‘The 39 Steps’
Kentucky Center • 584-7777
$20-$56; various times
The British Film Institute calls Alfred Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps” the fourth-best British movie ever. And while it has all the action and suspense of his later movies, it predated his Hollywood days and, as a result, doesn’t have the name recognition of “Psycho” or “North by Northwest.” So it seems strange that there’s a Broadway play based on it. Nonetheless, the stage version has been hailed for its frenetic energy and wit. Four actors play 150 characters as the action goes through cities and towns, on trains and in barns, all across Britain. Some jokes have been updated, some cut. And by all accounts, it’s both a startling technical achievement and very funny, which makes it as much like the movie in spirit as it is in plot. —Alan Abbott
1250 Bardstown Road • 459-0022
$10-$15; various times
When Jeff Caldwell takes the stage in Louisville, he won’t be bombarding the audience with a string of obscenities. In fact, he prides himself on having a clean act — an act that has garnered him development deals with a major network, earned him repeated appearances on every late-night show under the sun, and a spot as a regular contributor on “The Bob & Tom Show.” He has even earned words of praise from comedy legends like George Carlin and Dennis Miller. And after years on the road, Caldwell has become one of the most in-demand comics in clubs all over the country. He will bring his topical sense of humor (which he generally likes to tweak for whichever town he might be in) to the Comedy Caravan this weekend. —Brent Owen
Thursday, March 18
‘Dirt! The Movie’
Fern Creek Traditional High School
9115 Fern Creek Road • 485-8251
Free; 3:30 & 6 p.m.
As a city-dweller, you probably don’t know dirt about soil — that often-neglected, little-respected, life-giving substance found within most backyards, potted plants and erstwhile shrubberies. Fortunately, an upcoming screening of “Dirt! The Movie” should be all you need to get reacquainted with nature’s most abundant resource. Directed by filmmakers Bill Benenson and Gene Rosow and narrated by Jaime Lee Curtis, “Dirt!” illustrates humanity’s relationship with soil and offers a call to action for any would-be dirt-merchants interested in the connection between our society’s dependence upon voracious industrial production and the ravaging of fertile land. After all, “the only remedy for disconnecting people from the natural world,” say the filmmakers, “is connecting them to it again.” Plus, you can eat organic popcorn while you watch it! —Jonathan Meador
March 18-20, 25-27
The Rudyard Kipling
422 W. Oak St. • 636-1311
$15 ($10 students/seniors); 7 p.m. (2:30 p.m. on March 27)
Sometimes it’s important to examine where you’ve been to determine where you’re going. The Looking for Lilith Theatre Company is delving back into its archives to remount its first play, “Crossing Mountains: To Teach All We Can and To Learn All We Can,” which looks at the Hindman Settlement School in Hindman, Ky. The school, established in 1902, was the first rural settlement school in the country and continues to educate the Appalachian people today. The play explores the many obstacles the poverty-stricken community has had to struggle with to create educational and cultural opportunities for the youth and adults in the area. “Over the years, we’ve heard people ask, ‘When are you going to do that play about the Hindman Settlement School again?’” says Lilith cofounder Trina Fischer. “And since we are coming up on the 10-year anniversary of when we started, it seemed like nice time to revisit.” —Sara Havens
Will Hoge, Egret
1534 Bardstown Road
Free; Friday: noon (Hoge), Saturday: 2 p.m. (Egret)
Frequent visitor Will Hoge canceled his European tour, but that’s good news for Louisville — he’ll play material off his latest album, The Wreckage, at noon Friday at ear X-tacy. The show doubles as WFPK’s Live Lunch, as well as the kick-off to the station’s spring membership drive. The show also marks Hoge’s last gig with guitarist Devin Malone, who is settling down with family. Per usual in Music City, the bandleader made short work of finding a replacement after seeing pedal-steel/lap-steel/guitarist/dobro player Adam Ollendorff at a bar. On Saturday, you can close in on pretty and skewed folk ruminations of Egret, led by Greta Smith, at 2 p.m. As always, in-stores are free and for all ages. —Mat Herron
Bike collectives are, well, just what they sound like — a kind of community center of free education, activity, parts and space in which to learn and repair. This event, hosted by the Freewheel Bicycle Collective, is an offshoot of a conference Freewheel hosted on the national level two years ago. They decided the South had a different kind of flavor when it came to action, education and organization, and the Southeast needed its own bicycle conference. The conference is aimed at collective members and organizers, but all are invited. This event is about a greater community involvement in the future direction of bicycle collectives like this one, and it is funded by a grant from Metro United Way. Registration and most activities will be held at the First Unitarian Church at Fourth and York streets, and a couple citywide bike rides are planned. —Pawl Schwartz
‘Anything Galileo’ Fest of New Plays
Bellarmine University’s Blackbox Theatre
2001 Newburg Road • 452-8431
$5-$8; 8 p.m.
