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Cincinnati's news and entertainment weekly • DEC. 07 – 13, 2016 • free

the Holiday issue issu

NaughtY and Nice Seasonal Theater • Hot Drinks for Cold Nights Non- Confrontational Holiday Discourse • L ast Minute Gift Guide + Stuff to do i n the Snow! • PAGE 15


VOL. 23 ISSUE 03 ON THE COVER: THE HOLIDAY ISSUE / PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER / TAXIDERMY: meddling with nature

VOICES 04 NEWS 11

MUSIC 48

EDITOR IN CHIEF Danny Cross MANAGING Editor Maija Zummo MUSIC EDITOR Mike Breen ARTS & CULTURE EDITOR Steven Rosen ASSOCIATE EDITOR Emily Begley STAFF WRITERS James McNair, Nick Swartsell CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Rick Pender, Theater; tt stern-enzi, Film CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Reyan Ali, Anne Arenstein, Casey Arnold, Brian Baker, Keith Bowers, Stephen Carter-Novotni, Chris Charlson, Brian Cross, Hayley Day, Jane Durrell, Kristen Franke, Jason Gargano, Katie Holocher, Ben L. Kaufman, Deirdre Kaye, John J. Kelly, Harper Lee, James McNair, Candace Miller-Janidlo, Anne Mitchell, Tamera Lenz Muente, Julie Mullins, Sean Peters, Rodger Pille, Garin Pirnia, Selena Reder, Ilene Ross, Holly Rouse, Kathy Schwartz, Maria Seda-Reeder, Leyla Shokoohe, Bill Sloat, Brenna Smith, Michael Taylor, Isaac Thorn, Kathy Valin, Kathy Y. Wilson, P.F. Wilson EDITORIAL INTERNS Madison Ashley, Kyler Davis, Maggie Fulmer CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jennifer Hoffman PHOTOGRAPHER/DESIGNER Hailey Bollinger CARTOONIST Tom Tomorrow CROSSWORD PUZZLE Brendan Emmett Quigley

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PUBLISHER Tony Frank ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Josh Schuler SALES ACCOUNT MANAGERS Annette Frac, Stephanie Hatfield, Dan Radank, Neil White abominable SNOWMAN Kane Kitchen Office Administrator Samantha Johnston

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COVER STORY 15 STUFF TO DO 35 ARTS & CULTURE 38

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Glad to Get the Grocery Back Susan Patton It has been a long wait! So glad we will have it opening soon since I live very close! Susan Ward These little grocery stores are the best. David Simon The ghost of IGA rises like a Phoenix. — Comments posted at Facebook.com/CincinnatiCityBeat in response to Dec. 1 post, “After half a decade, the Gaslight District will get its grocery store back with the opening of Clifton Market”

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edresscrew Good lord, that is unfortunate. ninjaforhire Uh oh @deadlymartha this is for youuuuuuuuu. deadlymartha Thanks, @ninjaforhire. I needed new nightmare fodder. — Comments posted at Instagram.com/CityBeatCincy in response to Dec. 1 post, “What’s more terrifying than a wax-faced 1800s automaton baby doll? One with a passport. #creepybaby”

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DEC. 07

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VOICES

What a Week! BY T.C. Britton

WEDNESDAY NOV. 30

Fish had a tough week. More than 10,000 animals in Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies were left behind when the attraction became surrounded by flames after wildfire tore through Gatlinburg and other areas in Sevier County, Tenn. earlier this week. Thankfully, the building remained intact and all of the animals were safe. But the same couldn’t be said for the aquatic creatures frozen in a Japanese ice rink. The Space World amusement park in Kitakyushu, Japan unveiled a first-of-its-kind “Aquarium on Ice” exhibit — a skating rink filled with 5,000 dead fish, lobsters, rays and other animals frozen under the ice. The oceanic experience from hell (well, if hell froze over) was promptly shut down after the theme park received backlash because of the tasteless attraction. Space World manager Toshimi Takeda told CNN the park purchased the creatures, already dead and inedible, and would thaw them out of the rink, remove them, hold an “appropriate religious service” and recycle them as fertilizer. The circle of life, folks!

place; we’re talking the office supply variety, carelessly slapped on to secure the tail to the back of the tie. Cut to middle-aged men around the world: “I saw Donald Trump wearing ties with Scotch tape, so I bought ties and Scotch tape.” The president-elect truly is the Regina George of idiots. T-Rump also unveiled a new soon-to-be iconic red hat, now that he has presumably Made America Great Again. It says USA across the front with the number 45 on the side — surprisingly basic for such a witty man with so very much to say. Here are some more options for him to consider: • Stop Recounting Already! • Big Head, Huge Hands • Obama Didn’t Have a Hat • Chinese, Taiwanese, Dirty Knees, Look at These • Boycott SNL • Leave Ivanka Alone • Leave Melania Alone • Leave Barron Alone • Just Leave Us All Alone, OK? • Make America Tape Again

THURSDAY DEC. 01

FRIDAY DEC. 02

President-elect Dontald (typo but it stays because his name should come with the warning “DON’T”) Trump launched his victory tour today, starting with a stop here in Cincinnati that shut down major roads around the city. But when it comes to big Trump news, it’s all about his fashion choices. This week it was revealed on a windy day that he tapes his neckties down. We’re not talking the fashion adhesive many stylists use to keep an outfit in its

It’s that time of the year when various media declare the top news stories, photos, phrases and other trends of 2016. So it’s a little depressing that Dictionary.com’s word of the year is “xenophobia” — a far cry from last year’s eye-roll-worthy but much lighter Oxford Dictionary WOTY, the laughing-with-tears emoji. Related: A Google Chrome extension called “Stop Normalizing The Alt Right,” automatically replaces all mentions of “alt-right” on any

web page with the phrase “white supremacy.” So if you were to look up alt-right on Wikipedia, you would find, “The white supremacy is a loose group of people with far-right ideologies who reject mainstream conservatism in the United States.” Users can also choose to replace the controversial term with “Neo-Nazi.” Choices!

SATURDAY DEC. 03

Greater Cincinnati bars, restaurants, landmarks and other establishments were namechecked by national press this week. Gorilla Cinemas drinkeries the Overlook Lodge and the Video Archive garnered attention in a New York Times piece on movie-themed bars. The neighborhood watering holes pay homage to The Shining and Quentin Tarantino films, respectively. Meanwhile, Vogue named Cincinnati/Covington, Ky. one of five “Industrial Cities Making America’s Rust Belt Shine Again.” The fashion mag cited 21c Museum Hotel, Taft’s Ale House, MainStrasse Village and Braxton Brewing Co. among many other local haunts as spots to eat, drink and stay. Unfortunately, most readers who clicked on that link were mistakenly hoping to find bedazzled ruddy waist cinchers were disappointed to find a list of Midwestern cities.

SUNDAY DEC. 04

The Hamilton Mixtape, an album of remixes and covers from Mike Pence’s favorite Hip Hopera, dropped this week and, as the kids say, it’s fire. Creator and original Broadway star Lin Manuel Miranda collaborated with artists from The Roots to

Kelly Clarkson and John Legend on what’s sure to be in every good little girl and gay’s stocking this Christmas. But you know it’s bad when Americans are so disillusioned by politics that a fictionalized 18th-century dead president’s mixtape is the most inspiring thing happening in U.S. government.

MONDAY DEC. 05

Amy Schumer is reportedly in talks to star in a live-action Barbie movie. Everyone’s freaking out about the notion of a woman who consumes solid food and has her entire rib cage intact bravely portraying the eating disorder-triggering doll, but what about the fact that she’s an explicit comedian who jokes about some very adult topics? Anyone? Besides, everyone (including Schumer) knows if Amy were to be any kind of doll, she’d be a Cabbage Patch Kid.

TUESDAY DEC. 06

The Grammy Award nominees were announced Tuesday morning. Beyoncé leads with nine nominations, followed by Kanye West, Drake and Rihanna with eight each and Chance the Rapper with seven. Carpool Karaoke king James Corden hosts the Feb. 12 show. While Ye should be pleased with his number of nods, the rapper was noticeably absent from the Album of the Year list while Bey — who he recently dissed in concert before canceling his tour and being hospitalized — is on it. As West continues to recover in the Kardashian Koven, Beyoncé continues to count her coins and sip her Lemonade. CONTACT T.C. BRITTON: letters@citybeat.com

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Krampus & Co. Are Coming to Town Santa (aka Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, Sinterklaas, Tim Allen) is an old white dude of debatable Pagan/Christian/secular origin whose primary task is to bring gifts to children all over the world at some point during the months of December and January, arriving via sleigh, donkey or by boat from Spain. And while it is true that a single man cannot be everywhere at once (i.e. all Macy’s stores), regardless of how many names he goes by, this jolly gent frequently comes a calling with a slew of helpers ranging from elves and devils to assorted barnyard animals. The following are a few of Santa’s more notable accomplices. Krampus: A goat-hair-covered devil who drunkenly roams the streets of Austria, Slovenia

and Croatia during Krampusumzüge. The goat man enters the bedroom of sleeping children with Saint Nick to give the bad kids bundles of sticks, which will be used to beat them in the morning while the good children enjoy their candy. And the children he finds awake? He kidnaps them, stuffs them into a sack and forcefully removes them from their homes.

Belsnickel: A fur-clad gentleman frequently seen wearing a mask and going door-to-door seeking children. After rapping on a home’s door or window with a stick, Belsnickel requests to see the children of the house, rewarding the good ones by throwing nuts and candy on the floor for them to retrieve like dogs and beating the bad ones.

“Black Pete”: Known as Zwarte Piet in the Netherlands and Père Fouettard in France, Black Pete is a spritely, Moorish helper who assists Saint Nicholas in leaving gifts. Besooted by his journey down the chimney, Zwarte Piet sports black hands and offensive blackface. His job is to beat the bad children into submission with sticks and further punish them by carrying them off to Spain (for some reason) in a burlap sack.

Knecht Ruprecht: Travels around with Saint Nick carrying a long staff and a bag of ashes with little bells on his clothes. He asks random children he finds on the street if they can pray. If they pass his test, he’ll give them an apple. If they can’t, he’ll beat them with the bag of ashes, which is debatably better than being beaten with the traditional bundle of sticks. — MAIJA ZUMMO


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VOICES GUEST EDITORIAL

Give Yourself This Season BY MIKE MOROSKI

So please, let me thank all of you who donate cans, toys and coats. It truly does help our social benefit sector do amazing things for people with less. And, if I may be so bold, let me also push all of us to learn more about why so many people are poor in America, to learn why the average age of a person experiencing homelessness is 9 years old in our country and to learn why it is so difficult for our impoverished friends to feed their families — even when they have full-time jobs. I realize that many people donating during the holidays — and throughout the year — already know these things, and I do not wish to insult anyone’s intelligence. But if one doesn’t know why so many people

“Real change, change that would end poverty, requires a change of heart. And isn’t that what the holidays are all about?” are poor, maybe this is the holiday season to learn. To make real change we need to give ourselves this holiday season. We need to give our preconceived notions and perceptions to a poor child and allow him or her to change what we think we know. We need to give our sadness at an unchanging world to a young mother who is working 18 hours a day to make change for her child. We need to allow her to not only give us hope, but to make us question why someone who is doing everything “right” has to struggle so much. We need to give our optimism to a man who the system forgot and ended up labeled a “felon” even if he has been sober for more than a decade and doesn’t want to go back to his old ways but is living in a society that tells him he is “less than.” And, yes, we need to give warm clothing and canned food as well. To effect real change, we have to address immediate needs, but addressing those needs does not mean much if not accompanied by a change of heart and behavior. Enjoy the season, and thank you for your support of the social benefit sector and the good people we serve. Together we can make a difference if we give ourselves to one another. CONTACT MIKE MOROSKI: letters@citybeat.com

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During the holidays, collection drives are as much a part of our respective traditions as is a tree or menorah. This time of year, in addition to being filled with all sorts of deals and advertisements, you’ll see groups soliciting efforts for food drives, coat drives, toy drives and other efforts to help those in need. I feel good about humanity when I hear stories about people trying to help, and I wish there were more of them throughout the year. What we sometimes miss once the festivities pass is why so much effort is needed to help the hungry and low-income and why we only focus on it during this time of year. We forget about the systems that keep people poor. We don’t discuss the fact that a resident in Hamilton County working full time and earning minimum wage might not have enough to buy dinner for his or her family on Thanksgiving. We don’t talk much about how the average earnings of a household in the city of Cincinnati is around $24,500. Altruism is needed, and social benefit organizations thrive on altruism during the holiday season. It helps us get through the cold months. But real change — change that would end poverty — requires a change of heart. And isn’t that what the holidays are all about? Making the experience of being poor more comfortable is different than alleviating poverty altogether. I believe that there is a lost opportunity to educate the broader population when we publish stories about collection drives without any mention of why the drive is needed. Local media has actually written a number of great stories about childhood poverty in recent months. I would like to see more time given to connecting collection drives to those other in-depth pieces. When you read a story about impoverished children, it’s natural to feel empathy for that child, and when you read about a successful collection drive, it feels good. By not connecting those two feelings, we lose an opportunity to change a heart. And we should all be in the business of changing hearts if we wish to progress as a society. I would like to see the media report on the woman who works at a social benefit organization and who still has to get cans from the pantry at the very same organization to feed her child and disabled husband during the holidays. An article about a food drive juxtaposed with stories like this one might change hearts.

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Slowing Down

Recent tragedy underscores the importance of traffic-calming measures in Cincinnati neighborhoods BY STEVEN CARTER-NOVOTNI

PHOTO : HAILE Y BOLLINGER

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the tragedy, but there won’t be a fundamental change in the way the city handles safety improvement requests. “We try to be very responsive when a neighborhood has concerns about safety and signage,” Murray says. “The city responds wherever there is a need.” Cincinnati City Council moved quickly to attend to Northside’s calls for help after the tragedy. City Councilman David Mann proposed upgrading the infrastructure along Hamilton Avenue, and City Council unanimously agreed to the proposal, which has resulted in additional signage, radar-actuated signs and crosswalk improvements. “It struck me personally,” Mann says. “Because I was at the (Northside) Community Council meeting the month before and somebody stood up and said, ‘What’s it going to take? Someone to get killed?’ It was just awful. And, of course, that’s what happened. It obviously shouldn’t require that to get attention.” The city has since installed new “reduce speed ahead” signs that can be seen when entering the business district and repainted crosswalks on Hamilton Avenue with what Cincinnati Department of Transportation and Engineering

The death of a Northside business owner prompted city officials to move quickly to assuage safety concerns on Hamilton Avenue. Director Michael Moore calls a “striped or piano-key style” paint scheme to make them more visible. “These are more apparent and visible than the transverse bars that were there previously,” Moore says. “We also installed a new crosswalk at Palm (Avenue, at the northeast corner of Hoffner Park), although the installation of curb ramps will take a bit longer in order to design the ramps and grading.” Moore says the city is in the process of obtaining a radar-actuated “Your speed is XX” sign that will flash when vehicles travel greater than the posted speed. These signs will also capture traffic data that can be used for additional, targeted enforcement and for vehicle counts. He says the police increased patrols and speed enforcement as well. Kroner, of Northside’s community council, says these improvements are significant and that he is pleased they’ve moved forward. Besides Hamilton Avenue, Kroner says he would like to see attention given to Virginia Avenue, another busy commuter route that has

visibility issues and could benefit from more traffic lights. “I think for a long time, our engineers have given favor to auto traffic, and we have a neighborhood that is really pedestrian-heavy,” Kroner says. “I’d really like to see better enforcement of the pedestrian right-of-way, forcing cars to stop for pedestrians, as is state law. “I can tell you from experience that the cars do not stop for pedestrians. They drive through. You really have to let them know that you’re there.” Northside’s business district is growing. The mixed-use Gantry Apartments development at Hamilton Avenue and Blue Rock Street will bring additional residents and customers to a busy corner at Hamilton Avenue and Blue Rock Street. “We’ve worked very hard to create a walkable neighborhood,” Kroner says. “We have strollers around, little kids, families trying to use the business district, and that doesn’t interact well with the fast pace of traffic. It’s been an issue that’s been growing as the neighborhood sees some success in the business district.” ©

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amilton Avenue in Northside has become a safer place for pedestrians since a Sept. 8 traffic death demonstrated the seriousness of widespread concerns about pedestrian safety in the neighborhood’s bustling business district. Sarah Cole, owner of Tickle Pickle restaurant, was struck and killed that day during rush hour, when the quaint strip is known to transform into a high-traffic artery connecting Clifton with northern neighborhoods. Police say the driver who hit Cole was found to have been obeying the law at the time of the accident and was not responsible for Cole’s death. But the heavy traffic flow along Hamilton Avenue — including cylists, pedestrians and motorists — along with the narrow street has been a recipe for problems for awhile, residents say. “We have quite a bit of traffic coming through the business district, a lot of commuters coming to and from work, a lot of visitors coming to the business district to patronize the businesses here,” says Oliver Kroner, Northside Community Council president. “And they move at a fast pace through a fairly dense neighborhood. This neighborhood was designed before we had cars, so it wasn’t designed to handle this capacity of traffic.” Northside isn’t the only neighborhood facing these issues. Hyde Park and Clifton residents have also requested safety improvements in pedestrian infrastructure, according to City Councilwoman Amy Murray, who chairs the city’s Transportation Committee. Hyde Park Square in particular has considerable blind spots near the fountain and park in the heart of the neighborhood. It’s a common spot for people to relax in Hyde Park’s business district, but the shrubbery and landscaping also offer challenges to keeping pedestrians safe. “There are huge issues there right now because it’s a heavily walked area,” Murray says. “At Hyde Park Square there are crosswalks, but it always worries me because the cars go very fast. What worries me too is there you have the shrubs and the plants — a car might not be able to see you until you’re in the crosswalk.” Some safety measures are already in place, such as walkways from the center square that stop at the street and force pedestrians to turn right or left before entering the street. But, Murray says, more should be done. More signage and new lights could be added, she says. Murray says the Northside improvements happened faster than usual due to


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When Republicans assume control of the Kentucky House of Representatives next month, the Bluegrass State could become the next state to put merchants’ “religious freedom” ahead of the sexual orientation of their customers. A bill introduced in February by state Sen. Albert Robinson, R-London, would prohibit the passage of any laws, ordinances or regulations that infringe on the Constitutional rights — including freedom of religion — of people who sell “customized, artistic, expressive, creative, ministerial or spiritual goods and services.” It would reverse bans on sexual orientation discrimination in eight Kentucky cities and towns, including Covington. Such measures have proven controversial in other states. A 2015 North Carolina law that nullified the city of Charlotte’s fairness ordinance letting transgender people use the public bathroom of their choice cost the state business expansions, NCAA basketball tournament rounds and the 2017 NBA AllStar Game. The Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed into law last year by U.S. Vice President-Elect Mike Pence, led to similar blowback. The Kentucky proposal, introduced as Senate Bill 180, was approved by the Republican-majority state Senate by a 22-to-16 vote on March 15. Among senators from Northern Kentucky, John Schickel of Boone County voted for the bill, while Chris McDaniel of Kenton County and Wil Schroder of Campbell County voted against it. The bill went to the Democratic-controlled state House and went nowhere. But the Nov. 8 elections eliminated that last bastion of Democratic opposition in Kentucky. Voters gave Republicans control of the House for the first time since 1920, a 28-seat majority. The chance of a gubernatorial veto is slim, as Republican Gov. Matt Bevin is considered friendly to religious freedom issues. Sen. Robinson told WFPL Radio in Louisville that he plans to reintroduce the bill, regardless of the fallout that occurred in North Carolina and Indiana. “There’s more people that are backing down when they should not be backing down for the sake of the threats and the financial threats,” Robinson was quoted as saying. “And to me there’s some price that’s just not worth paying.” Others want Kentucky to move in the opposite direction — toward the outlawing of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation statewide. More than 200 employers have incorporated such fairness provisions into their own policies. The group includes Kentucky juggernauts like

