FRIDAY ART: ART AFTER DARK: WINTER WILDERNESS The Cincinnati Art Museum’s Art After Dark: Winter Wilderness celebrates art and nature with an after-hours party. There will be live Folk music by local band Wilder and guided tours of the exhibit Field Guide: Photographs by Jochen Lempert. Lempert is a German photographer who studied biology and presents a special view on plants and animals. Wear black and white to go along with Lempert’s black-and-white photography. 5-9 p.m. Friday. Free admission. Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park, 513-721-2787, cincinnatiartmuseum.org.
ART: PATCH WORK: NEW PAINTINGS AT CARL SOLWAY GALLERY
Carl Solway Gallery hosts an opening reception for Matthew Kolodziej’s Patch Work: New Paintings, a selection of work informed by the painter’s interest in materials, archeology and construction processes. Although they resemble Abstract Expressionism, Kolodziej’s pieces are multi-layered fragments of visual details captured from architectural sites in flux. The painter, a professor of art at the University of Akron, photographs sites in the Midwest rust belt and then creates a patchwork of dimensional surfaces via a sophisticated process of computer manipulation, projection, tracing and paint application. Opening reception 5-8 p.m. Friday. On view through March 26. Free. 424 Findlay St., Over-the-Rhine, solwaygallery.com.
Photo: Ryan Kurtz
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati’s 30th-anniversary season continues with an intense one-woman story told through the eyes of a fierce fighter pilot whose pregnancy “grounds” her. Instead of spending time flying missions, she is stationed in a windowless trailer in the desert outside Las Vegas, flying military drones above the Middle East to hunt down and kill terrorists. Pulled between two worlds, she is trapped in an unsettling pressure cooker. Kathleen Wise, a Cincinnati native with an impressive professional acting career, plays the pilot. Michael Evan Haney, a Cincinnati Playhouse veteran who knows how to shape solo performances into compelling drama, is the director. Through Feb. 14. $28-$44. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, 1127 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-421-3555, ensemblecincinnati.org.
There's a heat wave coming Friday in Corbett Auditorium. The University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music concludes its “Great Decade” festival with a concert performance of Richard Strauss’ Salome, an opera that packs enough obsession, erotic sensuality and dysfunction to fuel an entire reality-show season for E! — in 90 minutes. Oscar Wilde based his Symbolist play Salome on the New Testament story of a young woman whose dancing won her the head of John the Baptist. The play was banned in London; Wilde translated it into French for the Paris premiere in 1896 and Strauss used a German translation for the libretto of his 1905 opera. Read more about the performance here. CCM Philharmonia presents Salome Friday at CCM’s Corbett Auditorium. More info: ccm.uc.edu.
ONSTAGE: THE WIZARD OF OZ
Yes, it’s a stage rendition of Dorothy’s 1939 cinematic dream of Oz, with every bit of music you will recall — plus a number you won’t (it includes “The Jitterbug,” deleted from the film) — performed lushly by the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra. This is a rather ambitious undertaking for The Carnegie, given the rather small stage: it’s accommodating 14 musicians and KSO conductor J. R. Cassidy as well as this expansive, highly visual story. But it’s all been managed with a whopping dose of creativity, especially the scenic design by Pam Kravetz. Her imagination knows no bounds, it seems, and I suspect it inspired some of director Matt Wilson’s zany choices as well as other design aspects of the show — such as the head of the “Great and Powerful Oz,” a large puppet made of cardboard boxes and paper cups, with moveable jaws and wiggling eyebrows. Or the Wicked Witch’s flying monkeys — augmented by cardboard cut-outs on sticks waved up and down the aisles by young cast members. Read the full review here. The Wizard of Oz, presented by The Carnegie in Covington, will be onstage through Jan. 31. More info/tickets: thecarnegie.com.
Tanya Tagaq's Cincinnati performance will feature her voice and the film Nanook of the North.
Photo: Ivan Otis
MUSIC: TANYA TAGAQ
Tanya Tagaq, the extraordinary Inuit throat singer, will provide vocal accompaniment to a screening of the silent film Nanook of the North at Cincinnati’s Woodward Theater this weekend. Her unusual background and performance style need introductions. Tagaq grew up in far northern Canada, at the small Arctic Archipelago town of Cambridge Bay in the largest and least-populated Canadian territory, Nunavut. Her town is on Victoria Island, one of the world’s largest. The Inuit are indigenous residents, originating from the land where they continue to live. They used to be called Eskimo, a term that has fallen out of favor. But while Tagaq very much identifies with those roots — her mother lived in an igloo until age 12 — her father was from Great Britain. After attending a residential high school at Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, she moved far away to study at Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, where she fell in love with cutting-edge contemporary art forms. Read a full feature on Tagaq here. Tanya Tagaq performs Saturday at Woodward Theater. Tickets are available at contemporaryartscenter.org.
MadTree's Winter Bonanza
EVENT: MADTREE WINTER BONANZA
MadTree celebrates its third birthday with the annual Winter Bonanza. This event features nearly 60 warming craft beers with favorites, limited releases and barrel-aged brews from MadTree, plus guest taps from other local and regional breweries. All beer tickets are $5, and pours range from 7-16 oz. depending on the brew. Keep your ears open for music from the likes of The Almighty Get Down and Rumpke Mountain Boys, and keep your belly full with bites from Catch-a-Fire Pizza, Red Sesame, Bone’s Burgers and C’est Cheese. Noon-1 a.m. Saturday. Free admission. MadTree Brewing Company, 5164 Kennedy Ave., Oakley, 513-836-8733, madtreebrewing.com.
