is the grass any bluer...

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

Friday, December 24, 2010

Night Before Christmas - Merry Christmas to all...

I met BGM's Dana Edison doing standardized
patient work at UK's College of Medicine.
She is a joy to know and I love her spirit.
It's been a quiet week here in Kimmyville.  As Mayor, I have declared that there will be peaceful observations of the holidays, there will be roast beast, carols in the air, candlelight services, and much merrymaking as we prepare our hearts and minds for the celebration of the birth of Christ.  

In the past few years, my tradition has been to watch WKYT news at noon so I can catch J.P. Pennington and his son and daughter, Jesse Rose and James, perform as the Penningtones.  They sing and play some old-timey Christmas songs and set the tone for the entire day.  It's so cool to see how the gift of music has been handed down from generation to generation.  
Exile's JP Pennington is of course best known as his role as
a songwriter, singer and one of the best guitarist you'd
ever want to hear, but when he and his kids perform as the
Penningtones, it's hard not to be filled with the spirit of
Christmas.  He also has a cool swing band called The Squirrels.

After that, I will set out to buy last minute feast fixins. I still need to buy an orange to stuff in the bacon-wrapped turkey, and a few side items so we can enjoy the full effect of the Christmas day dinner with my family. 

Once I get home, I will put the finishing touches on my home, just making sure the piano is nice and ready for my super talented sister Karen to play songs so we can sing along tomorrow night after we gorge ourselves.  We're at the point in life where we realize that the best gift we can give to each other is our presence.  To hear my nieces, Jessica Pearl and Susannah Rose call me Aunt Kimmy is one of the most beautiful sounds in the world.  Jessica has a talent that is incredible for a young lady. She not only is absolutely astonishing on stage, she is also a compassionate and funny beyond belief.  Watch for JayPearlz to come 

My sister Kelli will also be joining us this year and it will be the first Christmas that all 3 of us have been together since my Pops died in 1997.  One thing is for certain: it will be special, it will be fun, and we will laugh ourselves silly.
The best gift for me this Christmas are my sisters, Kelli and
Karen. Kelli is back in our lives this year, and nothing could
make me happier.  I love my sissyKats!  

First, though, there are two Christmas Eve services at Central Christian Church where my friend and makeup expert Tom Bragg will sing O Holy Night.  Both services are sweet, but the earlier one at 6pm is filled with children in their best Christmas reds and greens, with that look in their eye of hope and wonder.  It's contagious, and I love it!  Then at 11pm, we once again celebrate the birth of Christ our Lord, and Tom will once again sing his solo...and then we'll join Drew Curtis at his Christmas Eve party at the Fark Satellite office at Chase Tap Room.  

Drew Curtis and daughter Sierra

Drew is another blessing in my life, as he's a good friend who doesn't judge me, but always has some wisecracking advice to help me through the valleys that I sometimes find myself in.  

Kelli and Kimmy :)

I shall then come home and watch the services in Bethlehem, listen to the Hallelujia Chorus, play my ukulele and sing with the kitty on my lap.  He loves it when I sing Mary, Did You Know?  That song still makes me cry, but I get through it somehow :)

If you are still reading, thanks for listening to me yammer on about how I celebrate Christmas.  If you read here regularly, you already know that my choir performed another gorgeous piece of classical music this year, the Vivaldi Gloria.  

You also know that although I lead an imperfect life, I know that God is with me always. I know that Jesus came to give us the Gift of Forgiveness, the Gifts of Love and Hope and Faith and Joy.  The Joy that is known when we look inside ourselves and ask God to soften our hearts toward those who may not be so nice to us.  

My talented and beautiful niece, Jessica

Donna Ison and Renee Rigdon - Sisters Provacateur!

Instead of naming those who I need to forgive, I want to thank all the folks about whom I've written this past year, because in their stories I discovered the heart and soul of our arts community.  

Tim X and Natalie Cummins - two of the best folks I know!
Tim X Davis and all his BCTC cast and crew have made me laugh, made me cry throughout the year and I cannot thank him enough for his insight and continued contributions to the art of theatre in our community. 

Natalie Cummins and Henry Layton are also two names associated with every great production. I love them both, and am eternally grateful for their willingness to write me back incredible responses to my paltry questions about their craft and devotion to all that is theatre in this town.

Henry Layton is a smarty pants, good fellow, and a heckuva
fight choreographer and stage combat guru.

I also am grateful to the marvelous and wonderful Bob Singleton.  He and his wife Allie Darden are the embodiment of love and compassion and their friendship means the world to me because they care about what happens with everyone with whom they share their craft.  

Brian Hampton, Kimmy and
Dana at Jungle Fun Room opening night. Brian is one of the
funniest playwrights you'll ever have the pleasure to
enjoy, he's also a great cartoonist and has encouraged me
this year at times when I truly need words of support.
Brian Hampton is also someone I met through Bob and Allie and writing about the theatre, and his Jungle Fun Room production at Studio Players was just nothing but pure joy to witness. 

