The oldest surviving theater in central Ohio, the fin de siècle elegance of the Southern Theatre's jewel-box auditorium transports audiences back to the days of vaudeville antics and silver-screen spectacle. Built in 1896 to state-of-the-art standards, the theater's bandshell-esque proscenium bucked architectural norms to funnel sound to the seats. Its 204 light bulbs required that the theater generate its own electricity for years, until scientists finally found the power outlets. Before the show, audiences can feast on the recently restored auditorium's eye candy, which includes a gilded ceiling etched with reclining figures and majestic arches that help the eye dance throughout.
• For $11, you get one general-admission ticket (a $17.50 value before fees, or up to a $22.75 value online, including all ticketing fees). • For $54, you get one VIP admission, including early entrance, preshow-party access, and a souvenir T-shirt (a $100 value before fees, or up to a $107.30 value online, including all ticketing fees).
The Cincinnati Film Festival showcases moving pictures from all over the globe from October 8 to October 16. Your all-day pass (a $20 value) gets you access to a full day of screenings and workshops. Start your cineday with the Shorts Block 9, a collection of short films playing at the Esquire Theater, and then hop over to Main St. Cinema to catch "Runaways: Producing In Ohio," as a panel of local industry insiders discuss the past, present, and future of Ohio film production. Locavores can cheer on hometown heroes at the Esquire during 48 Hour Film Project: Take 2, a mash-up of mini-movies produced by Cincinnati filmmakers, before indulging in behind-the-scenes voyeurism with a screening of Saturday Night, a 90-minute Saturday Night Live documentary directed by actor James Franco. The weeklong film fest's Awards Gala will be held on Friday, October 15 at Memorial Hall, where a special award will be presented to musician/TV personality/producer Nick Lachey for his contributions to the local production community. A ticket to the gala (a $25 value) gives formal-loving filmophiles an excuse to break out tuxes and ball gowns, as this gala is black-tie optional with a required tweed-based business-dress minimum. Check the program guide for a complete list of screenings. Organizers recommend you arrive at all events 30 minutes ahead of time to procure the best seats in the house, away from the permanent front-row installations of 10-gallon hats and actual honey-filled beehives.
During warmer months, the rooftop patio at @the Square overlooks the grassy knoll where crowds gather for live music. Seated at one of the sun-drenched tables, visitors can enjoy a variety of casual American dishes, served up alongside cold beer and drinks. When the weather grows cooler, the interior of @the Square is a welcome refuge—a cozy, low-lit interior surrounds diners and drinkers.
Tomato plants are imperfect, yielding just as many inedible fruits as the healthy, tasty ones. The organizers of The Tomato Bash devised an alternative employment for the unworthy bounty, transforming the leftover tomatoes into ammunition for a massive ketchup making party. Participants are encouraged to sport silly costumes for the big event, as they are inevitably going to get utterly filthy.
To kick off the festivities, revelers are entertained with a cadre of food trucks, beverage vendors, and DJ playing tunes, including rebellious anthems encouraging the tomatoes to throw themselves. At 3 p.m., the tomato foam machine outside of the tomato arena powers up, pumping the stage area full of bubbly, pink fruit foam. Then the hordes of goggle-clad contestants descend upon a large arena and lose themselves in a sea of red goo.
In the spirit of Miami's increasingly high profile in the art world, the Spectrum Miami art fair returns to Midtown for five days of fine art during Art Week. Fifty galleries and 50 juried studio artists display their latest pieces in Spectrum's gallery-style exhibition space, which showcases everything from the map-like geometries of Marcio Decker to the surreal, art-pop-flavored self-portraits of Nicole Furman. On a more subdued note come the Zhou Brothers, whose evocative and understated landscapes tread the line between abstract and down-to-earth.
It's not all contemporary works, either. Miniature bronze sculptures by Michelangelo will be on display, including a preliminary model of David and a sculpture of rival Leonardo Da Vinci wearing a dress. And those with a hunger for the very newest of the new in the art world can feast their eyes upon the Jackson Pollock-esque paintings of 6-year-old abstract-art prodigy Shorya Mahanot.