Locally made film ‘Proud Citizen’ comes home, with honors in tow

Katerina Stoykova-Klemerin a scene filmed in Thoroughbred Park for the movie "Proud Citizen," which has its Lexington premiere Jan. 15, 2015 at the Kentucky Theatre. Photo by Thom Southerland.

Katerina Stoykova-Klemerin a scene filmed in Thoroughbred Park for the movie “Proud Citizen,” which has its Lexington premiere Jan. 15, 2015 at the Kentucky Theatre. Photo by Thom Southerland.

Katerina Stoykova-Klemer is known in the Lexington area for her poetry and her WRFL-FM radio show. But she never acted, until she got the lead in Lexington director Thom Southerland’s latest movie.

It helps that she inspired it.

Katerina Stoykova-Klemer in 'Proud Citizen.'

Katerina Stoykova-Klemer in ‘Proud Citizen.’

“I head Katerina’s voice on the radio on WRFL, on her Friday afternoon show, and I had never met her before,” Southerland recalls. “She was interviewing someone, and I was really taken with her voice and how she was communicating ideas on the radio, and I thought, well if her voice can do that, I wonder if her entire being can do that.”

Eventually, they met by chance, and Southerland and she began creating the story that would become Proud Citizen, which has its Lexington premiere Thursday night at the Kentucky Theatre.

The name comes from Proud Citizen, the 2002 Kentucky Derby runner-up who now stands at Midway’s Airdrie Stud. Stoykova-Klemer’s character meets the Thoroughbred in the movie and Southerland says it seemed fitting for the character’s pride in her home country of Bulgaria.

“He kind of let us play ourselves, for the most part,” Stoykova-Klemer says. “He didn’t put any of us in unnatural roles for ourselves.”

She immigrated to the United States from Bulgaria in 1995, initially working as a software engineer for high-tech companies. Late in the last decade, she earned an MFA in writing from Spalding University and has since published several books of poetry and prose in English and Bulgarian.

Blakeley Burger and Leif Erickson performing the play "Black Coat," a scene from the movie "Proud Citizen," which has its Lexington premiere Jan. 15, 2015 at the Kentucky Theatre.

Blakeley Burger and Leif Erickson performing the play “Black Coat,” a scene from “Proud Citizen.”

The character she and Southerland created is Krasi, a Bulgarian writer who comes in second in a playwriting competition. The winner gets to come to America with his family for a production in New York. Krasi gets to come alone for a production in Kentucky.

“Thom had the idea of seeing Kentucky through the eyes of a visitor,” says Stoykova-Klemer, whose own writing, a dramatic poetry collection called Black Coat, became the play Krasi brought to America.

Southerland is primarily known for documentary work, and while he wanted to create a feature film, he didn’t want to work from a script. So the story and the scenes were outlined, but the dialogue was improvised, which is why he went looking for actors like Stoykova-Klemer, who aren’t necessarily actors.

“I wasn’t necessarily looking for great actors,” Southerland says. “I was looking for people who were intelligent, willing to collaborate and quick witted, quick on their feet.”

Judy Sanders and Katerina Stoykova-Klemerin a scene filmed at Hannah's on Lime for the movie "Proud Citizen," which has its Lexington premiere Jan. 15, 2015 at the Kentucky Theatre.

Judy Sanders and Katerina Stoykova-Klemer in a scene filmed at Hannah’s on Lime for “Proud Citizen.”

The cast includes a number of familiar faces to Lexington theatergoers though, including former Balagula Theatre co-artistic director Ryan Case, theater artists Natalie Cummins, Leif Erickson, Sami Allison (and her 3-year-old son Elliott Moore Haynes), Seattle actress Judy Sanders and Blakeley Burger, who may be best known in Lexington for her violin and fiddle work with groups like the Hollow Bodies.

Most of the film was shot in and around Lexington, though Southerland also had footage shot in Bulgaria by a photojournalist based there when Stoykova-Klemer went to Bulgaria during filming. With a shooting budget of $7,500, which Southerland calls a microbudget for a film, there was no money for international travel, though he says the Bulgarian footage was vital for telling the story.

