Staff Picks

Friday, Nov. 3
Author Michael L. Jones
    Writer and journalist Michael L. Jones has been covering Louisville for many years (as a LEO staff writer for a few of them), and has compiled a book of profiles of some of the city’s most interesting personalities. The release of the book, “Second-Hand Stories: 15 Portraits of Louisville,” will get a grand kick-off this Friday at St. John United Church of Christ during the First Friday Gallery Hop. The release party will feature performances by Yodelduo-Du, which plays 1930s-style jazz, and Richard “Kush” Griffith, former trumpet player for James Brown and Parliament/Funkadelic. LEO founder and Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress John Yarmuth is expected to make an appearance. The book includes profiles of Griffith, civil rights activist Anne Braden and sculptor Ed Hamilton, among others. —Kevin Gibson
St. John United Church of Christ
637 E. Market St.
Free; 6-11 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 3
Butcher Block grand opening
    There’s a new stop on the trolley hop this coming First Friday: The Butcher Block Gallery, nee Cinderblock Gallery, angled as an “accessible, unpretentious venue for both established and emerging local and regional artists.” The grand opening features work by Kathleen Lolley, Tim Furnish, Sarah Lyon, Gina Portelli, Carrie Neumayer and former LEO-ite Gina Moeller, among 20-something more. Music by DJ Sam Sneed. Good party. Good art. Good deal. —Stephen George
Butcher Block Gallery
931 E. Main St.
Free; 5-11 p.m.
All ages

Nov. 3-5
An Evening of Socio-Political Plays
    U of L’s Studio Theatre tackles politically charged material as they present two one-act plays dealing with censorship and the human cost of war: Vaclav Havel’s “Largo Desolato” and Terrence McNally’s “Bringing It All Back Home.” Havel’s play, about a professor’s response to the pressure of speaking for the masses, was banned in Havel’s native Czechoslovakia. Set in the Vietnam War era, McNally’s play deals with a family’s varied reactions to a soldier who comes home in a box. As in all great works, humor is not absent despite the somber themes. In addition, you’ll find information on current political candidates and online voter registration in the lobby. —Sherry Deatrick
U of L’s Thrust Theatre
Floyd & Warnock
Free; 8 p.m., Sat. matinee 3 p.m.

Nov. 3-5
Social Justice Conference
    Engaging Our World, A Southeastern Global Leadership Conference, will be held at U of L’s Belknap campus this weekend. The event kicks off Friday night with a Social Justice movie marathon in the Floyd Theatre. The overstuffed schedule addresses a gamut of social justice issues, including climate change, animal rights and health inequalities, and features such recognizable U of L names as Cate Fosl and Blaine Hudson. Presenters also include worthwhile organizations such as Women in Transition, Just Creations and Students against Sweat Shops. The three-day symposium is destined to be worth the $35 registration fee, payable Friday 4-7 p.m. in the Student Activities Center. —Jessica Farquhar
U of L Belknap Campus
$35; registration Fri. 4-7 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 4
LEO presents Second City improv
    See Condoleezza Rice ride George Bush like a mechanical bull! Hear a love song to Barack Obama! Feel the pain of teenage addiction to computers! Smell Pat Robertson’s huffiness! Taste Cranberry Love! The Second City Touring Company (aka the “Temple of Satire”) presents these and other amazing feats as they blaze a trail across the country, leavin’ ’em laughin’ as they go. No one is immune to Second City ridicule. This politically incorrect show will wow each of your five senses, and is a balm for the disaffected. Audience participation is welcome, and is expected in the third act (all improv). The show is part of the “LEO Presents: A Little Off Center” series with the Kentucky Center. —Sherry Deatrick
Brown Theatre
815 W. Broadway
$25-$32; 8 p.m.

Nov. 4-5
Shamrock Foundation Event
    The Shamrock Foundation hosts their Olde Time Holiday Shoppe, this year at the American Legion Highland Post. The event benefits this non-profit organization, whose mission is to help man’s best friend. Proceeds will assist actions such as spaying and neutering to end pet over-population, diminish the number of pets put down in local shelters, education, emergency medical assistance, rescue, foster care, and increase in adoptions of pets. The Olde Time Holiday Shoppe will boast a silent auction and feature unique gifts for both people and pets. What better way of commencing the holiday season than by helping one of the most loyal yet defenseless fellow creatures in our society? —Claudia Olea
American Legion Highland Post
2919 Bardstown Road
10 a.m.-4 p.m. (Sat.), 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (Sun.)

Two tastes of Americana
Saturday, Nov. 4 & Monday, Nov. 6
    A couple of shows with rootsy overtones show up over the next week. Fiddler Mark O’Connor has been on the top shelf for a couple decades now, playing with some of the biggest names in country and bluegrass. Lately his solo work has moved toward the classical realm, and his appearance at IUS — it’s billed at “Mark O’Connor’s Fiddle Celebration” — should please a wide range of musical tastes.
    On Monday, Blue Sky Kentucky wraps up this year’s stellar Americana Caravan series with a show by the eclectic Richard Buckner. Buckner looks and sounds like a country-folk troubadour, but his personal and adventurous songwriting makes him equally popular with the indie rock crowd. He’s touring behind a new album, Meadow. —Cary Stemle
Mark O’Connor
Ogle Center, IUS
4201 Grant Line Road, New Albany
(812) 941-2525
4 p.m. ($20) and 8 p.m. ($25)

Richard Buckner
Comedy Caravan
1250 Bardstown Road
$8 adv., $10 door; 7:30 p.m.

Through Nov. 11
Jenni Deamer and Liz Watkins
    I love pastel drawings, so this exhibition by Jenni Deamer and Liz Watkins was a must-see. Watkins does large pastels of women in various stages of dress drawn from live models. She sometimes leaves areas unfinished, like part of a leg, hand or chair. This lets you peek at her thought process and her superb technique.
    Deamer, on the other hand, goes beyond just pastel drawings into photo-transparencies collages and drawings on Plexiglas. Her work is message-driven. As she explains in her artist statement, “I hope the work causes the viewer to contemplate the influences of technology in our art and in our life. I have attempted to raise questions by altering still life imagery. The photos are placed next to drawings to compare different representations of the same subject.”
    The show will still be on display during the Nov. 3 First Friday Gallery Hop. —Jo Anne Triplett
Zephyr Gallery
610 E. Market St.
Free; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (Wed.-Thu., Sat.), 11 a.m.-9 p.m. (Fri.)
Through Nov. 11
‘Current’ at Swanson Reed
    Two of Louisville’s best technology artists, Valerie Sullivan Fuchs and Russel Hulsey, have co-curated a video/sound/kinetic/performance exhibit at Swanson Reed Contemporary that is heady and thought-provoking (I don’t think they know how to do fluff). Fuchs explains that “the idea behind (the show) came from two places: the idea of eternal recurrence first put forth by Nietzsche, and the idea of electricity and its influence on art and culture.”
    The artists in the show are Brian Eno, Misha Feigin, Kurt Gohde, Greg Kowalewski, Martin Meersman, Bruce Nauman, Cynthia Norton, Tigital and Gloria Wachtel, as well as Fuchs and Hulsey. Fuchs’ DVD video “The Stripper” is a huge two-sided work about strip mining. She has continued that theme out onto Market Street with “Electric Light,” eight small colored images of mountaintops on metal plates placed at eye level along the street. Made from the colors of white light, the plates are a metaphor for strip mining. Move the crowds at the First Friday Gallery Hop so that you can find them all. —Jo Anne Triplett
Swanson-Reed Contemporary
638 E. Market St.
Free; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (Wed.-Sat.)