Lou Harry's A&E

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Arts & Entertainment, etc.

You-review-it Monday: 'Wicked,' cabaret hopping, and more

November 18, 2013

For me, the weekend included catching the return of "Wicked" to the Murat. (See my review here.) I also enjoyed an impromptu visit to the Cabaret at the Columbia Club to hear Christine Andreas, whom I haven't seen on stage since her appearance in Broadway's "The Scarlet Pimpernel."

Why impromptu?

Because my intent Friday night was to hear Claire Wilcher ("Spamalot," "Avenue Q") in her solo debut at Chef Joseph's at the Connoisseur Room. I took flight, however, after 25 minutes of straining to hear a few notes here and there. That's no fault of Wilcher's. Blame, instead, goes to a a bar crowd that seemed to believe it was at a hockey game instead of a cabaret performance.  But it also would have helped if managment had given Wilcher a proper stage introduction instead of having her do her own cold opening. Here's hoping the crowd eventually realized there was a lady on the stage and that this isn't typical of the respect shown to talent at this attractive venue that's going out of its way to offer a stage to local performers.

In contrast, over at the Columbia Club, the lights were dimmed, host Shannon Forsell welcomed the audience, Andreas was given a proper introduction, and the crowd barely said a word for two lovely sets. The mix included songs from Andreas' Broadway hits (including "My Fair Lady" and "La Cage Aux Folles"), a bit of Edith Piaf, some atmospheric Italy-centric songs, and a sneak preview of a tune from  "The Countess of Storyville," a new musical by her husband/pianist Martin Silvestri. A first-class evening all around.

The rest of my weekend included catching up on films (voting in the Indiana Film Journalists Association awards is just a few weeks away). On my weekend roster:  "Ender's Game" (which I found surprisingly effective and thought-provoking enough for a cinematic sci-fi adventure), "The Place Beyond the Pines" (a rambling disappointment in spite of a strong first third and solid performances), "Dallas Buyers Club" (I'm glad I saw it knowing next to nothing about its story), and "Frances Ha" (a small film that I found sad, funny, and beautifully human). 

And you?

Did you see the new "Ice Age Giants" show at the Indiana State Museum? Catch "Red" at the Eiteljorg (my thoughts can be found here)? Take shelter during the matinee of "The Odd Couple" at the Studio Theater or "August: Osage County" at Cardinal Stage on Sunday?

Let me know what you experience on the A&E front this weekend.

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