The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
Jan23Filed under: Classical Music, Lexington Philharmonic, Music, Singletary Center for the Arts, slide shows; Tagged as: Alvin Chea, Cedric Dent, Claude McKnight, Joey Kibble, Kentucky State University Gospel Ensemble, Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, Mark Kibble and David Thomas, Scott Terrell, Singletary Center for the Arts, Take 6
Here are some photos from Saturday night’s rousing concert by Scott Terrell and the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra with guests the Kentucky State University Gospel Ensemble and Grammy Award-winning vocal group Take 6.
If you want to read more about it, check out Tedrin Blair Lindsay’s review at LexGo.com and Walter Tunis’ take on Take 6 at his blog, The Musical Box.
Transylvania University Theatre’s new rock ‘n’ roll version of Euripides’ 405 B.C. Greek tragedy The Bakkhai is on stage at the Lucille C. Little Theatre through Nov. 13. Click the play button to see a slide show from the production and here to read more about it.
The University of Kentucky Theatre opens its new production of Stephen Currens and David Aldrich’s Gorey Stories, which premiered at UK in the mid-1970s and went all the way to Broadway. Enjoy Angela Baldridge’s photos from the production, above, and read more about the show here.
Aug22Filed under: Music, radio, slide shows; Tagged as: ArtsPlace, Brad Becker, Charles Farmer, Dale Ann Bradley, Ed Commons, Grand Ole Opry, Grascals, Howard’s Creek, International Bluegrass Music Association, J.D. Crowe, James Still, LexArts, Mary Farmer, Red Barn Radio, Rusties and Riddles and Gee-Haw Whimmy-Diddles, Sam Bush, WEKU, Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour, WUKY
There is no actual Red Barn, just like there’s no Grand Ole Opry.
“You create the vision in your mind,” says Ed Commons, producer and director of Red Barn Radio, the Bluegrass radio showcase heard each week at 9 p.m. Saturdays on WEKU-FM 88.9 and 11 p.m. Saturdays on WUKY-FM 91.3. “You can imagine about the music. You hear the interviews and the people. It’s a place people would like to have grown up, a place they would like to go in their hectic lives today where we’re just a little kick back, and you can hear music of another time.”
And its a place that is recreated most Wednesday nights at ArtsPlace in Downtown Lexington.
There, in the theater behind the gallery and offices of LexArts, Commons, host Brad Becker and the rest of the Red Barn crew gather to put on a radio show that brings in Bluegrass musicians from emerging artists to established stars such as this week’s guest, Dale Ann Bradley, three-time International Bluegrass Music Association female vocalist of the year.
Early Wednesday evening a banner hangs over the Church Street side door of ArtsPlace directing guests up a short flight of stairs into the theater where the show is recorded.
A pair of folding tables is set up with CDs from some of the show’s artists, swag from the radio stations, pizza from show sponsor Dominos and coffee.
Within a whiff of the pizza, Becker chats with Charles and Mary Farmer, a couple that drives up from Stanton four or five times a year for Red Barn tapings.
“It’s a fun evening’s entertainment,” Charles says. “And for $5, what more can you ask for.”
Unlike its rootsy-radio sibling, Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour, which tapes Monday nights at the Kentucky Theatre, Red Barn doesn’t try to record a show in real time. The artists play several sections of four-to-six songs, and they take a couple breaks for Becker to conduct interviews. Commons will later splice the parts together to form a 59-minute show.
“We call the live show ‘gathering our assets,’” Commons says. “We try to gather a minimum of 40 minutes of music recorded, Brad does a couple interviews, and we also do a live give-away each week for our audience.”
Jul30Filed under: Musicals, Paragon Music Theatre, slide shows, Theater; Tagged as: Addyson Bell, Audrey Zahn, Caroline Keegan, Cyndi Ackley, Evan Pulliam, Greg Wilson, Henry Zahn, Jacob Karnes, Kurtis Brown, Lisa Braswell, Mike Van Zant, Paragon Music Theatre, Sophia Cooper, Stephanie Wier, Sydney Steele, The Sound of Music, Tom Hayward
Paragon Music Theatre offers up its first ever full production at the Lexington Opera House in the summertime with The Sound of Music, July 30-Aug. 1 and Aug. 6-8. Click the arrows above to see our photos from the show, and click here to read more about the show’s star, Sydney Steele.
