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What To Look For From Louisville's Arts Scene This Fall


The fall arts season in Louisville is just getting started, and the next few months will see several productions that reflect the city onstage in some way, in addition to a mix of classic and contemporary work.

Here are some of the highlights from the upcoming season:

Louisville Ballet takes "Coppelia" from 19th Century Europe to early 20th Century Germantown with re-imagined choreography from artistic director Robert Curran. (Oct. 2 & 3, The Brown Theatre)

The Louisville Orchestra opens their season on Sept. 26 with the extravagant "Bernstein Mass," a full-scale production that includes dancers, actors, costumes, three choirs, and soloist Jubilant Sykes, among others. In October, they'll premiere the "Louisville Concerto" by music director Teddy Abrams, featuring two soloists with local ties: hip-hop artist Jalin Roze and indie singer-songwriter Will Oldham.

Actors Theatre of Louisville presents "Seven Guitars" by August Wilson, part of the playwright's Century Cycle, which illuminates the African-American experience in each decade of the 20th Century. (Sept. 3-20) The preceding play in the same cycle, "The Piano Lesson," will be produced by the University of Louisville Theatre Arts Department from Nov. 18-22 at The Playhouse.

Kentucky Opera presents Verdi's "Macbeth," the only traditional opera of the season, on Sept. 18 and 20 at the Brown Theatre. The company's November production, Jake Heggie's "Three Decembers," was written in 2008 and stars Denyce Graves, a world-renowned mezzo-soprano.

The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts has a full slate of concerts and touring productions, including the Broadway Series presentation of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Cinderella" (Sept 15-20). This musical was originally written for television in 1957, but didn't get produced on Broadway until 2013. We'll also get a rare (for Louisville) modern dance performance when Parsons Dance comes to town on Oct. 15.

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Several smaller theatre companies have noteworthy offerings this fall as well:

CenterStage at the JCC brings the classic 1960 musical "Oliver!" to its stage from Oct. 22-Nov. 8.

Looking for Lilith presents "Prevailing Winds," a new play about environmental issues in Louisville's Rubbertown neighborhood. (Nov. 6-14, MeX Theatre at the Kentucky Center)

Theatre [502] continues its commitment to contemporary theatre with "Failure: A Love Story," about three sisters who live above a clock shop. (Nov. 6-15, Baron's Theatre)

Walden Theatre/Blue Apple Players present their first season as a merged company, which includes productions of Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Ernest" (Oct. 8-17), and Mark Rigney's "Acts of God," about a group of teenagers dealing with the aftermath of a tornado (Nov. 12-21)

StageOne is partnering with Squallis Puppeteers on a production of The BFG (Big Friendly Giant), based on a story by Roald Dahl (Oct. 10-31, Bomhard Theatre).

And it wouldn't be a theatre season without some Sondheim: Pandora Productions brings "Passion" to the Henry Clay Theatre, Sept. 17-27.

A few notable concerts to put on your calendar:

The Clifton Center brings world music and jazz artists to a city that doesn't get a whole lot of either. This fall, they'll present bluegrass experts Hot Rize (Sept. 18), Latin music with Cumbia All-Stars, Trio Brasileiro and local favorites Appalatin (Sept. 27), jazz saxophonist Dave Liebman (Oct. 21) and jazz guitarist Bill Frisell (Nov. 19).

Also at the Kentucky Center: Milk Carton Kids and their new old-timey sound (Bomhard Theatre, Sept. 17), Louisville favorite Joan Shelley (Bomhard Theatre, Sept. 18), and the Austin-based orchestral rock of Mother Falcon with Kentucky's own Ben Sollee (Brown Theatre, Oct. 11). 

The KCD Theater has become one of the best listening rooms in town for singer-songwriters, and this fall they'll have two nights with Indigo Girls (Oct. 17 & 18), and an evening with Mary Gauthier and Eliza Gilkyson (Oct. 31). 

And the Ogle Center at IUS in New Albany also has some good music offerings, including Diane Schuurwith local favorite Jamey Aebersold on Oct. 2, and the singing cowboys of Riders in the Sky on Oct. 23.


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