Downtown Events

Downtown and Over-the-Rhine Events

February 9 – 11, 2018

More events at

Cincinnati Auto Expo

Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St.

Friday, Feb. 9, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 10, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Sunday, Feb.11, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The 2018 Cincinnati Auto Expo presented by The Enquirer celebrates 30 years of exhibiting the latest in the automotive world from the area’s top domestic and import manufacturers. This year, 31 auto manufacturers will be represented in showcasing their 2018 models.


New this year is the National Corvette Museum and NCM Motorsports Park’s special exhibit on the Concourse on Fifth Street inside the Duke Energy Center, and the 4x4 Fan Zone with a collection of specially outfitted off-road vehicles. Also featured is the return of Dream Machine Boulevard presented by General Electric Credit Union with a display of exotic, high-performance vehicles that continues to be a big attraction for auto enthusiasts and the casual car fan alike.


Other attractions at the 2018 Auto Expo include the Toyota Drive Center, offering test drives of Toyota’s latest models, including the Camry, Prius, Highlander and RAV4; the Chevrolet Test Drive, featuring the all-new Equinox and Traverse, along with other Chevy cars, trucks and SUVs; the Honda Ride & Drive featuring the Civic, Accord, CRV, Pilot and Odyssey; Safe Travel Family Zone; Beer & Wine Garden and the Student Showcase: Society of Automotive Engineers from the University of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky University.

Malcolm Cochran: Requiem

Weston Art Gallery in the Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut Street

Opens Friday, Feb. 9, 6 – 8 p.m. (Continues to April 8)

Requiem, a powerful and provocative installation by Malcolm Cochran (Columbus, OH) examines difficult and challenging political and social atrocities that continue to plague the world. 


In a fast-paced and overly distracted electronically stimulated society we can become desensitized to the all-too-frequent violent assaults on innocent civilians resulting from war, conflict, and exploitation around the globe. Requiem is a memorial to deaths from genocide, massacres, warfare, and human suffering from social and economic injustices and exploitation. It merges mundane and discarded refrigerators repurposed as coffin-like sculptures with live and recorded performance of ancient, classical, and contemporary vocalise.

The installation dovetails visual and aural elements at once startling, destabilizing, and moving. Requiem—the self-evident title for this project—references traditional musical compositions in honor of the dead. Cochran’s installation affords him the opportunity to bring music into play in a form where sculpture and sound work hand-in-hand through his collaboration with composers and singers.


A recorded preview of the music will be presented during the opening reception at 7 p.m. A live performance of Requiem featuring eight vocalists performing solo a cappella traditional and classical compositions, plus four songs by contemporary composers commissioned by the artist, will be presented on Sunday, March 18, at 2 p.m. This new work situated in the West Gallery is complemented by two earlier sculptures by Cochran that serve as conceptual bookends.

Bee-ing The Beatles with the Newbees

Herzog Music, 811 Race St.

Friday, Feb. 9, 7 p.m.

Herzog Harmony Series Presents: Bee-ing the Beatles, so you can see how the Newbees made it possible to live inside their favorite records. This program is presented by Herzog Music on the anniversary of the Beatles’ first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show 54 years ago.

This all-ages session will give a brief overview of the Newbees’s experiences as a working and touring Beatles tribute, as well as the motivation and turn of events that put them on that long and winding road. Jeff and Misty Perholtz will discuss the ways they analyzed, studied and reimagined some of the world most loved pop songs. Jeff and Misty will share some of their insight about the songs from both fan and musician perspectives, breaking down and teaching you songs as they go.

The event will also feature a brief history of the historic Herzog space and Paul McCartney’s meeting with King Records alumni Philip Paul and Otis Williams just before his last Cincinnati performance.

Little Folkers Puppet Party!

Saturday, Feb. 10 at 11 a.m.  

Get ready for some heart-felt fun with Miss Hanna Rae Mathey! Guaranteed to be a fun time filled with music to make you sing, smile, and get silly! The whole family will enjoy this interactive FREE event, presented by Eli’s BBQ and The Play Library.


Cincinnati Ballet: Carmina Burana + Serenade

Music Hall, 1241 Elm St.

Friday, Feb. 9, 8 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 10, 2 and 8 p.m.

Sunday, Feb.11, 1 and 6:30 p.m.


Carl Orff’s evocative score comes to life in the Cincinnati premiere of Carmina Burana by world-renowned choreographer Nicolo Fonte, complete with live music and the voices of the May Festival Chorus. Balanchine’s brilliant Serenade is a piece of ravishing beauty, performed to Tchaikovsky’s lush and romantic Serenade for Strings. Audacious artistry and captivating beauty

Carl Orff’s powerful and evocative score comes brilliantly to life in the Cincinnati premiere of Carmina Burana, choreographed by the renowned Nicolo Fonte. Fonte has created a ballet that is as dynamic as the music of Orff’s score, featuring 18 Cincinnati Ballet dancers accompanied on stage by the May Festival Chorus and backed by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.


