is the grass any bluer...

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

Saturday, April 16, 2016

NYQUIST Is 2016 Favorite to Capture the Roses

As every Kentuckian worth the salt that goes in their Hot Brown knows, the most important thing to do on Derby Day, apart from scoring a kilo of some good homegrown mint for juleps of course, is to pick the right horse.  

NYQUIST seems to be the darling of the big oval experts, having won the Juvenile at the Breeders' Cup last October.  He has adjusted to the Kentucky air and atmosphere, and seems ready to win on the First Saturday in May!

He was feeling a lil puny when he got here, had a high white cell count for a few days, but that happens with these sensitive, fragile but powerful creatures we call Thoroughbreds.  That's right.  I capitalize 'Thoroughbreds,' just like I was taught at the Thoroughbred Record way back in 1984.  

I loved working at the Record.  We were in charge of producing the oldest weekly periodical in the nation - weekly!  It was great discipline and structure, which I needed. I was young and able to run up and down the steps to run film to Art Director Enzina "Z" Mastrippolito, or downstairs to the morgue downstairs (natch) or to the art room upstairs. We even saved the old film to have the silver squeezed out of it.  Of course, technology has advanced to digital now, but 'back in my day,' means in the hayday of the Thoroughbred economy, when Keeneland sales records were soaring, John Gaines was concocting the Breeders' Cup and Queen Elizabeth II even visited our little burg. The old publications from the 1800s were stacked on the shelves down there...along with the following years of issues.

When you must work like a team to accomplish a weekly goal, every ego (on staff lol) has to be tempered to make things run smoothly.  Since that is impossible, the deadline of every Wednesday loomed an threatened better than any boss or manager.  Ya just had to get your job done and ignore your cubicle mates' issues.  It was fun! Really, it was! 

So how did I get off on that tangent?  Oh probably because I haven't visited my little blogtown of KimmyVille for a while.  I'm at the lovely Library today, and able to post a few thoughts, and gosh I have a lot to get out, coz apparently, I am woefully bad at letting off steam any other way.  I wait until I am just a babbling idiot and angry with every one I see. It is not healthy, lambsies, don't do it!  Get yourself a blog, and be the sheriff of your own world.  It's a good place to rest your spurs.  


Here are his stats, pinched from Wikipedia, just for you.  :)

SireUncle Mo
GrandsireIndian Charlie
DamSeeking Gabrielle
CountryUnited States
BreederSummerhill Farm
OwnerJ. Paul Reddam, Reddam Racing
TrainerDoug O'Neill
Record7: 7-0-0
Major wins
Best Pal Stakes (2015)
Del Mar Futurity (2015)
FrontRunner Stakes (2015)
Breeders' Cup Juvenile (2015)
San Vicente Stakes (2016)
Florida Derby (2016)
American Champion Two-Year-Old Male Horse (2015)


Well, he was named after a hockey player, not the wonky theory about time of the same name. My grandmother was a hockey player, a goalie (!) -- so I must love that about him.  Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist never paid attention to horseracing – until NYQUIST won the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile race. The Thoroughbred is owned by diehard Red Wings fan Paul Reddam, a Windsor native

*please know I am no expert on anything but making dumplings and singing alto. responsibly...and follow the BloodHorse too ;-)

Monday, February 15, 2016

Princess Bride's Tim Hull Goes From Curley To Surly

You have seen him on the KU commercials with EllIE Clark. You know him fron the Clark Funeral Home ads...or SumnerFest. Timothy Hull is someone whose face you will recognize the moment you see him. It is no surprise he has agreed to be part of The Princess Bride. He tells me,"I am playing the part of Vizzini in The Princess Bride.  The last role I played was Curley in the Woodford Theatre production of Of Mice and Men, which just finished up February 7th (Princess Bride director Courtney Waltermire played my wife Mrs. Curley [aka Evelyn], and it also starred Princess Bride actor  Walter Tunis as Lennie).  Up next is Calendar Girls, also at Woodford Theatre, and then I am directing Out of Order at Studio Players, which goes up in May.

"Vizzini is a criminal mastermind from Sicily who is hired to kidnap the princess bride, leading a small gang of dunderheaded thugs.  Unfortunately, Vizzini isn’t quite as smart as he thinks he is.  He is one of the primary antagonists of the story."

