Local talent and B'way stars at Midwest Arts Conference

September 14, 2010
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Wondering why downtown seemed swankified last night?

It could be the fact that the Midwest Arts Conference is in town. An annual opportunity for programmers from around the county to sample live entertainment from around the world, the conference brings in talent ranging from Presidio Brass to the Juggernaut Jug Band, from Squonk Opera to a one-man Albert Einstein show. Most of these are being presented in short showcases with some open to the public.

The festivities kicked off with Indiana artists in the spotlight. Following an opening night reception at the gasp-inducing Indiana Roof Ballroom (it's fun when out-of-towners are impressed) where Minetti's Tangamente, the Steve Allee Quartet, singer/songwriter Carrie Newcomer, and improvisational guitarist Michael Kelsey were featured--in hopes of finding bookings. All were shown in a great light, with Kelsey being an attention-getting standout.

From there, the group spread out to what will grow to 14 different venues over the course of the four-day event. I hustled to the Cabaret at the Columbia Club to see Karen Mason--between stints in Broadway's "Mamma Mia" and the upcoming Frank Wildhorn musical "Wonderland." She brought her A-game, offering what she called "the Karen Mason Bulletpoints," boldly conquering a set of songs connected to better-known Broadway icons--including "All that Jazz," "People," "The Impossible Dream," and "Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend."

Also on the bill was Steve Ross, who I missed when he played a full set in a previous engagement at the Cabaret. My loss. The introduction labeled him a "Park Avenue dandy" and that was right on the money, as Ross offered charm-without-smarm versions of "I Get a Kick out of You/Anything Goes," "If Ever I Would Leave You," and a lovely instrumental medley of songs made famous by Edith Piaf.

Four-time Tony nominee Gregg Edelman played a late set, bringing Midwest everyman quality (He's a Chicagoland native) and outstanding pipes to the program.

If you didn't know Edelman from Broadway's "City of Angels" or "Passion," you might recognize him from "Spider-Man 2" or "Little Children." (He'd be perfect should anyone ever write "Bart Peterson: The Musical') His program focused on Great American Songbook tunes that he grew up loving, including "In the Still of the Night," Cy Coleman's "You Fascinate Me So," "Round Midnight" and a playful, strong duet with pianist Christopher Denny on "Somebody Else" that made the audience feel like it was on the set of "The Dean Martin Show." Here's hoping Edelmann--and Denny--return for a full show soon.

Tonight, the Cabaret is hosting free-to-the-public showcases including Sally Mayes (B'way's "She Loves Me" and "Urban Cowboy") and MAC-Award-winning Best Jazz Artist Spider Saloff (FYI: MAC is the Manhattan Association of Cabarets).

More info on the conference here.

Your thoughts?

  • I'd be there if I could!
    This all sounds like so much FUN, Lou! And a rare opportunity. I wish (wish!) I could spare the time this week. Thanks for letting me experience at least some of it through your writing.

    Just out of curiosity...the schedule on the website you linked to says tonight's showcase will be at the IRT, not the Cabaret. Is there more than one showcase going on?

    Hope Baugh
    Indy Theatre Habit

Post a comment to this blog

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
  1. Socialized medicine works great for white people in Scandanavia. It works well in Costa Rica for a population that is partly white and partly mestizo. I don't really see Obamacare as something aimed against whites. I think that is a Republican canard designed to elicit support from white people for republican candidates who don't care about them any more than democrats care about the non-whites they pander to with their phony maneuvers. But what is different between Costa Rica nd the Scandanavian nations on one hand and the US on the other? SIZE. Maybe the US is just too damn big. Maybe it just needs to be divided into smaller self governing pieces like when the old Holy Roman Empire was dismantled. Maybe we are always trying the same set of solutions for different kinds of people as if we were all the same. Oh-- I know-- that is liberal dogma, that we are all the same. Which is the most idiotic American notion going right back to the propaganda of 1776. All men are different and their differences are myriad and that which is different is not equal. The state which pretends men are all the same is going to force men to be the same. That is what America does here, that is what we do in our stupid overseas wars, that is how we destroy true diversity and true difference, and we are all as different groups of folks, feeling the pains of how capitalism is grinding us down into equally insignificant proletarian microconsumers with no other identity whether we like it or not. And the Marxists had this much right about the War of Independence: it was fundamentally a war of capitalist against feudal systems. America has been about big money since day one and whatever gets in the way is crushed. Health care is just another market and Obamacare, to the extent that it Rationalizes and makes more uniform a market which should actually be really different in nature and delivery from place to place-- well that will serve the interests of the biggest capitalist stakeholders in health care which is not Walmart for Gosh Sakes it is the INSURANCE INDUSTRY. CUI BONO Obamacare? The insurance industry. So republicans drop the delusion pro capitalist scales from your eyes this has almost nothing to do with race or "socialism" it has to do mostly with what the INSURANCE INDUSTRY wants to have happen in order to make their lives and profits easier.

  2. Read the article - the reason they can't justify staying is they have too many medicare/medicaid patients and the re-imbursements for transporting these patient is so low.

  3. I would not vote for Bayh if he did run. I also wouldn't vote for Pence. My guess is that Bayh does not have the stomach to oppose persons on the far left or far right. Also, outside of capitalizing on his time as U. S. Senator (and his wife's time as a board member to several companies) I don't know if he is willing to fight for anything. If people who claim to be in the middle walk away from fights with the right and left wing, what are we left with? Extremes. It's probably best for Bayh if he does not have the stomach for the fight but the result is no middle ground.

  4. JK - I meant that the results don't ring true. I also questioned the 10-year-old study because so much in the "health care system" has changed since the study was made. Moreover, it was hard to get to any overall conclusion or observation with the article. But....don't be defensive given my comments; I still think you do the best job of any journalist in the area shedding light and insight on important health care issues.

  5. Probably a good idea he doesn't run. I for one do not want someone who lives in VIRGINIA to be the governor. He gave it some thought, but he likes Virginia too much. What a name I cannot say on this site! The way these people think and operate amuses me.