is the grass any bluer...

is the grass any bluer...
on the other side?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Happy New Year!!

Well, that was a hell of a holiday season, wasn't it? Did you get everything you asked Santa to bring you? Did you have a stocking?  Did you have a tree?

niece Susi n me :)

I ask these questions, because every advent, when I hesitate to put the wreath on the door, string up the lights & wrap gifts, I wonder if it is really worth all the fuss?

After all just what is this Christmas, that it insinuates its gaudy self upon us every year -- starting in July, it seems?

Who was this Jesus guy, who did he think he was being born over the Christmas holiday? Did he know about Black Friday? Would it not have been better if he had been born before Thanksgiving?

As you can see, I'm full of unruly questions today. Of

Of course, I know Jesus came to teach me how to forgive, how to love, how to walk in the light. I know all this, but still, there is cause for my confusion. In the past week, my sister Karen suffered a mini or pin stroke, and is in an undisclosed Lexington hospital. I say undisclosed because I am not privy to any information regarding her condition. It is sad that my nieces have decided to take this burden upon themselves, and will not share any of their care and comfort with Karen sisters, neither me nor Kelli. We have both offered to help...but no response  :(

It hurts, but I have learned to accept that even when you allow someone back into your life, someone who has hurt you, that does not guarantee that they will not hurt you again. We must forgive, but God does nit want us to stay in abusive relationships.

Case in point: I recently allowed an old friend back into my life, knowing she is a lousy drunk and prone to violence.

Last Saturday, she unexpectedly began to hit me with a hairbrush until I wrestled her off me, landed on my elbow and nearly broke my arm. THIS is why I've kept her at arm's length for decades...oy. [Note to self: stay away from drunks!]

One minute I was combing Peri's cat, the next minute she was hitting me.  Sheesh! Don't ever make the error of thinking that approaching somone with the same love, care and understanding as you have for the last 40 years will prevent them from showing their ass. It will happen. It is how you react to them being an ass that marks you as a good or bad person.

Finally, I will say something about sisters. No matter what happens, I love my sisters. My sisters are precious and dear to me. Karen taught me how to harmonize. She taught me how to spell, read and pray. Those are gifts nobody can take away.  My gratitude never dies.

Pray for peace!

Pray for peacs

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

That Was The Year That Was. What?

Peri's cat, Tuxedo & I are new BFFs
A great thing that happened this past year was getting to see Star Wars!  I loved every minute of it, didn't over-think it and thought it was wonderful. 

The not-so-hot event was the Cats lost in the Final Four back in marchy-March.  I loved every minute of the season up until that moment, though, and cannot be prouder of a team for the heart and drive and pure dominance they showed. My entire family loves the UK Wildcats and nothing makes us happier than when the Cats are undefeated on the basketball season. 

Also lovely, I discovered Kentucky Sports Radio and the joy that can be derived simply from listening to a liberal lawyer turned radio sports guru.  This past year was a good year for KSR's Matt Jones as well; he is likely to emerge as a popular political moderator as well as a possible contender for Rand Paul's senate seat, being how Rand is all out there spending his time and energy running for President against superTrump, et al. 

Drew Curtis ran for Governor, wins the Courage Award for doing so
Speaking of politics, a friend of mine, Drew Curtis, ran for Governor this year, and I am so proud of his effort, along with his wife, Heather.  I gathered signatures to help get the Curtis name on the ballot and in doing so, found out how much WORK being a politician can be.  I could not do it. I am simply too lazy.  lol  At any rate, congratulations to Drew, and thanks for being a great beer buddy!  W00t! 

I did opt to stop posting my political beliefs on Facebook; my life has been much easier since I decided to shut my mouth on that platform.  With all the new technology, I simply realized I don't have to convince anyone on Facebook to change their mind -- in fact, I CANNOT convince anyone to switch their opinions -- why keep beating my head against the wall?  Oy vey, Maria, yes I am sad the Cats lost in March, but glad The Cat got my tongue in December.

Fireball looms on the horizon
Glad glad glad to still be writing for my Editrix and pal Rhonda Reeves at Ace Weekly and Hamburg Journal.  Rhonda always comes through for me and knows I would fight a running blade-saw for her. I am confident she would do the same for me as well...(coz she HAS). 

Fireball.  My friend Nick loves Fireball and he seems to always show up with a 10-pack right when I am in need of a long conversation and good company.  We drank lots of Fireball, Nick and I, but my old pal Peri is back in my life, and I have discovered that she, too, enjoys a lil cinnamon whiskey from time to time.  Peri lives a block away from me and we have reunited after 20 years of me being an asshat.  Fireball reminds me that I can be a real devil...but in small doses, I can be angelic as well.

