Downtown Events

Downtown and Over-the-Rhine Events

September 15-17

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Running through Oct 15, 2017

Aronoff Center for the Arts

The surprising tale of an unlikely friendship between two women in the Land of Oz, Wicked tells the untold story of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good, long before Dorothy drops in. Elphaba, born with emerald-green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. Glinda is beautiful, ambitious and very popular.  The remarkable odyssey of how these unexpected friends changed each other’s lives for good has made Wicked one of the world’s most popular musicals.

Based on the best-selling 1995 novel by Gregory Maguire, Wicked is the winner of over 100 international major awards, including a Grammy® and three Tony® Awards.

With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Pippin, Godspell, Academy Award®-winner for Pocahontas and The Prince of Egypt) and book by Winnie Holzman (“My So Called Life,” “Once And Again” and “thirtysomething”), Wicked is directed by two-time Tony® Award winner Joe Mantello (Take Me Out, Love! Valour! Compassion!) and features musical staging by Tony® Award winner Wayne Cilento (Aida, The Who’s Tommy, How To Succeed…).

Back by Popular demand. Variety calls Wicked “a cultural phenomenon”, and it continues to break box office records and sell out in record time. Winner of over 50 major awards, including a Grammy and three Tony Awards, Wicked is “Broadway’s biggest blockbuster” (The New York Times).

The Kaplan New Works Series

Now through Sept. 24

Aronoff Center for the Arts

With a focus on innovation, New Works celebrates modern choreographers while showcasing the athleticism, strength, and versatility of our dancers. Featuring four world premieres and including Emmy Award-winning Choreographer Travis Wall from So You Think You Can Dance.

Celebrating its 13th year, The Kaplan New Work Series opens Cincinnati Ballet’s groundbreaking 2017-2018 Season at the Aronoff Center’s Jarson-Kaplan Theater. The series offers an up-close experience with a variety of exciting world premieres by today’s most innovative choreographers. This year’s program includes special guest Travis Wall, best known for his work on the hit TV show, So You Think You Can Dance, and brand new works from Heather Britt, Penny Saunders, and Johanna Bernstein Wilt. A solo piece choreographed by Victoria Morgan will also receive its regional premiere, danced to “Black Coffee” by k.d. Lang.


Travis Wall rose to fame as the runner-up in Season two for the hit Fox TV show, So You Think You Can Dance, and is currently a resident choreographer for the show. Wall was the winner of the 2015 Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography, and has been nominated for an Emmy six times. He has choreographed for popular musicians including Carrie Underwood, Justin Bieber, and Demi Lovato. His other TV and film choreographing credits including the 82nd Academy Awards, Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary Special, the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, and the feature film, Step Up Revolution. He currently serves as the Artistic Director of Shaping Sound, the contemporary dance group he co-created with Nick Lazzarini, Teddy Forance, and Kyle Robinson. The Kaplan New Works Series is Wall’s first collaboration with Cincinnati Ballet, and it will also be only his second experience working with a professional ballet company (he choreographed a piece for Los Angeles Ballet in 2010).


Heather Britt, a Cincinnati-based choreographer and founder of the wildly popular DANCEFIX classes, presents her ninth World Premiere for Cincinnati Ballet. Most recently, she wowed audiences with the World Premiere of “Karass” in the 2016-2017 New Works. In 2015-2016’s Director’s Choice, Britt presented the sensual duet entitled “Habitual” to rave reviews. Britt graduated from the School for Creative and Performing Arts before going on to enjoy a modern dance career in California. Upon returning to Cincinnati, Britt founded HBDC (Heather Britt Dance collective) which encompasses DANCEFIX.  As a choreographer, her work has been featured several times in The Kaplan New Works Series, as well as with Cincinnati Ballet’s Second Company, Northern Kentucky University, ArtsWave, Playhouse in the Park, The Constella Festival, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati Art Museum, and Concert:Nova.


