Tag: Kentucky

Historic Theaters: New Marquee Has a Job To Do: Uplift

Lexington Opera House’s custom-designed sign debuted just before COVID-19 When Kentucky’s Lexington Opera House threw the switch in March on a new sign, the script called for a steady stream of Broadway shows and local theater and music performances to parade across the marquee’s digital LED screens. Then COVID-19 made its appearance and turned the plot on its head, resulting in postponements and cancellations that left the marquee with no shows to promote. But the staff at the downtown opera house, led by director of performing arts Luanne Franklin, has found a way to use its newest addition to help residents weather the pandemic. “We’ve been providing some inspirational messages inspired by Broadway to try to lift people’s spirits,” Franklin said. Staff members comb through classic shows for lines and lyrics, some familiar and others forgotten, to find words that will offer encouragement in difficult times. New lyrics go up […]

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Spectra Promotes, Hires in Kentucky

Jessica Wilson Beckmann and Cody Thomas (Courtesy Spectra) Owensboro Sportscenter, Convention Center slots filled Jessica Wilson Beckmann has been promoted to assistant general manager of the Owensboro Sportscenter, one of several promotions and hires that venue manager Spectra made at the Kentucky arena and the Owensboro Convention Center. Beckmann joined the team in Owensboro as director of the Sportscenter in October 2018. During the previous 10 years, she worked in the St. Louis area managing events at venues including a casino, convention center, ballpark and arena. She is an Owensboro native and graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Cody Thomas was promoted to senior event manager and interim director of events. Thomas has been with Spectra since November 2016 and has bachelor’s degrees from the University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University.  He will have general oversight of all events in the convention center. Brandi Stevens is a sales manager with […]

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ASM Global Names Pappas to Louisville Post

Taki Pappas had been senior talent buyer for National Shows 2 since 2018. (Courtesy ASM Global) He’ll lead event booking at KFC Yum! Center, two other venues ASM Global named Taki Pappas director of event booking and business development for the three properties it manages in Louisville, Ky. Pappas will lead event programming and business development for the KFC Yum! Center, Lynn Family Stadium and Norton Health Sports Athletics & Learning Complex. Pappas has more than 20 years of experience in the sports and entertainment industry and most recently was senior talent buyer for National Shows 2 based in Nashville. Before joining NS2, he spent four years as director of programming at the Durham Performing Arts Center, where his efforts helped the venue win the International Entertainment Buyer’s Association Theatre of the Year honor in 2018. Pappas also worked as the assistant director and talent buyer at the University of Texas’ Bass […]

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Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center: Building on Tradition

WILDCAT WATCHERS: Fans watch the tipoff of the Kentucky-Alabama game at Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center on Jan. 11. (Don Muret / Staff) Project at Lexington complex brings new comforts to Kentucky basketball fans LEXINGTON, KY. — The University of Kentucky holds a storied tradition in college basketball and a few of its fervent fans were celebrating early on a recent Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Lexington, which is attached to Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center. Mimosas flowed at the hotel bar and portable carts offered beer and hard liquor in the Hyatt lobby before the noon tipoff between Kentucky and Alabama. The Southeastern Conference school prohibits the sale of alcohol at sports events, including city-owned Rupp Arena, but the arena sits steps away indoors and the lobby serves as a de facto extension of Rupp’s main concourse.  Midway through 2022, the layout will change dramatically as part […]

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In Louisville, a New Hall and a New Name

STREAMER CONSCIOUSNESS: Twenty-one-year-old rapper Jack Harlow plays Old Forester’s Paristown Hall in Louisville. (Stephen Cohen Photography)  After Old Forester’s Paristown Hall opened its doors in Louisville on July 23, The Kentucky Center was rebranded as Kentucky Performing Arts. The organization also operates three performance spaces — the 2,406-seat Whitney Hall, the 619-seat Moritz von Bomhard Theatre and the 139-seat Boyd Martin Theatre — in addition to the 1,400-seat Brown Theatre.  “The name of the enterprise was The Kentucky Center when the performing arts center opened in 1983, but with the addition of our other venues, it didn’t make sense, so we changed the name to Kentucky Performing Arts,” said Christian Adelberg, Kentucky Performing Arts’ vice president of marketing and communications. “Each of the venues have their own visual logo that’s a variation of the primary logo, and we’re changing all building signage.” Kentucky Performing Arts also is advertising locally via […]

