Aug 6, 2008 at 12:05 pm

Aug. 5-9

Phoenix Hill’s 32nd birthday!

Let’s see … there are gifts for every anniversary. And the 32nd gets you … Gold? Silicon? No, it gets you swag and souvenirs to remember some evenings that you enjoyed but can’t completely recall. Plus some musical guests and other excuses to drink, of course — because that’s how Phoenix Hill Tavern celebrates most everything. 

The Hill is giving more than five nights to their 32nd anniversary. They’ll start and end with concerts, dominated by Austin talent: What Made Milwaukee Famous and Black Joe Lewis (good balance in that lineup) come in Tuesday night. Scott Miller & The Commonwealth are on Saturday with openers The Gougers. (Both concerts start at 8 p.m.) The local talent on other nights sticks to the Hill’s current reliables, including Blowfly and Naked Garden. There’s supposed to be birthday cake, too — if you don’t see it, ask. —T.E. Lyons

Phoenix Hill Tavern

644 Baxter Ave.


Aug. 6-28

‘Olympic Politics’

With the Olympic Games just around the corner, the world ponders whether China is ready. In a new exhibition entitled “Olympic Politics: Beijing? Consider Berlin,” University of Louisville history professor Robert Kebric examines the role of politics in the Olympics and how facilities, public relations and art have affected the games as well as the host country’s nationalist propaganda. The exhibit features Olympic memorabilia such as posters, torches, photographs and medals. 

Kebric will speak about the exhibit on opening night at 6 p.m., and a reception will follow. And don’t forget to tune in to the 2008 Olympic Games to hear “Fanfare for the Ceremony,” composed by U of L School of Music alumnus Zhiyi Wang, or watch Ron Mann (track and field), Pam Bustin (field hockey), Arthur Albiero (Romanian national swim team coach), Vali Preda (swimming, representing Romania), Adam Madarassy (swimming, representing Hungary) and Andre Radzionau (swimming, representing Belarus) — all U of L athletes competing for the gold. —Caitlin Bowling

U of L Hite Art Galleries


Aug. 7-10


And you thought your hangovers were bad … 

Cat Claw Theatre Co.’s production of “Toulouse-inations,” an original play by the company’s founder, Jeffrey Scott Holland, takes place through the absinthe-drenched visions of painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. And there are only two sets — one at T-L’s favorite dive bar, and the other at his favorite gentlemen’s club, so to speak. As inebriated characters dance in and out of T-L’s alcohol-infused hallucinations, he struggles with a grasp of reality and a dwindling art career. 

Holland says he’s always been fascinated with Toulouse-Lautrec as both an artist and a lover. “I wrote the play as a tribute not so much to the man’s artistic legacy, but to his personal excesses.” Holland says “Toulouse-inations” will also show in Washington, D.C., and off-Broadway next year. —Sara Havens

MeX Theater, Kentucky Center


$15; 8 p.m. (2 p.m. on Aug. 10)


Punch Bros. redux

The first of Nickel Creek to emerge with gusto is virtuoso mandolinist Chris Thile, who, with a super-group of bluegrass players, released an album of hillbilly jazz under the moniker Punch Brothers, a name taken from the Mark Twain short story “Punch, Brothers, Punch!”

The group includes guitarist Chris Eldridge (The Infamous Stringdusters, The Seldom Scene), who Acoustic Guitar magazine has called “the most-talked-about guitarist in the bluegrass world,” bassist Greg Garrison (Leftover Salmon), banjo player Noam Pikelny and violinist Gabe Witcher; the latter two have collaborated with Willie Nelson, John Cowan, Randy Newman and Beck.

Punch Brothers’ (Nonesuch) debut Punch is anchored by a 40-minute suite, “The Blind Leaving the Blind.” The four movements are where he’s most unconventional.

“I had this idea of a long-form composition that was grounded in folk-music,” Thile explained in the album’s bio. “Though much of it reads like a string quintet, there are parts that read like a jazz lead sheet. There is plenty of improvising and lots of stuff that is loosely dictated.” —Shawn Telford

St. Francis of Assisi

1960 Bardstown Road


$15; 8 p.m.

All ages

Friday, Aug. 8

Late Seating Rooftop Concert

By mid-August in Louisville, an escape from the heat, humidity and monotony of the sweltering Ohio valley summer is essential. Actors Theatre may have it with The Late Seating Rooftop Concert, not only a concert but an “electric mixture of new work by local artists in performance, music, art and video,” a press release promises. This lineup includes the bands Adventure, I Am Is and Venus Trap and a video from the Louisville Film Society. Visual-art submissions are currently being accepted as well. 

