Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Help a Sister Out: Staycation Recommendations?

So, my big fancy plans to head down to New Orleans for French Quarter Festival next week were bludgeoned by my stunning lack of funds. Mama decided to be a "big girl" for a change and use her tax refund NOT for oysters and beer in the Quarter, but for paying off a few bills and some pending household improvements. Boo, big girlness.

After a brief visit to New England to visit Big Mama Lou for her 60th birthday (if New England is still there this weekend... my hometown declared a State of Emergency today for flooding), I'll be back in town. But just because I'm sticking around doesn't mean I'm not decidedly BREAKING on my Spring Break.

So suggestions, gentle readers? What haven't I done around town or within a short drive that just needs to get done?

Tweetie @mizhellion already suggested:
I'm definitely planning on hitting Keeneland for a day. And because I'm a member of the Mellow Moment's club at Four Roses Distillery, I've been invited to a tasting of their 100th Anniversary Limited Release on April 9. (You know, you really really should sign up for all of our local distilleries' members clubs-- the special events and benefits are fun!)

Because Elk Creek Vineyards has been so kind to send me some wonderful wines over the past year, I might go check out their vineyards. They have a lodge there, so that's a possibility for an overnight.

Any other thoughts? Is there stuff right in my own backyard that I'm missing. (I'm the girl who spent five years in NYC and only decided to go to the top of the Empire State Building on her last day in town!)

Comment below, tweet me (@loueyville), or send me an email at lou (at) loueyville.com. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Derby City Espresso: Three Years in Business!

Everybody's favorite entrepreneur is celebrating his third anniversary later this week! Matt at Derby City Espresso recently shaved his flowing locks for St. Baldrick' day, and we love him all the more for that (Especially because I am a former cancer-bald woman).

But this weeks marks his 3 year anniversary, so we totally celebrate that and love him heaps and bunches. DCE is celebrating for 3 days! Y'all have to drop in and join. His press release says:

The third anniversary part begins on thursday april fools day - music by Bradlee Burtner (http://bradleeburtner.com/) + Daphne Luster & Kevin Hines (http://www.myspace.com/daphneluster) starting around 9

Then the party continues on the First Friday trolley hop at 7 with a
Comic book cover art show & DJ Scotch Bonnet Sounds
music at 9pm with MBIRD (http://www.mbirdmusic.com) and then at 10 - Bu Hao Ting + Fork In Socket + Mountain Asleep (http://backseatsandbar.com/2010/03/24/mountain-asleep-fork-in-socket-bu-hao-ting-dce-42-free/)

The three day anniversary celebration concludes Saturday at 9pm with Squeeze-Bot + Thee Flying Carpets + Midnight Hour Sound System (http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=370416383156&ref=)

We'll be serving $1 shots of espresso $1 Old Stlye beers $3 NABC Beak's Best Bitter on draft all three days plus We'll have a keg of the ultra amazing and rare Kentucky Breakfast Stout (http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/1199/19960) on draft too!

Friday, March 26, 2010

More Theater! Gasp! Last weekend for "A.D." and "Crossing Mountains"

Last summer, The Washington Post called Daniel Loehr's one-woman show "A.D." "one of six intriguing picks" for the Capital Fringe Fest in DC.  This weekend, the Riverrun Theatre (where Loehr is artist-in-residence) is wrapping up the Midwestern premiere of the show over in Madison, IN.  (Yes, I know, we run the risk of spontaneously combusting if we cross the river, but this show sounds worth it.) 

From their website:  

"She is woman.  Hear them roar." 
Attention deficits, afternoon delights, American dreams, artistic differences, anxiety disorders, art deco, atmospheric disturbances, antic dispositions, arrivals and departures, they're all here and then some.
As the saying goes, attention must be paid. The world is turning faster and faster, getting smaller and smaller every day. How can we possibly keep up? How do we sort the information from the noise? Can we cut through the static anymore? Do we even want to?

Wish I could make it, but I'll definitely cross the river for a show sometime soon. 

And I've heard nothing but awesome, glowing reviews of Looking for Lillith's "Crossing Mountains" at the Rud.  Also wrapping up this weekend.  Mama also totally blew seeing this one and is kicking herself.  My theater dance card just got all filled up by the Humana stuff.  But seriously, everything I've heard about "Crossing Mountains" makes me sad I missed it.  Go check it out!

