Live Music & Events

Audience Interview: Comedian Rodney Carrington – March 24 – Whitney Hall at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts

When it comes to the great comedians over the years, names like Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Robin Williams, Rodney Dangerfield and Eddie Murphy come to mind. More modern names might include Chris Rock, Jim Gaffigan, Ron White, Jeff Foxworthy, Dave Chappelle and several others. Live comedy is something that has a long-standing history and a bright future and delivers audiences a personal experience based on how you interpret what they are trying to convey. Whatever the content might be, it all seems to fit the personality of the person who is delivering it with one goal in mind, to make their audiences laugh.

We recently caught up with one of the top comedians on tour today, Rodney Carrington, who has his own niche of great comedy, combined with songs that are cleverly written with topics that well, might just make you feel awkward depending on who you’re watching it with.

Nevertheless, his fans love him and we can’t wait to see him at Whitney Hall on March 24th. (Do your research before you go as the content might not be appropriate for younger audiences.)

Audience502 publisher, G. Douglas Dreisbach, caught up with him to find out more about his career and what fans can expect when he hits the stage in March.

Check out the full interview and get your tickets to his show at KentuckyPerformingArts.org

 

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CenterStage brings down the house at new Trager Family Jewish Community Center

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and construction of the new Trager Family Jewish Community Center, CenterStage went dark for two years, according to Erin Silliman, the organization’s director of Arts & Ideas.

Last fall, CenterStage returned to perform at the new Trager Family JCC. In the heart of its 2022-23 season, true to its mission, CenterStage delivers quality community theatre and spectacular musicals. The theatre gives local performers, designers and musicians an opportunity to practice their passions all while fulfilling the organization’s collective mission to “open minds, one act at a time.”

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Performance Preview: Broadway In Louisville presents Annie: The Musical – Feb. 14-19

We could all use a little more hope and joy in our lives right now, and that’s exactly what the iconic musical Annie brings to the stage. It tells the story of a young girl who dreams of a life outside the miserable orphanage where she lives. When she’s chosen to spend the holidays with billionaire Oliver Warbucks, she finds herself caught up in the excitement and joy of the season.

 

But it’s not all fun and games — Annie also has to confront the scheming Miss Hannigan, who runs the orphanage. Along the way, she befriends a lovable mutt named Sandy and learns that holding onto hope when times are tough can take an awful lot of determination. Luckily, Annie is full of determination in that small, scrappy package of hers.

 

For generations, Little Orphan Annie has reminded theatergoers that sunshine is always right around the corner, and now the best-loved musical of all time is back — just when we need it most. 

 

That’s why PNC Broadway in Louisville is bringing the Tony Award-winning musical back to The Kentucky Center from February 14 to 19, 2023. The all-new tour, produced by TROIKA Entertainment LLC, is sure to be the perfect pick-me-up.

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Performance Preview: Louisville Orchestra presents two ‘Fifths’ of Beethoven – Jan. 13 & 14

Is it Fate knocking at the door, or did Ludwig Van Beethoven have something else in mind entirely when he penned the startling opening notes of his famous “Symphony No. 5?”

 

Those three notes, then one: G-G-G, E-flat. Repeated one step down as F-F-F, D, and the stage is set in suspense for classical music’s most famous symphony.

Audiences will have a chance to hear those notes and feel the suspense once again as the Louisville Orchestra presents Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5” in concerts January 13 and 14 in Whitney Hall. The concerts also include Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No. 5,” with pianist Leonard Biss, in a program the symphony is calling “Fifths of Beethoven.”

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Performance Preview: The Brown-Forman Nutcracker – Dec. 9-23

A delightful holiday tradition for audiences of all ages, Louisville Ballet’s beloved production, The Brown-Forman Nutcracker, returns to the stage December 9-23, 2022 at The Kentucky Center’s Whitney Hall.

With beautiful choreography by Val Caniparoli performed to Tchaikovsky’s iconic score –  played live by the Louisville Orchestra and conducted by Louisville Ballet Music Director Tara Simoncic – this local treat is the perfect addition to annual holiday celebrations.

Don’t miss this amazing holiday tradition. Get tickets and information at LouisvilleBallet.org

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Shen Yun: A Performance You’ve Been Waiting For – December 30

This holiday season Louisville theatergoers are in for a world-class treat with the return of New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts to the Kentucky Centre on Dec. 30. It’s just what you’ve been waiting for! And just in time to usher in the hope and bright promise of the new year!

Shen Yun is an internationally acclaimed performance that will leave you renewed, uplifted, and inspired. Gather your loved ones together and immerse in this timeless artistic experience of the ancient art form at the heart of the world’s premier classical Chinese dance company. You’ll be mesmerized by the elegance and expressiveness of classical Chinese dance, filled with grace, beauty, energy—like poetry in motion.