Carmina Burana is an 11th-century text that was re-discovered in a Bavarian monastery in 1803. In 1936, composer Carl Orff set 24 of the poems to music, and it quickly became an extremely popular piece of classical repertoire, having been featured in major films, television, video games, and even sampled by Michael Jackson.

Carmina Burana is a co-production with Ballet West, which premiered the production in November. The costumes were built by Cincinnati Ballet, and a truss set was fabricated in Tennessee, which lifts the choir members high in the air above the dancers.  Decorative set elements were built by San Diego Opera.

The entire evening has an arc, beginning with Balanchine’s sweeping and gently feminine Serenade, in its moonlit shadows and soft flowing skirts. This is then set in contrast to the boldly dramatic Carmina Burana and the physically powerful style of Nicolo Fonte. 


Serenade, the first work created by George Balanchine in America, was originally created in 1934 as an exercise for the newly formed School of American Ballet. Filled with lush musicality and moving drama, is recognized as one of Balanchine’s seminal works.


Nicolo Fonte is known for his daring and original approach to choreography, and has worked with esteemed companies such as The Dutch National Ballet, Houston Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet.  R


Be Here Now

Playhouse in the Park, 962 Mt. Adams Circle

Opens Friday, Feb. 9, 8 p.m. (Continues through March 11)

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park announces the world premiere of Be Here Now by Deborah Zoe Laufer, a play commissioned by the Playhouse about two lost souls who come together under unusual circumstances in their search for happiness. Be Here Now debuts in the Shelterhouse Theatre with support from The Rosenthal Foundation, Season Sponsor of New Work.

The play centers on woefully underemployed Bari, who is a humorous misanthrope, and brilliant and loveable Mike, who manages his own demons and makes art out of garbage.

Bari lives in a small town and aspires to complete her Ph.D. dissertation on nihilism (the belief that nothing matters). Her cheerful workmates try to perk her up but she rejects their offer. Bari decides to take on a new path when she meets Mike, an unexpected suitor. BE HERE NOW asks what we are willing to do for love and happiness and to create meaning in our lives.


In 2013, the world premiere of Deborah’s play Leveling Up was produced by the Playhouse.

On Saturday, Feb. 10, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Playhouse Be Here Now playwright Deborah Zoe Laufer introduces the world of writing for the stage with a Fundamentals of Playwriting workshop. Learn how to build the foundation of a story by creating complex characters, writing memorable dialogue and crafting a compelling plot. Adults and teens ages 16 and up with all skill levels are welcome! Cost is $50 per person, and does not include a ticket to the show.





LOVE IS LOVE: A Cabaret of Broadway Songs About Love

Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St.

Friday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m.

Saturday, Feb.10, 2018, 5 and 8 p.m.

Continues Friday, Feb.16, 8 p.m. and Saturday, Feb.17, 5 & 8 p.m.

The Cincinnati Arts Association (CAA) and Cincinnati Music Theatre (CMT) present LOVE IS LOVE: A Cabaret of Broadway Songs About Love in the Fifth Third Bank Theater.

The witty and touching musical revue was created by Skip Fenker (director) and Michael Spresser (Mmusical director), and produced by Karen Galliers. Sitting at tables with a drink in hand, audiences will hear Broadway classics, old and new, about the many different aspects of love.  Beloved songs such as “Seasons of Love” (Rent), “Love Changes Everything” (Aspects of Love), and “Falling Out of Love Can Be Fun” (Irving Berlin’s White Christmas) will be sung by CMT’s top talent. It’s the perfect show for a Valentine’s date or a special evening with friends.


LOVE IS LOVE is the premiere production of a partnership between CAA and CMT to produce Broadway-style cabarets at the Aronoff Center. CAA has been operating and managing the Aronoff since its opening in 1995, the same year CMT became one of the venue’s founding resident companies. The 50+ year-old community theater offers exceptional productions of new and classic Broadway musicals, created and performed by some of the finest theatrical talent in the region. The cabaret partnership is a new venture for both arts organizations.


In a true spirit of collaboration, CAA and CMT are co-presenting this premiere cabaret production, with CAA managing the operations and marketing and CMT directing and producing the revue.

Tickets are $25 and include a cheese/fruit plate and one beverage.

Madagascar: A Musical Adventure

Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St.

Saturday, Feb. 10 at 2 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 11 at 2 and 5 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 11 at 5 p.m.

Join Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the hip hip Hippo and, of course, those hilarious, plotting penguins as they bound onto the Taft Theatre stage in the musical adventure of a lifetime. Based on the smash DreamWorks animated motion picture, Madagascar – A Musical Adventure follows all of your favorite crack-a-lackin’ friends as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar.

