Fall arts: 25 can’t-miss events in Columbus

  • Photo by Tessa Berg
    The cast of "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson"
From the September 9, 2012 edition

Fall is prime season for the arts, and this fall is a real gem for Columbus. Whether you like art that hangs on the wall, dances en pointe across a stage, sings at the top of its lungs or flickers across a screen, you’re gonna love the upcoming season (Annie Leibovitz, anyone?). Read our picks for 25 gotta-see events coming up in September, October and November.

BalletMet’s “The American Songbook

BalletMet Performance Space

Sept. 21-Oct. 7

322 Mount Vernon Ave., Discovery District


Under the rubric “The American Songbook,” BalletMet presents Amy Seiwert’s Patsy Cline tribute “Dear Miss Cline,” Darrell Grand Moultrie’s Sammy Davis, Jr. celebration “Simply Sammy,” and, accompanied by voices of the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus, a Stella Kane world premiere.

La Bohème

Shadowbox Live Backstage Bistro

Sundays, Oct. 14-Nov. 18

503 S. Front St., Brewery District


In the category of odd couples, Shadowbox Live and Opera Columbus collaborate on an English-language abridgement of Giacomo Puccini’s “La Bohème.” Each of the Sunday-only performances of the tragic opera that inspired Jonathan Larson’s award-winning musical “Rent” is free.

“Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”

Studio One, Riffe Center

Sept. 20-Oct. 13

77 S. High St., Downtown


Available Light Theatre gives Old Hickory the rock star treatment in this mash-up of humor, sex, rock ’n’ roll and presidential politics. Written by Alex Timbers, this rock musical promises “American history at its nastiest.”

Annie Leibovitz

Wexner Center for the Arts

Sept. 22-Dec. 30

1871 N. High St., Campus


You know Annie Leibovitz. She’s the photographer who has taken some of celebrity’s most iconic modern photos. That Rolling Stone image of John Lennon naked and clinging to Yoko Ono? Yup, she captured that five hours before Lennon was murdered. Leibovitz is one of the most prominent artists living today, and the Wex will be the first to show her complete “Master Set” of striking portraits. Visitors can also see “Pilgrimage,” her series of photos of interiors and objects attached to historical figures like Abraham Lincoln and Emily Dickinson. 

São Paulo Underground

Sunday, Sept. 23

Wexner Center for the Arts

1871 N. High St., Campus


Chicago cornet master Rob Mazurek, a staple of Chicago’s jazz and post-rock avant garde, went down to Brazil and brought back a slew of likeminded Brazilians. They’ll tear through selections from their self-titled 2011 album.

Bebe Miller “A History”

Wexner Center for the Arts

Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 27-29

1871 N. High St., Campus


Bebe Miller Company dancers Angie Hauser and Darrell Jones take the stage in a Miller-choreographed exploration of the OSU faculty member’s career. The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation recently named Miller one of 21 of “America’s most vital and productive performing artists.” See why.

National Theatre of Scotland: “The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart”

Wednesday-Friday, Oct. 31-Nov. 2

CD 102.5 Big Room

1036 S. Front St., Brewery District


The Wexner Center partners with CD 102.5’s Big Room to host the hit Scottish production, done entirely in ballad, about an academic’s comical, supernatural path to self-discovery. A cozy pub-style atmosphere will feature cocktails, plus the possibility of being called out to assist the roving cast.

Doc Severinsen in “40 Years with Jazz Arts Group”

Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28-29

Southern Theatre

21 E. Main St., Downtown


Heeeeeeere’s Doc! To celebrate four decades of Jazz Arts Group, the city’s leading jazz organization is putting on a whopper of a show featuring Johnny Carson’s former “Tonight Show” bandleader Doc Severinsen. A tribute to pianist Stan Kenton is on tap, too.

“FROM ONE FOOT TO THE OTHER: what was once digital is dead & now lives on as a dance”


Friday-Saturday, Sept. 28-29

1199 Goodale Blvd., Grandview


Named after Feverhead founder Coco Loupe’s now-shuttered blog, “From One Foot to the Other” introduces viewers to performers who only recently began dancing. The pick-up dance company is called They Might Be Dancers Too and stars people Columbus regulars will recognize (Zachariah Baird, Eve Hermann and Counterfeit Madison).The score was also locally produced. Coco’s choreography is always fresh, and taking on newbie dancers is a provocative artistic choice.

Ballet Hispanico

Capitol Theatre, Riffe Center

77 South High St., Downtown

Saturday, Sept. 29


New York-based Ballet Hispanico, founded in 1970 by Venezuelan-born dancer and choreographer Tina Ramirez and led since 2009 by Cuban-born dancer and choreographer Eduardo Vilaro, returns to Columbus to continue its voyage through the music and movement of Hispanic-American culture.

Film Festival of Columbus

Gateway Film Center

Tuesday-Friday, October 2-5

550 N. High St., South Campus


The Film Festival of Columbus — FFOCOL for short, pronounced “focal” — has a clear focus. It’s not only bringing some great movies to town, it’s showcasing Columbus as a filmmaking destination. We’re down for that.

“Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo”

Studio Two, Riffe Center


77 South High St., Downtown


CATCO presents a play written by Rajiv Joseph, which tells the story of a tiger that roams the streets of present-day Baghdad seeking the meaning of life and encountering Americans and Iraqis.

“The Intergalactic Nemesis Book One: Target Earth”

Mershon Auditorium

Friday, Oct. 12

1871 North High St., Campus


Part radio drama, part graphic novel, part stage show, the Wexner Center will present this first part of “The Intergalactic Nemesis,” the story of three regular people as they face an impending alien invasion.

Locality 2012

Various locations

Friday-Sunday, Oct. 12-14


Take a bus tour to see site-specific dance performances around town at places like the Union Station Arch, Whetstone Park, the Strand Cafe and the block of High Street between the Riffe Center and the Statehouse.


The Jewish Community Center’s Roth-Resler Theater

October 20-28

1125 College Ave., East Side


Kicking off the Gallery Players’ 2012-2013 season, David Mamet’s “November” follows an incumbent president as he faces a daunting reelection — and the pardoning of turkeys before Thanksgiving that may inspire his comeback.

Neil Cowley Trio

Wexner Center for the Arts

Saturday, Oct. 13

1871 N. High St., Campus


Because we constantly need reminders that jazz is supposed to be fun and freewheeling, British powerhouse Neil Cowley Trio persists. Their brainy, propulsive new album “The Face of Mount Molehill” rocks harder than most rock albums these days.


Wexner Center for the Arts

Wednesday, Oct. 24

1871 N. High St., Campus


American kids rock so sedately compared with Algerian desert folk. The Touareg rockers return to the Wex with a show so towering in power that it might even be worth skipping Morrissey and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion the same night.

Por Vida

Junctionview Studios

Friday-Sunday, Oct. 26-28

889 Williams Ave., Grandview


Columbus’ indie art scene elite are always in attendance at this party for those who have passed. Day of the Dead-inspired paintings, sculptures, installation and music are at once sentimental and spooky.

The American President: Photographs from the Archives of the Associated Press”

Schumacher Gallery, Capital University

Oct. 26-Dec. 7

2199 E. Main St., Bexley


At the White House and around the globe, Associated Press photographers have been on the heels of the commander-in-chief for well over a century. This well-timed touring show presents several dozen of the most memorable presidential moments and images in AP history.

Castles in the Sky: Miyazaki, Takahata, and the Masters of Studio Ghibli Film”

Wexner Center for the Arts

Throughout November

1871 N. High St., Campus


This series at the Wex celebrates the animation studio hailed as the “Disney of Japan.” Known commodities like “Spirited Away” and “Princess Mononoke” mix with deeper cuts, and the series features of mix of subtitles and English-dubbed version, making some more family-friendly.

In Love with Tyrone

Palace Theatre

Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2-3

34 W. Broad St., Downtown


Playwright and director Ericka Nicole Malone presents this gospel play about a salon owner betrayed by her husband. The production starring Robin Givens and Leon embarks on a nine-city tour this fall.

The Fab Four Beatles Tribute with Columbus Symphony Orchestra

Ohio Theatre

Saturday, Nov. 10

39 E. State St., Downtown


The Columbus Symphony dons its figurative mop-top with this Pops Series tribute to The Beatles. Expect ’60s era costumes and classics like “Yesterday” and “Hey Jude.” Michael Berkowitz conducts.

Builders Association: “SONTAG: REBORN”

Wexner Center for the Arts

Thursday-Sunday, Nov. 15-18

1871 N. High St., Campus


In connection with its massive Annie Leibovitz show, the Wexner Center brings back New York’s The Builders Association (“HOUSE/DIVIDED”) for a multimedia portrait of the photographer’s longtime partner, writer Susan Sontag, drawn from her earliest journals and Leibovitz’s pictures.

CSO Masterworks “Cheek and Charm” concert

Southern Theatre

Friday-Sunday, Nov. 16-18

21 East Main St., Downtown


Jean-Marie Zeitouni conducts the CSO in Igor Stravinsky’s neoclassic “Octet,” Darius Milhaud’s Brazil-infused ballet “Le Boeuf sur le Toit,” Maurice Ravel’s “Mother Goose Suite,” and is joined by violinist Alicia Hui in Serge Prokofiev’s “Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 19.”

“The Shakespeare Conspiracy”

Van Fleet Theatre, Columbus Performing Arts Center

549 Franklin Ave., Downtown

Oct. 31-Nov. 10


Serious doubts about the authorship of the plays attributed to William Shakespeare did not arise publicly until more than two centuries after his death. Set in 1593 London, “The Shakespeare Conspiracy” makes the case for Christopher Marlowe: playwright, spy, homosexual.

Story by Chris DeVille, Brad Keefe, Todd LaPlace, Jackie Mantey and Jay Weitz