Rising star plays WKCTC campus
Up-and-coming country singer Sunny Sweeney made a stop at the Clemens Fine Arts Center in time for the release of her second album, “Concrete.” Boasting the highest-charting debut single since Taylor Swift, Sweeney fits the bill for Clemens Center director Gail Robinson-Butler, who tries to bring rising stars to the campus of West Kentucky Community & Technical College.
Audiences laugh along to ‘Spamalot’
Described as “lovingly ripped off” from British comedy troupe Monty Python’s movies, “Spamalot” gave Python purists and new viewers a chance to laugh when the play rolled through the Carson Center.
Musician returns to Paducah roots
Many words describe Steven Curtis Chapman. He’s a singer, songwriter, five-time Grammy Award winner — as well as a proud McCracken County native. Having toured the world, he and special guests Josh Wilson and Andrew Peterson brought it all back home to the Carson Center.
Empty Bowls breaks yet another fundraising goal
After raising $14,000 for the Community Kitchen in 2011, local potter Michael Terra set his sights even higher for 2012. While Terra himself admitted that $20,000 sounded unrealistic, the project’s final event brought in $21,200 to help in the fight against local hunger.
Ball in the House performs a different kind of show
This five-man a cappella group is best known as a staple of the annual Lions Club Telethon of Stars. But last spring, Ball in the House took the stage at the Market House Theatre for a more intimate show. “Smaller performances, you can see who you are singing to. There is much more of a connection when you can see everyone having fun,” band member Ryan Chapman said.
Fantastic Fibers show breaks away from tradition
When people discuss fiber arts in Paducah, they’re most often talking about quilts. But the third annual Fantastic Fibers show at the Yeiser Art Center challenged the quilting convention, highlighting 3-D sculpture, wall hangings, and wearable art.
Market House Theatre gears up for 50th year
In preparation for the opening community theater’s 50th anniversary next fall, MHT executive director Michael Cochran decided to go big for the 2012-2013 season. The lineup for the 49th season included “9 to 5: The Musical,” “Willy Wonka Jr.,” and “A Christmas Story.” “The Velveteen Rabbit,” “The Hallelujah Girls,” and “The Tomato Plant Girl” will open in 2013. The season culminates with a full-length production of “Les Miserables” in June.
Boyz II Men passes 20-year milestone
Most boy bands of the 1990s have long since left the spotlight, but Boyz II Men has proven its staying power, earning seven Grammy Awards and selling over 60 million albums worldwide. Their stop at the Carson Center proved to fans that they don’t plan on leaving the stage anytime soon.
Artists, musicians take to the streets
Three years after the Lower Town Neighborhood Association started running the Arts & Music Festival, the event continues to expand. The 2012 festival featured the usual art and food vendors as well as nearly 50 bands, a 40-foot children’s tent, and a Laugh Tent run by Paducah Improv.
Symphony takes new approach to fundraising
Paducah Symphony Orchestra director Daniel Sene may have needed to update his job description after the Symphony Sing-off. Sene sang as a member of “The Impromptus,” one of five a capella groups that competed in front of celebrity judges at the sing-off, intended to raise $20,000 for the symphony.
Paducah Photo contest offers snapshot of world, region
Over the past 37 years, the Paducah Photo contest has developed to include 110 photographs from 86 photographers in its exhibition at the Yeiser Art Center. While those photographers represented nine foreign countries, the contest didn’t neglect local artists. Maiden Alley Cinema showcased the work of photographers from western Kentucky and southern Illinois alongside the main show this year.
Maiden Alley Cinema introduces trivia night
Maiden Alley Cinema executive director Landee Bryant sees the theater as more than a place to sit and watch a movie. Under her direction, the theater has been used as an educational resource and a venue for writers, artists and musicians. This past summer, movie buffs also gathered at Maiden Alley to test each other’s cinematic IQ and compete for the top prize: a private screening for the winner and 100 friends.
