Kentucky Shakespeare kicks off its 59th annual free Kentucky Shakespeare Festival in Central Park with a comedy, a history, and a tragedy. The season begins with their professional productions of As You Like It May 29th, then Henry IV, Part II June 13th, followed by King Lear on June 27th. July 9th-21st all three performances will be presented in repertory. The season will be dedicated to the late Bekki Jo Schneider, former Producer of Kentucky Shakespeare and founder Doug Ramey’s immediate successor. “Last year we lost our dear friend Bekki Jo. She was instrumental in helping make the company what it is today, not only during her tenure here as an actor and leader but for years after as a mentor to me and to so many others in our community. We dedicate this season to her as we celebrate her life and legacy,” said Matt Wallace, Producing Artistic Director.
“Though it’s winter now, we’ve been busy planning an exciting 59th season of Kentucky Shakespeare Festival! This season features a company of 20 performers and an array of 54 community pre-shows, with 7 productions and 58 performances over our 10-week summer season,” says Wallace. “Thanks to an Imagine 2020 Project Grant, made possible by Louisville Metro Government in partnership with the Fund for the Arts, we will also present the Kids’ Globe this summer! Before performances youth can visit our Kids’ Globe tent to participate in free interactive, hand-on arts activities all summer long. We’ll again have a variety of 28 food trucks from the Louisville Food Truck Association rotating nightly, along with our Brown-Forman Bar, Will’s Tavern and Will’s Gift Shop. If you haven’t been lately, you haven’t been!”
The season kicks off with As You Like It, Shakespeare’s beloved, gender-swapping romantic comedy set in the Forest of Arden, where lives can be transformed when you least expect it. Matt Wallace directs, setting the production in 19th century Kentucky. It will feature live music with the cast performing original songs composed by Louisville singer/songwriter Aaron Bibelhauser of the bluegrass band Relic. The production stars Hallie Dizdarevic as Rosalind with Jon Becraft as Orlando, Gregory Maupin as Touchstone, Abigail Bailey Maupin as Jacques, Crystian Wiltshire as Silvius, Jon Patrick O’Brien as Oliver, and making their Kentucky Shakespeare debut, recent Actors Theatre performers Amber Avant as Celia and Angelica Santiago as Phebe.
Henry IV, Part II explores the precarious friendship of Prince Hal and Falstaff. The play is the third installment in the “Game of Kings” series, which wraps up with Henry V in 2020, the Festival’s 60th season. The production is directed by Associate Artistic Director Amy Attaway and will again feature original music from Wax Fang’s Scott Carney. Tom Luce returns as the title king, J. Barrett Cooper returns as Falstaff and Zachary Burrell as Prince Hal, with cast members including Will DeVary as Prince John, Amber Avant as Lady Percy, Kyle Ware as Ensign Pistol, and Kentucky Shakespeare veteran Monte Priddy as Shallow. “This play is a little detour from the wartime saga, and it easily stands on its own. It’s irreverent, funny, and deeply human – I can’t wait to show our audiences this different side of everyone’s favorite fat knight,” said director Amy Attaway.
Rounding out the main stage productions is one of Shakespeare’s most powerful tragedies, King Lear, last performed by Kentucky Shakespeare 32 years ago. Wallace directs the production, set in ancient Britain, that follows a once-great ruler’s descent into madness. Kentucky Shakespeare veteran Jon Huffman takes on the title role, with cast members including Jennifer Pennington as Gloucester, Dathan Hooper as Kent, Braden McCampbell as Edmund, and Neill Robertson as Edgar.
The Louisville Improvisors return with Late Night Shakes on select Saturdays bringing late night improvised Shakespeare shows, June 1st, 15th, 29th and August 3rd.
Kentucky Shakespeare’s Globe Players Professional Training Program for high school students will present the comedy Twelfth Night, directed by Kentucky Shakespeare’s Director of Education Kyle Ware, running July 24th – 27th.
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company returns to the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival stage July 28th and 30th to present the touring production of Romeo and Juliet directed by Caitlin McWethy.
Rounding out the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival season, Louisville Ballet returns to present a premiere of Cleopatra: Queen of Kings. They have based the dance piece on Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, and what is known about the life of Cleopatra. Roger Creel and Scott Moore again create the piece, with the addition this year of Louisville Ballet dancer Erica De La O as lead choreographer. The production runs July 31st to August 4th.