Earth Hour: Fumble Around in the Dark Tomorrow

Just a reminder that tomorrow, March 27 is Earth Hour Day.  Earth Hour calls for everyone to unplug between 830p and 930p.  Turn off those lights, unplug that computer, fire up those candles, and read a (mother bleeping) book!  (that link is TOTALLY NSFW)

Unfortunately, Mama will not be actively participating (although I will do better about turning off all the lights before I leave the house).  I've got 9:00p tickets for the 10 Minute Plays at the Humana Festival for that night.  And well, Actors participating in Earth Day would be... awkward.

I would really enjoy participating in this event, if I had somebody special to celebrate it with.  If that were the case, I would have changed the title of this entry to "Fun-mble."  

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Greatest and... erm.... um... The Greatest!

This, my friends, is MADE of awesome.

Apparently, there was a Ali vs. Superman comic, in 1978, and it is being re-released in hardcover fairly soon (MUST HAVE). This ludicrously expensive statue commemorating this re-release is only 9 inches tall and costs $250. Available in November.

More info here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Humana Festival Wrap Up

I wish Humana Festival lasted all year. I'm so genuinely sad to see it wrap up. Back when I lived in New Orleans, I used to say that New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival was like my birthday, Christmas, and spring break all wrapped into one gorgeous event. And Humana doesn't quite tap that level of "whoopeee!" in my soul, but it comes as close as anything else in Louisville. If somehow there could be a divine convergence of Humana Festival, Idea Festival, and Waterfront Wednesdays...? Well, I might just hand Louisville JazzFest's place in my heart.

Still and all... awesome.

This past weekend, I hit THE CHERRY SISTERS REVISITED and METHOD GUN. And I loved them both. Loved them. Would see either one again, and will see CHERRY SISTERS again when Roommate comes back to town.

CHERRY SISTERS was not what I expected. Before I went, I kind of thought I understood the premise: a vaudeville act SO bad that sold-out crowds went to jeer and laugh. But the show was both funnier and sadder than I thought it would be. In my mind, Cassie Beck as Ella Cherry stole the show, on both ends of the emotional spectrum. If the entire show had centered on that character, I would have been utterly rapt. The first act of the show is phenomenal. The second act is a little heavier than I think it needed to be. The show runs through the beginning of April. Go see it. It's good.

METHOD GUN had been incredibly hyped to me beforehand, and I should always remember to tune that stuff out. Because METHOD GUN was fabulous, but didn't quite live up to the hype. I think if I'd seen it before I'd seen FISSURES, I would have been more blown away. But truly, in some ways the plays tread some of the same ground. But FISSURES goes deeper. METHOD GUN is an absurd semi-narrative story of a theater group abandoned by their esoteric founder. And let me tell you, the last five minutes of the show are sublime. The rest of the play has gorgeous, brilliant moments, but as my theatergoing companion said, at times it's a bit too "precious." A wee warning: Don't go see this play with your mama. A Facebook friend wrote on my wall: "I bet you'll never look at balloons the same way again... or hear 'Dancing in the Moonlight.'" Amen, sister.

Now that I've seen ALL of Humana's full-length plays, I'll render my verdict: FISSURES is unforgettable. One of the best things I've seen at Actors, period. Maybe the best.

And the snappy dialogue and palpable chemistry between the characters in PHOENIX is so wonderful that you'll never go on a mediocre first date and think "well, that was nice enough" again. That play has frigging ruined me for mediocre conversation. Weird, eh?

Buy Local: Kentucky Blue Box Elk Creek Wine!

I know I've gone on record (@loueyville) as saying something along the lines of: "It would make my NCAA Tournament if Cornell kicked UK's butts in the Sweet Sixteen." But c'mon, I come by this sentiment fairly honestly.

First off, I'm a fellow Ivy Leaguer (oh yes, don't let this pretty face fool you; I also come by my nerdiness honestly and have the sheepskin to prove it). And seriously, I thought the only Ivy Leaguers who "got game" were on the fencing or crew teams.

