For the 2009-2010 Balagula Theatre season, audiences can expect more of the oddball intellectual comedies for which they have come to know and love Balagula for. This season, which artistic director Ryan Case calls Balagula’s first “official season,” will focus on the existential and the absurd, featuring works by Samuel Beckett, Eugene Ionesco, Jean Paul Sartre and Arthur Kopit.
Balagula Theatre was founded in 2003 as an “actor’s theatre,” emphasizing the mission of nurturing the talent of its actors, and it has grown steadily ever since. Case said he was overwhelmed with the number of actors who showed up to audition for the upcoming season. Short, one-act “curtain raisers” will precede the “Bald Soprano,” “No Exit” and “Oh Dad…,” presenting what Case calls an opportunity to employ more actors and test new directors as well.
Shows begin at 8 p.m. at Natasha’s Bistro & Bar,112 Esplanade. For more information, call (859) 259-0183.
“B” For Beckett: A Night of Samuel Beckett’s Plays
Sept. 13 -
Balagula’s dip into the existential begins with three one-act plays by highly influential Irish dramatist Samuel Beckett. The plays include “Play,” “Not I” and “End Game” and, as with much existential and absurdist drama, reflect a bleak outlook on the world, informed by the atrocities of war and other unsavory human behaviors. Directed by Ryan Case, Natasha Williams and Adam Luckey.
Nov. 8 – 11
“The Bald Soprano” is the first play written by French-Romanian playwright Eugene Ionesco (in 1948) and has since become one of the most performed plays in all of France. A parody of traditional dramatist structure, the production comments on the futility of modern communication, with the primary dialogue alternating between the everyday, linear and nonsensical conversations of two British couples. Directed by Natasha Williams.
February 21-24; 28-March 3
The source of French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre’s famous quote “Hell is other people,” “No Exit” is the tale of three characters who find themselves trapped in a room (it may be hell, or may be purgatory) as a result of their sins, many of which somehow revolve around intimate three-way relationships. Left only with their own thoughts and the probes and enticements of one another, the characters are forced to examine their own weaknesses – thus calling into question the true meaning of hell. Written by Jean-Paul Sartre; directed by Ryan Case.
Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Momma Hung You in the Closet
and I’m Feeling So Sad
May 16-19; 23-26
The play that won playwright Arthur Kopit the 1962 Vernon Rice award (now known as the Drama Desk Award), “Oh Dad…” is an absurdist comedy that takes place in a Havana hotel in the 1950s. The plot revolves around the maniacal Madame Rosepettle; her deceased husband (whose stuffed body has become a travel accessory of sorts); her obsessive-compulsive son Jonathan (whom she keeps locked in the closet of the hotel); and the young blonde Rosalie, whose lust for Jonathan is insatiable. According to a review in the Pittsburgh City Paper, the plot is ultimately “a battle of wits between mother and girlfriend, and everything ends in insanity and death.” Directed by Natasha Williams.
Broadway Live at the Lexington Opera House
New season subscriptions (“season tickets”) and individual tickets to all Fall shows are available now at the Lexington Center Ticket Office. Subscriptions include a ticket to one of the performances of each of the six Broadway LIVE presentations. Individual tickets to all Spring shows will go on sale Nov. 16. For more information, call (859) 233-3535. Visit www.lexingtonoperahouse.com for show times.
Of Mice & Men
Sept. 25 – 27
This show brings to life John Steinbeck’s captivating tale of the unique friendship between two traveling workers, George and Lennie, and their quest for the American dream.
The Wizard of Oz
Nov. 6 – 8
This timeless production features the classic songs and beloved characters you remember from your childhood, complete with lively choreography, colorful costumes and creative lighting.
The Drowsy Chaperone
Jan. 22 – 24, 2010
This 2006 Tony Awards Tony Award winner has been called “an homage to the American musicals of the Jazz age, examining the effect musicals have on the fans who adore them.”