"The biggest challenge for me is that I am playing a character who was conceived in a film, and the original actor’s portrayal (Wallace Shawn) is a well-known and much-loved performance.  The director, rightly, wants us to give not an imitation of the performances, but she wants to see similar performances on stage- no wildly different interpretations or anything like that (also rightly).  So my job is to take the essence of Shawn’s performance and to do justice to the most important aspects- lines, moments, etc- of his performance.  Shawn has a very distinctive style of speech, and some very well-known lines, so I’ve needed (and continue to need) to study his interpretation to give the audiences what they’ve come to see.  It’s a great cast and a great director- people have been nailing it from the very first read through!  I am certain it will be a very enjoyable and satisfying production, both for those who know and love the movie, as well as those who haven’t yet seen it."

Hull has worked with most of the cast and the director before in various shows- Courtney Waltermire, Caitlyn Waltermire, Greg Waltermire, Tom Phillips, Walter Tunis, Chris Rose, Darius Fatemi, Ross Carter… "The people I haven’t technically acted with yet are also already doing absolutely terrific- it’s just a wonderful cast!"

"I was born and raised in Lexington, and attended Bryan Station High School (where my mom also taught).  I went to Georgetown College and majored in a bunch of different things, then transferred to Western Kentucky University as a Theatre major.  I then went to the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, where I earned an MFA in Acting.  After doing some shows in the San Francisco Bay Area, I moved to New York City to do the whole starving actor thing.  I was there for two years, did several plays, and after getting ground down and fed up, I joined the Army.  I served for six years, stationed in Maryland and Alaska, and deployed to Iraq (Mosul and Baghdad) for sixteen months.  After that, I moved back home to Lexington, where I have lived for the past several years.  I’ve been doing plays regularly here for a while, and love being a part of the theatre community in Lexington.  I have also taught as adjunct theatre faculty at Transylvania University, and currently at the University of Kentucky."

 I’m not sure if it qualifies as a “secret talent” exactly, but I consider myself to be a somewhat expert on actor Marlon Brando, or at least an aficionado.  I have seen all but a handful of his films multiple times, and have read 20 plus biographies, read numerous articles, watched myriad documentaries, etc, regarding him.  He is my favorite actor.

- Timothy Hull and Princess Bride director Courtney Waltermire backstage during “Of Mice and Men”
- Timothy Hull and Holly Hazelwood Brady in Woodford Theatre’s “Sense and Sensibility” at a Jane Austen event
- Timothy Hull as one of several Napoleans (all ACT classmates) for a screening party at Francis Ford Coppola’s vineyard (Francis was wild, and Danny Devito waved at me, lol)
- Marlon Brando at a party, wearing a funny hat

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Michael Mau Courts The Princess Bride As Westley!

Caitlyn Leonard and Michael Mau
Get your leap night on, Lambchops!  It is time to make a date to be silly on February 29 and gather Downtown at the Kentucky Theatre when Off Main Actors Group presents a reading of THE PRINCESS BRIDE - at 7pm.

Michael Mau will be reading the part of Westley. His last role was Freddy the owner of the Lapin Agile in Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile, a fall Studio Players production. 

Mau tells me his character faces the typical woes of everyday life in the land of riches and abject poverty. "As the show opens Westley is the archetypal proletariat convinced that he must attain pecuniary riches to secure his place in society and support his love, middle-class landowner Buttercup. He is forced into piracy, which, other than revenge, treachery, and brutishness, seems to be the only option for any male not of the royal bloodline." 

Moreover, the thought plickens. "Westley returns to retrieve his love only to be caught in a jingoist plot set up by ambiguously homosexual Prince Humperdinck.  Westley's good looks, strength, skill, and intelligence help satirize the plight of the working poor as they attempt to overcome the constant roadblocks set up by the ruling class."
Ross Carter, Michael Mau and Darius Fatemi
(photos courtesy of Mark Cornelison)
"As he rides off with his love, Westley leaves the monarchy intact, and having handed off his pirate's mask, he will certainly return to his role as farmhand, only this time as a landowner himself, still under Humperdinck's rule."

The cult following of the show will provide some energy to the reading, and though he has never performed a character as well-known as Westley, Mau points out he is "not playing Westley so much as I am mimicking Carey Elwes playing Westley. There is also the challenge of remembering that this is an interpretation and not acting. Our blocking is limited, we are holding scripts, and we will be competing with an audience who may be saying our lines at the same time."