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Kentucky and Tennessee: Sizzling in the South

BIG BAND MUSIC: Chicago’s Mucca Pazza instrumental music and performance ensemble performs at Old Forester’s Paristown Hall. (Chronicle Cinema) States’ venues fill seats for diverse entertainment THE CIRCUIT A quick two-state tour of some of the region’s top-performing venues FedEx Forum, Memphis, Tenn. Jeff Olson, booking director How did you do last year? FedEx Forum had a great year in 2019! We had one of our best years for concerts with many headlining acts.    Big shows Justin Timberlake, Jan. 12; Panic! at the Disco, Feb. 6; Kiss, Feb. 23; Twenty One Pilots, June 26; Chris Stapleton, Oct. 5; Bob Seger , Oct. 12; Elton John, Oct. 30; and Ariana Grande, Dec. 7. Changes FedEx Forum is completing a new roof project to the venue. We also have renovated several of our restaurants and club areas.    What went right The University of Memphis men’s basketball team had a great […]

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Will Beer Take a Bow at Stapleton’s Home State Show?

The April 25 concert will be the first for Kroger Field at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. (Don Muret / Staff) Promoter Live Nation will make the call for country singer’s Lexington concert Chris Stapleton wrote a song called “Drink a Beer” that became a No. 1 hit for fellow country artist Luke Bryan in 2014. It’s just one example of beer and country music being joined at the hip. In Kentucky, the country’s bourbon capital, add some hard liquor to the theme. “Whiskey and You,” another tune penned by Lexington, Ky., native Stapleton, is part of “Traveller,” his debut album released one year later. But for Stapleton, now a stadium headliner, there’s a question over whether booze will be sold in public spaces for his April 25 show in Lexington, the first concert at Kroger Field on the University of Kentucky campus.  The school prohibits the sale of beer, […]

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New Name Going Up at Kentucky Arena

A rendering shows what the arena will look like when Appalachian Wireless brands the building by the end of July. (Courtesy Appalachian Wireless Arena) Sponsor Appalachian Wireless pleased with opportunity to title venue The former East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville will place a massive new Appalachian Wireless Arena sign on the front of the building by the end of July. The 14-year-old, 7,000-capacity multipurpose venue agreed to a five-year naming-rights deal in April for $85,000 a year, totaling $425,000, with the wireless company. The name officially changed last month. “Appalachian Wireless is a longtime sponsor of ours and had been the box office sponsor for several years. Conversations began about the city’s desire to have the arena named and Appalachian Wireless expressed interest in doing that,” said Philip Elswick, Pikeville city manager and CEO of the arena. “The way we see that is it’s an infusion of cash into […]

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Louisville Venue ‘in the Final Stages’

Louisville’s $12 million Paristown Hall will open July 23. (Courtesy Kentucky Center) Old Forester’s Paristown Hall, with standing room for 2,000, owned and operated by PAC Interpol, Lucero and Gavin DeGraw are some of the acts that will play the inaugural season at Old Forester’s Paristown Hall in Louisville, Ky. Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue will headline the opening event July 23, along with performances from the dance troupe Pilobolus, Mucca Pazza and local star Ben Sollee. This will be the third venue to be owned and operated by the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, alongside the Kentucky Center on Main Street and the Brown Theatre on Broadway. “We’re in the final stages of getting it built,” said Kim Baker, president and CEO of the Kentucky Center. “It is wonderful to see Old Forester’s Paristown Hall nearing its opening, and we’re so excited about the acts we’ve booked.” Other […]

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Brian Sipe takes role as Rupp Arena booking director

Brian Sipe was general manager of Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. (Courtesy OVG) Oak View Group Facilities and the Lexington Center Corp. have installed Brian Sipe as director of booking at Rupp Arena. Sipe was general manager of Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Before that, Sipe was the box office manager at the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, N.J.; booking and box office manager at the Sovereign Center in Reading, Pa.; and general manager of the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington, W.Va. OVG Facilities and Lexington Center Corp. entered into a three-year partnership in February 2018 in which OVG will focus on all areas of event programming beyond University of Kentucky athletic events.  

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