Kelli and I are the EVERLY DEBS <3
Artistically, this past year was full of cool glass exhibits by Stephen Rolfe Powell and hot theatre offerings like Spamalot and Comedy of Errors.  I wrote about some very cool productions presented by OffMain, AfterCulture, AthensWest, Studio Players, BCTC, Blackbird Dance Theatre, UK Opera Theatre, Fantastical Theatricals, Central Christian's Chancel Choir, CMA, WoodSongs, Troubadour -- Lexington was chock full of artistic nuts in 2015 and I enjoyed every bite I could reach! 

Personally, this past year has been up and down, as all the years are these days.  Thankfully, I did not lose a family member this past year, not to death, anyway. I had a chance to see my granddaughter Shelby and my nephew Josh when they visited.  My nieces and nephews Olivia, Cora and Marshall were also in town for a UK game; Marshall and his wife Amy just had a baby girl, Hayden Thomas is her name. She is the great great granddaughter of Basil Hayden, the first UK basketball player to be named to the All American team in 1929! 

CCI's Roger Bondurant's still one of the best musicians in town;
now he's just trying to reinvent himself, he says.
Shelby and her beau, Austin

Nick & I are UK Cats fanatics too >"<

Finally, the Breeders' Cup happened.  Keeneland should've hired twice the staff and everyone would've had a better time.  Downtown did its part and entertained the hell out of the world as it came to Lexington.  Marjorie Guyon and Nick Stump collaborated on a collage montage upon the Downtown Arts Center with projected images of Guyon's art and Stump's prose.  It was a glorious greeting card for our City, and I am proud of our City for hosting the Breeders' Cup so well. 
Me & Peri - back in the Brass A days - when I still had eyebrows...

Keeneland is a beautiful place, but I have lost my love for it now that I have worked there during such an event.  You would think folks would rise to the occasion but instead, by the end of the Fall Meet, everyone was sick of each other and resentful of those who rake in the dough.  There was the waitress who made $1600 a day in clubhouse tips versus the minimum wage worker who hated her -- and she never tipped out her busboys or cooks or hostesses or bartenders.  That happens a LOT at Keeneland, and it is very difficult to ignore.  It used to be that we could blame Turf Catering for that kind of behavior, but after decades of writing about Thoroughbred racing and sales, I was sick to see 'my' Keeneland behaving like Turf Catering.  No class.  No training.  Just greed. 

I took for granted the 60 years of my life that I enjoyed Thoroughbred racing and Keeneland.  Since I was exposed to the bowels of the place and had to work within the sphincter (the liquor room), I never wish to darken the door there again.  Truly.  It was a fiasco behind the closed doors.

Ryan Case & I went to see a few shows - what fun!
You can't just staple a staff together, treat them like cattle and expect them to come away with a warm and fuzzy feeling.  I am happy for American Pharoah and his connections that he won the whole shebang -- the Triple Crown and the Breeders' Cup Classic -- but gosh I wish I had stayed home and not gone out to berg liquor on a broken foot.  That was just me being foolish.  Ouch. 

I was promised a sitting job, and it turned out instead, I was the porters' bitch.  I was called every name in the book and went home every day with a sore foot and bruised ego.  I took crap off bartenders because their celery was wilted.  I listened to the martyr Liquor Manager whine about her many duties, none of which she would relinquish to anyone.  I watched the disappointment on the faces of the folks who rode to work with me as the Fall Meet transpired.  It was a lesson in restraint for me. I didn't tell anyone off, I just quit when my foot stopped working.  My foot quit, not me...
Chef Brother Addison stayed with me
 for a while, played lots of guitar!

I am 61 years old today.  I will get my sister Kelli to go to Red Lobster and have lunch on the gift card my cousin Janice gave me.  I am very much looking forward to laughing with Kelli and having a good time.  She and I have formed a singing duo called the Everly Debs. More to come about all that! 

Thanks for reading all this, lambchops.  Please pray for peace, and pray for me. 

Love and hugs and love and hugs and lobster in the New Year to you! 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

New Year Resolution: GO SEE WoodSongs - Have Ya Been? 859.252.8888

Season's Greeting from Michael Johnathon and all his volunteers:

Thank You  
for a WONDERFUL year of music!

Coming Monday Jan 18 2016 - SWEET HONEY in the ROCK
WoodSongs Partners come FREE!  

Coming Monday January 18 to WoodSongs at the Lyric Theatre:
Grammy winning folk and civil rights legends
Sweet Honey in the Rock is an all-woman, African-American acapella ensemble and Grammy Award-winning troupe who express their history as African-American women through song, dance, and even sign language.
WoodSongs Partners come FREE! 
Are you a 2016 WoodSongs Partner? Come to nearly 40 WoodSongs tapings a year for FREE. Call 859-255-5700 or visit and sign up today.
It's going to be a big year of music!

