The journal of a Kentucky culture vulture
Balagula Theatre‘s production of The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? starts its final week today with Adam Luckey playing the lead role of Martin. In the video above, Luckey talks about his busy last several weeks balancing the Edward Albee play, which closes Feb. 20, with his new role as host of Bluegrass showcase Red Barn Radio.
Since the departure of Brad Becker, the host slot at Red Barn Radio has become something of a musical chair, and not in the way the show intends.
But as of last week, well-known Lexington actor Adam Luckey has taken over hosting duties for Red Barn, which is broadcast nationally.
“It’s an incredible commitment he’s made,” Red Barn producer Ed Commons says. “We feel incredibly lucky, because whenever I tell people who we got, they say, ‘How did you get him?’”
Hosting Red Barn will make nightlife quite active for Luckey, who is curently in rehearsals for Balagula Theatre‘s production of Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? Luckey has a musical background as a singer and multi-instrumentalist, including playing in Lexington area bands and writing music for SummerFest’s July production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which he also directed. But hosting a radio show wasn’t something Luckey had contemplated.
“I love having this opportunity to be part of the audience for these incredible musicians,” Luckey says. “I’m not so much the voice, as the one bringing the seats closer to the stage.”
Red Barn, which is recorded most Wednesday nights at ArtsPlace in Downtown Lexington, features performances by national and regional Bluegrass and roots music artists. This week’s program features Lexington quartet Small Batch.
Commons said shows Luckey hosts should start being played on the air in approximately three weeks. Red Barn is heard locally at 8 p.m. Saturdays on WUKY-FM 91.3 and 9 p.m. Saturdays and 3 a.m. Sundays on WEKU-FM 88.9.
One of the features of SummerFest’s production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is original music. We talk to director and composer Adam Luckey and Kentucky Conservatory Theatre student composers Sarah Webb and Cameron Taylor about their contributions to the show.
- More to read: In God of Carnage, real couples play couples at war
- Photo gallery: God of Carnage
Veronica and Michael Novak have asked Annette and Alan Raleigh over to their house for a polite discussion about the playground squabble that ended with the Raleigh’s son knocking two teeth out of the Novak’s son’s mouth.
Yeah, like that’s going to happen.
As Veronica is reading a statement of the incident in faux legalize, it’s obvious slouching Alan, lightly chewing on his knuckle, is barely tolerating this high-minded handling of boys being boys.
But will he be the one to take the first swing, hurl the first bare-knuckle insult? Is Veronica’s sophisticated veneer thinner than fine stationery and are her condescending words as blunt an instrument as the bamboo chute that was used on her son?
Those are questions Yasmina Reza explores over 90-minutes in God of Carnage, which opened on Friday (Nov. 11, 2011) for a two-weekend run in a production by On The Verge at the Downtown Arts Center. The production is a first for the itinerant troupe that has specialized in presenting site-specific works such as Lillian Hellman’s Little Foxes plays in historic homes and Jeffrey Hatcher’s Three Viewings in a funeral home.
This time around, there is a set, a fairly convincing pristine New York City apartment where Michael and Veronica take refuge from the barbaric world.
The twists in this production are that each role except Alan is double cast with several real life couples involved. So people with the time, money and interest to see more than one performance will see different takes on these distinct characters. Of course, you have to see the show more than once to really cash in on the gimmick. Otherwise, you will get the cast you get, which, in the case of Friday night’s cast was really good. We should note the three performers we did not see, Allie Darden, Bob Singleton and Kim Dixon, are all distinguished Lexington stage actors in their own rights.
But no one could have faulted director Ave Lawyer if she had just booked seven performances with Friday night’s cast either. Adam Luckey as Alan and Lisa Thomas both perfectly filled their roles as polar opposites in the play, and Paul Thomas as Michael and Tiffiney Baker as Annette also delivered strong performances.
Paul Thomas’ Michael is a critical character in conveying Reza’s concept that underneath our masks of civility lurk selfish, barbaric louts who are only interested in ourselves. He starts the play agreeing with everyone in an effort to get along, but we get the odd story of how the night before this meeting he took a hamster out of the house because it was bothering him and abandoned the cold frightened critter on a Brooklyn sidewalk. We soon find this incident was probably the most honest representation of Michael’s character, and everyone else’s true colors come out too in spates of violence that are surprising in the play’s environment, but never quite of the bare-knuckle variety.
