Flashback: When ‘Seabiscuit’ filmed at Keeneland

Jockey Gary Stevens,playing the roll of jockey Tom Woolf, riding Seabiscuit crosses the finish line after defeating War Admiral durning the last day of the filming of "Seabiscuit" that took place today, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2002 at Keeneland Race Track in Lexington, Kentucky. Herald-Leader staff photos by Frank Anderson.

Jockey Gary Stevens,playing the roll of jockey Tom Woolf, riding Seabiscuit crosses the finish line after defeating War Admiral durning the last day of the filming of “Seabiscuit” that took place today, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2002 at Keeneland Race Track in Lexington, Kentucky. Herald-Leader staff photo by Frank Anderson.

Click here for a photo gallery from when Seabiscuit filmed at Keeneland.

The Kentucky Theatre will screen the Oscar-nominated Seabiscuit at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday night as part of Breeders’ Cup Festival activities. Quite a bit of the movie was filmed here in Central Kentucky, including the reenactment of the historic 1938 match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral, which brought more than 4,000 extras out to Keeneland on a cold, November Sunday afternoon. Here’s our story from that shoot on November 17, 2002:

In L.A., the crowd would have been gone.

“No one would have shown up in the cold,” to be an unpaid extra, Seabiscuit executive producer Allison Thomas said yesterday.

But Lexington isn’t Los Angeles.

“These people are amazing. Kentucky went all out for this,” crowd coordinator Cash Oshman said yesterday as he surveyed the scene at Keeneland.

“You can tell how much love they have for their state and for horse racing.”

More than 4,200 people turned out to be unpaid extras in one of the movie’s climactic scenes, a match race between underdog Seabiscuit and Triple Crown winner War Admiral.

A Maryland Flag fies over the tote board, with a Pimlico sign on it. The changes were for the filming of "Seabiscuit", a movie about the famous race horse and the match race that he defeated War Admiral in Nov. 1938. Today, Sunday, Nov. 17 was the last day of the filming at Keeneland Race Track in Lexington, Kentucky.

A Maryland Flag fies over the tote board, with a Pimlico sign on it. The changes were for the filming of “Seabiscuit” at Keeneland.

The race actually took place at Maryland’s Pimlico Race Course Nov. 1, 1938. To portray it, Keeneland was redone to look like Pimlico, complete with the Maryland flag snapping over the old-fashioned tote board.

The movie is based on Laura Hillenbrand’s best-selling non-fiction book.

Though none of the book takes place in Kentucky, the moviemakers came here for the Bluegrass’ natural beauty and Keeneland’s retro feel. After two weeks of filming which ends today, Thomas says they made the right call.

“I’m now the No. 1 tourism booster for Lexington, Ky.” she said. “This is the most beautiful state. Everyone is so friendly, and the fall color is gorgeous. I’m going home to asphalt and traffic and billboards and I’m kind of sad to leave.”

Despite the rain and cold late in the shoot, and thunderstorms which swept through Keeneland last Sunday, Thomas said she felt like “the weather Gods smiled on us.

“There was a threat of tornadoes and that never happened, and they were predicting rain today and it turned out it was just cold.”

Mary Jo Billitter of Lexington mused that people in Lexington will brave the elements for UK football games, concert tickets and primo seats at UK basketball’s Midnight Madness. Why not do it for a major Hollywood movie?

Todd Hartlage, of Lexington was a extra durning the last day of the filming of "Seabiscuit", that took place today, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2002 at Keeneland Race Track in Lexington, Kentucky.

Todd Hartlage, of Lexington was a extra durning the last day of the filming of “Seabiscuit.”

“Nothing much happens here, so this was a chance to be part of something pretty big,” 17-year-old Todd Hartlage of Lexington said, explaining why he came out and stayed.

Hartlage, like many of the extras, was wearing an ensemble, with flowery bow tie, that he had assembled from his father’s and grandfather’s closets.

Billitter had a thick mouton fur that her mother had bought at Seligman’s Furs of Louisville in the 1930s.

Some people ended up sporting two coats after they got checked out by wardrobe people.
Two women went through the crowd checking people’s looks. Most frequently, they were asking women with their hair down to put it up under free prop fedoras, one of the perks of being an unpaid extra. They were also scoping out bright colors and clothing that wasn’t appropriate to the period. People with non-period coats were given overcoats from two racks of coats.

