The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
It’s just a jump down to Buster’s Billiards and Backroom on Oct. 30 and 31 to see SummerFest’s production of The Rock Horror Show a couple more times.
The outdoor summer theater fest presented the stage version of the iconic show July 21, 22 and 24 at the Arboretum on Alumni Drive, but lost performances the 23rd and 25th due to rain. That will not be a factor inside Buster’s, where a concert version of the show will go on at 9:30 each night. The Sunday, Oct. 30 show will be an all ages performance.
Tedrin Blair Lindsay gave the summer production a rave review in the Herald-Leader:
The cast is superb. Their singing is on a much higher level than this rock musical usually obtains, and they all create complex characterizations that go beyond the usual campy exhibitionism. It takes real bravery to explore brazen sexuality in front of an audience, and the whole company is to be commended for confronting this difficult material in such a way as to make it meaningful rather than tawdry.
The Johnson Brothers Band, which provided the music for the SummerFest show, was not available for this production so area rockers Chico Fellini will step in. Tickets are on sale for the production now.
In other Kentucky Conservatory Theatre/SummerFest news, Rocky Horror director Wes Nelson has been named as the new general manager for the organization. He succeeds Martha Campbell, who served for a year as interim director following the departure of Joe Cannon Artz in 2010. Nelson comes to SummerFest after work at Jenny Wiley Theatre in Prestonsburg and The Woodford Theatre, where he will direct Scrooge! The Musical! in December. Nelson is currently producing SummerFest’s first-ever indoor, school-year production, August: Osage County, which runs Oct. 13 to 23 at the Downtown Arts Center.
ESPN is no longer ready for some Hank Williams Jr. on Monday Night Football after his ill-advised Hitler play on Fox and Friends Monday morning. That has sparked a new scrimmage over free speech and political correctness.
It is also the latest reminder that invoking the names Hitler or Nazis really takes rhetoric to new, ugly levels.
Williams, whose politics are no secret, was invited on the Fox News morning show to assess the GOP Presidential primary field. He said he didn’t like any of the current candidates and expressed a particular distaste for efforts at bipartisanship, even in a friendly game of golf.
“You remember the golf game they had, ladies and gentlemen? Remember the golf game?” Williams said, referring to the June round of golf Democratic President Barack Obama and Vice-president Joe Biden played with Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner and Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich at the height of last summer’s debt ceiling debate. “That was one of the biggest political mistakes ever. That turned a lot of people off.”
Asked why, Williams said, ”It’d be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu,” referring to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It was a comment that even seemed to startle the conservative Fox hosts.
Some people have correctly pointed out that at that moment, Williams did not say President Obama was like Hitler. But toward the end of the interview, co-host Gretchen Carlson pointed out that Williams had just compared Obama to “one of the most hated people in all of the world to describe, I think, the President,” and Williams replied, “Well that’s true. But I’m telling you like it is.”
ESPN quickly replied, ”While Hank Williams Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to Monday Night Football. We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight’s telecast.”
ESPN did not say weather Bocephus’ signature All My Rowdy Friends opening has merely been benched or kicked off the MNF team, but it was pulled from Monday night’s broadcast.
Like we said, Hank’s politics are well known. He campaigned with Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin in 2008 and gave crowds plenty of red meat in his stage patter and songs, warming up for the then-Alaska Governor. So if Hank being an outspoken Republican was a turn off too you, you’ve had plenty of notice.
But Monday, in what was a rambling an incoherent commentary, Williams made the same mistake people on the left and right constantly make and never learn from: making comparisons to Hitler and Nazis.
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