Humana, Brown-Forman and UPS as well as Fifth Third Bank, PNC Financial and Anheuser-Busch. Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign in Louisville, says the state General Assembly will consider multiple bills adverse to LGBTQ interests. He says it started in April with the enactment of a religious liberty law relieving county clerks, including the controversial Kim Davis in Morehead, of putting their names on marriage licenses. Davis made national headlines in 2015 by refusing to issue licenses to same-sex couples. “We’re going to face about a dozen bills that are some permutation of the license discrimination bill,” Hartman says. “They will all have the same effect of undermining the discrimination protections of fairness ordinances in the eight cities that have them.  “They will also have a disastrous effect on the Kentucky economy,” he says. “When government tries to restrict individual rights rather than expand them, jobs will leave the state.” Covington Mayor-elect Joe Meyer likewise foresees a negative impact if Robinson’s religious freedom bill is enacted. “I hope the General Assembly will respect the wishes of the many cities who want to provide an open and welcoming environment,” Meyer says. “Covington prides itself on its fairness to everyone because it’s good for business and good for our residents.” In July, the Human Rights Campaign, a Washington, D.C.-based LGBTQ advocacy group, estimated that North Carolina’s religious freedom bill in 2015 cost the state at least $698 million in lost business and expenses. North Carolina was ranked ninth in the nation in value of goods sold and services rendered in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Kentucky was 28th. (James McNair)

State Sen. Cecil Thomas Calls for Confederate Flags to Come Down As the 13-star flag of the Confederacy returns to prominence nationally along with public outbursts of racial animosity, a black state senator from Cincinnati — Cecil Thomas — is testing Ohio’s tolerance for the old Southern standard. Thomas testified Nov. 30 in Columbus in support of an Ohio Senate resolution cosponsored by Sen. Charleta Tavares, another black state senator and Democrat. More than anything, Senate Concurrent Resolution 7 asks that Ohio “urge” other states to cease flying Confederate flags on public property, to redesign state flags that contain actual or modified Confederate symbols and to stop making “issuances” containing the rebel flag. “To those who say the Confederate flag is about heritage, I say you are entitled to your


personal point of view. But your personal feelings should not be affixed to property that I pay taxes to help maintain,” says Thomas, a North Avondale resident whose 9th Senate District sprawls across Cincinnati, St. Bernard, Norwood, Springfield Township and other communities. Thomas says he is not aware of any Confederate flags on public property in Ohio, but his resolution seeks to address something that does take place in Ohio — the retail sale of merchandise bearing the image of the flag. The resolution “urges” Ohio retailers to remove those goods from their inventories. “If you go into some of the smaller municipalities or rural areas, you will see a lot of that, especially close to the West Virginia line,” Thomas says. “It’s pretty widespread.” Greg Dove, president of the company that owns the Treasure Aisles Flea Market in Monroe and Caesar Creek Flea Market in Wilmington, says he will keep an eye on the resolution. “We have very few vendors, in both of our locations, who sell that kind of stuff. For those particular vendors, they’d definitely view it negatively,” says Dove, president of Levin Service Co. “From the market’s perspective, we don’t want to offend anyone and we ask that vendors remove offensive material or put it in the back. If (the resolution) is just a suggestion, we would convey it

to our vendors, but it would be an individual vendor’s decision. Unless it’s mandated, we would not change our rules.” Following the June 2015 murder of nine black people in a Charleston, S.C. church by a white self-declared racist who posed with the Confederate flag in photos, some national retailers announced bans on the sale of products bearing the flag. The group included Walmart, Target, Sears, eBay, Etsy and Spencer’s Gifts. It isn’t uncommon, though, for Confederate flag items to be sold at flea markets across the Ohio Valley. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley ordered the removal of the Confederate flag from the state capitol in Columbia, but the flag remained on display in a chapel at The Citadel, a public military academy in Charleston. Mississippi’s state flag incorporates the Confederate flag, while the state flags of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida and Georgia contain elements of it. Thomas and Tavares introduced their resolution in July but didn’t get a Senate hearing until last week. Thomas said committee Chairman Bill Coley, a Republican who lives in Liberty Township, did not call for a vote or schedule another hearing. Because of that, Thomas assumes the resolution will “probably die.” Coley did not respond to requests for comment. Thomas said he plans to introduce the resolution again in 2017. (JMC)

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Holiday issue

• Naughty and Nice Seasonal Theater • Hot Drinks for Cold Nights • Non-Confrontational Holiday Discourse • Last Minute Gift Guide + Stuff To Do in the Snow!

ta x i d e r m i e d r a c c o o n s f r o m m e d d l i n g w i t h n at u r e / P H O T O : h a i l e y b o l l i n g e r

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the


the holiday issue

A Holiday Theater Primer Area theaters present nice and naughty Christmas classics and then some B Y R I C K P EN D ER A N D ER I C A REI D

Amahl and the Night Visitors Suitable For: All audiences

a m a h l a n d t h e n i g h t v i s i t o r s / P H O T O : cincinnati cha m ber orchestra

Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and Madcap Puppets are reprising their popular Amahl and the Night Visitors for its fifth year, with a more interactive staging to bring Madcap’s awe-inspiring 10-foot puppets closer to the audience. The Amahl chamber opera — Gian Carlo Menotti’s 1951 opera was the first written for television — tells the story of the Three Wise Men and their search for the Christ child. Eric Riedel, a freshman from Bethel-Tate High School, returns as Amahl, a shepherd who has a miraculous encounter with the Wise Men. The Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra performs Menotti’s beautiful score and also partners with Xavier University, Pones Inc., Edgecliff Vocal Ensemble and the Mason High School Choir to bring this heartwarming opera to life. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21-23. $25 adults; $10 students. Xavier University Gallagher Center Theatre, 3800 Victory Parkway, Evanston, 513-723-1182, ccocincinnati.org. — ERICA REID

A Christmas Carol Suitable For: All audiences

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The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park has presented this classic Christmas story for 26 years, so long that a note scrawled on a lobby message board says, “My dad was Tiny Tim!” The production has become an iconic holiday tradition for many Tristate families, and it’s worth every glittering moment. The sets are gorgeous, the storytelling is swift and engaging and it’s a showcase of top-notch local actors. In particular, veteran actor Bruce Cromer completely enlivens Ebenezer Scrooge, first as a tight-fisted miser and then as a reformed man who joyously changes his ways after a series of ghostly visitations. This adaptation by Howard Dallin is tremendously faithful to Charles Dickens’ 1843 Christmas novella, and it’s truly a celebration of the holiday as we know it today. Through Dec. 31. Tickets start at $40. Playhouse in the Park, Mainstage, 962 Mount Adams Circle, Mount Adams, 513-421-3888, cincyplay.com. — RICK PENDER

e l f t h e m u s i c a l j r . / P H O T O : chi l dren ’ s theatre o f cincinnati

Cinderella: After Ever After Suitable For: All audiences

c i n d e r e l l a : a f t e r e v e r a f t e r / P H O T O : m ikki scha f f ner photo g raphy

For two decades, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati has presented holiday musical adaptations of fairytales that entertain young and old alike. A year ago audiences especially responded to a revival of Cinderella, so this year ETC offers a sequel, a new show about what comes after the happy ending. Cinderella and Prince Freddy have moved into the palace with her diva stepmom and her astonishingly self-absorbed step sisters, and things aren’t going so well. There’s no fairy godmother to set things straight; instead “Gwendolyn The Well Wisher” uses a bit of misguided magic to bring peace, setting off

e very christmas story e ver told ( a n d t h e n s o m e ! ) / P H O T O : R ich S o f ranko


poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” Moore, a respected professor of ancient languages at a theological seminary in New York City, wrote it in the 1820s. It was first published anonymously in 1823; Moore worried that the lighthearted poem might affect his academic reputation. He eventually claimed it, but there’s still some dispute about its authorship. The show encompasses a love story, a literary mystery and an ode to Christmases past. Through Dec. 23. $27 adults; $24 seniors and students. Covedale Center for the Performing Arts, 4990 Glenway Ave., Covedale, 513-241-6550, cincinnatilandmarkproductions.com. — RP

a hilarious series of unexpected events. Last year’s cast returns with new tunes by Fitz Patton, lyrics by David Kisor and a magical new script by Cincinnati playwright Joseph McDonough. Through Dec. 30. $44 adults; $25 students; $18 children. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, 1127 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-421-3555, ensemblecincinnati.org. — RP

Elf the Musical JR. Suitable For: All audiences It’s likely you’ve chuckled through the 2003 film featuring Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf. Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati is presenting a trimmed-down, family-friendly version of the tale of an orphan who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and ends up at the North Pole. He looms over his elf coworkers and he’s incompetent at toy-making. Realizing he’s really human, he heads to New York City to find his real family. It’s a bumpy road with a happy ending. The songs in this lively production are by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin (Disney’s Aladdin and The Wedding Singer). A perfect show to introduce kids to live theater. Through Dec. 18. $10-$30. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, 800-745-3000, tafttheatre.org. — RP

The Second City’s Holidazed & Confused Revue t h e n i g h t s b e f o r e c h r i s t m a s / P H O T O : m ikki s cha f f ner photo g raphy

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!) Suitable For: Adults and teens

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The Naughty List Suitable For: Adults and fun drunk people

The Nights Before Christmas Suitable For: All audiences Cincinnati Landmark Productions has a knack for producing shows at the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts that appeal to all ages. For the 2016 holidays, artistic director Tim Perrino, working with composer and music director Steve Goers, has concocted a new musical about the life of Clement C. Moore and his legendary

Chicago comedy club and improv theater The Second City returns to the Playhouse in the Park for the first time in four years, and this time it’s a war on Christmas (and Hanukkah and Thanksgiving… but mostly Christmas). The Second City’s Holidazed & Confused Revue is a tightly woven sketch, improv and musical mash-up that teases every mundane Christmas tradition, from office gift exchanges to driving Aunt Carol to the airport to ambling around the city in a horse-drawn carriage. Learn what happens when seasonal lattes go wrong and whether Santa’s surveillance is as strong as the NSA’s. C’mon, The Nutcracker and the Festival of Lights will still be here for you next year — catch The Second City before they move on to poke fun at Indianapolis or Pittsburgh. Through Jan. 8. Tickets start at $30. Playhouse in the Park, Thompson Shelterhouse Theatre, 962 Mount Adams Circle, Mount Adams, 513-421-3888, cincyplay.com. — ER

t h e n a u g h t y l i s t / P H O T O : pro v ided

Like everyone’s favorite uncle, Know Theatre offshoot OTRimprov is back to screw up Christmas. Annual comedy show The Naughty List puts your holiday traditions and tropes through the blender of improvisation, with a healthy splash of peppermint schnapps. Come ready to contribute your suggestions — the laughs are different every night, inspired by on-thespot responses from the audience. OTRimprov will even recreate your favorite Christmas memories... or close enough. If your kids are still of the listening-forreindeer age, leave them at home for this one — you never know just how naughty the show will get. You can add on dinner and — highly recommended — drinks for an additional fee (arrive between 5:45 and 7:30 p.m. for dinner; show starts at 7:30 p.m.). Dec 12-27. $20; dinner and drinks not included in ticket price. Arnold’s Bar & Grill, 210 E. Eighth St., Downtown, 513-421-6234, knowtheatre.com. — ER

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Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!) returns to the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company stage for its 11th gut-busting year. If you can’t stomach watching Rudolph one more time, allow the Cincy Shakes cast to condense all of the traditional fare (A Christmas Carol, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, you name it) down to a very funny 90 minutes. If you haven’t seen Sara Clark’s Jimmy Stewart impression, make this the year you do. This show is a good one to invite the in-laws to — it’s cheeky, but all in good fun. Plus, this is the last Christmas that Miranda McGee’s “Drunk Santa” will stumble across the Race Street theater’s stage before CSC moves to its new home on Elm in 2017. Dec 14-31. $32. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 719 Race St., Downtown, 513-381-2273, cincyshakes.com. — ER

Suitable For: Adults and older teens


the holiday issue

Sounds of the Season

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a slew of new holiday albums for easy listening BY AL AN SCULLE Y

l o r e t ta ly n n / P H O T O : D av i d M c C l i ste r

Country music fans must have been good this year because 2016 is rife with holiday albums from that genre. Several big-name Country artists headline a selection of holiday releases with plenty of star power, including Rascal Flatts and Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood. But if you’re looking for mainstream seasonal fare outside that genre, fear not: There are plenty of Pop and industry classics getting in on the action. Here’s a look at some of this year’s new and notable Christmas albums.

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White Christmas Blue (Legacy) • Loretta Lynn The Country legend keeps it pure Country on her latest holiday album, with plenty of fiddle, steel and other acoustic treatments of classics like “Frosty The Snowman,” “White Christmas” and “Winter Wonderland.” A trio of solid originals — “Country Christmas,” “White Christmas Blue” and “To Heck with Ole Santa Claus” — gives the album something unique to go with Lynn’s distinctive unfussy singing. Christmas Party (Columbia/Sony) • She & Him Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward are back in the holiday spirit with their second Christmas album in five years. As usual, the duo brings its vintage Pop flair to much of the proceedings, evoking a bit of girl-group Pop on “All I Want For Christmas,” “Winter Wonderland” and “Happy Holiday.” But there’s also a Klezmer/Cajun/Tex-Mex-accented treatment of “Must Be Santa,” a slightly jazzy “The Man with the Bag” and a laid-back version of “Run Run Rudolph.” Christmas Party is pleasing, but not as rowdy as the title suggests — unless the aforementioned party is a romantic party of two. Acoustic Christmas (Capitol) • Neil Diamond Diamond brings his dramatic and distinctive singing style to a mix of often-performed Christmas classics, originals

z o o e y d e s c h a n e l a n d m . wa r d o f s h e & h i m / P H O T O : C olumb i a Reco r ds

(“#1 Record For Christmas”) and somewhat lesser-known songs (a frisky Folky version of “Children Go Where I Send Thee” and Irish-tinged “Christmas in Killarney”). The treatments are acoustic, but they’re not stripped back, and that backdrop works well for Diamond here. Wonderland (Verve) • Sarah McLachlan McLachlan might be famous for her fluttering, breathy singing, but some surprising musical arrangements make Wonderland the year’s most adventurous holiday album. The delicate guitar and horn on “White Christmas” is tasteful and the orchestration on “Silver Bells” adds drama to the standard. Other times, the results are more iffy. The synthetic percussion on “Away in a Manger” and “Angels We Have Heard On High” is a bit distracting. McLachlan doesn’t necessarily improve on the originals, but it’s nice to hear an artist take some real risks with songs of the season.

the first two songs through the rest of this album, she might have really had something special. Simply Christmas (S-Curve) • Leslie Odom Jr. The Tony winner and star of Hamilton joins the holiday album fray with lightly jazzy, restrained versions of standbys like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and, in the album’s most inspired song choice, “My Favorite Things” (yes, the song from The Sound of Music).

A Very Kacey Christmas (Mercury) Kacey Musgraves The title promises a distinctly Musgraves twist. By and large, she delivers, putting plenty of cheery spunk, twang and, in the case of some tunes (“Let It Snow”), some swing into things. It makes for a very smart and sweet holiday album.

A Pentatonix Christmas (RCA) • Pentatonix / I’ll Have Another… Christmas Album (Atlantic) • Straight No Chaser A Cappella is well represented this holiday season as these two leading acts bring plenty of creativity to their albums. The Platinum-selling quintet Pentatonix gets refreshingly playful with the normally staid “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and puts multiple vocals to good work on “Hallelujah.” And two originals, “The Christmas Sing-Along” and “Good To Be Bad,” stand up to the classics. Straight No Chaser, meanwhile, finds a good middle ground between the fairly serious tone of the group’s first Christmas album, Holiday Spirits, and the more humorous tone of its second holiday effort, Christmas Cheers. Creative vocal arrangements abound on I’ll Have Another… Christmas Album.

Celebrate Christmas (Big Machine) Jennifer Nettles The Sugarland singer opens things with a fun, rocking version of “Go Tell It On The Mountain” and then brings some gentle Country swing and notes of Jazz to “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” But the rest of Celebrate Christmas is more safe, soft and comfortable. That’s all fine and good, but if Nettles had carried the creativity of

’Tis the Seasons (Rhino) • Frankie Valli The Jersey boy gets top billing, of course, on his first Christmas album as a solo artist. But the real stars here are the big backing vocal arrangements (especially on “Winter Wonderland,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful/Angels We Have Heard On High”) and the instrumental arrangements that bring originality to “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Frosty The Snowman” and “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”


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the holiday issue

Hot Drinks for Cold Nights Area bars dish out recipes for their favorite steamy seasonal tipples BY M AI JA Z U M M O In the era before water came from a tap in the kitchen and was relatively safe to drink, humans imbibed various fermented and alcoholic libations to avoid unpleasant gastrointestinal infections (like cholera) and treat other diseases; for instance, drinking a hot toddy as a remedy for the common cold. Alcoholic beverages were both medicinal and practical, especially when the weather turned cold and you needed a nip of a winter warmer to make it through the season. There are several classic heated Yuletide drinks historically associated with glad tidings and good health, like mulled wine and wassail, a hot spiced-cider with a name derived from the Old English for “be healthy.” Even eggnog, a favorite of President George Washington, is connected to wishing wealth and prosperity: The fatty, creamy, spiced and spiked cocktail was a favorite of the European elite, basically the only ones who could afford the hefty price tag of milk, eggs and imported alcohol. “I think people like warm cocktails for the same reason they like warm beverages in general,” says Stuart MacKenzie, co-owner and bartender at the Northside Yacht Club. “There’s nothing better when it’s cold out than putting your hands around a warm mug, resting your face over its steaming contents, taking a sip and letting the hot liquid warm your mouth and belly.” MacKenzie, along with a plethora of other area bartenders and alcohol institutions, will be serving up seasonal cocktails this holiday to warm you from the inside out.

Japp’s Since 1879’s Smoking Bishop

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“The Smoking Bishop is a Victorian Era mulled wine punch,” says Lisa Colina of Wellmann’s Brands. “It is called a Smoking Bishop because traditionally it was served in a cup that resembled the hat that bishops wear, and it’s a warm drink that smokes when heating it on the stove. There are many varieties of ‘smoking’ drinks in this era, but this one is one of Molly (Wellmann)’s favorites to serve during the cold months.” Note: This drink takes about 26 hours to make. Ingredients:  • 5 oranges • 2 lemons • 30 whole cloves • ¼ tsp. cinnamon • ¼ tsp. allspice • ¼ tsp. mace • 1 piece fresh ginger root (thumb-sized), peeled and cut into chunks • 1 bottle red wine of your choice • ½ cup sugar • 1 bottle ruby port Instructions: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. To start, you will need 5 oranges and 1 of the lemons; reserve the second lemon. Make 5 small incisions with a sharp knife into each piece of fruit. Stick whole cloves into each incision. Place oranges and lemon on a baking sheet. Place the fruit in the oven and let it roast for about 75 minutes, until the peels begin to lose their bright color. Remove fruit from the oven and replace any cloves that

n o r t h s i d e ya c h t c l u b ’ s h o t b u t t e r e d r u m / P H O T O : h a i l e y b o l l i n g e r

have fallen from their incisions, and then place the fruit into the bottom of a large bowl. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of water with the cinnamon, allspice, mace and ginger chunks. Whisk together and bring to a boil. Simmer the mixture for a few minutes, stirring frequently until the liquid is reduced by half. Remove from heat. In a larger pan, pour the bottle of red wine (not the port) and heat over medium high until boiling. Reduce heat to a slow simmer, then pour in the sugar and whisk until it dissolves. Let the wine simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the spiced liquid mixture. Remove from heat. Pour the heated wine over the roasted oranges and lemon. Stir the fruit and wine gently to combine. Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a warm corner for 24 hours. After 24 hours, slice the oranges and lemon in half. Juice them into the spiced wine. Pour the wine mixture through a wire mesh strainer into a pot to remove large spices and solids. Press down gently on the solids with a spoon to remove as much liquid as possible. Add the bottle of port to the pot. Stir and heat over medium until hot, but do not boil. Vapors will begin to rise from the warming wine — this is the “smoking” part of the “smoking bishop.” Taste the mixture; add more sugar to taste.

Cut the remaining lemon into rounds or wedges and float them in the warmed wine. Pour the wine into heatsafe mugs or glasses, or serve in a punch bowl.

Queen City Radio’s Horsemouth Cider “We do an interpretation of a Hot Jamaican Cider, which we call ‘Horsemouth Cider,’ ” says Madeline Schmidt of Queen City Radio. “The name is from the famous Jamaican drummer, Leroy ‘Horsemouth’ Wallace, who has worked with numerous well-known Reggae artists.” Ingredients: • Washington apple cider • A dash of cinnamon • A dash of nutmeg • A dash of chili pepper • A dash of allspice • A dash of black pepper • A dash of red pepper • Brown sugar (to taste) • Bourbon or rum Instructions: “All ingredients are whirled (and heated) together in a Ratatouille-esque fashion,” Schmidt says, “served with the customer’s choice of rum or bourbon, garnished with an orange.”


