Civic to add concert musicals

July 7, 2009
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In addition to its slate of plays and musicals, Indianapolis Civic Theatre will be adding a pair of concerts to the upcoming season.

Currently being considered are concert versions of "Hair," and "Rent." Tickets will be $24 with performances Oct. 2-4 and Feb. 12-14. No decision yet on which show will go in which slot.

Unlike traditional productions, these concert versions are presented with musicians on stage, minimal blocking and little or no scenery. Actors often carry their scripts.

If you saw the recent PBS presentation of "Chess" (be thankful if you didn't), you know the format. Better examples include the ISO's "Guys and Dolls" and many of the productions at Encores at City Center in New York (including the ones that launched the revivals of "Chicago" and "Gypsy").

In the right hands, there's something magical about these productions that put voice and music at the forefront. The question is whether or not "Rent" and "Hair" -- two shows that are on local theater schedules already -- are good choices for it.  

Your thoughts?
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  • Pretty lame choices. Get gutsy! Pick some BIG show that you couldn't afford to do otherwise!
  • Who has HAIR in their upcoming season in Indy?
  • Ball State theter is doing Hair. Purdue did it recently. (I consider the donut schools part of the local theater scene, but maybe that's just me.)
  • I think it is a great idea. I would have picked other shows - but it is a good start.
  • First off, great to see Ball State continuing to do interesting things in their season and they are well done and affordable. I guess that's what my alumni donations must be funding. Go Cards!

    I think this idea is interesting, but not sure it would be worth it to see a concert version of shows you could see (for less money) at other theaters that will have sets, costumes, and no scripts in hand.

    Unlike when they do this in NY or DC, I doubt there will be any big names which would be a draw.

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