Hamilton, Ohio – Well, that happened.
Odd as it may sound, that might be the mantra for a 2022-2023 season that filled the Fitton Center with jaw-dropping moments.
Despite nearly drowning our executive director in the run-up to the season launch party, despite our building flooding Christmas Eve, this season was anything but all wet.
The Fitton ShowStoppers series lived up to its name with everything from the ‘80s pop punk of the Talking Heads to Motown Christmas soul. From one Broadway musician playing piano and violin – SIMULANEOUSLY! – to a country artist pulling a military veteran out of the audience and turning his words to music. We had the hilarious and heart-wrenching storytelling experience of 90 Lies and Hour and the good-time vibes from Super Sounds of the ‘70s. Big-band jazz swinging into movie music and ballerinas leaping to choreography both classic and contemporary.
Our youngest fans – the patrons of Fitton Family Fridays - ate terrific meals prepared by our catering partner Two Women in a Kitchen before eating up shows presented by Lexington Children’s Theatre, Madcap Puppets, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, Cincinnati ballet, Tricky Max and mad chocolatier Willy Wonka himself. Plus our friends from the Lane Libraries joined us for several shows - as did local authors Scott Smallwood and Marianne Reed – to share story and crafting time before performances.
The Celebrating Self luncheon speaker series – again featuring the handiwork of Two Women in a Kitchen and their sensational buffet spreads – provided so many laughs and gasps per minute we could barely keep up. Remember Ickey Woods shuffling in the ballroom? How about the intelligence officer locked inside a mountain bunker? Local icon Dr. Al Miller? Santa Claus? Who would have guessed lettuce was so popular? But 80 Acres Farm certainly packed the house. The Freedom Center, the Ohio Poet Laureate and a large helping of reality TV? All riveting afternoons.
Jazz and Cabaret did a deep dive on the king of 5/4 swing with Take Five: An Evening of Dave Brubek. New Orleans came north in February for the magical Mardi Gras celebration (that may or may not still be going on in one staffer’s office). We closed the series – and the season – May 20 with Prohibition Murder!
Let’s not forget the barely constrained mayhem of Fitton Cinema when the Denton Affair shadow cast the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Or the Special Event with the elegant anticipation of turning over a New Year (and celebrating a special 21st birthday in the process).
None of which even touches on the visual art we offered. Main-gallery Exhibitions like Cut Fire Fuse, The Land/Unusual Character, Field Study and the 51st Hamilton Current - which runs through July 5 - plus all the pieces displayed in the Community Galley. And rolling artworks out on the road wrapped around a trio of BCRTA buses.
Then there was our little prank that riled up so many people.
Yeah. So that happened, too.
All of that happened.
And a lot more.
But none of it happens without our funders, our sponsors, our partner, our members, our staff.
And you. Thank you.
This is your community arts center. We hope you enjoyed it this season.
We hope you’ll continue enjoying it all summer – classes, workshops, summer camps and more.
We hope you’re ready to enjoy it even more fun during our 30th Anniversary season of 2023-2024. Stay tuned for an announcement about the new season coming soon. Please be sure to mark your calendars for Friday, Aug. 18, when we Paint the Town Red for Season Launch.
The Fitton Center for Creative Arts is located at 101 S. Monument Avenue on the Riverfront in downtown Hamilton, Ohio.
Building Community Excellence through the Arts and Culture