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Gorilla Run Jessica Noll / 9 News
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Gorilla Run Jessica Noll / 9 News
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A little bit of aggressive, point-scoring skating is a guarantee at the first annual Crosstown Knockdown. Photo provided by Cincinnati Rollergirls.
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Hop aboard the Lebanon, Mason & Monroe Railroad’s Easter Bunny Express for a day of Easter fun. Photo provided.
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Pianist Michael Wolff and drummer Mike Clark teamed up to form the Wolff & Clark Expedition, which craftily mixes progressive Jazz and Funk. Photo provided.
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The HorrorHound Weekend returns to the Sharonville Convention Center this weekend. Photo provided.
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When Elementz, an urban arts youth center, had its first Anniversary Celebration and Open House in 2006, Cincinnati was a very different place. Photo provided.
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Fans of the late, great Mystery Science Theater 3000 have a new outlet for their love of snide commentary: LIVE Riffing, an endeavor that finds “riffers” providing running commentary on a movie as it plays live in front of an audience.
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Bordering on the silly at times, Nick Vatterott's comedy is sharp and usually takes unexpected turns. Photo provided.
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Top 9 things to do in the Cincinnati-area this weekend, March 22-24, 2013

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CINCINNATI - Looking for something fun to do this weekend? 9 On Your Side has teamed up with CityBeat to give you the top nine picks.

1. Cincinnati Gorilla Run

The annual Cincinnati Gorilla Run returns this weekend, which raises money for the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund. For the past 27 years, the international charity has worked to save the world's remaining Mountain Gorillas and to keep Dian Fossey's dream alive.

Participants wear a full gorilla suit, which is included in the entry fee and theirs to keep, while either running, walking or riding a 5K. The event is followed by live music and a contest for the most creative gorilla costume.

Find out more here ( .

2. StarkBier Fest

There's good news for those who missed Cincinnati Beerfest last month. The Listermann Brewing Company is carrying on the festivities by hosting the StarkBier Fest this weekend that will only feature craft beers from local breweries.

The festival carries on the tradition of German monks from the 1700s who brewed nutritional beers that were at least 7.5 percent or higher during Lent when the monks would fast.

Organizers of the event say the atmosphere will be family friendly with live music and food.

Visit for details.

3. HorrorHound Weekend returns to Sharonville

Once a year Cincinnati likes to let the freaks out — but we're not talking about Halloween. After a 16-month absence, HorrorHound Weekend descends onto Sharonville promising vis-à-vis celebrity encounters, film screenings, burlesque performances and horror author signings. Put on your best Michael Myers mask and be prepared to meet your worst nightmare.

Cincinnati's known for a lot of things, but now the city can add "horror cognoscenti" to its resume. Our city is home to HorrorHound Magazine and its spawn, a horror convention called HorrorHound Weekend, which is sponsored by local publishing house Samhain Publishing.

Get details on the event here ( .

4. Easter Bunny Express in Lebanon

Hop aboard the Lebanon, Mason & Monroe Railroad's Easter Bunny Express for a day of Easter fun. Catch the train at the Lebanon Station, and enjoy a 30-minute ride along a historic railway to the LM&M junction, where a human dressed in an Easter Bunny costume will be waiting for hugs and photo ops.

Kids can also participate in an Easter Egg Hunt at the Junction — baskets and special gifts provided.

Find out more here ( .

5. Comedian Nick Vatterott at Go Bananas

Comedian Nick Vatterott's humor borders on silly at times, but it's also sharp and full of unexpected turns. He often acts out his jokes with improv-like physicality.

The physical aspect of his set isn't surprising, given his background as a member of Chicago's famed Second City as well as his own sketch troop called Heavyweight. It's also not surprising that in 2008 he was named Funniest Man in Chicago before leaving his hometown for New York City.

He performs onstage at Go Bananas in Montgomery through Sunday. Find out more here ( .


6. Cincinnati Rollergirls start new season

Picture this: Some tough ladies (aren't we all?), pushing each other around, duking it out, getting all bloodied and bruised and (here's the kicker), all on the roller skating rink. Sound appealing? If so, you will be glad to know that on Sunday, the Cincinnati Rollergirls roller derby returns to the Cincinnati Gardens with some new rules, new players and a brand new swag.

Returning to the competitive action are fan favorites Sadistic Sadie, Buckhead Betty and Hannah Barbaric.

And this year should be bloodier then ever with the elimination of minor penalties in the rulebook. Fans will also be glad to know that all the perks are still the same, including low ticket prices, free parking, tailgating and a $1 beer happy hour.

Get details here ( on their next match.

7. 'The Trip to Bountiful' at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park

Horton Foote wrote award-winning screenplays for To Kill a Mockingbird and Tender Mercies. His 1953 teleplay, "The Trip to Bountiful," was about a woman trapped in a cramped Houston apartment where she yearns to return to her Gulf Coast hometown.

It starred movie legend Lillian Gish as Carrie Watts, a widow who embarks on a life-affirming journey. A critically acclaimed 1985 movie version featured Geraldine Page in the role, earning her an Academy Award. Now it's onstage at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park with an African-American cast, headed by Lizan Mitchell as the stubborn woman.

Find out more here ( .

8. Wolff & Clark Expedition

Pianist Michael Wolff and drummer Mike Clark both came up in the '70s Bay Area Jazz scene and went on to work with numerous legends in the Jazz field. Wolff was in the bands of Cannonball Adderley, Sonny Rollins and Jean Luc Ponty, and he played with musical icons from various genres as the music director of The Arsenio Hall Show in the late '80s/early '90s.

Clark was the drummer for Herbie Hancock's Headhunters, before becoming leader of the band, and he's also worked with the likes of Wayne Shorter, Chet Baker and Christian McBride.

Now based in New York City, the pair teamed up to form the Wolff & Clark Expedition, which mixes progressive Jazz and Funk, resulting in uniquely arranged versions of everything from Charlie Parker's "My Little Suede Shoes" to The Beatles' "Come Together," as well as original compositions in the same vein.

The duo performs at the Blue Wisp this weekend. Find out more here: .

9. Cinema Toast Crunch: 'The Dark Crystal'

Fans of the late, great Mystery Science Theater 3000 have a new outlet for their love of snide commentary: LIVE Riffing, an endeavor that finds "riffers" providing running commentary on a movie as it plays live in front of an audience.

Cincinnati's Bombs Away! Comedy troupe is getting in on the interactive trend, presenting a screening of Jim Henson's live-action fantasy flick, "The Dark Crystal," at the Esquire Theatre.

Click here ( for details.

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