COMEDY: CHAD DANIELS
“I think one of the biggest problems I’m talking about right now is parents giving their kids excuses,” says comedian Chad Daniels. “The problem is all the kid knows is excuses and he just keeps acting like an asshole. That’s the middle of my set right now.” But Daniels is quick to point out, “I can tell you I have zero answers to anything, but I do like to stir the pot a little bit.” Showtimes Thursday-Sunday. $8-$14. Go Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy.com.
Photo: Mikki Schaffner
ONSTAGE: CHAPTER TWO
For years, Neil Simon wrote hilarious comedies — Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple. But in 1977, he began to mine his own life for material. Chapter Two, a play about a widowed writer trying to start over while still grieving for his late wife, was rooted in his own experience. Simon’s trademarked one-liners are still there, but woven into the show’s humor is a story about coming to terms with death and moving on. With this whimsical play, Simon began to be taken more seriously. Local director Ed Cohen stages Chapter Two, which increases the odds for a good production. Through Feb. 14. $26; $23 seniors/students. Covedale Center for the Performing Arts, 4990 Glendale Ave., Covedale, 513-241-6550, cincinnatilandmarkproductions.com.
If you thought “Nashville” and “Stoner Rock” were the most incongruous words to show up in the same sentence (see my All Them Witches preview from last year’s MidPont Music Festival), replace the latter with “Dream Pop” and prepare to have your mind blown by the two-man-with-help Psychedelic Indie Rock orchestra known as Keeps. Gusti Escalante and Robbie Jackson met on their first day at Belmont University in Nashville and forged a friendship over their mutual distaste for the glittery Country veneer of their newly adopted hometown. Read more about Keeps in this week's Sound Advice. See Keeps with The Yugos and Orchards Saturday at Southgate House Revival. More info/tickets: southgatehouse.com.
'The People's State of the Union'
Photo: Brandon Simmoneau
ART: THE PEOPLE'S STATE OF THE UNION
Through her work as a cultural agent for the radically inclusive grassroots “U.S. Department of Arts and Culture” — not affiliated with any governmental agency — artist and activist Joi Sears has organized an exhibition and storytelling event called The People’s State of the Union
at the new Artspace Hamilton Lofts this weekend. Artists and visitors are encouraged to bring their own artwork, stories and poetry — or game-changing ideas — to share and reflect on the challenges and opportunities affecting the nation. 5-8 p.m. Saturday. Free. Artspace Hamilton Lofts, 222 High St., Hamilton, tinyurl.com/htsvqxz.
Cincinnati Entertainment Awards
Photo: Khoi Nguyen
EVENT: CINCINNATI ENTERTAINMENT AWARDSYou know the bands. You’ve seen them perform. You’ve voted for your favorites. Now it’s time to find out which local musical acts are winners of the 2016 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards. CityBeat’s 19th-annual CEAs take over Covington’s Madison Theater for a night of unforgettable results and performances. CEA nominees including Jess Lamb, The Slippery Lips, Abiyah, The Whiskey Shambles and Rumpke Mountain Boys take the stage between award presentations. But the celebration doesn’t end there — stick around for the CEA After Party at Madison Live with music all night from Skeleton Hands. A portion of proceeds benefits the Cincinnati USA Music Heritage Foundation. 6 p.m. Sunday. $20 advance; $25 door; $50 VIP. Madison Theater, 730 Madison Ave., Covington, Ky., 859-491-2444, citybeat.com.
Park Vine Vegan Chili Cook-off
EVENT: PARK + VINE CHILI COOK-OFF
Cincinnati’s favorite vegan café and green general store invites you to show off your unique twist on chili, with recipes featuring tofu, tempeh, seitan and/or vegetables. Enter your recipe to be judged by local celebrity foodies — including Colonel De and Joanne Drilling of Cincinnati Magazine — in categories like Most Likely to Serve to Unsuspecting Family or Guests. Or come ready to sample the results. Contest entry required by 6 p.m. Saturday; space is limited to 15. 3-5 p.m. Sunday. $10 entry fee; $10 chili tasting; $15 at the door; free for children under 10. Park + Vine, 1202 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-721-7275, parkandvine.com.
FILM: MOVING IMAGES: THOMAS STRUTH AND THOMAS RUFF
The Cincinnati Art Museum’s monthly Moving Images film series starts off 2016 with short documentaries about two contemporary German photographers named Thomas: Ralph Goertz and Werner Raeune’s Thomas Struth and Goertz’s Thomas Ruff. Both Struth and Ruff studied with Bernd and Hilla Becher, whose deadpan architectural photos have proven very influential. Also, both Struth and Ruff, men who worked in color, began showing in the late 1970s and are in the permanent collections of many museums. 2-4 p.m. Free. Cincinnati Art Museum, Fath Auditorium, 953 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park, cincinnatiartmuseum.org.
Scott H. Biram
Photo: Sandy Carson
MUSIC: SCOTT H. BIRAM
Scott H. Biram is an acclaimed singer/songwriter who performs unaccompanied. But those going to his show expecting to see a laidback, unplugged troubadour are in for a rude (and often rowdy) awakening. While his music shows the influence of Roots/Americana, Biram injects his songwriting with a broad range of inspirations, calling his sound “the bastard child of Punk, Blues, Country, Hillbilly, Bluegrass, Chain Gang, Metal and Classic Rock.” His latest album for Bloodshot Records, Nothin’ But Blood, wonderfully showcases his dynamic output. Read more about Biram in this week's Sound Advice. See Scott H. Biram with Strahan & The Good Neighbors Sunday at Southgate House Revival. More info/tickets: southgatehouse.com.