CULTURE & TRAVEL

Things to See and Do in and Around Columbus in October

From Hamilton to the Columbus Italian Festival, from The Who at the Schott to Maurice Sendak at the CMA, you’ll find an abundance of entertainment options throughout the month.

Columbus Monthly
BalletMet will perform "Dracula" from Oct. 28 to Nov. 5.

“Carmina Burana,” Oct. 1 

Ohio Theatre 

One of Carl Orff’s most famous and controversial compositions, “Carmina Burana” will be brought to life by a formidable trifecta: the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Chorus and the Columbus Children’s Choir. Rossen Milanov will conduct the performance of this majestic 1930s cantata based on 24 medieval poems. $10–$90. columbussymphony.com 

“Peter and the Wolf,” Oct. 1–2 

McConnell Arts Center 

Hixon Dance kicks off its 15th season with a retelling of this beloved Russian symphonic folk tale, which was initially written to familiarize youngsters with the many instruments used in an orchestra. Modern dance adds another family-friendly element to this collaboration with the Worthington Chamber Orchestra. Ticket prices to come at mcconnellarts.org. hixondance.com  

"Broad & High" by Central Ohio oil painter Jessica Wojtasek, whose work will be featured in an exhibition at Studios on High Gallery from Oct. 1 to Nov. 3

Between the Lines—Midwest Cityscapes, Oct. 1–Nov. 3 

Studios on High Gallery 

Local oil painter Jessica Wojtasek focuses her brush on urban landscapes, often taking inspiration from Columbus neighborhoods. Working from photographs, Wojtasek views these scenes at uncommon angles and plays with dusky ambiance and the glow of streetlights, turning everyday intersections into moody, revealing portraits of the city. Free. studiosonhigh.com 

“Hamilton,” Oct. 4–23 

Ohio Theatre 

In the seven years since Lin-Manuel Miranda’s masterpiece debuted on Broadway, “Hamilton” has become a cultural juggernaut, winning the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 2016 and reaching an even wider audience in 2020 with Disney’s filmed version of the stage performance. The musical has become so well-known, in fact, that it’s worth recalling what a singular, bold and even revolutionary premise Miranda concocted: the story of a brash, ambitious but relatively unknown Founding Father, told through hip-hop songs performed by mostly nonwhite actors. $40–$250. capa.com  

“Rent, ”Oct. 6–Nov. 6 

Short North Stage 

Jonathan Larson’s 1996 Pulitzer Prize-winning rock musical depicts the lives of a group of bohemian New Yorkers coping with gentrification, loss, love and legacy. The protagonists confront contemporary societal challenges to the tune of iconic songs such as “La Vie Boheme,” “Without You” and “Seasons of Love.” shortnorthstage.org 

Columbus Mac and Cheese Festival, Oct. 7 

Easton 

The Easton Town Center event has raised more than $300,000 for adolescent and young adult cancer research at OSU since 2016. cancer.osu.edu/for-donors-and-volunteers/signature-events  

Columbus Italian Festival, Oct. 7–9 

Italian Village 

The grounds of St. John The Baptist Italian Catholic Church are the setting for this annual fall festival celebrating Italian heritage. Yummy foods, traditional dancing, bocce ball, live music and a parade are just some of the highlights at this family-friendly event. Tickets are $10 per day or $15 for a weekend pass. columbusitalianfestival.com  

“Beethoven 5,” Oct. 8–9 

Southern Theatre 

What better way to kick off the 44th season of ProMusica than with one of the most recognizable and lauded symphonies in history? Music director David Danzmayr will lead the chamber orchestra through the four movements of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, a composition full of richness well beyond those first four ominous notes. Additionally, cello virtuoso Kian Soltani will perform pieces by Haydn and Iranian composer Reza Vali. $18–$64. promusicacolumbus.org 

The Who, Oct. 9 

Schottenstein Center 

The Who have been rocking since the early ’60s and playing arenas since the ’70s. Despite the deaths of drummer Keith Moon in 1978 and bassist John Entwistle in 2002, guitarist Pete Townshend and singer Roger Daltrey have soldiered on, pleasing nostalgic boomers and converting younger generations while making a few bucks along the way. $41 and up. schottensteincenter.com  

