The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
The opening of the newly digital Kentucky Theater last weekend coincided with the announcement of the rest of the Summer Classics series for this year.
The theater announced the first part of the popular series late last month, but held off with the July and August offerings to finalize a few things. Now the list is out and includes things from the somewhat recent and not-so-recent past.
Gene Wilder leads the cast of the Mel Brooks classic Young Frankenstein (1974) May 10. You are welcome for the Puttin on the Ritz earworm.
July 17 is a time-honored crowd-pleaser, Gregory Peck in his iconic performance as Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird (1962).
The annual Hitchcock offering is July 24 with The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) with James Stewart and Doris Day.
William Powell and Carole Lombard star in My Man Godfrey (1936) on July 31.
Aug. 7 is one of the classic Vietnam War movies, Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1979), starring Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Dennis Hopper and a very young Laurence Fishburne.
The next week, Aug. 14, is a classic John Wayne western with Rio Bravo (1959), co-starring Angie Dickinson.
Titanic – no, not that Titanic – is Aug. 21 with Clifton Webb, Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Wagner in the 1953 version that was years ahead of Kate and Leo.
Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemon star in the comedy classic Some Like it Hot (1959) Aug. 28.
And the series ends Sept. 4 with a bunch of tough guys including Steve McQueen, James Garner, Charles Bronson and James Coburn in The Great Escape (1963).
As usual, showtimes are 1:30 and 7:15 p.m. and tickets are $5.
While not everyone has reported Derby Eve plans as of this writing (11 p.m. Thurs., April 25), celebrity guest lists are starting to shape up for several May 3 events in Louisville.
One bash making a notable return to the scene is the Grand Gala, which was last held in 2009. It has moved to Derby Eve and the Marriott-Louisville East and boasts an honest-to-goodness Oscar and Grammy Award winner in Jennifer Hudson atop the guest list. Sports royalty will be there in the form of basketball great Shaquille O’Neal and newly minted NFL star Robert Griffin III, who Washington Redskins fans (like me) tend to think is best thing to happen to Washington’s team since John Riggins. If you want to go, sorry. This gala is already sold out.
If your tastes are a little more country, the Unbridled Eve Gala may be what you want with Academy of Country Music entertainer of the year award winner Luke Bryan topping the bill. Also on the guest list for the event at the Galt House are actress Jane Seymour, The Hills star Lauren Conrad, country star Jo Dee Messina, and regular Derby guest Jennifer Tilly.
Over at the KFC Yum! Center, modern rock pioneers The B-52′s will be playing at The Julep Ball for a crowd including emcees Tiki Barber and Claudia Coffey. Tickets are still available for this event.
As of now, we still have not heard who’s on the guest list at the Barnstable-Brown Gala, which usually boasts the Derby’s deepest celebrity roster. Watch LexGo.com and this space for word on that lineup.
While the weather seems to be having a hard time getting oriented to the idea it’s spring, the Downtown Lexington Corporation isn’t as it has dropped the lineup for this year’s Thursday Night Live parties, April 4 to Oct. 31. As always, TNL is 4:30 to 8 p.m. Thursdays in the Fifth-Third Pavilion at Cheapside Park, between Main and Short streets, just west of Upper Street, adjacent to the old courthouse building. Bands play 5:30 to 7:30. There are plenty of food and beverage vendors at the event, and each week all tips will go to a select not-for-profit group.
Here are the bands and not-for-profits for each week.
April 4 – Payback (James Brown tribute band), Kentucky Pink Connection
April 11 – Swing Street, Lexington Blackstone RFC
April 18 – Those Crosstown Rivals, Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation
April 25 – McNeese, Downtown Lexington Management District
May 2 – Domino, Hospice of the Bluegrass
May 9 – The Squirrels, Community Action Council
May 16 – Girls Guns & Glory, Bike Lexington
May 23 – The Johnson Brothers, The Dolphins
May 30 – Scott Said & The Backroads , Rotary of Lexington
June 6 – Bluegrass Collective, Kentucky Equine Humane Society
June 13 – Kenny Owens, Living Arts and Science Center
June 20 – The Twiggenbury’s, PFLAG Lexington
June 27 – Ralph Curtis, Tribute Artists, Kentucky Cystic Fibrosis
July 4 – Catch 22, International Book Project
July 11 – Better off Dead, Habitat for Humanity
July 18 – Superfecta, Bluegrass Conservancy
July 25 – The Tim Talbert Project, Urban League Young Professionals
Aug. 1 – Conch Republic, Bluegrass Council of the Blind
Aug. 8 – Rebel Without A Cause, United Way of the Bluegrass
Aug. 15 – Sixtyfourwest, Benchmark Family Services
Aug. 22 – Kenny Owens & Group Therapy, Central Music Academy
Aug. 29 – The Big Maracas, VIPS
Sept. 5 – Coralee & The Townies, Faith Feeds
Sept. 12 – The Sensations, Movable Feast
Sept. 19 – Prefab Rehab, Lexington Ballet
Sept. 26 – Blind Corn Liquor Pickers, Lexington Art League
Oct. 3 – Chris Campbell Band, Susan G. Komen Lexington
Oct. 10 – The Swells, Lexington Humane Society
Oct. 17 – The City, Lyric Theatre
Oct. 24 – Born Cross Eyed, Lexington Public Library
Oct. 31 – Radio 80, High Street YMCA
The Humana Festival of New American Plays will open the last week of February with five new plays and a high-flying show featuring the theater’s Acting Apprentice Company. It will be the first festival under the direction of Les Waters, who began his tenure as the theater’s artistic director last spring.
