Staff Picks

Apr 18, 2006 at 5:22 pm

April 20-21
Environmental Film Fest
 Once again the Floyd Theater at U of L is the site this week of a well-programmed and unique film event. The first Green Hope Environmental Film Festival, scheduled to loosely coincide with Earth Day, brings to town a number of rarely shown gems, most of them recent, many of local origin. Some 10 titles (plus speakers and discussions) will be screened over the three-day fest (which began yesterday), with multiple opportunities to see each. The pieces (of varying length) deal with every current topic nagging at today’s body politic — as long as it has to do with pollution. Of particular interest are “Sludge,” about one currently popular cause for indignation — mountaintop removal and its resultant degradation of nearby communities — and “The End of Suburbia” about our collective, er, “oil problem.” Check out LEO’s Flick Central on page 31 for a complete schedule. —Paul Kopasz
Floyd Theater, U of L
2100 S. Floyd St.
Free; 1:30-11 p.m. (Thu.), noon-11 p.m. (Fri.)

April 20-21
Louisville Orchestra & Marietta Simpson
 Acclaimed mezzo-soprano Marietta Simpson performs with the Louisville Orchestra Thursday and Friday at Whitney Hall in the orchestra’s final Classics Series concert of the season. Simpson will sing Elgar’s “Sea Pictures.” The orchestra will also perform Mozart Symphony No. 29 and Saint-Saens Symphony No. 3.
 The concert also marks the final conducting appearance of Artistic Adviser Raymond Leppard, the former musical director of the Indianapolis Symphony who has led the L.O.’s search for a new conductor. The new director is expected to be named soon. —Bill Doolittle
Whitney Hall, Kentucky Center
$16-$60; 10:20 a.m. (Thu.), 8 p.m. (Fri.)

Friday, April 21
Running of the Rodents
 We call life a “Rat Race,” and 34 years ago, some rodents took offense to that slander. In 1973, Spalding professor Julia Clare Fontaine decided to organize this intense rodent indignation into a race that gave students a break from finals week. The modern incarnation has grown to include a hat-decorating contest and Rat Parade leading up to the big race. Starting in March, students began training rats for the big race, and now the true test comes. About 10 of the little critters will race around a .024-furlong track, baited, of course, by Fruit Loops cereal, all for your viewing pleasure. —Matt Mattingly
Spalding University Ballroom
824 S. Fourth St.
585-9911, ext. 2235
Free; 11:15 a.m.

Saturday, April 22
Muhammad Ali & Howard Cosell book
 The relationship between Muhammad Ali and sportscaster Howard Cosell was unique in all of sports. Never before had there been such a symbiotic relationship between athlete and journalist covering him. They essentially made each other famous. In the case of Ali and Cosell, the strangeness of the situation was magnified by the fact that the two men could not have been more different — Cosell, the overeducated East Coast intellectual, and Ali, the self-taught Midwestern visionary. Together they revolutionalized boxing, sports coverage and media itself.
 These contradictions and many more are addressed (and sometimes resolved) in the new book “Sound and Fury” by veteran sportswriter David Kindred, who once plied his trade at Sixth and Broadway. The chance to get a first edition of this highly anticipated volume is reason enough to head for Borders Saturday afternoon. The better reason is that Kindred will be signing copies of this sure-to-be staple of any well-stocked Ali library. —Paul Kopasz
4600 Shelbyville Road
Free; 2 p.m.

