Arts and Humanities

Arts and Humanities
3:14 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

REVIEW | Actors Theatre's 'Our Town' Reinvigorates a Classic

Bruce McKenzie as Stage Manager, with the cast of "Our Town" at Actors Theatre of Louisville.
Credit Bill Brymer

It’s not easy producing a classic play. You carry the weight of the aggregate of all previous productions with you into the theatre, where you then ask the audience to set aside their individual ideas about how this play should look, sound and feel on stage based on what they’ve seen before and accept your vision with an open mind and heart. If the production is faithful to tradition, you’re rewarded by those seeking comfort in the familiar, but the other side of the coin can be brutal – dismissed by those prizing innovation over all. And the opposite is also true – a daring production can break all of the rules and garner critical acclaim while alienating a large swath of ticket buyers.

All of this is to say that Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” was not necessarily a “safety” pick for Actors Theatre of Louisville’s 50th anniversary season. There is as much danger in producing such a well-known and frequently produced (especially on school and community stages) play as there is in putting up an untested world premiere in the Humana Festival.

But director (and artistic director) Les Waters, who came to “Our Town” with an Englishman’s fresh eyes, has pulled it off. His “Our Town” is a sensitive, beautiful and unsentimental production that honors Wilder’s groundbreaking script while offering innovative gestures that are wholly his own.

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Arts and Humanities
1:20 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

REVIEW | Louisville Ballet Dancers Flex Choreography Muscles

Natalia Ashikhmina in Rob Morrow's “Paranoia Prima” in the Louisville Ballet's 2014 Choreographers' Showcase.
Credit David Toczko / Louisville Ballet

  The 2014 Louisville Ballet Choreographers' Showcase is this week at the ballet's headquarters on Main Street. This year's Showcase brought together a smorgasbord of seventeen short pieces choreographed by company members and trainees, with almost half of the complete company represented as choreographers. Some pieces were choreographed by familiar names, while others contributed an original piece to the Showcase for the first time. 

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Arts and Humanities
9:00 am
Fri January 24, 2014

WUOL's Daniel Gilliam Discusses 'Music Makes a City' Documentary on the Louisville Orchestra

Credit PBS

"Music Makes a City" is a documentary produced by Owsley Brown III and Jerome Hiler. 

 The film tells the unlikely story of the Louisville Orchestra—created out of the Great Flood of 1937—and its mission to commission and record new music. All said and done, the orchestra commissioned 52 works and recorded over 450 on LPs.

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Podcast
7:02 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Sound on Film Podcast: The Best Movies of 2013

Credit Fox Searchlight Pictures

Hello brave listener and welcome to WFPL’s Sound on Film.

This is it. The super-sized Best of 2013 episode detailing our absolute favorite movies of the year, alongside some memorable onscreen moments.

Joined by guest panelist Adam Stovall, a screenwriter and film journalist for Creative Screenwriting Magazine, this is the one where we leave it all on the table.

Hope you remembered your tux, because here we go.

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Arts and Humanities
5:01 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Abbey Road on the River Producers Stage Live Re-Enactment of Ed Sullivan's Fab Four Show

The Beatles wave to fans after arriving at Kennedy Airport on February 7, 1964.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

On February 9, 1964, Ed Sullivan introduced the Beatles to his American audience, bringing the nascent British Invasion to almost half of America's televisions in one evening. 

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Arts and Humanities
12:53 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Service Plans for Former Kentucky Opera Director Thomson Smillie

Thomson Smillie
Credit Submitted photo

A funeral Mass for Thomson Smillie, director of Kentucky Opera from 1982-1997, is planned for Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Assumption, 433 S. Fifth Street. A Memorial Concert will follow at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the W.L. Lyons Brown Theatre, 315 W. Broadway. A reception will follow the concert in the adjacent Fifth/Third Conference Center.

Smillie died Saturday at his home. He was 71.

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Arts and Humanities
11:17 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Actors Theatre Extends 'Pirates' Run

The cast of "The Pirates of Penzance," Actors Theatre of Louisville, 2014
Credit Bill Brymer / Actors Theatre of Louisville

Due to heavy demand for tickets, Actors Theatre of Louisville is extending the run of "The Pirates of Penzance" in the Bingham Theatre. The company has added an extra performance, February 5 at 7:30 p.m., to increase capacity for the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta.

"We've been thrilled by the tremendous response we have seen from audiences. Louisville is really loving this party in the middle of winter," says spokeswoman Kirsty Gaukel. "People have been returning to see the show for a second time, so they can try out the promenade seats."

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Arts and Humanities
1:00 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Actors Theatre's Les Waters Sees American Classic With Fresh Eyes

Credit Actors Theatre of Louisville

Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” is a certified American classic. Taught and performed in high schools across the country, the play, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1938, at times suffers from the regrettable side-effects of that familiarity, reduced to a sentimental period piece appealing to those nostalgic for small-town simple life at the turn of the 20th century.

Wilder, oddly enough, is often misunderstood by those who should know him best. 

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Arts and Humanities
6:46 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

Former Kentucky Opera Leader Thomson Smillie Dies

Thomson Smillie
Credit Submitted photo

Thomson Smillie, who led the Kentucky Opera to become one of the nation’s leading regional opera companies, died at 10:30 Saturday night at his home. He was 71.

A native Scotsman, Smillie came to Louisville in 1981, where he spent a year working with the Kentucky Opera’s founder, Moritz Bomhard, before taking the reigns as Mr. Bomhard’s successor in 1980.

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Arts and Humanities
1:45 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Listen | Kyle Coma-Thompson Reads 'From Anna'

Kyle Coma-Thompson
Credit Dock Street Press

Louisville writer Kyle Coma-Thompson’s first book is out. His collection of short stories, “The Lucky Body,” was published in December by Seattle’s Dock Street Press

Coma-Thompson is a former Axton Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Louisville. He earned his Master of Fine Arts in writing at the University of Virginia, and began his creative writing studies as an undergraduate studying with Nikky Finney at the University of Kentucky. 

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