Stage & Dance

Arty facts

Studio Players announces its next season

Studio Players' 2008-09 season features a holiday play that has been a sold-out hit in many areas and a contribution to the Lincoln bicentennial celebrations. Here's the lineup:

Sept. 11-28: Don't Dress for Dinner by Marc ­Camoletti, adapted by Robin Hawdon; directed by Gary ­McCormick. A man's plans for a romantic ­weekend in the country with his mistress go ­horribly awry.

Nov. 6-30: A Tuna ­Christmas by Ed ­Howard, Joe Sears and Jaston ­Williams; directed by Marc Roland. The local radio personalities in the third-smallest town in Texas are back on the air, tellin' y'all about Yuletide season happenings. This show is an annual sell-out at Actors Theatre of Louisville and elsewhere.

Jan. 15-Feb. 1: The Last of Mrs. Lincoln by James Prideaux; ­directed by Paul Thomas. This is a look at the life of Mary Todd ­Lincoln after the ­assassination of her ­husband, President ­Abraham Lincoln.

March 19-April 5: Six Degrees of Separation by John Guare; directed by Eric Ryan Seale. The title of the play, which was made into a hit movie in 1993 starring Will Smith, has become a pop culture catchphrase, suggesting that we are all just six people away from knowing everyone else. The story centers on a con man who talks his way into the apartment of a wealthy New York couple by saying he is Sidney Poitier's son and a friend of the couple's child, who is away at college.

May 21-June 7: Dearly Beloved by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten; directed by Tonda-Leah Fields. Studio Players, which starts the season with an affair gone awry, ends it with a wedding in chaos. Take your favorite June bride.

Season tickets will be $60 and will go on sale with the opening of All the Great Books (Abridged), which opens Thursday and runs through to June 1 (see story, page F1). After June 30, the season subscription price will rise to $65. ­Subscriptions will be available at the Carriage House Theatre during ­performances, the ­Downtown Arts Center ticket office, or by calling (859) 225-0370.

Broadway's Bundy offers workshop

Laura Bell Bundy is coming back to Lexington, and she's bringing some of her Broadway expertise to share.

The Tony Award-nominated star of Legally Blonde: The Musical will bring her Take It From the Top Broadway prep classes to her alma mater, ­Lexington Catholic High School, July 28 to 30.

The classes, for students 18 and younger, will offer workshops with Bundy, Legally Blonde ensemble member Paul Canaan, Broadway music director John McMahon and other professionals in the basics of the triple threat: ­singing, dancing and acting. ­Separate classes will be offered for middle schoolers and high schoolers. There also will be an audition workshop each night for ages 14 and older, in which participants will come with audition material prepared, perform it and be critiqued.

On July 30, the first 20 students to sign up will be eligible to be in a recital that night with Bundy at Lexington Catholic.

The class also is ­being offered in New York, St. Louis and Nashville, and at Michigan State ­University. The workshop is in ­conjunction with and will benefit Kreative Kids, Bundy's arts-education charity.

The workshops are $125 a session. For more information and to register, go to www.takeitfromthetop.org, where you can register online or download a registration form, or call (646) 478-7376.

Participants will be seeing Bundy fresh off the end of her run with Legally Blonde. She says her last performance will be in late July. The search for her replacement has been ­documented on an MTV e_SDHpreality series, Legally Blonde: The Search for Elle Woods, that begins airing at 10 p.m. June 2.

Frankfort actor helps close "Rent'

Folks heading to New York this summer for one last look at Rent in the Nederlander Theatre will see Frankfort's own Will Chase as Roger, one of the award-winning musical's leading roles. Chase has previously been in Rent as Roger and a member of the ensemble. He also has understudied the other lead role, Mark Coen, on ­Broadway. Chase has starred in the ­Broadway productions of High ­Fidelity, Lennon, The Full Monty and Aida. The Broadway production of Rent, which opened April 16, 1996, will close Sept. 7.

"Carousel' opens Thursday at Transy

Transylvania ­University's music and drama ­departments will join forces to present ­Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday in Haggin Auditorium on the Transy campus. Tickets are $10; for reservations, call (859) 233-8141.

The face and voice are familiar

The Cincinnati May Festival will open at 8 p.m. Friday with a familiar face on the stage for a concert presentation of Giuseppe Verdi's The Force of Destiny. Folks who have followed the Lexington-based American Spiritual Ensemble will be familiar with Angela Brown, who has sung with the ensemble numerous times and is making a name for herself as an exciting Verdi soprano at the Metropolitan Opera and other houses. She will sing the role of Leonora. Joining her for the May Fest opening, conducted by James Conlon, will be Salvatore Licitra, singing Don Alvaro. Licitra's unexpected Met debut, stepping in for Luciano Pavarotti in a 2002 production of Giacomo Puccini's Tosca, earned him praise as ”the new Pavarotti.“

Tickets to the performance at ­Cincinnati's Music Hall, 1241 Elm Street, are $16 to $88. For tickets and information on this concert and the rest of May Fest, which runs through May 24, call (513) 381-3300 or go to www.mayfestival.com.

Bluegrass Youth Ballet celebrates

The Bluegrass Youth Ballet will mark its fifth anniversary with a dance celebration at 7:30 p.m. ­Friday and at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Singletary Center for the Arts Recital Hall.

The concert will feature dancers from the ­student ballet company and Louisville Ballet soloist Keith Glenn performing selections from Coppelia, Giselle and Le Corsaire, plus the company's own version of Antonio Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, danced by students ages 5 to 10.

Tickets are $12 to $15 and are available at the Singletary Center box ­office, or call (859) 257-4929 or go to www.singletarytickets.com.

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