The film was shot in 2012, assembled in 2013, and spent the latter half of last year on the festival circuit, where it was the jury winner for narrative feature at the New Orleans Film Festival in October, audience favorite at the Knoxville Film Festival, best narrative feature at Weyauwega Film Festival in Wisconsin, best narrative feature and a special acting award for Stoykova-Klemer at Paducah’s River’s Edge Film Festival.

“Every single one of the screenings has been very special to me,” Stoykova-Klemer says. “Hearing people laugh, that’s awesome, knowing people are enjoying the film.”

Southerland says it has been particularly gratifying to be competitive with films that had budgets several times Proud Citizen’s.

And Stoykova-Klemer says that after she got over her fears of acting, she really enjoyed the experience.

“I really like doing this, because when I am writing a poem, I can only make it as good as I can write it,” she says. “But in group art, and this is my first experience with group art, it’s not like that. The film can become better than my acting, better than my part.

“One plus one can become much more.”

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Q&A with Concert with the Stars’ Jonathan Groff

Jonathan Groff photographed in January 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Jeff Vespa, Getty Images.

Jonathan Groff photographed in January 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Jeff Vespa, Getty Images.

The Lexington Theatre Company is launching with a bang Saturday night, bringing in three Broadway stars Laura Bell Bundy, Jonathan Groff and Mara Davi to perform solo and with aspiring local and regional talents.

We got to chat with Bundy and company co-directors Lyndy Franklin Smith and Jeromy Smith for a preview story in today’s Weekender section. We didn’t quite get answers to questions for Groff, who many of you may know best for his voice role as Kristoff in Frozen, until just after the story went to print.

But what are deadlines in the virtual world? To further whet your appetite for Saturday’s show, here’s a quick Q&A with the Tony nominee for Spring Awakening — the same year Bundy was a nominee for Legally Blonde — The Musical.

Tell us what persuaded you to come to Lexington to perform on this show?

Lyndy and Jeromy are my very good friends and I really believe in their dream to start a theater company in Lexington. 

What is on tap for you in this show; what are you most looking forward to doing?

The theater that surrounded me back in my hometown of Lancaster, Pa., totally changed my life and I am going to sing songs and tell stories that describe that journey and hopefully show how this new theater company can really give so much to the community. The part I am most looking forward to is singing the song Hair with some local kids from the area!  

You have been on the stage at the Opera House before. What are your impressions of the theater?

Yes! This will be my third time performing there. The first time was on the national tour of The Sound of Music. And the second was singing at Lyndy and Jeromy’s wedding! I think it is a GORGEOUS theater, certainly one of the most beautiful I’ve ever been in.

What is the importance of projects and theaters like the one Lyndy and Jeromy have hatched up here? Have theaters such as this been part of your career?

Yes growing up with The Fulton Opera House and the Ephrata Performing Arts Center back home in Lancaster, Pa., completely changed my life. Not only do local theaters give local artists the chance to express themselves and work at an incredibly high level, having a theater company like this provides a great source of entertainment and income for the community that they can be proud knowing is brought to them by people from their own city.

Obviously the biggest project you have been involved in since we saw you here was Frozen. How big has voicing Kristoff been for your career? Do people recognize you for that role now, or is there a different dynamic in playing an animated character.

Frozen has been a dream come true! I grew up obsessively watching Disney movies as a child. My favorite part of the experience has been making voice memos for friends and family members’ children as the voices of Kristoff and Sven!

What is next for, stage, film or a little of both?

I’m in a show called Looking that has its season two premiere on Sunday night on HBO (10 p.m. ET), hopefully we’ll get to do another season of that! But I’ll be back in New York in June to do the City Center Encore’s production of A New Brain.

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Former UK viola professor Deborah Lander, an advocate for CPR training, has died

University of Kentucky viola professor Deborah Lander in MonTea, enjoying a cup of the Eternal Life blend on Dec. 3, 2012. Lander suffered cardiac arrest in February and has since dedicated herself to raising awareness of CPR, including holding CPR training at the UK School of Music. She and her doctors credit a bystander performing CPR on her when she collapsed walking to the Lexington Opera House with saving her life. © Herald-Leader photo by Rich Copley | staff.

University of Kentucky viola professor Deborah Lander at MonTea, one of her favorite Lexington establishments, on Dec. 3, 2012. Lander was a professor of viola at the University of Kentucky and became an advocate for CPR training after she suffered cardiac arrest in February 2012. She died Friday in England. © Herald-Leader photo by Rich Copley | staff.

