Sunday, July 29 – Saturday, August 3
The Week in Classic: Lily Tomlin brought her 2018 comedy tour to Cincinnati this week. In her long career, she’s on top of yet another wave of popularity as a result of her Netflix show Grace & Frankie. Tomlin is as dynamic and impressive as ever, maybe more so as she is barelling toward her 80th birthday, and a 50 year relationship with her partner (and wife since 2013) Jane. The show was both topical and nostalgic, studded with both current characters which she performed on stage and with video clips of some of characters she’s created over the years. Those clips have stood the test of time and that includes Ernestine “the Phone Operator” who used to dish poor customer service at the phone company and who has now been updated to a call center employee at a health insurance company. Really funny! In the question an answer session at the end of the show Tomlin was personable and charming. She kept the politics to a minimum (though there’s no doubt she an anti-Trump liberal) and her one-liners were delivered with expert timing, an old pro who knows what she’s doing. A great evening.
The Week in Ancient Egos: The Cincinnati Art Museum is about to close its 4 month exhibit Terracotta Army, a collection of artifacts unearthed in the People’s Republic of China in 1974. The pieces were part of an undergound army and city the Emperor Qin Shi Huang commissioned for his burial tomb dating back to 210 B.C. The first part of the exhibit provided context and history and the second part featured a few of the full sized human statues found in the tomb. Even though the wood implements the statues were originally buried with have long since decayed, the statues were amazing to look at.
The Week in Local Art: Admission to the special exhibit meant access to the rest of the Art Museum which is always free anyway. When I go to the art museum there are a few paintings that I seek out. Benjamin West’s Hamlet Act IV and any of the large format painting on the second floor kill me, in part because they are so dramatic. But I also seek out the quiet work of Cincinnatian Elizabeth Nourse and particulary the paintings from her time in Brittany in the late 1800’s. I like the kid’s face in Coming Home From Church in Brittany. And I like her face on the wall of a building facing 7th Street as part of Art Works murals.
The Week in Packaging: Why do all boxes of pasta have re-sealable “push” tabs except spaghetti (Yes, I checked both ends)? I mean, don’t they realize I watched my Mom make the entire box of spaghetti and throw away half of it for my entire childhood? Don’t they realize I’ve learned how to measure pasta? Don’t they care that I have to walk out of the kitchen and over to my desk to get a piece of tape to close the box? This is why I drink.
The Week in Change: The Cincinnatian Hotel, perhaps Downtown’s oldest, was just purchased by Hilton and one of the changes they made was to shutter the fine dining restaurant The Palace, and the casual bar The Cricket. Both places hold a warm spot in my heart so it’s bittersweet to welcome the modern Gastro Pub Brick and Mortar. I had crab cake sliders* which were fine. But the talk of the bar regarding food was the surprising raves for the Turkey Meatloaf, about the least expected thing you’d think folks would rave about. The man next to me called his “astonishinly good.” That comes both from low expectations and the quality of the dish. I’ll definitely try that next time.
*Crab cakes in the midwest are almost always a tribute to filler ingredients. Brick and Mortar’s thin slider was pretty good for a midwest crab cake.
The Week in Obsolete: My Mom was a traditional housewife of the 1960’s and beyond, but out of high school, and before my Dad came along, she had some traditional female office jobs. This week she told me about using the addressograph to make address labels and how she once got in trouble for changing Lewisville, OH to Louisville, KY. (Lewisville, OH is a real place!) I imagine her workplace looks like the picture I found when I googled Addressograph. The company went out of business in 1982.