Secondly, when you move to Louisville, you pretty much have to decide if you bleed Red or Blue. And I "Bled Red" before I even moved to this city. Back when Roommate and I were dating (you forgot we used to be a couple, didn't you?), he used to have one of Pitino's inspirational books in his bathroom. So I read up on Rick in the loo and thought: "This guy seems to really have it together. What a nice man with good moral character. I think I will be a fan of his team." (*spit-take*)

Thirdly, how do you NOT love a man named Tubby? That's all I'm sayin' about that.

But, oh you dear Elk Creekers, you did it again! Back in October, Elk Creek Vineyards sent me three bottles of their Halloween wine to try. And this month, they sent me their newest themed wine right in time for the NCAA Tournament. And I have to say, these people know me.

Just look at the picture! Don't you just want to hug it?

As I mentioned in my first review of the Elk Creek wines, I don't know what the heck I am talking about. A good 75% of the wine I drink at home comes from a box. And dammit, I LIKE wine from a box. It stays good longer, it's better for the environment, and there's LOTS of great boxed wine out there. And I'm happy to say that "Tailgate Red" is one of them. And with prices starting at UNDER $20 for the equivalent of FOUR bottles of wine. You can't beat that with a stick, folks.

But not only is "Tailgate Red" good red wine (I'm drinking a glass now and loving it), the packaging is frigging adorable. If you look closely at the picture, on the left there's a hoop for ping-pong ball basket ball and on the right is a goal post for table football. And they include a ping-pong ball and a sponge football in the box! I know I seem unreasonably excited about this: but this is a BOX of WINE that has BUILT-IN drinking games! How can you not LOVE that?

According to the Elk Creek website, you can't buy this everywhere, so here's a list of the stores that sell the Blue Box. And there are seven varietals available, Tailgate Red & White, Concord, Vidal Blanc, and Sweet Mellow White (that's good stuff-- I remember that from Halloween) for $19.99, and Cab and Chardonnay are $10 more. Elk Creek is located just an hour from Louisville. Mama's thinking it's definitely time for a road trip to visit them.

If I were a UK fan and I were planning a Sweet Sixteen watching party, I would so stock up on these things. They're-- as I said-- just too damn cute. AND when Cornell hands them their ticket back to Lexington, the party doesn't have to end-- you can play drinking games with the (I'm sure empty by now) boxes. Go Big Red! (sorry, I know I just made half of y'all hate me)

Disclaimer: I make no bones about the fact that Elk Creek sent this lovely, lovely thing to me for my consideration. But if I didn't like it, I wouldn't have blogged about it. All sentiments herein are genuine. I learned well from Big Mama Lou: "if you ain't got nothing nice to say then shut the heck up." I liked this for real.

More on the good folks from Elk Creek here.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Latest Brilliant Idea: Louisville Merit Badges

So, as of tonight, I am one play (the 10 Minute Plays) away from seeing the entire Humana Festival line-up. And yeah, I think that's an accomplishment worth bragging about. I've been wicked lucky. Between being a subscriber, being "media" for Actors Theater, and having friends with an extra ticket or two, I've been able to run through the festival for almost free (save my subscription price).

But I want a prize. I want some kind of prize for having seen all of the Humana plays (and unless something wiggy happens, I'll definitely see the 10 Minute Plays next weekend).

Wouldn't the world be a better place if we all walked around wearing Girl/Boy Scout-style sashes with "accomplishment" badges? Really, wouldn't it? Talk about instant conversation-starters, right? You see someone at a bar or restaurant, you notice he or she has a "Louisville Film Fest" badge-- well, there you go. Instant conversation starter: "So, you saw X number of films for the film fest? Tell me about it."

"Four Square" has sort of caught on here in Louisville. (In case you don't know, "Four Square" is an application for smart phones that allows you to "check in" at certain locations-- pretty much any address on a GPS-- and if you're the person who checks in at that spot most often, you become the "Mayor" of that location. Somehow, you can link this to Twitter, so Four Square will tweet your locale and tweet when you become the Mayor of someplace.) I'm kind of thankful it isn't MORE popular. When it first hit town it seemed like most of my local Tweeties were using it and becoming Mayors of all kinds of strange places-- Kroger? Lowes? Speedway??? I downloaded the app, but I've never used it. Mostly because-- and Mama loves you ALL very much-- I don't want folks to know where I am 90% of the time!

