Winter Arts Preview: 13 events you shouldn't miss

Jesse Tigges, Columbus Alive

The frigid weather the next couple months may entice many to vegetate indoors, but here's a rundown of 13 must-see art events (everything from fine art exhibitions and theatrical performances to comedy showcases and film retrospectives). All are exciting happenings, and the best part is they're all inside so keeping warm isn't even an issue.

Retrospective: Pier Paolo Pasolini

Pier Paolo Pasolini is regarded as one of the finest and most controversial film icons of the 20th Century. The Italian postwar filmmaker (who was also an openly gay author, playwright and painter) is best known for his highly subversive films. From "Accattone" to "Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom," Pasolini's film work still draws outrage and polemics, but it's also regarded as truly visionary. The Wexner Center presents this nearly complete retrospective with many titles screening in newly restored 35mm prints.

Wexner Center for the Arts

Through Feb. 25

1871 N. High St., Campus


Shadowbox Live presents "Monty Python's Spamalot"

Are you ready to say "Ni" Shadowbox Live brought back its performance of the Tony Award-winning musical satirizing King Arthur and his men (based off 1975's "Monty Python and the Holy Grail") due to popular demand. It's not a surprising return considering this is one of the troupe's best productions. "Spamalot" is riotously hilarious and features some fan favorites from the original film, including, of course, the Black "It's only a flesh wound" Knight.

Shadowbox Live

Through Feb. 9

503 S. Front St., Brewery District


"The Beatles! Backstage and Behind the Scenes"

Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' first North American appearance (on "The Ed Sullivan Show"), this fine art photography exhibition features the photo archives of CBS Television and LIFE magazine photographer Bill Eppridge. Previously on view at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, this exhibit features the Fab Four not only in the rehearsal studio and on the set, but also candid moments from the trip. Any Beatles fan - and who isn't one? - should love this.

The Schumacher Gallery, Capital University

Jan. 20-March 22

2199 E. Main St., Bexley


"Via Brasil"

The Wexner Center's interdisciplinary, multiyear initiative highlighting the vibrant culture of Brazil will be an impressive collection of art events. The exhibit "Cruzamentos: Contemporary Art in Brazil" features the work of almost 40 Brazilian artists capturing the diverse cultural heritage of the region. The other major component is a documentary series of more than 30 contemporary Brazilian documentaries rarely seen in North America. Pairing with the art and documentary components are workshops, discussions and complementary performing arts events.

Wexner Center for the Arts

Feb. 1-April 20

1871 N. High St., Campus


An Evening with Lang Lang

When Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang appears in Columbus, it's the city's chance to see one of the most highly regarded and beloved classical musicians working today. He's a rock star in the classical genre. For Lang Lang's collaboration with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, he'll be performing Prokofiev's third piano concerto and Stravinsky's 1945 version of the fairytale ballet "The Firebird."

Ohio Theatre

8 p.m. Feb. 6

39 E. State St., Downtown


BalletMet presents "Alice in Wonderland"

The Lewis Carroll classic is adapted by BalletMet into a rousing, fun-filled and awe-inspiring dance performance both adults and children will love. Follow Alice down the rabbit hole and watch her confusion and excitement at the madness of Wonderland translated through dance in a beautiful, must-see ballet.

Capitol Theatre

Feb. 7-16

77 S. High St., Downtown


"Toulouse-Lautrec and La Vie Moderne: Paris 1880-1910"

This massive exhibit - more than 185 objects, everything from paintings, drawings and posters to rare cabaret shadow puppets, illustrated theater programs and archival materials from Parisian theaters, circuses and concerts - focuses on the artists, like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, who were living and working at the center of the artistic and cultural scene of Paris at the turn of the last century. These artists were revolutionizing the art world, resisting the formal academic standards by capturing new social and working cultures. In addition to paintings and posters by Toulouse-Lautrec, Mary Cassatt, Paul César Helleu, Juan Gris, and Pierre Bonnard will be on display with other small groups the Naturalists, the Symbolists, the Incohérents and the Nabis.

Columbus Museum of Art

Feb. 8-May 18

480 E. Broad St., Downtown


"International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes"

This exhibit brings the real world of Sherlock Holmes (and author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) to life. Visitors can take part in hands-on activities and exhibits from varied aspects of the legendary detective's legacy. Holmes' use, and Conan Doyle's tireless research of, forensic science was far ahead of its time and this exhibit shows the fictional Holmes' impact on actual investigative techniques. Also on display is a full-size replica of Holmes and Dr. Watson's famous Baker Street office, an interactive mystery to solve using Holmes-like clues, a retrospective on the pop culture of Sherlock Holmes and original manuscripts, letters and illustrations by Conan Doyle.


Feb. 8-Sept. 1

333 W. Broad St., Downtown


Molly Ringwald

The famed '80s movie star, best known for teen classics "Sixteen Candles," "Pretty in Pink" and "The Breakfast Club," is also a dedicated jazz lover and musician, having recently released her first album Except … Sometimes. Ringwald will join the Columbus Jazz Orchestra and Artistic Director Byron Stripling for four performances to sing legendary classics from the Great American Songbook, and her version of "Don't You (Forget About Me)." Ringwald will also sit down with Stripling for an intimate conversation in the CJO's "Offstage at the Jazz Academy" at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb 8.

Southern Theatre


21 E. Main St., Downtown


"Romeo & Juliet"

In honor of Valentine's Day, the Columbus Symphony will present three musical selections inspired by the immortal love story, "Romeo & Juliet," under the direction of conductor Michael Stern [pictured]. The selections include "Love Scene" from French composer Hector Berlioz's "Roméo et Juliette," dances from Leonard Bernstein's "West Side Story" and ballet music from Sergei Prokofiev's "Romeo & Juliet." This is the perfect excuse to get dressed up and make the most of the Hallmark holiday.

Ohio Theatre

Feb. 14-15

39 E. State St., Downtown


Broadway in Columbus presents "The Phantom of the Opera"

Cameron Mackintosh's new production of the iconic Andrew Lloyd Webber musical makes its Columbus premiere following resounding success in the United Kingdom. "Phantom of the Opera" is a transcendent musical, boasting a beloved score including the songs "Music of the Night," "All I Ask Of You," and "Masquerade," a timeless love story, and some of the most spectacular sets and costumes ever seen.

Ohio Theatre

March 5-16

39 E. State St., Downtown


Opera Columbus presents "The Pirates of Penzance"

This 19th Century comic opera has been produced hundreds of times, and still draws audiences by the, no pun intended, boatload. Opera Columbus teams with the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players to present the tale of Frederic, who was mistakenly apprenticed to the pirates. He's free of this obligation on his 21st birthday, but there's one problem - Frederic was born on Leap Day, meaning he can't leave for another 60-plus years.

Southern Theatre

March 8-9

21 E. Main St., Downtown


CAPA presents "The Second City's Happily Ever Laughter"

The Second City includes alumni of the some of the greatest comedic minds in the last half-century (Bill Murray, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and John Candy). So when the troupe comes to town for "Happily Ever Laughter," a hilarious revue featuring some of the best sketches, songs and improvisation from its 53-year history, it will mark one of the best comedic shows of the year. The show also features more modern sketches riffing current events and pop culture.

Palace Theatre

March 21-22

34 W. Broad St., Downtown