Express Picks: Storytelling from Classic to Folk to Chick-Lit

Express Picks: Storytelling from Classic to Folk to Chick-Lit
Whether you prefer opera in the air conditioning, folk ballads on a riverboat or bluegrass tales in the out of doors, storytelling is the theme for what's happening in the Queen City this first full week of July.

Wednesday — July 7

Otello by Giuseppe Verdi (1887)It took 20 years for his publisher and colleagues to persuade this esteemed composer to come out of retirement and write another opera, but it was well worth the wait. Shakespeare's complex tale of intrigue and deception is the perfect vehicle for Verdi's most mature and final drama. Having sung in the past two Cincinnati Opera productions of this masterpiece (1982 & 1996), I can tell you that the opening scene alone is worth the price of admission. Don't be late! 

Who: Cincinnati Opera 
  Where: Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., downtown 
When: 7:30 p.m. (also July 10) 
More information: 513.241.2742 or 061410VALLEYVIEW.GIF

Eugene Onegin by Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky (1878)If you can't get downtown for Otello (or have tickets for July 10), check out this re-broadcast Metropolitan Opera performance in a setting where you can sip wine and recline. Given that Onegin is possibly the best and most well-known opera to have received only one Cincinnati Opera performance (1984), take advantage of a rare chance to see this beautiful lyric romance – and the cast is absolutely world-class. 

What: The Met Live in HD Summer Encore Series 
When: 6:30 p.m. 
Where: Regal Deerfield Town Center, Mason; Showcase Cinema De Lux, Springdale and Florence
More information: 

Thursday — July 8 

"Chick Lit" – Live & In-PersonCome find out what New York Times best-selling author, Jane Green, is all about. Considered one of the founders of the chick lit genre, English-born Green will sign and field questions about her 12th and most recent novel, Promises to Keep. 

Where: Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Rookwood Pavilion 
When: 7 p.m. 
More information: 513.396.8960 or 

Jake Speed and the FreddiesOne of the most creatively engaging entertainers in Cincinnati, Jake and the boys provide a modern twist to the tradition of riverside minstrels and storytellers, spinning tales and songs that project the flavor of Cincinnati's colorful history within the context of a rousing folk/bluegrass performance. Part history lesson, all fun – these guys are always a blast. 

What: Behringer-Crawford Museum Summer Music Series 
Where: 1600 Montague Road, Devou Park, Covington 
When: 7 p.m.More information: 859.491.4003 or 

Friday — July 9 

Cottonpatch GospelThis Greatest Story Ever Retold musical is set in rural Georgia with songs composed by singer-songwriter Harry Chapin, who wrote such famous tunes as Taxi and Cat’s in the Cradle. Cottonpatch Gospel was his final and perhaps best work before his untimely death in a car accident in 1981. The Showboat Majestic itself is an iconic element of Cincinnati summer entertainment, serving as a unique and special performance venue for emerging talent from CCM and other area programs, past and present. 

Where: Showboat Majestic, Public Landing 
When: 8 p.m. (through July 25) 
More information: 513.241.6550 or 

Saturday — July 10 

We've Got Your BachConductor J.R. Cassidy, the master of clever programming, sends his merry band out to play in the fresh air and unleashes orchestral arrangements of J.S. Bach favorites on the unexpecting out-of-doors. Come hear the glory of how Bach's music might have sounded if he had had access to the wide array of modern instruments.Who: Kentucky Symphony Orchestra 

Where: Devou Park Bandshell, Covington 
When: 7:30 p.m. 
More information: 859.431.6216 or

Photo Courtesy of Jake Speed and the Freddies
Thom Mariner -

Thom Mariner is Cincy Chic's art and philanthropic events columnist, and he is co-publisher of Express Cincinnati, a free print and online publication showcasing Cincinnati's creative arts and generous spirit. E-mail him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or read more at Read More >>

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