Based on the DreamWorks Animation Motion Picture. Book by Kevin Del Aguila. Original Music and Lyrics by George Noriega & Joel Someillan. Performance is under 70 minutes, Ideal for ages 4 and up. 

Performances continues next week, Friday, Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 17 at 2 and 5 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb 18 at 2 p.m.


Super Firkin Saturday

Christian Moerlein Brewing Co., 1621 Moore St.

Saturday, Feb. 10, 1 – 5 p.m.

Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. is throwing a party promoting innovation, experimentation, and all things local craft beer.

A handful of local brewer friends have been invited for the occasion and will be bringing special brews and infusions to serve alongside Moerlein’s own creations. MadTree Brewing, Braxton Brewing Company, Fifty West, Mt. Carmel Brewing Company , Listermann Brewing Company, The Woodburn Brewery, Streetside Brewing Co., Nine Giant, and Urban Artifact will be here to join the fun!

Entry to this event is free and sampling tickets can be purchased, five for $10.

The taproom will be open for business as normal. In addition to trying a host of Christian Moerlein beers, fans can purchase food from Wienerwurst Mike’s Frankfurtary.

FYI a firkin is a one-quarter barrel of beer or about 10 gallons.

Perfect Pairings Wine Tasting

Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike St.

Saturday, February 10, 5–8 p.m.

Tempt your palate with six wines perfectly paired with delectable hors d’oeurves by Executive Chef Luke Radkey. Each pairing is inspired by a piece of art in the Taft’s permanent collection. This is the perfect way to spend time with your loved ones just before Valentine’s Day!

Take a stroll through the galleries for a special docent-led tour of the Taft! This interactive tour will encourage you to play matchmaker with our lovelorn portraits and find each lucky subject his or her own “perfect pairing.”

Purchase a bottle of wine to take home. Enjoy 20 percent off pink and red merchandise at the Shop as well as other Valentine’s Day specials!


Valentine’s Day Sweet Stroll

Sunday, Feb. 11, 12 – 4 p.m.

Findlay Market, 1801 Race St.

Valentine’s Day at Findlay Market is all about the sweets! Celebrate Valentine’s Day as a couple, or with friends and family by indulging in scrumptious tasting stations from Findlay Market vendors. Each tasting station will also include a wine pairing courtesy of Market Wines at Findlay Market and a tea pairing courtesy of Churchill’s Fine Teas.

Tasting stations include

  • Baklava & Wedding Cookies from Areti’s Gyros
  • Royal Iced Cookies, Mini Cannoli & Rice Crispy Treats from Bouchard’s Pasta
  • “Bunny-O’s” – Oreo-style sandwich cookies with strawberry filling from Chubby Bunny Bakery
  • Dear Heart Date Shortbread Bars, Tahini Halvah brownies & brie rounds with cocoa and Italian Amarena cherries from Dean’s Mediterranean Imports
  • Pulled Pork & Coleslaw from Eli’s BBQ
  • Heart-shaped salami & champagne cheese from Gibbs Cheese and Sausage
  • Biscuits & Sausage Gravy from Gramma Debbie’s Kitchen at Findlay Market
  • "House Meatballs" w/Parmigiano Reggiano, fresh basil and focaccia from Harvest Pizzeria Over-the-Rhine
  • Chicken w/ Rice Pilaf from Kofinas Olive Oil & Vinegar
  • Double Raspberry Truffles from Maverick Chocolate Co.
  • Egg Rolls from Mimi’s Gourmet Eggrolls & Curry Bowls
  • Dark chocolate sea salt caramels & dark chocolate champagne truffles from OTR Candy Bar
  • Raspberry white chocolate tarts from Taste of Belgium

Receive five samples, wine pairings, tea pairings and a Findlay Market wine glass for $20. For the price of the ticket, you will also receive the chance to win flowers from The Budding Florist and 10% off coupons from Bender Meats, Busch’s Country Corner, Grayson’s / Mikes Meats,  Mackie Quality Meats, and Pet Wants.

The Sweet Stroll also includes

  • Romantic Violin Music
  • Beer Available for Purchase
  • Valentine’s Day Specials & Promos from our Merchants, including:
  • Kofinas Olive Oil & Vinegar: 10% off any flavor of 250 and 500ml bottles of olive oil now through Feb. 14
  • Madison’s at Findlay Market: Specials on Velveteen Chocolate & Valentine’s Bagels from OTR Bagel Bar
  • Market Wines at Findlay Market: Valentine’s Gift Package, purchase a gift certificate for 2 wine tastings ($14 value) and any bottle of wine, and Market Wines will dress up the package with Valentine-themed gift wrapping.
  • Mimi’s Gourmet Eggrolls & Curry Bowls: Dinner for two for $15
  • Pet Wants: The Urban Feed Store: Valentine’s Day Cookies
  • Valentine’s Day is Wednesday, Feb. 14!
  • Find a list of Valentine’s Day-centric events and dinner options at