“We’re trying to keep a muted, dark palate and eliminate bright colors that might distract the audience,” said a wardrobe woman, who declined to give her name. “We did not have the time or facilities to do period appropriate makeup and hair for women, so we just had to turn them into men.”

It may have been a disappointment to some people who got gussied up like it was Derby Day, but the wardrobe woman said that most people understood.

After being cleared by wardrobe, extras went to the set where they repeatedly cheered the horses as they raced to the finish line.

Jockeys Chris McCarron and Gary Stevens raced their horses down the stretch (McCarron on War Admiral, Stevens on Seabiscuit) toward the finish line, Seabiscuit the preordained winner.

“To see McCarron and Stevens on these beautiful horses was great,” said Sue Woodford, 61, of Paris. “We were right on the rail for the last scene.”

Unlike regular Keeneland meets, spectators stood on the turf track and swarmed the rail as the horses finished.

“That was pretty wild,” said Kim Temple, 38, of Dayton. “If you read the description in the book, it felt like you were right there.”

Lucy Marlatt, of Lousville, Ky. was a extra on the last day of the filming of "Seabiscuit", that took place today, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2002 at Keeneland Race Track in Lexington, Kentucky.

Lucy Marlatt, of Lousville, Ky. was a extra on the last day of the filming of “Seabiscuit.”

In between takes, extras had free snacks and coffee to try to keep warm.

Dante, an actor and stand up comic, conducted raffles and directed traffic from his cold perch on a tower at the finish line.

“I usually say this and don’t mean it, but this time I mean it, you are the best crowd ever on a movie set,” Dante told the extras, drawing a big cheer.

In one contest, Dante threw out a challenge to name all 50 states quicker than him. His time of 27 seconds was bested by Andrew Campbell, 28, who rattled off all 50 in 18 seconds, sounding like a Keeneland auctioneer.

Most of the unpaid extras had signed up at a Web site called beinamovie.com.

“I checked my e-mail this morning and we had 19 messages from Seabiscuit,” said Larry Dyer, who was at Keeneland with his wife, Nadine. “They communicate better than AT&T.”

For some, it was a second encounter with the movie.

Woodford was a paid extra earlier, even though she won’t be seen on film. She was part of the choir at the First Presbyterian Church in Paris, where Seabiscuit filmed early in the month.

“They only used our voices,” she said. “We got paid, and we didn’t even make it to the cutting room floor.”

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The Suffers Breeders’ Cup Festival show moved to Lyric Theatre

The Suffers will perform at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center on Oct. 27, 2015, as part of the Breeders' Cup Festival. Photo courtesy of The Suffers.

The Suffers will perform at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center on Oct. 27, 2015, as part of the Breeders’ Cup Festival. Photo courtesy of The Suffers.

Tonight’s Breeders’ Cup Festival performance by The Suffers, a Gulf Coast soul act out of Houston, has been moved from the courthouse plaza to the Lyric Theatre, due to rain.

The band is part of a lineup of headlining acts scheduled for the courthouse plaza through the week. Monday’s concert by Tee Dee Young and Ben Lacy went off under sprinkles, but attracted a few hundred people to hear the local guitar titans. But a steady rain has fallen all day Tuesday, and meteorologist Chris Bailey says the rain and wind will increase Tuesday night.

Showtime is 8 p.m., admission is free and seating is open.

Wednesday evening’s concert featuring bluegrass stars Town Mountain is still slated to go on at the Courthouse, as planned.

Also, tonight’s 7:30 p.m. performance by Ralph Curtis and The Nashville Imposters slated for the Cheapside Pavilion will go on as scheduled. The Pavilion does have covered areas to watch the show.

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Jordan Smith goes to live competition on ‘The Voice’


Harlan County native Jordan Smith survived the third round on The Voice and is moving on to live competition.

Both times Smith was in competitive rounds, coach Adam Levine declared him the winner, and his opponent was stolen by another coach. This time, it was coach Gwen Steffani, who took  competitor Viktor Király, a 31-year-old Hungarian singer who has already had a professional career. He gave Levine a tough decision with his performance of Alicia Keys’ If I Ain’t Got You.