Local bands get a chance to shine
When the folks at Ground Zero Promotions booked the alternative band Filter for the Robert Cherry Civic Center, it wasn’t to cash in on the national act’s popularity. The Aug. 1 concert gave local bands Thick as Thieves and Powdered God a chance to open for a bigger name than the Purchase area usually sees.
Lineup set for Clemens Fine Arts Center
What better place to feature young, emerging artists than on a college campus? The Clemens Center at West Kentucky Community & Technical College announced another season’s worth of entertainment with its Arts in Focus Series, offering audiences a chance to dance along with “Tap — The Show” and jazz it up with “Ain’t Misbehavin’.” The new year will bring performances from the Harlem Gospel Choir on Feb. 9, Stringfever on March 9, and a production of “Of Mice and Men.”
Paducah Improv on a roll
The local comedy troupe followed its sold-out debut in May with a second show in the Myre River Room of the Carson Center. Through consistent rehearsals and performances, the eight-person group has only grown stronger — and funnier— since it started.
In between Chicago and the Delta
Kentucky is most often associated with bluegrass, not blues. But all that changes for three days when the Hot August Blues Festival hits Aurora. Featuring musicians from around the region and state, the festival — now entering its 24th year — draws crowds of music lovers from all over the bluegrass state.
Photographer shows town through new eyes
Landscapes and buildings Paducah residents overlook became objects of attention once again in the work of Bulgarian-born Eugenia Maximova, an artist in the Paducah Arts Alliance’s Artist-in-Residence program. Maximova, who now resides in Austria, spent her residency creating a body of work that shows Paducah as only a newcomer could see it.
Exhibit showcases possibilities of metalworking
From a rubber-ball brooch to a necklace made with latex gloves, the work on display at the Paducah School of Art’s Jewelry and Metals Invitational stretched the limits of what most people imagine metals to mean. By inviting a selection of artists from around the nation, the school hoped to generate enthusiasm for its metalworking classes, which are scheduled to begin next semester.
Figure drawings crowd into Yeiser
The tradition of figure drawing takes on a new dimension — literally — in Denise Stewart-Sanabria’s hands. The artist draws highly detailed, life-sized people onto cardboard, and then props them up for a multi-dimensional viewing experience. The Yeiser displayed Christine Wuenschel’s large-scale figure drawings alongside Stewart-Sanabria’s work in “Confrontations and Observations,” making for a very crowded opening reception.
MAC’s Oktoberfest set to become fall tradition
After last year’s Oktoberfest drew nearly a hundred people to downtown Paducah, the people in charge decided an expansion couldn’t hurt. Kirchhoff’s Bakery & Deli pitched in this year, holding a beer dinner to benefit Maiden Alley Cinema the evening before the festival. With music from local bands and Bavarian-style food from A Pampered Palate, Oktoberfest may just become a signature event in downtown Paducah.
River’s Edge winner highlights Cairo
Cairo, Ill., got a moment in the spotlight during the eighth annual River’s Edge International Film Festival. “Between Two Rivers,” a documentary that explores Cairo’s history, earned the Best of the Fest award this year. British directors Jacob Cartwright and Nick Jordan said it was an honor to be recognized at a festival where the viewers were familiar with the town.
“West Side Story” endures test of time
Whether it’s the Shakesperean tale of Maria and Tony’s doomed love or the appeal of the modern score by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, “West Side Story” has proven a hit with audiences for more than 50 years. “It’s very real and it’s very honest for sure, and I think that sets it apart from a lot of musicals that are going on today,” said Andres Acosta, who played Bernardo in the touring production that stopped at the Carson Center.
Symphony sends season’s greetings
The Paducah Symphony Orchestra, along with the youth and adult chorus, filled the air with joyful noise during their annual performance of “A Christmas Celebration.” Artistic director and conductor Raffaele Ponti said he tries to incorporate new, fun arrangements to keep audiences entertained in this seasonal showcase.
Holiday classics take the stage
Market House Theatre’s production of “A Christmas Story” was just the ticket to get audiences in the mood for the holiday season.
Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641.
Corianne Egan contributed to this article.