Thursday, Jan. 26
â€˜Conquering the Great Wallâ€™
â€œI mean, do you really think they will hike to the Great Wall?â€ Itâ€™s a notion that has floored many, but the underlying fact is, they conquered that voyage in spite of physical, mental and emotional distractions. In 2002, Gayle Hall, better known as â€œIron Woman,â€ began her journey as a long-distance hiker at Yumengguan, at the western end of the Great Wall in China. Two Chinese companions assisted her. They hiked 174 days, covering more than 4,000 kilometers and eventually reaching the eastern end, making Hall the first woman to walk the entire length of the Wall. Hall will be in Louisville this week to present an illustrated discussion about â€œConquering the Great Wall: One Womanâ€™s Journey Across China.â€ The lecture is sponsored by the Crane House and the Louisville Free Public Library. â€”Tytianna Wells
Louisville Free Public Library
Fifth & York
Free (tickets required); 7 p.m.
â€˜Toe Roasterâ€™ musical
A threesome of modern-day cowboys shooting the breeze around a campfire. No, itâ€™s not the sequel to â€œBrokeback Mountain,â€ itâ€™s actually the set-up of the comedic musical â€œToe Roaster,â€ penned and performed by three Nashville notable song-writers, making its way this weekend to ATLâ€™s Bingham Theatre. Playwright Bryan Kennedy â€” a buddy of Garth Brooks whose credits include â€œBeaches of Cheyenneâ€ and â€œAmerican Honky Tonk Bar Associationâ€ â€” first performed this play opening up for the Garthster in the late â€™90s, and has since paired with friends and cohorts Wynn Varble and Troy Jones, the former who wrote Daryl Worleyâ€™s hokey hit, â€œHave You Forgotten.â€ The topics of conversation range from how to please a woman to what role Wal-Mart plays in todayâ€™s redneck society. Singer-actor Jerry Reed had this to say: â€œI havenâ€™t laughed that hard since the sneak preview of â€˜Smokey and the Bandit.â€™â€ See how cowboys were meant to bond. â€”Sara Havens
Bingham Theater, Actors Theatre
316 W. Main St.
$28; 8 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 27
Demonstration by Craig Kaviar
Craig Kaviar is making a horseâ€™s head out of iron during Januaryâ€™s FAT Friday. This is where youâ€™ll want to be, because it will be warm; heâ€™ll be working with 3,000 degrees of heat!
Kaviar will also be presenting his new copper repousse relief sculpture for its first local public showing. Displayed in the U.S. Pavilion at the Worldâ€™s Fair in Aichi, Japan, the work can be interpreted in two ways: horizontally, itâ€™s â€œIn the Eye of the Beholder,â€ of the earth and moon in an eye; vertically, itâ€™s the â€œOrigin of Man,â€ featuring a woman birthing the earth and moon. â€”Jo Anne Triplett
Kaviar Forge & Gallery
1718 Frankfort Ave.
Free; 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 27
New FAT Friday art locations
Thereâ€™s now more to see and experience along Frankfort Avenue on the last Friday evening of the month. The League of Women Voters is opening its space to artists; the inaugural showcase features jewelry, oil paintings, T-shirts and prints. At their request, TARC has added a trolley stop at Ewing.
The Greenhouse Arts Project, an experimental gallery and studio, is celebrating its grand opening with paintings by David Louis Carter and musicians from U of Lâ€™s School of Music. Co-directors and resident artists are Shannon Stelzer and Willie Tash. Both of these events are one-night only. â€”Jo Anne Triplett
League of Women Voters
Lang House, 115 S. Ewing Ave.
Free; 5-9 p.m.
Greenhouse Arts Project
1708 Frankfort Ave.
Free; 6-11 p.m.
