‘Grand Night’ celebrates 18 years

By Emily Cedargren

The Lexington community has three more chances to see some of the area’s most talented singers in a “grand” performance.

This weekend is the final set of performances of UK Opera Theatre’s “It’s A Grand Night For Singing!,” a show in its 18th year of production.

“It’s an all-out salute to Broadway and to Hollywood,” said Everett McCorvey, director of the UK Opera Theatre and the show’s producer. “If people have never been to ‘Grand Night,’ it is really an experience.”

Even though the show has been on for almost two decades, audiences can expect a completely different production, McCorvey said.

“Every year it’s really like building a new production. That’s what makes it exciting for us. We start from scratch and put it together in five weeks,” he said.

Some of the songs featured in this year’s performance are from Broadway hits like “Cats,” “Spring Awakening,” “Big River” and “Jersey Boys”. The show also features Top 40 hits by Simon & Garfunkel, Billy Joel, Elton John and Barry Manilow.

Children will enjoy the show as well, with the cast performing songs from “Shrek,” “Hairspray” and “Oliver”.

“We’re actually using kids in the show,” McCorvey said. “It’s funny — the kids want to do their number and then get out into the audience and watch the rest of the show. It’s a great way to introduce kids to the opera.”

Peggy Stamps, an award-winning choreographer, is serving as director of this year’s cast, and Lyndy Franklin Smith, who has performed on Broadway in “A Chorus Line” and “The Little Mermaid,” is the show’s choreographer. The Grand Night Orchestra, under the direction of Robert Baldwin, will accompany the singers.

“Grand Night” will be performed at the Singletary Center for the Arts Concert Hall on June 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m. and June 20 at 2 p.m. Ticket prices range from $10 to $34 and can be purchased by calling the Singletary Center ticket office at (859) 257-4929 or on their website, (www.singletarytickets.com).