THANK YOU!!! Aside from an amazing all-volunteer crew, our friends at local hotels and restaurants, VisitLEX, Martin Guitars, KET, WEKU, WUKY, WKYT, the Lyric Theatre staff, the Bluegrass Hospitality Association, the artists who come all the way to Lexington to be on the show, and so many others ... we have the most wonderful WoodSongs Partner family on the planet!

Wait till you see who's coming in 2016!
Keep checking our website for updates, get your friends to join this email newsletter and by all mean become a WoodSongs Partner!

Become a WoodSongs Partner today: just $95 for a one year couple Partnership. Family and Single available as well. Call 859-255-5700 or visit the Partner page at ... Thank you!



Get JOAN BAEZ tickets today by calling 859-233-3535 and visit

Friday, December 18, 2015

Lexington Theatre Was Happening in 2015!

Last year at this time, we were still stinging over the loss of Actors Guild of Lexington ... and Balagula was not telling anyone that its artistic leader and wonder-guy had left the building. 

However, in the Spring, Balagula presented HAROLD & MAUDE at Farish Theatre, starring Missy Johnston and Alex Maddox, who performed to the perfection expected from those two fantastic actors."
WonderGuy Ryan and I

Just prior to that show, I was treated to a spiritual and musical delight, SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN, which was presented by the Off Main Actors Group, led by the wonderful Waltermire clan, mom Beth, dad Greg, and daughters Caitlyn, Courtney, Kelsey and Kaylee at Heritage Baptist Church. This year also saw the marriage of Caitlyn to Caleb Leonard, who was part of that grand production as well. 

Allie Darden & Fred Z - were terrific together!

Then my buddy Ryan Case and I went to see VANYA SONIA MASHA & SPIKE at Studio Players, wherein my pal Allie Darden played an unusual role for her and KILLED it, as did the rest of the cast and crew.  Fred Zegelian was fabulous as Vanya and Jenny Christian, as always, did a splendid job directing! 

Bob Singleton considers 2015 a year that saw a lot of great in theatre. "Studio Players is chugging along; the 2014-2015 season finished strong, and 2015-2016 is off to a good start. It’s worth noting that our final show of last season and first show of this season were both directed by Jenny Christian (and my lovely and talented wife, Allie Darden, was one of the titular characters in the former)."

"This past Summer was an exciting one, and a bit of a change of pace for all of us at the Carriage House. The 2nd running of the 10 Minute Play Festival was extended for 2 weeks, and was again well-received. We also had a Bluegrass Playwrights Showcase (brainchild of Ross Carter), featuring staged readings of full-length scripts by local authors. We got a great response to that as well, with a number of people seeing all 3 of the offerings (which were spread out over 2 weeks). Singleton notes there are a number of opportunities for staged readings of local authors in the area, which is a nice thing to see."  "

Bob Singleton looks ahead...
Regarding his involvement in SummerFest, he advises "FYI, the Summer Musical will be back in 2016: CLUE: The Musical! Directed by Tonda-Leah Fields, Musical Direction by Jessica Greene, and Choreography by Diana Pulliam." 

This past Summerfest, Bob directed COMEDY OF ERRORS which, he says, "was just an all-around great experience. First shot at directing Shakespeare and first shot at directing for Summerfest. I got to work with a lot of great people; some for the very first time, some for the first time in a different capacity -- a number of old friends/comrades as well. It was kinda daunting at first, for a number of reasons; but it ended up being one of my favorite projects as a director. Early on I felt like there might be a good angle to take. As we worked on it more, it really became one of those shows that took on some momentum of its own. It ended up being one of the productions (others include CLOUD 9, WIT, and THE GRADUATE) where I feel like I was able to really work some of the areas that I feel are my strengths, and maybe put my own stamp on the show. Of course, a whole lot of people were involved in that, including a great cast. Lindsay Warnick, Jenny Christian, and Jack McIntyre also deserve special shout outs for what they brought as Stage Manager, Assistant Director, and Fight Choreographer/all-around Badass (respectively)."

Indeed, SummerFest delighted crowds with their COMEDY OF ERRORS and SPAMALOT productions, held at the new location in Beaumont Centre at Moondance!  Wes Nelson and Bob Singleton did their darnedest to direct the cast in a fashion that kept the crowds talking way into the Breeders' Cup, where I was told several times about how much fun the family had going to see SummerFest.  The back-to-back-to-back productions of the two popular shows was successful in part due to the ingenuity of Natalie Cummins who was the production manager for SummerFest this year.  She and her crew managed a tech-friendly mechanical way to swap out the sets with little effort so there were two versus three productions to stage.  Natalie even stepped in as a character for one performance when an actor could not make it!  Natalie gets Most Valuable Player award, for sure!

Courtney in
AfterCulture Theatre's No Exit
The next beautiful piece of theatre brought onstage (and seen by me)  was Jean-Paul Sartre's NO EXIT.  It was staged at the popular and well-located Shakespeare & Co (Short & Broadway) by another boutique troupe, AfterCulture Theatre and starring, among others, Courtney Waltermire, Lexington's version of Audrey Hepburn.