Feb. 12 – 14
One of history’s greatest love stories and the definitive musical theatre fable, “Camelot” follows the love triangle of King Arthur, Queen Guenevere and the young Lancelot.
April 9 – 11
A Broadway smash-hit and 2004 Tony Award winner, this hilarious show is about trying to make it in NYC with big dreams and a tiny bank account. “Avenue Q” features a cast of people and puppets who tell the story in a smart, risquÈ and downright entertaining way.
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
May 7 – 9
Tale as old as time, true as it can be, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” the smash-hit Broadway musical, is coming to Lexington. Based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature film, this eye-popping spectacle has won the hearts of over 35 million people worldwide.
The Lexington Ballet
Now backed with a dance troupe consisting of eight professional dancers, the Lexington Ballet plans on expanding all of its programs, from education and outreach, to establishing a series of satellite schools in the surrounding areas. For more, visit www.lexingtonballet.org.
Fabric of Dance: Encore
8 p.m. Sept. 17 -
18. Lexington Opera House (401 W. Short St.)
This powerful dance event will feature cutting edge works performed by professional dancers.
The Koln Concert
8 p.m. Oct. 23 -
24. Lexington Ballet Studios (ArtsPlace, 161 N. Mill St.)
The premiere of “Koln,” a new work by artistic director Luis Dominguez, set to the music of Keith Jarret.
Nutcracker: Up Close
8 p.m. Dec. 11 – 13, 18 – 20; 2 p.m. Dec. 12 – 13, 19 – 20. Guignol Theatre (in UK’s Fine Arts Building)
A Christmas tradition that uplifts the spirit through dance, this timeless holiday classic has entertained audiences for more than a century.
8 p.m. Feb. 5 – 6; 2 p.m. Feb. 7. Downtown Arts Center (141 E. Main St.)
Variations from Paquitra, Albinoni and a repertoire that includes the Cheat with the Ace of Diamonds and Galatea.
Hard Rock Ballet
8 p.m. April 16 – 17. Lexington Opera House.
A compilation of stories connected by rock and roll. Artistic director Dominguez creates a new work with music from Bill Monroe, Buddy Holly, Bill Hailey, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and other artists.
Ballet School Show
7 p.m. May 14 – 15; 2 p.m. May 15 -
16. Downtown Arts Center.
Lexington Children’s Theatre
Since 1938, Lexington Children’s Theatre has been providing quality theatrical experiences for the youth of Kentucky. All shows take place at the LCT Main Stage (418 W. Short St.) unless noted otherwise. For tickets, call (859) 254-4546 or visit www.lctonstage.org.
2 p.m. Sept. 27, Oct. 3 – 4; 7 p.m. Oct. 3
Based on the book by Collodi and adapted by James Still, this classic story of a puppet who dreams of becoming a boy will be brilliantly brought to life by director Vivian Snipes.
The Legend of John Henry
2 p.m. Oct. 10 -
11; 7 p.m. Oct. 10
Join John Henry and Polly as they prove once and for all, the strength of a person is not only measured in muscle, but in heart.
If You Give a Pig a Pancake
2 p.m. Nov. 1, 7 -
8; 7 p.m. Nov. 7
Another children’s favorite from writer Laura Numeroff, the author of “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.”
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
2 p.m. Nov. 28, Dec. 5 – 6; 7 pm. Dec. 5
When the infamous Herdman children are cast in their town’s annual church pageant the community starts to wonder if the show will happen at all. Always a family favorite, this production will take place at the Lexington Opera House.
The Little Mermaid
2 p.m. Dec. 13, 19 -
20; 7 p.m. Dec. 19
Comical comrades Flotsam and Jetsam creatively recount this beloved story of a Little Mermaid who discovers why a life full of big adventure is often full of even bigger choices.
The Fisherman and His Wife
2 p.m. Jan. 24, 30 -
31; 7 p.m. Jan. 30, 2010
What happens when a wish-granting fish turns a fisherman’s life upside-down with the flick of a fin? This production is a funny folktale about a talking fish who teaches his friends why greed isn’t the way to go.