Johanna Bernstein Wilt, Cincinnati Ballet’s Ballet Master, will be presenting a World Premiere piece, “The Dance Will Set You Free,” focusing on the creative process and the enigmatic spirit of dance. The 2017-2018 Season is Bernstein Wilt’s 36th year at Cincinnati Ballet, and she is thrilled to be creating her fourth ballet for New Works. Wilt joined as a dancer in 1981 and performed for 11 seasons before joining the artistic team in 1992. Throughout her career, she has staged ballets for notable choreographers such as Septime Webre, Kirk Peterson, David Nixon, Peter Anastos, Val Caniparoli, William Whitener and Jessica Lang.


Victoria Morgan presents “Black Coffee,” with music by k.d. Lang. The expressive solo is one of the first pieces Morgan choreographed after retiring from the stage, and it will be re-worked for its regional premiere in New Works. Since creating the first iteration of “Black Coffee,” Morgan has added extensively to her choreography credits, including full-length ballets such as Cinderella, Romeo & Juliet, The New Nutcracker, and King Arthur’s Camelot. She has also choreographed several contemporary works such as “Fractured Glass,” “Patriotic Pas,” and “Somewhere Close to Happiness.”

Cincinnati Ballet is proud to partner again with Arnold’s Bar and Grill for a special New Works package: for two nights only, enjoy dinner and the show for just $65.10. That’s like getting dinner FREE! Grab your tickets for September 19 or 20 with promo code ARNOLDS and you’re in for a real treat – a special New Works-only menu selection at the historic Arnold’s, followed by an evening of thrilling World Premieres performed at the Aronoff Center’s intimate Jarson-Kaplan Theater.

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

Friday, Sept. 15, 5 - 11 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 16, 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 17, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Second and Third Streets, between Walnut and Elm Streets

Drag out your dirndl and loosen-up the lederhosen for Oktoberfest Zinzinnati! To honor the 50th anniversary of the Zinzinnati Bengals, A.J. Green and Andy Dalton have been named Grand Marshals of Oktoberfest Zinzinnati. Find out when they'll lead the World's Largest Chicken Dance. At Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, you'll find your time-tested favorites at as well as plenty of new things to look forward to, including an expanded Zinzinnati craft bier garten and a mystery flavor from Graeter's and tasty beer collaborations.

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is three full-days of fun, food, beer and events. The “must see” events include

Running Of The Wieners

Friday, September 15, 11am

Race St. between 2nd & 3rd Streets

Gemuetlichkeit (Goodwill) Games

Friday, September 15, 12pm

Herr of the Dog Party Zone at 3rd & Race Streets

Opening Ceremonies

Saturday, September 16, 11:30am

Sam Adams Main Stage at 2nd & Elm

Sam Adams Stein Hoisting Contest

Saturday, September 16, 5pm

Sam Adams Main Stage at 2nd & Elm

World's Largest Chicken Dance

Sunday, September 17, 1pm

Sam Adams Main Stage at 2nd & Elm

World Brat Eating Championship

Sunday, September 17, 2pm

Braxton Fass Bar at 3rd & Walnut

Nine Stages Of Live Entertainment

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati features live music and entertainment across nine stages throughout the weekend.

The expanded Zinzinnati Craft Bier Garten will feature five regional Cincinnati breweries in an intimate, yet bigger location at Third and Walnut Streets. Featured breweries for 2017 are Braxton, MadTree, Rhinegeist, Taft’s Ale House and Samuel Adams and Urban Artifact collaborating to present Tricorne. Tricorne is a tart New England IPA, which will simultaneously enjoy its world debut at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati and the Ohio Pawpaw Festival. The collaboration is brewed with Paw Paw fruit, which is native to Ohio.

