You-review-it Monday: Oscars, DK, Nunsense and more

March 8, 2010
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Where you in the audience for Ben Vereen's Carmel Community Players' benefit? Catch "Alice in Wonderland" at a theater near you? Devour the "Food Con" events at First Friday at the Harrison Center?

Those were among the offerings I missed. I did, over the past few days, get to "After Paul McCartney" at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, Dance Kaleidoscope's "Love Is..." (also at the IRT--and reviewed here), Actors' Theatre of Indiana's "Nunsense," and Amanda McBroom's appearance at the Cabaret at the Columbia Club. I hope to write about some of those either here or in the print edition of IBJ. (To see recent print columns, click here.)

And then, of course, there were the Oscars. My question: Next year, would you rather see the dance piece to the nominated scores or performances of the nominated songs?

Your thoughts on the Oscars...or whatever else you experienced this weekend?

  • Jamaica Farewell
    I attended "Jamaica, Farewell," written and performed by Jamaica native Debra Ehrhart, as a guest of one of the winners of DivaFest. I had no idea what to expect and had never seen a one-person show.

    It told the fantastic journey of a sheltered, naive, but extremely brave young woman who only ever had one dream in life: to live in America. I won't spoil too much of the story, but this biography is both a history of the fall of island nation Jamaica in the 1970s and a tender telling of a poverty stricken girlhood. Throw in some business with smuggling and the CIA, and you have a show that is worthy of a Hollywood screenplay...which by the way...the creator of the hit film "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," has purchased the film rights to this amazing and harrowing true story.

    The show received a standing ovation the night I attended.

    This was also my first trip to the Fringe Theater, but it will not be my last. What a gem. It is definitely the most eclectic theater in the theater district--a welcome addition.

  • La Rondine
    I saw Puccini's La Rondine performed by the IU Opera Saturday night. I'd never even heard of it, but found it quite beautiful both musically and visually. IU Opera's final production is West Side Story the weekends of April 9 and 16. They're doing it in recognition of receiving the contents of Leonard Bernstein's composing shed. I wish they'd decided to do Candide, which is performed far less often, but Iâ??ll take West Side Story.
  • Oscars
    I was not a fan of this year's Oscar show. I thought the whole thing moved very slowly, right up until Best Picture when I felt like I blinked and almost missed it. No thanks on the dance performance, and they don't have to invite Steve and Alec back next year either. I did attend a fabulous party to watch the show at least, complete with Miracle Fish-sticks and AVATARter sauce, and some sort of Star Trek ale that was blue and tasty!
  • busy, but not too busy to read
    I loved Dance Kaleidoscope's "Love Is..." as I mentioned earlier.

    I also loved ATI's production of "Nunsense" at the Carmel Community Playhouse. I may have to squeeze in a second trip just to hear Claire Wilcher belt out that "Holier Than Thou" number again at the end. I took a very picky friend with me this first time, and her succinct comment afterwards was "very well done."

    I also enjoyed Ben Vereen's show and, I confess, enjoyed "live tweeting" it from a hiding place up in the balcony behind a wall. He was warm and funny and inspirational.

    I'm looking forward to seeing "101 Dalmatians" at Clowes Hall tonight, but wish I could be at the third "Jabberwocky" event at the Indy Fringe building at the same time, because last night I thought of a just-right little story to share during the open microphone portion. Ah, well. There are supposed to be live dogs in the show I'm going to, so I'm curious about that.

    I finished reading a new (2010) novel called The Man With Two Arms, by Billy Lombardo. (The Overlook Press) It is not flawless, but it was fun to read, with lots of great stuff about baseball and relationships. I loved the layers in it.

    The father in the story is a science teacher and a baseball fanatic. He buys his new baby boy a baseball mitt almost the minute he is born. The son...well, the son turns out to be able to pitch amazingly well both right-handed and left-handed and has other gifts as well.

    I need to think about how to describe this book better, but my lunch break is almost over, so I'll just say that I recommend it for both sports fans and book groups.

    Hope Baugh
    Indy Theatre Habit
  • Oscar Party
    Attended an Oscar party hosted by the Indianapolis International Film Festival. It was located at Forty-Five Degrees on Mass Ave, and although the broadcast was standard award show, the night was fun with silent auction and free sushi! The dj played over commercials with previous oscar-winning music/soundtracks, and there were raffle prizes drawn. About 150 people were there. Fun night!
  • Nunsense
    I saw Nunsense and have one word - HILARIOUS. I was really impressed with the talent of the local cast. I'm planning to go again and take a bunch of girl friends. Dinner, a little wine, and a funny show - what more could you ask?
  • What A Dog...
    Woof... I have never left a live theatrical performance... we were gone BEFORE intermission for 101 Dumbations. I always thought that Dennis DeYoung had a musical in him. I hope this was not it. The band sounded hot, but that is the only good thing I can say about this show. Can anyone name a song from the film. The ONE you will all name is not even included in the show. And can someone tell me what breed of dog is Rastafarian? When the Rasta pooch entered it was our cue to exit. Early enough to see the new film adaptation of Alice in Wonderland a much better experience. As I said, I have never left a show early, but I figured Disney already had my money and that was the point, right?
  • dog days
    101 wasn't a Disney show. See my review here:
  • Ah Ha!
    As I look back at the program and then the website I saw NO DISNEY logo, produced by... nuttin'. More research reveals that the Disney movie is BASED on a 1957 children's novel The Hundred And One Dalmatians or The Great Dog Robbery by Dodie Smith. Disney Snatched it up in 1961 to produce the endearing film we recall from our childhood. I now understand the absence of Cruella's tune that in the film was penned by the father character. I can't imagine how much Disney would have charged to use the tune. This show was like a peanut butter, pickle, and prune sandwich... I like all the parts separately. But put them together and it turned my stomach. With a toddler we get out to see theatre so rarely these days, so we continued out date night elsewhere. As a writer of children's theatre I also feel the dilemma posed by adapting a property that has been touched by the Disney hand. I don't even consider those titles as options any more. My Jungle Book was bumped by a theatre 2 years ago because Disney gave them a great deal on their version (Jungle Book Jr.) as a package with the mainstage's High School Musical. So, my question is why 101 Dalmatians? And why use Disney's "101" version of the title instead of the "A Hundred And One" from the book it was based on. At least a semantic stickler such as myself would have been able to see that difference. All that said, with Sh###y Sh$$$y Bang Bang last year there were still the wonderful Sherman Brother score to attempt to cover the wounds left by the rest of that shhhh-ow.

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