But while coaches thought Király was fantastic, they regard Smith, who sang Adele’s Set Fire to the Rain, as other worldly.

Coach Blake Shelton told Király, “your only problem is you’re up against Jordan.”

Levine, in rendering his decision, told Smith that the coaches had taken to calling him “The Unicorn,” because, “it’s a profound experience to hear you sing.”

Guest coach Rihanna was also knocked out by Smith’s voice and encouraged him to be more physical in his performance, which he did, striking some dramatic poses in the song he said he identified with as it addresses issues of self image.

Now, consider this. Not only has Jordan beaten two competitors who got stolen, he advanced to the live rounds singing Sia, Sam Smith and Adele — three of the most revered and challenging pop singers recording today.

Of course, a lot of us suspected that when Smith took a semester off from his senior year at Lee University that things had gone well for him during The Voice recorded rounds. Now it’s live, and up to the viewers.

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Laura Bell Bundy has heart surgery

Lexington native Laura Bell Bundy underwent heart surgery earlier this week to repair a ventricular septal defect, essentially a hole in her heart.

Laura Bell Bundy in a post-surgery photo she posted on Facebook and Instagram.

Laura Bell Bundy in a post-surgery photo she posted on Facebook and Instagram.

On Facebook and Instagram, the Tony Award-nominated singer and actress posted, “Mission Accomplished! Many thanks to the illustrious Dr. Zahn, technology & the congenital heart team at Cedars Sinai for patching up the hole in my heart yesterday. Now my engine will run more efficiently!”

Bundy has been very open about her condition and last year joined the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign to help raise awareness of heart disease. In a February interview with the Herald-Leader, she said she had been able to maintain an active life without surgery. But she said that doctors at the University of Kentucky’s Gill Heart Institute had told her that she was going to need surgery soon. Bundy, who travels extensively, had been under the care of doctors at UK and Cedars Sinai, and said she received even more help once she connected with the American Heart Association.

“I have relied on the American Heart Association for best doctors, best surgeons, and it has really made me invested in the cause and how it affects women,” Bundy said. “Last year, it was the No. 1 killer among women … and women just kind of ignore it and think they’re getting stressed out or having a hot flash, and it’s really a heart attack. So educating women is really important to me.”

Post surgery, Bundy said she is taking it easy.

“I’m at home resting and catching up on Scandal now,” she posted.

But, according to her aunt, Tanya Bell, Bundy will be in Lexington next week for the Breeders’ Cup and is slated to perform in Maysville Nov. 6 for the Star Spangled Celebration at Maysville Community and Technical College. She will be performing at the veterans’ celebration in honor of her grandfather, Wayne Bell, who died in April.

Bundy is a celebrity ambassador for the Breeders’ Cup along with other stars such as supermodel Kate Upton and chef Bobby Flay, who will also be in Lexington next weekend when the event is held at Keeneland for the first time.

Despite the health concerns, Bundy has shown no signs of slowing down this year. She has a new album, Another Piece of Meis working on a new TV series for ABC Family, Recovery Road; and has launched a new YouTube Channel, Skits-O-Frenic.

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Notebook: Lexington Philharmonic with Time for Three

Time for Three are Zach De Pue, Ranaan Meyer and Nick Kendall. Photo by LeAnn Mueller.

Time for Three are Zach De Pue, Ranaan Meyer and Nick Kendall. Photo by LeAnn Mueller.

Between the second and the third portion of Time for Three‘s main performance with the Lexington Philharmonic Friday , violinist Nick Kendall leaned forward and said something to the first few rows that was hard to understand. But it did sound like he used the word “fun.”

Now there’s a word you don’t often hear associated with orchestral music, a genre dogged with a staid, academic reputation; the “eat your vegetables” of music.

Orchestras have done a lot of things over the past few decades attempting to attract younger audiences.

They have had casual concerts, concerts of rock song transcriptions, tweeting sections at concerts, concerts that seem more like wine tastings, promotional campaigns that tell you classical music is good for you (eat your veggies) and gimmick after misguided gimmick.

