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.

  • 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
    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, 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 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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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.