Staffpicks for 2-27-08

Feb 27, 2008 at 9:08 pm


International flavor abounds during the University of Louisville School of Music’s 14th annual Jazz Week. Quartets from Russia and Argentina, as well as students from Poland, Australia, Brazil and Japan, perform as part of the four-day event.
One performer, Jun Kojima, from Japan, is a blind saxophone player whose father is the ambassador to Pakistan. Kojima found the U of L jazz studies program through the Internet, said director Michael Tracy, and will spend this entire year studying sax.
The schedule also finds acclaimed bassist John Goldsby returning from Germany for a guest performance (a Q&A with Goldsby is online at Notes, LEO’s music blog,, and he’ll sit in at the Nachbar in Germantown with Jason Tiemann and Todd Hildreth.
Ticketing for Jazz Week varies: Wednesday’s show featuring Russia’s Open World Ensemble and Argentina’s Garage Sale are $10 for the public, $5 students. Thursday’s Adjudicators Night costs $5, $3 for students, and Friday’s concert featuring trumpeter Byron Stripling is $15, $10 students. See the website for more particulars. —Mat Herron
U of L Comstock Concert Hall

Feb. 27-March 2
‘Titus Andronicus’

    U of L’s Department of Theatre Arts presents “Titus Andronicus,” Shakespeare’s earliest (and bloodiest) revenge tragedy, for a limited run this week. The play features 14 killings, six severed members, a rape, live burial, cannibalism and insanity. Like “Sweeney Todd” and Mrs. Lovett combined, Titus kills the sons of his enemy, Queen Tamora, and bakes them into a pie that he then serves her.
    Guest director Dennis Krausnick, of the renowned Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Mass., notes that such extreme violence is no longer considered “over the top,” as our culture of war has made beheadings and torture commonplace.
    “I wanted to put this play on right now because I think we’ve lost the consciousness that we are in fact in a war,” Krausnick said. “The economy has now replaced the war as the primary concern.” Perhaps modern audiences can learn from Titus, a model Roman citizen, the folly of blind devotion to the state at the expense of devotion to family. —Sherry Deatrick
Thrust Theatre
Floyd and Warnock
$12 ($8 seniors and students); 8 p.m. (w/ 3 p.m. matinee Sun.)

Friday, Feb. 29
Crave’s anniversary celebration

    F.A.T. Friday has a new twist this month as Crave Café celebrates its one-year anniversary by staying open late during the trolley hop and plying us with food, drink and art. Samples of the café’s sandwiches, with names like “The Mellwood” and “The Stockyard,” will be available along with hors d’oeuvres and wine.
    The art exhibition consists of mixed media paintings of letters and other objects designed for the restaurant by Shannon Stelzer and created by Daveer (whose specialty is the fleur de lis — he certainly lives in the right city). This is the first time Crave has shown art, but there are plans for occasional future exhibits.
    Crave is also one of the local establishments involved in the LAVA House Relief Fund. The $5 raffle, with all proceeds going to LAVA, puts you in the running for a free lunch. —Jo Anne Triplett
Crave Cafe and Catering
2250 Frankfort Ave.
Free; 6-9 p.m.

Alanna Fugate @ BBC

    Ewing, Va., wasn’t cutting it for Alanna Fugate, so seven months ago, the self-taught guitar player high-tailed it here and discovered a certain kinship with other singer-songwriters. She played one of her first shows at the Hideaway Saloon and hasn’t looked back. “There’s music seven nights a week in this town,” she says. “It’s cool that this city supports local music the way it does.”
    Fugate’s first album drops Friday, and she’s celebrating its release with a backing band you know well: Todd Hildreth, Michael Dufresne and Ben Sollee. With company like this, Fugate’s profile should continue to grow quickly. A full Q&A with her is online at Notes, LEO’s music blog ( —Mat Herron
BBC St. Matthews
3929 Shelbyville Road
$7; 10 p.m.

