Is There Anything But ‘Star Wars’?
I know, I know. Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you might have heard that there’s a new “Star Wars” movie opening this week. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opens nationwide Friday. Go to the movies this weekend with several hundred thousand new friends and get your Jedi on.
Charismatic country singer Dustin Lynch is playing at Bogart’s on Thursday. Expect to hear his hard-rock party anthem “Hell of a Night" at the show, and also keep an eye out for the “Wheel of Karaoke." Spotted at previous shows, it’s full of cover songs and Lynch sings whatever tune the wheel stops on.
7 p.m. Thursday. Bogart’s, 2621 Vine St., Corryville. $23. www.bogarts.com
‘Marvel Universe Live’
This live show at U.S. Bank Arena features Marvel superhero favorites such as Spider-Man, the Avengers, Iron Man and features motorcycles, pyrotechnics, aerial stunts, martial arts and other special effects. Check out the video for a preview.
7 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday. U.S. Bank Arena, 100 Broadway, Downtown. $40-$150.
‘Nutcracker’ is Back
A beloved holiday tradition returns this weekend. The Cincinnati Ballet’s “Frisch’s Presents the Nutcracker” opens Friday at the Aronoff. You know the story -- a girl’s Nutcracker doll comes to life as a handsome prince and introduces her to a colorful world full of exotic characters. Tchaikovsky’s music is just as beautiful as ever, performed live by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
7:30 p.m. Friday; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Aronoff Center for the Arts, Procter & Gamble Hall, 650 Walnut St., Downtown. $32-$95. cballet.org
Speaking of Holiday Traditions …
Over the Rhine, the married musical duo Karin Bergquist and Linford Detweiler, returns for their annual homecoming concert at the Taft Theatre on Saturday. The holiday show would be a perfect early gift for that someone special (hint, hint).
8 p.m. Saturday. Taft Theatre, Downtown. $40-$42.50. tafttheatre.org
OTR Rail Dog Parade
Dogs dressed for the season will parade through Over-the-Rhine on Saturday. (Yes, this is a prime photo opportunity.) The OTR Rail Dog Parade will begin at Washington Park’s dog park and end at dog-friendly bar Neons Unplugged. Time to break out your furry friend’s finest holiday sweater.
4 p.m. Saturday. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. Free admission. For more details, visit the event’s Facebook page.
And here are three recommendations from theater reporter Rick Pender:
Speaking of 'That Movie' ...
The hilarious show “All Childish Things” could be a great outing for holiday laughs. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away -- Norwood, circa 2006 -- three buddies are despondent that the galactic adventures “Star Wars” promised when they were kids never came to be. They’re 30 now; one lives in his mom’s basement, another has a girlfriend who doesn’t know or care about the Force. When a well-financed mysterious buyer surfaces, they decide to raid Kenner Toys’ secret warehouse and steal all the “Star Wars” collectibles they can.
8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. Know Theatre, 1120 Jackson St., Over the Rhine. $20. knowtheatre.com
Every year Ensemble Theatre stages a holiday musical based on a familiar fairytale with some modern twists. This year, it’s “Cinderella,” and this time Cinderella is a nearsighted bookworm who prefers sneakers to glass slippers. A slightly nerdy prince falls for her, and then has to locate the girl whom the sneaker fits. Songs by David Kisor and Fitz Patton and a delightful script by Joe McDonough make this is a tried-and-true show a repeated hit: It sold more than 90 percent of its tickets in 2010. Director Lynn Meyers keeps it fresh.
7 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday; 2 and 6 p.m. Sunday. Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, 1127 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine. $18-$44. Through Jan. 3. www.ensemblecincinnati.org
'Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some)'
You might think that after a decade this show would wear out its welcome, but it’s more popular every year. It opens as a typical production of “A Christmas Carol,” but before long it’s hijacked into a hilarious, irreverent look at “Beloved Holiday Classics” including “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Frosty, Rudolph, the Grinch and more. Three actors (and a very drunk Santa) send up everything from Dickens to Dr. Seuss in 90 minutes. The show is not recommended for anyone young enough to still believe in Santa.
7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 719 Race St., Downtown. Through Dec. 27. cincyshakes.com