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Louisville Weekend Arts Picks: Orchestra, Ballet And 'Bird'

Image from "Stupid F@cking Bird" at The Bard's Town Theatre. Provided by Doug Schutte

It's shaping up to be another busy arts weekend here in the 502. Here are a few options for your perusal.

The Louisville Orchestra is presenting the second of two concerts focusing on American music, including compositions by Aaron Copland and John Adams. The most intriguing item on the program, however, is a world premiere work by 22-year-old pianist and composer Chase Morrin. He's a Harvard grad (with a computer science degree) who's working toward a masters degree in jazz composition, and his piece is for "improvising piano" with orchestra. (April 8 at 11 a.m. and April 9 at 8 p.m., Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts.)

Ballet classicists will likely enjoy an evening of Balanchine's work, presented by Louisville Ballet at the Brown Theatre. These pieces have to be supervised by experts from the Balanchine Trust, to ensure they're being presented correctly, so the Louisville dancers have been working with Paul Boos and Nilas Martins to get everything right. Artistic director Robert Curran continues his commitment to working with local visual artists, with set design and costumes for one of the pieces by Chris Radtke, who works with fabric in a sculptural way. (April 8 at 8 p.m. and April 9 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.)

This weekend also brings the last chance to catch this year's Humana Festival plays at Actors Theatre. There may be some shows already sold out for this weekend, but give it a try anyway. I'll be there all weekend, soaking up that "new play smell," whatever that is.

Also at the Kentucky Center, Acting Against Cancer presents my favorite two-person musical, "The Last Five Years." It's the story of a marriage, told by the couple, with a twist: His story is told from beginning to end, and her story is told from end to beginning. Actors Theatre presented it a couple years ago, and there's also a movie version, but go see it anyway — it's gorgeous, and AAC always does good work.

Garth Brooks will be taking over the KFC Yum! Center for two shows each on Friday and Saturday night, at 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Even if you aren't going to the show, be aware that downtown Louisville will probably be a traffic nightmare both evenings, getting two arena-sized crowds in and out in a matter of hours. (Yikes.)

And if you'd rather avoid downtown altogether, hit up The Bard's Town for Aaron Posner's "Stupid F@cking Bird," a comic remix of Chekhov's "The Seagull." It premiered in 2013 in Washington, DC, and is being performed all over the country. While it's exciting to see brand-new plays at Humana each year, we're also lucky to have the Bard's Town regularly bringing us regional premieres of other contemporary work, ensuring those plays have continued life onstage. (April 8-10, 15-17 and 21-23, 7:30 p.m.)


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