Recent Blog Posts

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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Are crosswords anti-reading?

August 21, 2008
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Ron Rosenbaum at Slate.com seems think so. "What always gets to me," he writes, "is the self-congratulatory assumption on the part of puzzle people that their addiction to the useless habit somehow proves they are smarter or more literate than the...
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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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Happy birthday, Ben Harrison

August 20, 2008
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Today marks the 175th birthday of our homegrown pres, Benjamin Harrison. The BH home at 1230 N. Delaware is celebrating with free tours today from 10-3:30. I'm celebrating by trying to think of a list of Best Performance by an Actor...
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On the brink of IndyFringe 2008

August 19, 2008
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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
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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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You-review-it Monday

August 17, 2008
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I spend more time than I expected to this weekend soaking up Gen Con--including a performance of "Video Games Live" with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. More on the concert--and some great family board games I discovered--in this week's print column....
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'American Teen'--your comments

August 14, 2008
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So were you there at the IBJ Night at the Movies screening of "American Teen," the high school documentary shot in Warsaw, Indiana? Let us know what you thought of the film.
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Thoughts on Gen Con Indy

August 14, 2008
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No, I'm not going to mock the costumed hoards that are converging on the Convention Center over the next few days for Gen Con. Instead, I'm just going to share some observations on the event, its people, and its...
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When the art hits the fan

August 13, 2008
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At Switzerland's Zentrum Paul Klee, an inflatable pile of dog feces the size of a modest ranch home came loose from the museum grounds, knocked down a power line, and broke a window in a nearby children's home. See the BBC report...
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Mayor: budget cannot eliminate arts

August 12, 2008
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And so the Indianapolis arts community exhales. There's still $1 million in the budget and there's less chance of our town being seen as culturally regressive. But what's the underlying message from Mayor Ballard's budget speech? Is it simply that cuts have...
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You-review-it Monday

August 11, 2008
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For me, the weekend was bookended with a Friday trip to Bloomington to see singer Maureen McGovern backed by IU musicians and a Sunday run to Beef & Boards for the opening of The "Producers." What did you see, hear, read...
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Arts budget: Scales comments

August 7, 2008
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Earlier today, City County Councillor Christine Scales e-mailed me regarding the city arts budget and the rumored threats against it. I'm reprinting the letter here (and posting it with the earlier blog) with her permission. Your thoughts are, of...
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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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Emptying the A&E notebook

August 6, 2008
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Some thoughts on recent arts encounters that didn't make it into my weekly IBJ A&E review column: --  With a trio of young, out-of-town sports nuts in tow, I recently paid my first visit in years to the National Art...
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Cut to: The city's arts budget

August 5, 2008
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The buzz is growing around the arts community about anticipated budget cuts from the Ballard administration to be announced on Monday. See, for example, Justin Ohlemiller's commentary at the Hetrick Communications site here and Gracie Communications' Lisa Sirkin's "Save the Arts" page...
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IBJ Movie Night: 'American Teen'

August 4, 2008
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"American Teen" won the Best Director/Documentary award at the Sundance Film Festival. Shot in Warsaw, Indiana, it follows a group of teens through senior year of high school. Rolling Stone's critic said, "If 'The Hills' went back to high school and developed...
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You-review-it Monday

August 4, 2008
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This weekend, family commitments kept me out of the arts loop--although I did find time to take some sports-crazy out-of-towners through the National Art Museum of Sport and my in-laws to the "To Live Forever" show at the Indianapolis Museum...
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'Bodies' raises questions

July 30, 2008
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"Premier cannot independenty verify that the human remains you are viewing are not those of persons who were incarcerated in Chinese prisons..." So say the presenters of "Bodies...the Exhibition," the controversial show--featuring cadavers, body parts, and organs--being presented here at Claypool...
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IMA Great Hall to get greater

July 29, 2008
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Max Anderson at the Indianapolis Museum of Art has finally gotten his wish--a dominant piece of art in the IMA's Pulliam Great Hall (that's the open area you enter as soon as you go through the sliding doors at the...
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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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You-review-it Monday

July 28, 2008
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You have to love an Indianapolis weekend when it's impossible to get to everything you want to see. While I caught Allalike Productions' "bare," Theatre on the Square's remarkable "A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant," ShadowApe's "Transformations" and ACT's young...
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Pike/Warren add to touring choices

July 25, 2008
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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
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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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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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