Radio host Peter Sagal listens to the news the way wild mushroom hunters search for their quarry. "They train themselves to walk through the woods with this single-minded vision of looking for these mushrooms, which you have to be able to see, you have to train yourself to look for them or you'll walk right by them," Sagal says from his Chicago office. "So I'm like that — I'm missing the trees, I'm missing the forest, I'm missing verdant woodland, I'm just looking for the mushrooms."
Tragedy inspires works performed this weekend in Lexington. “On the Verge” Theater's production of Yasmina Resa's “God of Carnage” is performed over the next two weekends at the Downtown Arts Center. This is on “The Verge's” first play in a formal theater. Their previous productions have been site-specific works performed in antebellum homes and a funeral parlor. This time the play involves two couples and the actors are real life couples. The Lexington Philharmonic's “Human Spirit” concert is Friday and features works written in troubled times. They’ll dedicate a plaque in honor of George Zack, who directed the Phil for 37 years.
Jermaine Brown Jr. finishes his rendition of Felix Mendelssohn's Then Shall the Righteous Shine Forth at the University of Kentucky's Schmidt Vocal Arts Center. The teacher jumps up, clapping. "That was wonderful — you get the job," he exclaims. It's powerful praise considering the teacher is Irish tenor Ronan Tynan, famous for appearances on PBS and at Yankee Stadium, concert halls around the world and occasions such as President Ronald Reagan's funeral. For two weeks this fall and each fall and spring for the next three years, Tynan will be at UK working with students as the Alltech Visiting Artist in Residence.
Thinking some plays are better performed inside, the same folks who bring Summerfest to Lexington waited until autumn to stage, somewhat ironically, “August, Osage County.” Also this weekend, Actors Guild of Lexington performs a police drama dubbed “Breathing Corpses.” But, perhaps the highpoint this weekend, will be a concert by the Boston Pops celebrating the 75th anniversary of Lexington’s landmark Keeneland Race Course. Previewing these events is Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader.
“39 Steps” was once known primarily as a masterwork by film maker Alfred Hitchcock. But, most recently, it’s been a work for the stage, in London, New York and now Lexington. Studio Players begins its interpretation this weekend with just four cast members. Also, this weekend, an exhibition of the digital arts, including music, at Transylvania University. Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader newspaper has a preview.
Deadly illness is the backdrop of a play that opens this Labor Day weekend at a “boutique” theater in Lexington. Balagula Theater uses the plaque as the backdrop to “One Flea Spare.” Meanwhile, another small theater group presents “Boom.” They’re previewed by Rich Copley, who’s an arts and culture reporter for the Lexington Herald Leader newspaper. He also discusses “Questapalooza,” a Christian music festival which is a Labor Day tradition in central Kentucky.
The oldest form of performance art can be seen this weekend in Lexington. The Ringling Brothers Circus returns to Rupp Arena. Its Ring Master, who is a trained opera singer, says the circuses of Europe are having a deep impact on that American institution. Still, he says circuses don't get the respect they deserve. Also, a UK and NBA Basketball standout sings this weekend at the Lexington Opera House. Rich Copley, who’s an arts and culture reporter for the Lexington Herald Leader, previews both events.
A fun run that mixes sci-fi with wellness takes place this weekend in Danville. Rich Copley, of the Lexington Herald Leader Newspaper, previews “Trun.” Rich also looks ahead at the only live performance this summer at Woodland Park in downtown Lexington. The park was once a regular summer venue for theater and concerts.
Most people would never know the Town Branch of Elkhorn Creek runs under downtown Lexington if they were not told. There has long been no visual or audible evidence of the rushing water that runs just below the high-rise buildings and busy streets of the city — until this week.
A crime drama based in Appalachia continues to earn praise from critics. This week, “Justified” netted four Emmy nominations. Rich Copley, who’s an arts and culture reporter for the Lexington Herald offers an explanation. He also says the final installment in the “Harry Potter” series can pose competition to events take place in Kentucky. Among those events is a dramedy based in Danville at the end of World War Two.
There’s no need to trade your kingdom for good drama this summer weekend. Summerfest begins in Lexington with Shakespeare’s “Richard III,” Studio Players recaptures past glory with a revival of “Forever Plaid,” and actor-comedian Adele Givens, who’s a Lexington native, performs at the Lyric Theater. Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader has this preview.