"Also, Westley is a 20-something blonde swashbuckler with a baby face. I am a 40-year-old father of two with salt and pepper hair and a beard (which I have been told I must shave). I'll have some work convincing an audience that I am Westley worthy," he says of his swash-struggle.

"I am a writer, teacher, father, runner, tinkerer, artist, craftsman, and snappy dresser. I began my writing career at the prestigious Green Valley News and Sun in Arizona but was soon tricked into teaching high school. As a slave to teenagers for fourteen years, I have coached cross country and track, led an award-winning speech and drama team, won some plaques, and lost a little bit of my soul. In 2013, I transferred to  an alternative school where I work with students who have been used, abused, and dumped on our doorstep. They’re misfits like me, and I love them.
My short fiction has appeared in Black Warrior Review, Portland Review, Fifth Wednesday, Mount Hope, Firewords Quarterly, Punchnel's, Ferocious Quarterly, and other places. 'An Open Letter to America From a Public School Teacher,' originally published in McSweeney's, received national attention when it was picked up by several news outlets. My story 'Little Bird' was selected by Lily Hoang as the winner of the 2014 Black Warrior Review Fiction Contest. I received my MFA from the Bluegrass Writers Studio in central Kentucky."

Mau has worked previously with fellow cast members Ross Carter and Tommy Gatton. "I played a small role as a crazed gunman in Ross's play What Would Jesus Pack. Tommy starred in the play as the NRA spokesperson."

In succinct spirit of the script, Michael believes the best reason to see this show is simple: "True love. "

Lastly, does he have a 'secret talent?' 
As it turns out,Michael Mau is reluctant to reveal his hidden gift.  "If I told you my secret talents, they wouldn't be secret. Come to the show and I'll demonstrate one on stage!"
Now who could resist that, I ask?  See you at the show, lambsies! 


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Caitlyn Leonard IS the Princess Bride! (Feb 29 at Ky Theatre)

First of all, y'all KNOW that I absolutely adore the Waltermire family.  They are simply the nicest bunch of folks you'd ever want to know, plus being talented and gorgeous.  So when I found out Courtney Waltermire was directing The Princess Bride, I had to find out who was involved and then pick their brains to highlight them in KimmyVille. 
First up is THE princess, the FIRST Waltermire who let me adopt her as my perpendicular daughter in a parallel universe:  Caitlyn Waltermire Leonard.  I asked her about her role, and a few other questions, and she was prompt to reply, as always.  (LOVE THAT GIRL!)  Caitlyn says, "I know I've been out of the theatre scene too long when it's been this long since we've talked. I'm so glad you're blogging about Princess Bride! 
"I'm playing 'Buttercup.' My last role was as one of the Myerwalter Sisters in Ross Carter's new musical Madame Buttermilk. My sisters Courtney and Kaylee were also cast as Myerwalters. We fought over who got to sing the lowest part, which probably doesn't happen in musical theatre all the time. I hadn't helped debut a work before; there was a special energy in those rehearsals and shows. Ross is hilarious on page and off-- but you don't have to take MY word for it..." she laughs.
Caitlyn tells me that Buttercup is the title character. "She and Westley share the kind of love that keeps you alive through lightening sand and medieval torture. Power, revenge, and self-preservation are all motivators in the story, but action for love's sake leave Buttercup and Westley clean and secure in the happy fatalism Goldman created."
"While Buttercup is classically (comically) helpless in the Fire Swamp, she takes quite a beating from life and manages the 'not with a thousand swords' monologue to Humperdinck. She's faithful and strong."
"I started at Woodford Theatre and have since worked with Actors Guild, Georgetown Theatre, Balagula Theatre, Studio Players, Off Main Actors Group, as well as Proverb Films Company. I began with acting but gravitated to writing for stage since. I'm also a senior at UK, where I've majored in English. Statistics of Americans my age tell me I don't have to know my next step for another nine years." 
Caitlyn is happy to be working with some familiar faces.  "I worked with Tom Phillips in Fahrenheit 451, Tim Hull and Walter Tunis in Frankenstein, Ross Carter in Madame Buttermilk, and Kathy Jones in a couple of Fantastical Theatrical productions. I can't get enough of these guys and the rest of the cast. Especially the singer/Assistant Brute Caleb Leonard, but he has an unfair advantage," she jokes (Caleb is her husband '-) 
So, why should YOU go see this reading of The Princess Bride at the Kentucky Theatre on February 29?  Leonard answers, "If you can hear Peter Falk's 'Fencing. Fighting. Passion' monologue in your head right now, you should come see this production. Off Main Actors Group has a fresh-still-faithful cast and direction. It's packed with inside jokes. What a way to spend your Leap Evening!"
I asked Caitlyn if she had any secret talents.  "My talents are either public, dull, or both, so I'll give you a secret anti-talent. I can barely swim. The older I get, the more afraid I am of the ocean. Because of the swimming thing, but also the Kraken." 

