You-review-it Monday

March 23, 2014
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For me, the weekend included a long drive east, which meant lots of quality time with Serius satellite radio's Broadway channel (but enough with "Kinky Boots," already).

I also finished Roxane Gay's soon-to-be-released "An Untamed State." The remarkable first novel starts with a kidnapping in Haiti but evolves into a clear-but-complex study of survival both during and after trauma. One of Gay's many strengths is avoiding straight-line storytelling and obvious through lines. Never shying away from her story's brutality, she also doesn't shy away from its complicated aftereffects. She also wisely makes clear the political and social circumstances that lead to the crime without apologizing for those who carry out these acts. Not for the squeamish, but as powerful as it is grueling.

And you? Read any good books lately? Get to the one-minute play festival at the Phoenix, the ISO, or IndyFringe (where "A Streetcar Named Desire," see review here, played its final performances)?

  • Folksong Fantasia
    My wife and I decided in the midst of all the March Madness, something different was in order. We purchased tickets to the Palladium’s Folksong Fantasia and we couldn’t have been more pleased with the performance of the Indiana Wind Symphony and their guest soloist, tenor Ken Knowles. It seems like every performance we experience at the Palladium seems intimate, and this one was even more so. Conductor Charles Conrad, Ken Knowles and the musicians made us feel as if this was a casual get-together on a Saturday evening. We are fortunate to hear Ken’s voice at church most Sundays and at an occasional wedding. Both his O Sole Mio and Danny Boy filled the venue with power and emotion. Finishing with a standing ovation, Conductor Conrad led the encore with Grainger’s arrangement of Danny Boy—a fascinating contrast to the traditional version as sung earlier by Knowles. A very comfortable, enjoyable evening spent with talented musicians who appreciate sharing their gift.
  • One Minute Plays
    Unlike most weekend gigs, the One Minute Play Festival at the Phoenix is going on for one more show - tonight at 7 tonight. I think some tix are still left, and the 1 hour run time won't interfere with a school night!!
  • Tao: Phoenix Rising
    We caught Tao: Phoenix Rising at the Palladium mid week. I've seen the Kodo drummers on numerous occasions in the past. Where Kodo is the pinnacle of the art form, Tao combines exceptional skill with humor and audience interaction. All in all, a more entertaining performance than many of those Kodo performances of the past.

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