So... point is: I think I have a brilliant ideas for all the Louisville booster organizations out there. And I don't know who would be best suited for this idea, so if you, gentle reader, know-- pass it on.

I think that some Louisville booster organization should take a page from the Urban Bourbon Trail and create a program that allows super-cheerleaders for Louisville to earn points for achieving certain goals.
  • Hit X number of local museums in X number of months= X points
  • Go to X number of Humana Fest plays= X points
  • Attend X number of Derby Festival events = X points
  • Dine at X number of Louisville Originals Restaurants in X months = X points

And so on... UNTIL at some point you hit the magic point number and become a super Louisville booster. Or, to borrow from our Lebowski fan friends, maybe an ACHIEVER?

At that point, you'd be invited to all kinds of special events, openings, etc just for these super Louisville boosters. What an awesome networking opportunity! What a great way to know who you can count on to spread the Good Word of Louisville! (And sure, Mama's single, so she's thinking "what a great way to meet like-minded dudes!").

I LOVE the idea of Louisville Merit Badges. And because life can hand you all kinds of lemons, I think your status should be permanent in some way. Like, once you hit the the platinum status, you should only have to do a few things to maintain it. This is way less annoying and more meaningful than Four Square. It encourages people to dash out and embrace all the wonderful things this city has to offer. And it fosters a community of True Believers. And we need more of those, right?

You like this idea? Pass it on!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Change Your (writing) Life in Ten Days

I've written about Writers Retreat Workshop before. The last time, it was a bit more nuts and bolts. (Click on the link in the first sentence for that entry) But I'm going to pitch it again because it's such a huge, important part of my life.

Eight years ago (almost), I attended my first WRW. I won the Robin Hardy New Student Scholarship (PDF application) and got to go for free. But even when I found out that I had won free tuition, I was super skeptical. I think I was having a Woody Allen moment: Did I really want to be part of a club that wanted me as a member? But I got over my insecurities, in no small part due to some long and involved email correspondences with one of the staff members: a very patient, very persuasive man who will henceforth be known as "Roommate."

Yes, that Roommate.

WRW is a ten-day, very intensive (think "boot camp") residential program for aspiring novel writers. But in the past eight years, I've seen memoir writers and screenplay writers and short stories writers go through the program and benefit as much as I did.

For the past blue million years (well, ok, the program was founded in 1987, so that's hyperbole), WRW has been held at the Marydale Retreat Center in Erlanger, KY. And honestly, even back in 2002 when I first attended WRW, if you'd asked me what I thought about WRW, I would have said that I had had ten of the most perfect days of my life... except that the facilities were kind of shabby.

So this year, WRW has BIG news. The program is relocating to the Saint Joseph's Retreat Center in Owensboro, KY. And holy cow, this place looks GORGEOUS. And, best of all, Louisvillagers, it's still basically in our back yard!

Listen, WRW changed my life in so many ways. I know I've taken some time off from "serious" writing lately for any number of reasons, not the least of which has been the after-effects of chemo. So I may not strike you as a "serious" writer. But I used to be. Pre-cancer, fiction writing was part of my daily life. And I hold out so much hope that this summer I'll be able to be a "real" writer once again. But before WRW, my writing was a hobby. Like scrapbooking or collecting troll dolls. After I went to one WRW, I felt legit. I felt validated. I felt like I knew so much more about not only the craft of writing but the business of writing. And don't kid yourself, kids, writing is very much a business.

But no smoke and mirrors here: WRW gave me so much more than that. WRW gave me Roommate, my very best friend and partner in crime since 2002. A couple years after I first attended, the founder retired and handed the reins over to Roommate, and he has run it ever since. And I have to admit, when I see Roommate teach the new student classes, I get chills.

WRW also gave me a new family of all of the attendees since 2002 and the core staff. It gave me a built-in cheerleading section for all of my successes since 2002, and a source of support for all of my trials since then.

And, frankly, I think you'd be hard pressed to find an attendee who didn't feel exactly the same way.