It’s a comprehensive dance system cultivated over 5,000 years. The stunning athleticism of its leaps and spins, performed by the world’s finest classical Chinese dancers, will keep you on the edge of your seats.

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St. James Court Art Show: Sept. 30 – Oct. 2 – The Art Show That Gives Back

Kentucky’s favorite autumn tradition, the St.James Court Art Show, is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 art shows in the nation. Annually attracting about 600 artists and more than 250,000 visitors to Old Louisville, people come from near and far to purchase one-of-a-kind handcrafted art directly from the artists that created them.

What most people don’t know is the positive impact the St. James Court Art Show has on the community.

 

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Big Music – Big Money – The Real Numbers Behind Bourbon & Beyond and Louder Than Life

With two of the biggest music festivals in the country being held on back to back weekends here in Louisville with Bourbon & Beyond and Louder Than Life,  it is hard to imagine how much really goes into the production and logistics of moving over 140,000 music fans in and out of the festivals grounds for two consecutive weekends. In the end, the team at Danny Wimmer Presents produces a seamless experience year in and year out. There might be some that find it an inconvenience to their daily routines with additional traffic, noise at night or other things that may not fit into their day to day liking. But, rest assured that the overall benefit of these festivals to a city like Louisville is something we should embrace and welcome for years to come, or as long as Danny Wimmer will bring it back.

The numbers behind the two festivals are huge, both from a production stand point and an economic benefit standpoint. Here are some of those numbers released from Danny Wimmer Presents.

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Bourbon & Beyond Hits a Homerun in Louisville with Over 140,000

Hailed by Forbes as “one of America’s most unique festival offerings,” Bourbon & Beyond returned in a big way this past weekend, bringing in over 140,000 attendees, breaking an attendance record for the festival.
Held over four days for the first time – September 15-18 – at the Highland Festival Grounds At The Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, the World’s Largest Bourbon & Music Festival offered something for everyone. The one-of-a-kind entertainment offerings included some of the best and brightest music stars in Americana, roots, blues, country and rock n roll, as well as a range of culinary programming from some of the country’s top chefs and a wide palette of bourbon tastings and workshops celebrating the rich culture of Louisville.
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Audience Preferred Events for September & October – Presented by Kentucky Tourism

Audience is your connection to the performing arts and entertainment in Louisville. We are excited to continue to provide show previews, reviews, recommendations and more on Audience502.com, in our monthly magazine (Audience Magazine) and more.

As we jump into the fall season here in Louisville, we are excited to present some of our top picks for everything from plays and operas to concerts and festivals. We hope you get a chance to check out some, or all, of our suggestions. Also be sure to check out our preferred event calendar at Audience502.com/audience-events for our latest recommendations. Enjoy!

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New Meets Old: Louisville Orchestra Opens New Season With Violinist Tessa Lark – Sept. 16 & 17

Violinist Tessa Lark, who plays a violin that’s as old as any you’ll ever see, and is about as up-to-date a musical star as any you’ll find, appears with the Louisville Orchestra in the symphony’s season-opening concerts, September 16 and 17 in Whitney Hall.

Music director Teddy Abrams has the baton, with the orchestra also performing Igor Stravinsky’s “Symphony in Three Movements.” Abrams will also introduce three composers selected for the symphony’s new Creators Corps (read more about that below).

Lark is a vibrant young talent, with a raft of classical credits and an ambitious concert tour schedule. She studied at the New England Conservatory of Music and Juilliard, but also grew up in Richmond, Ky., playing with her dad in a gospel-bluegrass group called Narrow Road. So, she was just a hike away from Appalachian mountain music in Eastern Kentucky, and a few miles from formal classical violin study in Cincinnati.

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Kentucky Opera Opens 2022-2023 Season with La bohème Sept. 23-Oct.2

Kentucky Opera is thrilled to stage five performances of La bohème at The Brown Theatre this Fall to open its 70th Anniversary Season 22/23. One of the most romantic stories of all time, Giacomo Puccini’s La bohème will be performed Friday, Sept. 23 at 8 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 25 at 2 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 1:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 29 at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 2 at 2 p.m.

Single tickets for La bohème start at $45.25, with discounts for students and groups, and are available now for purchase by visiting kyopera.org or by calling (502) 584-4500. Discount season subscriptions are also available to purchase starting at $110 and include La bohème as well as 22/23 main stage performances of the tango opera María de Buenos Aires and Rossini’s Cinderella.

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Audience Interview: Bourbon & Beyond Returns September 15,16,17 & 18

Bourbon & Beyond and Louder than Life are two of the regions biggest music festivals, and both are returning to Louisville in September for back to back weekends and for what will surely be a great time for any music connoisseur.

