Jan. 26-Feb. 4
‘dirty sexy derby play’
The Bard’s Town
1801 Bardstown Road • 876-0532
$15; 7:30 p.m.
For a theater town obsessed with a certain annual horse race, it’s odd that there aren’t many plays written here about the Kentucky Derby. Thankfully, Brian Walker’s saucy “dirty sexy derby play” is back after a strong 2008 debut with a revised script and a mostly new cast. The play takes us back to 1974, a month after massive tornadoes ripped through Louisville, where hostile mates Vanessa and Carl have decided that the best way to cheer up their friends who lost everything in the storm is to invite them to a key party (you draw car keys to decide who goes home with whom) on Derby Day. Hi-jinks naturally ensue. The 2008 production was a delightful retro romp through the swinging ’70s with enough homegrown Louisville jokes to make any local crack a knowing grin, and a freshly polished script sounds promising. —Erin Keane
Kentucky Center for the Arts
501 E. Main St. · 584-7777
$16; 8 p.m. (2 p.m. on Jan. 29)
This tiny, fictional town’s comic tale of love and loss in the chilly Northeast has charmed theater audiences almost everywhere: from Dubai to Korea, Australia to Germany, Canada to Mexico, and — you guessed it — five times in Maine. It also holds the crown for the play most produced in North American high schools, recently usurped from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Now, it’s Louisville’s turn. Actor and musician Neil Brewer directs the Wayward Actors Company in this seasonally appropriate assemblage of nine short plays. Seating is limited at the intimate MeX Theater, where the cast will be large for the script, and the scenery will be mostly left to the imagination. It’ll only serve as a constant reminder, though, that in “Almost, Maine,” almost anything is possible. —Simon Isham
Louisville Experimental Fest
Free; 9 p.m.
Escape the weird winter blahs with another weekend of outer sounds, featuring locals and travelers sharing free bills of exciting, freaky-deaky and possibly off-putting concoctions. Friday night kicks it off with The Tiles, Clarksmithy, Electric Inertia, and Parlour at Lisa’s Oak Street Lounge. On Saturday, the action moves to a possibly more appropriate venue, the Swanson Contemporary gallery in NuLu (aka GillVille), where Ghost Stripper, Mu and the Peeling Wallpaper Ensemble, and Stringtrek will art your heart. The heavy trip concludes at the Nachbar on Sunday with what might be the best buzz of the fest, as Chikamorachi — the duo of drummer Chris Corsano and bassist Darin Gray, known for their various work with Bjork, Jandek, Jim O’Rourke, Merzbow and Wilco’s Glenn Kotche — burn down the barn with locally beloved sound men Steve Good and Tim Barnes. —Peter Berkowitz
Jan. 27-July 15
‘Alter Ego’ by Anthony Goicolea
700 W. Main St. • 217-6300
21c Museum has the largest collection of art by Cuban-American Anthony Goicolea in the USA. That’s our good fortune, for it gives us the opportunity to hear Goicolea speak in Louisville as part of the exhibition “Alter Ego.” The show of installations and photography is a collaborative effort of the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Telfair Museums and 21c. Because we live where we live, we get a bonus: 21c has added works not shown at NCMA and Telfair, resulting in 37 of the 62 works on display belonging to 21c. Goicolea will be doing an artist talk and dinner on Saturday, Jan. 28. The talk at 6 p.m. is free and open to the public. The dinner by Proof is at 7 p.m.; cost is $85 with reservations required. —Jo Anne Triplett
Saturday, Jan. 28
‘Blood, Bones & Butter’
Louisville Free Public Library
301 York St. • 574-1611
Free; 2 p.m.
These days, can you turn around without bumping into a celebrity chef? How about a celebrity memoirist? Gabrielle Hamilton is both: winner of the James Beard Award and of one of the most memorable “Iron Chef” contests, as well as a stunningly good writer. “Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef” is just out in paperback, and Hamilton is coming to town for a reading/signing. Though the event is sold out, we recommend you check out the book nonetheless. Her story turns from an idyllic upbringing among artisans into demeaning work and life conditions. She works throughout Europe to eventual major success in New York — but she also faces challenges in sorting out her personal identity. The book draws readers in with the way Hamilton shares how she’s found insights over many years and in many kitchens. The new edition adds to this with Hamilton viewing divorce through the eyes of her mother-in-law. —T.E. Lyons
Saturday, Jan. 28
Dailey & Vincent
Ogle Center at IUS
4201 Grant Line Road, New Albany • 812-941-2525
$26.50 ($10 students); 7:30 p.m.