Do you need a "name" to attract you to program? How about this one: Michael Palmer. Palmer is the author of 14 medical thriller novels, some of which have ended up on the NYTimes bestsellers list. Palmer and his son, Daniel, a debut novelist, will be there teaching classes. In past years, the program has featured teachers/guests (both in person and via teleconference) such as Dean Koontz, Ayelet Waldman, Nancy Picard, Gregory McDonald, and Trish McGregor.

Folks who have been through the program and gone on to success include: Janet Chapman, Christine Goff, Jack Getze, Kimberly Frost... and many more.

You fancy yourself a writer? A fiction writer? A novelist? Gosh darn, kids... I promise you, you won't regret attending the Writers Retreat Workshop. You just won't. Expert advice. Thoughtful guidance. Good damn people. Always.

You want to know more? Email me at lou (at) loueyville.com. I will answer your questions and give you more personal testimony.

In the meantime: This year's WRW is June 10-19 in Owensboro, KY. I'm 99.9% sure that the new student scholarship is still accepting applications. Pass this along to your writer friends. I would sure love to welcome them into MY WRW family.

Visit the website at: Writers Retreat Workshop

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ha ha, My Friends are Funny & More Local Theater News

So a couple of days ago I posted a status on my real (non-Lou) Facebook page that said something like: "When did I suddenly become Theater Chick?" Ha, ha, my friends are funny...

Tracy, a friend from childhood/HS, responded: "Um, you've been theater chick ever since I met you. So, I don't know... around 23 years?"

Noah, from college, said: "I'd guess since around the time you directed a 4-hour production of Othello in college..."

Ha ha, funny, Noah. It was only just over three hours. Maybe it just felt longer to you because you were Othello.

Anyway, so I guess consensus says I come by the "theater chick" appellation honestly.

Speaking of theater stuff, I saw Pandora's WHEN BEES IN HONEY DROWN at the Bunbury last night. Good stuff. There's another whole weekend, so you have plenty of time to catch it.

And in Pandora/Bunbury news: Michael Drury, Pandora's Artistic Director, says that next year the Bunbury Theater is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The Bunbury folks have decided to celebrate by producing more of their own productions in the space. So next season, Pandora is officially adrift. Drury was wicked upbeat about the news, but it is clearly a bit unsettling. He says that Pandora will put up plays in a number of different spaces. More information coming about next season during Pandora's final production of the season, PAGEANT, which starts in May.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Happy Friday! More Local Theater and Other Quick Bits

I am a word nerd, so I have lots of favorite words.  This week's word is "twitterpated."  As Friendly Owl says in Bambi, "Yes. Nearly everybody gets twitterpated in the springtime. For example: You're walking along, minding your own business. You're looking neither to the left, nor to the right, when all of a sudden you run smack into a pretty face. Woo-woo! You begin to get weak in the knees. Your head's in a whirl. And then you feel light as a feather, and before you know it, you're walking on air. And then you know what? You're knocked for a loop, and you completely lose your head!"

No, dear Loueyvillagers, Mama's not in love (sad trombone).  It's just that I've been gobsmacked (another astounding word) by this weather.  Seventy-plus degrees in March?  What huh?  It sure makes me want to be in love.  And it sure makes me feel like I have a crush on the world.  (So, you know, Interwebs, this would be the perfect time to set me up with your hot, successful, single, older brother.  I'm just sayin'.)

Anyhoo... it's not just the weather that's got me all a-dither.  My dance card has been totally full these past couple of weeks-- full of awesome events and lovely people.  So forgive me, between the weather and the wonderful, I've been a bit of a slacker with ye olde blogge.  (Just a reminder, if you're positively hungry for my opinion on stuff, you can follow me on Twitter.  Even when I'm a lame-o blogwise, I still can't shut up with the Tweets.  And you'll get my immediate, sometimes slightly loopy, opinions on restaurants, events, NCAA basketball, Roommate's general follies, yadda yadda.  @loueyville...)