It has become Carlos Chavarria’s personal mission to build up Bellarmine University’s theater department, starting with a festival showcasing seven new 10-minute plays, each having something to do with the famous astronomer, in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the first viewing through his telescope. The BU artistic director was inspired by the Humana Festival and wanted to develop a similar event that would help reshape the theater program and establish more community support. Three of the anonymously selected pieces ended up being the products of Louisville writers — the overall winner of the submissions being “Jupiter’s Moons” by Brian Walker, along with BU professor David Overbey’s “Galileo and the vonGoodnesses,” and BU students Lex Mitchell and Benjamin Unwin’s “The Galileo Defense.” The festival features Bellarmine students and faculty as well as members of the community serving as actors and directors. —Jane Mattingly
Saturday, March 20
U of L Brandeis School of Law
2301 S. Third St.
Free; 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
It’s safe to assume George Washington and his cohorts didn’t have bloggers, Facebookers and Twitterers in mind when drafting the First Amendment. So in this digital age — an era when anyone with Internet access and an opinion can spout off for the world to see — has the Constitution evolved when it comes to freedom of speech and press? A panel of five experts will discuss this and other modern constitutional questions (like whether the Founding Fathers deemed obscenity and hate speech worthy of protection) during a symposium sponsored by the Federalist Society and the Alexander Hamilton Historical Society of Kentucky. Panelists include retired Judge Michael O. McDonald, state court of appeals, Aaron Hoffman, a Bellarmine University political science professor, and local attorneys W. Scott Miller Jr., John K. Bush and Jane Lollis. For more info, e-mail Lynn Olympia at [email protected] —Sarah Kelley
Saturday, March 20
Country Songwriters’ Showcase
1575 Story Ave.
$5; 9 p.m.
Johnny Berry & The Outliers’ latest album, Bourbon, Spearmint & Ice, is still a few weeks away from being released (April 10), but you can get a preview of what honkytonk shenanigans he’s up to Saturday. Berry, “Kentucky Homefront” host John Gage, Mickey Clark, Emily Portman of Leitchfield, Ky., Jonathan Glen Wood and Gary Stillwell perform Nashville guitar-pull style (read: in the round). “It’s something that can happen quarterly or twice a year,” Berry says, adding his particular excitement about what Stillwell might have planned for the audience. “Gary doesn’t get out and play his own songs a lot, and I’ll tell you what — it’s some of the best stuff I’ve ever heard. He’s gonna blow you away.” —Mat Herron
Saturday, March 20
So You Think You Can Dance-Off
1025 Barret Ave. • 582-2433
$5 (suggested donation); 9 p.m.
Move over Pam Anderson and Kate Plus Eight, we’ve got DJ Fabi to show us how it’s done. She’ll be spinning the tunes Saturday at the Monkey Wrench for an LGBT-friendly event that benefits the ACLU of Kentucky. A so-called “dance-off” will take place at midnight, and contestants will have less than a minute to impress the judges. Winners will be invited to the final dance-off at the Kentuckiana Pride Fest in June. For those content with parking on the dance floor, there’ll be drink specials, door prizes and lots of gyrating bodies to admire. “My goal is to play the best mix of jams that’ll keep the dance floor energized and bring people together through music,” DJ Fabi tells LEO. “The dance-offs support a different organization each month … In February, we honored the Louisville Fairness Campaign. Come dance with us and support our community!” —Sara Havens
Through March 27
Artist Richard Willenbrink
Cressman Center for Visual Arts
Hite Art Institute, University of Louisville
100 E. Main St. • 852-0288
Hail the conquering Louisvillian. Richard Willenbrink, who grew up in Louisville, is having his first show in his hometown since moving away to live in Chicago and Prague, Czech Republic. Willenbrink seems to be able to do it all. His self-portraits, still-lifes, landscapes and nudes are in the Grand Manner style, once practiced by such greats as Titian, Rubens and Delacroix. His use of intense color, energized brush strokes and life-size figures find inspiration in history, allegory and mythology.
His most unusual category has to be what Willenbrink calls “carcasses and meat,” including animal heads, sliced-open fish and general messiness. But whatever the subject matter, don’t let it divert you from the fact that this is an artist who has mastered that most difficult subject in art, the human figure. —Jo Anne Triplett
Through March 27
‘More or Less’
610 E. Market St. • 585-5646
This joint exhibition features drawings by Joel McDonald and photographs by Letitia Quesenberry. McDonald is the “more,” Quesenberry the “less.” McDonald’s work is direct. “My realization that there is no God also entails a struggle to find purpose without it,” he explains. “(The drawings) explore the theme of masturbation … To sum up, this body of work shows that the loss of God doesn’t warrant more than the stroke of my dick.”
“The ‘Peeled Series’ began when I read about the halting of Polaroid film production in early 2008,” says Quesenberry. “This news made me start thinking about my old Polaroids … I decided to dismantle them … The longer you look, the more you see. This relates to a consistent theme in all of my work … I am intrigued by the ephemeral.” —Jo Anne Triplett