Northside Yacht Club’s Hot Buttered Rum “Warm drinks are typically a little sweeter in general — think a hot chocolate or the classic tripleventi, half-sweet, non-fat caramel macchiato — but besides being a little sweet, we always try to keep every drink balanced,” MacKenzie says. “Our two most popular warm cocktails are a hot cider and bourbon and a ‘Yacht Toddy.’ But Jon Weiner, my business partner, blew me away with his Hot Buttered Rum.”

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Ingredients: • 1 stick unsalted butter • 1½ cups of water • 1 tsp. cinnamon • ¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg • 2 cloves (strain after use) • 1/8 tsp. salt • ¾ cup brown sugar • Dark rum

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Instructions: Bring the ingredients from butter to brown sugar to a boil while stirring, strain and then let cool. To make the drink, pour 1.5 ounces of dark rum into a standard household mug, then pour 3 ounces of the hot buttered rum mix on top. Top with steaming (not boiling) water. “If you have a bougie kettle like I do, put it on the ‘green tea’ setting,” MacKenzie says. You can store your hot buttered rum mix in the fridge and use it whenever you feel like a boozy, warm treat.  *If you’re making a large batch: “If you’re having a party and you batch a warm cocktail or punch, set your Crockpot to ‘keep warm’ (165 degrees); even the ‘low’ setting will start evaporating your booze,” MacKenzie says. “At the bar, we hold the non-alcoholic ingredients just hot enough to steam and then add the booze as we build the cocktail, so none of the precious giggle juice evaporates.”


Celebrate the Holiday Season with Craft Cocktails, Live Entertainment and Events with Wellmann’s Brands, at any of our Fine Establishments! Japp’s Since 1879

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Events 12/7 8pm Tiki Night 12/8 7pm Craft Distiller’s Night with Hotel Tango  12/17 2pm Holiday Mixology Class with Molly Wellmann $35 Limited Tickets Available 12/21  New Wave 80’s Night Holiday Edition  Entertainment Thursdays:
 Jess Lamb & Friends 9-12 (Soul)
 Fridays:
 Burning Caravan 5:30-9 (Gypsy Jazz)
 Vinyl Dj 10-2 Am Saturdays:
 Midwest Swing Pedal-Steel Jazz Trio 6-9 (Gypsy Jazz)
 Or
 Hot Magnolias 6-9 (Second Line) Vinyl Dj 10-2 Am

Bottle & Basket 1400 Republic Street OTR

Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar

644 Main Street Covington 12/15 7pm  OKBB Welcomes Smooth Ambler for the Smooth Ambler Wheated Bourbon Release and Launch Party!

Myrtle’s Punch House 2733 Woodburn Avenue

Wednesdays 7pm Last Call trivia in the Rathskeller Thursday 12/8 & 12/22 8pm Live Comedy Variety Show in the rathskeller Friday & Saturday 9pm Live music in the rathskeller Sundays 7pm Karaoke Fantastic with Sean Hafer in the Rathskeller 

Melt Eclectic Cafe (Northside)

Bottle Shop Carry-Out, Catering

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Chili Weather Sundays! 12-6pm Free Melt Chili for all our guests every Sunday!

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Findlay Market 1801 Race Street

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the holiday issue

Merry and Bright

A timeless guide to executing pleasant holiday discourse B Y J EF F B E Y ER

Tip 1: Remember the archetype of the Christ Child, who represents change, future, unification and healing. As we begin our festivities, let us flatter our fellow partygoers by reminiscing about childhood memories, manifesting the inner Christ residing in all of us: “In childhood renderings, did you imagine rain as drops or lines? Fascinating! What images did you depict most often? I never would have expected such a thing! What was your most treasured illustration?” Questions such as these can

provide fodder for hours of delightful discourse. Should a fellow celebrant manifest images which conflict with our idyllic youth, we graciously nod as if to express sympathy, and then gather some new friends round the hearth for yule-tidings and joy. Tip 2 : Build a modest fire as a reflection of the spirit, and drink eggnog; this alone can be sufficient to inspire conversation. An elixir of creaminess, spice and enchantment, the mysteries of nog continue to intrigue even the most stoic and intellectually content among us. “What is nog? How did it come to be? What is it made of? And such a curious name!” We all investigate this topic by the fire. “We must reflect on this question over a glass of nog. Mmm. Lactose intolerant, you say? Interesting! Is it milk? Is it egg? I do not know. An experiment! I insist you drink this nog. Let us warm our intellect in the noble and neutral pursuit of science!” Oh, how many boisterous debates could arise from such questions! Tip 3 : Sport is refuge, a place of solace and comfort, from our struggles in labor and politics. Who among us does not enjoy sport? Surely, even the most choleric temperaments can flush sanguine at the mention of winter sport. Digesting our apertifs allows ample time to expound on great feats of athleticism, past and future alike. How could such a dignified matter possibly create discord? The majesty of a halfback in full stride, the fearlessness of a downhill skier mid-slalom, the hope of a three-point field goal at the sound of the buzzer: We are the play-actor as we become our favorite sportspersons through vivid narrative and vigorous pantomime! Even the descriptions of spirited pre- and mid-contest ceremonies — certainly they too are devoid of any politic, gush with amity. Discuss, discuss, discuss with no fear of breaching sensitivities here. Tip 4 : Food sustains our souls, community and spirit. The wafting aroma of a Christmas roast, a Hanukkah brisket or yule shank seduces us into the dining quarters.

We serve compliments to the chef often and generously: “This roast is so tender,” and “I’ve never before seen such a beautifully fired brisket.” We drift with the ebb and flow of conversation, helping others expound on culinary experiences, and showing our holiday savoir-faire: “What exotic plants and animals have you ingested in your life? How wonderful! Where did you encounter such unusual cuisine? Brilliant! How many times does one chew such fare?” Often the luminance of our own curiosity can rival even the Star of Bethlehem itself. Tip 5: A body replete suffuses the mind with ideas. After expressing gratitude for sustenance, we retire to the parlor. Affairs here can range from musings on scented candles, “What is this marvelous bouquet? The essence of pine with cues of lavender reminds me of the rosemary bushes and lavender plants of Tuscany,” to introspections about ornamental vases, “Terracotta often looks too common for my taste, but with the right glaze it is just an outstanding complement to dried orchids.” There is no wrong or right. Everyone is jovial and radiant after such a convivial holiday feast. Tip 6 : Intimacy brings comfort in the cold. Enlightenment shows us the path home. Naturally, we are intoxicated by the sentiment of unsparing goodwill. It seems as if effortlessly we are transposed to the pleasant brume of the steam sauna, where still we find warmth, even as the first winter snow enshrouds the last of fall’s leaves in a new year’s mantle. In the festive confines of the host’s steam room, we can find inspiration from body shapes and birthmarks. Art and landscapes are always apropos. “Why, your mole! It looks spot on Botticelli’s ‘Madonna of the Pomegranate.’ What a charming bit of melanin!” No doubt, in some rare instances, we may find ourselves in a locale bereft of sauna amenities. In such cases we simply improvise. A constant running hot shower or four boiling pots filled with water and placed strategically atop the stove can provide a fine atmosphere for conversing about art and panorama. ©

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Immersed in December’s cloak and crouched under winter’s encroaching gloam, we find the coziest comfort and shelter from long wintry nights through communion with friends, family and loved ones, at office holiday parties or in the festively festooned dining halls of close relations. But in this beleaguered and remarkably surreal cultural and political landscape, holiday gatherings can turn from safe spaces of comfort and joy to crudite-fueled apocalyptic fêtes wherein you and the people you know realize that there are in fact those out there — people you love and care about — who don’t agree with your point of view. At moments like these, disillusioned by the carefully curated social media cocoon you’ve built for yourself, true and gentle humility is required. During this holiday season it’s necessary, more than ever, to disavow your personal and political beliefs and bury them deep within yourself so we can all reflect on the light of our respective menorahs, yule logs and other burning things that we have gathered ’round to warm our hearts and raise our collective spirits. So let us reminisce, feast and drink by the fire while we engage our fellow friends in polite conversation that brings forth togetherness and bridges the darkness to ethereal merriment and light. Let tact in discourse be tantamount at the end of 2016. Uninvite divisive topics to holiday get-togethers in this season of gaiety and instead focus on the warmth and sanctuary of timeless neutrality. Let the following tips guide you toward a confrontation-free holiday full of noncontroversial discourse.


the holiday issue

Last-Minute Gift Guide Don’t worry; you still have like two-ish weeks to buy stuff B Y m a i ja z u m m o

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Made in Cincinnati A P RO M OT I O N A L A R T I C L E BY DA N N Y C RO S S

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“ T h e s e a r e f o u r l i m i t e d - e d i t i o n h o l i d ay g i f t b o x e s f e at u r i n g p r o d u c t s f r o m m u lt i p l e m a k e r s o n t h e s i t e , g e a r e d t o wa r d e v e r y o n e f r o m p e t p e o p l e t o b o o k w o r m s . t h e y ’ r e at a n i c e p r i c e - p o i n t, t o o .” — M a i j a Z u m m o

CityBeat staffers don’t typically write about ourselves because there are plenty of cool, local happenings to discuss and no one really cares about our fantasy football teams that didn’t make the playoffs. But somehow, amid overseeing our special issues, dining and events sections, interns, etc., our humble managing editor Maija Zummo for the past year has also been curating an eclectic online shop called Made in Cincinnati, which connects local makers with consumers who appreciate the creativity and authenticity you can only find in an artisan shop. Think of it as a local version of Etsy managed by the best gift-giver ever. Zummo launched the business after receiving a People’s Liberty grant to help with startup costs. It’s not making her rich — she still works for us — but the endeavor has helped shift a little money from other, national online retailers into the pockets of local makers, many of whom also sell their wares on their own sites and at crafty retail events like the City Flea, the O.F.F. Market and Crafty Supermarket. “The point is to offer an alternative to in-person pop-ups,” Zummo tells me via iChat from across the room. “One that you can shop 24/7 without having to leave the house.” The site, shopmadeincincinnati.com, offers everything from art and home goods to jewelry, bath and pet stuff, with each of the 40-plus makers either sought out or approved by Zummo. Right now, there’s an organized “shop by” section where you can see what a slightly neurotic but very in-the-know Millennial would suggest for “him,” “her,” “home” or “kids.” The “under $25 section” includes T-shirts, beard oils, soaps and toys. For $50 or so, you can point and click your way through tasteful earrings, necklaces, wall art, bowls and planters. The site recently celebrated its first birthday and was featured in Cincinnati Magazine’s “Top 5 Ways to Celebrate Small Business Saturday.” Because it supports creative locals and is such a convenient means of shopping — multiple CityBeat staffers have turned to our colleague/the site for crucial last-minute gifts for people we were trying to impress — we carved out a space here for Zummo to highlight a few of her favorite locally made products on the virtual shelf right now. More info: shopmadeincincinnati.com.

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1. Vintage bird glasses, $22, Lentz and Company, 339 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, lentzandcompany.com. 2. Made in Cincinnati x Phil Valois pin, $5, shopmadeincincinnati.com. 3. Hand-tied bouquet, $35, Gia and the Blooms, 114 E. 13th St., Over-the-Rhine, giablooms. com. 4. Second Sight Spirits rum, $48, Hotel Covington, 638 Madison Ave., Covington, hotelcovington.com. 5. Sage bundle, $20, Swoon OTR, 1421 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/swoon.otr. 6. Bear balaclava, $44, The Spotted Goose, 3048 Madison Road, Oakley, thespottedgoose.com. 7. Straight Outta Covington mug, $16, Hotel Covington, 638 Madison Ave., Covington, hotelcovington. com. 8. Antlers, $3.25 per ounce, Pet Wants, 1813 Pleasant St., Over-the-Rhine, petwants. com. 9. Veggie rattles, $18, MiCA 12/v, 1201 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, shopmica.com. 10. Working Girls Femme sweatshirt, $70, Continuum, 1407 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, continuumbazaar.com. 11. Boob tote, $75, Continuum, 1407 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, continuumbazaar.com. 12. Sea Sprang feminism patch, $30-$40, Contemporary Arts Center, 44 E. Sixth St., Downtown, contemporaryartscenter.org. 13. Woodnsteel knife, $195, Camino Motor Co., 1212 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, caminomotorco.com. 14. Toy alpaca, $18, The Hansa Guild, 369 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, hansaonline.com. 15. Vintage Fairbo blanket, $45, Article, 1150 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, articlemenswear. com. 16. Herbivore Botanicals bath salts, $18, Fern, 6040 Hamilton Ave., College Hill, fern-shop.com. 17. Queen City pom hat, $20, Homage, 1232 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, homage.com. 18. Mr. B’s soap, $9, Righno, 1417 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, righno.com. 19. Woven slippers, $22, Swoon OTR, 1421 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/ swoon.otr. 20. Flask, $29, Elm & Iron, 1326 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/ elmandironotr. 21. Ornament by Tasha Boyd necklace, $40, Parlour, 2600 Woodburn Ave., East Walnut Hills, salonparlour.com. 22. Andrew Neyer serigraph, $40, MiCA 12/v, 1201 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, shopmica.com. 23. Matches, $3.50, Elm & Iron, 1326 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/elmandironotr. 24. Socks, $11, Kismet OTR, 1321 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/kismetovertherhine. 25. Pot holders, $18, HighStreet, 1401 Reading Road, Pendleton, highstreetcincinnati.com. 26. Treat Ideas Like Cats: And Other Creative Quotes to Inspire Creative People, $17.99, zacharypetit.com. 27. Pen orgy, $14, HighStreet, 1401 Reading Road, Pendleton, highstreetcincinnati.com.


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longtime CityBeat contributing editor


the holiday issue

Shit To Do in the Snow

Things to do outside (and inside) from now until the end of the year C O M P I L ED B Y CI T Y B EAT S TAFF Baby, it’s cold outside. Which is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on how much you revel in winter weather and seasonal celebrations. Luckily Cincinnati has a plethora of both indoor and outdoor activities to keep you busy over the holidays — from drive-thru light shows and toy train displays to snow tubing, Christmas cruises and Santa-themed pub crawls. *Please note that this is not a comprehensive list and there are in fact even more things to do in the snow than those we suggest here.

Art Antique Christmas at the Taft Museum of Art The Taft’s annual display of antique ornaments, decorations and toys preserves the holiday season in time. This year, the exhibit features a collection of early German nutcrackers, a miniature log cabin, a clockwork Santa and decorated feather trees, which were used as the first artificial Christmas trees. Through Jan. 8. $12 adults; $10 seniors and children 6-18. Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike St., Downtown, taftmuseum.org.

The Tree of Life at the Cincinnati Art Museum Artist Matt Kotlarczyk has turned a crabapple tree into a sculpture onto which visitors are encouraged to hang wishes for the New Year. A holiday tradition at the museum since 2013. Through Jan. 8. Free admission. Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams, cincinnatiartmuseum.org.

Attr actions A Whimsical Wonderland at Krohn Conservatory Royal blue, vibrant orange and deep purple poinsettias dot the conservatory in addition to pompom junipers, powder puff plants, various tropical flowers and the Krohn’s traditional garden railway display. Through Jan. 8. $7 adults; $4 kids; free children 4 and under. Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park, cincinnatiparks.com.

a w h i m s i c a l w o n d e r l a n d / P H O T O : k a m e n c r e at i v e

CAC Makerspace: Holiday Party Kitchen Chemist Learn how to turn a cocktail party into a science experiment at this chemistry- and holiday-themed class. Demonstrations include a menu of appetizers, drinks and sweets in addition to tastings and limited participation. 6-8 p.m. Dec. 7. $4; free for members. Contemporary Arts Center, 44 E. Sixth St., Downtown, contemporaryartscenter.org. a n i n t r o s p e c t i v e p o r c u p i n e i n t h e s n o w / P H O T O : h a i l e y boll i n g e r

Christmas Town at the Creation Museum The Creation Museum gives Christmas back to Christ with a free holiday display featuring an outdoor colored light display,

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a n t i q u e c h r i s t m a s / P H O T O : ta f t m u s e u m o f a r t

Christmas at EnterTRAINment Junction EnterTRAINment Junction takes you on a journey to the North Pole to see the elves making their toys in the workshop and the reindeer frolicking in the snow. And don’t forget to visit Mrs. Claus baking cookies and Santa in his study. Interactive displays delight and full Christmas décor adorn the largest train display in the world. Through Jan. 3. $16.95. EnterTRAINment Junction, 7379 Squire Court, West Chester, entertrainmentjunction.com.


a live nativity, hot chocolate, hot dogs and some stuff about Jesus. 5-8 p.m. Dec. 16-23 and Dec. 26-30. Free admission. The Creation Museum, 2800 Bullittsburg Church Road, Petersburg, Ky., creationmuseum.org.

Making wine Since 1890

Holiday Hayride at Sandyland Acres Halloween favorite Sandyland Acres goes from fearful to festive during the holiday season. Bring a blanket along for a wagon ride through light displays and winter scenes and stick around to take photos with Santa. Through Dec. 31. $10 adults; $5 kids. Sandyland Acres, 4172 Belleview Road, Petersburg, Ky., sandylandacres.com

Over 40 Wines To Choose From

Holiday Toy Trains at BehringerCrawford Museum This event celebrates 25 years of holiday cheer this season. Polar Express readings and other special events aid in the jubilation of Christmas and the New Year. Through Jan. 15. $9 adults; $5 Kids. BehringerCrawford Museum, 1600 Montague Road, Covington, Ky., bcmuseum.org.

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Santa’s Workshop featuring The Shillito’s Elves The Shillito’s Elves return to Santa’s Workshop in preparation for Christmas. Walk through 12 animated displays and stop by the elves’ giant mailbox to mail in your letter to Santa. Originating in the Shillito’s Department Store display in the 1970s, the animated elves were crafted by hand by company employees and were displayed by Shillito’s every season. Through Dec. 31. $4. 6940 Madisonville Road, Mariemont, thesantaworkshop.com.

$23.99 adults; $15.99 children. Newport Aquarium, 1 Aquarium Way, Newport, Ky., newportaquarium.com/scubasanta

Light Displays Christmas Nights of Lights at Coney Island Take a 2-mile car ride through this brandnew light display at Coney Island. More than 1 million LED lights comprise twinkling trees, falling snowflakes, dancing candy canes and colorful light tunnels synchronized to familiar holiday tunes. Proceeds benefit the Salvation Army and the Ruth Lyons children’s Fund. Through Jan. 1. $6 per person; free children 3 and under. Coney Island, 6201 Kellogg Ave., California, coneyislandpark.com. Festival of Lights The Cincinnati Zoo’s 34th-annual Festival of Lights features a momentous 2.5 million LED lights. The “Wild Wonderland” will feature a Madcap black-light puppet show and you can catch a ride on the BB&T Toyland Express. Chase fairies in Fairyland, or watch the dazzling light display on Swan Lake. Through Jan. 1. $18 adults; $12 children and seniors. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, cincinnatizoo.org.

Merry & Bright!

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Water Wonderland with Scuba Santa at Newport Aquarium The man in red is back in the water at the Newport Aquarium for the popular holiday exhibit, Water Wonderland with Scuba Santa. Santa exchanges reindeer for sea creatures in Shark Ray Bay, where magic bubbles and lights dance to holiday tunes as a submerged Santa interacts with visitors and floats around from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. Kids can also drop letters in his mailbox in Penguin Palooza, home to one of the most diverse cold-weather penguin collections in the country. Through Dec. 31.

Holiday in Lights at Sharon Woods Festive dinosaurs, mistletoe and towering nutcrackers have transformed Sharon Woods into a winter wonderland for more than 20 years. Stay cozy in the car, dial in to WARM98 and drive through more than a mile of light displays. Through Dec. 23, stop by Santaland afterward in the Sharon Centre for baked goods, pictures with Santa, a holiday train display and performances by The Dickens Carolers. Through Dec. 31. $13 per vehicle. Sharon Woods, 11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville, holidayinlights.com. Holiday Lights on the Hill Drive through 2 miles of twinkling light displays at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum. Through Jan. 1. $20 per carload Monday-Thursday; $25 per carload Friday-Sunday; $15 members. Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum, 1763 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton, pyramidhill.org.


Light Up the Levee Head to the other side of the river and become mesmerized by a glittering light display at Newport on the Levee, where more than 1 million LED lights will dance to holiday jingles every 20 minutes. Through Jan. 1. Free. Newport on the Levee, 1 Levee Way, Newport, Ky., newportonthelevee.com.

renovated Memorial Hall. Kids can make their own masterpieces, write letters to Santa or catch a special screening of a favorite holiday film like The Santa Clause, Polar Express and Elf. Through Dec. 30. $10; free kids 3 and under. Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, brickmas.com.

