You-review-it Monday: 'Billy Elliot,' 'Yankee Tavern,' etc.

April 12, 2010
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Getting to "Yankee Tavern" at the Phoenix Theatre and the opening of "Billy Elliot" in Chicago (more on these to come) meant missing an art opening at the Harrison Center, Melora Hardin at the Cabaret at the Columbia Club, Carrie Underwood at Conseco and more.

So fill me in here at our virtual water cooler. Share what you saw, heard or otherwise experienced this weekend.

Your thoughts?

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  • Good art weekend
    Thursday I saw Michael Burke's Women of Troy at the Irvington. Indy is lucky to have him for as long as we can hold on. Anyone who saw his Medea at Fringe knows he is great at making classics modern and fresh feeling. Great performances by all the women involved.

    Friday was Spark A Revolution at the Earth House. My first exposure to Know No Stranger was bind blowing. 31 performance artists created a carnival like experience recreating your favorite internet destinations.

    And Sunday was a trip to Buck Creek Players for Brain from Planet X. REALLY fun satire. Excellent set and costumes. And a great ensemble. Would love to see it with a more energetic crowd than what I saw at the Sunday matinee.
  • Billy Elliot
    I am eager to hear feedback about "Billy Elliot." I saw it in London several years ago, and was so eager to see it -- and ended up so disappointed. It was just extremely loud, and musically very, very undistinguished -- none of the score is memorable. The kid who played Billy was impressive, but that was it. I wondered if it was the result of the show running for so long and thought perhaps a fresh company might make things right.
  • 2 plays, 1 band, 1.5 books
    I saw "Yankee Tavern" at the Phoenix Theatre, too, although on a different night from you, Lou. I thought it was deliciously creepy. I also loved being able to see another new Steven Dietz play after just seeing "Becky's New Car" at the IRT. The two pieces are very different in tone and subject matter but equally engaging, equally entertaining. "Yankee Tavern" is darker, and about conspiracy theories and ghosts, and about knowing when to ask more questions and when to let go.

    I also drove out to Danville to the Longstreet Playhouse, new home of the Hendricks Civic Theatre. "Grace & Glorie" is this all-volunteer community theatre's 4th production in their new space but it was my first chance to get there. It is a charming, intimate space in a renovated church. I was moved by the show, too. It is an inspirational drama about a hospice worker and the 90-year-old woman she volunteered to help.

    I will, of course, write more about both of these shows on my own blog in a day or two.

    I had planned to hear Anne Shimojima share stories at the Indiana History Center on Saturday night but decided I needed to stay home and catch up on my blog writing instead. But later, on a purely last-minute whim, I joined some family members at Radio Radio in Fountain Square to hear a Bloomington-based band called "Gentleman Caller." Very fun.

    I also read and loved a new novel called Anthill, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edward O. Wilson. It is about a boy growing up near Mobile, Alabama. He decides to try to save a tract of wilderness from developers...but it is a much more rounded story than that. Lovely writing, a pleasure to read. I will never think of ants, or the South, in the same way again.

    I am in the middle of a new nonfiction book called The 188the Crybaby Brigade: A Skinny Jewish Kid from Chicago Fights Hezbollah, by Joel Chasnoff. It is funny and insightful and fascinating, about an American who joins the Israeli army.

    Hope Baugh
    Indy Theatre Habit

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  1. What became of this project? Anyone know?

  2. Scott, could you post an enlarged photo of the exterior of the building? This will be a great addition to Walnut Street. This area will only continue to develop with additions like this. Also, please give us more updates on the "Cultural Trail light" expansion. Also a great move for the city, as long as there is maintenance money set aside.

  3. Great story IBJ! Citizens don't have a real sense of the financial magnitude of supporting Indy's sports and tourism sector. The CIB was a brilliant idea for creating a highly integrated public-private partnership to support this sector from the economic activity it generates. Unfortunately, most folks think the benefits of that economic activity accrue directly to the City budget, and it doesn't. So though the CIB is facing lean times (covering its costs while maintaining minimally acceptable reserves), the City is operating with deficit - less tax revenue than expenses each year - with a very fragile reserve balance. That's why it's so challenging for the City to fund basic needs or new intitatives (e.g. pre-k education; new jail), and some credit rating agencies have downgraded Indy from it's past stellar AAA status. More reporting on City finances would be welcomed.

  4. Sure, I'll admit that it bugs me to see that the IBJ.COM censors it's blog posts almost as much as the D of I does when someone points out the falsehoods and fabrications. _____But I think it bothers me almost as much that Captain/Defender/Disciple get his yanked too. You see, those of us with a sense of integrity, humanity, compassion, and a need for fact based opinion WANT to see all of his screeds posted. It makes our point so much better than we can do it ourselves.

  5. We're conflating two very different topics. Voter fraud is a myth and excessive gun violence is all too real. I just hope rational gunowners decide to stop being shouted down by the, well, let's call them "less rational" ones.

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