You-review-it Monday

March 7, 2011
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A busy, rewarding A&E weekend included Butler University's charming--and sold out--"As You Like It,"  the final performance of "Neat" at the IRT, "The Storytelling Ability of a Boy" at the Phoenix Theatre (yes, it's one of the worst titles I've heard in a long time, but an engaging play) and my first encounter with No Exit TheatreCompany, performing at Big Car Gallery.

Speaking of galleries, it was also First Friday weekend, which included a stop at the Harrison Center's exhibition of works by Emma Overman and a look at Matthew Steele's  sculptures at the Dean Johnson Gallery on Mass Ave.

All that, and a Saturday in Medora, IN, as a judge at the National Maple Syrup Festival (which continues next weekend).


 So I suppose you can understand why I slept in today.  


I'll be writing about some of the above in upcoming blogs and in the print IBJ.

In the meantime, what did you get to this weekend?

  • Diaspora-a must see
    I attended the Friday night performance of Saul WIlliams 'diaspora' directed by Michael Hosp. This adaptation of Williams play is powerful, stirring and very thought provoking. From the very momnet you enter the theater and see the single character "Man" played brilliantly by Jonah Winston, siiting on his bucket you are challenged to acknowledege his existance. I can't tell you how many times I walked by such a character during my youth in the NYC area. THe play begins with Man, a schzophrenic homeless man trapped in the far reaches of his inner mind begging for money as well as acknowledge of his existance. Man is depsarately trying to find himself and how he got where he is. THe audience is taken on a the journey through this very trouble mind and learns along the way the many torments in the life of this broken and shattered Man. THe journey is not linear but fragmented like the mind and soul of Man. What would appear to any passerby on the street as the rantings of a drunken homeless bum, are really the relevations and glimpses to the heart of an individual who was not just broken but shattered by the the torments of his life. Man desparetly is seeking acknoledgement of himself from anyone who passes by while searching his innercore for his own identity. You learn of the racially motivated rapping of the girl he loved, who he found left for dead along the river, of his haunting of his ancestry brought to this country as a slaves. As Man share his tortourous past with the audience, you find a mind that is not only tortoured but full of wisedom and insight to the nature of all of us.
    THe staging and lighting drew the audience into the darkness of Man's mind and the bits of light and wisdom that he shared with the audience.

    THis play challenges the audeince not only to look deeper into the soul of man, but to also look deeper into their own soul.

    Jonah's performance of man is absolutely birlliant and awe inspiring. If you like the type of theater that is shallow and bright this play is not for you, but if you are one who willing to go on the Journey with Man (Jonah)you will discover a deeper side of your soul.

    I highly recommend the show
  • just checking
    Ms. Coyne,
    Any relation to the Coyne who is doing marketing work for the Indy Fringe Theatre shows?
    Just checking. I prefer when such connections are disclosed.
  • James Taylor
    Friday we saw James Taylor at the Murat. His son Ben had a major role and really freshened up the performance. They sing very well together. I have seen James 7 or 8 times and thought he had gone a little stale the last couple of concerts. With the addition of Ben, I highly recommend seeing the duo.
  • Vienna Boys Choir
    We heard the Vienna Boys Choir in a sold-out (1600 people) concert at the Palladium. No amplification; just 25 crystal clear amazing voices. The sound simply rang. Unbelievable. Also hard to believe it got no mention from any local media.
  • Several good experiences
    I don't know who Peggy Coyne is, or whether or not she works for the Indy Fringe, but I saw "Diaspora" at the Indy Fringe Theatre a couple of weekends ago and I agree that it is a very powerful show.

    It has an emotional arc rather than a storytelling arc, I think, if that makes sense, but it is also more than just a performance of several hip-hop poems put together. The other theatrical elements - set, sound, lighting, costuming - plus the nuances in the portrayal by the solo actor, Jonah Winston, all combine to make you feel as if you are truly hanging out with a drunk/shamanic homeless/guru guy for an hour or so. It is both scary and inspiring, a very satisfying hour of performance art.

    Let's see...this past weekend I saw and enjoyed the opening of "The Storytelling Ability of a Boy" at the Phoenix. Detailed thoughts about it are now up on my blog.

    I also saw the opening night of the Epilogue Players' production of "To Kill a Mockingbird." I am not going to have time to write a full review it, but I will tell you that I was weeping by the end of it.

    I am no longer on a book award committee so my reading time is mostly my own now. I am having a great time reading whatever I feel like reading.

    In the past month I have re-read Mario Puzo's The Godfather just because, and the first and fifth books in Jean Auel's series that begins with The Clan of the Cave Bear because the concluding tome is supposed to be published this month.

    I also read Saved, by Jack Falla, because I recently became a Tampa Bay Lightning hockey fan. I want to go to an Indianapolis Ice game, too, before the season is over, but this is not a conflict of interest, right, because they are in different leagues?

    Anyway, Saved is a novel about a goalie for the Boston Bruins, but still, it gives a fascinating look into what it is like to be a pro hockey player on any team (and maybe what it is like to be a sports writer, which is what Jack Falla was before he became a novelist, I think.)

    Hope Baugh
    Indy Theatre Habit

    • James Taylor
      My wife and I attended Friday evening's performance by James and Ben Taylor. It was a nice mix of songs by both, comments by James, and brief vignettes by Ben of growing up with James as a father. We had a wonderful time !
    • To Hope
      Hi Hope,

      Peggy Coyne does not work for IndyFringe. She is my mother, who saw diaspora and wanted to contribute her ideas to our theatre scene.

    • clarification
      Thanks for clarifying. Since you did help market this show for Indy Fringe, I hope you can understand my need to push for open disclosure in these blog posts.
      I'm glad she enjoyed the play.

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