Yasmin Williams, Oct. 12   Wexner Center for the Arts 

This young guitarist takes a familiar instrument and transforms it into something fresh and exciting. At the Wexner Center, you’ll see Williams use unconventional tunings and techniques (including a kalimba mounted to her guitar) to conjure beautiful, percussive melodies with jaw-dropping virtuosity, all in service of the song. wexarts.org  

Activists and Agitators, Oct. 13 

Columbus State Community College 

Jenny Schuetz, the author of “Fixer-Upper,” will be the featured speaker at the YWCA Columbus’ annual celebration of social activists.ywcacolumbus.org  

“Louis Armstrong & Friends,” Oct. 13–16 

Southern Theatre 

Embark on a celebration of Louis Armstrong, one of the greatest American trumpet players and singers of all time. Carmen Bradford, a recent Grammy nominee and winner of the Los Angeles Jazz Society’s Jazz Vocalist Award, will ably sing Satchmo favorites alongside Columbus’ own Byron Stripling on trumpet in the first show of the Jazz Arts Group’s 50th anniversary season. $15–$82. jazzartsgroup.org 

Volunteering at the Columbus Marathon, Oct. 15-16 

Organizers are seeking volunteers to help at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon. Tasks include T-shirt sorting, serving as a course marshal, handing out water and passing out medals at the finish line. columbusmarathon.com  

Scrawl 16, Oct. 15–16 

Franklinton 

The 16th annual Scrawl (formerly Urban Scrawl) brings mobile and permanent murals back to Franklinton. The new Young Emerging Artists!, or YEA!, program will “continue building the next generation of muralists,” according to the event’s website. Makers’ markets, DJ sets, food trucks, Scrawl Jr. kids’ activities and more will round out the fun. franklintonartsdistrict.com  

The Dollop, Oct. 19 

Southern Theatre 

Actor, screenwriter and comedian Dave Anthony wanted to figure out how he could turn his hobby of historical analysis into a passion—and he did just that with help from English writer, producer and comedian Gareth Reynolds. In each episode of The Dollop, Anthony reads an obscure or disturbing story from American history to Reynolds, whose reactions range from severe to hilariously exaggerated. Find out why the podcast has consistently ranked in the iTunes Top 100 since its release in 2014. $39. capa.com  

Silas House, Oct. 19 

Gramercy Books 

Music journalist, environmental activist, columnist and author Silas House will sign copies of his new book, “Lark Ascending,” due out Sept. 27, and discuss it with local writer Michael Croley. In “Lark Ascending,” a thrilling tale of survival and hope set in the not-too-distant future, a young man is forced to flee the U.S. and seek refuge across the Atlantic. House’s literature is recognized for its focus on the natural world, working-class characters and the hardship of people in rural places. $25. gramercybooksbexley.com 

Central Ohio folk-rock band Caamp

Caamp, Oct. 21 

Nationwide Arena 

It’s not often Columbus produces a band capable of playing an arena, but local-turned-global folk-rock act Caamp is now in the company of Twenty One Pilots. Taylor Meier and Evan Westfall formed the band in Athens while attending Ohio University, later relocating to Columbus, where Caamp’s sound—somewhere between Mumford & Sons and Ray LaMontagne—struck a chord. And now they’re playing arenas. Not baad. $29–$75. nationwidearena.com 

Wild Things Are Happening: The Art of Maurice Sendak, Oct. 21–March 5 

Columbus Museum of Art 

Just before CMA’s Raphael show wraps up, the museum will host the “largest and most complete” exhibition of a very different kind of artist: Maurice Sendak, known best for books such as “Where the Wild Things Are,” “In the Night Kitchen” and “Outside Over There.” The show, guest curated by The Maurice Sendak Foundation’s Jonathan Weinberg, will feature more than 150 sketches, storyboards and paintings by Sendak, who died in 2012. $9–$18; special exhibition is an additional $10. Free admission Sundays; reduced price Thursday evenings.columbusmuseum.org 

