Rich Copley, Lexington Herald Leader

Arts and Cultural reporter for the Lexington Herald Leader.

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7:30am

Fri March 23, 2012
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Kentuckians, Appalachia Star in "Hunger Games"

With legions of fans eager for the next major film franchise, The Hunger Games promises to make big stars of the two Kentuckians in its lead roles: Lawrence, as resourceful heroine Katniss Everdeen, and Union native Josh Hutcherson, who plays Peeta Mellar
Lexington Herald Leader

The set of blockbuster books known as “The Hunger Games” promises to be a blockbuster film.  Kentucky has strong ties to the movie.  Two natives are in lead roles and they battle in a futuristic Appalachia.  With a preview of “The Games,” a special performance of the Lexington Philharmonic and an art show that revives the daguerreotype is Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader.

7:30am

Fri March 16, 2012
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Adults Who Planted "The Bad Seed"

Christine (Jessica York, right) questions her daughter Rhoda (Abby Quammen, left) about her involvement in the death of a classmate. Studio Players presents Maxwell Anderson's "Bad Seed," March 15-April 1, 2012 at the Carriage House Theater
Rich Copley Lexington Herald Leader

“The Bad Seed” is a 60 year old story of the original "creepy, little kid."  But a revival in Lexington of the drama focuses not on the little sociopath, but on the adults who surround her.  Arts and Culture Reporter Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader previews productions of “The Bad Seed,” “The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” and the premiere of an Easter Cantata based on the life of Christ.

7:30am

Fri March 9, 2012
Kentucky Arts and Culture

March Madness No Longer Intimidates Arts Groups

Chris Ware Lexington Herald Leader

The organizers of arts and cultural events in Lexington must think the unthinkable.  What if the UK Wildcats lose?  So, despite the beginning of post season play and March Madness, they’re going ahead with entertainment events like this weekend’s Christian Rock Concert at Rupp Arena and a Frank Sinatra tribute at the Lexington Opera HouseRich Copley who reports on arts and cultural events for the Lexington Herald Leader offers an explanation.

7:40am

Fri March 2, 2012
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Inspiration for Sitcom Returns to Stage

Paul Granger III (Chris Owen) wakes up in the lobby of the Hotel Baltimore as Mr. Morse (Paul Thomas) works out with dumb bells. Project See Theatre presents Langford Wilson's 'The Hot l Baltimore," March 1-11 at the Downtown Art Center in Lexington, Ky.
Rich Copley Lexington Herald Leader

The play that became a sitcom that’s now a “contemporary classic” is performed this weekend in Lexington.  Besides “Hot’l Baltimore,” theater goers can also see a drama based on the scientist credited with making the 1st atomic bomb.   Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader previews both stage productions.

7:40am

Fri February 24, 2012
Kentucky Arts and Culture

August: Osage County, the Second

Former Actors Guild of Lexington artistic director Vic Chaney is back in town to direct University of Kentucky Theatre's production of August: Osage County.
Rich Copley Lexington Herald Leader

Rich Copley describes “Falstaff” as “a funny opera, best known for tragedy and anguish.”  In preparation for this weekend’s performance at the University of Kentucky, the arts and culture reporter explains how Giuseppe Verdi managed that.  Also, he talks about central Kentucky’s “first family of string music.”   The Herald Leader reporter also previews the second performance in Lexington, within five months, of “August, Osage County.”

7:40am

Fri February 17, 2012
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Compositions to Distillations: Lexington Embraces the New

Lexington Philharmonic composer-in-residence Daniel Kellogg.

