All the world’s a stage, it seems, during the months of autumn, as almost every Greater Cincinnati cultural organization unleashes fresh works. One of the themes is Chinese culture, with the American debut of China Design Now at the Cincinnati Art Museum, Nancy and Ed Rosenthal’s collection of Chinese art at the Taft Museum of Art, and even Mulan, performed by the Cincinnati Children’s Theatre. Ensemble Theatre is on a roll this fall, bringing us Grey Gardens, the cult musical about two notorious recluses in East Hampton, followed by the regional premiere of The Seafarer,with its hilarious poker theme. At Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, the mating game is in full swing, and a special favorite is the hit off-Broadway comedy, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. Live, love, laugh — and here it all comes.

Fall Guide to the Arts

The Cincinnati Art Museum opens two new international exhibits this fall. Illusion and Reality is an exploration of the prints of Jiri Anderle, featuring more than 80 works by the Czech printmaker covering three decades. That exhibit runs from Sept. 27 to Jan. 3. On Oct. 18, China Design Now makes its American debut, exploring the recent explosion of new design and architecture in China. It runs through Jan. 11.953 Eden Park Drive, Mt. Adams. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (the museum is closed Mondays and open until 9 p.m. on Wednesdays). Free. (513) 721-5204 or

Cincinnati Museum Center’s new fall exhibit schedule had not been announced at press time, but two special exhibitions continue.Freedom’s Sisters is an interactive exhibit about the lives and contributions of 20 historic and contemporary African-American women (through Sept. 14).Gateway to the City: Union Terminal Turns 75! (through Oct. 12, Ruthven Gallery) commemorates Union Terminal through images, graphics, three-dimensional objects, and footage. 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays). $7.25, seniors $6.25, children ages 3-12 $5.25. (513) 287-7000 or

There’s lots of love to be had at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park this fall, and even a classic Mr. Knightley. In September ­­—you guessed it — the musical version of Jane Austen’s Emma runs from Sept. 2 to Oct. 3. It brings one of the novelist’s most notable heroines to life in her matchmaking foibles. Julia Cho’sDurango, which runs from Sept. 20 to Oct. 19, is a thoughtful road trip in search of the American dream. A fast-moving, quirky comedy, John Kolvenbach’s Love Song, follows from Oct. 21 to Nov. 21. On Nov. 1, we get Off-Broadway’s longest-running, smash hit musical comedy,I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, with book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music by Jimmy Roberts. It celebrates the triumphs and trials of the mating game. Lastly, no December would be complete without A Christmas Carol, the loyal rendition of Charles Dickens’ familiar holiday chestnut. It opens Dec. 4.Mt. Adams Circle, Mt. Adams. 8 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays, 5 and 9 p.m. Saturdays, 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays, and 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Wednesdays. $43-$56. (513) 421-3888 or

From the Cincinnati Pops this fall, Erich Kunzel conductsBack to School on Broadway Sept. 26 to Sept. 28, with guest artists Christina Marie Norrup, Kristine Reese, Tiffany Haas, Billy Tighe and Zachary Prince. Featured music includes works from High School Musical, Grease, Hairspray, Wicked, Footloose, West Side Story and more. PBS television host Christopher O’Riley brings his From the Top show to town, spotlighting young musicians, from Oct. 24 to Oct. 26. And looking forward to that favorite time of year, from Dec. 12 to Dec. 14,Kunzel conductsHappy Holidays from the Pops, with guest vocalist Sy Smith fromAmerican Idol. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. Various times Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. $18.50 to $76.75. (513) 381-3300 or

Three favorites will be produced by the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company this fall. Amadeus is the Tony Award-winning play that examines the genius of Mozart through the eyes of his jealous contemporary, Salieri. It runs from Sept. 5 to Sept. 28.Opening Oct. 17, “To be or not to be — that is the question.”Hamlet is the Bard’s legendary tale of a young prince, madness and violence, and perhaps the greatest ghost story ever told. Then beginning Dec. 5, a little comedy for the holidays:Twelfth Night is a whimsical retelling of Shakespeare’s look at love and prank-filled hilarity.719 Race St., Downtown. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, $26, $22 seniors, $20 students. (513) 381-2273 or

At the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Paavo Jarvi conductsa mega-Watt opening with guest Andre Watts on piano Sept. 12-13, then brings in Gautier Capucon on cello forDvorak Delight Sept. 19-20. Guest conductor Vasily Petrenko presentsRussian Rhapsody Oct. 3-4, with guest Jon Kimura Parker on piano. Gilbert Kaplan conductsThe Mahler Experience Oct. 17-18, followed by Leonid Grin conductingTowering Tchaikovsky, with guest Tai Murray on violin, from Oct. 31-Nov. 1. Jarvi is back with a rich cast for Stargazing Nov. 21-22. Guests include Julia Fischer on violin and the Women of the May Festival Chorus.Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. Various times a.m. and p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. $18.50 to $76.75. (513) 381-3300 or

Two new solo shows are unveiled at the Contemporary Arts Centerthis fall. From Sept. 27 to Jan. 11, it’s Australian painter Maria Lassnig, who uses her own body to delve into the internal self. Carlos Amorales, a Mexican artist of many mediums, shows his fascination for horror as a film genre and human emotion, Sept. 27 to Jan. 11.44 E. Sixth St., Downtown. $7.50 adults, $6.50 seniors, $5.50 students, $4.50 children 3-13. Free Monday night after 5 p.m. (513) 345-8400 or

Ensemble Theatre gives us the musical Grey Gardens (Sept. 10-28) andThe Seafarer, a haunting, hilarious tale involving a game of poker on Christmas Eve, a full house of lost souls, and a mysterious stranger who raises the stakes (Oct. 15 to Nov. 2). On Dec. 3 comes a sassy version of the children’s classic,Alice in Wonderland,with book and music by locals Joseph McDonough and David Kisor. 1127 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine. 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays-Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. $32 adults, $29 full-time students (with an I.D.) and seniors (65 plus), and $16 for children 12 and younger. (513) 421-3555 or

From Nov. 7-11, the Taft Museum of Art showcases Nancy and Ed Rosenthal’s collection of Chinese art in the exhibit,Brush, Clay & Wood. Look for everything from Ming Dynasty furniture to contemporary paintings by artists from the Cultural Revolution. Then, from Nov. 21 to Jan. 4, An Antique Christmas dresses up the Taft with antique Christmas decorations.316 Pike St., Downtown. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. $8, $6 for seniors and students, free admission to all Wednesdays. (513) 241-0343 or

The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati  performs Mulan, the tale of ancient China and a celebration of culture, honor and the fighting spirit, Oct. 24 to Nov. 1. Beginning Dec. 5,Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer features songs from the television classic.Taft Theatre, Fifth and Sycamore streets, downtown. 7:30 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 5 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays. $7-$20. (513) 569-8080, ext. 10, or