The Lexington Philharmonic has, thankfully, avoided a lot of these. But Friday night, the orchestra offered up what is probably the best strategy for growing audiences in the 21st century: a program of relevant music performed by skilled, passionate musicians in an inviting atmosphere.

The Philharmonic took the stage casually dressed in black — no white tie and tails — surrounded by some unusual objects for a classical concert, including a drum kit, to welcome Time for Three, a classically-trained trio of two violinists and a bassist who all intentionally forgot what genres are.

Music director Scott Terrell, who introduced this group to Lexington in 2012, put together a concert of early century American music, meaning early 20th century in the first half (Aaron Copland’s Our Town and George Gershwin’s Catfish Row, Symphonic Suite from “Porgy and Bess”) and 21st century with Chris Brubeck’s Travels in Time for Three, and a little encore from Mumford and Sons (Little Lion Man).

It was an illuminating pairing, amplifying the cultural appropriation that has been going on in music composition for … forever and distinctly American sounds that have come to define our music. It was easy to hear the Copland from the first part of the concert echo in the final measures of Suspended Bliss, the third movement of Brubeck’s Travels in Time for Three.

In the pre-concert chat, the group said the piece was written as a sort of time capsule through American music. What it did best in the hands of Time for Three, drummer Matthew Scarano, Terrell and the orchestra was bring out a collaborative spirit we most commonly associate with jazz, bluegrass and chamber music. At one point in the spirited second part, Irish Folk, Odd Times, Kendall and fellow violinist Zach De Pue looked like they were about to climb over bassist Ranaan Meyer as they traded phrases. And Meyer had his own moments in the spotlight, including as engaging a bass solo as you will hear. (For more stuff from Meyer, check out YouTube for his performance of the national anthem, on double bass, at a Philadelphia Phillies game.)

It was a night for solos, particularly in the Porgy and Bess suite. Early in the work, pianist Ryan Shirar dove into an improvisational solo and Terrell leaned back on the podium as if to say, “Go Ryan.” It was one of several moments Terrell, who looked like he was having a really good time, did that in this loose concert. A number of other orchestra members had distinctive solo turns in Porgy, and next month’s concert will serve to highlight Philharmonic musicians in an even brighter spotlight.

Was Friday’s concert perfect? No. Particularly in the first portion of the Brubeck, Thematic Ride, the orchestra and Time for Three, which was amplified, struggled to find a balance. There, and in some portions of the Gershwin, it seemed as if Terrell needed to keep a bit more of a lid on the Philharmonic.

But perfection is overrated, and really not necessary when you have an exuberant evening like this. Kendall was emblematic of the show, making you forget he had a score in front of him as he played to the audience, the orchestra and Terrell. Far from a time capsule, it was an evening that was fresh and modern, and if more orchestra concerts were like this, there would be a lot less fraught discussion about how orchestras can attract younger audiences.

It was hard to tell what Kendall said to the crowd Friday, but if it was “fun” he would have been right.

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Jordan Smith’s battle round on ‘The Voice’ went according to plan

Regina Love and Jordan Smith prepare for their battle round on "The Voice" with coach Adam Levine. NBC photo by Tyler Golden.

Regina Love and Jordan Smith prepare for their battle round on “The Voice” with coach Adam Levine. NBC photo by Tyler Golden.

Jordan Smith and Regina Love: Competitors? Collaborators? Conspirators?

A few days after his battle round aired on The VoiceSmith took a few minutes to reflect with us on his and Love’s performance of Sam Smith’s Like I Canwhich raised the studio roof and the blood pressure of coach Adam Levine when he had to choose between the two singers.

That’s the way Smith and Love wanted it.

“We had a meeting where Adam told us who our battle round partners were,” Smith, a Coldiron resident, said. When he found he was partnered with Love,  an Atlanta-based singer with a powerful voice who has worked as a recording and touring artist before, “I was intimidated and I was super excited. Most of all, I knew we were going to do something special.

“We spent a lot of personal time together, and honestly we became really great friends. We have similar beliefs and come from similar backgrounds. We prayed together a number of times.”

And they had a goal, which they realized they achieved when Levine said, after their performance, he was starting to feel dumb for putting the two powerhouses together.

“We wanted it to feel like a mistake,” Smith said. “We wanted to make it so that the coaches had no excuses to get rid of either one of us.”

