You-review-it Monday

November 30, 2009
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Forgive me for posting a little late today, but I'm still slowed a bit from the turkey and leftovers...and more leftovers.

In and around feasts, though, I made it to the Phoenix Theatre's best-yet "A Very Phoenix Xmas" and the Indiana Repertory Theatre's little-lost-in-the-downsizing 90-minute "A Christmas Carol." More on both in next week's Lou's Views column in the print IBJ. (This week, you can read my thoughts on Wes Gehring's new Steve McQueen biography and the Indianapolis Opera's "La Boheme." Just click here.)

Although I went earlier in the week, I should also mention the film "The Fantastic Mr. Fox," a true original and a total delight. Highly recommended, with or without kids. 

Did you see any of the above this weekend? Catch up on old movies on TV? (For me, that included Cary Grant's "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House" and "Houseboat"). Attend the holiday festivities on Monument Circle.

Share your weekend experiences below.

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  • Yes! The best!
    I saw the Phoenix' holiday show on Sunday afternoon. I agree with you, Lou: the best yet!
  • Acoustic Cafe and original musical
    Lou,
    I am not in Indy quite as much as the locals, but I get down there some. Saturday December 5th, David Wilcox, one of the great acoustic music performers in the world, graced the stage at the Wheeler Arts Center in Fountain Square as part of Mark Butterfield's long running Indy Acoustic Cafe Series. He was amazing, transcendent...one of the best storytellers, songwriters and guitar players you will ever see, Mr. Wilcox comes to Indy about once a year. He never disappoints. I enthusiastically recommend the Acoustic Cafe Series to any fan of Acoustic Music.
    On another note, as an Anderson resident, Anderson's Mainstage theater, the longest running amateur theater in the state (2009 marked the theater's 50th year) did something they don't often (ever) do...they debuted an original musical "not quite reality" play written by a gifted local musician, artist, actor, and minister...Rick Vale. It was called "Open House", and it was sensational. Mr. Vale has written songs professionally, covered by the likes of artists like Sandi Patty. He sings for the Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra, and is a graphic artist/designer of consderable talent as well. The show itself was hilarious...a spoof on our insatiable appetite for "reality" based programming, with an all American family moving into a financially troubled community theater, conducting their lives in front of a live audience on weekends...as long as they pack in the crowds, they don't have to pay rent. You can only imagine the places a concept like that could go...Mr. Vale pretty much thought of them all.
    The show was hilarious, the music was great, the cast was inspired and professional, the set was beautiful, and it has the added bonus of engaging the audience at various times without it being some sappy sing along thing (no 4th wall). It was in a word, terrific..far exceeded my expectations...laugh out loud funny from beginning to end...No great social message, but truly entertaining. As someone who has performed in 100 plays over the years, mostly at Mainstage, I was proud to see it staged there. Thanks for giving me space to brag about it...kudos to Rick Vale, one extremely talented guy...has his own website...check it out to see all he has accomplished. I will keep it shorter next time.

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