From devils to donuts, Lexington’s theater and dance communities are presenting a diverse lineup of shows for the 2016-2017 season.
If you’re still wanting to hang onto a little bit of summer, Studio Players’ Dixie Swim Club, opening Sept. 15, is a light, comedic romp celebrating lifelong friendships among former swim teammates who gather at the same cottage each summer.
But if you’re ready to dive into high drama — say, a battle for one’s immortal soul — look no further than the Lexington Ballet Company’s The Soldier’s Tale, which opens at the Downtown Arts Center Sept. 23. A special collaboration between LBC and the Lexington Chamber Players, the production is based on the Russian folktale The Runaway Soldier and the Devil, which tells the story of a man who trades his fiddle to the devil in return for a book that will reveal the future. It is also noteworthy that LBC’s artistic director, Luis Dominguez, is collaborating with Lexington Philharmonic concertmaster Daniel Mason to bring the tale to life.
Speaking of collaborations, Studio Players’ November show Whodunnit Darling? will feature the literary talents of playwright Charles Pogue, who co-wrote the play with Larry Drake, and the direction of his wife, Julieanne Pogue. You can expect this 1930’s murder mystery will be chock-full of wisecracking characters and witty repartee.
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For even more fun, Woodford Theatre’s season opener, The Addams Family: A New Musical, ought to be a spooky, rollicking good time, and family-friendly, to boot.
The same goes for Lexington Children’s Theatre. As someone who appreciates the magic of technical theater, I am particularly looking forward to seeing what lush creations come from the imaginations of LCT’s costumers and designers for November’s and December’s productions of The Snow Queen and Alice in Wonderland, respectively.
AthensWest Theatre’s third season opens with a play that reunites director Patrick Kagan-Moore with actor Ryan Case, who first worked together more than a decade ago when Case, one of Lexington’s best known actors, was just cutting his teeth as an actor. The show, Super Donuts by Tracy Letts, will offer audiences a warm and entertaining glimpse into an unlikely friendship. But mark your calendars for April 14, when everyone will be wanting a ticket to see Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play.
Audiences can also enjoy increasingly intimate and original experiences with shows like Kentucky Ballet Theatre’s Up Close and Personal in October. The intimate setting showcases the company’s best artistic and technical skills and a more personal connection to the dancer than you can experience in a large venue.
Similarly, contemporary dance company movement continuum’s November show Ascendance builds on their growing reputation for interdisciplinary spectacle and artistic ambition. Along with Blackbird Dance Theatre, movement continuum is among several burgeoning arts groups adding vibrant new threads to Lexington’s cultural tapestry.
Candace Chaney is a Lexington-based writer and critic.