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Summer Stages: BWW's Top Summer Theatre Picks - Louisville!

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Louisville's stages are anything but dark this summer. Here are our picks for the top performances to catch in The River City.

Kentucky Shakespeare's Shakespeare in Central Park

After surging back last year from near ruin, Kentucky Shakespeare's summer season at the C. Douglas Ramey Amphitheater in Central Park is the biggest theatrical attraction of the summer. Artistic Director Matt Wallace's sophomore season builds on his attendance record-shattering first year with productions of "The Tempest" and "Macbeth" (which he directs) and "The Taming of the Shrew," directed by Amy Attaway. Kentucky Shakespeare company member Greg Maupin has crafted a new adaptation of Aristophanes "The Birds" which receive a pre-show preview, and the company's high school conservatory The Globe Players will present "The Comedy of Errors" directed by Kentucky Shakespeare education director Kyle Ware.

Kentucky Shakespeare also welcomes a new mix of Community Partners from around Louisville's diverse theatre scene to round out the schedule. This year's partners present productions that are more Bard-infused than 2014's straight-from-the-canon roster. The Bard's Town will revive "Chasing Ophelia," its highly acclaimed original work that opened the hybrid restaurant/theater. Theatre [502]'s resident playwrights Steve Moulds and Diana Grisanti bring the spirit of Shakespeare's work to a modern setting in "The Two Lobbyists of Verona," a new work from the company. The Louisville Improvisors will present evenings of "Late Night Shakes" after select MainStage performances.

Festival highlights including pre-show entertainment, food trucks, and Will's Tavern Brown-Forman bar will also return. For full details and show schedules, go to www.kyshakespeare.com.

Theatre [502] kicks off Season 5 with "Rich Girl"

Theatre [502] begins its fifth season producing regional premieres of recent plays with "Rich Girl" by Victoria Stewart at the Kentucky Center for the Arts.

Stewart's play is based on Henry James' 1880 novel "Washington Square," with much updating and a fair amount of gender-swapping for a 21st-century mother-daughter drama. The play received its world premiere in 2013 at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

"Rich Girl" is directed by Theatre [502] co-artistic director Gil Reyes and runs June 5-14. For more information, go to www.theatre502.org.

Art Sanctuary presents "Va Va Vortex"

The Va Va Vixens, Louisville's acclaimed Vaudeville-style burlesque and variety show, presents its latest alliterative installment with "Va Va Vortex" at Headliners Music Hall.

A tantalizing mix of classic striptease, circus, uproarious comedy, variety acts and stunning group dance sequences, the troupe features a captivating cast of talented women and men. The Va Va Vixens take the audience on a wild and risqué ride into the world of sizzling striptease, aerial acrobatics, sultry songbirds, divine dancers, and outrageous antics.

Performances run June 5-20 Tickets are available at www.headlinerslouisville.com.

Louisville companies unite for collaborACT!

On June 26, Acting Against Cancer's "collaborACT!" will be showcasing two types of partnerships: one to create art, one to fight childhood cancer.

"collaborACT!" brings together several local theatre companies for a fundraiser benefiting Kosair Children's Hospital. The evening will include a revue featuring performances by CenterStage, Pandora Productions, Theatre [502] and more in The Kentucky Center for the Arts' Bombard Theater.

Tickets are available in two tiers: the limited experience, which includes the Revue and afterparty for $30, and the full experience, which adds in a prelude cocktail party, for $65.

All profits from the event will go to the art therapy program of Kosair's The Addison Jo Blair Cancer Care Center. Tickets are available at www.actingagainstcancer.com.


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From This Author Todd Zeigler

Todd Zeigler has been writing, directing and performing around the Louisville, Kentucky area since 2006. Proud contributor to BroadwayWorld since September 2013. (read more...)