You-review-it Monday

February 4, 2013
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For me, the weekend included a theatrical overload of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and a musical version of "The Truman Show" in Bloomington, "The Musical of Musicals" in Carmel and "Next to Normal" in Indy. 

I also played catch-up with epsidoes of the PBS series "Shakespeare Uncovered," making me hungry for some of the Bard's History plays. ("Henry IV" anyone?)

In the process, i'll confess to missing the Super Bowl--including the commercails and halftime show.

Your thoughts on any of the above? Or whatever A&E you encountered this weekend?

  • Who's Afraid of driving to Bloomington?
    I had the great pleasure of seeing the best Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf I've ever seen produced on stage. Martha and George (Diane Kondrat and Bill Simmons) are so full and alive. Funny and tragic, warm and electric, passionate and desperate. And Honey (I'm so sorry I don't have a program so I can't remember the young woman's name who played her) was also spot on! Worth the drive and then some! I can't recommend it highly enough. This Wednesday through Saturday is your last chance to see it at the John Waldron Arts Center downtown. My date and I are still talking about it days later!
    • box office
      For tickets:
    • double dose of heavy
      Full disclosure: I'm an actor who's worked with several of the folks I saw on stage the weekend. Wednesday I saw WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's an electric experience, and every actor's performance was superb. Diane Kondrat is not to be missed in this role. I can't stop chatting with friends about the play - why it was seminal in the 60s, why Nick & Honey don't leave, and what must've happened during all those years that create such a crazy evening for the four characters. Friday was NEXT TO NORMAL. Again, disclosure: I work a lot at the Phoenix Theatre. I knew, going in, that it was a story of a woman with bipolar disorder and the line-up of characters, but that was all. I really loved the experience, thanks, in no particular order, to these: 1. the piece is satisfyingly cohesive & focused, if a little long (act I). 2. The set resembles an Escher painting, a nice comment on the piece. 3. Sound issues were few, so I could hear nearly all lyrics, and that's been a problem in some Phoenix musical productions. 4. Strong work in an unusual role for Emily Ristine. Her Act II was soaring, especially... 5. "How Could I Ever Forget?" with Charlie Clark, fantastic as Dan. Their voices melded beautifully. I can't say enough about that number. 6. Eric Olson & Will Hutcheson also turned in strong performances. Theatre-goers can't go wrong with either of these shows. Highly recommended, both.
    • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
      Diane Kondrat sustains sharp-shooting mastery over the role of Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf at the Ivy Tech Waldron Arts Center. Bill Simmons is her perfect foil as husband George, both with the power to land deadly psychological blows. The entire cast plays this intense marital drama with complete ease while the audience sits on the edges of their seats. That's how the pro's do it, and that's what's happening downtown in the Bloomington Entertainment and Arts District this week. Must see live theater!
    • Next to Normal
      Unlike Scot, I think Act One of "Next to Normal" was almost perfect, while Act Two kind of went all over the place. But it's a really excellent production, and I already have tickets for a repeat performance. Emily Ristine and particularly Will Hutcheson were superb. Definitely worth seeing.

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