Turnstile and Snail Mail, Oct. 22 

Kemba Live 

Aside from maybe Wet Leg, there’s no bigger rock breakout act from the past year than Turnstile, which issued the album Glow On last summer, polishing its hardcore sound enough to convert fans outside the genre’s insular scene. Fellow Maryland-born band Snail Mail, the solo project of singer/guitarist Lindsey Jordan, has become a critical darling with two recent indie-rock releases, Valentine (2021) and Lush (2018). $35–$85. promowestlive.com  

Nick Offerman will participate in the Westerville Public Library’s author series Oct. 25.

Nick Offerman, Oct. 25 

Otterbein University 

The actor, author, game show host, humorist, woodworker and overall Renaissance man will return to Central Ohio to participate in the Westerville Public Library’s author series. The event, at Otterbein University’s Cowan Hall, will feature a Q&A and an onstage conversation with NBC4’s Matt Barnes. westervillelibrary.org 

Amanda Shires, Oct. 27 

A&R Music Bar 

“There’s a lot of dancing now in the studio. A lot of joy, occasional tears. It’s become a beautiful thing again,” Nashville singer, songwriter and fiddle player Amanda Shires recently told The New York Times, speaking about her excellent new album, Take It Like a Man. Collaborating with producer Lawrence Rothman and husband/guitarist Jason Isbell, Shires let her independent streak run wild, and the songs are all the better for it. $25. promowestlive.com 

Unorthodocs, Oct. 27–31 

Wexner Center for the Arts 

For the sixth time, the Wexner Center is hosting a curated festival of nonfiction filmmaking with a lineup of documentaries that includes Anthony Banua-Simon’s 2020 film “Cane Fire,” which explores Hollywood’s complicated relationship with Hawaii’s Indigenous populations. Also: virtual reality performances, shorts by Sam Green (see “32 Sounds,” above) and filmmaker visits, including Banua-Simon. Quite often, the Wex screens documentaries that end up with Oscar nominations just a few months later, so don’t sleep on this fest. Ticket prices vary.wexarts.org 

Author Celeste Ng

Celeste Ng with Maggie Smith, Oct. 28 

CCAD 

Author and short story writer Celeste Ng, who grew up partly in Shaker Heights, Ohio, hit No. 1 on The New York Times’ fiction best-sellers list with 2017 novel “Little Fires Everywhere,” which followed her critically lauded debut, “Everything I Never Told You.” In October, Ng will return with a new book, “Our Missing Hearts,” which she’ll discuss at CCAD’s Canzani Auditorium with beloved local-turned-global poet Maggie Smith. $31.gramercybooksbexley.com 

“La Cenerentola,” Oct. 28 & 30 

Southern Theatre 

Angelina, the abused stepchild, is the protagonist of this heartwarming and amusing retelling of the famous Cinderella fairy tale, which follows Angelina on her path to finding true love with a prince. “La Cenerentola” is intended for audiences of all ages and will be presented in Italian with English subtitles. $27–$107. operacolumbus.com 

“Dracula,” Oct. 28–Nov. 5  

Davidson Theatre at Riffe Center 

Taking inspiration from Bram Stoker’s 1897 book and director Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 film, BalletMet’s production of “Dracula” is sure to be full of both love and terror. This company classic—fittingly staged over Halloween weekend—was choreographed by David Nixon, former artistic director of BalletMet. Bonus points if you arrive wearing fake fangs. $33–$90.balletmet.org 

Something Different, Something Beautiful, Oct. 28–Jan. 27 

Carnegie Gallery at the Main Library 

In an effort to spur conversation about new Americans and their contributions to the arts in Central Ohio, the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s Main branch Downtown will feature the work of 20 artists from Ghana in its second-floor Carnegie Gallery. Some of the artists reside locally, while others live in the Ghanaian capital of Accra, Columbus’ newest sister city. Free. columbuslibrary.org 

This story is a combination of our Fall Arts Guide and the Datebook feature from the October 2022 issue of Columbus Monthly.