6:30pm Food Trucks Open
7:00pm Will’s Tavern, Will’s Gift Shop, and Kids’ Globe open
7:15pm Nightly Community Pre-Show Entertainment
8:00pm Main Stage Production
The 81st year of the historic Iroquois Amphitheater begins Sunday, April 7 with Kentucky Shakespeare’s touring production of Macbeth, and includes national musical acts, local theatre arts productions, festivals, and Metro Council-sponsored movie nights.
“The Amphitheater is a true local treasure and one of the most beautiful facilities in the Louisville area to catch a show,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “Iroquois Park presents a wonderful backdrop, and as always, the lineup this year looks fantastic.”
Production Simple, AC Entertainment and Louisville Public Media are sponsoring several shows; two of which – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit with Sun Volt April 20, and Hozier on June 13 – have already sold out. For the full schedule of concerts, visit iroquoisamphitheater.com.
Local arts and cultural programming, including the Macbeth production, will also be featured. The Louisville Youth Orchestra will perform on Sunday, April 28 as part of the Kentucky Derby Festival, and the Amphitheater will also host the Americana World Community Center Festival on Saturday, June 1.
Free family-friendly movies at the Amphitheater begin Friday, May 24 with the film “Skyscraper” and conclude on Friday, August 16 with “Instant Family.” Those films are sponsored by council members Kevin Triplett, Rick Blackwell, Nicole George and David Yates.
Later in the year, the area surrounding the Amphitheater will host the Louisville Jack O’Lantern Spectacular for the 7th year from October 8 – November 3. The Spectacular is the major fundraiser for the Louisville Parks Foundation, the non-profit entity supporting Louisville’s public parks.
Additionally, the Amphitheater is now contracted with Southern Hospitality (SoHo) for food and beverage concessions. SoHo will be providing an expanded menu of food and beverage options and is affiliated with Danny Wimmer Presents, the independent musical production company responsible for local music festivals Louder Than Life, Bourbon And Beyond and Hometown Rising.
Historic Locust Grove, a National Historic Landmark established c. 1792, is planning a year of programming centering on The Age of Hamilton, the period of time from c. 1770- 1805 that encompasses the American Revolution and the early years of American independence.
Keyed to the arrival in June 2019 of Hamilton: An American Musical, at the Kentucky Center for the Arts, Locust Grove will look at the personalities and events of the era of the American Revolution through the Early National period in depth. Washington, Jefferson, Burr, and Hamilton all were part of the world of William Croghan and George Rogers Clark.
The story of Locust Grove finds its roots in the American Revolution, through the military service of Major William Croghan, who established and lived at Locust Grove from 1792-1822, and his brother-in-law, General George Rogers Clark, who founded Louisville in 1778 and led the Illinois Campaign that brought the western territories under the control of American forces at the same time George Washington commanded the Continental Army in the east. Croghan fought with the Continental Army and was a participant in the battles of Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, and Germantown. He wintered with Continental forces at Valley Forge and witnessed the British surrender at Yorktown in 1781. Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, the Marquis de Lafayette were all part of the world of both Croghan and Clark.
“The experiences of the people of the Revolutionary era presented in Hamilton are mirrored in the stories of the people of Locust Grove and early Louisville,” says Carol Ely, Executive Director of Locust Grove. “It’s exciting to have the chance to explore the personalities and ideas of the era in fresh new ways.”
Locust Grove kicks off The Age of Hamilton this month with A Winter’s Ball, just in time for Valentine’s Day. This historical ball will be held on Saturday, February 9 from 7:00 – 10:00 pm, and will feature live music and period dancing. Co-sponsored by The Jane Austen Society of North America—Greater Louisville Region, guests will be asked to wear historical dress from their favorite time period as we capture the atmosphere of the ball where Alexander Hamilton met his bride, Eliza Schuyler in 1780.
Guests should look for a trio of Punch with the President evenings in March, April and May focusing on the lives and libations of presidents George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. Led by visiting historians, including Dr. Matthew Costello of The White House Historical Association, Gwynne Tuell Potts, and historical interpreter Peyton Dixon, these evening programs find connections between the first three presidents, early American history, and Locust Grove, along with period drinks. Locust Grove’s Afternoon Lecture Series, held on the first Wednesday of each month, will focus on revolutionary topics such as African Americans in the Revolution and dueling in Early Kentucky. A subsequent program on June 6, Hamilton: How the Musical Remixes American History, presented by Dr. Richard Bell, will explore the historical origins of the blockbuster musical.
