‘Once Upon This Island’
Clarksville Little Theatre
301 E. Montgomery Ave., Clarksville
$15; 8 p.m. (Jan. 7-8, 13-15), 2 p.m. (Jan. 9)
In the blustery cold of winter, who doesn’t romanticize about the sun pouring down on those sandy beaches in the Caribbean? It’s what anyone is bound to do when stuck scraping snow and ice from the sidewalk week after week. So, if you’re not blessed with the ease of instantaneous travel and are lacking an endless supply of moola to up and go where you wish in these dreary days, you might consider heading over to Clarksville Little Theatre to see their production of “Once Upon This Island.” Set in the French Antilles in the Caribbean Sea, with elements of “Romeo and Juliet,” it’s the story of love caught between upper and lower classes. Nominated for eight Tony Awards, this mesmerizing musical is sure to get your mind off those pesky gray skies, at least for an evening. —Laura Morton
Jan. 7-Feb. 12
610 E. Market St. ? 585-5646
Opening Reception: Friday, 5-8 p.m.
Think of the last time you went an entire day without looking at some kind of a screen — no TV, computer, phone, iPod, iPad, GPS, Kindle. I can’t either. Each day we find ourselves in our own little Times Square, bombarded by images, noises and words. Zephyr Gallery’s new exhibit examines the art of video and how it can have the power to merge art, performance, music, literature, cinema and architecture, allowing us to experience culture via the screen. The show will feature the work of Sarah Lasley, Roxana Perez-Mendez, Tiffany Carbonneau and Chez Judex, whose video projects include a new take on “Thelma and Louise”-type narratives, studies of immigrant experiences and identity, and examinations of cultural symbols. — Jane Mattingly
Jan. 7-Feb. 25
‘Bei Nacht’ by John Edward Brooks
Green Building Gallery
732 E. Market St. • 561-1162
John Edward Brooks has been soul searching. We are privy to the visual parts of his personal journey in his solo show “Bei Nacht” (By Night), inspired by the 1911 Hermann Hesse poem. It spoke to him “because of its simplicity and its universal appeal,” he says, in which the central character uses nighttime solitude for personal contemplation and what it can reveal.
A change in location seems to have sparked part of Brooks’ quest. He lived in England for many years, studying at various schools in London. He’s in Louisville now, with a body of work that’s an Everyman exhibition — for we have all been, and will continue to be, on this same road. The opening reception is during the Jan. 7 First Friday Trolley Hop from 5-9 p.m. —Jo Anne Triplett
Saturday, Jan. 8
Mary Ingalls’ birthday
American Printing House for the Blind
1839 Frankfort Ave. • 899-2213
Free; 10 a.m.
A major part of the “Little House on the Prairie” books — and their eventual filmed and televised versions — was how the Ingalls family’s perceptive daughter (and budding author) Laura shared what she saw of the world with her older sister Mary, who’d lost her sight due to scarlet fever. As part of National Braille Literacy Awareness Month, the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind on Frankfort Avenue is hosting a celebration of Mary Ingalls’ birthday. For those into historical cosplay, the museum invites guests to dress as Ingalls family members (there’ll be a look-alike contest) as they enjoy birthday cake from Ma Ingalls’ recipe. There’ll also be fiddle music and sing-alongs. (Mary became a teacher and musician.) The event is free, but registration is requested. —T.E. Lyons
Saturday, Jan. 8
1559 Bardstown Road
If Elvis were still alive, he’d turn 76 on Saturday. Yikes! Although his hip-shakin’ days would have been long gone, his appetite for peanut butter and banana sandwiches would hopefully be intact. The kids of Wee Rock — a Highlands-based business created by musician Heidi Howe that offers music classes for children — are saluting the King’s birthday Saturday with an all-Elvis sing-along, an all-ages karaoke contest and, yes, those famous sandwiches. The event is free, and all Elvis fanatics are encouraged to attend and sing along … hopefully not in the cold Kentucky rain. —Sara Havens
Saturday, Jan. 8
Little Heart Records’ 5th Anniversary
2126 S. Preston St. • 636-4147
$10; 7 p.m.
