Aug 7, 2007 at 4:41 pm

Friday, Aug. 10
Comedy and art on Bardstown Road

    This Friday is going to be a little crazy on Bardstown Road — more than usual, in fact. Two key events, along with a lot of accompanying special offers by the local businesses, should assure that the area will be hopping all evening. First off, the Comedy Caravan’s Indicators Improv will perform on the back deck of Bearno’s Pizza from 5:30-7:30 p.m., and then will take to the streets to perform their improvisational comedy wherever and whenever. This will be coupled with the Big Bone Art Show’s mobile art festival, which will feature local artists walking up and down Bardstown Road literally wearing their art. (Think sandwich boards with art replacing the standard “the end of the world is nigh” message you typically would see.) On top of that, the bars, boutiques, restaurants and galleries along Bardstown Road in the Highlands will welcome any and all comers as part of Bardstown Bound, with discounts at many shops starting at 5 p.m.; meanwhile, Bearno’s, Avalon, Impellizeri’s and NV Tavern will have specials on BBC beer. To top it off, businesses associated with Bardstown Bound will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Kentucky Cancer Program/Brown Cancer Center. Wear comfortable shoes. —Kevin Gibson
Bardstown Road, Highlands
Free; 5 p.m.

John Whitaker

    This solo flyer is corralling a group to throw one heck of a party. John Whitaker, formerly of the trio The Middle Men, will play cuts from his new album, Leave It With Your Airplanes, with the inimitable Adventure opening the show.
    If, per chance, you’re not a night owl, John & Co. perform live the same day at WFPK’s Live Lunch. The first-come, fist-seated show runs from noon to 1 p.m. WFPK members get priority seating, but you can also stream it live at
    Aside from a brief move to D.C., Whitaker has performed here for years. He says Airplanes is about transitions, and it features a host of guest musicians from around the state.
    “I used to be afraid of talking about things that I saw happening in my life, in my friends, in my family,” he says. “It took a little time to realize that writing personal songs didn’t equal some sort of confessional, ‘let me put music to my diary’ experience.” —Mat Herron
The Rudyard Kipling
422 W. Oak St.
$5; 10 p.m.

Freedom Festival

    Drugs. Violence. Gangs. All these were synonymous with Victory Park in the press. Dig beyond past media accounts of narcotics, murders and unchecked aggression, and you’ll find a community of people working to prove that Victory Park neighborhood can rise above its past. On Saturday, more than a dozen hip-hop artists will gather to give residents the joyous respite they so desperately need. The event is co-sponsored by the Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice, Father Jah’s Unstopable Sound Agency, and Kentucky Jobs With Justice. Bring your lawn chairs, it’s time to heal. —Mat Herron
Victory Park
22nd and Kentucky streets
Free; 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Amuse Les Sens Soiree

    Art Sanctuary really doesn’t want to put on just another art show. That’s why it’s holding the ninth Amuse Les Sens Soiree in an American Legion Post log cabin, complete with corn hole and drag queens.
    A $10 admission gets you all-ages fun with over 70 artists hawking their works in various media, live music, interactive art and, the requirement for any successful party, karaoke.
    “We wanted to do something totally different, so this is like a yard sale edition,” Lisa Frye, president of Art Sanctuary, said. “I saw the log cabin and couldn’t even imagine an art show being there.”
    Any purchase of art over $75 garners a $10 discount, pretty much refunding the price of admission.
    Plus, local musicians like Dangerbird and Bill Sutherland will join others to help provide the soundtrack to what will surely end up as one of the oddest art shows of the summer. —Ryan Real
American Legion Highland Post 201
2919 Bardstown Road
$10; 3 p.m.-midnight

Classical Indian dance

    The Brown Theatre has had some big names perform there in its history. This Saturday, a literal big name, Samyuktha Kemparajurs, will make a little history of her own when she becomes the first person ever to perform a solo dance performance at the venue. Kemparajurs will perform the Bharatanatyam, the oldest form of classical Indian dance. A recitation of Bharatanatyam signifies that the University of Louisville student has perfected the art form she began learning at the tender age of 3. Bharatanatyam plays an important role in Indian culture and, though now performed primarily for entertainment, originated as a sacred aspect of the Hindu religion.
    Kemparajurs, a Kentucky Country Day School graduate, has studied the dance form with teachers around the country. Saturday’s show should mark an important event for both the young dancer and the Brown. Plus, it’s free, and who can argue with free? —Ryan Real
Brown Theatre
315 W. Broadway
Free; 5 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 11
Friend for Life Cancer Network

