Staffpicks for 3-12-08

Thursday, March 13
‘A Night in Israel’

    Singer Danny Maseng is the featured guest for “A Night in Israel,” part of the 37th annual Congregation Adath Jeshurun Music Festival. The performance also showcases Louisville’s cantors and choirs in this celebration of the 60th birthday of Israel, which will be held at the Congregation Adath Jeshurun in the Highlands. Maseng, born in Tel Aviv to American parents, first came to the United States in 1971 to star on Broadway in the musical “Only Fools Are Sad.” Today, he is a playwright, actor, singer and composer, and currently is also the Cantor/Musical Director of Temple Israel of Hollywood. Maseng has acted in popular television shows like “Law & Order,” but is particularly well known as a composer of contemporary Jewish liturgical music. —Kevin Gibson
Congregation Adath Jeshurun
2401 Woodbourne Ave.
$15; 7 p.m.

Little Big Town

    While it’s hilarious how long it can take for some awards organizations to recognize a “Best New Group,” the quibbling should quickly give way to listening enjoyment. So it is with Little Big Town’s getting notable country-music nominations and awards for being a breakout act in 2007 — when by that time, the quartet had accrued nearly a full generation of road dust. Credit really goes to the band keeping a loving close watch over a unique little niche: two male and two female singers, trading off vocal leads in a countrified version of the Eagles/Fleetwood Mac California rock sound (and don’t be surprised at a touch of Mellencamp, as they contributed to his last album). LBT has improved in their studio mastery over the years (evidenced on the recent A Place to Land), but onstage the foursome never fails to impress. —T.E. Lyons
Caesars Indiana
11999 Avenue of the Emperors, Elizabeth, Ind.
(812) 969-6000
$25-$45; 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 15
Dan Tyminski Band

    Dan Tyminski may not be a household name, but his distinctive guitar tones and soaring vocals have certainly found their way into millions of homes. If nothing else, folks would recognize his now definitive version of “A Man of Constant Sorrow” from the Coen Brothers’ film “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
But long before he functioned as George Clooney’s singing stunt double, Tyminski was racking up awards (13 Grammys!) and accolades for his master musicianship in the Lonesome River Band and Alison Krauss’ Union Station.
Though Union Station is currently on hiatus while Krauss is off globe trekking with the likes of Robert Plant and T-Bone Burnett, Tyminski is passing the time by working with another formidable bunch of pickers. Known collectively (and appropriately) as the Dan Tyminski Band, this crew will record and tour extensively for most of 2008.
Fortunately for us, the DTB — which features “Fiddlin’” Ronnie Stewart, Barry Bales, Adam Steffey and Justin Moses — will be in town Saturday for an intimate performance at the Brown Theatre. —Kevin Wilson
W.L. Lyons-Brown Theatre
315 W. Broadway
$25; 8 p.m.

Sunday, March 16
St. Baldrick’s Day

    When my beautiful wife came to me a couple months ago and said she wanted to shave her thick, lush hair all the way to the skin, I balked. The vision that came to mind was a little blue, pale-pated woman, maybe with those awkward bumps like I found on my own head when I de-haired a few years ago. Within hours, though, she had me on board. That’s because it’s for St. Baldrick’s, one of the most worthy ways to hedge fundraising against your own vanity: Shave your head in solidarity with the 160,000 or so kids who were diagnosed with cancer last year. People will pay you to go bald. Trust me. The foundation behind the event has raised $34 million since 2000 and has touched 46 states and 18 countries. Louisville’s event last year was the fourth largest worldwide. You can sign up and shave on site, or go to and get going. —Stephen George
Fourth Street Live
429-6000 x116
Free; 2 p.m.