Luminaria: Night Lights at the Cincinnati Observatory As the neighborhood lights up the streets, the Cincinnati Observatory will open its building and telescopes to the general public. Enjoy hot drinks, caroling and stargazing at this Mount Lookout tradition. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 11. Free. Cincinnati Observatory, 3489 Observatory Place, Mount Lookout, cincinnatiobservatory.org.

Events A Franciscan Christmas Saint Francis Seraph Church hosts its beautiful annual urban live nativity event, featuring a courtyard full of goats, sheep, donkeys and the Holy Family at the corner of Liberty and Vine streets. The festivities continue into the Christian Moerlein Event Center, where the “Christmas Creche” display features nativity scenes from around the world, a Dickens Christmas village, model trains, decorated trees, a large Santa Claus display and food and drink from the neighboring Moerlein Taproom. Through Jan. 1. Free admission. Saint Francis Seraph Church, 1615 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, stanthony.org. Art on Vine Head to Rhinegeist to buy holiday gifts, fine art and handmade goods from more than 60 local artists. Noon-7 p.m. Dec. 11. Free admission. Rhinegeist, 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, artonvinecincy.com. Beach Mountain The Beach Waterpark transforms into Beach Mountain, offering snow tubing for the whole family. Tubes provided. Through Feb. 26. $16.99; group tickets available. Beach Mountain, 2590 Waterpark Drive, Mason, thebeachmountain.com.

BRICKmas at Memorial Hall LEGO bricks have been transformed into helicopters, train sets, mini movie theaters, medieval castles, the Batmobile and plenty of holiday-themed displays inside the newly

brickmas / PHOTO : provided

Christmas Eve Cruise Take a family-friendly cruise down the Ohio River before Santa makes his way down your chimney. Event includes views and a buffet dinner. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Dec. 24. $50 adults; $30 children. BB Riverboats, 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky., bbriverboats.com. Christmas with Over the Rhine Favorite Folk/Americana duo Over the Rhine puts a spin on holiday classics with help from the Cincinnati Pops. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20. Tickets start at $25. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatisymphony.org.

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Cincinnati SantaCon The ninth-annual SantaCon invites anyone and everyone 21 and older to put on a Santa suit (or related Christmas character costume — Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, Buddy the Elf, etc.) and participate in a holly, jolly pub crawl through the city. The party kicks off at JACK Casino and heads to the North Pole (aka Mount Adams) via sleigh (aka shuttle). Noon-midnight Dec. 10. Free to participate; donations to The Cure Starts Now encouraged. Leaves from JACK Casino, 1000 Broadway St., Pendleton, cincinnatisantacon.com.

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The Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival This medieval tradition returns to Christ Church Cathedral for the 77th year. The procession and pageant features costumed characters — lords, ladies, cooks, hunters, knights and more — caroling and ceremonial dishes like mince pie, plum pudding and a roasted boar’s head. 2 (dress rehearsal) and 5 p.m. Dec. 31; 2:30 and 5 p.m. Jan. 1. Free but tickets required. Christ Church Cathedral, 318 E. Fourth St., Downtown, boarsheadfestival.com.

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Annual 2016 Holiday Show at Krohn Conservatory November 12 – January 8, 2017


The City Flea Holiday Market The City Flea transforms into a magical night market for their annual Holiday Market at Washington Park. Find holiday gifts from local makers, plus hot chocolate, cheer and festival lights. 5-10 p.m. Dec. 17. Free admission. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, thecityflea.com.

t h e c i t y f l e a h o l i d ay m a r k e t / P H O T O : th e c i t y f l e a

The Comet Bluegrass All Stars Christmas Concert The All Stars perform their annual Christmas concert. 7-9 p.m. Dec. 17. $20 advance; $25 day of. Baker Hunt, 620 Greenup St., Covington, Ky., bakerhunt.org. Cincideutsch Christkindlmarkt Local German culture group Cincideutsch hosts its fifth-annual Christkindlmarkt Christmas market on Fountain Square. An homage to the traditional European holiday markets — charming outdoor craft fairs with wooden stands, old-world sweets and tons of handmade gifts — the Cincinnati version is as close as you can get to Bavaria without the air fare. Expect a range of vendors selling locally made goods, German food and, of course, traditional gluhwein (hot spiced wine). Weekends through Dec. 18. Free admission. Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown, cincideutsch.com.

A Krampus Carol Join Cincinnati Museum Center at the Christian Moerlein Malt House Taproom for an adults-only exploration of everyone’s favorite terrifying holiday creep, Krampus. Celebrate Cincinnati’s rich German heritage by learning about the folklore behind Bavarian Christmas kidnapper Krampus, the halfgoat demon who punishes children on the naughty list. Event includes music, holiday crafts, a free screen-printing demo (bring

Latkapalooza Hosted by the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, this party invites all Jewish YPs to mix, mingle and ditch the ho-ho-ho. Evening events include drink specials and door prizes. 8:30 p.m.-midnight Dec. 24. Free admission. Ivy Cincinnati, 645 Walnut St., Downtown, jewishcincinnati.org. Let it Snow Laser Light Show at Drake Planetarium Nothing says “happy holidays” like an immersive audiovisual experience. The Drake Planetarium’s “Let it Snow” features thematic animation, laser imagery and special effects set to a variety of festive classics, including tunes from Frank Sinatra, Chuck Berry and a stunning finale from The TransSiberian Orchestra. 6-7 p.m. Dec 10, 30 and 31; 2-3 p.m. Dec. 11. $8. Drake Planetarium, Norwood High School, 2020 Sherman Ave., Norwood, drakeplanetarium.org. The North Pole Express LM&M Railroad presents a jolly good time with Santa aboard the North Pole Express. Guests can snack on cookies and hot chocolate while they wait for the train to take them to a winter wonderland. During the hour-long journey, Santa and his elves will make their way through the locomotive to spend time with each family, and every good boy and girl will receive a magic bell. Weekends through Dec. 24. $22 adults; $18 kids. LM&M Railroad, 127 S. Mechanic Road, Lebanon, lebanonrr.com.

Create Yourself.

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The Nutcracker with the Cincinnati Ballet The favorite Cincinnati holiday tradition returns as the ballet’s professional dancers perform sparkling choreography to Tchaikovsky’s beloved score, played live by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Magic ensues as Clara and her Nutcracker prince explore the Land of Sweets with Sugar Plum Fairies, mischievous mice and brave toy soldiers. Dec. 9-18. $32-$100. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cballet.org.

t h e n u t c r a c k e r / P H O T O : c i n c i n n at i b a l l e t

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Ice Rink at Fountain Square Spend the day in the heart of the city at Fountain Square’s ice rink. All levels of skaters, from novice to expert, can enjoy the outdoor rink with on site skate rental (or feel free to bring your own). Santa skates with the public on weekends. Through Feb. 18. $6; $4 skate rental. Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown, myfountainsquare.com.

a blank T-shirt) and tours of the brewery. 7 p.m. Dec. 8. $10 Museum Center members; $15 non-members. Christian Moerlein Malt House Taproom, 1621 Moore St., Over-the-Rhine, cincymuseum.org/ programs/curiocity.


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Old National Victorian Holiday Village Ohio National Financial Services presents its 15th-annual Victorian Holiday Village. On the ground of its corporate headquarters, this memorable outdoor event features thousands of twinkling lights, miniature-sized Victorian-style homes and buildings, free cocoa and cookies and a complimentary photo with Saint Nick himself. The event is free and open to the public, but guests are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food item to be donated to the Freestore Foodbank. 6-8:30 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9. Free. Ohio National Financial Services, One Financial Way, Montgomery, ohionational.com.

fan-favorite The Ghosts of Christmas Eve to the U.S. Bank Arena stage. The Rock opera follows the tale of a runaway teen who breaks into a Vaudeville theater to escape the cold, only to find the building’s spirits coming to life around her, offering advice through song (and elaborate laser light displays). 4 and 8 p.m. Dec. 21. $39.50-$75. U.S. Bank Arena, 100 Broadway St., Downtown, usbankarena.com.

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The O.F.F. Winter Market The Oakley Fancy Flea has everything you need to wrap up your holiday shopping. Oakley’s monthly neighborhood marketplace brings its holiday installment indoors to the 20th Century Theater, featuring unique items and decor from artists and small businesses across the region. Bonus: Brunch and booze will be available onsite. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 11. Free admission. The 20th Century Theater, 2890 Madison Road, Oakley, theoffmarket.org. Scandinavian Society Lucia Festival and Procession If you love IKEA, you’ll love this traditional Santa Lucia procession hosted by the Scandinavian Society, followed by a Scandinavian buffet of meats, cheeses, condiments and glogg. 5-8 p.m. Dec. 11. $20. Armstrong Chapel United Methodist Church, 5125 Drake Road, Indian Hill, scandinaviansoc.org. The Snowman with the Cincinnati Pops The Cincinnati Pops perform Howard Blake’s heartwarming score to the animated classic The Snowman, live, while the film screens over the stage at the Taft Theatre. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 23. $15-$20. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, cincinnatisymphony.org.

trans - siberian orchestra / PHOTO : provided

Par ades and Tours Mount Adams Reindog Parade If you have some pent up creativity and a canine BFF, register your furry friend for the Reindog Parade, a procession through the streets of Mount Adams led by Santa himself. Costume categories include small dogs, large dogs, dog and owner look alike and multiple dogs. Judges are looking for creativity and hilarity. Spectators are welcome. Registration begins at noon. Donations go to support the SPCA. Parade begins at 2 p.m. Dec. 10. Free admission. The Monastery, 1055 Saint Paul Place, Mount Adams, spcacincinnati.org.

Straight No Chaser — I’ll Have Another… 20th Anniversary Tour Male A Cappella group Straight No Chaser celebrates its 20th anniversary with a tour behind its new Christmas album. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20. $39.50-$69.50. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cincinnatiarts.org.

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Tacky for a Cause at Braxton Put on your best hideous holiday sweater and get ready to drink and dance for a cause. A portion of every Storm Golden Cream Ale purchased will go to benefit the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. 6 p.m. Dec. 10. Free admission. Braxton Brewing Company, 27 W. Seventh St., Covington, Ky., braxtonbrewing.com. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra The Trans-Siberian Orchestra brings its

mount adams reindog pa r a d e / P H O T O : s p c a c i n c i n n at i

OTR Rail Dog Parade The OTR Kennel Club hosts the fourthannual Rail Dog Parade, from Washington Park to Queen City Radio. Dress your furry friends in all their holiday finery and walk the streetcar line from the park to the bar. 4:30-7 p.m. Dec. 10. Free. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, searchable on Facebook.


OTR Holiday Home Tour Enjoy peering inside other people’s homes without being arrested? Especially when they’re decorated for the holidays? Well, weirdo, this is your event. The 90-minute self-guided OTR Holiday Home Tour takes guests through restored urban homes, charmingly decorated for Christmas. Benefits the Future Leaders of OTR. Hourly 3-8 p.m. Dec. 10. $25. Leaves from Future Leaders of OTR, 1212 Race St., Over-theRhine, americanlegacytours.com. The Pedal Wagon Polar Bear Express A holiday-themed pub crawl. The Pedal Wagon gets cold-weather equipped with wind flaps and holiday décor for a two-hour ride featuring drink specials at two to three captain-curated stops like Queen City Radio, Igby’s, Taft’s Ale House and Arnold’s (or you can pick your own). Runs through Dec. 30. $25 per person; $295 full wagon. Leaves from HalfCut, 1126 Walnut St., Over-theRhine, pedalwagon.com.

appetizers, games and tons of bootlegged alcohol at this underground extravaganza. The bartenders will be serving up Manhattans, martinis and sidecars all night. And ring in 2017 with an on-the-house champagne toast. 8 p.m. Dec 31. $40 presale; $50 at the door. Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson St., Over-the-Rhine, knowtheatre.com. New Year’s Eve Blast at Fountain Square Start 2017 off with a bang by celebrating the end of the year on the square. Dance the night away to music from DJ Tweet, grab some grub from rink-side vendors and participate in goofy games on the Fountain Square stage every half hour. Rozzi’s famous fireworks explode over downtown at midnight. 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31. Free admission; $6 skate admission; $4 skate rental. Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown, myfountainsquare.com.

Weekend Carriage Rides at Macy’s Celebration Station Downtown Cincinnati dazzles on the weekends with festive decorations and celebrations, including weekend horsedrawn trolley carriage rides through the city. Noon-5 p.m. Dec. 10-11. Free. Boards at the corner of Fifth and Race streets, Downtown, downtowncincinnati.com.

New Year’s Eve Happy Zoo Year Ring in 2017 a few hours early at the Cincinnati Zoo. Perfect for younger party animals, a countdown to the New Year begins promptly at 8:55 p.m., topped off by a Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks display. Spend the last few hours of 2016 exploring the PNC Festival of Lights, meeting costumed characters like Baby Zoo Year and participating in a scavenger hunt. 5 p.m. Dec. 31. $18 adults; $12 children and seniors. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, cincinnatizoo.org.

Know Theatre and CityBeat’s New Year’s Eve Speakeasy Party Break out the fedoras and feathers and get to flapping at this 1920s-themed party. Attendees can look forward to tasty

New Year’s Eve at Perfect North Slopes Welcome 2017 with skiing, snowboarding and tubing until 1 a.m. Event includes party favors, a DJ, a torchlight parade and fireworks at midnight. 9:30 a.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31. $29-$52. Perfect North Slopes, 19074 Perfect Lane, Lawrenceburg, Ind., perfectnorth.com. New Year’s Eve Speakeasy at the Taft Theatre Celebrate in style at the 1920s Taft Theatre. The Cincinnati Pops will take you back in time with swinging tunes from the ’20s and ’30s, conducted by John Morris Russell and accompanied by the Jazz band Hot Sardines. Beads, boas and Roaring Twenties regalia encouraged. 8 p.m. Dec. 31. $25-$115. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, cincinnatisymphony.org. Rhinegeist NYE 2017 Rhinegeist is drinking in the New Year with eats from Gomez Salsa, dancing and brews. DJs Matt Joy and Will Ross will be banging party tunes all night, while Jess Lamb performs live Jazz/Soul in the Speakeasy (event room). You’re encouraged to come dressed to the nines. 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 31. $20. Rhinegeist, 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, rhinegeist.com.

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n e w y e a r ’ s e v e b l a s t at f o u n ta i n square / PHOTO : 3cdc


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Staff Recommendations

p h o t o : c i t y b e at

WEDNESDAY 07

ART: Cincinnati Art Museum employees display their work in the exhibit EMPLOYED. See feature on page 40. HOLIDAY: CINCY POP SHOPS For the holiday season, there are seven new vendors in three new shops in the arcade level of downtown’s historic Carew Tower. They will be there until Christmas as part of a special program sponsored by the city, Downtown Cincinnati, Inc. and Carew Tower. Tronk Design, next to Hathaway’s Diner, has a shop all to itself for its modern custom furniture; Davis Cookie Collection, The Flying Pig and Jenco Brothers’ Candy share a space, also next to Hathaway’s; and The Sarah Center, Barcode Glam and Chapeau Couture Hats — plus a gift wrapping service — are in a third location across from Elite Nails. Additionally, existing Downtown furniture store Algin has provided art and furnishings. Shop hours vary for each pop-up; check times online. Through Dec. 31. Free. Carew Tower, 441 Vine St., Downtown, downtowncincinnati.com. — STEVEN ROSEN

THURSDAY 08

ONSTAGE: New York-based Dane Terry performs BIRD IN THE HOUSE at the CAC. See interview on page 38.

ONSTAGE: Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati’s CINDERELLA: AFTER EVER AFTER is a clever sequel to the original musical. See Curtain Call on page 39. MUSIC: Diverse singer/songwriter ERIC SOMMER plays the Southgate House Revival. See Sound Advice on page 50.

HOLIDAY: A KRAMPUS CAROL Join Cincinnati Museum Center at the Christian Moerlein Malt House Taproom

EVENT: CITYBEAT’S BOURBON & BACON CityBeat celebrates divine swine creations and a plethora of bourbon brands during the fourth-annual Bourbon & Bacon. Sample light bites from local restaurants, including Camp Washington Chili, Eli’s BBQ and Holtman’s Donuts, all of whom will be serving up their best bacon-inspired dishes. Then wash the pork pairings down with bourbon from distilleries including 1792, Buffalo Trace, Old Forester, OYO, Bird Dog Whiskey and many more. Tickets include 10 drink samples and all the food you can eat. 6-9 p.m. Wednesday. $40. New Riff, 24 Distillery Way, Newport, Ky., citybeat.com. — MAIJA ZUMMO

for an adults-only exploration of everyone’s favorite terrifying holiday creep, Krampus. Celebrate Cincinnati’s rich German heritage by learning about the folklore behind Bavarian Christmas kidnapper Krampus, the halfgoat demon who punishes children on the naughty list. Event includes music, holiday crafts, a free screen-printing demo (bring a blank T-shirt) and tours of the brewery. 7 p.m. Thursday. $10 Museum Center members; $15 non-members. Christian Moerlein Malt House Taproom, 1621 Moore St., Over-the-Rhine, cincymuseum.org/programs/curiocity. — MAIJA ZUMMO COMEDY: ROBERT HAWKINS Since he was last in Cincinnati, comedian Robert Hawkins has put out a new album via his website and Pandora, cut his tour schedule in half and moved to Arlington, Texas, where he is “waiting to see how the Dallas Cowboys are going to screw this season up.” Many comedians, especially

those who have been performing for a while, have gotten more personal, and even though Hawkins enjoys writing jokes, he will also let the crowd get to know him. “I always cover my time in the Army as a medic,” he says. “Like how I still have hearing loss from the time a buddy farted in my stethoscope.” He still regularly performs for U.S. armed forces overseas. Showtimes Thursday-Sunday. $8-$14. Go Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy.com. — P.F. WILSON 

FRIDAY 09

MUSIC: Jazz trio THE BAD PLUS deconstructs Pop at Xavier University’s Music Series. See feature on page 48.

MUSIC: SHE WANTS REVENGE celebrates the 10th anniversary of their debut album at the Woodward Theater. See Sound Advice on page 50.

MUSIC: THE SELDOM SCENE The Seldom Scene celebrated its 45th anniversary this year. The band is a pioneer of today’s genre-bending “Newgrass” sound, mixing the sensibilities of Country, Rock and Folk into a traditional Bluegrass context. The Seldom Scene has had a rotating lineup since its start, once its popularity resulted in a demand for the band to tour. Founders John Duffey and Mike Auldridge passed away in 1996 and 2012, respectively, and when banjo player/guitarist Ben Eldridge retired at the start of 2016, The Seldom Scene was without any original members. Still, the majority of members today have been a part of The Seldom Scene legacy longer than the original incarnation, and the group has continued to attract fans and newcomers alike. 8 p.m. Friday. $25-$30. 20th Century Theater, 3021 Madison Road, Oakley, the20thcenturytheatre.com. — MIKE BREEN CONTINUES ON PAGE 36

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ONSTAGE: THE NIGHTS BEFORE CHRISTMAS Most of us can repeat at least some of “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” commonly referred to by its opening line, “’Twas the night before Christmas.” The story of the poem’s creation in 1823 when it was published anonymously is intriguing. Clement Moore, a scholar of classical literature, was eventually given credit, but there have been disputes about its authorship. Cincinnati Landmark Productions’ Tim Perrino spent four years researching the story to create a holiday musical about Moore, his family and the poem’s release to the world. Steve Goers wrote the music, and Perrino has staged its world premiere at the Covedale Center. Through Dec. 23. $27 adults; $24 students/seniors. Covedale Center, 4990 Glenway Ave., Covedale, cincinnatilandmarkproductions.com. — RICK PENDER

WEDNESDAY 07


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FRIDAY 09

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ART: E IS FOR EDIE: AN EDITH MCKEE HARPER RETROSPECTIVE AT THE CARNEGIE Edith McKee Harper, better known as Edie Harper, is perhaps not as well known as her husband — wildlife Modernist artist Charley Harper — but was a multifaceted and supremely talented artist in her own right. A graduate of the Art Academy of Cincinnati, where she studied printmaking under Maybelle and Wilson Stamper and color theory with Josef Albers, Harper explored not only paint, photography and illustration but also enamel, silk-screen, weaving and sculpture. While her work has been exhibited at institutions like the Contemporary Arts Center and Cincinnati Art Museum, this exhibit will be the first solo retrospective of Harper’s work; she passed away in 2010. Opening reception 5:30-9 p.m. Friday. Through Feb. 11. Free. The Carnegie, 1028 Scott Blvd., Covington, Ky., thecarnegie.com. — MAIJA ZUMMO

FROM PAGE 35

ART: SOFT REGARDS AT THE WESTON ART GALLERY Artistic collaborators Elena Harvey Collins, based out of California, and Liz Roberts, based out of Ohio, will present an installation of new work at the Weston Art Gallery that responds to contemporary self-help sources, including survival manuals and urban planning reports; a paranoia-themed reading room is even situated within the installation. The artists, who translate the anatomy of film into their multimedia works, give a gallery talk 2 p.m. Saturday. Opening reception 6-8 p.m. Friday. Through Jan.