Deborah Lander, the world-renowned violist who brought an Australian accent to the University of Kentucky’s string program and became an advocate for CPR training after her own cardiac arrest, died Friday in England. She was 49.

Her sister, Sara Allsopp Lander, wrote in a Facebook message that Lander’s death was “sudden and completely unexpected. She had had some minor health problems but nothing that seemed serious.” She wrote that the family hopes that an autopsy will provide a clearer picture of what happened.

Lander grew up in Sydney, Australia, and studied violin until she was 11. Then she  switched to the viola, attracted by its sound.

“Anyone who plays the viola will tell you that the reason they take it up is because they’ve fallen in love with the sound,” Lander said in a 2009 Herald-Leader interview. “It’s such a fantastic, dark sound, like chocolate – dark chocolate. It’s the best instrument, no question.”

She set her sites in joining the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and did it, residing in London, where she performed constantly for six years. She then returned to Australia, where she taught at the University of Newcastle and helped develop the nation’s viola curriculum.

Then the University of Kentucky called, seeking to strengthen the school’s string program. Lander was hired in 2008 as UK’s first tenured professor of viola, and she set out on a mission to raise the profile of the instrument, which often seems to play second fiddle to the violin.

“If you are a viola player, it is your responsibility to play the viola repertoire and promote the viola repertoire,” she said.

Daniel Mason, the Lexington Philharmonic’s concertmaster and Lander’s UK colleague said she certainly accomplished that goal through recordings and commissions.

“She left the viola repertoire much healthier than it was before,” Mason said Tuesday afternoon.

Her first year at UK, she and Mason performed Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola with the Philharmonic.

“That was a high point for me, to work with such a committed, passionate violist,” Mason said. “Her commitment to the instrument was great for the students to see and an inspiration to me.”

But a life-threatening emergency in 2012 put her on a different profile-raising mission. Lander was on her way to a University of Kentucky Opera performance when she collapsed on the sidewalk from cardiac arrest. Passerby Addison Hosea stopped and administered CPR, with the assistance of two other unidentified passersby, until paramedics arrived. Doctors later said the quick administration of CPR saved Lander’s life.

University of Kentucky viola professor Deborah Lander with Addison Josea, who is credited with saving her life by administering CPR after she collapsed on North Upper Street on Feb. 25, 2012.

University of Kentucky viola professor Deborah Lander with Addison Josea, who is credited with saving her life by administering CPR after she collapsed on North Upper Street on Feb. 25, 2012.

“Until you are in the position of having died and having someone save your life, you don’t realize what an amazing thing it is,” said Lander, whose story was featured at the 25th annual Central Kentucky Heart and Stroke Ball in 2013.

“It’s very hard to find the words to express what it means to meet the person who saved your life. The only reason you can meet them is because you’re alive, because of them.”

Lander’s sister wrote, “She loved Lexington! She loved that people were friendly but had good manners, she found the weather funny in its ability to change from snowstorms to tornado warnings without notice. She loved her knitting friends and scouring the yarn shop (Magpie Yarn), and of course she was so so grateful for the wonderful combined effort that Lexington provided in saving her life when she went into cardiac arrest. … She really felt that the United States was a land where talent and hard work was appreciated and where there was a commitment to excellence in education.”

Lander retired from UK after the 2013-14 school year and moved to London.

“She had a plan for about 18 months to move back to England, where she could play viola professionally again and be close to her musician friends and also her other sister and nephews,” her sister wrote. “The plan was to live on a narrowboat, play music, go to see Arsenal football team with her nephews and knit! Unfortunately she died before she could get all these elements in place. But she was living at a marina and spending lots of time with her nephews and we hear in the days before she died she had set up a social knitting club with new friends.”

Arrangements are pending, at this time. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Kitty Lodge, Inc., P.O. Box 1583, Mt. Sterling, KY 40353. Donations can be dropped at the Chevy Chase Animal Clinic,  600 Euclid Avenue.

Updated at 2:24 p.m. ET, Jan. 6.

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Fellow merchants support Wild Fig bookstore after break-in

It’s hard to keep an independent bookstore going in this economy. It’s even harder when crooks decide to smash your windows and take your cash and merchandise.