2 p.m. Feb. 14, 20 -
21; 7 p.m. Feb. 20
Stanley Yelnets wakes up, misses the bus, gets his binder tossed in the toilet, is charged for a crime he didn’t commit and there is only one explanation: the curse.
The Red Badge of Courage
2 p.m. March 13 -
14; 7 p.m. March 13
This production is the telling of one boy’s struggle to not only discover what it means to be a man, but what it means to be a hero. Witness one of the most significant works in American literature onstage.
Go, Dog. Go!
2 p.m. May 2, 8 – 9; 7 p.m. May 8
What could be more fun than dogs on roller skates zipping around the stage? Come find out as LCT ends their 71st season with this production.
Central Kentucky’s oldest community theatre is back for its 57th season starting this September with Agatha Christie’s mystery “The Unexpected Guest.” A tried-and-true balance of comedy, holiday fodder and thrillers round out the rest of the productions, which have been performed for the past 40 years at the Carriage House on Bell Court.
All shows are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday night, as well as opening night, and 2 p.m. for the Sunday matinees. Tickets for each production are available at the Downtown Arts Center box office by calling (859) 225-0370 or by visiting www.lexarts.tix.com. Season tickets are also available.
The Unexpected Guest
Sept. 10 -
A thriller, as well as a puzzler, set in a foggy estate in Wales, this mystery reveals a Pandora’s box of loves and hates, suspicions and intrigues, and mistaken identities – in true Agatha Christie fashion. The production requires a “dead” guest with no speaking parts during the first scene, and Studio Players are trying to find a local celebrity to fill the role (hint, hint Coach Calipari). Directed by Gary McCormick.
Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol
Nov. 19 -
The award-winning play by Tom Mula claims to be the real story behind Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” – the story of Jacob Marley’s heroic behind-the-scenes efforts to save old Scrooge’s soul (and in the process, save his own). This irreverent, funny and ultimately deeply moving story retells Dicken’s classic with warmth and infectious zeal. Directed by Carly Preston.
Jan. 21, 2010 -
Feb. 7, 2010
Austin is a stable, successful Hollywood screenwriter. Lee is his menacing, vagabond brother. The story of their tragicomic quest to change identities is funny and terrifying, realistic and surrealistic, and ultimately mesmerizing. Written by Sam Shepard; directed by Eric Ryan Seale.
Wait Until Dark
March 18 – April 4
Suzy Hendrix, a blind housewife, becomes the target of a sinister conman and two ex-cons searching for a mysterious doll they have traced to the Greenwich Village apartment of Suzy and her husband, Sam. As the stakes are raised and the tensions mount, Suzy realizes the only way to play fair is by her rules. Written by Frederick Knott; directed by Bob Singleton.
Run for Your Wife
May 20 – June 6
In Ray Cooney’s superb example of British farce, a taxi driver gets away with having two wives in different areas of London because of his irregular working schedule. Complication is piled upon complication as the cabby tries to keep his double life from exploding.
Transylvania University Theatre
All performances are held in the Lucille C. Little Theater, Transylvania University, unless otherwise noted. For tickets, call (859) 281-3621.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
7:30 p.m. Nov. 5 – 6, 11 – 14 (2 p.m. Nov. 7 –
Tom Stoppard’s brilliant comedy puts Shakespeare’s two hapless losers from “Hamlet” – Rosencrantz and Guildenstern – at the vortex of an unpredictable universe, in which reality becomes make-believe and theatrical death becomes reality. Adding to the uncertainty is a cast of men and women exchanging roles on alternating performances. Directed by Tim Soulis.
A Christmas Carol
7:30 p.m., Dec. 2. Carrick Theater, Mitchell Fine Arts Center.
A solo retelling of Dickens’ classic tale, adapted and performed by Tim Soulis.
Showcase of Scenes
7:30 p.m., Dec. 14
A night of directorial premieres by the students of “The Fundamentals of Play Directing” class.