Feb. 29 & March 1-2
YPAS Dance Concert

    The Youth Performing Arts School presents “Dance Concert — 2008,” Friday and Sunday in the YPAS Main Auditorium. The performance includes “The Evolution of Tap,” from tap’s beginnings as a rhythmic war ritual to the soft-shoe stylings of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. There’s also a nod to flamenco with excerpts from the “Don Quixote” ballet, and a look at the creative movement patterns of José Limón. YPAS bills “Dance Concert — 2008” as an innovative exhibit of such concepts as “the power of centering into peaceful consciousness, the relationship between breath, movement and sound, and the comforts of Bohemian life …” Things which many of us might most easily identify. —Bill Doolittle
Youth Performing Arts School
1517 S. Second St.
$9-$12; 7:30 p.m. (Fri.-Sat.), 2 p.m. (Sun.)

Feb. 29-March 1
Louisville Ballet’s ‘Between Stillness’

    In the fall, the University of Louisville presented the largest exhibition of sculpture by Frederick Hart (see LEO, Oct. 3). In keeping with the Hart theme, the university commissioned Steve Rouse, composer-in-residence at the School of Music, to compose the score for a ballet choreographed by Graham Lustig of the American Repertory Ballet. “Between Stillness” was inspired by Hart’s “Ex Nihilo,” a sculptural relief on the west facade of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. It features a whirling mass of writhing bodies — in other words, the perfect sensuous ballet.
    “Between Stillness” is part of the American Vanguards series, which also includes “Company B” and “continuum.” “Company B,” based on the 1940s and World War II, was choreographed by Paul Taylor to the songs of the Andrews Sisters. The world premiere of “continuum” features choreography by Louisville Ballet principal dancer Mikelle Bruzina, staged to music from Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.” —Jo Anne Triplett
Kentucky Center
501 W. Main St.
$21-$76; 8 p.m. (Fri. & Sat.), 2 p.m. (Sat.)

Saturday, March 1
Zade Rocks

    Zade Babbs and her father were on the way to pick up her mother from work when an ambulance crashed into their car, throwing Zade from her car seat and severely injuring her spine. Zade, just 3, now wears a halo and lives in a rehab facility; she faces several surgeries to fuse her spine back together. Enter Zade Rocks, a local effort to help her family (her mother, Linda Crum, is a Sellersburg native) with the mounting medical bills. Louisville bands Ultra Pulverize, Sub-Urban Situation, Murals, Bloody Knuckles Crew, Biscuit Race and the Kodiaks will perform at the Rustic Frog in New Albany to help raise money. A number of silent auctions at the event will also benefit Zade’s family. Ten bucks gets you in the door and the feeling of doing something good for someone who needs it. (Send donations to Marissa Benson, 84 Arbor Place, New Albany, Ind., 47150.) —Kevin Gibson
The Rustic Frog
1720 Old River Road, New Albany
(812) 944-0576
$10; 6:30 p.m.

Snider, Easton, Mann & Smith

    The lineup may read like a law firm run by folk-pop troubadours, but it’s just another intimate evening of singer-songwriters returning to Louisville. Todd Snider, Tim Easton, Ray Smith and John Mann are the latest bunch to perform in the Highlands church, which has recently become one of the city’s coolest nontraditional live music venues.
    Snider played to a packed house at Headliners last year, and Easton has been a frequent flyer here of late. Kentuckians Mann and Smith are also known quantities. Check it out, or face the prospect of becoming inhabited by a demonic ghost. —Mat Herron
St. Francis of Assisi Church
1960 Bardstown Road
Cost, Time TBA

March 1-2
Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebration

    When I worked at the late-great Hawley-Cooke Booksellers, I always enjoyed helping with the children’s events. The barely-contained chaos that surrounded the young ’uns kept us on our toes. These days, as a proud papa, I’m always glad to take advantage of kid-friendly events. This weekend, Half Price Books celebrates Dr. Seuss’ birthday with a two-day party that purports to include free coffee and cake … I’m listening. The Squallis Puppeteers are on hand Saturday from 2-4 p.m., and there will be hourly giveaways. These things are fun, and fun is good. —Michael Steiger
Half Price Books
20220 Westport Road
Free; 12-6 p.m.