29. Free. 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cincinnatiarts.org. — MARIA SEDA-REEDER HOLIDAY: THE NUTCRACKER The time to dance with sugar plum fairies and waltz with snowflakes has arrived. The Cincinnati Ballet returns home after its November run at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. for 12 shows at the Aronoff. Follow Clara’s classic tale with her Nutcracker Prince as they explore the Land of Sweets. Tchaikovsky’s beloved score will be played live by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and matched with impressive sets, beautiful costumes and, of course, dazzling choreography by the Cincinnati Ballet. This holiday tradition


photo : provided

IT’S ON LIKE DONKEY KONG... LITERALLY! SATURDAY 10

HOLIDAY: MOUNT ADAMS REINDOG PARADE Holiday cheer and a canine BFF are the perfect combination for this adorable tradition. The SPCA hosts the annual Mount Adams Reindog Parade, a costumeddog procession led by Santa himself. Prizes will be awarded for the best dressed in categories like small dog, large dog, dog/owner look alike and multiple dogs. Judges will be scoring based on creativity and festivity. Spectators welcome. 12:30 p.m. registration; 1-1:30 p.m. judging; 2 p.m. parade Saturday. Free. The Monastery, 1055 St. Paul Place, Mount Adams, spcacincinnati.org. — MADISON ASHLEY

is a sweet treat for the entire family. Through Dec. 18. Tickets start at $32. Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown, cballet.org. — MAGGIE FULMER

SATURDAY 10

LIT: MICHAEL CHABON discusses his quasi-memoir Moonglow at Joseph-Beth. See interview on page 41.

EVENT: THE SWING HOUSE OPEN HOUSE Local artist/builder Mark Dejong, known for the artistic renovation of a home he

SUNDAY 11

MUSIC: Chicago Indie rockers EXIT VERSE play MOTR Pub. See Sound Advice on page 51. EVENT: THE O.F.F. WINTER MARKET Support small businesses with your Christmas shopping list this weekend. The O.F.F. Market takes the party inside for a festive afternoon of shopping, brunch and booze featuring a plethora of local vendors selling one-of-a-kind fine art, crafts, creative trinkets, artisan food, drinks and more. 11 a.m -5 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. 20th Century Theater, 3021 Madison Road, Oakley, theoffmarket.org. — MADISON ASHLEY

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HOLIDAY: CINCINNATI SANTACON The ninth-annual SantaCon invites anyone and everyone 21 and older to put on a Santa suit (or related Christmas character costume — Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, Buddy the Elf, etc.) and participate in a holly, jolly pub crawl through the city. The party kicks off at JACK Casino and heads to the North Pole (aka Mount Adams) via sleigh (aka shuttle). Be respectful of the suit: Santa says don’t mess with cops, kids or each other. A sheet of downloadable song lyrics the group will be singing is available online. Noon-midnight Saturday. Free to participate; donations to The Cure Starts Now encouraged. JACK Casino, 1000 Broadway St., Pendleton, cincinnatisantacon.com. — MAIJA ZUMMO

purchased for $5,000 several years ago in Camp Washington, aka the “5K House,” will host an open house for his current project, The Swing House. The swing for which the house was gutted and planned is not yet in operation, but the three-floor building has had all the floors removed. Dejong has broken down the stairs and reconstructed them on their side for viewers and to provide infrastructure for the forthcoming swing. Noon-5 p.m. Saturday. Free. 1373 Avon Place, Camp Washington. — MARIA SEDA-REEDER


arts & culture

The Uncaged ‘Bird’ Sings

Dane Terry combines piano tunes with surreal stories of an Ohio childhood BY KATHY SCHWARTZ

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either Dane Terry nor Bird in the House, the coming-of-age piece he’s performing solo Thursday at the Contemporary Arts Center, can be pigeonholed. Terry is a New York-based pianist who sings and writes songs, but he recoils from the singer-songwriter tag. The Ohio native has been compared to musicians from a range of genres — including Elton John, Randy Newman, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tom Waits, Cole Porter, Leon Russell, Leonard Cohen, Brian Wilson and Igor Stravinsky. Yet the onetime ventriloquist and magician also draws inspiration from screen masters Jim Henson and Steven Spielberg. While Bird is a story wrapped around music, Terry hasn’t written a musical, but rather what he calls a movie for the stage. The show, which was commissioned by New York’s La MaMa theater and debuted there in April 2015, grew out of Terry’s album Color Movies, a song cycle about his childhood in Columbus’ Hilltop neighborhood of Appalachian and working-class families. The title Bird in the House references the anxiety felt when the familiar seems foreign. But the events that Terry describes are more surreal than dealing with a sparrow circling the parlor. “It’s basically a week in my life as a 12-year-old,” Terry says by phone, struggling to neither reveal too much nor oversimplify. “It’s a show about the way childhood feels when you think about it — meaning, it’s presented out of order. It’s very foggy. It’s very colorful and impressionistic. It’s just like memory.” Over three days, Terry experiences his first sexual encounter, meets a shadowy authoritarian figure, is accused of arson and spends time in a hospital. He conjures a spell from his piano bench as he introduces one twangy character after another. Behind every fantastic twist, there’s an emotion that runs deep. It can be cathartic to watch and listen as Terry rests his head against his hand for a moment, casts his eyes downward and punctuates each beautiful or painful memory with a plink of keys before breaking into a ballad about lost innocence. Terry, who is 33, found himself reflecting on childhood when he turned 30. Along with friends, he realized, “Oh, all this weird stuff I went through as a kid really is going to stick with me forever, and it really is informing my adulthood.” Promotional materials for Bird refer to “a coming out in Middle America.” “I am queer. That’s not something I hide

PHOTO : ben alfonso

from anybody,” Terry says. “It is an important part of my childhood, and yet in some ways it’s incidental in the story.” He is more focused on universal experiences, such as how sex seems shameful, even alien, to a virgin. Terry’s lyrics about his first time delve into sci-fi: “You come from the emptiness of space…/But one frozen moment are we/Volton Destroyer of Stars and me.” “I have a hunch that everybody — straight or gay or whatever — has felt that dark about their first sexual encounter. I don’t think anybody walks away going, ‘Well, that was fuuunn!’ ” he says. Terry debuted Bird with two female singers, a bassist and a drummer. He then performed it solo during the Under the Radar Festival at New York’s Public Theater and enjoyed that intimacy. Terry adds more humor, tenderness or creepiness as he reads each audience. “Whenever I can make people feel like I know them in a way that they didn’t think people could know them — that kind of connection is what it’s all about,” he says. Terry, who moved to New York in 2011, has found that Bird especially resonates with other “frillbillies” — his term for transplants who grew up gay in the heartland. East Coast natives tell him the show is beautiful. But fellow Midwesterners get a deeper look in their eyes and say, “Man, me too.” “I like it when people can be suspended for 90 minutes and forget that they’re just watching a dude with a piano. When people say, ‘I feel like I just watched a movie,’ that’s my highest compliment,” Terry says. Terry became a self-taught dude with a piano at age 12, after watching someone play Pachelbel’s Canon. He requested a quick tutorial, then went home and performed it and other compositions by ear nonstop. At 17, he started playing at gallery openings at the suggestion of his father, a painter and art restorer. After a decade of touring nationally with a band and playing Columbus bars, friends told Terry that his fondness for banter between songs was theater and he needed to get immersed in New York’s rich scene. But on Bird’s opening night, he was terrified. “The things people in Cincinnati will hear, I’d never said out loud before,” Terry explains. Despite a standing ovation, he was convinced he’d ruined his career. Reading reactions the next day swayed him otherwise. Last fall he received the Ethyl Eichelberger Award (named for a late drag

Terry confesses to being terrified the first night he ever performed Bird in the House. performer) from New York’s Performance Space 122. The honor includes a commission for a play. Since August, Terry has been living off and on in Cleveland so he can concentrate on writing that show. He describes it as “a science-fiction opera — like Laurie Anderson telling a Steven Spielberg movie with a Danny Elfman score.”

He’s also working on his next album, Golden Slogans of the West. The title sounds “completely untrustworthy, but also kind of beautiful,” Terry acknowledges with a laugh. “That’s my jam!” Dane Terry performs BIRD IN THE HOUSE 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Contemporary Arts Center. Tickets $15; $10 members. More info: contemporaryartscenter.org.


a&c curtain call

More Cinderella: ‘After Ever After’ at Ensemble BY RICK PENDER

While I look forward to the holidays as animation by Deb G. Girdler. As she spins much as anyone, it’s not the most stimulatthe King around in an undesired romantic ing time of year to be a theater critic. Many tango, he mouths, “Help Me!” to the audilocal theaters revive shows with profound ence, one of countless hilarious moments. appeal. They can sell lots of tickets that genTorie Wiggins and Sara Mackie return as erate revenue for the rest of their seasons. Brunhilda’s vacuously daffy but competitive But I’ve run out of ways to offer insights daughters, Clarissa and Priscilla. They are about another year of A Christmas Carol the very essence of empty-headed Valley at the Playhouse or Every Christmas Story Girls, made all the funnier when a magic Ever Told (And Then Some!) at Cincinnati spell goes awry and “inverts” them into Shakespeare. Such productions are holiday seekers of intelligence. The perpetrator of favorites, and I urge others to see them. that spell, Gwendolyn (Kate Wilford), is a But I’m grateful for something new. not-too-competent “well-wisher,” a wateredAlthough it has stockpiled a collection of down Fairy Godmother. holiday fairytale musicals that get repeated periodically, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati this year provides some variH ety with Cinderella: After CRITIC’S Ever After. Getting its world premiere there this month, H it’s a brand-new sequel to the familiar story, which ETC treated in its spoofy version of Cinderella produced for last year’s holiday show. This one simply picks up the story as told the year before and carries it beyond the “happily every after” ending, with the same tone and characters Brooke Steele and Patrick E. Phillips are part of a fine cast. and most of the same actors. PHOTO : mikki schaffner It’s truly a sequel. With a witty new script by local playwright Joe McDonough, plus lively, The misguided spell shows After Ever amusing and occasionally heartfelt lyrics by After’s characters the error of their ways, David Kisor and a musically varied score by and paves the path to setting things straight Fitz Patton, After Ever After builds on its once they see life from a different perspecpredecessor without simply repeating itself. tive and learn the virtue of “connecting The show’s opening moments do reiterate your head to your heart.” As always, ETC’s the familiar fairytale, plus a few reminders holiday shows have a subtle lesson about of last year’s version, since it veers from the being true to yourself. tried and true: Cinderella and her prince What makes After Ever After especially are bookish introverts, and their story is enjoyable is that every aspect is executed contemporized with high-top sneakers with quality and commitment. The actors replacing glass slippers. pour themselves into conveying the humor of After Ever After again features Brooke their roles; Dee Anne Bryll’s clever choreSteele as Cinderella, still sweetly charming, ography is danced with spirit and precision; if a bit more thoughtful. She’s dismayed by the musical accompaniment (Scot Woolley all the fuss around an engagement party is the musical director and Matt Callahan that everyone else insists on shaping to is the sound designer) is pre-recorded but their own interests and desires. Patrick E. beautifully and precisely delivered to supPhillips, new as Prince Frederick, brings a port the action. The show is a visual pleasure gangly awkwardness to the role, eager to to watch thanks to a simple but functional please but not quick to object to the interferdesign by Brian c. Mehring, and Reba Senence of others. That gives Cinderella second ske’s riotously colored costumes make the thoughts about whether getting hitched to production all the more entertaining. him is the path she wants to follow. After Ever After has been assembled Michael G. Bath returns as the King, funby director D. Lynn Meyers, who brings nier than ever. He’s introduced by grandiose the same level of professionalism to these fanfares whenever he comes onstage, even shows that she does to the more serious if he’s trying to be secretive. He’s annoyed dramas offered elsewhere in ETC’s season. by over-the-top expenditures prompted It is onstage through Dec. 30. by Cinderella’s status-conscious, pushy CONTACT RICK PENDER: rpender@citybeat.com stepmother Brunhilda, again played with

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It’s not uncommon for employees of any inside museums, it also suggests that this business — be they mechanics or office isn’t a phenomenon reserved solely for workers — to also create art in their free such institutions. time. It’s also not that uncommon for their The staff exhibition also adds perspec­ employer, every now and then, to give them tive on the artist’s role in society and how an opportunity to display work at a “staff this changes (or doesn’t change) over time. art” exhibit. Next to each piece in Employed, visitors In this regard, the employees of the Cin­ can read each artist’s statement about cinnati Art Museum are no exception. But what this role is. The eclectic collection there are some notable differences. When shows that the artist’s role is to live among their employer gives them that chance, us, to observe the world and offer new their work is on display in the same build­ lenses to see the world through. It also ing, and presented with the same care and teaches that artists are needed in society pride, as masterpieces by Van Gogh, Monet to open up conversations and provide hope. or Andy Warhol. And the people who see it are there because they want to see art, not just passing by. Many of the nearly 200 employees of the Cincinnati Art Museum also create their own art, and some even have achieved success locally as Contemporary art­ ists in their own right. Their work is on display through Jan 22 in a gallery exhibit called Employed, which has more than 70 works of art by 37 employ­ ees. The staff is showing “On the Great Miami” from the series I can see right through you a diverse collection of PHOTO : erin geideman sculpture, painting, photo­ graphy, fashion design and digital art. Employed is achieving just that inside Though the idea for a staff artwork the art museum. The museum’s design and exhibition has been floating around the marketing assistant, Erin Geideman, says museum for at least 10 years, the museum’s the exhibit has brought together museum head of installation and design, Kim Flora, employees for a common cause and says it didn’t occur previously that such an prompted heartfelt conversations among exhibition could take place in one of the staff members. galleries. But the museum decided to look Her series of photographs, I can see into its own internal community of artists right through you, is featured in Employed. for a show. Though her photos have appeared in The jobs of the artists featured in national and international exhibits and Employed are as diverse as the work on publications, this is the first time her work display. Among the 37 featured are security has been featured in Cincinnati. guards, café servers, interns, administra­ Geideman uses photography as a tive assistants, curators and more. (Dennis platform to create narratives, as photos Harrington, Weston Art Gallery director, can be arranged in a sequence to create served as juror.) themes and build symbolic meaning. I “Showcasing an exhibition like this com­ can see right through you is a narrative municates to our audience that art is being exploring her friend’s recovery after being created in our own communities, by our shot in a mugging. neighbors, family, friends and co-workers,” “When you work at a place like the Cincin­ says Flora, who served as co-coordinator nati Art Museum, it’s an incredible feeling,” of the exhibit and also has three pieces in Geideman says. “It’s still hard for me to it. “I think that goes a long way in breaking believe I can see signs for a Van Gogh exhi­ down some of the misconceptions about bition across the hall from Employed. To what it means to be an artist or an art have my work in a building that was made appreciator. I hope this exhibition makes in 1886 that holds countless old masters is a the museum itself and the practice of being once-in-a-lifetime achievement.” an artist more accessible to people.” For more information about the CINCINNATI ART While the exhibit makes clear just MUSEUM, visit cincinnatiartmuseum.org. how many talented, creative people work


a&c literary

Enameling Workshops Guest Instructors Online Registration

Michael Chabon’s Latest Is a Quasi-Memoir BY JASON GARGANO

Moonglow, the latest book by Michael Chabon, is a quasi-memoir. Chabon, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist who will be discussing and signing his latest effort at Joseph-Beth Booksellers on Saturday, calls it “a speculative portrait.” It features a narrator that seems to be Chabon himself, as he listens to his grandfather, ill and hazy from drugs while sitting in his deathbed, tell stories that range from mundane to fantastical to downright bizarre. Relayed through the nonlinear perspective of these seemingly random memories, Moonglow is a fascinating family saga that spans much of the 20th century, jumping from World War II and the Holocaust to the book-opening anecdote about his grandfather’s connection to accused Soviet spy Alger Hiss. CityBeat spoke via phone with Chabon, also the author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and Telegraph Avenue, about the way this book weaves factual events and fictional slipperiness with dexterity and insight.

are large parts of Telegraph Avenue that are as intimate if not more intimate. I think if you compare it to The Yiddish Policemen’s Union or Kavalier & Clay, those feel like they are very far removed from the circumstances of my life, or what readers might imagine the circumstance of my life to be, and so might feel less intimate.

Tom Ellis

CB: You’ve admitted that Moonglow was inspired by the stories your grandfather told you on his deathbed. At one point in the book, the grandfather tells his grandson, “After I’m gone, write it

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CityBeat: What was it In Moonglow, Chabon sees himself in his late grandfather. like for you to look through P H O T O : b e n j a m i n t i c e s m i th your grandfather’s eyes and get into his headspace? Michael Chabon: Very down.” Did your grandfather actually say comfortable. The grandfather in the book something like that? is me in many ways that I wasn’t really MC: He never said anything quite so aware of at the time. This fake memoir that specific and explicit as that, but he used to I wrote, in which someone very much like say all the time, even before my first book me appears as a narrating secondary character, turns out to be a self-portrait. But was published, “You can write this down that self-portrait is not (the book’s) secondsomeday” or “this is a good story for you to ary character, named Mike, who seems like write down” or “put that in a book.” Or he me. It’s the grandfather. I felt this strong would turn to the people in the room with sense of connection to him. What I see now, us and say, “Look, I’m giving him plenty of looking back, is that the grandfather is an material for his next book.” alternate version of myself in many ways. CB: What do you think he would say Why am I not more like the grandfather about the book had he been around to in the book? I think it has to do with the read it? circumstances of my upbringing. At some MC: I think he would have enjoyed it. I very, very early point, it became important think he would have scratched his head a to me to be perceived as being a good boy little bit about certain things and wonder by my parents and teachers. When I look where I ever got that idea, but he was a very at the grandfather in the book, that’s the intelligent, sophisticated reader. I think he thing he didn’t have. From his earliest would understand pretty quickly what the childhood, he was the bad boy in the family, game was of this book. I would like to think, and I think that in a way this is almost like and I hope I’m not just flattering myself, that a speculative portrait of what I might have he would probably be pretty tickled about been like had I not had that one quality it. He had an impish quality that would have that the grandfather doesn’t. led him to appreciate it. CB: A lot of people are calling this your MICHAEL CHABON will be discussing and signing most intimate novel. What do you think Moonglow 7 p.m. Saturday at Cincinnati’s Josephabout that sentiment? Beth Booksellers, Rookwood Pavilion. More info: MC: I do feel like this one is intimate josephbeth.com. and wouldn’t deny that, but I think there

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a&c film

Great Acting and Writing Lift ‘Manchester’