Courtney can play a comical character as easily as she plays the dramatic damsel stuck in limbo in Sartre's classic work.  I saw this work in an upstairs room at Shakespeare & Company, and enjoyed every second of the play's ability to make me uneasy.  The hosts of the play were accommodating, the valet was perfectly played and encouraged us to explore the stage, upon which we sat. 

 Yes, I do make an effort to go see the plays that involve my favorite actors.  They, after all, breathe life into the works and bring the words from page to stage.  I made the effort to see plays to which I felt welcome and invited, despite their subject matter. 

Smoke On The Mountain, Courtney's "character signs, not sings."  // DIRECTOR JENNY CHRISTIAN
FANTASTICAL THEATRICALS celebrated its TENTH anniversary as part of the Lexington theatre scene this year, with drama mama Kathy Hobbs leading the way.  Hobbs does it all -- she sings and acts as well as writes and produces!  Hobbs serves as a mentor to many of our best actors who otherwise may not be given the opportunities to perform as often. 
Hobbs has coached many of Central Kentucky's best to take risks to find their way out of the audition box, and should be commended for her generosity. 
Caitlyn and Courtney
Hobbs and her Fantastical Theatricals are looking forward to 2016, "and the continuation of our tenth year with several new comic mystery plays to entertain and confound our loyal audiences again and again.  We're particularly looking forward to February's show, DARLING YOU SLAY ME! A play-within-a-play format that's set in the roaring 20's!  We'll continue to perform at The Chop House and we are currently looking at options for performing shows in downtown Lexington.  Fantastical Theatricals is looking forward to 'putting the laughter in manslaughter' in 2016!"

Visit FANTASTICAL THEATRICALS on the web for the latest news about Central Kentucky's longest extant interactive theatre!

Jenny Fitzpatrick, Lexington's choreographer extraordinaire, is dedicated to bringing dancers together to perform and capable of directing productions that include dozens of young actors-dancers-singers!  Her Blackbird dance studio performed CATS with young performers in June, then her adult cast staged ROMEO & JULIET. 

Fitzpatrick tells me, "My Junior Company performed their annual winter concert in early December 7.  It was our original production of UGLY.  We restart regular scheduled classes at the first of January."
Jenny Fitzpatrick
"In 2016, our Senior Company (adult dancers) will perform TITUS ANDRONICUS at the Downtown Arts Center the first weekend in March. Titus will feature 14 dancers, some local actors Dara Jade Tiller as Titus Andronicus, Jenny Fitzpatrick as Tamora Queen of the Goths, Daniel Ellis as Saturninus, and Wesley Nelson as Marcus Andronicus."

Blackbird's Junior Company will ALSO perform a spring adaptation of METAMORPHOSES in early May and THE WIZ in June!

Bo List from AthensWest is proud of his company's maiden voyage.  "AthensWest had a marvelous inaugural year with its debut production - DOUBT - and the kickoff to its first ever season, opening with Harper Lee's classic TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Both productions were well-received both critically and by audiences, and give us great optimism as we approach 2016 -
Scout Emily Reed
with two more exciting events coming up."

Bo List
"First, the haunting drama 33 VARIATIONS, which follows ailing musicologist Katherine Brandt, who has to solve one last musical mystery before it's too late - and Beethoven, two centuries before, struggling to compose the music that so bewitches Katherine. 33 VARIATIONS features a score rich with Beethoven's Diabelli Variations, played live by renowned pianist Tedrin Blair Lindsay...runs February 12-21," List adds.

"Then, the rollicking Bluegrass musical GOLDEN BOY OF THE BLUE RIDGE - an off-Broadway hit, featuring Winchester native Mark Mozingo, who will reprise his role as Clayton in our production. Set in Appalachia, the story follows a handsome drifter and the trouble he causes when he breezes into a sleepy mountain town. Running April 22 - May 1. All productions take place at the Downtown Arts Center."

Trish Clark and daughter Ellie at the Arboretum
Meanwhile in Versailles, Trish Clark has been staging some highly acclaimed shows.  Clark states, "We are having a great time at Woodford Theatre this year. Celebrating community is our focus and it feels good. Mounting a 'celebration' of A KENTUCKY CHRISTMAS, which is a weaved performance of songs, poems, and stories from Kentucky Poet Laureate, Goerge Ella Lyon's edited publication of the original title, is a highlight of our season! We are so grateful to have met and worked with talented writers from our home state, and having the opportunity to study and watch the development of the adaptation and creation of Dr. James Rodgers and his devoted, expert designers, Russ Jones and Clifton Grimm along with musical team Donna Bonner, Elizabeth Yanarella and Tracey Bonner has been an honor for all involved."