In this month’s Audience Interview, we are excited to to catch up with two of the team members from Danny Wimmer Presents that make it all happen, Chamie McCurry who handles marketing and communications and Del Williams who is the head of talent. They are ready for another year and can’t wait to be back in Louisville.

Enjoy the interview!

Listen to the interview in it’s entirety below or keep reading for the transcript.

 

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Show Spotlight: James McMurtry & Hayes Carll at The Burl in Lexington

Audience502 made a trip to the 859 to check out James McMurtry and Haye Carll at The Burl in Lexington. It was our first time to the venue that is a pure hidden gem of the commonwealth. If you haven’t been, be sure to check out their upcoming shows and get there! Located just west of downtown Lexington in the historic Distillery District, the area was surprisingly accommodating with several bourbon-themed restaurants and pubs across the street with plenty of parking. Our pre-show stop was at The Breakroom that was the actual breakroom for employees of the original distillery on site. It was a perfect spot to find a cold beer or cocktail (no food) and the bartenders were great and company was fantastic.

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Jagged Little Pill 2-Show National Tour Premiere Set For Louisville Aug. 31 & Sept. 1

PNC Broadway in Louisville, in partnership with Kentucky Performing Arts, announced the upcoming Louisville premiere of Jagged Little Pill at the Kentucky Center August 31 – September 1.

Inspired by the seminal rock album of the same name by seven-time Grammy Award winner Alanis Morissette (she/her), tickets to the Tony and Grammy awarding-winning production’s two performances will go on sale July 26 and will be available at kentuckyperformingarts.org.

“We are so excited to host the launch of the national tour of Jagged Little Pill right here in Louisville,” said Leslie Broecker, President of PNC Broadway in Louisville. “The Kentucky Center has been instrumental in making this opportunity a reality and we are continuously grateful for their support and collaboration.”

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Dirty Dancing in Concert Coming to Louisville November 9

Relive the timeless love story of Baby and Johnny as global content leader Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B), GEA Live and Karl Sydow, along with presenters Innovation Arts & Entertainment and Kentucky Performing Arts, announce Dirty Dancing in Concertcelebrating the film’s 35th anniversary on a full-size cinema screen with a band and singers live on stage. With a soundtrack that defined a generation, Dirty Dancing in Concert promises to bring a new thrilling experience to the 80s classic!

 Audiences attending Dirty Dancing in Concert will experience the hit film in a unique and unforgettable way. A complete screening of the digitally remastered film will play as a band and singers perform the songs live, in sync with the film. Stay for the encore party and continue to sing and dance along with the band to your favorite Dirty Dancing songs.

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ACT Louisville Productions Announces Cast and Creative Team for The Sound of Music

Louisville, KY – ACT Louisville Productions (ALP) producers Beth Craig Hall (Actors Center for Training and Performing Arts Louisville) and Randy Blevins have announced the cast and creative team for their musical production The Sound of Music at The Iroquois Amphitheater July 15-19. Featuring legendary director, William P. Bradford II and rising Broadway Star Caroline Glazier in her professional debut, tickets to all seven performances will go on sale June 3 at 10am at actlouisville.com and at iroquoisamphitheater.com.

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Festival Fever: Forecastle Returns to Louisville May 27-29

One of the biggest music festivals in the region is returning to Louisville this weekend for the first time since 2019, and fans are ready! Forecastle Festival is a three-day music festival that takes place annually at Louisville Waterfront Park and will host an expected 75,000 fans over the weekend. Started in 2002 by Louisville-native, JK MCKnight to showcase music, art and activism, the festival has increased in popularity every year and was selected as one of Rolling Stone’s “Coolest Festivals” of the year.

This year’s lineup is filled with some of the biggest names in the business with the likes of Louisvillian Jack Harlow, Tyler the Creator, Black Pumas and more. Once again this year, there will be three stages anchored by the Mast Stage (Main Stage on the Great Lawn) flanked by the Boom Stage and Ocean Stage located near the Joe’s Crab Shack and the expressway overpass, allowing multiple bands to play at once giving fans all they could want for the weekend.

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Derby City Chamber Classical Music Festival – May 20, 24 & 26

“Barnburner” might seem an odd choice of words to describe a chamber music piece.

But you’ll forgive Nick Finch’s enthusiasm for the classical musical treasures he has programmed for the inaugural Derby City Chamber Music Festival, which unfolds May 20, 24 and 26 at Louisville’s Second Presbyterian Church. It’s a festival, Finch promises, that will return both players and audiences to some of their fondest musical memories.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve had a more ‘traditional’ model where we are playing some of the – for lack of a better word for it – we’re playing some of the greatest barnburners ever written.”

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