You-review-it Monday: 'Yuletide Celebration' and more

December 9, 2013
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For me, the weekend included attending the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra's "Yuletide Celebration," this year featuring Sandi Patty as hostess and a quartet of von Trapp descendants as guest artists. I also caught NoExit's oddball take on "The Nutcracker" at the Irving Theater. Look for my thoughts on both in an upcoming column.

I also continued to catch up on potentially award-worthy movies including Disney's magical "Frozen," which, combined with "The Princess and the Frog" and "Tangled," makes me think that the absorption of Pixar into the Disney family has really stepped up the quality of the studio's non-Pixar offerings. In other words, Disney is on a hot streak.

Also on my viewing pile "All is Lost" and the yet-to-open-here "Saving Mr. Banks" and  "August: Osage County." FYI: If you want to be a part of an upcoming advance screening, you can enter to win tickets to "Inside LLewyn Davis" here.

And what about you?

Did you get to any of the above? Or see a different "Nutcracker," a version of "A Christmas Carol," a holiday concert or perhaps something completely unrelated to the season?

What did you do on the A&E front last weekend?

  • Dance Kaleidoscope
    I attended and thoroughly enjoyed Dance Kaleidoscope's fundraiser, "Invitation the the Dance" Sat. night in the wonderful Schrott Center at Butler. Accompanied by Marianne Tobias and Maestro Raymond Leppard on grand pianos, the program was another example of the superior artistry that resides in Indianapolis. I can't wait for DK's "American Rhapsody" concerts Jan. 9 - 12!
  • Yuletide Celebration
    It was my 12th year attending Yuletide and we simply adore it. It's one of our favorite family holiday traditions! That being said, unfortunately this was my least favorite year of them all. They took the Sound of Music theme very literally and it was basically an all singing year without much else, really. Of course, it is about singing so it was no surprise to have singing, but usually there is a LOT of variety....various types of acts with singing, acrobatics, specialty singers, theatrical elements, celebrities occasionally, etc...but this year, the Von Trapp decendants were the main element. They were good and it was neat to have them, but they were the focus. There were just a few extra items, a violinist and one theatrical santa focused thing, the two standard items of the dancing Santa's and The Night Before Christmas. Otherwise, all song. Our daughter is usually glued the whole time and this year, we could barely keep her quiet because she lost interest quickly. The part that we were saddest about was the TOY SHOP that has been present the last two years being eliminated this year. It's by far, the best, most magical thing that they have ever done at Yuletide and what I heard the most "wow's" over from soo many people we know who go, over the past few years....and we were soo excited to see it!! Instead, we just got more songs and outfit changes! We were soo bummed and our daughter is still asking when we get to see the magical toy shop come to life again. We will always be Yuletide attendee's....and we know that every year cannot be the best year! We are excited for next year to be better!
  • Capital City Chorus
    I took in Capital City Chorus' holiday show Sunday night at the Shrott Center at Butler. The skits were fun and they're rendition of "Ode to Joy" was incredible. It was my first time seeing these ladies in concert and I had a great time.
  • The Nutcracker at the Carmel Theatre Company
    The Carmel Theatre Company completes its presentation of a theatrical version of the Nutcracker with performances Friday and Saturday at 7:00 and Sunday afternoon at 2:00. My wife and I attended last night's performance, and we enjoyed it from start to finish. All of the performers, and especially the children, were wonderful and the children truly make this show a must see for the holiday season. This performance has enough of the music and ballet to bring a familiarity to Nutcracker fans, but the focus on the story and maintaining a faster pace allows a wider audience to enjoy this popular holiday tradition.

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  1. Why not take some time to do some research before traveling to that Indiana town or city, and find the ones that are no smoking either inside, or have a patio? People like yourself are just being selfish, and unnecessarily trying to take away all indoor venues that smokers can enjoy themselves at. Last time I checked, it is still a free country, and businesses do respond to market pressure and will ban smoking, if there's enough demand by customers for it(i.e. Linebacker Lounge in South Bend, and Rack and Helen's in New Haven, IN, outside of Fort Wayne). Indiana law already unnecessarily forced restaurants with a bar area to be no smoking, so why not support those restaurants that were forced to ban smoking against their will? Also, I'm always surprised at the number of bars that chose to ban smoking on their own, in non-ban parts of Indiana I'll sometimes travel into. Whiting, IN(just southeast of Chicago) has at least a few bars that went no smoking on their own accord, and despite no selfish government ban forcing those bars to make that move against their will! I'd much rather have a balance of both smoking and non-smoking bars, rather than a complete bar smoking ban that'll only force more bars to close their doors. And besides IMO, there are much worser things to worry about, than cigarette smoke inside a bar. If you feel a bar is too smoky, then simply walk out and take your business to a different bar!

  2. As other states are realizing the harm in jailing offenders of marijuana...Indiana steps backwards into the script of Reefer Madness. guys voted for your Gov...up to you to vote him out. Signed, Citizen of Florida...the next state to have medical marijuana.

  3. It's empowering for this niche community to know that they have an advocate on their side in case things go awry.

  4. Apparently the settlement over Angie's List "bundling" charges hasn't stopped the practice! My membership is up for renewal, and I'm on my third email trying to get a "basic" membership rather than the "bundled" version they're trying to charge me for. Frustrating!!

  5. a vendor to both of these builders I guess I have the right to comment. Davis closed his doors with integrity.He paid me every penny he owed me. Estridge,STILL owes me thousands and thousands of dollars. The last few years of my life have been spent working 2 jobs, paying off the suppliers I used to work on Estridge jobs and just struggling to survive. Shame on you Paul...and shame on you IBJ! Maybe you should have contacted the hundreds of vendors that Paul stiffed. I'm sure your "rises from the ashes" spin on reporting would have contained true stories of real people who have struggled to find work and pay of their debts (something that Paul didn't even attempt to do).