‘Aliens With Extraordinary Skills’ humorously grapples with immigration and love

Left to Right: Beth Harris, Liz Vosmeier, and MJ Jurgensen.

Over-the-Rhine’s Know Theatre opened its third production of the season on January 29.  Aliens With Extraordinary Skills, a dark comedy, tells the story of two Moldovan immigrants to the United States. As they struggle to find work, two immigration agents continually interfere, making their adjustment process that much harder.

While living and working in New York City, the immigrants, named Nadia (Liz Vosmeier) and Borat (Matthew Johnson) separately meet Lupita (Kaitlin Becker), who finds herself involved in the immigrants’ lives more than she ever imagined.

Despite the propensity for a play about immigration to be overly serious, Saviana Stanescu’s Aliens With Extraordinary Skills masterfully uses situational and physical humor to bring levity.

“Saviana Stanescu’s writing is what drew me to this show,” says director Eric Vosmeier. “Her manner of storytelling has an interesting and unique voice. She manages to find lighthearted commend in the struggle of trying to survive everday life as an illegal immigrant in a big city.”

Aliens With Extraordinary Skills runs now through February 26. For a full listing of showtimes or to purchase tickets, visit the Know Theater website or call the box office at (513) 300-5669.  All tickets to all Know Theatre productions this season are $12 in advance or $15 on the week of the performance, beginning Monday at noon. Flexible subscriptions are also available for $48.

CPA to host event showcasing architectural gems of the Westside this Saturday

Cincinnati proudly boasts fantastic architectural gems. Downtown landmarks like Carew Tower, the Roebling Suspension Bridge, Music Hall, and Union Terminal help to establish a unique sense of place. Uptown, features at the Zoo, University of Cincinnati, and Christ Hospital demonstrate a range in architectural styles found here.

But while Cincinnati’s iconic landmarks leave a lasting impressing on residents and visitors alike, it is often the smaller, lesser-known architectural features that make this city a fantastic place to live.

On Saturday, January 29 at 10am, Cincinnati Preservation Association (CPA) will present Little Known Jewels of the West Side, an overview of hidden historic treasures of Cincinnati’s West Side neighborhoods. The event will be led by UC alumnus Dave Zelman, AIA, a registered architect in the hospitality studio of FRCH Design.

Saturday’s event will be held at the Hauck House located at 812 Dayton Street in the West End neighborhood. This beautiful Italianate stone townhouse on “Millionaire’s Row” was CPA’s original headquarters.

Reservations are required due to limited space. Contact CPA by calling (513) 721-4506 or emailing info@cincinnatipreservation.org. Admission is just $5 thanks to the support from Comey & Shepherd Realtors, City Office which is sponsoring CPA’s Winter Programs series at the Hauck House.

Coats & Cocktails to benefit Northside families

Tonight at the Northside Tavern, an event called Coats & Cocktails will celebrate the holiday spirit by raising funds for local needy families.  Attendees will enjoy local holiday food, drinks, and live music.

To attend the event, guests are asked to donate $5.  Instead of a cash donation, the group will also accept new and lightly used coats, scarves, hats, and gloves. All donations are tax-deductible and will go directly to families in need through Churches Active in Northside (CAIN).

CAIN is a collection of 11 churches in the neighborhood of Northside. The organization is a 501(c)3 non-profit entity that grew out of a food pantry begun by a passionate Northsider, Jewel Davis Smith. Her work would eventually lead to the formation of CAIN, which today helps to provide food and other assistance to those with a 45223 zip code.

Second City entertains at Playhouse in the Park with Cincinnati-themed comedy

The two-time Tony Award winning Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park is currently running a fantastically funny production by one of the nation’s premier comedy empires. Second City’s semi-improvisational show Cincinnati: Pride and Porkopolis jokes about all the Queen City’s quintessential items – from the Bengals to Cincinnati-style chili, and from Marge Schott to Jerry Springer.

In a format somewhat similar to Saturday Night Live, the show features numerous short sketches that will leaves the audience laughing hysterically.

Chicago-based Second City has produced such talent as Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Chris Farley, Mike Meyers, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Jane Lynch, Martin Short, Eugene Levy, and Steve Carell.  Cincinnati native Mick Naiper directs this production’s cast: Ryan Archibald, Katie Caussin, Joe Dempsey, Sayjal Joshi, Anthony LeBlanc, and Andel Sudik.

Cincinnati: Pride and Porkopolis runs Tuesday through Sunday every week until its closing on January 9. Shows on the weeknights will also feature a special segment of improvisation that includes a mix of games and scenes based completely on suggestions from the audience.

The full schedule of performances can be found online where you can also purchase tickets and find more information. The Playhouse box office (map) can also be reached by calling (513) 421-3888.

Two exciting events for Saturday 11/6

Cincinnati’s Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. will tap the first Christkindl Winter Warmer Ale keg of the season on Saturday November 6th from 1pm to 4pm at Christy’s Biergarten in the Uptown neighborhood of CUF.

Brother Tim Sucher of St. Francis Seraph Ministries will ceremoniously tap the first keg at 1pm, “We are honored to celebrate the new release of Moerlein Christkindl in the spirit of the holiday season,” said Brother Tim Sucher of St. Francis Seraph Ministry. $1 from every pint sold that day will go towards St. Francis Seraph Ministry’s Christmas Fund.

According to a the brewing company, the building in which Christy’s is located was built as a wedding present for Christian Moerlein’s daughter in 1890. Owner and manager Christy Windholtz Lammers commented, “My family is very proud to have a direct affiliation with Cincinnati’s grand brewing tradition, and is honored to host the Moerlein Christkindl keg tapping event at Christian Moerlein’s daughters home. Wilkommen!”

Christy’s Biergarten will have a special happy hour with $3 pints of the new Moerlein Christkindl and a specially priced happy hour food menu, serving Bratts, Metts, Potato Pancake, German Potato Salad – Rueben and Sauerkraut Balls. Christies is located in the heart of the Clifton Heights business district at 151 West McMillian. Christie’s provides ample parking, but if you choose to imbibe, please do not drive. The biergarten is well accessible by Metro bus service.

Later in the evening, there will be another party taking place at the American Sign Museum (map) in Walnut Hills. Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity Young Professionals (CHYP) will be throwing their ‘Under Construction’ Bash from 7pm to 11pm at the nationally renowned museum. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $35 per person and $45 per person at the door. Tickets include food, open bar, dancing, and a silent auction.

“We’re very excited about this event and grateful to be able to have it at a hidden gem like the American Sign Museum,” said Marissa Woodly, Development Director, Cincinnati Habitat.

The museum boasts a collection of over 3,000 pieces of glowing Americana, which provide a nostalgic look into our commercial past in America. The proceeds from the event will go towards building an affordable home for a Cincinnati family in need.  Tickets for this event can be purchased online.  Also be sure to follow CHYP on Twitter at @CincyHabitatYP.