This season of programming at Locust Grove also engages the site’s educational mission, with a professional development opportunity for teachers on February 16, and a student competition where students will perform using historical documents as their inspiration. Thanks to the generosity of the Louisville Theatrical Association/PNC Broadway in Louisville, participants in these programs will have the opportunity to win tickets to see Hamilton when it arrives in Louisville. Members of the public will also have the chance to win tickets for the show.
Finally, Locust Grove’s Age of Hamilton will culminate with The Hamilton Festival on June 16, 2019. This celebration of the Revolution will feature student performances of original pieces, a re-creation of the Hamilton-Burr Duel, a sing-a-long, and presentation on clothing of the period, Aaron Burr’s time in Louisville, and more.
According to Brian Cushing, Locust Grove’s program director, “The site has explored a lot of exciting directions over the years but the contributions to the United States of America by the Revolutionary War veterans connected with Locust Grove, especially George Rogers Clark, remains the cornerstone of our story. Now that Hamilton is shining a spotlight on that era, we’re able to draw our visitors, into the core of our mission of the exploration of history.”
A full calendar of The Age of Hamilton events and more information can be found at www.locustgrove.org/revolution.
68 days and counting to this year’s Thunder Over Louisville – the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Opening Ceremonies. The Festival announced the theme of this year’s show and named the event’s sponsors at their headquarters this morning. This year’s theme – “The Wonderful World of Thunder” – will celebrate 30 years of the show with a soundtrack of songs from everyone’s favorite fairytale and animated movies. Horseshoe Southern Indiana, LG&E, Meijer, and UPS return as Presenting Sponsors of the day-long event set for Saturday, April 13.
“The entire show is shaping up to be a magical 30th celebration,” said Mike Berry, Kentucky Derby Festival President and CEO. “Thunder Over Louisville is a major undertaking and we’re able to continue producing the show year-after-year thanks to the continued support of our sponsors.”
This is the 29th consecutive year that UPS has been a presenting sponsor of Thunder Over Louisville. Horseshoe Southern Indiana has been a presenting sponsor for 20 consecutive years. LG&E and Meijer have both been Thunder sponsors for the past 13 years in a row.
In addition to the presenting sponsors, Ford Motor Company returns as title sponsor of Ford’s Thunder on the Ground and Papa John’s returns as title sponsor of Papa John’s Thunder Funder program. Logan Lavelle Hunt is the Official Sound Sponsor and The Galt House is the Official Hotel of the event. Thunder Over Louisville’s 2019 Official Broadcast Partners are WAVE 3 News and SummitMedia’s 106.9 PLAY.
The Festival is also planning for another packed air show in 2019. The show will feature the U.S. Army Golden Knights, the KC Flight Formation Team, the 6-ship Trojan Thunder Team, Younkin Airshows and many more. Additional details on the 2019 Thunder Air Show will be released closer to the show date.
January is proving to be a busy month at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Admission varies by event, but parking is $10 per vehicle per event.
The year kicks off of with the end the Kentucky Flea Market New Year’s Spectacular. The event starts on December 29th and includes free admission. As an added bonus, if you make a purchase at the Flea Market, parking will be half price.
Next up on the calendar is the National Wrestling Coaches Association Multi-Divisional Natioanl Duals. The two day event will feature the some of the best atheletes from Division II, III, NAIA, NJCAA and Women’s programs from across the country. Tickets start at $17 for students and $25 for adults, plus parking at the Exposition center.
January 5th will be the Yugioh! Regional Qualifier. Entry fee is $20 (spectators are free) and includes 5 packs of soul fusion. More information about tournament structure and format can be found online.
January 6th will be the Kentucky Bridal and Wedding Expo. Tickets are $10 at the door (or free if acquired online in advance).
January 10-12: Members of ATA can attend the Archery Trade Association show.
January 12 and 13: The Great Train Show is designed for anyone interested in model trains. The show will feature more than 40 exhibitors, model train displays, workshops, and a riding train for children. Children are free with an adult. Tickets are available online.