7:30 p.m. Feb. 18 – 20, 25 – 27 (2 p.m. Feb. 21)
The townspeople of a village suddenly experience a rampaging rhinoceros, and though some question its meaning, most blindly see it as inevitable, and even choose to join the herd. Eugene Ionesco’s absurdist comedy is a wildly wacky satire on our willingness to be led over the cliff. Directed by Tim Soulis.
The Theater Guild Production
7:30 p.m., April 1 – 3.
Title and director to be determined. Produced by the student-run Theatre Guild.
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change
Time, date and place TBA.
The long-running off-Broadway show about modern-day dating and mating in suburbia, produced by the student-run Transy-on-Broadway.
University of Kentucky Theatre
Even with constant belt-tightening at the university, the theatre department has an impressive lineup for the coming ’09 -
Curtains for all shows begin at 8 p.m. Both the Briggs Theatre and the Guignol Theatre are located in the Fine Arts Building on Rose Street. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 faculty/staff or senior citizens, and still only $5 for students. Season ticket packages are also available. Visit www.uky.edu/FineArts/Theatre for more information.
The Baltimore Waltz
Sept. 24 -
26; Oct. 1 -
4, Briggs Theatre
An award-winning contemporary play by Paula Vogel, this giddy, tender, caustic comedy is based on the adventures of a brother and his terminally ill sister. As an added bonus, intricate puppetry will be worked into the production.
A Doll’s House
Nov. 12 – 14; 19 – 22, Guignol Theatre
The iconic Henrik Ibsen play. UK Theatre will take an innovative approach to this timeless drama known for its critical take of marriage norms as lights go up in the Guignol Theatre. Along with fine acting talent, world-class historical costumes will delight audiences.
James W. Rodgers Playwriting Competition
Feb. 18 – 20; 25 – 28
The Pajama Game
April 15 – 17; 22 – 25, Guignol Theatre
UK Theatre will dust off their vocal chords for their first musical production in the past five seasons with this fast-paced, Tony award-winning Broadway hit. Ryan Shirar, the executive director for Paragon Music Theatre, will serve as the musical director for the production, and a special ticket rate will be available to audience members who come to the play wearing pajamas.
Necessary Targets, TBA
In conjunction with the UK Center for Research on Violence Against Women, this will be a reading of the Eve Ensler play, which deals with the struggles of Bosnian women during the Balkan conflicts.
A project written, created and performed by the theatre department’s Black Theatre Workshop, a three-hour course that explores the history, literature and performance of theatre artists of the African diaspora.
Singletary Center for the Performing Arts
(859) 257-4929, 405 Rose St.
7:30 p.m., Sept. 26 (Alltech Fortnight Festival Event)
One of America’s most electrifying and enduring vocalists; recently featured in 2008 Kennedy Center Awards, LaVette has become a musical stylist with few rivals. An extraordinary combination of raw emotion and sublime musical intelligence enhances a voice hinting at decades of disappointment and endurance.
The Decemberists with special guests
Laura Veirs and the Hall of Flames
7:30 p.m., Oct. 6 (Alltech Fortnight Festival Event)
The Decemberists’ fifth album, “The Hazards of Love,” represents the most glorious kind of messing around. It’s the most ambitious and most accomplished project to date from the Portland-based quintet -
a full-length song cycle rooted in ancient language and imagery, yet entirely modern and accessible.
Ronan Tynan with Lexington Philharmonic
8 p.m., Oct. 10 (Alltech Fortnight Festival Event)
Ronan Tynan is truly a modern day “Renaissance Man.” Introduced to international audiences as a member of the Irish Tenors, Tynan quickly became known for his unique voice. Following his mother’s advice to always follow your dreams, Tynan decided to launch a solo career, and has achieved the fame and adoration that could have existed only in the farthest reaches of his dreams.