Speaking of....  some quick thoughts for this cloudy Friday morning:

  • If I seem a little loopier than usual, it's because I stayed out WAY past my bedtime last night attending Actors Theater's apprentice company's production of HEIST at 21c.  It was totally worth it, but I am definitely super cranky today.  Remember those Murder Mystery Parties that were all the rage in the late 80's-early 90's (*cough* C'mon, for Mama's sake, just pretend that you're old enough to remember)?  This interactive theater experience is like that on hip steroids.  Go early, get a drink at Proof-- you'll likely get a preview of the drama.  If you go (and it's FREE, so you definitely should stay up past your bedtime for this one), try to land yourself a spot in the group that follows "Clarissa the Videoblogger"-- she's a hoot.

  • Speaking of Actors (and I know, I speak of Actors often these days-- LOVING this Humana Festival).... You know how usually, when you hire a husband-wife team, you're usually hiring either the husband or the wife and the other one is just coming along as a kind of aggrandized benefits package?  (trust me on this one)  Well, that SO didn't happen with the casting of Scott Organ's two-character play PHOENIX.  I wish I had my program with me so I could tell you the married couple of actors' names, but they were wonderful.  Next to FISSURES, this was my favorite Humana play so far.  The writing was so snappy and terrific.  Like the best seasons of "The Gilmore Girls."  (Don't hate... it was a wonderfully-written show.)

  • Tonight's theater offering?  Pandora's AS BEES IN HONEY DROWN.  

  • Are you loving Groupon.com?  I'm loving Groupon.com when they post discounted restaurant/store certificates.  The fact that the site stores your credit card info makes it really easy to impulse buy... not sure how fond I am of that!  (That link leads you to my referral page, fyi. Because why not, right?)

  • Anyone else notice that there's a big banner on that perpetually empty building next to the perpetually rotating shoe store on Baxter right where Baxter/Bardstown split?  A banner that says something along the lines of COMING SOON: SUSHI???? I never look up (discuss that among yourselves) so I have no idea how long it has been there and I have no idea if it's a big steaming lie.  But boy would that be a great place for a sushi restaurant, huh?  

  • Speaking of COMING SOON... the former Russ's Generic Meatmarket Overpriced Brewhaus has had a "Coming Soon:  A --GASP-- Irish Pub" sign in the window for a blue million years.  There's definitely some nice renovation action going on there.  But if it really IS going to be yet another Irish Pub for Little Dublin, wouldn't it be tragic if they couldn't crack it open for St. Patrick's Day?  

  • Smarter yet, they really ought to open their doors for tomorrow's St. Pat's parade.  It starts at 3pm at Baxter and Broadway.  Always fun.  Hope it doesn't rain.  Look for me.  I'll be wearing green.  

  • Speaking of... last night Roommate and I hit the blessing of the beer at O'Shea's (and yes, blessed beer does taste better), and I noticed a heck of a lot of dudes in kilts (because how do you NOT notice a whole lotta dudes in kilts?).  And one of the St. Pat's day signs mentioned bag pipers.  Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought kilts and bagpipes were SCOTTISH not Irish.  Right?  What's up with the conflation of the two?  Are we just saying one freckly redhead is the same as another freckly redhead?  Isn't that as bad as folks saying, "Chinese... Korean.... Same thing."  Or is the kilts thing just a bunch of horny Louisvillager dudes using any excuse to let their man-bits hang free?  (Last night, Roommate says, "Does it bug you to know you're surrounded by guys who are just this far from exposing themselves?"  I'll let you speculate on my response.)
Clearly, I am overtired.  How 'bout them CARDS? (cough)

Back to Real Life work.  Have a lovely weekend!  And Mother Nature: I love you, babe.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Humana Festival So Far

I'm a theater fan, but certainly not an expert. If you want a real "review" of the Humana shows, check out Erin Keene's great articles in the C-J. But I've been lucky enough to see three Humana Festival plays in the past week, and as always my general response has been: it's never a waste of time or money to see a play at Actors.

SIRENS is a charming midlife marriage crisis by Deborah Zoe Laufer, directed by Casey Stangl. Empty-nesters Sam and Rose Adelle Abrams have lost that lovin' feelin'. Sam, a one-hit wonder songwriter, has found solace in "innocently" meeting younger women that he meets playing Facebook scrabble for coffee. Rose Adelle plans an anniversary cruise to the Mediterranean. A siren, played by the unsettlingly Drew Barrymore-esque Lindsey Wochley, tempts him. Oddball comedy ensues. All of the characters are well-acted. Brian Russell is so charming as Sam that I kind of had a crush on him by the end of the play, even though his character was a cad. SIRENS is fun and funny and is a good play for all audiences.