That’s what happened Dec. 27 to Wild Fig Books on Leestown Road. Owners Crystal Wilkinson, an author who also is writer-in-residence at Berea College, and Ronald Davis, a Lexington artist, were greeted with shattered glass and plenty of missing items Saturday morning. It was a definite setback.

Thieves broke into Wild Fig Books on Dec. 27. Photo courtesy of Tanya Torp.

Thieves broke into Wild Fig Books on Dec. 27. Photo courtesy of Tanya Torp.

But they said they have received help and support from neighboring businesses, including Pops Resale, Steepleton’s Billiards and Spas, and the Meadowthorpe Cafe. A downtown business will lend support when Lexington Diner donates 15 percent of its proceeds from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday. The cafe is owned by chef Ranada West-Riley and her wife and business partner, Karin West-Riley, and it aims to “take diner food to another level,” Ranada West-Riley said in a Herald-Leader profile last year.

Wild Fig, 1439 Leestown Road, opened July 20, 2011, and sells new and used books, and coffee, and it hosts area literary events. It is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 and 6 p.m. Sundays. It is closed on Mondays through February.

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Canceling ‘The Interview’ was a business decision

This image released by Columbia Pictures - Sony shows James Franco, left, and Seth Rogen in "The Interview."  Sony Pictures canceled all release plans for the film at the heart of the hacking scandal that exposed tens of thousands of sensitive documents and escalated to threats of terrorist attacks.   (AP Photo/Columbia Pictures, Sony, Ed Araquel)

James Franco, left, and Seth Rogen in “The Interview.” Sony Pictures canceled all release plans for the film at the heart of the hacking scandal that exposed tens of thousands of sensitive documents and escalated to threats of terrorist attacks. AP/Columbia Pictures, Sony photo by Ed Araquel.

While its public profile is often fun, artsy and, yeah, liberal, I am often prompted to remind people that Hollywood is at its essence a business, and a rather conservative one at that.

If it makes money, it’s in. If it loses money, it’s out. When it comes to that wing of showbiz, the bottom line is the bottom line, from the studios that make movies to the theaters that show them.

So, while last week’s decision by Sony Pictures to cancel the scheduled Christmas Day release of the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy The Interview in the face of terrorist threats was couched in discussions of artistic expression, freedom of speech and international relations, it was ultimately a business decision to shelve the film. The studio and theaters looked at the risks of opening the film after threats of physical violence at theaters showing the film by the same group, which the FBI now says was the North Korean government, that had already hacked Sony computers to devastating effect and concluded it was too risky to actually open the movie. North Korean officials have denied involvement in the hack or the threats.

The potential costs of an attack or attacks outweighed the cost of shelving the comedy, which seemed to be a shoo-in to turn a profit.

In recent interviews, Sony directors have said they wanted to release the movie, but as major theater chains such as Regal and AMC announced they would not show it, they had no choice but to pull the release. Sony says it wants to release the movie but has no platforms, theatrical or digital.

Make no mistake, the terrorists have won here, whoever they are. By the sheer force of their threats, they have made several American companies shelve plans to launch a major product that was poised to be very profitable. What’s more, they have probably given like-minded people who want to stifle the sharing of ideas they don’t like a blueprint for how to shut them down.

This may all seem like an extraordinary amount of discussion and gravity for a Seth Rogen movie. But when you consider the implications for speech in a free society, it is very important. From producers to patrons, Americans need to figure out how to react the next time a group with little persuasive power except the threat of virtual and physical violence takes exception to a film, TV program or some other sort of production.

But that may require some counter-intuitive thinking by exhibitors.

If you own a movie theater and someone has threatened to unleash a 9/11-type of attack if you show a certain film, it is understandable you might conclude it’s a good idea to cancel that film rather than risk potential damage to your property and harm to your employees and customers. And it does not have to be 9/11-level mayhem to have an impact. One or two well-armed true believers perpetrating an attack like the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., in 2012 would be enough to send the country into a panic and second guessing.

How do you convince people who went into business to show movies to entertain people and make money it’s worth that kind of risk to life, property and reputation to make a stand on constitutional principal. Is that reasonable?

Those are the sorts of questions that need to be asked as we process the aftermath of The Interview.

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Kentucky Theatre Christmas classics

Jimmy Stewart talks with Donna Reed in “It’s a Wonderful Life” 1946. © AP Photo.