The Virsky Ukrainian Dance Company
7:30 p.m., Oct. 27
The renowned folk dance ensemble named after Pavlo Virsky is famous for its bright colors, the unity of content, and form and the vivid embodiment of its stage concept. The ensemble’s diverse concert programs present the exquisite charm of Ukrainian folk dancing.
7:30 p.m., Nov. 14
Ponty is a French virtuoso voilinist and jazz composer. He has toured the world repeatedly and recorded 12 consecutive albums, all of which reached the Top 5 on the Billboard jazz charts and sold millions of copies.
7:30 p.m, Jan. 30, 2010
A post bop, jazz saxophonist, alto clarinetist, flautist and drummer, Lovano has been one of the world’s premiere tenor saxophone players, earning a Grammy award and several nods on Down Beat magazine’s critics’ and readers’ polls. A jazz artist on the international level, his live work, “Quartets,” garnered the “Jazz Album of the Year” award.
Moscow State Radio Symphony
7:30 p.m., Feb. 5
The renowned orchestra is dedicated to the symphonic repertoire of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries and performs weekly for millions of Russians throughout its radio broadcast. The orchestra has performed in major venues throughout the world and garners the highest praise from classical music critics.
Swan Lake by Moscow Festival Ballet
7:30 p.m., March 6
Founded as a company which would bring together the highest classical elements of the great Bolshoi and Kirov Ballet companies, this group offers a full-length production of Tchaikovsky’s classic designed especially for the Singletary Center.
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg with Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra
8 p.m., April 17
Electrifying performances, fearless interpretations and musical depth have established violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg as one of the leading contemporary violinists. Sonnenburg has won numerous awards over the past 30 years, including the prestigious 1999 Avery Fisher Prize, which is awarded to instrumentalists who have demonstrated “outstanding achievement and excellence in music.”
The Lexington Singers
Amazingly enough, the Lexington Singers, one of the oldest continuously performing independent community choral groups in the nation, are now entering their 51st season. While the group has performed at acclaimed venues around the world,
from St. Peter’s basilica at the Vatican to the Carnegie Hall in New York City, their upcoming season provides plenty of opportunity to experience the Lexington Singers on their home turf.
8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 21, Singletary Center for the Arts
Famed Kentucky photographer James Archambeault collaborates with The Lexington Singers to produce Kentucky Songscapes, an innovative musical and photographic montage reflecting the rich heritage of the Bluegrass. This marriage of song and projected images will be a once-and-never-again presentation not to be missed.
8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 11, 2009; Singletary Center for the Arts.
Sometimes breaking new ground means finding new richness in a familiar favorite. The Lexington Singers join the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra to rediscover the beautiful Baroque heart of Handel’s “Messiah.”
7:30 p.m.,Friday, April 23, 2010, Singletary Center for the Arts
Even the world’s most accomplished choirs fear to take on Berlioz’ monumental “Requiem.” The demanding score calls for a massive orchestra and the most highly seasoned chorus. As far as the Lexington Singers know, it has never been performed anywhere in Kentucky before now. The group joins forces with the celebrated UK Choirs and UK Symphony to stage this once-in-a-lifetime concert.
The Festival of Choirs
Date, time and place TBA
In 2002, the Lexington Singers broke new ground by inviting the area’s best gospel and spiritual choirs to join them for the first Festival of Choirs. It has since grown to become a celebration of racial and cultural harmony in two glorious hours of rafter-raising song. And, just as every year since the first, admission is free.
The inaugural season with new conductor and musical director Scott Terrell boasts a promising lineup of guest soloists, along with productions of classical works, popular music, family concerts and more. Subscriptions and single tickets are available by calling (859) 233-4226 or by visiting www.lexphil.org.
See and hear internationally acclaimed guest artists. All concerts are at Fridays at 8 p.m. in the Singletary Center for the Arts.
Dame Evelyn Glennie, percussion
Sept. 25. Watch in awe as the most successful percussion soloist in the world plays a tour de force concerto by Joseph Scwantner. Program: Brahms – “Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80″; Joseph Schwantner -
“Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra”; Vivaldi -
“Piccolo Concerto C Major”; Dvorak -
“Carnival Overture, Op. 95.”