The steal is in play in the battle round, meaning each coach can take a certain number of singers other coaches cast off.

And that’s how it went down. Levine declared Smith the winner. As he hugged Love, Smith says he told her, “You got this,” and within a few minutes, coach Gwen Steffani claimed Love for her team.

Next up for both is the knockout round — where singers will perform individually, though competing in pairs — the last of the pre-recorded rounds. They begin airing Oct. 26.

Meanwhile, while waiting for a possible return trip to California, depending on how the knockout round goes (went), Smith has been working as a substitute teacher in his home of Harlan County. The singer, who is taking the semester off from his senior year at Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn., says he has enjoyed teaching at the same schools he went to as a child.

“It feels a little weird to eat lunch with teachers I had,” Smith says. “But I have really enjoyed it.”

And yes, a lot of the kids do know who Smith is. Team Jordan grows.

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Jordan Smith baffles ‘The Voice’ judges in battle round

Harlan County’s Jordan Smith was paired with Atlanta gospel powerhouse Regina Love for the battle round to kick off Monday night’s episode of The VoiceAnd while the well-traveled Love, who toured the world and was once signed to Evander Holyfield’s now defunct record label, was reliably awesome, Smith left the judges baffled.

“Jordan, I don’t know what the hell just came out of you,” judge Blake Shelton said, following Smith and Love’s performance of Sam Smith’s Like I Can. “It doesn’t make any sense to me. Your voice is like from another planet.”

“I don’t understand you,” Gwen Steffani added. “You’re just so unexpected. That’s what turns me on. It’s like, ‘Wow.'”

But Smith and Love were on Adam Levine’s team, and he had to cut one of them loose.

“I don’t know if anyone could have handled singing with Regina, except for you, Jordan,” Levine said. “I think you both deserve to be in this competition, and I’m starting to feel dumb for putting you together.”

Ultimately, Levine kept Smith, saying, “Jordan can win The Voice, I have no doubt in my mind.”

But this story does have a happy ending, because the steal is in play, and Steffani used the option to grab Love for her team.

Smith will next compete on Levine’s team in the knockout round.

Here’s a look at our interview with Smith from late last month:

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Luke Bryan concert traffic snafu makes a case for city oversight

Traffic backed up for eight miles on Tates Creek Road as 20,000 fans made their way to the Luke Bryan Farm Tour. The Luke Bryan Farm Tour came to Talon Winery on Tates Creek Road in Lexington, Kentucky, on Oct. 6, 2015. It was originally scheduled for Oct. 1, but was postponed due to rain. Herald-Leader photo by Rich Copley| rcopley@herald-leader.com.

Traffic backed up for eight miles on Tates Creek Road as 20,000 fans made their way to the Luke Bryan Farm Tour. The Luke Bryan Farm Tour came to Talon Winery on Tates Creek Road in Lexington, Kentucky, on Oct. 6, 2015. It was originally scheduled for Oct. 1, but was postponed due to rain. Herald-Leader photo by Rich Copley| rcopley@herald-leader.com.

It’s probably safe to say Tuesday night’s traffic fiasco surrounding the Luke Bryan Farm Tour at Talon Winery and Vineyards was not the way Lexington officials wanted to start a month of major events in our fair city.

Traffic backed up for eight miles on Tates Creek Road, Lexington Police told the Herald-Leader. Fans waited in that quagmire for three to five hours, many reaching the concert site as Bryan was already several songs into his set — despite tweeted promises to hold off until everyone was in.

I was right there with them, heading to the show to take photos for the paper. I departed downtown Lexington at 4 p.m. and arrived at the Talon gate just after 9. And the backup happened in reverse too, as the last fans did not depart Talon until 4:10 the next morning.

Like many, I was wondering why the wait was so long; why traffic sat at a standstill for long stretches of time. Was there an accident ahead? Was loading people into the event site harder than police and organizers expected? The latter came to mind recalling the 2004 Ichthus Festival, when traffic to the Wilmore festival site on Harrodsburg Road backed up to Southland Christian Church because, after several days of rain, vehicles were pulling into the grassy site and sinking into the mud.

