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Actors Theatre of Louisville performs PIPELINE by Dominique Morisseau and directed by Steve H. Broadnax III.

Pipeline Hits Home at Actors Theatre

It was fortunate that the debut of “Pipeline” at Actors Theatre coincided with my son Nick’s visit here. Nick is studying theatre in Italy, and is currently working on a presentation of Hamlet there. He was impressed, of course, with the staging and technical aspects of “Pipeline.” But the play’s subject matter, as written by acclaimed playwright Dominique Morisseau, is what stimulated a lengthy conversation. We both were affected by the play’s story, which chronicles many issues of race in America, primarily the school-to-prison pipeline that exists for many African-American males. Actors’ press materials describe it as a production that…

photo by Bill Brymer

LouisvilleKY’s THE WEEK: In Which Things Get Real

Kentucky Republicans are wasting no time in the first week of the legislative session in Frankfort. With the new power gained by winning control of the House and Senate, the senators and representatives jumped on the pressing social issues that all Kentuckians consider priorities — passing laws restricting abortion. That was a bit of sarcasm. For as long as I’ve been following state government, the old white guys in office around the state have sent annual abortion bills to committees, where Democrats concerned for women’s rights promptly voted them down. This week, a bill outlawing abortions after 20 weeks is…

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LouisvilleKY’s Actors Theatre Will Kick Off The New Year With Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar And Grill January 3 – 29, 2017  

  Louisville, KY – Artistic Director Les Waters and Managing Director Kevin E. Moore are delighted to announce the cast and creative team for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill. This commanding and moving play, written by Lanie Robertson, directed by Bill Fennelly and featuring Deidrie Henry as Billie Holiday, is set in the intimate atmosphere of the Bingham Theatre. The production will preview on January 3 and 4, open on January 5, and run through January 29 as part of the Brown-Forman Series, and it is underwritten by D.D. Williamson & Co. Tickets are available at 502.584.1205, online at, or in person by visiting the Actors…

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LouisvilleKY’s famous festival announces new line-up of plays

  Louisville, KY – Actors Theatre of Louisville Artistic Director Les Waters and Managing Director Kevin E. Moore are very proud to announce the lineup for the 41st Humana Festival of New American Plays. A cultural highlight for theatregoers, artists and industry professionals across the country, the Humana Festival runs March 1 through April 9, 2017. This year’s Festival program will feature six world premieres, including (in order of opening): I Now Pronounce by Tasha Gordon-Solmon We’re Gonna Be Okay by Basil Kreimendahl Cry it Out by Molly Smith Metzler Recent Alien Abductions by Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas The Many Deaths…


Take The 39 Steps to Actors

Four zany characters offer a high-energy madcap experience in Actors Theatre’s season-opening production of The 39 Steps. It’s amazing the play uses just four actors, because there are dozens of characters in a play whose pace alone is sometimes frantic. It opens with a short black-and-white film featuring the character Richard Hannay, played brilliantly by David Ryan Smith, who appeared in the 2014 and 2015 Humana Festival. A pair of clowns, played by Jesse Perez and Carter Gill, keep the comedy level high as they frequently change into different characters. Zuzanna Szadkowski is the woman at the center of the…

Papa John's from the Flight Deck

LouisvilleKY’s The WEEK: A Blowout, Bourbon Days, and Bluegrass Lead Into Labor Day Weekend

After a 56-point first half at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, the biggest talking point for the football-crazed fans in the upper deck was whether the Cards could actually score 100 points. “Bobby, Don’t Let Up!” we yelled at Petrino. Of course, no one expects any football team to score 4 TDs per quarter, but it sure was fun while it lasted.  Watching phenom QB Lamar Jackson carve up a Charlotte secondary that seemed to be leaving at least one Card received wide open on pass plays left us marveling at Jackson’s talents. Petrino chose to, well, let up, at the start of…

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LouisvilleKY’s THE WEEK: Hopcat, Hair Policy and Finally, Ramsey is Not U of L’s President

The end of July 2016 will go down for a few big things in Louisville — it was the time when the giant Hopcat opened at Bardstown and Grinstead, officials argued over a hair policy at a local high school, and while it wasn’t pretty, it was the week James Ramsey was finally ousted as the U of L president. And, also, America’s Democratic Party nominated a woman, Hillary Clinton, to be President of the U.S. Sneak Peek at Hopcat: The folks from Michigan seem to have everything figured out as they launch their $5 million restaurant in the Highlands….

Brenda Withers and Todd Lawson in This Random World by Steven Deitz. Actors Theatre photo by Bill Brymer

This Random World at Actors Theatre in LouisvilleKY

Next up in Louisville KY’s Humana Festival It may be true that the older one gets, the more one things about what might have been, how life might have turned out had we made a different decision. In “This Random World” at Actors Theatre, playwright Steven Dietz tells a number of stories in which characters are busy considering the path their lives have taken. There’s also a story about taking a chance, doing something out of the ordinary to make a mark on the world, or just to have an experience before you die. Which is not to say the…

4 Danielle Slavick and Alejandro Rodriguez in Residence by Laura Jacqmin_2016 Humana Festival_Photo by Bill Brymer

40th LouisvilleKY Humana Festival at Actors Leads with Residence

The 40th Humana Festival of New American Plays kicked off with a modern, emotional story involving motherhood and mental illness. In Residence, new mom Maggie takes a business trip to Arizona packing some secrets about her life at home, where her husband is taking care of a new baby. But she’s feeling a lot of pressure to sell the ultrasound medical device to doctors, and is tormented by her past. She befriends a couple of hotel employees, who have some issues of their own. The young hotel manager has plenty of worry about — succeeding in a dead-end job after her…

The cast of Peter and the Starcatcher. Photo by Bill Brymer

LouisvilleKY’s THE WEEK: Candidates Declare, Mayor, GLI, More Politics and the Va Va Vixens

We emerged from the latest meteorological over-hype with our roads clear and a new forecast of a record high of 70 for Groundhog Day. My highlights this week included the Greater Louisville Inc. annual meeting at the Palace, the Ballotin Blues party at Meta, Peter and the Starcatchers (see picture) at Actors Theatre, and all this: The Future’s So Bright: Did you listen to WFPK’s 20-day series looking back at its two decades as the region’s coolest music station? It was cool, and made me look back at my Business First archives to see my 1998 story about the Public…