Recent Blog Posts

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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Confess: books you haven't read

July 23, 2008
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At England's Ways with Words literary festival, authors were asked to name books that they are ashamed to admit they haven't read. See story here. For me, that would be a long list, including "Catch-22," "Moby Dick," "Remembrance of Things...
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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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You-review-it Monday

July 20, 2008
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So how was your weekend? Did you go through some "Transformations" with ShadowApe Theatre? Take a trip down the yellow brick robe to see "The Wiz"? Take in a Black Expo Summer Celebration concert? Check out Chakaia Booker's downtown artwork?...
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Dick Lugar makes The Onion

July 18, 2008
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A little light reading for the day, care of The Onion. It's the senator's first appearance in the satiric newspaper since this story in 2004. Enjoy. Just don't forward these as real news, please.
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Emmy nominees announced

July 17, 2008
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The Emmy Awards don't have the same cache--or offer the same box-office boost--as the Oscars or the Tonys. But they do lend prestige to the TV shows and talent that win them. Because much of my evening time is spent at...
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Summer of the Superhero

July 15, 2008
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There was Iron Man. There was the Hulk. There was Hell Boy. Now, Batman is back. Summer has long been the time of blockbuster special effects movies, but this year seems disproportionately super hero focused. What does it say that so many films--not...
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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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You-review-it Monday

July 13, 2008
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So did you catch DK's Gershwin show? Do the Time Warp again with the rest of the "Rocky Horror" fans at the Indianapolis Museum of Art? Or catch the young adult production of "Once on this Island" at Footlite? Whatever your...
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Flashback: Our liveliest arts blogs

July 11, 2008
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Somewhere between the 100th and 200th episode of any self-respecting sitcom, there's usually a moment where the cast is trapped ...
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Your summer reading list

July 11, 2008
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At the top of my reading pile right now is Doug Crandell's new novel "Hairdos of the Mildly Depressed." Crandell has Indiana roots, a big heart, and lots of talent and I'm looking forward to gliding into this one. It will...
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Awarding high school theater?

July 10, 2008
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Forgive the randomness of today's posting. I'm in a clearing-my-desk frenzy before taking off tomorrow afternoon for a family trip to the Jersey shore. (Thank goodness I have some LA Theatre Works plays on tape to get me through...
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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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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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