You-review-it Monday: 'Spring Awakening,' 'Butterfly,' etc.

September 26, 2011
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For me, the weekend included "Spring Awakening" at the Phoenix Theatre, Indianapolis Opera's "Madama Butterfly" at Clowes, and some high hilarity at the Indiana Sports Corps Corporate Challenge (I won't mention the names of co-workers). The tube offered the season opener for "Saturday Night Live" (always more interesting when election season roles around) and other premieres.

I'll be writing about "Spring Awakening" and "Butterfly" in this week's column. In the meantime, share what you thought of those, of the new TV offerings, or of any of the many events I missed this weekend.

FYI: Thoughts on last weekend's ISO gala, the IRT's "Dracula," Beef & Boards' "Singin' in the Rain," and the Cabaret's Tony DeSare concert can be found here.

And to enter to win tickets for Sandi Patty's Broadway concert at the Palladium, click here.

Your thoughts?

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  • Kudos to Indy
    This weekend made me proud to living in Indianapolis and humbled to be a part of our arts community. I saw the dress rehearsal of Madama Butterfly on Wednesday. It was everything an Opera should be: Visually stunning, vocally beautiful and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra showed their chops with the beautiful score.

    Saturday I saw the closing performance of The Drowsy Chaperone at Civic Theatre. (I'm listening to the cast recording as I type). I knew nothing about the show or what to expect, but I was completely blown away, moved to tears in fact, by the caliber of the entire production. My only dislike is that it's over and I can't go see it again.

    Indy can hold our heads high and be proud of the arts we produce. I certainly am.
  • I agree
    Indy does indeed have much to be proud of in its arts scene, which is finally growing at the speed and with the excellence that it deserves. I attended the ISO's performance on Saturday night. While I wasn't as keen on the first two pieces, I am glad that Urbanski is bringing us a taste of his homeland and making us a little more musically diverse. And I had absolutely no complaints about Carmina Burana. Seeing the ISO, the Symphonic Choir, and the Indy Children's Choir all on one stage was awe-inspiring, and the power and enthusiasm with which they performed one of my favorite compositions was amazing. Kudos to all three of these local institutions.
  • The Last Ride
    I was fortunate enough to attend a premiere showing of a wonderful film by Alexandria, IN native Ben Gaither called "The Last Ride" at the H2(Homegrown) Film Festival at the Paramount theater in Anderson. This film speculates about the last night of Hank Williams (the father of modern Country Music) very short life, and does so with great taste and style. Henry Thomas (yes the one from E.T) stars as the title character, and his performance is understated and powerful, and dare I say, award winning potentially...a terrific supporting cast featuring Kaley Cuoco (Big Bang Theory), Jesse James, Fred Thompson, and an unbelievable soundtrack (there is a haunting version of "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" that will raise gooseflesh, other popular Hank's standards, a couple of original tracks and public domain tunes are also stellar, especially "Unclouded Day" and "Reno to Chino")...I highly recommend this film to anyone who has a chance to see it...it is excellent. Another feature film, "Scalene" by Zach Parker, which features several cast and crew from Indiana as well as Emmy winning Margo Martindale was also previewed, and was also very well done. All in all, a great night in a beautiful historical theater.
  • Palladium Concerts
    Caught Wynonna Judd Friday night at the Palladium. Powerful voice and wonderful concert. My complaint--concert goers who were shouting from their seats, very disruptive, not to mention rude. The audience is there for the headliner, not to hear comments shouted from the crowd.
    Saturday night was Jazz with the Lincoln Center Orchestra featuring Wynton Marsalis---this was an extremely enjoyable concer of smooth, easy listening jazz. My husband and I commented following the performance how very fortunate we are to have a diverse offering of theatre available to us in Indianapolis.
  • What a weekend!
    I echo the sentiments that this was indeed a fantastic weekend of music in Central Indiana. I attended the ISO on Friday night and, for the second week in a row, was tremendously impressed by new Music Director Urbanski. He rehearsed Carmina Burana without score - many conductors do the performance without score - he rehearsed all of this extremely complex work for choir and orchestra from memory. The concert started with two contemporary Polish works for strings. The first was by Gorecki, well known as a fairly avant garde composer, but this piece was tonal and very spiritual, seeming more from the sonic world of Alan Hovhaness and Arvo Part. The second was by a composer unknown to me whose name escapes me at the moment - it was not as weighty but was enjoyable and showed a wide variety of string techniques. I liked both but probably would have been better to program them in different concerts. Carmina was stunning - wonderful soloists who acted the parts as well as singing them, great variety in dynamic and articulation by the choir and orchestra, and terrific playing. After two weeks, I believe that this conductor is the real deal.

    Saturday I saw the final Civic performance of the Drowsy Chaperone at the new Tarkington Theater. The acting was inspired and genuine where it needed to be, hammy and over the top in the right places too. Fine job by the orchestra and the new theater is really a great place to see a musical. Saturday night I saw Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra at the Palladium. This was an ensemble of virtuoso soloists that played wonderfully as a unit. I have never heard such fantastic intonation from a large jazz band. Particularly splendid was a quartet version of Duke Ellington's Mood Indigo with just piano, clarinet, muted trumpet and trombone. The sustained ovation brought out the rhythm section, tenor sax soloist and Wynton for an extensive and brilliantly played encore.

    On Sunday I performed with the Indiana Wind Symphony at the Palladium, so I won't comment on that other than to say it was a joy to work with narrator Eric Halvorson of Channel 8. This is the kind of weekend that happens all of the time in New York and London, but I can't remember a September like this in Indy before!

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