In CityBeat's latest issue, out on newsstands now, we look ahead to fall arts offerings throughout the Cincinnati area — including one of the Queen City's biggest art festivals, BLINK. CityBeat also takes a more in-depth look at the return of the Fotofocus lens-based art biennial, new artistic director Jodie Gates' big plans for the Cincinnati Ballet and can't-miss offerings in local theater and music this fall. Keep reading to discover all of the stories you can find in CityBeat's latest print issue.
Fall Arts Preview: BLINK and FotoFocus are back, along with new theater, dance and classical music
By CityBeat Staff
School is back in session, pool season is coming to a close and the annual Riverfest firework display is about to signal the official end of summer in Cincinnati over Labor Day weekend. As we wave goodbye to one season, it’s time to welcome another — fall — and the flurry of art activity that comes with it. Read CityBeat’s Fall Arts Preview, where we take a look at two big events that are back this October, the BLINK art and light festival and the FotoFocus lens-based art biennial explore new seasons for local theaters and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and see what the Cincinnati Ballet’s new artistic director has in store for the future.
In Ohio House Campaign, Jim Obergefell Prepares to Fight Again for LGBTQ+ Protections
By Madeline Fening
Jim Obergefell is running for Ohio's House District 89 in the new post-Roe world, which could have big reverberations upon his own famous case, Obergefell v. Hodges, and other settled landmark laws. In June, the conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Dobbs v. Jackson, ultimately overturning the long-standing Roe v. Wade, which granted citizens the right to privacy to choose and seek an abortion. Many people now think that Obergefell, which grants same-sex marriage rights nationwide, will fall next, thanks to opinion language used in the DobbsRoe decision. Read CityBeat's story to find out why Obergefell's race matters to the nation.
Broadway’s 'Hamilton' Returns to Cincinnati for Four-Week Stint
By CityBeat Theater Critic, Rick Pender
A touring company of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s blockbuster Broadway hit, Hamilton, is on its way back to Cincinnati for a second appearance at Downtown’s Aronoff Center for the Arts. It will be onstage Sept. 6-Oct. 2. The show that tells the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton has created a revolutionary moment in theater. It’s a tale of our nation from more than two centuries ago, but told by America now. A cast of 19 – almost all Black and brown performers – is propelled by a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway. Hamilton has had a profound affect on culture and politics well beyond most Broadway musicals. Read CityBeat's story to find out what lies in store for Cincinnati's Hamilton audiences.
Review: An Updated Abigail Street Offers a Quieter Space for Enjoying Expertly Crafted Meals
By CityBeat Dining Critic, Pama Mitchell
I don’t need an excuse to eat at Abigail Street, inarguably one of Cincinnati’s most reliably excellent restaurants. Go there with a few people, order and share two or three items per person, and you’re all but guaranteed to have a memorable feast of a meal. In October, owners Dan and Lana Wright closed their adjacent restaurant, Senate, and said they planned to expand Abigail into the space. Ten months later, that project is near completion. The new dining room, now open to the public, has a noticeably different décor and vibe from the one I’ve known and loved for all these years. With the expanded capacity at Abigail comes a few new menu items, but longtime favorites aren’t going away. Read CityBeat's story to find out more about the changes taking place at Abigail Street — including the new menu offerings.
Fifty Fifty Gin Club in Over-the-Rhine is a Gin Lovers Paradise
By Sean M. Peters
Attached to Homemakers Bar, which describes itself as a slightly retro, mostly modern cocktail bar, Fifty Fifty Gin Club offers around 60 different gins, from locally distilled to imported Japanese varieties alongside representatives from seemingly every distinguished gin-producing region. The bar seats 22 guests, so don’t plan on simply dropping by with a large crew and expect enough seating. The menu includes inventive mixology, harboring a genuine spirit of adventure with unique recipes that are obviously the result of years of joyous gin-fueled experimentation. Read CityBeat's story to learn more about Fifty Fifty Gin Club's special ambiance — and, of course, it's inventive cocktail menu.