A piece from the Lexington Philharmonic’s composer-in-residence makes its world premiere tonight at the Singletary CenterRich Copley, who covers arts and culture for the Lexington Herald Leader, says Kentuckians are embracing such “new music.”  He also previews Lexington’s “almost-monthly” Gallery Hop, which focuses tonight on the city’s new distillery district

7:00am

Fri February 10, 2012
Kentucky Arts and Culture

The Lexington Ballet's Struggle with Racial Diversity

Madelyn Nelson, left, and other students of the School of the Lexington Ballet troupe rehearsed for Ion Dance.
Lexington Herald Leader

The absence of African-American dancers in a show honoring Black artists troubles the director of Lexington Ballet.  Here to discuss it, and the weekend’s other events, is Rich Copley, who reports on arts and culture for the Lexington Herald Leader.

6:00am

Fri February 3, 2012
Kentucky Arts and Culture

"The Clean House" by Actors Guild "Ruhls"

In a scene from The Clean House, Charles (Mark Callahan) performs highly stylized surgery on his lover, Ana (Missy Johnston), with an assistant (Suraya Shalash). The comedy is presented by Actors Guild of Lexington.
Rich Copley Lexington Herald Leader

Actors Guild of Lexington this weekend opens a play by Sarah Ruhl called “The Clean House.” Ruhl’s a hot contemporary playwright who wrote “Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” which was staged last year by the Actors’ Guild.   Also, Actors Theatre of Louisville has a production of her “In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play” on stage right now.  “Here Come the Mummies,” who built a central Kentucky following during the World Equestrian Games, return Friday evening to Lexington. Plus, there’s a bunch of string music this weekend in Lexington, Clay City and elsewhere.  With a preview is Rich Copley who’s an arts and culture reporter with the Lexington Herald Leader.

10:57am

Wed February 1, 2012
The Commonwealth

Initiative to Promote Country Music Highway

Country star Tom T. Hall got in a little light ribbing of Gov. Steve Beshear and other officials at the Tuesday morning press conference announcing the Road to Fame competition.
Rich Copley/Lexington Herald-Leader

Gov. Steve Beshear and country music star Tom T. Hall announced a new initiative Tuesday to promote U.S. 23 as the Country Music Highway that will include an American Idol-style competition and an education fund. Hall, an Olive Hill native, is one of numerous Kentucky musicians from the area surrounding the 144-mile north-south highway who have gone on to country music fame including sisters Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle, the mother-daughter duo of Naomi and Wynonna Judd, Keith Whitley, Billy Ray Cyrus, Patty Loveless, Ricky Skaggs, Dwight Yoakam and a number of other chart toppers. In 1994, the Kentucky State Legislature designated U.S. 23 as the Country Music Highway.

11:48am

Fri January 13, 2012
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Martin Luther King Weekend Activities

The Lexington Philharmonic puts out the ‘red carpet’ for a special 50th anniversary weekend concert Saturday night at the Opera House.  On Sunday night, a one man show about abolitionist Frederick Douglass comes to the Lyric Theater.  The annual Martin Luther King observance in downtown Lexington Monday will include a tribute to Mahalia Jackson.  The Lexington Herald’s Rich Copley runs down weekend activities on this holiday weekend.

7:00am

Fri January 6, 2012
Kentucky Arts and Culture

WAC, Climber and Box Office Maven

Lee Overstreet on the job in the Kentucky Theatre box office in 2008.
Matt Goins Lexington Herald Leader

Hidden behind the death of political icon Gatewood Galbraith was the passing of a woman who tried just about everything during her long life, including a stint inside the Kentucky Theater box office.  Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader remembers Lee Overstreet and previews a performance this evening by Lexington singer Coralee of "Coralee and the Townies" is doing a Loretta Lynn tribute show at Cosmic Charlies.  Rich also talks about a sneak peak of  PBS' newest “Downton Abbey” series at the Kentucky Theatre on Saturday morning.

7:40am

Fri December 30, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

2011:WEG's Surprising Sequel, Theater Flourishes

  • An error occurred ingesting this audio file to NPR

The World Equestrian Games attracted international artistic talent to the Bluegrass, but, Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader says such quality continued in 2011.  Midori, Itzhak Perlman, and the Boston Pops all traveled to Lexington.  Also, in 2011, theater flourished with numerous new companies building momentum.  Also, for the first time in decades a new arts venue went on line when the Eastern Kentucky University Center for the Arts opened last fall. 