Zora Neale Hurston celebration
Black History Month celebrates inventors, musicians, visual artists, authors â€” an abundance of achievements by prominent individuals of African-American descent throughout history. One legendary celebration lauds Zora Neale Hurston, the author, poetess, anthropologist, â€œQueen of the Harlem Renaissanceâ€ and member of Zeta Phi Beta sorority. The Zora Neale Hurston Arts Festival, hosted by the Eta Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta, is a public, cultural and literary event within â€œCelebrating Youth Arts,â€ promoting understanding and an in-depth explanation of her achievements. The festive performances will be held Jan. 27-29 at different locations and prices. All proceeds will help fund scholarships for young people in Louisville. â€”Tytianna Wells
Friday: Brown School, 546 S. First St., 7 p.m.
Saturday: Fifth Street Baptist Church, 1901 W. Jefferson, 5:30 p.m.
Sunday: Actors Theatre, 316 W. Main St., 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 28
Kentuckiana Idol â€™06
Itâ€™s insane to think that one of the best songs of last year (â€œSince U Been Goneâ€) came from a TV gameshow winner. Five years ago, Kelly Clarkson was singing into her hairbrush in her small-town Texas home, dreaming of a life of fame and fortune. She took a chance and auditioned for a new TV concept called â€œAmerican Idol,â€ and is now topping the pop charts two albums later. Now itâ€™s your turn. If you think you have an inkling of vocal talent, the folks from WDRB-TVâ€™s â€œFox in the Morningâ€ are once again holding their own competition. Participants must be at least 16 years old. Open auditions are Saturday at the Spalding University Auditorium, and those interested can pre-register by Thursday night at Sam Swope Suzuki, 4120 Bardstown Road. â€”Sara Havens
Spalding University Auditorium
Fourth & York streets
Free; 9 a.m.
Saturday, Jan. 28
Black Cross returns
Apparently, Ryan Patterson doesnâ€™t have enough to do.
So he and his brother, Evan, are putting on a monthly, all-ages concert series called â€œLast Saturdayâ€ at the Keswick Democratic Club.
â€œWe just chose to do what we have always done â€” put on all-ages shows,â€ he said, â€œbut do it on a specific day each month and reach out to a wide variety of Louisville musicians and bring in great bands from out of town.â€
The first installment features Black Cross, which hasnâ€™t played in more than a year because of other priorities. He and Evanâ€™s other bands, Breather Resist and Coliseum, respectively, were busy bees. The Cross will show off three new songs Saturday night that will likely be recorded later this year. Perhaps heâ€™ll run for mayor? â€”Mat Herron
Keswick Democratic Club
1127 Logan St.
$5 adv. (available at ear X-tacy )/$6; 6 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 29
Free pain advice!
Physician Robert Cochran Jr. has treated chronic pain sufferers in Nashville for more than 40 years. Promoting his new book, â€œUnderstanding Chronic Pain: A Doctor Talks to His Patients,â€ Cochran will sign copies and field questions during his visit to Borders Sunday afternoon. The book examines the relationship between mind and body, arguing (among other things) that chronic pain can be linked to mental factors such as stress and depression. Whether youâ€™re a weekend warrior, born-again gym rat or just suffer from recurring pain, the session is bound to expand a few horizons. â€”Matt Mattingly
2520 S. Hurstbourne Gem Lane
Free; 1-3 p.m.
Through Feb. 2
â€˜Bad Datesâ€™ â€” letâ€™s hear about â€™em
In anticipation of Actors Theatreâ€™s newest show, â€œBad Datesâ€ by Theresa Rebeck, as well as â€œthe loneliest holiday ever for singlesâ€ (aka Valentineâ€™s Day), LEO and Actors Theatre want to hear about your worst dates. We know you have the stories â€” so quit being so selfish and let others relish your misfortune. The best two will win tickets to â€œBad Dates,â€ which runs through Feb. 25, as well as dinner and even more tickets to the 30th Annual Humana Festival of New American Plays. Start typing, and e-mail your submissions to ATLâ€™s Kyle Shepherd at [email protected] â€”Sara Havens