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?

  • 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
  • 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 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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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.