On stage Blog Posts

Ads infiltrate fringe fest

July 24, 2008
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One of the core ideas behind most fringe theater festivals is that anyone can sign up to perform. If you get your application in early enough--and pay the nominal sign-up fee--your show is part of the event. As demonstrated by the...
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Vote casting: 'Legally Blonde,' etc.

July 22, 2008
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Broadway has a new lead actress for "Legally Blonde: The Musical," thanks to an MTV talent competition (see story here). London and Broadway have also cast talent for revivals of "Grease," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," "The...
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All the music we can handle?

July 14, 2008
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With concerts booked heavily at Verizon Wireless Music Center, the Lawn at White River State Park, the Murat, the Indiana State Fair, Music Mill, the Vogue, the casinos and other venues as well as Indy Jazz Fest, IBE's Summer Celebration, and RibAmerica, it...
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Pretending to like new music

July 9, 2008
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Noted curmudgeon—and very smart and funny writer—Joe Queenan recently threw down the gauntlet at contemporary classical music and those who, in his view, claim to like it. Some notable quotes from his article “Admit It, You’re as Bored as...
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Smoking ban for 'Jersey Boys'

July 8, 2008
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Chris Jones at the Chicago Tribune reports that the Chicago production of "Jersey Boys" (an outstanding show, by the way--and that's me talking, not Jones) has gone smoke free. He's not talking about the theater. He's talking about the...
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Ann Patchett on opera and veggies

June 24, 2008
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"Sometimes I worry that culture is like vegetables and that I'd be better off eating that which is locally grown," writes novelists Ann Patchett in today's Wall Street Journal. The piece isn't a celebration of local arts. Rather, it's a tribute to the...
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DC: Final critical thoughts

June 23, 2008
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More random thoughts from the American Theatre Critics Association conference in Washington. * If the powers that be in Carmel--or any other place that aspires to be an arts destination--hasn't already made contact, they should reach out immediately and speak to...
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DC: Awards matter

June 21, 2008
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It's the fourth day of the American Theatre Critics Association annual conference and my feet or sore, my eyes a little glazed over, and my excitement about theater and its potential increased. Here are some notes: * One of the factors credited...
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DC: Backstage at the Kennedy Center

June 19, 2008
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The latest in a serious of reports from the American Theatre Critics Association conference in Washington, D.C.  It's past intermission, but I chose not to go back into the theater. Stomach issues, I claim. Truth is, I saw a much better directed, better...
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DC: Dancing with Presidents

June 18, 2008
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We're on the stage of the National Theatre, rich in history but on the verge of irrelevance. With a mere 1675 seats, it's difficult to compete for tours and concerts with the Kennedy Center and other larger houses. This is...
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DC: Dinner with Harry Hamlin

June 18, 2008
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"Hi, I'm Harry," he says, shaking my hand. And when he sits down at our table, a woman next to him asks, "Who do you write for?" That's the standard first question here at the American Theatre Critics Association conference in Washington. But, in this case,...
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Caring about the Tony Awards

June 12, 2008
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The Tony Awards , the annual celebration of the Broadway season, are being handed out this Sunday night. Did I hear a yawn? You aren’t alone. A notorious ratings loser, the show each year seems to squander the opportunity to excite....
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The latest from Twyla Tharp

June 11, 2008
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The pride of Portland, Indiana, choreographer Twyla Tharp premiered a new work, “Rabbit and Rogue” with the American Ballet Theatre last week, earning a range of reviews from enthusiasm to dismissal . In reading them, I was taken back...
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Chicago's Muti pageant

June 10, 2008
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I’m sure there are arts patrons in Central Indiana who travel across the border to hear the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. I just don’t know any of them. For most of us, the musical difference between a true world-class orchestra like the...
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Crow kicks off Lawn season

June 4, 2008
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I’ll admit that I never quite got a handle on Sheryl Crow. As catchy as some of her songs are, her hits always seemed all about the chorus. No harm there—just nothing that made me want to go out...
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The man who improved improv

June 3, 2008
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Half my lifetime ago, I journeyed across the country from East Coast to West and found myself on my own for a few days in Los Angeles. Looking for some cheap entertainment, I picked up a $6 ticket to see...
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Bigger names at Indiana casinos

May 30, 2008
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It seems like Indiana’s casinos are starting to step up when it comes to consistent summer showroom entertainment. Now it’s just a matter of figuring out how to...
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Concerts: the great outdoors?

May 29, 2008
Comments(12)
This week, Sheryl Crow launches the season for the Lawn at White River State Park and Eric Clapton plays Verizon Wireless Music Center. It seems an appropriate time for you to offer what you see as the pros and cons of...
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500 winners: Florence, Jim and us.

May 27, 2008
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I'd like to add one brief A&E thought to all of this weekend’s Indy 500 coverage: Two of the reasons why it's still possible to love the race--even if you aren't an open-wheel racing fan--are Jim Nabors and Florence Henderson. That...
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Greatest plays of all time?

May 23, 2008
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A few days ago in this blog, I mentioned Daniel S. Burt's book "The Drama 100: A Ranking of the Greatest Plays of All Time." While we can all agree that such a list is highly subjective, we can probably...
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'Rent' at a theater near you

May 22, 2008
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Yes, "Rent" -- the movie -- already played movie theaters (and didn't do particularly well). But now it looks like it's getting another shot. Not a second run of the film, though. This will be a from-the-stage performance of the hit...
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Beyond 'Dancing with the Stars'

May 21, 2008
Comments(4)
So TV's "Dancing with the Stars" has another winner. Hooray. I caught some of the finals last night without having seen the rest of the series. And having been to Dance Kaleidoscope's season ending performance Sunday, I'm curious as to whether the huge...
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Arts and depression

May 20, 2008
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Two books I’m in the midst of reading combine to raise questions about the future of art and audiences. The first, “Against Happiness,” posits that our society’s increased emphasis on smoothing over the rough edges of life (through pharmaceuticals and...
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“Sweeney” at IU/“Idols” at Purdue

May 19, 2008
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While the reaction seems to be very positive for this year’s Broadway series here in Indy (which includes local premiers of “Wicked” and “Avenue Q”), some theater buffs have wondered if we’ll ever see the tours of the acclaimed John...
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'Wicked,' 'Ave. Q' &...'Happy Days'?

May 9, 2008
Comments(11)
The big news on Broadway in the 2003-2004 season was the Tony-Award battle between mega-musical “Wicked” and where-did-that-come-from upstart “Avenue Q.” (For an up close and personal look at the development of both shows, check out the documentary “ShowBusiness,” which...
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