The Kentucky Opera takes over the Mercury Ballroom stage on Friday. | Courtesy of Mercury Ballroom

It’s going to be a night of class and sass on Friday as the Kentucky Opera hosts its first-ever “Sidecar” production, a cabaret-style performance of classic standards. The organization is transforming Mercury Ballroom into a speakeasy for the show, complete with tableside drink service.

Stephanie Blythe | Courtesy of KY Opera

The 90-minute performance stars renowned mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, Grammy award-winning soprano Christine Brewer and legendary pianist Craig Terry.

Another highlight of the night will be three “modern” versions of the classic sidecar cocktail, which originally was made with cognac, orange liqueur and lemon juice and named for the extra passenger compartment on a motorcycle. Since we’re in Bourbon Country, the cocktail will be made with whiskey, as it should be.

One sidecar will feature Woodford Reserve Rye and Cointreau (a fancy orange liqueur), one will mix the Woodford Rye with Sailor Jerry rum and Cointreau, and one will star Old Forester 1920, dry vermouth and Cointreau.

Christine Brewer | Courtesy of KY Opera

If you’re looking to grab dinner before the show, six Louisville restaurants are offering prix fixe options, including Buck’s, 8-UP, Marketplace, Morton’s, Set and Varanese.

“Sidecar” starts at 9 p.m. on Friday, May 19. General admission/standing room tickets are $40, and seated tickets begin at $75. The performance is part of the Kentucky Opera’s 65th season. Mercury Ballroom is located at 611 S. Fourth St.

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle ( She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."