Arts and Culture

This weekend’s arts offerings include some heavy hitters and a couple of surprises.

The Louisville Ballet and the Louisville Orchestra are presenting their first collaboration, an ambitious program that includes music by Stravinsky, Philip Glass, and the orchestra’s music director Teddy Abrams. You can read more about it, and listen to a conversation between Abrams and the ballet’s artistic director Robert Curran, here. (Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets here.)

The calendar says it’s not quite spring yet, but we all know that springtime in Louisville really starts when the Humana Festival kicks off. The first play, “Residence” by Laura Jacqmin, started performances this week, and the new Sarah Ruhl play, “For Peter Pan on her 70th birthday,” opens next week. You can hear my recent conversation with Actors Theatre Artistic Director Les Waters here. (Complete festival lineup and ticket info here.)

Louisville audiences have had several opportunities recently to see plays from August Wilson’s Century Cycle, the sprawling collection of plays reflecting the African-American experience in the 20th century. HBO recently committed to filming all 10 of them, in a series produced by Denzel Washington, but until that happens, you can catch up this weekend with “King Hedley II,” produced by the Smoked Apple Theatre Group. (Vault 1031, 1031 S. 6th Street, tickets here.)

The Clifton Center recently hosted musician Dom Flemons, of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, for a concert and a lecture about African-American musical traditions about Appalachia. The programming continues in that vein this weekend and into next week with presentations and panel discussions on African-American quilting, African-Americans in the horse racing industry, and the “secret history of rock and roll.” (Hint: it involves jug bands. No kidding.) More info here.