Trish is quick to point out that she is thankful for all the blessings of the past year. "So, yes, the word of the season for me is 'gratefulness.' -- Grateful for an amazing staff of five dynamo women who run Woodford Theatre -- Grateful for such talented directors, actors, and musicians in this region! -- Grateful for our donors who have already stepped forward in this fundraising year to show their love and pride in this community arts organization, and -- Grateful for our patrons who treat this theatre as their second home. I'm grateful to be having so much fun!"

Caitlyn Leonard

"On a personal note, we did have our Education Director, Ellie Clark leave this year to pursue her MFA at Ohio University. I miss my daughter, but again, I am most grateful that our Board of Directors trusted the hire and I got the chance to work with her for two years. Vanessa Becker Weig stepped into the full time position with a smooth transition and has not missed a step including some that have gone up in the build of this most important area of our business! And it has been a long time since I have heard Ellie sound so happy as when she talks about her experiences at Ohio University. My other daughter, Emily and I miss Ellie a lot, but we fill the gaps with lots of playtime with my grandson, Kohen. Everyday Kohen reminds us about Ellie when he asks, "Ellie, school?" He misses her, too!"  However, in the end, Trish is "most grateful that all is well in the Clark women's world! Here's to the same in 2016!"
A Fantastical Theatrical Production!

"2016 brings exciting shows to Woodford Theatre. We have Joe Ferrell directing a fabulous cast for OF MICE AND MEN, opening January 22 and running through February 7. CALENDAR GIRLS, directed by Patti Heying, is next, March 4-20. We have WOW (Women of Woodford) Calendars for sale as I write this!

The WOW Calendar exhibits 12 women from Versailles and Midway Merchants Association who are not only entrepreneurs, but who are as courageous and fun loving as the original CALENDAR GIRLS, and who have posed in similar fashion to the originals! The theatre hopes to raise enough money with these calendar sales to purchase new curtains for the stage! Call 859-873-0648 to inquire about these calendars for your new year!

She adds, "As a our finale, HAIRSPRAY, directed by Vanessa Becker Weig, is the one on our boards.  Already cast and ready to rock n roll with some of the hottest musical theatre young artists around! We can't wait! Better call for tickets now! The same number as above. Yes, indeed, here's to a great 2016, too! Woodford Theatre is ready to celebrate!"

Of course, this is only a sampling of the year's treats.  In 2016, I hope you make the effort to go see the various companies' productions.  I will try to keep you informed but there are many plays and shows that I miss simply because they are so numerous!  lol   See you at the show(s)!  peace, y'all, Kimmy

[Note: The Waltermire girls have given me permission to refer to them as my perpendicular daughters from a parallel universe. I got a Mother's Day card from them, and they are more darling than anyone can imagine.  Smart, home-schooled, faithful, family-loving, religious, and they're not obnoxious or stuck up even though they're all incredibly gorgeous. It restores my soul to know them.] 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Best Blues Nominee Ronn Crowder Talks Music, From Memphis to Lexington

If a great musician has someone sit in with them, it's not a chore to listen and discover why they're so highly esteemed.  Ronn Crowder is just that sorta fella.  

He is a musician's musician, I have heard him sing and play guitar and harmonica with the highly selective master musician Roger BonDurant at the Chevy Chase Inn many times, and Crowder has performed solo there as well. 

These days, you will likely hear his music anywhere from Memphis to Nashville! However, tonight he plays at the Lyric Theatre for a charity event, and this Saturday night, he can be found at the Backstretch Bar & Grill on Bryan Station Road.  Mayhaps if you're out that way you will drop in to hear his tunes!  Ronn stopped by KimmyVille for a grilling, er I mean, to answer my questions and here's how our convo went...

Ronn Crowder tells me he grew up in Memphis Tennessee, and comes from a long line of fine musicians; his first instrument (naturally) being a guitar. However, "I was a singer long before I picked up the guitar. I come from a family of musicians. Cousin Earl Cobble played drums with Bill Halley and the Comets, grandfather JB Maxcy was first man to play harmonica live on the radio in 1922.  My dad, brother and many cousins play music."

Crowder's first song with a band was a familiar Elvis tune. "At age 3, I sang cowboy songs like Back in the Saddle for the men at the corner barber shop, but first time I ever sang with a band was at age 10 with my cousin Ray's rock band. Heartbreak Hotel was the song. I have a photo of that performance published on the inside cover of my Memphis Town album on Altus Records," he explains.

I asked him if he were stranded on a desert island with only FOUR albums, which four would he choose?  Crowder, "Muddy Waters Fathers and Sons; Jimi Hendrix Electric Ladyland; Doors Strange Days; and Ray Charles Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life a close 5th place..." he adds.

