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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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Ballard not starting with art

September 2, 2008
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For the first time in its 22 year history, the season-kickoff Start with Art luncheon (being held this Thursday) won't include a visit from the Indianapolis' mayor. Greg Ballard, as has been reported elsewhere, will be at the Republican National Convention. The...
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You-review-it Monday

September 1, 2008
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I don't expect there to be many visitors here today--which I hope means you are enjoying the long weekend. Still, whether you are checking in Monday or Tuesday (or beyond), let me know what you've seen, read or experienced this weekend. As for...
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Short fiction in newspapers?

August 29, 2008
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Publishers Weekly reports that the Rocky Mountain News has decided to start publishing fiction in its newspaper. Specifically, original short stories. See story here. On the surface, fiction might seem no more out of place in a newspaper than comics or...
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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
Comment(1)
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
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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
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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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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
Comments(3)
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
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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You-review-it Monday

August 17, 2008
Comments(4)
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
Comments(7)
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
Comments(11)
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
Comments(4)
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
Comments(21)
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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