On stage Blog Posts

“Assassins” shot down

February 22, 2008
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"All of us have a healthy respect for the freedom of artistic expression that college theater represents, and all of us agree that out of respect for the families of those victims of the tragedies at Northern Illinois University and...
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TV alert: Sondheim tonight

February 20, 2008
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Today I am PBS’ biggest fan. That’s because tonight, the long-running series “Great Performances” is premiering “Company,” a taped-from-the-stage production of the George Firth/Stephen Sondheim musical. In case you are unfamiliar, “Company” is a landmark musical from 1970 that bypassed traditional story...
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Theater 2008-2009?

February 18, 2008
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We’re getting closer to the point where Indianapolis-area theater companies and presenters announce their 2008-2009 seasons. Already, Footlite Musicals has staked out territory that includes “Crazy for You,” “Miss Saigon” and—the one I’m most looking forward to—the local community theater premiere...
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An all-black “Cat” on Broadway

February 12, 2008
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Tonight, a new production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” begins performances on Broadway with a high-profile cast, including Terrence Howard, Phylicia Rashad and James Earl Jones. Obviously this isn’t the cast that Tennessee Williams had in mind when the...
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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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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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'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

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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“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
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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
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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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Great shakes at Butler

January 16, 2008
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“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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Hamlisch and show music matters

January 11, 2008
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Appreciative applause met Marvin Hamlisch when, just a few hours ago, he announced from the podium at the Hilbert Circle Theatre that he’d be conducting a medley of songs from “My Fair Lady” as part of his pops program with...
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Tell it to the Marines

January 10, 2008
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Today’s New York Times features an enlightening story about Mishawaka-native Adam Driver, a former University of Indianapolis student who organized an evening theater performance for the Marines at Camp Pendleton. Driver, an honorably discharged Marine himself, had the notion that Marines...
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Stand-Ups on Screen

December 27, 2007
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With “Mad TV” star Aries Spears performing this week at Morty’s Comedy Joint and Chris Rock coming to the Murat, I’m thinking about stand-up comics transitioning into movies. Although he seems to have the talent to do so, Spears hasn’t broken...
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When should the curtain rise?

December 21, 2007
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Right now, I’m a bit bleary from a night dominated not by sleep but instead by dropping my daughters, nieces and assorted friends off at a midnight screening of “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” and picking them up again at...
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A&E dining: before and after

December 20, 2007
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Last Friday, after catching the musical “Assassins” at Hedback Theatre, I barely made it to the new Meridian Bar and Restaurant in time for a late dinner. What I want to talk about now, though, isn’t the show (that review will...
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Live … from the big screen

December 19, 2007
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A few weeks back in my IBJ Daily A&E e-mail blast (you can subscribe for free here: http://www.ibj.com/2k6_2/forms/regform_nh.asp),  I wrote about a recent presentation of a LaScala opera on screen at the Rave movie theater at Metropolis. Last night, at...
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A new ISO marketing move

December 18, 2007
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Just yesterday, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra announced a new addition to its schedule--a Tuesday night preview concert of music excerpts from upcoming shows. The Jan. 8 coming-attractions evening ticket price is $5, which also includes a 2-for-1 offer for a future show. Getting...
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Price points

December 17, 2007
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One of the productions I’ll be reviewing in the next IBJ is “Assassins,” the Stephen Sondheim musical staged by the new Indy-based company Lowbrow Productions (information at www.lowbrowproductions.org). Something I probably won’t be mentioning in the article: The fact that...
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End Times/Good Times

December 14, 2007
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Today, “I am Legend” opens in theaters and “The Mist” is still lingering. I’m hoping to see both this weekend. Next month, “End Days” opens at the Phoenix Theatre, and Spotlight Theatre will stage the apocalyptic “Early One Evening at the...
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