So, what is he up to these days?  "I am working on a new project for Altus Records, as yet untitled, but will have some of the BEST Lexington musicians on it, including LEXI nominee Bob Bryant on bass, Steve DiMartino on Drums and Skeets Pennington on horns. I play every Saturday at The Backstretch in Lexington, December 10 at the Lyric Theater for a charity fundraiser, December 17 at Brick House Blues in Corbin, Kentucky; December 31 with my band RC and the NightShades at Brother's BBQ in Danville; I also have 2016 dates in Memphis booked at the Rum Boogie on Beale St and in Nashville at Carol Ann's Blues Bar.

 I also asked Crowder if he had a secret talent, a hidden gift?  "I can stand on one foot, rub my hair and tap my tummy, then reverse feet, rub my tummy and tap my hair," he laughs. "I am also a graphic designer with several album cover designs and writer with major journalism credits as a writer. I wrote book reviews for several years at the West Coast Review of Books Magazine, articles for People Magazine, The LA Daily News, The LA Times and others.

See more about Ronn and his band RC & the NightShades here:

Buy his solo albums at this link:

Buy the Snakebit album at this link

RC and the NightShades
Olde School Blues and Rhythm Band

*New announcement!! RC and the NightShades has been nominated as Best Blues Artist for the Lexington Music Awards. The nominations were made by popular vote of the public. Winners will be determined by a vote of all the musicians who are nominated in 40 or so categories and winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Lyric theater on Jan 31, 2016.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

WoodSongs Closes The Year With Iris DeMent and Leyla McCalla

Last WOODSONGS of 2015 - the incredible IRIS DeMENT!

Monday Dec 14 - IRIS DeMENT and LEYLA McCALLA

Call the Lyric Box office for this show 280-2218


Public: $20 WS Partners: $5
CALL THE LYRIC BOX OFFFICE 859-280-2218 or EMAIL YOUR RESERVATIONS: and pick up your tickets Monday at will call

IRIS DeMENT is considered one of the great voices in contemporary popular music. DeMent released a series of stellar records that earned her multiple Grammy nominations, as well as the respect of peers like John Prine, Steve Earle, and Emmylou Harris. 'The Trackless Woods' is her latest, the record brings 18 poems by acclaimed 20th century Russian poet Anna Akhmatova to life.


LEYLA MCCALLA is a powerful cellist and singer who toured and recorded with the renowned African-American string band the

Carolina Chocolate Drops. Living in New Orleans, she released her debut album 'Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Langston Hughes' in 2014. The album consists of compositions she has written to Langston Hughes poetry, Haitian folk songs and original pieces.




Hear WoodSongs on WEKU 88.9 FM

Saturdays at 8:00 PM

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Second Sunday of Advent

After all my huffing and puffing, I did not go to hear my choir sing a new Magnificat! work today, music by Dr. Johnie Dean, a much beloved local composer who teaches at Midway and sings with UK's many choruses. I awoke with swollen glands, a fever, and a blechhy-blech feeling, so yes, I stayed at home and listened to worship on the radio.

I listened to the Chancel Choir perform a very lovely work, the Magnificat set to orchestral music, blended with gorgeous harmonies and very Rutter-esque in its style. The choir was fantastic, everything was balanced to perfection; I loved the woodwinds parts especially!

I have had another trying week, but my commitment to letting go of my political issues on facebook has helped me to see that it IS possible to restrain my tongue. It IS possible to let things go that bother me. It IS possible to forgive the little slights and slings and arrows.

Lately on my 'have-to' forgive list are my two former bosses, the guys who own the UPSTART CROW. They hired me because I am old-school, they said; then were thrilled with me on Saturday; and fired me on Tuesday, with the words, "it's just not a good fit; we are not what you want." They want me to work 50-60 hours a week. Well, no, and I told them that from the start, but no, that is not what they wanted.

I am thankful to say that people have come to my rescue this week; and I thank them for that. So many people say they are sending up thoughts and prayers, but really, are they? Do they pray? I wish people would. It would change THEM. It would help them help and not be judgmental.

At any rate, no more political statements on facebook for me, no re-posting of anything controversial. I do that on twitter, lol, not facebook, the kindergarten of social media.

Be at peace with whomever you have come to be, y'all.
love and harmony,

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Tim X Returns in David Mamet's RACE (Opens TONIGHT at Farrish Theatre Downtown!)

Tim X Davis Takes the Stage in Mamet's RACE

Hear ye! Hear ye!

Looking for a night at the theatre without the heavy ticket price and parking problems?

Head to the Lexington Central Library December 5 through 7 and see David Mamet's RACE, presented by BCTC and under the direction of Kathy Swango. BicTic's drama daddy, Tim X Davis talks about his program's accomplishments this year.

Professor Davis tells me, "We opened the season with "THE KATRINA PROJECT: HELL AND HIGH WATER by Michael Marks and Mackenzie Westmoreland, and in the Spring we'll be doing Chuck Pogue's adaptation of TARTUFFE. I'm really proud to do ALL of these shows (RACE included) as they are challenging and thought provoking, and they don't "take the easy way out."