Saturday, April 22
A Life Once Lost
 The Philly ’burbs are famous for — what? Knockoffs of great cheesesteaks? And Freehold, N.J. — that’s Springsteen’s hometown. None of this background really speaks to ferocious metal — but the guys who make up A Life Once Lost play like they were born to overcompensate. Freehold is where the Pennsylvania metalcore quintet recorded last year’s Hunter album. Its sound suggested the slightest adjustment toward mainstream metal, especially compared with their more ideological, fast-shifting benchmark Open Your Mouth for the Speechless from a few years back. Their recent tracks are concise, mosh-inspiring and have broadened the audience just enough to give the group some commercial clout. Bless their Jager-chugging hearts, they are now taking full advantage of the situation. This summer sees them at Ozzfest, but before that they’re headlining a multiband club tour that stops in town at Bulldog’s this weekend. Cephalic Carnage, Through The Eyes of the Dead and Scarlet are also on the bill. —T.E. Lyons
Bulldog Café
10619 W. Manslick Road
$10; 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 22
Blind men’s bluff
 What do you do if you’re in the entertainment business and you’re competing against a 9-ton gorilla? If I was funnier, I could come up with a great punch line here, but I’m not, so let’s just play it straight. The gorilla in question is Thunder Over Louisville (the missing link, perhaps?), and it makes life tough for the bricks and mortar businesses that aren’t set up within view of the Ohio River. So Comedy Caravan has reached out to a segment of the population who might not care that much about fireworks and air shows: blind people. Troy Hammond, a blind comedian, will join headliner Tim Wilson for a show that’s hosted by Louisville musician Turley Richards, who also is blind. Comedy Caravan is spreading the word in the visually impaired community, by way of the Kentucky Council for the Blind, and would like to make it an annual Thunder night event. It should be funny as hell, and it’s guaranteed to be less damaging to the environment with half the calories. (Note: Wilson, who’s moved to Louisville, is at the club through Tuesday, and returns April 26-30 and May 3-7.) —Cary Stemle
Comedy Caravan
1250 Bardstown Road
$15; 7:15 p.m. (smoke-free); 9:30 p.m.; 11:45 p.m.

Sunday, April 23
Memorial for activist Anne Braden
 To commemorate the passing of civil rights pioneer Anne Braden, the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression has organized a memorial this Sunday at Memorial Auditorium. Braden and her husband Carl first made headlines in 1954 when they were indicted for sedition for their role in desegregating an all-white Louisville suburb. They purchased a house on behalf of African-Americans Andrew and Charlotte Wade, which violated Louisville’s color line and provoked violence. The house was blown up in June of that year. The couple’s subsequent sedition trial made national news, and Anne Braden would publish a memoir on the case four years later. It was the beginning of a long life of political activity and working for the civil rights cause. As recently as last fall, Braden attended an anti-war demonstration in Washington, D.C. — she went in a wheelchair. Braden died on March 6 after being hospitalized for pneumonia; she was 81. The community memorial service will celebrate her life and work; memorial donations can be sent to the Carl Braden Memorial Center Inc., P.O. Box 1543, Louisville, KY 40201. —Kevin Gibson
Memorial Auditorium
Fourth and Kentucky streets
Free; 2-5 p.m.

Sunday, April 23
Emerson String Quartet
 The famed Emerson String Quartet appears Sunday at Comstock Hall at the University of Louisville as part of the Louisville Chamber Music Society Series. It’s the 322nd concert presented by the society over 68 seasons. The Emerson Quartet, which takes its name from poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, is under exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammaphon and has earned six Grammy Awards. The group will perform quartets by Beethoven and Shostakovich, each written in the last years of those composers’ careers. —Bill Doolittle
Comstock Hall, U of L’s School of Music
$25; 3 p.m.

Monday, April 24
Holocaust commemoration
 In July 1944 and during the final year of World War II, Soviet forces advancing on German troops in Poland discovered Majdanek, the first Nazi concentration camp to be discovered. Through subsequent months, Soviet troops as well as American and British forces found more of these death camps and the horrific suffering of those imprisoned there. Today, many historians count 6 million Jews and 5 million others among those who died at the hands of the Nazis. Next week, the Jewish Community Federation of Louisville is marking what it calls the 60th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust (World War II ended in 1945) with a musical service. Soloist and cantor Paula Perperstone will sing composer and Cantor Charles Osborne’s “Like Smoke Above the Wind” with more than 200 singers from Ballard High School, The Youth Performing Arts School and Noe Middle School. —Elizabeth Kramer
The Temple
5101 U.S. Hwy. 42
Free; 7 p.m.