This season, audiences will be rushing into local theaters to fulfill holiday entertainment traditions and share the spirit of the season with family and friends. A few of the most beloved stages in the community call The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts home, and while many seasonal favorites are performed here, the Center provides unique programming year round. Unlike many of its local peers, The Kentucky Center is a non-profit organization, dedicated to making the best of the arts accessible to all.
I spoke to Kentucky Center President Stephen Klein to get the scoop on what’s in store for 2013.
LORI KOMMOR: A variety of musical genres are offered at The Kentucky Center. Tell us about the highlights headed your way.
STEPHEN KLEIN: One of the shows we’re most excited about this season is the Russian National Orchestra, presented by our friends at the Glenview Trust Enriching Life Series. The performance is on Feb. 23, on our largest stage, Whitney Hall, and will feature works by Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky. We’ve also got one of our favorite indie acts coming up, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, on Jan. 16 at the historic Brown Theatre on Broadway. We’re also thrilled to be bringing in a few classic acts this year – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons (recently celebrated on our stage in Broadway’s “Jersey Boys”) will be here on March 8, and Johnny Mathis will make an appearance on June 7. We’ll also be bringing Chris Botti back on Feb. 24, after his very popular performance in 2010.
KOMMOR: Music isn’t all The Kentucky Center does, though. You’ve got a reputation for bringing new, innovative acts to Louisville as well. What’s on tap?
KLEIN: In 2013, we have a real artistic grab bag – stunning dance, world famous comedians and historic ensembles. On March 2, comedienne Kathleen Madigan returns to Louisville, bringing her down-home humor to the Brown Theatre. March 8, the internationally-acclaimed dance-illusionists MOMIX turn the stage into a mind-blowing visual wonderland with their show. Black Watch, a pipe and drum corps associated with Scotland’s elite military regiment whose history stretches back almost three centuries, will take the stage on March 13. And of course, Louisville favorite David Sedaris will return to the Center on April 18, and we always look forward to hearing from him. Details about all of our shows can be found at www.kentuckycenter.org.
KOMMOR: Being a non-profit organization, part of the Center’s mission is outreach programming and arts education. How are you bringing the arts to other parts of the state?
KLEIN: Through programs like ArtsReach and ArtsReach Kentucky, we are helping local community centers and civic organizations design, implement, fund and manage ongoing arts programs. Also, through the Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA), which is a summer immersion program for high school students interested in a variety of artistic disciplines. In fact, GSA is now accepting applications from Kentucky sophomores and juniors who are passionate about the arts and want to sharpen their talents. They can visit www.kentuckygsa.org to learn more and to apply. Applications for summer 2013 are due by Dec. 31.