On stage Blog Posts

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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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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Review: Bill Cosby at IU

September 24, 2008
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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
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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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Reviews: Phoenix, Civic, ATI

September 18, 2008
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Space is limited in this week's print IBJ, so instead of cutting down the week's reviews, I thought I'd share my thoughts here on three recent theater production openings. (FYI: You can find A&E reviews every week in IBJ's Not Strictly Business...
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The incredible shrinking diva

September 16, 2008
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"Traditionally, it isn't over until the fat lady sings. But it seems it will soon be over for the singing fat lady." So opens a piece in The London newspaper The Independent concerning the slimmer and fitter brand of opera...
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Mamet to actors: Stay out of school

September 11, 2008
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With David Mamet's latest play, "November," opening this week at the Phoenix Theatre, I was interested in reading the acclaimed playwright's latest words on his art. What I found in his recent book "True and False: Heresy...
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Tharp, true cabaret at ACT, etc.

September 9, 2008
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Time to empty the notebook with some quick items. --It was announced today that Indiana's own Twyla Tharp will be the recipient of a Kennedy Center Honors this year. She'll be joined by Morgan Freeman, Barbra Streisand, George Jones, Pete Townshend...
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Col. Esserman at Start with Art

September 4, 2008
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Today's Start with Art luncheon at the Convention Center unofficially marks the start of the arts season in Indy. So were you there? If so, what did you think of Col Dean M. Esserman's talk? For those who weren't, Esserman--Chief of Police...
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Pretending to like classical music?

September 3, 2008
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Many an inbox has found an e-mailed link to the website Stuffwhitepeoplelike.com over the last few years.  I'm mentioning it here, though, because it's most recent entry--#108 if you are keeping score--takes an open shot at classical music, claiming among other things...
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ISO announces all-star musical

August 28, 2008
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For years, other cities have been experiencing the unique pleasures of seeing musicals in concert. In New York, they call it Encores! In L.A., it's Reprise! Finally, Indianapolis is catching on. And while there is no exclamation-marked name for our version...
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Fringe review sparks discussion

August 28, 2008
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A brief review I posted here on Friday of the IndyFringe show "Peace on Terror" has generated some intense reaction. See the post and ongoing comments here. The conversation, led by someone involved in the show, has spilled over...
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International theater launching here

August 26, 2008
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You heard it hear first--unless you've been hanging out in the halls of Butler University. BU theater head John Green and prof/actress/director Diane Timmerman will be launching a new theater company next summer. Dedicated to bringing the best of world theatre artists...
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You-review-it Monday

August 25, 2008
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As you can see from the previous three posts, I spent most of the weekend on and around Mass Ave soaking up IndyFringe. It was great to see such strong crowds out. The festival continues through Aug. 31 and while...
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IndyFringe reviews 3

August 24, 2008
Comment(1)
Today, some family friendly fringe--in the company of my 6-year-old son. We started with "Tastes Funny," in which a pair of goofballs (the Ed Grimley-haired Daniel Oldaker and the stunning, "Pretty Woman"-era-Julia-Roberts-looking Ranik Huszar) performed admirable feats of  plate spinning, juggling, and...
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IndyFringe reviews 2

August 23, 2008
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Today, at Indy Fringe, I went looking for laughs. I started with a performance by Cool Table, a Chicago-based improv group that, two years ago, provided a very memorable evening anchored with a still-ringing-in-my-head song about the children's game Duck, Duck,...
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IndyFringe reviews 1

August 23, 2008
Comments(39)
For the first night of this year's IndyFringe Theatre Festival (aka IndyFringe or Indy Fringe), I decided to select four showsthat looked to be among the most risk-taking. After all, what's a fringe without something out there on the fringe? (Skip...
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Democrats' composer in residence

August 22, 2008
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David Amram (recently seen here in town at the opening of the Indianapolis Museum of Art's Kerouac/Frank exhibition) has been named Composer in Residence for the Democratic National Convention. See full story here. The story reports that Amram, who has...
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New theater launch, part 1

August 21, 2008
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A positive sign on the local arts scene (and we certainly could use those), is the launching of more professional arts organizations. Community theater is fine, but the more paying work there is for actors, directors, and designers, the better...
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On the brink of IndyFringe 2008

August 19, 2008
Comments(8)
IndyFringe 2008 launches this week with a kick-off party Thursday and performances beginning on Friday. This year's lineup includes 270 performances of 53 shows--including one-act plays, improvisational comedy, dance pieces, magic acts, confessional one-person shows and difficult-to-describe oddities. As in the past, the shows aren't...
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Overdosing on the Beatles?

August 18, 2008
Comments(2)
In putting together this year's IBJ A&E Season Preview (coming soon to your favorite business paper), I saw a mini-trend emerging. It starts Aug. 28-29 with "Classical Mystery Tour," a visit from a quartet of Liverpoolian-look-and-sing-alikes at Conner Prairie. That same...
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Latest B’way cast recordings

August 7, 2008
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With a new season starting on Broadway, I thought it a good time to give a listen to a stack of cast recordings of 2007/2008 shows. More than the original production, I believe, the cast recording is what encourages future...
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Illegal smiles: Pot comedy returns

July 29, 2008
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Variety reports today that "Up in Smoke" comedy legends Cheech and Chong will be hitting the road for the first time in 25 years. Their national tour, titled "Hey, What's that Smell?" will be announced tomorrow. Meanwhile, the latest comedy from...
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Pike/Warren add to touring choices

July 25, 2008
Comments(2)
In the previous blog, I listed the upcoming schedule for the Clowes Presents series. Well, Clowes Hall isn't our town's only presenter of across-the-arts-spectrum one-night-only touring talent. Here are the 2008-2009 shows coming to town courtesy of the Pike Performing...
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Clowes announces schedule

July 25, 2008
Comments(2)
Some arts organizations create. Others present. As to the latter, what Clowes Hall brings to town helps define the Indy arts season. So what do you think of this year's "Clowes Presents" lineup? Loudon Wainwright III and Leo Kottke (Sept. 27) Hubbard Street Dance...
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