Touring to promote their latest album, The Gospel Side of Dailey & Vincent, the popular and acclaimed bluegrass duo have found the unlikeliest (and yet most obvious) patron available to Americana fans outside of NASCAR. So, if for some horrible reason you’re not able to attend their concert at the beautiful Ogle Center, their sponsor — Cracker Barrel — will host a meet-and-greet for fans of the multiple Grammy-nominated and GMA and IBMA award-winning singers at noon this day at their Crittenden location. The new disc is their second with the company, and exclusively available at one of their 608 locations across the nation. “The success of their first album underscores the connection that our guests have with these talented artists,” says Cracker Barrel marketing manager Julie Craig. But they’ll be singing at the Ogle. —Peter Berkowitz
The Dick Sisto Trio
500 S. Fourth St. • 585-3200
Free; 8 p.m.
When a visitor comes through Louisville, or a new couple is looking for a fun date night, one of my first recommendations has always been for them to see Dick Sisto and his friends live in the Old Seelbach Bar. It’s a gorgeous room, classy and adult, and you never know who might drop in, from a Marsalis to the bandleader’s TV star son, Jeremy. So it’s far beyond awful that the hotel has decided to end the long, wonderful run of the great vibraphonist, bassist Tyrone Wheeler and drummer Jason Tiemann. The phone number of the facility is listed here, so feel free to tell the managers that you are also unhappy with this action. This is the last weekend scheduled for this treasure. Until then, Occupy Seelbach! —Peter Berkowitz
Sunday, Jan. 29
Louisville Slugger Field
212-2287 • batsbaseball.com
Free; 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Take a break from a winter of Louisville basketball discontent to note that it is just a matter of weeks until the Boys of Summer report for spring training — including the Cincinnati Reds and Louisville Bats. The annual Reds Caravan publicity tour makes its stop in Louisville Sunday at Slugger Field, with Reds manager Dusty Baker, broadcasters Jim Kelch and Jeff Brantley, and various players on hand to meet with fans. The most interesting new face is Billy Hamilton, who stole 103 bases last season at Single A Dayton. New Bats manager David Bell said last week he will have his eye out for Hamilton as he comes up the Reds’ minor league ladder. Here’s that number again: Billy Hamilton, 103 steals in 135 games. —Bill Doolittle
Through March 1
‘Daily Paintings’ by Claudia Hammer
Christy Zurkuhlen Gallery and Studio
Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center
1860 Mellwood Ave. • 777-1794
This is about persistence and second chances. Christy Zurkuhlen had a gallery/studio in Brownsboro Center that she closed. She’s now resurfaced in the Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center with a small gallery in the courtyard. She’s chosen a great way to say “I’m back” with an exhibition of Claudia Hammer’s “Daily Paintings.” Many of the 32 paintings are as small as 6 inches square. Jewelry by Zurkuhlen is also on display. “I create a painting a day as a challenge,” Hammer says. “I started this series … as a daily practice and discipline in order to liberate my work … My other work takes days, weeks or months to complete one painting. The time constraint of producing a painting a day forces me to look for an essential truth.” —Jo Anne Triplett
Fund for the Arts
Select, click, give. Power2give is a direct way to fund local nonprofit organizations. It introduces projects to donors, with every dollar donated matched by Kentucky businesses, such as Republic Bank, the Kentucky Arts Council and LG&E-KU. As the brainchild of the Arts & Science Council in Charlotte, N.C., Louisville’s Fund for the Arts looked it over and realized it was something we would get excited about as well. The website currently has 28 visual art projects listed, from organizations including the Arts Council of Southern Indiana, Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, and Louisville Visual Art Association. If visual arts isn’t your thing, how about music, theater or dance? Go to the website and select “Kentucky & S. Indiana” under “choose your location.” Proceed to “give to a project.” —Jo Anne Triplett