The performance of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ brought a lot of attention to the University of Kentucky’s School of Music. This weekend UK is again in the musical headlines in central Kentucky. Eastern Kentucky University, meanwhile, plays host to a legendary singer. And ‘John Coldtrain’ jazz is on tap in Lexington. WEKU’S Stu Johnson spoke with Arts and Culture reporter Rich Copley about weekend events.
Technically, the vocalist is still a student, but Michael Preasely already has impressive work experience. The University of Kentucky graduate student performed last summer with the Cincinnati Opera. Last month, Preasely sang with the Cincinnati Pops and this month, when “Phantom of the Opera” finally premiered in Lexington, the baritone was “the Phantom.” Now, Preasely’s preparing for the biggest challenge in his career, graduation this December. WEKU’s Charles Compton sat-in recently with Preacely during a coaching session on UK’s Lexington campus.
Business leaders will work to plot strategies to move Kentucky arts forward late this week. The Kentucky Arts Council is sponsoring a day long symposium this Friday in Lexington. Representatives from the business sector will discuss how they integrate the arts in day to day and long term business plans. Governor Beshear says ‘the arts spur community development, create jobs, and attract new businesses and educated workers.’
A classic play with a special anniversary takes its place in the spotlight over the next two weekends. The Actors Guild of Lexington performs ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ It wll be performed at 7:30 Fridays and Saturdays and two o clock Sundays at the Actors Guild Theater off Harrodsburg Road.
Basketmaker Terry Cornett is a juried member of the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen and the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program. Terry studied basket weaving at the John C. Campbell Folkschool under Martha Wetherbee, the renowned Shaker basket maker.
It’s likely Kentuckians today will confuse Cassius Clay, the boxer who became Muhammed Ali, with Cassius Clay, the abolitionist. Before the Civil War, Clay, who made his home just south of Lexington in Madison County, was a national figure who took the fight for emancipation into backyards of Kentucky’s slave holders. Now, a film on the life of Cassius Clay hopes to revive his memory. WEKU’s Charles Compton reports.
Todd Jones, left, Jacob Waid and Michael Preacely were triple cast in the title role of UK Opera Theatre's production of The Phantom of the Opera. Since then, however, Jones has been sidelined by a knee injury and won't appear onstage.
As the season changes, cultural life in central Kentucky is moving indoors. On this first full weekend of autumn, venues like Lexington’s Singletary Center for the Arts will be busy. Rich Copley, who covers arts for the Lexington Herald Leader, says the concert hall at the University of Kentucky will first host singer-songwriter Andrew Bird. Rich spoke about the American-Roots musician with reporter Charles Compton.
Actor Mel Hankla portrays "Audacious American" Cassius Clay in documentary by Michael Breeding of Lexington. Hankla stands in front of White Hall, Clay's Madison County home.
Credit courtesy of Sid Webb. / Michael Breeding Media.
A documentary revives the memory of a 19th century Kentuckian who led the fight against slavery in the south. The film, titled “Cassius Clay, an Audacious American” was created by Lexington Film maker Michael Breeding. Breeding says interest in the abolitionist is growing.
INK IN THE CAGE: The Stories Behind MMA Fighter Tattoos, by Barbara LoMonaco and Angela Baldridge at Morlan Gallery, Sept. 17 – October 26.
Credit Transylvania University / Morlan Gallery
Spin-offs are not exclusive to television sit-coms. A four-year old music festival called Boomslang has prompted multiple spin-offs, all of which take place this weekend in Lexington. Here with a preview of Boomslang and this weekend’s other events is Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader. He spoke with WEKU reporter Charles Compton.
CARROLLTON – Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, his wife, Madeline, and the Kentucky State Parks kicked off a series of celebrations Friday as General Butler State Resort Park and five other resort parks commemorated the 50th anniversary of the opening of their lodges. “Several generations of Kentuckians and out-of-state guests have enjoyed these resorts since 1962,” Abramson said in a park system news release. “These are great places for families to visit and I’m proud to be able to help these six Kentucky State Resort Parks celebrate this milestone.”
It’s an old joke among musicians. After a sub-standard performance, one tells the other, you better keep your day job. It’s advice the women of Sugartree say they’re sure to follow; each has a career outside of music. And those day jobs limit their travels, a bit.
A story told this weekend at the Balagula Theater in downtown Lexington is about a woman who can’t get away from crazy men. Here with a preview of “Bug” and this weekend’s other events is reporter Rich Copley. Rich, who covers the arts for the Lexington Herald Leader, spoke with WEKU’s Charles Compton.
The first weekend during the fall months is set aside for some digging around a historic site. It’s tabbed ‘Archaeology Days’ at White Hall in Madison County. White Hall was the home to Cassius Marcellus Clay, a major general in the Union Army, an ambassador to Russia, and a friend to Abe Lincoln. The archaeological digs there are coordinated by Jon Endonino with Eastern Kentucky University.
The Kentucky Opera announced today that the organization ended the year with a budget surplus. This is the third season under general director David Roth that the Opera has come out ahead. The season was marked by controversy over how the Opera filled its orchestra pit during the prolonged labor dispute between Louisville Orchestra musicians and management. That controversy, which included labor protests during the spring production of "The Merry Widow," apparently had little impact on the Opera's bottom line.
The members of Louisville rock band My Morning Jacket appear in a new campaign by non-profit Earthjustice that opposes mountaintop removal coal mining. Earthjustice's Mountain Heroes campaign includes photos and videos submitted by people who are against the controversial form of surface mining.
Outdoor activities dominate this weekend’s calendar. There’s a concert at Keeneland, and, Rich Copley, who covers arts and culture for the Lexington Herald Leader, says some of the region’s finest art will be on display at Woodland Park. Rich spoke with reporter Charles Compton.
"The Telephone Hour" features the teens of Sweet Apple gossiping in "Bye Bye Birdie." The Rep presents "Bye Bye Birdie" at the Lexington Opera House, 401 W. Short Street in Lexington, Ky., Aug. 3-5, 2012.
When it debuted on Broadway, “Bye Bye Birdie” was commentary on contemporary life. Today, the musical-comedy is a period-piece about pop-culture in 1960. It’s an attitude embraced by the producers who are reviving “Bye, Bye Birdie” in Lexington. Here with a preview is Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader. He spoke with WEKU’s Charles Compton.
Concours d'Elegance judges confab just before awards ceremony at Keene Barn.
Credit Charles Compton / WEKU
Hundreds of classic automobiles and thousands of people gathered over the weekend at the Keeneland Race Course for the annual Concours d’Elegance. Besides celebrating the history, engineering and artistry of vehicles like the Packard, the event was a fundraiser for Kentucky Children’s Hospital. Staffing the first aid tent was pediatric physician Erich Maul. Maul says the funds will buy high tech mannequins that can be used in training exercises.
Recent rains have been a blessing to farmers, but, not to stage managers. Wet weather has forced some adjustment on Lexington’s Summerfest. This weekend, weather permitting, is Tennessee Williams’ “Streetcar Named Desire.” Rich Copley, who’s an arts and culture reporter for the Lexington Herald Leader, says this production’s director makes it remarkable. He spoke with reporter Charles Compton