The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
Feb24Filed under: Bluegrass Community and Technical College, comedy, Downtown Arts Center, slide shows, Theater; Tagged as: Allie Darden, Beth Kander, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Downtown Arts Center, Kathy Swango, Katie Jo Cox, Leah Dick, Philip Sharkey, See Jane Quit, Tim X. Davis, Zach Dearing
Beth Kander takes fellow playwright William Shakespeare’s quote that “all the world’s a stage” one step further.
“In the world of the stage, it’s a really small world,” Kander says.
And that helps explain why her play See Jane Quit, which won the 2008 Mississippi Theatre Association Playwriting Award, is having its world premiere in Central Kentucky.
Kander’s boyfriend is old pals with Tim X Davis, director of the theater program at Bluegrass Community and Technical College. Recently they were visiting, renewing an old acquaintance that started when they met directing theater in Biloxi, and Kander mentioned that she wrote plays.
Davis says, “Almost as an afterthought, I said, ‘Well I’m always looking for new scripts. Why don’t you send me something?’”
Kander sent two scripts, and one of them, See Jane Quit, immediately clicked with Davis.
BCTC’s production opens Feb. 25 and will continue through March 6.
It is the second world premiere for the young BCTC theater program, which presented the world premiere of Davis’ Dancing With Dani in 2008. It’s also the second world premiere by a Lexington college theater troupe in less than a month; University of Kentucky Theatre just presented the initial production of Aleks Merilo’s Blur in the Rear View.
BCTC student Leah Dick, who plays the title role in See Jane Quit, says, “I’m really excited being able to set a precedent for other people to follow.”
Veteran Lexington actor Allie Darden, who plays Jane’s best friend, says, “So many times, you go out to audition for that great play like Steel Magnolias, and then you get a role that was made famous by some great actress and you think, ‘I couldn’t possibly do as well as they did it.’
“In a world premiere, you birth it. It’s your part.”
Adding to the excitement of presenting a world premiere is that next weekend’s performances are during the Southeastern Theatre Conference, which will bring more than 4,000 theater professionals and serious amateurs to Lexington from Thursday to Saturday.
Sometimes I have to remind my 42-year-old self that Tobymac is three years and a month older than me. To this day, no one is bringing hip hop — which dominates mainstream pop — to the Christian market with as much authority as T-Mac, and by doing that, he earns legions of fans less than half his age.
But Tonight, his fourth studio effort since parting with dctalk, is a bigger reminder that he and I hail from the eight-track era. That’s because on Tonight he brings the funk and a lot of soul, all echoing from those old record stores in the mall and radio stations with smooth talking DJs.
Funky Jesus Music is a delirious throwback to the days when someone could say the title without a bit of a giggle, with support from Beckah Shae and Siti Monroe and funky staccato guitar licks. Wonderin’, with Relient K frontman Matt Thiessen, delivers some sweet harmonies from two of the biggest names in Christian pop, and Start Somewhere and Break Open the Sky, with Israel Houghton, are ska and Island inflected pleasures near the end of the album.
Of course, Toby is always up to date. Hold On has an old soul feel, but also incorporates vocoder effect that is inescapable in hip hop these days. And this album has its fair share of straight up arenaburners like ShowStopper, which stands up with the best anthemic jams in his catalog like Extreme Days and Boomin‘. After well-over two decades in music, T-Mac knows what his audience, particularly the live audience, wants. But he also gives listeners something new on each album, and on this one, he’s giving us a sample of where he came from.
About Rich Copley & Copious Notes
Raised by opera-loving parents in a rock ’n’ roll world, Rich Copley has parlayed his broad interests into his career writing about arts and entertainment. Since 1998, he has covered performing arts, film and faith-based popular culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader, the daily newspaper in Lexington, Ky. MORE | E-mail Rich