ThisWeek Staff Fab Five

October 2013 is proving to be an extremely high-volume month for the performing arts/live concerts in central Ohio. With so much going on, especially this coming weekend, we thought it might be fun to get some different perspectives, so The Beat asked five ThisWeek Community NEWS staffers to give their picks for the weekend of Oct. 18-20 – sort of a Staff Fab Five. Here you go.



In my mind, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra offers a great Saturday evening out. And I know a performance by the Columbus Symphony won’t disappoint, especially when combined with the ambiance of the Southern Theater.

I confess I’m usually drawn downtown for performances of more widely-known works, but this weekend’s performance of works by Respighi and Ravel would provide the opportunity to expand my classical music repertoire.

Adding interest to the show will be selections from Peter Lieberson’s musical homage to Pablo Neruda, based on Neruda’s sonnets.

Tickets to the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 18-20, concerts, start at $25. Visit




Until a few years ago, I was a bit of a stereotype.

I used a narrow set of guidelines to determine if I would attend an event. For example, if a performer couldn’t be tackled for a loss, thrown out at second or trapped at half court, I probably wouldn’t go.

Then my lovely wife introduced me to a wide world of culture, including ballet, opera and other fine arts productions.

So, when we received the mailer for BalletMet Columbus’ presentation of Swan Lake Oct. 18-20 at the Ohio Theatre, she was more than a little interested in attending – and I was, too.

Swan Lake is a definitive example of the form, combining the grandeur of classical ballet choreography with Tchaikovsky’s legendary and complex score.

It is a tale of love, magic and suspense: A princess transformed into a swan by a vengeful sorcerer seeks the love of a handsome prince to break the spell, but the sorcerer’s daughter – in the guise of a black swan – tries to entice the prince to break his vow of love.

Tickets start at $25. Visit



I would describe the smoky and sultry sound of Neko Case as Patsy Cline meets Fiona Apple.

Case, like other members of Canadian indie band the New Pornographers, has played solo shows in addition to performing with the group.

I had heard of her, but didn’t really know much about her until I saw her at Lollapalooza in 2009 performing her hit song, Middle Cyclone, and a couple of others.

She doesn’t have an overpowering energy on the stage, but her voice pretty much carries the show on its own.

Neko Case plays the Newport Music Hall Saturday, Oct. 19. Thao & The Get Down Stay Down open. Tickets are $28/$30. Visit

(Read Erin’s Cheap Thrills blog at for a bonus Fab pick.)



You want to be careful when you label someone a “living legend.”

Blues guitarist Buddy Guy fits that moniker. I’ll allow the words of two of the greatest blues guitarists of all-time explain why.

Eric Clapton: “He was for me what Elvis was probably like for other people. ... My course was set, and he was my pilot.”

Stevie Ray Vaughan: “Without Buddy Guy, there would be no Stevie Ray Vaughan.”

Guy, 76, and his five-decade-long, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame career is still going strong. Last July he released his 27th studio album, Rhythm & Blues, and – most importantly – he still tours.

I grew up in the Chicagoland area and Guy is the quintessential face of Chicago Blues. His downtown Chicago venue, Buddy Guy’s Legends, is where I first heard blues music performed live, opening my eyes to a genre of music that I will forever enjoy.

Pay homage to this “living legend” at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, at New Albany’s McCoy Center for the Arts. Tickets are $40-60. Visit



Rock in the Halloween season with some Mexican wrestlers when rock and roll instrumental group Los Straightjackets plays Woodlands Tavern Sunday, Oct. 20.

Touring in support of their new album, Mondo Zombie Boogaloo, the suit and Lucha Libre mask-clad Los Straightjackets will set the spooky mood with its three-guitar driven style on such songs as It’s Monster Surfing Time, Ghoul on a Hill and Que Monstruos Son (Monster Mash in Spanish).

Fleshing out both the album and the tour is The Fleshtones, a group that combines rock ’n’ roll with R&B into a genre they call “Super Rock.”

Tickets are $15/$20. Visit