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7:40am

Fri December 16, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Sing Strongly and Carry a Big Handel

The Singletary Center for the Arts

In defense of the “Big Messiah,” the Lexington Singers perform the holiday classic this weekend at the Singletary Center.  According to Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader, this Messiah will buck recent trends and offer a full blown production.  And, at the Lyric Theater, there’s an off-beat holiday comedy, titled “Smackdown for the Holiday Crown.”

7:40am

Fri December 9, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Naughty and Nice Shows for the Holidays

Depending on your perspective, a pair of holiday plays performed this weekend in Lexington are either cynical or simply realistic. Both “Santaland Diaries” and “The 12 Dates of Christmas” are performed at the Downtown Arts Center.  Holiday choral works are also on the agenda, with the University of Kentucky Opera and the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra staging holiday shows.  Providing a preview is Rich Copley, an arts and culture reporter for the Lexington Herald Leader.

1:37pm

Mon December 5, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

'Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me' Tapes in Richmond

Carl Kasell and Peter Sagal talk on a tin can phone
Tony Nagelmann NPR

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."

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7:40am

Fri December 2, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Several Plays, A Couple Concerts and Two Messiahs

The holiday theater and music season gets underway in a big way this weekend.  Two versions of the Messiah are performed this evening.  Several plays, including “Madeline’s Christmas” and “Book of Liz” open this weekend.  And there are holiday shows at several universities.  Providing a preview, as he does every Friday, is Rich Copley, who reports on the arts for the Lexington Herald Leader.

7:40am

Fri November 18, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Desperately Seeking Mrs. Santa

Caperton Q. Elf (Chip Becker) and Blitzen (Katie Swim) fly into Florida. Swim's childhood letter to Santa inspired her mom to write Looking for Mrs. Santa Claus. Studio Players presents the world premiere production of Looking for Mrs. Santa Claus Nov. 17
Rich Copley Lexington Herald-Leader

The holiday theater season begins this weekend in Lexington when Studio Players stages “Looking for Mrs. Santa Claus” at the Carriage House Theater.  Also, the New York Metropolitan Opera Saturday publicly auditions vocalists at Memorial Hall.  Also, a pair of improvisational comedians recreate a TV show at the Eastern Kentucky University Arts Center, and, a reunion of artists resurrect a defunct gallery that one operated in downtown Lexington.  Providing a preview is Rich Copley, who reports on arts and culture for the Lexington Herald Leader.

7:35am

Fri November 11, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Comedy Tomorrow, Tragedy Tonight

George Zack during one of his final performances conducting the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra.
Matt Goins Lexington Herald Leader

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. 

7:35am

Fri November 4, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

A Rebuilt Man and a Recreated Landscape

Rock Formations on the Road to Lee's Ferry, AZ: Mark Klett and Byron Wolf used digital photo processing to impose historical landscape photos onto modern photos that they shot from almost precisely the same spot.
Mark Klett and Byron Wolf Lexington Herald-Leader

The Mel Brooks’ Broadway sequel to “The Producers” this weekend comes to the Lexington Opera House.  Culture reporter Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader says “Young Frankenstein” provides fertile ground for a musical comedy.  Plus this weekend, the landscape photographs of Mark Klett go on display at the Art Museum at the University of Kentucky.  Also, performing this weekend, the Harlem String Quartet features a violinist who was a summertime resident of Lexington. 

7:40am

Fri October 28, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Words by Poe, Music by Jackson

In The Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, Jim Short, left, plays the title role, and Michael Whitten plays many roles. The Lexington Children's Theatre production incorporates three Poe stories.
Pablo Alcala Lexington Herald-Leader

Halloween stuff leads off this week in central Kentucky, with the Lexington Children's Theatre presenting Tales of Edgar Allan Poe.  There's also a revival of SummerFest's Rocky Horror Show at Busters Billiards and Backroom and the 10th annual Downtown Thriller Parade. Transylvania University also opens “Almost, Maine”, a popular play written by John Carini.  Offering a preview of these events is Rich Copley, who reports on culture for the Lexington Herald Leader.

