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Who needs New York when so much coming to Louisville’s Kentucky Center for the Arts?


"I Love Lucy" Live on Stage is the first Broadway at Louisville offering in October at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. (Photo from ILL/Facebook)

“I Love Lucy” Live on Stage is the first Broadway at Louisville offering in October at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. (Photo from ILL/Facebook)

 
Looking at the 30th anniversary season lineup for The Kentucky Center for the Arts in downtown Louisville … or even the lineups for any and all of the Kentucky venues we’ve covered over the past five weeks, one might be tempted to say, ‘who needs New York?!’ Well, we’ll say it – who needs New York when we’ve got this vibrant of an arts scene in the Bluegrass?
 
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This last in the series looks to the state’s largest city for its music, Broadway musicals, ballet, opera and more. The Louisville Orchestra under the baton of new music director Teddy Abrams opens the season on Saturday, Sept. 6, in an unusual way – with his own original composition, Fanfara, written especially for the young conductor’s premiere LO performance. Also on the program is Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 known as “Titan.”
 
Louisville Ballet opens their fall season with Giselle choreographed by Jules Perrot and Jean Coralli and music by Adolphe Adam on Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. and Sept. 13 at 2 and 8 p.m.
 

   Teddy Abrams, the Louisville Orchestra's new music director and conductor (Photo from LO/Facebook)

Teddy Abrams, the Louisville Orchestra’s new music director and conductor (Photo from LO/Facebook)

The Kentucky Opera Brown-Forman season begins on Sept. 19 with Beethoven’s only operatic work, Fidelio, about Leonore who disguises herself as a prison guard and rescues her husband from political prison. Both the Friday 8:00 p.m. performance and the Sunday, Sept. 21, 2 p.m. performance are at Brown Theatre.
 
In between the two KOA performances at the Brown, the Louisville Orchestra returns to Kentucky Center’s Whitney Hall with the Cirque de la Symphonie in tow … or perhaps in flying trapeze on Saturday, Sept. 20, at 8 p.m.
 
Famed guitarist Tommy Emmanuel performs on Thursday, Sept. 25, at 7:30 p.m. in the center’s Bomhard Theater. Then, closing the September list of performances will once again be The Louisville Orchestra’s concert of George Gershwin’s New York Rhapsody, Aaron Copland’s Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo and Richard Rodgers’ Overture to Oklahoma! Soprano Storm Large and pianist Kevin Cole appear as well on Thursday, Sept. 25, at 10:30 a.m. and Friday, Sept. 26, at 8 p.m.
 
There’s so much going on at the Kentucky Center that it’s best to divide the season into categories like Kentucky Center Presents, Broadway in Louisville, The Louisville Orchestra, Kentucky Opera, Louisville Ballet and Stage One. We’ll cover the highlights:
 
Broadway in Louisville
 
There are five shows in the coming season beginning in October with “I Love Lucy” Live on Stage. The Broadway production based on the popular TV show is in town Oct. 7-12.
 

Wynton Marsalis brings the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (Photo by Luigi Beverelli)

Wynton Marsalis brings the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (Photo by Luigi Beverelli)

Next up is 2012 Tony Award winner for Best Score and Best Choreography Newsies about … well, newsboys. Newsies is at the center from Nov. 18 to Nov. 23.
 
Winner of Best Musical in 2012’s Tony Awards and seven other categories – Once – is in Louisville Jan. 20-25. From March 3-29, The Lion King is at the center. The Broadway in Louisville series winds up in June 2-7 with last year’s Best Musical Revival at the Tony Awards – Pippin. For more information about the series, click here.
 
Kentucky Center Presents
 
This series actually opens in September with Tommy Emmanuel on Sept. 25, but it continues on Oct. 1 with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis at 8 p.m.
 
There are seven more performances in this series in October alone. They include: Robert Irvine LIVE on Oct. 12 at 7 p.m.; So You Think You Can Dance on Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m.; Home Free in its Crazy Life Tour on Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m.; Sing-a-Long-a Grease on Oct. 23 at 7 p.m.; Susan Boyle in Concert on Oct. 24 at 8 p.m.; Brian Regan on his Live Comedy Tour on Oct. 25 at 8 p.m. and In Collaboration: The Milk Carton Kids and Sarah Jarosz on Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. All of these performances are in one of the Kentucky Center theaters except for Irvine and Regan who are both at the Brown Theatre at 315 W. Broadway.
 
The Dance Theatre of Harlem is at the center on Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. and Mythbusters – Behind the Myths Tour is there on Nov. 25 at 7:30 p.m. The only December performance is pianist Jim Brickman doing On A Winter’s Night at the Brown on Dec. 18 at 7:30 p.m.
 
Paul Taylor Dance Company is at the Brown on Jan. 30 at 8 p.m. followed by Get The Led Out on Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. and Blues at the Crossroads: The Soul of the Blues on Feb. 28 at 8 p.m., also at the Brown.
 
In March, the series continues with Les Yeux Noirs on March 12 at 8 p.m. in the center’s Bomhard Theater and Sesame Street Live on March 13-15 at the Brown.
 
