Around Cincinnati

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The Last Five Years is an intimate musical, written by Jason Robert Brown, that tells the love story of two New Yorkers in a most unusual way. It's the next production on stage at the Warsaw Federal Incline Theatre, and joining Elaine Diehl in our Corbett Studio for a preview and performance are the director, Tim Perrino; actors Lauren Magness and Elliott Handkins; and the musical director, Michael Kennedy, who accompanies Lauren and Elliott on the song, "The Next 10 Minutes."

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Book Review: Roberta Schultz has a review of Backyard Farming: Growing Herbs for Food & Medicine by Kim Pezza.

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**We've just been informed that the Yale Spizzwinks(?) have postponed their Cincinnati concert until May due to current health concerns. Once the new date is confirmed, we'll post that information here.**

The Yale Spizzwinks(?), the country's oldest all-male underclassman a capella group, will be in Cincinnati on Monday, March 16 for a concert at OTR's First Lutheran Church. Anne Arenstein learns more about this group, their unusual name, and what listeners will enjoy during their upcoming concert in this conversation with Music Director John Paciga, and Athens, Ohio native Derek DeMel.

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Northern Kentucky celebrates the people and heritages of our region with the inaugural NKY International Festival on Saturday, March 14. A joint presentation by Boone County Schools, the Rotary Clubs of Northern Kentucky, and the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, the event will feature international cuisine, entertainment, shopping, and information booths. Darren Wurz from the Covington Rotary Club joins Anne Arenstein in the studio for a conversation about this first-year event.

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Downtown's Lloyd Library is one of the true hidden gems of Cincinnati, with a world-class collection of books on the sciences and ecology. Their next exhibit, honoring Women's History Month, is Women and Nature in the Arts, Sciences, and Letters, kicks off with an opening reception on March 6. With more on the mission of Lloyd Library and this exhibit, Executive Director Patricia Van Skaik is in the studio with our Barbara Gray.

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Destiny of Desire, the next play on the stage at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, is described as an homage to Latin American soap operas, written by Karen Zacarías, whose play Native Gardens was a hit at the Playhouse recently. Theatre contributor Jim Stump is joined by the play's director, José Luis Valenzuela, who's the Artistic Director at Latino Theater Co. at The Los Angeles Theatre Center, and the assistant director, Jean Carlo Yunén A.

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**On March 12, Ensemble Theatre announced a temporary suspension of performances due to the coronavirus outbreak. They are working to determine rescheduling opportuniites, so contact them directly with questions about tickets.**

The works of Dominique Morisseau have found a home at Cincinnati's Ensemble Theatre with successful runs of Detroit 67 and Skeleton Crew the last few years. Opening March 7 is a production of her play Pipeline, and our contributor Rick Pender speaks with the show's director, Ron OJ Parson.

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Back for its 22nd year, WoodyFest celebrates the music and ideas of the inimitable Woody Guthrie. Local musicians Jake Speed and Ed Cunningham will be part of the event, happening March 7 at the Liberty Exhibition Hall in Northside.

Book Review: "The Scientist And The Spy"

Feb 28, 2020
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Book Review: Our literary contributor Kelly Blewett has a review of the fascinating new book, The Scientist and the Spy: A True Story of China, the FBI, and Industrial Espionage by Mara Hvistendahl.

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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.

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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

Feb 21, 2020
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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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