is the grass any bluer...

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

Sunday, April 3, 2011

That Was the Week That Twas

I am watching the sun set on a glorious Sunday here in the Bluegrass, where the tulip trees are in full bloom, the irises are starting to peek out for their yearly array, and Keeneland's Dogwoods are ready to frame the Derby prep racing scene. By the by, UNCLE MO is still the main contender for the Kentucky Derby, but hopefully more horses will come to the fore in the next few weeks until the First Saturday in May.  I like PANTS ON FIRE, a longshot whose photo I seek in order to post a blog about him sometime soon, and so far, no lucky-luck, but I'm in no rush.  There's plenty to keep me busy between now and Derby day.

In that vein (full pun intended), I had an interesting week, worked a lot at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine playing various maladies.  I can't tell you what my standardized patient roles were, but suffice it to say the past few weeks have been referred to as March Madness by more than folks with basketball brackets.  In fact, the schedule structure of SP work at UK looks a lot like brackets from time to time, with all sorts of situations to arise to upset the proverbial apple cart -- pop quizzes and full physical exams and other medical learning scenarios.  We work odd hours for good pay, learn interesting cases, work with thoughtful, intelligent and sensitive people -- and although I am not an actor, this is simply the ultimate way to earn a paycheck, and it's my favorite job.  

Michael Johnathon and the Hippy Chicks at Natasha's

So, back to my whirlwind week.  On Tuesday, I attended a celebration of the lives of two dear souls, Roy Stout and Larry Steur at Natasha's, where a number of artists performed, including Michael Johnathon, without whom Lexington would be immeasurably less entertained.  That was a sweet night, one I'll always remember because it wasn't sad, even though Roy and Larry left this Life before we could say a proper goodbye.  Tuesday night's tribute was a nice way to musically say rest in peace to these very cool fellows, both of whom were infinitely nice to me and who will be sorely missed for a long time by a lot of people. 

Eric Seale - prankster exemplar
On Wednesday was the opening of BCTC's Rocky Horror Show at the DAC, where I was April fooled (cough...punked) by none other than AGL's Artistic Director, Eric Seale.  We'd exchanged a few messages earlier in the week.  He had been coy, I had been when he made his entrance in Rocky on the motorcycle, I pretty much knew I'd been had, along with everyone else in the audience, who had no idea he actually had a role in the dang show.  

So, color me pranked...but truth be told, I deserved and enjoyed every bit of it...and BCTC/AGL's co-production of Rocky Horror was a fantastic show of unbelievable music, dancing, singing, staging, directing -- a quality production all the way around. 

My musical and spiritual guru,
Michael Rintamaa leads the Chancel Choir
Okay, as if you really want to know all this, I'll continue with my uber-week. As always, I had glorious chancel choir rehearsal on Thursday.  We are singing all our gorgeous Kyries and Holy Week pieces now in preparation for Easter.  The music we sing during the Lenten season is full of hope and joy, yes, but it's also about endings and beginnings, about death and resurrection, forgiveness and redemption, and at last, Victory.  This year's Easter choral work, Allelujia Allelujia, was composed by Johnie Dean, which he was commissioned to write for our Chancel Choir several years ago.  It's a triumphant work full of symbolism, and breathes new life into songs traditionally sung on Easter Sunday, with glorious brass accompaniment.  As it turns out, this year, Dr. Dean will be available to conduct his piece and our choir director, Michael Rintamaa will be able to actually robe up and sing with us, which will make this year's chorale performances even more meaningful.

It's an emotionally wringing time, but also a time for me to remind myself that all the Lord wants from me is to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with Him.  

Sure, I falter, I stumble and I go through valleys, but 'every valley shall be exalted' (a phrase I say every time I try to start my car ... ;-)

I also attended Friday night's performance of Walter May's Broken at Actors Guild of Lexington, where Tom Phillips and Susan Wigglesworth took us through an hour of drama that was profoundly moving, so compelling, and I was so touched, I found myself weeping by the time the play ended.  

Now, don't get me wrong, I am an easy cry -- I cry at Folgers commercials, but those tears usually come quickly and smart like hell when they surface. The tears I shed during Broken fell softly, as slow-moving droplets, gently gathering on my lashes, unnoticeable until I felt the need to wipe them away.  Broken was a powerful script presented by two phenomenal actors, under the impeccable direction of Sidney Shaw, and I thanked each of them, along with playwright May, Natalie Cummins (who was subbing for the fabulous stage manager Robin Kunkel on Friday), and box office goddess Hilary Brown afterward. 