9:59am

Mon October 24, 2011
Education

Ronan Tynan Works with UK Students

Acclaimed tenor Ronan Tynan talked to Joanna Schnurrman about her performance of a Puccini aria during a master class at UK.
Rich Copely Lexington Herald-Leader

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.

7:40am

Fri October 21, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Fiery Passion, Firebird and Fireball

Tybalt (Adam von Almen) and Roméo (Manuel Castillo) have words before they fight in the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre production of Roméo et Juliette. Castillo plays Roméo in the second and third shows. Gregory Turay has the role in the other two.
Rich Copley Lexington Herald-Leader

Graduate students will perform “Romeo and Juliet,” but University of Kentucky Opera is definitely professional grade.  Also this weekend, a one-woman show by Academy Award-winning actress Cloris Leachman at the Norton Center and a performance of “Firebird” by the Lexington Ballet at Lexington’s Lyric Theater.  The Lexington Herald Leader’s Rich Copley offers this preview. 

7:40am

Fri October 14, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Equestrian Theme New to the Boston Pops

University of Kentucky Symphony director John Nardolillo helped plan the event.
Rich Copley Lexington Herald-Leader

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.

7:40am

Fri October 7, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Asian Throat Singers and Brazilian Serenades

Rich Copley Lexington Herald-Leader

Cultures from four continents are represented this weekend during performances in central Kentucky.  There are throat singers from Asia,  musicians from Brazil, a drama based in an African brothel,  a couple of Chicago cops in big trouble.  Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader has this list.

7:40am

Fri September 30, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Asian Arts, Artists and Violinists

Korean violinist Hahn Bin.
Norton Center for the Arts

Asian arts and artists take the spotlight this weekend in Lexington.  Violinist Midori launches the 50th anniversary season for the Lexington Philharmonic.  To the south, in Danville, violinist Hahn Bin offers a more contemporary take on classical music.  And Sunday at the University of Kentucky, the Arts Asia Festival opens.  Offering a preview is Rich Copley, who’s an arts and culture reporter for the Lexington Herald Leader

7:40am

Fri September 23, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Von Trapps Rock and Peter Pan Ages

On her farewell tour as Peter Pan, gymnast Cathy Rigby performs this weekend in Lexington.  Also, from Broadway, a re-imagined version of “The Sound of Music” is offered at Danville’s Norton Center.  And, a new theatrical venue opens this weekend in Richmond with an inaugural performance from a hometown girl, country music star Wynonna Judd.  Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader offers a preview.

7:40am

Fri September 16, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

2 Tonys, 4 Actors, 39 Steps

“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. 

7:40am

Fri September 9, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Exhibit Gets Under Human Skin

A skeleton perched on a bicycle as part of Bodies Revealed, the inaugural exhibit at the Lexington Center Museum and Gallery. The exhibit runs from Saturday through Jan. 8.
David Perry Lexington Herald-Leader

A sometimes controversial exhibit opens this weekend in a new venue at the Lexington Center.  “Bodies Revealed” allows for close study of human anatomy through human cadavers.  Also, the Norton Center in Danville opens its season with a blues performance.  Previewing both is Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader newspaper.

7:40am

Fri September 2, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Boutique Theaters Sieze the Holiday

Ellie Clark, Evan Bergman and Sullivan Canaday White are the directors of Project SEE Theatre.
Rich Copley Lexington Herald-Leader

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. 

7:40am

Fri August 26, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Circuses "Get No Respect"

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 HouseRich Copley, who’s an arts and culture reporter for the Lexington Herald Leader, previews both events.

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