The Afghan Whigs Prepare for a Genre-Bending Homecoming Performance at Bogart's
By Gabe Echazabal
Musical acts that defy categorization and are difficult to describe are rare, fascinating creatures. While so many artists’ styles and sounds can often be compared or harkened back to a musical ancestor or predecessor, a few make it extremely difficult to determine their musical lineage. Take, for example, The Afghan Whigs. The band formed in the mid-80s in Cincinnati, and have been releasing superb (albeit hard-to-categorize) records since the latter part of the decade of their arrival. CityBeat's sister paper Creative Loafing Tampa Bay spoke with The Afghan Whigs' Greg Dulli ahead of their Cincinnati performance on Sept. 11. Read CityBeat's story to learn more about Dulli's creative process and what concertgoers can expect at the Bogart's show.
Hexagon House Brings DIY Ethos to Music Lovers in Northside
By Brent Stroud
One of Cincinnati’s newest and most varied venues sits on a hilltop in Northside, hosting carefully curated performances and events from musicians from a variety of genres and backgrounds. It’s called Hexagon House, and it’s also the home of venue curator, Liz Wolf. Surrounded by the colored glow of carefully positioned lamps and paper lanterns, acts perform from a deck to an audience spread across her back lawn in the open air. In some cases, shows take place in the house itself among more lights and eclectic decor. Read CityBeat's story to learn more about Hexagon House has become a welcoming performance space for local and nationally-touring musicians.
Sound Advice: Indie Faves Interpol and Spoon to Co-Headline Cincinnati Tour Stop
By Jason Gargano
Are there two more consistently on-brand musical outfits over the last two decades than Interpol and Spoon? Masters of angular guitar grooves, each rose to prominence at the turn of the century — Spoon with 2001’s Girls Can Tell, the band’s jump from arty, minimalism inspired by the band Wire to songcraft-centric hook machine; Interpol with its 2002 debut Turn on the Bright Lights, a visceral, uncommonly mature effort that melds myriad post punk influences with a particular strain of post-9/11 desolation. It should then come as no surprise that the two are teaming up for the “Lights, Camera, Factions” co-headlining tour. Read CityBeat's story for what to expect at the indie music giants' upcoming stop at Cincinnati's Andrew J Brady Music Center.
Sound Advice: The Black Keys' Cincinnati Connections Set to Electrify Riverbend Music Center
By Brian Baker
Before becoming global sensations, the Black Keys were home-state garage blues heroes who ultimately made several lasting connections in the Cincinnati area. There are plenty of reasons to witness the tour for the Black Keys’ heralded new album Dropout Boogie, the latest entry in the band’s 21-year history and 11-album catalog. There’s the opportunity to see the Gabbards in action before their own tour sets sail with the newly christened Gabbard Brothers, the off chance that Olive might pop up for a saxophone cameo, or just the thrill of seeing one of the country’s most engaging purveyors of punkish garage-tinged blues and rock. Read CityBeat's story to learn more about The Black Keys' Queen City connection.
Sound Advice: Thundercat to Turn Newport's MegaCorp Pavilion into His Den Sept. 6
By Jason Gargano
Stephen Lee Bruner is a curious guy. The Los Angeles native has packed enough into his 37 years of life to rival those twice his age. Better known as his performing alter-ego Thundercat, Bruner grew up in a musical family, learning to play bass when most kids were still messing with LEGOs. Reacting to and interacting with his surroundings is vital to Thundercat’s way of life, which makes his live shows an unpredictable, ever-evolving adventure. Read CityBeat's story to learn more about Thundercat's rise to fame.
Sound Advice: Married Duo Sylvan Esso to Hit Cincinnati Sept. 7
By Jason Gargano
The duo behind Sylvan Esso is a study in contrasts. Singer Amelia Meath is a diminutive whirlwind. Physicality is as much a part of her performance as what comes out of her mouth. It’s as if she is shaking the lyrics from her body. Her husband and creative partner, Nick Sanborn, is the programming/producing guru, his lithe frame and long hair perpetually perched over various electronic devices as Meath dances to the multitude of sounds he conjures. The pair’s curious dichotomy is even more evident in a live setting, lending Sylvan Esso’s hooky electro-pop a new dimension when experienced in person. Read CityBeat's story to find out more about what to expect at Sylvan Esso's upcoming Cincinnati performance.