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You-review-it Monday

February 11, 2008
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For me, this weekend meant the Phoenix Theatre’s production of “The Lieutenant of Inishmore” Mickey Rooney’s visit to the Warren Performing Arts Center, and screenings of a few of the films we’ll be reviewing prior to the Indianapolis International Film...
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Jazz riffs

February 8, 2008
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Yesterday, the announcement was made that Aretha Franklin would be headlining this year’s Indy Jazz Fest. More acts, of course, to follow. Three questions : 1. Who else would you like to see on the lineup this year? 2. More provocatively, who wouldn’t...
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Symphonic crisis in Columbus

February 7, 2008
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Our big-ish city neighbor to the east, Columbus, Ohio, is facing problems with its orchestra. Wrestling with $1.5 million deficit this season, management has proposed downsizing from 52 to 31 full-time players. A truncated season (cutting out 12 of the usual...
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Justifying PBS

February 6, 2008
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President Bush’s proposed budget features significant cuts to public broadcasting: 2009’s allocation goes from $400 million to $200 million. And 2010’s drops from $420 million to $200  million. More details here. Public broadcasting certainly had an easier time justifying...
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Eastern Star (and 'Superstar')

February 5, 2008
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The balcony was shaking. Literally. You could see the flag bouncing in the windless Artsgarden and I half-jokingly asked Alpha Blackburn, of Blackburn Architects, about the structural stability of the place. What was causing this seismic disturbance? The Eastern Star Church Gospel Choir,...
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You-review-it Monday

February 4, 2008
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This is normally the time when I ask you what you did last weekend, but I've got a pretty good idea what you were up to on Sunday. Still, there was Friday and Saturday to catch something on stage, in galleries...
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IBJ Night at the Movies III

February 1, 2008
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Maybe you’ve already been introduced to the intense, funny, bloody work of Martin McDonagh. He wrote the acclaimed play “The Pillowman,” which the Phoenix Theatre produced last year. And he wrote “The Lieutenant of Inishmore,” opening at the Phoenix this month. He...
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'Project Runway' goes artsy

February 1, 2008
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It had to happen eventually, I suppose. The “Project Runway” creators are shopping another reality/competition show to the networks—this one looking at the art world. "There will be creative challenges, unexpected challenges, things that will test these artists outside of their comfort...
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'Bang' bounced at TOTS

January 31, 2008
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A last-minute switch in the lineup at Theatre on the Square was mysteriously announced yesterday. In the just-around-the-corner late February slot, out went the relatively unknown survivalist comedy “Bang.” In comes the Pulitzer-Prize winning “Proof.” Why? According to the news...
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The Kindle, bootleg movies, etc.

January 31, 2008
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A few technology and the arts stories for you forward-thinking readers: According to yesterday’s Publishers Weekly, Amazon.com has experienced better-than-expected sales of the temporarily-out-of-stock Kindle, the $399 electronic book gizmo it launched last November.More

Sneak peek at "Great Ideas"

January 30, 2008
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Elsewhere at ibj.com, Jennifer Whitson reports on the Arts Council of Indianapolis’ selection of two projects as winners in this year’s “Great Ideas” contest. More

First impressions/free tickets

January 29, 2008
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What was the first production that woke you up to the potential pleasures of the stage? Were you tuned in as a kid? As a teen? Did interest in theater, dance, opera or live music wait until you were grown? Or...
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You-Review-It Monday, 1/28/08

January 28, 2008
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So what did you do this weekend? Catch “Doubt” at the IRT? Visit the new gallery show at Herron? Take sides in the “Beethoven vs. Mozart” concert with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra? Being under the weather, I was limited to the...
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Almond on Vonnegut

January 25, 2008
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I’m a bit shamed to admit it, but when I picked up Steve Almond’s recent collection of essays "(Not that You Asked)" I cringed a little when I saw that the first substantial one focused on the author’s literary hero,...
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“Three Girls and Their Buddy”

January 24, 2008
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Anyone else catch the “Three Girls and Their Buddy” concert at Clowes Memorial Hall—featuring Emmylou Harris, Shawn Colvin, and Patty Griffin— last weekend? Putting aside the enthusiasm of the fan base for each of the performers for a second, the one-nighter...
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Live … from the Toby

January 23, 2008
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The Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Tobias Theater will be renovated and reopened thanks to a $1 million gift from the Randall and Marianne Tobias. Announcements of specific programs for “The Toby” are still forthcoming, but IMA reps say it will be...
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Oscars, ‘trotters and “Menopause”

January 22, 2008
Comments(3)
Some unrelated thoughts on a catch-up Tuesday:  The Academy Award nominations are out  and it’s interesting to note that “Transformers” (3) received more nominations than “Norbit” (1). Seriously, though, for those of us who watch the Oscars the way others...
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You-review-it Monday, 1-21-08

January 21, 2008
Comments(4)
I had a busy A&E weekend, with the "Three Girls and Their Buddy" concert at Clowes Hall on Friday night (more on that later), the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s hot ticket "Rite of Spring" performance on Saturday (see previous blog entry...
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Ticket scalping...for the symphony?

January 19, 2008
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This evening's performance of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra featured something extraordinary ... and I'm not talking about the performances of Beethoven's "Pastoral" and Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" (although those were outstanding). I'm talking about ticket scalping....
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Opie art dancing on Mass Ave.

January 18, 2008
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IBJ reporter Jennifer Whitson takes over the blog today with news on new downtown artwork. Take it away, Jennifer: First came the Tom Otterness public art exhibit in 2005. The roly-poly brass sculptures captured some hearts, including those beating in some...
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'Blood' reviews/Oscar picks

January 17, 2008
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Tonight is the IBJ Night at the Movies screening of Paul Thomas Anderson’s film “There Will Be Blood.” Many of you will be at the screening, since we gave away passes last week. So, what did you think of the film? If...
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Great shakes at Butler

January 16, 2008
Comments(2)
“I just pass on the enthusiasm and make it about them.” That’s what Roger Rees, one of the world’s most acclaimed Shakespearian actors (and perhaps familiar to you for his stints on “Cheers” and “The West Wing”) modestly told me when...
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Cruise and the cult of biography

January 15, 2008
Comments(14)
Yes, it’s the big day. The unauthorized Tom Cruise biography is out. Guess who won’t be reading it? For one, a few clicks will get you all the couch-jumping, the Scientology, the wild rumors, and the rest that you could possibly want....
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World’s best bookstores, etc.

January 14, 2008
Comments(8)
One of the most pleasant hours of my weekend was spent chatting with staff and customers at Big Hat Books, the Broad Ripple independent that gave the city a low-key cultural infusion when it opened a few years ago....
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You-review-it Monday

January 14, 2008
Comments(5)
What did you see, read or experience this weekend? Did you join the crowd at “End Days” at the Phoenix? Hear Marvin Hamlisch with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra? Contemplate the totems at the Eiteljorg? Catch the opening of “Say You Love...
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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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