    Who knew that you could win a trip to Chicago and support cancer patients at the same time? Ah, but you can this weekend at the fundraiser for Friend for Life Cancer Support Network. The network has filled a special niche in our community since 1988 but needs your help to continue doing so. Run mostly by volunteers who have either survived cancer or been a caregiver to someone with cancer, the group seeks to provide comfort to newly diagnosed cancer patients. Patients seeking their services call Friend for Life and are then matched up with a volunteer who has survived the same type of cancer and undergone similar treatment.
    “We hope that through this process they gain hope in having someone to talk to other than their doctor, someone who really has been through the same thing,” says program director Judy Kasey Houlette. “When you are diagnosed, your world changes. We only hope to normalize a very new and scary situation for people.”
    In an effort to raise some dough, a fundraiser will be held Saturday at Actors Theatre. For $25, you can get in your good deed for the day and also enjoy live music by jazz pianist Jeff Davidson, appetizers and desserts donated by local restaurants. The highlight of the evening is a silent auction that includes a two-night trip to Chicago with two White Sox tickets included! —Erin Clephas
Actors Theatre
316 W. Main St.
893-0643 (Friend for Life)
$25; 6-9 p.m.

Rory Block & The Straightway Ministries Choir

Rory Block’s romance with the country/blues genre began young, and her father’s ownership of a sandal shop in New York’s East Village thrust her in the same circles as legendary blues musicians Son House and Mississippi John Hurt.
    Her concert next Thursday with The Straightway Ministries Choir as part of the Clifton Center Concert Series is nothing short of a dream come true. The choir contains surviving members of Robert Johnson’s family.
    “From 1964 until the winter of 2006, I thought Robert Johnson had no surviving relatives,” Block explains in a news release. “There was a sense of terrible loss and loneliness surrounding his tragic, early death. How could so great a musical giant have left us after only one recording? Imagine my joy when halfway through this project I learned that Johnson’s family had been found, alive and well in Mississippi. Heart pounding, I dialed the phone … and said, ‘You don’t know me, but to me, you’re family … I feel like I’ve just found long lost kin!’ On the other end came a beautiful voice in a deep, mellow tone … and the hair stood up on my neck.” Tickets are still available at ear X-tacy and online at —Mat Herron
Clifton Center
2117 Payne St.
$15/adv., $18/door; 7:30 p.m.

Through Aug. 25
‘Body Anxious’

    Ick. Curator Jesse Levesque got it right when she titled her excellent thesis show “Body Anxious.” Some of us (OK, me) like to go through life not knowing about the gooey stuff that oozes inside us all and what it probably looks like after we die. The human body and its biology is the premise of the exhibition, and it practically comes with a guarantee to give your body anxieties a workout.
    The international artists included are Chiharu Shiota from Japan, Gottfried Helnwein from Ireland, German/American Kiki Smith and Americans Diana Falchuk, Cristin Millet and Louisville’s own James R. Southard. They work in a variety of media, including some unusual choices, like Falchuk’s “Octo Flower” with a flower and corn cob attached to an octopus tentacle. My alternate title for the show: “Fascinatingly Squirmable.” —Jo Anne Triplett
Cressman Center for Visual Arts Gallery
Hite Art Institute, U of L
100 E. Main St.

Through Sept. 9
‘Large Format Photography Primer’

    Large format photography is a choice in the 21st century. A hangover from the 19th century when what all photographers had was the large tripod camera with its huge negative, it continues to be used today because of the sharp, minute detail the film can capture.
    This show at the Speed Art Museum consists of 20 photographs in a wide variety of subject matter. It is truly a primer, covering the basic elements of large format photography. It features artists from the past, such as Timothy O’Sullivan, to the present day, including Shelby Lee Adams and local artist Donald Stoltz.
    Stoltz’s “Spirit of Ecology #12” is a multi-imaged, canvas-printed photograph with “agendas”. “I wish to create an atmosphere where the Marlboro Man can wither away,” he explained in an e-mail. “By that, I mean to destabilize the notion of radical individualism. The single photographic image reinforces the singular individual, and to make matters worse, it freezes time, forcing what is truly impermanent into a singular eternity. Composing on canvas with multiple images helps me instigate a different kind of mission, an open-ended mission that calls forth a participation in the search for the ‘Spirit of Ecology.’” —Jo Anne Triplett
Speed Art Museum
2035 S. Third St.