The all-new Braxton Fass Bar at Third and Walnut Streets will feature weekend sports and more on a 20-foot LED TV atop an elevated stage. Extending from the stage will be two 30-foot bars and a seating area. Of course, Braxton Brewing Company beer will be available in abundance. Their authentic Oktoberfest beer, Oktober Fuel, will be on tap alongside core styles and seasonal beers. Througout Oktoberfest Zinzinnati weekend, they will also host timed tappings of new beers from Braxton Labs, their recently opened Newport, Kentucky innovation facility.

Braxton Fass Morder

Braxton Brewing Company will offer many specialty beers at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, including Graeter’s Blueberry Pie Brown Ale with proceeds benefitting The Cure Starts Now. To eliminate cancer as a whole, The Cure Starts Now funds research through collaboration, transparency, and the elimination of duplication while cultivating innovation for the homerun cure.

As part of Braxton’s large presence at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, the brewing company will introduce a first-of-its-kind collaboration with Cincinnati’s Graeter’s Ice Cream. The new Graeter’s flavor, which has yet to been unveiled to the public, will remain a mystery until the unveiling, Friday, September 15, 5 p.m. at the Braxton Brewing Co.’s booth at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati.

It will also be available for purchase, beginning October 1, at all Graeter’s scoop shops and on Graeter’s online store.

Seu Jorge Presents: The Life Aquatic, A Tribute To David Bowie

Friday, Sept. 15, 8 p.m.

Taft Theater

The Life Aquatic – A Tribute to David Bowie will feature a set and costumes designed by Creative Directors Mariana Jorge and Danny Perez, both members of the original The Life Aquatic creative team. Jorge will perform on a stage reminiscent of the film set, with boat sails functioning as screens displaying images throughout the set. Yet even with such a simple set up, the Los Angeles Times writes in a glowing review, Jorge brings what feels like “infinite detail and emotion to the songs.”

As a singer, Seu Jorge was part of the Brazilian band Farofa Carioca, writing most of the songs of their 1998 debut album Moro no Brasil. His first solo album was 2001’s Samba Esporte Fino, a pop album influenced by iconic Brazilian artists Jorge Ben Jor, Gilberto Gil and Milton Nascimento, and released outside Brazil under the name Carolina in 2003. He followed up with the critically acclaimed 2005 album Cru (Raw), which The Guardian called “a magnificent record,” and which prompted Pitchfork to praise Jorge’s voice as “at once buttery, soulful, and fierce.” He since has gone on to release five studio albums and collaborate with the likes of Beck, Talib Kweli and even the fashion designer Rachel Roy.

As an actor, Jorge came to fame with his breakout performance as Knockout Ned in Fernando Meirelles critically acclaimed feature film City of God (2002). After his performance as the guitar strumming deckhand Pelé dos Santos in The Life Aquatic (2004), and the praise he received for his Bowie covers, Jorge released The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions, which, AllMusic wrote, “retains the original framing of the Bowie classics, while injecting a sunny island sweetness into their very core.”

Bouchra Ouizguen: Corbeaux

Saturday, September 16

3 p.m.: Contemporary Arts Center

7 p.m.: Findlay Market Farmshed

Sunday, September 17

7 p.m.: Yeatman's Cove, beneath the Purple People Bridge

In her work Corbeaux (‘crows’ or ‘ravens’), Moroccan choreographer Bouchra Ouizgen offers us an experience of immense intensity outside of a traditional theatre space. Out of the dark emerge figures dressed in black. Like birds they step forward, their heads wrapped in white headscarves that droop like beaks. They dance in an hypnotic rhythm, singing with tempo-less voices, resting, then restarting. They undertake physical and vocal actions ranging from repetitions to variations, swelling up until they explode in the form of a vital, earthy cry from the womb.

Bouchra Ouizguen’s crows are women of different languages, cultures and origins. With the CAC, Compagnie O, the Marrakech dance group that came together during eight years of laboratory and performance work directed by Ouizguen, will be joined by women living in Greater Cincinnati. As in every town to which Corbeaux migrates, this collection of women is freed of the barriers of age, origin, and language, exchanging their personal histories in this shared commitment. They assemble to convey their feminine knowledge, bursting into the everyday spaces of the city and bowling the spectators over with their own cathartic rites before leaving them facing themselves once more.

