Winter Arts Guide: 20 events not to miss

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

"Good Design in Hard Times"

OSU Urban Arts Space

Jan. 10-Feb. 4

Good design can outwit a bad economy. Or at least that's what new nonprofit ALTernative's architect founders, Tim Lai and Eliza Ho, hope to express in this exhibit featuring four design projects for various Columbus neighborhoods. -Jackie Mantey

"Frozen: Prudence Y. Gill, Terry Lindquist and Jacci Delaney"

Dublin Arts Council

Jan. 10-Feb. 24

Water in its coldest forms is the topic of the next exhibition at the Dublin Arts Council. Mixed media artist Prudence Gill focuses on water in nature, Terry Lindquist photographs frozen surfaces and Jacci Delaney fuses whole fish into glass to create new underwater fossils. -Heather Gross

"33 Variations"

Columbus Performing Arts Center

Jan. 12-21

In the early 1820s, an obsessed Ludwig van Beethoven spent three years spinning 33 variations from a wisp of a waltz. In our time, a dying musicologist obsesses on Beethoven's obsession. Available Light Theatre will present the 2008 Steinberg New Play Award winner. -Jay Weitz

"Currents: Latifa Echakhch"

Columbus Museum of Art

Jan. 13- April 1

Moroccan-born artist Latifa Echakhch used the Columbus Museum of Art's Schiller Collection, noted for its social commentary art pieces, as a starting point for her sculptural installations presented in this show. -Jackie Mantey

"Object/ Imprint"

OSU Urban Arts Space

Jan. 17-March 3

These works from a range of regional artists address how art can transform an object and objects can transform us. All of the artists have roots in a traditional medium but have grown to become composers of non-traditional forms. -Jackie Mantey

"El pasado es un animal grotesco" ("The past is a grotesque animal")

Wexner Center for the Arts

Jan. 19-22

Borrowing his title from a song by Of Montreal, Argentine playwright Mariano Pensotti traces the lives of four characters through a time of radical change in Buenos Aires. The play is for adults only, and it's performed in Spanish with English surtitles. -Jay Weitz

"Points on a Line"

Wexner Center for the Arts

Jan. 28- April 15

Filmmaker Sarah Morris builds on her past examinations of architectural personalities, politics and philosophies with a look at two of modernism's masters, Philip Johnson and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and the complexities of their mutual influences. -Jay Weitz

"Cubes and Anarchy"

Wexner Center for the Arts

Jan. 28- April 15

This exhibition consists of some eighty works - including photographs, drawings, and paintings - from the great sculptor David Smith, concentrating on his career-long fascination with geometric forms, as well as the internal struggle between Smith the worker and Smith the artist. -Jay Weitz

CATCO and Gallery Players' "The Rubenstein Kiss"

Riffe Center, Studio Two Theatre

Feb. 1-19

CATCO and Gallery Players collaborate for the first time, putting on the North American premiere of British playwright James Phillips' "Rubenstein Kiss."

The play was inspired by the story of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, who were convicted and executed for revealing secrets about the atomic bomb to the Soviets. -Jay Weitz

"Jazz Moves"

Capitol Theatre

Feb. 2-12

Presented as a part of the city's bicentennial celebration, "Jazz Moves" stars a collaboration between two of Columbus' artistic gems - the Columbus Jazz Orchestra and BalletMet. The dancers will take the stage to live performances of Motown, jazz and classical music. -Jackie Mantey

Blue Man Group

Palace Theatre

Tuesday, Feb. 7-Sunday, Feb. 12

Blue Man Group is essentially a pack of the coolest mimes ever. They're part musicians, part comedians, and they put on an exciting show full of stunts, gags and PVC-pipe drums. Don't miss the blue guys on their first national tour. -Heather Gross

Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Lincoln Theatre

8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8

Ladysmith Black Mambazo became one of Africa's most famous singing groups after collaborating with Paul Simon in the 1980s. The all-male ensemble, which has released more than 30 albums featuring its miraculously soothing harmonies, essentially serves as South Africa's musical ambassador. -Heather Gross

"Magnificent Mahler"

Ohio Theatre

Friday, Feb. 10-Saturday, Feb. 11

Jean-Marie Zeitouni will conduct the Columbus Symphony in two performances of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 6 in A Minor, "The Tragic." If the dark sounds of a hero meeting his fate don't appeal to you, then surely the percussionist's wielding of a cartoonishly enormous wooden hammer - one of the most athletic feats a composer has ever demanded - will. -Heather Gross

OSU Drums Downtown

Riffe Center's Capitol Theatre

Friday, Feb. 24-Saturday, Feb. 25

This annual drum and dance extravaganza features Ohio State's talented percussionists performing music by guest composer-in-residence Steve Reich, who is considered by many to be the greatest composer alive. -Heather Gross

Johannes String Quartet

Southern Theatre

8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25

The Johannes String Quartet comprises the principal cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the principal violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra and two very accomplished violinists. For its concert in Columbus, the ensemble will perform works by Mozart, Schumann and Dvorak. -Heather Gross


Wexner Center for the Arts

8 p.m. Saturday, March 3

South Indian Carnatic music meets Western jazz in the trio called Tirtha. Pianist Vijay Iyer, electric guitarist Prasanna and tabla player Nitin Mitta improvise on the melodies and rhythms of the Indian classical tradition. -Jay Weitz

Gallery Players' "A New Brain"

Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus

March 3-11

A young songwriter confronts death with the curative powers of art in the autobiographical musical by William Finn, whose "Falsettos" and "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" have been highlights of recent seasons in Columbus. -Jay Weitz

The Second City's "Laugh Out Loud Tour"

Lincoln Theatre

7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 10

The Second City, the famous comedy troupe from Chicago, launched the careers of pretty much every "Saturday Night Live" cast member who ever mattered. Catch some of the five-decade-old group's funniest sketches and songs in this show, which is essentially a greatest-hits collection. -Heather Gross

Kidd Pivot Frankfurt RM's "The You Show"

Wexner Center for the Arts

8 p.m. Thursday, March 29

Germany-based Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite and company return to the Wexner with an evening of four new works intended to connect with the audience by reflecting our common strengths, vulnerabilities, stories, gestures and dreams. -Jay Weitz

"The Great Flood"

Wexner Center for the Arts

8 p.m. Saturday, March 31

Filmmaker Bill Morrison and composer/guitarist Bill Frisell collaborate on this look at the Mississippi River Flood of 1927 and its impact. While researching the 1927 flood, the artists ran into the 2010 Mississippi floods, which informed their film and live jazz project in unexpected ways. -Jay Weitz