Allie Darden - I'm her doppleganger :)

Sunny Montgomery - super poet - and me at my birthday bash
last year.  It's hard to not love Sunny. She's just the best!
Trish Clark and her SummerFest folks gave me lots of love and they brought to the stage such courageous works during the hazy lazy days of July, I just am so grateful that I know Trish and Ellie and all that happens with them.  
Bob Singleton leads the Midway Play Festival play reading.
Nobody is busier than Bob Singleton - he keeps things
hopping at Studio Players, onstage at SummerFest and
at Actors Guild of Lexington.  Bob's the coolest!

Kathy Hobbs and her Fantastical Theatrical company are absolutely some of the best people I know, too. Kathy is my go-to gal for all things musical and is a good friend I can rely upon when I need some words of wisdom, I just love her and am grateful I met her this past year.  

Dana Edison is another gem in the theatrical world we all know and love as Bluegrass Mystery Theatre.  She formed the company herself and puts on shows all over the place, many times utilizing the talents of the fabulous playwright Donna Ison, who is also the Editor of skirt! magazine.  

I could not survive without my sisters
Karen and Kelli and my nieces
Jessica and Susannah. They are my
support system and I absolutely adore them!

Actors Guild of Lexington's Artistic Director Eric Seale is also someone I am eternally indebted to for his problem solving and thoughtful help to me in so many ways.  He saves helpless animals, like the rabbit he almost ran over (I think that's the story anyway), and is secretly a very amiable and nice guy!  He picked up the pieces left behind by the former AGL director and put them back together again, stronger than ever. Props to you, Eric!  

Fantastical Theatricals' founder and fabulous
singer Kathy Hobbs.  The best acid queen I know <3 

Michael Johnathon is another one I have to thank here, for having the chutzpah to continue his weekly WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour at the Kentucky Theatre every Monday night.  MJ gets some guff from time to time from the bah humbuggers out there who wish they had the fortitude to organize the best dang volunteer crew in the business, but he shakes it off and goes ahead with his week after week shows, presenting the best of grassroots music and all kinds of fabulous performances by legendary artists. 

My musical and spiritual guru Michael Rintamaa
prepares to lead the orchestra for our
Vivaldi performance...Sherri Phelps (such a lambchop) is
preparing for her solo here!  

HollerDaddy Eric Sutherland and all the Holler Poets Series writers are also a big blessing in my life.  Sunny Montgomery, Tina Andry, James Brown, Renee Rigdon, and tons of other 'kids' are just precious gems that shine at Al's Bar every month for this literary showcase that is lovely to watch. 

Eric Seale rescues the wounded...again.

I know I'm rambling here, but I wanted to touch upon and thank just a few of the cute people in my life that kindle my artistic soul, who don't snark about my writing here in KimmyVille, who ask me to cover their stories, who realize that it's a good thing that I blog about the arts and activism in the Bluegrass. I am not here to hurt anyone, I'm just here to lift them up and put the spotlight on the podium for the ovation they so richly deserve. People put a lot of time and effort into the on-stage and visual arts in our town, and I appreciate that devotion...that appreciation manifests itself here in KimmyVille, and although there are some who know a whole lot more about what I cover, I am one blogger who puts my heart into the stories I write. I find the good in people, and I amplify that good and lift them up and give them voice.  And that, my lambchops, is not a bad thing. 

Laurie Genet Preston, Kimmy and
Jennifer Bellando - g'ahead, Obamicon me
already!  Laurie was uber-cool in giving me
a great interview for her triumphant return to
the stage after a few years off and being a
mom to twins.  She rocked the Talon Winery stage
in Tim X Davis' clever 1970s disco
adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing

I hope you all have a lovely holiday and I will write more about the past year in the days to come. It's been a great year that has seen the return of cool people like Laurie Genet Preston to the stage. It's seen the development of a new and exciting theatre project like SEE Theatre and the production of RENT at SummerFest, which brought record crowds to the arboretum.  

Tom Phillips helped me tune my ukulele for the very first
time.  He encourages me in so many ways, I cannot thank
him enough for his generosity and his friendship. Glad he's
back in town to break hearts and blow minds.  

Studio Players and AGL are gearing up for another round of shows, as well BCTC, so there will be lots to cover as far as theatre goes and I have had fun covering them.  

I also had the pleasure of seeing my good friend Tom Phillips return to Lexington so everyone can adore his performances again in Tommy: The Concert and Pride and Prejudice and so much more.  
Anabelle Gatton Wright leads the children's choir -
she has one of the most glorious voices I've ever heard! 

There are scores more of you that I want to thank and squawk about here...and I will.  Stay tuned. It's the end of the year, my birthday is on the way (at Blue Agave on Thursday, December there :) -- so I'm going to be hugging you with my words here in KimmyVille, where all is merry and bright :) 

I want to share my favorite prayer with you because I love to sing in my choir and because my musical guru, Michael Rintamaa taught it to us:

Glorious God, Source of all Joy and Righteousness.
Enable us as redeemed and forgiven children evermore to rejoice in singing your praises.

Grant that what we sing with our lips,
we may believe in our hearts, and 
what we believe in our hearts,
we may practice in our lives,
so that by being doers of the word,
and not hearers only, we may receive
everlasting life.

In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray,
Happy Christmas everyone, pray for peace, people,

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