March 6, 2007

Staff Picks

<HISTORY> March 8-30 The Gerald Ford Papers President Gerald Ford was the only man to assume the office of President of the United States under the terms of the 25th Amendment, and he did so during a time of extreme historical significance — in the wake of the Watergate scandal. President Richard M. Nixon resigned from office, and Ford was president from 1974-1976 before being defeated in a re-election bid by President Jimmy Carter. The Gilder-Lehrman Collection of New York acquired a large portfolio of Ford’s presidential papers following his death last year and has provided archival reproductions of many of the most important items for public display in institutions across America, including here in Kentucky in the Louisville Free Public Library’s Bernheim Gallery. The exhibit includes letters, notes, photos and personal memorabilia from Ford’s administration, with the highlight being a Ford-annotated draft of the Richard Nixon pardon following Watergate. —Kevin Gibson Louisville Free Public Library 301 York St. 574-1611 <BOOK> Thursday, March 8 Novelist J.R. Ward If it’s indulgent for a reader to pore through romance novels and dark fantasy, then why shouldn’t such fiction luxuriate in as much indulgence as possible? Local novelist J.R. Ward has hit bestseller lists by answering this question with an ultra-contemporary re“vamp” of vampire fiction. Her series of paperback romance novels feature the Black Dagger Brotherhood, including uber-alpha-male undead such as “Rehv, with his black mohawk and golden skin and perfect clothes.” Much of Ward’s invented world is golden and perfect — and encrusted with name-checks for what to drink and drive and wear (but … Motorola? When did that take on bling worthiness?). The new “Lover Revealed,” which the author will sign at 1001 Paperbacks, requires that the reader get up to speed quickly on her quasi-immortal vampires, and also on the undesirable undead who have a stake in their demise (and who can’t truly appreciate a shot of Grey Goose). Part of Ward’s success is the thoroughness with which she’s romanticized sexual brinkmanship for the hook-up era (“though the two of them were not mated, she wasn’t surprised he seemed ready to hunt something down on her behalf”). —T.E. Lyons 1001 Paperbacks 7405 Fegenbush Lane 239-7224 Free; 5 p.m. <DANCE> March 9-10 Choreographers' Showcase Since 1995, the Louisville Ballet has brought audiences new pieces created by company members in its annual Choreographers Showcase, resulting in some dancers expanding their artistic ambitions in ways that go further than purely providing them with an additional avenue of artistic expression. Take the company’s principal dancer Mikelle Bruzina, who has created a different piece for nine showcases since she joined the Ballet 11 years ago. “After creating my own choreography, I have a better understanding of any choreographer who comes in and I can more easily hear what they’re hearing in the music,” says Bruzina, who generated “Gloria” for a showcase and later developed it into a feature staged during last year’s regular season. For this year’s showcase she created “A Summer Dance for Clark,” set to “Summer” from Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.” It features 15 dancers and is an homage to Clark Reid, the Louisville Ballet’s former principal dancer and ballet master who died in August at age 51. “What Clark always instilled in me was to try to grow,” she says. This year’s program of homegrown works also features pieces by 10 other company members displaying a range of styles set to an assortment of music. —Elizabeth Kramer Louisville Ballet 315 E. Main St. 583-2623 $15; 8 p.m. <THEATER> March 9-11, 15-17 ‘Urinetown’ This is truly the musical of our times — a satire that lampoons corporate greed and governmental malfeasance and is populated by protestors, brownnosers and lemmings among treacherous tycoons who charge people to pee. It is a world in which a 20-year drought has caused a severe water shortage and a private corporation, Urine Good Company, controls public toilets. Of course, the government is on the corporate side. Those who disobey and don’t pay can count on suffering human rights abuses. Sound familiar? Of course, this is a musical, so there is romance as well. All this happens with the trimmings of toe-tapping tunes with titles like “It's a Privilege to Pee,” “Follow Your Heart,” “Don't Be the Bunny” and “We're Not Sorry.” Directed by Gary Tipton for this production, the original on Broadway show won three Tony Awards, including one for Best Original Score in 2002. —Elizabeth Kramer Clarksville Little Theatre 301 E. Montgomery Ave., Clarksville (812) 283-6522 $8-$15; 8 p.m. (2 p.m. March 11) <MUSIC> Saturday, March 10 Phantom Family Halo Phantom Family Halo is warming up for its trip down to this year’s South by Southwest Festival (see page 30) by hashing it out with Pittsburgh’s Midnite Snake, which is making its second trip to Louisville, and Atlanta’s Brass Castle. Check them out Saturday at Lisa’s. —Mat Herron Lisa’s Oak St. Lounge 1004 E. Oak St. 637-9315 $5; 9 p.m. 21+ <MUSIC> Saturday, March 10 Six Parts Seven Six Parts Seven is back in Louisville after a couple of years, stopping at the Pour Haus. They’ll be joined by Chemic, the local group who appeared on this year’s Louisville is for Lovers compilation, and Akron, Ohio’s Good Morning Valentine, which promises folk pop rock in the vein of Wilco, Tom Waits and Motown. —Mat Herron The Pour Haus 1481 S. Shelby St. 637-9611 $6; 9 p.m. 21+ <FILM> Sunday, March 11 Thomas Merton documentary Morgan Atkinson’s new documentary on one of Kentucky’s most famous figures, theologian Thomas Merton, will be shown for free Sunday afternoon at Christ Church Cathedral. Writer/producer Atkinson spent years researching Merton’s work and interviewed dozens of Merton’s friends, scholars and authorities. He also spent time at the Abbey of Gethsemani near Bardstown, Merton’s home for 27 years. Atkinson and composer Richard Sisto will answer questions after the screening. —Sara Havens Christ Church Cathedral 421 S. Second St. 587-1354 Free; 3 p.m. <MUSIC> Tuesday, March 13 Kentucky Prophet He’s opened for Frank Black. Now the hip-hop, comedic experimental artist who is the Kentucky Prophet will continue spreading his gospel Tuesday night at The Rudyard Kipling. Dead Child and Blade of the Ripper bring their prodigious metal chops to the bill. —Mat Herron The Rudyard Kipling 422 W. Oak St. 636-1311 $6; 9 p.m. 21+ <art> Through April 1 Artist Casey McKinney The Atomic Saucer is exhibiting artist Casey McKinney’s work titled “Casey McKinney: New Paintings” through April 1. McKinney utilizes spray, oil and acrylic paints to create his unique “urban” style. A Louisiana native, he launched his career as a graffiti artist in Washington, D.C. Although his paintings range from Realist to Abstract, McKinney labels his work self-portraits that canvas his perspective of life. Don’t miss out on McKinney’s artist reception that will be held Friday night (March 9) from 6-8 p.m. with no cover charge. Refreshments and finger foods will be served. —Claudia Olea The Atomic Saucer 1000 E. Oak St. 636-1244 Free; 6-8 p.m. (reception)