BBC Concert Orchestra is the only April performance on April 19 at 7 p.m.
 

   Ben Folds brings his orchestra in a L.O. WOW! performance (Photo from LO/Facebook)

Ben Folds brings his orchestra in a L.O. WOW! performance (Photo from LO/Facebook)

May brings Compagnia TPO: BLEU! from May 20-24 in the center’s MeX Theater, Wendy Whelan – Restless Creature on May 23 at 8 p.m. at the Brown and Potted Potter May 27-29 in the center’s Bomhard. For more information on the series, click here.
 
StageOne Family Theatre
 
StageOne Family Theatre at the center has a Young Adult series and a Children’s series. Planned for this season are four stage productions. The first one is Petite Rouge: A Cajun Red Riding Hood coming on Saturday’s Oct. 11, 18, 25 and Nov. 1 at 2 p.m.
 
The second one is The Best Christmas Pageant Ever! on Saturdays Dec. 6, 13 and 20 at both 2 and 5 p.m.
 
A new play about Muhammad Ali as a child – And In This Corner: Cassius Clay – comes Jan. 19 at 1 p.m., Jan. 24 and Feb. 14 at 2 p.m., and Jan. 21 and Feb. 7 at both 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. The final family performance is Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse on May 9 and 16 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
 
The Louisville Orchestra
 
The Louisville Orchestra season consists of four different series. The Classics & Coffee series consists of a morning concert one day and an evening concert the next. We’ve already covered the first two: Fanfara and Gershwin & Copland. The next are Carmina Burana on Oct. 16-17, Sibelius Violin Concerto with Elmar Oliveira on the violin on Nov. 6 and 8, Chu-Fang Huang Plays Mozart’s Concerto No. 18 on Jan. 15-16, Brahms Symphony No. 1 on Jan. 29-30, Enigma Variations with Julian Schwarz on cello on Feb 21, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons on March 7, Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique with Robert Thies on piano on April 9-10, and Beethoven’s Fifth on April 23 and 25. For more information, click here.
 
The Louisville Pops is conducted by Bob Bernhardt and features six concerts from September through April. The season includes: Seinfeld comedian Jason Alexander, Byron Stripling in a Satchmo Tribute to Louis Armstrong, Glee star Matthew Morrison, The Midtown Men, Live and Let Die: The Music of Paul McCartney and Symphonic Swing with Five By Design. For more information, click here.
 
There are three Brown-Forman L.O. WOW! performances. The first is the Cirque de la Symphonie on Sept. 20. The other two are The Ben Folds Orchestra Experience on Jan. 31 and Star Trek: Film with Live Orchestra on March 27. For more information, click here.
 

Robert Curran is the new artistic director of Louisville Ballet. (Photo from LB/Facebook)

Robert Curran is the new artistic director of Louisville Ballet. (Photo from LB/Facebook)

Finally, the orKIDStra series is for children 3-10 and run from 45 minutes to an hour in length. The first is a morning performance from the Cirque de la Symphonie on Sept. 20. Then comes Home for the Holidays on Nov. 29 at 11 a.m., Fantastic Fairy Tales on Jan. 24 at 11 a.m. and Meet the Orchestra on March 21 at 11 a.m. For more information, click here.
 
Kentucky Opera
 
Kentucky Opera presents four productions this season including the Fidelio already mentioned on Sept. 19 and 21.
 
Giacomo Puccini’s La Fanciulla Del West (The Girl of The Golden West) comes on Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 16 at 2 p.m. André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire based on the Tennessee Williams play and premiered in San Francisco is presented Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 15 at 2 p.m.
 
The season ends on May 15 at 8 p.m. and May 17 on 2 p.m. with A Woman in Morocco by Daron Hagen and Barbara Grecki. This is a modern lyric opera in two acts with the libretto being developed in Philadelphia last winter and it staged for the first time in Austin, Texas. Based on a play by Grecki, its first professional staging will be with the Kentucky Opera. For tickets and information, click here.
 
Louisville Ballet
 
Early season offering – Giselle – on Sept. 12-13 begins the quartet of dance performances on the Louisville Ballet’s schedule.
 
The Nutcracker with choreography by Val Caniparoli is offered from Dec. 6-21. In February, Caniparoli brings A Cinderella Story with an original score by Ron Paley from the Richard Rodgers songbook. A Cinderella Story comes on Feb. 13-14.
 
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The final ballet offering is a mixed-repertory program designed by the new artistic director Robert Curran. Director’s Choice on April 10-11 will be his first programming opportunity since the season was already scheduled prior to his appointment. Curran comes to Louisville from Australia where he danced with The Australian Ballet for 16 years, 10 as its principal artist. For more information on the ballet season, click here.
 
For more information about the Kentucky Center for the Arts events and venue, see kentuckycenter.org.

 
You might like to read about the Lexington Philharmonic’s new season here.
 
You might like to read about the Singletary Center for the Arts’ new season here.
 
You might like to read about the Lexington Opera House’s new season here.
 
You might like to read about the EKU Center for the Arts’ season here.
 
You might like to read about the Norton Center for the Arts’ season here.


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