Then, we closed the evening out by hearing Roger BonDurant at CCI, an uplifting hour or so of great tunes that helped soothe my troubled waters a bit. Roger's voice is a balm for any kind of soul.  He can -- and will -- sing and play just about any song, and do it very well.  

I then went home and played my newest ukulele tunes -- You Were Meant For Me and Everyday I Write The Book for my Friday night friend, James K., who always listens and authentically seems to like what he hears ...
(but he's a pretty good actor ;-)  

Of course on Saturday night, I watched along with the rest of the Big Blue Nation as the Cats' wonderful second season under Coach Calipari ended in the Final Four tournament semi-final.  As you all know by now, UConn beat UK, it was a one-point loss, a good game, but a game in which the Cats seemed to not ever be able to catch up during the entire game.  So, I don't know about y'all, but I'm kinda tired of NCAA basketball for this year...and I'm hoping that tomorrow night when the final game of the Big Dance is over and done, we can once again say, "The Butler Did It."  Go Butler (win it all)!  

Alrighty then, that brings us to Sunday, the day of rest, right?  Oh no. No, not me.  Not this week in which I never rested, it seems...and happily so.  Today, I saw Garden District, two short plays by Tennessee Williams, at Studio Players' Carriage House - two fabulous performances with an appreciative crowd for the closing show.  I thoroughly enjoyed both pieces, and especially had fun meeting Alex Maddox (Trevor from The Jungle Fun Room, and will be in UK's production of The Odd Couple opening soon).  

So, why am I yammering on about what happened in my life this past week?  I suppose because I am grateful for my lambchops like you who read about all the happenings on Lexington from week to week by logging on here in Kimmyville.  I'm also grateful that because you read what I have to say, artists who put so much time and devotion in bringing works from page to stage, who put in endless hours of rehearsal to bring music and song and laughter to us, folks in the arts community trust me to write about them without fear that I am about to throw them under the proverbial bus.  

Having your trust, dear readers, is absolutely one of the biggest joys I know in life.  I know the price you pay, and it's the least I can do to make sure everyone knows the price of admission is definitely worth the ticket, it's worth the effort, it's worth a look -- even though I have the easy job, that is writing about what other people do to keep me entertained, because it is simply fascinating, is it not?  The creative collaborative process, the energy it takes to pull all of the elements together in an artistically appealing way is, to me, anyway, one of the most interesting preparations to behold and about which to blog.

More to come about this
show opening this week, featuring
Natalie Rae Lile's supertwins!

So what's up this week, eh?  This week is shaping up to be just about as busy as the one I've just enjoyed, so look out.  I'm going to be letting you know about Derby hopefuls (again, UNCLE MO seems to have this one in the bag but somebody has to place and show, y'know?) -- and I'll also try to stay on top of women's writers conferences, poetry readings, musical offerings, comedies, musicals, dramas -- and auditions re: same.  For example, opening this week at UK is The Odd Couple - and at AGL, A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant.  On April 9th, is Manuel Castillo's recital at Singletary Center for the Arts (scroll down and stay tuned for more details)! 

I'll most likely make my way to the Kentucky Theatre tomorrow night to see mandolin player Sierra Hull perform. I first saw her ten years ago when she was just a lil girl playing alongside Sam Bush on WoodSongs.  Tomorrow night, she returns (for details, just scroll down).  There are also several plays opening this week, and I will do my best to post details about all those offerings as well.

If you are still reading, well, thank you.  I am glad that every now and again, I have the opportunity to de-brief myself this way. Thanks for indulging me.  I'll squawk to you all soon, I'm sure.  In the meantime, here is a prayer for this Third Sunday in Lent:

God of mercy,
you sent Jesus Christ to seek and save the lost,
We confess that we have strayed from your truth
and from your holy will.
We have failed in love, forgotten to be just,
and have turned away from your wisdom.
Forgive us our sin and restore us to your ways, 
for the sake of your Son, our only Savior,
Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.

peace, y'all,
Happy birthday to my favorite new uke player, Sammy <3 

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