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BY T T STERN-ENZI

Early on in writer-director Kenneth Lonerfor his burial, and then beat another hasty gan’s superb Manchester By the Sea, there’s retreat away from his buried pain. Everyone a flashback to a moment of pure innocence in town seems to lurk a safe distance away, and fun — to better days — for the film’s two watching and whispering about Lee, aware main characters. During a carefree fishing of his tragic past. expedition, Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) The reading of Joe’s will forces Lee to asks his young nephew Patrick (played at recall that moment on the boat. He’s been this point by Ben O’Brien) one of those leadtapped by his brother to become the guarding “what if” questions: If you were stranded ian of the now-teenaged Patrick (Lucas on an island and could choose only one perHedges), a spirited and headstrong kid with son as your companion, the kind of person a life in Manchester he has no desire to leave. who would be able to keep his head and solve In a different film, the broadly scripted any problem that might arise, who would you banter between Lee and his nephew would choose? The playfully loaded question offers have, all too plainly, set the stage for some a choice between Lee himself and Patrick’s father Joe (Kyle Chandler), who is also Lee’s older brother and happens to be in charge of the boat. The boy selects his father and accepts the good-natured ribbing from his uncle. The scene, unadorned by sentimental lighting or melodramatic musical cues, has the spot-on feel of an unforgettable memory that might stay with you until your dying day. Forget proof of life; this is undeniable proof of someCasey Affleck (left) and Lucas Hedges in Manchester By the Sea thing far more elemental: love. P H O T O : c l a i r e f o l g e r / c o u r t e s y o f a m a z o n s t u d i o s a n d r o a d s i d e att r a c t i o n s Critics long for films with such gentle and lingering impressions; each screening offers a new opportunity to be engaged on raucous sitcom-inspired conflict before setthis level. I caught Manchester By the Sea tling down for a predictably heartwarming on the first day of the Toronto International happy ending. Said iteration might have also Film Festival; in fact, it was the very first given Lee a second shot at love in the form screening I attended and it set a distinctive of a sassily sexy mother of one of Patrick’s high-water mark. friends. Of course, such a film would not Lonergan gradually dampens the warm have been written or directed by Lonergan, enveloping sensation of that blanket of love, an accomplished playwright whose films and then peels away layer after layer from (You Can Count on Me and Margaret) also Lee. We see him in the present, alone, workhave been highly praised. Nor would such a ing anonymously as a facilities manager, film have featured Affleck as Lee. shoveling snow and tending to the plumbing How can I describe what Affleck brings needs of apartment dwellers. He’s handy to the character of Lee Chandler? To start, and good-looking in a quietly rugged way, so unlike his famous brother Ben, Casey Affleck he attracts the attention of female tenants, is not a star of either the tabloids or convenbut it is obviously unwanted. The love he tional studio movies. He is far removed from once had for his nephew, and by extension the hero worship heaped upon the personalihimself, is long gone. Lonergan teases us ties that dominate entertainment news . with more glimpses into Lee’s past, where He is more of a character actor. On a he goofed around with his wife Randi deeper level, that label means he is free to (Michelle Williams) and his own children. disappear in the method antics necessary They may not have had much, materially for a role like this. We never self-consciously speaking, but again, there was evidence of catch ourselves “watching” him act. Affleck an abundance of this carefree love. lives in every frame, carrying Manchester And then, again in the present, Lee gets By the Sea along with him, toward a tranthe news that his brother Joe has died, scendent state of being that reminds us of which draws him back home to Manchester, our own moments of love irretrievably lost. Mass., where apparently everything that (Opens Friday at the Esquire Theatre) (R) was good in Lee’s life was lost. He returns, Grade: A ready and willing to do right by his brother, CONTACT TT STERN-ENZI: letters@ citybeat.com to make all of the necessary arrangements

ON SCREEN ‘Nocturnal Animals’ BY T T STERN-ENZI

Back in the halcyon days of the Toronto International Film Festival, I enjoyed a stylistically captivating double feature (Nocturnal Animals and Arrival) fueled by a pair of nuanced performances from Amy Adams. In a blog entry, I noted that it took her “stereotype-busting turn in The Fighter” to shock me into recognizing that she was more than a pleasant girl-next-door actress. She proved to be a stunning creature once exposed by the bright and harsh lights. And that is what fashion designer-turnedfilmmaker Tom Ford (A Single Man) exploits in Nocturnal Animals, his elegant adaptation of the novel Tony and Susan, written by the late Austin Wright, a longtime English professor at the University of Cincinnati. The title of the film is actually the name of a manuscript written by Tony Hastings (Jake Gyllenhaal), the estranged ex-husband of Susan Morrow (Adams), a coolly detached art gallery owner who occupies a deliciously post-real world. It takes the arrival of the manuscript, dedicated to her, to shake Susan out of her funk. As she reads, the narrative comes alive in her imagination and right before our eyes. At the center of the novel, Edward Sheffield (also played by Gyllenhaal), a husband and father, mans the wheel with his wife (Isla Fisher) and daughter (Ellie Bamber) as they drive across a desolate Texas highway at night toward a vacation retreat. Along the way, they encounter a roving gang of good old boys, led by a sadistic sociopath named Ray Marcus (Aaron TaylorJohnson), who beat and strand Edward, while kidnapping his wife and child. It is a nightmare straight out of the blackest night of the imagination. Adams anchors the entire affair, starting off in a state of glassy-eyed blindness and then gradually recognizing a horrific reflection of truth, before accepting a measure of unblinking guilt without the showy hysterics that end up begging for awards consideration. (Opens Friday at Esquire Theatre) (R) Grade: A Also opening this week: The Eagle Huntress // Miss Sloane // Office Christmas Party


a&c television

Winter TV Preview BY JAC KERN

New series and returning favorites populate the winter television lineup. The Man in the High Castle (Season Premiere, Dec. 16, Amazon Prime) — Season 2 of this dramatic reimagining of 1960s America if the Axis powers had won World War II has cast its titular character, propaganda filmmaker Hawthorne Abendsen: Stephen Root (Office Space, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Justified). The Bachelor (Season Premiere, 8 p.m. Jan. 2, ABC) — Twice scorned on The Bachelorette, Bachelor Nick Viall deals out the roses this time around.

British series makes its U.S. debut. Girls (Season Premiere, 10 p.m. Feb. 12, HBO) — The final season of Lena Dunham’s ode to the ubiquitous millennials of New York will wrap up the stories of Hannah, Marnie, Jessa and Shoshanna (and the Girls boys!) — probably not neatly so. Humans (Season Premiere, February, AMC) —This story of lifelike A.I. gaining sentience may seem a little underwhelming after the debut of the mindfuck that is HBO’s Westworld, but this robot drama is worth a watch, too.

The Celebrity Apprentice (Season Premiere, 8 p.m. Jan. 2, NBC) — Arnold Schwarzenegger takes over hosting duties from the president-elect.

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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Season Premiere, 10 p.m. Jan. 4, FXX) — The Gang enters its 12th season. Emerald City (Series Premiere, 9 p.m. Jan. 6, NBC) — This surreal reimagining of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz brings Dorothy and friends into the present day.

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Diane Keaton escorts Jude Law in HBO’s new The Young Pope. P H O T O : g i a n n i f i o r i to / h b o

Taboo (Series Premiere, 10 p.m. Jan. 10, FX) — Tom Hardy stars in this dramatic British miniseries he co-created with dad Chips Hardy and Steven Knight (writer of Locke and Peaky Blinders, both of which Hardy also appeared in) about an adventurer who returns to Britain from Africa, along with stolen gems, to exact vengeance for the murder of his father.

Baskets (Season Premiere, 10 p.m. Jan. 19, FX) — Come to watch Zach Galifianakis play a rodeo clown, stay to see Louie Anderson in his Emmy-winning role as that character’s mother. Beaches (8 p.m. Jan. 21, Lifetime) — Idina Menzel and Nia Long star in this Lifetime movie remake of the classic 1988 sob-fest. Planet Earth II (Season Premiere, Jan. 28, BBC America) — You’ve likely seen some amazing clips from this follow-up to the popular 2006 nature docuseries; now, the

12/7 - Wednesday Wing Night

Hairspray Live! (8 p.m. Wednesday, NBC) — This live musical adaptation of the campy John Waters flick follows 1960s Baltimore teen Tracy Turnblad as she sets out to strut her stuff on the Corny Collins Show and integrate the all-white broadcast. Newcomer Maddie Baillio stars alongside big names including Kristin Chenoweth, Martin Short, Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson.

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Shut Eye (Series Premiere, Wednesday, Hulu) — Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice) stars as failed magician-turned-bogus psychic Charlie Haverford in this new original series from Breaking Bad producers Mark Johnson and Melissa Bernstein.

12/9 - Friday

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The Walking Dead (Midseason Finale, 9 p.m. Sunday, AMC) — In this final 90-minute episode before a long winter’s nap, Negan’s unwelcome stop in Alexandria continues as the group scrounges up supplies for the taking. Madness unfurls. People of Earth (9 p.m. Monday, TBS) — Ozzie makes a shocking admission during an interview; Jeff hunts down Kurt’s killer; Father Doug encounters an “experience” of his own. CONTACT JAC KERN: @jackern

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The Young Pope (Series Premiere, 9 p.m. Jan. 15, HBO) — Jude Law portrays Lenny Belardo, aka Pope Pius XIII, the titular Catholic leader who shocks the church by rejecting the publicity and the liberal philosophy embraced by the previous pope. Diane Keaton stars as the nun who raised the orphan Lenny and becomes his personal secretary as pope.

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FOOD & DRINK

Bang, Bang, My Baby

A Tarantino-themed speakeasy brings clever drinks, VHS tapes and $5 milkshakes to Walnut Hills BY MADGE MARIL

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A rigged VHS tape opens a secret door into the Tarantino-themed bar at The Video Archive. “For us, this isn’t about a speakeasy being exclusive — we want the magic to be inclusive,” Trevino says. “I think that’s why a video store and why Walnut Hills works for us. People of all races, genders and backgrounds have this common language of film, and we get to celebrate that with the neighborhood.” During my time at The Video Archive, I sampled four drinks, all the while partying with a scruffy man in a hoodie sipping on Budweiser and a handful of diehard Ohio State fans in red face paint slamming shots named Mr. Pink. This is an inclusive bar, in an inclusive neighborhood, with a drink and a price point for every type of person. There’s cheap beer and then there’s the $12 Royale With Cheese, made with yellow Chartreuse, lemon juice, simple syrup and Rhinegeist Truth. It’s as good as it sounds, served in a wide-brimmed champagne glass. I’m getting ahead of myself, though. Before that, I sampled the Black Mamba ($9), the Texas to Tokyo ($9) and the Five Dollar Shake (surprisingly, just $5). The Texas to Tokyo was the most popular drink at the bar and delivered a mighty bitter jolt with a smooth finish thanks to the combination of lemon-grass-infused Sochu, El Jimador Reposado, blood-orange serrano syrup and lime. The aftertaste of the Texas to Tokyo was peppery, as in an actual serrano

pepper. I’ve never had a cocktail like it and probably won’t until the next time I go back. The Black Mamba stole my heart, though. The drink is creamy, with “Bourbon-Kissed Gin” from Watershed Distillery and coconut-milk lemon-peel cordial. The glass was decorated with sweet poppy seeds down the side, which begged you to lick your cocktail glass. Finally, the Five Dollar Milkshake. I’d have to agree with Vincent Vega: In the 1990s, that might have been a pretty penny to pay for a shake. But in 2016 Cincinnati, getting a cocktail topped with whipped cream and sprinkles for $5 is a godsend. “You can barely get a well gin and tonic in this city under $5, so figuring out a costeffective way to make this milkshake took some astronaut math,” Trevino says. He explains that they didn’t want to “skimp on the spirit, either.” They succeeded

at paying homage to the quintessential Pulp Fiction beverage by creating bourbon cream in-house, flavored with your choice of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. I went with the strawberry, which was still built on a vanilla base, an intelligent flavor profile that conjured up every great milkshake of my childhood while still nodding firmly to the bourbon beneath. The Video Archive is another success for Trevino, who is also part of Gorilla Cinema Presents, a company dedicated to concept bars and pop-up experiences. This is the same team that brought us Overlook Lodge, the Shining-themed bar in Pleasant Ridge. As for what’s next, Trevino hasn’t gone into detail, noting only that Gorilla Cinema Presents will be announcing its first big pop-up event for the new year in January. For now, I’ll be back to The Video Archive before you can say “blueberry pie.”

The Video Archive Go: 965 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills; Call: 513-559-9500; Internet: facebook.com/ videoarchivecincinnati; Hours: 4 p.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday; 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday; 2 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday; 2-10 p.m. Sunday.

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ilmore Girls has brought us hundreds of classic TV scenes: moms exclaiming “Oy, with the poodles already,” twentysomething Ivy League rich kids jumping off buildings in ugly steampunk attire for a secret society, the shoplifting of corn starch. But one of the best scenes in the show is when Rory attends a Quentin Tarantino-themed party (in the episode “Pulp Friction,” naturally). Rory goes as Gogo from Kill Bill (keep in mind this episode aired in 2005) and almost leaves the party with Butch Coolidge. The party drips with Tarantino charm, from girls in golden dresses playing electric guitars on tables to people lazily twisting, wearing only socks. It’s a party that anyone who has seen Gilmore Girls has wanted to attend, and with the Gilmore Girls revival fresh on Netflix, here’s a secret — something that will make you incredibly popular among the Gilmore Girls crowd (aka everyone important) — the Tarantino party exists, and it’s happening every night in Walnut Hills. The Video Archive opened in October and has since garnered more than 1,000 likes and 53 reviews on Facebook, all 5 stars. This is quite the feat, even more so considering that the bar resembles a VHS store and is only marked on the exterior by a twin rabbit logo (called Honeybunnys, of course) painted on the windows. Unless you’re a collector of videotapes or if it’s a particularly chilly day, you probably wouldn’t step into the storefront, a small room with bookcases filled with tapes ranging from Disney’s Fantasia to Heathers. The first hint that things are not as they seem is the man who checks your ID at the door — and then recommends checking out a particular title on the wall. I’m not going to tell you which videotape opens the secret door in the wall that opens into the Tarantino-themed speakeasy; you need to go to The Video Archive and figure it out yourself. It takes a certain genius to even think of combining a speakeasy with cult film. “Speakeasies and Prohibition-era cocktails seem very stuffy nowadays, so we wanted to create this awesome space that celebrated independent film and music,” says Jacob Trevino, owner and creator of The Video Archive. “I think we tried to buy into the speakeasy vibe as much as we could without taking ourselves too seriously.” And really, the bar doesn’t. But the effect of this lighthearted attitude mixed with excellent liquor, dark rooms, movies projected behind the bartenders, shattered mirrors and framed photos of Mia Wallace impersonators on the wall creates something that, while not serious, is delightfully magical.


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French Crust Café and Bistro 202 W. Elder St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-621-2013, jrcincy.com French Crust represents everything that makes me an admirer of chef Jean-Robert de Cavel — known to all as Jean-Robert or simply J-Ro — while it rings all my bells as a lifelong Francophile. The new and expanded corner location at Elm and Elder streets (the former café was housed in a small space on Vine Street downtown) faces Findlay Market’s beer garden and main entrance, sits right on the streetcar line and will brighten anyone’s day thanks to expansive windows and Provence-yellow walls. The effect is as jaunty and friendly as its owner. Patrons sit at booths, tables or at a 20-seat bar and soak up the bonhomie of a lively bistro ambiance. The food matches the surroundings and delivers note-perfect versions of dishes you’d expect for breakfast, brunch or lunch — a variety of quiches, sandwiches on croissant or baguette, omelets and, of course, a croque monsieur. At dinner, more bistro classics tempt diners, from appetizers of snails and beef tartare to mains ranging from duck leg confit to steak frites. Our table mostly went with the pastries, although my husband selected the omelet du jour ($9), made with avocado, shrimp and herbs. I had a goat cheese, zucchini and tomato quiche ($10.50). You won’t find a better slice of egg pie anywhere else in this town. Not only was the crust a textbook example of short pastry done right, but the filling also balanced the custard with bits of veggies and creamy cheese. (Pama Mitchell)

LPH Pizza Co. 712 State Ave., Lower Price Hill, 513-8174989, lphpizzaco.com The windows of LPH Pizza Co. on State Avenue in Lower Price Hill are illuminated like a lighthouse in the early winter dark. Formerly BLOCHead Pizza, LPH Pizza Co.’s bright, open floor plan allows anyone dining in to watch the cooks in the kitchen. Although there was no music playing when I dined, the restaurant was fully decorated for autumn and smelled perpetually of baking bread — like a hug for your nose. There are specialty pizzas like the Cheeseburger and “Lots O’Meat,” topped with local goetta (…and pepperoni, sausage, bacon and ground beef), or “Lots O’Veggies,” boasting a creamy garlic sauce and tons of vegetables.

Each pie rings up at less than $6 for an 8-inch small and less than $17 for 16 inches. I ordered a small cheese pizza ($4.59), a small Cincinnati Chili pizza ($5.59) and a halfdozen cheese-stuffed breadsticks ($4.50). The dough, dressings and sauces are made in-house, and beyond pizza, the menu offers pasta, subs, calzones, salads, wings and homemade desserts. The cheese-stuffed breadsticks are slightly spicy and have a lot of mozzarella flavor to offer — I almost liked them better than the cheese pizza. The Cincinnati chili pizza was a different animal entirely: a dough base, chili meat, onions and that gorgeous yellow 3-way cheese. Owners Damian Fields and Christine Collins are often the ones working at LPH Pizza Co. on any given night, interacting with customers and the community. Their dream is to give back to Lower Price Hill and to bring people who don’t frequent the neighborhood into the restaurant to see the charm of the area and fall in love with it like they have. (Madge Maril)

Meritage 40 Village Square, Glendale, 513-376-8134, meritagecincy. com When Kristee Fowee opened her first restaurant in Glendale in 2011, she wanted it to emphasize wine while blending a historical space with a contemporary-style restaurant. As chef/owner, Fowee had built a following in that neck of the woods but outgrew the space. A couple months ago she reopened in the former Iron Horse restaurant space on Glendale Square and suddenly had more than twice the space and a subsequent 70 percent spike in business, she says. The restaurant serves both lunch and dinner from the same menu, which includes nine sandwiches ($11-$16), a half-dozen appetizers ($10-$12) and a dozen entrées ($22-$44), along with a couple of soup or salad choices ($5-$11). For starters, I went with the half-size Meritage salad. Candied pecans, pear slices, pancetta and bits of Brie cheese made it a good salad, and it was the bargain of the night at $5. My entrée choice was the Mt. Carmelglazed lamb chops ($35), a specialty of the house, which I thought would be a good match with the red wine. The plate included five fairly meaty rib-cut chops, nicely cooked to medium rare and served with sides of sautéed spinach and macaroni and cheese.  As an independent suburban restaurant offering steak and seafood fare, Meritage fills a void in Glendale for the relatively upscale consumer who doesn’t want to drive into the city. (Pama Mitchell) 


F&D classes & events Most classes and events require registration; classes frequently sell out.

WEDNESDAY 07

Bourbon & Bacon — CityBeat is throwing a party fit for Ron Swanson and bourbon lovers alike. You won’t want to miss the fourthannual Bourbon & Bacon event at New Riff Distillery. Guests will enjoy samples of bacon-inspired dishes from local restaurants, paired with a plethora of bourbon brands. 6-9 p.m. $40. New Riff, 24 Distillery Way, Newport, Ky., citybeat.com.

Julie’s Brunch Favorites — Chef Julie Francis, owner of Nectar, teaches you to make classic brunch recipes with a twist. Menu includes Blue Oven French toast, farm eggs Benedict, spiced seasonal fruit salad and patatas bravas. 6-9 p.m. $75. Midwest Culinary Institute, 3520 Central Parkway, Clifton, culinary.cincinnatistate.edu.

THURSDAY 08

Holiday Entertaining: Easy Apps & Kitchen Hacks — Colonel De’s chefs teach participants to make quick appetizers for holiday get-togethers. 5:30-7 p.m. $20. Colonel De World Headquarters, 18 N. Fort Thomas Ave., Fort Thomas, Ky., 513-421-4800. Holiday Dinner Cruise — BB Riverboats hosts this themed holiday cruise along the Ohio River. The holiday buffet includes spiral ham, turkey breast, mashed potatoes, short ribs and more. 7-9:30 p.m. $50 adults; $35 children. BB Riverboats, 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky., bbriverboats.com. Decorating Holiday Cookies — Learn tips and tricks for making beautiful, festive cookies from Meredith Dolle. Class is BYOB. 6:15 p.m. doors. $35. Artichoke OTR, 1824 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, artichokeotr.com. Homemade Holiday Food Gifts — Chef Jordan Hamons leads this class on creating unique and edible from-scratch gifts for the holidays. Make several food items you can give away as gifts and learn about clever packaging ideas. Menu includes sea salt caramels, spiced sugar, vanilla extract and more. 6-9 p.m. $58. Findlay Kitchen, 1719 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, findlaymarket.org.

FRIDAY 09

Cookies Uncorked — Grab your girlfriends for a fun night out. Learn how to create your own cookie masterpiece while gabbing over a glass of wine. Class includes naked cookies,

The Greater Cincinnati Foundation Annual Luncheon — Features guest speaker Kathy LeMay, founder of Raising Change. 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. $75. Hyatt Regency Hotel, 151 W. Fifth St., Downtown, gcfdn.org/news-events/events/ annual-luncheon.

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Kids and Teens in the Kitchen: Holiday Cookies — A kids-only class centered around making and decorating cut-out cookies with royal icing. 9 a.m.-noon; 1:30-4:30 p.m. $50. Midwest Culinary Institute, 3520 Central Parkway, Clifton, culinary.cincinnatistate.edu. Brew Ho Ho Dinner Cruise — Hop aboard BB Riverboats for a cruise down the Ohio River with a seasonal holiday buffet, festive music and a beer tasting with local breweries. 7-9:30 p.m. $58 adults; $40 children. BB Riverboats, 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky., bbriverboats.com. Gingerbread House Decorating: A Parent and Child Hands-On Experience — Karen Harmon leads this hands-on class. Gingerbread, icing, candies and other items for decoration will be provided; you bring the creativity. 1-3:30 p.m. $65/pair. Cooks’Wares, 11344 Montgomery Road, Harper’s Point, cookswaresonline.com.

