We’re about to enter a time of year for art lovers, when theaters reopen, welcoming everything from local amateur artists to some of the biggest national and international stars.
Obviously, this did not happen last year, as the COVID-19 pandemic closed theaters around the world. With the 2021-22 season far from normal and the Commonwealth plagued by a new wave of COVID-19 cases, there are a number of sites and groups in central Kentucky that are planning to kick off the seasons this fall.
We’ve already highlighted some places like the Lexington Opera House’s Broadway Live series and the Lexington Children’s Theater. Here are some places and organizations that recently released their show schedule.
Norton Center for the Arts Season
The Hall of Center College is approaching nearly half a century of attraction of amazing big names to the small college town of Danville, pop. 16,730. The 2021-22 season continues this tradition from the get-go with TV stars Jane Lynch (“Glee”) and Kate Flannery (“The Office”) opening the season with their cabaret number “Two Lost Souls” featuring the Tony Guerreo Quartet Oct. 9.
Cello superstar Yo-Yo Ma will make his fourth Norton Center appearance with pianist Kathryn Stott on April 21, and one of classical music’s most recognizable names, The Vienna Boys Choir, visits on February 19. Two well-received jukebox musicals come to the center this season – “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” on March 16 and “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical” on April 11 – featuring operetta from the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players with “The Pirates of Penzance” on March 11 and the music film with “Disney Princesses: The Concert” on April 9.
Here is the programming of the Norton Center for the Arts:
- October 9: Jane Lynch and Kate Flannery (comedy, cabaret)
- November 5: Fifth House Ensemble: Journey LIVE (chamber music with film)
- November 19: Dirk Powell & Friends with Nokosee Fields (folk music, roots)
- January 11: MOMIX (modern dance)
- February 12: Matthew Whitaker (jazz)
- February 19: Vienna Boys Choir (classical)
- March 3: Velocity Irish Dance
- March 11: “Les pirates de Penzance”, New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players (operetta)
- March 16: “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”
- March 26: Invoke (string quartet)
- April 9: Disney Princess: The Concert
- April 11: “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical”
- April 21: Yo-Yo Ma & Kathryn Stott (classical)
- April 29: The Queen’s Cartoonists (classic cartoons with live music)
- May 14: Kat Edmonson (singer-songwriter)
Seasonal memberships are on sale now at nortoncenter.com or by calling 859-236-4692. Individual performance tickets go on sale in September.
Woodford Theater Season
Musicals and classical plays mark the programming of the theater of Versailles, as well as a little precautionary caution against coronaviruses.
The season begins with a contemporary comic book classic, “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” in the Relative Outdoor Safety of Equus Run Vineyards on September 10-11. The Falling Springs Arts and Recreation Center mainstage return is “White Christmas” December 3-19, followed by the classic mystery “The Mousetrap” February 4-20, Neil Simon’s comedy “Barefoot in the Park” from March 25 to April 10 and a musical loaded with timeless melodies, “Guys and Dolls”, from May 27 to June 12.
Studio Players Theater Season
Longtime Lexington Community Theater plans to return to the Carriage House Theater on Bell Court starting next month with a lineup of familiar and new comedies.
- September 9-26: “Bloody Murder” of Ed Sala
- November 11-28: “A Tuna Christmas” by Ed Howard, Joe Sears, Jason Williams
- January 13-30: “Becky’s New Car” by Steven Dietz
- March 10-27: “Flatspin” by Alan Ayckbourn
- May 12-29: “Neo-Futuristic Plays of Too Much Light Make Baby Blind” (30 plays in 60 minutes) by Greg Allen
Tickets will go on sale in early September. Visit studioplayers.org for more information.
The return of the Lexington chamber music festival
After taking a year off in 2021, the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington returns to the Pam Miller Downtown Arts Center for a shortened edition September 17-19. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the festival featured several ensembles performing in the Lexington area for a few weeks. This year’s festival will focus on the main ensemble, conducted by Lexington native Nathan Cole, associate principal violinist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and artistic director of the festival.
The artists in residence this year are pianist Lucille Chung and violinist Johnny Lee. Chung, fans of the festival may know, is married to main ensemble pianist Alessio Bax. Since the ensemble is completed by violinist Akiko Tarumoto, who is married to Cole, and violist Burchard Tang and cellist Priscilla Lee, who are also married, it will be almost a festival of couples. Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. on September 17 and 18 and at 2 p.m. on September 19. Visit Chambermusiclex.org for tickets and more information.