Jimmy Stewart talks with Donna Reed in “It’s a Wonderful Life” 1946. © AP Photo.

The Kentucky Theatre‘s Christmas present to the Bluegrass is a quartet of holiday movies that will play in repertory through Christmas Day. OK, you will have to buy a ticket, but the downtown movie house is giving you the chance to enjoy these classics on the big screen in glorious digital projection with your fellow Lexingtonians, and maybe their visiting friends and relatives. Can we get some snow for your stroll to the theater, Chris Bailey?

Here’s the lineup:

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). This is now pretty much regarded as the holiday classic. Is there any other 1940s movie that gets annual showings on network TV? With the Mr. Smith Goes to Washington combo of director Frank Capra and star Jimmy Stewart, it was expected to be a huge hit, but wound up taking a loss and was regarded as communist propaganda by the FBI because of the portrayal of bankers and wealthy characters as bad guys.

But Stewart maintained is was his favorite of his films, and in the 1970s and ’80s, it enjoyed a revival on TV and home video that endures to this day.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947). The late ’40s was a pretty good time for Christmas films, this one telling the tale of a Macy’s Santa who claims to be the real Santa Claus while generating a spirit of generosity and good will in those around him. So, of course, he must be crazy, and winds up in court.

This film also wound up in a little trouble, here with the Catholic Church’s Legion of Decency, which classified it as objectionable because one of the lead female characters, Susan (Natalie Wood) was divorced. But, it went on to win three Academy Awards and become regarded as a Christmas classic.

Holiday Inn (1942). We know this movie for one song: Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. It was introduced in the course of the story about Jim (Bing Crosby) trying to convert his farm into an inn only open during the holidays.

The song, by any account written in the warm and sunny Southwest, has gone on to be the best-selling single of all time. The sentimental, melancholy tone of the song was regarded as particularly resonant during World War II. It was so successful, a decade later it led to the next film in the Kentucky’s lineup. But far from a one-hit wonder, the film is a Christmas delight, well worth revisiting.

White Christmas (1954). Crosby returned to a similar story to Holiday Inn, this time in Technicolor and with Danny Kaye and Kentucky’s own “Girl Singer” Rosemary Clooney. Unlike the other films in this lineup, it is actually White Christmas that was the biggest initial hit, landing as the top moneymaker in 1954.

 

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Follow up: The ‘Amahl’ countertenor went on

Mother (Laura Salyer) and Amahl (Grace Brown) lament their poverty at the beginning of "Amahl and the Night Visitors." Brown was understudying the role for Joshua Steinbach, who was ill during rehearsals this week. Photo by Rich Copley | Herald-Leader staff.

Mother (Laura Salyer) and Amahl (Grace Brown) lament their poverty at the beginning of “Amahl and the Night Visitors.” Brown was understudying the role for Joshua Steinbach, who was ill during rehearsals this week. Photo by Rich Copley | Herald-Leader staff.

We ended last week noting some drama around the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre’s production of Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors.

Countertenor Joshua Steinbach, whose voice reportedly helped persuade UK Opera to revive the show, fell ill on production week and was in bed with the flu while the rest of the company* worked toward opening night. SCAPA student Grace Brown, who had sung the role before, was brought in to sing for Steinbach for dress rehearsals and potentially play the part in some or all of the three weekend shows.

Well, Steinbach rallied and sang all three performances at the Lyric Theatre this weekend. Since I had a son in the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra contingent that played for the performances, reviewing it would be a clear conflict of interest. But I will say Steinbach has a luminous instrument and delivered engaging performances that never seemed to betray any effects of his illness. It was nice that he was able to complete the story of being a freshman taking on a lead role in his first semester, and a treat to opera fans, who it seemed turned out good crowds for each show, particularly considering there were a number of more familiar shows around town in better-known venues.

* Junior Jonathan Adams didn’t have quite as happy an ending, for this show, at least. As Amahl director Gregory Turay and his colleagues were absorbing the news that their title performer was down with the flu, they learned Adams, cast as King Balthazar, suffered an appendicitis. As Wednesday night’s rehearsal went on, he was in surgery. Fortunately, he is recovering well, and we will sing for Lexington again. But he was replaced this weekend by assistant director Thomas Gunther. The costume fit.

