Rich Copley, Lexington Herald Leader

Arts and Cultural reporter for the Lexington Herald Leader.
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. 

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. 

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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

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.

“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. 

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.

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. 

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.

Lexington Art League

The summer arts season climaxes this weekend in central Kentucky.  The annual Chamber Music Festival of Lexington takes place at the Fasig-Tipton Pavillion.  Outdoor concerts are staged at Keeneland and Whitehall State Park.  And, artists and crafts people gather at Lexington’s Woodland Park for its annual fair.  Offering a look ahead is arts and culture reporter Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader newspaper. 

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.

Hannah Potes / Lexington Herald-Leader

The hidden is unveiled this weekend in Lexington.  A sound sculpture, sponsored by Lexarts, resurrects a buried river.  And, an exhibit at the University of Kentucky lifts the veil on veils.  Arts and cultural reporter Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader newspaper offers a preview of both artworks.

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.

Rich Copley / Lexington Herald-Leader

Two musicals for two very different audiences this weekend in central Kentucky.  The Lexington Children’s Theater offers a production of “Annie” that includes whole families in its cast.  Summerfest stages “The Rocky Horror Show” for people with more adult tastes.  Plus, in response to audience demand, “Three Viewings” will have more viewings.  Arts reporter Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader offers these previews.

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.

If fireworks are at the top of the list for Independence Day activities, then music is number two.  A 4th of July country music concert is planned for Lexington, as is a pops concert by the Lexington Philharmonic OrchestraRich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader offers this preview.

Summer destinations rely more this year on their neighbors for support.  Instead of tourists, summer events like the Ichthus Christian Rock Festival near Wilmore, The Stephen Foster Story in Bardstown and A Grand Night for Singing at the University of Kentucky, now target local audiences.  Reporter Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader offers an explanation.

In the arts calendar, some weekends are busier that ever.  Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader offers an explanation.  Plus, he previews the Great American Brass Band Festival, A Grand Night for Singing, the Festival of the Bluegrass and an organist convention, which all take place this weekend in central Kentucky.