Davis is also enthusiastic to be working both off- and on-stage with former students. When asked what's different with this play? "Well, for starters I'm in it; and joining me will be three alumni (Meredith, Eric Henninger AND...Jeremy Gillett) Also, my current students are doing design; it's the first time we've ever had a student scenic or lighting designer. We didn't hold auditions for THIS one, but of course did for KATRINA and will for all the others. As this was an alumni show, I hand picked the cast. BCTC faculty member, and frequent onstage participant, Kathy Swango is directing," he explains.

As always, Tim X chose the perfect play for his students to present. We need to explore the issue of racial prejudice and privilege. I hope we can embrace the actors and crew who study and rehearse these issues so understanding will be more commonplace. Get yourself downtown tonight and see this American masterpiece! Tickets at the door, $12 and $10 ;-)

Friday, November 27, 2015

Meredith Crutcher Talks About Her Newest Role in David Mamet's RACE -- opens December 3 at Farrish!

You have seen her in a number of productions in Lexington. She's gorgeous and talented, comes from a family of actors, and when Meredith Crutcher appears onstage, you simply do not forget her performances. From characters in short play festivals to Magenta in Rocky Horror, when Meredith is in the presentation, you know it's going to be good. She has a stage presence that is believable, and there's never any doubt Meredith IS the role she's portraying.

She tells me her next show is one she's excited to perform. "The shows is called Race. It was written by David Mamet, it opens December 3rd-5th at the Farrish Theater located inside the Downtown Lexington Public Library."

"I am thrilled to be acting alongside my former teacher and director, Tim X Davis, and fellow BCTC alumni, Eric Henninger and Jeremy Gillette. We're guided by our awesome director, Kathy Swango, who is also a member of BCTC's faculty."

Crutcher believes a great reason to do this show "can be attributed to the compelling and evocative nature of the text. Mamet has a way of shining a harsh light on the uncomfortable reality of situations while keeping you invested in the development of the storyline and the characters."

She is playing the role of Susan, a new partner to the law firm. "She's eager to learn to the ropes of law under the wing of her mentor Jack Lawson, who heads the firm alongside his partner, Henry Brown. Throughout the show, Susan is seen exercising some of the legal tactics she's observed her fellow cohorts using while discovering that not every situation is textbook or cut and dried."

Asked to compare this role with her most recent, she describes the similarities and contrasts. "The last role I played was the role of Shar in What Would Jesus Pack by Ross Carter at Studio Players. I think Shar and Susan have many similarities, but their differences lie in where they are in their lives within the context of each show. Shar is a sassy, bright college student jumping through hoops to prove she has the chops to be a journalist, whereas Susan has already worked her way through undergrad and law school and has secured a job at the firm, making her goal to assert herself as a reputable lawyer. Susan is just as curious as she is assertive which makes her character so intriguing to me.

I asked her if she had a secret talent, and she replied with a charming mix of truth and mixology. "Lastly, my secret talent would probably be smiling in the midst of adversity...but if that's too clichè, I also mix a mean potion. The secret is to start with a good bourbon." ;)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Emily Reed Honors the Role of Scout in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

This is the third in a series
of posts about the Harper Lee
classic, being produced by
AthensWest Theatre Company.

Well, well, well. The Bluegrass' own Emily Reed is playing the role of the central character in one of America's most lauded plays! (They grow up so fast '-)

You have seen her on television in commercials. She's been in numerous plays in the Bluegrass, is an excellent student, and oh yeah, she is a twin -- her family call her and her brother supertwins -- and along with Annalisse Finch, Emily Reed is now playing the role of Scout (Miss Jean Louise)in AthensTheatre's presentation of To Kill A Mockingbird.

Emily tells me her decision to go out for the part was an easy one. "I was looking for a place to do a play, and then this came up -- and how can you not audition to be Scout?" she exclaims.

Reed considers Scout's impact on the overall story as pivotal. "She sets a point of view, and attaches the audience with the story."

For such a youngster, Reed has quite the resume. She has been on stage since elementary school, played Jasmine in Aladdin (middle school), a character who died in one production, and was in the chorus of the high school's production of High School Musical. She also recently performed with Ragged Edge Theater in Harrodsburg, she was in the chorus and played one of the 'poor unfortunate souls.' Most recently, she was Susan in Miracle On 34th Street (Bluegrass Theater Guild in Frankfort) and her role as Young Belle in Actors Guild of Lexington's performance of Belle Brezing. She has also been performing with Bluegrass Opera; was in the chorus of Elyria; and she played Tilda – a soloist and speaking part in Mothers of the Ludlow.

When asked to compare Scout with her role as Susan in Miracle on 34th Street, Emily says, "Scout is more of a tomboy and outgoing, while Susan is more analytical and somewhat sheltered by her mom.

