You-review-it Monday: Sandi Patty/ISO, 'Radio Golf' and more...

January 16, 2012
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For me, a terrific weekend included the ISO's concert version of "Hello, Dolly!" with Sandi Patty, the new comedy "Current Economic Conditions" at the Phoenix Theatre (click links for my reviews), 500 Clown at the Center for the Performing Arts and "Radio Golf" at the Indiana Repertory Theatre (thoughts on the latter two soon).

And there was so much I missed--Patti Austin at the Palladium, the opening of "Turf" at the old Indiana State Museum, Sam Harris at the Cabaret just for starters. 

Did you catch any of the above? Or "Debbie Does Dallas" or Acting Up's "Two Rooms" at Theatre on the Square (reviewed here)? 

What did you hear, see or do this weekend?

(And, heads up, look for steady A&E bloggers right here during the week or so of Super Bowl mania. And follow me on twitter at iBJARTS.)

Your thoughts?

  • TURF wars
    unbelievable installations at the old Indiana State Museum on Alabama. Must see to appreciate. Indy should be proud of such amazing people. Also toured some of the murals around the city. Also a great welcoming for our own citizens and super bowl visitors.
  • Souvenir
    I saw Souvenir at Footlight Musicals starring Lori Ecker as Florence Foster Jenkins and John Phillips as Cosme McMoon. They were both fabulous. It runs through next weekend.
  • Hilarious!
    "Current Economic Conditions" sounds like a play that won't make you laugh!! A story of a laid-off young woman that moves back in with her parents. We laughed for the hour and forty five minute play, and then for hours afterwards!!
  • August Wilson = Genius
    I saw "Radio Golf" on Saturday and thought it was Terrific. I wish IRT could afford to do the entire 10 play cycle in chronological order, but until then, catch every one of Wilson's shows that you can. Radio Golf (the last of the ten) would be a Great start!
  • Dolly at the Palladium
    I saw the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra concert version of Broadway classic Hello Dolly at the Palladium on Sunday night. I really did not expect much from this setting, but I was pleasantly surprised that there was so much good acting and dancing. I guess I expected something like a concert opera, with Sandi Patty in a flowing gown and the men in tuxes and with the whole cast reading from scores. It was far from that. ISO Pops Conductor Jack Everly deserves a tremendous amount of credit for putting together this production team and overseeing a really fun evening of music. He even got to participate in a comic speaking role.
    Broadway veteran Gary Beach was a wonderfully over the top and curmudgeonly Horace Vandergelder. I appreciated the fact that a song cut from the original show was added early on. It helped to explain his miserly character so much better. Another cut song was added that Sandi Patty sang well. As my wife reminded me, you did not necessarily want to hear Carol Channing sing a ballad. It was such a different role for Sandi Patty. We are used to hearing her soar over an orchestra with big soprano hits from both operatic and Christian origins, and her voice is better suited to those presentations. I imagine that she could better play a Broadway lead role with more experience, though, and it was an overall success. The actors playing Barnaby and Cornelius were both excellent vocalists and did a nice job with the characters. The big moment in the Harmonia Garden with the waiters and Dolly is always a showstopper, and the big audience loved it Sunday night.
    The orchestra, which was pared down to about half the normal string complement, sounded wonderful in the acoustics of the Palladium. Particularly strong impressions were made by concertmaster Zach DePeu with the violin solos, Joey Tartell playing lead trumpet and Steve Hanna on the drumset.
  • Who knew?
    Saw two quality musicians, Griffin House and Vance Gilbert, at the Acoustic Cafe Series. The MC mentioned that this is the series' 15th year, and yet I'd never even heard of it.
  • Acoustic Cafe
    As Liz mentions...15 years, the best acoustic musicians in the country. Griffin House and Vance Gilbert were great...small room, great sound, an audience that listens...Love the series, and host Mark Butterfield, for bringing the best acoustic performers in the country to town. Next show is Shawn Mullins, followed by Catie Curtis, Ellis Paul, Craig Fuller, and Jonathan Edwards. Come see a show, you won't be disappointed.
  • ISO
    I saw the ISO and Sandi Patty perform Hello, Dolly. I have to say, it was the strangest ISO performance I have ever attended. In my opinion, it was not a traditional musical performance simply because they were reading all the lines. The actors carried around 3-ring binders almost the entire time and read the majority of the non-singing lines from the binders. The only time is looked believeable during the scenes from the restaurant when the binders acted as "menus." Had I known that it was this type of performance, I never would have purchased tickets despite the fact that the singing was great. The binders were distracting and awkward. I suppose it taught me to ask next time I book tickets to a "musical" to ask questions about how it will be performed. I would not go back.
  • Go to the IRT
    Radio Golf is an extraordinary production - the performances by each actor are the best I've seen here in town; and the writing by August Wilson is very engaging and relevant no matter what the timeframe. Go see it!
  • Dixie to Dolly
    My weekend started Thursday with the Dixie Swim Club at Beef & Boards. DSC is a heart warming tale of friendship and family, a cross between Steel Magnolias and Same Time Next Year.

    Friday would have included the Elvis Tribute for me, but a family emergency forced me to send a couple of friends to take mom instead. The three of them had an absolute ball and were thrilled to meet the cast afterward. Cody Slaughter, who recently appeared in the Broadway Across America tour of Million Dollar Quarter, returned to Indianapolis for the tribute.

    Finally, we attended Saturday's ISO concert staging of Hello Dolly. Despite a few minor flubs in the lines, on the whole the performance was a delight. Based on the comments above and overheard at the theater, ISO needs to do a better job of explaining what a concert staging is when marketing these shows. Too many people were disappointed due to their expectations. I actually was impressed they were able to incorporate the costumes, dancing and limited set pieces in a concert staging. Jack Everly was delightful as the judge and the ISO was spectacular, as always.

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