January 18-20: The Outdoor Life/Field and Stream Expo. This Expo was formerly named the Deer and Turkey Expo. Anyone interested in the outdoors, or hunting will find something here. The show will feature a trophy contest, seminars, archery and shooting ranges, and more. Tickets can be purchased in advanced online at a discounted price.
January 19-20: National Gun Day JAG Military Gun Show. More information to be announced as the event gets closer.
January 23-27: Louisville Boat, RV and Sport Show Children under 12 are free with adult. Tickets are available for purchase online.
January 25-27: USA BMX Bluegrass Nationals. Freedom Hall will become an indoor BMX racing track as athletes compete in the second of 13 events. The event is open to the public.
January 26-27: The Crown Cheer & Dance Championship. This event will be held in the Broadbent Arena and admission is $15 per person (children 5 and younger are free with adult).
January 30-February 1: Midwest Manufacturing Housing Federation Show This is not a public show and only people that are involved in the industry will be admitted.
By Laura Mullaney
Actors Theatre’s Board of Directors and committee co-chairs Wendy Sirchio and Stewart Lussky announce the annual fundraiser Lobster Feast 2019: It’s Showtime! at the Louisville Marriott Downtown (280 West Jefferson Street, Louisville, KY 40202) on Saturday, January 26, 2019 beginning at 6 p.m. For the third consecutive year, Old Forester is the presenting sponsor. Supporting sponsorship is provided by White Clay, Republic National Distributing Company, Brown-Forman, Fifth Third Bank, The Voice-Tribune and The Glenview Trust Company. Valet sponsors will be Volvo of Louisville, BMW of Louisville and Courtesy Cadillac.
This year’s event is themed It’s Showtime!, a night to celebrate why #LouisvilleLovesTheatre. The night will take patrons on a behind-the-scenes tour of the experience of bringing a show to life. Don’t miss your chance to be featured in the spotlight! Consistently rated as one of Louisville’s “best parties” (The Voice-Tribune), Lobster Feast features all-you-can-eat lobster and a locally-sourced dinner buffet, Old Forester cocktails and open bar, live and silent auctions, and a dance floor for celebrating all night.
For this year’s event, Community leader and Board member Barbara Juckett and our volunteers have put together an exciting line-up of live auction items. Select items include Wimbledon and Tuscany trips, private dinners at The Hermitage with Chef Susan Hershberg of Wiltshire Pantry and a private dinner in your home with Chef Josh Moore of Volare Italian Ristorante. Live auction items are now available for preview: Bidpal.net/LobsterFeast
Lobster Feast is Actors Theatre’s largest annual fundraising event, generating significant support toward the theatre’s annual fundraising goal of more than $4 million. From a season of celebrated works and the internationally-acclaimed Humana Festival of New American Plays, to education workshops and residencies in our schools, the funds raised ensure that Actors Theatre continues to provide quality arts experiences for this community.
Tickets are on sale now at $300 per person and $3,000 for a table of ten. $5,000 VIP tables in the Inner Circle and additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Order tickets at LobsterFeast.org or contact Matthew Brown, Development Coordinator, at email@example.com or 502.584.1265 x3085.
Councilwoman Mary C. Woolridge will once again bring holiday cheer to the children of District 3 and their families with the Annual District 3 Holiday Party and Toy Give – A – Way set for Saturday, December 15th.
“In all my years on the Metro Council, this event has been one of my favorites to make sure the children of our area have a wonderful Christmas,” says Woolridge. “Our holiday party is designed to make sure no child is forgotten during this season of giving. The holiday season should be a very special time for all of us, children especially needs to enjoy this season.”
The District 3 Holiday Party and Toy Give-A-Way will take place on Saturday, December 15th at the C. E. Kirby Center, 2308 Algonquin Parkway which is adjacent to Southern Star Baptist Church.
The party gets underway from 11:00 A.M. until 1:00 PM.
There will be fun, refreshments and entertainment.
Councilwoman Woolridge will have more than 200 toys to be given away along with candy and other items. The party is for children between the ages of three and thirteen. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
“I hope every deserving child in our area will come and join us as we spread joy and some fun during this holiday season,” says Woolridge.
For more information about the Annual District 3 Holiday Party and Toy Give-A-Way, contact Councilwoman Woolridge’s office at 574-1103.