In a way, it would have been more excusable if one of those situations or another was in play. But no, as Lexington Police told the paper, it was simply the volume of traffic being funneled down a two-lane country road into an event site with one entrance.

By my observation, they were pulling people in as fast as they could, and even stopped collecting the $10 parking fee to keep things moving. It was just too much traffic, police said.

Now, any reasonable person expects traffic when heading to events attended by tens of thousands of people. In 24 years of arts and entertainment journalism, I have sat in more than my fair share (especially after Tuesday) of event-related traffic. Most backups have been in the 30 minute to an hour range.

Short of an unexpected event such as an accident or severe weather, that should be about as long as event traffic requires of attendees. Four- and five-hour, mile-long backups indicate a failure to plan and/or adequately assess the situation.

Reporting Tuesday’s concert in advance, we were told by Talon Winery that Bryan’s people had been presenting the Farm Tour for years and had a solid plan. And Lexington Police said there was a plan in place for moving the traffic. (In a way, it is a shame that Talon’s reputation is taking such a hit because of this; because it is a lovely venue I have enjoyed going to for other events.)

One thing that surprised even me in the follow-up reporting was that the Tuesday concert did not require city approval. A lot of people, myself included, had been under a presumption that if you presented an event expected to attract that many people, a permit of some sort was needed; someone would take a look at the situation and assess the practicality and safety of that plan.

But apparently no, that rule only applies to events downtown. But Thursday, council voted unanimously to explore regulating traffic for large events countywide, as they should.
Yes, most farms and venues such as Talon Winery are on private property, and the owners have a right to do what they want on them. But the public has to be taken into consideration, too. It’s one of those, your rights end at the tip of my nose scenarios.

Far more than Bryan fans were affected by Tuesday’s traffic. Residents and businesses up and down Tates Creek Road were affected, some folks waiting hours to complete commutes home that usually took minutes. This is a case where it seems a few expert eyes may have been able to look at the plan for this event and said, “This isn’t a good idea.”

We have some other events coming up this month that will draw large crowds: Thursday evening’s University of Kentucky Football game against Auburn at Commonwealth Stadium, in the mix of daily school and commuter traffic, and the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland on Oct. 30 and 31.

I am really not expecting another Bryan-like fiasco for several reasons:

■ These are venues used to handling large crowds, whereas Talon Winery hadn’t hosted an event that large.
■ There are far more points of access and parking options at these venues than Talon, which has one way to get there. Basically, they have the infrastructure to handle the crowds.
■ Locals are used to these venues and having to maneuver around them.
We should expect that, with a reasonable wait, fans will be able to get in and out of these events without inordinate waits in traffic.

My real concern with the football game is traffic during the day, as UK students who normally park in tailgating areas around Commonwealth Stadium are being forced to park at satellite lots and shuttle in. That’s a crummy thing to do to your tuition-paying students.

The broader concern is what can be done with events where large crowds are being drawn to venues not accustomed to handling that kind of load, which is becoming more common.

A more active and vibrant city is a wonderful thing. Lots of events that draw big crowds is great. Without the traffic jam, the Luke Bryan Farm Tour could have been fantastic; I was really looking forward to getting out there in time to enjoy some of the food and festivities before the show, as were many people stuck with me.

There just needs to be a better logistical plan than hoping for the best.

 

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While you were having a weekend … Oct. 5

Jason Isbell on stage at Rupp Arena, opening for the Avett Brothers, on Oct. 1, 2015. Photo by Paul Hooper | Lexington Center

Jason Isbell on stage at Rupp Arena, opening for the Avett Brothers, on Oct. 1, 2015. Photo by Paul Hooper | Lexington Center

If you have had a really good weekend, it probably means you were not glued to your screens keeping up with every news post. You may not have even had time for the paper — though you are going to read it, right?

I totally get that, so in my editorly duty here at le blog, I am going to start posting a little wrap up of our arts and entertainment coverage over the weekend for folks who want to catch up. Here’s the first edition:

The weekend started early with the Avett Brothers and Jason Isbell at Rupp Arena. Walter Tunis wrote in his review that the show had an “inviting hootenanny spirit,” and we got some great photos from our friend Paul Hooper at Lexington Center.

