Rusty Satellite 140 – John Varanese and Andrew Harris

rs140JohnVaraneseBoth of my guests this week are living a dream that was hatched in their minds long ago. Chef John Varanese is among the most respected chefs in the city. 15 years ago he found the ideal spot for what he thought would be a perfect restaurant. He ran into a bunch of roadblocks on the way to River House, the $4 million riverfront project that just opened on River Road.

Andrew Harris didn’t get the part when he auditioned for the Wizard of Oz in his hometown of Oak Ridge, Tenn. Nor did he get selected after his second audition. But eventually he did get a part, and now he’s built a fantastic career directing plays for Stage One. The current production of Harold and the Purple Crayon is really special, as you’ll learn from our interview.

In other news, this week marked the launch of a new podcast for the Jeffersontown Chamber, which you can find on This weekend marks the public grand opening for the Speed Art Museum, and I recap a wonderful Breakfast of Champions.

Rusty Satellite 139 – Ghislain d’Humières; Marianne Zickuhr and Lauren Argo

RS139GhyslainIt’s an art-inspired show this week, as Rusty visits the new Speed Museum and checks out the fancy new studios at ARTxFM.
French-born Ghislain D’Humieres is spearheading the $60 million renovation of the Speed Art Museum, and you’ll find his views on changing the image and appeal of the Speed to be very interesting. The long-awaited opening on the U of L campus begins with 30 consecutive hours of activity, including a gaming event in the wee hours.
Marianne Zickuhr was on Episode 6 of the show back in August of 2013, and she’s back with an exciting activity — she’s promoting WXOX, 97.1 on your FM dial, featuring a variety of what she and Lauren Argo call ‘weird, artistic’ shows. Argo oversees La La Land every Wednesday, and is an accomplished local actress. Marianne is on in the morning every day.  We had some fun in the WXOX studios on West Breckenridge.
In the news there’s plenty of politics — we endured a Trump appearance on Tuesday, plus Matt Bevin continues his campaign to deprive women of their reproductive rights, and James Ramsey suffers another kick in the shins from the Board of Trustees about the job he’s doing as U of L’s president. Better things are ahead – including the Breakfast of Champions next Tuesday and the start of the Humana Festival of New American Plays.

Rusty Satellite 138 – Tommy O’Shea and Kirby Adams

RS138KirbyAdamsYou can learn a lot of local history talking with Tommy O’Shea, which is what I did at the Carriage House in back of O’Shea’s Pub in the Highlands. Tommy’s a great ambassador for the Highlands who talks about the big chance he took in buying a property downtown next to the Yum! Center — before there was a Yum! Center. He’s hosting the Cocktails with Champions event next Wednesday.

Kirby Adams came to Louisville from Seattle for a one-year assignment — or so she thought at the time. A couple of decades later, she’s put Louisville Tonight Live in the rearview mirror and covers entertainment news for the Courier-Journal. And she’s co-hosting the area’s biggest Oscar party at Copper and Kings on Sunday for the Louisville Film Society.

In the news — I share my opinion on Mitch McConnell’s obstructionist efforts to block the nomination of a Supreme Court justice, and I’m seeing a lot of smart folks raising the alarm that Donald Trump could become president. At U of L, they’re dealing with yet another sex scandal involving a Trustee and an ex-football coach. But at least it’s almost March, and there’s plenty of big events to look forward to. It’s all on this 138th Rusty Satellite Show.

Rusty Satellite 137 – Pat Armstrong and Mary Lou Marzian

RS137MaryLouMarzianWhen you hear all that Pat Armstrong went through to land the job as President of the Kentucky Derby Museum, you’ll realize that it’s takes someone special to lead one of the city’s great tourist attractions. I got to see the updated 18-minute film, “The Greatest Race”, before sitting down with Pat to talk about what’s ahead on Central Avenue.

Mary Lou Marzian is a proud liberal who doesn’t pull any punches when talking about her colleagues in the Kentucky House. After Gov. Bevin signed into law further restrictions on women’s right, she jumped into the controversy proposing new restrictions on men to even the score. it was a great publicity stunt with a strong message to the old white guys who run state government. Marzian has some insights on other issues too, most all of them in opposition to the mindsets of Republicans.

We’re looking forward to some big event around here — the Tailspin Ale Fest on Saturday at Bowman Field, Cocktails with Champions March 2 at O’Shea’s, and the inevitable arrival of spring. Thanks for downloading the 137th episode of the Rusty Satellite Show.

Rusty Satellite 136 – Mark Prussian and Laura Snyder

RS136LauraSnyderRusty’s feeling the love this Valentine’s week with two great guests. As CEO of the Eye Care Institute, Mark Prussian has his hands full running the operation, but he’s also active in plenty of community endeavors. And he’s involved in a big one this month with the Jewish Film Festival, and the Feb. 11 premiere of Rosenwald, one of a dozen films in the festival.

Laura Snyder just got a big promotion — to publisher of LEO Weekly. This week’s issue asks and answers the big question — How Kinky is Louisville? Laura fills me in on her plans for LEO’s future, which goes well beyond the kinky stuff to reinvigorating the weekly’s journalism chops.

I’ve got a lot of other news to share — including news of the March 2 Cocktails with Champions event at O’Shea’s in the Highlands, with the Danny Flanigan Trio signed on to entertain. Also, on March 8 it’s another Breakfast of Champions, this time with Robbie Valentine, who you heard on this show a month ago. I weigh on with some thoughts on the U of L sex scandal, and the talk radio reaction to it. Speaking of scandal, did you hear about the ouster of Tracy Blue over at the Voice-Tribune? I’ve got all that and more on the Rusty Satellite – thanks for downloading the show.