Originally created for the 2014 Marrakech Biennale of Contemporary Art, Corbeaux has since been presented throughout Europe and West Asia, appearing at some of the world’s foremost contemporary arts centers and performance festivals. Wherever it goes, each venue is uniquely specific to the environment, and the public is never far away.

Soap Opera Festival

Sept. 16.

JACK Casino, 1000 Broadway

JACK Cincinnati Casino is bringing Amelia Heinle and Kristoff St. John from the Emmy Award-winning daytime drama, “The Young and the Restless,” to the casino for the Soap Opera Festival.

The interactive event will feature a question and answer session with actors Amelia Heinle (Victoria Newman) and Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters). Guests will find out what happens behind the scenes and what the future holds for their favorite characters.

“The Young and the Restless” has been the number one daytime drama for 28 years. The show revolves around the rivalries, romances, hopes and fears of the residents of the fictional Midwestern metropolis, Genoa City.

Tickets are $15 and are available through Veritix on The Soap Opera Festival will be held inside the JACK Event Center, located on the second floor. Attendees must be 21 years or older to enter the venue.

Ish Festival

Sunday, September 17, 2017 from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Washington Park

Ish is an inclusive, city-wide celebration of Jewish and Israeli arts, food, music, and cultural experiences. The event is open to the greater Cincinnati community and nearby cities. It is free to attend, and appeals to all ages.

Local, regional, and international artist vendors and performers will come together at the ish Festival to showcase their work. Paintings, sculptures, Jewelry, and body art are just a few types of artwork from the more than thirty artists in the lineup. While artists display their work, musicians and dancers will be performing throughout the day. Food vendors from all over the area will have multicultural items to see, smell, and taste. Admission is free and includes all performances, hands-on workshops, access to the kid zone and more. Artist vendors will have pieces for sale and food is available for purchase.

Artists include Andrea Kay Accidental Art, Bella Bella Mosaics, Beth Goldstein Designs

David Rothschild – Hebrew Letter Woodcarving, Handy Sewn Crafts, Loveharvest

loon+co. creative stationery, Satogata Design Ltd. and Studio Bezalel.

Performers include headliner Tamar Eisenman Trio, with Beth Hamon, Jewish Soul Music Trio, ZABAVA (international folk dance troupe), Emma's Revolution, Milly & The Borrowers, and

65th St. Klezmorim. Food from Milt's Kosher BBQ, Silverton Donut Shop, Shapiro’s Delicatessen, Amma's Kitchen, Sixteen Bricks Bakery, and Cafe Mediterranean

Other interactive and entertainment includes the Kids Zone, art and dance workshops, glass blowing experience, and the chance to meet the meet the “Mensch on a Bench”

3rd Sunday Fundays: Art Around the World

Sunday, September 17, 1–4 p.m.

Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike St.

Take a trip around the world. Learn about where the art in the Taft comes from and practice your foreign language skills at the Art Cart. Make a paper lantern to take home. At 2 p.m., buckle up for an international trip with Madcap Puppets and their show Jules and Verne’s Excellent Adventure (ideal for ages 5–12). Then, stop by Honey Hill Farm’s traveling petting zoo at 3 p.m.

And you still have time to see Treasures of British Painting 1400–2000: The Berger Collection, 50 paintings that span six centuries in a who’s who of British painting. Highlights from the Berger Collection, housed in the Denver Art Museum, convey the history of British artistic achievement and delight the eye.

These free afternoon programs offer great art, kid-sized art info, hands-on fun, animal encounters, and family-friendly performances. Most activities are ongoing, so drop in when you have time and stay as long as you like. FREE. No reservations required.


Brian Thomas

Brian Thomas

Based in Cincinnati, OH, the Brian Thomas Morning Show covers news and politics, both local and national, from a conservative point of view. Read more


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