(Yes, there was supposed to be another big show in town that night, but rain forced Luke Bryan to delay his farm tour until Tuesday. And we are really sorry, but in all the activity, we didn’t have anyone to send to the Bela Fleck-Chick Corea show that night at EKU.)

Meanwhile, in North Carolina, the International Bluegrass Music Awards were handed out.

Blog-SnappedOur Snapped! photographers were out at two of this weekend’s highest profile events: the Race for the Cure Saturday morning and tailgating for the UK-EKU football game Saturday night.

Sunday is often preview day in the paper, and some of the things we got a look ahead at were:

~ The University of Kentucky Opera Theatre’s upcoming production of South Pacific, featuring 2013 Miss Kentucky Jenna Day as Nellie Forbush.

~ Lake Street Dive’s Monday night stand at Cosmic Charlie’s.

~ Tom Eblen tells how CentrePit will be prettied up for Breeder’s Cup.

~ And Paul Prather compared and contrasted two faith-based films.

Looking ahead to the coming week, Walter’s Weekender column previews some shows making this week a busy music week, and the annual PRHBTN street art festival gets into full gear.

Before getting fully into the week, here’s a little video preview of South Pacific.

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Trevor Noah brings youthful appeal, familiar feel to ‘The Daily Show’

In this Sept. 25, 2015 image taken from video, Trevor Noah appears on the set of his new show, "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah," in New York. Noah takes over for Jon Stewart on Monday. (AP Photo)

Trevor Noah debuted Monday as host of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Noah tookover for Jon Stewart on Monday. (AP Photo)

A little over halfway through the first segment of Trevor Noah’s debut as host of The Daily Showcorrespondent Jordan Klepper was blurring the line between John Boehner’s departure from the United States Congress and Jon Stewart’s departure from The Daily Show anchor chair.

The desk is different, the font is different, he desperately observed.

But except for those elements and the guy at the desk, Noah’s Daily Show felt a lot like the show Stewart perfected.

And for the majority of the the audience, this was Stewart’s show. I never watched it when Craig Kilborn hosted, and I know few who did. I tuned in when friends started telling me I needed to see what Stewart was doing with The Daily Show as he turned it into an essential part of the national conversation, as well as a great way to end the day with a laugh.

On Monday night, Noah turned in one of the smoothest transition performances we have seen in the numerous late-night debuts in recent years. Even vaunted Daily Show veteran Stephen Colbert has had his awkward moments taking over CBS’ Late Show chair from David Letterman. And Larry Wilmore seemed a bit lost taking over Colbert’s 11:30 p.m. time slot on Comedy Central, until he hit his stride — and he has really hit a stride.

Noah, 31, slid right in, quickly addressing the elephant in the room: that he is not Stewart. The native South African said he never dreamed he would have an indoor toilet or the Daily Show gig, and he said he was comfortable with one of those. He joked that some of the audience might fret that Stewart was like a crazy uncle who left his inheritance to some kid from Africa. He then went on to dissect the news, using a familiar Daily Show trick of appearing to go into something heavy (Syria) before switching to a sunnier subject (the Pope in America). But he then transitioned into Boehner’s departure, delivering a number of zingers.

The next segment was a quickie about the discovery of flowing water on Mars, in which Noah joked that someday, flowing water will be found in fire-ravaged California. The inaugural interview of the Noah era was with Kevin Hart (at Rupp Arena, next week) who did most of the work in that segment.

The debut ended with another Daily Show staple, the “Moment of Zen.” You could argue Noah should have come up with his own “outro.” But the clip, Boehner’s predecessor Nancy Pelosi left speechless when asked whether she will miss her successor, was a winner.

And Noah was a winning host — smooth, affable, sharp — and he brought a younger perspective to the show, as in a segment about Pope emojis.

Over time, naturally and by necessity, Noah will make The Daily Show his own. As much as many of us love Stewart, the show has to move on, although Noah acknowledged that the most important element of the show to many fans when he promised to continue “The war on bulls—.”

As Daily Show host, Stewart became more than just a comedian hosting a late-night show. He became a trusted voice. And that is something you can’t do in one show. It requires time, consistency, and navigating some rough patches in our world, as Stewart did from 9/11 to the Charleston shootings.

But Noah is off to a good start.

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