You-review-it Monday

April 25, 2011
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So did you take a walk to "The 39 Steps" at the IRT?

Live (temporarily) in "Material World" at the IMA?

Or get a lesson in "The History of Jazz" at the Cabaret at the Columbia Club?

My arts experiences this Easter weekend were limited to the first of the aforementioned trio (which I'll write about in an upcoming column) and a Sunday at-home revisit to the "Godspell" movie musical. As you may know, there are only two kinds of people in this world: Those who prefer "Godspell" and those who prefer "Jesus Christ Superstar." Which are you?

And whether you answer that or not, let me know what you experienced on the A&E front this weekend.

Your thoughts?

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  • fun dichotomies
    Hah! I had never heard of that dichotomy. I've also never seen the movie version of "Godspell," so I guess I'm a "Jesus Christ Superstar" person, but only by default.

    This weekend I lived out my own little dichotomy by going to one live stage show and one live sporting event. I also pre- and post-tweeted the show and live-tweeted the game, another dichotomy.

    I had a great time with all of it!

    "The 39 Steps" at the Indiana Repertory Theatre is deliciously funny. I bet that people who liked the playfulness of last year's "Around the World in 80 Days" will enjoy this tongue-in-cheek stage homage to Hitchcock films, too. The dashing lead, Matthew Brumlow, is a cutie and the other three actors, including one of my destination actors, Rob Johansen, are a collective hoot. It is very hard to believe that they play so many roles so convincingly, but somehow they do!

    The Indiana Ice team lost to the visiting Green Bay team Saturday night, which meant they lost the playoffs, but oh, what an exciting game they played! I especially admired their defense work, and especially the goalie, #30, Casey DeSmith.

    And I LOVED that I overheard the woman behind me at the hockey game tell her husband during one of the intermissions, "I hear the new show at the IRT is good!"

    I spend a lot of time writing and reading social media - maybe more than most people, I don't know. But I had a gestalt this morning as I was working on my review of "The 39 Steps" (it'll be up on my own blog soon) and re-reading my game tweets:

    I think that one reason I enjoy social media so much is not just because of its communicative potential but also because of its creative potential.

    Maybe one person's social media "presence" will never be as grand as a theatrical production or a sporting event, or for that matter, professional journalism or a novel or a script or whatever, but it can be a satisfying little ongoing work of art and skill all on its own.

    That's what I'm aiming for now, anyway.

    Hope Baugh
    Indy Theatre Habit
    @IndyTheatre
  • Godspell
    Lou, you are correct...I know people who like both, but most strongly prefer one to the other. I had a great drama teacher in high school, Maxine Adkins, now deceased, who founded Anderson's Mainstage theater, the longest running amateur theater in the state, 52 years this season. She took our Thespian Troupe (736) to see Godspell at Emens Auditorium in 1971 (I was 16)...I was hooked. It is pop music with lots of flavors, but well suited for the show. As for Andrew Lloyd Webber...well, I find his melodies and music not particularly memorable...As Neil Finn of Crowded House fame (and guy who can write a catchy and clever tune) once wrote in the song Chocolate Cake "Not everyone in New York would pay to see Andrew Lloyd Webber, may his trousers fall down as he bows to the queen and the crown. I don't know the tune that the orchestra played, but it went by me sickly and sentimental". That is how I feel about pretty much all of Webber's music, but since he is such a force in theater, I always figured that I was the one that had the problem. I much prefer Godspell, the way the story is laid out, the room for improv, the flexibility of era, staging, set, costumes, and Schwartz's music and Tebelak's book. I also loved Pippin, another Stephen Swartz' musical that you don't see done much anymore. The movie Godspell is...ok. Nothing like the live theater version, but passable. I don't care for JCS, movie or theater, and I have seen both...you don't leave the theater humming the tunes, as is true with most of his work. Just my take on it. Anyway, thanks for letting me reminisce about a great teacher and influence, and one of my favorite musicals (and for the space and excuse to quote Neil Finn's lyric, which when I first heard it, I thought "so there is someone else in the world who does not get the reverence for ALW").

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