“Battle of the Sexes” is the latest show for a unique Nicholasville theatrical attraction

Published 5:00 pm Tuesday, June 28, 2022

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By Sophie Griggs

The Jessamine Journal

Nicholasville was host to the “Battle of the Sexes” over the weekend.

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KCAL Old Time Radio Show hosted its summer show at its downtown theatre as women and men were pitted against each other on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It was up to the audience to judge which side would be the victor.

The men performed a show by Lum and Abner, and the women performed one by The Easy Aces. The cast list featured local stars, including Doug Fain, Denise Cline, Norman Cline, Connie McDonald, David Damron, Susan Clements, Steve Watts, Kaitlyn Wesley, and music sung by Rachel Williams.

“My favorite thing about this is trying and achieving a smile on someone’s face,” said Norman Cline, a producer, and director for KCAL. “If I can make someone smile, or you know get a reaction from them, and I can make someone forget about the garbage that goes on all around, and come in here and just relax, step back a tiny little bit, smile. That’s what I love. I really love entertaining people and I love making someone smile.”

Doug Fain spoke about the origins of the show.

“I had heard the first half of the Lum and Abner episode that we did, on an old-time radio station, and as soon as I heard it I thought, man, that would be a great thing for us to do. But it’s only men, so that’s when I started playing with the idea of how we can make this work. From that, thought well, we’ll do all men, we’ll do all women, we’ll do battle of the sexes and have a contest and see who wins.” said Fain, who is also a producer and director at KCAL . 

Fain was one of the original starters of KCAL alongside Norman and Denise Cline and as helped it grow over the years.

The troupe was formed in the fall of 2014, when a local art gallery let KCAL use the back half of the space to perform radio shows. As time went on, KCAL grew and when the art studio closed in 2018, the troupe decided to rent the place out on its own. The community banded together, and through donations, KCAL made the space its own.

“We’ve been here going on nine years now doing this and established an audience, but what’s nice about it is you notice, even tonight, how many people said they’ve never been here. We’re continuing to bring in new people.” Fain said. 

The community in the audience of KCAL shows is close-knit and active. There are established regulars who come to every show.

During the intermission of Friday’s show, Fain paid homage to a regular audience member who had recently passed, ​​Gilbert “Bud” Littrell, who was known to sit in the same seat every show.

“We’ve got a family in our audience,” said Denise Cline, another producer, and director. “We’ve got a whole lot of people that don’t miss a show. It’s great … We have got a following. I would have never thought eight years ago we’d still be here, but they’re just great. If you think about it, there isn’t anything else like this in Jessamine County. There’s not a whole lot of arts to go and be a part of. I think as far as we’re concerned, we feel really privileged to have been kept around for so long, and people wanting to see us and getting to know the community.”

KCAL is in the midst of a Facebook fundraiser to help with the costs of its performance space. The rent for the KCAL location has been raised and it needs assistance to cover the extra costs. KCAL is a 501(3)(c), meaning it does not profit off of the income from the shows and is run by volunteers.  Donations and ticket sales fund all of the shows.

The Facebook fundraiser started June 27 and will go on for around a month. Donations can be made through the Facebook page. To donate through the Facebook fundraiser, visit the KCAL Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/1550862421814070

“It’s wholesome family entertainment that people can enjoy,” Fain said. “They can sit back, forget about all the problems in the world and just have a good time, and enjoy the way it used to be in days gone by.”