The event is in its second year. “Actors’ rooftop is a great way to spend a summer evening — a nice view of the Louisville skyline, a summer breeze and some awesome local bands,” says Kyle Shepherd, media coordinator at Actors. —Cassie Book

Actors Theatre Parking Garage 

316 W. Main St.


$10 adv./$15 door; 9:30 p.m.


Stevens, Stevens

The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama is about as prestigious as they come. And Louisvillian Ted Stevens got to experience the rigorous environment firsthand.

Stevens, who is studying in RSAMD’s Honors Contemporary Performance Practice Program, has returned from the land of haggis for a show at Lisa’s on Saturday. Joining him are Adam Brown and Josh Jaeger, formerly of Telescope. Stevens, who is making his debut album at Downtown Recording, will perform songs from that forthcoming record. Self-proclaimed psychobillies Mach Twang open. —Mat Herron

Lisa’s Oak Street Lounge

1004 E. Oak St.


$5; 10:30 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 9

Ballet School Open House

Perhaps you or your offspring have had dreams of donning some tights, twisting your hair into a tight bun and stretching your legs into oblivion, valiantly practicing that classic French art form known as ballet. Or maybe you just like to watch, which is cool too. 

The Louisville Ballet School is opening its doors to the public this weekend for an Open House event that will include interactive class demonstrations, tours and faculty meet-and-greets. Kinny Dancewear will be there, too, selling necessary dance garb. And if “Swan Lake” isn’t your style, fear not — the school also offers tap, jazz, modern dance and even Pilates. They have classes for ages 3 to adult, for every experience level, for those who want to pursue dance professionally or just dance for fun and exercise. So dance on down to St. Matthews, and don’t forget to point your toes. —Jane Mattingly

St. Matthews Pavilion 

4121 Shelbyville Road

583-3150 x245

Free; 10 a.m.

Sunday, Aug. 10


Ding, Dong, Ding, Dong/Hark how the bells/Sweet silver bells/All seem to say Strikepoint is here. Touring nationally and internationally since 1985, the world-renowned, church-based handbell ensemble (of Duluth, Minn.) is 10 members playing 137 bells and led by Bill Alexander, a nationally known handbell conductor. The ensemble’s song selections include Bach’s “Little Fugue,” Debussy’s “Arabesque,” Sousa’s “El Capitán” and Disney Studios’ “Under the Sea” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.” While Strikepoint focuses on the handbells, they are often accompanied by chimes, a penny whistle (a small flutelike instrument) and/or African drums. —Caitlin Bowling

Christ Church United Methodist

4614 Brownsboro Road

Donations accepted; 7 p.m.

Through Aug. 24 

Artists Patricia Watson & Chad Balster

Gallery Janjobe co-owner Jana John tells LEO Weekly, “(Chad Balster) seems to be getting better all the time.” He certainly is busy. It’s rare I get to mention an artist who is in two exhibitions at the same time. 

This two-person show, with Prospect painter Patricia Watson, features his new glass. Watson, who is new to the gallery, does acrylics on canvas, with flowers as her specialty. Gallery Janjobe also has demonstrations by local artists every Saturday from noon-4 p.m. — CONTACT _Con-419CB26F17 c s l Jo Anne Triplett

Gallery Janjobe

Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center

1860 Mellwood Ave.


Through Aug. 30 

‘Ordered Chaos’  

Creativity comes from many sources. One of my favorites is artist to artist. VONFIRE Gallery at Glassworks asked Skylar Smith to create a series of drawings and paintings to inspire the resident Glassworks artists. This exhibition, “Ordered Chaos,” is the result. Her works are on the walls, with the corresponding glass pieces by Chad Balster, Casey Hyland, Clair Raabe and Jonathan Swanz placed around the gallery. 

  “The new series of work on paper explores the ‘dance’ of opposite poles — order/chaos, expansion/contraction, microscopic/macroscopic, etc.,” Smith writes in her artist statement. “It is through this dialogue that dual forces can find a holistic rhythm, one that permeates and perpetuates all life.” — CONTACT _Con-419CB26F17 c s l Jo Anne Triplett

VONFIRE Gallery at Glassworks 

815 W. Market St.