You-review-it Monday

October 25, 2010
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For me, the weekend included catching two productions at Chicago's Goodman Theatre--the most recent redo of Leonard Bernstein's Voltaire musical "Candide" and a new, stunningly acted adaptation of Chekhov's "The Seagull."

What about you? 

Did you catch any closing weekend films at the Heartland Film Festival or see one of the final performances of the Phoenix Theatre's "In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play"? Did you see the local premiere of the musical "13" in Carmel or pop in for an Andy Warhol visit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art?

Whatever it was, tell us about the Indy A&E experiences I missed while I was out of town.

Your thoughts?

  • Weekend of Chicago theater
    We traveled to Chicago as well and began our weekend on Thursday with plans to see five different productions.

    Thursday evening, we attended Northlight Theatre in Skokie to see "Daddy Long Legs," a new musical by Paul Gordon and John Caird (who wrote the Broadway musical, "Jane Eyre"). This two-person musical was excellently performed, and sets, costumes, and lighting were all first-rate. The piece itself still needs some tightening (especially in the first act), but is a beautiful piece with many enjoyable melodies. I do not see it as a Broadway piece, but can definitely be successful both Off-Broadway and in regional and community theaters across the country.

    We attended The Annoyance Theatre for the first time to see "40 Whacks," a humorous musical centering on the Lizzie Borden case of 1892. This was the one stinker of the bunch we saw, as the actors definitely thought that they were funnier than the material really was. Such a disappointment...but cheap. So we were not out much money, thank goodness.

    "To Kill a Mockingbird" at The Steppenwolf was excellently performed and executed, although the previous productions of this same script I have seen (Indianapolis Civic Theatre and IRT) were far better in terms of set design and lighting.

    The surprise hit of the trip was Hell in a Handbag Productions' "Rip Nelson's Halloween Spook-tacular" at Mary's Attic. Rip Nelson (a recovering alcoholic Paul Lynde type) is hosting a 1960's Halloween television special with guest stars such as Shelly Duvall, Charo, Joan Crawford, Ann Miller, Donny Osmond, and others. Nonstop hilarity for 90 minutes.

    We ended the weekend seeing "Billy Elliot: The Musical" at The Oriental Theatre. What a perfect ending to a wonderful weekend. This musical is so inspirational and has you smiling as you leave the theater. What amazed me was that they have four young boys rotate playing the title role throughout the rigorous eight performances per week schedule. To have not only one, but FOUR, talented youths like that FLOORED ME.

    Definitely a wonderful trip.
  • Butler weekend
    We saw America's Got Talent at Clowes Friday night (to watch a coworker's niece perform), and then we caught the Ben Folds concert on Saturday. What an incredibly talented guy. He played for 1 hr. 45 minutes and it was awesome. I left happy as a clam :-)
  • tf3 and Little Women
    I went to the ISO Friday night. What a great performance although I found the bookending of Chris Brubeck�s new piece by Mozart and Brahms somewhat odd programming. That said, the Brahm's fourth is one of my favorites and the ISO's horn section was in spectacular form!

    Saturday night was ââ?¬Å?Little Womenââ?¬Â?, a 1998 opera performed by the IU Opera Theater. It was very engaging. The composer, who also wrote the libretto, had to select certain scenes from the full story in order to create a work of a reasonable length. It was beautifully done. At the pre-opera talk we were told it's received 68 productions since its premiere by the Houston Opera. This is IU's second staging; the first being in 2002.
  • thanks for writing!
    I always look forward to reading what everyone writes here on Lou's blog on Monday mornings, but I was especially delighted today to read about Scott's theatre adventures in Chicago. Thanks for taking the time to write!

    Hope Baugh
    Indy Theatre Habit
  • Oh! PS - Bloomington
    I forgot to say what I saw/heard this past weekend:

    I road-tripped twice to Bloomington, Indiana.

    On Friday night I heard several wonderful tellers from the Bloomington Storytellers' Guild share ghost stories with a crowd of more than 100 people sitting outside in the crisp, cool air on the hill in Bryan Park. One story in particular, told by Mary Frazier, called "Two White Horses" (I'm sorry, I didn't catch the author), was a creepily perfect fit for the gorgeous Harvest Moon overhead. She told it beautifully.

    On Saturday I drove back down again to celebrate a family birthday and to hear a friend play guitar in "A Concert of New Music by Sulaiman Zai Inspired by Lines from Rumi Poems." It was a delightfully eclectic mix of pieces, and at the end of the concert the composer said to the audience, "We would love to have you join us next year. Email me with your instrument, we'll meet, and then I will write some music to include you."

    How fun is that?

    During an hour of downtime in Bloomington when my family had some running around on their own to do, I went to Rachel's Cafe to write letters. But what a special, unexpected treat: the Keith Karns trio was playing! Keith Karns on trumpet, another man on bass violin, and another man on xylophone, I think. I ignored my letters and just drank in the good, live jazz until I was giddy.

    Hope Baugh
    Indy Theatre Habit
  • Does ...
    Does roller Derby count? It was definitely entertaining.

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