The cast is uniformly skilled at giving us hints of their true natures at the outset and then letting them shine as revealed by incidents of onstage illness, the maddening constant interruption of Alan’s cell phone and a quickly disappearing bottle of rum – Paul Thomas and Baker were particularly adept at portraying the journey from toasty to trashed. There was one moment late in Friday’s performance where an awareness of the the ridiculousness of the situation did come over some members of the cast.
Resa’s well-honored script doesn’t quite have the same intensity or dept of, say, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf. But it is a quick, entertaining night at the theater that will send you out thinking about the illusions we create and the monsters that lurk beneath.
Here are the casts for the remaining performances:
■ 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12: Lisa Thomas, Bob Singleton, Kim Dixon and Luckey.
■ 2 p.m. Nov. 13:: Lisa and Paul Thomas, Tiffiney Baker and Adam Luckey.
■ 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17: Lisa and Paul Thomas, Dixon and Luckey.
■ 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18: Allie Darden, Singleton, Baker and Luckey.
■ 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19: Darden, Singleton, Dixon and Luckey.
■ 2 p.m. Nov. 20: Darden, Paul Thomas, Baker and Luckey.
I would have posted this a few minutes earlier, but I had to go get a bag of Doritos.
Fortunately – except for my alleged diet – mine didn’t disappear like Lee Cruse’s snacks kept vanishing in Jason Epperson’s entry into the Doritos/Pepsi Max Crash the Super Bowl contest.
According to the contest website, the top three entries for each brand will be shown during Super Bowl 45 on Feb. 6. If winning entries make it into the Top 3 of the USA Today Ad Meter, they are up for some serious -read seven figures – cash. Winners will be selected by a panel of judges.
Epp’s spot features Cruse, known for his stand-up comedy and features on WLEX-TV 18, along with fellow comedian Ray Price and local theater standouts including Adam Luckey and Ryan Case in a story of using mind control to mess with the boss.
I went out to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Monday to help man the Herald-Leader table in the trade pavilion. But a Facebook note from Adam Luckey kept me around for a while.
Adam and Ryan Case had a 3 p.m. performance on the stage in the Kentucky Experience Pavilion. Their performance was presented by the Kentucky History Museum Theatre, and they delivered two distinct short shows. “Look for My Picture” is the History Center’s play about Franklin Sousley, the Kentucky native who participated in raising the United States Flag at Iwo Jima in World War II. Luckey emodied the excitable 19 year old, at one moment asking his girl to wait for him and the next making history. The next play was Jack and the Robbers, a little bit of mountain stortelling with music and group participation.
On what looked like maybe a slow day at the Games, Adam and Ryan drew about two dozen people. The Kentucky Experience stage, presented by the Kentucky Arts Council, has been a little controversial because of coal advertising at the stage. But it works as a nice chance for Kentucky artists like Ryan and Adam, and musician Jim Olive, who was was slated to play later, to show their talents to a wider audience.
SummerFest is back, starting tonight with Ave Lawyer’s production of William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. It’s a modern-dress rendition of the story with a hip hop soundtrack and Shylock running his business dealings off of a laptop.
Here’s a quick checklist before you go to the park:
This is Copious Notes’ 1,800th post.
- A chair or blanket, depending on how you prefer to sit
- Food and drink to make a picnic of it
- Bug spray – trust me, I was out there Tuesday night
- A lantern or flashlight, at the very least, for making sure you get everything when you leave
- A blanket or sweater – it may not be necessary this week, but some nights, it can get chilly in the Arboretum
Apr16Filed under: Central Kentucky Arts News, Music, Musicals, Rent notebook, SummerFest, Theater; Tagged as: Adam Luckey, Ave Lawyer, Ellie Clark, Jeff Sherr, John Dawson, Kentucky Classical Theatre Conservatory, Lisa Thomas, Nick Vannoy, Pride and Prejudice, Rent, Sullivan Canaday White, SummerFest 2010, The Merchant of Venice, Tom Phillips, Tracey Bonner, Trish Clark
In many pursuits we talk about how something looks on paper — how capable are the forces that have been assembled at accomplishing the task at hand? By that criteria, it looks like a great July in the Arboretum for SummerFest 2010.