Little Heart Records isn’t quite of age, but five years is a big step, and you still have enough lung power to blow out the candles. On Saturday, the Louisville label reels in its roster for a split acoustic-electric all-ages birthday bash. Pop-punk Chicagoans Allister, who have been doin’ it for the kids since 1995, recently returned from a hiatus and will swing down for a one-off show before heading over to England. Uh-Huh Baby Yeah, Night Torn Mad, and Say Something Huge On Fire, who all had debut albums in recent years, show up, as do California, Talk of Spring, comedian Stewart Askew and Chris Karrer. —Mat Herron
Saturday, Jan. 8
Alley Theater/Art Sanctuary
1205 E. Washington St.
$20; 8 p.m.
Burlesque diva Divinity Rose is at it again. On Saturday, she’s going to become a part of the living dead as she dances, sings and performs alongside zombies, showgirls, a reporter and … you … in the interactive and post-apocalyptic burlesque show “Doomsday Lover.” The cast also will include Darshwood the Conjurer, the scantily clad ladies from Va Va Vixens, Cirque Airotic and more, and there will be a zombie fashion show featuring designs by Rachel French of Venomiss Designs. Expect sexy situations, zombie drool and monster mayhem of the PG-13 type. If you show up in zombie or showgirl costume, you get a $2 coupon for the bar. Score. —Sara Havens
Saturday, Jan. 8
Cabo Wabo 18th Annual Coat Party
Mellwood Arts and Entertainment Center
1860 Mellwood Ave.
$10; 8 p.m.
If you’re planning to go to the 18th Annual Cabo Wabo Coat Party this Saturday, well, don’t forget your coat. Or several, if you have them. The deal here is to collect new and gently used coats for the Society of St. Vincent DePaul, while also raising money for Indian Summer Camp for kids with cancer. Cabo Wabo (which has nothing to do with rocker Sammy Hagar’s tequila, by the way) is a local organization that supports numerous charities. The event itself will feature food, beverages (adult and otherwise) and live music by 100% Poly. —Kevin Gibson
Saturday, Jan. 8
The Middle Men Reunion
2100 S. Preston St. • 635-ZBAR
$5; 8 p.m.
Before he sold out and enrolled in law school at the University of Michigan, singer-songwriter John Whitaker was a fixture around these parts, both as a solo artist and with bassist Matt Brewington, current Dean & Britta drummer Jason Lawrence and Cut Family Foundation’s Matthew Hendricks in The Middle Men. In August 2003, the foursome released an album of durable pop songwriting called Three Short Acts, and another, Leave It With Your Airplanes. Whitaker admits that in his mind, all is not legal. “I can’t just be a law student. Once you start playing music, you play music.” This week, the band regroups with engineer Jordan Forst. “They’re all three-and-a-half-minute pop songs,” Whitaker says of the album, due out this fall. On Saturday, Whitaker gets the band back together for a reunion show/birthday party. IamIs opens. —Mat Herron
Jan. 9-Feb. 6
Huff Gallery at Spalding University
853 Library Lane • 585-9911
Sometimes artists beget more artists. That’s certainly the case with the McGee family. “Three Generations” concentrates on a faction of that lineage: father, son and granddaughter. Patriarch Hagan specializes in folk art paintings of his childhood in the hills of Manton, Ky. His son, Joe, creates concrete assemblages. “The general concept is of an archeologist who has found all of the broken parts and has made a series of tragic mistakes in their reconstruction,” he explains.
Granddaughter Tasha keeps the tradition going. “She has been making things since infancy, often out in my studio with me, while I worked on my own artwork,” says Joe. The exhibition features her “Rusting Series” textiles. The opening reception is Sunday, Jan. 9, from 2-4 p.m. —Jo Anne Triplett