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.
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
The Eastern Kentucky University Center for the Arts on Tuesday announced the lineup for its second season and named an interim director while a search committee looks for a successor to Debra Hoskins, who resigned last month. Jill Price, currently the director of conferencing and events with the division of continuing education and outreach at EKU, will serve as the interim director. Price, who is a member of the center's community operations board and the search committee, will not seek the post permanently.
Half a dozen Kentucky State Resort Park lodges are turning 50 years old this year. Parks spokeswoman LaDonna Miller says special events are planned at each resort to commemorate the milestones. “The parks are actually older than that but this was a great building expansion in 1962, So these lodges this year turn 50”The first anniversary event is set for early August at Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park in western Kentucky.
The last phase of a two million dollar restoration project at the Kentucky Military History Museum begins later this month. The museum closes to the public after Saturday, July 28th, and will remain closed until next March. Marketing Coordinator Chelsea Compton says extensive renovation work will be done, inside and out.
The World Choir Games open Wednesday and groups from around the globe are arriving for the eleven-day event. Su Pavit is with the Chulada Choir of Chulalongkorn University Demonstration Secondary School from Bangkok, Thailand. He says the high school-age group is excited to be here and is feeling the pressure of competition.
A 1935 opera created by the sons of Russian immigrants about African-Americans in South Carolina is performed this weekend in Cincinnati by music majors from Kentucky. Only in America. Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader previews the Cincinnati Opera’s performance of “Porgy and Bess.” He also talks about the changing nature of summertime arts in the Bluegrass.
FRANKFORT – Kentucky State Parks are putting the finishing touches on their July 4th festivities. There will be plenty of firework displays, cookouts, entertainment and more. Some parks are having weekend events, while others are hosting events on Wednesday, July 4. See the list below for event dates and descriptions. To make lodging or camping reservations or to learn more about Kentucky State Parks, visit www.parks.ky.gov, according to a state parks news release.
It’s another record breaker for a summertime music program at Eastern Kentucky University. This is the 77th consecutive year for the Stephen Foster Music Camp, ranking it among the oldest in the nation. Ben Walker is director of the music camp program. “This is not only, you know, we’re the second oldest…this is also our largest camp ever in our history of camps,” said Walker.
UPDATED: Debra Hoskins has resigned as the director of the Eastern Kentucky University Center for the Arts, according to a statement released Tuesday morning by the Richmond university. The EKU release said a national search for Hoskins' replacement will begin immediately.
For the 43rd time, Christian rock music will fill the air near Wilmore Kentucky this week. For decades the Ichthus (ICK-thoos) festival was staged just blocks from downtown Wilmore. Over the last decade, thousands have come to a hillside a few miles outside town. There is always a theme for the four day run of music, teaching, camping, and worshiping. Ichthus Chief Executive, Mark Vermillion says this year’s theme is ‘Live Love.’
This Fathers’ Day weekend has several family acts putting their artworks on display in Lexington. The monthly Gallery Hop celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Ann Tower Gallery. On display there are artworks created by the family that founded the gallery. Actors Guild celebrates a family reunion as it presents, “Really You Should Use Bullets.” With an explanation of those stories and a preview of this weekend’s Bruce Hornsby concert at the Kentucky Theater is Rich Copley, who covers culture and the arts for the Lexington Herald Leader.
Certainly, Kentuckians love a sports car. When NASCAR returns to the Commonwealth later this month for a Sprint Cup Race, the turnout will rival the Kentucky Derby. But there are gear heads here with a taste for Italian. In other words, people like Lexington Businessman Tom Jones collect the Maserati. Jones discussed his decades-old passion with WEKU reporter Charles Compton.
From New York City to Lexington, this weekend we celebrate musical theater. Three Kentuckians will play prominent parts as the Tony Awards are presented. And, for the 20th summer, the University of Kentucky offers a “Grand Night for Singing.” Plus, the artworks that accompany record albums are the focus of a show in downtown Lexington. Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader takes a survey of this weekend’s events.
The singing and picking starts well before the first band hits the stage. Almost four decades ago, coordinator Roy ‘Miller’ Cornett’s grandparents got the festival going. Cornett admits, though, much of the entertainment can be found off-stage. “To be completely honest, the best music out here at the Festival of the Bluegrass is not on the main stage…the best music that takes place out here is what happens in the campground and the people that are sitting around their campfire playing until four o clock in the morning,” said Cornett.
Efforts to attract private donations for public projects continue to build steam. The Endowed Kentucky Program and Commission were established in 20-10 by the general assembly. The aim is to increase philanthropic activity across the Commonwealth. For example, Department for Local Government Commissioner Tony Wilder says they’re seeking inheritance for projects…such as parks, education and the arts.
Kentucky’s new commissioner for the State Department of Travel and Tourism is charged with expanding tourism by while landing new attractions. Mike Mangeot returns to a position in state tourism. About ten years ago, the 45 year old economic development specialist served as deputy commissioner of the Department of Travel. He wants to assess current conditions before making any firm suggestions, but, Mangeot sees opportunity across Kentucky.
The lineup for the 2012-13 Broadway Live series was announced this week during the annual season preview event at the Lexington Opera House. The Thursday event showcased local talent who performed excerpts from top national touring productions that have been booked for the coming season.
Starting this weekend, the doors of more than 20 Kentucky museums and historic sites are wide open for the state’s military members and their families. It’s all part of the national Blue Star Families program that benefits military members, past and present with free admission at these particular spots. Carla Nicholson is director of the Liberty Hall Historic site in downtown Frankfort. “Military families who can present a card..of participation in the military either.. current military families or those who are veterans..can get in free to the museums that are part of the Blue Star program from Memorial Day through Labor Day,” said Nicholson.
In January, Sally Wilfert was onstage in New York's Lincoln Center singing Why Do High School Teachers Make Me Cry? in a show of works by Broadway composer and lyricist William Finn. As she left the stage after the funny, poignant number, which makes reference to films including Goodbye Mr. Chips and Mr. Holland's Opus, she was encouraged by Finn to return to the stage and point out that two of her college teachers were in the audience: Eastern Kentucky University theater professors James R. Moreton and Homer Tracy.
It’s a curse felt by character actors. Everyone knows their faces. No one knows their names. Such is the fate of Kentucky-born actor Harry Dean Stanton. His movies, which include “Alien,” “The Green Mile” and “Repo Man” are the subject of a film festival this weekend in Lexington. Also this weekend a stage adaptation of “The Graduate” is performed by Studio Players. And, there’s news that a Broadway super hit will finally be performed in Lexington. Offering previews is Rich Copley, who’s an arts and cultural reporter for the Lexington Herald Leader.
Twenty horses are set to run in tomorrow’s Kentucky Derby. Three-time Derby winning trainer Bob Baffert has the morning line favorite in this year’s race. Bodemeister, named for Baffert’s son, drew post position six in the crowded gate. The second early favorite is Union Rags, trained by Michael Matz (pictured), who’s back with his first serious contender since Derby winner Barbaro in 2006.