1. “Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens”
Ensemble Theater has partnered with Caracole to present “Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens”, a play told via free verse monologues and songs with a blues, jazz and rock score that share the stories of 31 people from all walks of life who are affected by HIV/AIDS. Written by Bill Russell and Janet Hood and told from the perspective of both those who died and those left behind, it offers a broad overview of the impact of the AIDS crisis on individuals, families and communities.
There are 13 opportunities to catch this dynamic play, premiering at 7 p.m. Friday at the Gallagher Student Center Theater at Xavier University (3800 Victory Parkway, Evanston). On Saturdaythe play will be performed at 3 p.m. at Hoffner Park (4101 Hamilton Ave., Northside) and at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Seasongood Pavilion in Eden Park (1600 Art Museum Drive, Mount Adams). Future performances take place every weekend until June 26 at various locations around the city. It’s free and open to the public. The production contains strong language and adult content, including depictions of violence, homophobia, adultery, and drug use, as well as discussions of sexual identity. Sign up for free tickets: togethercincinnati.org.
2. Cincinnati Ballet: Festival of Bold Moves
The Cincinnati Ballet season wraps up with the launch of something completely new: the Bold Moves Festival. This immersive dance experience features six rotating productions on stage accompanied by a variety of interactive activities and events. It features Ohad Naharin’s seminal work, “Minus 16”, as well as the world premiere of “Our Story” by company soloist David Morse, as well as regional premieres of “Bloom” by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and “Petal” by Helen Pickett.
The festival also sees the return of Twyla Tharp’s “Nine Sinatra Songs” and Victoria Morgan’s sassy “Bolero”, a crowd favorite. In addition to performances, there are guest artists, talks, film screenings, dance lessons, afterparties and more. It opens at 7:30 p.m. Thusdaywith performances this weekend at 8 p.m. Friday2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. The Bold Moves Festival continues through May 22 with performances from the Dance Theater of Harlem, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and Axis Dance Company. All performances are at the Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St., Downtown. Tickets start at $29. cballet.org.
3. Blooming art
Here’s another way to see the masterpieces in the Cincinnati Art Museum‘s permanent collection. Art in Bloom brings together 90 floral designers, each assigned to a specific piece in the museum’s collection, who interpret this work and create a corresponding arrangement using living flowers. This year, the event features New York-based floral designer and professional photographer Doan Ly, who creates four large floral installations throughout the museum.
On Saturdays, there’s a free, family-friendly community festival on the Art Climb from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., where you’ll find a flower potting station, food trucks, and a DJ spinning music. Access to the Art in Bloom flower exhibit inside the museum is chargeable and includes access to the special exhibitions David Driskell: Icons of Nature and History, and Working Together: Studio Photographers Kamoinge.
Art in Bloom runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridayfrom 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11am-5pm Sunday. Tickets are $12, $6 for ages 65 and older, students with ID, and ages 6-17. Children under 5 enter for free. The Cincinnati Museum of Art is located at 953 Eden Park Drive, Mount Adams. cincinnatiartmuseum.org.
4. Duveneck Art Exhibition
Another art exhibit taking place this weekend is the Duveneck Art Show, organized by the Historic Licking Riverside Civic Association, the Northern Kentucky Heritage League, and the Baker Hunt Art and Cultural Center. The show celebrates the legacy of artist Frank Duveneck, who was born in Covington in 1848. Duveneck discovered a love of art at an early age and traveled the United States and Canada as a mural painter, to eventually travel to Munich, Germany to study at the Academy of Fine Arts. At the age of 27, Duveneck was a celebrated artist who taught for a time in Munich before returning to Covington, where he lived until his death in 1919.
Now in its 51st year, its namesake art exhibit features more than 50 artists from across the region exhibiting and selling their work in scenic George Rogers Clark Park in Covington. The art exhibition is juried and covers four categories: painting, sculpture/3D, graphic design/photography and crafts. It operates from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and includes live music from Moonshine & Wine, on-site food trucks and more. George Rogers Clark Park is located at 301 Riverside Drive. bakerhunt.org.
5. All of you Hootenanny
This collaborative art exhibit and street party celebrates the opening of the 2022 Florence Y’alls baseball season with an art exhibit, whiffle ball field, bouncy house, local food, drink and snacks. live music along Pike Street in Covington between Madison Avenue and Washington Street. The art exhibit is hosted by BLDG (30 W. Pike Street, Covington) and is an ode to what Y’alls culture means to Kentucky and highlights the unique experience of “strange, wild and wonderful” in the Bluegrass State. The street party takes place from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdaywith the Y’alls game against the Tri-City ValleyCats starting at 6:36 p.m. at Thomas More Stadium, 7950 Freedom Way, Florence. www.bldgrefuge.com.
Honorable Mention: Cincinnati Alchemy Fest
If you’re a fan of craft cocktails, you might want to check out the Cincinnati Alchemy Fest, a cocktail competition featuring some of the best mixologists in town. You’ll have the opportunity to help celebrity judges Molly Wellmann, Allie Martin and Veron Jackson pick the winner. Plus, there’s a group art exhibit with art for sale, live music, local vendors, and raffles. A portion of all ticket sales benefit Queen City Kitchen. Ticket prices are tiered and all tiers include voting cards. Tickets range from $20 to $115. The event runs from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday at Arts On the Avenue, 2141 Central Ave., West End. cincinnatialchemyfest.com.
Honorable Mention: Outdoor Shopping Experiences
Two outdoor markets open for the season this weekend. The Off Market takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Summit Park (4335 Glendale Milford Road) in Blue Ash. The market spans the entire Green Lawn Loop, where you’ll find small businesses, artisans, brewers, bakers, farmers and more. It’s free to attend. theoffmarket.org.
Also on Saturday, Cincinnati’s original urban flea market, the City Flea, returns to Washington Park (1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine). From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., an eclectic mix of vendors and artisans sell their wares in the park. It’s free to attend. thecityflea.com.
On Sunday, the Burlington Antique Show takes over Boone County Fairgrounds (5819 Idlewild Road, Burlington) from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. some kind of finds and retro furniture will be there. Admission is $6 for early birds (6 a.m. entry), $4 for general admission, and free for children under 12. burlingtonantiqueshow.com.