Since both young girls who play the dually-cast role of Scout rehearse together, it's easy to see how one could lose focus during the process. Reed says the biggest hurdle in this performance is, "You memorizing lines for hours -- oh, and not getting distracted while the other 'Scout' is onstage!"

Click to see my earlier post about Emily:

As you can see, I am so proud to have watched this young girl grow as an actor and as a young lady. That's the great thing about writing for theatre, I have the pleasure of getting to know some very cool folks and whether they're 6 or 60, there is always room for growth, so it's fun to observe all that. For me, anyway.

I have full faith Emily's gonna be wonderful as Scout -- and I cannot WAIT to see her breathe life into the role as we watch this American classic unfold.
See you at the show!

Annalise Finch Scouts Out the Stage In To Kill A Mockingbird

This is the second in a continuing series of posts about
AthensWest's TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, which opens November 20
at the DAC.

Annalise Finch plays the role of Scout in the upcoming production of Harper Lee's play, To Kill A Mockingbird. She is in the 7th grade at a Louisville school, but travels to Lexington for rehearsal. She shares the role with Emily Reed, who will also have something to say about all of this, to be posted soon.

Finch tells me, "My mom told me about this role and signed me up for an audition, thinking that if I got an audition it would be great experience. I had heard about the book because my brothers read it in high school and Mom explained the story to me. Of course, I loved her last name!" she jokes.

"My last few roles were at Christian Academy of Louisville, where I was a school girl in Anne of Green Gables and Amaryllis in Music Man; both were our high school Spring productions.

As a young girl, she doesn't have a catalogue of credits to list, but her onstage presence will draw many into the famous story. "My current role of Scout really doesn't compare to any roles I have played in the past. I'm very grateful to have been given this opportunity. The director, the cast, and managers have taught me so much."

She describes her role as one that develops over the course of the play. "I think the story follows Scout as she learns more about the people around her and what makes them act the way they do. Especially Atticus!" As a challenge to her acting skills, she finds Scout to be a bit more brave than herself. She explains, "It has been hard sometimes to understand or react in some scenes like Scout would. She would want to fight somebody for criticizing Atticus, but I would cry." However, she has totally absorbed and adores the message of Lee's emotionally charged masterpiece about courage in the face of bigotry.

Finch expresses how excited she is for this weekend, when the play opens at the Downtown Arts Center. "This has been so much fun -- everyone has been great to work with, and I think we are all looking forward to opening night -- I love this story! It reminds us not to judge from what we see on the outside of a person, but to try and understand and love what's on the inside. God does!"

Indeed, Annalise, indeed.
See y'all at the show!

Monday, November 16, 2015

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD: Sherman Fracher Talks About Miss Maudie

This is the first of several posts from me about a new production of a classic play, which opens this week in downtown Lexington. Thank you to Bo List and Stephanie Pistello for their graciousness in allowing me access to the actors and rehearsals. I hope you learn more about the characters and the performers so it will entice you to see the show!

Sherman Fracher, a well seasoned veteran actor, popular from Cincinnati to Dayton to Louisville ... and other dramatic artistic locales, has played various parts in the great Harper Lee classic before. However, this is the first time she has played Miss Maudie in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, which is being presented by AthensWest Theatre, at the Downtown Arts Center beginning November 20.

Since there was a recent reading at Winchester venue of the famous Harper Lee play, I asked if she was simply reading a part, or playing a part, and asked her to tell me more about her role. Fracher tells me Miss Maudie is a neighbor to the Finches, and is also a bit of a narrator in the powerful story. "I try to embody the character, trying to understand how she would react in these situations. If I were merely reading her, I don’t think she’d have the kind of depth that comes from reacting to every moment, more than just the ones where she speaks."

When I asked why she decided to play this character, she dispelled my notion that actors love to play evil parts more than the white-hat good guy roles. Fracher says, "Miss Maudie is a lovely, sympathetic character - who wouldn’t enjoy that? And she has a nice sense of humor as well. I have played other roles in Mockingbird, but not this one, so I’m enjoying getting to know her."

What impact on the play does her character have? "I think Miss Maudie is there to help the children in their quest to understand this difficult adult situation they’ve suddenly been put into. Atticus is obviously the main person to teach them, but Maudie also helps to interpret events."

"My last role was Sonia in VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE at the Victoria Theatre in Dayton, Ohio -- the production was this past March and April.

Fracher believes the two roles are completely different from one another. "Oh, goodness, Sonia was a hilarious and unstable lady in a very silly play. She did have a few moments of seriousness, but they were very few and far between!"

Sherman Fracher operates Abiding Grace Farm Artisan Pickles on Bushtown Road in Harrodsburg.

Owner, Abiding Grace Farm Artisan Pickles
Studied Theatre at University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Lives in Harrodsburg, Kentucky
From Knoxville, Tennessee