Slideshow photos by Mark Cornelison | Herald-Leader
Many people spend their days in downtown Lexington offices crunching numbers, manipulating the English language and engaging in strategy sessions. The folks at Lexington Children’s Theatre solve problems like how to turn an actor into a blueberry and make pink squirrels come to life on stage.
“Even in my job, where I spend most of my days writing checks, people will come ask me to help build a blueberry, and then I’ve spent half an hour working on a blueberry,” says Lesley Farmer, managing director at the Children’s Theatre.
Resident designer and costume director Eric Abele says, “I absolutely love to talk about my job on Facebook because I get to say, ‘Today, I reinforced blue hammers for pink squirrels, and I have the coolest job in the world,’ because I do.”
These days, the Children’s Theatre staff has put the coolness into overdrive in preparing for its ninth annual summer family musical: Willy Wonka.
Although the Children’s Theatre and Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory have been around for decades, this is the first time the two have met in a full-blown LCT production.
A big reason, co-director Jeremy Kisling says, is the many challenges that Dahl’s story presents to a stage adaptation.
True, there have been two movies, the latest being the 2005 Tim Burton version, which took full advantage of current CGI technology. But tricks like turning an actor into a blueberry — which happens to Violet, one of the five children touring the factory, when she chews gum she isn’t supposed to — on film is far different from doing the same thing on stage.
“It needed to be quick, it needed to be easy for someone to manipulate, it needed to appear out of nowhere, it needed to go away really quickly and it needed to be huge,” Abele says. “So we actually had a lot of meetings to determine what this thing could actually be, and the thing we came upon was the idea of a paper lantern.”
Jul22Filed under: Music, Musicals, Rent notebook, slide shows, SummerFest, Theater; Tagged as: Andrea Johnson, Beth Kovarik, Carleigh Griffeth, Casey Mather, Chip Becker, Emanuel Williams, Jessica Lucas, Johnny Dawson, Katie Berger, KCTC SummerFest, Nick Vannoy, Rent, Sharonda Piersall, SummerFest, Thomas Gibbs
SummerFest closes out the 2010 season with Rent, through July 25. Given the show’s stature in recent theater history and this being the first locally-produced version of it, we’ve been giving it some extensive coverage, so here’s a little Rent reader:
For the cast of SummerFest‘s production of Rent, this week is the culmination of a journey that, for many, started the first weekend of the year. For numerous performers, it’s also the fulfillment of a long-held dream to play the characters and sing the songs from a show that, to them, is much more than a ground-breaking and award-winning musical. Click play, above, to hear and see more.
With the men in high collars and tailcoats and women in long dresses, this summer night has the air of an aristocratic garden party in the Arboretum.
That’s close to what is happening onstage in SummerFest’s production of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, which runs through Sunday night. But backstage, where we are, its much more of a variety show, from card den to track meet to tailor shop to knitting circle, all played out with the hush of a library.
Backstage at the annual outdoor summer theater festival is quite different from a traditional theater, folks involved with the festival say, and not just because of the bugs and the heat.
“It’s much more communal,” says Tim Hull, who plays several roles in Pride and Prejudice. “In most theaters, everyone is off in their dressing rooms backstage and you don’t see a lot of each other. Here, we’re all out in this space, and we sort of have to stay in it.”
When offstage, the actors have to stay in a fairly confined area directly behind the stage. Otherwise, the audience might see Tom Phillips (Mr. Darcy), making funny faces at microphone technician Kim Dixon; or Stephanie Peniston (Lady Catherine) not wearing her gray wig and working a crossword puzzle.
If you were wondering if those jackets and complicated shirts are hot on the men, yes they are. Read the rest of this entry »
Jul14Filed under: slide shows, SummerFest, Theater; Tagged as: Annie Barbera, Avery Wigglesworth, Drew Davidson, Ellie Clark, Erin Cutler, G.B. Dixon, Holly Brady, Jane Austen, Jon Jory, Pride and Prejudice, Sarah Levy, Stephanie Peniston, SummerFest, Tim Hull, Tom Phillips, Trish Clark, Vanessa Becker, Walter Tunis
Rains Tuesday delayed construction on the set for SummerFest’s Pride and Prejudice‘s. But crews – including cast members from other SummerFest shows – worked through the night and Jon Jory’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic is set to open under clear skies tonight.
Read more: SummerFest’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ has a real mother-daughter act
Read more: SummerFest’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ has a real mother-daughter act
Read more: SummerFest’s Pride and Prejudice a real mother-daughter act
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