Around Cincinnati

Sundays at 7 PM

Greater Cincinnati has a vibrant arts scene, and Around Cincinnati keeps you up-to-date with local, regional and national guests weekly on Sunday evenings from 7-8pm.  Local contributors and their guests explore a wide range of subjects including books & poetry, art exhibitions, theatre & dance productions, musicians, and concerts.

Some of the contributors include John Kiesewetter, Rick Pender, Anne Arenstein, Jim Stump, Roberta Schultz, David Delegator, Barbara Gray, Ron Esposito, Stuart Holman, Yemi Oyediran, Victor Paruta and Kelly Blewett.  Brian O'Donnell, Suzanne Bona, Howard Wilkinson, Andy Ellis, Elaine Diehl, and Jim Nolan, staff members of Cincinnati Public Radio, also help out.

If you have an interview idea for the award-winning program, Around Cincinnati, please contact Lee Hay, Producer/Host of Around Cincinnati, at

Curious about a piece of music you heard on Around Cincinnati? You can find more information on the Around Cincinnati playlist. Our theme music is courtesy of the Phil DeGreg Trio from their release, Table for Three.


Salon 21, the purveyors of intimate piano performances, will celebrate the music of African American composers at their next presentation on Thursday, February 27 at the Weston Art Gallery. Joining our Elaine Diehl with a preview of Negro Melodies of America are Salon 21's Jill Jantzen and the evening's performer, Dr. Leah Claiborne.


Robert Barry Fleming is a Kentucky native and theatre professional (he recently directed "Once on this Island" at Playhouse in the Park) who now serves as the executive artistic director of Actors Theatre of Louisville, presenter of the acclaimed Humana Festival of New American Plays. Theatre contributor Rick Pender is a regular attendee of the festival and talks with Mr. Fleming about his new role and the plays that will be featured this year.

New Poetry From Marcus Whalbring

15 hours ago

How to Draw Fire is a new book of poetry from Brookville, Indiana resident and Miami University alum Marcus Whalbring. He joins Barbara Gray in the studio to talk about his writing and to recite one of the poems from the book.


OTR's Know Theatre is ready to open Audrey Cefaly's Alabaster as part of the National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere project. Andrew Hungerford, Know Theatre's Producing Artistic Director, and Lisa Sanaye Dring, the play's director and Associate Artistic Director of LA’s Circle X Theatre Company, join our host Lee Hay for a preview of this production, opening February 28.


Book review: Kelly Blewett has a review of What It Is: Race, Family, and One Thinking Black Man's Blues by Clifford Thompson.

© Romare Bearden Foundation/VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Photo by Paul Takeuchi.

As part of African American History Month, the Cincinnati Art Museum is featuring an exhibit by famed artist Romare Bearden. During it's opening weekend (February 28-March 1), admission to Something Over Something Else will be free. 


There is literally magic in Norwood, on Leslie Avenue, inside a place called Haines' House of Cards. It's a place for magicians of all ages and skill levels to work on their skills of trickery and prestidigitation. Learn a bit more about this very special shop when our Oakley Scot talks to the current owner, Joe Farag.


Why will pieces of Cher's wardrobe be on display at Covington's Behringer-Crawford Museum? Executive Director Laurie Risch and Curator Jason French are with Elaine Diehl to talk about their current exhibit, From Rituals to Runways: The Art of the Bead, and the connection to Cher.

WVXU/Ronny Salerno

Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore will receive a rare local production from Northern Kentucky University's School of the Arts from February 21-March 1. Joining our Andy Ellis to preview this comic operetta are Music Director Damon Stevens and Chorus Master Kimberly Lazzeri.

The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati

The Children's Theatre of Cincinnati continues presenting fun, family musicals perfect for young audiences, and their next production is no exception. Annie Jr. (a scaled down, one-hour version of the Broadway classic) will have school and public presentations starting February 29. Director Eric Byrd spends a few minutes with our Jim Stump talking about the students involved in the production, how the public can see it, and their recent addition of sensory performances.


Lynx Project takes the words of individuals on the Autism spectrum and amplifies their voices by commissioning their texts and poetry to be turned into song. This year, the project will feature the words and poetry of four individuals with autism ranging from ages 9 – 19. Caitleen Kahn and Christopher Hauser from Lynx Project join Elaine Diehl to preview their February 29 performance.


Local author Bob Batchelor is currently working on a book about Cincinnati's famed Rookwood Pottery, which will have a featured display at the upcoming 20th Century Cincinnati mid-century show. The author is in the studio with host Lee Hay to talk about the history of Rookwood and the show coming to the Sharonville Convention Center on February 22-23.

A painting done by longtime Rookwood artist Jens Jensen is currently available at Cincinnati Art Galleries

Chuck Madden

Bob was a friend who shared many interests like NASCAR, jazz, blues, radio, and life.  We'll miss him.


UC's College-Conservatory of Music is in final rehearsals for their next production, Bruce Norris' Clybourne Park, a spin-off of Lorraine Hansberry's classic, A Raisin in the Sun. Director Richard Hess joins Rick Pender to discuss this drama-comedy that takes place in the 1950's and 2008, and his unique take on casting the roles.

Arts & Culture Bringing New Life To Warsaw Avenue

Feb 7, 2020

The diverse westside neighborhood of East Price Hill is seeing a transformation along Warsaw Avenue with arts as its impetus and led by the organization Price Hill Will. Elaine Diehl learns more about the Warsaw Avenue Creative Campus from Price Hill Will's Executive Director Rachel Hastings and Artistic Director Eddy Kwon.


The Oscar Wilde classic play, The Importance of Being Earnest, is being presented by the Mason Community Players from February 14-22 at their venue, Theatre 42 in Lebanon. Joining Jim Stump for a preview of this comedic gem is the actress bringing Lady Bracknell to life, Amy Sullivan.


Downtown Cincinnati's Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains will come alive with the a capella magic of England's The King Singers on February 19. A choral institution, having performed for half-a-century and on six continents, Jonathan Howard, bass singer from the group, is on the phone with Elaine Diehl to talk about the group and their music.


After much too long, Around Cincinnati is happy to have local music legend Katie Laur back in the studio to share one of her Music from the Hills of Home stories with us. Sit back and enjoy Aunt Dot's Scrambled Eggs.

Mary Higgins Clark--her name calls up a mental picture—a pretty one-- of her in the studio, a few years ago, still doing book tours in her 80’s. Hair perfectly coiffed and dressed to the nines, as Mary might say, in a rosy pink Chanel suit, emerald rings, pin, earrings shining—a stand-out amidst us radio folk whose regular dress is jeans.

It was warm in the studio that day and she began to nod off at one point, but was so petite, I felt I would have no problem propping her up if needed.  Not to worry, after seconds of a power nap, she was back!

She loved jewelry and after the publication of her latest novel would treat herself to a new piece.  And, as the Queen of Suspense, well, she could afford to with million dollar advances for her over 50 bestsellers. Her career began when she was widowed in 1964 with five kids to care for and decided to try her hand at novels.

Much like her heroines, she was always spirited, witty and honest. She once said, “Someone once wrote an absolutely nasty review of one of my books and I asked for a description of him.  You don’t know it, I thought, but you are going to end up dead on the floor.”   But no villain’s end for her, as we trust her Irish eyes are smiling somewhere on the other side...

C.D. Madden

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland recently announced its latest class of inductees, including The Doobie Brothers, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, and others. Joining our Elaine Diehl on the phone to talk about the selection process and the upcoming induction ceremony is the Hall of Fame's President & CEO Greg Harris.

Still on display at the Hall: Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll.