born choreographer and artistic director Ronen Koresh, the group melds jazz, modern (with notable Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham influences) and ballet styles into an explosive alchemy of depth and presence. "Intensely intimate couplings, ballistic kicks, feral pounces and feisty rolling hips raise the energy level in his Philadelphia rehearsal studio into the red zone," wrote Miriam Seidel in a 2004 Dance Magazine article. She describes Koresh's choreography as "technically demanding, high-keyed and sexy." 'Nuff said, as this performance promises to be hot stuff. $10 adults; $9 NKU faculty, staff and alumni; $6 students. (Buy tickets, check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) — JULIE MULLINS

MUSIC: Catch the WINTER BLUES FEST at Southgate House Friday and Saturday. See Spill It here.

DANCE: WIDEMAN/DAVIS DANCE presents The Bends of Life at the Aronoff Center's Jarson-Kaplan Theater Friday and Saturday. See preview story here.

MUSIC: LEVI WEAVER plays Kaldi's on Friday. See Sound Advice here.

MUSIC: HALFWAY TO FORECASTLE Usually our "To Do" selections are in the Greater Cincinnati area, but there's a special show this week across the border worth checking out. When you think "music festival," you almost certainly think summertime, but this winter organizers of the growing Forecastle fest in Louisville (which is in the summertime) are presenting "Halfway to Forecastle," featuring an impressive lineup of regional and national Indie Rock acts. For just $15, Indie fans can catch (scorching sun-free) sets by Band of Horses, Cass McCombs, Early Day Miners, Tyler Ramsey, Catfish Haven, Ferdinand Fox, Coltrane Motion, How I Became the Bomb, Louisville's own VHS or Beta (pictured) and many others. Proceeds from the event are being donated to Louisville BMX champ Jimmy Levan, who was seriously injured in a skateboarding accident recently. That charitable side is a big part of Forecastle's mission. Based on the themes of music, art and activism, Forecastle events feature reps from several environmental organizations, as well as lots of art, speakers, panels, films and even an extreme sports park (the Halfway fest will feature a heated outdoor skate park, with exhibitions starting in the afternoon). The Halfway show Saturday takes place at Headliners, so there's more than a good chance the event will sell out. For full info, including links to buy tickets, check out — MIKE BREEN

EVENTS: DAY OF DIALOGUE ON HEALTHCARE With insurance premiums rising and drug costs passing the ridiculous mark, should government have a say in the accessibility of healthcare, an essential element of human survival? What about controlling costs? Join the conversation at the Day of Dialogue on Health Care. The Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center ( is bringing together a panel of experts to the First Unitarian Church (536 Linton Road) 9 a.m.-noon Saturday to provide a variety of opinions. Presenters include Peg Halpin, a county employee with insurance who's experiencing financial hardship with healthcare costs, and Dr. Molly Katz, who favors universal coverage but opposes Single Payer. Facilitated small discussion groups of six to eight people will follow. The goal is to "create an environment where people with different views can listen and be listened to, true learning and civil discourse can occur." Free. Reservations requested. RSVP to 513-579-8547. — MARGO PIERCE

MUSIC: THE CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE BAND performs at University of Cincinnati/Raymond Walters College's Cultural Center Saturday. See interview with McBride here.

MUSIC: Catch the final night of WINTER BLUES FEST at the Southgate House. See Spill It here.

DANCE: WIDEMAN/DAVIS DANCE presents The Bends of Life at the Aronoff Center's Jarson-Kaplan Theater Friday and Saturday. See preview story here.

MUSIC: BAND OF HORSES plays Southgate House Sunday with CASS MCCOMBS and TYLER RAMSEY. See Sound Advice here.

LITERARY: HEATHER RAFFO AT ROPES LECTURE SERIES The second installment of the 2008 Ropes Lecture Series brings Iraqi-American playwright Heather Raffo to the UC campus for a performance-lecture titled "Inspiring War: How Personalizing Violence Shapes an Iraqi Psyche in 9 Parts of Desire." Raffo, a critically acclaimed playwright and author of 9 Parts of Desire, will explore the impact of violence inflicted on Iraqi women during both Gulf Wars. This year's lecture series is titled "Violence and Literature: The Humanities in a Post-9-11 World" and asks audiences to take notice of the changes in the world since 9/11. Iranian-American writer Porochista Khakpour spoke Jan. 22, and Columbia University professor Joseph Slaughter is scheduled to present a lecture on torture, narrative and the humanist position Feb. 5. Elizabeth Swanson Goldberg, professor of literary and cultural studies at Babson College in Massachusetts, will speak about human rights in the age of terror Feb. 12. Free public lectures begin at 8 p.m. in ERC 427. (Get details and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) — DANNY CROSS

FIlM: CINCINNATI WORLD CINEMA presents a screening of the gorgeously restored 1980s French film Diva at the Cincinnati Art Museum. See review here.

ONSTAGE: THE BLONDE, THE BRUNETTE AND THE VENGEFUL REDHEAD features a wonderful one-woman performance at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. See review here.

ART: ARTWORKS GALLERY presents Lines, Webs and Sites. See review here.

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