You-review-it Monday

February 15, 2010
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There were a wide range of arts and entertainment choices this weekend, from singer/pianist Tony DeSare's terrific synergy with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra to Shakespearian dance with the Indiana Ballet Company. The dancers were footloose at Beef & Boards, the music loverly at Indinapolis Civic, the humor irreverent at Theatre on the Square, and the clowns expert at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Plus, Abe Lincoln made his presence known at two shows at the Indiana State Museum. To take a video tour with me, click here.

I hit a few of the above, finished reading a biography of Vincent Price (I have a fascination with old school horror movie actors), and caught most of the performance art/spectacle better known as the Olympic opening ceremonies.

And you? What did you see, read, or do this weekend?

Your thoughts?

 

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  • Weekend Events
    So happy about the invention known as the DVR which took care of recording the Olympic Opening Ceremonies for us while we took in the Symphony Pops concert with Tony DeSare Friday evening. It was a delightful concert and if you haven't caught a Symphony Pops concert, you're truly missing a wonderful evening and ticket prices are very affordable. We also attended the Sunday performance of the Cirque at Conseco. We're spoiled by Cirque productions we've attended in Las Vegas, but it was a very enjoyable show. Once again, a full weekend of activities in Indy!
  • Don't send in the clowns
    Attended Cirque de Soleil on Saturday and I was not impressed. It seemed that almost half of the show was wasted with silly clown acts. I know this is part of the show, but it went on too long in this show. The stunts and the acrobatic feats were awesome, but there wasn't enough. It was not even close to what I had seen in a previous show. I attended another Cirque de Soleil show in Vegas and it was fabulous.
  • Loverly Footloose
    It was a busy arts weekend for us, starting with opening night for Footloose Thursday at Beef & Boards. I loved it even though (as always) the dancing was less than spectacular. It's a show close to my heart having been friends with the preacher's daughter at a high school that banned dancing as a sin.

    On Saturday, we enjoyed the concert staging of My Fair Lady at the Civic Theatre with pre-show wine tasting from Easley Winery. The wine tasting was a "loverly" way to kick off a terrific evening. I had the privilege of seeing Rex Harrison perform live on-stage in My Fair Lady in San Francisco in the 1970s and I've seen the movie and the stage version many times. Seeing the show in concert, however, was a special treat! The singing was top-notch! By focusing just on the songs without all the staging, we could catch the lyrics and script better than ever before. For me, the highlight was the male quartet singing in beautiful harmony in "Loverly", "With a Little Bit of Luck" and the intro to "Get me to the Church On Time."

    As for Cirque, we skipped it. I've not been impressed with them since Franco Dragone left - it's all copies of Dragone's vision and nothing original in years.

    The Opening Ceremonies were amazing, right up until I couldn't stay awake anymore. The First Nation performances made me home sick for Alaska. Canada should be proud.
  • Franklin
    Discovered how much fun an evening at the (packed) Art Craft Theatre can be.
  • Artcraft
    Pasquale,
    Good choice. This weekend was "Casablanca" at the Artcraft. Coming soon: "E.T.," "The Philadelphia Story," and "Blue Hawaii."
    If any of you have never gone, why wait? It's a Central Indiana treasure.
    And the popcorn is good, too.
    --Lou Harry
  • Indiana Ballet
    Indiana Balletâ??s 'From Shakespeare With Love' was an evening that delighted â?? again!

    Like â??The Little Engine That Couldâ?? the company performs way above the level that should be expected from its size and produces performances that are equally thrilling to both ballet aficionados and to less knowledgeable supporters like me.

    It is no surprise that its dancers are placed regularly in regional and national competitions but they bring something even more to their productions. The atmosphere created by the dancers, musicians and choreographers â?? both on stage and through meeting the audience after the show - draws everyone into sharing with them the love of their art and makes their performance so much more memorable.

    You do not feel that you have been to a show but that you have been included in one.

    A great evening out.
  • BUSY weekend!
    I saw four live theatre shows, read most of a novel, and heard lots of opinions about the new Percy Jackson movie.

    *****

    "Call Me Boricua!" - a beautiful one-man show written and performed by Ricardo Melendez - was a sort of "volume one" of what I hope will become a series of live memoirs from this multi-talented, bilingual performance artist. The show incorporates singing, dancing, hilarious props from a "trunk of treasures," and serious confrontations - both internal and external - from the story of Ricardo's emmigration to the mainland United States from Puerto Rico.

    The final show, this Sunday afternoon, February 21, will be all in Spanish and free of charge. Phoenix Theatre.

    *****
    "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," the award-winning play by Tennessee Williams, is a little "speech-y" but in the hands of a talented director and cast, it is a core-shaker. Brian Noffke directed it for the Carmel Community Players. I forgot that I was watching an all-volunteer cast. I forgot that I was watching actors at all.

    It runs only through this coming weekend, Thursday-Sunday. Carmel Community Playhouse is in the Clay Terrace shopping center.

    *****
    "Footloose" was a goofy movie with some good songs and crush-worthy actors. The stage version now running at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre is pretty goofy with some good songs and crush-worthy actors, too. And you know what? Sometimes that is exactly what I want, especially after what seems like a decade of shoveling snow.

    Icing was to find myself weeping over Eddie Curry's moving portrayal of the "no dancing!" minister.

    *****
    "Spring Cleaning" is a nicely-varied collection of 8 short plays by the Indiana-based playwrights from a group called Indy Playmakers. Theatre on the Square donated the use of the TOTS second stage for this group to showcase its most recent projects. Some of the plays work better than others, but it was fun to see so many different attempts in one sitting.

    *****
    I am almost finished reading the novel that was the teen winner of the Schneider Family Book Award, which is given for books that "embody an artistic expression of the disability experience."

    Marcello in the Real World, by Francisco X. Stork, is about a young man on the very high-functioning end of the autism spectrum who is spending the summer working in the mail room at his father's law firm. He has attended a special school all his life and, his father believes, has been coddled. So, for his senior year, his father wants him to go to public school. Marcello does not want to. He agrees to try working at the law firm first.

    If you liked The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon, you would probably enjoy this, too, but as a friend of mine pointed out, Marcello in the Real World deserves recognition in its own right.

    *****
    "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief" was, I heard, number 2 at the box office this past weekend. Only that star-studded Valentine movie beat it.

    I also heard that the "Percy Jackson" movie is completely different from the book, but enjoyable enough if you can let go of your love of the book. Which makes me think the movie-makers missed an opportunity, but oh, well.

    Hope Baugh
    Indy Theatre Habit

  • should be only one "l"
    'Sorry: I realized as I was writing about Marcelo in the Real World for another blog today that I had spelled the main character's name wrong here.

    Hope Baugh
    Indy Theatre Habit

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