Recent Blog Posts

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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Review: Bill Cosby at IU

September 24, 2008
Comments(3)
Singers of a certain age often coast on nostalgia. The primary pleasure of attending one of their concerts isn't so much the sound of their voice or the wit of their banter. It's being able to say you saw them....
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Review: IRT's 'Sherlock Holmes'

September 22, 2008
Comments(6)
Neither engagingly mysterious or particularly thrilling, “Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure,” the season opener for the Indiana Repertory Theatre (running through Oct. 11) offers a handsome but passionless production that lacks either a convincing threat or a committed style. Despite...
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