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ArtyFacts: Sundance and Grammy honors for Lexingtonians

Ashley York

Ashley York

Pikeville native and University of Kentucky graduate Ashley York will be taking her documentary Tig to the Sundance Film Festival in JanuaryTig tells the story of how comedian Tig Notaro’s career shifted after a legendary performance at the Largo in Los Angeles where she led off telling the audience she had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. York co-directed the film with Kristina Goolsby. Both York, a former Herald-Leader intern, and Goolsby have extensive careers making films and series for theatrical, TV and web release. Tig is one of 13 documentaries premiering at Sundance next year covering topics including late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, National Lampoon magazine and the Black Panther Party. York, who has produced two previous Sundance selections, is currently working on a documentary that will take her back home. According to her bio on the Catapult Film Fund page, with So Help You God, “she returns to Appalachia to visit and interview some of her former high school classmates who are serving life in prison for a violent crime that happened in the late 90s.” Sundance is Jan. 22 to Feb. 1.

Honors just keep coming for the Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and the Lexingtonians involved in it. Composer Stephen Trask and music director Justin Craig are up for the Grammy for best musical theater album as producers of the Original Cast Recording of Hedwig, featuring Neil Patrick Harris’ Tony Award Winning performance in the title role. Harris left the production in August, while Craig and Lexingtonian Matt Duncan have continued in the onstage band. In January, Hedwig writer and co-creator with Trask John Cameron Mitchell will take over the title role.

Also up for a Grammy, of course, is Jackson’s Sturgill Simpson with his somewhat ironically titled, in this case, 2014 hit Metamodern Sounds in Country Music. If  you’re reading this on Dec. 13 — 12/13/14 kids! — check out tomorrows Herald-Leader for more on great country music by Simpson and other Kentuckians in 2014.

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George Clooney to appear on ‘Downton Abbey’

If you are like a number of people I know who (A) love George Clooney and (B) love Downton Abbey, prepare to have your mind blown.

Gorgeous George is going to be on Downton Abbey, or at least part of a Downton Abbey event.

It does not appear we have much information on the extent of his appearance or his character. But according to Entertainment Weekly, Clooney will appear in a short Downton Abbey charity film that will debut Dec. 18 on the British network ITV. Britain’s Daily Mail has a bit more information on the appearance, part of a “Text Santa” charity campaign, including who the Lexington native and Augusta-raised star plants a kiss on. According to the story, Clooney and Downton star Hugh Bonneville struck up a friendship when they worked together on The Monuments Men.

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Christmas arts overdrive

The Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra and Lexington Chamber Chorale will present George Frideric Handel's "Messiah" Dec. 2 and 3 at the Cathedral of Christ the King, 299 Colony Blvd., in Lexington, Ky. This photo was taken at a rehearsal at the cathedral on Nov. 30, 2010. © Photo by Rich Copley | Lexington Herald-Leader

The Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra and Lexington Chamber Chorale rehearsing George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah” in 2010 at the Cathedral of Christ the King, 299 Colony Blvd., in Lexington, Ky. The orchestra will present “Messiah” at the Cathedral this year on Dec. 6. © Photo by Rich Copley | Lexington Herald-Leader

My birthday is Nov. 28. So I always know that if my birthday falls on Thanksgiving or that weekend — Black Friday baby, this year — Christmas is coming fast.

And there’s nothing like being an arts editor to affirm that. The holiday weekend ended with the realization that there are only two really good weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and everyone who wants to put on a holiday show is trying to get in there. (Yes, there is the weekend of the 19th. But that’s when school lets out, and people start scattering to the winds.)

So, this weekend you have:

And I am sure that’s not everything and your school or church has a holiday concert, play or some other extravaganza going on too, if not this weekend, next. Personally, I am eagerly awaiting my church’s Christmas presentation next week.

It is easy, lo obvious to say that we can’t get to everything. Most of us can’t. Then again, we aren’t necessarily supposed to. The Christmas season naturally lends itself to the arts, which have found a way to express the season in a variety of ways and styles. Some may find the spirituality of Messiah fill their soul, while it may take the fantasy of Nutcracker or nostalgia of A Christmas Story to get others in the mood.

The fortunate thing is that in Central Kentucky, we have a lot to choose from.

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