While I love a good narrative play, like SIRENS, plays like FISSURES (lost and found) are why I treasure Actors and the Humana Festival in particular. Six playwrights came together to create this sometimes funny, sometimes devastating exploration of the mutability of memory. I'm still talking and thinking about this play a week later. The four actors (actually five-- one of the directors makes an appearance at the end) provided stunning performances. More impressive than their delivery and characterization was their physicality-- the smallest gestures rang out loud with meaning. So far this is the play that is NOT to be missed.

Finally, last night we caught GROUND, by Lisa Dillman, directed by Marc Masterson. The staging is beautiful, but at 2.5 hours the play packs little punch for the time investment. I'll be interested to read "professional" reviews of this play, but neither I nor my companion were particularly impressed. Other media (novels, movies, tv, etc) have done the Borderlands thing more effectively and more thoroughly. I'll leave it at that.

Still and all, rock on Humana Festival! I'm seeing PHOENIX later this weekend and HEIST next week. In other theater news, tonight is WHEN IN DISGRACE... at Walden Theater, tomorrow is LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (one of the few musicals I genuinely like) at the Louisville Collegiate School. By the end of March, I'll have no excuse to not be fluent in theater-ese.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

An Abundant Artsy Weekend

When it rains it pours, you know?  My schedule this weekend is tighter than those size 6 boots I just HAD to buy at the Zappos outlet because they were gorgeous and $25 marked down from a whopping $245.  Oh I love those boots.  Oh this weekend is going to be fun.  (Side note, anyone know of a diet that specifically targets one's calves? I need to drop about 1/2 inch in each calf by next winter.)

Local band Lucky Pineapple is heading to South by Southwest this year, and they're doing a preview show at the Rud this Thursday.  

Of course the Humana Festival is in full swing.  And don't forget that this weekend is Local Pass weekend!  (See my previous blog post).

This is also the last weekend for Walden's "When in Disgrace..."  I've been hearing really great stuff about this show, and I can't wait to see it.

I have two MeatSpace job obligations that keep me pretty busy on Saturday (both arts oriented, neither an obligation to which I grudgingly agreed).  But goodness, if I can I'd really like to hit the "World's Second Most Awesome Art Market" that Michelle of Consuming Louisville profiled this morning (I keep seeing those posters and they just make me happy.  Mostly for its use of the word "awesome.").   

If you haven't seen the Titanic exhibit at the Science Center (and I unfortunately have not), it closes this Sunday.  Hop on board ASAP!  (grim, Lou. grim)

I know there's more... I'll keep you posted.  Is it only Wednesday?  Well, happy Wednesday to you.

Humana Festival: Locals Pass Weekend! Don't Miss It!

I'm thinking that my first weekend at this year's Humana Festival was a good indication of what the rest of the festival will be like.  And because of that, I'm totally jazzed.  I can't wait for tomorrow night when I get to take in "Ground" and Sunday when I get to see "Phoenix."  

But here's why YOU should be jazzed right now.  This weekend is the "Locals Pass" weekend at the Humana Festival.  From March 5-7, pay just $40 and see as many plays as you can over the weekend!  You can purchase the pass online or at the box office.  The pass is only good for this weekend, but if there's a seat available for a play, your butt can be in it if you have this pass.  That means, if you play your cards right, you could see four plays for just $40 (PHOENIX, GROUND, FISSURES, SIRENS).

Clear your schedule. Send the kiddos to grandma's. Board the dog.  Pack a snack.  And have fun!  See you there!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mark it! Lebowski Fest Louisville Dates Announced

Sure, Lebowski Fest has spread across these great states of ours over the past few years.  (2010 Fests are in LA, Orlando, Seattle, Chicago, and Brooklyn).  But never forget, Achievers, this is the Fest's home sweet home.  You wanna go to a Lebowski Fest, you come to Louisville. But, you know, it's nice to know these young men are spreading the Word nationwide... The Dude abides. I don't know about you, but I take comfort in that. It's good knowin' he's out there, the Dude, takin' er easy for all us sinners.