Actors' Playhouse of Georgetown Presents BEAUTY & THE BEAST!

Greg JonesColleen SkellieMic BrockBarbie VineyKatherine RichardsLydia Reed and Rebecca Keith at Actors Playhouse of Georgetown.
Somehow, I have missed out on a lot artistic treats.  Beauty & The Beast is one of them.  My son is too old to have required its viewing. I have seen bits and pieces of the story, but truthfully, I have never seen any adaptation of the French fable, either on stage, page or on the big screen.  So when Kathy Jones asked me to go with her to see her hubby Greg perform as Monsieur Maison last night, I was more than tickled to have the chance to view this presentation by Actors' Playhouse of Georgetown.

We traveled to Georgetown and first had dinner at a sweet spot called Galvin's, then only a few blocks to a sweet little church called First Baptist of Georgetown on Jefferson Street.  The church was the perfect venue for such a production. Cozy, lots of parking, and every word that was uttered could be heard. The set was cleverly designed to quickly change from the Maison home to the Beast's castle, and the backstage crew worked hard to get everything moved in time to not lose the audience.

There was a terrific device that spewed smoke into the air of varying colors whenever a spell was cast, totally distracting the audience from the switches going on as well as leaving a steamy cloud hovering over the stage that gave the air a mysterious quality.  

An unusual but effective curtain speech was given by a gypsy fortune teller who 'foresaw' that we would all wash our hands when we used the facilities she directed us to use.  That set the tone for the play, which began with Madame Florica, powerfully played by Lydia Reed, who cast her spell on The Beast, portrayed by Chris Wilson who was perfect for the part.  He and Rebecca Keith's Beauty performed well together and were totally believable in this unlikely pairing as they danced their path to love and understanding.

Kathy & Greg Jones
Another actor, Michael Butts, played the part of the stuttering Joly, and we had the pleasure of seeing him bring his fragile character full circle, as well as Greg Jones as Beauty's father. Jones had to fight, scramble, love, hate, cry, AND nearly die in this show.  He was excellent, as always, and probably lost twenty pounds during the performance with all the activity in which his character was written to take part.  (After the show, the company gathered at Galvin's and Jones was his usual jovial self, entertaining everyone and putting the 'kids' at ease as is his way; he referred to the entire cast and crew as 'Family.')  

Also compelling were Beauty's two sisters, Marguerite (Katherine Richards) and Charlotte (Barbie Viney).  They were mean and despicable characters, bullying and being incredibly selfish like so many siblings know how to be.  I told Viney she was 'absolutely horrible' as Charlotte, and her face lit up with a huge smile as she thanked me profusely for saying that. lol  Gotta love the theatre folks!  

So the sisters were horrid, the gypsies were consistently conniving and solid, the servants-turned-goblinesque-gargoyles were silent and scary.  What more could a theatre-goer want?  Enter Jean-Luc, played by the very Matthew McConaughey lookalike Ian Scott.  He was charming in his role as Marguerite's suitor and showed comical bravery with quite a flair.  
Ian Scott

Oh, also ... there was the lovely smell and taste of popcorn ... and simple lighting that seemingly had millions of cues, but nevertheless was perfectly utilized.

For community theatre, this production has it all.  The entire family can be taken to this show and go away feeling good about the story, about the ending, about theatre in general. The costuming is very well done, along with the scenery which far exceeds the scope of what you would expect from a small troupe of players, many of them young folks.  The pride with which this troupe presents Beauty & The Beast is certainly extraordinary and I would suggest anyone who can get to Scott County this weekend or next go see it!  


Written and directed by Justin Arnold, this production is dedicated to JB Nutter.

Dates:  February 12, 13, 19 20 -- 7 pm

            February 13, 14, 20 and 21 -- 2 pm

209 West Jefferson Street, Georgetown, Kentucky

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.]