Joshua Roman, cello
Oct. 16. Hear drum-inspired works of Mozart and Haydn surrounding the virtuosic Rococco Variations of Tchaikovsky, performed by Joshua Roman, who was recently featured with the online phenomenon of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. Program: Mozart -
“Serenade for Orchestra No. 6 in D major K. 239″; Tchaikovsky – “Variations on a Rococo Theme”; Arensky -
“Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky, Op. 35a”; Haydn -
“Symphony No. 103 in E-flat Major.”
Joyce Yang, piano
Nov. 13. Joyce Yang received the silver medal at the Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition at just 19 years old. Program: Korngold – “Much Ado About Nothing, Op. 11″; Beethoven -
“Piano Concerto No. 3 in c minor, Op. 37″; Mozart -
“Symphony No. 38 in D major.”
Jefferson Johnson, guest conductor
Dec. 11. A holiday classic and a Lexington tradition. Featuring the Lexington Singers and guest soloists. Program: Handel -
Esther Heideman, soprano
Jan. 22, 2010. Hearken back to a simpler time of Americana as Metropolitan Opera star Esther Heideman sings the beautiful and nostalgic song cycle “Knoxville: Summer of 1915.” Program: John Corigliano -
“Elegy for Orchestra”; Barber -
“Knoxville: Summer of 1915″; Beethoven -
“Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 36.”
Arnaud Sussman, violin
Feb. 12. Avery Fisher Career Grant winner Arnaud Sussman will perform one of the pillars of violin concertos, while the orchestra takes center stage with a pillar of the orchestral repertoire.
Program: Robert Beaser -
“Folk Songs”; Bruch -
“Violin Concerto No. 1 in g minor, Op. 26″; Brahms -
“Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73.”
Anne-Marie McDermott, piano
March 5. Anne-Marie McDermott performs over 100 concerts per year, and frequently collaborates with violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg (who has a guest performance in April, 2010). Program: Dvorak – “Serenade for Winds in d minor, Op. 44″; Ravel – “Piano Concerto in G Major”; Mendelssohn – “Symphony No. 4 in A Major, Op. 90.”
Family Series: Youth Arts Day.
3 p.m., Oct. 25. Singletary Center. A side-by-side concert with members of the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra.
Family Series: Candy Cane Concert.
3 p.m., Dec. 13. With guest conductor Ryan Shirar and the Diana Evans Dancers.
University of Kentucky School of Music
Events listed below encompass events from various programs of the UK School of Music – opera, choral and instrumentation. All events are held in the Singletary Center for the Arts and free and open to the public, unless noted otherwise. For ticket information, call the Singletary Center box office at (859) 257-4929.
Bluegrass Choral Music Festival Concert. 4:30 p.m. Sept. 12.
UK Symphony Orchestra. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18; 7:30 p.m. Oct. 30 (with fiddler Mark O’Connor); 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19.
UK Bands Parents’ Day Concert. 3 p.m. Sept. 20
UK Jazz Ensemble and UK Jazz Lab Band. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 24; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11.
5th Annual Moonlight Gala at the Castle Post. 6 p.m. Oct. 2. Castle Post on Versailles Road. This is a ticketed event.
UK Opera: “River of Time.” 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8 – 10. Lexington Opera House. This is a ticketed event.
Schmidt Young Vocal Competition. 8:30 a.m. Oct. 10.
3rd Annual Kentucky New Music Festival. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19, 23, 25 -
UK Concert Band. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20; 7:30 p.m. April 6.
UK Symphony Band 4th Annual College Invitational. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21.
UK Wind Ensemble. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22; 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19; 3 p.m. April 25.
UK Percussion Ensemble. 3 p.m. Nov. 1; 3 p.m. April 11.
UK Choral Invitational. All day Nov. 2.