The shows are:
The Delling Shore by Sam Marks. Literary jealousy played out between two pairs of fathers and daughters. (Feb. 27-April 7)
Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. When a family gathers to liquidate the late patriarch’s Arkansas plantation, they make a disturbing discovery that changes everything. (March 5-April 7)
Cry Old Kingdom by Jeff Augustin. An artist finds himself revived and endangered in Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier’s Haiti. (March 8-April 7)
Gnit by Will Eno. An Americanized re-reading of Henrik Ibsen’s 19th Century Norwegian play Peer Gynt. (March 15-April 7)
O Guru Guru Guru, or Why I Don’t Want to Go to Yoga Class With You by Mallery Avidon. A young woman explains the title. (March 20-April 7)
Sleep Rock Thy Brain by Rinnie Groff, Lucas Hnath and Anne Washburn. The Acting Apprentice Company will present the show March 22 to April 7 at the Lincoln Performing Arts School. The three playwrights explore sleep with the aid of Louisville’s ZFX Flying Effects.
This year’s dates are Feb. 15, April 19, June 21, Sept. 20 and Nov. 15. Each hop is 5 to 8 p.m.
The popular art event now boasts more than 50 venues and this year expands into the Chevy Chase area with the following locations: New Editions Gallery, 807 Euclid Avenue; The Collective Art Gallery, 321 South Ashland Avenue; The Morris Book Shop, 882 East High Street; and Worlds Apart, 850 East High Street.
Also joining the Gallery Hop lineup are: The Bread Box Studio Artists, Jefferson and West Sixth Streets; Meg C Jewelry Gallery, 119 North Mill Street; Alfalfa Restaurant, 141 East Main Street; and Decorator Warehouse, 501 East High Street.
LAMA will present music at three locations during each hop. On Feb. 15 it will be the Low End Duo, with cellist Yoonie Choi and bassist Paul Reisch, at New Editions Gallery; guitarist Ben Lacy and Bob Bryant at Bread Box Artist Studios; and singer and guitarist Andrea LaRoche on the Green Route Lextran trolley.
Gallery Hop says many hop locations are close to Green and Blue route LexTran trolley stops.
For more information, go to Galleryhoplex.com or call (859) 255-2951.
The torn-paper collage depicting three Thoroughbreds running past the Twin Spires at Churchill Downs is made from hundreds of vintage images of Derbys past. It will be available on a wide variety of memorabilia including posters, T-shirts and mugs in the months leading up to the big race, May 4, in Louisville.
Gores is based in Melbourne, Fla., and his client list includes numerous sports entities such as ESPN, NASCAR, the National Football League and Adidas, and commissions have included six collages for the Amway Center, home to the NBA’s Orlando Magic. He also has worked for Lucasfilm, U2, Madonna, Harley-Davidson, Van Halen, LiveNation and JCPenney.
This is the 12th year for Churchill Downs’ Art of the Kentucky Derby series. Previous artists have included sporting art icon Peter Max, and singer and visual artist Tony Bennett.
We barely have 2012 out of the gate and Singletary Center for the Arts director Michael Grice has already announced what very well may be the classical music event of 2013: Pianist Lang Lang will perform with the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra on Feb. 9, 2013.
This is the latest in a line of classical music superstars the Singletary Center has booked and paired with UK’s student orchestra, including last March’s performance by violin legend Itzhak Perlman.
“This is a major effort of ours to bring to audiences of Central Kentucky the best talent we can possibly bring them,” Grice said Monday afternoon. “Putting this talent with the UK Symphony Orchestra is an added bonus.”
Called “the hottest artist on the classical music planet” by The New York Times and known for his flamboyant style, Lang Lang, 29, started studying piano at age 3 and had his first public recital at 5. The Shenyang, China, native went on to elite piano study and won numerous competitions including the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians at age 13.
In his 20s, he has become one of classical music’s biggest names, particularly after his performance in the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Other high-profile appearances include the 2008 Grammy Awards, at which he played George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with Herbie Hancock, and a 2011 White House state dinner in honor of Chinese President Hu Jintao.
His latest album, Liszt: My Piano Hero, was released by Sony Masterworks in October.
The February 2013 concert will be Lang Lang’s first performance in Central Kentucky, but he will play with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on Jan. 27 and 28.
Grice said he is seeking concert sponsors in an effort to keep tickets prices as low as possible. Prices have not been announced.
The first tickets for the Lexington concert will be available to patrons at the Feb. 11 performance by pianist Natasha Paremski and the UK Symphony. Ticket holders to that show will be able to buy Lang Lang tickets that night, but only at the Singletary Center’s ticket office. There will also be a drawing at that concert for four prime tickets to see Lang Lang.
After the Feb. 11 event, the Lang Lang tickets will go off sale until the entire 2012-13 Singletary Center season is announced late this spring or in early summer.
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