SUNDAY 11

Breakfast with Santa at Krohn Conservatory — A continental breakfast with Santa. Includes a take-home craft and live music. Registration required. 9-10 a.m. $14 adults; $7 children; free 4 and under. Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park, krohn.cincyregister.com/ breakfastwithsanta. Scuba Santa Breakfast — Brunch under the sea, kind of. Enjoy a meet-and-greet with Scuba Santa, followed by a buffet-style breakfast overlooking the Ohio River. After breakfast, kids can create their own aquatic ornaments to take home. Advance purchase required. 8 p.m. $42.99; $19.99 passholders. Newport Aquarium, 1 Aquarium Way, Newport, Ky., newportaquarium.com.

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Afternoon Tea at the Taft Museum of Art — Enjoy an elegant and festive full afternoon tea service at the Taft. Includes seasonal savories, sweets and tea, plus admission to the Antique Christmas exhibit. 2 and 2:30 p.m. $45 members; $20 children; $55 non-members; $25 children; gluten-free and vegan options available. Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike St., Downtown, taftmuseum.org.

icing, equipment, instruction and encouragement. Everyone leaves with one dozen cookies. 7-9 p.m. $40. New Riff, 24 Distillery Way, Newport, Ky., newriffdistilling.com.


music

Hard Copies

Jazz trio The Bad Plus returns to deconstructing Rock and Pop songs on latest album BY STEVEN ROSEN

PHOTO : josh goleman

4 8   •   C I T Y B E A T . C O M   •   D E C . 0 7  –  1 3 , 2 0 1 6

T

he Bad Plus is a perfect Jazz trio for the 21st century. The members honor the best of musical tradition, while also embracing the spirit of progressive, changing times. Drummer David King, bassist Reid Anderson and pianist Ethan Iverson are traditional in that they play acoustic rather than amplified instruments. They are also idealistically democratic — together as The Bad Plus since 2000, but friends for far longer, the three men have operated the group as a leaderless collaboration for the entire time. While primarily featuring their own compositions, the band is also fearless in taking on difficult projects that highlight towering avant-garde music achievements of the 20th century. The band has adapted Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring for trio and, augmented with horns, played Ornette Coleman’s entire Science Fiction album live. At the same time as tackling these imposing works, The Bad Plus has also built a reputation for reinterpreting such Rock-era hits as Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Blondie’s “Heart of Glass.” The band’s latest album, this year’s It’s Hard, is all covers, ranging from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Maps” and TV on the Radio’s “Staring at the Sun” to Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line” and Barry Manilow’s “Mandy.” The album also includes a Prince song, “The Beautiful Ones,” recorded just a month before he died. (It’s Hard isn’t all Pop adaptations — the trio also does Coleman’s “Broken Shadows.”) “It’s very rare in the world of Jazz for there to be a 17-year band with no leader,” says King, 47, during a telephone interview from his Minneapolis home. (While the band is based in New York, Anderson and King are originally from Minnesota and Iverson from the small town of Menomonie, Wisc.) “We run up against that leader-centric idea that the pianist must be the leader, but that’s not true,” King says. “In fact, (pianist Iverson) writes the least amount of original music. We’re all composers, so we don’t write together. Everyone is a fan of each other’s playing and writing, so there’s usually room for everyone’s personality to express things within the tune.” The Bad Plus’ members have known each other and worked together long before formally starting the trio. King also has a healthy interest in AltRock, having played in the 1990s with a Minneapolis band, 12 Rods, which originated (without him) in Oxford, Ohio.

On It’s Hard, The Bad Plus reworks songs by everyone from TV on the Radio to Barry Manilow. It’s Hard (the album’s title is a nod to The Who’s 1982 album of the same name as well as commentary on the economics of today’s music business) marks the first time in 10 years that The Bad Plus has interpreted Rock songs. “We all brought in a bunch of tunes and whittled it down to some things we felt like we could do something with to honor the tune and try to make it our own,” King says. Before explaining the choices of It’s Hard material or why The Bad Plus — a serious Jazz trio — finds inspiration in contemporary Rock and Pop, King first emphasizes the difference between “cover music” and “reinterpretations.” “A ‘cover’ is really a Rock term that we’ve adopted because people use it,” he says. “But that’s not really used in Jazz. When you say a cover song, you can’t get out of your mind the idea of a band in a bar somewhere playing Rock covers. In a way, it really cheapens the tradition of what great Jazz is. There’s a huge portion of great Jazz music that comes from playing popular music.” King favors another term in describing the way his trio reinvigorates Rock and Pop material, one that also explains how the band can find substance in songs that

might not be considered as melodically substantive as Great American Songbook classics by Cole Porter or Rodgers and Hart, for instance. That term is “deconstruction,” a Post-Modernist word. “For us, it feels like ‘deconstruction’ not only places (a contemporary song) in a more legitimate realm, but it also explains what we are doing,” King says. “We’re not just playing ‘Heart of Glass’ by Blondie with a piano rather than a voice. We have deconstructed it and rebuilt it in the image of the way we play. And what we’ve done takes a great amount of work to create a vehicle for improvisation.” In doing so, The Bad Plus’ versions can take unexpected and sometimesdiscordant turns that King describes as “thorny.” Indeed, the piano playing on It’s Hard’s “Mandy,” for instance, is miles removed from Manilow’s straightforwardly accessible arrangement. “The three of us meet on the playing field of improvisational music,” King says. “We also have very strong streaks of avant-garde and Free Jazz. So when dealing with something that isn’t as harmonically rich as a ‘standard,’ that leaves a lot of room to explore the avant-garde. We’re interested in approaching it as we would

play our own music, which typically has a thorny aspect. We’re interested in a little bit of tension — that’s why you sense an element of atonality and aggression in there. Those are tools we use when we need it.” Something else The Bad Plus does with its covers, especially, that could be considered Post Modern, is keep the recorded versions concise, even while deconstructing and rebuilding them. Great Modernist Jazz innovators of the 20th century, like John Coltrane, could really stretch out their versions of standards like “My Favorite Things.” “We like the idea that, at the end of the day, these are songs and not just vehicles to explore some long, introspective scenario,” King explains. “We like the idea that there isn’t too much we need to do to obscure it. No matter how cerebral or academic things can veer toward, we still want there to be some element of a song. And on a record, it’s best to get in there, state what we need to state and get out.” THE BAD PLUS performs at the Xavier University Music Series in Xavier’s Gallagher Theater Friday. More info/tickets: xavier.edu/musicseries.


music spill it

Locals on the National Stage BY MIKE BREEN

Kid Stardust, Coconut Milk Celebrate New Releases

1345 main st motrpub.com

BY mike breen

CDs Still Dying Due to the rise of downloading and streaming, CD sales aren’t what they used to be. In the past decade, CDs reportedly dropped from reaping nearly $9 billion a year in sales to this year making just under an estimated $2 billion. One of this year’s Best Rap Album nominees at the Grammys (Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book) wasn’t even available on CD, making it the first streaming-only album to earn a nomination. The age range of those who buy the most CDs continues to grow older, which may explain 2016’s biggest hard-copy CD seller — a 200-disc box set featuring more than 240 hours of Mozart, which sold 1.25 million copies. Punchline Punches Back After a Canadian police officer’s social media post about punishing drunk drivers by playing an album by maligned Canadian rockers Nickelback went viral, the band members reportedly asked for it to be removed. In a Facebook apology, the officer insisted he was merely trying to bring attention to the dangers of drunk driving, but he later realized he was “bullying” the band and that the message was lost when Nickelback-hatred became the headline. He said he reached out to the band members personally and found out some “wonderful news:” Nickelback is very much anti-drunk driving, too! Gun Men’s Show Discharged Turning “open carry” laws into some kind of weird performance art, the Metal band King 810 is known for its music’s violent imagery and its use of guns as props in music videos and onstage. Now the band is getting the most press of its career after a venue in Chicago, citing the city’s record-high gun violence this year and feedback from the community, canceled its show. The band’s frontman David Gunn (clever?) was unapologetic and defended the presence of guns at King 810 shows, saying that if there were ever a terrorist attack like the one in Paris last year that left nearly 100 fans dead, the instigators would “probably be shot from the stage.”

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Cincinnati native and globally acclaimed For more info (including links to pre-order Jazz pianist/composer Fred Hersch has the album) visit whywithaquestionmark.com. earned another pair of Grammy nominations. At the 59th-annual Grammy Awards, Hersch — whose Grammy nomination total now stands at 10 (he’s yet to win one) • Cincinnati Indie Rock foursome Kid — will be up against John Scofield (who’s Stardust released its fantastic debut EP, nominated for his work on a version of Something Like This But Better, digitally Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could earlier this fall (visit kidstardustmusic. Cry,” which was recorded in Cincinnati in bandcamp.com to listen and download). the late ’40s), Brad Mehldau, Ravi Coltrane This Friday, the band (singer Chrissy von and Joey Alexander in the “Best ImproSavoye, guitarist Drew James, bassist vised Jazz Solo” category. Hersch and his Ryan Hickman and drummer Rick Henry) trio’s Sunday Night at The Vanguard was will celebrate the release of the CD version nominated for the “Best Jazz Instrumental Album” Grammy, in a category that also includes Peter Erskine, Joshua Redman & Brad Mehldau, John Scofield and the Kenny Barron Trio. The Grammy winners will be announced Feb. 12. More on Hersch’s long and illustrious career can be found at fredhersch.com. • Former Cincinnati musician and one-time University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music student Brian Newman has been in the spotlight the past few Cincinnati native and multiple Grammy nominee Fred Hersch years as a regular collaboraPHOTO : Martin Zeman tor of Lady Gaga’s, including for work on her recordings and concerts with music icon of the addicting EP with a free show at Tony Bennett. The singer/trumpeter — who The Comet (4579 Hamilton Ave., Northside, also draws big crowds on his own in his cometbar.com). Showtime is 10 p.m. Lexcurrent hometown of New York City with ington, Ky.’s Easy Fiction and Cincinnati’s regular club appearances — will soon be a A.M. Nice open the show. major-label recording artist in his own right. Visit kidstardustband.com for more. Newman has signed with the legendary • Coconut Milk, which was nominated Verve Records (part of the Universal Music in the New Artist of the Year category at Group), which will release his first album the 2016 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards for the label sometime next year. and chosen by Jimmy Eat World to open “As a musician, growing up, I idolized the band’s concert at Bogart’s in October, Verve and was shaped by their artists and has showcased its endearing “Beach Rock” records,” Newman says in a press release sound on a pair of EPs and a few singles about the deal. “Now to be a part of that is since 2014. This Saturday, the Indie Pop/ the realization of a dream.” Rock group (singer/guitarist Alex Baker, For more on Newman’s activities since singer/keyboardist Katrina Farmer, drumleaving Cincinnati, visit briannewman.com. mer Josh Alsip and bassist George Byrd) • Renowned Cincinnati-based Indie/Art unveils its first full-length album release, Pop crew WHY? has announced its first Shoop, Shoop, Shoop. new release since 2012. The band’s Moh Lhean is due March 3 on the Joyful Noise In honor of the new LP’s release, CocoRecordings label. The album — WHY?’s nut Milk headlines a release celebration first totally home-recorded endeavor since Saturday at MOTR Pub (1345 Main St., its 2003 debut — is said to be partially influOver-the-Rhine, motrpub.com). The show enced by a “severe health scare” frontman will also feature a performance by local Yoni Wolf endured (his doctors’ voices are Indie Rock faves The Yugos. Showtime is sampled on the track “Proactive Evolu10 p.m. The event is free. tion,” which features mewithoutYou’s Aaron Check out Coconut Milk’s music at cocoWeiss). The band launches an extensive nutmilk.bandcamp.com. North American tour for the album on CONTACT MIKE BREEN: mbreen@citybeat.com March 16 at Cincy’s Woodward Theater.

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JOE WANNABE & THE MAD MAN’S BLUES BAND, MOTEL FACES

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Eric Sommer Thursday • Southgate House Revival Singer/songwriter Eric Sommer is an unbelievable intersection of improbable influences and experiences channeled into an amazingly diverse catalog and a résumé that reads more like a musical adventure novel than a series of career bullet points. Sommer emerged from the Boston music scene in the ’80s with a vengeance, a Folk guitarist with a percussive, open-tuning style adapted from the likes of David Bromberg, Steve Howe, Townes Van Zandt and Brit Folk legend Davy Graham. But Boston was also a hotbed of New Wave, Power Pop and Punk at that point, and Sommer absorbed those influences as well, creating a Byrdsian jangle sound that earned him opening slots for national touring acts and regular bookings at the renowned Paradise Theatre. Sommer eventually relocated to Eric Sommer Europe where he PHOTO : Eric Stillions scored tours with Bram Tchaikovsky, Wreckless Eric and Nick Lowe, calling Denmark and the Netherlands home for awhile. After honing his personal songwriting style and playing every conceivable club on the European circuit, Sommer returned to She Wants Revenge Boston homeless and PHOTO : Michael Muller broke. Living on the streets and in abandoned squats, Sommer played every available open mic and picked up guitar tips from David Landau and Gary Burton/Steve Howe sideman Mick Goodrick, which led to the formation of a trio called The Atomics, which offered up an American version of Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson and Nick Lowe during its run. While The Atomics opened for the Dead Kennedys and Gang of Four and became one of Boston’s best local New Wave outfits, Sommer was finding constant inspiration in the works of Jeff Beck, Pat Martino, Joe Pass and Charlie Christian. With The Atomics’ dissolution, Sommer’s wanderlust took him to New York, Atlanta and finally the suburbs of Washington, D.C., where he founded the Georgetown Film Festival and embarked on a phase of independent film scoring. Since then, Sommer has been a troubadour with no fixed address, playing well over 250 gigs a year and slowing

down just long enough to record a handful of brilliant albums, including Rainy Day Karma with his band, Solar Flares, and his latest solo effort, Brooklyn Bolero. If there’s any lingering doubt about Sommer’s supernatural versatility, consider that he’s opened for Old 97’s, Nickel Creek’s Sara Watkins, Bluegrass icon Jerry Douglas, Mates of State, Dr. John, Leon Redbone and Built to Spill. Whether in band or one-man form, Sommer is a living history of contemporary music and a musical force of nature. Sommer’s visit to Newport, Ky.’s Southgate House Revival is a free show on the venue’s Lounge stage. (Brian Baker) She Wants Revenge with Raw Fabrics Friday • Woodward Theater In the early- to mid’00s, enough bands (from both the U.S. and the U.K.) that showed the influence of seminal ’80s Post Punk in their music had emerged that the label “Post Punk revival” was created. Of course, bands like The Killers, Bloc Party, Interpol and She Wants Revenge have pretty disparate sounds. Some groups were particularly linked to Joy Division’s dark, icy vibe, but unlike Interpol, She Wants Revenge’s comparisons to that band were largely vicious and dismissive. When the band’s self-titled debut was released, She Wants Revenge was deemed a straight-up rip off by some critics. Perhaps it was due to how certain groups addressed the comparisons. While Interpol’s singer famously claimed he had never even heard Joy Division, She Wants Revenge’s driving creative forces — singer/guitarist Justin Warfield and programmer/multi-instrumentalist Adam Bravin — didn’t run away from their love of influential bands like The Cure, Bauhaus and, yes, Joy Division. The critical attacks didn’t stop the Electronic-tinged, Goth-touched Darkwave group from building a loyal audience. And She Wants Revenge got a more important nod of approval by some of those early Post Punk influences themselves, doing tour dates with the likes of Depeche Mode and Echo and the Bunnymen. The band released two more albums — 2007’s This Is Forever and 2011’s


Valleyheart — before the musicians placed She Wants Revenge on permanent hiatus in 2012. Warfield and Bravin had other things to explore, working with other artists and projects. Warfield, who first came to public attention with a great, trippy 1993 Hip Hop album called My Field Trip to Planet 9 (featuring production by the legendary Prince Paul) and has sung on tracks by artists like The Chemical Brothers and The Crystal Method, worked on a film and did production projects. Meanwhile, Bravin (who was the DJ in Crazy Town before DJ AM) got a sweet gig as Barack Obama’s go-to DJ for events throughout the president’s two terms. The band decided to reunite, first for a few shows and then a full-fledged tour, in honor of its debut album’s 10th anniversary. Its music also had experienced a revival that led to new fans discovering She Wants Revenge’s music. In 2015, the group’s early hit “Tear Us Apart” was featured prominently in a scene from American Horror Story: Hotel’s season premiere, which starred a fan of the band’s — Lady Gaga. (Mike Breen)

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The Lumineers U.S. Bank Arena January 31, 2017

FUTURE SOUNDS TINY MOVING PARTS – Dec. 14, Bogart’s REVEREND HORTON HEAT/NASHVILLE PUSSY/ UNKNOWN HINSON – Dec. 15, Southgate House Revival CODY JINKS – Dec. 15, 20th Century Theater TOGETHER PANGEA – Dec. 15, MOTR Pub DRU HILL – Dec. 16, Bogart’s THE WEEPIES – Dec. 16, Taft Theatre MINT CONDITION – Dec. 17, OTR Live STRAIGHT NO CHASER – Dec. 20, Aronoff Center DROWNING POOL – Dec. 20, The Mad Frog Live! at the Ludlow Garage

GRIFFIN HOUSE – Dec. 22,

ERIKA WENNERSTROM – Dec. 23, Woodward Theater AESOP ROCK – Jan. 13, 20th Century Theater THE DEVIL MAKES THREE – Jan. 18, 20th Century Theater BROTHERS OSBORNE – Jan. 20, Bogart’s FRANK TURNER & THE SLEEPING SOULS – Jan. 21, Bogart’s THE LUMINEERS – Jan. 13, U.S. Bank Arena THE DEVIL MAKES THREE – Jan. 18, 20th Century Theater DNCE – Feb. 1, Bogart’s YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND – Feb. 2, Madison Theater MS. LAURYN HILL – Feb. 2, Aronoff Center

DECEMBER: 9 10 14 16 17 22 28 29 30

Sam Tieger & Jay Elliot Steel Panther Tiny Moving Parts Dru Hill Straight On (A tribute to Heart) Don’t Call it a Christmas Party Comedy Night! Razing Babylon James Otto, Trailer Choir, David & Whitney, Billy Brown (Benefiting the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital) 31 Rumpke Mountain Boys!

/BOGARTSSHOWS

GREENSKY BLUEGRASS – Feb. 9, Madison Theater STRFKR – Feb. 9, Woodward Theater JUSTIN MOORE/LEE BRICE – Feb. 10, BB&T Arena POP EVIL – Feb. 12, Bogart’s VALERIE JUNE – Feb. 14, Southgate House Revival AUGUST BURNS RED – Feb. 14, Bogart’s RUTHIE FOSTER – Feb. 17, Southgate House Revival DELBERT MCCLINTON – Feb. 25, Madison Theater

BOGART’S BOX OFFICE | TICKETMASTER | 800.745.3000 CONTACT MINDYGOFF@LIVENATION.COM FOR VIP INFO

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Exit Verse Sunday • MOTR Pub To the casual Indie Rock listener, the name Exit Verse may not spark much recognition, but the obsessive devotee Exit Verse knows the Chicago PHOTO : provided trio by virtue of its iconic frontman Geoff Farina, best known for his stint with the renowned Indie/Prog/Jazz outfit Karate. Farina has earned a well-deserved reputation as a musical provocateur who prefers to inhabit his own unique niche within the Indie Rock realm rather than compromise his creative impulses in an effort to mimic prevailing trends. Farina shuttered Karate more than a decade ago due to tinnitus issues, but he’s kept busy in music. He maintains The Secret Stars, his longtime Folk/Pop duo with musician/visual artist Jodi Buonanno; the pair also founded the Grange Hall, a recording/art studio/living space in Boston. Since the end of Karate, Farina has continued his membership in Italian Folk/Punk band Ardecore, his presence in the more traditionally Folk-based Glorytellers and his erstwhile solo career, which has included a handful of full-lengths releases, including his most recent, 2012’s The Wishes of the Dead, and EPs, as well as a number of film scoring projects. Since his relocation to Chicago, Farina, who holds a BA from the Berklee College of Music and an MA from the University of Massachusetts, is also a music history

professor at DePaul University. The year after his last solo album, Farina founded Exit Verse, his first actual Indie Rock band since the cessation of Karate, with former Chisel drummer John Dugan and Brokeback/Tight Phantomz bassist Pete Kroke. The trio, sounding like Wayne Kramer fronting Ted Leo’s Pharmacists, recorded and released its well-received debut album in 2013, following it up just a couple of weeks ago with the equally energized Grant No Glory, featuring ex-Chin Up Chin Up drummer Chris Dye behind the kit. Regardless of the musical situation he creates for himself, there is always cause for celebration when Geoff Farina hits the city limit. Exit Verse is merely the latest. (BB)


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12/7 spirit animal, nico yaryan; wolfcryer: artist in residence 12/8 mean mary; eric sommer

TOP 5 LOCAL BANDS 1 PILOT AROUND THE STARS 2 DAWG YAWP 3 LEMON SKY 4 CURRENT EVENTS 5 MOTEL FACES SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC MERCH

12/9 sundy best, grayson jenkins; the tillers, whiskey bent valley boys; cougar ace, lost coast, the invisible strings

Arnold’s Bar and Grill - Todd Hepburn. 7 p.m. Blues/Jazz/ Various. Free. Bella Luna - RMS Band. 7 p.m. Soft Rock/Jazz. Free. Blind Lemon - Jamonn Zeiler. 8 p.m. Acoustic. Free. Bromwell’s Härth Lounge - Phil DeGreg. 6 p.m. Jazz. Free. Century Inn Restaurant - Paul Lake. 7 p.m. Pop/Rock/Jazz/ Oldies/Various. Free.

