Recent Blog Posts

Bookstore booze to be tested

October 30, 2008
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According to the Western Michigan Business Review, Schuler Books and Music in Grand Rapids (an outstanding locally owned chain) is looking to go beyond the cafe-and-sweet-treats ammenities that have become stapes in bookshops. The downtown store has applied for a...
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Film: Can 'best' = 'most popular'?

October 28, 2008
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Interesting stat in today's New York Times: The last four winners of the Academy Award for Best Picture ("No Country for Old Men," "The Departed," "Crash," and "Million Dollar Baby") combined didn't bring in the box office money of 2003's...
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On celebrity interviews

October 28, 2008
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Peter Bart, one of the smarter guys in Hollywood, has an interesting blog over at Variety. His topic: Celebrity interviews. (Find it here.) In the piece, Bart elequently points out something I've felt for a long time now: That most...
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You-review-it Monday

October 26, 2008
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There was a lot to choose from this weekend. Did you pick Hubbard Street Dance or David Byrne at Clowes? Or Gregory Hancock's "Oh My Goth"? Stop in at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, or the...
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Emptying the arts notebook

October 24, 2008
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Today, some random notes from around the arts world: --Chris Jones at the Chicago Tribune has an interesting item today about customer service in theaters. See it here. Have you had any overwhelming negative or positive experiences from the front-of-the-house...
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Haunt-ing for real reporting

October 23, 2008
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This is the time of year that otherwise respectable news outlets begin publishing or broadcasting stories about haunted houses--not just the "guy jumps out at you with a chainsaw" haunted houses but also the allegedly real ones.  Problem is, many of...
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Were 'Great Books' a great idea?

October 22, 2008
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The 54-volume Great Books of the Western World series, a set of books that sold more than a million copies in the 1950s and '60s, was:  a. an empowering, groundbreaking effort to bring brilliant writing to the masses. b. a sales stunt perpetrated by Encyclopedia...
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High school musical memories

October 20, 2008
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Between the upcoming release of Disney's "High School Musical 3" in theaters--as both an arts journalist and the father of teenage girls, I know a lot about HSM--and my kid's own real life high school musical (Pike High School's production...
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You-review-it Monday

October 19, 2008
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Truly moved by anything at the Heartland Film Festival? Catch Dance Kaleidoscope's season opener? Visit a haunted house or, like me, were you part of the jury at the trial at the Benjamin Harrison Home? So what did you get to...
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Review: 'Striped Pajamas'

October 16, 2008
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The Heartland Film Festival kicks off tonight with the North American premiere (which I incorrectly stated was a World Premiere in my weekly e-mail) of "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas." Landing a major studio premiere is a coup for Heartland...
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Review: "Avenue Q"

October 15, 2008
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A few month's back, I travelled to Louisville to catch the national tour of "Avenue Q." Not only was I anxious to see the Tony-winning show, but I also wanted to catch it before it came to Indy, the better to...
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More ISO 'Guys and Dolls' thoughts

October 14, 2008
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At some point, I will write about something besides the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra's presentation of "Guys and Dolls in Concert" last weekend. But that point isn't here yet. I blogged on one aspect of the show on Saturday. (Find it here, along...
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You-review-it Monday

October 13, 2008
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What a weekend. For me, it included the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra's once-in-a-lifetime production of "Guys and Dolls" (Okay, so I saw it twice), Butler University Theatre's "Phedre," Theatre on the Square's "Evil Dead: The Musical" and reading through most of Walter...
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Casting magic for "Guys and Dolls"

October 10, 2008
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An open letter to Des McAnuff, director of the upcoming Broadway revival of "Guys and Dolls." Mr McAnuff, You don't know me, but having seen your productions of "The Who's Tommy," "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," and "Jersey Boys,"...
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Rodgers & Hammerstein thoughts

October 10, 2008
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The well-sung but nondescript production of "The Sound of Music" currently running at Beef & Boards got me thinking about the musicals of Rodgers & Hammerstein. Some random thoughts:  --The R&H reputation pretty much rests on "Oklahoma!," "Carousel," "South Pacific," "The King...
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Review: IO's "Il Trovatore"

October 8, 2008
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"Show, don't tell" is a mantra of dramatic writing. And it's a mantra pretty much ignored by Gueseppi Verdi in his opera "Il Trovatore." In its early scenes, exposition nearly overwhelms, and even when it looks like there’s going to be...
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Success and Malcolm Gladwell

October 7, 2008
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One of the biggest sociological buzz books in recent years was Malcolm Gladwell's "The Tipping Point," in which the journalist looked at the root causes of popularity--what are the circumstances that lead to a sudden skyrocketing of awareness His next book,...
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You-review-it Monday

October 5, 2008
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For me, the weekend (I'm counting Thursday evening in this) included a stop at "Chocolate: The Exhibition" at the Indiana State Museum, a visit to Indianapolis Opera's "Il Trovatore" at Clowes Hall and, in between, a run to Dearborn, Michigan,...
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What new TV season?

October 3, 2008
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The fall TV series is off and running. Well, not running. Stumbling is a better word. What used to be an exciting time in TV land is now, well, just ask yourself when the last time was that people in your...
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Carnage: Art vs. Art and "Sweeney"

October 1, 2008
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As I mentioned Monday, I finally got to Art vs. Art  (Sept. 26), the crazed art auction/game show/demolition derby that uptowned from Fountain Square to the Vogue this year. I’ll confess to getting caught up in the same blood lust...
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Bible tour: For better or verse?

October 1, 2008
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Zondervan, one of the world's leading publishers of Bibles, announced that it will be printing a hand-written version, with more than 31,000 Americans performing the penmanship. It's being called Bible Across America and, yes, there's an RV involved. You can find the...
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In Cleveland, a critical clash

September 30, 2008
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Classical music fans, musicians, critics and administrators around the country are taking sides in a battle that's been raging in Cleveland. The situtation: After years of blasting Cleveland Orchestra music director Franz Welser-Most, Cleveland Plain Dealer music critic Donald Rosenberg has...
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You-review-it Monday

September 28, 2008
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So how was your weekend? For me, it included a run to Ball State to visit its art museum and check out the student production of the music "Violet" (a show I've wanted to see for years that I, unfortunately, missed...
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Cultural void at the debates

September 26, 2008
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Check out this smart Los Angeles Times piece about the "well, duh" observation that culture won't be a subject for any question during the Presidential debates. "If I were moderating tonight's TV debate," writes Times art critic Christopher Knight, "...
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On the Pentagon 9/11 memorial

September 25, 2008
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A few months back, when blogging about an arts-centric Washington, D.C. visit, I mentioned that one of my most memorable college moments was a spontanious road trip to the city, including a silent midde-of-the-night walk through a tourist-free Vietnam Veterans Memorial. As...
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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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