Sunday, March 16
Rockin’ For Kids

    Quietly but steadily, paradigms are shifting. In Louisville, evidence of one such change is the growth of Norton Healthcare’s music therapy program, which now comprises six music therapists. Think about it: If you were laid up in a hospital, would you not appreciate the comfort of your favorite music?
    This Sunday brings the first Rockin’ for Kids event, a fundraiser featuring four youth bands, kid-friendly icons such as Andy Armadillo from Texas Roadhouse, Louie the Lightning Bug from LG&E and the Louisville Bats’ mascot, plus emcee Mike Shannon of WDJX-FM. Of particular interest may be the fastest drummer and Guitar Hero booths, as well as a silent auction. Musical toys will be collected on Sunday. A $5 per person donation is suggested. A first-giving website — — is also open. The event is sponsored by The Summers, Louisville School of Rock, Coyote’s at City Block Louisville and the Children’s Hospital Foundation. —Cary Stemle
City Block
133 W. Liberty St.
$5 (suggested donation); 2-6 p.m.

Wednesday, March 19
Author Richard Price

    Richard Price may be his generation’s leading chronicler of urban grit. He’s earned the freedom to choose the media for his stories, after being Oscar-nominated for screenplays (“Clockers”) and cited for contributions for some of the best television ever (“The Wire”). But sometimes he’ll just return home by way of writing a novel. Price appears at the Main Library as part of Louisville Free Public Library’s “Authors at the Library” series. The new “Lush Life” is considered something of a love letter (albeit with a body count) to Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Waves of immigration and gentrification have slopped over the communal life of that area like nowhere else in America, and Price is offering a master class in how to salute and study the pains of downtown diversity. —T.E. Lyons
Louisville Free Public Library
301 York St.
Free (reservations required); 7 p.m.

Through March 22
‘The God of Isaac’

    In the Biblical story, Isaac is the son Abraham was directed to offer up as a sacrifice to God. Later, Isaac was commanded to stay in a famine-ravished land. To top it all off, he had two sons, one of whom deceived him in order to receive a blessing that wasn’t rightfully his. Isaac Adams, the Jewish man at the center of Bunbury Theatre’s latest production, has the stereotypically vocal Jewish mother, a shiksa wife and an identity crisis. In other words, his hands are as full as his namesake’s.  
    “The God of Isaac” has the honor of being the longest-running play in the history of Chicago’s esteemed Victory Gardens Theater. James Sherman’s comedy is funny, but it’s also a touching journey of one on a search to discover the personal implications of a heritage. It doesn’t matter what religion you subscribe to — this is a universal quest that crosses all boundaries. —Rebecca Haithcoat
Bunbury Theatre at The Henry Clay
Third and Chestnut St.
$10-$20; 8 p.m. (Wed-Sat.), 2 & 7:30 p.m. (Sun.)

Through March 29
‘big new empty’

    If you like your art in a figurative style, Letitia Quesenberry’s work is not for you. But if you are open to the vast possibilities available outside the narrow depiction of objects, then you should see her latest exhibition. Her new large works are based on the theme of emptiness, which is not the same as “there is nothing there.”
    Drawing with graphite on plastered panels gives the work its subtleness. Textured rectangles present a sense of space, while some of the works have minute figures, if you dare call them figures at all. Quesenberry’s art takes time to view and understand. Stop by and sit a spell. —Jo Anne Triplett
Zephyr Gallery
610 E. Market St.

Through March 29
‘Boys Don’t Cry’

    Video artist Valerie Sullivan Fuchs hasn’t had a solo show in five years. That makes her current exhibition “Boys Don’t Cry” one-stop shopping for all things Fuchs.
    The long wait produced a variety of photographs and videos. Her latest project, “The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors” (that great title is borrowed from a work by Marcel Duchamp, one of her favorites), consists of photographs of strip mining in Eastern Kentucky. This show’s title comes from a collaborative video she did with David Ingram and Ben Sollee (she also worked with Sollee on “Western/Western”). The Louisville Ballet is the focus of another video, as well as the thermal metal prints of selected ballet scenes.
    May her next five years be as productive. —Jo Anne Triplett
Gallery NuLu  
632 E. Market St., upstairs