Jag’s Steak and Seafood - Steve Thomas. 6 p.m. Sax/Piano/Vocals. Free. Knotty Pine - Procter Unplugged. 10 p.m. Acoustic. Free. Mansion Hill Tavern - Losing Lucky. 8 p.m. Roots. Free.

12/14 wolfcryer: artist in residence

WWW. SOU THG A T EH O US E.C O M

Wednesday 07

Crow’s Nest - Steve Dirr. 9:30 p.m. Acoustic. Free.

12/10 bj’s band jam: 9th annual charity show & ugly sweater party! ; violet delancey, jody stapleton & friends

12/15 reverend horton heat, nashville pussy, unknown hinson, lucky tubb; the long knives, the z.g.s, lockjaw, dead tuth; kick the blue drum, jim pelz

music listings

Marty’s Hops & Vines - Dave Hawkins and Peg Buchanan. 7 p.m. Celtic/Folk. Free.

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Meritage - Sonny Moorman. 7 p.m. Blues. Free. Mic’s Pub - Karaoke with A Sound Sensation/DJ Heather. 8:30 p.m. Various. Free. Miller’s Fill Inn - Karaoke with A Mystical Sound Sensation DJ Rob. 9 p.m. Various. Free.

Live! at the Ludlow Garage Third World. 8 p.m. Reggae. $25-$35.

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Madison Theater - B105 Toys for Tots Show with Chris Janson, Tucker Beathard and The Last Bandoleros. 8 p.m. Country. $20, $25 day of show. MOTR Pub - New Moons with Motel Faces. 10 p.m. Rock. Free. Plain Folk Cafe - Open Mic with Paul Roark. 7 p.m. Various. Free. Southgate House Revival (Lounge) - Eric Sommer. 9:30 p.m. Acoustic. Free.

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Southgate House Revival (Revival Room) - Mean Mary. 8 p.m. Americana. $8, $10 day of show.

Friday 09 20th Century Theater - The H Seldom Scene with Jean Dowell featuring Mike Oberst. 8

p.m. Bluegrass/Folk/Americana/ Various. $25-$30.

Blind Lemon - Kyle Hacket. 9 p.m. Acoustic. Free.

Southgate House Revival (Revival Room) - Spirit Animal with Nico Yaryan. 8 p.m. Rock/Pop/Various. $10, $12 day of show. 5 2   •   C I T Y B E A T . C O M   •   D E C . 0 7  –  1 3 , 2 0 1 6

Knotty Pine - Mitch and Steve. 9 p.m. Rock/Blues/Pop/Various. Free.

Northside Tavern - Brian Sauer with Joe Walla. 10 p.m. Acoustic. Free.

Southgate House Revival (Lounge) - Wolfcryer. 9:30 p.m. Folk. Free.

Urban Artifact - Blue Wisp Big Band. 8:30 p.m. Big Band Swing. $10.

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Thursday 08

Red Wing Shoe Store: 8071 Connector Dr. • Florence, KY 41042-1466 • (859) 283-2909

The Hot Spot - Bob Cushing. 7 p.m. Acoustic. Free.

Bella Luna - Blue Birds Trio. 7 p.m. Classic Rock/Jazz. Free.

Silverton Cafe - Bob Cushing. 8 p.m. Acoustic. Free.

Now FouNd iN the tri-State • 15 MiNuteS FroM otr

Horse & Barrel - John Ford. 6 p.m. Blues/Roots. Free.

MOTR Pub - Suck the Honey with Siren Suit. 10 p.m. Rock. Free.

Pit to Plate - Bluegrass Night with Vernon McIntyre’s Appalachian Grass. 7 p.m. Bluegrass. $2.

HERITAGE

Fort Mitchell Sports Bar - Karaoke with A Sound Sensation/DJ Heather. 9:30 p.m. Various. Free.

Arnold’s Bar and Grill - Dottie Warner and Ricky Nye. 7:30 p.m. Jazz. Free. Blind Lemon - Charlie Millikin. 8 p.m. Acoustic. Free. Bromwell’s Härth Lounge - Todd Hepburn. 6 p.m. Jazz/Various. Free. Crow’s Nest - Jon & Robert Ford with James Weston. 9:30 p.m. Americana. Free.

Blue Note Harrison - Buffalo Ridge Band. 9 p.m. Country. Cover. Bogart’s - Sam Tieger and Jay H Elliot with Toren Rosenzweig. 8 p.m. Pop. $13.09. Bromwell’s Härth Lounge - Daniel Bennett and The Dirty Shirleys and Steve Schmidt. 6 p.m. Jazz. Free. Century Inn Restaurant - Jim Teepen. 8 p.m. Acoustic. Free. College Hill Coffee Co. - The Muse Holiday Ensemble Singfest. 7:30 p.m. Holiday. Free. The Comet - Kid Stardust (EP H release show) with A.M. Nice and Easy Fiction. 10 p.m. Indie Rock. Free.

Crow’s Nest - Ryan Lee Coates. 10 p.m. Americana. Free. Danny B’s Lounge - Bob Cushing. 8 p.m. Acoustic. Free. Eastgate Brew & View - Encore Duo. 6:30 p.m. Acoustic Classic Rock/Americana. Free. Gallagher Student Center H Theatre - Xavier University Music Series with The Bad Plus with JD Allen Trio. 8 p.m. Jazz. $3-$25.

Jim and Jack’s on the River Danny Frazier. 9 p.m. Country Knotty Pine - Amy Sailor Band. 10 p.m. Country. Cover. Legends Nightclub - SwingTime Big Band. 8:30 p.m. Big Band Swing. $7. Live! at the Ludlow Garage - Judy Collins. 8 p.m. Folk. $55-$125. Madison Live - Laniakristmas H Toy Drive and Benefit Show with Sassafraz, Wanyama and Vibe & Direct. 10 p.m. Funk/Jam/ Electronic/Various. $7, $10 day of show (benefits the Dragonfly Foundation).

Madison Theater - Q102 Jeff & Jenn Christmas Show with JoJo and Wrabel. 8 p.m. Pop. $25. Mansion Hill Tavern - Tickled Pink. 9 p.m. Blues/Various. $4. Marty’s Hops & Vines - Bob Ross Trio. 9 p.m. Jazz. Free. The Mockbee - Spank & Friends featuring Spankalicious, Phillis Wayne, Organic, Fat Chick, Hermosa and Bus Stop Boy. 9 p.m. Future Bass. $5-$10. MOTR Pub - R. Ring with Adam H Torres. 10 p.m. Indie/Rock/ Various. Free. MVP Bar & Grille - The Inturns. 9 p.m. Rock. Northside Tavern - Smut with H Kizzy Hall and Cross Country. 10 p.m. Noise Pop/Various. Free. Plain Folk Cafe - The Rattletraps. 7:30 p.m. Blues/Rock/Roots. Free. Pompilios - Ricky Nye and Bekah Williams. 8 p.m. Jazz. Free. Rick’s Tavern - 90 Proof Twang. 10 p.m. Country. Cover. Silverton Cafe - Big Trouble Blues Band. 9 p.m. Blues. Free. Southgate House Revival (Lounge) - Cougar Ace with Lost Coast and The Invisible Strings. 9:30 p.m. Rock. Free. Southgate House Revival H (Revival Room) - The Tillers and Whiskey Bent Valley Boys. 9 p.m. Folk/Bluegrass. $15.

Southgate House Revival (Sanctuary) - Sundy Best with Grayson Jenkins. 9 p.m. Americana/Roots/Rock/Country. $15, $18 day of show. The Underground - Joshua David, Ironwood Shelter, Red Metafor, Warshful and Written In Red. 7:30 p.m. Indie/Folk/Rock/Various. Cover. Urban Artifact - Father Smash and the Revival, The Grove, Hero Jr. and The Mark Borison Vanity Project. 9 p.m. Rock/Various. Free. Village Troubadour - Ma Crow and the Lady Slippers. 7 p.m. Bluegrass. Free.


CityBeat’s music listings are free. Send info to MIKE BREEN via email at mbreen@citybeat.com. Listings are subject to change. See citybeat.com for full music listings and all club locations. H is CityBeat staff’s stamp of approval.

Woodward Theater - She H Wants Revenge with Raw Fabrics. 8 p.m. Post Punk/

Rick’s Tavern - Naked Karate Girls. 10 p.m. Dance/Rock/Various. $5.

The Celestial - Tom Schneider. 6 p.m. Piano. Free.

Electronic/Dance/Various. $25, $28 day of show.

Silverton Cafe - The Night Owls. 9 p.m. Blues/Soul/Rock. Free.

Knotty Pine - Open Mic. 8 p.m. Various. Free.

Saturday 10

Southgate House Revival H (Lounge) - Violet Delancey with Jody Stapleton & Friends.

McCauly’s Pub - Open Jam with Sonny Moorman. 7 p.m. Blues/ Various. Free.

404 - Ricky Nye Inc. 8 p.m. Blues/ Boogie Woogie. Cover. Bella Luna - Blue Birds Trio. 7 p.m. Classic Rock/Jazz. Free. Blind Lemon - John and Corinna. 9 p.m. Various. Free. Blue Note Harrison - Bad Habit, Rodney Alan Combs and The Belairs. 7 p.m. Rock/Country/ Various. Cover. Bogart’s - Steel Panther. 8 p.m. Metal. $35.30. Bromwell’s Härth Lounge - Steve Schmidt Trio. 8 p.m. Jazz. Free. College Hill Coffee Co. - Just Earth (release party). 7:30 p.m. Folk. Free. The Comet - Equipment with Fluffer and Moira. 10 p.m. Alt/Rock/ Various. Free. The Cricket Lounge at The Cincinnatian Hotel - Phillip Paul Trio. 6 p.m. Jazz. Free. Depot Barbecue - April Aloisio. 7 p.m. Jazz. Free. Fort Mitchell Sports Bar - Karaoke with A Sound Sensation/DJ Heather. 9:30 p.m. Various. Free. The Greenwich - SpokenWordSoul with Adia Dobbins and Leon Robinson. 9 p.m. Jazz/Spoken Word. $10. Jim and Jack’s on the River - Cort Carpenter. 9 p.m. Country. Knotty Pine - DV8. 10 p.m. Rock. Cover. Live! at the Ludlow Garage - Judy Collins. 8 p.m. Folk. Sold out.

9:30 p.m. Folk/Americana. Free.

Southgate House Revival (Revival Room) - BJ’s Band Jam Ninth-Annual Charity Show & Ugly Sweater Christmas Party with Whitehall Bear, Yellow Cuss, TLRB, Pheve, The Plant That Ate The South and Ryan McKenzie. 6 p.m. Rock/Various. $10-$15 (benefits NKY Hates Heroin and Mental Health America of Northern Kentucky & Southwest Ohio).

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The Underground - The Underground Battle of the Bands with Lily Isabelle, Moment 44, The Key Concepts and Waveshapes. 7 p.m. Various. Cover. Urban Artifact - Matt Schneider and The Interns. 9 p.m. Pop/Blues/ Rock. Free. Westside Venue - Southern Highway. 9 p.m. Country/Rock/ Blues. Free. Woodward Theater - Dance Yrself Clean with Multimagic and Us, Today. 8 p.m. Indie/Alt/ Dance/Pop/LCD Soundsystem tribute. $10, $12 day of show.

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Sunday 11 Blind Lemon - Jeff Henry. 8 p.m. Acoustic. Free. BrewRiver GastroPub - Ben Levin and Ricky Nye. 6 p.m. Blues/ Boogie Woogie. Free. The Comet - Comet Bluegrass AllStars. 7:30 p.m. Bluegrass. Free. Knotty Pine - Randy Peak. 10 p.m. Acoustic. Free

Mansion Hill Tavern - Johnny Fink and the Intrusion. 9 p.m. Blues. $4.

Mansion Hill Tavern - Open Blues Jam with Uncle Woody & the Blue Bandits. 7 p.m. Blues. Free.

Marty’s Hops & Vines - The Cla-Zels. 9 p.m. Acoustic Rock/ Various. Free.

Miller’s Fill Inn - Karaoke with A Mystical Sound Sensation DJ Rob. 9 p.m. Various. Free.

The Mockbee - Level Up Tour with Jr., BeShootin, Theodore Dali, Blake Matthews, Hochstrasser and Jon Writer. 9 p.m. Hip Hop. Cover. MOTR Pub - Coconut Milk (album release) with The Yugos. 10 p.m. Indie/Pop/Rock. Free.

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MVP Bar & Grille - Ugly Sweater Party with The XM. 9 p.m. Rock/ Various. Northside Tavern - The H Cliftones. 10 p.m. Reggae. Free.

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MOTR Pub - Exit Verse. 10 p.m. Rock. Free.

Northside Tavern - “Classical Revolution.” 8 p.m. Chamber/ Classical/Various. Free. Thompson House - Fifth H Annual NKY/Greater Cincinnati Hip Hop Awards. 8 p.m. Hip Hop. $10.

MOTR Pub - Brian Sauer and Jordon Frank. 10 p.m. Acoustic. Free. Northside Tavern - The Qtet. 10 p.m. Funk/Rock/Jazz/Fusion/ Various. Free.

Snapcode: CityBeatCincy

Taft Theatre - Sick Puppies H with Devour the Day. 8 p.m. Hard Rock. $15, $18 day of show (in the Ballroom).

Tuesday 13 20th Century Theater - The H Marcus King Band. 8 p.m. Rock/Various. $12, $14 day of show.

Arnold’s Bar and Grill - Casey Campbell. 7 p.m. Roots/Blues. Free. Aronoff Center for the Arts Eamonn McCrystal & Chloë Agnew. 7:30 p.m. Irish/Holiday. $35-$55. Blind Lemon - Nick Tuttle. 8 p.m. Acoustic. Free. BrewRiver GastroPub - John Ford. 6:30 p.m. Blues/Roots. Free. Christ Church Cathedral H Music Live@Lunch with Ricky Nye. 12:10 p.m. Blues/Boogie Woogie. Free.

Crow’s Nest - Open Mic Nite. 8 p.m. Various. Free. Jag’s Steak and Seafood - Zack Shelly and Chon Buckley. 6 p.m. Piano/Vocals. Free. Live! at the Ludlow Garage George Winston. 8 p.m. R&B/Jazz/ Pop/Various. $25-$65. Marty’s Hops & Vines - Angela Bolan. 7 p.m. Holiday. Free. McCauly’s Pub - Stagger Lee. 7 p.m. Country/Rock. Free. MOTR Pub - Writer’s Night. 10 p.m. Open mic/Various. Free. Shaker’s - Open Mic/Open Jam with TC and Company. 7:30 p.m. R&B/Funk/Jazz. Free.

Urban Artifact - Dirk Quinn Band with Greeze. 3 p.m. Funk/Jazz/ Blues. Free.

Stanley’s Pub - Trashgrass Night with members of Rumpke Mountain Boys. 9 p.m. Jamgrass/Bluegrass/ Jamgrass/Various. Cover.

Monday 12

Urban Artifact - For the H Rebellion, Willow Tree Carolers and Mara Moon. 8 p.m. Folk/Rock.

Blind Lemon - Dave Hawkins. 8 p.m. Acoustic. Free.

CITY BEAT IS ON SNAPCHAT!

Free.

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McCauly’s Pub - Debi and the Revelation. 9 p.m. Rock/Pop/ Country. Free.

The Mockbee - OH jam! presents Off tha Block Mondays with open mic and hosts Stallitix, Goodword, DJ Noah and I Mean. 10 p.m. Hip Hop/Various. Free.

FolLow  Us! 


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crossword puzzle

THE CLASSIFIEDS

Swapping Sides BY Brendan Emmet t Quigley

Across

1. Colliding bits 6. Problems for lighthouses 10. Scribble (down) 13. First in a series 14. Reed instrument 15. Brit Lit assignment, maybe 16. Forest moon of sci-fi 17. Payne of One Direction 18. Rickey ingredient 19. Slangy honks? 22. “What ___ you saying?” 25. Daft Punk, e.g. 26. Fireplace shaft 27. Red spots you might get from a feeding trough? 32. Waffle that comes in a “Homestyle” variety 33. Couple of bucks? 34. Breath mint taken in self-defense? 42. Positive particle 43. Tiniest bit 44. Giving director Ingmar a hard time? 50. Gambling game at a convenience store 51. Shoe size letters 52. Glamour figs. l ast week’s answers

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53. Pastries with colorful cravats? 58. Long Trail selection 59. “Dagblasted” 60. Mumford and Sons instrument 64. Shark’s giveaway 65. Really corny 66. U-shaped yoke 67. 61-Down broadcaster 68. 61-Down broadcaster 69. “Family Circus” cartoonist

Dow n

31. Compete in the super G 35. Jr.’s son 36. Super Bowl 50 MVP Miller 37. Director Lee 38. Small butt? 39. Heavy reading 40. Somewhat 41. See 2-Down 44. Land, in a boat 45. Start a new paragraph 46. Small point 47. Hammered 48. “Get that thing out of HERE!” 49. Puma rival 50. Jell-O and Velveeta’s owner 54. In between gears 55. Reliever’s stats 56. Summer getaway 57. ___-Coburg 61. See 67- and 68-Across 62. Snow on television 63. “I don’t ___ you anything!”

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Band Rehearsal Spaces Available

Prices range from $125.00 to $160.00 a month. Utilities included. Call 513-421-0488 or email at info@ loudandclear.com for more information and availabilities.

contractors NEEDED to deliver CityBeat

CityBeat needs contractors to deliver CityBeat every Wednesday between 9am and 3pm. Qualified candidates must have appropriate vehicle, insurance for that vehicle and understand that they are contracted to deliver that route every Wednesday. CityBeat drivers are paid per stop and make $14.00 to $16.00 per hr. after fuel expense. Please reply by email and leave your day and evening phone numbers. Please reply by email only. Phone calls will not be accepted. sferguson@citybeat.com

NIGHT GARDEN RECORDING STUDIO

Seamless integration of the best digital gear and classics from the analog era including 2” 24 track. Wide variety of classic microphones, mic pre-amps, hardware effects and dynamics, many popular plug-ins and accurate synchronization between DAW and 2” 24 track. Large live room and 3 isolation rooms. All for an unbelievable rate. Event/Show sound, lighting and video production services available as well. Call or email Steve for additional info and gear list; (513) 368-7770 or (513) 729-2786 or sferguson.productions@gmail.com.

DISSOLVE YOUR MARRIAGE

Dissolution: An amicable end to marriage. Easier on your heart. Easier on your wallet. Starting at $500 plus court costs. 12 Hour Turnaround.

810 Sycamore St. 4th Fl, Cincinnati, OH 45202

513.651.9666

THE LODGE RECORDING • PHOTOGRAPHY SCREEN PRINTING • MURALS

5 6   •   C I T Y B E A T . C O M   •   D E C . 0 7  –  1 3 , 2 0 1 6

thelodgeky.com

is hiring an Advertising Account Exectutive. For details and to apply, visit citybeat.com/work-here.

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CityBeat Dec. 07, 2016  

The Holiday Issue