Cast lists have been released for all the Summerfest productions, and they all include some of the Lexington area’s top talents as well as intriguing new names, and a few old friends we haven’t seen on stage in a while.
The Merchant of Venice, for instance, includes Lisa Thomas and Jeff Sherr, one-time local stage mainstays who’ve been away lately. Pride and Prejudice has Kentucky Classical Theatre Conservatory director Trish Clark playing mother to her real life daughter, Ellie Clark, as Elizabeth Bennett and also features the return of Tom Phillips to local stages as Mr. Darcy. And the Rent cast mixes fresh faces like local rocker John Dawson as Roger with familiar musical talents like Nick Vannoy as Collins in an intriguing cast. And the cast lists overall are dappled with actors in “I can see that” roles like Adam Luckey as Shylock in Merchant.
So here’s how SummerFest looks on paper. In a few months we’ll see how it looks on stage.
The Merchant of Venice
July 7-11, directed by Ave Lawyer
Shylock - Adam Luckey
Portia - Lisa Thomas
Antonio - Carmen Geraci
Bassanio - Bob Singleton
Gratiano - Evan Bergman
Salarino - Ryan Briggs
Lorenzo - Tanner Gray
Jessica - Joe Elswick
Nerissa - Rosanna Hurt
Launcelot - Patrick Davis
Duke - Jack McIntyre
Aragon - Jeff Sherr
Balthazar - Cameron Perry
The roles of Tubal, Morocco, and Salanio have yet to be cast
Pride And Prejudice
July 14-18, directed by Sullivan Canaday White
Mrs. Bennett - Trish Clark
Elizabeth Bennett - Ellie Clark
Jane Bennett – Holly Brady
Mary Bennett - Annie Barbera
Kitty Bennett - Erin Cutler
Lydia Barrett / Georgiana - Avery Wigglesworth
Mr. Darcy - Tom Phillips
Mr. Bingley/ Colonol Fitzwilliam - G. B. Dixon
Charlotte - Sarah Levy
Sir William Lucas/Mr. Collins/Mr. Gardner - Tim Hull
Miss Bingley/Mrs. Gardiner - Vanessa Becker
Lady Catherine - Stephanie Peniston
George Wickham - Drew Davidson
The role of Mr. Bennet has yet to be cast.
July 21-25, directed by Tracey Bonner
Mimi Márquez - Jessica Lucas
Roger Davis - John Dawson
Mark Cohen - Chip Becker
Maureen Johnson - Caroline Griffeth
Angel Dumott Schunard - Emanuel Williams
Tom Collins - Nick Vannoy
Joanne Jefferson - Sheronda Piersall
Benjamin ‘Benny’ Coffin III - Thomas Gibbs
Seasons Of Love Soloist - Jessica French
The Ensemble Includes: Casey Mather, Justin Norris, Sarah Matthews, Brandon Smith, Andrea Johnson, Beth Kovarik, Wood Van Meter and Katie Berger.
Sep10Filed under: Balagula Theatre, Podcasts, slide shows, Theater; Tagged as: Adam Luckey, B for Beckett, Balagula Theatre, Chris Rose, Endgame, Gene Arkle, Lauralyn Hungerford, Missy Johnston, Natasha Williams, Natasha's Bistro and Bar, Nick Swarts, Not I, Pete Sears, Play, Robbie Morgan, Ryan Case, Samuel McDonald
Press the play button to hear our podcast with Balagula Theatre co-director Ryan Case.
Balagula Theatre opens its first official season Sunday, Sept. 13 with ‘B’ for Beckett (A Night of Samuel Beckett’s Plays). It kicks off a lineup of absurdist, exesstentialist theater at Natasha’s Bistro and Bar, including works by Eugene Ionesco and Jean Paul Sartre.
SummerFest presents Patti Heying’s production of Jeffrey Hatcher’s adaptation of Robert Lewis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde July 15-19, 2009, in the Arboretum on Alumni Drive. In this version, Jekyll is played by one actor (Bob Singleton) and Hyde is played by four different actors who interact with Jekyll. Photos by Rich Copley | staff.
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